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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 | 13-04
  • IPCC report shows Government ignoring climate experts
    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) report into climate mitigation, just released in Berlin, shows the National Government is ignoring the pleas of the world's best climate scientists.The report says deep and fast emission cuts are vital from all...
    Greens | 13-04
  • Japan’s quick turnaround on whaling disappointing
    News that Japan plans to recommence some form of “scientific” whaling programme so quickly after the International Court of Justice’s ruling against it is very disappointing, says David Shearer, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson. “New Zealanders expected the ICJ ruling -...
    Labour | 13-04
  • Reviewable tenancies will increase risks for vulnerable children
    Instead of kicking families out of their homes if they can pay their rent, parents with young children should have the opportunity to purchase equity in a state-built home over time, the Green Party said todayFrom July, Housing New Zealand...
    Greens | 13-04
  • 48,000 New Zealanders drinking faecally contaminated water
    Some 48,000 people were provided with water that had issues with faecal contamination, 18,000 of whom were from Canterbury, the Green Party said today. The Ministry of Health's Annual Report on Drinking-Water in New Zealand for 2012/13 shows that 48,000...
    Greens | 12-04
  • Labour will move to save the Kauri
    Labour will spend $20 million over the next 10 years to stop the spread of Kauri dieback disease, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “We are facing an ecological disaster with over 11 per cent of the Kauri trees in the...
    Labour | 12-04
  • SPEECH: Saving our Kauri
    Seech notes Good morning. Thank you for joining us here today. As a West Auckland MP I am very aware the kauri is an important part of this place. The Waitakere Ranges with their thousands of kauri, are a taonga....
    Labour | 12-04
  • MANA to continue negotiations with the Internet Party
    The MANA AGM has decided unanimously tonight to continue negotiaitions with the Internet Party. Within a month further negotiations, further consultation with MANA branches and a final decision on whether to proceed with a relationship is expected....
    Mana | 12-04
  • National’s tax dodge
      National’s insistence that it is cracking down on tax dodgers is little more than a bit of election year chest beating, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Revenue Minister Todd McClay surely doesn’t believe collecting $100 million of an estimated...
    Labour | 12-04
  • Housing prices go up – Gens X & Y give up
    Today’s REINZ report shows house prices continue skyward while first home buyers are dropping out of the market, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “According to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand the national median house price has risen...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Do Key and Adams support Chorus appeal?
    John Key and Amy Adams must tell New Zealanders whether they support Chorus’ appeal of the High Court’s ruling in favour of the Commerce Commission, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “Chorus’ appeal is a waste of time. The company is...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Is Judith Collins unapologising
    Judith Collins appears to have retracted her apology for failing to disclose her meeting with her husband’s fellow company directors and a senior Chinese border control official just weeks after being ticked off by John Key for not doing so, Labour...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Media Advisory
    There have been a few minor changes to the MANA AGM agenda. Moana Jackson is unable to attend due to family commitments. Speaking in his place on Saturday morning MANA is pleased to welcome Georgina Beyer and Willie Jackson. MANA...
    Mana | 10-04
  • Green Party requests inquiry into Peter Dunne and Trust
    Green Party MP Denise Roche today wrote to the Parliamentary Registrar of Pecuniary Interests requesting an inquiry into whether Peter Dunne should have included his involvement as chair of the Northern Wellington Festival Trust on the Register of Pecuniary Interests...
    Greens | 10-04
  • Veterans short-changed
    The Veterans’ Support Bill reported back to Parliament today rejects a key recommendation of the Law Commission Review on which it is based and ignores the submissions of veterans and the RNZRSA, says Labour’s Veterans’ Affairs Spokesperson, Phil Goff. “A...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Tribute for Maungaharuru- Tangitu settlement
    Labour Member of Parliament for Ikaroa-Rāwhiti, Meka Whaitiri paid tribute to Maungaharuru-Tangitu today as their Treaty of Waitangi settlement became law. “The Bill acknowledges Treaty breaches that left Maungaharuru-Tangitu virtually landless. Today we were reminded of the history, mamae, loss...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Our government: still no idea
    Happy Easter everyone, bad weather aside. A previous post of mine was called “The Government with no ideas”.  Unsurprisingly, the theme of the piece was of a current government thoroughly absent of any creative ideas or solutions to assist more...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • 12 things Forbes has to say about NZs about to burst economic bubble
    Forbes is not known for their socialist or left wing activism, so when they predict a grim economic failure, we should should collectively poo ourselves a little. National often get given this perception that somehow they are better economic mangers....
