web analytics
The Standard

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.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Tricky Customer: Why Is Matthew Hooton Accusing John Key’s Government Of ...
    Trickster-in-Chief? Right-wing PR maven, Matthew Hooton, pushes the line that National is lurching leftwards, because he wants Labour to "trump National to the right". MATTHEW HOOTON is a very tricky customer. To hear him tell it, Bill English’s seventh Budget represents… ...
    20 mins ago
  • Government wants safer workplaces… or does it?
    Today a widow and a mother sit together in the High Court in Wellington fighting for justice for the men that were killed at work in the Pike River Mine disaster of 2010, at the same time the Government contemplates… ...
    CTUBy Huia.Welton
    51 mins ago
  • Government wants safer workplaces… or does it?
    Today a widow and a mother sit together in the High Court in Wellington fighting for justice for the men that were killed at work in the Pike River Mine disaster of 2010, at the same time the Government contemplates… ...
    CTUBy Huia.Welton
    51 mins ago
  • Community water fluoridation should be a basic right and it should be expan...
    In undertaking a new project on kids in this country, finding out what makes life good for all of them (not just some) we are looking at some of the policies that affect kids disproportionality, especially in health. Earlier we… ...
    Gareth’s WorldBy Gareth Morgan
    1 hour ago
  • Right Objectives – Wrong Network
    Quixotic Mission? From its very inception TV3 has tried to fulfil the role of a creative and independent public broadcaster - largely because TVNZ declined to accept that role for itself. But commercial and public broadcasting are two, very… ...
    2 hours ago
  • Roy Morgan
    The latest Roy Morgan is out, and shows large gains for the government, with across the board losses for the opposition. I think the direction of this move is likely real, and the shift has been substantial, but looking back… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    2 hours ago
  • Review: “Fallout” a play by Bronwyn Elsmore and Produced by Jennifer W...
    On Wednesday I went to the opening performance of “Fallout” playing at the Basement theatre.It’s a play about the bombing of the Rainbow Warrior by French government agents, 30 years ago this July. But it’s equally a story about NZ… ...
    3 hours ago
  • Headquarters: Out west with Sean James Donnelly
    Emma Smith visits Auckland musicians Sean James Donnelly and Sandy Mill at Donnelly’s Glen Eden home for a SJD session featuring songs from Saint John Divine and Southern Lights. This is the first in a series called Headquarters, where the RNZ Music team goes inside the… ...
    3 hours ago
  • Christchurch or Bussed
    The central bus exchange opened yesterday. I went down at the evening rush hour, just to see how everything was going, and it seems to be fine. I’m sure there will be some initial teething issues, but I’d like to… ...
    Rebuilding ChristchurchBy rebuildingchristchurch
    3 hours ago
  • Valence bitches
    Here’s the non-bias corrected aggregate of the polls: Here’s what National were talking about this time eight years ago, when they were in opposition: The state of Lake Hawea reported in weekend media shows the country is still… ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    3 hours ago
  • My Top 5: Paperghost
    Throughout NZ Music Month we’ll be hearing stories from young musicians about the local songs they love the most. Today, Paperghost talks about songs from Seth Frightening, i.ryoko, Randa, Craig Elliott and Grayson Gilmour. Zach Webber aka Paperghost.… ...
    3 hours ago
  • John Banks – A Tale of Two Cheques
    . . On Radio NZ’s Morning Report, on 20 May, John Banks admitted to Guyon Espiner that he had requested a donation from Kim Dotcom for his mayoral campaign in the 2010 local body elections; @ 4:42 – Espiner: “You… ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 hours ago
  • Album review: Multi-Love – Unknown Mortal Orchestra
    Late last year when I visited ex-Mint Chick and Unknown Mortal Orchestra (UMO) frontperson Ruban Neilson in his basement studio in Portland, Oregon, he said his next UMO album might be the best thing he’d ever done. He… ...
    4 hours ago
  • The urban planning conundrum
    Since I moved to Auckland, I’ve been trying to make sense of local trends in house prices. Why have they risen over the last decade? Will they keep going up, or crash back down to earth? What’s driving all this?… ...
