Jordan Williams from Taxpayers Union caught out spinning to the public and media!



Jordan Williams – lawyer; right wing commentator; anti-MMP activist; National/ACT apparatchik
Acknowledgement of image:, via


For those who are not aware of Jordan Williams, he is a lawyer working in Wellington.

He is also a right wing commentator/activist; anti-MMP campaigner; and party apparatchik for National and ACT. He was closely involved in the Brash coup against ACT-leader Rodney Hide in 2011.

Williams is also a known associate of rightwing blogger and National Party worker, David Farrar; rightwing activist/campaigner Simon Lusk; and convicted criminal (and occassional blogger), Cameron Slater.

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Peter Aranyi, of thepaepae blog described Williams thusly, in this well-written piece,

Based on his track record (fronting the Peter Shirtcliffe/Simon Lusk anti-MMP campaign and Don Brash’s ACT Party leadership coup) I personally see Jordan as a paid political mouthpiece — nothing more, nothing less. He is, it seems to me, merely another lobbyist who, it appears, works for ‘right wing’ figures or interest groups.”


Recently, Williams set up the so-called “Taxpayers Union”, a group which he  explained on Radio NZ as being based on a UK version. His group’s objectives  include;

The New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union is a non-partisan activist group, dedicated to being the voice for Kiwi taxpayers in the corridors of power. We’re here to fight government waste and make sure New Zealanders get value for money from their tax dollar.”


The rest of the group’s aims & objectives reads pretty much like the Act Party’s manifesto (see: What we stand for) – a party that Williams is closely associated with. (Perhaps this is the next neo-liberal Party in the wings…?)

Just recently, under the banner of the “Taxpayer’s Union”, Williams launched an attack on Hone Harawira’s trip to South Africa to attend Mandela’s funeral.

William wrote,

Reacting to confirmation from Hone Harawira’s office that taxpayers will be footing the bill for the Mana Party leader’s trip to the Mandela service*, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union Jordan Williams said:

“This trip is a slap in the face to taxpayers and particularly Mr Harawira’s electorate, who are supposed to be the beneficiaries of his parliamentary funding.

Mr Harawira already spends more than any other non-ministerial member of Parliament. Earlier in the year the public found out he spent even more than the then Leader of the Opposition.


Interestingly, Williams  made no comment on the fact that Key’s “official” attendance at the funeral included a photographer. Far be it for Dear Leader to attend an event without the obligatory photo-op.

Maybe Mr Williams considers a photographer’s presence more valid than an attendance by someone who was an actual anti-apartheid campaigner – like Hone Harawira?

Williams’ 11 December press release, though, went on to state,

Originally Mr Harawira told the public that he was footing the bill himself. Now we know that he’s treating the taxpayer funded Parliamentary budget as a travel slush fund.”

This is where Williams’ begins to spin.

A casual check of media reports at the time Harawira announced his plan to attend reveals something closer to the truth;

Mr Harawira said his trip is coming out of his parliamentary leadership fund.

TV3, 10 December

A Mana Party spokeswoman confirmed this morning the trip would be paid for out of Harawira’s leader’s budget.

Fairfax, 10 December

Mr Harawira hopes to have his trip paid for out of his parliamentary budget but if he can’t, he will fund it himself.

TV3, 10 December

Nowhere does Hone Harawira promise that he will be “footing the bill himself“.

What he does say is that he wants the trip funded from his own Parliamentary Budget,  but if he can’t, he will fund it himself.

Not exactly an auspicious start for a political lobby group (or nascent political party) that it has to resort to fabrication to push it’s agenda.

But if the so-called “Taxpayers Union” is to be ACT v.2, then it is par-for-course.

Postscript #1

When criticisms were made public regarding the make-up of John Key’s party to South Africa, there were cries of condemnation that not a single anti-apartheid activist had been invited to attend.

Indeed, right wing commentators were quick to point out,

Former Prime Minister Jim Bolger says people questioning the make-up of the NZ delegation going to South Africa for Nelson Mandela’s funeral should learn from the former South African president.


Mr Mandela could have been the most bitter man in the world when he came out of prison, but he wasn’t, Mr Bolger said.

“The challenge is whether the world will pick up and try to advance the cause which Mandela pursued the whole of his life – greater fairness and equity within society,” Mr Bolger told Breakfast from Pretoria this morning.

