Government spending $700,000 per day on inquiries

I kid you not… quote.


The Government is spending $700,000 a day on inquiries, according to figures released by National.

The Opposition claims that 206 reviews and working groups have been called for by the Government at a total cost so far of around $280 million.

National leader Simon Bridges claimed the Coalition had outsourced the job they should have done when in Opposition and had virtually added another tier to Government in jobs for Wellington consultants and retired politicians.

“This is a Government whose parties had three terms – nine years – to develop their own ideas, but they’re now farming the thinking out to others and charging the taxpayers,” Bridges told the?Herald on Sunday. end quote.

Remember that $11.7 billion dollar hole? It seems that this government has spent more than that in the last year on inquiries alone, quote.

The result of so many inquiries was a sense of uncertainty that had hamstrung the business and social sectors, he claimed.

“It is also a colossal waste of money which quite literally would mean you wouldn’t need a regional fuel tax in Auckland and could fund thousands of cochlear implants.”

In response, the Government said National had its numbers wrong and described it as “a lazy piece of research”.

“National have listed a lot of items as reviews or working groups that aren’t and are actually core government work,” State Services Minister Chris Hipkins said.

Nearly half of the spending was on a Royal Commission into historic abuse in state care and churches, the mental health inquiry and the Pike River Recovery Agency. end quote.

If anyone is lazy, it is this government that immediately outsources everything rather than doing any actual work themselves. As for Pike River, don’t get me started… that is the biggest waste of taxpayers money of all. quote.

The Government added last night the number of inquiries, reviews and advisory groups determined by the States Services Commission only totalled 41, saying they were “independent of politics”.

But, National’s documents list 206 reviews, working parties, summits and commissions set up under the Government. end quote.

206 sounds more like it. At one point, we were trying to keep count on this blog, but there were just so many of them. I know there were at least 150 inquiries on the go before I lost count.? quote.

“There will be some of them, and maybe some big ones, that aren’t worthwhile,” Bridges said. “When you look at this in total it is over the top, it is creating mass uncertainty for the business and the social sectors and there is also a big waste of money.”

Examples of the negative impact included ports, which he said was holding back on capital investment while a review of ports was held. “The same is true with power [because] we have a power price review, and for landlords and property investors given the tax review next year.

“I’m not saying there should be no reviews, but the number here is the point. It’s out of control.” end quote.

It is out of control all right, and the comment that it is adding to business uncertainty is absolutely true. Another point that the opposition has not made so far is that all these working groups and panels are Labour friendly. In other words, there will not be much joy in the outcomes from a business perspective. quote.

Hipkins said much of the inquiry work was on matters that could not be ignored. “Unlike National, this Government cares about New Zealanders and their cost of living. end quote.

Except for the teensy little matter of increased fuel taxes, which affects the price of everything. How does that help anyone’s cost of living?

Here is the list of the most expensive reviews to date. This list only includes those where more than $1 million has been spent. quote.

Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse in State Care: $78 million

Pike River Recovery Agency (a Government department set up by the Coalition): $36 million

Mental Health Inquiry: $6.5 million

Tax working group: $4 million

Water contamination around Ohakea and Woodbourne air bases: $3.8 million

Climate Change Commission: $3.6 million

NCEA review: $3.5 million.

EQC inquiry: $3.3 million.

Inquiry into local government funding and financing: $2.2 million

Operation Burnham (NZDF activities in Tirgiran Valley, Afghanistan): $2 million

Welfare expert advisory group: $1.5 million

Electricity sector review: $1.5 million end quote.

How?many times did we hear how the flag referendum was a waste of money? How many times over would the then opposition have spent that $26 million on other things? Yet they’ve spent more than that on the Pike River Recovery Agency which is only going into the drift, not into the mine itself, and will recover precisely nothing.

I hate the way this government just throws taxpayers’ money around like there is no tomorrow. They know no restraint, no responsibility. It is just a lolly scramble. Just as it always is when there is a socialist government in power.