Another of Steve Joyce’s chosen corporate bludgers goes under costing the taxpayer

Steve Joyce loves corporate welfare, thankfully one of his chosen recipients didn’t seem to like it that much, but still managed to burn $1.4 million of taxpayer cash.

After Mako collapsed, owing Spark $26 million and a total $30 million in debt, one minor shareholder asked NBR, ?How do you lose $30 million??

He wondered, darkly, what had become of a $4.3 million research and development grant from the Ministry of Science and Innovation (later absorbed into Callaghan Innovation) in 2011

The surprising answer: not much.

?Mako drew down only $1.4 million of the available funding,? Callaghan chief financial officer told NBR on Friday afternoon. ??

That?s an eyebrow-raiser, given chief executive and director Bill Farmer twice told NBR that Mako spent $25 million on R&D. The grant was in the form of matching funds for Mako?s own spending.

Beyond the curiosity of Mako leaving millions untouched, the Crown agency says everything was above board.

?Callaghan Innovation has no reason to believe grant funding provided to Mako Networks has been spent inappropriately. The funding agreement requires Mako Networks to provide regular reporting on how the money has been used, along with annual audited or equivalent financial statements,? Mr Perry says.

?In January 2014, Callaghan Innovation suspended funding after Mako notified us it was experiencing financial difficulty and may have to enter administration. We were able to resume funding in April 2014 when we were satisfied Mako had resolved the immediate financial issues.?

Yeah they resolved it by going into liquidation burning?$1.4 million, never to be seen again.

This is the problem with corporate welfare and picking winners, which all too often end up losers.

And look at the excuses from?Callaghan Innovation…”no reason to believe grant funding provided to Mako Networks has been spent inappropriately”…except it is all gone, as is the company.

Steve Joyce really needs to look close and hard at?Callaghan Innovation and how this money is allocated.