A joke party whose policies include free ice cream, llamas for poor children and independence from Hamilton is getting thousands of dollars of funding from New Zealand taxpayers.
The Electoral Commission allocated $NZ33,600 ($A31,280) to the Civilian Party, launched by political satirist Ben Uffindell, among the $NZ3.28 million it allocated on Friday for broadcasting spending.
The allocation is the minimum handed out by the commission for eligible parties. It is the same amount given to the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party and Social Credit, and $NZ27,000 less than the Conservative Party.
Taxpayers' Union spokesman Jordan Williams slammed the decision.
"It's bad enough that taxpayers have to fork out for political party propaganda, but for tax dollars to be given to a satirical party is outrageous," he said.
"While the Civilian Party is a fun project of Mr Uffindell, we are stunned that it would apply for taxpayer funding to prop up his hobby. The 'party' should not accept the money."
Mr Uffindell's submission to the commission says the party deserves funding as it is substantially popular, "and at the very least is more popular than Trevor Mallard".
In an interview with TV3's The Nation, Mr Uffindell said poverty-stricken children deserved llamas because their plight was not their responsibility and "they need a financial basis with which to start".
He also said the party stance of New Zealand becoming independent of Hamilton was its most popular policy and would save the country as much in power costs as if all New Zealanders used energy-efficient bulbs.
The party has been given one-minute's broadcasting time for its opening and closing addresses, to be broadcast on TVNZ and Radio NZ.
National tops the funding for broadcasting with $NZ1.053m and will get 15.5 minutes for opening and closing addresses on broadcasting. Labour gets $NZ919,000 and two 13.5-minute broadcasts, while the Greens get $NZ400,000 and 7.5-minute broadcasts.