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Novopay going from bad to worse

Written By: - Date published: 10:01 am, February 7th, 2013 - 103 comments
Categories: schools, Steven Joyce, wages, workers' rights - Tags: , ,

Mr Fixit Steven Joyce has been handed the Novopay fiasco, and the first pay round under his watch is the worst yet:

Novopay round labelled a shocker

The Ministry of Education fielded hundreds of calls from school staff either not paid or underpaid by Novopay yesterday, but the real “carnage” will be when schools resume today.

Fielded calls from principals and administrators only. Mere teachers – many of them badly affected by this mess – are not allowed to call the “hotline”. These are the same teachers who are collectively owed almost $12 Million in missed wages. ($12 Million?! – ahhh, they’ll probably never miss it I can hear the Nats say – they’re only teachers after all.)

So is this a conspiracy to introduce bulk funding, as some believe, or just a good old fashioned cock up? For now I’m going with the latter. Signing off on a system to go live with repeated warnings of so many obvious errors, and such a poor track record, is just far far too stupid to be a plausible part of any cunning plan.

103 comments on “Novopay going from bad to worse”

  1. Jackal 1

    It’s a result of having people like John Banks in power… It’s a result of the right wing wanting to demoralize teachers and destabilize any opposition to their plans to privatize our education system.

    • One Tāne Huna 1.1

      I’m with the incompetence theory. The poor Tories just aren’t that bright. John Banks knew nothing about the new private charter schools when Key announced them as ACT policy.

      • framu 1.1.1

        im going with the bit of both.

        initially a cock up, (due partly to ideological approach to such things) followed by a healthy dose of leverage to put the screws on

        • fatty 1.1.1.1

          I’d go with the ‘there ain’t no votes for us so who gives a shit’ theory.
          National don’t care about teachers because they supposedly vote Labour every time.
          Its fairly common for either Labour or National to ignore people/groups/communities if those people/groups/communities reliably vote for either red or blue.
          That’s why Labour aren’t bothered about east Chch.
          That’s why Labour did fuck-all for Maori for years (sadly, that can be seen as justification for the MP & Nats coalition, and also the Greens 2011 murmurings about jumping into be with the Nats)

          It appears as though the Nats will reward their reliable voters – farmers, greedy landowners etc…but then Nats will put their foot on the throat of those who supposedly vote Labour.

          In contrast, Labour will ignore those who supposedly vote for them – low paid workers, Maori, Pacific Islanders, students, youth & elderly…then try to seduce those who vote for the Nats – greedy landowners, farmers, Pakeha with racist tendencies.

          Unfortunately, the teachers will achieve nothing if they vote for National in the hope of waking up Labour. In the past Labour have refused to stop their flirting and they continue to ignore those who they supposedly represent. We can see from Shearer’s latest racist dogwhistle – ‘can’t we just all celebrate Waitangi’ – Labour still don’t give a shit about Maori.

          Sadly, the teachers historical support of Labour has left them without a voice, when it should have done the opposite. Teachers should vote Green/Mana if they want what they deserve.

          • Macro 1.1.1.1.1

            Yep! that’s just about it. And as more and more people wake up to the fact, Labour will become more of a spent force. They have only themselves to blame.

          • Scintilla 1.1.1.1.2

            I reckon it’s a bit of a myth that teachers are all Labour voters. I’ve met a lot of right-leaning, conservative, even Michael Laws-loving teachers. And remember all those under 35 have no concept of a New Zealand pre-rogering by Douglas.

            • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.1.2.1

              +1 although at this stage a few less national votes will be coming through

            • Macro 1.1.1.1.2.2

              Yes of course its a myth. It’s perception however that forms the basis of action, or in this case inaction.

            • millsy 1.1.1.1.2.3

              “And remember all those under 35 have no concept of a New Zealand pre-rogering by Douglas.”.

              NZ before 1984 feels like a totally different country, more than a few countries around the world tried to completely sever their past like we did and killed millions in the process. We managed to do it in 6 years completely bloodless.

      • muzza 1.1.2

        It’s not incompetance – There are frameworks and standards which are followed during implementations of such programmes of work.
        If those standards/frameworks were *bipassed or ignored* etc, then its more likely deliberately trying to ram something through, while reeking havoc on an industry that you want to disrupt!

        • One Tāne Huna 1.1.2.1

          :roll:

          Five days into a two week ban, and once again we have to put up with this tiresome cretin.

          • muzza 1.1.2.1.1

            Jeez, have I managed to get banned again… [deleted]

            [indeed you have - sorry 'bout that - moderators please take note. r0b]

    • outofworkkiwi 1.2

      Jackal 100% Right. The Teachers are one of the last unionised bastions of a decent New Zealand Society, in my opinion this so called government would love to break them anyway it could,it stinks. :-(

  2. Colonial Viper 2

    Time for court proceedings against the MoEd as a delinquent employer.

  3. Dimpost has an interesting take on the fiasco (http://dimpost.wordpress.com/2013/02/04/the-novopay-bim/)

    Essentially he thinks that part time teachers’ time sheets were not able to be entered into the system the way that full time teachers’ sheets were. They were emailed into the Novopay help desk and the staff were meant to enter these into the database. The only problem is that the job was not done properly and there was no “quality assurance” backup in place. Danyl thinks that the system was held together by work arounds rather than the code being fixed.

    If you look at the “go live” decision paper (http://www.minedu.govt.nz/~/media/MinEdu/Files/TheMinistry/NovopayProject/TestingNovopay/GoLive/EdReportFinalRecommendationV1.pdf) the Ministers were told that there were 147 identifed bugs, 10 of them significant and the report says “seven of the eight criteria associated with Confidence Point Two have been met, or are close to being met”. Obviously one criteria was not met and was not even close to being met. I wonder if this was the part time teachers data imput module?

    If I was the Minister I would have sent it back and told them to get the bugs sorted and all the criteria met before going live.

    The recommendation in the report jarrs with the content and it makes you wonder if there was pressure to put the recommendation to go live into the report.

    • Lanthanide 3.1

      “If I was the Minister I would have sent it back and told them to get the bugs sorted”

      All software is released with bugs. The media in particular have pounced on this as if it is some important or amazing revelation, but frankly it isn’t. If the company judged that the bugs were not critical and it was possible to release with them, then you should trust their judgement. Obviously in this case TalentTwo have turned out to be completely useless, but you shouldn’t be second-guessing them at that stage (or if you were, the number of known bugs wouldn’t be the data you’d be moving on).

      Of course this doesn’t mean that there weren’t many more unknown bugs which could have been quite severe.

      • Jackal 3.1.1

        All software is not released with bugs Lanthanide. There are sometimes beta releases to the public to work out any problems, but generally this is after extensive testing on various platforms to validate that the software works.

