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Source: Taxpayers Union

9 SEPTEMBER 2020FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEThe New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union welcomes the New Zealand Initiative’s suggestion of using “lucky-caller” quizzes with cash prizes to incentivise New Zealanders to increase their civics knowledge. Union spokesman Louis Houlbrooke says, “It’s really important that those of us who pay the government’s bills understand how government works, and particularly how our voting system works to hold politicians to account.” “But there are justified concerns over teaching civics in schools: it takes time and resources away from more practical subjects, students aren’t motivated to retain the information, and teachers can use civics class as a chance to grandstand on their own political biases.” “We’re intrigued by the idea of providing a financial incentive for New Zealanders to educate themselves, rather than throwing tens of millions of taxpayer dollars at media subsidies and a civics programme in schools. A kind of lottery for people who know their civics basics could be far more cost effective than other proposals. No-one likes missing out on cold hard cash. It’s a weird idea that deserves to be taken seriously.”