Contrary to Key, Govt does target waste

Written By: - Date published: 11:21 am, July 13th, 2008 - 54 comments
Categories: election 2008, john key, labour, tax - Tags:

The idea that a government would purposely spend money in a wasteful manner is patently absurd. Voters want more government services and lower tax, any dollar of wasteful spending not only takes away from a government’s ability to meet those desires but also gives voters an active reason to vote against the Government. That’s a huge incentive to spend public money as efficiently as possible.

So, it should have been no surprise to hear Trevor Mallard on Agenda today talk about how, during the Budget process, the Government goes through expenditure line by line, looking first at where resources can be moved around so new policies can be funded from the existing funds – ie. provide more services for the same amount of tax. That is totally at odds with the baseless line from John Key following the Budget that ‘ government spending hasn’t been reviewed in a decade’.

No wonder, then, that National has been able to identify virtually no waste it would cut, while the Government has been able to shave $40 million plus off spending for the same or better output by developing a single core benefit. While the Government has actually got on and done the work, Key has just been telling porkies to the public to win votes.

As it becomes more and more clear that there is simply nowhere near enough government waste to pay for the big tax cuts Key is promising, we have to ask where he will get the money from. There are only two options: borrowing or slashing public services.

54 comments on “Contrary to Key, Govt does target waste ”

  1. Is it possible to get a picture of what 1.5 gm of cheddar cheese looks like?

  2. Anita 2

    Jafapete,

    If cheese is slightly more dense than water it’s about 1/3 of a teaspoon of cheese, I don’t think a picture of it would really work 🙂

  3. vto 3

    I think your philosophy is all backwards.

    You seem to regard the govt coffers as being of primary importance and that the taxpayers coffers come second.

    Clearly the proper way to view these matters is that the taxpayers private finances are of primary importance and the govt comes second.

    All else stems from this backwards philosophy.

  4. Live Free or Die Hard 4

    [Tane: And that’s you banned for life. Don’t think you can come on here and smear us, without evidence, and expect to get away with it.]

    [lprent: lived up to the second part of the name anyway]

  5. MacDoctor 5

    The idea that a government would purposely spend money in a wasteful manner is patently absurd

    And you really crack me up, Steve. 🙂

    Government is inherently wasteful in direct proportion to the level of accountability and transparency in the government. Unfortunately, most governments, and socialist governments in particular, seem to think that bureaucracy is a substitute for accountability and spin is a substitute for transparency. Bureaucracy and spin are both, by definition, extremely wasteful in that they tend to self-generate more bureaucracy and spin.

    I am intimately involved in the health system. I can tell you that most of our extra health dollars are disappearing into the blizzard of paperwork that nurses and doctors and frontline administrators have to cope with. After nine years of a Labour government, I see NO improvement in our health service, no matter what our government spin doctors say.

  6. Pascal's bookie 6

    vto,

    Why is that so clear?

    If we accept that having a government is a good thing, leaving aside for the moment how large a role we think is appropriate for a government to take, then we are saying that government must be funded, or bad things will happen.

    I think you would agree that if we did not have government at all it would be very difficult for private citizens to accumulate wealth much beyond subsistence level for the most part.

    Those that could, would mostly do so through force. In order to avoid this we have governments that enable the rule of law, which in turn allows markets to develop. If these two things are what allow private individuals to have lives that are something more than nasty, brutish, and short, then gov’t finance is of primary importance, because it is what allows for private wealth to develop.

    So it seems to me that the arguments are about what governments spend money on, and whether or not certain types of spending are facilitating or inhibiting general well being, however we might define that. Modern mixed economy leftists take a broader view of the things that promote growth. They think that gov’t spending on health, welfare, education and the like are just as important in promoting growth as enforcing contract law, catching robbers, and protecting the borders.

    So, therefore, what many on the right see as wasteful backroom quangoism, many on the left see as necessary spending to ensure that gov’t policy is being thought through and implemented in such a way as to be of most benefit.

    That’s not to say that there is no waste. There is always waste. But babies/bathwater etc. The left think that there is in fact a baby in there, and the right often just seem happy to take the risk that there is not.

  7. lprent 7

    Jafa/anita: Perhaps if you started from the milk required to produce the cheese it’d look more impressive?

  8. Anita 8

    Perhaps if you started from the milk required to produce the cheese it’d look more impressive?

    Good thinking Batman!

    1.5g of cheese takes 15g of milk, which is exactly one whole tablespoon – still not a very impressive photo though. Less than most people would put into a cup of coffee.

    How about the two tablespoons (30g) of water the cow would need to drink? Still probably not enough, and I feel a segue into the Green campaign about water quality and rivers coming on.

    All this trivia brought to you by the Moo Milk FAQ and a sunny Wellington afternoon.

  9. highrestandard 9

    Sadly I have to agree with MacDoctor 100%.

  10. sean 10

    Sorry, but you guys are kidding yourselves if you think we have anything even remotely close to an efficient public sector. I’ve seen it firsthand in one of the major government departments – one IT project there that could’ve been done privately for 2 million took 46 million to implement.

