Cabinet proposal to favour ‘indigenous’ procurement will punish taxpayers
11 OCTOBER 2019
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union is calling on Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters to veto Cabinet’s proposal to give special preference to iwi and ‘indigenous firms’ during procurement processes.
Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says, “Buried in MBIE’s briefing to Phil Twyford [para. 27] as incoming Minister for Economic Development is perhaps Cabinet’s maddest idea yet: ‘indigenous procurement’ policies that ‘seek to actively increase government contracting to indigenous firms’.”
“When the Government decides who to hire, its sole consideration should be value for taxpayers. It should not use procurement as a way to do favours for particular groups.”
“Iwi authorities like Ngāi Tahu and Tainui are not little guys in need of a handout. Māori authorities already enjoy a special discounted corporate tax rate. This policy will inflate prices for taxpayers, and punish Kiwi businesses trying to compete fairly for government contracts.”
“Winston Peters always campaigns on ‘one law for all’, but does he mean it? This is a great opportunity for Mr Peters to act as a moderating influence and nip this dodgy idea in the bud.”
The relevant paragraph of the BIM states:
1. When deciding on procurement, Cabinet agreed that you and the Minister for Maori Development should jointly report back on indigenous procurement policies. Indigenous procurement policies seek to actively increase government contracting to indigenous firms. One option under consideration is to broaden the supplier diversity focus to include other disadvantaged groups (e.g. Pacific firms). We are preparing advice to support you in an initial meeting with the Minister for Maori Development on procurement diversity options.