Media Enquiries: 04 2820302 (24hr)

Lower Taxes, Less Waste,
More Transparency

Championing Value For Money From Every Tax Dollar

Our Team

We operate our campaign out of a lean office in the heart of Wellington – 150 metres from the Parliamentary complex. With backgrounds in campaigning, journalism, business, economics and politics, we are uniquely placed to represent your interests and ensure the voice of the taxpayer is heard loud and clear in the corridors of power. Our Auckland campaigns, including for our sister groups, the Auckland Ratepayers' Alliance, is run out of our shared office in Auckland.

For all media enquiries - please call our media line on 04 282 0302 (24-hr) or email media@taxpayers.org.nz.

Taxpayers' Union Board:

Barrie Saunders - Chairman

  • Email: barrie@taxpayers.org.nz
  • Bio: Barrie has many years of experience in the operations of government and in media and communications. He practised in journalism and public relations before establishing his own government relations consultancy.
  • "I have watched the Taxpayers’ Union develop into an effective lobby group against wasteful government expenditure at both national and local levels. Given the plethora of organisations wanting governments to spend more, the Union has a vital counterbalancing role."


Jordan Williams - Executive Director & Co-founder

 
  • Email: jordan@taxpayers.org.nz
  • Twitter: 
  • DDI: (04) 282 0301
  • Bio: Our Executive Director is Jordan Williams. Jordan is a constitutional and commercial lawyer who manages the day-to-day operations of the Union. His background is in law and accounting and in 2011 he was spokesperson for Vote for Change, a lobby group that campaigned against the retention of the MMP electoral system. In 2019 Jordan was elected onto the Board of World Taxpayers Associations – the global network of taxpayers groups working together for lower taxes, limited and accountable government, and taxpayer rights all over the world. 
  • "There are thousands of groups, often taxpayer funded, that argue for more money to be taken from Kiwis to fund pet projects. The Taxpayers' Union balance the debate. We argue that value for money is more sensible than tax, spend and hope policies dreamed up by politicians."

David Farrar - Co-founder

  • Email: david@taxpayers.org.nz
  • Twitter: 
  • Blog: www.kiwiblog.co.nz
  • Bio: David is a well known political blogger and commentator. David also owns and manages the specialist polling agency Curia Market Research and has an active involvement in Internet issues. He is an experienced political campaigner and former parliamentary staffer.
  • "I helped form the New Zealand Taxpayers Union because I believe that New Zealand needs a lobby group to stand up for the rights of taxpayers and ratepayers, and fight against those who treat them as a never ending source of funds."

Rex Nicholls - Board member

  • Email: rex@taxpayers.org.nz
  • Bio: Rex is a former Wellington City Councillor, having served 1983-1989 and 1992-1998. His background is in engineering, property investment, and project management. He is a former director of Wellington International Airport and Lambton Harbour Management, and was involved in setting up Tourism Wellington.
  • "I’ve always operated on the basis that money in my pocket will be much more efficiently spent than if I run it past a Government Department first. Spending other people’s money should carry a huge duty of care – but it seldom does."

Taxpayers' Union Advisor:

Jim Rose - Research Fellow

  • Twitter: 
  • Blog: www.utopiayouarestandinginit.com
  • Bio: Jim Rose has worked at the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, the Department of Labour, the Ministry of Social Development, and the New Zealand Treasury, and in Canberra for the Productivity Commission, the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, and the Department of Finance. Jim has Masters degrees in economics and in public policy from the Australian National University and from the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies in Tokyo respectively. 
  • "A lot of money would be saved by taxpayers if bureaucrats always had to put forward "Lilley’s option" — the option of doing nothing — whenever there is a problem or a crisis."

Taxpayers' Union Staff:

Sara Leckie – Development Officer & Office Manager

  • Email: sara@taxpayers.org.nz
  • DDI: 04 495 7914
  • Bio: Sara is our full-time Office Manager & Development Officer. She has extensive experience in all the corporate services fields. Sara deals with all our office administration and assists the Board with donor engagement and fundraising.
  • “I have worked in both the government and private sector - working at the Taxpayers’ Union has been a very different experience and one I am really enjoying. It is a great team environment with enthusiastic, committed individuals working hard to further the mission of the Taxpayers’ Union.” 

Louis Houlbrooke - Campaigns Manager

  • Email: louis@taxpayers.org.nz
  • Twitter: 
  • DDI: 04 495 7913
  • Bio: Louis is our full-time Campaigns Manager. He has a Bachelor of Communications majoring in Journalism and worked for three years as a Parliamentary Press Secretary before joining the Taxpayers’ Union. He manages media relations and ensures the voice of taxpayers is heard on radio, television, social media, and in newspapers across the country.
  • "Officials who decide how to spend public money often lose touch with the taxpayers who earned it. At the Taxpayers’ Union, we seek to bring big-spending bureaucrats back to Earth by putting their excesses in the public eye."

