Media release from the Taxpayers' Union

Why is Creative NZ sponsoring left-wing opinion pieces?

18 NOVEMBER 2020

The Taxpayers’ Union is asking why Creative NZ is funding articles on a left-wing opinion website to pressure the Government remove direct democracy from local government wards.

A 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!’. Other opinion pieces in this series 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 exposed how Creative NZ’s COVID-19 response grants have seen taxpayer money awarded 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."

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."

Media contact:
Louis Houlbrooke
021 950191


The New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union is an independent and membership-driven activist group, dedicated to being the voice for Kiwi taxpayers in the corridors of power. Its mission, lower taxes, less waste, more transparency, is supported by 40,000 subscribed members and supporters.

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