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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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    Labour | 17-04
  • Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers
    Nick Smith must reassure worried first home buyers that any Housing NZ houses sold under his First Home policy will be tested for P contamination after revelations that three out of seven properties sold in Wanganui tested positive for methamphetamine,...
    Labour | 17-04
  • PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra
    Questions must now be asked whether it was Fonterra or Oravida who really benefited from the Prime Minister’s recent visit to China, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Before his departure, John Key said he would wait until all...
    Labour | 16-04
  • New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases
    A new Government report highlights that the amount of ozone depleting gases New Zealand is using is increasing, the Green Party said today.The report tabled in Parliament yesterday shows that total use of ozone depleting gases in New Zealand has...
    Greens | 16-04
  • Manufacturing Upgrade
    Labour is determined to support and grow our manufacturing sector. These policies grew out of the findings of the 2013 Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing.  ...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Collins must admit misleading Parliament
    ACC Minister Judith Collins must front up and admit she has misled Parliament over ACC’s policy to stop paying compensation to clients who refused to fill in its privacy form, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “Judith Collins claimed Labour...
    Labour | 16-04
  • English confirms he has no plan to raise wages
    Finance Minister Bill English has confirmed he has absolutely no plans to lift wages, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Issues, Andrew Little says. “Bill English told the Chamber of Commerce yesterday that workers could expect a rise in average income of...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Govt careless and callous about threatened birds
    The National Government is increasing the threat to two of the world's most threatened and unique birds by opening up Victoria Forest Park to petroleum drilling, the Green Party said today.Scientists have recently published a ranking of the 100 most...
    Greens | 16-04
  • Genesis: The biggest fire sale of them all
    National has finished its asset sales with a massive bonfire of a fire sale, showing once and for all how much of a disaster this programme was, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “Just 68,000 Kiwis bought shares in Genesis,...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Interest rates rise but only smokes increasing
    Mortgage rate rises are making life harder for homeowners, and many of them will be surprised the latest CPI figures show inflation would be zero were it not for tobacco tax hikes, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “New Zealanders...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Term One Report Card for Hekia Parata
    Assignment Teacher’s Comments Grade      ...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Hekia Parata kept exam book errors from schools
    Schools will be appalled to learn Education Minister Hekia Parata knew since January that hundreds of exam booklets had been returned to the wrong students but said nothing about it, Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Exams are stressful enough...
    Labour | 15-04
  • What has ACC Minister been doing?
    The ACC Minister needs to front up and explain what, if any, changes she has made to the broken culture of ACC rather than denying that she has any part to play in the dysfunction of her Ministry, the Green...
    Greens | 15-04
  • Promise of jam tomorrow takes the cake
    A claim by Minister of Finance Bill English that average wages will climb by $7,500 over the next four years is a cynical promise of jam tomorrow by a government whose record on wage growth is atrocious, Labour spokesperson on...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Judith Collins has to fess up on ACC blunder
    ACC Minster Judith Collins must front up and tell New Zealand how many people who refused to hand over their private details to ACC have been denied cover, says Labour’s ACC Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “The legality of ACC’s privacy waver,...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Board of Inquiry conditions will save rivers in New Zealand
    The Ruataniwha dam decision released today has protected the Tukituki River and dashed the Government’s hope of the “one nutrient model” (TRIM) being adopted nationwide, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It is a massive victory for those in the...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Labour turns wheels for cycling safety
    With more than a million New Zealanders now using cycling as an attractive alternative means of transport it is past time their safety was taken seriously, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Darien Fenton says. Due to speak to a cycling rally at...
    Labour | 15-04
  • SPEECH: Institute of Directors
    LEADING AND MANAGING OUR ECONOMIC FUTURE David Cunliffe MP, Labour Leader Speech to the Institute of Directors 15 April 2014, Auckland It's a privilege to be speaking here. The Institute of Directors has a proud history of developing New Zealand's...