And on “Frankly Speaking“, on 7 December, Roger Gascoigne left this comment,

Whatever strange lens you look at the world through Frank, it’s the ‘office’ of the Prime Minister that will attend. Try a little of Mandela’s concept of forgiving and moving on yourself.
Given 1981 was pretty much a 50/50 split…what would be a grand gesture is if the PM’s office decided to take John Minto to represent the other half of NZ from 81. Then you might think we’ve ALL learned something.”


None of which has stopped Jordan Williams from  blatant fibbing, and five days later,  John Key joined in with this outrageous comment,

This is a guy that went to South Africa on a jolly and shouldn’t be billing the taxpayer for it. The bottom line is we took a delegation – whether he likes it or not – that represented, in our view, the right mix. I personally don’t believe there was a role for him to go to South Africa.”


(Were the two public comments related? Considering that Williams is closely connected to the National Party, did Key’s media spin-doctors take their cue from Williams’ 11 December media release?)

Then of course, we had Justice Minister Judith Collin with her infamous Twitter comments, where she ‘tweeted’ that Labour Leader David  Cunliffe and Springbok tour protest leader John Minto were “numpties with bells on“.


So much for understanding and tolerance from the Right.

They should just stick to  bullshitting. They’re far better at it ( it’s in their DNA).

Postscript #2

So Jordan Williams has been caught out lying to the media and public? Does that mean he should resign from the “Taxpayers Union”, as David Farrar recently called for Len Brown’s ‘lying’?

I believe Len Brown must resign as Mayor of Auckland […] But the report makes Clear that Len Brown publicly lied to the media and the public.


Spinning to the media and public?! Terrible that!

Perhaps Len and Jordan can make it a double-act resignation?





National Business Review:  OPINION – Brown must resign

Fairfax media:  Collins in Twitter war

The Paepae: Left and Right: useful when doing the hokey cokey, but past its use-by date for politics?

Scoop media: Taxpayers Footing the Bill for Harawira’s Mandela Trip

Fairfax media: Hone Harawira heading to Mandela funeral

TV3: Hone Harawira to travel to Mandela’s funeral

TV1 News: Learn from Mandela, says Bolger over delegation debate

Radio NZ: PM criticises Harawira’s Mandela trip

Previous related blogpost

Letter to the Editor: Should Key attend Mandela’s funeral?

Other blogs

The Daily Blog: The audacity of Key’s Hone Harawira dog whistle

The Daily Blog: We did what John Key should have done

International Embarassment

Huffington Post: New Zealand’s Leader Questioned Over Apartheid Amnesia


= fs =


  1. He hasn’t been caught out lying. You believe he lied. To ascertain for certain you would have to find out why he believed Hone Harawira stated he would pay for the trip to South Africa himself.

    Always fun to see another loopy left wing conspiracy theory take shape though.

      • I really have no firm position on Len Brown either way but I think you are missing a key distinction between the two. One is an elected official paid for out of public funds. The other is a private citizen exercising his democratic right to comment on issues of the day to try and influence decision makers while being funded entirely independently.

        • You’re avoiding my question. Too hard to answer?

          And what does the funding source have to do with it? Surely, you’re not suggesting that a publicly paid individual requires a higher standard than one paid for out of secret donations?

        • oh please – yes hes a private citizen – but one connected to and working with a well known faction who have shown a less than honest intention towards democracy and who have some very dubious funding sources and highly unpopular ambitions

          A group that uses manipulation, distortion and outright fabrication to try and get its way

          A group that couldnt have an honest debate because they know exactly how unpopular their ideas are

          You really do go to some lengths to ignore the obvious dont you goss

        • Goose and Ganderman, some may call certain critics, I am still working on one “Gosman”, who is appearing to be a bit “narrow minded” in the brain territory, but always giving due respect to critics, I am desperately waiting for a final convincing argument that may after all these diatribes finally prove he has something sensible to say. I am waiting, I am waiting.

    • well hes either fibbing or doesnt have a clue what hes talking about

      either one renders his words worthless

      but considering his connections are with people who have a rather sordid history of making shit up for political gain what do you reckon?

      so no conspiracy – more an assumption based on proven track record.

    • He would have read all of the press releases about Hone’s trip. There’s no way he would have missed them and thus there’s no way he would have been ignorant of what Hone actually said. All this means is that he was outright lying and he was doing so for political purpose.

      • Indeed, Draco. The same thought crossed my mind.

