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In the Media

July 28, 2014

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May 04, 2014


Autotalk on electric vehicles

White elephant says Taxpayer’s Union, not so says APEV Autotalk - 01 May 2014

The Taxpayers’ Union says it has uncovered what is probably the most expensive staff car park in the country, located at Z Energy on Customhouse Quay in Wellington.
However the Association for the promotion of electric vehicles (APEV) disagrees.
Between 2010 and 2012, the Wellington City Council spent $100,000 on a zero-emissions vehicle programme, and only thing to show for it is a charging station, which is a white elephant claims the Taxpayer’s Union.
Most days it is occupied by conventional vehicles owned by the staff at the Z Energy station according to the Taxpayer’s Union.
“Instead of being used to charge electric vehicles, the ratepayer funded charging station is used as a staff car park for the service station attendants,” says Taxpayers’ Union executive director Jordan Williams.
Read more.

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March 28, 2014


More on America's cup value for money analysis (plus poll)

Taxpayers' Union slags America's Cup spend Stuff.co.nz - 28/03/2014
Government claims that last year's America's Cup campaign has paid for itself more than twice over have been criticised by the Taxpayers' Union.
Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce yesterday released an independent report into the "direct and indirect benefits" of entering the high-speed yachting regatta.
"From a $36m taxpayer investment, evaluation shows an estimated positive impact of $87m to the New Zealand economy," Joyce said.
However, Taxpayers' Union executive director Jordan Williams said there was no reason to celebrate the funding of a sport for rich men.
"The analysis is based on the questionable assumption that private money would not have flowed into Team New Zealand without taxpayers coughing up," he said.
The report also says Team New Zealand contributed to 1220 new jobs.
"Of course politicians like Mr Joyce will claim to have created jobs by spending other people's money," Williams said.
"The jobs and economic activity lost due to the tax taken from the economy in the first place, is ignored. Even a sport full of the richest men in the world doesn't turn down government money," Williams said. Read more.

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March 28, 2014


America's Cup funding - value for money?

NBR logoAs Joyce releases boosterish reports about America's Cup payoff, Taxpayers' Union complains about funding "rich man's sport" The National Business Review - 27/03/2014
The right-wing Taxpayers' Union is unimpressed by reports released by Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce this afternoon, which show "NZ Inc" gained "leverage" from the America's Cup.
The reports say the $36 million chipped in by taxpayers had an estimated positive impact of $87 million amid media coverage, and NZTE showcases helping NZ companies to sign new deals.
“Like Team New Zealand, the Minister gets eight-ninths of the way there.  The analysis is based on the questionable assumption that private money would not have flowed into Team New Zealand without taxpayers coughing up. In addition, it says that without the money going to fund Team New Zealand, none of the other syndicates would not have spent any time training in Auckland," says Taxpayers' Union executive director Jordan Williams.
“Of course politicians like Mr Joyce will claim to have ‘created jobs’ by spending other people’s money. The jobs and economic activity lost, due to the tax taken from the economy in the first place, is ignored."
"Even a sport full of the richest men in the world doesn’t turn down government money," Williams says.
... Read more.

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March 25, 2014


MPs' last hurrah on the taxpayer

MPs close to retiring take trip to China The Dominion Post - 25/03/2014

Less than six months out from their retirement, two National MPs are on a 10-day taxpayer-funded trip to China, costing $15,000 a head.
Members of Parliament's foreign affairs, defence and trade select committees are travelling through southwest and central China this week, before heading to Beijing on a trip funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Mfat).
Promoted as an effort to build links in regions that have never been visited by New Zealand political figures, the trip has been dubbed a "last hoorah" for retiring MPs.
Mfat said last night the "indicative cost" of the trip was $75,000, which it had agreed to cover on the grounds that it would provide a "foreign policy benefit" by broadening parliamentary links with China.
The trip is expected to include return business-class flights and five-star hotels.
Opposition MPs on the trip are all senior members of their parties - Phil Goff, David Shearer and Winston Peters, who are all expected to campaign in the coming election.
But National's members of the delegation, John Hayes and Paul Hutchison, are backbenchers who have indicated they will step down at the end of the current term, with the election to be held on September 20.  Read more.

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March 24, 2014


NZ Herald on Problem Gambling Foundation (Taxpayer funded lobbying)

Problem gambling contract surprises NZ Herald - 22/03/2014

The Taxpayers' Union has welcomed the Government's decision to trim funding of the Problem Gambling Foundation in favour of services offered by the Salvation Army.  The Taxpayers' Union says that the foundation was using public money for pet political causes.

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March 24, 2014


Herald on Sunday coverage on back-pay for ousted MPs

Back-pay bonus for ousted MPs: Lobby group upset dumped politicians will still benefit from salary increase Herald on Sunday - 23/03/2014

Green Party co-leader Russel Norman said the back-dating system was 'unfortunate'. Photo / NZPA
Green Party co-leader Russel Norman said the back-dating system was 'unfortunate'.
The Taxpayers Union is outraged that MPs ousted in the September election will still get a handsome pay packet in October as their salary increases are backdated.
... Taxpayers Union spokesman Jordan Williams said this showed politicians' pay was disconnected from economic reality.
"A post-election bonus is just outrageous," he said.
"By doing it that way, they're effectively ruling out pay decreases. If they take [pay] down, what are they going to do? Send each MP a bill? It shows it's a farce."
The union advocates tying politicians' pay to the country's economic fortune, measured by the gross domestic product. Read more.

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