New Zealand
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Taxpayers’ Union Raises Serious Concerns Over Ministry For The Environment ‘dodgy Deals’

The Taxpayers’ Union are seriously concerned to hear that Federated Farmers and other industry groups have been approached by the Ministry for the Environment and offered hundreds of thousands of dollars to help rush through plans under the new Resource Management legislation just weeks out from the election.

Taxpayers’ Union Campaigns Manager, Callum Purves, said:

“This is incredibly worrying and undermines public trust in the political neutrality of our public service. The RMA reforms are expected to be implemented over a 10-year period, there is no reason for the Ministry to be shovelling money out of the door and rushing through the plan development process just weeks before the election. It seems that the Ministry is of they view that if they can rush through enough of the changes before the election, the next Government may decide that the reforms have gone too far to unwind.

“It is wasteful and unacceptable that the Ministry is seeking to sign contracts that potentially add up to millions of dollars for work just before the election that the opposition have committed to scrapping if they are elected. No private business would sign a major contract for work just weeks before a decision on whether or not that work should be continued – there are clearly other motives here.

“The Taxpayers’ Union will be demanding answers from other government agencies to see whether similar approaches are being taken in respect of Three Waters, Fair Pay Agreements and the GIDI fund. We commend Federated Farmers for rejecting the money on principle and encourage other organisations to do the same."

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