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • That Sinking Feeling: Labour’s urgent need for persuasive words and coura...
    THE LATEST ROY MORGAN POLL has Labour on 28.5 percent (down 3.5 percent) and the Greens on 11.5 percent (down 1.5 percent). At 40 percent, the combined vote of the two main centre-left parties has fallen 5 percentage points since...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Why the Labour movement should support a Universal Basic Income
    The Mana movement’s support of the idea of a universal basic income is a welcome development. It could become one of the litmus issues that define the party and prove extremely popular. If Mana are in a position to do...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Legal high and cannabis regulation
    I marched through Henderson last month with my fellow Westies to express our concern about the impact of so called “legal highs” on our community. Some people chanted loudly calling for banning, some expressing anger at the parliamentarians who voted...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Know your Tory fellow travellers and ideologues: John Bishop, Taxpayers Uni...
    . . On 19 March, I reported on the Board members of the so-called “Taxpayers Union”. With one exception, every single member of the Taxpayers Union Board was a current (or recent) card-carrying member or supporter of the National and/or...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • GUEST BLOG: Daniel Bruce – Internet Party: What Seems Ridiculous To The O...
    Imagine you’re a 18-21 year old, from a working class family. You’ve never had a landline phone at home, because your parents can’t afford the fixed monthly bills, so everyone in your familiy has a pre-pay mobile phone. Because of the same tight...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release We don’t need any more official reports. We know the problem and we have the plans....
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release New Zealanders do not want asset sales and they do not want the Government wasting millions of dollars on...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground Monday, 27 Aug 2012 | Press Release Instead of betting on a boom and bust industry and selling off assets the government needs to invest in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance Sunday, 26 Aug 2012 | Press Release It is not fair that many rich New Zealanders are cheating on their tax. National’s 2010 tax cuts, that...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release In its rush to sell our assets, National has found itself in a crisis of its...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Privacy across all departments needs checking
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Privacy across all departments needs checking Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release “People don’t have a choice about giving their information to the state so the Government has an absolute duty to...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Restoring public trust and confidence is an essential goal and will require very major change starting from the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government must front up on full costs of asset sales
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government must front up on full costs of asset sales Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release It’s time for the Government to front up over just how much these asset sales are...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Our society has never been as unequal as it is today. New research from the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release “It would be a shock for any other Government to introduce such a self-defeatist piece of legislation but unfortunately...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave Today marks two years since Labour MP Sue Moroney’s Bill extending paid parental leave to 26 weeks was drawn from the members’ ballot. “It’s...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale Kiwi taxpayers have been robbed of $130 million by the Government in its final failed asset sale, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “National set the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold Thursday, 17 Apr 2014 | Press Release Christchurch cannot afford to lose this agency The Green Party is calling on Housing New Zealand...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Resignation rates among cops soar
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Resignation rates among cops soar The number of frontline officers quitting the police force is at a four-year high, with more than 350 walking off the job in the past year, Labour’s Police...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Work visa problems need monitoring
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Work visa problems need monitoring The Government is handing out temporary work visas to migrants to work in jobs that could easily be filled by unemployed Kiwi workers in the Christchurch rebuild, says...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up Auckland Council’s ban on using legal highs in a public place is an excellent idea that should be replicated around New Zealand, says Labour’s Associate Health...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers Nick Smith must reassure worried first home buyers that any Housing NZ houses sold under his First Home policy will be tested for P contamination...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra Questions must now be asked whether it was Fonterra or Oravida who really benefited from the Prime Minister’s recent visit to China, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases A new Government report highlights that the amount of ozone depleting gases New Zealand is using is increasing, the Green Party said today. The report...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • The issues behind the possible MANA-Internet Party Alliance
      Last weekend Kim Dotcom spoke at MANAs AGM to discuss the possibility of the Internet Party and MANA Party working together to defeat John Key this election. As someone who knows both Hone and Kim, I have a unique...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Manufacturing Upgrade
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Manufacturing Upgrade   Labour is determined to support and grow our manufacturing sector. These policies grew out of the findings of the 2013 Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing.   – The claims and opinions...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Get work on 29th and the ANZAC spirit deserts the TPPA
      Groser and co would have been spitting tacks last week as the ANZAC spirit deserted the TPPA negotiations. Australia has done a deal directly with Japan which undercuts the demand for Japan to opening all agriculture in the TPPA....