    Or how about the GUI screen that had 4 fields changed on it and it cost 400k of tax payer money? Enough to fund a decent sized IT project from start to finish for a medium size company. How about my team having 5 highly paid team leaders and a development manager to handle 3 programmers and an analyst? (and them only being able to find 3 days a week of work for me at that).

    There will always be some level of waste or inefficiency whether it is public or private. The issue here is that it is chronic right across the public sector, and has been for the last 6 years or so.

  11. J 11

    Sean is correct. A couple of friends working in IT roles in the public sector told me about the hiring of business analystsand programmers when there is no work for them, of projects which are started and never finished and lack of cost controls. Empire building seems to be the manager’s main prerogative.

    It’s pity this attitude to non-essential backroom staff isen’t extended to more vital front line services.

  12. Gekko 12

    “I think you would agree that if we did not have government at all it would be very difficult for private citizens to accumulate wealth much beyond subsistence level for the most part.”

    That’s a rather large assumption that allows the rest of the ‘we must give everything to the govt’ to follow rather easily. Where does that assumption come from?

  13. randal 13

    gosh it is wonderful that all knowing contributors to the citizens media can accuse the government of monumental waste yet the mainstream meedia who are are no friends of the government cant prove anything. methinks some of the posters here are just piffle boosters for the gnashnull party.

  14. vto 14

    Pascal’s Bookie, you make a point but it is not that relevant. Any group of humans will naturally form themselves into some sort of organisation with leaders and rules and penalties etc etc. Whether it is the modern state or a lone bunch of hunter gatherers.

    I am not questioning the need for a structure to allow human society to function. I am questioning the rationale that says that structure should have the prominence it does today. And especially that the people should suffer to allow that structure to operate in the manner that only some of the people think it should.

    Quite frankly, it is more important that people should have enough money for food and a decent house than it is that, by way of example, the govt should pay for inter-generational infrastructure with today’s cash. Or that students should have their loan costs paid for by the workers. Etc.

  15. ak 15

    Macdoctor said:

    I am intimately involved in the health system. I can tell you that most of our extra health dollars are disappearing into the blizzard of paperwork that nurses and doctors and frontline administrators have to cope with.

    Ah good – not the usual Nat/Act waffle, but someone who by his own confident assertions can give us concrete examples of what National/Act might cut.

    At last count Labour has put around an extra $6billion/year into health.

    As you say, you’re intimately connected Mac, and that most of this money is wasted on paperwork.

    So tell us: where exactly is this money wasted?

    As you are so intimately connected with and certain of this waste, (which by your own assertion must total around $5billion or so/year) please rattle off half a dozen or so actual examples of what you would cut/modify/etc to make some savings.

    We’re all ears Mac: no more generalities or slogans please, just concrete examples. Just a few off the top of your head will do for now.

  16. MacDoctor 16

    AK: Firstly, a substantial portion of the 6 billion is not increased spending, but simple inflation adjustments. But you want examples:

    Scrap all health boards.
    Allow hospitals autonomy but with centralized drug and equipment purchases.
    Digitalize all hospital records and computerize them countrywide on the same system.
    Add an order-entry computerized system to avoid duplicate investigation and minimize drug errors.
    Scrap the HDC
    Seriously streamline ACC claims for minor injuries.
    Restructure funding streams so that patients do not have to wait weeks in hospitals while we find out which government funder is going to pay for their care in the community or nursing home.

    That will do for a start…

  17. lprent 17

    J:

    A couple of friends working in IT roles in the public sector told me about the hiring of business analystsand programmers when there is no work for them, of projects which are started and never finished and lack of cost controls. Empire building seems to be the manager’s main prerogative.

    And how is that is different from corporate? It isn’t.

    I could give you a list of companies that either I have worked in, or where IT friends have worked in where that has happened. Essentially the larger the organization the more likely that is to happen.

    The only ones that (usually) run projects tightly are the smaller companies.

    Now I suppose that these corporates are meant to have a profit motive helping them focus – yeah right! I’ve never seen it on projects for corporates. Bloated organizations that should usually be broken up is my usual opinion.

    But bugger it – they are large for a reason. You have to be large to run large systems like (say) a telecommunications or power network. Or for that matter to run large scale public enterprises like hospitals, schools, power networks, infrastructure planning, court systems, etc.

    If you can give me a method to make bureaucracies and corporates able to be effectively broken up away from the tasks, and I’ll tell you the methods to make software projects more efficient. I have a little list about who I’d fire – but most of them are there to keep the rest of the organisation off the working stiffs backs. But you can’t because it has seldom been achieved, and usually after a National administration has failed politically (eg muldoon).

    It is about this point that I like pointing out that I’m both a working programmer and an MBA who has worked as a manager many times with a strong interest in organizational systems. That diminishes the usual dickhead tirades about how I don’t know what I’m talking about.

    In the meantime I work in small organizations where I can finish projects.

