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Taxpayers Off The Hook For Ardern’s Pet Project

“ACT is welcoming the Prime Minister’s decision to defund the Christchurch Call,” says ACT Public Service spokesperson Todd Stephenson.

“The Christchurch Call has provided Jacinda Ardern with plenty of opportunity to boost her profile on the world stage, but it’s never been clear why New Zealand taxpayers should be on the hook for it.

“When Chris Hipkins appointed his old boss special envoy for the Christchurch Call, he agreed to pay her $450,000-$500,000 a year for her expenses, essentially so she could fly around lobbying foreign governments and social media giants to introduce new content regulations.

“The Christchurch Call had noble intentions, but history tells us we should be wary of governments and corporations colluding to decide what information people can and can't see."

Government funding for the Christchurch Call secretariat will end on 30 June, at which point it will exist outside of government as a charitable foundation.

“The Christchurch Call has been supported by some of the world’s biggest companies. If they want to have a former New Zealand prime minister as special envoy, they’re welcome to pay her bills,” says Mr Stephenson.

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