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Aucklanders to pay for Nats’ negligence

Written By: - Date published: 8:35 am, May 28th, 2011 - 71 comments
Categories: accountability, national/act government, rodney hide, supercity - Tags: ,

Auckland ratepayers are going to be stuck with a huge bill for the Nats’ failure to properly cost the Supercity merger process. Specifically in this case, the cost of merging the IT systems.

Planning for the Supercity merger was a shambles. There were many warnings here at The Standard about the un-costed aspects of the process, including mine (back when I was a guest poster) on the failure to plan for the costs of merging the various Council IT systems.

Well now the estimates are in. A unified Auckland IT infrastructure is going to cost more than half a billion dollars over eight years, and $300 million of this has not been budgeted for. Bernard Orsman sets out the facts in The Herald. But the usually moderate Russell Brown steps up and says what a lot of Aucklanders will be thinking:

Someone has to be accountable for this

There were warnings last year, including here in this blog, that a nasty surprise was developing in the process of merging council IT systems for the new Auckland super city; that long-term costs were being buried by the Auckland Transition Authority to make the process look better. Today, in Bernard Orsman’s story in the Herald, we finally get an idea of quite how nasty the surprise is: very.

It will cost the Auckland Council more than half a billion dollars over eight years to build new computer systems to conduct its business — and a staggering $300 million of that had not been budgeted. …

Given that, as The Aucklander has discovered, the new council has been obliged to spend $2 million a month on private outsourcing of planning work it no longer has staff to cover, it is not unreasonable to conclude that Hide’s estimate of post-November establishment costs — to which the transition authority he personally appointed has committed Auckland ratepayers — will be out by a factor of 10.

Someone has to be accountable for this. And we, as ratepayers, also deserve to know what the authority, the minister, the Department of Internal Affairs, Cabinet and the Prime Minister knew about the real costs that were stacked up by an unelected body last year. And if it transpires that any or all of those parties knew that the costs would be far in excess of what we were told, then there is only one way of characterising what happened.

We were lied to.

Rodney Hide screwed up, but he’s irrelevant now. The Nats screwed up too, from the moment they started riding roughshod over the recommendations of the Royal Commission, ignoring the submissions to Select Committee, and stripping the local democracy out of Auckland. They failed to plan the transition properly, and now Auckland ratepayers are going to foot the bill. I wonder if the kick in the wallet will awaken the Auckland public at last?

71 comments on “Aucklanders to pay for Nats’ negligence”

  1. Tiger Mountain 1

    Mark Ford from the Transition Authority is still around so he should be hammered with OIA requests for a start. If this level of suspected bullshitting is proven and doesn’t shift some of the Auckland “change” voters at least, then everyone had better prepare for an extremely nasty three years ahead.

  2. Lazy Susan 2

    No surprises here – $2 million a month on private outsourcing and big fat private IT contracts for building a new computer system – seems the NActs agenda to let their mates get the hands on our hard earned money is well and truly in motion.

    Forget about pointing at Rodney – he was played by NAct and the panting sycophantic fall guy got the job done so was then quickly dispensed with. He will certainly know where the skeletons are though and may be angry enough to leak. This is well and truly NActs work and Aucklanders need to be constantly reminded of this over the next six months.

    • infused 2.1

      I know exactly where that 2m is going and it’s not what you think. It’s being spent on basic operations.

      • Puddleglum 2.1.1

        What, “basic operations” are being performed by “private outsourcing”?

        Surely ‘basic operations’ – especially in the area of planning – are just what should be directly provided and should not be dependent upon the whims of this month’s recipients of the ‘private outsourcing’ money. Basic operations are just what require stable, continuous and directly democratically accountable management – i.e., council run and staffed by council staff.

  3. Armchair Critic 3

    As expected, Auckland Council is doing less with more money.
    It initially struck me as being completely contrary to National’s ideals to reorganise Auckland as they did – creating a bigger council has just added layer after layer of management. Now there are the same number of people doing the work, or less in many cases, and more people supervising them, or supervising their supervisors.
    They have changed their hiring policies over the last couple of years. At present they are trying to take on as many people as possible on fixed contracts, to keep the appearance of an efficient organisation. Once the fuss has died down, the fixed term contracts (which are currently rolled over as they expire) will be converted into permanent roles. Watch for a large increase in staffing after the middle of next year.
    Anyway, the reason the reorganisation proceeded the way it did was to facilitate the privatisation of Auckland’s assets at some time in the future.
    Specifically on the IT costs. Do you know, r0b, if the costs are so high due to the speed with which the reorganisation was implemented, due to the structure chosen, both, or something else? How much could have been saved if it had been done differently?

  4. ianmac 4

    A long time ago I drove through Auckland and my wife and I thought what friendly drivers these Aucklanders are. As we drove up the street they waved and tooted in animated ways. Wow! It did seem a bit strange though that our car was the only one going in that direction.
    Have you sorted your traffic problems yet? In our town they are thinking of getting those new-fangled traffic lights. Perhaps not.

  5. Sookie 5

    Regarding the lack of town planners, worshippers of the free market always do this. Sack permanent staff to save costs and because they’re ‘back office’ and end up employing rip off consultants to do the work that needs doing, and a lot of the time they do a shit job. The same thing will be happening in the public service with policy analysts too. Consultants love the Nats.

  6. Colonial Viper 6

    Half a billion dollars is only four hundred dollars each for every man woman and child in Auckland. Not much at all.

    I am sure the SuperCity savings will pay that back within one or two years, right?

    • burt 6.1

      Yes indeed, much better to have multiple systems and multiple departments all doing the same thing but being accounted for under different budgets so nobody knows the real cost…..

  7. burt 7

    Specifically in this case, the cost of merging the IT systems.

    So no mention of the waste that was ongoing keeping the separate systems ?

    Typical myopic beat-up mentality. Next thing you will be cornered into bagging the merge because it resulted in [x number] of highly paid IT people being made redundant….

    The things you lovers of big govt choose to attack are just ridiculous.

    • Lanthanide 7.1

      burt, the point is they could have taken an existing system used by one of the 8 merged councils, expanded it and modified it so that it could work the entire new council. This would have been much cheaper. Instead, they have chosen to scrap all of the existing systems and create a brand new one from scratch, which is more expensive.

      • burt 7.1.1

        So you know the numbers ? You know that one of the existing systems would have been suitable for the entire opperation?

        How can you possibly make such a broad sweeping statement, do you understanmd the different business models the previous (probably customised) systems supported? Do you know the requiremnts of the new ‘super city’ systems ? Do you know that it would have been cheeper to expand capacity on one single already inuse plastform rather than implement a new one? Do you know the upgrade paths and costs for the one system that you know would have been suitable?

        • logie97 7.1.1.1

          There you go again burt – defending the indefensible (and of course YOU can answer all those questions you pose above).
          Just sometimes burt, you do not have to toe the party line.
          The day you are critical of something the current government is/has done, the day the punters here will give you some credence. Meantime get lost.

        • burt 7.1.1.2

          logie97

          I’m not defending the governance, I’m simply poining out that attacking the one off costs of replacing 8 duplicate IT operations is about as stupid as it gets.

          • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1.2.1

            And the whole post was about how those costs were hidden…

          • terryg 7.1.1.2.2

            burt,

            care to cough up your IT qualifications and experience, so we can accord your comments the merit they deserve?

