Waka Kotahi's Office Splurge
The Taxpayers' Union strongly condemns Waka Kotahi's overspending of nearly $4 million on a new office. Despite clear warnings about potential risks and high costs, the agency chose to spend $28.5 million on the new premises, raising serious concerns about fiscal responsibility and the prioritization of taxpayer funds.
Callum Purves, spokesperson for the Taxpayers' Union, commented, “This exorbitant expense equates to an astonishing $25,900 per staff member, with Waka Kotahi choosing the highest cost among the short-listed options. The decision to overlook warnings of higher fit-out costs and potential negative public perception is particularly alarming. Whatever desirable features they wanted, they cannot justify such a significant overspend.
Waka Kotahi has exceeded its initial budget of $24.8 million by a substantial 14.9%. This pattern of lavish spending on staff accommodation while neglecting critical infrastructure is becoming more and more common, all while our country's infrastructure goes to rack and ruin. Taxpayers rightly worry about such mismanagement of funds, as it directly impacts the safety and quality of our infrastructure. Yet the Minister remains silent.”