  18. lprent 18

    MacDoctor:

    The computer systems you’re describing have been tried several times before. Typically they fail because of the separation of the different parts of the health system. This means that the really is no way of mandating the standards and the minimum requirements from the GP’s clinics to the hospitals.

    Perhaps putting the IT software requirements in the hands of the DOH would help. Mandate the required interface protocols (and remove all competing standards from vendor solutions), and put a ERO for any part of the system not conforming to the standard reporting and operating requirements.

    Probably make sure that there is one person or a small committee driving the process and it isn’t a consultative process. You might not like what you get at the end, but it is likely to work.

  19. Draco TB 19

    And especially that the people should suffer to allow that structure to operate in the manner that only some of the people think it should.

    That’s democracy for you – thankfully it’s the majority that think it should be run the way it is.

    Quite frankly, it is more important that people should have enough money for food and a decent house than it is that, by way of example, the govt should pay for inter-generational infrastructure with today’s cash.

    The best option is, of course, doing both. If the resources are available to do both then borrowing money to do them will just them cost far more than they have to, holding the country back and, effectively, decreasing living standards.

  20. Anita 20

    lprent writes:

    Perhaps putting the IT software requirements in the hands of the DOH would help. Mandate the required interface protocols (and remove all competing standards from vendor solutions), and put a ERO for any part of the system not conforming to the standard reporting and operating requirements.

    I think that is what NZHIS is up to (with a nice increase in funding for 08-09). It’s a massive programme of work but they seem to be making progress on a quick glance at their most recent newsletter.

  21. vto 21

    Mr Draco, of course doing both would be great. During Cullen’s tenure however the tendency has been to view the state as of greater importance than the people when it comes to finances. Cullen’s comments over the years show this (too late in the night to dredge up examples).

    And this is wrong. We are not subjects of the state. We need the money ourselves. I added up all the surpluses during Cullen’s time and divided them by the population – our family dipped out on $35,000! $35,000! Holy f&*%k! Imagine the size plasma screen I could buy with that!

    The govt is big enough and ugly enough to look after itself. I suspect we agree on the need for a govt, but imo it has exceeded its reasonable limits. And furthermore that excess does in fact reduce the number of $20 notes in each workers back pocket each and every week. It is a very direct correlation.

  22. bill brown 22

    Ya know, vto, Cullen doesn’t actually put all that “surplus” money in a vault in the basement and swim in it at night – it goes (or went) to paying of debt and into the Superannuation fund – which it can’t after the tax cuts ’cause their going into your pocket – hope you’ve told your kids to keep a spare room for you in your old age when the pension fund runs out of money.

  23. vto 23

    oh yes yes of course there are all sorts of things he did with it. I knew that would distract from my point.

  24. It has always been clear that the cuts Key has been talking about are nothing but hot air. There is no way that so much “waste” can be found that we will be able to give the average person and additional $30 on top of the average $20 Labour have promised.

    How long will it take for New Zealanders to realise that National will have to slash funding in order to pay for their ridiculous, unnecessary tax cuts?

  25. ak 25

    Thanks Mac, back from the Simpsons, let’s see watcha got:

    Sooo…. top of your list is scrap all Health boards. Ignoring the loss of democratic input (thought righties were fans of this), this would save….what? Generously assuming around half a mill per board, about 10 mill. (Heck, quintuple the estimate if you like – $50mill)

    2nd on list: allow hospitals autonomy. Meaningless generalisation with no detail. No national standards or targets at all? Yep, that’d work.

    3rd: Digitalise records…etc. As dealt with above by Lynn and Anita, extensive efforts already made and ongoing. Another woofy generalisation with no detail.

    4th: Scrap the HDC. Saving….?? Yep bugger those crips eh. Nice, Mac

    5th and 6th: “seriously streamline…”, “restructure funding streams…” I specifically asked for no generalisations but here we go again, no details, no concrete savings, nothing.

    So thanks Mac, but that’s a big failure to provide anything remotely approaching a concrete measure that would save anything like the “most” of the extra $6bill spend that you claimed to have “intimate” knowledge of the “waste” thereof.

    As suspected, you’re just spouting National/Act propaganda – and worse, lying like a flatfish about having evidence to back up your claims.

    The fact is, National has largely backed the status quo in Health (see their own discussion document): as in every other significant aspect of Labour’s stewardship, they have conceded Labour’s stellar performance by accepting their policies in toto.

    And Labour has excelled: the Commonwealth Fund, the hugely respected authority on the matter, found our health system to be the second-best in the world last year – at a third of the price per head of the US system. Here ya go Mac: read it and weep for your sorry little “NZ Sucks” effort.
    http://www.commonwealthfund.org/usr_doc/1027_Davis_mirror_mirror_

  26. MacDoctor 26

    AK: You are seriously weird. You do not appear to be able to debate anything without becoming abusive. If you think I am just spouting National/ACT propaganda then you have a deeply distorted view of the world.

    1. Democratic input to health boards is an illusion. Your mate Cunliffe has shown us that.

    2. While hospitals are dictated to by government fiat, expect no improvement in health services EVER

    3. There have been effective computerized systems available for years. I still cannot access a patient’s latest medicine list or his medical record unless he is attached to the DHB. There is no reason for this bullshit.