            [BTech(hons)Information Engineering here, but alas no real-world IT experience]

            although to be fair, approximately every single large software/IT project ever undertaken in NZ has been a costly debacle. As one of my lecturers once said (last century) “if it has the word ‘integrated’ in the title it will cost three times as much, take twice as long and deliver nothing”

            • burt 7.1.1.2.2.1

              terryG

              … but alas no real-world IT experience,. That is obvious because you missed my points above.

              do you understanmd the different business models the previous (probably customised) systems supported? Do you know the requirements of the new ‘super city’ systems ? Do you know that it would have been cheeper to expand capacity on one single already inuse plastform rather than implement a new one? Do you know the upgrade paths and costs for the one system that you know would have been suitable?

              But hey, a lecturer once told you if it has integrated in the name it will cost more and deliver nothing – and amalgamation must be integration right !

              We don’t know that one of the systems would have been suitable for the requirements of the new entity. But if you have access to the detailed reports that supported the “new system” decision then we can debate the quality of the decisions. I assume Lanthanide has that info, he/she knows one of the existing systems would have been fine.

              • lprent

                Burt, one of the major problems was that these systems were running on different rulesets – literally one per council – because each council made its own rules. This was obvious to anyone who lives in Auckland because each of the cities had quite different behaviors and rules. Remember each of these cities was larger than almost any city outside of Auckland. So they had systems that were designed for their rules, requirements, and capacity.

                If you remember back before the Act party in the form of Rodney Hide screwed it up and discarded it, the royal commissions recommendation was to keep the cities running but to put in a super council to do the city wide stuff that needed fixing. There was a reason for that, and we’re seeing that now. To put in a system that has the same rules and access throughout the whole of the city requires that either the rules remain separated on separate systems – which would defeat the simplistic stupidity of Hide’s ideas, or that the systems got integrated. Since none of the hardware, software, or networks were designed for the required capacity or the merged rules sets – Auckland winds up having to virtually replace whole systems.

                Now you notice that I said systems. For instance there is the animal control systems which each city had differing rules, data, and software. Anyone who’d owned a dog and moved around the city was aware that it was quite different in Rodney to Auckland. Then there are the differing geodata for roads, water, etc. In some places these were held in council. In some places in semi-autonomous boards. But whatever happens there will be data that has to be consolidated, the missing bits fixed, and access provided from something like the ATA to the council and vice versa. There are probably upwards of a hundred different systems that require integrating from storm water quality monitoring to tracking requests to lay cables. Each requires an integration and consolidation of data on a system with capacity to run its function for the whole city. It will be a hell of a long set of jobs.

                This was obvious to anyone who knew Auckland and anything about the system. My ballpark estimate was that Rodney Hide and the National parties policy fuckup was going to take a decade before any cost benefit could be seen, and that we’d be looking at a few billion’s of dollars in extra costs in the short to medium term.

                Why do you think that I was going ballistic over that fuckwit Rodney Hide’s plan and Nationals pathetic acquiescence to it. It was quite evident that they were ignoring the downstream costs. They preferred to just look at the PR.

                In my opinion you’re talking out of your arse (as usual). You simply don’t know much about the place. Your comments to me seem to be applicable for something simple like a bank where you can run stuff side by side for quite some time, or two similar geographical authorities that merge. But it is not applicable when you have more than 5 very large dissimilar geographical authorities merging.

                • John Holley

                  You are absolutely right on the complexity of local Govt. It had to be explained to the DIA why GIS and Records Management were important to have in place on day 1!

                  The biggest cost has been the implementation of SAP at the Council. Here we are just talking about core Financials and HR for day 1 at the heart of it. Both Transport and Council had to deal with exactly the same issues on migration.

                  One choose to leverage existing council systems, one didn’t. One spent around $2 million to be able to pay staff and suppliers on day one, one spent $58 million and couldn’t do that day 1. Hmmm.

                  • lprent

                    Yeah. You can’t run a city without GIS & Records in place these days. With the amount that most of Auckland gets torn up they’d have had to stop all development and most of the repairs and maintenance until they were in place. I guess DIA doesn’t run that much data apart from the births, deaths and passports? Most of which is pretty static data.

                    I’m mostly surprised that the transitional authority managed to make the rules cohesive enough across the city to be able to generate a standard system.

                    I rather suspect that they didn’t and in fact they left a lot of localized complexity in there. That would have boosted the integrated systems costs quite a lot as well.

                • burt

                  lprent

                  Thankyou for adding weight to my assertion that Lanthanide was talking crap with the assertion;

                  could have taken an existing system used by one of the 8 merged councils, expanded it and modified it so that it could work the entire new council.

                  Apart from point that out I’ve made no assertions about what was right or what was wrong with the decision so I fail to see how you justify your (as usual) baseless denigration of my position.

                  • lprent

                    Dang – you’re right. You were arguing the same point that I was. I just couldn’t figure out what you were arguing because the bold bit looked like you shouting rather than you quoting.

                    My apologies. My remarks were directed at whoever burt was quoting.

            • terryg 7.1.1.2.2.2

              burt,

              so no relevant quals/experience? or just shy?

              you’ll have noted, of course, that my comment merely asked if you actually have any relevant experience/knowledge in regards to this thread.

              my point re. cost of systems integration is simply that this stuff is invariably more expensive than it might at first seem – cost overruns are the norm rather than the exception. Two that spring to mind immediately are IBIS and INCIS (studied one in detail, had a mate involved with the other) – and guess what, neither delivered anything

              I didnt realise it was necessary to explicitly state the “integrated” sentence is amusing rather than strictly factual (although it appears to be a reasonable first-order approximation). I apologise profusely for assuming you had the reading comprehension at least equal to that of a teenager

              Given that, I must therefore point out that “to be fair” should be read as “harshly judge ye not IT cost overruns, for in troth ’tis complex”

              Nevertheless getting the cost wrong by an order of magnitude is impressively bad even for a huge IT integration task, and smacks of a total and utter lack of analysis/planning (or it was done by trreasury). Comments by those with some knowledge in this area seem to support this hypothesis

      • infused 7.1.2

        You obviously don’t know how systems work. Most of these systems are 3rd parties from overseas they cannot expand like this. My bet is they are using shitty databases.

        • Draco T Bastard 7.1.2.1

          My bet is that you’re as informed as burt.

        • lprent 7.1.2.2

          Actually I’d agree (must be a first).

          Probably the databases are ok in terms of structure and code for what they were doing. But a what, sevenfold increase in the size of database that was brought to handle a much smaller size is almost certainly require more hardware just to handle the memory overhead and disk storage for the database. It is also going to change the effective lookup speeds of subqueries – which has a hell of a performance hit.

          Scaling databases between smallish and large is an expensive artform. But sysops tend to buy what is required for their needs plus some headroom. They would not have even thought to buy for the type of headroom required for a 5-10 fold increase.

          • John Holley 7.1.2.2.1

            With the core ERP, SAP, scale was never an issue. Adding storage is relatively straight forward. Even now, the SAP instances run by Transport and Council are small on international standards.

            • lprent 7.1.2.2.1.1

              Most of my experience with the systems of various council was from the early 90’s (before I knew better than to get involved with governmental organisations).

              What caught my attention was the profusion of relatively small systems in use doing a pile of odd tasks from capacity planning to keeping track of faults like potholes that needed to be fixed to noise control. Many at that stage were just having their first movement into digital.

              I’d presume that these days they have most of these available, and many online across networks. Certainly friends and acquaintances who do or have worked for the councils and other city authorities seem to spend their life attached to computer extracting information.

              I didn’t expect that scaling the disks would be as much of an issue as making those little systems available across the city. Where in the past you could say to a ratepayer to go to the Waitemata city council building, it gets somewhat harder for someone living in Franklin than it is in Henderson.

        • burt 7.1.2.3

          Exactly, this is the point. Without studying the inventory and license contracts of all the individual applications running across all the entities we are entirely unable to make judgements of what was the best course of action.