    Labour | 15-04
  • More Oravida endorsements from John Key
    The use of a picture of John Key in an advertisement for Oravida’s scampi products in a Chinese airline magazine is further evidence of an unhealthily cosy relationship between the National Party and this company, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says....
    Labour | 15-04
  • Workers at Canterbury Yarns need redundancy support
    Workers faced with redundancy at Canterbury Yarns need a redundancy support co-ordinator, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Last week, Canterbury Yarns was placed in receivership. Canterbury Yarns joins a long list of New Zealand manufacturers who have...
    Greens | 14-04
  • Making the holidays easier for Kiwi drivers
    The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “There’s nothing Kiwis like more than getting on the road and going on holiday. But on...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Ae Marika! 15 April 2014
    Our MANA AGM down in Rotorua on the weekend was a sold-out affair – even the media were struggling to get in! Political conferences can be very dull, but not this one. We had a great line-up of speakers including...
    Mana | 14-04
  • Green light from Labour for cancer screening programme
    Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today committed to a national bowel screening programme, starting with extending the current service to the Southern and Waikato districts. “Around 3000 New Zealanders develop bowel cancer each year and about 1200, or 100 a month,...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Adequate resourcing needed for victims’ advocate
    The establishment of a victims’ commissioner role will only be meaningful if it is properly resourced to do the job of advocating for victims’ interests, Labour Justice spokesperson Andrew Little says. Justice Minister Judith Collins has just recently indicated her...
    Labour | 13-04
  • IPCC report shows Government ignoring climate experts
    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) report into climate mitigation, just released in Berlin, shows the National Government is ignoring the pleas of the world's best climate scientists.The report says deep and fast emission cuts are vital from all...
    Greens | 13-04
  • Japan’s quick turnaround on whaling disappointing
    News that Japan plans to recommence some form of “scientific” whaling programme so quickly after the International Court of Justice’s ruling against it is very disappointing, says David Shearer, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson. “New Zealanders expected the ICJ ruling -...
    Labour | 13-04
  • Reviewable tenancies will increase risks for vulnerable children
    Instead of kicking families out of their homes if they can pay their rent, parents with young children should have the opportunity to purchase equity in a state-built home over time, the Green Party said todayFrom July, Housing New Zealand...
    Greens | 13-04
  • 48,000 New Zealanders drinking faecally contaminated water
    Some 48,000 people were provided with water that had issues with faecal contamination, 18,000 of whom were from Canterbury, the Green Party said today. The Ministry of Health's Annual Report on Drinking-Water in New Zealand for 2012/13 shows that 48,000...
    Greens | 12-04
  • Labour will move to save the Kauri
    Labour will spend $20 million over the next 10 years to stop the spread of Kauri dieback disease, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “We are facing an ecological disaster with over 11 per cent of the Kauri trees in the...
    Labour | 12-04
  • Opportunity for new blood in Māori politics
    Labour MP Shane Jones’ news of retirement from Parliament yesterday got some korero happening alright. From his staunch loyal supporters ardently praising his skills to those in fervent opposition and refusing to let his hour of glory go without a...
    The Daily Blog | 23-04
  • We need to protect our rights online
    New Zealanders deserve the right to a thriving, open Internet which supports economic development, innovation and free speech. The Internet over the last twenty five years has changed everything; from how we communicate, how we buy and sell products and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-04
  • Turning Shane: How Murray McCully deprived Labour of Mr Jones
    THERE ARE THREE TYPES OF TRAITOR. The first is the person who betrays his country for a higher cause. The second betrays his country for money. The third betrays his country for the wrongs it has done him. By far...
    The Daily Blog | 23-04
  • Why NZ needs a Digital Bill of Rights
    I’m glad the Greens have taken on board some of my suggestions for a NZ Digital Bill of Rights. October last year I blogged… what should a NZ Digital Bill of Rights look like? -freedom of online expression -freedom of...
