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Revealed: 1,243 more secret grants from Palmerston North

The New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union can reveal that in addition to the $391,000 amount paid to Toyota NZ in a previously secret deal, 1,243 other grant payments have been made since 2015.

Taxpayers’ Union researcher Patrick Corish says, “After we revealed the secret Toyota deal, we asked to see a list of all other grants and subsidies to businesses or developments in the last three years. A letter from the Council’s CFO states there are 1,244 such payments, but the Council refuses to provide a list of these payments free of charge.”

“It’s the middle finger to transparency and accountability to ratepayers, whose money the Council is giving away.”

“In addition to the number of grants, we also now know there were more than 27,000 emails between the Council and Toyota relating to the revealed grant and others.”

“What makes this particularly galling is the Mayor’s recent comments that ‘lessons have been learned’ and that Council will be more transparent with a public register.”

“This volume of communication suggests a much closer relationship between Council officials and Toyota than previously thought. We’d like to know how many other grants and discretionary payments have been paid to Toyota, but other than try to bill us for the information they’ve given us zip.”

Notes:

Original LGOIMA request – 23 January 2019

Letter from Palmerston North City Council CFO revealing – 12 February 2019
• 27,785 emails between Council and Toyota
• 1,244 grants
• Seeking to charge $3648 to provide information



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