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Taxpayer Update: Ihumātao | Sack Dr Clark | Posters investigated

Will Winston put the kibosh on the Ihumātao deal?

Winston/Ihumatao

After months of delays, it's been reported again that the Government is on the verge of purchasing the land at Ihumātao using $30 million of taxpayer money.

This would be a disgraceful capitulation to illegal occupiers. 

However, we understand that New Zealand First Leader Winston Peter is furious about the deal and had a tense exchange with the Prime Minister on Tuesday night. He has the power to block the deal at the 11th hour and gain huge publicity.

Jordan texted Winston yesterday to remind him of our petition against the deal, which has 11,000 signatures. We're watching very closely.

Petition launched for resignation of David Clark

David Clark

Health Minister Dr David Clark was missing in action for virtually all of the COVID-19 pandemic after repeatedly breaching his own guidelines by travelling unnecessarily, mountain biking when that was forbidden, and moving house and his office at the exact time he was requiring people to stay home and work from home.

And now he's overseen a series of quarantine failures: most spectacularly, the two COVID-19 positive women who were allowed to travel the length of the North Island without being tested.

In fact, 51 out of 55 quarantined individuals released under compassionate exemptions were not tested. That is disgraceful and Dr Clark has accepted no responsibility.

He's now been shunted away from the media, with Megan Woods brought in as a "Dr Fix-It". Why keep David Clark on a $300,000 salary?

We've launched a petition calling on the Prime Minister to immediately sack the Minister for his repeated failures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

--> Click here to sign the petition <--

Electoral Commission investigating 'Aroha' posters

Aroha poster

We're glad to hear that the posters of Jacinda Ardern plastered across the country have been taken down while the Electoral Commission investigates whether they count as election advertisements.

The posters are clearly advertisements: by the artist's own admission, they are drawn in a "propaganda style" and are inspired by the famous "Hope" posters of Barack Obama.

This means they need a promoter statement and should fall within election spending limits.

If the Commission finds that the posters are legit, we'll be surprised, but it means we can crowdfund our own poster campaign. Our posters could look like this:

Tax is Love poster

Ratepayer heroes! Horowhenua Council CUTS rates in response to COVID-19

Levin clock tower

This is what leadership looks like. Horowhenua District Council hasn't just frozen rates – it's cut them by 1.83% in response to COVID-10 hardships.

The Mayor and his officials wanted higher rates, but six out of eleven Horowhenua Councillors seized their democratic responsibility and put the interests of ratepayers first.

Well done to Councillors Wayne Bishop, Victoria Kaye-Simmons, Todd Isaac, Robert Ketu, Pirihira Tukapua and Sam Jennings.

Yes, the Council will have to cut employee costs and sacrifice spending plans, but it’s a necessary sacrifice that reflects the cut-backs being made in households across the country.

Ultimately, this move will make Levin and surrounding areas better off. More money in ratepayers’ pockets means more demand for local goods and services. And ratepayers from other parts of the country will be looking on in envy – perhaps even considering a move!

Is your local council hiking rates? Contact them NOW and tell them what Horowhenua District Council has done.

Petition launched: Keep it The Tron!

Hamilton sign

As if New Zealand doesn't have bigger issues to debate, Newshub, Stuff, and RNZ are all reporting on calls to change the name of Hamilton to "Kirikiriroa".

If the Council considers a name change, it will mean a divisive consultation process, a potential referendum, ratepayer-funded revamps of branding and signage, and staff and councillors' time wasted.

The change would then be considered by the New Zealand Geographic Board, meaning taxpayers across the country cough up.

--> Click here to sign our petition against the name change <--

We say Hamilton City Council should ignore the vocal minority and stick to their core business of delivering value for ratepayers.

There's also the suggestion the Council could go for a "compromise" option of a dual name. Based on previous government and council rebrands, we can imagine the new council logo looking like this:

Kirikiriroa logo

As if that will make anyone happy!

A surprise from Labour's list ranking...

Twyford promoted

Last week Labour revealed their updated Party list for the 2020 election.

We were astonished to see Phil Twyford moved from #5 up to #4 after his calamitous management of KiwiBuild, and more recently, his total failure to deliver his Auckland tram project.

(In fact, Twyford has now confirmed he's given up on Auckland Light Rail this side of the election. That project was the main reason for increased fuel taxes, so why is he planning to hike fuel tax again on 1 July?!)

For fun, I also researched Labour's lowest-ranked candidates. At the very bottom, #84, is a teacher unionist named Georgie Densey. Her Twitter page has one post, where she shares this praise of Metiria Turei:

Labour tweet

Interesting.

How would this look on a billboard?

National MP Nick Smith has revealed that Parliament's architecturally designed playground – which is basically just a slide and some stepping stones – went $172,000 over budget.

All up, the design, construction, landscaping, and engineering fees totalled $572,000.

Slide poster

We plan to make taxpayers remember this kind of waste when they cast their votes on 19 September.

All the best,

Louis circle


Louis Houlbrooke
Campaigns Manager
New Zealand Taxpayers' Union

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Media coverage:

Horowhenua Mail  Horowhenua District Council labelled 'heroes' for cutting rates

Stuff  Taxpayers' Union urges Human Rights Commission to speak up on Kiwis paying for quarantine

Star News  Ardern posters make cash, draw complaints

Southland Times  Southland District Council approve rate amid deficit budget

Stuff  Shots fired: Hunters hit back at Keep It Real Online ad campaign

Newstalk ZB  Artist behind Jacinda Ardern poster denies it's political advertising

Newshub  Hunters up in arms over Government's new online safety ad campaign

Croaking Cassandra  Little fiscal discipline at the RB

1 News  Art or political propaganda? Electoral Commission investigating artists' Jacinda Ardern appreciation poster

NZ Herald  Shovel-ready projects get the green light to go ahead under new infrastructure law

Newshub  'Forget about tax cuts': Economist warns of hikes ahead no matter who wins election

Newshub  ACT Party demands end to Government's 'Unite for the Recovery' campaign

1 News  John Armstrong: Is Jacinda Ardern utilising taxpayer-generated revenue in order to run a 'propaganda unit'?

The Press  Surprise in the post as Christchurch rates hike is less than thought


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