    Transport BlogBy Peter Nunns
    5 hours ago
  • When a levy isn’t a tax and Greens aren’t green
    Bill English has a degree in English, which should have inculcated respect for correct word use — if he hadn’t become a politician, a breed which bends language for good and ill. So in claiming not to break an… ...
    Colin JamesBy Colin James
    6 hours ago
  • Uncap the budget
    Two things that may seem unrelated, but aren’t: how we fund special needs education in public schools, and the axing of a current affairs show by a commercial television network. One is about how society draws on shared resources to… ...
    Bat bean beamBy Giovanni Tiso
    10 hours ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the Cullen Review of our security service
    Whatever the conflicts and point scoring between them on other issues, National and Labour have always spoken virtually as one on free trade and the role of the security services. Therefore, the recent appointment of former Labour Finance Minister Sir… ...
    14 hours ago
  • Spoiled ballots, spoiled views: an election snapshot from Powys, Wales, UK
    It's a funny thing. One of the most viral news items concerning the UK General Election on May 7th 2015 came from my constituency of Montgomeryshire. Apparently, someone took the time and trouble to draw a remarkably detailed sketch of a… ...
    17 hours ago
  • Shit Happens! An Open Letter to John Campbell
      Shit happens, John. I’ve been “let go”, sacked from more broadcasting jobs in New Zealand than I care to remember. And, more than once, with absolutely no warning.  To add insult to injury, the sackings generally occurred at… ...
    18 hours ago
  • Unions stand together on rejection of poor pay offer
    The Public Service Association (PSA) supports the decision by New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) members to reject the settlement offer made by DHBs in their Multi-Employer collective agreement, announced earlier today. ...
    18 hours ago
  • An 8-bit Subway Delay Story
    A great 8-bit video from New York’s MTA showing how incidents on PT can quickly lead to long delays plus what can be done to mitigate them. Of course we don’t quite have the same frequencies as the New York… ...
    19 hours ago
  • Housing, sustaining today by denying the future
    When I attended primary school over four decades ago the importance of saving and being financially secure was strongly encouraged from an early age. Our little deposit books from the Post Office Savings Bank had a squirrel on the cover… ...
    20 hours ago
  • Delightful, humorous, harmless fun or racist icon?
    Dolls are objects that we have very special relationships with. We own them. We exert control over them, doing pretty much what we want to and with them. We may love them deeply and treasure them but we may also… ...
    21 hours ago
  • The escape of exnzpat, Part 30
    Big trouble under the shadow of the Tower   The tower loomed ahead in the dark like an ancient, druid obelisk.  It was a lonely thing, and in the fading light it took on the color of desolate gray; it… ...
    The PaepaeBy exnzpat
    21 hours ago
  • Envirologue: Fool me Once: Lessons on the TPPA from Free-Trade History
    We should ask Canada and Mexico whether free trade deals are a good idea. Last week, Barack Obama’s free-trade deal went from dead in the water to full steam ahead in the space of 24 hours, thanks to last-minute horse trading… ...
    22 hours ago
  • Britain now opposes freedom of thought
    Earlier in the month, UK Prime Minister David Cameron reminded us all of what an illiberal place Britain had become, with the super-villain-esque statement that "for too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens: as… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    22 hours ago
  • Why are we still dragging our feet on climate change?
    Climate change deniers have well and truly been given the flick yet political commitment to policies to reduce carbon footprints remains limp. Given the Government’s quick and dirty climate change consultation (it is 4 weeks long, logically flawed and doesn’t… ...
    Gareth’s WorldBy Gareth Morgan
    22 hours ago
  • Welcome to the mushroom farm
    Mediaworks management has determined that viewers are bored with the earnest, campaigning style of John Campbell and his team.  Campbell Live hasn't attracted enough viewers to keep it financially viable.  It needed to move with the times, get with the… ...
    23 hours ago
  • Auckland Transport May Board Meeting
    The AT board meet today and as I do every month, I’ve gone through the papers to pull out anything I’ve found new or interesting. First up the closed session which normally contains the most interesting papers and for which… ...
