Lower Taxes, Less Waste,
More Accountability

Championing Value For Money From Every Tax Dollar

Taxpayer Update: Wealth tax will hamper entrepreneurial growth 🤑📉 | Taxpayers footing bill for Pamū animal welfare fines 🐮😔 | Pūhoi to Warkworth blowout 🚗🥳

More bad news on the cost of living front

This week's slight dip in the inflation figures will not come as much consolation for families across New Zealand who are struggling with the cost of living. While the overall rate may have dropped, food price increases and domestic inflation both continue to remain stubbornly high despite the aggressive interest rate hikes by the Reserve Bank.

Stop with the excuses Grant... IMF puts blame on Government's wasteful spending 

The Government likes to talk tough on the cost of living, but fails to acknowledge that its own spending is one of the biggest drivers of the problem.

Even the International Monetary Fund said last month that Grant Robertson needs to rein in his excessive spending. If the Finance Minister really wants to bring down inflation, he needs to cut the waste.

Here are some places he could start...

Taxpayers still footing bill for Pamū/Landcorp animal welfare violations 🐮😔

Pamū Fines

This week, we revealed that taxpayer money is being used to reimburse animal welfare fines for farmers at our taxpayer-owned farming company, Pamū (formerly known as Landcorp). 

Pamū states that they are ‘proud guardians of our land and animals' but the string of offences that taxpayers have been made to stump up for paint a very different picture. 

You wouldn't expect your employer to pay a speeding ticket you received while working, would you? Well that's what is happening here. Taxpayers are being forced to subsidize the small minority of farmers who mistreat their stock. This isn't even the first time this has happened, the Taxpayers' Union called out exactly the same practice by what was then called Landcorp three years ago

Allowing Pamū farmers to get off lightly is unfair on private sector farmers who work hard to maintain world-leading standards of care. It's certainly unfair on the animals who suffer. Having taxpayers cover the fines removes individual responsibility and weakens the deterrent effect that ensures Pamū farmers treat their animals with the care they deserve. If you would like to contact Pamū urging them to stop paying these fines, you can do so here.

Pūhoi to Warkworth opening ceremony blowout 🚗🥳

Opening Ceremony

What roundup of Government waste would be complete without a party for politicians and public servants?

Your humble Taxpayers' Union this week revealed that despite Labour opposing the Pūhoi to Warkworth highway (remember Chris Hipkins and Grant Robertson labelling it the 'holiday highway'?), they couldn't give up an opportunity for a knees-up!

Having learnt nothing from the lavish Transmission Gully opening ceremony last year, Waka Kotahi – along with Auckland Transport this time – spent at least $44,380.74 on the opening ceremony for the Pūhoi to Warkworth highway.

And one has to question whether there was that much to celebrate. This vastly over budget $880 million road is already falling apart at the seams. Multiple internal reports made it clear that landslides were leading to cracked barriers and warped surfaces, and this has been happening regularly since at least 2019. Waka Kotahi had also only completed 8 of 117 tests at the time of opening. 

Let's not forget that at the start of this month, the Government hiked taxes on petrol by 29 c/litre and road user charges by 56%. Motorists can rightly be annoyed that during a cost of living crisis, these tax hikes are paying for, well, parties. 

Reel Waste: Film Commission splashes out on another foreign jaunt 📽️🏖️

NZ Film Commission

It is time again to roll out the red carpet for another instalment of 'Reel Waste', brought to you by the New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC). Earlier this week, Taxpayers' Union Investigations Co-ordinator, Oliver Bryan, pulled back the curtain on their recent Cannes trip.

Four members of the NZFC's staff embarked on a jaunt to the French Riviera, courtesy of your hard-earned money, costing $73,000. They spent $31,000 on plane tickets, $24,000 on wining and dining in style, and hosting a series of events, including 'producer speed dating', and $17,000 on lavish accommodation.