    The Daily Blog | 23-04
  • The blue collar cred smoko room mythology of Shane Jones as told by the msm
    So apparently, Shane Jones leaving is the end of the Labour Party. Yawn. Vernon Small screams, “Disarray. There is no other word to describe the mess the Labour Party plunged into last night” while John Armstrong predicts “resignation couldn’t have...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • Flockton Floods Again
    Last week the Flockton Basin flooded again – the second time in six weeks.  And not just roads and land, but homes and garages.  Some people have been flooded multiple times since the earthquakes.  One couple, after the March flood...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • The PI vote and political stunts
    The mainstream media got quite excited a couple of weeks ago when a number of Pasifika church leaders were photographed at the Manurewa markets wearing blue, Key-people t-shirts. The clergy pictured in those articles said that they had changed allegiance...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • EDUCANZ / EDUCAN’T
    Oh hello, select committee … sorry to interrupt your tea and bickies, but I have something on my mind that I really need to talk to you about. You see, word on the street is that you are planning to...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • Why Waiariki and Epsom are so important this election
    Two of the lynchpin electorates that need to go the Opposition’s way if there is any chance of a Labour led Government are Waiariki and Epsom. Epsom is the only lifeline for ACT and if the 6000 progressive voters in...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • TV Review: Seven Sharp: third strike lucky
     More prophetic than anyone could imagine – Jesse in a coffin  Jesse Mulligan was the last of the original ill-fated trio to be dumped from Seven Sharp.  This happened last week with little notice given and less notice paid.  His removal was more inevitable than the...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • The Liberal Agenda 23rd-27th April
    The week is dominated by the launch of the NZ International Comedy Festival – our picks for the week are… WEDNESDAY 23rdSunrise Yoga on Queens Wharf 7am-8.15am Queens Wharf, 89 Quay Street (bottom of Queen Street) Free ********************************************************************* THURSDAY 24th5...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • Shane Jones caption contest
    Shane Jones caption contest...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • Helping Simon Bridges find the forest he lost
    Helping Simon Bridges find the forest he lost...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • On climate change denial
    On climate change denial...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • Labour on manufacturing
    Labour on manufacturing...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • When your National Party mates claim National are a better economic manager...
    When your National Party mates claim National are a better economic manager, show them this graph...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • Introverts Unite (separately)
    Introverts Unite (separately)...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • The problem with food
    The problem with food...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • Why queues outside synthetic cannabis shop is proof regulation is working
    Latest moral panic on synthetic cannabis is that there were queues waiting for a store to open over Easter. Yawn. Before the Psychoactive Substances Act (PSA), there were up to 6000 venders and hundreds of different brands. Since regulation via the...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • Shane Jones resignation: Labour dodge a bullet & the Greens smile
    Best Friends Forever now Thank God Shane Jones is selling out and taking a job for National… Shane Jones to leave Labour, set to work with Murray McCully Shane Jones is quitting Parliament and the Labour Party, and there is...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • The only one happy with ACTs new ’3 strikes’ for burglary will be priva...
    The great scholarly Grand Cleric of the libertarian right, Jamie Whyte, has come down from the mount with two stone tablets and sadly all he has is 3 strikes, not 10 commandments… Jail burglars after third offence, says Act Party...
    The Daily Blog | 21-04
  • Trade and Investment Agreements: Human Rights For Sale
    On March 29, many New Zealanders took to the streets in defense of democratic rights by opposing the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). A week earlier, delegates from dairy unions from around the world (including the NZ Dairy Workers Union...
    The Daily Blog | 21-04
  • Rest in peace Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter – despite the disgusting polic...
    Rest in peace Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter – despite the disgusting police racism and injustice you were undefeated...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • Maori Party wine and dine invite
    Maori Party wine and dine invite...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • For Simon Bridges – here’s the forest you forget
    For Simon Bridges – here’s the forest you forget...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • Never forget the GCSB lies
    Never forget the GCSB lies...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • The Empire strikes back
    The Empire strikes back...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • God bless capitalism
    God bless capitalism...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • Drone killings erode social constraint on using violence
    The drone killing of an (unnamed) New Zealander in Yemen should prompt us to look at the ethics of this practice. We’re told from birth that murder is wrong. Yet drone killings (as conducted by the Obama administration) convey the...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • Labour’s first 100 days – where the messaging needs to be
    ‘The first 100 days’, an expression coined by President Roosevelt in 1933, is generally used to describe the successes and accomplishments of a government at the time when their power is greatest. During the 2008 election campaign, John Key issued...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • Pharrell: a new brand of feminism?
