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Should a country be run like a business?

Written By: - Date published: 2:50 pm, June 22nd, 2013 - 102 comments
Categories: accountability, business, capitalism, class war, community democracy, democratic participation, Economy, equality, infrastructure, jobs, monetary policy, Politics, Privatisation, quality of life, referendum, socialism, sustainability - Tags:

Many business people say that a country should be run like a business.

Maybe they are right. It should be run like a SUCCESSFUL business.

It is appropriate for Government to take lessons from business success, and the reverse.

But when it comes down to details, right wing Neo-Liberal business does not want Government and country they govern to become too successful, or democratic. They are doing too well by taking advantage of slack regulation (regulation which favours them over the rest of society) and politicians foolishness.

In business a manager who fails to plan for the future would be sacked.

Right wing Neo-Liberal business say that Government should keep out of strategic planning. 

Successful business constantly plan advertise and strategise to “beat the market”.

Right wing Neo-Liberal business insist that Government should muddle along, leaving it to “the market”.

Successful businesses involve as many people in decision making as possible.

Successful businesses involve their staff in decision making,.

Right wing Neo-Liberal business want Government dictatorship, so long as they run the dictators, and oppose democratic moves like MMP and BCIR.

Even New Zealands, non binding, referenda, the only Democratic voice allowed in New Zealand, have such a freshold for a triggering petition that they are guaranteed to be very infrequent.

Successful businesses ensure they have a competitive advantage. Monopoly is even better.

Right wing Neo-Liberal business insists that we give up any competitive advantage with so called “free trade agreements”  and open licence for foreign corporate to plunder and selling profitable assets.

Successful business gets Government to bend the rules in their favour.

Right wing Neo-Liberal business insists that we remove trade protections and rules which work in our favour.

Management silo’s that only look at small part are known to be dysfunctional.

Right wing Neo-Liberal business says that every part of a countries infrastructure should be stand alone, dependant on individual profit and loss without regard to social and economic costs to the country as a whole. Giving small business and consumers inflated prices for utilities, so utilities make a profit, for example.  North Americans will remember ENRON.

Successful businesses work for the future of the entire company.  They know that if any one part cannot take excessive capital, or resources .

Right wing Neo-Liberal business oppose any attempt by Government to rein in unjustified excessive profit taking from the rest of the economy. There is a propaganda war in New Zealand from the right wing at the moment to prevent the extraction of excessive power profits.

Successful companies train, nurture and look after their staff.

Right wing Neo-Liberal business insist on dropping wages, and starving those who cannot work “pour encourager les autres” regardless of the costs in lost demand, (A cost to business also) welfare and crime.

Successful business has consistent and effective policies, procedures and rules.

Right wing Neo-Liberal business wants Government to refrain from regulation, except that which protects them, of course. (For example taking away workers rights and protecting big corporate rights to take as much as they can). Giving us leaky houses, worker deaths, finance company failures, wage cuts, full jails and tax payer bailouts.

Lastly, successful business use all their resources as effectively as possible and use the co-operative efforts of many people to meet goals.

Right wing Neo-Liberal business would rather countries do not have goals and that we are all turned into competing worker units.

Right wing propagandists pay lip service to the idea of running a country like a successful business. In reality they oppose Government being too good, because it would limit their ability to steal from the rest of us. They are happy to continue profiting from a Government that does what they tell them.

One famously wanted to “drown Government in a bathtub”, because it affected his profits. Several famous NZ business men openly gloated about how they profited from stealing tax payer owned infrastructure companies, and asset stripping them.

Good Government, real democracy, improving decision making by Government,  and  good effective regulation and protection, for the majority of a countries citizens, would destroy their gravy train.

Hence the hysterical overreaction to a minor piece of addition to Government regulation of power companies in New Zealand. 

Because it, if it is allowed to happen,  is the beginning of the end for the idea of “the market” and the mean spirited Neo-liberal,  consensus which has delivered so much wealth and power to a greedy few.

102 comments on “Should a country be run like a business?”

  1. Draco T Bastard 1

    Lastly, successful business use all their resources as effectively as possible and use the co-operative efforts of many people to meet goals.

    That’s the one that’s always bugged me. On the one hand they say that competition is good while demanding that the workers all cooperate for the good of the business.

    They know damn well that competition is bad for society as a whole and yet still parrot the myth.

  2. Nitpick: Threshold has a th. :)

    And yes, I agree the government can learn SOME things from private business, but to be honest, business could learn a lot from government departments, too, as they’ve mostly been better-run and more efficient than businesses. (probably due to having to provide information to anyone who asks for it)

    • Rogue Trooper 2.1

      propaganda war…”to ‘continue’ the extraction of excessive power profits” maybe?

  3. Bill 3

    If a country is run as a business, then the market economy has to be taken as ‘a given’. And if the market is taken as a given, then we’re fucked….well, around 80% of us are from the social/economic policies that peak ‘everything’ will demand in a market context. And, since market driven production and distribution systems compel us to spew carbon like there’s no tomorrow and will absolutely ensure that there is no tomorrow….

    If we are at all serious about securing any type of worthwhile future, then business shouldn’t be run as business is run, never mind a country.

    • locus 3.1

      Running things in a ‘business-like’ way still carries some positive images, like efficiency, ethics, consistency, focussing on doing the best for your customer, nurturing your resources, employee involvement, teamwork etc..

      Running things like a ‘business’ now includes few of those ‘business-like’ positive images. The current paradigm is that buisness, particularly big business, has to survive and compete by whatever means it can. There’s no room for values (e.g. health and safety, building employee loyalty, environmental protection) if these appear to raise costs in the short-term or get in the way of cashflow or profits.

      The idea of a triple bottom-line, is sneered at, and big companies’ financial incentives and rewards demonstrate that short-term profit and driving up the share price is what business is all about.

      The draining of values and ethics in business is apparent in the increaing numbers of examples of companies avoiding or evading tax, ologopolistic price fixing, unethical lobbying, schmoozing and manipulation (and corruption) of politicians/governments to alter legislation.

      Let’s NEVER let a country be run like today’s big business.

  4. karol 4

    I don’t think countries should be run the same as businesses at all – not even as the best and most effective businesses do.

    It’s time we ditched the neoliberal business model for governance.

    Governments should focus on the whole of life, not juts productive enterprises. Education, healthcare, social services, etc, should be well-managed. But their focus should be on the good for all; on things like education and transport as resources; on the importance of cultural activities for community well-being, etc, etc.

    And what Bill said with this:

    If a country is run as a business, then the market economy has to be taken as ‘a given’.

    • locus 4.1

      Just a naive wish, but it would be good if we could ditch all political labels as descriptors of how we should run a country… neo-liberal, liberal, socialist, tory …. they so frequently end up in hair-splitting definitions, divisiveness and closed-mindedness.

      First let’s describe how we want everyone in our country to have a fair chance, and then discuss in simple terms what ethics, values and representative methods will take us there.

      As for the idea of ‘successful business’ providing an insight …. pah!

      How about we look at the diversity of successful methods applied around the world to governing countries and think about what they have to teach us.

      • Colonial Viper 4.1.1

        The fair chance equal opportunities meme works well in a growing economy. Now, we need to be talking about how we handle the pie shrinking. A lot.

        • ghostrider888 4.1.1.1

          and what to wash the crumbs down with.

        • locus 4.1.1.2

          the shrinking pie? yep you can’t avoid thinking that’s the state of NZ right now…. but even more reason for NZers to look outside their comfortable safe little self-set beliefs of what’s possible.

          NZ’s goegraphy, environment, south pacific culture, beauty, adventurousness, sense of fairness, can-do attitude etc. etc. has so much to offer, which scarily outsiders seem to be way more aware of than we are.

          And so much of everything our self-serving ‘business-oriented’ political masters are promoting or changing right now is poisoning the golden goose.

