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It’s full steam ahead with the spendathon. Overall, government spending next year is forecast to be over $59 billion higher than four years ago.
Next year’s total spend of $128 billion equates to thirty five percent of the economy.
The scale of spending is one thing. There’s also the matter of quality spending. Bang for buck and whether the desired outcomes are actually delivered.
I was taken aback to see Grant Robertson scoff at the concerns about $51 million being wasted on that abandoned Harbour Bike bridge. Grant belittled MPs concerns about such wastage, given it’s a fraction of his operational budget.
Since when has it been no big deal to piss away $51 million dollars with nothing to show for it?
Low quality spending for low quality outcomes should never be tolerated. And isn’t that the wider problem at play here? Just imagine if we compiled the full laundry list of soiled spending projects.
A very timely specimen is the Ihumātao deal. Timely, because this odious deal is celebrating its first anniversary this week.
The $30 million purchase of Fletcher’s land at Ihumātao was a shameful outcome to a shabby fit of interference by the Prime Minister. Not only did that deal destroy Fletcher’s plans to build four hundred and eighty homes, but nothing has progressed on this land, one year on.
The chequebook was rolled out to quell the protestors.
The moolah was released from the Land for Housing Programme. When the deal was done, there was no guarantee even ten houses would end being built on this land. So, one year on, what’s happened?
The Steering Committee still hasn’t been appointed, let alone any agreement on housing provision. This time last year, Grant hailed the deal as a unique and innovative solution.
And they have got nothing to show for it.