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This week on Taxpayer Talk, Peter Williams hosts ACT Party MP Dr James McDowall. Peter sits down with James to discuss his candidacy for the Hamilton West by-election. The three highest polling candidates for Hamilton West were all invited to appear on this podcast but only Dr McDowall agreed to appear. Peter and James discuss the issues facing the electorate, his background before politics and why he wants to be Hamilton West's local MP.Later in the podcast, Peter is joined by Taxpayers' Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, and Campaigns Manager, Callum Purves, to discuss the by-election, Three Waters entrenchment and u-turns by National and ACT on their tax policies. The Taxpayers' Union is co-hosting an election debate with The Working Group at 7pm on Monday 5 December in Hamilton. The top five highest polling candidates will be present. You can RSVP by clicking here.To support Taxpayer Talk, click hereIf you have any comments, questions or suggestions feel free to email Support the show
In this edition of Taxpayer Talk, Peter Williams’s guest is National Party MP and Revenue Spokesperson, Andrew Bayly. Peter and Andrew sit down to discuss the Inland Revenue Department's new powers to request information from individuals. In 2020, while all the attention was focused on the new 39% top tax rate, another clause was added into the Tax Administration Act 1994 that gives the IRD Commissioner the power to demand any information from individuals that they consider relevant for a purpose relating to the development of policy for the improvement or reform of the tax system. While this clause sounds well-intentioned, it was snuck through under urgency with no public consultation or expert evidence. We highlight some of these issues in our article about what these new powers mean for you.Also discussed in this podcast is the National Party position on tax bracket indexation and the 39% top tax rate. To find out more information about our Nosey Parker campaign and to send Minister David Parker a letter, head to To support Taxpayer Talk, click hereIf you have any comments, questions or suggestions feel free to email  Support the show
In this edition of Taxpayer Talk, Peter Williams’s guest is author Alan Duff, the creator of the hugely successful and influential book and movie Once Were Warriors and the founder of the Duffy Books in Homes programme. Duff's best known book and the movie came out around thirty years ago and shocked middle class New Zealand who hadn’t seen the less privileged represented in such a way. Yet three decades on has the situation around domestic violence, alcoholism and welfare dependency improved? Most statistics point to no, but why has the country not taken responsibility for fixing such social ills when the issue has been in front of us for so long? Duff is a passionate believer in education as a pathway from poverty but expresses his frustration that this pathway is just not travelled enough.To support Taxpayer Talk, click hereIf you have any comments, questions or suggestions feel free to email Support the show
This week, Peter Williams hosts free speech campaigner Jacob Mchangama, a Danish lawyer who recently visited New Zealand. His visit was prescient as the Justice Minister Kiri Allan has recently promised that hate speech legislation will be in our Parliament by the end of the year. Jacob is the founder and director of Justitia, a Copenhagen-based think tank focusing on human rights, freedom of speech, and the rule of law. Jacob's book 'Free Speech: A History from Socrates to Social Media' was released earlier this year which provides and insightful overview of how free speech has been viewed in different societies across history.  Peter also has a piece of correspondence regarding last week’s guest Dr Claire Charters and wonders if that letter would be able to see the light of day under Kiri Allan’s new laws.To support Taxpayer Talk, click hereIf you have any comments, questions or suggestions feel free to email the show
This week Peter Williams is back on Taxpayer Talk with a highly anticipated interview with Auckland University's Dr Claire Charters.  Claire's research has focused on indigenous peoples’ rights in international and constitutional law, including how the Treaty of Waitangi should interact with our legal system.Claire was one of the authors of the Government's controversial He Puapua report that, among other things, recommends a separate  Māori court system, health system and parliament. Peter sits down with Claire to discuss what path New Zealand's constitution should be taking and whether co-governance has a place within New Zealand.  Also this week, Peter discusses some of the correspondence sent through to him by the listeners.To support Taxpayer Talk, click hereIf you have any comments, questions or suggestions feel free to email the show
As Peter is away this week, the latest Taxpayer Talk podcast is hosted by Taxpayers' Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams (no relation), with something of a UK special. Jordan sits down with the Taxpayers' Union's most recent hire, Callum Purves, who is our new Campaigns Manager. Callum has a background as a political advisor, party staffer and district councillor, and has recently moved from Scotland to fight for taxpayers in New Zealand.Jordan also interviews John O'Connell, the Chief Executive of the UK TaxPayers' Alliance who chairs World Taxpayers Association while he was in New Zealand. If you have any comments, questions or suggestions for future podcasts, feel free to email Support the show
The latest Taxpayer Talk podcast, hosted by Peter Williams, features Wairarapa farmer and ram breeder Derek Daniell with his take on the proposed farmers tax -  like most men and women of the land he is vehemently opposed. It’s not just the money that farmers will have to pay that bothers Derek, it’s the cost to local communities and the country’s economy too.Also in this edition, the Taxpayer Talk panel of Taxpayers' Union chair Laurie Kubiak and board colleague Casey Costello talk about the big swing to the right in local body elections and also offer their take on the farmers' emissions tax.This podcast is made possible by our generous supporters. To support this podcast head to If you have any comments, questions or suggestions feel free to email Support the show
This week on Taxpayer Talk, host Peter Williams is joined by David Round, a former Canterbury University law lecturer, to discuss the Treaty of Waitangi and co-governance. As an expert in the fields of Legal History, Constitutional Law, Jurisprudence and Environmental Law, David is well equipped to comment on some of the most pressing debates of our time.  Also this week, Peter discusses some of the correspondence sent through to him by the listeners.If you have any comments, questions or suggestions feel free to email the show
