Callaghan Innovation

More money than cents

Callaghan Innovation, the government’s cash machine, has given an Internet Bitcoin startup company $315,000. Quote.

Callaghan Innovation’s decision to fund a starry-eyed Bitcoin startup drew brutal criticism from tech professionals.

Yesterday, the Herald reported the Crown agency had provided $315,000 funding for loss-making Auckland crypto-currency startup Vimba, which wants to expand its bitcoin exchange and push into the UK.

While many have given up on bitcoin since its value against the greenback crashed from close to US$20,000 to under US$6000 in the new year, Vimba founder Sam Blackmore sees the digital currency surging 60-fold to US$600,000.

Kordia chief digital officer Aaron Olphert was less than impressed with where Callaghan is putting taxpayers’ money, posting to LinkedIn, “Please explain to me what benefit NZ gets out of chucking cash at yet another Bitcoin startup.” Read more »

Steve Joyce’s slush fund stands little chance of recovering anything from Gameloft

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Look, magic, I just made $2.9 million disappear

Steve Joyce’s slush fund, Callaghan Innovation, stands little chance of getting anything back from Gameloft.

They are only listed as an unsecured creditor.

The first liquidators’ report of the local branch of French-headquartered gaming company Gameloft reveals Callaghan Innovation as an unsecured creditor, claiming $2.9 million.

Last month, it emerged the Auckland-based studio was exiting from New Zealand, likely as part of a global cost-cutting exercise.

In their report, Liquidators McDonald Vague say the voluntary liquidation was part of a strategy to focus on other studios, with New Zealand next in line after seven other studios shut up shop.

As previously reported by NBR, Gameloft received $2.9 million in research and development funding from Callaghan Innovation, which the government organisation says is subject to clawback.

The liquidators say the closure has resulted in 148 staff being made redundant, with a further 11 employed until February 29 to assist in the wind-down.

Unsecured creditor claims stand at $5.1 million, including Callaghan’s, which the liquidators say the status of which “is yet to be established.”

Read more »

Professional sports team gets millions in corporate welfare

Steve Joyce’s personal slush fund, Callaghan Innovation, has handed professional sports team TeamNZ potentially millions in corporate welfare.

Team New Zealand has received a handy financial boost through the awarding of a government research and development grant.

The Kiwi syndicate has been selected to receive Callaghan Innovation Growth Grant – the same scheme that has assisted Emirates Team NZ’s key rivals and America’s Cup holders Oracle Team USA. Oracle’s Warkworth-based boat-building operations, Core Builder Composites, was confirmed as a recipient of the grant in August 2014.

The grant gives taxpayer funding of 20 per cent of its R&D spend, up to a maximum of $5m for three years, plus GST. Companies can therefore get theoretical maximum funding of $17.25m.   Read more »

Time to stop the corporate welfare

The Government says it doesn’t know if the millions it pours into corporate welfare via the Callaghan Innovation fund is helping or benefitting New Zealand.

Sounds like a bloody good reason to end it.

The benefit from millions of dollars of taxpayer-funded research subsidies may be heading straight offshore.

A boat building firm owned by Team Oracle’s founder, American billionaire Larry Ellison, drug giant Bayer, Nasdaq-listed Fiserv and global software firm SAP are all recent recipients of research and development grants from Callaghan Innovation, the government agency charged with administering the money.

But the Government says it has no idea whether any of its investment is actually benefiting New Zealand.  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 »