Casey Russell - Engagement Coordinator

 
  • Email: casey@taxpayers.org.nz
  • DDI: 04 495 7916
  • Bio: Casey is the first point of contact for the hundreds of enquiries we receive each week from members, supporters, and the public. She is currently studying towards a Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy at Victoria University.
  • "Transparency is key to any well governed democracy. The Taxpayers’ Union is doing crucial work to achieve a more transparent, accountable government – something that benefits all New Zealanders."

Ashley Brown – Lead Designer

  • Email: ashley@taxpayers.org.nz
  • Bio: Ashley creates visual design for the Taxpayers’ Union. Along with graphic design she assists with video, photography, podcasts, and motion graphics. She has studied Graphic Design and Screen Production at Yoobee Colleges.
  • The Taxpayers' Union has given me an opportunity to learn more about the inner-workings of Government, it's spending and why it's transparency is so important for all New Zealanders.” 

Karan Menon – Economist

  • Email: karan@taxpayers.org.nz
  • Bio: Karan is an economic undergrad from the University of Auckland who worked in mortgages, equities and in insurance. He is about to pursue his Msc in Economics in September.
  • “It is really refreshing to work in an organisation with philosophical and political beliefs that align with my own.” 

Islay Aitchison – Research Officer

  • Email: islay@taxpayers.org.nz
  • Twitter: 
  • Bio: Islay is our part-time research officer. She is studying towards a Bachelor of Laws and Arts, majoring in Philosophy and Political Science. Previously, she spent four years working in the public service.
  • The quality of life of every New Zealander is enhanced by transparent governance, thoughtful policy and an efficient public service. When politicians and officials lose sight of the interests of the communities they serve, the Taxpayers’ Union provides a necessary, influential voice of objection..” 

Neil Miller – Analyst

  • Email: neil@taxpayers.org.nz
  • Twitter: 
  • Bio: Neil has worked in Parliament as a senior researcher and speech writer, an adviser at Treasury, a manager at Business New Zealand, and now an analyst at the New Zealand Taxpayers' Union. He ran his own communications and writing company for over a decade. Neil is a regular on Radio New Zealand and Newstalk ZB.
  • Government and Councils do not spend their own money - they spend our money. Taxpayers and ratepayers deserve to know their hard earned money is spent wisely, efficiently and transparently. The Taxpayers' Union is a key organisation holding them to account and I am proud to work here.” 

Matt Holden – Research and Design Intern

  • Email: matt@taxpayers.org.nz
  • Bio: Matt is one of our part-time research interns. He studies a Bachelors' of Law and Arts at Victoria University, majoring in History. Matt is also assisting our design team with photographic and video content.
  • Working at the Taxpayer’s Union has been a great opportunity to learn about the functioning of our political system and help support a more open Government.” 

Claudia Cooper – Research Intern

  • Email: claudia@taxpayers.org.nz
  • Bio: Claudia is one of our part-time research interns. She is currently studying towards a Bachelor of Laws and Arts at Victoria University, majoring in Politics and International Relations.
  • Working at the Taxpayers’ Union has given me valuable insights into the need to keep bureaucrats accountable. It is a privilege to play a role in encouraging transparent and non-wasteful spending of our hard-earned money.” 

Aryana Nafissi – Research Intern

Aryana Nafissi
  • Email: aryana@taxpayers.org.nz
  • Bio: Aryana is one of our part-time research interns. She is currently studying towards a double degree in law and commerce at the University of Auckland.
  • I’ve been involved in student politics for some years now. The Taxpayers’ Union internship is teaching me about applied campaigning, public policy research, and how to shift the debate outside of the ‘red’ ‘blue’ competition.

Is This You?

We are always on the lookout for great additions to our team. Do you enjoy politics and want to be part of a growing movement? Do you agree with the objectives of the Taxpayers' Union? Our ability to hire staff depends on our success in fundraising, the support from members, and our current workload. A background in politics, communication, law, accounting, economics or finance is an advantage. If this sounds like you, send your CV and a cover letter to our Executive Director.

Learn More:


Join Us

Joining the Taxpayers' Union costs only $25 and entitles you to attend our annual conference, AGM and other events.

Donate

With your support we can make the Taxpayers' Union a strong voice exposing waste and standing up for Kiwi taxpayers.

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