    I think most people heard about how the song Blurred Lines featuring and co-written by Pharrell and performed by Robin Thicke (who has adeptly just been named “Sexist of the Year”) really pissed a lot of people off last year. ...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • Why Easter holidays should always be mandatory and retail free
    The moaning from retailers that they can’t open the cash registers and worship the consumer culture of consumption over Easter bores me immensely because I’ve always believed that public holidays should be mandatory. It’s not that I really care about...
    The Daily Blog | 19-04
  • Why punish the parents of the disabled?
    Parents who have adult children with disabilities saw a glimmer of hope when the promise for payment for caring for their children was given. But like most things, the complicated and relentless bureaucracy of the whole process shows a completely...
    The Daily Blog | 19-04
  • Our government: still no idea
    Happy Easter everyone, bad weather aside. A previous post of mine was called “The Government with no ideas”.  Unsurprisingly, the theme of the piece was of a current government thoroughly absent of any creative ideas or solutions to assist more...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • 12 things Forbes has to say about NZs about to burst economic bubble
    Forbes is not known for their socialist or left wing activism, so when they predict a grim economic failure, we should should collectively poo ourselves a little. National often get given this perception that somehow they are better economic mangers....
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • That Sinking Feeling: Labour’s urgent need for persuasive words and coura...
    THE LATEST ROY MORGAN POLL has Labour on 28.5 percent (down 3.5 percent) and the Greens on 11.5 percent (down 1.5 percent). At 40 percent, the combined vote of the two main centre-left parties has fallen 5 percentage points since...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Why the Labour movement should support a Universal Basic Income
    The Mana movement’s support of the idea of a universal basic income is a welcome development. It could become one of the litmus issues that define the party and prove extremely popular. If Mana are in a position to do...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Legal high and cannabis regulation
    I marched through Henderson last month with my fellow Westies to express our concern about the impact of so called “legal highs” on our community. Some people chanted loudly calling for banning, some expressing anger at the parliamentarians who voted...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Know your Tory fellow travellers and ideologues: John Bishop, Taxpayers Uni...
    . . On 19 March, I reported on the Board members of the so-called “Taxpayers Union”. With one exception, every single member of the Taxpayers Union Board was a current (or recent) card-carrying member or supporter of the National and/or...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • GUEST BLOG: Daniel Bruce – Internet Party: What Seems Ridiculous To The O...
    Imagine you’re a 18-21 year old, from a working class family. You’ve never had a landline phone at home, because your parents can’t afford the fixed monthly bills, so everyone in your familiy has a pre-pay mobile phone. Because of the same tight...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release We don’t need any more official reports. We know the problem and we have the plans....
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release New Zealanders do not want asset sales and they do not want the Government wasting millions of dollars on...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground Monday, 27 Aug 2012 | Press Release Instead of betting on a boom and bust industry and selling off assets the government needs to invest in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance Sunday, 26 Aug 2012 | Press Release It is not fair that many rich New Zealanders are cheating on their tax. National’s 2010 tax cuts, that...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release In its rush to sell our assets, National has found itself in a crisis of its...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Privacy across all departments needs checking
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Privacy across all departments needs checking Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release “People don’t have a choice about giving their information to the state so the Government has an absolute duty to...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Restoring public trust and confidence is an essential goal and will require very major change starting from the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government must front up on full costs of asset sales
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government must front up on full costs of asset sales Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release It’s time for the Government to front up over just how much these asset sales are...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Our society has never been as unequal as it is today. New research from the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release “It would be a shock for any other Government to introduce such a self-defeatist piece of legislation but unfortunately...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Total figures for campaign against alcohol fuelled violence
    The final total figures for the eighth police led Operation Unite: a Blitz on Drunken Violence was announced today by Jon White, CEO of the Australia New Zealand Policing Advisory Agency (ANZPAA)....