        As I put my blogpost together, I googled Hone Harawira’s intentions on his trip to SA. Unless I entered the wrong search parameters, there was no reference at all that Hone was going to foot the bill.

        The closest was the Fairfax statement on 10 December. Even there, Hone’s intentions are crystal clear.

    • Gosman ,you stupid little troll. Bored with The Standard?. Oh wait,thats right you were banned for your vitriolic bullshit.. Take the hint ,crawl back to the sewer

  2. Did anyone notice Key’s biggest porkie so far?

    ‘IN 1981 Sharples was just as big a protestor as Harawira.’ This is a total lie, Harawira was the leader of the Patu squad and probably has the scars to prove it. THis isn’t to disparage Pita, but it does show that Key is a total liar.

    • No body I know who was at the Protests can remember Pita Sharples doing anything. He definitely didn’t play any leading role, if he did do something.

  3. All this right-wing bleating is simply hiding one simple point. Jim Bolger & Don McKinnon flew to SA & didnt attend any official or unofficial events. Harawira attended several, just not the ‘official’ memorial. He viewed the coffin in state, went to the house (!) performed Haka & Karakia (with his wife) & actually represented a large part of New Zealand, especially his Maori core supporters. He represented Aotearoa, not Neo-liberal New Zealand.
    He did a damn sight more than the unknown guest, who by the looks lf the photos, had a thoroughly miserable time being ignored by the hypocritical powerbrokers falling over themselves to wax lyrical over someone whos death they wished for, all those years ago.
    Hone Harawira did New Zealand proud, Don & Jim just did New Zealand.

    • @ Matthew. Hear hear. Well put.

      Hone through his personal traditional Maori farewell for Nelson Mandela, did us proud indeed. In doing so, he demonstrated he is a man of mana, showing great respect for Madiba, his family and the late president’s people. And more importantly, no “official” ego promoting photographer was required to record the event.

      Through his South African “jolly”, John Key’s newly acquired international label of “unidentified guest”, has confirmed what most of us already knew. That being, he’s really a nobody of very little significance, despite doing his best to be seen pressing the flesh of the big power brokers and movers and shakers on the world stage at Mandela’s funeral! That was Key’s aim in attending and nothing else and it backfired on him!

      Hone Harawira and John Key, two Kiwis, but a world apart when it comes to honour, respect and integrity.

            • So who defines what the act of treason is? A bunch of lefties like you in some kangaroo court I presume. I am reminded of Stalinist show trials in the 1930’s and people being decried as enemies of the people. Hard core lefties tend towards this sort of behaviour.

  4. I find it slightly comical that NZ TV channels have to write “Right Wing Commentator” as a subtitle.

    Might as well write “drowns kittens and eats babies” as this presumably would convey the same implied message

    • Might as well write “drowns kittens and eats babies” …

      Is that a serious suggestion, Andy? I mean, I can contact TVNZ and pass on your recommendation if you like…

      Seriously though, Andy, do you have a problem with the nomenclature? Even Key admits that his is a “centre-right” government.

      • I don’t have a problem with nomenclature but I find the left vs right paradigm a bit one dimensional (boom boom)

        I am always fascinated though, how the media seem to feel the need to address right wing commentators and bloggers etc with the right wing label, but never do the same for left wing commentators.

        I guess it is an implicit health warning to the public. Ie look away now, here is one of those nasty free market people we disagree with and you should too.

  5. Let’s face it – if people, Jordan and Key etc are unhappy then the most effective way forward is to direct the criticism to the parliament department that made the decision to fund Harawira’s trip. It is clear Mr Harawira would have gone whether funded or not.

    This is a political stunt being conducted while Key is being paid to address matters of governance. Clearly Key would prefer to electioneer for his party, distract the public and whip a section of us up into a negative frenzy rather than have us informed of the serious issues facing this country.

    There is a taxpayer funded ‘jolly’ going on here and it is not being conducted by Harawira.

    Good article thanks for the background.

  6. Calling your group “the Taxpayers Union” is a bit presumptious. JW is basically claiming to represent all the tax payers of New Zealand. I haven’t been contacted by him yet.

    • Taxpayers union is just another minority lobby group, representing the minority of people in nz that actually pay any tax.

      • Taxpayers union is just another minority lobby group, representing the minority of people in nz that actually pay any tax.

        Not quite sure what you mean by that, AndyS. We all pay taxes.

        I concur with Fambo, it is presumptious of Williams’ group which implies he represents all taxpayers.

        • “We all pay taxes”

          Who is “we”?

