'Corporate welfare at its very worst': Govt grant to iwi slammed by Taxpayers' Union

The Taxpayers' Union has slammed a $350,000 grant to a Rotorua iwi to build a spa complex as "corporate welfare at its very worst".

Lake Rotorua

Prime Minister John Key today announced the grant to Pukeroa Lakefront Holdings Ltd, a commercial arm of Ngati Whakaue.

"This is taxpayer money going to build a spa in Rotorua. That's not innovation, it's corporate welfare at its very worst," says Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers' Union.

"The problem with these sorts of grants, is it allocates taxpayer money to the industries and regions favoured by politicians."

The grant documentation says that the aim of the project is to "reclaim Rotorua's historic role as New Zealand's Wellness Capital".

Mr Williams claims: "That is code for pulling tourism out of other regions to bolster a favoured business."