Source: Taxpayers Union
Damning report on Provincial Growth Fund confirms pork barrelling, conflicts, and worse
A damning new report from the Auditor-General has confirmed what your humble Taxpayers’ Union has been saying about the Provincial Growth Fund all along. He found failing processes with regards to the approval of grants, managing conflicts of interests, and tracking of performance.
The Auditor-General said:
It was not always clear from the documentation why certain projects were considered for funding from this part of the Fund. . . it was difficult to find evidence of how projects had fully met the normal criteria for the Fund.
When the Auditor-General with all his expertise does a deep dive into the application documents and still can’t figure out why recipients were granted funding, we have a serious problem.
The Auditor-General goes on:
In my view, in the interests of the transparency of the overall process, it is important for the public and Parliament to have better visibility of how all the parts of the Fund operate
We couldn’t agree more. Post COVID-19, every dollar handed out from the fund is borrowed from future generations of taxpayers. New Zealanders deserve more information to shed light on whether Shane Jones’s slush fund justifies a mortgage on our future.
The report’s breakdown of spending by region shows the real motivation behind the Provincial Growth Fund. The region to receive the most funding – half a billion dollars and counting – is Northland. That’s a $3,671 election bribe for every man, woman, and child in the region that New Zealand First is targeting for votes. It is banana republic stuff and is a blot on New Zealand’s reputation for having incorruptible institutions.
Labour candidate does the right thing. But what about National in Port Hills?
The Labour Party’s new Palmerston North candidate, Tangi Utikere (pictured left), is the City’s deputy mayor.
Last week we called on Mr Utikere to give up his ratepayer-funded salary – and now he’s agreed.
Good on him. The amount of money saved might be small in the scheme of things, but it’s an important principle: ratepayers should not be forced to pay a councillor to campaign full time for a political party they may not support. It also s