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Your Money, Your Voice

Championing Value For Money From Every Tax Dollar

Q & A

What does the Taxpayers' Union hope to achieve?

We aim to become New Zealand’s largest and most effective union. Our objectives include:

  •  To give taxpayers a voice in the corridors of power;
  •  To educate New Zealanders against excessive and wasteful government spending;
  •  To scrutinise government spending;
  •  To publicise government waste;
  •  To promote an efficient tax system; and
  •  To increase transparency and accountability of government spending.
How will the Taxpayers’ Union achieve this?

Some of the initial projects of the Taxpayers’ Union are to:

  • Identify and expose the most flagrant examples of government waste;
  • End taxpayer funded corporate and union welfare;
  • Promote an ‘Armchair Auditors Act’, modelled on legislation enacted in some U.S. states, where all transactions over a de minimis amount are searchable on an online database;
  • Expose and halt the significant public funding that lobby groups receive to campaign and lobby government for pet policy and law changes;
  • Promote legislation requiring local referenda for any increase in real per capita rates; and
  • Promote legislation strengthening the Official Information Act.
What does the Taxpayers’ Union hope to achieve with its ‘tip line’?

The Taxpayers’ Union is encouraging political and government insiders to ‘dob in’ examples of government waste and extravagance. Experience of taxpayer groups overseas suggests that many of the best tips come from within government, particularly bureaucrats frustrated with waste and inefficiency. We have put the government – politicians, officials and taxpayer-funded groups on notice that taxpayer money should treated with care. TheTaxpayers’ Union guarantees the anonymity of all members of the public who submit information via the tip line.

Where did the idea of a “taxpayers union” come from?

The Taxpayers’ Union is modelled on the successful and effective United Kingdom TaxPayers’ Alliance. The TaxPayers’ Alliance is an independent grassroots campaign that receives approximately 600 mentions per month in United Kingdom media, due to its relentless targeting of wasteful government expenditure. The Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance, launched last year is already gaining traction in the Australian political discourse.

Who’s funding the New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union?

The Taxpayers' Union is independent and funded by individual members and supporters who are New Zealand taxpayers.  The vast majority of funding has been from private individuals.  We are of course happy to accept donations from businesses, organisations and members of the public who support our objectives and activities.

Our aim is to build up our membership so we are New Zealand’s largest union, and will be relying on our members and supporters to keep us going.

Our annual operating budget is currently smaller than the smallest trade union. We aim to be nimble and cost-effective, not big spending.

Is the Taxpayers' Union independent?

The Taxpayers' Union is 100 per cent politically independent.  We are not affiliated with any political party and will never become a political party.  We will work with all parties, MPs or candidates that share our objectives.  We expect to work with political parties and other groups to expose government waste and low-quality government spending.  Individual members have their own political involvements, but as an organisation the Taxpayers’ Union will be vigorously independent in promoting the interests of New Zealand taxpayers.

Will the identity of members, supporters or donors be publicly disclosed?  Are you as transparent as political parties?

As an incorporated society, the Taxpayers' Union must file annual accounts with the Registrar of Incorporated Societies.  That means we will be more transparent about our income and spending than most political parties.  In relation to individual donations, we will publicise the identity of donors where they have requested public acknowledgment of their support.  New Zealanders should feel free to donate to political and lobby groups and we respect the privacy of donors.

We are very happy for supporters to identify themselves and are proud that thousands of New Zealanders have registered as supporters, joined or donated to the Taxpayers’ Union. We don’t comment on the identity of members and donors as we do not have the right to breach their privacy in their choice to give to a worthy cause.

For more information please refer to our Membership Policy.

Will the Taxpayers' Union accept any funding from the government?

We do not seek funding from government entities or grants. In fact, the closest we've received to government funding is accepting reimbursement from public broadcasters in instances where travel costs are necessary for one of our representatives to appear on their shows. 


Join Us

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

Donate

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

Tip Line

Often the best information comes from those inside the public service or local government. We guarantee your anonymity and your privacy.

Spread The Word

Tell your friends, family and colleagues about the Taxpayers' Union and our mission to give taxpayers a voice in the corridors of power.