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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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  • John Key’s Top 69 Lies – Today No. 29: It’s a left-wing smear campaig...
     Key: 'Left wing smear campaign'   Key continues to back Collins    John Key is wrong. He is not the victim of a smear campaign, and here's why: First, let's define "smear campaign". Wikipedia: A smear campaign, smear tactic or simply smear is...
    Arch Rival | 22-08
  • How Many National MPs are Corrupt?
    Reading through the ‘dumps’ of information allegedly showing Scumbag Adulterer Cameron Slater’s messages with National Party Hacks, there is a lot of discussions about money changing hands, Tobacco Companies making ‘donations’, and so on. Not only has Key’s Office and...
    An average kiwi | 22-08
  • Tolley feeds Slater too
    Because of Nicky Hager's excellent book, Dirty Politics, we know that a number of senior National party officials and Ministers have been caught out supplying information and content to the Whale Oil Beef Hooked blogsite, information that Cameron Slater uses...
    The Jackal | 22-08
  • Unsurprising
    No bloggers have signed up to join the Online Media Standards Authority. This isn't really surprising. For a start, membership costs $500 a year (and ten times that if too many people complain) - well beyond the means of most...
    No Right Turn | 22-08
  • Nelson fishing museum satire or not?
    Apparently, unless Fairfax is now taking on The Civilian in the field of satirical news, the Minister of Conservation Nick Smith and fishing magnate Peter Talley are planning a fishing museum in Nelson. And the Minister considers this "ambitious new...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 22-08
  • Steering By The Real: Chris Trotter Responds To Paul Buchanan.
    Uncharacteristically Idealistic: Normally a cool-headed realist (as befits an expert in international relations) Dr Paul Buchanan has taken issue with Chris Trotter's "cynical" Bowalley Road posting Dirty Politics - Is There Any Other Kind? by offering a passionately idealistic defence of...
    Bowalley Road | 22-08
  • This should not have taken five years
    Back in 2009, after the Herald was given information showing that National MP Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi was suspected by the Immigration Service of paying off a woman at the centre of allegations he had made bogus job offers, Immigration Minister...
    No Right Turn | 22-08
  • Poll of Polls update – 22 August 2014
    The latest Herald Digipoll has just been released, and with a polling window running from 14 August to 20 August, the entirety of the polling was completed following the release of Dirty Politics. The results show a sharp fall of 4.9% for National. However,...
    Occasionally erudite | 22-08
  • Hard News: In The Green Room
    Next Thursday, John Key and David Cunliffe will meet in the first TVNZ leaders' debate. At the same time, Green Party co-leaders Metiria Turei and Russel Norman will appear in The Green Room, a "companion" debate streamed live online.I'll be...
    Public Address | 21-08
  • Walking in Manukau
    Just over a month ago I was out at Manukau City, at the open day of the new MIT, which doubles as Manukau station. This is a brilliant facility, with world class integration of land use and transport. If you...
    Transport Blog | 21-08
  • World News Brief, Friday August 22
    Top of the AgendaThai Junta Leader Appointed PM...
    Pundit | 21-08
  • Review finds community water fluoridation safe and effective
    A press release from the Royal Society of NZ today. I think the “take home message is: “The panel concluded that the concerns raised by those opposed to fluoridation are not supported by the scientific evidence” A review of the...
    Open Parachute | 21-08
  • Seismic testing stopped in Norway but coming soon to Northland
    Seismic testing for oil in the Arctic Barents Sea, commissioned by the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate has been stopped four days after it began and one month ahead of schedule after Greenpeace exposed it to the media. But off the coast...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 21-08
  • Hard News: Friday Music: A Strange Road
    It was one thing when the Electoral Commission declared Darren Watson's 'Planet Key' song and video to be an "election programme" under the Broadcasting Act. But quite another for it to then find it to also be an "election advertisement"...
    Public Address | 21-08
  • More proof
    Adam Bennet in the Herald reports: New evidence has emerged appearing to contradict Prime Minister John Key's claim he was never told by the SIS it intended to release politically sensitive secret documents to Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater. But...
    Polity | 21-08
  • Housing under National: the facts
    1.       House prices in Auckland Council valuations indicate Auckland house prices have gone up by one-third over the last three years. (Auckland Council) The average Auckland house price has gone up by nearly $225,000 since 2008, up over $75,000 in...
    Labour | 23-08
  • Labour irons out low income tax issue
    The increasing casualisation of work has led to many New Zealand families being disadvantaged through the tax they pay, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. "Many low paid workers are having to work two or three jobs to make ends meet...
    Labour | 22-08
  • Cornered Government comes out swinging
    The National Government is so desperate to keep its dead-in-the-water expert teachers policy alive, it has refused to rule out forcing schools to participate through legislation, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “John Key today attacked the Educational Institute for...
    Labour | 22-08
  • Pacific people continue to go backwards under National
    A report from Victoria University highlights the fact that Pacific people are continuing to go backwards under a National Government, said Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “The report shows the largest inequality increases were in smoking, obesity, tertiary...
