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Taxpayers' Union responds to The Spinoff

Taxpayers' Union responds to The Spinoff

25 JANUARY 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Today an article was published about the New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union in The Spinoff, a small, publicly-funded, Auckland-based millennial website specialising in television listicles, ‘pop-culture’, and fake news.

Taxpayers' Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says, "The Spinoff reveals that one in 20 information requests to Auckland Council come from the Taxpayers’ Union (including our sister group the Auckland Ratepayers’ Alliance)."

"We’d expect nothing less. The Taxpayers’ Union represents 31,000 members and supporters, with the Auckland Ratepayers’ Alliance enjoying the support of 16,000 members. When the Official Information Act is one of the only available mechanisms to hold Government agencies to account, we're certainly going to use it."

"The Spinoff focuses on the alleged cost incurred to taxpayers from these information requests. The administrative cost of releasing information is incomparable to the tens of millions in government waste the Taxpayers' Union reveals every year."

"For example, just last week we exposed Callaghan Innovation’s $300,000 spend on entertainment in 2015/16. The Spinoff takes issue with our focus on Callaghan, possibly because they receive funding from Callaghan Innovation themselves."

"In fact, The Spinoff also receives funding from Creative New Zealand, Heart of the City, Otago University, and NZ on Air. It’s no wonder they don’t like transparency around the use of public money."

ENDS


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