        Sometimes a different team of developers is used to test software, especially with large scale programs, but this doesn’t seem to be the case with Novopay. After reading the reports, it was apparent that there were significant bugs within Novopay, therefore the disastrous software should not have gone live.

        It’s also not just the software development issues that were the problem… Talent2 was clearly incompetent before Novopay went live, and any competent government minister would have realized it.

        • Lanthanide 3.1.1.1

          “After reading the reports, it was apparent that there were significant bugs within Novopay, therefore the disastrous software should not have gone live.”

          Which the company judged were not “significant” enough to stop the roll out. That was my point. Unless you don’t trust the companies judgement, then the known bugs were not a reason to stop the rollout. Unknown bugs, or not trusting the companies judgement are different issues than whether they had known bugs or not.

          I also suspect you don’t understand the difference between “missing features” or “features not implemented to specifications” or “inadequate specifications” and “bugs”. The issues reported in the media look more like the former than the latter (in part because the errors have been so egregious that any bugs that caused them should be easily spotted and fixed, missing or incomplete features aren’t easily or quickly fixable).

          • Jackal 3.1.1.1.1

            Lanthanide

            Which the company judged were not “significant” enough to stop the roll out.

            Read the reports again Lanthanide… The implementation of Novopay was halted at least twice because of significant problems with the system.

            The ministry raised concerns that clearly showed they didn’t trust the judgement of Talent2… Their advice was ignored by the various ministers who signed off on the inferior program.

            The issues reported in the media look more like the former than the latter (in part because the errors have been so egregious that any bugs that caused them should be easily spotted and fixed, missing or incomplete features aren’t easily or quickly fixable).

            You’ve obviously never developed software Lanthanide if you think missing or incomplete features are worse than bugs.

            A missing or incomplete feature is usually rectified by adding that feature. A bug in the system can sometimes take considerable amounts of time to even locate, let alone fix or develope a workaround for.

            • Lanthanide 3.1.1.1.1.1

              “You’ve obviously never developed software Lanthanide if you think missing or incomplete features are worse than bugs.”

              LOL

            • McFlock 3.1.1.1.1.2

              Apart from the fact that “adding that feature” is a bit more complicated than simply adding a shelf to a desk. You need to ensure that everything works together and, e.g., don’t try to use the same memory space, or pass incorrect data types around, or leave some legacy issue that waits quietly until a user pings it, or whatever. Can be mitigated and made easier to fix by using good programming protocols, but then the same goes with bugs.

              • Jackal

                Yes McFlock… Adding features to programs is more difficult than just adding a shelf to a desk. The point is that programers who fix bugs are usually a bit specialized, whereas programers who write code usually aren’t. There’s no question that fixing bugs in programs is far more difficult than writing programing code.

                The other thing that should probably be highlighted is that some bugs can allow a program to be compromised… In other words there was no proper development method and critical bugs were allowed through the debugging process (if there was one), and it’s likely that there are other problems inherent with the Novopay system.

                My advice is to look for an alternative company that has already developed and implemented a large payroll system and start again. I would also look at court action against Talent2 to retrieve some of those millions the government has wasted. The ministers who signed off on such an obviously flawed system should be sacked!

                • Colonial Viper

                  *facepalm*

                • Fixing bugs is hard.

                  Writing new features without introducing bugs is hard in a different way, and I’m really not convinced that either is easier.

                  In any program written by multiple people new features will practically inevitably introduce bugs due to issues in interfacing with another person’s code. Introducing a new feature is more like adding a new person to a social dynamic and hoping the group doesn’t become dysfunctional in any way than it is like adding a shelf to a desk. Bugfixing is like trying to get people to talk about their problems and resolve the issues caused by their feelings. It’s difficult, but usually you have a lot more evidence of the problem than you do when you’re trying to avoid the issue altogether.

                  Also, with a critical system like payroll, when introducing a new system it should be introduced by testing in paralell, with some people using the new system and some the previous system until the new one is ready for full rollout. That this option wasn’t considered is very bad contingency planning on the Ministry’s part. (or perhaps another decision fouled up by an incompetent minister, I don’t know)

                  • Jackal

                    Often debugging takes just as long as writing the program in the first place. Although you’re correct that adding new features can add additional bugs, in general upgrading ie adding new features to a program is a lot easier than debugging.

                    Novopay appears to not have even gone through a final beta stage whereby all product features are in place and the application has been tested and found to be free of any serious bugs. As you say a payroll system should be run in parallel to see if it works or not.

                    The Ministry did inform various Nat ministers that Novopay had serious problems, they signed of on it going live anyway… That’s either malicious intent or gross incompetence.

                • Lanthanide

                  “The point is that programers who fix bugs are usually a bit specialized, whereas programers who write code usually aren’t. ”

                  More lols. And you think I don’t know anything about software development?

                  • Jackal

                    I didn’t realise we were having a pissing competition Lanthanide, but your comment makes me think you have very limited knowledge concerning software development.

                    • Lanthanide

                      Yeah, only seven years, now being promoted to a team lead position. Incidentally I’ve fixed the 5th most bugs out of anyone in my company over that time (out of about 120 people over these 7 years).

                      Just to give you a little idea about how software development actually works:

                      You have to learn the software you’re working on before you can implement new features in it, otherwise you’ll just make a mess. We use bug fixing as training for new staff so they can learn about the system – with their work being reviewed by experienced engineers. Generally more experienced engineers do more project work (new features) and less experienced engineers do more bug fixing, to help them learn the system. Of course more experienced engineers are also a lot more productive, so they generally end up fixing the most bugs while also doing the new feature work as well.

                      As for “features being so easy to implement” and “bugs being so difficult”, two salient examples from my team. Earlier last year one of my (most senior) team members was investigating a bug that, after 3 weeks of investigation, he determined was actually large hole that was left by a previous project – they simply had left out a lot of important functionality for part of the system – it worked very well 98% of the time but there were nasty corner cases that failed abysmally. He estimated it’d take him at least a month to finish up this feature work properly as it required implementing many new systems and testing them. Recently another project finished up and left a rather large hole in their implementation as well; an engineer has spent 25 business days (that’s over a month) working to fix up their work.

                      On the other hand, the typical bug will take 2-3 weeks from start to finish.

                      So, I repeat my original statement: all software has bugs. If the company has indicated the bugs are not show-stoppers and the product can be released with them unresolved, then it isn’t something to make a big song and dance about as the media (and yourself) have been.

                    • Jackal

                      Lanthanide

                      Of course more experienced engineers are also a lot more productive, so they generally end up fixing the most bugs while also doing the new feature work as well.