    Labour | 22-08
  • Wellington transport plan needs to keep moving
    The failure of the Transport Agency to properly look at alternatives to the Basin Reserve flyover is not a good reason for further delays to improving transport in Wellington, Labour MPs Grant Robertson and Annette King say. “The Board of...
    Labour | 22-08
  • Labour’s focus on inequality, kids and better job prospects
    Tackling child poverty and removing barriers to people working part time to enhance their prospects of moving into a fulltime job are highlights of Labour’s Social Development policy. Releasing the policy today, spokesperson Sue Moroney said while part-time work was...
    Labour | 21-08
  • Political staff should give answers under oath
    The Inspector General of Security and Intelligence should use her full statutory powers to question witnesses under oath about the leak of SIS information, says Labour MP Phil Goff. “Leakage of confidential information from the SIS for political purposes is...
    Labour | 21-08
  • High dollar, hands-off Govt sends workers to dole queue
    The loss of up to 100 jobs at Croxley stationery in Auckland is devastating news for their families and the local Avondale community, Labour’s Employment, Skills and Training spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The company’s inability to compete in international markets...
    Labour | 21-08
  • National’s flagship education policy dead in the water
    National’s plan to create executive principals and expert teachers is effectively dead in the water with news that 93 percent of primary teachers have no confidence in the scheme, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “The fact that teachers are...
    Labour | 21-08
  • Dunedin will be a knowledge and innovation centre under Labour
    Dunedin will become a knowledge and innovation centre under a Labour Government that will back local businesses, support technology initiatives and fund dynamic regional projects, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Nowhere has the National Government’s short-sightedness been more apparently than...
    Labour | 21-08
  • Inquiry into SIS disclosures the right decision
    Labour MP Phil Goff says the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has done the right thing by launching an inquiry into the disclosure of SIS documents about a meeting between himself and the agency’s former director-general. “This inquiry is necessary...
    Labour | 20-08
  • Labour – supporting and valuing carers and the cared for
    Placing real value on our elderly and the people who care for them will be a priority for a Labour Government, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. Releasing Labour’s Senior Citizens policy today David Cunliffe promised that a Labour Government would...
    Labour | 20-08
  • By Hoki! It’s Labour’s fisheries policy
    A Labour Government will protect the iconic Kiwi tradition of fishing by improving access to the coast, protecting the rights of recreational fishers and reviewing snapper restrictions, Labour’s Fisheries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Catching a fish from the rocks, beach...
    Labour | 20-08
  • Mighty River – Mighty Profits – Mighty hard to swallow
    Mighty River Power’s profit increase of 84 per cent is simply outrageous, says Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer. “Demand for electricity is flat or declining yet the company has made enormous profits. It is the latest power company to celebrate...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Collins’ actions were wrong, not unwise
    John Key’s moral compass remains off-kilter as he cannot bring himself to declare Judith Collins’ actions outright wrong, not simply ‘unwise’, said Labour MP Grant Robertson. “Under pressure John Key is finally shifting his stance but his failure to condemn...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Public servants behaving with more integrity than their masters
    The State Services Commission's new report on the integrity of our state services reflects the yawning gap between the behaviour of public servants and that of their political masters, Labour's State Services spokesperson Maryan Street says. “This report, which surveyed...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Phil Twyford Speech to NZCID
    "Labour's plan to build more and build better: how new approaches to housing, transport and urban development will deliver cities that work" Phil Twyford, Labour Party spokesperson on housing, transport, Auckland issues, and cities.  ...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Labour commits to independent Foreign Affairs and Trade
    “Labour is committed to New Zealand’s Foreign Affairs and Trade policy being independent and proactive, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. “We are a small but respected country. Our voice and actions count in international affairs. Labour will take a...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Key must sack Collins over abhorrent actions
    The latest revelations that Judith Collins sent the contact details of a public servant to WhaleOil in a desperate attempt to divert media attention from a bad story is abhorrent, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “John Key and Judith Collins...
    Labour | 19-08
  • It’s downhill from here under National
    The forecast drop in exports and predicted halving of growth shows that it’s downhill from here with National, Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker says. “Growth under this Government peaked in June and halves to two per cent in coming years....
    Labour | 19-08
  • John Key loses moral compass over Collins
    John Key has lost his moral compass over Judith Collins’ involvement with Cameron Slater and lost touch with New Zealanders’ sense of right and wrong, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “Whoever is Prime Minister there are expectations they will not...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Mana Movement General Election 2014 List confirmed
    The MANA List is now confirmed with all the candidates as below (the numbers are the respective Internet MANA rankings). Candidate, Electorate, Internet MANA List Position Hone Harawira, Te Tai Tokerau (1) Annette Sykes, Waiariki (3) John Minto, Mt Roskill (4) Te Hamua Nikora, Ikaroa-Rawhiti...
