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Source: Taxpayers Union

A payment of $1.8 million of taxpayers’ money to a private lobby group, apparently for intellectual property of the cycleway and walkway over the Auckland Harbour bridge, is a direct subsidy for a political campaign rather than good value for money, says the Taxpayers’ Union. “A walkway over a harbour bridge is hardly a novel idea requiring a cheque from taxpayers,” says Jordan Williams, a Taxpayers’ Union spokesman. “Skypath campaigners argue that the money is required for them to pay for the designs and drawings they have commissioned over the years as part of their campaign.  That is laughable.  They commissioned the work to convince the politicians to back the project.  Now they’ve won, and have the taxpayer paying for the project, they’re trying to turn a profit. “Last election year, we commissioned an economist to model various options for tax relief.  We were delighted that some political parties picked up on our ideas and work. To think that we could be justified in sending them a bill for picking up our ideas is nuts.” “This is a try-on by Skypath, with those running it trying to make an easy buck and fund their political campaign using taxpayer money.  NZTA, and the Government, need to tell them where to go.”