          • karol 4.1.1.2.1

            south pacific culture, beauty, adventurousness, sense of fairness, can-do attitude etc. etc.

            These are also “safe little self-set beliefs” as well, as being a bit mythical. And a way of avoiding the realities of 21st century life in NZ.

            They are just as much short-hand and over-generalisations as short-hand terms like “neoliberal” of which “self-serving ‘business-oriented’ political masters” is part. At least “left” and “neoliberal” stand for a political philosophy.

            • locus 4.1.1.2.1.1

              okay so call me a helpless romantic about NZ’s potential and what we can offer to the refugees of an over-exploited, cynical, over-populated world.

              The mythical things I mentioned about NZ are still realities for many non-NZers, and they carry a lot of weight in our dealings with the world.

              Though you’re right…..lazy use of labelling just when i was trying to get away from it….

              I guess I’m a bit aware of NZ’s 21st century realities, and the worst of these are to my mind the result of trying to ‘run a country as a business’.

    • UglyTruth 4.2

      Governments should focus on the whole of life, not juts productive enterprises.

      That is also what the progressives think, but their socialist doctrine is doomed because of its inherent conflict with liberty and the common law.

      The focus on the whole of life and the well being of the people has all been done before, it is called the law of the land.

  5. Tim 5

    Pretty well sums it up KJT! The whole concept is completely dishonest whether it be the ‘market economy’ (I notice that many now have the decency to drop the “free” from ‘free-market’), to the term “NZ Inc.” that’s now so readily taken as a given by generations that have never experienced anything else.

    If I ruled the world, ‘Treasury’ would be no more than an agency of a Ministry of Economic Development, and have no more weight in decision making than has various agencies of a Ministry of Social Development. I cannot see why matters economic should trump matters social. I’d also make damn sure that there weren’t ‘leaders’ (LOL) of these Munstries who base their recommendations on experiences from a different era because they often seem to confuse their fantasies with their out-of-work game playing.
    .. let’s play dress-ups
    .. I can feed my family on $20 a week
    .. no I don’t develop leaky buildings
    .. my neighbour is my friend (my special friend)
    .. I’m completely non-judgemental of others (some of my best & special friends are Murries and come from all [ALL] so-show plitkul bekgrens)

    .. Tim

    • Tim 5.1

      .. which is meant to imply that guy is one smart fella

    • karol 5.2

      Tim: If I ruled the world, ‘Treasury’ would be no more than an agency of a Ministry of Economic Development, and have no more weight in decision making than has various agencies of a Ministry of Social Development. I cannot see why matters economic should trump matters social.

      Exactly, finance and economics should serve the kind of society we want, not vice versa.

  6. Colonial Viper 6

    For a sovereign, the ethos, power and influence of the state as well as the welfare of the citizens, is paramount.

    Businesses in comparison are weak, fragile, limited in views and goals, and extremely short term focussed.

  7. Tamati 7

    KJT – did you write this yourself? Swear I’ve seen something very similar elsewhere.

    • KJT 7.1

      It was originally published in my blog.

      Though others have posed the same question.

      Sometimes with similar answers, sometimes not.

  8. chris73 8

    I’ve always thought one of the problems with NZ is that we’ve only ever had a choice two parties (I mean that have any chance of actually leading the country) which are left and right so the balance of power is like a pendulum

    The problem here is that when the left get in they want to repair the damage done by the right and so the pendulum swings massively to the left and vice versa when the right get in

    Take SOE sales, the right want to sell them all off and the left want none of it sold but the best solution lies somewhere in the middle (no I’m not suggesting P Dunne)

    I’m sure most of us remember telecom and its awful waits for well anything…

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      Fuck you’re funny bringing up old BS tropes about Left vs Right, Telecom waits etc.

      The only thing efficient about modern business is how quickly they cut staff to funnel more profits overseas.

      • chris73 8.1.1

        Which would strongly suggest the pendulum is too far in favour of the right, the problem being is that the left will swing it hugely back towards the left then the right will swing back etc etc

        Moderate seems to be a dirty word but sometimes its not bad getting a little dirty every now and then…

        • Colonial Viper 8.1.1.1

          Uh the international ponzi scheme is undergoing irretrievable collapse and you’re worried about cyclical swings left and right? You’ll be relieved to know there will only be a few more swings and by then it will be obvious that current social and economic arrangements are not coming back.

          “Moderate” sorry mate completely irrelevant since i believe you are using the term to justify business as usual. Which may happen a while longer, until it can’t.

        • Bill 8.1.1.2

          The pendulum is hung from a bent pin cobbled together from political and economic orthodoxes and its arc constrained by the narrow parameters of parliamentary left and right. As a result all we ever experience is something akin to the screeching of stressed metal and a dull clunking as the pendulum hits its imposed constraints.

          There’s a whole future of possible worlds being wasted and the potential of several billion contributory imaginations being denied. And you seem to want the pendulum to have an even smaller arc or to be brought to a standstill altogether?!

    • Tamati 8.2

      Some would argue the precise opposite

    • Draco T Bastard 8.3

      Take SOE sales, the right want to sell them all off and the left want none of it sold but the best solution lies somewhere in the middle (no I’m not suggesting P Dunne)

      No it doesn’t and yes you are.

      I’m sure most of us remember telecom and its awful waits for well anything…

      Which privatisation didn’t fix – it couldn’t. Privatisation can’t fix physical issues such as lines not being in place and the need to get someone there to put it in place when there’s a limited number of people and competing priorities.

      If you’re rural you get even longer waits than you did and the service is far worse if you can get service at all. If you’re a suburbanite then the service just sux and you’re still not getting the services that you’ve paid for most specifically an upgraded network.

      The privatisation of Telecom has done one thing – it’s proved the dead-weight loss of profit. Better than $17b taken out in dividends since the sale and now we’re paying tax dollars to get the level of service we should have gotten from those profits.

  9. Rhinocrates 9

    Maybe businesses should be run like countries? Ones with citizens, not shareholders?

    • chris73 9.1

      and how would that work?

      • Colonial Viper 9.1.1

        Democratic collective enterprises.

        • chris73 9.1.1.1

          Sounds like something nice in theory buy impractical in reality

          • Bill 9.1.1.1.1

            Market economy – arguably dire in theory and absolutely horrific in reality.

            • chris73 9.1.1.1.1.1

              So start up a business (if you haven’t already) and run it as described above

              • Colonial Viper

                First its important to make the capital structures of the economy more friendly to the effort.

                • Gosman

                  This is par for the course for what I see from the left whenever asked why you don’t just go ahead and start doing the things you think are better.

                  “We can’t because the structures aren’t right”.

                  Whine, whine, whine. Life is so terribly unfair.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    The structures aren’t right as they’ve been designed to propagate the capitalist dictatorship.

              • Bill

                @ chris73 Been there. Done that. ;-)

                • Gosman

                  Good oh. Keep doing it then until you dominate the economy and can force the change from a position of power.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Don’t you recognise that the current top 0.1% players have a lock on political and financial leverage?

                    • Gosman

                      Nope. Someone like Steve Jobs highlighted that if you have a good enough idea you can revolutionise sections of society.

                      You on the other hand remind me of an eight year old kid complaining how unfair all the rules are and that you should be given lots of money and have no rules and then it would be so great.

                      It is a rather pathetic way of viewing the world in my opinion.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Steve Jobs started building computers in the 1970s, it was a different era then, pure neo liberalism and pre financialisation.

                      Further Apple has since become one of the biggest anti competition anti innovation patent trolls in the market.

                      Why shouldn’t I complain about the current set of rules? I learnt that behaviour from the Right wing business lobby. As for free handouts of socialised money, I learnt that behaviour by watching banks with their hands out.