    Mana | 18-08
  • PREFU likely to confirm dropping exports
    National’s economic management will be put under the spotlight in tomorrow’s PREFU given clear signs the so-called rock star economy has fallen off the stage, with plummeting prices for raw commodity exports, Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker says. “Under National,...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Record profits while Kiwis face a cold winter
    The record profits by two of New Zealand’s largest electricity companies will be a bitter pill for New Zealand households who are paying record amounts for their power, says Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer. “No doubt the Key government will...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Time for John Key to answer yes or no questions
    John Key’s train-wreck interview on Morning Report shows he is no longer capable of a simple yes or no answer and has lost touch with what’s right and wrong, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “John Key has become so media...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Key must clarify who signed out SIS OIA
    Yet again John Key is proving incapable of answering a simple question on an extremely important issue – this time who signed off Cameron Slater’s fast-tracked SIS OIA request on Phil Goff, said Labour MP Grant Robertson. “John Key’s claim...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Time to invest in our tertiary education system
    A Labour Government will fully review the student support system – including allowances, loans, accommodation support and scholarships – with a view to increasing access and making the system fair, transparent and sustainable, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Maryan Street says....
    Labour | 17-08
  • Labour will facilitate regional Māori economic development agencies
    The next Labour Government will facilitate the creation of regional Māori economic development groups lead by iwi and hapū to work in partnership with business and public agencies as part of its Māori Development policy. “Labour is committed to working towards...
    Labour | 16-08
  • PRIME MINISTER’S DENIAL AT ODDS WITH NATIONAL PARTY STATEMENT
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has today released an email from the General Manager of the National Party that directly contradicts recent statements from the Prime Minister in relation to the 2011 breaches of Labour Party website databases. In his stand-up...
    Labour | 16-08
  • Labour committed to a healthier NZ for all
    A Labour Government will shift the focus of the health system from narrow targets and short term thinking to make public health and prevention a priority, Labour’s health spokesperson Annette King says. Releasing Labour’s full Health policy today she said...
    Labour | 15-08
  • Time Key took responsibility for Collins
    It is well past time for John Key to take some responsibility for the misuse of power and information by his Minister Judith Collins, and follow through on his last warning to her, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “The evidence released...
    Labour | 14-08
  • Dear John, time to answer a few questions… – Harawira
    “When Cameron Slater says about Kim Dotcom ‘I have lots on him…death by a thousand cuts…wait till you see what comes out in coming weeks on that fat c***t’, you have to ask whether this is the same Cameron Slater...
    Mana | 14-08
  • MANA CANDIDATE FOR IKAROA RAWHITI OPENS UP ABOUT SUICIDE
    “This week suicide has claimed yet more lives in whanau and communities in Ikaroa Rawhiti, and my heart goes out to those who are dealing with such a tragic loss”, says MANA candidate for Te Ikaroa Rawhiti, Te Hamua Nikora....
    Mana | 14-08
  • Offshore betting in Labour’s sights
    A Labour Government will clamp down on offshore gambling websites that deprive the local racing industry of funds, Labour’s Racing spokesperson Ross Robertson says. Releasing Labour’s racing policy today, he said betting on offshore websites is a major threat to...
    Labour | 14-08
  • Key has serious questions to answer on Dirty Politics
    John Key must answer the serious questions raised in Nicky Hager’s new book which reveal examples of dirty politics that New Zealanders will be deeply concerned about, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “Many people will be disturbed by the evidence...
    Labour | 14-08
  • Creating an inclusive society for disabled people
    A Labour Government will provide free annual health checks for people with an intellectual disability, Labour’s Disability Issues spokesperson Ruth Dyson said today in announcing Labour’s Disability Issues policy. “We will also employ another 100 additional special education teachers and...
    Labour | 14-08
  • Media Advisory – MANA name change
    This is to advise all media that on the 24th of July the ‘Mana’ party name was officially changed to ‘MANA Movement’ under the Electoral Act 1993.  The inclusion of the word ‘Movement’ in our name shouldn’t come as a surprise...
    Mana | 13-08
  • New Zealand must help in the growing Iraq crisis
    The humanitarian crisis in Iraq looks certain to get worse before it gets better,” said David Shearer Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson. “New Zealand should urgently pledge increased humanitarian assistance to United Nations agencies and NGOs present on the ground....
    Labour | 13-08
  • Allegations of migrant worker rort should be investigated
    Labour is calling for an investigation into the alleged exploitation of workers at Hutt Railway workshops, hired to repair asbestos-riddled DL locomotives. Hutt South Labour MP Trevor Mallard has written to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment asking that...
    Labour | 13-08
  • Medical and dentistry students get reprieve under Labour
    A Labour Government will restore the right of medical and dentistry students to get student loans after seven years of study because it is the right thing to do, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Maryan Street says. “Hard on the heels...
    Labour | 13-08
  • National must stop meddling with ACC before the election
    The redesign currently occurring at the Accident Claims Corporation (ACC) for sensitive claims needs to be put on hold immediately, said the Green Party today.The Green Party is concerned about work currently underway at ACC involving the sensitive claims service...
    Greens | 13-08
  • Markets slow but first home buyers still hurting
    First home buyers are hurting more than ever as the supply of affordable houses in the market dries up, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Reserve Bank will be happy LVR minimum deposits and rising interest rates have dampened...