                      Yes! Many experienced engineers fix bugs as they go.

                      Earlier last year one of my (most senior) team members was investigating a bug that, after 3 weeks of investigation, he determined was actually large hole that was left by a previous project – they simply had left out a lot of important functionality for part of the system – it worked very well 98% of the time but there were nasty corner cases that failed abysmally.

                      Wow! One example is what your basing your argument on that writing new features is harder than fixing bugs.

                      We seem to be arguing about terminology… If a program fails because of a lack of code in any area, you’re calling that a lack of a feature or important functionality being left out… Whereas in many cases a lack of code is also determined as being a bug.

                      All software doesn’t have bugs… Some programming languages simply don’t allow for bugs to occur. Most software is released with minor bugs, however we’re not talking about minor bugs in the Novopay system.

                      The media hasn’t divulged whether the bugs were serious or minor.

                      The fact of the matter remains, Bill English, Hekia Parata and Craig Foss signed off on Novopay after being informed that there were bugs that could compromise the system, which would indicate that they were serious bugs. So, despite your obvious qualifications, your claims are largely unfounded Lanthanide.

                    • Lanthanide

                      Wow! One example is what your basing your argument on that writing new features is harder than fixing bugs.

                      No, it’s a salient example. It’s not what I’m basing my argument on: I’m basing my argument on my experience as a senior software engineer, and now team leader, in a global company that ranks among NZ’s largest tech exporters. I didn’t want to write a novel about why you were wrong, I figured some evidence to back up my opinion would help educate you, but obviously you cannot accept that other people might be a little more experienced at some things than you.

                      We seem to be arguing about terminology… If a program fails because of a lack of code in any area, you’re calling that a lack of a feature or important functionality being left out… Whereas in many cases a lack of code is also determined as being a bug.

                      I suspected as much. The broadest (and least helpful) definition of “bug” is “the software doesn’t do what I want it to do”. To give you an example of why this is an unhelpful definition, consider notepad in windows, hopefully you’re familiar with it. Under that definition of bug, I can say “man, notepad doesn’t let me add pictures into the documents I create, it’s a bug”. Except notepad was never designed to let you add pictures to documents: it’s purpose is to be a simple text-only editor. Calling this a bug is unhelpful because it is clearly a feature request.

                      To bring it back to novopay, one of the reports I read on stuff mentioned that the software was designed to pay staff as if they are on a collective contract, but some staff, while on the collective contract, actually have more flexible working conditions (for whatever reason) and the software could not cope with this. From the MOE’s point of view, that would probably be a “bug” in the software, but from TalentTwo’s point of view, it’s a missing feature, presumably because the requirement for that functionality was never properly captured. Either that or they simply failed to implement it. But the scope of the work required to fix that goes far beyond a “bug fix”.

                      And yes, the precise definition of a ‘bug’ is a bit vague. Generally we use the term ‘bug’ for anything that, to the best of our knowledge, should be expected to work, but doesn’t. Other things are clearly missing features: we know that something was simply not implemented (for whatever reason – human error of one sort or another, or changing requirements) so there is no way we could reasonably expect it to work. Often a gut-feel answer can demonstrate this quite easily: you ask someone “should the software do XYZ in this case?” and they say “no, that sounds like a bug” or “doh! we completely forgot about that!”.

                      All software doesn’t have bugs… Some programming languages simply don’t allow for bugs to occur.

                      Depends on your definition of “bug”, doesn’t it? I could easily write a program in ADA that is full of ‘bugs’. The only sorts of programs that are guaranteed to not have bugs are those written using “formal methods”, which is a very very arcane process of transforming requirements into code using complex mathematics and calculus. These programs don’t have bugs because they can be mathetmatically proven to not have bugs, however in order for this to work the requirements must be 100% correct to start with (or you end up with missing features, but at least you have no bugs: that is, it does exactly what you said it would do, and hopefully you didn’t make any mistakes when you said what it should do).

                      Generally the only things written using these formal methods are mission-critical life and death stuff: the code for hospital equipment, car and machinary control systems, airline systems, space shuttle systems. This code is mega expensive and very very time consuming. No pay roll software would be written in it. This is all a pointless aside, though.

                      Most software is released with minor bugs, however we’re not talking about minor bugs in the Novopay system.

                      You don’t know whether the problems with Novopay are because of “bugs” or “missing features”. I distinctly suggest it is the latter.

                      The media hasn’t divulged whether the bugs were serious or minor.

                      Actually they did, it was something like “147 known issues, 10 of which were serious” or something like that.

                      The fact of the matter remains, Bill English, Hekia Parata and Craig Foss signed off on Novopay after being informed that there were bugs that could compromise the system, which would indicate that they were serious bugs.

                      No, absolutely not true. They were informed that there were “known defects in the system” but that those defects would not stop the roll-out. That’s it. The ministers are not technical experts, and I suggest that asking for technical explanations of the bugs would be a waste of time, because 1. the ministers wouldn’t have the context to understand it, and 2. TalentTwo were probably right that the bugs wouldn’t stop the roll-out, and who would be there to tell them otherwise?

                      To give you an example, I’d estimate that our software has approximately 2,000 unresolved issues. When we come up to a major release, we have a process by which we draw up a short list (usually around 100-200 issues) that we consider need to be fixed before we can release the software. We fix them all and therefore release the software, even though we’re releasing with unresolved issues – just like TalentTwo did.

                      So, despite your obvious qualifications, your claims are largely unfounded Lanthanide.

                      No, it is you who don’t understand the subject at hand, as the responses from others in this thread demonstrates.

                    • Jackal

                      I suspected as much. The broadest (and least helpful) definition of “bug” is “the software doesn’t do what I want it to do”.

                      Well you had better go off and edit Wikipedia, which states:

                      A software bug is an error, flaw, mistake, failure, or fault in a computer program or system that produces an incorrect or unexpected result, or causes it to behave in unintended ways.

                      We haven’t even got past the first paragraph on Wikipedia before it starts telling you that you’re wrong Lanthanide.

                      So unless you’re arguing that Talent2 intended Novopay not to work, the media is correct in using the word bug to describe what’s wrong with the Novopay system.

                      To give you an example of why this is an unhelpful definition, consider notepad in windows, hopefully you’re familiar with it. Under that definition of bug, I can say “man, notepad doesn’t let me add pictures into the documents I create, it’s a bug”. Except notepad was never designed to let you add pictures to documents: it’s purpose is to be a simple text-only editor. Calling this a bug is unhelpful because it is clearly a feature request.

                      Yes! The lack of a design feature is not a bug. This debate has become ridiculous and I have better things to do.