                  • Bill

                    Why would I want to dominate the economy? What does that even mean in the context of my comment? Why would I want to force change when I’m referring to self empowerment? (It would make no sense whatsoever and be counter productive.) And why would I want to attain a position of power and how could I anyway, in a democracy?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      It’s just Gosman showing his dictatorial bent that is inherent in all RWNJs.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Interesting perspective. In your view we must become dictators to force the change through. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised considering the anti-democratic actions of this government and RWNJs around the world.

                    • Gosman

                      I never stated that. I asked why don’t you do that if you want to bring about change.I’d say it is an easy way than trying to bring about social revolution.

          • Colonial Viper 9.1.1.1.2

            Sounds like something nice in theory buy impractical in reality

            NZ has several of these of some description, so what are you talking about “impractical”???

          • Rhinocrates 9.1.1.1.3

            And there’s the Tory ethos in a nutshell. “Oh yes, democracy. A nice idea, I approve heartily, but in the real world, it’s a bit troublesome, isn’t it? It slows things down. It’s inefficient (efficiency being defined as that which delivers money into my pocket). Let’s play lip service to it while undermining it at every opportunity.”

            • Draco T Bastard 9.1.1.1.3.1

              +1

              Well said.

              • Rhinocrates

                Worse, there’s the quisling suburban attitude of those who have recently acquired privileges and are terrified of losing them: “One has to to be realistic. Goff/Shearer/Wibble aren’t perfect, but they’re getting better and their critics and those extremists give us a bad name. They’re the real traitors, not us, the pampered capons. We’re true, and we have ashpirashuns.”

                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capon

                Have a look at Brian Edwards and Russel Brown for examples. Supposed “liberals” who are in the end only concerned with their privileges and reassurance.

          • Molly 9.1.1.1.4

            … don’t despair Chris73 – there are some working models out there that have been around for a while….

            Mondragon Corporation in Spain comes to mind – started in 1956 and not only survived but thrived, although there seems to be some corporate creep recently.

            More recently is the creation, and legislative support (in some US states) for B corporations which have triple or quadruple bottom lines – economic, environmental, social and cultural.

    • Shaz 9.2

      In the 1920’s R.H. Tawney developed exactly this proposition in the Acquisitive Society. It hangs together pretty well as a proposition. The text is available as an e-book. and the post 1945 consensus in the UK ran many national businesses like this very effectively for 40 years so it’s a tried not a theoretical approach.

  10. tsmithfield 10

    Talk about the mother of all straw man arguments. KJT, how about pointing to some sources to justify your statements on what you claim is the position of Neo-liberals before attacking a construction you have created yourself.

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      You’re a neolib, explain it to us.

      • tsmithfield 10.1.1

        KJT clearly doesn’t understand neo-liberalism. For example:

        Right wing Neo-Liberal business insists that we give up any competitive advantage with so called “free trade agreements” and open licence for foreign corporate to plunder and selling profitable assets.

        The statement above from KJT is clearly wrong. The purpose of free trade agreements is to eliminate artificial barriers that limit the opportunities for countries to utilise their competitive advantages. So, the objective of neo-liberalism is to ensure that competitive advantage is the basis for success rather than artificial distortions through subsidies and the like.

        For instance, the fact that some European countries subsidise their agriculture limits the ability of NZ to sell our agricultural products in those countries. The subsidies those countries use have nothing to do with competitive advantage, but create artificial barriers to our agricultural products where we would otherwise have a competitive advantage.

        • Colonial Viper 10.1.1.1

          Artificial barriers are required to maintain sovereignty and economic integrity, and as a country we have forgotten that. The EU, as you have pointed out, has not.

          There is no such thing as a “neoliberal business” I agree, because neoliberalism is an ideology of political economic thinking.

          The main thrust of neoliberal political economic change IMO is to enhance and unfetter the power of corporate capital and capital flows, and particularly to advantage capital over potential constraints such as labour, regulations, sovereign governments, democracy, social and environmental concerns and citizens.

          • tsmithfield 10.1.1.1.1

            You have missed the point. Do you agree with what I said about competitive advantage?

            • KJT 10.1.1.1.1.1

              Even Ricardo never suggested that Britain altogether give up making wine, and Portugal, cloth

              • Draco T Bastard

                I think it was Ricardo that said that the base assumptions of the free-market were unrealistic as well. Of course he expected economists to work on those but they haven’t probably because if they put in realistic assumptions the theory doesn’t work.

            • locus 10.1.1.1.1.2

              neo liberal economists are naive if they think that the world really wants ‘free trade’, and theat hence we’ll all benefit as a result of ‘competitive advantage’.

              There is no real commitment to free trade, anywhere.

              What does ‘competitive advantage’ really mean? is it good is it bad? for whom?

              ‘Competitive advantage’ to the current crop of neoliberal economists doesn’t just mean (ceteris paribus) having lower resource or production costs than your competitors, it means doing anything you can to beat your competitor. This approach could mean:
              – employing children, or prisoners, or the poor or desperate at minimal wages
              – sourcing from countries that don’t require as high worker protections as yours
              – cross-subsidising to drive out your competitors through a price war they’ll lose
              – dumping bulk lower quality product on the market
              – locking in your customers with expensive opt out contracts
              – schmoozing or corrupting officials to change the law or give you a better deal than your competitors
              – bending the rules or creating vehicles to avoid tax
              – etc. etc.

              and the end result…. if you have to compete against those kind of ‘advantages’ you must to do so at their level ….. or lose the competition.

              Or let’s think seriously about what we have to do to build the kind of ethical businesses we want to support and promote and protect in our country.

              Free trade agreements and blind belief in ‘competitive advantage’ are not going to do that for us.

              • tsmithfield

                If what you say is correct, then following through with KJT’s logic, neo-liberalism would be a good thing. Because, according to KJT, neo-liberalists insist we give up competitive advantage.

                • locus

                  strange, i took KJT’s logic entirely the other way… that we should be looking for

                  “good effective regulation and protection, for the majority of a country’s citizens, in order to destroy the idea of ‘the market’ and to remove the mean spirited Neo-liberal, consensus which has delivered so much wealth and power to a greedy few.”

  11. xtasy 11

    Hah, I find the title amusing.

    My observation has been for quite some time, that this country is already being run like a “business”. “Non productive” elements are either driven out of the country, similar to sacked or bullied away workers, or they (sick, disabled, “baggaged” with kids to look after) get shifted into marginal, paid employment (as from 15 July on), to use their “capabilities” in whatever “meaningful” and “productive” way, to generate profits, for those that are in control and run the show.

    So no point really in asking the hypothetical question “should” it be!

    • locus 11.1

      +1 If only it was humourous….the hypothesis of this little piece makes me want to throw up

    • KJT 11.2

      Note I said “successful” business.

      Businesses run on neo-liberal lines of short term profit and shafting their workers and customers are no more successful in the long term, than countries run that way.

      They make money for a few years until the lack of investment, disgruntled staff and unhappy customers, takes effect.

      But of course the Managers, Directors and often major shareholders have extracted the maximum short term profits for themselves, before they left a rotting corpse.

      • locus 11.2.1

        There’s a lot of very ‘successful’ unscrupulous businesses out there that will be around for a long time to come, and many of them will continue to shaft their workers and use maket dominance to screw their customers….

        If only there really was a truly equally competitive market

  12. cricklewood 12

    It’s not all despair, there are plenty of good little companies out there who pay livving wage or better. My wife after a year of rejection was finally given an opportunity to work as an office junior at one paying an Auckland living wage ie over 20 per hour… The difference to us and her mental health has been monumental. The place I work at us the same vut it is very hard to compete against outfits who pay minimum wage. We make clients aware we pay living wage henxe we cost a bit more some are recwptive some not so much…..

  13. tsmithfield 13

    Here is another point that demonstrates that KJT has created a completely inaccurate strawman.

    “Many business people say that a country should be run like a business.”

    I challenge KJT to come up with some quotes to support that assertion. From my perspective (a business man) and a neo-liberalist perspecitve, the country shouldn’t be run like a business at all.

