Radio Live cover our competition looking for the Auckland ratepayer with the highest percentage rates increase.
Marcus Lush interviews Jordan Williams RadioLIVE - 8/11/2013
Union not a party in the making The National Business Review - 2/11/2013
The country’s newest union will never become a political party, says the New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union co-founder.
Jordan Williams, who co-founded the union with Kiwiblog’s David Farrar, said it was a bottom line of his involvement that the union wouldn’t become a political party - and if it ever became one, he would leave.
The Marlborough Express covers the figures on website spending released by the Taxpayers' Union
showing that Marlborough District Council spend three times as much as Nelson / Tasman / West Coast combined.
Click "read more" to for the full text of the story.
Council website 'astronomical' cost The Marlborough Express - 31/10/2013
The Marlborough District Council has spent more than $400,000 on website redevelopment over the past two years, nearly three times as much as Nelson, Tasman and the West Coast put together.
Figures released by the Taxpayers' Union show that only Auckland Council has spent more than Marlborough on website upgrades since July 2011.
Councils of a similar size to Marlborough, like Kapiti Coast, Upper Hutt and Wanganui, have all spent less than $15,000.
In comparison, Dunedin City Council spent only $35,520 over the same time period.
Wellington City, which redeveloped its award winning website earlier in the year, spent almost $100,000 less than Marlborough.
Tax Payers Union eyes up first target Newstalk ZB - 30/10/2013
The newly established New Zealand Tax Payers Union has already eyed up it's first target - the Marlborough District Council.
It says since July 2011, the council has spent $410,550 on its website design and development.
In comparison, Dunedin City Council is said to have spent only $35,200 on its website.
Tax Payers Union co-founder Jordan Williams says the Marlborough Council's spent an exuberant amount of money.
"If, let's say, half the population of that district has actually been to the website, we estimate it would have actually been cheaper to have brought them all a taxi chit to physically go into the council."
Mr Williams says the union will be putting the microscope on spending across the political spectrum.
"We're not a political party and the Taxpayers Union will never become one. The success depends on us being a grassroots organisation for people that think there is too much waste and extravagance in Government."
Twelve Questions: David Farrar The New Zealand Herald - 31/10/2013
3. And now you've set up the NZ Taxpayers Union. What's a right-wing political blogger doing with a union?
It's a lobby group representing the views of the taxpayer and targeting government waste. I've never been anti union - I've signed people up to unions in the past and I think they are important when there is a big power imbalance and workers are vulnerable. I think Unite has been pretty effective in some of the stuff they've done. This is something I've been working on for several years and I'll give you an example of the kind of thing we're targeting - the $30 million subsidy to Rio Tinto. I can't imagine we'd be saying that was great. Or the $3 million the Government spent on a road safety campaign telling us to be nice to our fellow drivers. No, it's not the new Act Party. And it's not anti left or right. I suspect we will somewhat annoy whoever is in government at the time.
Grassroots group takes aim government spending (4:08) TVNZ Breakfast TV - 30/10/2014
New movement targets wasteful spending 3 News - 30/10/2013
A new political watchdog is vowing to expose "flagrant examples" of wasteful government spending.
The New Zealand Taxpayers' Union, being launched today, describes itself as politically independent and asking people to "dob in" examples of government extravagance.
Kiwiblog's David Farrar, a board member, says the movement is modelled on the successful and effective United Kingdom Taxpayers' Alliance.
"It's an independent, grassroots campaign which receives approximately 600 mentions per month in United Kingdom media due to its relentless targeting of wasteful government expenditure," he said.
"The Australian Taxpayers' Alliance, launched last year, is already gaining traction."
Executive director Jordan Williams says there are thousands of organisations and special interest groups lobbying for taxpayer money.
"The Taxpayers' Union will ensure that at least one group is looking after hard-working Kiwis whose taxes pay for politicians' promises."
It lists its main aims as:
* identifying and exposing the most flagrant examples of government waste
* ending taxpayer-funded corporate and union welfare
* scrutinising government spending
* increasing transparency and accountability of government funding
* promoting legislation to strengthen the Official Information Act.
Tip-line to expose 'waste and extravagance' opens Dominion Post - 30/10/13
A new think-tank is to open a whistleblowers' tip-line for bureaucrats to expose "government waste and extravagance".
The Taxpayers Union starts today, loosely based on the UK's Taxpayers Alliance, as a "grassroots" campaign to lower taxes.
The group says it wants to "give Kiwi taxpayers a stronger voice in the corridors of power".
With its online hotline, it aims to encourage political and government insiders to reveal examples of government waste and extravagance. It vows to guarantee anonymity, but the Public Service Association has advised members to tread carefully.
Taxpayers Union chairman John Bishop said it wanted to promote sensible fiscal management. "Government, politicians and taxpayer-funded groups are on notice that we are looking to expose waste or rorts," he said.
The group says it is politically independent, though Right-wing blogger David Farrar is on its board and National-aligned lawyer Jordan Williams is its executive director.
Mr Williams said the union would "ensure that at least one group is looking after hard-working Kiwis whose taxes pay for politicians' promises."
The pressure group is also lobbying for a US-style "Armchair Auditors" Act, allowing for public scrutiny of government spending through an online database.
It will push for local referendums on rates rises and strengthening the Official Information Act.
State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie said his agency was "happy to engage with any community group that has a politically non-partisan mission to promote value for money".
Executive Director of the newly launched New Zealand Taxpayers' Union, talks to Larry Williams Newstalk ZB - 30/10/2013
New union wants to curb frivolous government spending Newstalk ZB - 30/10/2013
Marcus Lush interviews Jordan Williams about the launch of the Taxpayers' Union RadioLIVE - 30/10/2013