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • No fracking solution to climate change
    Some British tabloids and oil lobbyists have jumped on comments made by an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change author that fracking could play a role in addressing climate change as an argument for it here in Aotearoa, so is fracking...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    Source: First Union – Press Release/Statement: Headline: At Last: A Manufacturing Policy Date of Release:  Thursday, April 17, 2014 Body:  FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today. The union represents workers in the wood, food and...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Drone murder of New Zealander “justified” by Prime Minister
    Yesterday Prime Minister John Key justified the extrajudicial killing of a New Zealander in a US drone strike in Yemen with a few cynical, callous words at a stand-up press conference. Key said he’d been briefed by our spy agencies...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Secret Policeman’s Ball
      Amnesty International’s Secret Policeman’s Ball is back in New Zealand for one night of some of the best stand-up comedy from both national and international comics The freedom to provoke and in some cases offend is essential to the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • So the US has assassinated a NZ citizen – what did Key know?
    A non judicial assassination by the US on a NZ citizen raises questions. Key made the idea that NZers were training with terrorists part of his farcical defence for the GCSB mass surveillance legislation. I say farcical because even if...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Something Better Than Something Worse: Why John Key could become our longes...
    IN HIS MEMORABLE holiday-home encounter with the host of Campbell Live, the Prime Minister, John Key, did not rule out running for a fourth term. Were he to be successful, the long-standing record of Sir Keith Holyoake (11 years and 2...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • GUEST BLOG: RIO TINTO WINS 2013 ROGER AWARD
      Sky City Casino Second, Chorus Third  The seven finalists for the 2013 Roger Award for the Worst Transnational Corporation Operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand were: ANZ, Chorus, IAG Insurance Group, Imperial Tobacco, Rio Tinto, Sky City Casino and Talent 2. The criteria for judging are...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • National drowning in an ocean of poisoned milk
    It is becoming difficult to keep up with which National Party MP is bleeding the most at the moment. Simon Bridges is being crucified by Whaleoil almost as much as Greenpeace are attacking him, suggesting Cam is seizing the moment...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Want to get rid of synthetic cannabis? Legalize real cannabis
    Have we managed to appreciate the madness that synthetic cannabis is legal yet more harmful than organic cannabis which is illegal? I find the current moral panic over synthetic cannabis difficult to become concerned with when alcohol is FAR more...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Save our homes – stop the evictions!
    “We will keep on fighting because it frightens me to think my grandchildren could become homeless,” Tere Campbell told me. Tere is a member of Tamaki Housing Group. In September 2011, tenants in 156 state homes in Glen Innes received...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The daily humiliation of women and the constant policing and shaming of our...
    The last few months have been particularly bad for the shaming and policing of women’s bodies in the media, both in New Zealand and globally. First we had NZ Newstalk ZB presenter Rachel Smalley referring to women weighing over 70kgs...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • A case study of racism by Police at Auckland Airport
    A couple of days ago I returned from Samoa after attending a family matter and some contract work. Spending a few days in the warmth of our homeland was welcome relief from the cold weather starting to make its presence...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • An acute shortage of emergency youth housing
    The housing crisis is effecting everyone in Christchurch but some are more vulnerable than others. Recently I attended a workshop on emergency youth housing hosted by the 298 Youth Health Centre, who I worked for from 2001-2003. Over fifty people...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Manufacturing Matters to New Zealand – 17 April
    The Labour Party announcement today recognises the simple truth that the manufacturing sector really matters to New Zealand’s economy as a whole, based on the part manufacturing plays in the growth of the added value element in the tradable sector,...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Young Kiwi to Represent New Zealand at Premier Youth Forum
    Young Kiwi to Represent New Zealand at Premier Youth Forum FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Commonwealth Youth New Zealand Executive Director, Aaron Hape, has been selected to represent New Zealand at 33Fifty, the Commonwealth Youth Leadership Programme,...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Lisa Owen interviews Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei
    Greens propose new ministerial disclosure regime based on British rules, requiring quarterly declarations of ministers' meetings, travel and hospitality....
