Powerhouse Ventures is going under and their funding from Australia-listed Callaghan Innovation is under review. Surprise revelations have revealed that the company is in serious trouble on all fronts. In fact, they’ve been operating fairly illegally in New Zealand. Recently, the company has been selling off its Kiwi gambling venues in hopes of covering debts. However, they’ve been taking taxes without following NZ laws.
The Taxpayers Union has revealed that Powerhouse is not a New Zealand-controlled company, with no Kiwis on the board. What’s more, it’s listing in Australia shows a far more disturbing truth. The company has been defending the use of Kiwi taxes for Australians. Reportedly, Powerhouse’s funder Callaghan Innovation, has provided funding and repayable grants since 2014. To make matters worse, Christchurch City has shareholdings in the failing company.
Tax Union Bashes Powerhouse
In 2018, Christchurch City sold their stakes in Powerhouse for far less than the initial $5 million price they began with. This decision was a little too late for the Union and they are calling on ratepayers to take note. Taxpayers Union boss, Jordan Williams, has said that Callaghan Innovation shouldn’t gamble with ratepayer money “under the guise of economic development”.
To make matters worse, Powerhouse has been funding research at a New Zealand university. The Ministry of Business Innovation and Development is set to announce a review of Callaghan’s involvement in the research. According to reports, the ‘incubator companies’ had performed poorly. At least 31 investments made by Powerhouse are going to be reviewed. At least five are failing and ‘should not have been supported’.
Their involvement in the research appears to have contributed to the company’s current share prices of 3c. If that weren’t enough, they are allowing for cheap takeovers by other companies to pay off their shortfalls. To summarise, Powerhouse has lost millions and is expecting a bail-out from the government of New Zealand because of research investments.
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