In the middle of a cost of living crisis, key economic indicators are more important to track than ever. This week on Taxpayer Talk, host Peter Williams sits down with Dr Christoph Schumacher, Professor of Innovation & Economics and Director of the Knowledge Exchange Hub at Massey University. Dr Schumacher and the Knowledge Exchange Hub have developed a tool that tracks Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in real time to monitor how the economy is performing and forecast future performance. This powerful tool can be used to gain a better understanding of our economy quickly, rather than waiting for Statistics New Zealand to publish the figures two and a half months out of date. Following the success of this tool, the next project to be released will be one that tracks inflation in real time potentially revolutionising the way we respond to inflationary pressures.The Knowledge Exchange Hub’s GDP tool can be found at gdplive.netAlso this week, Peter gives his thoughts on the proposed RNZ-TVNZ mega-merger and asks "what problem are trying to fix?" As a veteran broadcaster, Peter knows a thing or two about media and fears this model may make our public broadcasting less independent and impose higher costs on hardworking taxpayers. To get in touch with Peter, email the show
On this week's episode of Taxpayer Talk, host Peter Williams is joined by Eric Crampton, Chief Economist at the New Zealand Initiative, to discuss the Government's Three Waters reforms and his alternative proposal for how local councils can finance long-term infrastructure investment more effectively. Peter and Eric also discuss the Emissions Trading Scheme and outline why additional emissions reduction measures beyond the ETS are costly regulations that will not reduce emissions any faster.Also this week, Peter sits down with fellow Taxpayers' Union board member and retiring Hutt City Councillor, Chris Milne, to discuss the state of local government in New Zealand.To get in touch with Peter, email the show
In the wake of the Queen’s passing, the latest edition of Taxpayer Talk focuses on the British Monarchy. Host Peter Williams is joined by Canadian-born, Australian domiciled law Professor James Allan who reflects on why the British Monarchy is the most successful anywhere and why having a queen or king on the other side of the world as our Head of State is still the best system for New Zealand - and other Commonwealth countries.Also in this edition, Taxpayers' Union co-founders David Farrar and Jordan Williams reflect on the political week and discuss the results of the latest Taxpayers' Union Curia poll. Is luck finally running out for the government? Or will the poll prove disheartening for the opposition? Support the show
On this week's episode of Taxpayer Talk, Peter Williams speaks to Des Gorman - Emeritus Professor of Medicine at Auckland University - about a new paper from the New Zealand Initiative which claims that evidence for a separate Maori Health Authority is seriously lacking. Peter then reads your correspondence. If you'd like to comment on anything you've heard on the show Peter is waiting to hear from you at the show
This week’s Taxpayer Talk guest is former Attorney General Chris Finlayson. His latest book “Yes Minister” reflects on his time in Parliament and how the country was run during the John Key years. In a wide ranging discussion with host Peter Williams he expresses his frustration with the country’s civil justice system, explains why co-governance isn’t such a bad thing and why the National Party got it so wrong after Bill English stepped down as leader in 2018. Findlayson also pays tribute to an unsung hero of the National caucus whose foresight saved the country’s economy during the Covid era. Elsewhere on Taxpayer Talk the Panel discusses the week’s big political issues and Peter replies to some of your correspondence. Support the show
Josh Van Veen from the Ratepayers’ Alliance sat down with independent mayoral candidate Craig Lord who - after an impressive first effort in 2019 in which he placed third - is back in the race for the City of Sails.  Craig gives an honest appraisal of his opponent's strengths and weaknesses, explains how he views the role of mayor, gives his take on co-governance, and whether or not the widely accepted underdog can in fact win this crucial election.Support the show
In this edition of Taxpayer Talk,  the focus is on education. With literacy and numeracy standards falling dramatically across the country, long-time educator Alwyn Poole has just finished some extensive research to find which are our most successful schools academically. Using the percentage of students leaving school with University Entrance grades, the results may surprise and shock you. How come a Decile 1 school in South Auckland can produce better results than many far more affluent schools? Why do Catholic schools produce such good results? Does the Ministry of Education really care about falling academic standards? Then on the Political Panel, former MP and Cabinet Minister Maurice Williamson and Taxpayer Union co-founder David Farrar talk about Parliament as a place to work, and is bullying in 2022 really just a stern talking to in 1992? And host Peter Williams responds to some of your correspondence received at the show
Josh Van Veen from the Ratepayers’ Alliance sat down with independent mayoral candidate Wayne Brown to discuss why he is running and his plan to fix Auckland. Support the show
Former TVNZ broadcaster (now Taxpayers' Union Board Member) Peter Williams has taken over as host of our new weekly Taxpayer Talk podcast. In this week's episode, he speaks to author and social commentator Ewen McQueen on his book One Sun in the Sky: the untold story of sovereignty and the Treaty of Waitangi. He also hosts our first of what we plan to be a weekly political panel, this week covering the Taxpayers' Union-Curia poll and problems within National with Taxpayers' Union Cofounders, David Farrar and Jordan Williams.Support the show
Earlier this year, the Taxpayers’ Union financially supported a judicial review of Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta’s advice to Cabinet that her Three Waters proposals were required for the Crown to comply with its obligations under the Treaty of Waitangi.  On 4 August, the first ‘in chambers’ hearing was heard in Wellington. Jordan sat down for an update with one of the two Queens Counsels leading the matter, Gary Judd QC.Support the show
After five years at the Taxpayers' Union, our Campaigns Manager Louis Houlbrooke is retiring and heading to South America. Jordan sits down with Louis to discuss the ups and downs of Louis' time here at the Taxpayers' Union, the significant policy victories he has achieved and some of the shocking examples of government waste he has uncovered over the years. Support the show
Straight out of the Beehive's Budget Day "lock up", Jordan sits down with Cameron Bagrie of Bagrie Economics to break down the good, the bad, and the ugly of the biggest ever increase to operational Government spending. Support the show
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