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The Attack of the Snowflakes

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, June 4th, 2019 - 119 comments

National is playing the innocent victim of Budgetgate whilst being the aggressive attacker all along.

Politicians Don’t Know Jack

Written By: - Date published: 7:01 am, June 3rd, 2019 - 63 comments

Politicians rely on information provided to them, not on an encyclopaedic memory and an IQ of a genius.

Public Service meltdown

Written By: - Date published: 7:33 am, December 21st, 2018 - 55 comments

How much Wellington-political-economy damage can the Government sustain while pushing reform across so many Ministries?

Litigation and equal pay – a history of the 1950’s equal pay campaign

Written By: - Date published: 7:26 am, August 28th, 2018 - 3 comments

Forward In 2016 I wrote the below dissertation as part of my History Honours degree at Victoria University.  This dissertation explores the 1950s equal pay campaign, and specifically looks at the Jean Parker Case. Jean Parker was a PSA member employed at IRD, who like Kristine Bartlett 60 years later, won a landmark equal pay legal […]

A belated congratulations

Written By: - Date published: 3:54 pm, May 26th, 2018 - 22 comments

Post Immigration New Zealand Spreadsheet debacle, Ministers Curran and Shaw announce a stocktake and review of all government algorithms.

Workers’ Rights. Our Rights. And a Government Breaking Bad.

Written By: - Date published: 11:14 am, April 24th, 2018 - 17 comments

Time for the government to pull its head in.

Professional identity-Why it matters or Why we are being screwed by the Government

Written By: - Date published: 11:09 am, April 22nd, 2018 - 27 comments

A personal perspective on the repercussions of the government’s current approach to Social Work and Social Workers.

TPP, Corporate Coup or “Free trade”?

Written By: - Date published: 9:07 pm, November 8th, 2017 - 99 comments

However. TPP ( The trans Pacific partnership) is NOT a “Free trade” agreement. It is an attempt to cement in corporate power, to override inconvenient  local Democracy, and collect rents from local communities in perpetuity.
Since when was giving large companies extra rights in law, and rights to extract even more economic rents, “Free trade”?

“Social bonds” fail – blame the officials!

Written By: - Date published: 3:09 pm, December 16th, 2016 - 31 comments

A scapegoat for the failure of the Nats’ first “social bonds” programme has been found. Turns out it was the fault of government officials! Shocker!

Quakes and other emergencies

Written By: - Date published: 10:10 am, November 15th, 2016 - 23 comments

Update: Chaos in Wellington – check the news…

It’s times like this you appreciate our emergency response systems. Huge thanks to everyone who has worked / is working to keep others safe, supplied, informed.

Meth Fries Housing NZ’s Brains

Written By: - Date published: 8:55 am, August 3rd, 2016 - 129 comments

Housing NZ has admitted that it is evicting tenants when only tiny trace amounts of meth are found on the property. It further admits that the testing regime is not fit for purpose. But, hey, they have the power to make people homeless and they’re not going to let fairness or common sense get in the way of their moral panic.

When did the War on Drugs become the War on the Poor?

We’re going to burn it all, until we burn it down.

Written By: - Date published: 12:11 am, May 20th, 2016 - 173 comments

What does it really mean to reduce NZ’s total fossil fuel use by 50% by 2030: a warm up discussion for an upcoming thought experiment.

Auckland Council IT Blowout; Guest Post

Written By: - Date published: 6:26 pm, March 6th, 2016 - 62 comments

TS regular SaveNZ looks at the background to the massive cost overruns in the Auckland Council’s IT department. It’s not about the democratic processes of council; it’s because the Supercity was set up to fail.

The great big list of John Key’s big fat lies (UPDATED)

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, January 27th, 2016 - 76 comments

How many more lies will John Key tell today in his so-called State of the Nation address? Virtual chocolate fish to whomever guesses the closest number.

Treachery and silly season political snippets

Written By: - Date published: 7:41 am, December 23rd, 2015 - 61 comments

There’s still a few MPs “on duty”. Their function is to maintain the semblance of active government and to roll out a bunch of announcements they hope will escape full scrutiny.

Human Synergistics, Richard Prebble, and the end of government

Written By: - Date published: 6:08 am, May 17th, 2015 - 64 comments

Back in March 1988 David Lange had a clear idea about what lay ahead for New Zealanders as the long-term consequences of Roger Douglas’ psychopathic worshipping of the metaphysical Invisible Hand gradually materialised.

National Ltd™Plays The Race Card

Written By: - Date published: 9:36 am, May 7th, 2015 - 16 comments

The Auditor General found that no one in National Ltd™, the Māori Party, Te Puni Korkiri, or any other of its apologists can detail exactly what Whānau Ora is supposed to be doing, provide evidence of its outcomes, or explain why up to 33% of the money is being paid in “administration”. In other words, Whānau Ora is a shambles. And dodgy.

$46.25 per week Minister!?!

Written By: - Date published: 3:00 pm, March 19th, 2015 - 6 comments

One way the Government is transforming the disability support system is by keeping quiet about allowances desperately needed by those caring for disabled children.

NRT: Abuse of power: The OIA / public records dimension

Written By: - Date published: 4:28 pm, November 25th, 2014 - 13 comments

Jason Ede deleted his personal emails. Some of those emails concerned ministerial business and should therefore are public records. There is a fine of $5000 per email destroyed. Similarly the SIS was illegally refusing media requests that are OIAs.  All as dodgy as hell. Time to charge some people violating public information acts?

