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Championing Value For Money From Every Tax Dollar

Taxpayers’ Union has attacked National more often than any other party

Since the Taxpayers’ Union launched a number of left wing critics have claimed that we are just a front for the National Party, and are biased in its favour. The critics are wrong and their politically motivated criticisms are just nonsense.

We have always maintained that our stand is against waste and inefficiency and against bad policy wherever we find it, and that has always included the current government.

As Chairman I ensure that our Board and staff know that we are our own vehicle, with our own purposes, and don’t do other people’s bidding. Of course, we work with other groups (for example we partnered with Age Concern, Consumer NZ and the Financial Services Council for the Fair Tax for Savers campaign) where our objectives align.

An analysis of our media releases shows that we have criticised the National led government more often than any other party or entity.

Of the 192 media releases made by the Taxpayers’ Union since we started operations in October 2013, 121 media statements have been about central government of which 67 have criticised some aspect of the National Government’s policy and just 12 statements have supported a policy stance.    

The figures for Labour are 9 statements against and one in favour; for the Greens it is four against and two in favour.

We backed Winston Peters on the Interislander issue, and criticised a NZF candidate for double dipping and commended another NZF candidate, Ron Mark, for promising not to do so. We have issued only three statements about the Mana Party all critical of some aspect of their policy.

63 statements have been about local government. Most of these, 60 out of the 63 were about specific councils; 31 were about the Auckland Council alone.

Three were to do with our local government report which detailed the financial position of all councils, and a second report setting out 101 ways councils could save money.

We have criticised the current government on nine separate occasions for its continued use of taxpayers’ money in grants and handouts to so called growth companies. We called these ‘corporate welfare’ and in turn we have been attacked by Minister Stephen Joyce for doing so.

And we went after government Minister Todd McLay for getting a government grant to back a tourism project in his own electorate. The “stench of pork barrel politics in Rotorua” was our headline.

We have upset Business New Zealand as well as the Council of Trade Unions for revealing government funding to a joint venture those two bodies had for health and safety training. The ACC’s audit of the training labelled it a waste of time, and the government withdrew the funding.

We have also campaigned against the government’s decision to make passports valid for only five years, and we claim some credit in forcing a rethink which has put ten year passports back on the agenda.

These figures speak louder than the cries of our critics. Their claims of our being a National Party front organisation is empty rhetoric without any factual substance.

We have been genuine in our efforts to hold the government to account and to promote better policy and more effective spending.  We will continue to do that regardless of the outcome of the election.

After the flip is our raw data.

