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Taxpayer Update: Govt locking-in Labour's spending legacy? 😳 | RIP 3Waters 🪦 | $1,400 secret dinner deal 🤤

New Government locking-in Labour's mega-spending? 😳🔒💸

In the lead up to the election, all three Coalition partners campaigned strongly against the astronomical increase in public spending under the previous Government, and promised they would rein in the public service departments to cut out waste.

On the campaign trail, Christopher Luxon time and again picked on the massive staffing increase at the backroom Public Service, which collectively has grown by 15,000 since 2017.

And as National put it in its pre-election fiscal plan (our emphasis):

Labour inherited a very tidy set of books from National in 2017. But since then, Labour has increased spending by 80 percent and seen debt blow out from $5 billion in 2019 to $104 billion in the latest forecast.

Yet, despite all that pre-election signalling, the new Government's only proposal to address Grant Robertson's monumental growth in the costs of Wellington is to cut the budgets of [checks notes] some Public Service departments by 6.5% or (in a limited number of cases) 7.5%...

Worse still, Finance Minister Nicola Willis is tasking the departmental CEO’s to lead the process and deliver ‘proposals’ on how best to reduce their budgets. That is akin to asking the foxes to guard the hen house and is politically dangerous.

We need only see recent news reports to see how bureaucrats can (and will) threaten politically sensitive frontline services to understand how they will protect their patches – and the empires the same CEOs have created...

Tell Nicola Willis to ignore the media and special interests: ✂️ Grant Robertson's spending back to an affordable level 💰

If you agree that Ministers (not the CEOs/officials responsible for the fiscal mess!) should be going through line by line spending to determine exactly what savings can and should be made please take 30 seconds to send Ms Willis an email using our online tool here.

Ask Nicola to cut spending

👉 📧 Click here to send Nicola Willis a personalised email 📧 👈

RIP Three Waters 💦🪦 

In case you missed the news this week (or the death notice in today's Weekend Herald) Three Waters was finally scrapped with the passing of the third and final reading of repeal legislation this week.

It took a gruelling two and half year campaign, more than 50 campaign events, hundreds of thousands of signatures to our petition, and 65,000 printed, hand-delivered submissions to the Select Committee, but together we forced Wellington to Scrap Three Waters.

To mark the success of what is probably the biggest people-power policy victory so far – and protecting local democratic control of ratepayer funded assets – we are holding a (tongue firmly in cheek) Three Waters funeral and wake (complete with traditional tea, coffee and biscuits) at 4pm on Monday at our Wellington offices to mark the passing of Higher Water Costs, More Bureaucracy, No Local Control, and Less Democracy.

book of condolances

For those unable to make it, we've also launched an online book of condolences for you to send your regards to the now deceased Water Services Entities Act. Click here to add your comments to the official Three Waters book of condolences.

On a more serious note, thank you to you – and, quite literally, the hundreds of thousands of Kiwis – who said "No" to Nanaia Mahuta's outrageous attempt to take ratepayer-owned local water assets and put them into unaccountable co-governed entities.

Wellington Mayor’s secret meeting with multi-millionaire cinema owners a boozy affair 🍾

Dinner on the Wellington City ratepayer

Last year it was revealed that Wellington City Council's Mayor Tory Whanau and Chief Executive Barbara McKerrow were having secret meetings with the mega-wealthy foreign owners of the Reading Cinema complex just weeks after the Mayor was sworn in to office.

Those secret meetings led to ratepayers funnelling $32 million into purchasing the land underneath the now abandoned building with Reading being allowed to renovate and continue to operate the property.

But according to new information ratepayers were picking up the tab! Wellington seafood restaurant, Oretga, left ratepayers footing the bill for a whopping $1,400 buffet – with almost a quarter of the final bill made up of alcohol.

Taking international mega wealthy entertainment and property tycoons out for dinner to give them corporate welfare handouts is bad enough. Having ratepayers pick up the food and grog tab is salt into the wound.

No wonder the Council is in financial turmoil.

Should websites be taxed for linking to NZ media websites? 🤔

James at Select Committee

On Thursday, our Policy Manager James Ross submitted on the Fair Digital News Bargaining Bill, which aims to crackdown on big companies such as Google and Facebook who link to news sources online.

Members of the media are flocking to defend this planned shakedown of the big digital platforms, despite already being able to opt out of having their content shared if they want to. It's clear this isn't about fairness, it's about Media CEOs and big wigs deciding their slice of the pie isn’t large enough.

Dr Eric Crampton wrote about the Fair Digital News Bargaining Bill back in August, showing how a similar attempt to screw the scrum in Canada went down (hint: not very well).

With the new Minister, Melissa Lee, shouting about how poor this bill was before the election, most assumed it was as dead as a dodo. But if there’s one thing we’ve learnt here, it’s that you can never expect too little from the Government. 

If it passes, the Bill is so poorly defined that even your humble Taxpayers’ Union’s newsletters could be forced to wind up! Linking to leftwing news websites like The Spinoff or even just Stuff and the NZ Herald websites would see us taxed to subsidise their newsrooms.

Watch James' submission here.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend,


Jordan Williams
Executive Director
New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union.


Media mentions: 

Waikato Times Mayor admits proposed rate hikes ‘not sustainable or affordable’ for many in community.

The Platform David Farrar Discusses Latest Political Polling

Chris Lynch Media Proposed rates hike: ‘irresponsible financial management’

Stuff Mackenzie pensioners feel rates heat, consider selling homes

The Spinoff A vital and perilous day for the news media in New Zealand

The Press Media bosses plead for help in arm wrestle with internet giants

RNZ Media bosses urge MPs to 'level playing field' with big tech

BusinessDesk News publishers plead for online news bill rescue

NBR Use law to get tech giants to stump up or we’ll be gone: media

Stuff NZ politics live: Will the Government make tech giants pay for news?

NZ Herald Niwa committed to low emissions despite $700k spend on four ‘luxury’ utes

Stuff What minister said as media leaders stated case for making tech giants pay for news

Duncan Garner Podcast 'The Week That Was' with Damien Grant and Cassie Roma

The Platform Mihi Forbes and the great Atlas conspiracy

NewsHub Niwa defends buying four Chevrolet Silverado utes valued at $172,000 each

Stuff ‘I’m not involved,’ says Conscious South Canterbury campaign contact

Showing 1 reaction

  • Jordan Williams
    published this page in News 2024-02-17 14:50:32 +1300

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