Simon Bridges wants input into NCEA review

The AM Show 10/12/2018

National Party leader Simon Bridges has upped the amount he thinks the Government is wasting on unnecessary reviews to more than $1 million.

Figures released at the weekend by his party claimed 206 inquiries, commissions and reviews are underway, costing about $280 million a year - more than $700,000 a day.

"Why? Why have they done this? I think basically it's because they did nine years in Opposition, they didn't come up with their own stuff," Mr Bridges told The AM Show on Monday.

"They're outsourcing Government to consultants, right?"

He told host Duncan Garner $700,000 was a "pretty conservative" estimate, and it's likely to be more than $1 million.

The Government rejected the claims, saying there were only 41 inquiries, commissions and reviews - the other 165 operations National cited were "core Government work".

"Much of the rest of the spending relates to business as usual expenses that any Government incurs and a lot of it is over three to four years," State Services Minister Chris Hipkins told NZME.

National says, in the same timeframe, it set up 39 - only two less than the coalition Government says it's set up.

Mr Bridges said he was unable to find the Government's list proving it only had 41.

"We've provided a list," he said. "You can look at it, you can go online and see it. We got it from them. Their list, funnily enough, we can't find it. So I'd say bank on ours."

Half the spending was made up of just three groups - the royal commission into historic abuse in state care and churches, the Pike River recovery and the mental health inquiry.

Mr Bridges singled out the NCEA review as one he actually thinks is worth spending money on.

"I don't know if I'll agree with where [Education Minister] Chris Hipkins is going on it, but I do think it's important."

He said National would like to work with the Government on getting an education system both parties could agree on, so it wouldn't have to be changed every time there was a new Government.

Watch the full interview above.

The AM Show with Duncan Garner, Amanda Gillies and Mark Richardson, weekdays 6-9am on RadioLIVE and streaming live to the rova app on Android and iPhone.

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