The Taxpayers’ Union has joined Point of Order in raising questions about Creative NZ’s funding of articles on The Spinoff to pressure the Government “to remove direct democracy from local government wards”.
For good measure, it has inquired into the cost of this funding and tells us $222,000 in grants has gone the way of The Spinoff since 2016.
As Point of Order reported at the weekend, one Creative NZ-sponsored article on The Spinoff has the headline, ‘Why Nanaia Mahuta is right to repeal racist Māori wards legislation’.
A follow up is titled, ‘Want to petition council to veto your local Māori ward? Bad news – you can!’.
The Taxpayers Union dipped into The Spinoff’s files and found other opinion pieces in this series which profile Ihumātao protestors, make commentary on Twitter controversies, and praise Hon Nanaia Mahuta’s appointment as Foreign Minister.
Union spokesman Louis Houlbrooke says, “Many New Zealanders would be appalled to know their hard-earned taxes are being used to promote political stances they disagree with. When government agencies engage in propaganda they undermine the neutrality of the public sector and the fairness of democracy.”
A search of Creative NZ’s website reveals $222,000 given in grants to The Spinoff since 2016.
“It seems Creative NZ is keen on funding left-wing propaganda, but we doubt they’d give money for us to provide the counterargument. Regardless, political opinion pieces do not support the creative sector. Creative NZ should stick to its knitting or shut down and return its funds to the taxpayer.”
A few weeks ago the Taxpayers’ Union revealed how Creative NZ’s COVID-19 response grants have dished out taxpayer money to ‘compositions inspired by emotions felt during the Covid-19 lockdown, ‘an indigenised hypno-soundscape’, ‘a novel about male affection in hypermasculine spaces’, and other bizarre projects.”
Its press statement today concludes:
Of course some art will be edgy or political. But we’re yet to see Creative NZ fund a single project that doesn’t fit their politically-correct, Wellington-centric, left-wing world view. That is not good enough