corporate welfare

Why is the tax payer picking up part of this private company’s bill?

Nick for Nelson

The Port of Nelson has revenues of $46 million, and a net profit after taxation of $7.6 million. On top of that it paid a dividend to its shareholders of $4.2 million.

Yet for some reason this corporate bludger has its hand out for government cash.

The Government is to give $200,000 towards a study on how to clean up an area at Port Nelson which is considered one of New Zealand’s most toxic sites.

Minister for the Environment Nick Smith says the Calwell Slip, which is contaminated from chemicals used in ship maintenance since the 1970s, ranks among the Government’s top clean-up priorities.   Read more »

Good money after bad on Kiwirail

The government was thinking about shutting down major chunks of the rail network in a bid to stop bleeding cash on a failed rail system.

For some reason though government ministers Bill English, Simon Bridges and Todd McClay all showed they are closet socialists arguing for continued funding of Kiwirail despite a continuation of their sea of red ink.

Closure of the entire KiwiRail freight network was an option if the company didn’t get more public funding earlier this year.

Bill English, Simon Bridges and Todd McClay presented a paper to Cabinet earlier this year arguing for continued financial support of KiwiRail, but outlined big challenges KiwiRail faced.

The finance, transport and state-owned enterprises ministers said a nine-month KiwiRail review showed the rail business faced two main options.

One was to retain most of the network and cut back unprofitable services on the network fringes.

The second option was to “close most or all of the freight network” with the option of retaining the upper North Island section only.

The northern section, Auckland to Hamilton to Tauranga, carried the biggest freight volumes and covered most of the network’s costs.

Passenger rail services in Auckland and Wellington were never in doubt.

Read more »

One of Steve Joyce’s corporate welfare darlings is making headlines

Rocket Lab is a US company, but in all publicity here in New Zealand, especially when it is about their corporate welfare they are described as a Auckland based company.

The reality is different, even Bloomberg knows they are a US company.

New Zealand, known for breathtaking scenery and fine wine, will add one more claim to fame when it becomes home to the world’s first commercial space-launch site later this year.

A U.S. company, Rocket Lab plans to build a base on New Zealand’s South Island from which to loft small satellites into low orbit. The goal is to increase the pace and affordability of sending up imaging and communication gear used for services including weather monitoring, natural disaster management and crop surveillance.

“Creating and operating our own launch site is a necessity to meet the demands of our growing customer manifest,” Chief Executive Officer Peter Beck said Wednesday. “With the launch frequency possible from this site, Rocket Lab is one major step closer to its goal of making space commercially accessible.”    Read more »

John Key’s government addicted to corporate welfare

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A government grant for a spa pool on Rotorua’s lakefront is being described as corporate welfare of the worst kind.

Prime Minister John Key announced the $350,000 grant on Wednesday, saying it would help meet the cost of the World Spa complex.

The money is coming from the tourism growth fund.

Spending watchdog the Taxpayers’ Union says the grant will be given to Pukeroa Lakefront Holdings, a commercial arm of Ngati Whakaue.

“This is taxpayer money going to build a spa in Rotorua,” said executive director Jordan Williams.

“That’s not innovation, it’s corporate welfare of the worst kind.”

Free money.  The government has  a little $8m slush fund that companies in Tourism can apply to have their share of.   Here are the list of project that have succeeded in getting no-strings-attached free taxpayers’ money to boost their bottom lines:   Read more »

Steve Joyce just loves giving money to rich people

No sooner have the public scuttled Grant Dalton’s bid for our tax dollars, and Steve Joyce gives a stack load to a company that almost exclusively contracts for Oracle’s America’s Cup racing program.

They say in comedy timing is everything, and after the revelation Oracle Team USA’s Warkworth based boat builders are receiving a government hand out all you can do is laugh.

The punch line is that it comes just days after John Key reiterated that he isn’t prepared to continue his government’s investment in Emirates Team New Zealand, leaving their future in doubt.

The headlines for the original story may have been a little misleading – the funding is not directly for Oracle – but it’s definitely not a good look to be aiding the opposition when the home team is struggling.

Core Builders Composites have built Oracle’s America’s Cup boats since their 2003 challenge and has received the grant for research and development.

That R&D will either be to create a better boat for Oracle to defend the America’s Cup in 2017, or maybe one of Core Builders other big projects like disco balls.

It might not be the only work Core Builders does, but some say 80 percent of the work done in Warkworth is for Oracle.

The company has been described as Larry Ellison’s plaything. Read more »

We’d have a surplus if Key and Joyce didn’t keep splurging on corporate welfare

John Key has announced in a pre-budget speech $80 million more of corporate welfare.

The Taxpayers’ Union is predictably upset.

