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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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    Labour | 29-10
  • Anti-worker legislation is anti-Pacifica
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, will go down in history as being part of a Government that harmed his own people through anti-worker legislation, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “Pacific people are among...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Five-year tax holiday for overseas tax dodgers
    National has just gifted a five-year tax holiday for foreign companies dodging their tax payments, says Revenue spokesperson David Clark. “Todd McClay has pretended he is doing something about overseas companies dodging their tax duties by joining an international initiative...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Traffic Jam Tax must be given the red light
    Auckland Council’s proposed Traffic Jam Tax could cost some households thousands of dollars a year just to use roads they had already paid for with their taxes and must be rejected, says Labour’s transport and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Solid Energy decision delay sensible
    Today’s announcement by the Board of Solid Energy that it will delay making a final decision on re-entering the Pike River mine is a sensible move, Labour’s MP for  West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “It has been clear for some...
    Labour | 28-10
  • New York Green Bank off to a $1B start
    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced late last week the New York Green Bank’s first NZD$1 billion tranche of green energy investments. The projects, which are difficult for the private sector to finance, are now possible by New York Green...
    Greens | 28-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • Roast Busters: Turn Indignation into Action
    People raged about the Roast Buster case. The indignation was justified – it was horrible. “Where were their parents!?” Fair question. I am sure the Roast Busters’ parents and the victims’ parents all wish they had been more proactive in...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Stats NZ only have themselves to blame for postponement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ only have themselves to blame for the indefinite postponement of the release of the Food Price Index: November 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • NZ Diversity Survey – benchmarking workplace diversity
    AUT University’s New Zealand Work Research Institute (NZWRI) has released a report on diversity in New Zealand workplaces....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill
    Tutehounuku Korako, Chair of the Māori Affairs Committee, is inviting further public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 5 December 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • ERA amendments a mixed bag
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act has the potential to put vulnerable workers in a more precarious position, says Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue. However, the commissioner says the right for all to request flexible work hours is...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Sensible Sentencing calls for appeal of judicial activivism
    The Sensible Sentencing Trust is appalled that Justice Jill Mallon has today refused to apply the Life without Parole (LWOP) provisions of the Three Strikes law as enacted by Parliament....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity, Nov 1
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan as part of the “GLOBAL RALLY AGAINST ISIS – FOR KOBANÊ – FOR HUMANITY” on 1 November 2014, 2pm....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Safer roads are better for everyone
    Recent pedestrian versus vehicle incidents highlight the real issues being addressed by delegates as the 2Walk and Cycle conference concludes....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Law change creates more flexible labour market
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act, passed yesterday, will bring new flexibility to the labour market and will reduce the ability of unions to organise and to recruit....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Bumper ANZ profits mean no excuse for insecure hours
    A big rise in profits at New Zealand's largest bank needs to be reflected in a better pay offer and more security around hours of work, the bank workers’ union said today....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Count down to lowered alcohol limit
    With just a month to go until a new lower alcohol limit for adult drivers comes into effect, Police and road safety agencies are reminding drivers of the impending change....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • WorkSafe Supports Forestry Review Findings
    WorkSafe NZ says the Independent Forestry Safety Review has clearly identified the problems facing an industry in which ten workers were killed last year. “The Review’s analysis matches our own view and leaves no doubt about the need for comprehensive,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Activists will confront animal abusers
    Today animal rights activists will confront a group of wealth advisers who want to build the biggest egg factory-farm in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • False birth registration brings home detention
    A Whangarei woman who attempted to register the birth of a fictitious child to claim a sole parent benefit was sentenced to six months home detention in the Whangarei District Court today....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Family of Robert Ellis demand a proper investigation
    The family of a New Zealander killed in Indonesia are growing increasingly concerned at the lack of information they’ve received, and the handling of the investigation into his murder....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Minister of Health must account for aged care workers’ pay
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) congratulates rest-home worker Kristine Bartlett on her landmark claim for equal pay from her employer and successfully pursuing this to the Court of Appeal....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
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