Lower Taxes, Less Waste,
More Accountability

Championing Value For Money From Every Tax Dollar

Taxpayers should be hopping mad at $153,000 kill cost per wallaby in Otago

The New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union can reveal that taxpayers and Otago Regional Council ratepayers have forked out $2.76 million and more than 26,000 hours of work for a wallaby control programme that killed just 18 wallabies.

The Otago component of the National Wallaby Eradication Programme administered by Biosecurity New Zealand cost an average of $153,422.72 per wallaby “destroyed” (terminology used by officials) and averaged 1,459 hours of human labour per kill. $341,894 was spent on aerial shooting, $34,089 on ground shooting, $71,028 on ground toxin and a staggering $2.3 million on surveillance.

By comparison, in Canterbury the cost per wallaby destroyed was $763.57 and just under 5 hours of human labour.

Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:

“This is a shocking waste of taxpayer money. It would have been cheaper to charter a private jet for each of these wallabies to send them back to Australia.

“We warned that the $1.2 billion Jobs for Nature fund would be another slush fund with unmonitored, high cost, low-value spending. Unfortunately we have been vindicated.

“The Jobs for Nature scheme should have been scrapped as soon as it became clear that country was not going to head into a period of widespread unemployment.

“Taxpayers are not getting bang for buck with the programme and we once again are calling for the Jobs for Nature programme to be scrapped before a further $200 million is wasted."

The full Official Information Act response is available here.

Showing 1 reaction

  • Jordan Williams
    published this page in News 2023-04-17 17:31:23 +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.