    Labour | 13-08
  • Green Party celebrates MOU win on contaminated sites
    The Green Party is celebrating the announcement of a national register of contaminated sites today, and $2.5 million to start cleaning two sites up. The Green Party and the National Party agreed to include toxic site management work in their...
    Greens | 13-08
  • Emergency staff at breaking point
    The Southern DHB is so cash-strapped it is failing to fill nursing rosters, Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson David Clark says.  “Every day emergency department nurses arrive at work knowing they are likely to be carrying more than their recommended workload. ...
    Labour | 12-08
  • ACC minister fails in mission to change culture
    The latest damning report by the Auditor General shows that the ACC Minister has failed to fulfil her mission to fix the sick culture at ACC and real change will not come till a new Government is elected, the Green...
    Greens | 12-08
  • Labour’s regional development fund to support Palmerston North
    Labour will consider a proposal to develop an inland port at Palmerston North, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “The Palmerston North community has developed plans for an inland port which will bring jobs and economic growth to a region which...
    Labour | 12-08
  • Green Party announces priorities for Christchurch
    The Green Party has today announced its plan for a fairer, smarter and more democratic Canterbury rebuild, with a focus on smart transport solutions, restoring local democracy, and keeping Christchurch's assets.The plan sits across all of the Green Party's priorities...
    Greens | 11-08
  • Rock-star economy unplugged by China log jam
    The collapse of log prices due to oversupply in China threatens to wash the gloss off what remains of National's so-called rock-star economy, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “Already this year the price of milk solids has plunged by more...
    Labour | 11-08
  • Young job seekers dealt a poor hand
    National's "keep 'em poor" card for young people on a benefit is a sorry substitute for job training, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Sue Moroney says.  The Government today announced it would extend its payment card scheme to all teen parents...
    Labour | 11-08
  • Labour – achieving change for Kiwi women
    Working towards being a world leader in eliminating violence against women and children will be a priority for a Labour Government. Releasing Labour’s Women’s Affairs policy today spokesperson Carol Beaumont said while Labour had a proud track record of achieving...
    Labour | 11-08
  • A Matter of Whether John Key is Credible
    Headline: A Matter of Whether John Key is Credible Analysis by Selwyn Manning. Prime Minister, John Key.WITHIN NATIONAL’S STRATEGY TEAM there is an acceptance that the facts revealed in the book, Dirty Politics, is chewing away at the party’s popular...
    The Daily Blog | 23-08
  • TDB Political Diary for 2014 Election
    Here are the political events TDB will be covering this election. I will be live tweeting these events and  blog reviews will follow the next day. Internet MANA launch – August – Sunday 24th – 1pm, Western Springs School Green...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • One man’s struggle to find a copy of Dirty Politics
    I’m typing this on top of Dirty Politics.  I got the last copy yesterday morning at the local branch of a chain bookshop.  I was really in to get the paper.  I know it sold out – everyone knows - but the first thing...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • From Tucker to Key – while you were out
      From Tucker to Key – while you were out...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • Amnesty International – Justice is not Blind in Ferguson
    When a US cop pulls a gun on an unarmed man, he could be acting upon a series of impulses that have been formed since before he or she could talk. What does that police officer see in front of...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • Putting an end to zero-hour contracts in 2015
    All around the world attention is being drawn to what have been dubbed in the UK “zero-hour contracts”. These are contracts that don’t have any guaranteed hours even though the worker may be regularly employed. Unite Union has been struggling...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • NZ’s Foreign Aid: The Party Policies Compared
    For the past two elections, I’ve cast my vote based on a single question, which party promises to give the most money in foreign aid? I grant that this is a fairly narrow and simplistic lens through which to judge...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • Steering By The Real: Chris Trotter responds to Paul Buchanan
    WHEN ACADEMICS take to blogging the rest of us best be careful. And when they offer comment on the subject of dirty politics we should all pay attention. I will always remember my history lecturer, Dr Michael Cullen’s, confident dismissal...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • Interview Between Selwyn Manning & Sean Plunket Over SIS Release of OIA...
    During a RadioLive interview between host Sean Plunket and managing director of Multimedia Investments Ltd, journalist Selwyn Manning, a fiery exchange developed after Plunket attempted to “wet flannel” the issue of whether the Prime Minister has been truthful over what...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • “Even though my hours are being cut, my rent doesn’t get cut to compens...