    Scoop politics | 23-04
  • ACT’s proposal to further three-strikes policy short-sighted
    JustSpeak is calling out the ACT Party’s extension of the three-strikes policy as knee-jerk punitivism, political populism and based on a culture of fear, rather than evidence....
    Scoop politics | 23-04
  • InternetNZ pleased Green Party taking issues seriously
    InternetNZ is pleased to see the Green Party join Labour in having a serious discussion about online rights....
    Scoop politics | 23-04
  • Age Concern calls for building accessibility for elderly
    Age Concern has made a submission strongly opposing the clause within the Building (Earthquake-prone Buildings) Amendment Bill that exempts building owners from providing or improving building accessibility. The current Building Act 2004 clearly acknowledges...
    Scoop politics | 23-04
  • Internet Rights & Principles Coalition: Internet Rights Bill
    The Internet Rights and Principles Coalition (IRP Coalition) of the UN Internet Governance Forum applaud the release of the NZ Green Party’s Internet Rights and Freedoms Bill for public consultation. The IRF Bill is a pioneering project for the internet...
    Scoop politics | 23-04
  • Gender quotas should be a last resort
    The Institute of Directors in New Zealand (IoD), says introducing gender quotas is not the best solution to increase the number of women directors on New Zealand boards....
    Scoop politics | 22-04
  • Taika Waititi lends support to #BeefWithBullies campaign
    Even if Chardonnay doesn’t like your Michael Jackson dance moves, that’s no reason for you to be made fun of. Renowned Kiwi director, Taika Waititi has pledged his support to the Mad Butcher’s anti-bullying campaign #BeefWithBullies. With...
    Scoop politics | 22-04
  • Commissioner proposes limit on credit reporting charges
    The Privacy Commissioner, John Edwards, is proposing an amendment to the Credit Reporting Privacy Code that would limit what credit reporters can charge individuals wanting immediate access to their credit information....
    Scoop politics | 22-04
  • Does ACC system provide access to justice asks UN
    The United Nations Committee responsible for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities ("CRPD") has formally raised access to justice and other issues with the New Zealand Government. The Committee considered a report submitted...
    Scoop politics | 22-04
  • Iwi concerned over future of country’s oldest wharenui
    An East Coast iwi says they are concerned the Crown has not made good on its promise to return their wharenui – the oldest meeting house in the country. “The Government promised to return our wharenui, now they are reneging,”...
    Scoop politics | 22-04
  • NZDF-Supported Anzac Day Commemorations in France, Belgium
    The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) will be increasing its support for official and locally-run Anzac Day commemorations in France and Belgium this year with a 10 person contingent, including a Māori cultural element, from New Zealand as well...
    Scoop politics | 22-04
  • Third National Māori Housing Conference set to take place
    Success stories in Māori Housing developments from around Aotearoa will be shared at a National Māori Housing Conference, to be held in Whanganui from May 1-3. Conference hosts the Whanganui Iwi Housing Forum and national umbrella organization Te Matapihi...
    Scoop politics | 22-04
  • Partnership targets visitor safety on New Zealand roads
    Partnership targets visitor safety on New Zealand roads Tourism New Zealand, the New Zealand Transport Agency and Air New Zealand have joined forces to target Chinese tourists with important road safety messages before they get behind the wheel. A...
    Scoop politics | 22-04
  • Renewable energy in the Pacific under EU-NZ Partnership
    European Commissioner Piebalgs and New Zealand Foreign Minister McCully depart on 23-27 April on a joint mission to the Pacific to see EU-NZ renewable energy and energy efficiency projects....
    Scoop politics | 22-04
  • Disabled Community Further Marginalised by Proposed Bill
    Disabled Community Further Marginalised by Proposed Building Amendment Bill for Earthquake Prone Buildings to the Building Act....