                    • Lanthanide

                      “So unless you’re arguing that Talent2 intended Novopay not to work, the media is correct in using the word bug to describe what’s wrong with the Novopay system.”

                      It’s clear that you don’t even know what I’m talking about. I am specifically argueing with the media picking up and reporting the line about 147 software defects, 10 of which were major (but nothing big enough to stop the roll-out), as if that was an important point.

                      That’s it. Nothing more.

                      The reason I am picking on it has been the purpose of all of my replies: if Novopay say that they have 147 unresolved defects, but that none of them are show-stoppers, then we should take them at their word. It’s an unimportant / uninteresting minor fact precisely because all software has bugs, but the media picked it up because it sounds scary and like a damning indictment of the software, when truly it is an standard and unexceptional outcome for a software project of this size.

                      The true damning indictment is that they “met or nearly met” 7 of the 8 criteria. This speaks of unfinished or unimplemented features/requirements.

                • Andrew Scobie

                  “The point is that programers who fix bugs are usually a bit specialized, whereas programers who write code usually aren’t.”

                  WTF? seriously? in what universe would that be?

                  • Colonial Viper

                    I love how Jackal just keeps digging and digging and digging. Wait he’s going to have a go at you next.

                    • Jackal

                      You’re the main reason The Standard’s page views have been steadily declining CV.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      I have the power mate. Bow down before my page view suppressor.

                    • Andrew Scobie

                      “You’re the main reason The Standard’s page views have been steadily declining CV”

                      A bit harsh from someone who has no comments on their own blog?

                    • TheContrarian

                      It’s because Jackal deletes comments he doesn’t like and bans people who challenge him.

                    • Jackal

                      Colonial Viper

                      I have the power mate. Bow down before my page view suppressor.

                      I don’t think the fact that your negative commentary is stopping people from visiting The Standard is a joking matter CV… Especially as the main right wing blogs are increasing their pageviews while The Standard steadily declines.

                      Andrew Scobie

                      A bit harsh from someone who has no comments on their own blog?

                      There’s a few thousand comments on The Jackal blog Andrew… The point is that Coronial Wiper’s continued personal attacks and tr0lling of other peoples comments is detrimental to this site.

                      Here’s the effect (although I’m sure many won’t appreciate me highlighting the problem):

                      The Standard’s pageviews have decreased by 36% between October 2012 and January 2013.

                      To be fair, it’s not just CV… There’s a number of other commentators who don’t make for good reading.

                      There also seems to be a lack of articles in comparison to the right wing blogs and the whole anti-Shearer diatribe that occurred recently turned many people off (especially Labour supporters) from reading The Standard.

                      TheContrarian

                      It’s because Jackal deletes comments he doesn’t like and bans people who challenge him.

                      There’s a process I follow that’s perhaps a bit harsher than the admin here. However it’s not a process in the way you describe.

                      There’s currently nobody banned from commenting at The Jackal blogsite… Care to make up some other rubbish TC?

                    • r0b []

                      The Standard’s pageviews have decreased by 36% between October 2012 and January 2013.

                      Our page views always crater in January. It’s almost like folk are on holiday and not reading the Web or something. Spooky.

                    • TheContrarian

                      You banned me and deleted my comments some time back.

                      Don’t know if I am still banned because why bother commenting on a blogsite which deletes comments it doesn’t like?

                    • Jackal

                      r0b

                      Our page views always crater in January. It’s almost like folk are on holiday and not reading the Web or something. Spooky.

                      So how do you explain the main right wing websites increasing their pageviews then r0b?

                      People usually have more time to read things when they’re on holiday, which is what I put down to a 25% increase in traffic on The Jackal blogsite within the same timeframe.

                      TheContrarian

                      You banned me and deleted my comments some time back.

                      You attacked the author on spurious grounds TC… What usually happens when you do that sort of thing?

                      Don’t know if I am still banned because why bother commenting on a blogsite which deletes comments it doesn’t like?

                      You may have noticed that I said nobody is currently banned from The Jackal blogsite, which by normal deductive reasoning would include yourself.

                    • r0b []

                      So how do you explain the main right wing websites increasing their pageviews then r0b?

                      I don’t, I’ve never looked at stats for the right wing blogs. All I can tell you is that our stats always drop in January, and it seems obvious to me that it’s because folk are on holiday. (Perhaps righties don’t get out much and like to holiday at their computers?). Certainly we writers are on holiday – hardly anything gets posted in the early weeks of Jan. Again – other bloggers milage may vary…

                    • TheContrarian

                      “You attacked the author on spurious grounds TC… What usually happens when you do that sort of thing?”

                      Ummm, no I questioned the author on very reasonable ground.

                      But hey, if you can’t take criticism and have to ban and delete as opposed to discuss then that’s your own failing

                    • Tim

                      Rob: Take a step back and see http://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-08022013/#comment-586328

                      Can anyone tell me (considering in context of technological advancement) that they’re better off – i.e. things are more efficient and effective, accountable, responsive and whatever other bulsh marker you want to apply) than they were with whatever the status quo ante was? (Let ALONE the additional costs)

                      Admittedly I’ve not actually read ALL the above ‘Intelectual Interchange of Ideas’ [or III, better still...3I for the bullshit artists] because the failures that now provide evidence of ideologically applied dogma are so widespread, they’ve become boring, and mostly a waste of time to read when life becomes more and more precious.

                      This whole Talent2 thing IS (and always was) a complete load of kaka!

                      The saddest thing is that we’re all still (as far as I can see) putting emphasis on how bad the technology is and how to fix it – RATHER than the fact that real people are being affected to the extent that their personal lives are becoming completely fucked – all in order to serve a few IT salesmen, politicians and others frikken EGO’s.

                      Please! Even GIVEN the info released to date – NovaPay (or NOPay – apply as you see fit, and whatever and whoever you choose to apply blame to) – IS A PIECE OF SHIT.

                      The only surprising thing is that we’ve been here before – SEVERAL times.

                      Hey, just btw….where’s that ‘Oh I’m the great pretender, connected and an expert Master of the Universe’ MoReece Willydick in all of this?
                      During the 90’s – that shallow prick contributed in no small way to the status of what we now refer to as IT….C.
                      I always wondered whether he [read 'He'...the cat's whisker, AS WELL AS those he held in his favour such as friends, family and so on] ever held shares in Telecom. Safer bet than a Lotto Lucky Dup

                    • fenderviper

                      Jackal,

                      “You’re the main reason The Standard’s page views have been steadily declining CV.”

                      You may be taking this “CV doesn’t have faith in Shearer” grudge a bit too far Jackal.

                      “To be fair, it’s not just CV… There’s a number of other commentators who don’t make for good reading.”

                      Would those be the ones that don’t endorse Shearer?

