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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.

Cameron Slater: So who pays who?

Written By: - Date published: 4:19 pm, December 12th, 2013 - 203 comments

Looks like John Key’s communications boss Jason Ede has been busted supplying material for the most disgusting site in local politics – Whaleoil. It has long been suspected that he supplies material and possibly even writes for that site as part National’s dirty tricks team. Looks like we have some confirmation. So how much is the taxpayer paying for this public servant to blog and does he do it for his job? How much does Cameron Slater “demand” from the taxpayer to provide this service?

The magical world of New Zealand’s, Neo-Liberal right wing.

Written By: - Date published: 6:06 am, August 1st, 2013 - 82 comments

It has been obvious that some people live in a different world than the rest of us. One where Chicago school economics, work! One where you save the village by blowing it up! One where global warming can be stopped, Canute like, by legislation. One where dropping wages and giving everything to bloated financiers, makes […]

War on social security: demonisation of beneficiaries

Written By: - Date published: 7:57 am, July 15th, 2013 - 272 comments

Sweeping changes to NZ’s Social Security system begin today.  This is a major shift from the the 1938 Social Security Act: a shift from support of those in need, to treating them as potential criminals, self-serving addicts, and malingerers. Shame on John Key & Paula Bennett! [Update: RNZ & BAF & AAAP]

OP: Fluoridation – it does reduce tooth decay

Written By: - Date published: 2:59 pm, June 21st, 2013 - 306 comments

Ken Perrott at Open Parachute has been debunking some of the nonsense around fluoridated water by investigating claims (his background is in scientific research). It is refreshing after reading some of the recent misinterpreted drivel around about the science.

Nathan Guy a bully

Written By: - Date published: 1:22 pm, May 25th, 2013 - 23 comments

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy has been quick to try and blame his own staff for the Chinese meat fiasco. But ultimately it is the fault of National and their war on the public service.

Systemic privacy breaches

Written By: - Date published: 9:35 am, April 10th, 2013 - 62 comments

PM John Key reckons that there is no systemic problem with the security of the government’s data handling. He’s wrong – three separate incidents yesterday cap off a litany of recent breaches. Even Bill English now admits that the government cannot guarantee that public information is protected.

Security: social, financial, personal, digital

Written By: - Date published: 9:05 am, April 10th, 2013 - 17 comments

Yesterday more planks in the NAct raft amounting to major changes, were before the House.  These undermine democracy, fairness, the security and rights of individuals, and increase hardship for those on low incomes.  Ardern on Social Security. Cunliffe on child support, privacy breaches & trust.

Changing minds; changing lives

Written By: - Date published: 11:10 am, March 26th, 2013 - 14 comments

The Green Party held a public meeting in West Auckland, on their Home for Life, Affordable Housing policy – it prioritises children in poverty. It was informative, questions were raised.  Mindsets need to change to achieve a good quality of life & strong communities for all.

Auckland housing: Brown vs Smith

Written By: - Date published: 10:54 am, March 7th, 2013 - 53 comments

Nick Smith, of the forked tongue, is challenging Auckland council’s plan for affordable compact housing. It will do nothing for housing affordability, transport, the environment. It is undemocratic, over-rides the council, and will enrich developers.

The Stealth Dismantling of Environmental Protection

Written By: - Date published: 12:14 pm, March 6th, 2013 - 27 comments

To a first approximation the protection of the environment in this country is managed by two distinct entities; inside the Conservation estate it falls to DoC and outside of that it falls onto the Regional Councils. Under this government both are being slowly dismantled. Over the last month I’ve had the opportunity to talk extensively with DoC […]

Why charity cannot replace the state

Written By: - Date published: 10:15 am, February 2nd, 2013 - 53 comments

One of the mantras of the current government is the importance of charity in society. The state is not necessarily the best deliverer of social services, they’ll tell you. Which is why it’s important to get the private sector involved

Free Public Libraries Bill

Written By: - Date published: 10:15 am, November 5th, 2012 - 17 comments

Darien Fenton’s “Keep Public Libraries Free” Bill will soon be getting its first reading in parliament. Public libraries are an important community resource. Keeping their resources and services free contributes to social inclusion and participatory democracy.

Small government

Written By: - Date published: 7:35 am, October 26th, 2012 - 54 comments

Cuts have consequences.

Combine that with a culture where ministers are never held accountable for anything, and you have a recipe for bungling incompetence.

This National government is a very small government indeed.

A sincere question about CE pay

Written By: - Date published: 12:00 pm, October 13th, 2012 - 139 comments

Seriously, people, what on Earth can David Smol, CE of MoBIE, possibly do to earn $590k a year?

Ministry of Silly Investments

Written By: - Date published: 6:50 am, August 13th, 2012 - 4 comments

The Nats spent $420,000 on branding for the Ministry of Science and Innovation, which only existed for 18 months before being swallowed  by MoBIE. It included money for branded play putty… Shearer’s right: “The Government’s supposed public service reform is an incoherent ego trip for ministers.”

