Source: Taxpayers Union
12 SEPTEMBER 2020FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEThe Prime Minister needs to give taxpayers an indication of her plans for the disputed land at Ihumātao before the election, says the New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union.Taxpayers’ Union spokesman Louis Houlbrooke says, “It’s been more than a year since occupiers at Ihumātao were given an eviction notice. Since then, taxpayers have had to rely on second-hand reports about what the dispute will cost us. Insiders suggested in January, then again in February, that a deal was struck, and then in June that a deal was ‘close.’ Since then, we’ve heard nothing.””If the Government really plans to fork out taxpayer money to buy the land, worth up to $45 million, then the public deserves to know before the election. If a deal has fallen through because of coalition differences, we deserve to know which parties stand where before we cast our votes.””Voters in Auckland especially will want to know if their ratepayer money is on the line, and New Zealanders struggling with the housing shortage will want to know if there’s still hope of housing development on part or all of the site.””Taxpayers risk a worst-case scenario where the Government ponies up an enormous sum after the election when it knows it won’t be held accountable to voters. This would reward illegal occupiers, undermine the principle of ‘full and final’ Treaty settlements, and encourage a wave of new occupations and taxpayer-funded capitulations.”The Taxpayers’ Union is running a petition against a taxpayer-funded deal at Ihumātao, which currently has 11,500 signatures and is available at ww.taxpayers.org.nz/ihumatao.