Government departments are essentially large troughs where they find innovative ways to blow taxpayer cash on themselves.
But none it appears are as wasteful or out of control than Murray McCully’s depart, MFaT.
They have blown $9 million on a 4 day conference in Samoa where they even rented a cruise liner!
The Taxpayersâ Union is slamming the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade for bankrolling a four-day UN conference in Samoa last September has cost New Zealand taxpayers over $9 million.
According to an Mfat spokesman, New Zealandâs $9 million contribution to the third Small Island Developing States (SIDS) international conference covered operating costs, accommodation, police support, technical advice and assistance to New Zealandâs âcounterpart agencies,â as well as infrastructure support for Apiaâs port and the hosting of high-level visitors.
SIDS was the largest conference ever held in the Pacific. About 2000 delegates attended from over 100 countries, including many heads of government and ministers.
âIt is difficult to comprehend how $9 million could be spent on a conference lasting just four days,â Taxpayersâ Union executive director Jordan Williams says.
âThe amount is nearly half New Zealandâs annual aid budget to Samoa and amounts to $4500 per attendee. It appears someone else picked up the attendeesâ flights, travel and presumably cocktails, which makes the amount all the more remarkable.â
âIf the $9 million had been used for genuine economic development or investment, no one would complain. Instead taxpayers forked out for a conference that resulted only in a document that âreaffirmedâ, âacknowledgedâ, ârecognised’ and ârecommittedâ to various bureaucratic platitudes.â Â Â Read more »