Lower Taxes, Less Waste,
More Accountability

Championing Value For Money From Every Tax Dollar

Our Team

For all media enquiries - please call our media line on 04 282 0302 (24-hr) or email [email protected].

Taxpayers' Union Board:

Jordan Williams – Executive Director & Co-founder

 
  • Email: [email protected]
  • 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 balances the debate. We argue that value for money is more sensible than tax, spend, and hope policies dreamed up by politicians."

Laurence Kubiak – Chair

Laurie
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Bio: Laurence has an extensive background in business and governance. He is a former CEO of the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research, former Chair of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and Trustees Executors Ltd, and Director of Northpower.
  • "Government spending needs to create value for the New Zealand taxpayer, and robust, independent scrutiny is of vital importance in any healthy democracy. The work of the Union will never be more important than in the years ahead."

Hon. Ruth Richardson – Board member

Ruth
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Bio: Ruth was Minister of Finance in the fourth National Government, has been Chairman and Director of a range of private and public companies as well as the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, and coaches sovereign states seeking to transform their prospects.
  • "Governments make spending and regulatory choices, but not in an accountability vacuum. The Taxpayers’ Union gives well researched and often noisy voice on behalf of we who pay and suffer the consequences of ill-designed public policy. As a lifetime activist in these causes being a Director of the Taxpayers’ Union sits well with my DNA."

Chris Milne – Board member

Chris
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Bio: Chris is a councillor at Hutt City Council, a trustee and former chair of the Nikau Foundation (Wellington's community foundation), a trustee of the Nga Manu Nature Reserve, and a part owner and director of the boutique small goods manufacturer Martinez Ltd. He is a former ACT Party Parliamentary Chief of Staff.
  • "The Taxpayers' Union's focus on waste, efficiency and transparency occupies an important public niche and the organisation offers a constant reminder to both local and central government that they cannot spend money that they have not first taxed from productive workers and businesses, so the quality of their spending really matters for a prosperous New Zealand.”

Hon. John Boscawen – Board member

John Boscawen
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Bio: John is a businessman and former ACT MP and Minister of Consumer Affairs and Associate Minister of Commerce in the John Key Government.
  • “The Taxpayers’ Union does extremely valuable work in exposing government waste and excesses and standing up for the ordinary, hard-working New Zealander who is forced to pay far too much to the Government. I am very much looking forward to playing my part in helping the organization continue to go from strength to strength.”

Taxpayers' Union Adviser:

Jim Rose – Research Fellow

Jim
  • 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:

Callum Purves – Chief Operating Officer and Head of Campaigns

Callum
  • Email: [email protected]
  • DDI: (04) 495 7913
  • Bio: Callum manages the day-to-day operations of the Taxpayers' Union including our campaigns, communications, research and grassroots engagement. He has a Master of Arts in Economics from the University of St. Andrews and previously worked as a Regional Campaign Manager and Head of Field Operations for the Conservative and Unionist Party in Scotland and Northern Ireland. He also served for five years as a councillor on Perth and Kinross Council in Scotland and in research and advisory roles in the Scottish Parliament. Callum is a member of both the Institute of Directors in New Zealand and the Public Relations Institute of New Zealand.
  • “Politicians and unelected officials are far too quick to spend your money. They often seem to live in a bubble detached from the everyday lives of the people that they are meant to represent and serve. At the Taxpayers’ Union, we shine a light on government waste, champion lower taxes and fight for greater transparency and accountability in the democratic process.”

Michelle van der Veer – Development Manager

Michelle van der Veer
  • Email: [email protected]
  • DDI: 027 226 0868
  • Bio: Michelle is our Development Manager. She has spent over 20 years in the manufacturing, import and distribution space including as a Director of her own company for 14 years and in general management of the family business. More recently Michelle has worked for a national residential group builder gaining insight into construction process, subdivision and multi-unit development. Having formerly worked for the New Zealand Opera company, Michelle brings a broad range of business development and professional experience to our organisation.
  • “My firmly held view is that a Governments role is to provide accessible operational infrastructure, such that any aspirational New Zealander, regardless of their circumstance, can better their position if they so choose. Given the hard work and sacrifice of those that have gone before in order to provide us these freedoms, it is critical we hold Government to account to ensure we preserve our democracy so future generations can benefit from the same. 

Sara Leckie – Office and Finance Manager

  • Email: [email protected]
  • DDI: 04 495 7914
  • Bio: Sara is our full-time Office and Finance Manager. 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.” 

Ray Deacon – Economist

Ray
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Bio: After a career in public and private sectors, including seven years as New Zealand's Regulatory Affairs Manager at Rio Tinto, Ray was looking for a role that combined his enjoyment for advocacy and analysis. The Union fitted the bill perfectly. Ray has undergraduate degrees in science and economics, a diploma in business and a master's degree in economics. 
  • If a government justifies an investment as strategic – it's a safe bet it's not economic.” 

Connor Molloy – Campaigns Manager

Connor
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Bio: Connor is our Campaigns Manager. He is currently in his final year at Victoria University studying a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Public Policy. He researches issues of tax, government waste and accountability.
  • I find it frustrating when successive governments tell voters that somehow we will be better off if we have less money in our pockets. No one is as careful with someone else’s money as they are with their own and government wastage is a perfect example of this. I’m here to advocate for value for money on all government spending and a greater level of accountability for taxpayers.”  

James Ross – Policy and Public Affairs Manager

James Ross
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Bio: James is our Policy and Public Affairs Manager, having joined us from the UK’s Conservative Party. He brings a wealth of political experience to the role from his time managing political campaigns for Cabinet Ministers, MPs, and Council Groups, as well as prior research experience from an MScEcon in Public Policy from Cardiff University.
  • I’ve always believed that people know how to live their own lives and spend their own money far better than faceless government committees do. Having spent my career so far fighting for government transparency and value-for-money, I’ve yet to find a stronger champion than the Taxpayers’ Union.” 

Rhys Hurley – Research Intern

Rhys Hurley
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Bio: Rhys is a student research intern. He is currently in his second year at Victoria University, undertaking a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Law.
  • "I became a supporter of the Taxpayers' Union with their revelation of millions wasted on the unnecessary Fire Services rebrand, highlighting New Zealand's struggles with government spending. Working for the Taxpayers' Union has taught me how to keep our government and councils accountable for these wasteful decisions. Helping me to uncover waste the traditional media passes over or misses and ensure this is not repeated elsewhere."

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:


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