Date Title Tone Local/Central Govt. Regional Authority Party
30/10/13 Govt, Politicians and Taxpayer Funded Groups Put On Notice Positive All None All
30/10/13 Taxi Chits Probably Cheaper than Marlborough Council Website Negative Local Marlborough District Council None
31/10/13 Taxpayers' Union Welcomes Labour Party Pledge Positive Central None Labour
5/11/13 Nearly $3m For NZTA to Treat Drivers Like Children Negative Central None Government
7/11/13 Prize to Aucklander with Largest Rates Increase Positive Local Auckland Council None
11/11/13 Secret Parliament Mortgage Payments an Entitlement Too Far Negative Central None All
12/11/13 Tip-Line': Auckland Council Forgets Mayoral Trip to China Negative Local Auckland Council, Wellington City  None
12/11/13 Still No Transparency From Auckland Negative Local Auckland Council None
19/11/13 iving Wage - Higher Costs, Less Diversity, Job Losses Negative Local Auckland Council None
20/11/13 Taxpayers' Union Supports Calls For Ombudsman Reform Positive Central None Government
21/11/13 Kiwirail Bailout: Don't Throw More Money Overboard Negative Central None Government
21/11/13 MPs Don't Deserve Pay Rise Negative Central None All
27/11/13 Mayor's Chief of Staff Threatens Taxpayers' Union Negative Local Auckland Council None
27/11/13 Last Days to Enter Rates Increase Competition Positive Local Auckland Council None
3/12/13 Failures of Audit NZ Plain to See in Kaipara Report Negative Central None None
6/12/13 ATEED Trip to San Francisco a Ratepayer Funded Junket Negative Local Auckland Council None
9/12/13 Another ATEED Junket Revealed Negative Local Auckland Council None
11/12/13 Wellington City Council Takes Cher Out of Christmas Negative Local Wellington City Council None
11/12/13 WCC To Pay Living Wage for Some, Before Consulting Negative Local Wellington City Council None
11/12/13 Taxpayers Footing the Bill for Harawira's Mandela Trip Negative Central None Mana
13/12/13 Hypocritical Wgtn Councillors Not Paying Staff Living Wage Negative Local Wellington City Council None
13/12/13 EY Report Doesn't Address Secret Trip to China Negative Local Auckland Council None
16/12/13 Ratepayers Should Be Paying For Parks, Not Paintings Negative Local Invercargill City Council None
16/12/13 Brown Apology Hollow without Offer to Refund Ratepayers Negative Local Auckland Council None
18/12/13 Taxpayers' Union Uncovers Massive I.T. Screw Up Within DOC Negative Central None Government
18/12/13 DOC'S Indifference to Mismanagement of Taxpayers' Money Negative Central None Government
19/12/13 Is Len Brown the New Aaron Gilmore? Negative Local Auckland Council None
22/12/13 Waste Watch: Corporate Welfare to Promote Baby Formula Negative Central None Government
8/01/14 MP Employment Spats Costing Taxpayers Negative Central None All
14/01/14 ACC Wastes Millions On Cosy Deal with Big Business & Unions Negative Central None Government
15/01/14 ACC Renegotiated Useless Scheme Within the Last Month Negative Central None Government
16/01/14 One Hundred Thousand Overboard Negative Central None Government
16/01/14 Government Picking Losers With Taxpayer Funded R&D Grants Negative Central None Government
22/01/14 Len Brown's Attitude to Paying Back EY Money Insulting Negative Local Auckland Council None
22/01/14 Labour Dumps Tax Cut Policies Negative Central None Labour
27/01/14 Labour's Baby Bonus a Bribe for the Middle Class Vote Negative Central None Labour
30/01/14 $15 Million Gifted to Multi-Billion Dollar Industry Negative Central None Government
31/01/14 Brown's office has as many staff as the Prime Minister Negative Local Auckland Council None
5/02/14 A Quarter-Million Dollar Scandal Negative Local Auckland Council None
6/02/14 Museum Of Omnishambles In Hawke's Bay Negative Local Napier City, Hastings District  None
7/02/14 New Low in Auckland Mayoral Scandal Negative Local Auckland Council None
12/02/14 New Report Shows Cost Of New Zealand Passports Highest in World Negative Central None Government
13/02/14 Passport Tax: Minister Unaware Of $20.8 Million Surplus Negative Central None Government
14/02/14 Tax on Fizzy Drinks a Failed Experiment That Hurts the Poor Negative Central None Government
14/02/14 $871 Per Household to Fix Wellington's Old Town Hall Negative Local Wellington City Council None