    Scoop politics | 22-04
  • Home loan affordability worsens by most in 12 years
    Home loan affordability worsens by most in 12 years as interest rates and house prices rise...
    Scoop politics | 22-04
  • ACT should abandon Three Strikes
    Rethinking Crime and Punishment is urging right wing politicians to do their homework before coming up with one-off “tough on crime – high on vengeance’ sentencing policies for which there is no evidence of success. He was responding to the...
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • Noho Hewa’: Visit of Native Hawaiian filmmaker
    Native Hawaiian filmmaker, Anne Keala Kelly, will be in Aotearoa New Zealand for two screenings of the award winning documentary 'Noho Hewa: the wrongful occupation of Hawai'i', a powerful portrayal of the multiple links between militarisation and...
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • Rural Contractors NZ hits the road during May
    Rural Contractors New Zealand (RCNZ) will be updating its members on the latest changes in health and safety, transport and employment laws – as well as other topics – in a series of roadshows being held around the country during...
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • Landlord and tenant alarm at healthy homes bill
    Landlord and tenant alarm at healthy homes bill Landlords and tenants should be alarmed at Labour MP Phil Twyford’s Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill that would immediately impose stringent requirements upon rental properties without defining those requirements,...
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • US/New Zealand relationship best in thirty years
    US/New Zealand relationship best in thirty years. NZ well qualified for UN Security Council seat...
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • Oxford University study says large dams are uneconomical
    Just in time for this week’s ASEAN Renewable Energy Week, new scientific results have questioned the economic viability of large dams. Calculations by the Bruno Manser Fund show that the Malaysian Bakun Dam scores even worse than the average large...
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • ACT Speech: Three Strikes For Burglary, Three Years Jail
    Last year there were more than 52,000 reported burglaries. According to the Treasury, for every 10 reported burglaries, there are another 12 that go unreported. This means there were more than 120,000 burglaries last year – or over 2000 a...
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • Derek Leask: Media Advisory Re: Nigel Fyfe MOJ Appointment
    Derek Leask yesterday 20 April 2014 made the following observations in response to a media enquiry about the recently announced appointment of Mr Nigel Fyfe, currently Deputy Secretary at the Ministry of Justice (Legal and Operational Services and Legal...
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • Oceans In The Spotlight At Election Year Oceans Forum
    The marine environment will be in the spotlight at an ‘Election Year Oceans Forum’ at Kelly Tarlton’s SEALIFE Aquarium on April 27 from 10.30-12.30. A panel of non-governmental advocates and scientists will outline challenges facing our seas, and MPs from...
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • Himalayan Trust responds to Everest avalanche
    The Himalayan Trust has launched an appeal to help the families of the Sherpa climbers impacted by the recent tragedy on Eve rest, Nepal....
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • Himalayan Trust responds to Everest avalanche
    The Himalayan Trust has launched an appeal to help the families of the Sherpa climbers impacted by the recent tragedy on Eve rest, Nepal....
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • Tariana Turia: Labour doesn’t deserve our vote
    Maori Party Co-leader Tariana Turia told TVNZ’s Q+A programme that Labour doesn’t deserve the Maori vote. ‘I don’t believe they deserve our vote any more....
    Scoop politics | 20-04
  • Family Court Consumers Group appalled at legal rort
    Family Court Consumers Group appalled at Lawyer for Child's "1 meeting in 10 years" taxpayer funded legal rort...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Manufacturing Matters to New Zealand – 17 April
    The Labour Party announcement today recognises the simple truth that the manufacturing sector really matters to New Zealand’s economy as a whole, based on the part manufacturing plays in the growth of the added value element in the tradable sector,...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Young Kiwi to Represent New Zealand at Premier Youth Forum
    Young Kiwi to Represent New Zealand at Premier Youth Forum FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Commonwealth Youth New Zealand Executive Director, Aaron Hape, has been selected to represent New Zealand at 33Fifty, the Commonwealth Youth Leadership Programme,...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Lisa Owen interviews Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei
    Greens propose new ministerial disclosure regime based on British rules, requiring quarterly declarations of ministers' meetings, travel and hospitality....