    Central government should be focusing on core issues such as roading, law and order etc that can be managed most efficiently in a centrally planned, tax payer funded way.

    Government should be getting out of the way so that businesses can interact and transact without distortions that arise from government intervention.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 13.1

      “Distortions that arise from government intervention”.

      Be specific, please, because we hear this line a lot from blind ideologues.

      What “distortions” exactly (bearing in mind that “the free market” is a wholly artificial construct)?

      PS: what about distortions arising from market failure, or corrupt Prime Ministerial sale of legislation?

  14. Gosman 14

    “Many business people say that a country should be run like a business.”

    Such as who?

    • QoT 14.1

      Every single right-wing commentator who ever complained about Labour “borrowing to spend”.

      • Gosman 14.1.1

        I think you are mistaking people arguing that the State should be run like a household in terms of finances. I would agree that meme is a tad trite and simplistic.

        I have been engaged in right wing political thinking for coming up to 30 years. In that time I don’t believe I have come across too many right leaning people, (if any), arguing that the Government should be run as a business, and certainly not as a profitable business.

        I have seen numerous people on the right argue that the State should get out of the business of business and stick to Governance.

        • Colonial Viper 14.1.1.1

          If the private sector isn’t capable of providing what the country needs, which is much of the time, then the state should step in and get it done.

          • Gosman 14.1.1.1.1

            Possibly but the question that needs to be asked in my view is why won’t the private sector provide it.

            A huge number of expensive white elephant projects around the world, (and in NZ), have been funded because of the same reasoning you use.

            • Arfamo 14.1.1.1.1.1

              Possibly but the question that needs to be asked in my view is why won’t the private sector provide it.

              Because the private sector is about making a profit for owners and shareholders. Not looking after the interests of the population. That’s the government’s role. State-funded white elephants are an issue of bad management. It doesn’t follow that private sector management would be any better; they are shockers for overcharging and wastage when doing things for governments. Look at Talent2.

              • Gosman

                Ummmm… they were employed to do a job by a Government department. Technically the responsibility for the mess is the Education Ministry.

                There is no theory that states private businesses are always better than Government anyway. Just that bad private businesses get weeded out more often.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  There is no theory that states private businesses are always better than Government anyway.

                  Public Choice
                  It’s all BS of course.

                  Just that bad private businesses get weeded out more often.

                  No they don’t. If they did IBM would no longer exist. Neither would Harley Davidson. Actually, I believe GM would have collapsed if the US government hadn’t stepped in to save it very recently as well.

                • Arfamo

                  Looks more to me like the responsibility for the mess is the lack of IT expertise at management level in the Ministry – same as in the department I worked in. Managers signing off contracts and paying the bills from the private sector companies working with us had no idea whether what they were getting in the way of advice from their primary contractor was technically sound and represented industry best-practice and value for money. The end result of SSC or Treasury or whoever apparently deciding some years back that departments didn’t need to retain expensive in-house IT expertise as it would cost less and be more efficient to use private sector contractors.

                  • Tim

                    I replied, and lost the entirety of my comment (because I’d cleared cachies and was nameless and mail-less, and back tracking was useless). Probably a good thing really because there was a little too much detail.
                    At first I was thinking we maybe worked for the same ‘department’, then I realised the same shit goes down in most (with just a different stink at times).

                    The gist of the previous was that I look back and laugh my arse off.
                    .. The non-technical Middle & Senior management making technical decisions, DESPITE repeated warnings
                    .. Their wish to be everyone’s best friend by providing them with all the treats and trinkets (including laptops – often lost because they were “left on the roof of the car”, and all the jewlery); whilst at the same time utterly underfunding any decent sort of infrastructure that was supposed to support those little trinkets
                    .. their dangerous enthusiasms.

                    I find it funny (well I would if it wasn’t actually serious), especially since they seem to come out of the shit unscathed, and some ever go on to work with/monitor/supervise Hawaiian Princes.
                    Even when they fcuk that up, they just move interstate.

                    But then, such is the nature of a corporatised Public Service where the vast bulk of Public Servants actually work in spite of their management RATHER than because of them.
                    Its a recipe for things turning to shite in the overall scheme of things

                    • ghostrider888

                      found the forum then.

                    • Arfamo

                      We used to employ some IT professionals for testing on a part-time basis – a couple were regulars and were only interested in it as a bit of easy pocket money. I remember one of them, Chris, going down to contractors’ work-site for the day. During a coffee break after he returned, he said the contractors must have a lot of temp staff of their own and they must have thought he was one of theirs.

                      He said while he was doing “regression testing” or something like that he witnessed a conversation between some of the team working on our department’s next quarterly IT change rollout. It went like this: “Hey (our department) has refused to pay this $30,000 item charge because they said it was our mistake, not theirs.” The reply was: “Don’t worry about it, we’ll just split it up and spread it across other line items in our next invoice”.

                      Anecdotal, sure, but I suspect it’s common practice.

    • lprent 14.2

      Try the business roundtable. They have explicitly said that in the past (they appear to have disappeared from public view in the present).

      John Key of course has always referred to NZ Inc, usually to rapturous applause from his business audiences (I’ve heard him). However due to his poor (ie useless) performance at actually making it work, the audience response was been somewhat muted last time.

      But in NZ, Gibbs is your man. It appears to be his favoured mantra.

      I could look up the references but I need a haircut – off to the mall. But I’m sure you could find references from these brief notes.

  15. burt 15

    Successful business gets Government to bend the rules in their favour.

    Right wing Neo-Liberal business insists that we remove trade protections and rules which work in our favour.

    How myopic can you get. Socialist government insisted we put the trade protections in place creating artificial jobs at the expense of everybody else picking winers and losers playing the god hand of social engineering…,

    So … Socialist, unionists, gets Government to bend the rules in their favour – to the detriment of others.

    But let me guess, it’s good when the red team do it in the best interests of the red team supporters but bad when its done by the blue team in the best interests of the blue team supporters. Shit thank god politics and social issues are so simple that all we need to do is look at the colour of the party logo to just know what is good and what is bad.

    • Arfamo 15.1

      So … Socialist, unionists, gets Government to bend the rules in their favour – to the detriment of others

      What exactly is the detriment to others you speak of here? Who are the “others” and what are they deprived of?

      • burt 15.1.1

        Perhaps you don’t remember when tariffs came off whitewater and suddenly more people could afford a new washing machine rather than only being able to afford a worn out second hand one which had its second hand price held artificially high. Held artificially high by the tariffs adding hundreds of dollars to new ones.

        Cars were the same. While we had import tariffs supporting local assembly the average age of our fleet was so much older and cars were so much more expensive than after tariffs were removed/reduced.

        Of course we lost a few jobs along the way, jobs that were being supported by the inflated prices every consumer paid.

        • Gosman 15.1.1.1

          But that was okay because they were being productive assembling a car that the Japanese had disassembled for us and shipped thousands of kilometers so we could reassemble it here but not as well as the Japanese who assembled it in the first place.

          • burt 15.1.1.1.1

            Being productive indeed… Keeping the price artificially high so only special people can afford them… Perfect interventionist policy… Make everyone pay for protecting the jobs of a few,

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead 15.1.1.1.1.1

              I bet you’d be happy to make everyone pay to protect some jobs if they were work-for-the-dole slave labour.

              • burt

                Yes yes let’s increase the minimum wage to make more employers look for subsidised labour … Doooh!

          • Draco T Bastard 15.1.1.1.2

            Yep, there were some really stupid policies. Unfortunately, they got replaced by even stupider ones.

        • Colonial Viper 15.1.1.2

          Perhaps you don’t remember when tariffs came off whitewater and suddenly more people could afford a new washing machine rather than only being able to afford a worn out second hand one which had its second hand price held artificially high. Held artificially high by the tariffs adding hundreds of dollars to new ones.