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      “To be fair, it’s not just CV… There’s a number of other commentators who don’t make for good reading.”

                      Having been called a few choice names in recent days for comments that might well have been applauded if the targets were right wing loons instead of immature lefties has given me some pause for thought. Just my two cents worth, but the lack of fresh right wing meat may have lead to us commentators feeding on each other in recent months. So, I promise in future to be less contrarian, more on message and generally agreeable and I will, er, I will …

                      Ah, fuck it. As you were, people.

      • mickysavage 3.1.2

        If the company judged that the bugs were not critical and it was possible to release with them, then you should trust their judgement.

        Agreed Lanth but if the missing criteria was the handling of part time teachers’ pay do you think the go live instruction should have been given?

        I also agree that some more detail would be helpful such as what the bugs were and when it was thought they were going to be fixed but there is no sign that any of the ministers asked what should have been glaringly obvious questions.

        • Lanthanide 3.1.2.1

          “Agreed Lanth but if the missing criteria was the handling of part time teachers’ pay do you think the go live instruction should have been given?”

          Yeah, I’m specifically responding to the media’s highlighting of ‘known bugs’ as being some huge red warning flag, when in reality it simply isn’t (again, assuming the company is doing their job properly in the first place and there aren’t serious unknown bugs lurking in the code).

          I think this is more a case of improper requirements gathering, or simply incomplete software implementation, rather than bugs. Those are the sorts of things that could imply a specific criteria had been missed.

          Certainly without any details provided, as a minister I’d be more concerned about 7 out of 8 criteria being “met or nearly met” than I would about known non-critical software defects.

          It seems obvious given the past poor performance of TalentTwo with many missed deadlines and quality issues, that a much more cautious approach should have been taken, at the very least with a much wider testing and staged rollout should have happened.

      • McFlock 3.1.3

        Some unimportant or undetected bugs is one thing.
        Activating a new system with no backup when it’s unclear if any of the required specs have been met (what was it – 7 out of 8 “met or close to being met”) is another thing entirely.

        • Lanthanide 3.1.3.1

          Yes, agreed.

        • Tiresias 3.1.3.2

          This isn’t just any old software you can roll out with a few bugs and missing features to be made up later with patches and servive packs and upgrades. This by its very nature was something that had to work 99.9% right fom day 1 – because it’s cumulative. What it does on day 2 depends on what happens on day 1, and what it does on day 3 depends on that data it stored on day 2, and what happens on day 100 is entirely dependent on what happened in the previous 99 days. You can’t just pull the plug, fix it, reboot it and start again afresh from day 1.

          In fact it’s a classic case of digital chinese-whispers where small errors going right back to the beginning get magnifed into a cascade effect across the entire system.

          I don’t believe this is some dastardly plot by a Union-hating government to get back at the teachers. A) if it was it would be by far the most subtly clever and effective thing it has done by a long way, and B) no way would Talent2 be staying silent watching its reputation go down the gurgler just to enable a petty governmental vendetta. This is simply a technically ignorant, penny-pinching Government letting itself be talked by a flash salesman into saving a few million by buying a the car at the back of the lot with an assurance that there might be a bit of rust here and there but “she’ll be all right”, and not even looking under the bonnet.

          Like most people who do that – when they’re young usually, well I was anyway – you end up paying out a whole lot more trying to keep it running than you would have spent buying a decent car to start with and it eventually lets you down anyway.

          • Matthew Whitehead 3.1.3.2.1

            Actually, to be clear, a payroll system of itself is NOT cumulative. To deal with PAYE in the ideal way, it has to deal with cumulative tax calculations, however.

  4. RJL 4

    I think it is a cock-up.

    However, I am sure that the likes of Joyce will see (and take) the opportunity to “fix” the system.

  5. The illegal strike action planned for 19 February in Christchurch is a sign the the sleeping giant of the generally compliant education sector is waking. NZEI has only gone on strike twice before in its 130 year history, it takes a Government as bad as this and treatment as appalling as this to take this kind of action. National’s hate for teachers is largely because they demand evidence for decisions and collaboration with any change and this is the antithesis of how National operates.

  6. Erentz 6

    Amazing example of incompetence at all levels. But unfortunately it will all be swept under the rug and no lessons will be learned come the next big government project.

    How on earth are we going to rebuild IRDs FIRST system, a paltry 1 billion dollar project to replace the entire tax system, if we can’t get a simple payroll system.

    I know it’s sometimes dangerous to say such things. But I really don’t understand these failings. They are all entirely down to an amazing case of mismanagement. Things like not having a web interface for uploading part time data and having to email it? It’s so inanely simple to develop such things and web you’ve had several years to do it. my mind absolutely boggles wondering what was going on inside talent2 and the ministry. You’re not exactly building the next google.

    • Hayden 6.1

      It’s so inanely simple to develop such things and web you’ve had several years to do it. my mind absolutely boggles wondering what was going on inside talent2 and the ministry. You’re not exactly building the next google.

      Exactly. Apparently it’s going to take 2 years to fix, but a handful of programmers should be able to build it from scratch in 1 year, if not less. It almost seems as though Government goes for the highest bidder in any tender process, as if the most expensive product is obviously the best.

    • Tim 6.2

      @ E… for the very same reasons as people have identified elsewhere (from memory on an OPEN MIKE a couple of days ago) – and for the reasons some Otago Uni fellas identified quite adequately several years ago. DATANET, INCIS, ABYSS (aka IBIS), a plethora of Health system projects, PlanWISE, etc., etc., etc.
      Same shit different stink as they say. I’m only really familiar with DATANET, ABYSS and PlanWISE in any depth, except that I did have contact with a IBM fella from the US involved with INCIS.
      Amazing too that often the good work some do gets besmirched (such as with INCIS and PlanWISE) whilst the culprits move on to the very next bugger’s muddle.
      For some reason, there always seems to be bean counters and non-tech people lacking trust in those that actually do have the nouse (and perhaps with good reason – I’ve seen some dooozies)…. but their interference in IT projects, their wish to go for add-ons and shifting goal posts never ceases to amaze me.

      Good luck with whatever it is that IRD wants.

  7. TheContrarian 7

    Sounds like total incompetence to me.

    From Labour, Talent2, National and everyone who was supposed to be testing the thing.

    A total fuck-up on every count

    • One Tāne Huna 7.1

      Can you outline what the Labour incompetence was? Can you explain how Labour was in any way responsible for the decision to go live with a buggy system?

      How do you know the National Party hadn’t “cut out the backroom wastage” that was “supposed to be testing the thing”?

      • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1

        Labour was the one to sign the contract and they really shouldn’t have signed with such a young company. But, then, I suppose rear vision is 20/20

        • One Tāne Huna 7.1.1.1

          “they really shouldn’t have signed with such a young company.”

          I have some sympathy with that opinion.

        • McFlock 7.1.1.2

          Dunno. My workplace uses Talent2 fine. There were some issues re:shift workers, but it was resolved quickly.

          There is a possibility that labour agreed crap deliverables, but by the sound of it the nats/minEd hoped that the cost of implementing a subpar system would be lower than the cost of calling talent2 out on a contract default, or procrastinated the decision until the situation was unrecoverable. Either of those options is poor supervision by the minister.

          • TheContrarian 7.1.1.2.1

            New Zealand Police use Peoplesoft and they used to have a shitload of problems.
            Not sure if they have sorted it out yet either

      • Tim 7.1.2

        I could ask OTH, WHO the other people were, asked to provide a “solution”, and what the process was that was used for the selection of Talent2 – over and above the others that tendered (if they did).
        You’ll recall that Helen was always a stickler (if that’s what the expression is) – for “Process”.

        I’m thinking that no formal process was ever applied, and IF it was, then I’d put money on a load of pop-up egos we see repeatedly were involved.

        • Pascal's bookie 7.1.2.1

          Or you could not be such a lazy shit and read the docs.

          Would probably pay to do that before you put the money down, tbh.

          • Tim 7.1.2.1.1

            It’s not laziness btw PB – its disability – but never mind …. would if I could and I don;t plane on going into detail on here for the sake of bitchiness

    • This is a line that has been spun a few times.

      All Labour did was tell Talent2 to go away and design a payroll system that was web based and data could be entered directly online.

      Talent2 said “yeah sure”.

      Then Labour was thrown out of office.

      Difficulties then arose and it became clear to all that what Talent2 had designed was a dog of a system and would not work.

      Despite this, and despite being told about all of the bugs three National Ministers approved the go live recommendation.

      And this is all Labour’s fault?

      Spare me …

      • TheContrarian 7.2.1

        I never said it ‘was all Labours fault’. But I’ll retract anyway.

        I was just reacting to a post I saw of Bomber’s where blames National for the purchase of Novopay when he knows that wasn’t the case.

        Anyway – retracting.

        • NoseViper (The Nose knows) 7.2.1.1

          TC If National signed off on it – THEY PURCHASED the Novopay package. That’s the way it works in business. You place the order and you pay for it and you get what you paid for, and you should make sure it’s what you want beforehand.

          • TheContrarian 7.2.1.1.1

            “TC If National signed off on it – THEY PURCHASED the Novopay package. ”

            “The Novopay contract was signed off in September 2008 by the previous Labour government.”

            http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/politics/7996945/Banks-clarifies-link-to-Novopay-firm

            “11/8/2008 Minister Carter signs contract with Talent2″

            http://www.minedu.govt.nz/~/media/MinEdu/Files/TheMinistry/NovopayProject/Background/MemoNovopayChronology.pdf

            But it is a moot point because it was the roll-out, not the purchase that is the problem

            • higherstandard 7.2.1.1.1.1

              Until we see the original tender and contract no-one here knows the true nature and size of the cock up – judging by previous IT debacles such as INCIS this is just more of the same. Most reasonable commercial contracts would be written in such a way that the govt should be in a position to sue Novopay’s owners to within a mm of bankruptcy.

              • Colonial Viper

                It would be very interesting to see if the Government is utilising all contractual mechanisms available to it. Or whether it’s giving the contractors a free pass.

                • higherstandard

                  From what I understand they’ve gone to Datacom, cap in hand, and asked them to get their system back up and running until Novopay is fixed (or fucked) and Datacom justifiably told them to stick it where the sun doesn’t shine.

                  • Nah, Datacom would most likely have told them they’ve shut down their system and the Government would be stuck paying extra for it to be brought online again if they wanted it even for backup purposes, and they’d need a time period of years to do so. Again, this is why a paralell rollout should have been done.

                    • higherstandard

                      I suspect a parallel rollout was not an option under the original tender/RFP which was probably a winner takes all type proposal.

      • Tim 7.2.2

        @ MickyS – but did they tell ONLY Talent 2 to go away and design a payroll system or did they go through a legit RFP process?
        I’m wondering – I genuinely don’t know because (thankfully) I’m out of that industry of wheel re-inventors, egotists, people who define themselves by perceptions of their own cleverness, job title and employment status.
        I’d actually like to know though because it’d be a case of do as I say (abide by process designed to be fair), rather than as I do. (I know often “process” seems like bullshit, but was Talent2 the ONLY set of wankers told to go away and design a payroll system?) – If So – there goes another reason for me (NAct – lite won’t be getting my vote)

  8. Matthew Hooton 8

    It is extremely unlikely there is any link to any secret bulk funding plans, even if they actually exist. Under bulk funding, teachers are still paid under the central payroll system (it is just that schools get to choose how many teachers to employ and at what levels on the collective contract pay scale, within a fixed budget). So if you did have secret plans to implement bulk funding you would want your central pay roll system working properly first. Of course, it is possible that Parata didn’t know this, and thought, by saying yes to novopay, that she was implementing a cunning conspiracy to push bulk funding but, in a sense, that would be giving her too much credit.

    • One Tāne Huna 8.1

      :roll:

    • Lanthanide 8.2

      I reckon it’s a backdoor trial of performance pay, rather than bulk funding. Now they’re simply not paying teachers anything, or paying them huge amounts, depending on their performance.

    • bad12 8.3

      i reckon that you being on the tory pecking order quite a number of steps below Hekia that you don’t know s**t from sugar except what those at the top of the food chain tell you like Hekia to parrot to the masses,

      Your only slight saving grace a the moment is you appear to have shat the very large plum which was previously constricting your vocal abilities although i fear that you may have retention issues which wont allow you to pass the seed successfully…

  9. NoseViper (The Nose knows) 9

    Novopayn. A Principal this morning on Radionz said that some Principals before Christmas had to pay staff out of their own pockets. The departmental and program staff were on holiday. Some have had to use credit cards.

    It has a resonance of the debacle after Muldoon’s refusal to accept the reality of having lost his role and mana and the control of the nation’s finances, when David Lange said money difficulties were so bad that diplomatic staff had to support their operation with their own credit cards.

  10. Fortran 10

    Can somebody please tell me that if Novopay disaster, as at present, having been signed off by MOE senior staff, and advised “to go” for Ministers to sign off –

    How would Labour handle this situation from hereon ?

    It is easy to criticise, but how about a suggested solution.
    The previous payroll company do not want a bar of it -they were happy to see the end of it, as they also had problems.

    Constructive comment please as this can be used to hold the Nacts to account politically rather than shout abuse.