          Pointing at one time costs for amalgamation and creating a beat up using the idea that one of the 8 would have had it right for all of them is just ridiculous.

          • John Holley 7.1.2.3.1

            Have to disagree. SAP was already running the 2nd largest council in Australasia (Auckland City), the largest regional council (ARC) in NZ and the largest transport authority in NZ (ARTA). (as well as being used by Waitakere City) This meant all the core financial/HR processes of the new Council and CCOs were known to be covered by SAP already

            We were well aware of the licensing and inventory. Independent assessments confirmed SAP was the right decision. The difference in costs came down fundamentally to approach. One copy and cleanup, the other a greenfield implementation (recreating all the work already in existence). The latter approach effectively voided much of the investment in SAP that the ARC, ARTA, ACC and WCC had made over the previous 10 years – which the ratepayers paid for.

            (SAP is designed to be able “transport” configurations from one system to another so the approach of Transport was based on standard SAP practise)

            • SAPeR 7.1.2.3.1.1

              Hi John,

              Do you know if the new SAP deployment delivered? Did the reported $58 million actually deliver a working solution that met all the project deliverables on time? If not I wonder what the total costs might be?

              • John Holley

                My understanding is no. For example, on day 1, all Manukau staff were payed from Manukau’s payroll system (except for those who moved to Transport), and accounts receivable had to be processed in legacy systems (but not at Transport)

                I would say no. And certainly the cost is not what the amounts detailed in tenders.

                • SAPeR

                  it would be interesting to request the total of invoices paid to SAP and Consultants post November the 1st….

            • burt 7.1.2.3.1.2

              John Holley

              Do you have a vested interest in the choice being SAP by any chance?

              • John Holley

                Not one bit. When I arrived at the ARC I was highly suspicious of SAP, having heard lots of stories of costly failures. What I discovered was that the system, when put in and not customised to hell, does a really good job.

                SAP is not what costs the money, it is either businesses refusing to alter old business practises therefore needing expensive consultation and/or the consultants who get involved.

              • burt

                John

                I have been involved in a few tenders where SAP go head to head with other products and the thing that always weighs heavily against SAP is the cost and availability of SAP consultants.

                You make a valid point about the business refusing to change to suit the product and that is the classic line propriety old school mentality vendors use. It’s funny how vendors walk in and tell you how flexible their product is then when the rubber hits the road it’s always easier to implement their model.

                I don’t share you view that SAP is the right choice in this neck of the woods where SAP consultants are few and far between.

                • John Holley

                  Cost and availability of consultants was not an issue for Transport as they leveraged existing rate payer investment and council staff with a wealth of SAP experience were core contributors to the implementation.

                  When one looks at the scale of Transport e.g., assets owned/managed, income, data warehouse size (millions of records added monthly).

                  We knew SAP worked well for the ARC, ARTA, ACC and WCC. SAP didn’t have to sell anyone on it. We had existing working systems with all the business processes to support core council financial and HR processes in place!

                  The issue is what the consultants sold the ATA. They weren’t allowed to do that with Transport. Hence Transport’s SAP up and running for a 25th of the cost of Council. Go figure.

  8. rainman 8

    Um, coupla things:
    – Don’ bother with Mark Ford, the culture at ATA kept any bad news far away from him, and he wasn’t very involved in operational things. There for a “higher purpose”, as others have pointed out.
    – High IT costs were no surprise, sure, but that doesn’t necessarily mean incomptence. IT is expensive at an enterprise scale, particularly if you are in transition. The AC environment is large and diverse – far more complex than a conventional sales and logistics company.
    – Most of the AC IT staff are hard working, talented, “good guys”, who are concerned deeply about delivering good and cost-effective service. The teams to do certain functions are, if anything, too small. I’m thinking telephony, security, network – they do currently need more but might not once he dust has settled, and with a headcount freeze contractors are a good and sensible option. The alternative is to hire what they need now and restructure later – expensive and ugly.
    – Mike Foley’s right, in the quoted article, AC and AT are quite different (and AT’s IT is crap).
    – The article is a bit light, keeps talking about a “computer system” like there’s only one. I think they’re conflating the ERP costs with the whole new budget.
    – There is now at least one core ERP system (that’ s the 53m for SAP and related I think), but think about phone systems, standard desktops, email servers, consolidating all of those networks, firewalls, security, library systems (actually, they’ve done well), GIS (so have they), printers and the management thereof, rating systems (a nightmare that will take years to fix), other property information systems, name and address/CRM systems, local board and other governance systems, document management/collaboration, and all of the other specialised functions in all of the diverse bits of council. Mike has an unenviable job, good luck to him.
    – And, if he’s being quoted accurately, John Holley’s talking out of his alternative aperture (and I’d suggest he’s a questionable source for an unbiased opinion, being one of the casualties of the process, anyway).

    As to Rodney: I told some senior ACT people at the start of this that, in my professional opinion, the IT costs being bandied about then were laughably unrealistic. This was obvious to anyone who has had any involvement with enterprise IT, and particularly councils. They did not seem to care too much – but did not contest my view. I suspect cost saving was not the purpose of the exercise otherwise there would have been a proper business case.

    Disclosure: I don’t work there, but I know a lot of the people involved quite well.

    • Tiger Mountain 8.1

      The distilled politics of this are: the Super City as instituted was an undemocratic ACT rush job undertaken in full anticipation of a rightwing mayor and council holding office and subsequent prompt asset stripping of Auckland along with a permanent ‘sinking lid’ expenditure cap.

      So really, inconvenient (while bloody major) detail such as IT capacity and capability was apparently inconsequential to the would be corporatists.

      Sacking full time employees and hiring consultants before anyone really knows where it is all heading is just sick. If you are really some sort of concerned insider Rainman be a bit braver please.

      • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1

        He won’t be “braver”…

        I told some senior ACT people…

        …as he’s an ACT insider and he’s here to defend ACT.

        • rainman 8.1.1.1

          You’re a funny man. I’m a long, long way from an Act insider, and I certainly won’t defend them. I just have friends with a wide range of political views. Most of them are lefties, most just ordinary people, but some are prominent in the Greens, some have close connections to top Nats, and some are movers and shakers in Act (not hard to do, they’re so small). Even some Grey Power/NZ First zealots. Not many core Labourites, now that I think about it, but a good few solid supporters. I’m not going to refuse to associate with any of them because they hold different views to me – god, that would be boring. And they well know, and in a least some cases respect, my divergent views.

          This is why NZ politics is doomed. Too many small minds who think politics is akin to supporting a sports team. Lift your gaze, young man. There is a point to this whole exercise that may be escaping you.

      • rainman 8.1.2

        Well, yes, that’s about the size of it politically.

        Whether it’s sick or not, what you’ve described is the way almost all organisations restructure in the real world – usually incompetently. My outrage will make no change to that.

    • John Holley 8.2

      Happy to use my name. I’m not talking out of any other aperture and am happy to make my comments without the cloak of anonymity.

      I have trails of emails that back up what I have stated. You can easily go back through all the news items to see how the costs have blown out from what Ford/Foley originally said.

      Yes, I missed out on the main role, but then I made a principled decision, to leave the council as I had seen how bad things and knew I had no chance of influencing them.

      So, if you want to slag me, at least provide evidence.

      [lprent: We use pseudonyms here for a reason – see the about. We also don’t allow the anonymity argument here because it makes bugger all sense and tends to freeze discussion in vague accusations that look like authoritarian farces. People here have a wide and frequently surprising range of skills. They also delight in trashing the unsupported assertions – which tends to self-moderate commentary.