16/02/14 No To New Tax Positive Central None Government
18/02/14 Health Research Council Not Supporting Sugat Tax Campaign Negative Central None Government
19/02/14 Half of Sugar Tax Conference Devoted to Political Advocacy Negative Central None Government
20/02/14 Use of School Children as Prop for Campaign on Sugar Tax Disturbing Negative Central None Government
24/02/14 Questions To Be Answered By Dunedin Council Negative Local Dunedin City Council None
24/02/14 Emails Released By Brewer suggest A Culture Of Dishonesty Negative Local Auckland Council None
25/02/14 Internal Affairs Misleading Public Negative Central None Government
27/02/14 Hawke's Bay Council Should Have Made Decision Public Negative Local Hawke's Bay Regional Council None
9/03/14 Green Party's MP Pay Policy On The Money Positive Central None Green
18/03/14 Government Buildings Shouldn't Subsidise a Pet Industry Negative Central None Labour
18/03/14 20% Rates Increase For Unsellable Properties Negative Local Christchurch City Council None
19/03/14 Kohanga Reo Probe A Complete Whitewash Negative Central None Government
19/03/14 Kohanga Reo Non-Probe Already Evident Negative Central None Government
20/03/14 Trustees Should Front up, Explain Or Resign Negative Central None Government
21/03/14 Problem Gambling Foundation Funding Cut Welcomed Positive Central None Government
27/03/14 Taxpayers Funding Rich Man's Sport No Reason to Celebrate Negative Central None Government
1/04/14 Auckland Mayor's Astonishing Sense of Entitlement Negative Local Auckland Council None
1/04/14 Reduction to ACC Levies a Good Start Positive Central None Government
2/04/14 Flawed Earthquake Advice to Cost Aucklanders Billions Negative Central None Government
3/04/14 Key Opts for Lolly Scramble Over Tax Cuts Negative Central None Government
3/04/14 If John Tamihere Wants a Loan He Should Go to a Bank Negative None None None
5/04/14 No Reason for Soft Drink Tax on All Kiwis Negative Central None Government
9/04/14 National's Broken Promise to Cut Wellington Pen Pushers Negative Central None Government
9/04/14 Government Workers in Wellington Are Not 'Front Line' Negative Central None Government
10/04/14 Winston Peters is Right on Interislander Bailouts Positive Central None Government
11/04/14 Taxpayer Funding For Development, Not Subsidising Golf Pros Negative Central None Government
11/04/14 Greens Ignore Evidence in Push for New Taxes on Fast Food Negative Central None Green
11/04/14 Taxpayers' Union Welcomes Govt Clamp Down On Tax Dodgers Positive Central None Government
13/04/14 Taxpayer Paying Public Servants a Bonus for Joining a Union Negative Central None Government
15/04/14 Labour Should Hit the Brakes on Motorhome Tax Negative Central None Labour
16/04/14 Taxpayers' Union Welcomes Key's Rejection of 'Fat Tax' Positive Central None Government
17/04/14 Depreciation Policy Shouldn't Be Just for Pet Industries Mixed Central None Labour
29/04/14 Council Logo Wellington's Economic Priority Negative Local Wellington City Council None
30/04/14 Ratepayer Funded Charged Station Used as Car Park Negative Local Wellington City Council None
1/05/14 Allegations of Taxpayer Funded Nepotism Negative Central None NZ First
4/05/14 Sugar Tax Debate: More Alarmist Statements Negative Central None Government
6/05/14 Regional Ratepayers on the Hook for Earthquake Damage Negative Local Greater Wellington Regional None
7/05/14 Double Dipping MP Should Pay Money Back Negative Central None NZ First
8/05/14 Winston Peters' Attitude to Taxpayers' Money Astonishing Negative Central None NZ First
12/05/14 Taxpayer Funding of Political Parties a Step Too Far Negative Central None Labour
12/05/14 Budget Surplus Should Pay Back Debt Negative Central None Government
13/05/14 Winston Peters Is Right on the Insterislander Mixed Central None Government, NZ First
13/05/14 Green Bank - What Could Possibly Go Wrong? Negative Central None Green
15/05/14 Budget in Surplus But Little Else for Taxpayers Negative Central None Government
16/05/14 Taxpayers' Union Dusts Off Cheque Book Positive Central None Government
19/05/14 Dyson Should Explain Delay to 10-Year Passport Report Negative Central None Labour
20/05/14 Freedom of Information, Not a Tax on Information Negative Central None Government
21/05/14 NZ Aid Money Wasted on Lining Pockets of Cook Islands' PM Negative Central None Government
21/05/14 Corporate Welfare Getting Ridiculous Negative Central None Government
21/05/14 Wairoa Ratepayers in for Nasty Surprise Negative Local Wairoa District Council None
23/05/14 Government Should Turn Around on Kiwirail Negative Central None Government
23/05/14 Treasury to Correct Mistake in Budget Appropriations Negative Central None Government
26/05/14 Taxpayers' Union Appoint Ben Craven as Campaigns Coordinator Positive None None None
26/05/14 Taxpayer Funded Groups Need More Transparency Negative Central None Government
29/05/14 Bureaucrat Numbers Up As Politicians Fiddle With Definition Negative Central None Government
29/05/14 Select Committee Backs Call for 10 Year Pasports Positive Central None Government
30/05/14 Peter Dunne and Passports Negative Central None Government
30/05/14 More Tax on Petrol to Reduce Obesity is Ridiculous Negative Central None Government
2/06/14 Taxpayers' Union Support Green Party's Carbon Tax Negative Central None Green
4/06/14 Happy Tax Freedom Day! Mixed Central None Government
4/06/14 Taxpayers' Union Slam Auckland Parking Fee Hike Negative Local Auckland Council None
5/06/14 Waste Watch: Auckland Council Funds Conference on Polyamory Negative Local Auckland Council None
6/06/14 Government Changes to GST Outrageous Negative Central None Government
10/06/14 Civilian Party Surely Playing Practical Joke Negative Central None Civilian Party
11/06/14 Taxpayers' Union And Fairfax Launch Ratepayers' Report Site Positive Local None None
11/06/14 LGNZ Prefer Spin Over Substance Negative Local None None
15/06/14 Government Should Say No to More America's Cup Money Negative Central None Government
17/06/14 Wellington Ratepayers Take $43 Million Hit Negative Local Wellington City Council None
19/06/14 Napier Council Ignored the Warnings of Omnishambles Negative Local Napier City Council None
19/06/14 Taxpayer Funded Sugar Tax Lobbyists Refuse Transparency Negative Central None Government
22/06/14 101 Ways Councils Can Cut Rates Mixed Local All None
23/06/14 Rodney Local Board 'Ratepayer Raid' Costs Aucklanders $170k Negative Local Auckland Council None
24/06/14 KiwiRail Subsidies Not 'Sustainable' Negative Central None Government
25/06/14 Do as I Say, Not as I Do, From Auckland Transport Negative Local Auckland Council None
25/06/14 Labour Wants to Chase Away Golden Goose Negative Central None Labour
26/06/14 Health Money Should Be Spent on Patients, Not Lawyers Negative Central None Government
27/06/14 Why the China Aid with the China Trade? Negative Central None Government
28/06/14 Electric Train Spending Off the Rails Negative Both Auckland Council Government
29/06/14 Doc Sending Staff to Australia to Burn Taxpayer Cash Negative Central None Government
30/06/14 New Problemsat BNZ Harbour Quays Building Negative Local Wellington City Council None
30/06/14 Shackles of Stupidity in Dunedin Negative Local Dunedin City Council None
1/07/14 Fuel Taxes Increasing While Government Dithers on Tax Relief Negative Central None Government
2/07/14 Lobbyists Shouldn't Be Campaigning for More Taxes Negative Local Auckland Council None
4/07/14 Fund Front Line, Not More Bureaucrats Negative Central None Government
7/07/14 Does David Cunliffe Really Want Another Kiwirail Black Hole? Negative Central None Government
7/07/14 Len Brown's Debt Chickens Coming Home to Roost Negative Local Auckland Council None
7/07/14 NZ First Staffer Ushered to Exit Negative Central None NZ First
8/07/14 Auckland Council Must Save $860 Per Ratepayer Negative Local Auckland Council None
8/07/14 101 Suggestions for Len Brown Positive Local Auckland Council None
9/07/14 The Beehive is Not an Incubator Negative Central None Government
10/07/14 Calls for Government Intervention Premature But Inevitable Negative Both Auckland Council Government
10/07/14 A $10 Million Growth in Bureaucracy is Not a 'Restructure' Negative Local Tauranga City Council None
10/07/14 Wanganui Not a Party to TPPA Negative Local Wanganui City Council None
10/07/14 Back to Basics Saving Ratepayers' Money Positive Local Buller District Council None
14/07/14 Winston Peters Would Have Rail to the Moon Negative Central None NZ First
14/07/14 Waste Watch: 100k Curtain for Devonport Library Negative Local Auckland Council None
