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.