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Politicians Should Maintain Workers’ Easter Break
    Family First NZ is rejecting calls for any liberalisation of Easter trading laws and says that workers deserve a break to spend time with their families. “This is not an issue about choice as has been argued. For many workers,...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Lisa Owen interviews experts on Antacrtica
    Lisa Owen interviews Chuck Kennicutt and Gary Wilson on Antarctica Headlines: Top Antarctic scientists warns New Zealand "not ready" for worst as ice shelves and sea ice in Antarctica retreat and the climate changes Gary Wilson: "Can...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Beyond the State – NZ State Houses from Modest to Modern
    As part of the our 'Active Hand of Government' series for 2014, we present Bill McKay, Senior Lecturer, School of Architecture and Planning, speaking to his new publication....
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Global unions applaud NZ ‘slave ships’ progress
    Global unions the ITF (International Transport Workers' Federation) and IUF (International Union of Food, Agricultural and Hospitality Workers) today applauded the steps forward made in preventing often shocking abuse of crews on fishing vessels in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Families before commerce at Easter
    Families before commerce at Easter The retail workers’ union has hit back at critics of New Zealand's modest Easter trading restrictions. "Some things are more important than going to the mall, and for just three and a half days each...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Easter trading laws archaic, in need of overhaul
    Press release: ACT New Zealand Easter trading laws are outdated and in need of a major overhaul, said ACT leader Jamie Whyte today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • ALCP welcomes Campbell Live poll result
    The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party welcomes last night's Campbell Live poll, saying it is an overdue reality check for public opinion on personal cannabis use....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Q+A This Week 20/4/14
    Q+A This Week SUNDAY 20 APRIL, 9AM ON TV ONE The latest on the US-NZ relationship from the US military’s top man in the Pacific, Admiral Samuel J. Locklear . Deputy Political Editor Michael Parkin asks him whether we’re allies,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Community detention for pokie theft
    A 67-year-old former company director, convicted of stealing pokie machine profits, was today sentenced to six months community detention, 160 hours of community work and ordered to make reparation of $6,000....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Waitangi National Trust Board Amendment Bill
    The Māori Affairs Committee is inviting public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Wednesday, 14 May 2014....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Collaboration stops drugs from crossing borders
    Collaboration between Hong Kong and New Zealand Customs has stopped millions of dollars worth of drugs coming into New Zealand this year, with a number of seizures and arrests in both countries....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Call for public enquiry into the future of farming
    Fish & Game NZ is calling for a public enquiry “to examine the future of agriculture in New Zealand”....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Comment on Labour Policy Announcement by NZMEA President
    “This policy release from the Labour Party is so important that if it becomes government policy it would define a shift in New Zealand’s culture,” says Brian Willoughby President of the NZMEA and Managing Director of Plinius Audio and Contex...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Manufacturing policy makes sense but….
    On the surface much of Labour's prescription for manufacturing is sound though questions remain over some of the detail not yet announced, the Employers and Manufacturers Association says....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Where Are The 15,000 Jobs?