    Fast Food = Slow Pay   Lola is a manager at a major fast food chain. Last year her employer arbitrarily cut her hours from 32 hours to anywhere between 18 and 26 hours each week. “I said I can’t...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Hate Politics has no place in NZ Politics
    I wasn’t going to write about Nicky Hagar’s ‘Dirty Politics’.  There are plenty of policy issues to discuss. Then I read the book, and what it reveals strikes at the very heart of our democracy. My overwhelming feeling is one...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Pak’nSave pull adverts from Whaleoil
    Pak n Save have replied to complaints that their adverts were appearing on hate speech site Whaleoil by deciding to block their adverts from appearing on the site. Their reply… Congratulations for Pak’NSave on making this type of ethical stand. They...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Herald Poll – Why the Greens will hit 15%
    The biggest problem for John Key is that there are swathes of National Party voters who are educated and decent people whom will be forced to read Dirty Politics out of intellectual curiosity and will be horrified by what National...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Coalition for Better Broadcasting – Dirty Politics and Dirty Media
    The Nicky Hager book is mind blowing on so many levels. The revelations of government ministers and their staff colluding with vile and hateful schemers to attack other people, is truly ugly. When the dust settles on the illegalities, immoralities...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • “You just have to keep on fighting” – an interview with Metiria Turei
    We’re meeting in her office. It’s austere, though she does have a nice teapot. The view is startling. One can map the Bowen Triangle, though the teapot is still more interesting. A group of pink faced men are running across...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Taxation and Real Estate – turning housing debate on its head
    The debate about property prices in New Zealand is disingenuous. It is clear that there is a global process in which speculators are using massive amounts of unspent and borrowed money to blow bubbles in the world’s major asset markets....
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Michael Wood – Faith and politics
    In a week which has seen our collective focus shift to those who see politics as a great game to be manipulated for their own ends, it is timely to reflect on the fact that many people are in fact...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Government’s Own Guidelines Show John Key Would Have Been Informed Of SIS...
    Analysis by Selwyn Manning. INFORMATION THAT I HAVE ACQUIRED, sourced from the State Services Commission, states in black and white the tight guideline requirements that must be followed whenever the SIS informs a Prime Minister of any pending release of...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Simply Not Credible: Dr Tucker’s “clarifications” are only making thi...
    THAT DR WARREN TUCKER, Director of the Security Intelligence Service in 2011, agreed to the release of politically sensitive material – thereby intervening in an on-going contretemps between the leaders of the National and Labour parties – without receiving the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • The Donghua Liu Affair: Evidence of Collusion between the NZ Herald and Imm...
    . 1. Prologue . The Donghua Liu Affair hit  the headlines on 18 June, with allegations that David Cunliffe wrote a letter in 2003,  on  behalf of  business migrant, Donghua Liu. Four days later, on Sunday 22 June, the Herald...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Dear Canon NZ – Malevolence should induce revulsion, it shouldn’t be ce...
    Giovanni Tiso’s analysis on Slater is possibly the best in NZ… It’s been a good week for some of us. A week of feeling vindicated, offeeling galvanised. Where it goes from here will depend on several factors, some of which are largely...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • 5AA Australia: After Dirty Politics Can National Provide Stable Government?
    AS WE ALL KNOW New Zealanders and Australians do not like political parties that are unstable, or can no longer assure us that they are able to provide stable government. And the big question for Kiwis as we prepare to...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • SIS letter means it’s over for Key
    It’s over. I may not agree with all of Phil Goff’s positions, but you can’t question his integrity the way Slater did in Dirty Politics and not be deeply concerned that our Secret Intelligence Agency is being used for political...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • who to vote for in Epsom
    who to vote for in Epsom...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • The Rise and Fall of John Key – who will be the next leader of National P...
    . . It was all set to go: Teamkey would be the cult of personality that would do Stalin, Mao, Reagan, Thatcher, or any of the Nth Korean Kim Dynasty, proud.  National and it’s “Teamkey” propaganda strategy   would cash-in Big Time...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • Who said Kiwis couldn’t get a fire in their bellies over an arcane intern...
    An amazing team of activists has taken the campaign on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) to local governments throughout the country. Their latest triumph came last Monday when the Dunedin City Council endorsed a resolution expressing concern about the TPPA...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • National’s Dangerous Education Agenda Exposed
    Putting aside the dirty politics coming out of the Beehive and the right-wing blogisphere, there are some very strong signals that another term of a National Government would do even more serious damage to the public education system. The Education...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • We can have clean politics and get our democracy back.
    Something is rotten in our politics and it stinks. Dirty politics has sadly become one of the defining features of this election campaign. In the light of recent revelations about the extent of nasty and disingenuous political strategies, it would...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • Book burning copies of Hager’s book? The next generation of National Part...
    It seems we are getting the next generation of National Party Dirty Politics now. There are claims the Young Nats in Hamilton are buying up copies of Dirty Politics and burning them. One witness was contacted by the Waikato Times...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • National Party Poetry Day Haiku
    Key’s inbox and Cam’s poison most foul, there he blows hoist by own harpoon...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • Why Cunliffe will be the next PM
    David Cunliffe will be the next Prime Minister of NZ. Labour’s inclusive and positive TV adverts… …are in stark contrast to National’s team of white people powering away from the rabble of the ‘others’… …the messaging is vital and crucial...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • From smiling assassin to grumpy butcher – on giving Judith Collins a last...
    After #dirtypolitics Key isn’t the smiling assassin, he is the grumpy butcher. When he said Judith had  a ‘last chance’ he meant 1 second after voting closes on 20th September. Key would love nothing more than to cut Collins loose and end...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • If the National Party rowing advert was real….
