Steven Joyce's Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) is under attack after forking out $200,000 for a failed smart-phone app.
The New Zealand Regions application was developed for the Regional Economic Activity Report but has been downloaded less than 2000 times.
Opposition parties say the ministry paid far too much for the app.
"I think Steven Joyce's image is becoming tarnished as more and more of this wasteful spending is exposed," says Labour MP David Clark. "The Government seems to be happy to spend other people's money on things that are really not in the regions' interest."
Mr Clark says staff members were forced to give the app positive reviews.
MBIE labour market trends senior adviser Ben Wallace has defended the price tag, saying there will be very few further costs going forward.
"It is intended that the app will be used with regularly updated information over a number of years with only minor modifications, so the bulk of the cost is very much a one-off cost to set it up."
The app will be used with regularly updated information over a number of years with only minor modifications, Mr Wallace said.
"The app has so far been downloaded just under 1600 times. We expect that to continue to increase each time new data is released, especially when regional GDP figures are released by Statistics New Zealand (released annually in March). We will be running inexpensive social media campaigns around the time of key information releases."
The app cost $198,000 excluding GST to make.