Dave Macpherson: Shock, Horror – Endless ‘Taxpayers’ Union Official Information Requests cost Hamilton ratepayers dearly

Who is the real pig?

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.

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“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. 


  1. Ha!

    $60,000 is nothing. Councils around the country squander more than that every hour in their non-bid contracts to selected ‘providers’, replacement of perfectly good equipment and furnishings that are ‘the wrong colour’, employment of people who don’t actually have anything productive to do, redoing jobs that were done badly 6 months previously by selected ‘providers’…..and the really big one, enormous salaries to CEOs and senior officers who are totally incompetent at organising or managing anything but know how to do the bidding of particular businesses and individuals.

    And then there are the bills for the consultants, who have to be brought in because nobody in the council knows how to do anything except copy and paste..

  2. If they stopped trying to hide everything bad, provided straight answers and otherwise provided transparent data/information then councils costs would reduce significantly

    Simply put this data should be on tap and be able to be presented quickly on a non-political, transparent basis. If you have to get additional staff then either you are trying to hide something OR your systems are shit and your staff incompetent. Either way it paints you council as a clown training school.

    If the game is fucked, pointless blaming the players

  3. lets face it, the Taxpayers Union is a filthy right wing troll group set up by the worst of the worst: Act.

    BTW, notice how the title “Association of Consumers and Taxpayers” makes no reference to civil society. Hey tory arseholes, we are citizens before we are consumers of taxpayers. Really, ACT is a shell organisation for neoliberal scum who basically hate democracy and want to game the playing field to suit their 0.1% backers.

  4. ” Councillor Macpherson said, “It’s supremely ironic that these self-appointed ‘guardians of the public purse’ are causing ratepayers such large expenses”

    But that is the economic mantra of the party of arseholes creeps and turds and the cruelties of neo liberalism.

    Spend tax and ratepayers money on their own warped agenda while denying anyone who earns starvation wages , has no home or can’t afford medical treatment with utter hatred and contempt for the many economic refugees their policies have created.

    They are the real evil within.

  5. Paying for the information to be released publicly when the subject matter is what the elected officials are spending or doing for their constituents are responsible for. Why?

    Why should we have to ask for specific information when it all should be declared on record free to the public to access without obstruction? No more non notified, closed to the public meetings and decision making.
    If they think meetings and decisions need to be made in secret, then, that in itself should be enough of a clue that what they consider ‘senstive’ information. They should not encourage this behaviour.

    Transparency is one of the most overused words in councils! The other is ‘corruption!’.

    Make all decisions and meetings, information open to the public. No more closed to public meetings. “Transparent!”

  6. These guys need to shut up. They took Covid subsidies for their staff but continue complaining about taxpayer subsidies. Biggest example of hypocrites in this country.

  7. Taxpayers’ Union Board: · Ashley Church – Chairman · Jordan Williams – Executive Director & Co-founder · David Farrar – Co-founder · Barrie Saunders

    Says all you need to know, hard and right and happy to take your money.

  8. TU are thieving hypocrites. They are creaming money, and the stupid media keep supporting them. Go figure.
    May be the media needs to grow up and stop trying to get advertising $ from/for thieving very selfish spoilt brats and their puppeteers.
    Actually every time the media vents TU opinions they are giving away free advertising (hypocrisy).
    The real tax payers union are the NZ electorate. The TU are self appointed phonies funded by ….?

  9. I cannot believe that the media give these trolls oxygen.
    The “media” are their own worst enemies.

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