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Lower Taxes, Less Waste,
More Transparency

Championing Value For Money From Every Tax Dollar

Taxi chits probably cheaper than visiting Marlborough Council website

Since July 2011, the Marlborough District Council has paid $410,550 for website design maintenance and development costs.  In comparison Dunedin City Council spent only $35,520 over the same time period.

“The only council that spent more on web design than Marlborough was Auckland Council” says Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union. 

“Even if we assume that half of Marlborough’s residents have actually visited the site, it would probably have been cheaper for the Council to pay for a taxi for them to visit the office.  It is potentially a huge waste of ratepayer money.”

Wellington City, which redeveloped its award winning website earlier in the year spent almost one hundred thousand dollars less than Marlborough.

Spending on website design maintenance and development costs since July 2011.

Click 'read more' for raw data.

What type of wasteful spending will we target?

1. Inappropriate Spending

This may be the CEO spending up large at Hooters, personal use of taxpayer or ratepayer money, and other spending which is simply not appropriate for a taxpayer funded organisation.

2. Excessive Spending

This is where the spending is on something appropriate such as a Council website, but the amount spent is excessive for the value gained. Just because something is worthwhile, doesn't mean that there should be no reasonable budget for it. For example, spending $300,000 on a website for a district of less than 50,000 residents.

3. Misdirected Spending

This is spending where the policy is misdirected and the spending is inefficient. An example from across the Tasman is Tony Abbott's paid parental leave scheme which rather than cap the subsidy at a level to target low and middle income parents, will provide the greatest subsidies (up to $2,900 a week) to the richest parents - who least need it. 

A local example would be the Supergold transport subsidy which has been a financial windfall for transport operators, or interest free-student loans. If the desire is to help low income pensioners with transport costs or to make tertiary education more affordable, there are alternative policies which would achieve these outcomes more efficiently.

No to corporate welfare

Over the coming months we'll be exposing corporate and union welfare we think is wasteful or unfair on Kiwi taxpayers.  If you have an example you think our researchers or members should look into, please let us know via our online tip line.

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Launch of the New Zealand Taxpayers' Union

Though we are new, we already know of examples where bureaucrats are not respecting the hard earned income of the New Zealanders who pay for their spending decisions through taxes.  Over the coming weeks we will be exposing some of those examples.

To stay up to date by following us on twitter or liking us on Facebook.

We are encouraging insiders to help.  Maybe you're a respected official, frustrated with waste you see in a department.  If so, please visit our tip line page - we guarantee the confidentiality of all out tip line sources.

A copy of our press release is available here.  You can find out more about on the what we stand for and a Q&A pages available at www.taxpayers.org.nz.

Yours faithfully,

The members of the New Zealand Taxpayers' Union


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

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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.