    4. HDC – so far, no improvement in medical services in this country but costs several hundred million a year to run, in terms of lost productivity and doctors covering their asses with unnecessary investigations and procedures.

    5. ACC – paperwork is still onerous and almost entirely unnecessary. 90% of ACC claims result in no resultant disability and minimal time off work.

    6. What don’t you understand about funding streams? I have patients sitting in my ward for weeks while some dim bureaucrat decides whether they are elderly health, ACC or disability. All this money comes from the government. The real question is who gives a stuff which funding stream is used? Yet people sit in expensive hospital beds because someone has to fill in mounds of paperwork and shovel it around several committees for approval.

    And by the way, Mr AK, the reason why we still have a functioning health system has absolutely squat to do with the labour government and everything to do with the dedicated doctors and nurses and paramedical workers who provide patient care in trying circumstances.

  27. Kevyn 27

    “looking first at where resources can be moved around so new policies can be funded from the existing funds, ie. provide more services for the same amount of tax.”

    er…no. It is robbing Peter to pay Paul. Need resources for noisy exhaust blitzes? Take it from booze buses.

    It isn’t providing more services, it is providing different services. When he says government I assume he means cabinet. Do they consult with their advisors before making these budget changes? Or get Treasury to analyse the economic impact? The shift of resources from booze buses to noisy exhausts definitely was made against the advice of the National Road Safety Committee.

    Going through the budget line by line wont identify any waste whatsoever.

    Those who have pointed out the similarities between big government and big business are on the right track. When directors and executives have to rely on written reports instead of being able to look and listen themselves their decision making becomes GIGO.

  28. Tane 28

    Ak, just riffing off your last comment. Anyone else notice there were three episodes of the simpsons tonight?

  29. Sure did. Gold. It’s cause My Name Is Earl is over.

  30. ak 30

    Macdoctor: Ah yes… the old you’re seriously weird and then the attack – I’m abusive – in the same sentence yet! Just like the years of vicious anti-Clark tory abuse followed by claims of Labour “smears”. Pathetic.

    Your “points”: none address my question – all unfounded, unsubstantiated, anecdotal slogans, diversions and bulldust with not a single concrete suggestion or “smoking gun” to suggest in even the tiniest way how improvements could be made. And all total diversions from my polite request for concrete evidence of the waste of $5billion.

    e.g.: ACC paperwork is “unnecessary” – yet not a single suggestion of which process could be eliminated or even modified. Provide real proof or shut up.
    And I have patients sitting in my ward for weeks while some dim bureaucrat decides whether they are elderly health, ACC or disability
    Just a big fat lie. Provide evidence and identify or apologise to the “dim-witted bureaucrats” you cowardly malign behind your anonymity.

    The rest is spin and obfuscation, as you well know, but more to the point; not a single answer in two comments to my simple request for real, concrete evidence of the “waste” of “most” of the extra $6billion that Labour has put into our health system since National’s disastrous privatisation experiments of the 1990s.
    Nor any answer to the FACT that we have on of the best health systems in the world as measured by international experts on the subject.

    Big fat failure Macdoc: your assertions of immense waste remain totally unfounded and utterly refuted by the evidence. The single accurate observation you make refers to the calibre of our health professionals: it’s just inexcusably disgusting that you choose to denigrate an entire cohort of similarly essential, dedicated and hard-working people for the purposes of cheap political point-scoring.

    I shouldn’t be surprised: demonisation of entire segments of society has been the classic tory modus operandi for generations. I guess “health bureaucrats” will just have to join the list of jews, irish, blacks, catholics, poofters, pommie unionists, uppity women, commos, yellow peril, and feminazis that inexorably paints those desperate to cling to archaic power structures into their rapidly-shrinking and increasingly bitter and isolated corners.

  31. Kevyn 31

    When our hopitals had “managers” Labour jumped up and down complaining that we had too many managers and not enough workers. Now that our hospials have “bureacrats” National is jumping up and down complaining that we have “too many bureacrats” and not enough workers. Both parties are complaining about the same people – the charge nurses, receptionists, radiographers, IT engineers, specialist medical consultants and everybody else who provides the doctors and ward nurses with the means to do their job.

    ReCaptcha: leaders sponging

  32. vto 32

    The Hardworking Kiwi said “There is no way that so much “waste’ can be found that we will be able to give the average person and additional $30 on top of the average $20 Labour have promised.”

    You see, this is the classic give-away of the mindset that is backwards. It is not in fact the govts money to give. But the mindset is that it is actually the govts money to give. The mindset is that we all work for the over-arching state and the state deems how much we should be given after the govt is happy. This mindset is Cullen thru and thru.

    The Hardworking Kiwi – your mindset and philosophy is all backwards, just as I pointed out up the top. You are proof of my point.

