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Source: Taxpayers Union

Responding to the Auditor-General’s report on the University of Auckland’s decision to purchase a $5 million mansion in Parnell for its Vice-Chancellor, New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union spokesman Louis Houlbrooke says:“The Auditor-General’s judgment could hardly be more scathing: he says that the University failed to show a justifiable business purpose, failed to demonstrate objectivity, failed to display adequate transparency, failed to show the expenditure was moderate and conservative, and failed to follow its own policy on sensitive expenditure.”“This purchase always looked like a rort, and now we know it was one. By charging the Dawn Freshwater half the market rent, the University effectively topped up her $755,000 salary in a way that wouldn’t be transparent to observers.”“The victims here are fee-paying students and taxpayers, who expected their hard-earned money to be spent on education, not luxury housing for a public sector bigwig.”“It’s not enough for the University to just sell the mansion. Dawn Freshwater needs to backpay the University for the real value of her discounted rent. If she can’t show this basic respect to taxpayers and students, she is unfit for the top job.”