Creative NZ support for propaganda adds up to $222,000 that won’t go to artists

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.”   

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

Stuart Nash has been remiss in staying silent about IRD’s political transgressions

Whether two examples of Inland Revenue’s follies amount to an “ongoing failure”to stay out of politics is open to argument.  But the Taxpayers’ Union is to be commended for drawing attention to IRD’s specific constitutional obligation not to enter politics and demanding that Revenue Minister Stuart Nash act immediately to restore the integrity and neutrality of his agency.

The demand follows IRD’s admitting it was wrong to ask for New Zealanders’ political persuasions in a survey they have been carrying out for the Government on the eve of the release of a crucial tax reform report.

The department has been researching the public’s views on globalisation and fairness in the tax system.

Among the survey questions, respondents were asked where they sit on the political spectrum.  This raised the issue of whether taxpayers are funding sensitive political polling.

And as Stuff now tells us: Continue reading “Stuart Nash has been remiss in staying silent about IRD’s political transgressions”