    What should in fact be stated, and by the average NZer not the govt, is: “There is no way that we can afford to give another $30 to the govt, we need it to pay for food and our homes”. Or: “We can no longer afford to give to the govt that extra $30 that we started to give a few years ago through the blah blah tax/levy/etc, you (the govt) will now have to do without it. We have more important places for that $30 to be spent.”

    The philosophy is backwards.

  33. RedLogix 33

    vto.

    I restrict myself to one sermon per month; usually on a Sunday evening:

    http://www.thestandard.org.nz/?p=2487#comment-70522

    It is you who has your philosophy pinned on backwards, facing inwards, self-centered and life denying.

    The money you are whining about paying as taxes was NOT wholly your own in the first place. All wealth is conditional on the efforts of others around you. The more wealth you accumulate, the more you are in debt to those others.

  34. higherstandard 34

    AK

    No the commonwealth fund did not find that we had the second best health system in the world, to extrapolate this publication to get that as a take home message is incorrect.

    Do we have a good health system on a worldwide basis – certainly, but I find your attack on Macdoctor both unwarranted and reflective of a similar response that medical professionals receive from the Ministry of Health and governments of all ilks whenever we raise concerns.

    If you sit down and talk to any medical professional in primary or secondary care they will tell you there is waste in the system as there is in all health systems around the world.

    There has been significant increases in backroom staff in hospitals and the Ministry over a number of years and Kevyn these are not in the areas you allude to, we all very happy to have these people in the system as they are critical to it functioning – indeed often we do not have nearly enough help in these positions.

  35. bill brown 35

    “There is no way that we can afford to give another $30 to the govt, we need it to pay for food and our homes’.

    vto, again, we don’t give this money to “the govt”, the government redistributes that money to society to keep society going.

    “the govt” doesn’t hold onto that money.

  36. vto 36

    RedIllogix

    Thanks for the sermon. I will put it together with all other sermons.

    I acknowledged a similar point that someone made elsewhere – that we are all inter-dependent, that some form of governing structure is both a natural human condition and necessary. etc.

    That is not my point, which is quite specific. Read a little more closely.

  37. vto 37

    Bill Brown, so how did society keep going when people paid no tax to the govt, which was not that long ago?

  38. bill brown 38

    Hey I’m no historian so I can’t give specific examples, but I can’t imagine that the average “man in the street” at that time was better off than I am. And I’m very much just an average man in the street.

    Did they have an extensive road network?
    Did they have hospitals where I could get, like, radiation therapy?
    Did most of their kids NOT get sick and die before they became adults?
    Did they have schools just down the road where you could send your kid – just because?

    Where and when did this nirvana exist?

  39. vto 39

    bill brown, good attempt but not quite there. You referred to keeping society going, not the state of society. You are changing your own question midway through.

    But never mind – perhaps back then there were no plasma screens sure, but apparently there was a hell of a lot less crime!

    Govt does not keep society going, as you claim. That is patently absurd. Society exists and keeps going by the mere existence of a group of people. Govts and other things arise from that, effectively as a subset. And that in fact goes right back to the point I have been trying to make – that the current philosophy is backwards.

    Govt is a subset of society, not the other way around.

  40. bill brown 40

    Thanks vto, I didn’t think that that situation existed. I would have been surprised.

    By the way, I wasn’t attempting anything to be “not quite there” about. I was just interested to hear about a society like ours which didn’t rely on redistributing income.

    Were you speaking to someone else about the plasma screens? Sorry you lost me there.

    I never said that the government keeps society going. I said, and I quote myself:

    “…the government redistributes that money to society to keep society going.”

    And thus I agree that, to quote you:

    “Govt is a subset of society, not the other way around.”

  41. mondograss 41

    There is a perfectly good reason why all patient data is not centralised. It’s called “Privacy”. You know, that thing where people don’t want someone knowing everything about them? Like where a female patient doesn’t want her family GP to know she’s had an abortion etc. So what we have in NZ is the NZHIS, it records patient demographics and key alerts (via the NMWS system) like whether the patient has HIV or an allergy to penicillin, but doesn’t act as a patient record. It’s up to the hospitals and GP’s to keep that record, and to keep it seperate, and if data is needed from one to another then there’s a process to go through. I’m not saying the process couldn’t be electronic and Counties and Waitemata DHB’s are doing some good work on this, but there you go.

    I’m trying to remember the other things that were suggested for improving the health system, but the other commentators were right, mostly they were vague and unuseful generalisations. The suggestion of a centralised procurement system for medical supplies would be worthwhile but has been done in some areas and on that experience would yield about $1m per DHB per year.

  42. ak 42

    HS: No the commonwealth fund did not find that we had the second best health system in the world, to extrapolate this publication to get that as a take home message is incorrect.

    Most blatant case of calling black white yet seen on this blog. NZ is clearly ranked 2nd overall in table on page one and the extensive analysis following.

    …your attack on Macdoctor…

    Attack? Hardly – I simply asked Macca to supply one skerrick of evidence to back up his ludicrous claim that most of the extra health spend is wasted. Both he and yourself have failed dismally: if exposing blatant lies from purported professionals (one of whom cannot spell navel) and self-proclaimed “insiders” is an attack, then either tidy up your game or brace yourselves for further “ak-attacks”.