    23 hours ago
  • The eternal name suppression debate
    Name suppression cases are always a good conversation-starter in NZ. There are the (to me) very clear-cut cases where giving the accused name suppression is necessary to protect the identities of their victims – though some anti-suppression diehards don’t even… ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    24 hours ago
  • Collective Efforts
    In his recent post, Too quick to take the credit? Morgan Godfery argues that it was a “crass” move by the Māori Party to put out a statement taking credit for the $790 million hardship package included in this years… ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    24 hours ago
  • Supply-side – housing edition
    In recent months, National has been really very clear on the best solution to the crisis they deny is happening in Auckland housing. To them, the best solution is increased supply. There aren’t enough homes, so more should be built.… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    24 hours ago
  • Left behind
    Ireland voted for marriage equality over the weekend, becoming the first state to approve it by referendum. Its a sign of how the cultural tide has shifted in the former theocracy, but its also putting pressure on other countries to… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Left behind
    Ireland voted for marriage equality over the weekend, becoming the first state to approve it by referendum. Its a sign of how the cultural tide has shifted in the former theocracy, but its also putting pressure on other countries to… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Forget that $1000 Kiwisaver kickstart
    The Government has canned the $1000 KiwiSaver kickstart programme. Photo: 123RF The Government is being accused of stealing from future generations by scrapping the $1000 KiwiSaver kickstart payment. Legislation cancelling the payment was one of a number of… ...
    1 day ago
  • Training an army that doesn’t want to fight
    Last week the Iraqi city of Ramadi fell to ISIS. The reason? Iraqi forces fled rather than fighting:US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter has said the rout of Iraqi forces at the city of Ramadi showed they lacked the will to… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Making mountains out of scientific mole hills
    Richard Horton, Editor of the Lancet speaking at the Global Health Metrics & Evaluation conference 2011. (Photo credit: Vimeo.) The controversial Lancet editor, Richard Horton, has produced an opinion piece which some are interpreting as an attack on medical science,… ...
    1 day ago
  • Introducing: October
    Emerging local musicians are given two minutes to introduce one of their songs and say whatever they like about themselves and their music.Your time ... starts ... Now!  Photo: Connor Hickey Name: October Age: 18 Hometown: Blenheim Sounds like: My… ...
    1 day ago
  • Keynes
    “We’re all Keynesians now” declared the most identifiable anti-Keynesian of the latter 20th century, Milton Friedman. National has - partly at least - adopted Keynes’ ideas in its fiscal policy, too. It wasn't afraid to run deficits during bad times,… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    1 day ago
  • The Peer Review: Emily Mabin Sutton
    As well as being a maker and creator herself, Emily Mabin Sutton is helping other scientist make their ideas reality.  To say Emily Mabin Sutton has her fingers in many pies would be an understatement. The 23-year-old is a… ...
    1 day ago
  • Protect Your Signature!
    There’s always something comical about American corporations’ union-busting videos. They wouldn’t be out of place in between news clips on Starship Troopers. And if you’re looking for a conspiracy theory, there’s something eerily similar about all of them – with… ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    1 day ago
  • The cupboard is bare, says Dear Leader
    . . The latest on Budget 2015; Prime Minister John Key is lowering expectations about measures to combat child poverty in this week’s budget. Mr Key says there’ll be “some support” for those suffering material deprivation. “But you’d appreciate that… ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 day ago
  • Wanted: Health Minister who reads their own research
    Content note: discussions of transphobia and it's impacts, focussed on the recent political discussions about trans* healthcare. There's so much to find troubling about National calling life-saving healthcare for trans* people "nutty" and Labour leadership failing to stand behind regional… ...
    1 day ago
  • Auckland’s New Bus Shelter Design
    Around a year ago Auckland Transport launched a trial and consultation of three potential new bus shelters that they intend to eventually roll out across the region. The trial was held on Symonds St where the three different designs could be… ...
    1 day ago
  • Who is Charlie? And where are you going?
    I didn't say anything about the Charlie Hebdo killings at the time because some things are so bloody obvious they shouldn't need to be spelled out.  You don't kill people over drawings is one.  For the record, I'll spell it… ...
