Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Taxpayer Funded Sugar Tax Lobbyists Refuse Transparency

Taxpayer Funded Sugar Tax Lobbyists Refuse Transparency

The Taxpayers’ Union is slamming a group of public health campaigners running a ‘consultation process’ on sugar taxes and limitations on sugary drinks for claiming official endorsement while at the same time refusing to adhere to the Official Information Act on privacy grounds.

The New Zealand Beverage Guidance Panel, a subsidiary of the 'Fizz' group operated out of the University of Auckland, is holding a media event at midday to launch a policy brief titled: Options to reduce sugar sweetened beverage consumption in New Zealand. In February the Taxpayers’ Union exposed the Fizz group for falsely claiming official endorsement from the Health Research Council of New Zealand.

Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union, Jordan Williams, says “On the one hand these people try to trumpet official credentials, but the moment we ask basic questions about the process they are running, the group hides behind personal privacy and claim they're not official.”

"Despite claiming to be science based, the group is about political advocacy. It takes taxpayer money to promote tuck shop taxes but refuse to adhere to freedom of information laws and ignore the international evidence of fat and sugar tax failure."

The Taxpayers’ Union requested, among other things, copies of the submissions emailed to University of Auckland made as part of the Guidance Panel’s submission process. Despite the University hosting the Fizz group and being listed as a supporter, the University refused to provide the information on the basis that the Fizz coordinator, Professor Gerhard Sundborn, claims the emails are personal to him. The Taxpayers' Union has complained to the Ombudsman and is also considering other legal options.

“These people are so determined to promote a sugar tax at today’s consultation event, it appears they’ve only invited those people in favour. This isn’t about consultation or science, it’s a taxpayer funded campaign to tax you more."


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



Relevant Consents Gained: Government Unveils RMA Reform Package

The government has formally hauled down the flag on its attempts to alter the balance of environmental and economic priorities in the Resource Management Act, unveiling a 180-page Resource Legislation Amendment Bill containing reforms that have been largely endorsed by most political parties. More>>


Closing Schools And Such: Interim Redcliffs Decision Announced

“While the school’s board has argued that circumstances that could give rise to potential disruption are extremely unlikely, advice from technical experts has shown these concerns cannot be ruled out." More>>


Jane Kelsey: High Court Can’t Make Groser Provide TPPA Information Faster

‘This week we went back to court to challenge Trade Minister Groser’s stalling tactics over the release of information on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement negotiations, following a High Court order that he reconsider the Official Information Act request I made last January’, said University of Auckland law professor Jane Kelsey, first applicant in the case. More>>

Werewolf 58: No Climate For Change

The last time the global community tried to take collective action on climate change the world’s leaders finally came to agree that every not-too-onerous effort should be made to hold global warming to 2°C above the pre-industrial average. At Paris, all 150 participant countries nations will have put forward their pledges... On the information available, New Zealand's is the second weakest contribution of any nation in the developed world. More>>


Lambton Quay Shutdown: Object Was Made To Look Like Bomb

Police cordoned off part of Lambton Quay Wednesday afternoon, saying that a suspicious package had been found. Buildings were evacuated and buses were detoured. The army’s explosive ordnance disposal unit was brought to the Quay. More>>


Public Sector Still Shrinking: Record Low Number Of 'Backroom Bureaucrats'

Ongoing restraint in the public sector and a focus on better frontline services has seen a further reduction in the number of core Government employees, State Services Minister Paula Bennett says. More>>


Disobeying The Law: Police Censorship Of Crime Research “An Outrage”

The Green Party is calling on Police Minister Michael Woodhouse to ensure Police scrap controversial contracts that place onerous restrictions on academic researchers’ access to Police data, the Green Party says. More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news