Polity: MSD dumps on National’s “net tax” nonsense

Written By: - Date published: 3:33 pm, July 10th, 2014 - 47 comments

Rob Salmond has been looking through the newly released  Ministry of Social Development’s Household Incomes Report. It really is invaluable. 

Blame the Officials

Written By: - Date published: 9:59 am, July 5th, 2014 - 7 comments

Murray McCully doesn’t accept his responsibilities. He appears to see no need to do more than to blame his officials. Yet his job, under our system of parliamentary government, is to be accountable to parliament for the performance – and failures – of his department.  The McCully doctrine appears to be to suppress public discussion on difficult issues and to limit any adverse fallout for their party. Public officials are convenient sacrificial lambs if things go wrong. This is a bad idea.

NRT: John Key pisses on public service independence

Written By: - Date published: 3:23 pm, July 4th, 2014 - 30 comments

One of the core principles of our public service is that Ministers have no role in staffing decisions. This is not the era of Seddon, where a Minister could stack “their” department with cronies and time-servers. For over a century, public sector heads have been statutorily independent in such matters. John Key appears to not understand that independence or just likes stupidly shooting from the hip. In the process he is opening taxpayers up to paying for his mistakes.

Local Bodies: Pay Equity, Rod Donald Was Right in 2004

Written By: - Date published: 1:44 pm, June 28th, 2014 - 3 comments

In 2004 Green Party Co-Leader Rod Donald made a speech about the Public Finance (State Sector Management) Bill. Ten years later the State Sector is still not an equitable employer. Pakeha men have done considerably better over the ten years than any other demographic and this is despite the fact that for many years now females have been out performing males academically. Women still earn less relative to their qualifications than men. There is some hope that a future Green/Labour coalition may finally address the issue.

NRT: The Jones appointment

Written By: - Date published: 11:53 am, June 24th, 2014 - 45 comments

When I first heard of this appointment, I commented that if McCully had offered Jones a briefcase full of cash rather than a specially-created high-paying job to resign, we’d call it what it is: Corruption and bribery of member of Parliament. From what I’ve seen in this release, I stand by that.

Updated:  It looks like this appointment either violated the Cabinet Manual or is in violation of the State Sector Act. Whatever way you look at this, the appointment appears to broken some laws. Perhaps some journos would like to look up from bullshit from National’s dirty tricks blogger and care to investigate a real story?

Turn out and vote National out

Written By: - Date published: 8:00 am, June 21st, 2014 - 110 comments

At the last election, the high non-vote spoke to one important truth – many voters saw no reason to turn out. The media had told them that National would win by a landslide and they either didn’t mind or thought that one vote wouldn’t make any difference. This election is radically different. It is rapidly becoming clear that we are losing control of our country.  Vote on September 20, and vote against this Government.

NRT: An abuse of the OIA

Written By: - Date published: 4:14 pm, June 20th, 2014 - 39 comments

So it turns out that Immigration released letters from David Cunliffe and Chris Carter in support of Donghua Liu. However, the Department of Internal Affairs refused to release the letters sent by Mr Williamson and Mr Banks under the privacy and commercial provisions in the Official Information Act.  This looks like a blatantly political release decision to advance the interests of the government of the day.  Transparency of official information applies to everyone, not just the government’s enemies.

 

The anatomy of a smear campaign

Written By: - Date published: 8:59 am, June 20th, 2014 - 322 comments

David Cunliffe does not recall signing a letter 11 years ago which did not advocate for Donghua Liu’s application for residence yet gets pilloried by the media for stating that he did not advocate for Mr Liu.  Michael Woodhouse denies telling John Key about the letter, then says officials from his office briefed Mr Key’s office on the letters and then his office admits that he told Key’s office about the letter yet there is no media criticism of what clearly is an attempt to hide a smear campaign.  Is this yet more evidence of media bias?

National’s proposed public spending to GDP ratio – the election’s clear blue line

Written By: - Date published: 9:22 am, May 15th, 2014 - 71 comments

The real story of the coming election is what was revealed in Bill English’s reported pre-budget speech to the National Party’s Southern Region conference at the weekend. He signalled an intention to reduce the proportion of government spending to 26% of GDP over the next 6 to 7 years. The current level at 30% already places NZ in the lowest quartile of OECD countries, having fallen from 35% of GDP in 2008. Most developed nations spend a significantly higher proportion of GDP on government goods and services.

Polity: Key – “Meh. Maybe I lied to Parliament.”

Written By: - Date published: 11:38 am, May 14th, 2014 - 39 comments

Misleading parliament is serious. If it happens, MPs are supposed to make a stand-alone statement to the House about what they said, why it was wrong, and what they should have said instead. Key didn’t do that at all. He just inserted a pathetic “meh” concession into an answer to a question. And the speaker diminished parliament by letting him get away with it.

NRT: “Shoulder-tapping” vs public service values

Written By: - Date published: 11:39 am, April 23rd, 2014 - 59 comments

Another angle to the Shane Jones resignation: “Mr Jones said he would leave Parliament next month after he was shoulder tapped by Foreign Minister Murray McCully for a new role as a roving economic ambassador across the Pacific.”

This is of course a total violation of public service values, and an unlawful exercise of Ministerial power.

Thank you ….

Written By: - Date published: 8:57 am, December 25th, 2013 - 34 comments

To all those making a difference and working for a more inclusive, equal, fair and sustainable society. Special thanks to Lynn for all his work for The Standard.

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