Conferences are wasteful, unless you’re hosting

Written By: - Date published: 1:13 pm, February 26th, 2009 - 15 comments
Categories: employment, humour - Tags:

Lyndon Hood does it again:

The National Government has cancelled another conference, with Prime Minister John Key describing it as “a waste of public money at a critical time”. During a line-by-line review of spending by the department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Mr Key discovered the so-called “Summit on Employment”, which was to be held in Auckland on February 27. The summit, which was organised by bureaucrats, was to gather business leaders together from around the country to have a bit of a chat about employment-related issues.

“Employers are the life blood of our economy,” said My Key, “We don’t want them swanning around at some fancy conference venue eating sausage rolls – they should be at work employing people!”

My Key emphasised the he supported the goal of gathering fresh ideas to retain and grow jobs. “But haven’t they ever heard of email? Or telephones?”

“Unfortunately we won’t be able to recoup the money spent on branding and publicity for the conference,” Mr Key continued, “I shall be asking some very stern questions about why an publicly-funded event needs its own logo.

“Not that it’s a bad logo. It’s got lines making a sort of mountain.Summit, you see. Because it’s a summit.”

After an uncomfortable pause Mr Key suggested it might actually be a roof with retrofitted insulation.

My Key cited this action as proof the he and the Beehive political staff were right on the ball when it came to saving money.

“In these hard economic times we need to make sure every taxpayer dollar is well spent. How many manufacturing workers could be employed with that money? Or, to put the spending in more standard terms, how many hip operations could an osteopathic surgeon employed with that money perform?

“The number of blocks of cheese involved doesn’t bear thinking about.”

A spokesman for the Prime Minister’s office later clarified that, while whether the summit was a waste of money was debatable, Mr Key did not want to be the last minister to cancel a conference or fire somebody.


The summit is another example of Key’s ‘politics of gesture‘ but something has to be seen to come from it. I expect that the outcomes of the summit will be some training allowance-type programme (it will have to be damn small because English won’t open the purse), work force ‘flexibility’ measures, ie. anti-union laws, extension of the Fire at Will law, and, maybe, a tax credit for employers.

15 comments on “Conferences are wasteful, unless you’re hosting”

  1. all_your_base 1

    Over at The Herald they’re posing the question “Do you think National’s one day job summit will achieve anything?”. The answers don’t seem particularly optimistic.

    No wonder really, from Bill English’s comments over the last few weeks it frankly sounds like he’s given up.

  2. northpaw 2

    Nice one, SP..

    One thought to perhaps add to the smiles was not so much a summit as a summitomo (aka chewing the fat) 🙂

  3. IrishBill 3

    I was struck by the fact that the logo is in a nice National Party blue and immediately identified by title with John Key. I recall many on the right complaining about this sort of thing under Labour. Where are they now?

  4. Pat 4

    “I expect that the outcomes of the summit will be some training allowance-type programme (it will have to be damn small because English won’t open the purse), work force ‘flexibility’ measures, ie. anti-union laws, extension of the Fire at Will law, and, maybe, a tax credit for employers”.

    Maybe Key, once again, will surprise you.

    Personally I would like to see the blowtorch come on the banking sector. Banks have a major role to play in the recession, and at the moment they are only adding to the economic death spiral. The Government needs to call them to arms to play their part, and in doing so accept a lower return for the shareholders for the short/medium term. In particular Banks need to:

    1. Reduce their margins on business and farming lending rates.
    2. Roll over existing facilities for businesses.
    3. Lend to the productive sector of the economy such as manufacturers without the requirement for property security.
    4. If a business is struggling, take a longer term view. If there is a reasonable chance they will make it if their Bank facilities stay in place or are increased, then hang in there with them.
    5. Start lending back to at least 90% on home loans. A more active housing market creates employment.

    If the Banks can play a bigger, more active part in the economic recovery it actually helps them restore profitability. As opposed to a depression which is good for no-one, including the Banks.

    Catchpa: Standard review! OK then, I’ll give it “Slowly improving but bad news filter still on. Many contributors still appear bewildered as to how their side lost. Unhealthy obsession with Farrar. Has assumed the role of Labour’s attack-dog and remain convinced Key is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Would be better served helping re-design Labour in particular a relevant policy platform”.

    • IrishBill 4.1

      Pat, we’d dearly like to redesign Labour (probably into something like the Alliance but without the personality issues and with shit hot PR) but despite the fantasies of our right-wing commenters nobody on the standard has any real influence over Labour and Labour certainly (and thankfully) doesn’t have any influence over us. If they did I suspect our readership would collapse (probably from boredom).

      With regard to your other comments I’ll only say we’ve become the second highest ranked blog in NZ in a little over a year and a half. You do believe in market forces don’t you, Pat?

  5. BLiP 5

    Has anyone costed this Goober Gab Fest? I wonder how many blocks of cheese I could buy for the same amount?

  6. Jum 6

    Remember that little chat Key had with all the banks pre election. It wasn’t to check out his $50mill. It was to synchronise their watches to coincide with his pleas to the banking thugs to think of the little people. ASB came across. For SME.

    Key wants to be seen as having influence over the gods of finance. At least until he has the easily fooled public in his clutches. They’re so busy worrying about their futures, they won’t be worried about the subtle nuances of what the NActs are plotting.

    I am disappointed in the people of New Zealand. The smiling assassin has taken over the country. Won’t bother me personally, but I worry about my children’s futures.

  7. vto 7

    Jum, I think you’re wrong. I don’t think Key is worried about his so-called bankster mates and all that paranoid conspiracy stuff. I think Key is overly serious about being taken seriously about NZ and its people. He is I think simple and his plan is simple.

  8. Jum 8

    ‘we’ve become the second highest ranked blog in NZ in a little over a year and a half.’

    Congratulations. You deserve it. You are the only people putting the other point of view and uncovering the misinformation spread by NAct.

    Thank you. I spread your name around wherever I can as a worthy observer of NAct’s daily actions. It wasn’t the major changes that Labour made that killed them off. It was the thousands of cuts the righties made, full of lies, inuendo and misinformation. (A besieged group cuts itself off from its attackers and let’s face it, that was the world of Labour/Progressives. Unfortunately, it was seen as arrogance. It never was.) Let’s hope that Labour has learned its lesson and again begins to communicate with its supporters. The future of NZ is far too valuable for NAct to remain in Government for a second term, because that would be the last nail in NZ’s coffin.

    • vto 8.1

      Swap ‘righties’ for ‘lefties’ and ‘labour’ for ‘national’, stick it on kiwiblog Jum and voila!

  9. Jum 9

    Got your first (February 26, 2009 at 8:40 pm) message, too Vto. I thought you were rather naive. Now I know.

    I’ve also been on kiwiblog. There aint no comparison between my congratulating The Standard for giving the other point of view and kiwiblog pimping for National.

    I also don’t receive ‘payment’ for supporting the left. David Farrar? That’s another story – personal appearances on Good morning politics…etc.

  10. vto 10

    No worries Mr Jum. The proof is in the pudding.

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