    • TheContrarian 10.1

      ^^^ Good post

    • felixviper 10.2

      The clue is in the “if”.

    • Draco T Bastard 10.3

      Dedicated government IT department responsible for researching and developing all the governments needed software. This should bring about significant institutional knowledge over time that would help prevent BS like this happening.

      But that’s me and not Labour. Labour will continue the present use of private contractors and so we’ll keep getting shit like this.

    • McFlock 10.4

      There’s a couple of issues that come down to approach.

      Firstly, there’s how often ministers were updated on the progress of a major project. It almost looks like Labour gave the go ahead to start the contract, then nothing happened for three years until ministers rubberstamped whatever was in front of them. A better minister (not really a party thing, other than the general incompetence of the current cabinet) would have had progress updates and maybe intervened sooner, or even claimed default on the contract at the early stage before the costs of exit were as big as the costs of continuing.

      Secondly, there’s the issue of signing off the go live authorisation before all the ducks were in a row. How costly would it have been to ask which targets were operational and how close was the package to 100% status? I might have missed the memo where the ministry said that delay on it was impossible or prohibitive. Otherwise there was not good reason to go live before the project was 100% ready. My guess is that all concerned were worried that another delay, however brief, would have been bad publicity. They chose … poorly.

  11. Richard Down South 11

    At what point are they breaking the law on non payment of wages?

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      Not being a lawyer though…

      A pattern of missed or incorrect pays suggests either bad faith on the employer’s part, or an inability of the Ministry to meet the reasonable obligations expected of any employer. So from about that point.

      Plus if an employee has suffered costs and hardship through the employer’s actions/inaction (missed APs or mortgage payments leading to extra fees etc) they would have a reasonable claim for expenses plus damages.

  12. ianmac 12

    Let us suppose it was an accident that NOVA pay was a mess/cockup.
    Along comes Mr Joyce. OK it’s a mess. So how can he capitalise on the mess?
    Deliver the Bulk Funding to each school and they become their own paymasters. (And while you are at it Mr Joyce slip in Performance Pay based on success with National Standards.)
    Would Joyce/Key be this devious do you think?

    • tc 12.1

      I like your style, solves a few issues under the mask of an emergency, Nice work.

      Payroll is like aircraft systems they should have NO major flaws, only cosmetic minor ones that DO NOT impact gross/tax/nett and payment into recipients banks/IRD etc.

      cock up, incompetance whatever, heads should roll and ministers should be held accountable. End of story.

    • McFlock 12.2

      that is scary plausible. TINA the “solution” as a temporary measure in time of exigency, and just not come up with a replacement. Ouch.

      • Colonial Viper 12.2.1

        In a few months, principles and teachers alike will be begging the Ministry to be bulk funded.

  13. Scintilla 13

    You all realise, don’t you, that those stroppy secondary teachers quietly settled their Collective Agreement for 2013-2015 in December 2012? No strikes, no drama, no media hype.

    Teachers are keeping their powder dry to fight Charter schools and Novopay. I think Joyce will pull the plug before teachers feel it is necessary to strike.

  14. Daveosaurus 14

    I’d be interested in seeing a timeline comparing Cabinet’s being warned that Novopay was going pear-shaped, with Banks’ shareholdings in Talent2.

  15. bbfloyd 15

    Just stopped in to see if this site had cleaned up it’s act… Nope… still just a bunch of whiners, and apologists(lanthanide)… the typical chardonnay socialist whinges and wrings their hands over the “injustice” of tory theft, and societal sabotage, but is still happy to profit from that same abuse of power (lanth again)…

    Javkal is partly right… the readership is deserting… and for good reasons… Articles stating the bleeding obvious, combined with an inner clique of commenters that are obviously playacting at having some sort of “influence”, whilst stupidly ignoring thoughtful, and multi faceted comments, or attacking lifelong socialists using utterly innappropriate insults such as “right wing nut job”, thereby proving no more than a serious lack of true intelligence on the part of the majority of the “insiders”….

    Earth to “standardistas”… you are officially irrelevant… this site is now just an internet circle jerk…. bloody shame really… there was an opportunity to have apositive impact on necessary public debate, and it was blown away on a tide of egoism, and dishonesty….

    Pseudo intellectualism will always be exposed for what it is eventually… and this sites inner circle has been shown up… bye bye losers… I look forward to this site becoming anonimous any day soon…

    Although i know some of you halfwits won’t be able to resist some sort of bitchy comeback(lanthanide, lprent) you are wasting your time… I won’t be engaging at this low a level again….. I prefer proper debate.. One that has room for philosophical ideas to be aired, rather than just throwing “links” at each other, and descending into irrelevant minutae, or just straight out egotripping….

    • Colonial Viper 15.1

      Javkal is partly right… the readership is deserting…

      Earth to “standardistas”… you are officially irrelevant… this site is now just an internet circle jerk….

      lprent, could you add some figures to these comments? How have page views and unique readership done over the last 12 months. I was under the impression from your last update things were going fine.

