A Hamilton City Councillor has released results of an Official Information request showing ‘Taxpayers’ Union Official Information requests have cost Hamilton ratepayers over $60,000 in the last three years.
Councillor Dave Macpherson obtained the figures from his own Council’s staff this week, showing 58 requests from the ACT Party-aligned group since the start of 2018, totalling an estimated $61,364.
Councillor Macpherson said, “It’s supremely ironic that these self-appointed ‘guardians of the public purse’ are causing ratepayers such large expenses”
“They make an art-form of spraying Official Information Act information demands to pretty much every Council in the country, trawling for information that will bolster their own political viewpoint.”
“When you realise there are nearly 70 Councils getting these requests on what are usually inane or irrelevant subjects, I’d say they are costing us all over a million dollars a year,” Councillor Macpherson said.
“In our Council, the sheer number and complexity of OIAs like these have meant that extra staff have had to be employed just to deal with the answers, which in many cases are made up of information already publicly available.”
“It is further ironic that this self-appointed group, who provide no public benefit that I’m aware of, sucked on the taxpayers’ teat last year when they received over $60,000 in Covid-19 Wage Subsidies’.”
“The fact that a year later they’re now claiming they intend to pay it back on a monthly drip-feed, does little to remove their alternate title of ‘The Taxfunded Union’, in my book.”
“New Zealand needs sensible and useful public watchdogs, but this group is not one of them,” Councillor Macpherson finished.
Hamilton City Council estimated staffing costs in dealing with ‘Taxpayer’ Union OIA requests (full report available on request)
Dave Macpherson – TDB mental health blogger & Former Waikato DHB Elected Member whose son was killed by public health incompetence.