    1 day ago
  • Judd and Fox presenting at Māori Governance Hui
    Press Release – Maori Council New Plymouth Mayor Andrew Judd and Mori Party Co-leader Marama Fox are the latest to join an exciting line up of speakers and presenters attending this weekends Te Tatau Pounamu Maori Governance and Representation Conference… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • iPredict New Zealand Weekly Economic & Political Update
    Press Release – iPredict Budget Boosts National And Key, But PM Still Expected to Retire by End of 2017iPredict LTD New Zealand Weekly Economic & Political Update Monday 25 May 2015 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE www.ipredict.co.nz Budget Boosts National And… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • How will people hold governments to account?
    Opinion – Citizen News Service Bobby Ramakant, Citizen News Service – CNS One of the major failures of current times is how democratic systems are being made ineffective so that people with a ‘power of one vote’ are not… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • NZ Publishers Call for Economic Evidence in TPP Discussions
    Press Release – Copyright Licensing Ltd Leaked documents suggest that the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement may result in an extended copyright term. New Zealands current provision, as required as a minimum by the Berne Convention, is life of… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago

  • Te Arawa partnership model a step closer
    Councils around New Zealand have an opportunity to improve their consultation with Iwi Māori by following Rotorua District Council’s Te Arawa Partnership Model, Labour’s Māori Development spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says. “The Rotorua District Council will today decide whether to adopt… ...
    25 mins ago
  • Labour mourns Dame Dorothy Fraser
    Labour Leader Andrew Little said the party is today mourning the loss of the youngest person to join the Labour Party, Dame Dorothy Fraser, who went on to be a stalwart of the Dunedin community and tireless worker for others.… ...
    20 hours ago
  • The ultimate scapegoat: PM blames fruit fly for new tax
    The Prime Minister has found the ultimate scapegoat for breaking his promise not to introduce a new tax – the Queensland fruit fly, Labour’s Biosecurity spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “John Key’s first policy upon taking office and assigning himself the… ...
    22 hours ago
  • How many victims missing out on protection?
    Hundreds of domestic abuse victims could be missing out on getting protection orders because they are unable to get legal aid, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“In the last two years some 351 people who applied for legal aid for… ...
    3 days ago
  • Government kicks hardworking whanau
    A major incentive to help young Kiwis and people on low incomes to start saving has been kicked out from under them with the National-led Government ramming through short-sighted legislation under Urgency today, Labour’s Maori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says.… ...
    3 days ago
  • Speculator tax political stunt gone wrong
    Bill English’s admission he doesn’t know whether National’s new speculator tax will have any effect shows last weekend’s announcement by the Prime Minister was a desperate political stunt, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “This Government is so desperate to… ...
    3 days ago
  • The value of parenting
    This week, as part of the Budget, the government introduced a bill to address child poverty. This bill will require parents receiving income support to look for part-time work once their youngest child is three years of age rather than… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    3 days ago
  • Another new tax, another broken promise
    National has unveiled yet another new tax in this budget – a rural broadband levy that will almost certainly result in an immediate price hike for internet and telephone connections across New Zealand, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said “The… ...
    4 days ago
  • Anniversary of Sri Lankan Tamil Massacre
    This is not going to be a happy story but if the Green Party of Aotearoa doesn’t want to know who else will? May 18th marks the anniversary of what is known as the ‘Mullivaikal massacre’ of Tamils in 2009 at… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    4 days ago
  • Labour MPs join youth to take part in 40 hour famine
    A team of Labour MPs took part in the 2015 World Vision 40 hour famine and we were told by World Vision and the young people, that it was the first time MPs had joined them and how appreciative they… ...
    4 days ago
  • Rodeo: ‘Family entertainment’ or animal abuse?
    Recently  TVNZ ran a story with confronting footage showing rodeo animals being punched, repeatedly shocked with electronic prods and having their tails violently twisted over their backs. It was clear that significant force was being used behind the scenes to make… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    4 days ago
  • Budget puts the squeeze on police
    The Government has cut funding to the New Zealand police force in the latest Budget, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The reduction is a whopping $15.3 million that could put front line officers at risk. ...
