Media Enquiries: 04 2820302 (24hr)

Your Money, Your Voice

Championing Value For Money From Every Tax Dollar

Our Team

Taxpayers' Union Board Members:

Barrie Saunders - Chairman

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  • Bio: Barrie has many years of experience in the operations of government and in media and communications. He practised in journalism and public relations before establishing his own government relations consultancy.
  • "I have watched the Taxpayers’ Union develop into an effective lobby group against wasteful government expenditure at both national and local levels. Given the plethora of organisations wanting governments to spend more, the Union has a vital counterbalancing role."

Jordan Williams - Executive Director & Co-founder

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  • DDI: (04) 282 0301
  • Bio: Our Executive Director is Jordan Williams. Jordan is a constitutional and commercial lawyer who manages the day-to-day operations of the Union. His background is in law and accounting and in 2011 he was spokesperson for Vote for Change, a lobby group that campaigned against the retention of the MMP electoral system.
  • "There are thousands of groups, often taxpayer funded, that argue for more money to be taken from Kiwis to fund pet projects. The Taxpayers' Union balance the debate. We argue that value for money is more sensible than tax, spend and hope policies dreamed up by politicians."

David Farrar - Co-founder

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  • Bio: David is a well known political blogger and commentator. David also owns and manages the specialist polling agency Curia Market Research and has an active involvement in Internet issues. He is an experienced political campaigner and former parliamentary staffer.
  • "I helped form the New Zealand Taxpayers Union because I believe that New Zealand needs a lobby group to stand up for the rights of taxpayers and ratepayers, and fight against those who treat them as a never ending source of funds."

Sashi Meanger - Director

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  • Bio: Sashi is an entrepreneur and academic, having had a number of senior roles in not for profits and small businesses. He has lectured at Victoria University of Wellington’s School of Management and is the current Executive Director of the New Zealand Film School.
  • "I have followed the progress of the Taxpayers’ Union from its infancy and seen it grow into a loud voice for taxpayers. Every dollar of public spending is a dollar that a hard-working Kiwi earned. The Taxpayers’ Union balances the debate against the hundreds of organisations and special interests arguing for more government spending on their pet causes."

Taxpayers' Union Advisor:

Jim Rose - Research Fellow

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  • Bio: Jim Rose has worked at the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, the Department of Labour, the Ministry of Social Development, and the New Zealand Treasury, and in Canberra for the Productivity Commission, the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, and the Department of Finance. Jim has Masters degrees in economics and in public policy from the Australian National University and from the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies in Tokyo respectively. He blogs at
  • "A lot of money would be saved by taxpayers if bureaucrats always had to put forward "Lilley’s option" — the option of doing nothing — whenever there is a problem or a crisis."

Taxpayers' Union Staff Members:

Joe Ascroft - Economist

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  • Bio: Joe is our part-time Economic Advisor. He has a Bachelor of Science in Economics and Statistics from the University of Otago and is currently finishing his Masters in Economics. Joe is from Dunedin and works on producing reports and analysis across Taxpayers’ Union campaigns.
  • "Government waste disrespects the hard-work of taxpayers to provide for their families and grow their businesses. New Zealanders deserve effective public services that aren’t bloated by unlimited demands from Wellington officials."

Freya Watson - Communications Assistant 


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  • Bio: Freya is our full-time communications assistant and has a Bachelor of Communications in Media Studies and Public Relations. Freya is from Nelson and joined us in August after completing her degree at Massey University here in Wellington.
  • "Being aware of how government organisations spend taxpayer money has been eyeopening."

Matthew Rhodes - Researcher

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  • Bio: Matthew (Matt) is one of our part-time researchers and is close to completing a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts in political science and history at Victoria University of Wellington. Matt is from Christchurch and helps with our Official Information requests and communications. 
  • "Working at the Taxpayers' Union has not only opened my eyes to the wasteful spending of government organisations, it has also shown me that organisations will do anything to conceal the fact of that waste. We are committed to holding government organisations to account."

Garrick Wright-McNaughton - Researcher (Local Government)

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  • Bio: Garrick is one of our part-time researchers and is in his final year of a Bachelor of Commerce at Victoria University of Wellington, majoring in Economics. Garrick is from Wellington and helps with Official Information requests and communications concerning local government.
  • "Government Officials need to keep in mind that every dollar they spend is earned by a hard working member of public. Public money must be spent sensibly, and that’s what I enjoy working hard to promote."

Anna Plummer - Office Assistant

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  • Bio: Anna is our part-time office assistant. From the UK, Anna has a Masters in Nutrition from Kings College London, and has been in New Zealand since January 2017.
  • "Stopping government organisations spending money on things no one needs or wants is in the interest of everyone."

Tabitha Lorck - Research Intern

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  • Bio: Tabitha is our part-time research intern. She studies a Bachelor of Laws and Arts, majoring in Criminology and International Relations, with a minor in Māori Studies at Victoria University. Tabitha is from Hawkes Bay and has been studying here in Wellington for the last three years. 
  • “I have been paying taxes since I was 14. Before the Taxpayers' Union, I wouldn't have questioned what taxpayer money was being spent on and if that spending was of value to hard working New Zealanders. Now I realise that there is a strong voice for people like me and that government spending always needs to be scrutinised.” 

Is This You?

We are always on the lookout for great additions to our team. Do you enjoy politics and want to be part of a growing movement? Do you agree with the objectives of the Taxpayers' Union? Our ability to hire staff depends on our success in fundraising, the support from members and our current workload. A background in politics, communication, law, accounting, economics or finance is an advantage. If this sounds like you, send your CV and a cover letter to

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Joining the Taxpayers' Union costs only $5 and entitles you to attend our annual conference, AGM and other events.


With your support we can make the Taxpayers' Union a strong voice exposing waste and standing up for Kiwi taxpayers.

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