    “Paula Bennett is today proudly telling New Zealand that beneficiary numbers have decreased by 15,000 in the past year. There is no proud declaration that 15,000 jobs have been created in the same period,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty spokesperson,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Change of approach to government procurement needed
    The rail engineering industry has been totally let down by National’s lack of manufacturing policy, and Labour’s measures outlined today represent a marked shift in approach to supporting domestic industries, the RMTU said today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Depreciation Policy Shouldn’t Be Just for Pet Industries
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Labour’s announcement to beef up rates of depreciation in the manufacturing sector, but is questioning why David Cunliffe is picking winners rather than applying the policy across all sectors. Jordan Williams,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • FIFA U-20 World Cup NZ 2015 Kick Off Times Announced
    An array of kick-off times to suit football fans of all ages has been confirmed for the FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand 2015. With 52 matches spread across the nation, the public will be able to enjoy a collection...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • “Legitimate purpose” provides no protection under 167 form
    On Radio New Zealand today, the Privacy Commissioner indicated that ACC could only request information that was "relevant" for a "legitimate purpose". His view was therefore that the ACC167 form is not a "blank cheque" or...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • State: still keeping you safe on the road this Easter
    The long-awaited Easter/ Anzac break is nearly upon us while the weather may have taken a turn for the worse in several parts of the country, many Kiwis will still be packing up their cars to take a road trip....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Govt plan for community input into residential red zone
    Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel has welcomed Prime Minister John Key’s announcement today of a community participation process for the public to have a say on the future use of the residential red zone....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Governor-General to visit Turkey
    The Governor-General, Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, is to visit Turkey next week to lead New Zealand’s representation at the annual Gallipoli commemorations....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Actions of Police prior to death in custody were justified
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority on the death of Adam Palmer while in Police custody found the actions of Police were justified during the arrest. The report also found that Police took all possible steps to try...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • New Electorate Boundaries Finalised
    New boundaries for the country’s 64 General and seven Māori electorates have been finalised – with an additional electorate created in Auckland. The 2014 Representation Commission has completed its statutory role of reviewing and redrawing electorate...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Save The Children Welcomes Strengthening Children’s Rights
    Save the Children New Zealand welcomes a new treaty which allows children to complain directly to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child about alleged violations of their rights....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Labour takes manufacturing seriously
    Labour takes manufacturing seriously Manufacturing workers and employers will all benefit from economic policies announced today by the Labour Party leader, David Cunliffe. The Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union has welcomed the announcement...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Manufacturing policy welcomed
    “Today’s announcement of Labour’s manufacturing policy is very welcome,” says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg. “Just as many other developed countries are realising, having a strong manufacturing sector pays off in good jobs, retaining...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Operation Unite – a Blitz on Drunken Violence
    New Zealand Police are hoping to reduce the number of victims from alcohol related crime by asking the public to say ‘Yeah, Nah’ more often this holiday weekend....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Dunne Speaks
    Dunne Speaks 17 April 2014 There have been a number of harrowing cases presented this week about the impact of psychoactive substances on vulnerable young people. At one level, the tales are deeply disturbing. It is awful to see anyone...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Research announcement welcomed
    A leading Māori researcher has welcomed the announcement of the 2014 Te Pūnaha Hihiko - Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund by Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce and Māori Affairs Minister Dr Pita Sharples....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    At Last: A Manufacturing Policy FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today. The union represents workers in the wood, food and textile manufacturing sectors. “In a week that has seen another manufacturing company,...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Republic campaigners still positive after royal visit
    "Campaigners for a New Zealand Head of State are still feeling positive after ten days of royal events" says NZ Republic Chair, Savage. "Our polling before the visit showed increased support for a kiwi head of state. We have a...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Selling homes to foreigners benefits New Zealanders
    Winston Peters has apparently convinced David Cunliffe that when foreigners buy New Zealand property they make New Zealanders worse off. Mr Cunliffe has announced his intention to adopt Winston Peters’ policy of banning foreigners from buying...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Taxpayers’ Union Welcomes Key’s Rejection of ‘Fat Tax’
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Prime Minister John Key’s rejection of fat and sugar taxes ahead of this year's election. Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Union, says:...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Law Commission Paper on a New Crown Civil Proceedings Act
    The Law Commission has released A New Crown Civil Proceedings Act for New Zealand , its Issues Paper on reforming the Crown Proceedings Act 1950. The Issues Paper proposes a new statute to replace the Crown Proceedings Act 1950....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Focus must now go on fishing industry jobs for NZ workers
    Maritime Union says focus must now go on fishing industry jobs for New Zealand workers...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Make the choice to stay safe on the road
    With Easter and Anzac Day giving us two successive long weekends this year there will be a lot of happy families preparing for trips....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Students Welcome Engagement with StudyLink
    The New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA) has welcomed the improved performance from StudyLink in 2014. There is no doubt that getting their loans and allowances processed on time makes it easier for students to concentrate on being...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Deaf And Hard of Hearing New Zealanders Marginalised
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