      We will moderate within our wide policy and will protect the site if we consider people have gone beyond the bounds or put the site in danger. In this case rainman stated an opinion rather than making a statement of fact so as a moderator I don’t bother with that.

      BTW: In my opinion, I think that you are completely correct about the progressive cost increases. However I think it was more because some people preferred not to know. Much better plausible deniability. ]

      • John Holley 8.2.1

        Ok :)

      • rainman 8.2.2

        Actually, I’ll apologise. My comments went too far and were uncalled for.

        • John Holley 8.2.2.1

          Thank you. I know this is a passionate issue for many people. But, as you point out, not enough people care. No one wants to be involved in central or local government until it costs them – fiscally or personally. Then they rapidly become an expert.

  9. ropata 9

    I remember when the ARC was run by the Alliance and directed to sell assets by central government. But they managed to get the Port of Auckland to turn a profit and ran an excellent bus service… all sorts of things that necessitated their removal by the corporate interests. I came across someone’s thesis at Auckland Uni that outlined all the excellent things the Alliance had quietly achieved building up Auckland assets on behalf of the people, no wonder government had to get rid of them

    • burt 9.1

      Yes, the big self serving major parties who like to govern alone do best when the people are poor and govt is rich. The best thing you can do is choose a better voting system that moves us further from FPP which serves the best interests of the major parties ahead of the people.

      • logie97 9.1.1

        rather blow your own argument there mate – your party’s move to amalgamate into one big council (against the wishes of most). People served by the previous councils were generally quite happy with them – it was called community. Perhaps you need to get out your little dark room burt and get some daylight occasionally.

        • ropata 9.1.1.1

          Nothing wrong with amalgamation of services in principle, and an incremental approach to finding efficiencies. For example building inspections and approvals could have been a service provided to the councils by an amalgamated body like watercare or the old ministry of works. IT mergers do not have to be massive and painful either the only reason it is so expensive is because of the artificial speed imposed on the process by rampaging Rodney. Shoulda kept the 7 councils and merged a few of their functions. Max democracy AND max efficiency.

          • logie97 9.1.1.1.1

            agreed ropata. Unifying the Library systems – merging data bases must have been reasonably simple – bit of a bugger all the barcoding though. Needs to be eclectic and managed gradually.

            On a wider issue, schools would appear to have been a disaster with regard to the overnight change from Education Boards to individual BOT’s. There has been a massive and inexcusable waste of dollars in IT with every ‘interested and well meaning’ board member pushing his or her barrow regarding systems and hardware. (And all those fundraising galas where the money was spent on “IT”).
            But then there was community engagement (even if it was blind).

      • burt 9.1.2

        logie97

        You make an assumption I’m a National party supporter.

        People served by the previous councils were generally quite happy with them – it was called community.

        So the ongoing costs of duplication were fine because it supported a model you like, but the one off costs are not becuase it’s not the model you wanted… I can see where your considered opinion about what is best for Auckland and NZ is being driven from.

        • logie97 9.1.2.1

          ACT/National/Libertarian – whatever.
          Why stop at Auckland?
          Why not have every council in New Zealand merged into one, say based in Wellington.
          One big massive computer system?
          Wait a minute, they tried that somewhere else.
          Was it the Wanganui computer?
          It’s all about community burt.
          Cheers.
          Time to get some fresh air.

  10. Afewknowthetruth 10

    Mainstream culture really has become quite hilarious. And very sick. And very sad.

    ‘It will cost the Auckland Council more than half a billion dollars over eight years to build new computer systems to conduct its business’

    The globalised economic system is in the early stages of implosion, and the implosion will accelerate as oil extraction continues to decline…. probably at around 3% per annum..

    Unless something quite extraordinary happens it will be all over well before 2019, long before the proposed computer system is even installed. And Auckland will have almost no business to conduct long before 2019.

    The current rate of demise of fiat currencies suggests the global financial system will collapse before oil depletion really starts to bite, perhaps as early as 2012. The only reason NZ hasn’t gone under already is that other nations are collapsing somewhat faster than NZ.

    Someone is obviously making short term profit out of writing reports and recommendations that are completley detached from reality. No surprise there. Keep ignoring everything that is happning in the real world. That is the game being played, isn’t it?

    ‘We were lied to.’ That’s very true. And we are still being lied to, of course. Indeed, the lies are getting bigger by the day.

    • burt 10.1

      You missed the jump on May 21… So did I.

      • Afewknowthetruth 10.1.1

        And the end of the world won’t be 21st October 2011, either.

        Of course, there is a huge difference between ‘the end of the world’ and ‘the end of the world as we knew it’. Most people don’t (or can’t) distinguish.

        The end of the world as we knew it is occuring right now, but it will take several years for the more devastating consequences to become apparent in NZ. In Greece, Portugal, Ireland, the UK, the US, Japan and about 100 other countries it’s a rather different story.

        ‘How to boil a frog.’

        ‘Are humans smarter than yeast?’

        ‘Humanity’s greatest shortcoming is its failure to understand the exponential function.’

        • RedLogix 10.1.1.1

          Of course, there is a huge difference between ‘the end of the world’ and ‘the end of the world as we knew it’. Most people don’t (or can’t) distinguish.

          That’s the hole that fundamentalists always fall into. They are literalists who cannot make the crucial distinction you are making. Of course the world as we know it will end; and probably within our lifetimes.

          But equally it will have nothing to do with the rapture nonsense being pedalled for the purpose of sucking cash from the credulous.

    • rainman 10.2

      Yes, well, no-one will hire you to write properly honest reports y’know – I’ve tried. Cost me at least one job and just about made me completely unemployable. And a man’s gotta eat.

      The world going to hell in a handcart and 99.99999% of people Do Not Want to know. It’s just not worth the bother to destroy your life trying to tell them.

  11. Draco T Bastard 11

    Rodney Hide screwed up, but he’s irrelevant now.

    No he’s not. He’s still there and he’s politically active.

    What needs to be done is an investigation to determine what happened, who did it and who lied. Once criminal actions have been proven (Fraud, lying as a servant etc) then those who knew need to be tried, those found guilty need their assets stripped under the proceeds of crime act and sent to jail for 10+ years. This includes anyone who was also in government at the time.

    Nobody should be above the law.

    • prism 11.1

      DTB That sort of accountability – wouldn’t that be a startling break-through. Perhaps a mandatory short term in prison, say three months, with no tv or other stimulation except ‘improving’ books including those written with environmental and social improvement as their theme. What a terrible sentence, literally and figuratively.

  12. Samuel Hill 12

    Here is a very interesting and relevant take on the Auckland Super City..

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1105/S00452/winston-peters-speech-the-thin-edge-of-a-disastrous-wedge.htm

  13. prism 13

    My apparently intelligent brother in law was quite taken with ACT’s Rodney Hide. I think the guy’s constant positivity that he had the answers (‘Trust me, I know the way’), and air of confidence seemed to provide a chink of light through the convoluted political problems that always seemed to increase, never lessen.

    One thing apparent is those that hate government most are most keen to insert pipes into the services that it provides, or should for the benefit of all citizens, and suck out money. Much easier than going out and developing some new business providing a good to the country. The money is in termiting and parasitising current businesses. (Good news that Whitcoulls has been hopefully saved before it languished and waned too far as the orphan cinderella of a distant owner who bought it no doubt to cream off its profits, without much interest in its content.)

    That’s not to say that government should do everything itself and is always better than private industry, which it isn’t and moral hazard can build up in any long-running, large enterprise. It’s just that judicious control over core functions should be maintained by government, not devolved, delegated or contracted out to practically unaccountable private enterprise which doesn’t give a stuff about the public, and is controlled by its need to keep alive and profitable. That comes first, and everything else is subservient to that.