    4 days ago
  • Crucial social services take another hit
    The Government looks set to slash half a million dollars of funding for critical social services, including Women’s Refuge and Barnados, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni “Taking $500,000 from organisations aimed at improving the lives of vulnerable families… ...
    4 days ago
  • Saying it Loud on Climate in Christchurch
    The Government’s Christchurch consultation meeting on New Zealand’s emission targets was inspiring – not for what was in the Ministry for the Environment’s (MFE’s) defeatist video about the obstacles to changing to a low carbon future, but for what the… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    4 days ago
  • Budget silent on small business
    The Government has completely ignored one of the most important sectors of the economy – small and medium-sized enterprises – in Budget 2015, Labour’s Small Business spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. "A stunning 41 per cent of jobs were created by… ...
    4 days ago
  • Thank you John, it’s been bloody marvellous
    The departure of John Campbell is a blow to current affairs investigative journalism, Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Campbell Live stood out in its field. Its axing comes as local broadcasting in New Zealand remains in a state of… ...
    4 days ago
  • KiwiSaver cut shows no long-term plan
    National’s cutting of the KiwiSaver kickstart is incredibly short-term thinking, typical of a Budget that is woefully short on ideas to generate wealth and opportunity, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “New Zealand’s savings rate is far too low. KiwiSaver… ...
    4 days ago
  • National hits the panic button for its 7th Budget
    National has hit the panic button for its 7th Budget in a desperate attempt to look like they’re taking action to reduce our shameful child poverty rates, but they are giving with one hand and taking with the other, Opposition… ...
    5 days ago
  • Panic and back-flips can’t hide twin deficits
    National’s token measures to fight fires they have left burning for seven long years can’t hide a Budget that is long on broken promises, short on vision and fails to reach surplus, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “After being… ...
    5 days ago
  • Auckland land measure seven years too late
    National are so desperate to look like they are doing something about the Auckland housing crisis they have dusted off Labour’s 2008 inventory of government land available for housing and re-announced it, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Despite National… ...
    5 days ago
  • Access to gender reassignment surgery essential
    I was frankly disgusted to hear the Minister for Health say that funding gender reassignment surgeries is a “nutty idea”. A recent study found that in New Zealand 1% of young people identified themselves as transgender, and 3% were unsure… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    6 days ago
  • Global milk prices now lowest in 6 years
    The latest fall in the global dairy price has brought it to the lowest level in six years and shows there must be meaningful action in tomorrow’s Budget to diversify the economy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Dairy prices… ...
    6 days ago
  • Big risks as CYF checks stopped
    Revelations that Child, Youth and Family is no longer assisting home-based early childhood educators by vetting potential employees should set alarm bells ringing, Labour Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Doing away with an extra mechanism for checking potential new employees… ...
    7 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    7 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    7 days ago
  • State of origin
    Kiwis are increasingly concerned about the food they give their families. New Zealand consumers have the right to know where their food has come from, particularly when it involves animals, and should be able to expect our Government to label… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    7 days ago
  • Relationships Aotearoa
    It is disturbing that Relationships Aotearoa, a voluntary organisation set up in 1949 to help couples struggling with their relationships following the upheavals of World War II, may be forced to close, says Acting Spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community… ...
    7 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    7 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    7 days ago
  • House prices to a crack $1 million in 17 months
    The average Auckland home is on track to cost $1 million in 17 months’ time if nothing substantial is done to rein in soaring price rises, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Auckland’s house prices have skyrocketed 63 per cent… ...
    1 week ago
  • Vital support services can’t be left in lurch
    The National Government has big questions to answer about how a provider of services to thousands of vulnerable New Zealanders is set to fold, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. Relationships Aotearoa which provides support and counselling to families, individuals… ...
    1 week ago
  • Treasury and IRD on a capital gains tax
    Both the Treasury and IRD have been advising the National Government on the benefits of a capital gains tax. Documents released to the Green Party under an Official Information Act request show that John Key has been selective with the… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    1 week ago
  • Charity legislation needs review
    It is unacceptable that the big corporate based charities claim  millions in annual income tax exemptions, while small community based and operated non-profit organisations  struggle to gain official charity status, Labour’s acting spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community Sector Louisa… ...
