Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Professor Robert MacCulloch: Is PM Luxon on a Trade Trip to Japan or a Corporate Welfare Trip?

Is PM Luxon on a Trade Trip to Japan or a Corporate Welfare Trip? The curious case of Tāwhaki Aerospace.

Newsroom's Emma Hatton reported today that Tāwhaki Aerospace, "got millions of [taxpayer] dollars it wasn’t eligible for". She says, "The runway’s completed & the hangar is almost there, but official documents show Tāwhaki Aerospace was never eligible for the government cash it got to build them".

She says that in 2021 "the government and local iwi established Tāwhaki joint venture to secure 1000 hectares of land at Kaitorete Spit. The purpose was .. to establish space launch and research & development facilities at Kaitorete and protect & rejuvenate the natural environment. The Crown stumped up $24m towards Tāwhaki". It then requested a further "$5.4 million from a regional fund under the previous government" which was approved, "despite officials advising it shouldn’t".

So who, in addition to the biggest bosses of the biggest monopolies & oligopolies in NZ (including the likes of ANZ Bank, Auckland Savings Bank, and Air NZ) turns up on a military plane (and then Air NZ flight specially diverted to pick them up) accompanying PM Luxon to Japan? NZ Trade & Enterprise's passenger list on the jets includes a party called, "Tāwhaki National Aerospace Centre". Nice work (& travel) if you can get it. This Japanese mission does not appear to be much about helping up-and-coming self-funded NZ entrepreneurial types enter the Japanese market.


Professor Robert MacCulloch holds the Matthew S. Abel Chair of Macroeconomics at Auckland University. He has previously worked at the Reserve Bank, Oxford University, and the London School of Economics. He runs the blog Down to Earth Kiwi from where this article was sourced.


Eamon Sloan said...

Tawhaki Aerospace on the trade mission representing the Kingdom of Ngai Tahu? Where was King Tipene? I don’t fancy Tawhaki’s chances on a sandspit if ever we get rising sea levels.

Basil Walker said...

Interesting that an aeronautical facilitiy that has runways and hangears was construced without public consultation under the RMA like other greenfield airports are required , Throw in the Christchurch airport purchasing a significant land parcel at Tarras - Central Otago for an International airport requiring RMA consent and ratepayers must be wondering what is in the water in Christchurch.
Megan Woods even suggested that 2,400 million dollars earnings will be produced over 10 years from the Tawhaki business funded by the previous Labour govt. Hmmph Maybe another Kiwibuild from Labour .