    • Jum 13.1

      Totally agree with paragraphs 2 and 3. Not too sure about your brother-in-law though… (smile)

  14. Afewknowthetruth 14

    The wants of corporations began to be put ahead of the needs of people in the seventeenth century.

    We are currently witnessing the final acts of a play that has lasted several hundred years.

    Either the people will take back the planet from the corporations or the corporations will reduce the planet to ashes.

    At the moment the odds are very much in favour of the latter occuring.

  15. Afewknowthetruth 15

    Well Burt., there’s a coincidence for you

    1865. That is roughly the year when humanity started going into overshoot, i.e. when the population started to exceed the long term carrying capacity of the Earth, and resource consumption started to exceed what the Earth could deliver long term.

    The shift from exterminating whales to obtain their oil to drilling holes in the Earth has allowed overshoot to continue for a century-and-a-half, but 150 years is miniscule in the grand scheme of things (humans have been around for around 200,000 years and lived without wide scale industrialism for 199,800 of them).

    We are now getting mighty close to payback time …. running low on energy supplies and wrecking most of the planetary systems that make the world habitable. it will be pretty much all over by 2015, as far as present economic arrangments go. Some parts of the Earth may remain habitable for a humans, depending on how insanely people behave over the next decade.

    All truth passes though three stages.

    First. It is ridiculed.
    Second. It is violently opposed.
    Third. It is universely accepted as being self-evident. -Schopenhauer.

  16. randal 16

    so the super city hasn’t sacved any money at all?
    wodney has just handed his mates a half billion dollar IT contract.
    nice work if you can get it.

  17. tc 17

    Randal nails it, it was never about efficiency and reduced costs just another money grab either by services or assets to those in on the scam.

    The systems never really needed touching until you had a single workable amalgamated ratings model as well as a shed load of other stuff sorted like transport ticketing etc under a deliverable single instance model.

    Only then is it worth considering single systems, plenty of savings in the meantime consolidating service delivery and ironing out nasty infrastructure issues so you implement on a solid consistent foundation once you know what it should do.

    But hey isn’t that one of the royal commissions suggestions after reviewing other experiences around the globe…..Rortney and Sideshow John know better and they’ve got this hollow script they read from to prove it.

    • John Holley 17.1

      Single ratings model was there is work had started earlier. The ARC already rated every property in the region. All that needed to be added was the additional rules by location.

      The core financial and HR systems had to be dealt with prior to day 1, despite the ATA’s early attempts to not touch them – that is why around Nov/Dec 09 there was a rush to get SAP in for the council.

      It is easy to come up with why this had to be. Explain how a manager would deal with leave requests from staff in eight different HR systems? Explain how purchase order workflow would work when staff were in disparate financial systems?

      The real issue was that it is much easier to set up new systems before an organisation exists than after. The “let’s do the minimum and the rest can be done after Nov 1″ was a recipe for confusion, operational confusion and cost blowouts.