    1 week ago
  • John’s panic-Key response to housing crisis
    John Key needs to tell New Zealanders what caused his sudden change of heart that led to the Government’s scrambled and last-minute housing measures, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “The Prime Minister’s sudden rush of blood to his head followed… ...
    1 week ago
  • Keep our Assets Christchurch Campaign: An update
    I recently presented my submission to keep Christchurch Council assets at the Christchurch City Council’s public hearings on its 10 year plan on 13 May. The hearings are live-streamed and recorded so you can watch them on www.ccc.govt.nz. The Council’s… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 week ago
  • John Key finally admits there’s a housing crisis
    John Key’s weak measures to rein in the astronomical profits property speculators are making are an admission – finally – that there is a housing crisis, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “But yet again National is tinkering with the housing… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government stifles voices in CYFs review
    The Government’s exclusion of the Māori Women’s Welfare League in a panel on the future of CYFs is a cynical ploy to stifle views, says Labour’s Māori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “It's unbelievable that a significant review on the future… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to the Otago Chamber of Commerce
    Thank you very much for the opportunity to be here today. It’s a pleasure as always to be back in the town that raised me. Growing up in St Kilda meant that there was one thing that was a big… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Key can’t just be Prime Minister for Parnell
    John Key must show New Zealanders in next week’s Budget that he is more than the Prime Minister for Parnell, and is also the Prime Minister for Pine Hill, Putararu and Palmerston North, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. In… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Stop the conversions
    This week, some Waikato locals took me and intrepid photographer Amanda Rogers on a tour of some  lakes and waterways in their region, and up to the massive dairy conversions in the upper catchment of the Waikato River. It… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    2 weeks ago
  • More regional jobs go in Corrections reshape
    News that 194 Corrections staff are to lose their jobs will have ramifications not only for them and their families but for the wider community, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Prison units at Waikeria, Tongariro and Rimutaka face closure… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government’s climate meetings off to a bumpy start
    On Wednesday, I attended a hui and an evening meeting that the Government had organised in Nelson as part of its climate change consultation tour, to support the Nelson community telling the Government to take meaningful action on climate change.… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Taxpayers the only ones left feeling blue
    Ministry of Social Development bosses could have saved themselves thousands of dollars in consultants’ fees by providing staff with rose-tinted spectacles, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. A report out today reveals the Ministry is spending over half a… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Why are the regions still facing restrictions?
    Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford is questioning why the regions should continue to be saddled with LVR lending restrictions announced by the Reserve Bank today. “Labour has been calling for the regions to be exempted from LVRs for the best… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The high costs of weak environmental regulation
    Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere is described on the Department of Conservation website as “Canterbury’s largest and New Zealand’s fifth largest [lake], and an internationally important wildlife area.” But the lake is also polluted by nutrients leaching from farms in the catchment.… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Submissions to Wellington City Council on their Gambling Venues Policy
    Every three years Councils across the country are required to check that their gambling venue policies are still fit for purpose and they can choose to consult on their policy if they are thinking of making changes. Councils don’t have… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Reserve Bank action shows Govt out of touch and out of ideas
    The Reserve Bank’s unprecedented measures today show it understands the serious risks of the overheating housing market – in complete contrast to John Key’s refusal to acknowledge the crisis, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The Bank is right to… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Send us your snaps: 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year we've hit a milestone. We're turning 25.To help celebrate a quarter of a century, please send us your photos from the last 25 years of the Green Party Aotearoa New Zealand! Note: Photos must be jpg, gif or… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year the Green Party sends 25. To help us celebrate a quarter of a century please send us you photos of 25 years of the Green Party!Photos must be jpg,gif or png and smaller than 2MB. If you are… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bay growth plan too little too late
    Today’s Bay of Plenty growth study from MBIE is another example of Government spin - lots of talk but little action, says Labour’s Regional Development spokesperson David Cunliffe.  “This is a region that desperately needs to develop the downstream processing… ...
    2 weeks ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere