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Working groups and reviews - 100 and counting

15 May 2018

The Ardern-Peters Government has just announced its 100th working group or review after just 200 days in office, National Party Leader Simon Bridges says.

“The outsourcing by this Government of its obligation to lead is staggering. Every second day since it was elected the Prime Minister and her colleagues have said they don’t have the answers or a plan and they’ve asked someone else to do the job for them.

“And the longer Ardern and Peters are in power the worse it seems to gets because a quarter of these 100 announcements have come in the last month.

“Labour, NZ First and the Greens are simply bereft of good ideas, in spite of having nine years in Opposition to develop them. So they’re spending tens of millions of taxpayer dollars to hire consultants by the dozen to do the mahi for them.

“Though Ministers are refusing to front up with the cost, 29 of these working groups alone are estimated to have a price tag of around $66.2 million. At that rate, the remaining 71 could cost a further $160 million.

“While Labour had almost a decade to come up with sensible policies, their manifesto promises such as Kiwibuild, are being found out for the light-on-detail fiscal guesstimates they are. They’re a mess.

“And when the Government has made decisions they’ve been bad.

“A number of its policies are nothing short of economic sabotage – including putting the wrecking ball through the oil and gas sector, withdrawing funding for environmentally sustainable large-scale irrigation, industrial relations reforms which will cost jobs and the undermining of foreign investment, all of which will slow our growth.

“What’s worse is the Government knows these policies will have a negative impact on jobs and that some businesses won’t survive but as Workplace Relations Minister Iain Lees-Galloway said at the weekend while announcing another review, businesses will just have to suck it up.

“Every day this Government is proving to New Zealanders it doesn’t have the ability to run the country, the ideas to take it forward or the best interests of New Zealanders at heart.

“National won’t make the same mistake. We’re working hard in the interests of New Zealanders and we’ll be ready with plans and policies if we earn the right to govern again in 2020.”

By contrast, the National-led Government which came into power in late 2008 set up 39 working groups, reviews or inquiries in the same time period from November 2008 to June 2009. Please find attached:

• A list of this Government’s reviews
• A list of National’s reviews from 2008 over the same period

Criteria to be included on the lists was as follows:

• Any group that has had work of Ministers outsourced to them
• Any announcement which is a review rather than an action
• Any inquiry (not required by statute enacted by a previous Government)
• Any review or working group started by the previous Government and continued or announced by the new Government was not included


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