One of NZTU’s founding members and staffers has left us to embark on her OE. I’m going to quote some extracts of her farewell letter to supporters because there was some stuff in there I didn’t even know about – and I’m on the board!
Five years ago, my friend Jordan Williams asked me to become a founding member of the Taxpayers Union. Soon enough I was one of the first of the student interns.
None of us there at the beginning would have guessed that by 2018 we would grow to have 35,000 members and supporters, national media coverage every week, and a passionate, dedicated team working around the clock to stand up for lower taxes, less waste and more transparency.
I didn’t realise we had over 35,000 people now signed up as supporters.
One of the best things about working for the Taxpayers’ Union has been the interaction with you: our tens of thousands of members and supporters. We get about the same level of correspondence as an MP’s electorate office (I count 7,400 so far this year); but unlike them, not a cent of Government funding (not that we would take it!).
The 7,400 items of correspondence staggered me. I had no idea there was so much. But a lot of our best stories come from tip offs from members.
In fact, last year your humble Taxpayers’ Union filed more official information requests than any other organisation in New Zealand – even more than the then-opposition Labour Party!
Holding the Government to account, regardless of who is in power.
While most requests do not result in a news story, each and every one of them reminds an official or a politician that someone is looking over their shoulder.
And that’s exactly what I signed up for – holding government to account when it comes to spending of taxpayer money.
Just knowing that NZTU is going to come asking questions about some spending can in itself act as a brake on some spending.
NZTU has been going around five years now and it is great to have at least one group out there that isn’t arguing for tax hikes and more spending.