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Source: Taxpayers Union

The New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union is condemning Shane Jones’ expected announcement of $100m funding for marae renovations  as “a cynical last-minute attempt to buy the Northland seat.”Union spokesperson Louis Houlbrooke said: “Ten days before the election and the Minister is still using his Provincial Growth Slush Fund for political gain. There is absolutely no need to announce this so close to polling day, and even less need that the publicity event happens in the electorate he is so desperate to win.”“You can debate the merits of the actual policy, and the Taxpayers’ Union probably would, but it is undeniable that the politically targeted nature of this taxpayer funding, the announcement so close to the election in breach of a long-standing political convention, and the big launch just happening to be in Northland, is extremely inappropriate. If Shane Jones wants to campaign, he should do it on his own merits, not on the taxpayer dime.”“In a Westminster democracy, there needs to be a clear difference between a Minister of Crown performing their role, and a desperate electorate candidate.””Here, Shane Jones has clearly stepped over the line. We are confident that voters will see this for what it is – a blatant election eve bribe using their own money.”“Additionally, the Union sincerely hopes that no taxpayer monies were used in the purchase of ‘that hat’.”