The New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union says that eye-watering consultancy fees surrounding Ihumātao are only a hint of the horrendous bill to come for taxpayers.
Union spokesman Louis Houlbrooke says, “The Prime Minister made a big show of announcing her intervention at Ihumātao, but in reality she’s fobbed off the nuts and bolts of negotiations to highly-paid consultants.”
“The problem is that all parties involved at Ihumātao – the occupiers, Fletcher Building, and the consultants – know that the Government has deep pockets and that the Prime Minister isn’t willing to walk away from the negotiating table. This means they can be aggressive with their demands.”
“If the Government is willing to pay consultants $325 per hour to smooth things over at Ihumātao, taxpayers can expect the Government to fork out a horrendous sum for any eventual settlement of the dispute. And with Auckland land values rapidly increasing, the likely bill only gets worse as the standoff drags on.”
“The Prime Minister needs to do right by taxpayers and call off the negotiations, reasserting Fletcher Building’s property rights. If the occupiers want the land, they’ll need to convince Tainui to buy it.”