    If you sit down and talk to any medical professional in primary or secondary care they will tell you there is waste in the system as there is in all health systems around the world.

    Agreed. Just as there is in any large organisation. But lashing out at entire sectors with baseless and hyperbolic invective is no way to behave – let alone identify problems and improve things.

  43. MacDoctor 43

    AK: You call me a liar and thats not abusive? You clearly have no clue as to what is happening in the health system. You accuse me of supplying no evidence yet supply absolutely zilch to support your completely baseless viewpoint. Let’s face it – I’m the one with the first-hand knowledge but, of course, I’m just a dumb doctor, what would I know about the health system.

    Your attitude is exactly the same as the dim bureaucrats in my last post. I therefore conclude that you are probably one of those said bureaucrats, so I will stop posting now and go and do something more productive – like bang my head on a brick wall.

  44. Draco TB 44

    oh yes yes of course there are all sorts of things he did with it. I knew that would distract from my point.

    It didn’t distract from your point – it totally annihilated it.

    What you said was that it was possible to do both anyway but that we should borrow to do the capital investment because it was ‘inter-generational’. I’m pretty sure previous governments have said the same which is why we have 15 to 20% of GDP as government debt. The interest we’re paying on that would almost pay for Nationals tax cuts which is why I said that such borrowing decreases living standards. If we weren’t paying that interest we would be better off both individually and as a country but we are and that dictates higher taxes now. Once we’ve paid them off we can have lower taxes.

  45. ak 45

    Macca: I will stop posting now and go and do something more productive – like bang my head on a brick wall.

    Excellent therapeutic choice for your condition.
    (But do remember that on remission the resultant claim forms must be double-checked and fully compliant and if there is any damage to that wall the appropriate PCT47s will have to be logged on in the correct field prior to approval by your CAD and entered against both the Risk Register and IPP.)
    Patients, brother 8)

  46. higherstandard 46

    AK

    Your link is not functioning. As I said previously if the report is the same that has been trumpeted here before as saying that NZ is the second best health system in the world that is an incorrect assumption to take from the report.

    And once again in Macdoctor’s defence you asked her/him for a few examples off the top of her/his head, they were supplied and were all reasonable suggestions which you proceeded to deride and attack leading me to assume as she/he did that you may indeed be one of those dim health bureaucrats that cause us both some dispair.

  47. vto 47

    Mr Draco, your economics is simplistic. And arguing over that was not the point of my points.

  48. ak 48

    HS: Sorry about that, here’s the link again, this time including 2007 (where we are now ranked third equal with Australia)

    http://www.commonwealthfund.org/usr_doc/1027_Davis_mirror_mirror_international_update_final.pdf?section=4039

    Oh and yes, it is the same one I have posted here before.

    And the unmissable table showing our overall rating is very clearly displayed on the second page of the executive summary. Not to mention a further table on page 5 (reproduced below)

    Which means that you are knowingly repeating your blatant, barefaced LIE.

    Without a shred of justification.

    I still suspect you are burt

    But I KNOW you are a blatant LIAR

    (and a “doctor” that can’t even spell “navel” or “despair”)

    Pathetic.

    “The top-performing and lowest-performing countries have been relatively stable over time (Figure 3). The U.S. ranked lowest in editions of this report released in 2004 and 2006. Last year, Germany led the six nations. This year, U.K. performance improved to first with inclusion of data from the 2006 survey of primary care physicians, reflecting in part the dedicated effort made in the U.K. to implement a health information system that supports physicians’ efforts to provide quality care and a payment system for primary care physicians that rewards high quality.
    Figure 3. Overall Ranking
    AUS
    CAN
    GER
    NZ
    UK
    US
    Overall Ranking (2007 edition)
    3.5
    5
    2
    3.5
    1
    6
    Overall Ranking (2006 edition)
    4
    5
    1
    2
    3
    6
    Overall Ranking (2004 edition)
    2
    4
    n/a
    1
    3
    5
    Health Expenditures per Capita, 2004*
    $2,876
    $3,165
    $3,005
    $2,083
    $2,546
    $6,102
    Note: 1=highest ranking, 6=lowest ranking.
    * Health expenditures per capita figures are adjusted for differences in cost”

  49. higherstandard 49

    AK

    No AK you are perpetuating the lie that this report as you said earlier today showed NZ to have the second best health system in the world.

    “And Labour has excelled: the Commonwealth Fund, the hugely respected authority on the matter, found our health system to be the second-best in the world last year ”

    Poppycock the report is first and foremost a survey and is of 6 healthcare systems only

    (That the UK is rated number 1 I find laughable as unless it has improved out of sight I find it extraordinary that a survey has found the NHS superior to health services in NZ, Australia and Canada.)

    Which means that you are incorrect in stating that

    “And Labour has excelled: the Commonwealth Fund, the hugely respected authority on the matter, found our health system to be the second-best in the world last year ”

    ‘I still suspect you are burt ‘

    No my name’s John actually

    ‘But I KNOW you are a blatant LIAR’

    I hope I have dissuaded you from that suspicion.

