'Out of control' - National accuses Labour on number of reviews and working groups

Maiki Sherman
Source: 1News

The National Party is continuing to call out the Labour government saying the number of reviews and working groups it's established are "out of control."

The opposition estimates the cost at more than $170 million dollars, but the Labour staunchly rejects that.

National has listed a number of changes the new government has implemented, this includes a climate change committee, a tax working group, a welfare expert advisory group, and the mental health inquiry.

"There are inquiries in literally every area of the economy and government you can think of," says National Party leader Simon Bridges.

The opposition claims the figures they've obtained show numbers blowing out of proportion - 152 working groups costing around $170 million dollars. The government strongly rejects this however, arguing there are just 38 working groups totalling around $35 million.

Auckland University's Dr Julie Macarthur says reviews are typical of new governments.

"An opposition government does do research but they're ability to use the levers of government they're access to information isn't always the same," she says.

However, Reserve Bank governor Adrian Orr believes there can be some negative impacts, "what could be holding businesses up? Without a doubt there's a lot of reviews going on around the government."

Simon Bridges says by contrast, National set up 57 working groups or inquiries over the same period when it first entered government in 2008.

"They are doing so many inquiries and working groups, the numbers are out of control, the money being spent is out of control," he said.

The Labour government says National's figures are misleading but the Prime Minister's office declined an interview with 1 NEWS saying they've spoken on the matter previously and want to leave it there.