    If the National Party rowing advert was real there would be more blood in the water. If the National Party rowing advert was real it would be Cameron Slater calling the strokes. If the national Party rowing advert was real,...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • Cameron Slater: Zionist and political pundit
    It is hard to know where to start with right-wing blogger Cameron Slater (Whale Oil), especially after the release of Nicky Hager’s book Dirty Politics. This confirmed everything many of us thought Slater to be: a snivelling pundit who serves...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Bryce Edwards stood down from Herald for election season??? Are the editors...
    I only found this out via twitter last night and I am still in shock. Bryce Edwards, easily the best critical thinker and news analyst the NZ Herald has has been stood down by the NZ Herald ‘for the election...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • So who’s a “conspiracy theorist” now?!
    . . As the media storm over Nicky Hager’s book, “Dirty Politics“,  and allegations over smear campaigns continue to swirl,  National’s spin doctors have given Key, Collins, and other National Party ministers a string of  phrases to use in all...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Momentum shift
    When you are deeply immersed in a local campaign sometimes it can be difficult to see the helicopter view.   I don’t know how accurate the political polls are and have always known that things can change quickly in politics...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Dear Toby Manhire. Bad call on backing Farrar
    Oh dear. I say this as someone who regards Toby Manhire as one of the smartest journalists/commentators/columnists this country has, and I think Toby has made a terribly dumb call here. Let’s see if Toby is still singing Farrar’s praises...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Radio NZ apologise to me for getting it wrong
    Radio NZ have contacted me, reviewed the claim by their host that I had an advance copy of Nicky Hager’s book and they have concluded they got it wrong, they have called me and apologised and will make a statement...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Reclaim UoA – Students’ Message to Steven Joyce
    Tertiary Education – we’ve been sold a lemon  A group of 30 students attended an event on Tuesday evening about ‘the future of tertiary education’ at which the Minister of Tertiary Education Steven Joyce was slated to speak. As Joyce...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Can someone in the media please ask the PM of NZ to categorically deny any ...
    Now we see the MO of Slater & Co, the setting up, the digging for dirt, the use of staff to dig that dirt, can the Prime Minister of NZ categorically deny any National Party staff worked with Cam Slater...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Panic setting in for National as they realise what’s about to happen
    And the terror starts to set in. I’ve never seen blind panic like this before  and it’s spreading as the enormity of what’s about to happen starts to sink in. Hager’s book is a mere entree, Nicky’s personal ethics wouldn’t...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Hager’s Dirty Politics: what the book ultimately reveals is abuse of powe...
    Guide to the many faces of John Key Nicky’s book is now doing what I suspected it would do, create a shockwave of revulsion. Andrew Geddis over at Pundit Blog sums up this attitude best, and it’s reverberations build with every...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Fancy taking children seriously
    Let’s see why all political parties should pay close attention to the Green Party’s policy for children. First, it is a comprehensive attempt to put children, not ideology, at the heart of family policy. Wow, children at the heart of...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Amnesty International: Dear Azerbaijan, Stop Torture, Love Kiwi Kids
    This is a world where many adults often underestimate Generation Y. Being only a few years out of being a teenager myself, I feel I can make this statement with certainty. However, I have been the Youth Intern at Amnesty...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • GCSB meetings today in Christchurch 1pm at Uni 7pm at Cathedral
    The 2014 GCSB meetings to discuss the mass surveillance state legislation passed by this Government will be debated in Christchurch today at two different meetings. 1pm at Canterbury University bottom floor James Height Building: Chair: Bomber Bradbury Ruth Dyson – Labour Party...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Things that 7 Sharp should probably be talking about
    Things that 7 Sharp should probably be talking about...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Guide to when Key is lying
    Guide to when Key is lying...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – The State of the Student Nation …or is just Al...
    Students politics are dead and our student media is in terminal decline. The most disappointing thing about university is the politics, or should I say lack of? I was raised with the idea that students held the power.They were the...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Love Lifts Us Up: Thoughts from the Green Party’s campaign launch.
    Author Eleanor Catton wants people to give their party vote to the Greens.Photo by Peter Meecham NO ONE WAS QUITE SURE how he did it. Somehow Bob Harvey had persuaded the owners of the rights to Joe Cocker’s Up Where...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • The Nation Environment Debate with Amy Adams & Russel Norman
    Lisa Owen: Now, this week's campaign debate. As a handful of islands at the bottom of the world, New Zealand is an environmental treasure, and as Kiwis, we're proud of being clean and greenish. But putting that environment to work...
    Scoop politics | 23-08
  • The Nation: Debate Between Amy Adams And Russel Norman
    Lisa Owen Hosts an Environment Debate Between National’s Amy Adams And Russel Norman From the Green Party....
    Scoop politics | 23-08
  • Travel And Accommodation Determination for MPs Released
    The Remuneration Authority today released its determination covering Members of Parliament New Zealand accommodation, travel services for family members, and travel services for former Prime Ministers and their spouses....