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  • Pardon me Minister, but the cracks are showing
    Cracks are appearing in Cabinet ranks with the Minister of Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, throwing his predecessor under the bus over a huge spike in spending by advisers, Labour's State Services spokesman Kris Faafoi says. "Spending to 'staff the...
    Labour
  • Confirmation of no confidence in schools plan
    That just 90 of the country’s 2500 schools have signed up to the Government's one-size-fits all performance pay scheme confirms a wide-spread lack of confidence in it, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “The scheme, which creates ‘executive’ and ‘lead...
    Labour
  • John Key’s secret foreign buyers register
    John Key has been secretly planning a register for foreign buyers without telling New Zealanders, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Last week Andrew Little called on John Key to adopt the Australian policy on foreign buyers....
    Labour
  • Another kick in the guts for Christchurch
    The government has walked away from the people of Christchurch with Cabinet’s decision today to cut funding available through local Members of Parliament offices to assist people with their earthquake related issues, says Labour’s Earthquake Recovery Spokesperson, Ruth Dyson.  “Over the...
    Labour
  • State house sell off will make transience worse
    The National Government’s plans to sell off state housing will increase the rate of transience among the poorest families, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. The Growing Up in New Zealand study released today reveals families with children under two...
    Labour
  • Report shows need for independent food safety agency
    The inquiry into the botulism botch-up shows the decision to merge the food safety authority into the Ministry of Primary Industries was a failure, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “MPI has been severely criticised in this report for...
    Labour
  • National needs to pull their head out of the sand on climate change
    Green MPs were out across the country attending Heads in the Sand events this weekend. I spoke at the Christchurch event where a couple of hundred people mimicked the Government’s climate policy by burying their heads in the sand. It...
    Greens
  • Claims of pumping up the volume all noise
    New manufacturing figures from Statistics NZ reveal a further decline in New Zealand's export performance, highlighting the Government's ongoing failure to rebalance the economy, Labour's Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says."The National Government has adopted a volume-based approach in an...
    Labour
  • Treasury says failure to cut emissions could cost $34,000 per household
    Treasury figures, released by the Sustainability Council today, show failing to take action to cut greenhouse gas emissions will cost between $2,000 and $34,000 per household, the Green Party said. The Sustainability Council has obtained figures previously redacted from a...
    Greens
  • Greens call on the Auditor General to investigate serious conflict of inter...
    The Green Party has asked the Auditor General to investigate serious conflicts of interest over Food and Grocery Chief Katherine Rich's membership on the board of the Health Promotion Agency (the Agency)."I've asked the Auditor General to investigate because the...
    Greens
  • Central Govt to blame for Auckland rail delay
    The National Government is delaying Auckland's rail development, while pushing ahead with the expensive Puhoi to Wellsford motorway, a motorway with declining traffic volumes, benefiting fewer people and business, said the Green Party today.Yesterday, Mayor Len Brown proposed to push...
    Greens
  • Govt grants mining licence in marine protected area
    The Government is making a mockery of our marine protections by granting a mining licence for Chatham Rise Phosphate to mine for phosphate in a marine protected area, the Green Party said.Chatham Rock Phosphate was granted a mining permit today,...
    Greens
  • Letter from Pakistan
    I was in Peshawar last week. It is a vibrant city with a real energy to it. It is my favourite place to be in Pakistan. You feel the energy as you drive around the city. I am in an...
    The Daily Blog
  • Lyttelton Port workers begin overtime ban
    Media Release: Rail & Maritime Transport Union Lyttelton Port workers begin overtime ban Workers of Christchurch Rail and Lyttelton Port have begun an indefinite ban on overtime, according to the Rail and Maritime Transport Union. The ban was announced at...
    The Daily Blog
  • So the United States of Torture is the ally we are supporting to re-invade ...
    How easy is it to con the sleepy hobbits of muddle Nu Zilind? Very. The despicable means by which this corrupt dirty politics Government have gone about trying to use the fear and anger caused by the Sydney hostage situation...
    The Daily Blog
  • A tale of two gunmen – how the media spins
    A tale of two gunmen – how the media spins...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Jill Ovens – Auckland Hospital worker cuts – Democracy the ...
    Auckland Hospital kitchen workers tell CEO Ailsa Claire (far right) a week ago that they did not want to be contracted out. Such was the arrogance that no contingency plans were made in the event that these workers would be...
    The Daily Blog
  • Political opportunists out in force over Sydney hostage crisis
    It hasn’t taken long for supporters of New Zealand’s so-called “anti-terror” legislation passed last week through parliament to try and justify it in the wake of the Sydney hostage crisis. Before we even knew much about the gunman or hostage...
    The Daily Blog
  • NZs new hobby – hating the poor
    Last week people queued at the doors of the Auckland City Mission. They are people that are living without enough income to afford the basics let alone the extras we as a society have come to expect at Christmas. Extras...
    The Daily Blog
  • The only people who believed National’s surplus illusion were voters
    Sigh – the sleepy hobbits of muddle Nu Zilind are pretty easy to con aren’t they? National’s surplus was always a joke that would never happen, but in every single focus group, voters believed by overwhelming numbers that National were...
    The Daily Blog
  • Key’s crocodile tears over dirty politics
    John Key: Bloggers ‘not big part of my day’ Prime Minister John Key says bloggers are not a “big part of his day” but he lives in a world where he can’t ignore them. Speaking on TVNZ’s Breakfast programme today,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why we are in inequality denial and climate change denial
        We are a country in denial over our inequality and climate change. Both issues have the same thread that runs through them. 30 years of neoliberalism has generated its own cultural narratives and myths. We have been taught that...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Why proclaiming Key as the Politician of ...
      This weeks Waatea news column – Why proclaiming Key as the Politician of the Year is ethically bankrupt...
    The Daily Blog
  • Britomart violence raises questions over rail staff safety
    Media Release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union   Britomart violence raises questions over rail staff safety   The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is raising serious questions over the safety of the staff on Auckland’s train network after violent incidents on...
    The Daily Blog
  • Australia stares down Siege – National Party politicise tragedy
    The Sydney siege has finished, from the reports that are breaking the gunman, Man Haron Monis is dead and one of the hostages has also been killed. The Australian Police seem to have acted incredibly professionally and the real Australian...
    The Daily Blog
  • The termination of the Internet Mana alliance
    Last week the Mana Movement and Internet Party wrote to the Electoral Commission to cancel the registration of the Internet-Mana political party. It was a decision which brought the arrangement between the parties to a natural end after failing to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Peace breaks out between Greens and Labour
    Finally some good news for the Left. Peace has broken out between the Greens and Labour. One of the greatest barriers to a real relationship between the Greens and Labour has been the uncompromising arrogance of the Labour Party Caucus...
    The Daily Blog
  • Little keeps it stupid, simple
    Labour MP drops euthanasia billA bill which would legalise voluntary euthanasia has been dropped by Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway at the request of his leader Andrew Little. Mr Lees-Galloway had been canvassing support for his End of Life Choice Bill...
    The Daily Blog
  • Dear Ministry for Social Development,
    Dear Ministry for Social Development, I realise you probably already know this, but just a wee reminder of REALITY. You know – the reality of the vast majority of us who aren’t making ends meet and are struggling to live...
    The Daily Blog
  • Social Policy still in the dark ages when it comes to relationships
    Two years ago I became aware of the work of two very able barristers who defend low income women accused of relationship fraud. CPAG then began collecting cases and stories of horrendous misery and victimisation. Then penny was slow to...
    The Daily Blog
  • The truth about inequality
      The truth about inequality...
    The Daily Blog
  • Rather Than Sending Troops To Iraq … Brownlee May Wish To Consider Better...
    There’s something a little unsettling going on at the moment. Ok, many somethings. Of particular concern is the fact that right now, New Zealand troops are training at Waiouru for deployment to Iraq – and, assumedly, the ongoing war against ISIS. Brownlee,...
    The Daily Blog
  • West Papua’s Saralana Declaration most vital unity development for 52 yea...
    Newly elected spokesman for the unified West Papuan movement Benny Wenda is treated to a chiefly welcome at the opening ceremony of the “unity” meeting in Port Vila. Photo: © Ben Bohane/wakaphotos.com David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific. A...
    The Daily Blog
  • Helen says it all
    Helen says it all...
    The Daily Blog
  • When Fran O’Sullivan, John Armstrong and Cameron Slater are singing Andre...
    The mainstream media of NZ will never allow a Labour leader who threatens the bastions of neoliberalism from ever taking power. David Cunliffe found that out. So when the mainstream media establishment from Fran O’Sullivan to John Armstrong to even...
    The Daily Blog
  • Wisdom’s Mirror: Can Grant Robertson Slay the Neoliberal Gorgon?
