Close this search box.

Your Hub for NZ News

Cronyism? Conflict of interest? Edwards says I Am Hope charity is far too close to National

Summarised by Centrist 

Dr Bryce Edwards suggests the Government’s funding of the “I Am Hope” charity for $24m for “Gumboot Fridays” is cronyism – or at best, a disturbing conflict of interest.

But what does the government get for this payout? Who really knows?

Edwards writes that the government funding the mental health charity I Am Hope to the tune of $24m shows insufficient transparency and possible conflict of interest.

Edwards points towards Paula Penfold’s Stuff story about the issue and says the awarding of the $24m “Should ring alarm bells for those concerned with integrity in government.”

“Disturbing connections” between the Mike King-led charity which Edwards notes included a lack of proper procurement processes by the government for I Am Hope in tendering its mental health services. 

Also, the study evaluating I Am Hope and Gumboot Fridays was carried out by ImpactLab – a company founded and chaired by Bill English and “staffed by numerous National Party activists”; Gumboot Fridays was estimated to make a social investment return of $5.70 for every dollar invested evaluated by using a methodology “not widely accepted as robust,” according to Edwards. 

Editor’s Note: These precise numbers on things that are inherently very subjective is one of our pet peeves at the Centrist, with the previous government providing many examples. 

Comparing charities’ performances warrants a rough grading system at best, but access is needed to the ImpactLab report for a proper review and analysis.

This kind of sole source provisioning of government services is rife with potential for abuse. We are not in favour of it but would point out the previous government did lots of it. For instance, The Disinformation Project to try to control the narrative or disaster or vaccine services for Māori. 

We encourage that charities receiving government money should be restricted, both with regard to staff pay and  minimal profits. There should also be clear deliverables in a way that justifies the outsourcing. 

Centrist will be doing further articles on this theme.  

Read more over at Democracy Project

Enjoyed this story? Share it around.​

Notify of
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Read More


Sign up for our free newsletter

Receive curated lists of news links and easy-to-digest summaries from independent, alternative and mainstream media about issues affect New Zealanders.