The Taxpayers’ Union is shocked that the Government is wasting the last $80 million of the ‘Future Investment Fund’ on corporate welfare through Callaghan Innovation’s ‘R&D grants’.

“This is corporate welfare under the guise of ‘innovation’,” says Taxpayers’ UnionExecutive Director, Jordan Williams. “The fund was meant for health, education and infrastructure, not hand outs to private business.”

“Callaghan Innovation gives money to private businesses that pocket the returns. As Sam Morgan has previously pointed out, the main “R&D” component of the grants is the creation of a whole industry who write proposals so companies can cash in.”  Read more »

Team New Zealand AND Auckland Council? What could possibly go wrong?

Team New Zealand’s bid to host the America’s Cup qualifiers has hit a further snag, with crisis meetings held yesterday over problems with the proposed locations for the team bases.

An announcement confirming Auckland had secured the qualifying regatta in early 2017 was originally planned for yesterday but has been pushed back to next week as Team NZ try to put some distance between the fallout over Dean Barker’s axing.

In the meantime, Auckland Council bodies are struggling to agree on the waterfront locations to house the team bases after the preferred site at Westhaven Marina was found to be unsuitable within the short timeframe.

Plans to build a causeway between the end of Westhaven Drive and a seawall in two stages have encountered geotechnical and practical problems.

The first stage of building the causeway and starting repairs on the seawall is sufficient to accommodate two syndicate bases, but completing the second stage to accommodate three more syndicate bases is estimated to cost an unbudgeted $10 million to $15 million.

Team New Zealand manage to suck more money out of the tax (rate) payers after all.  On the good side, this is only for Auckland victims.  Until Steve Joyce figures out how to repackage his corporate welfare deal.   Read more »

ATEED now funding tickets to exclusive golf tournaments

Len Brown’s council and subsidiaries are out of control, but none more so than ATEED which is facing several scandals at once.

Their plans to create mini embassies around the world has met with strong opposition but now it seems they are adding corporate welfare for rich golfers to their ambit.

The Taxpayers’ Union can reveal that Auckland Council’s economic development agency, ATEED, has gifted $50,000 of ratepayer money to the Remuera Golf Club for the Holden PGANZ Championship. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:

“Auckland Council claims to have no money, but finds $50,000 spare to give a hand-out to Auckland’s richest golf club. They might label it ‘economic development’ but how is this a priority over roads, rail and housing?”

The Taxpayers’ Union was alerted to the funding through a Council social media competition offering ratepayers ten tickets to the event.

“The ten tickets are probably all ratepayers are ever going to see of the $50,000,” says Mr Williams.

In responding to questions put by the Taxpayers’ Union, ATEED, the Council’s economic development agency, has indicated that a project sharing agreement is in place whereby the Council receive 50% of any profits over and above $150,000 generated by the event.

“Officials are trying to have it both ways by claiming that the grant is not a hand-out to sport, rather an ‘investment’. When it flops, they’ll no doubt then call it a tourism expense.”

“If anyone really thinks this is a genuine investment that will make a good return to ratepayers, we’ve got a bridge to sell you.”

The documentation released by ATEED to the Taxpayers’ Union is available at taxpayers.org.nz

Read more »

Government caught providing more corporate welfare

There is a bit of a beat-up about it from the Herald based on a Tax Payers’ Union press release because the company that received free taxpayer money also folded, but that’s not relevant.  Why did they get it at all?

New Zealand’s biggest off-site housing manufacturer, which owes creditors $17.5 million, received a $287,500 Government grant before Prime Minister John Key opened its Kumeu factory.

Jordan Williams, executive director of lobby group the Taxpayers Union, discovered the money was paid three years ago to eHome Global (NZ), now eHome NZ, in receivership.

He wants to know more about why that grant was given and how it was used.

The money came from the Ministry of Science and Innovation on December 5, 2012, because eHome had “a manufacturing process and construction techniques for conventional homes using panelised components”, the ministry said.

The ministry’s functions have now been taken over by Callaghan Innovation and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

Key opened eHome’s big factory in 2013.

Kumeu is of course rather close to home for John Key.  Not that there is anything wrong with that, but it doesn’t help the look.   Read more »

Why is Steve Joyce so keen to keep giving taxpayer money to businesses?

via ZDNet

via ZDNet

Here we go again.  Team New Zealand appear to have stuck out their hand and were told to not be so bloody greedy and were sent back to ensure they gave Joyce something he could squeeze past Bill English and the population in general.

Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce refused to confirm the funding yesterday, but repeated his claim that if New Zealand was confirmed as a venue for the qualifiers “that would make us much more interested in sponsoring the team”.

America’s Cup organisers reportedly made that decision this week, telling teams but waiting until next month to make an official announcement. The delay is understood to be for the Government to finalise its funding. Team NZ has said it would struggle to mount a challenge without it. Read more »