    HOW TO ELIMINATE one’s rival without getting one’s hands dirty? It’s a problem with a prodigious political pedigree. King David’s lust for Bathsheba drove him to order Uriah, her unfortunate husband, placed in the front line of battle – where...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Miriam Pierard – Sweet Sixteen and able to vote?
    The level of voter participation in elections is an indication of the health of a democracy. Declining turnout across the democratic world, particularly among young people, has led to questions about the legitimacy of our governing institutions. It is time...
    The Daily Blog
  • Public Equity and Progressive Politics
    We heard from the OECD on Wednesday morning (10 Dec) [Focus on Inequality and Growth] that inequality suppresses economic growth. (Here are Radio New Zealand’s morning reports on this.) This is hardly a surprise to many economists and non-economists alike. The key point in...
    The Daily Blog
  • Analysis: Final Across The Ditch Bulletin for 2014 – Lorde Help Us!
    Analysis (Text & Audio): Across The Ditch – Selwyn Manning & Peter Godfrey Headline: Final Across The Ditch Bulletin for 2014 – Lorde Help Us! 5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.FiveAA’s Peter Godfrey and MIL’s Selwyn Manning present their last...
    The Daily Blog
  • Sharing intelligence with CIA torturers
    New Zealand’s spy agencies have long presented intelligence sharing with their US counterparts as mutually beneficial and benign. That stance has always lacked credibility and is now its impossible to justify. The just-released US Senate Intelligence Committee report shows that...
    The Daily Blog
  • Labour votes for Surveillance State. NZ First Opposes!
    A few weeks before the election, the New Zealand Labour Party decided to cash in on simmering popular discontent with the state of the surveillance state that National’s set up. Never mind their own previous and well-publicized brushes with egregious state-surveillance … they wanted people to know that...
    The Daily Blog
  • Economic ideology destroys us all
    The OECD’s latest report says “The biggest factor for the impact of inequality on growth is the gap between lower income households and the rest of the population. The negative effect is not just for the poorest income decile but...
    The Daily Blog
  • 3 simple words for the Labour Party
    I have 3 very simple words for all those Labour Party apologists who are trying to rinse Labour clean here. Get. A. Warrant. You can all try and spin this any way you want, but Labour voted for 24 hour...
    The Daily Blog
  • 2014 – Year of the angry white knuckle
    I knew Internet/MANA would have to fight National, ACT, Conservative Party, United Future, Maori Party and the mainstream media. I didn’t think they would also have to fight Labour, the Greens and NZ First as well. Apparently feeding hungry kids in...
    The Daily Blog
  • Chris Rock on cop shootings
    Chris Rock on cop shootings...
    The Daily Blog
  • Bank Lending: Restrictions and Favourites
    An important story in 2014 has been the Reserve Bank’s ‘loan-to-value ratio’ restrictions, which have made it extremely hard for first-time house buyers to get sufficient finance to buy a house. Corran Dann in TVNZ’s  Q+A (7 Dec) suggested that...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – How should Waitangi Tribunal ruling on S...
      This weeks Waatea news column - How should  Waitangi Tribunal ruling on Sovereignty be implemented?...
    The Daily Blog
  • Labour sell us out on warrantless surveillance
    Isn’t it depressing that Labour are selling us out by voting for warrantless spying by an agency caught out smearing them? Last night Labour do what they always do, over compensate on Security issues. So terrified are Labour at being...
    The Daily Blog
  • This Is The Headline For Test Post
    This Is The Headline For Test Post Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut eget neque facilisis sapien laoreet volutpat. Nulla vel nisl nec purus interdum tincidunt. Phasellus orci sapien, vestibulum et pulvinar non, pellentesque eget leo. Sed...
    The Daily Blog
  • Question Time in Parliament Today – National Party MPs cheer graph that s...
    This is the graph the National Party were shown by Russel Norman in Parliament today and they all cheered…     …they cheered?!?!?!? That’s beyond denial, that’s just gleefully suicidal....
    The Daily Blog
  • NZ Pastor Prays For Homosexual Author To Kill Himself
    By Jayden Jameson and Jessie Hume If we ever needed a reminder that homophobia is alive and kicking in New Zealand we have Pastor Logan Robertson from the Westcity Baptist Church. The Westcity Baptist ministry could apparently be described as New...
    The Daily Blog
  • Political Journalism in the South-Pacific – a new direction for NZ influe...
    Last week, the incredible Pacific Journalism Review celebrated 20 years of promoting and supporting and standing up for Journalism in the South-Pacific. The conference at AUT featured journalists from around the pacific who have battled and fought and been punished...
    The Daily Blog
  • Antarctica minus the ice – welcome to your future
    Antarctica minus the ice – welcome to your future...
    The Daily Blog
  • REAL LIFE GUEST BLOG: Lou – 15 shifts in 12 months……permanently homel...
    This is Key’s real life – other NZers aren’t so privileged    15 shifts in 12 months……permanently homeless since May. I went to the Salvation Army yesterday on advice for emergency housing as my temporary accomodation had turned volatile. Just...
    The Daily Blog
  • Labour Party Members should be furious at reviews findings
    Let’s see The Standard use this image Well, well, well… Labour’s election review: What went wrongLabour’s review panel has reported its findings back about the party’s election campaign and the reasons for the low 25 per cent result, identifying problems...
    The Daily Blog
  • Judith Collins joins the Sunday Star Times and cements the Rights dominance...
    “I am not a Monster”, hissed Judith Collins   I don’t read the Sunday Star Times, so had no idea that they had just decided to make Judith Collins of all people a new columnist. Her appointment cements into place...
    The Daily Blog
  • Grey Lynn Festival – very Grey – Art in the Dark – very Dark
    The battle of Helm’s Deep from the Two Towers would have had better OSH conditions than Art in the Dark   Grey Lynn Festival – 2 stars So the Grey Lynn Festival happened last weekend. It’s a day where the good liberal...
    The Daily Blog
  • ‘Stalking’ Ede
      Tau Henare accuses TV3 of stalkingA former National MP has accused TV3 of stalking after one of its journalists attempted to question a former Beehive spin doctor. Today’s episode of The Nation featured an unsuccessful attempt to question former...
    The Daily Blog
  • Taxpayer Union, the NZ Herald and Len Brown’s secret hidden love den
    I love the way the NZ Herald introduced the discredited Taxpayer Union in their bullshit story about Len Brown’s secret hidden love den… ‘Secret room’ spending shows need for recall electionsA lobby group says revelations Auckland Council spent $30,000 on...
    The Daily Blog
  • Eric Garner killed by NYPD original footage
    The horror of a ultra militarised and racist American Police Force who can kill with impunity. Obama claims cameras on every office would stop this type of brutality, these cops knew they were being filmed and killed him anyway. In...
    The Daily Blog
  • Unjust to imprison us for crimes we haven’t yet committed
    Once again National and Labour have succumbed to the “law and order” brigade enabling the passage of a Bill imprisoning people for crimes they might commit in the future. The Public Safety (Public Protection Orders) Bill allows the Court to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Disabled parking spaces are for the disabled
    Many districts across the country have been changing the mobility parking spots to the vivid blue colour scheme as opposed to the simple yellow sign. This has been done as an attempt to make the designated spots more visible to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Fluoride risks whitewashed in rushed consultation
    Ministry of Health propose to exempt toxic industrial waste products used in water fluoridation from the Medicines Act 1981...
    Scoop politics
  • Practical Tips on Working and Living in New Zealand
    JUANderful Juan” in 7-Minute Migrante Video Project Shares Practical Tips on Working and Living in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics
  • Christmas Day in Prison
    Christmas Day in prison this year will involve swapping the main meal of the day, so that dinner will be served at lunchtime, leaving the evening meal to be sandwiches. This is standard practice for this day....
    Scoop politics
  • Alcohol advertising bans need stronger evidence
    Wellington (18 December 2014): The New Zealand Initiative’s Head of Research, Dr Eric Crampton, today urged Cabinet to look to the evidence before banning alcohol advertising and sponsorship. The Ministerial Forum on Advertising and Sponsorship...
    Scoop politics
  • EPA grants marine consent to OMV NZ Ltd
    The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has granted a marine consent to OMV NZ Ltd to continue its development drilling programme in the Maari oil field in the South Taranaki Bight....
    Scoop politics
  • DHB puts staff and patients at risk in order to save money
    The Public Service Association (PSA) is alarmed that the Waikato District Health Board (WDHB) is proposing to cut the 4 and 2 roster system, established nationally, for mental health nurses. The PSA represents more than 210 mental health nurses working...
    Scoop politics
  • Ambivilence about alcohol marketing recommendations
    Ministers Adams and Dunn issued a media release yesterday nearly two months after receiving a final report from their Ministerial Forum on Alcohol Advertising and Sponsorship, and four years following an original announcement to review alcohol...
    Scoop politics
  • Alcohol forum recommendations: a step in the right direction
    The Forum has stated clearly that that it accepts alcohol marketing plays a role in heavy alcohol consumption and subsequent harm, and that young people need to be protected from it by regulation....
    Scoop politics
  • Court Judgment: Nicky Hager v Police on Dirty Politics Raids
    Mr Hager alleges that steps taken by the second respondent (the Police): first, in deciding to apply for a search warrant in respect of Mr Hager’s premises; secondly, in applying for the warrant; and thirdly, executing the warrant at his...
    Scoop politics
  • Holiday home hazards revealed
    Common sense ways to look after your property this summer Auckland, 18 December 2014 – Burglars aren’t the only threat to your home during the holiday season, says AA Insurance. It’s more likely to be broken water pipes, burst hot...
    Scoop politics
  • Grieving families should be able to scatter ashes in peace
