NZ Government ‘fleeced’ by Fuji Xerox, says Peters

The leader of New Zealand First, Winston Peters has reacted with outrage to the release by Japan’s Fujifilm of an independent report into financial misconduct at subsidiary Fuji Xerox New Zealand, that has toppled the chairman and other senior figures of the parent company.

Peters claims the Government has been fleeced by Fuji Xerox, and has accused ministers Simon Bridges and Steven Joyce and prime minister Bill English of being “happy to deal with crooks.”

“Insiders have come to New Zealand First to say it was the Wild West,” Peters said. “Sales staff wrote and approved their own contracts. Print volumes, even from schools, were ‘hydraulicked’ to extort money from its own finance wing. Copier sales staff became multimillionaire property developers. The Lamborghini dealers smiled. The Big Short had met the Wolves of Carlton Gore Road.”

Peters has been a close watcher of the developing scandal around Fuji Xerox New Zealand and which has expanded to the Australian company.

In April Peters called for the Serious Fraud Office to take a second look at the Government’s dealings with Fuji Xerox New Zealand following a report in the Nikkei Asian Review reported that parent company Fujifilm had created an independent committee to investigate the New Zealand subsidiary after an in-house inquiry reportedly “uncovered the possibility that the unit overstated net profits by a total of roughly 22 billion yen ($NZ284m) over the past several years.”

The financial impact on the parent company is not huge, its New Zealand operations accounted for only 0.8 percent of total revenues in 2016. However the seriousness of the troubles can be judged from its impact at the top level of the corporation.

Fujifilm has now released an English translation of that report, following delivery to the Tokyo Stock Exchange of the original on 21 January revealing that the scandal has resulted in the departure of chairman Tadahito Yamamoto, deputy president Haruhito Yoshida, executive vice president Katshiko Yanagawa, corporate auditor Keiji Somata, and the senior vice president Masashi Honda and the demotion of corporate vice president Tetsuya Takagi.

These and other senior executives have had their bonuses cut by 50 percent and the compensation reduced by 30 percent for three months.

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