This relates to the occupation by the Freedom Village for 23 days last February/March. The day following Commandant Coster’s Aktion to remove it on Ash Wednesday, Newshub claimed on that evening’s bulletin that “exclusive estimates” they were given was for a total of $960,000. Considering that the tent village was set up on a lawn and some asphalt paths, the reaction by many was “oh yeah?”

This highly dubious and certainly massively inflated figure can only have come from The Mallard, who appeared in the clip and for good measure threw in a claim that the topsoil had to be dug up because it contained “rodents, rats and feces”. Given that Portaloos were provided — even if Coster’s troops tried to prevent them being serviced — that allegation (and the rats) is improbable.

The only figures actually quoted as part of The Mallard’s $960K claim were $120,000 for resowing the lawn (which presumably happens regularly anyway) and $160,000 to repair the damage caused by Parnell-planted agent provocateur troublemakers to his slide when they set fire to a tent and fed it with gas canisters.

Newshub also managed to get a figure of $2750 for the cost of The Mallard hiring loud speakers to annoy everyone in the vicinity including local residents and members of the Coster Mob, but that hardly relates to anything caused by the protestors.

So those two figures quoted make $280,000 — is the rest the cost of The Mallard’s intended wall around Parliament?

Once again, this simply demonstrates how opaque the Labour government is on what it does with Taxpayers money.