          Destruction of local manufacturing and engineering

          Fine for the rich pricks who still had a good income

          Still fine for the rich pricks who have a good income

        • rosy 15.1.1.3

          While we had import tariffs supporting local assembly the average age of our fleet was so much older and cars were so much more expensive than after tariffs were removed/reduced.

          Linky thing for way back then?

          Cars may be so much cheaper now, but so a wage slaves without those stable manufacturing jobs. So we still have a comparatively old car fleet – and getting older by the year.

          The Average age of the vehicle fleethas increased from 11.57 years in 2000 to 13.35 years in 2012.

          This is compared to an average of about 10 years in Australia and the USA, and 8 years in Canada and around 8 years in Europe - where there has been a slight decrease in average age between 1995-09).

    • Colonial Viper 15.2

      Every successful economy has strategic capital, trade and trade union protections, burt. The sector which needs to be severely downsized worldwide is the finance sector.

    • Draco T Bastard 15.3

      How myopic can you get. Socialist government insisted we put the trade protections in place creating artificial jobs at the expense of everybody else picking winers and losers playing the god hand of social engineering…

      Did you miss this governments’ picking of winners such as SkyCity? And all governments engage in social engineering. This government is presently engaging in making the poor poorer so that it can make the rich richer.

      So … Socialist, unionists, gets Government to bend the rules in their favour – to the detriment of others.

      Generally to the small detriment of the rich while being better for everyone else including the rich.

      Shit thank god politics and social issues are so simple

      It’s only you that happens to be so simple.

      • burt 15.3.1

        Draco

        No argument both teams do it. But that’s my point you are confirming – thanks.

        What I’m saying Draco is how myopic to assess ‘good or bad’ based on the colour of the logo of the party offering special favour for their backers. Both are self serving corruptions of the democratic process – both are the democratic process – depending on how you view it of course.

        A single coloured good/bad lenses serves the party’s best interest – not necessarily one in the same as the best interests of the people. Short term and long term implications are bigger than red = good and blue = bad.

        • Draco T Bastard 15.3.1.1

          how myopic to assess ‘good or bad’ based on the colour of the logo of the party offering special favour for their backers.

          You and others like you are the only ones doing that the rest of us use facts to asses whether it’s good, bad or possibly a combination of the two.

          Both are self serving corruptions of the democratic process – both are the democratic process – depending on how you view it of course.

          You may have missed it but that is one of the reasons why we dropped FPP and went to MMP with multiple parties.

          • burt 15.3.1.1.1

            Correction, we put some pretty red MMP lipstick on the FPP pig and called it an electoral system. It gives the party two choices how to order and place their MP’s such that they can optimise the vote. A full proportional system might have served the voters better than the parties – no wonder it took so long to have that second referendum…

            You’re a bit more sucked into this ‘for the people’ thing than i thought you were if you think MMP serves the people. Given the choice of electoral systems the only one the politicians seem to prefer is FPP… FPP & MMP are not the only two choices we could have…

            • Draco T Bastard 15.3.1.1.1.1

              There really isn’t any point in responding as you’re too stupid to understand an argument or to grasp the basic fact that our electoral system has moved on from the dichotomy of FPP. It’s been less than a generation which means that it hasn’t moved on far.

              Is it perfect? Nope, but it’s better than what it was.

  16. Absolutely NOT.

    When central and local governments are run ‘like a business’ – they end up being run BY business – FOR business.

    FACT.

    (I will be exposing how this is done during the 2013 Auckland Mayoral campaign.)

    It is CORRUPT crony capitalism, and it stinks!

    Penny Bright
    http://www.occupyaucklandvsaucklandcouncil appeal.org.nz

  17. Polish Pride 17

    In order to answer this question properly you first need to agree on what the purpose of government should be. Until that has been established and agreed. You can’t answer this question properly.
    ………goodluck :)

    The answer to the question is no….. but it is more to do with the fact that we need a change to the overall system including the monetary system.
    Awakening gives a pretty good overview of problem. So whether govt is run as a business or not is a moot point given the bigger problem.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f04fCbFStks

  18. JonL 18

    A country is not, and never has been , a “business”. Anyone who thinks it is, is totally deluded and probably has no idea of the complex social structures in place and the amount of finesse that is needed to keep up a cohesive society.

    Parts of a country can be run in a “Business-like fashion”, but, the money people should always be kept away from control – that way leads to ruination of society!

  19. captain hook 19

    If this country was run like a busines then Key and co would have been fired long ago.