    Scoop politics | 23-08
  • Te Kuiti man imprisoned for images of young children
    A Te Kuiti man caught with pictures of children being sexually abused has been sentenced to ten months imprisonment. Sickness beneficiary Daniel James Parry, 35, appeared for sentence in the Tauranga District Court today (Friday) after pleading guilty...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Japan Maritime Training Squadron visit – Open Day, Band
    • The Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force Training Squadron will make port in Auckland from Wednesday 3 September to Saturday 6 September...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • MP Perk Transparency Needed
    The Taxpayers’ Union is slamming the increase in taxpayer-funded entitlements for MPs and their families published on the legislation website this afternoon . Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says:...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Debating the future of Auckland’s housing
    With only weeks until the General Election, Auckland’s mounting housing crisis will be put under the spotlight in an Election Debate hosted by the School of Architecture and Planning at the University of Auckland. The debate’s topic “Market forces...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Let’s sort this out – Human Rights Commission
    A Whangarei woman allegedly censured for greeting customers with Kia ora can get in touch with the Human Rights Commission says Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy. “We really need to resolve these kinds of issues. I had thought that...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Aged Care Association welcomes Labour’s wages policy
    The New Zealand Aged Care Association welcomes the Labour Party’s announcement that if elected, it will raise the minimum wage for aged care workers within its first 100 days in Government....
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Honorary doctorate for Secretary-General of the UN
    An Honorary Doctor of Laws degree is to be bestowed on His Excellency Mr Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, by the University of Auckland on Wednesday 3 September, both in recognition of his role as an international statesman...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Surveillance of Mr Upul Jayasuriya
    The New Zealand Bar Association joins the International Bar Association (IBA) and other Law Societies and Bar Associations worldwide over the reported surveillance of Mr Upul Jayasuriya, President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka....
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Bob Parker, China State Media and Tibet Forum
    Former Christchurch mayor was signed up to position statement without his knowledge; observed “happiness” in Tibet as Tibetan protesters elsewhere shot by security forces...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • “Walk the talk to reduce the wage gap”
    There’s just a few weeks left to convince the candidates of all political parties that reducing the wage gaps makes good sense....
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Digital Currency on the Drawing Board
    Government policies and digital currency ideas and issues will come together at three public workshops next week....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • NZ Cycle Trail welcomes $8 million fund
    Government funding of $8 million to maintain and enhance the Great Rides of New Zealand will help ensure the trails are delivering the best possible visitor experience, says Evan Freshwater, Manager Nga Haerenga The New Zealand Cycle Trail Inc. (NZCT)....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Judges Comments Bonkers – McVicar
    Napier Conservative Party Candidate Garth McVicar is accusing a Judge of forgetting that he is the gate-keeper for the community and not a benevolent caregiver for law breakers. "The comments by this Judge are not just alarming, they're completely...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Oxfam: World must suspend arms sales to protect civilians
    As the New Zealand Government prepares to ratify the global Arms Trade Treaty, and after ceasefire talks collapsed and violence erupted yet again in Gaza yesterday, Oxfam is calling on all states to immediately suspend transfers of arms or ammunition...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Degrees in Picking up Rubbish
    Responding to the Fairfax media report of a University of Otago survey of Wellington’s street-connected walkways, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says:...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Another Union row
    “ The teachers union the NZEA is getting ready for another industrial dispute. These disputes now only occur in the government sector. National has no one to blame but themselves” said ACT Leader Dr Jamie Whyte....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Whyte: Speech to Grey Power
    National’s failure to increase the age for super and reform health is a threat to every New Zealander’s security....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Local Govt should not go into business
    “No one should take any comfort from the fact that “Infracon”, a roading company in Tararua and Central Hawke's Bay, is to go into liquidation. This puts the future of more than 200 jobs in doubt. ACT sympathises with those...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Join the hikoi to end child poverty in New Zealand
    CPAG is calling on people across society to join a march from Britomart to Aotea Square in Auckland to demand action on child poverty in Aotearoa....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Ngapuhi Chair Says Enough of the Political Sideshow
    Time for side-shows to end so we can focus on future of our nation – Raniera (Sonny) Tau, Chairman, Te Runanga A Iwi O Ngapuhi...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Commissioner of Police v Kim Dotcom And Ors
    An order is made extending the duration of the registration of the restraining orders issued by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia on 10 and 25 January 2012 and registered in New Zealand on 18...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Labour Announcement on Future of Hillside Workshops Welcome
    Labour leader David Cunliffe’s announcement in Dunedin today that a government led by his party would re-open Hillside Railway workshops was welcomed by the Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU). ‘Since the workshops were shut down in late...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Primary teachers and principals vote to put kids first
    Teachers and principals have voted overwhelmingly against the Government’s controversial “Investing in Educational Success” policy, including proposed highly-paid principal and teacher roles....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Prime Time with Sean Plunkett: Educating for Success