    Grieving families should be able to scatter ashes in peace 18 December 2014 Funeral directors are relieved that Wellington City Council has finally dropped plans to charge families for permits to scatter ashes in public places. Funeral Directors...
    Scoop politics
  • RSA Offers Condolences To Victims Of Sydney Siege
    As an organisation representing over 100,000 New Zealanders, the RSA has today condemned the actions taken by Man Haron Monis during his siege in a Sydney café, and offered their deepest sympathies to the friends and family of Tori Johnson...
    Scoop politics
  • Kiwi activists crowdfund billboard for Simon Bridges
    Almost seven thousand New Zealanders have taken part in a crowdfunding campaign, and have raised enough money to put a billboard up in Tauranga that is directed at Simon Bridges, the Minister of Energy and Resources....
    Scoop politics
  • Leaked TISA text exposes US threat to privacy, data security
    ‘The US is demanding that New Zealand and other countries accept sweeping rules that would override privacy protections for digitised personal and other data’, according to Professor Jane Kelsey from the University of Auckland....
    Scoop politics
  • Lyttelton Port workers begin overtime ban
    Workers of Christchurch Rail and Lyttelton Port have begun an indefinite ban on overtime, according to the Rail and Maritime Transport Union. The ban was announced at a mass meeting at the Port after negotiations between Lyttelton Port of Christchurch...
    Scoop politics
  • Ban on Alcohol Advertising Could Cost Taxpayer
    Responding to yesterday's release of the report of the Ministerial Forum on Alcohol Advertising and Sponsorship, Jordan Williams, the Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says:...
    Scoop politics
  • Farm safety isn’t helped by punitive fines
    Federated Farmers Health and Safety spokesperson, Katie Milne says she is concerned about the impact of the $40,000 fine for a Marlborough farm couple, who weren’t wearing helmets and carrying children as passengers. The Court case, and subsequent...
    Scoop politics
  • New online guide to NZ’s environment goes live
    The Environment Foundation* has launched a new web-based guide to the management of New Zealand’s natural environment....
    Scoop politics
  • Ban On Alcohol Advertising Just One Step
    Family First NZ says that a proposed ban on alcohol advertising at sports events as recommended by a ministerial forum is an important move, but will not solve the binge drinking and alcohol abuse issue on its own....
    Scoop politics
  • CLANZ scholarship winner to examine legal services to Crown
    Wellington in-house lawyer Tania Warburton is the inaugural winner of the research scholarship established by the Corporate Lawyers Association of New Zealand (CLANZ)....
    Scoop politics
  • Joint Australasian operation dismantles drug syndicate
    The Joint Organised Crime Task Force (JOCTF), leading a multi-agency team, has smashed a multi-million dollar international organised crime network following raids across Melbourne this morning....
    Scoop politics
  • Video: Meet Mark Gilbert, U.S. Ambassador-Designate to NZ
    Join us in welcoming Ambassador-Designate Mark Gilbert and his wife Nancy. They are arriving in New Zealand shortly and wanted to introduce themselves. Watch this video to learn about his connections with Aotearoa, and why he thinks the partnership between...
    Scoop politics
  • MIA Welcomes Review Findings
    The MIA welcomes the findings of the Health Quality & Safety Commission into child and youth mortality arising from the use of motorcycles, quads and other agricultural vehicles....
    Scoop politics
  • Quads Bikes Not for Under 16s
    Safekids Aotearoa strongly supports recommendations made in a report released today highlighting the dangers posed by quad bikes when ridden or controlled by children who are under 16 years of age....
    Scoop politics
  • Inquiry on Parliament’s legislative response to emergencies
    Public submissions are being invited on Regulations Review Committee’s Inquiry into Parliament’s legislative response to future national emergencies. The closing date for submissions is Sunday, 1 March 2015....
    Scoop politics
  • Switch off on the beach NOT at level crossings
    KiwiRail and TrackSAFE NZ have launched a new summer rail safety campaign with a message to motorists to stay focused and always look for trains at level crossings over the holidays. December is known as the month for family, festivity...
    Scoop politics
  • Report on child and youth deaths from vehicle use
    Quad bike and other off-road vehicle accidents second largest cause of child recreational deaths...
    Scoop politics
  • Inspector-General accepts apology for leak of report
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, Cheryl Gwyn, has accepted an unreserved apology from Hon Phil Goff MP for disclosing some of the contents of her recent Report into the Release of Information by the NZSIS in July and August...
    Scoop politics
  • Santa’s naughty list shows NZPork in trouble
    Santa has provided animal advocacy organisation SAFE with an early copy of this year’s naughty list , as it prominently features many animal-abusing industries and businesses, with NZPork topping the list....
    Scoop politics
  • WWI veterans had persisting higher risk of early death
    New research on the impact of the First World War on participating New Zealand soldiers shows they typically lost around eight years of life and had an increased risk of early death in the post-war period....
    Scoop politics
  • Rainbow Wellington urges further change from Blood Service
    This week the New Zealand Blood Service (NZBS) announced the implementation of the agreed changes to blood donor deferral. For men who have sex with men (MSM) this primarily involves a reduction of the deferral period from five years to...
    Scoop politics
  • New Zealand Government signals reversal of fortune
    The Government’s robust $372 million forecast surplus from Budget 2014 will turn into a $572 million deficit, according to the 2015 Half-Yearly Economic and Fiscal Update and the Budget Policy Statement. Imports are cheaper and good export prices...
    Scoop politics
  • Time for Jobs that Count in the Meat Industry
    The NZ Meat Workers Union will launch a new national campaign to highlight job insecurity in the Meat Industry this afternoon in Palmerston North....
    Scoop politics
  • Protest at killing of schoolboys – Vigil 17/12/14
    A peaceful vigil will be held in Downtown Square opposite Britomart station – cnr of Queen and Customs St from 11-45 am: Wednesday 17 December 2014....
    Scoop politics
  • Social housing provider opens development in Johnsonvillle
    Social housing provider, Accessible Properties, will be opening eight new social housing units in a new housing development in Johnsonville tomorrow....
    Scoop politics
  • NCWNZ Wins Court Case
    ComVoices welcomes and celebrates the news that the National Council of Women of New Zealand (NCWNZ) has won its High Court case against Inland Revenue and the Charities Registration Board....
    Scoop politics
  • Cut Taxes + Cut Waste = Surplus
    Responding to the Treasury's Half Year Fiscal and Economic Update, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics
  • Cuts in public services likely fromBudget Policy Statement
    The horizon for workers looks gloomy with the release today of the Budget Policy statement. “Continuing real cuts in Government funding of public services are inevitable as a result of today’s Budget Policy Statement. The policy ignores the social,...
    Scoop politics
  • Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update 2014
    The Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU) 2014 provides the Treasury's latest economic forecasts and the forecast financial statements of the Government, including the implications of Government financial decisions....
    Scoop politics
  • Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update 2014
    The Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU) 2014 provides the Treasury's latest economic forecasts and the forecast financial statements of the Government, including the implications of Government financial decisions....
    Scoop politics
  • Chief Ombudsman launches major review of OIA practices
    The Chief Ombudsman, Dame Beverley Wakem, has today begun a wide ranging review of Official Information Act (OIA) practices in the public sector....
    Scoop politics
  • The Tasman Sea got a little smaller this morning
    “Our hearts and minds are with the people of Sydney: the Tasman Sea got a little smaller this morning,” said Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy....
    Scoop politics
  • A safety message for the festive season from Housing NZ
    Batteries may be required for some of the best toys under the tree this year, but they are just as essential to enjoying the greatest gift of all, says Housing New Zealand General Manager of Property Services, Marcus Bosch. “Smoke...
    Scoop politics
  • Charity Wins in the High Court
    The National Council of Women of New Zealand (NCWNZ) is delighted that the High Court has found in its favour in its case against Inland Revenue and the Charities Registration Board....
    Scoop politics
  • Government cutting back health services to dangle tax cuts
    The health service is already too stretched, and cutting further into New Zealanders’ health services to fund tax cuts is irresponsible, the CTU said today. Leaked cabinet committee papers have revealed District Health Boards need an additional $440 million...
    Scoop politics
  • Christian Network calls for prayers and understanding
    New Zealand Christian Network director Glyn Carpenter is calling for people to pray and exercise understanding over the Sydney hostage incident....
    Scoop politics
  • Labour congratulated on withdrawing bill
    Euthanasia-Free NZ congratulates Labour leader Andrew Little and MP Iain Lees-Galloway for resisting sponsorship of the ex-Maryan Street voluntary euthanasia bill....
    Scoop politics
  • Commissioner very pleased with results of predator campaign
    Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment Dr Jan Wright has congratulated the Department of Conservation on the initial results of its major campaign to tackle a predator plague this year....
    Scoop politics
  • Largest ever control campaign knocks back predators
    The Department of Conservation’s largest ever aerial 1080 campaign to combat this year’s rat and stoat plague has successfully knocked down predator populations in key target areas....
    Scoop politics
  • Brazil introduces 10-year validity, NZ overdue
    Brazil has just joined a long list of nations who have moved from 5-year to 10-year biometric passports....
    Scoop politics
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