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    Greens | 21-10
  • Students doing it tough as fees rise again
    The Government is making it increasingly difficult for Kiwis to gain tertiary education as fees continue to rise and access to student support becomes even more restricted, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Steven Joyce is shutting a generation...
    Labour | 20-10
  • Key misled New Zealand on Iraq deployment
      John Key was misleading New Zealanders prior to the election when he ruled out New Zealand special forces being deployed to Iraq, says Labour Defence Spokesperson Phil Goff.  “Post-election he has cynically disregarded that by saying that deployment of...
    Labour | 20-10
  • Swearing about swearing the oath
    Yesterday, I was swearing. Swearing the Parliamentary oath, that is. But, under my breath, I was also quietly swearing about the archaic, colonial form of that oath and its inappropriateness for today’s Aotearoa New Zealand. To be permitted to speak...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Kevin Hague speaks in the 2014 Address and Reply debate
    Thank you very much, Mr Deputy Speaker, and, like others, can I begin my contribution by congratulating you and the others in the Speaker's team: the Rt Hon David Carter, Lindsay Tisch, and the Hon Trevor Mallard. I also want...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Damning report on Ruataniwha dam numbers
    When I presented my submission to the Board of Inquiry on the Tukituki Catchment Proposal I compared the proposed 83 metre high Ruataniwha dam with the Clyde Dam and noted the risk of cost blowouts in the construction process.  The...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Church congratulated on child poverty stand
    The efforts by the bishops of the Anglican Church to ensure that the issue of child poverty is not forgotten is a call to all New Zealanders to take action, says Labour’s Interfaith-Dialogue Spokesperson, Su’a William Sio.   “I think...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review.  He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban (see further biographical details here). The Review Team...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour backs urban development plans
    Auckland Council’s plan to set up an urban development agency is to be applauded and central government should get behind it to make it a success, Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Auckland Council CEO Stephen Town has indicated plans...
    Labour | 18-10
  • New Zealand can be rightly proud of seat on Security Council
    Gaining a seat on the United Nation’s Security Council shows the sort of standing that New Zealand has in the world and the quality of the long campaign that we ran over nearly a decade, says Foreign Affairs spokesperson David...
    Labour | 16-10
  • NZ has opportunity on UN Security Council
    New Zealand has an opportunity to make a major contribution to the strengthening of international law and institutional capacity through its upcoming two-year tenure on the United Nations Security Council, Green Party spokesperson on global affairs, Dr Kennedy Graham said...
    Greens | 16-10
  • MPI still dragging the chain over causes of food bug
    The Ministry of Primary Industries’ release of Environmental Science and Research’s initial reports regarding the sources of a nasty stomach bug will be little comfort to the 127 people affected by it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “This...
    Labour | 16-10
  • Treasury officials should try working without food
    The Green Party is challenging Treasury officials to work for a week without eating properly, in light of their advice to Government that a food in schools programme is not needed."Treasury's advice was that providing food for children in schools...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Councils need to better protect our drinking water
    Environment Canterbury (ECan) is proposing several variations to its regional land and water plan that will allow for increased nutrient and other pollution from irrigation and intensive agriculture on the Canterbury Plains. Commissioners are hearing submissions on Variation 1 to...
    Greens | 15-10
  • National needs to commit to making NZ workers safe
    The National Government must do more to help make New Zealand workplaces a safer place to work in, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Data released by Statistics New Zealand today showed that workers in the fishing and...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Key commits to deployment before consultation or analysis
    John Key’s offer to consult Opposition parties on whether to deploy New Zealand forces against ISIS looks increasingly like a PR exercise only, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson, Phil Goff. “The presence of New Zealand’s Chief of Defence Force at a...
    Labour | 15-10
  • National must end ideological opposition to raising income
    If John Key is serious about tackling child poverty he must approach it with an open mind, and overcome his ideological block to raising incomes as a solution, the Green Party said today.Papers released to Radio New Zealand today show...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Pentagon links climate change and terrorism
    Yesterday the Pentagon launched a plan to deal with a threat that “poses immediate risks to national security”; one that “will affect the Department of Defense’s ability to defend the nation”. It wasn’t referring to Ebola or ISIS. It was...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Four Nominees for Labour’s Leadership
    As at 5pm today four valid nominations had been received for the position of Labour Leader, as follows: Andrew Little(nominated by Poto Williams and Iain Lees-Galloway) Nanaia Mahuta(nominated by Louisa Wall and Su’a William Sio) David Parker(nominated by Damien O’Connor...
    Labour | 14-10
  • Green Party calls for consultation over terrorism law changes
    The Green Party has today written to the Prime Minister asking him to engage in wider consultation prior to changing any laws as a result of the recently announced terrorism law reviews, said the Green Party today. In a letter...
    Greens | 14-10
  • MPI must name product and supermarket chain
    The Ministry of Primary Industries must name the product responsible for severe gastroenteritis affecting people around the country, and the supermarket chain distributing it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The Ministry seems to be more concerned about protecting...
    Labour | 13-10
  • John Key dishonest about reasons for wanting to change terrorism law
    John Key is misleading the public to push through terrorism law changes under urgency, the Green Party said today. On Sunday, John Key stated that it is not illegal for someone to fight overseas for a terrorist group, such as...
    Greens | 12-10
  • Law changes shaping up to be worse than first thought
    The Prime Minister needs to be up front about exactly what changes he is planning to make to the Employment Relations  Amendment Bill, Labour's spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.Interviewed on Q&A yesterday John Key said he did not...
    Labour | 12-10
  • Rapists, not Tinder, the threat to women
    Blame for rape and sexual assault should only ever be laid at the door of the perpetrator, not dating services or the actions of women themselves, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “Tinder is not the problem and women...
    Labour | 09-10
  • Safer Journeys For People Who Cycle
    You have a rare opportunity to tell the people who are making the decisions on cycling how to make it better. The Cycling Safety Panel is seeking feedback on their draft recommendations for improving the safety of cycling in New...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Subsidising more pollution will undermine water clean-up plan at Te Waihora...
    In 2010, NIWA found Canterbury’s Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere had the worst nutrient status of 140 lakes around New Zealand that it measured. In 2011, the National Government committed to spending $15 million across the country through the Fresh Start for...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Adding value not herbicides
    The HT swedes, and other brassicas, might seem like a good idea to farmers struggling against weeds but like the GE road, is this the path we want our agriculture to be treading? The Federated Farmers President, Dr William Rolleston...
    Greens | 07-10
  • ‘Blame the Planner’ bizarre approach to child poverty
    The National Government is stooping to a bizarre new low in blaming "planning processes" for poverty and inequality, after spending six years doing nothing about either the housing market or child poverty, the Green Party said today. Finance Minister Bill...
    Greens | 07-10
  • Media Advisory
    MANA Leader, Hone Harawira will not be available to speak with media today regarding his release “Recount Just One Step To restoring Credibility”. He is however available for media comment tomorrow, Tuesday the 8th of October, all media arrangements are...
    Mana | 07-10
  • RECOUNT JUST ONE STEP TO RESTORING CREDIBILITY
    “I have applied for a judicial recount of the votes in the Tai Tokerau election because it is one step in trying to restore credibility to the electoral process in the north, and, I suspect, in all other Maori electorates...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA SEEKS TAI TOKERAU RECOUNT
    The MANA Movement is supporting Leader Hone Harawira’s application for a judicial re-count in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate for the 2014 general election. President Lisa McNab says there are a number of serious issues of concern regarding the ability...
    Mana | 07-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • More Latté Than Lager: Reflections on Grant Robertson’s Campaign Launch.
    BIKERS? SERIOUSLY! Had Grant Robertson’s campaign launch been organised by Phil Goff? Was this a pitch for the votes of what few Waitakere Men remain in the Labour Party? Was I even at the right place? Well, yes, I was....
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • About Curwen Ares Rolinson
    Curwen Ares Rolinson – Curwen Ares Rolinson is a firebrand young nationalist presently engaged in acts of political resistance deep behind enemy lines amidst the leafy boughs of Epsom. He is affiliated with the New Zealand First Party; although his...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kelly Ellis
    Kelly Ellis.Kelly Ellis – As a child, Kelly Ellis didn’t so much fall into the cracks, but willfully wriggled her way into them. Ejected from Onslow College – a big job in the 70s – Kelly worked in car factories,...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kate Davis
    Kate Davis.Kate Davis – Having completed her BA in English and Politics, Kate is now starting her MA. Kate works as a volunteer advocate at Auckland Action Against Poverty and previously worked for the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective. Kate writes...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Parker does a Shearer – oh for a Labour Leader who can challenge msm fals...
    Sigh. It seems David Parker has done a Shearer… Like a cult and too red – Parker on LabourLabour leadership contender David Parker says Labour borders on feeling like “a cult” and must look at its branding – including its...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • A brief word on the hundreds of millions NZ is spending on the secret intel...
    The enormity of the mass surveillance state NZ Government’s have built carries a huge price tag… Kiwis pay $103m ‘membership fee’ for spyingThe $103 million taxpayer funding of New Zealand’s intelligence agencies is effectively a membership fee for joining the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Where. Is. Jason. Ede?
    Where. Is. Jason. Ede?...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Labour’s Din of Inequity
    Watching Labour’s leadership candidates on Q+A on Sunday, I noticed the ongoing use of terms like “opportunity” and “aspiration”, and “party of the workers”. What do these mean? We glean much from Labour, and from the media about Labour, but not...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • “Blue-Greenwash” fails the test when it comes to endangered dolphins
