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  • rmacculloch

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.



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