    Good evening

  50. far out you guys on the left must feel like your banging your head agaisnt a brick wall trying to exlain to these kiwi blog cast offs. Makes it a bit difficult for every one when crosby\textor–>key makes “personal attacks” this weeks buzz word. How about instead of sitting around calling things personal attacks you do something to disprove them huh?

  51. Kevyn 51

    Bill Brown, the answers to your questions are:

    Did they have an extensive road network? Yes, over 80% of our road network was built before 1900.

    Did they have hospitals where I could get, like, radiation therapy?
    They had hospital but, like, radiation therapy hadn’t been invented.

    Did most of their kids NOT get sick and die before they became adults? Yes, except for the ones that got sick and die because vacines hadn’t been discovered for most life-threatening childhood illnesses.

    Did they have schools just down the road where you could send your kid – just because?

    Yes, just because it wasn’t compulsory. Actually, because they didn’t have school buses half the kids went to boarding schools.

    All of the above were funded by local government or churches until early in the twentieth century, a level of government where local needs can actually be met.

    Where there was central government funding it was for buildings, from revenue from customs duties and land sales. Sales taxes and income taxes came when central government assumed responsibility for health and education.

    So neither of you is strictly correct.

  52. higherstandard 52

    AK

    Are you there.

    Still awaiting some explanation of why I am a liar for taking issue with the conclusion you drew from the report you were trumpeting ?

  53. Phil 53

    I was going to point out the ak that the world contained an awful lot more than six countries, but you beat me to it.

    I don’t know what your experience is, but I’ve heard very good things about the middle eastern countries – especially the oil barons like Saudi Arabia – that they have health systems second-to-none. Then lets not forget some of our Pacific cousins like Japan; the medical technology available there is astonishing

  54. higherstandard 54

    Phil

    Many are magnificent but very expensive and as always outcomes are dependent on the individual skills and competency of the people working there who’s care you are under.

