Responding to reports that RNZ spent $107,500 on an advertising campaign that falsely suggested that audiences didn't pay for RNZ content, New Zealand Taxpayers' Union spokesman Louis Houlbrooke says:
"It's disgraceful that someone on the average salary worked and paid tax for six years only to fund an advertising campaign that sought to insult their intelligence. Audiences do of course pay for RNZ, through compulsory taxes."
"In fact, the Taxpayers' Union strongly considered taking RNZ to the Advertising Standards Authority for false advertising."
"Even before the publication of the ads, RNZ has been widely regarded as left-leaning in its reporting and editorial positions. Using taxpayer funds to insult taxpayers will have only cemented this view."
"In any case, it's unclear why RNZ needs to engage in large-scale advertising campaigns at all. The station's taxpayer funding already grants it a massive advantage over privately-funded media platforms like Stuff and the Taxpayers' Union podcast. What public good is served by having audiences switch away from balanced news sources toward 'red radio'?"