Mannkal Economic Education Foundation

Mannkal Student Internship Blog

Ryan Soares – New Zealand Taxpayers Union – Week 4

Ryan Soares

25 July 2016

It is interesting how after only one month in a new city you start to feel right at home. My week at the New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union started off by meeting the leader of the ACT party and MP David Seymour. David hosted a small group of politically minded young students and professionals in his office for an evening of drinks and networking. It was great to meet young Wellingtonians and to gain their perspective on the current political climates in New Zealand and Australia. It appears everyone here thinks of Australia’s politicians like an immature sibling. You can begin to understand their thinking as New Zealand has had only two prime ministers since 1999.

After our story about New Zealand’s foreign aid recipients aired on Sunday night television, we received a lot of positive commentary from the public, however Parliament were not as impressed. Matthew’s story regarding the longest serving Councillors also gained momentum as a number of newspapers and radio stations covered the story.

As I continued to work on my Ratepayers’ Report the deadline for a number of Council responses to our OIA’s were drawing closer. Throughout the week I had to call each Council to follow up on their progress. Despite sounding simple, this was by no means an easy task as not all Councils have full time staff or rosters, meaning many were unsure on the progress, lost the initial request or asked us to call back the next day. Despite these minor delays, the Report is nearing completion and should be published in the coming months.

Over the weekend, Wellington had some wild weather with reports of wind gusts over 100km/h! I can also report that I, along with the seagulls were thrown around by the wind. It was a sad moment to see a piano left to defend for itself again the wind and rain on the harbour. The following morning I found the piano in an awfully tuned state. Just around the corner the Te Papa Museum put on workshops (apparently meant for children) and a concert by Strike, a New Zealand percussion ensemble.

I am looking forward to my final week at the New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union, though it will be sad to leave such a lively and exciting organisation.

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