          Of the top of my head, around 37% of the taxes in NZ are paid by 6% of the population. If you are a child, or a family getting full WFF tax credits, you don’t pay any taxes.

          In general, I don’t see the problem with a lobby group that is standing up for government wastage. Lianne Dalziel took the choppers to the ChCh Council credit cards, and the NZ taxpayers union were supportive of this

          • But they arent standing up against govt wasteage – Thats the spin – its an exercise in manipulation

            We is everyone – if you earn or use money in any way your going to be paying tax somewhere (for most people)

            you can paly that little stats game till the cows come home – but its wrong. It doesnt include earnings %s and it doesnt include all forms of tax than income tax

            • I was referring to income tax, obviously we all pay GST, unless you live in an Amish community or similar.

              So, just to be clear here, if you are getting a full WFF tax rebate, you are paying NO INCOME TAX.
              I’m not making any value judgement on the rights and wrongs of WFF, but this is a simple statement of fact.

              Is this not correct?

              • And if you’re not getting WFF, you are paying tax. That includes single people; those on social welfare; etc.

                And because – as you point out – we all pay GST, then everyone pays tax.

                Those who pay MORE tax are obviously making MORE in income and profits.

                Fairly basic, I would think; earn more, pay more. That is the nature of progressive taxation.

                And if you’re suggesting a flat tax rate, you won’t get much support here.

                And I repeat: Williams does not represent taxpayers. He represents himself and his neo-liberal, rich mates who want all the benefits of a modern society/economy, but don’t want to pay their fair share.

                • Yes I understand the nature of progressive taxation. I earn more, I pay more.

                  So when my friend turns up, last Christmas, with his family of four in his Volvo, tells me about his Wff credits, and shows me his handful of cash he has made cash free under the counter, I naturally smile, as they head out to go out and play while I get back to work to pay my fair share.

                  It’s only fair that I do this.

  7. @ Gosman . squeak , squeak , squeak .
    ” Always fun to see another loopy left wing conspiracy theory take shape though. ”
    Well perhaps but any Left wing conspiracy theory no matter how loopy could ever come even close to the horrors of our Right wing reality . Or as I prefer to think of it as Darksiders versus Lightsiders .
    We don’t have two opposing mindsets disagreeing to agree . We have a small clan of cunts having a giggle while making millions off the backs of the suffering many so laugh it up chuckles .

    So , Jordan Williams is a lawyer . Nothing more needs to be said .

    However , did you know Gosman ? I hear they’re using lawyers in laboratories now instead of rats . They’ve found that there some things even rats won’t do . And oldie but a goodie don’t you think . Well , clearly no , you don’t spend much time thinking do you ? Plotting and scheming and no doubt making money would be what keeps you in your small , dark box would be my guess .

    Hone Harawira and John Minto should have gone to Mandelas funeral and jonky , bolger and mckinnon should have gone to prison .

  8. Jordan Williams is a self serving little prick, I would say. I saw him and only a handful of “protesters” against MMP and so, at a brief pre election meeting that Winston Peters held at Aotea Square in Auckland in late 2011. They were all familiar right wing faces I saw around him, and he is as “apolitical”, “neutral” and “independent” as George Bush was on Saddam Hussein harbouring chemical weapons.

    That man, I am surprised he is even a lawyer, is to be mistrusted. So if Hone Harawira went on “a jolly” to South Africa, is it not so bloody evident to him, that we have a PM who did the same, and who is just that PM here, “at a jolly”, I dare to say, as he already said, he is off to Hawaii, to his second home, for weeks to come!

    If New Zealanders out there would be informed, would bother following the REAL news, and learn what really goes on (check the alternative websites, perhaps), we would NOT have this government in power, but we have.

    So “taxpayer’s union”, same as “ratepayer’s union”, they tend to support all these self serving bastards, as many of the “union” members are self serving themselves. They do NOT care about greater policies, they want it all their ways, and hence we have a country here that does not function, as it is most all into if for THEMSELVES, and giving a dim shit about the rest.

    Thank you Jordan Williams you are one of the “leaders’ in self serving aggrandizement and manipulation, you will never convince me!

    • I have worked on a number of government IT projects where we have pissed away around $70 million of taxpayers money per project

      Who wins are the IT vendors and the contractors who get paid a day rate for a product that never gets delivered.

      Thankfully, I don’t work on such projects anymore, but I would really like there to be less of this kind of wastage.