Nats try to muscle the Waitangi Tribunal

Written By: - Date published: 7:29 am, August 3rd, 2012 - 67 comments

A stockmarket float can’t happen at just any time. It needs to be close to the annual report or late enough in the new year to allow new numbers to be made after the Christmas break. So 2 windows a year. 5 to the election. Treasury says the stockmarket can only handle 1 asset sale a window, preferably 1 a year. The Nats know they will lose the next election. So they can’t afford to lose this sales window if they’re to do all the sales by the election.

Eliminating government waste

Written By: - Date published: 12:01 pm, July 30th, 2012 - Comments Off on Eliminating government waste

TwistedHive: Thar she blows

Written By: - Date published: 9:50 am, July 5th, 2012 - 16 comments

There’s a new member in the ‘sphere, a cheeky little blog called Twisted Hive that appears to be a member of what you might call the Labour Ulterior, that great mass of Labour people who are unhappy with and feel excluded by the way things have been managed lately. This post, though, is about Steven Joyce’s white whale.

Tea ladies to be drug tested

Written By: - Date published: 10:13 am, May 11th, 2012 - 45 comments

 Minister of Labour Kate Wilkinson seems to be living  in an alternative universe, with her comment on Checkpoint yesterday that tea ladies in the adventure tourism industry could be drug tested: “The boss might be tested, it could be his turn or it could be the tea lady.” We’ll take it as a given that Kate assumes the boss […]

Stop press!

Written By: - Date published: 8:15 am, May 11th, 2012 - 3 comments

Bet there’s some last minute changes to the Budget happening. A few mil to reverse the bio-security cuts now the fruit fly’s in. A few mil for monitoring MSD contracts – Bennett’s ‘high trust’ (ie too lazy/cheap) model clearly isn’t working. They could find savings by not giving money to fronts for gangs and other corrupt groups, predictably, sucking on the Whanau Ora teat.

A Butcher’s Shop, a Toy Shop, a Candy Store and a Childcare Centre

Written By: - Date published: 1:30 pm, April 25th, 2012 - 14 comments

Steven Joyce’s personal fiefdom of Economic Development, Science and Innovation, Building and Housing, and Labour is confirmed. Now for the redundancies…

Creeping elitism

Written By: - Date published: 9:06 am, April 21st, 2012 - 19 comments

There was a time when you expected higher standards from the senior ranks of the public service. Now, more and more, they are just like private sector CEOs. Elitists. The standards are slipping. This slap on the wrist for the Building and Housing CEO who manhandled a staffer just shows how pervasive the elitist private sector ‘one law for us, another for them’ mentality has become.

It’s turtles all the way down

Written By: - Date published: 6:14 am, April 19th, 2012 - 8 comments

Anyone else see the irony in the ‘bureaucracy-slashing National Government‘TM reacting to delays in the Christchurch rebuilding – partly caused by lack of coordination between the local bureaucracy, the existing central government bureaucracy, and the bureaucracy National created especially to deal with the rebuild – by adding another layer of back-room bureaucracy?

Consultancy blowout

Written By: - Date published: 10:16 am, April 12th, 2012 - 34 comments

In opposition the Nats were critical of Labour’s spending on consultants. Thanks to Keith Ng we now have some figures on sending under the Nat government. Guess what…

Hidden away

Written By: - Date published: 9:51 am, April 11th, 2012 - 27 comments

Hidden away at the end of this story, hidden away out of most media view, hidden away from Housing New Zealand, and from society… ordinary people being shafted by National’s cuts.

Juking the stats

Written By: - Date published: 7:44 am, March 16th, 2012 - 12 comments

There’s some odd omissions from Key’s new ’10 targets’. There’s nothing hard. Nothing about closing the gap with Australia, formerly goal number 1. Nothing about creating jobs, despite 170,000 being promised. Nothing about the cycleway that was going to end the recession. It invites a closer look at the 10 targets. And then you discover, they’ll all happen anyway.

Key’s laundry list of broken promises

Written By: - Date published: 10:58 pm, March 14th, 2012 - 56 comments

He must resign. Surely. Here is Key, speaking to the PSA in 2008, making very specific promises about public service jobs, tax cuts, and asset sales that helped him get elected. Promises he has since broken. There’s no excuse. He wasn’t blind-sided by events. He made these promises never intending to keep them. Key is refusing to comment but if the man has any ethics he’ll resign.

‘Perks’?

Written By: - Date published: 7:50 am, March 13th, 2012 - 14 comments

It’s easy to attack the extra remuneration that diplomats get while on posting as ‘perks’ that can be cut. But they serve an important purpose. Diplomats and their families have to up-root their whole lives to go on posting. For diplomats’ partners, that usually means giving up their work and income. If there’s no compensation for that, then diplomats won’t be able to go.

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