News that the Government is not going to get a cent back from the Callaghan Fund’s investment in NextWindow is an indictment of Steven Joyce, says Labour’s Innovation spokesperson David Cunliffe.
According to media reports this week, the Government has given up trying to recoup $3.9 million in research and development grants paid to NextWindow, a failed touchscreen developer.
“The Minister has failed to be the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff for the taxpayer’s $3.9 million investment in the failed touch screen company,” Cunliffe claims.
“He should have been responsible for better investment criteria and better due diligence to ensure the targeted investment was a wise one in the first place. He should have been the fence at the top.”
Cunliffe believes it’s concerning that Callaghan admits that it had no security over their investment in Canadian owned NextWindow, so it could not get any value back.
“The NextWindow failure is another chapter in a series of stuff ups over Callaghan grants,” he adds, “from subsidising Oracle to build America’s Cup boats against New Zealand to granting funds to Chatham Rock Phosphate before it had a resource grant.”