      So do you think that a hypothetical lobby group that puts a stop to this kind of nonsense would be a good idea or not?

      • In general, I don’t see the problem with a lobby group that is standing up for government wastage.

        The problem is, AndyS, is that your perception of “waste” is different to others.

        I consider it waste that National is giving out taxpayers’ subsidies to Warner Bros, Rio Tinto, Southern China Airlines, SkyCity, etc – but manufacturers don’t get the same subsidies.

        You probably (I’m guessing) consider social welfare to be “waste” (though I’m also guessing you prefer to live in a country where the streets aren’t lined with thousands of beggars).

        As for other “waste”, I refer you to these instances,

        “Ministerial Waste & Hypocrisy”

        “Health Minister circumvents law to fulfill 2008 election bribe?”

        If Jordan Williams were to oppose real waste in government spending, and instead wanted our tax-dollars re-directed to, say, alleviating child poverty – I’d join his organisation faster than I could sign the application form.

        If, however, he simply wants more tax cuts, then he and his rich mates can go jump in a lake. I will have no truck with even more selfishness in this country.

        • “I’m guessing that…”

          Why is this the standard response? I actually have a number of unformed opinions, one of which is around Working for Families, (I see a dichotomy between supporting the family unit and supporting welfare dependency)

          Do I want less beggars on the streets? Well, of course. Don’t we all?

          What about the film deal? I don’t know the answer here either. Would the deal have gone through with no tax breaks? The people interviewed on TV seemed pretty happy that the deal happened, and if there is a genuine commitment to grow the industry then surely this is good?

          As for “rich mates” wanting tax cuts, I don’t actually see that many rich people in NZ, but I live in rural South Island.

          I don’t see that wanting tax cuts is “selfish”. It is your money in the first place that the government have deemed to take off you and waste on inconsequential multi-million dollar projects. I’d be more than happy to divert some of that IT and other wastage into alleviating child poverty and raising the bar for NZers.

          Living in a small town as I do, I see a heck of a lot of volunteer effort that goes unrewarded financially and is mostly independent of government funding, so I maybe don’t see quite the same selfish society that you do, Frank.

          This has gone slightly off-topic, so sorry for that.

      • So you participated in rip off activities yourself, and now you turn around blaming it all on the government, for perhaps not covering their loopholes, which your previous employer or business parter was able to exploit.

        I read other your comments you made on other topics before, and it is apparent to me that you have no scruples and problems with serving your own interests, but while some of that may be morally questionable, you rush to blame government and others (e.g. those on benefits) for all wrongs that you perceive that exist. Throwing away blame and accusations like that is convenient, as you just distract from your own self serving conduct.

        • Who are you replying to?
          Of you are referring to me as my “rip off activities” with no scruples, I worked with people in these it projects and we put our jobs on the line by pointing out the major flaws in the projects to the top bosses.

          Perhaps you would like to expand on other comments that I have made that suggest that I have no scruples

          Actually, the fact that I haven’t crawled my way up the greasy pole of govt it suggests to me that maybe I have some scruples, but if you would like to lecture me otherwise, please be my guest.

    • Yes those pesky self serving rate payers. Imagine the horror the poor Christchurch council workers must have gone through to get their allowances for trim flat whites at Coffee Culture cut by that evil witch Lianne Dalziel.

      For goodness sake, it was only 10,000 pathetic earthquakes that the residents had to go through, and some old bags have to pay double rates because they were stupid enough to buy a home in a liquefaction prone area.

      It’s a basic human right to get a trim soy latte so stuff the self serving rate payers with their greedy middle class Anglo Saxon attitudes

  9. Not surprisingly the subject of this post was invited onto the “Drive Show” on Radio Live, presently hosted by one well known right winger called Paul Henry. S we have right wing journos promote right wing pollies and vice versa. The whole media scape is full of it, but the ill informed public do not generally know or care.

    So NZ continues to be shifted the right, which almost goes unnoticed. Manipulation is an expert field of activity, and the MSM are experts at it. There is little chance for informed democracy or even progressive ideas or policies to take the stage in this highly manipulated society!

    • So agree Marc. Did any see the subliminal message in Herald on Sunday. They had pictures of the Good, the Bad and the Ugly. The Good was Lydia Ko, the Bad was Winston Peters, something to do with immigration and then the Ugly was David Cunliffe for politicking at Nelson Mandelas funeral. WTF! No more newspapers in our house.

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