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Politicians Should Maintain Workers’ Easter Break
    Family First NZ is rejecting calls for any liberalisation of Easter trading laws and says that workers deserve a break to spend time with their families. “This is not an issue about choice as has been argued. For many workers,...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Lisa Owen interviews experts on Antacrtica
    Lisa Owen interviews Chuck Kennicutt and Gary Wilson on Antarctica Headlines: Top Antarctic scientists warns New Zealand "not ready" for worst as ice shelves and sea ice in Antarctica retreat and the climate changes Gary Wilson: "Can...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Beyond the State – NZ State Houses from Modest to Modern
    As part of the our 'Active Hand of Government' series for 2014, we present Bill McKay, Senior Lecturer, School of Architecture and Planning, speaking to his new publication....
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Global unions applaud NZ ‘slave ships’ progress
    Global unions the ITF (International Transport Workers' Federation) and IUF (International Union of Food, Agricultural and Hospitality Workers) today applauded the steps forward made in preventing often shocking abuse of crews on fishing vessels in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Families before commerce at Easter
    Families before commerce at Easter The retail workers’ union has hit back at critics of New Zealand's modest Easter trading restrictions. "Some things are more important than going to the mall, and for just three and a half days each...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Easter trading laws archaic, in need of overhaul
    Press release: ACT New Zealand Easter trading laws are outdated and in need of a major overhaul, said ACT leader Jamie Whyte today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • ALCP welcomes Campbell Live poll result
    The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party welcomes last night's Campbell Live poll, saying it is an overdue reality check for public opinion on personal cannabis use....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Q+A This Week 20/4/14
    Q+A This Week SUNDAY 20 APRIL, 9AM ON TV ONE The latest on the US-NZ relationship from the US military’s top man in the Pacific, Admiral Samuel J. Locklear . Deputy Political Editor Michael Parkin asks him whether we’re allies,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Community detention for pokie theft
    A 67-year-old former company director, convicted of stealing pokie machine profits, was today sentenced to six months community detention, 160 hours of community work and ordered to make reparation of $6,000....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Waitangi National Trust Board Amendment Bill
    The Māori Affairs Committee is inviting public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Wednesday, 14 May 2014....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Collaboration stops drugs from crossing borders
    Collaboration between Hong Kong and New Zealand Customs has stopped millions of dollars worth of drugs coming into New Zealand this year, with a number of seizures and arrests in both countries....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Call for public enquiry into the future of farming
    Fish & Game NZ is calling for a public enquiry “to examine the future of agriculture in New Zealand”....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Comment on Labour Policy Announcement by NZMEA President
    “This policy release from the Labour Party is so important that if it becomes government policy it would define a shift in New Zealand’s culture,” says Brian Willoughby President of the NZMEA and Managing Director of Plinius Audio and Contex...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Manufacturing policy makes sense but….
    On the surface much of Labour's prescription for manufacturing is sound though questions remain over some of the detail not yet announced, the Employers and Manufacturers Association says....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Where Are The 15,000 Jobs?
    “Paula Bennett is today proudly telling New Zealand that beneficiary numbers have decreased by 15,000 in the past year. There is no proud declaration that 15,000 jobs have been created in the same period,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty spokesperson,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Change of approach to government procurement needed
    The rail engineering industry has been totally let down by National’s lack of manufacturing policy, and Labour’s measures outlined today represent a marked shift in approach to supporting domestic industries, the RMTU said today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Depreciation Policy Shouldn’t Be Just for Pet Industries
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Labour’s announcement to beef up rates of depreciation in the manufacturing sector, but is questioning why David Cunliffe is picking winners rather than applying the policy across all sectors. Jordan Williams,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • FIFA U-20 World Cup NZ 2015 Kick Off Times Announced
    An array of kick-off times to suit football fans of all ages has been confirmed for the FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand 2015. With 52 matches spread across the nation, the public will be able to enjoy a collection...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
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