Wellington, May 24 NZPA - The Labour Party is questioning a $4.8 million budget allocation to a private company so it can boost the living standards of Pacific communities in Auckland.
Mangere MP Su'a William Sio said tonight little was known about the Pacific Economic Development Agency (Peda) and $4.8 million was a significant amount of money.
"Little is known how Peda will put the money into action," he said.
"There are reports that it will only operate out of Auckland.
"If so, I would have major concerns about the fairness of that for Pacific Islanders living in other areas."
The New Zealand Herald reported that the company had a single shareholder and its chief executive was Anthony Pereira.
Mr Pereira said he would not be "personally paid" and didn't receive a salary from Peda last year because there was no surplus revenue.
He said the Government's money would go to projects such as Pacific Skilled Employment, a programme for young Pacific Islanders.
Prime Minister John Key said at his post-cabinet press conference today the funding would be spread over four years.
There would be about $715,000 for the Pacific Skilled Employment initiative, $75,000 for a leadership programme, $65,000 for a buy Pacific made campaign, $60,000 for a village framework and $85,000 for performing arts and cultural pathways.
"It's a small amount of money targeted at lifting Pacific performance," he said.
"Treasury will kick the tyres. If we don't get value for money then we stop things...it won't be any different for this organisation. If they don't meet their objectives the money will stop."