    National’s pre-election promises saw some wins for the environment – perhaps as the party sought to appease its “Blue-Green” voters and broaden its popular appeal. Some of the ecological gains were a long time in the making, overdue even– such...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Reasons not to be cheerful, Part #272b
    Why don’t you get back into bed? The next few years — the rest of this century — are not going to be pretty. There is an obvious disconnect between any remaining political ambition to fix climate change and the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • OIA protocols and official advice ignored to hide Child Poverty
    It might not seem so now, but child poverty was a major election issue. What a pity we did not have the full debate. In that debate it would have been very helpful to have seen the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 20-10
  • Previewing the 4 candidates for Leader of the Labour Party
    The extraordinary outbursts by Shearer last week highlights just how toxic that Caucus is. Shearer was on every major media platform as the ABC attack dog tearing into Cunliffe in the hope of diminishing Cunliffe’s support of Little by tearing...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – the sudden explosion of ‘left’ blogs
    Time to Teach or more people will suffer from P.A.I.D. Political And Intellectual Dysmorphia.I was on the Twitter and a guy followed me so of course I did the polite thing and followed him back. He wrote a blog so...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Ego vs Eco
    Ego vs Eco...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • We can’t let the Roastbuster case slip away
    Those of us (like me) left with hope that the police would aggressively follow through on the large amount of evidence on offer to them (let’s not forget they forgot they even had some at one point) in the Roastbusters...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Food, shelter and medicine instead of bombs and bullets
    The on-going conflict across the Middle East – due in large part to the US-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq – has created another humanitarian crisis of biblical proportion. The essentials of life are desperately needed in Iraq and Syria...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • The politics of electorate accommodations
    National’s electorate accommodations with ACT and United Future were a big factor in it winning re-election. Interestingly, there is another electorate accommodation scenario whereby the centre-left could have come out on top, even with the same distribution of party votes....
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Why you should join the TPPA Action on 8 November
    On 8 November 2014, thousands of Kiwis will take part in the International Day of Action to protest the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). The rally cry for us is TPPA – Corporate Trap, Kiwis Fight Back. Why should you join...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG – Patrick O’Dea: no new coal mines
    Green Party and Mana Party policy is “NO NEW COAL MINES!” Auckland Coal Action is trying to put this policy into action on the ground. ACA after a hard fought two year campaign waged alongside local residents and Iwi, in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Comparing Police action – Hager raid vs Roast Buster case
    This satire had the NZ Police contact TDB and threaten us with 6months in prison for using their logo.   The plight of Nicky Hager and the draconian Police actions against him has generated over  $53 000 in donations so...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Malala Yousafzai, White Saviour Complexes and Local Resistance
    Last week, Malala Yousafzai was the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Since her exposure to the worldwide spotlight, her spirit, wisdom and strength have touched the hearts of people everywhere. However, there have been cynics who have argued that...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Jason Ede is back – but no media can interview him?
    Well, well, well. Jason Ede, the main figure connected to John Key’s office and the Dirty Politics black ops is back with a company with deep ties to the National Party. One thing you can say about the right –...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Leadership Transitions In Other Parties: A ...
    As cannot have escaped anyone’s attention by now, the country is presently in the grips of an election and campaign that will help determine the fate of the nation for years to come. It’s gripping stuff – with clear divides...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • SkyCity worker says she faces losing her house
    SkyCity worker Carolyn Alpine told the company annual shareholder’s meeting today that she faced the prospect of losing her house because the company had cut her shifts from two a week to one without consultation. The solo mother, has worked...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • Greg O’Connor’s latest push to arm cops & 5 reasons not to
    I was wondering at what point within a 3rd term of National that Police Cheerleader Greg O’Connor would start trying to demand cops be armed. O’Connor must have thought to himself, ‘if bloody Key can get us and the GCSB vast new...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • You can’t have crisis without ISIS
    So the new scary bogeyman ISIS might have chemical weapons that the US secretly found in Iraq, but America didn’t want to expose this find because the WMDs were actually built and made by the US and Europe, the two powers...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • NZ WINS UN SPIN THE BOTTLE! Privately sucking up to America for a decade me...
    Oh, we are loved! Little old NZ, the 53rd state of America after Israel and Australia, gets to sit at the adults table for the special dinner party that is the UN Security Council. How delightful, a decade of privately...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • MEDIA BLOG – Myles Thomas – A World Without Advertising
    Non-commercial broadcasting and media. It’s a solution for all manner of problems ailing our tender nation… voter engagement, unaccountable governance, apathy, stupefaction, public education, science in schools, arts appreciation, cultural cringe… But no-one could’ve guessed that non-commercial media might solve...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October
    March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • Whack a mole as US govt foreign policy
    Whack-A-Mole was a popular arcade game from my youth.  It consisted of a waist high cabinet with holes in the top. Plastic moles seemingly randomly pop out of these holes. The purpose of the game was to hit as many...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • In Paean of Debt
    This week is ‘Money Week’. It’s an opportunity to promote to the middle classes, and anyone else who will listen, the virtues of wise ‘investment’. The aims are to promote the mystical (and indeed mythical) virtues of saving for the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • The last 48 hours – Poverty denial, war denial and unapologetic abuse of ...
    The bewildering speed of events that simply end in Key shrugging and proclaiming he doesn’t really give a shit is coming think and fast as the Government suddenly appreciate the full spectrum dominance they now enjoy. Here is Radio NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Mana 2.0 Rebooted
    Internationally the news is that Evo Morales of Bolivia won big with Left Wing policies But what are the chances that the Left will make a resurgence in this country? As the internecine struggles between the Left and the Right...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Blomfield IPCA letter – Has Dirty Politics leaked into the NZ Police ...
    It’s difficult to know what to make of the IPCA letter to Matthew Blomfield over Slater’s continued insistence that the hard drive taken from Matthew wasn’t stolen.  Slater has selectively cherry picked the Police referring back to his claim that Blomfeild perjured...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • ​Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union – Auckland move for K...
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is questioning a KiwiRail proposal to progressively relocate its Zero Harm personnel from Wellington to Auckland. “The purpose of the Zero Harm team is to drive KiwiRail’s performance in health and safety.  Rail is a...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Amnesty International – Friend request from an IS militant
    There’s always that one person, that one Facebook friend, usually a musician or event promoter, who, when you so foolishly accept their friend request, will completely inundate your news feed with copious event invitations and promotions. The person who, despite...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • NZ should follow the UK and recognize the Palestinian state
    Over the past two weeks, the United Kingdom and Sweden have made headlines through their decisions to recognize the state of Palestine. They are hardly the first nations to do so. Indeed, 134 countries have, in various ways, given formal...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Pike River Families Group Press Release
    The Families can now but hope that Solid Energy will consider closely the response of the Families’ expert mining advisers, Bob Stevenson and Dave Creedy, and the independent legal advice by Hugh Rennie QC as to why re-entry to the...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • On The Nation this weekend
    This weekend on The Nation… with dairy prices falling, China growing its agriculture sector, and the environmental costs piling up, we ask the Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings if New Zealand is too dependent on milk powder and if we’ve...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • NZ Government Urged to Do More to Fight Ebola
    As Ebola continues to tear through West Africa, Save the Children NZ is urging the government to do more in the fight against the deadly virus....
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • Korero Mai Ki Ahau – Saturday 25 & Sunday 26 October 2014
    Broadcast on Waatea 603AM Saturday 12.00 - 12.30pm Sunday 12.00 - 12.30pm Both shows repeated 5.00pm – 6.00pm On Sunday...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • Putting whānau foremost in Family Dispute Resolution
    Dispute resolution company, FairWay Resolution, has developed a uniquely New Zealand approach to family dispute resolution (FDR) that is underpinned by the cultural needs and values of the parties to a family dispute. In support of its role as a...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • Anglican Family Care staff to rally industrial action rises
    Public Service Association (PSA) members working at Anglican Family Care (AFC) in Dunedin will hold two rallies in Dunedin next week as they seek a fair pay offer, following a week of low-key industrial action....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Flying Visit for Adventuring Kiwi Socialpreneur
    12 Months on, this former Alexandra barista is changing lives in Buenos Aires Slums with free lunches, music, art, drama and toothbrushes...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • March in Solidarity with Kurdistan Against ISIS Attacks
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan in light of the heinous genocidal attacks in Kobanê by ISIS. We will begin with silent demonstrations then commence marching. We will start from Britomart, Queen Street (outside Dick...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • No Problem for Henare & Jones, But “No Way” for Harawira
    “Just before the election I broke the story about the gutting of Maori Television’s News and Current Affairs department by MTS’ new CEO Paora Maxwell. I pointed out that Carol Hirschfeld and Julian Wilcox, two of the country’s most experienced...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Corruption: Positive developments for NZ but more to be done
    Global anti-corruption group Transparency International today released a report on OECD Anti-Bribery Convention enforcement and called for New Zealand to implement draft legislation to ratify the United Nations Convention against Corruption....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Government to Blame as Much as Council for Marryatt Payout
