New Zealand Duo In Hot Water, Spent Govt. Money Learning Hip-Hop

Perhaps taking a cue from Jay-Z's song "Money Ain't A Thang," two New Zealanders spent over $26,000 in government money on an expedition to learn more about hip-hop and rap music.But like Jigga's "Money..." counterpart Jermaine Dupri, the duo are experiencing the consequences of "Ballin' Out of Control."A spokeswoman for the National Social Services has criticized the funding of the trip, which included stops in New York, Los Angeles, Hawaii, Fiji and Samoa."If New Zealanders were given a choice I suspect most would prefer their tax dollars to go on hip-operations rather than hip-hop," Katherine Rich said in a statement released yesterday (March 17).Though a government official claims the globe-trotting pair have "more in-depth knowledge of the genre and the industry," Rich claims the entire trip was misleading from its inception.She feels the paperwork filed with the Labour Department inadequately described the expenditure."70 days is not a 'fact-finding mission' - it's a junket. If people want to listen to rap music that's fine, but they should pay for it with their own money," Rich said.There has been no word whether the pair, described as "social entrepreneurs" by Rich, will face further disciplinary action.