“The Government needs to start looking at evidence and data before it rushes out policy which is nothing more than a marketing campaign,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

The Waikato Times has revealed that up to 1500 lunches from Labour’s free school lunches programme are going to waste each day.

“Jacinda Arden wanted free school lunches because she thought it was good marketing.

“The wastage goes to show the policy is not working, either because there is not as much need as the Government assumed, or the quality being delivered is putting kids off. Either way, the waste needs to stop.

“The Ministry of Education requires schools to provide feedback about what meals aren't being eaten, but they are not required to count the uneaten lunches. Ardern needs to direct the Ministry to find out why these lunches are going to waste and whether or not kids are going hungry.

“This programme shows that nobody will ever spend taxpayer’s money as carefully as their own.

“If these figures are the same throughout the country, then there could be tens of thousands lunches that are untouched by kids each week.

“ACT believes when creating good public policy you should do detailed work about what the problem is you’re actually trying to solve, not just throw around taxpayer’s money so people think you’re kind.

“Some real work needs to be done here to find out how many lunches are going to waste and why.”