    The Taxpayers' Union is calling on the Government to fix the employment law regime that has forced Christchurch ratepayers to fork out $800,000 to former Council boss Tony Marryatt....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Unanimously Call for Commissioner to Arm Police Full Time
    In the wake of a series of recent armed offender incidents, delegates to the Police Association Annual Conference today called unanimously on the Commissioner to arm Police full time....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Bank gets behind NZ wildlife icon with sizable donation
    It will be easier than ever this summer for holiday-markers to dip into their pockets to support the yellow-eyed penguin....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • WorkSafe report raises concerns about asbestos
    The union representing construction workers in the Canterbury rebuild is surprised at WorkSafe’s conclusion that no action needs to be taken against EQC and Fletcher EQR over asbestos exposure in Canterbury homes. “This report was an opportunity...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Union accuses SkyCity CEO of misleading public
    Unite Union has accused SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison of misleading the public over the cut in hours for a staff member who raised the issue at the company's AGM....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Last Hurrah on the Taxpayer
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that Hone Harawira spent up $54,000 on the taxpayer in his last three months as an MP, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “It is absolutely disgraceful that an MP managed to rack...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Press statement in relation to search of Nicky Hager’s home
    On 2 October 2014, Nicky Hager's home in Wellington was searched by police. Mr Hager asserted that documents kept at his house were protected by privilege, including because they contained information that might identify confidential sources....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • The Sam Simon arrives into Auckland for new campaign
    This morning Sea Shepherd ship, the Sam Simon, arrived into Auckland harbour after its journey from Melbourne. The ship and its 25 crew from around the globe have come to New Zealand to source supplies and prepare for the upcoming...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Low inflation – time for meaningful wage increases
    With inflation low, now is a good time for workers to negotiate for pay increases that outstrip price rises and deliver real increases in wages and salaries. “For too many people, real pay increases have been missing for several years...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Auckland Rates Rises Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that Auckland ratepayers will face an average of a 29 percent rates increase, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “These rate rises show that Len Brown's spending is out of control.”...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Protest at New Plymouth Oil and Gas Expo
    About 30 protesters from Climate Justice Taranaki, Frack-free Kapiti, Te Uru Pounamu Action Group, Oil Free Wellington, Frack-free Manawatu and the east coast protested yesterday outside New Plymouth's biennial Oil and Gas Expo at the TSB Stadium....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • FMA warns consumers about cold-calling investment offers
    The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) is warning New Zealand consumers and investors to be wary of cold-calls asking them to buy shares or put their money into offshore firms....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Comprehensive plan needed to end child poverty
    Child Poverty Action Group says it is vital the newly re-elected National government takes a planned and comprehensive approach to reducing child poverty in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Metiria Gets Feed the Kids
    Yesterday the Speaker of the House advised that he had accepted my request to transfer my Feed the Kids (Education (Breakfast and Lunch Programmes in Schools) Amendment) Bill to Metiria Turei of the Green Party....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • DIA undercover investigation leads to jailing
    An undercover Internal Affairs investigation has led to a Hastings man being jailed for three and half years....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of Balibo Five
    Media Information: Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of journalist Gary Cunningham and the Balibo Five...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Australia and NZ actions on press freedoms alarming
    Global support for investigative journalism in Australia and New Zealand is a welcome response to law changes and a police raid, says the Pacific Freedom Forum...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call for release of French journalists in West Papua
    West Papua Action Auckland, the EPMU Print and Media Council and the NZ Media Freedom Network call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs to speak out in support of the two French TV journalists whose trial has just begun in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Court of Appeal: Dotcom v 20th Century Fox Film Corporation
    A The appeal is dismissed. B The 20 August 2014 order of the High Court dealing with confidentiality and the 29 August 2014 order of this Court dealing with confidentiality are set aside. C The confidentiality orders set out in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Glassons Blasted For Glamourising Animal Cruelty
    Clothing brand Glassons have found themselves embroiled in another controversy after launching a new advert featuring a girl riding a bull. Animal advocacy organisation SAFE have asked them to remove the ad immediately as it glamourises animal cruelty....
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet
    Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet Federated Farmers Bee Industry Group applauds the tough line taken by Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) Border Staff at Auckland Airport. In deporting the couple found trying to smuggle bee products...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Taxpayers’ Union Responds to Joyce on Corporate Welfare
    Responding to Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce’s defence of corporate welfare , Jim Rose, the author of Monopoly Money , a Taxpayers Union report on corporate welfare since 2008, says:...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech from the Throne brings welcome focus on children
    Today’s speech from the Throne confirms the Government’s focus on children, youth and their families in the areas of health, education, youth employment, poverty alleviation and Whānau Ora; now the challenge is to ensure every child in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • John’s Job Fairs no fix for unemployment and poverty
    “John Key has clearly been looking to the US for his latest bright idea on dealing with employment issues,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty coordinator Sue Bradford. “Job fairs where the desperately unemployed queue in their corporate best to compete...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech From the Throne Foreshadows More Corporate Welfare
    Responding to the Governor General’s Speech from the Throne, which outlined that the Government’s intentions for the next Parliamentary term would include further Business Growth Agenda initiatives, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Green MP to speak at panel on Rainbow Mental Health
    Hamilton, New Zealand: Recently re-elected Green Party MP Jan Logie will be a guest speaker at a panel on the mental health of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trangender, Takataapui and Intersex people taking place on November 1st as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Evidence Supports GE Moratorium
    Federated Farmers spokesman Graham Smith's call for a 'rethink' on release of GeneticallyEngineered organisms is misguided, and instead it is time for a formal moratorium on GMOs in the environment.(1)...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Chatham Rise mining could have impact on whales and dolphins
    Wellington, 21 October 2014--Mining phosphate on the Chatham Rise, off the east coast of New Zealand’s south island, could potentially have many impacts on marine mammals like whales and dolphins, the Environmental Protection Agency was told today....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Council endorses Nanaia Mahuta as the next Labour leader
    Te Kaunihera Māori, the Māori Council of the New Zealand Labour Party, have passed a resolution to endorse the Hon Nanaia Mahuta as the next leader of the Labour Party...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Kaumatua to organise petition to end Maori seats
    Ngapuhi kaumatua David Rankin has announced that he will be organising a nationwide petition to seek support from Maori voters to end the Maori seats. “These seats are patronising”, he says. “They imply we need a special status, and that...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Announcing a New Voice for The Left
    Josh Forman is pleased to announce the creation of a new force on the Left of politics in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Public services held back by poor workplace culture
    A new report by Victoria University’s Centre for Labour, Employment and Work shows that public servants are working significant unpaid overtime to ensure the public services New Zealanders value are able to continue....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • iPredict New Zealand Weekly Economic & Political Update
    Andrew Little’s probability of being the next leader of the Labour Party has reached 70% and Jacinda Ardern is favourite to become his deputy, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Prison Drug Treatment Unit marks a milestone
    Christchurch Men’s Prison’s Drug Treatment Unit (DTU) celebrated the completion of its 50th six month Drug and Alcohol Programme today, with the graduation of a further twelve offenders....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Security Council seat a chance for NZ to empower women
    The UN Women National Committee Aotearoa New Zealand (UN Women NCANZ) welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the United Nations Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use its position to proactively promote effective implementation of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Waipareira and ACC sign Partnership
    Waipareira and The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding at Whanau Centre, Henderson – marking a special day for the West Auckland Urban Maori organisation....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Humanitarian aid desperately needed in Iraq and Syria
    Global Peace and Justice Auckland is calling on the government to provide humanitarian funding for non-aligned NGOs (non-governmental organisations) in the Middle East rather than give any support whatever for the US-led military campaign in the area....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Court Judicial Decision: Dotcom v The USA: 17 October 2014
    The United States of America is seeking the extradition of Messrs Dotcom, Batato, Ortmann and Van Der Kolk. The matter has been before the Courts on numerous occasions, and no further recitation of the facts is needed....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Marshall Island poet speaks at UN climate summit
    “The fossil fuel industry is the biggest threat to our very existence as Pacific Islanders. We stand to lose our homes, our communities and our culture. But we are fighting back. This coming Friday thirty Pacific Climate Warriors, joined by...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Many tourist car accidents preventable
    Simple steps could dramatically reduce the number of accidents involving tourists, says the car review website dogandlemon.com ....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
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