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Bike NZ should front up

Today's Sunday Star Times reports the despite taxpayers' forking out over $70,000 for a review into Bike NZ's performance, the organisation is refusing to allow the public access to the report which would give insights into the value for money taxpayers are receiving from the millions pumped in to subsidise the sport.

Sport New Zealand is trying to stop information being released on the state of the government's second-biggest Olympic investment and the findings of a review into Bike NZ's capabilities.

Taxpayers will foot a bill of $70,500 after Sport NZ commissioned a review of Bike New Zealand - who received $18.3 million in public funding for its last Olympics campaign -- and which looked at the national sport organisation's financial state including the loss of its major sponsor, its relocation to Cambridge and high-performance planning in the wake of the sudden departure of successful national sprint coach Justin Grace and chief executive Kieran Turner.

Under the Official Information Act, Fairfax Media has requested details of the review. Sport NZ confirmed it had spent $70,500 on the review which was "initiated by BikeNZ" and "conducted by Martin Jenkins", a domestic consultancy firm owned by former Sport NZ boss Nick Hill.

The story goes on to say:

Last year the taxpayer-funded organisation avoided "a relatively large" financial deficit only by "capitalising" $200,000 spent on redeveloping a website (moving a $200,000 expense into an asset instead) and the organisation is still trying to replace the loss of its prime commercial sponsor which left two years ago.

If a sporting organisation throws $200,000 of taxpayer's money at a website, we think the performance review is probably necessary and its release in the public interest. We'll be writing to the Ombudsman to support Fairfax's complaint.

Taxpayers' Union
Taxpayers' Union