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Upper Hutt Leader : December 28th 2011
3 UPPER HUTT LEADER, DECEMBER 28, 2011 NEWS Fast Approval CASH NOW 245 High Street 24 Queen Street Lower Hutt Wainuiomata Phone: 566 0989 Phone: 564 1596 *All Loans Subject to Normal Lending Criteria Loans for all reasons ADELPHI FINANCE LTD The Established Company HN105346/wh Amounts $500 to $5000 Providing Cash Solutions 40 Years of Financial Service "/.* %(%#.,'#"( ! "', #*)$'.'*)')& -+%#'"('-.- $*$$ ,431 -/6 AC (&) '+(& 4@=E +# %%$ 5<7>7E=>= 2E# 4BB:C .FEE !:@EC7@8: A;; 07D:;=:?9 2E" %(&1 ).&,1256.(5 .2(08).2, "#% '5&/*6! %$% &.5'&,6 &2) *2,.2* (3)* +&8076 ".4 (21).6.21.1, &1) -*&6.1, 6;67*1 6*59.(.2, &2) 5*4&.56 "// */*(64.(&/ +&7/65 .2(08).2, *0*(75.( :.2)3:6! 1.55356 &2) (*275&0 03(/.2, %733/8 &1) .156&// &/&405! 56*4*25 &1) #$% 75&(/.2, 6;67*16 &2) 63 18(- 135* %6&46.1, &1) (-&4,.1,342'/*05 3648099AR 3880455AA Care & Education for children 0-5 years Monday to Friday, 7.15am 5.45pm OPEN 52 WEEKS NOW OPEN. The centre is located two minutes walk to Upper Hutt Railway Station. Very convenient for parents commuting to Wellington CHILDHOOD CONCEPTS is an exciting new centre resourced with quality equipment. Children will learn alongside qualifed and experienced caring teachers within a nurturing environment in partnership with parents. We are now accepting enrolments for children from birth to 5 years FOR MORE INFORMATION OR JUST TO DISCUSS YOUR NEEDS CONTACT 527 0282 OR 021 1000 676 28 GOODSHED ROAD, UPPER HUTT One dropped like a hot potato Intrepid reporter: Amy Jackman, who broke the student loans debt collection story. Student loans in spotlight ' Ultimately, this is a matter for determination by Parliament when it is passing the legislation concerned. ' David McGee, ombudsman By JIM CHIPP Student loans are always a politi- cal hot potato but they must have been particularly scalding when Central Community Newspapers asked about the government's debt collection plans. Departments and ministers could not pass the request to someone else quickly enough. The queries ended up with the Inland Revenue Department, which has a secrecy clause built into the Tax Administration Act. Section 81 was meant to protect taxpayers' private information but the department cited it when it wanted to keep its policy develop- ment process away from public scrutiny. In July 2010, Massey Univer- sity journalism student Amy Jack- man broke a story about the government's plan to unleash pri- vate debt collectors on student loan borrowers. Ms Jackman is now a reporter with the Upper Hutt Leader. When the plan was introduced early this year, it had been reined in and private debt collectors were only employed to trace defaulters who had moved overseas. In July last year Central Com- munity Newspapers asked under the Official Information Act for a report by consultants Burleigh Evatt on how student loan collec- tion could be privatised. It also asked how a collection company would be structured, how its shares would be owned, how much student borrowers owed, and how much had been written off the previous year. There were questions about how much the government expected to recover that year, which, if any, of Inland Revenue's far-reaching powers would be available to pri- vate agencies and when the loans were planned to be privatised. The request went to the Treasury, Inland Revenue Depart- ment, Finance Minister Bill Eng- lish, Social Development Minister Paula Bennett and Tertiary Edu- cation Minister Steven Joyce. Under the Official Information Act, government departments have 20 working days to respond to requests. At the end of the period, they each passed it to someone else, in the process re-setting the 20-day delay. Inland Revenue policy manager Keith Taylor said the department was not the appropriate agency to respond but the Education Minis- try was. He passed some questions to Mr Joyce and the rest to Ms Bennett. Mr English did the same. The Treasury referred part of the request to Ms Bennett and the rest to Education Minister Ann Tolley. Neither Ms Bennett nor Ms Tolley responded. Mr Joyce split the questions up sending some to Ms Bennett and, completing the circle, passing the rest to back to Inland Revenue. Finally on August 27, 2010, Mr Taylor responded. He declined the requests, citing Section 81.1 of the Tax Adminis- tration Act, 1994 -- the tax secrecy provisions and Central Com- munity Newspapers complained to the Ombudsman. After more than a year of corre- spondence and consideration, ombudsman David McGee ruled that Inland Revenue was the appropriate agency to respond to the request and that it was entitled to apply the Section 81 secrecy provisions to policy as well as taxpayer privacy. Whether secrecy provisions, such as Section 81, were always necessary or whether they ought to be interpreted so widely, were legitimate policy questions, he said. Ultimately, this is a matter for determination by Parliament when it is passing the legislation concerned.'' Mr McGee said he intended to draw Parliament's attention to these issues but was bound to give effect to existing laws. Oliver's hard work pays off Top honour: Oliver with a Queen's Scout blanket patch. A St Joseph's Venturer Scout has earned the highest achievement possible as a youth member of New Zealand Scouting. Oliver Ewert has completed his Queen's Scout Award, training in leadership skills, risk management, camp craft and life skills. This award is the culmination of several years' hard work and determination, includ- ing several tramps (one of four days), safety modules, new skills and physical challenges. The son of Karina and Reinhold, Oliver has been a member of St Joseph's Scout Group from the age of six, starting in Keas, then moving into Cubs, then Scouts and finally, Venturers. He is the 46th Venturer to have his name put on the St Joseph's Group's Honours Board and the fourth Ven- turer this year to do so. Oliver will receive his certificate from the Governor-General and Chief Scout of New Zealand, Sir Jerry Mateparae, at Government House in Sept- ember next year. Oliver has attended the past two New Zealand Jamborees as a Scout at the 18th Centennial Jamboree in Christchurch in 2008 and at the start of this year, in Ham- ilton, as a Venturer helping to deliver the programme at the off-site base at Finlay Park for 500 Scouts each day. Oliver also oversaw the construction of overnight shelters for the older Scouts and ran a Venturing Explained'' session for them. He attended the 11th New Zealand Ven- ture in Wellington in 2010, learning how to sail. As well as this, Oliver assisted on the technical side for the 2010 Hutt Valley Gang Show. Oliver has just completed Year 13 at Heretaunga College, where he was in charge of the technical team for light and sound. He is going to learn how to fly a small plane at the two-week long 46th Walsh Memorial Scout Flying School in January. After this, he will begin his engin- eering degree at Victoria University as well as joining Rover Scouts.
December 21st 2011
January 4th 2012