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Source: Taxpayers Union

The New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union welcomes this morning’s announcement that taxpayer-funded charity Quit Group will spend its remaining funding on the anti-smoking initiatives the money was intended for, and wind down by June this year. This follows Taxpayers’ Union-led public scrutiny of the group. 
Spokesman Jordan Williams says: “Directors of Quit Group refused to spend millions of taxpayer dollars for five years, instead allowing interest to accrue on the funds and pay themselves handsomely for doing just about nothing. It was only after the Taxpayers’ Union exposed this that the Prime Minister was alerted and Quit Group was forced to close up shop.” 
“This is a win for taxpayers, and shows the impact of holding publicly-funded organisations to account. But the whole shameful saga proves we need more accountability in our charities sector.”
“Charities entirely, or nearly entirely, funded by taxpayers urgently need to be subject to the Official Information Act. Unless the Government is willing to act to improve transparency, we can only assume they’re comfortable letting this happen again — with taxpayers shouldering the cost.” 
“Finally, the Government shouldn’t forget the directors who were willing to rip off taxpayers for so long. Chair Chris Cunningham, who also ran up $128,000 in travel costs as chair of the Hepatitis Foundation, is clearly unfit to serve the public and should be fired from his three remaining taxpayer-funded roles forthwith.””It says a lot that Professor Cunningham still hasn’t fronted publicly, leaving it to his deputy to awkwardly respond to Susie Ferguson on RNZ this morning. What a pusillanimous trougher.” Background information is available here.