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Local Governments Profligate at Our Expense

Local Governments Profligate at Our Expense

"A gallery, a theatre, and 3 cows? The three big local governments of New Zealand are three dens of thieves!" Kerry Prendergast's announcement that Wellington ratepayers will be throwing $4.5 million at the Embassy Theatre prompted this severe observation from Libertarianz Finance Spokesman Stephen Berry today. "The City Councils of Christchurch, Wellington, and Auckland are spending Other People's Money (OPM) for their own aggrandisement."

"New Zealanders are competently suited to pursuit of their own goals and economic projects of their own free choosing," says Berry, "but taxation removes their ability to choose. Their money is spent for them. Taxation is compulsory servitude; it is legalised plunder; it is an act of violence - forced acquisition and redistribution of property for some perceived need or good by the perpetrator of violence," Berry explained. "Tax dollars must be forcibly extracted," he says, "since no-one would ever voluntarily throw away their own money on what governments both central and local choose to waste it."

"Wellington City Council is plundering the people it has sworn to serve in order to polish a picture theatre," notes Berry, who declares that if the private business success of New Line Cinema and The Embassy Theatre Trust depends on government extortion for its success then "I wish it total failure."

"Meanwhile in Auckland City, tax-victims are harshly drained of their wealth to stage a PR stunt promoting the Auckland City Council. The council has sponsored a fake cow called "Cowncil," intended to signify the prosperity of Auckland City. The sponsorship initiative is part of Auckland's "Cow Parade," a 'noble charity' in aid of Youth Town - a private charity providing discounted sporting and youth facilities without the use of government funding. At $10,000 per cow, the many privately funded cows in the Parade required no victims to supply funding, yet "Cowncil", "Cowments," and "Moo Suede Shoes" have all been crafted at the unbidden expense of ratepayers by their culpable servants."

Berry is also aghast at what the Christchurch City Council have done to their servants in the name of art. "The Maori name of the new Christchurch City Art Gallery, 'Te Puna o Waiwhetu,' may translate to 'water in which stars are reflected' for some, but my translation is 'hole in which money has been thrown!'" Berry exclaims. "$14m was raised voluntarily for this project; by what right did government have to top that up to $47 million with OPM? The measure of how much the people demand an art gallery is the amount of funding they are willing to contribute without coercion. If a 14 million dollar gallery is what we can afford, then that's the value we place on it and that's all we deserve."

Berry says that the violence of government, both local and national, is a thought that the people's servants might well dwell upon this Saturday at the gallery's official opening, at which very few of the people forced to fund the gallery will be welcome. "The official opening of The Christchurch Art Gallery is an exclusive black-tie affair attended by Helen Clark, founding donors, distinguished guests and members of the art world - ordinary tax-victims, the people who paid for it, are not welcome among the canapes," snorts a disgusted Berry.

"Saturday's lavish opening will be another triumph for government usurpation, the gallery a ghastly monument to confiscation. In my forthcoming Libertarianz alternative budget, provision is made for none of this," vowed the Finance Spokesman.

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