Govt should scrap ethnicity based procurement process

The Government must cancel its new procurement rules which could see contracts awarded based on ethnicity rather than the best person to do the job, National’s Economic Development spokesperson Todd McClay says.

The Government is rolling out a new procurement policy which means up to 5 per cent of government contracts will be awarded to Māori organisations.

“Contracts should be awarded based on who will do the best job for the best price, regardless of the ethnicity of the company,” Mr McClay says.

The New Zealander Defence Force had this week written to all of its suppliers asking them to confirm if they meet the Government’s new definition of a Māori business 

This means that a company who has been supplying the Defence Force for 12 years may lose their contract purely based on not meeting this criteria. 

“During a recent Select Committee hearing it became apparent that the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and Te Puni Kōkiri would be responsible for making sure all departments met the government’s target,” Mr McClay says.

“The Minister responsible Stuart Nash needs to give an absolute commitment that public procurement decisions will not be based on ethnicity.

“The risk is that Ministries will get to the end of the year and realise they haven’t met their targets, and will award contracts regardless of whether the businesses is the best fit. It could also see more expensive contracts signed resulting in more taxpayer money being spent.

“The Government should scrap the process of awarding contracts based on ethnicity and make sure it’s getting the best value for money for New Zealanders, regardless of the ethnicity of the business.”