How much is the Inland Revenue Department paying per square metre for its accommodation in Directories House, Christchurch, and what is the total cost of the fit-out and move to Directories House?
I cannot disclose those figures because they are the subject of a confidentiality agreement between the commissioner and the building owners. I do not have the total cost of the fit-out and the move to Directories House at this stage, simply because those costs have yet to be finalised.
Does the Minister consider it acceptable that the Inland Revenue Department moved into temporary accommodation in Christchurch at a cost of $330 a square metre, as reported in the National Business Review, plus a $2 million fit-out, when it could have stayed in its present accommodation in Henderson House paying $130 a square metre; if so, why does he think it acceptable?
The Inland Revenue Department could not stay in its current accommodation; that lease was due to terminate in December of this year. Negotiations regarding its renewal commenced in the middle of last year, and they were not concluded satisfactorily.
Does the Minister believe it was possible for the Inland Revenue Department to stay on in a building owned by a man the previous Minister of Revenue, Michael Cullen, falsely accused of being “one of the biggest and nastiest tax evaders”, and of running “the sex industry in Christchurch”; if so, why?
The member clearly knows Mr Henderson better than I do, and is therefore better placed to answer that question. I just make this point: at the time the Inland Revenue Department went into what is now known as Henderson House, the building was not in fact owned by Mr Henderson. I understand he acquired it subsequently.
Does the Minister consider his department’s almost 300 percent increase in Christchurch accommodation costs to be an example of Treasury’s recent briefing advice to the Government that “There is little to indicate that New Zealanders are getting more services and better results from the public sector for the large increases in resources provided.”; if not, why not?