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    CTU | 30-10
  • An unmanaged conflict
    Katherine Rich is a member of the government-appointed Health Promotion Agency, responsible for (as it says on its website) "inspiring all New Zealanders to lead healthier lives". Katherine Rich is also Chief Executive of the New Zealand Food and Grocery...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • Robert Fisk
    Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • A stretch
    This morning the Herald revealed that Kim Dotcom had been convicted and fined for dangerous driving in 2009, but had not declared it on his application for residency. Immigration is now talking about deporting him. So, this is what we...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • Tauranga port happy to take the money – but not happy to accept responsib...
    Comments from a Port of Tauranga manager about deaths and injuries in their port during a Radio New Zealand interview are unacceptable....
    MUNZ | 30-10
  • New Ebola Toys for Xmas. Yay?
    From the "too soon?" file, here are two oddly successful exercises in niche marketing. First, the molecularly-sort-of-correct ebola plush toy. Apparently it has sold out: And, of course, the sexy ebola nurse outfit: Ebola, as everyone knows, ignores cleavage. And...
    Polity | 30-10
  • Temporary, discriminatory and an admission of Faliure
    The PM says that the legislation his government proposes to pass under urgency allowing for the confiscation of passports of NZ citizens in order to combat the threat of returning foreign fighters will be “tightly focused” on those traveling to...
    Kiwipolitico | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • Experiment-gate update
    Readers may recall the saga around an experimental mailer some Stanford / Dartmouth researchers sent into the state of Montana. In a randomised trial, it provided voters with some added information about two candidates running for a judicial election, and...
    Polity | 30-10
  • Why are our Politicians Auckland Toll Chickens?
    Yesterday both the National Government and Green Party opposed the suggestion to place a toll on Auckland’s roads, but for completely different reasons. The Government opposes it because they see it as a new tax. The Greens because they would...
    Gareth’s World | 29-10
  • The obvious question
    John Key says he knows who the hacker Rawshark is. So, will the police be raiding his home for ten hours and taking all his data, or is that something they only do to enemies of the National Party?...
    No Right Turn | 29-10
  • Guest post: Living with a criminal conviction
    What happens when one moment of bad judgement changes everything anyone ever thinks about you? Mike Jones* used a weapon to defend his girlfriend from an aggressive man at a party seven years ago. He’s still paying for that choice....
    On the Left | 29-10
  • Famous Kiwi Radio Host Invites Rapists To “Call In and Defend Yourselves...
    [This post is now being live-blogged. Please check back periodically for updates. The amazing header image is by Occupy Auckland media team co-ordinator @Redstar309z and features an artistic impression of two alleged #Roastbusters serial rapists - Joseph Levall Parker (left)...
    Spin Bin | 29-10
  • Famous Kiwi Radio Host Invites #Roastbusters Rapists To “Call In and Defe...
    [This post is now being live-blogged. Please check back periodically for updates. The amazing header image is by Occupy Auckland media team co-ordinator @Redstar309z and features an artistic impression of two alleged #Roastbusters serial rapists - Joseph Levall Parker (left)...
    Spin Bin | 29-10
  • James Shaw speaks on the four Bills formerly known as the Accounting Infras...
    The assurance industry is a critical component of our economic framework. The idea that there is a trusted independent watchdog of the public interest underpins investor confidence and ensures financial probity on behalf of our country's leading institutions. New Zealand...
    Greens | 31-10
  • ANZ needs to look after its workers after another super profit
    The ANZ bank needs to acknowledge the super profits it makes are coming at the expense of its workers, the Green Party said today.Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) 2014 full year results show a lift in performance...
    Greens | 31-10
  • 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 | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • National’s “Auckland housing boom” a fizzer
    Falling Auckland consent numbers show the Government’s housing policy is going backwards contrary to wild claims by Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith that we are on the cusp of a massive construction boom, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Local job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Zero tolerance for forestry accidents a must
    The Government must adopt a zero tolerance approach to workplace accidents in the forestry sector to stop people being killed, Labour’s Forestry spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “It is time for the Government and the forestry sector to put an end...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Return to less holidays on the cards?
    John Key needs to lay his cards on the table regarding the Government’s intentions around holiday pay and annual leave entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “A day after National pushed through laws that take away the legal...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Forest Safety report first step in making our forests safe to work in
    Our forests are a very dangerous place to work. Between 2008 and 2013 there have been 32 fatalities and more than a thousand serious harm incidents in this industry. The Council of Trade Unions and First union have been doing...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Catherine Delahunty Speaks on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill
    Kia ora, Mr Assistant Speaker. He mihi nui ki te Whare Paremata. Welcome to the glorious 19th century, dressed up in the not-so-new flexibility-speak. At the final moment of this bill, let us drop the charade. The Government has a...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Ruataniwha Feds refuse to present a balanced view
    A bid to sell the Ruataniwha water project to Hawkes Bay farmers has turned in to an incredibly one sided affair, says Labours spokesperson on Water Meka Whaitiri.  “It’s being promoted as ‘Ruataniwha it’s now or never’ and it promises...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Worker’s rights dealt severe blow with Bill’s passing
    The passing of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill is another blow to workers' rights in New Zealand, the Green Party said today.This afternoon, National's Employment Relations Amendment Bill passed with the support of Act and United Future."This bill will force...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Barriers to reporting sex crimes must go
    Both the Government and police need to take action to ensure that, in future, sexual abuse victims know they will be taken seriously, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “The young women involved in the Roast Busters case, and...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    Greens | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Kevin Hague questions the Minister of Health on management of Katherine Ric...
    Is he satisfied that all conflicts of interest that arose by the head of Food and Grocery Council Katherine Rich being a member of the Health Promotion Agency were managed in accordance with the provisions of the Crown Entities Act...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Bennett parks numbers on social housing
    Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett admitted today that well over 1000 families have been subsidised through the accommodation supplement to stay in the Ranui campground, somewhere she has previously described as not the right place for children to be growing...
    Labour | 30-10
  • 50,000 sign petition against anti-worker law
    More than 50,000 Kiwis have signed Labour’s petition against the Government’s scrapping of tea break entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “That’s the equivalent of five people signing our petition every minute for a week. It shows the...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Address in Reply Debate – Dr Kennedy Graham on UN Security Council- 2...
    In the Speech from the Throne last week the Prime Minister identified the usual domestic goals for his Government. I counted 17. They are not my subject today. I wish instead to focus on matters beyond our shores. In the...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Key misled public over Jason Ede
    Information contained in a new chapter of the book Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister, that Jason Ede stopped working for the National Party on the night the book Dirty Politics was released, shows Mr Key and senior ministers hid...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Greenpeace report highlights better path for NZ agriculture
    A Greenpeace International report highlights a better way forward for New Zealand agriculture than the GE and chemical mutation technologies supported by Federated Farmers, and the National Government through its research funding packages, the Green Party said today. "This report...
    Greens | 29-10
  • BNZ post record profits while leaving savers vulnerable
    A small part of the $850 million record profit posted by the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) today needs to be set aside to protect savers' deposits in the future, said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman today.Dr Norman was...
    Greens | 29-10
  • RBNZ U-turn shows monetary settings were wrong
    The Reserve Bank's U-turn on interest rates today shows monetary policy settings were wrong and New Zealanders have suffered unnecessarily through the loss of jobs and having to pay higher interest rates, the Green Party said today.Reserve Bank Governor Graeme...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Ports must take responsibility for shameful death toll
    Port companies must step up and take responsibility for a shameful toll of seven deaths and 133 serious accidents in the past three years, Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway says. The frightening figures – released by the Rail, Maritime and Transport...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee
    Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are...
    Greens | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Labour urges iwi leaders to meet with National
    Labour’s Māori Caucus has called on iwi leaders and national Māori organisations to seek urgent meetings with the National Government to directly express their concerns about employment law changes which will harm Māori workers. In an open letter sent today...
    Labour | 29-10
  • ACC’s reputation needs fix, not glitz
    Restoring public trust and confidence in ACC will take a lot more than a new communications strategy or social media blitz, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Under National, ACC has come to be perceived as insensitive, difficult to deal...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Lessons to be learned from police investigation
    The outcome of the so-called Roast Busters case should not put victims off reporting sexual crimes, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “This case has been mishandled from the start. Within days of police initially saying no charges had...
    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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