And guess what? They arrived in Cannes five whole days before the festival officially kicked off and stayed for three days after it wrapped up! Now, call me a sceptic, but this sounds more of a holiday to me than a work trip. Something smells a bit off, and it isn't just the scent of croissants and escargot.

NEW REPORT: Wealth tax bad for savings, innovation and entrepreneurial growth 🤑📉

The Great Escape

Chris Hipkins is trying to rule out introducing a capital gains tax or a wealth (i.e. asset) tax under his leadership. While he may have ended up with a few disgruntled caucus members, as the leader of a majority government, that is a promise he can make with reasonable certainty. If the Prime Minister does manage to hang on after the election, however, he will undoubtedly require the support of the Green Party who have very different ideas. 

This week, we published a new report by our Research Fellow, Jim Rose, on the Green Party's proposals for an asset and trust tax. 

Pulling together the world’s leading economic research on the effects of asset taxes, the report finds that the Greens' proposals would be seriously damaging for our economy and would discourage savings, innovation and entrepreneurial growth.

Jim gave an overview of the key findings of his report in yesterday's edition of The Post.

Resource Management Act Reforms: What you need to know 🏘️🗳️

RMA Connor

David Parker's radical reforms to the Resource Management Act were back in Parliament this week. Despite the increasing public opposition to this 'Three Waters 2.0', Labour rammed the undemocratic proposals through their second reading just three weeks after the whopping 1,377 page select committee report was released. How many MPs do you think actually read, and fully understood, the recommendations in that time?

Our campaign against the Government’s proposed replacement to the Resource Management Act has been going strong with more and more people and politicians starting to take notice. Earlier this month, our Deputy Campaigns Manager, Connor Molloy, released a video outlining the problems with the proposed reforms and why they are destined to be a costly failure.

While proponents of centralization often make wild claims of efficiency gains through economies of scale and a more streamlined decision-making process, this is far from the reality. As Connor explains well, every time in recent history that a Government has tried to centralize power, we end up with higher costs, worse decision making and less accountability for those making bad decisions.

Resource management and urban planning is one of the key factors that will either stifle or power-up productivity and so it is fundamentally important that it is done well. You can help spread the word by taking a moment to share Connor’s video on Facebook so we can alert as many people as possible to what the Government is doing. 

Thank you for your support.

Yours aye,


Callum Signature
Callum Purves
Campaigns Manager

New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union


Media coverage:

NZ Herald 
New Taxpayers’ Union – Curia poll delivers more bad news to Labour’s Chris Hipkins and National’s Chris Luxon, but a boost for Te Pāti Māori

Stuff Labour hit with second bad poll result in as many days


NewstalkZB Barry Soper: ZB senior political correspondent doubtful Taxpayers' Union – Curia poll will be reflected in election

NewstalkZB The Huddle: Did the Government think they could get away with a wealth tax in an election year?

NZ Herald Labour’s Chris Hipkins eyes new tax policy as poll struggles bite, rules out wealth, capital gains tax

NZ Herald Editorial: A tale of tax reform and two new polls

Newshub Election 2023: Political pundit Bryce Edwards says back-to-back bad poll results will have Labour 'very worried'

The Kaka by Bernard Hickey The Kākā by Bernard Hickey

NewstalkZB Afternoon Edition: 13 July 2023 (Poll)

Waatea News Support for Māori Party widens

The Listener Political week in review: Labour polling down as Chris Hipkins missing vision

Hawke's Bay Today Canny View: Don’t let tax creep get you down

RNZ Week in Politics: Hipkins makes a captain's call as Labour slides in the polls

Gisborne Herald Wealth tax call a high-risk strategy

NZ Herald Poll of polls: Race tightens with National only just ahead of Labour

NewstalkZB The Huddle: Are the Commonwealth Games worth preserving?

The Post The risk the Greens’ wealth tax poses to our economy


Showing 1 reaction

  • Callum Purves
    published this page in News 2023-07-22 12:26:07 +1200

Join Us

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


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.