Bludgers be bludgers, Fed Farmers caught sucking on government tit

The biggest representative group of corporate bludgers in New Zealand have been caught bludging themselves.

Taxpayers have forked out over $228,000 to lobby group Federated Farmers since 2009, much to the surprise of its president William Rolleston.

Dr Rolleston has also refused to say whether corporate donations are part of the $7.45 million the federation has received in unspecified “other revenue” since 2008.

When NBR ONLINE informed Dr Rolleston that the Ministry for Primary Industries and its predecessors have paid about $228,000 to the federation over the past five years he replied, “Gosh, really? What have they paid it for?”

The information was obtained under the Official Information Act and only includes payments of $500 and over.

It shows Federated Farmers received many payments via three Sustainable Farming Fund projects – a contestable fund investing up to $8 million a year in applied research and projects led by farmers, growers and foresters.

The $228,658 in payments include three separate Federated Farmers farm days from 2010-2012 that the ministry contributed almost $150,000 toward. Other payments were made for leadership programmes, training seminars for farm managers, two Federated Farmers’ AGMs, as well as attendance at an international sheep meat forum in Brussels.  

The Taxpayers Union isn’t happy and neither should they be:

The Taxpayers’ Union is calling on Federated Farmers to make a firm commitment to reject any future Government funding, after it was revealed that the lobby group had received over $200,000 of payments in recent years. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says:

“Federated Farmers need to be weaned off taxpayer funding .”

“Government agencies should not be handing over taxpayers’ money to lobby groups and pet causes. Here a group that speaks for one of our largest industries is on the take from the Government’s ‘Sustainable Farming Fund’.”

“How can a lobby group such as Fed Farmers remain credible and independent, when it’s receiving taxpayer funded top ups?”

“We are calling on Federated Farmers president, William Rolleston, to pledge to reject future taxpayer-funded grants.”

 

– NBR


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

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