$10 million for banana republic gondola makes a joke of the Provincial Growth Fund
15 JUNE 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Shane Jones’ decision to provide a $10 million loan to build a ‘high-speed gondola’ is absurd pork barrel politics typical of the Provincial Growth Fund, says the New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union.
Taxpayers’ Union spokesperson Louis Houlbrooke says, “If installing a high-speed gondola made good economic sense, Ruapehu Alpine Lifts would be able to attract private financing. Instead, they’ve convinced Shane Jones to give them a cheap loan. There’s no good reason for taxpayers to stump up with money.”
“Ruapehu Alpine Lifts Ltd owns both major ski-fields in the North Island and enjoys tax free status. A ski-field owning monopoly that doesn’t pay tax is the last organisation that deserves taxpayer subsidies.”
“This is the same entity that, instead of putting construction of its new café out to tender, gave the project to the construction company of a board member.”
“Mr Jones will try to claim this is about tourism – but he knows very well that international visitors go to Queenstown, not Ruapehu to ski. This is banana republic stuff."