    In all the turmoil stirred up by the "Dirty Politics" revelations, the real issues that the campaign should be about have been put to one side....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Dirty Politics – Number One Bestseller and Back in Stores
    An exposé of the hidden side of New Zealand politics, Nicky Hager's book, Dirty Politics , has been in hot demand since its release last Wednesday....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Epsom: profiling NZ’s most controversial electorate
    Welcome to the wealthy inner Auckland electorate of Epsom: home of coat-tailing, the Tea Tapes, a convicted outgoing MP... and heavy newspaper and magazine readership....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Families Free From Violence campaign and website
    We are pleased to announce the launch of our Families Free From Violence campaign and our new Families Free From Violence website. This website has been created to encourage people to take responsibility for ending family violence by seeking help...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • PSA And DHBs Reach Settlement on Five Collective Agreements
    The 20 District Health Boards are pleased to reach settlement via mediation on five Multi Employer Collective Agreements (MECAs) with the Public Service Association for 12,000 mental and public health nurses, allied, public health and technical staff,...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Refusal to complete census results in 46 convictions
    Failing to fill out a census form has resulted in the convictions of 46 people, Statistics New Zealand said today....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Council Amalgamations Still Bad Deal
    Northland, Bay of Plenty, and Wellington ratepayers should not be seduced into accepting the amalgamation of their Councils by a recent amendment to legislation allowing for local boards not community boards, Chris Leitch, Democrats for Social Credit...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • DHB industrial action withdrawn
    The Public Service Association (PSA) has withdrawn notices of industrial action covering 12,000 health workers at District Health Boards (DHBs) across New Zealand, after progress was made in mediation....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Aged Care Pledge Needs Better Target, Says Care Agency
    Labour’s pledge to set up an aged care working group to address industry concerns is good to see, but appears to skirt the obvious issue of a looming lack of beds and carers for our rapidly growing elderly population, says...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Social inequality still rife in New Zealand
    Social inequality has worsened over the past decade in New Zealand, a new study from Victoria University of Wellington shows....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Working towards a living wage and more Māori in paid work
    The Māori Party will build on the gains it has already achieved in Government and accelerate job opportunities particularly for young Māori....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Deepwater Group Supports Changes to Catch Limits
    The Deepwater Group says the increase in the Total Allowable Commercial Catch for hoki shows the benefits of a long term commitment to build biomass in this major New Zealand fishery....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • ACT announces Ohariu candidate Sean Fitzpatrick
    “Our Ohariu candidate will be Sean Fitzpatrick. Sean has strong ties to the region and I’m glad to hear he will be doing his best to grow ACT’s party vote in the area,” says Dr Whyte....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • ACT announces Tauranga candidate Stuart Pederson
    “Our Tauranga candidate will be Stuart Pedersen. Stuart has strong ties to Tauranga and I’m glad he has agreed to do his best to grow ACT’s party vote in the electorate,” says Dr Whyte....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Green Party scores massive own goal
    Green Party scores massive own goal as their own policy auditor criticises their fiscal plan...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Green Party’s own Auditor of their Budget finds it dodgy
    “The Alternative Budget released by the Green's does not even stack up in the eyes of their chosen auditor – Infometrics” said ACT Leader Dr Jamie Whyte....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • New shark finning laws fall short for threatened species
    Environmental groups are welcoming some aspects of a raft of law changes announced today in relation to shark finning, but say that overall the chance for New Zealand to catch up with international efforts in shark conservation is being missed....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Promoting Labour’s Positive Policies
    General Secretary of the New Zealand Labour Party, Tim Barnett, today launched Labour’s television advertisements for the 2014 election. The advertisements help tell Labour’s positive story for a better New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Drug Court: Rare Insight into New Alternative Justice Model
    Māori Television’s latest New Zealand documentary presents a fascinating look inside a new alternative justice model – through the stories of convicted criminals....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Political parties pledge to increase overseas aid
    A survey of political parties looking at how much New Zealand should spend on Official Development Assistance (ODA) shows the overwhelming majority of parties are committed to raising the bar according to the Council for International Development (CID)....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Top Kiwis backing Tip the Scales campaign
    Sir Graham Henry, former All Black Kees Meeuws, singer-song writer Jamie McDell and fishing guru Matt Watson have pledged their support to Tip the Scales, a pre-election campaign generating public support for rebuilding New Zealand’s depleted inshore...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Maritime Union continues to press over dirty politics
    Maritime Union National President Garry Parsloe says Ports of Auckland management is trying to get off the hook from its involvement with extreme right wing bloggers during the Ports of Auckland dispute....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • No end in sight to overwhelming human cost of conflict
    Two ceasefires have brought some respite to civilians in Gaza and southern Israel, amid hope that a durable cessation of hostilities might occur. In Gaza, these breaks in the fighting have barely given people enough time to seek medical care,...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Young Kiwi speakers to represent NZ at Gallipoli 2015
    The RSA is delighted at the announcement made by Veterans' Affairs Minister Michael Woodhouse today, that all eight regional finalists of the 2015 ANZ RSA Cyril Bassett VC Speech Competition will be included in a group of 25 Youth Ambassadors...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
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