15/07/14 NZ First Lining Up Another Double-Dipper Negative Both Tauranga City Council NZ First
15/07/14 Corporate Welfare: Another Million on the Tab Negative Central None Government
16/07/14 Greens Policy Lesser of Two Evils Positive Central None Green
16/07/14 Aaron Gilmore's Replacement Living up to Expectations Negative Central None Government
16/07/14 Winston Peters' Attack Suggests A Vulnerability Negative Central None NZ First
17/07/14 In Auckland Council Even Secretaries Have Secretaries Negative Local Auckland Council None
17/07/14 Australia Gets Another Competitive Advantage Negative Central None Government
17/07/14 Corporate Welfare Apparatus Now Taking Over Corporate Media Negative Central None Government
20/07/14 NZ First GST Policy Not Thought Through Negative Central None NZ First
20/07/14 NZ First Tax Policy Breaches the China FTA Peters Signed Negative Central None NZ First
21/07/14 Wellington City Council P-Card Fraud Disturbing Negative Local Wellington City Council None
21/07/14 Wairoa District Council Should Not Be Gagging Staff Negative Local Wairoa District Council None
22/07/14 Taskforce Welcomed to Curb Excess Local Government Control Positive Central All Government
23/07/14 Public Money? Public Entitled to Know Negative Central None Government
23/07/14 Mana Party Using Taxpayer Funds for Election Hoardings Negative Central None Mana
24/07/14 Pay It Back Ms Hauiti Negative Central None Government
24/07/14 Taxpayers' Union Lay Complaint with Speaker Negative Central None Mana
25/07/14 Taxpayers' Union Back LGNZ Calls For Greater Transparency Positive Local All None
25/07/14 Auckland Councillors, Not Emperors Negative Local Auckland Council None
25/07/14 Labour Offer Len Brown a Hotel Tax Negative Central Auckland Council Labour
28/07/14 Minister Right to Give Fish & Game a Serve Positive Central None Government
28/07/14 Mayoral Art Junket Will Cost Taxpayers Negative Local Dunedin City Council None
28/07/14 Senior Citizens, Not Senile Citizens Negative Central None Government
30/07/14 SFO Must Examine Disappearance of Tuwharetoa's $20m Negative Central None Government
30/07/13 Returns Not Royal Treatment Will Lead to Investment Negative Central None Government
30/07/14 Taxing Struggling Families to Boost Bureaucrats Shameful Negative Central None Labour
30/07/14 Taxpayers' Union Support 'Fair Tax for Savers' Campaign Positive Central None None
31/07/14 Call on Pauline Winter to Front up Or Resign Negative Central None Government
31/07/14 Ministry CEO Hides in Office for Award Ceremony Negative Central None Government
5/08/14 Public Broadcasting System is Sick Negative Central None Government
5/08/14 All Aboard Napier's Bungled Buses to Nowhere Negative Local Napier City Council None
5/08/14 Promoting Health, or Persecuting Publicans? Negative Central None Government
5/08/14 Collins' Tax Cut Gobbled by Brownlee Negative Central None Government
6/08/14 Taxpayers on Hook for Anti-Tobacco Measure That Doesn't Work Negative Central None Government
7/08/14 Taxpayers' Union Now a Charitable Purpose Mixed None None None
8/08/14 Stench of Pork Barrel Politics in Rotorua Negative Central None Government
12/08/14 Len Brown Should Front up on State House Secrecy Negative Local Auckland Council None
12/08/14 Passport Tax: Well Done Dunne Positive Central None Government
13/08/14 Taxpayers' Union Launch Election 'Bribe-O-Meter' Positive Central None All
18/07/14 Green Party to Choke the Golden Goose Negative Central None Green
19/08/14 National Chooses to Campaign on High Tax, High Spend Policy Negative Central None Government
20/08/14 Ron Mark Sets the Example Positive Central None NZ First
21/08/14 SDC Squandering Cash on Sister City Negative Local Selwyn District Council None
22/08/14 Degrees in Picking up Rubbish Negative None None None
22/08/14 MP Perk Transparency Needed Negative Central None All
25/08/14 Winston's Wish List Impossible to Cost Negative Central None NZ First
25/08/14 Len Brown Deluded Over Council's Debt Negative Local Auckland Council None
26/08/14 "Kill the PM" Band @Peave with Taxpayers' Money Negative Central None None
28/08/14 Len Brown's Parallel Universe Negative Local Auckland Council None
1/09/14 Minor Parties Added to Election 'Bribe-O-Meter' Positive Central None All

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