Government agency Statistics NZ has been relying on insurance money to help pay for a number of surveys, according to reports.
Alongside money intended for capital spending, Stats NZ said earthquake insurance payouts from insurers following the Kaikoura earthquake are being used to produce surveys, Radio NZ reported. The cash-strapped agency reportedly plans to stop providing four industry sector surveys from next month because it cannot afford them.
“In the past and in 2018/19, we have drawn on a number of unsustainable ways to pay for operational spending, using revenue from insurance payments following the Kaikoura earthquake and also using money initially intended for capital spending to help bolster operational spending,” a spokesperson told the publication.
He also reportedly said the department would no longer be doing any industry surveys unless someone else paid for them.
Meanwhile, Tourism Industry Aotearoa is furious and reportedly said it needed the accommodation data, which counts visitor numbers and records where they are staying.
“This is a core piece of information that the government has provided for decades, and suddenly out of the blue it’s to disappear,” Tourism Aoteoroa chief executive said. “Not because the industry doesn’t want it, not because it’s of value, but because two government departments can’t agree on who should pay for it.”