    Variance in care within countries health systems is also fairly high.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Middle East, Africa deployments extended
    The Government has approved two-year extensions for four New Zealand Defence Force deployments to the Middle East and Africa, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today. “These deployments are long-standing New Zealand commitments, which reflect our ongoing interest in promoting peace and stability, and making active ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Climate Change Commission Chair to retire
    The Climate Change Commission Chair, Dr Rod Carr, has confirmed his plans to retire at the end of his term later this year, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. “Prior to the election, Dr Carr advised me he would be retiring when his term concluded. Dr Rod Carr has led ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Inaugural Board of Integrity Sport & Recreation Commission announced
    Nine highly respected experts have been appointed to the inaugural board of the new Integrity Sport and Recreation Commission, Sport & Recreation Minister Chris Bishop says. “The Integrity Sport and Recreation Commission is a new independent Crown entity which was established under the Integrity Sport and Recreation Act last year, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • A balanced Foreign Affairs budget
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters confirmed today that Vote Foreign Affairs in Budget 2024 will balance two crucial priorities of the Coalition Government.    While Budget 2024 reflects the constrained fiscal environment, the Government also recognises the critical role MFAT plays in keeping New Zealanders safe and prosperous.    “Consistent with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • New social housing places to support families into homes
    New social housing funding in Budget 2024 will ensure the Government can continue supporting more families into warm, dry homes from July 2025, Housing Ministers Chris Bishop and Tama Potaka say. “Earlier this week I was proud to announce that Budget 2024 allocates $140 million to fund 1,500 new social ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • New Zealand’s minerals future
    Introduction Today, we are sharing a red-letter occasion. A Blackball event on hallowed ground. Today  we underscore the importance of our mineral estate. A reminder that our natural resource sector has much to offer.  Such a contribution will not come to pass without investment.  However, more than money is needed. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government sets out vision for minerals future
    Increasing national and regional prosperity, providing the minerals needed for new technology and the clean energy transition, and doubling the value of minerals exports are the bold aims of the Government’s vision for the minerals sector. Resources Minister Shane Jones today launched a draft strategy for the minerals sector in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government progresses Māori wards legislation
    The coalition Government’s legislation to restore the rights of communities to determine whether to introduce Māori wards has passed its first reading in Parliament, Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says. “Divisive changes introduced by the previous government denied local communities the ability to determine whether to establish Māori wards.” The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • First RMA amendment Bill introduced to Parliament
    The coalition Government has today introduced legislation to slash the tangle of red and green tape throttling some of New Zealand’s key sectors, including farming, mining and other primary industries. RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop says the Government is committed to  unlocking development and investment while ensuring the environment is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government welcomes EPA decision
    The decision by Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) to approve the continued use of hydrogen cyanamide, known as Hi-Cane, has been welcomed by Environment Minister Penny Simmonds and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay.  “The EPA decision introduces appropriate environmental safeguards which will allow kiwifruit and other growers to use Hi-Cane responsibly,” Ms ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Speech to Employers and Manufacturers Association: Relief for today, hope for tomorrow
    Kia ora, Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou kātoa Tāmaki Herenga Waka, Tāmaki Herenga tangata Ngā mihi ki ngā mana whenua o tēnei rohe Ngāti Whātua ō Ōrākei me nga iwi kātoa kua tae mai. Mauriora. Greetings everyone. Thank you to the EMA for hosting this event. Let me acknowledge ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government invests in 1,500 more social homes
    The coalition Government is investing in social housing for New Zealanders who are most in need of a warm dry home, Housing Minister Chris Bishop says. Budget 2024 will allocate $140 million in new funding for 1,500 new social housing places to be provided by Community Housing Providers (CHPs), not ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • $24 million boost for Gumboot Friday
    Thousands more young New Zealanders will have better access to mental health services as the Government delivers on its commitment to fund the Gumboot Friday initiative, says Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey.  “Budget 2024 will provide $24 million over four years to contract the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill passes first reading
    The Coalition Government’s Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill, which will improve tenancy laws and help increase the supply of rental properties, has passed its first reading in Parliament says Housing Minister Chris Bishop. “The Bill proposes much-needed changes to the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 that will remove barriers to increasing private ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Montecassino Commemorative Address, Cassino War Cemetery
    Standing here in Cassino War Cemetery, among the graves looking up at the beautiful Abbey of Montecassino, it is hard to imagine the utter devastation left behind by the battles which ended here in May 1944. Hundreds of thousands of shells and bombs of every description left nothing but piled ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • First Reading – Repeal of Section 7AA of the Oranga Tamariki Act 1989
    I present a legislative statement on the Oranga Tamariki (Repeal of Section 7AA) Amendment Bill Mr. Speaker, I move that the Oranga Tamariki (Repeal of Section 7AA) Amendment Bill be now read a first time. I nominate the Social Services and Community Committee to consider the Bill. Thank you, Mr. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • First reading of 7AA’s repeal: progress for children
    The Bill to repeal Section 7AA of the Oranga Tamariki Act has had its first reading in Parliament today. The Bill reaffirms the Coalition Government’s commitment to the care and safety of children in care, says Minister for Children Karen Chhour.  “When I became the Minister for Children, I made ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • China Business Summit 2024
    Kia ora koutou, good morning, and zao shang hao. Thank you Fran for the opportunity to speak at the 2024 China Business Summit – it’s great to be here today. I’d also like to acknowledge: Simon Bridges - CEO of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce. His Excellency Ambassador - Wang ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Assisted depatures from New Caledonia
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has confirmed a New Zealand Government plane will head to New Caledonia in the next hour in the first in a series of proposed flights to begin bringing New Zealanders home.    “New Zealanders in New Caledonia have faced a challenging few days - and bringing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Assisted departures from New Caledonia
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has confirmed a New Zealand Government plane will head to New Caledonia in the next hour in the first in a series of proposed flights to begin bringing New Zealanders home.  “New Zealanders in New Caledonia have faced a challenging few days - and bringing them ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government to rollout roadside drug testing
    The Coalition Government will introduce legislation this year that will enable roadside drug testing as part of our commitment to improve road safety and restore law and order, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  “Alcohol and drugs are the number one contributing factor in fatal road crashes in New Zealand. In ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Minister responds to review of Kāinga Ora
    The Government has announced a series of immediate actions in response to the independent review of Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities, Housing Minister Chris Bishop says. “Kāinga Ora is a large and important Crown entity, with assets of $45 billion and over $2.5 billion of expenditure each year. It ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Pseudoephedrine back on shelves
    Associate Health Minister David Seymour is pleased that Pseudoephedrine can now be purchased by the general public to protect them from winter illness, after the coalition government worked swiftly to change the law and oversaw a fast approval process by Medsafe. “Pharmacies are now putting the medicines back on their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand-China Business Summit
    Tēnā koutou katoa. Da jia hao.  Good morning everyone.   Prime Minister Luxon, your excellency, a great friend of New Zealand and my friend Ambassador Wang, Mayor of what he tells me is the best city in New Zealand, Wayne Brown, the highly respected Fran O’Sullivan, Champion of the Auckland business ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New measures to protect powerlines from trees
    Energy Minister Simeon Brown has announced that the Government will make it easier for lines firms to take action to remove vegetation from obstructing local powerlines. The change will ensure greater security of electricity supply in local communities, particularly during severe weather events.  “Trees or parts of trees falling on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Wairarapa Moana ki Pouakani win top Māori dairy farming award
    Wairarapa Moana ki Pouakani were the top winners at this year’s Ahuwhenua Trophy awards recognising the best in Māori dairy farming. Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka announced the winners and congratulated runners-up, Whakatōhea Māori Trust Board, at an awards celebration also attended by Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Finance Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • DJ Fred Again – Assurance report received
    "On the 27th of March, I sought assurances from the Chief Executive, Department of Internal Affairs, that the Department’s correct processes and policies had been followed in regards to a passport application which received media attention,” says Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden.  “I raised my concerns after being ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • District Court Judges appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins has announced the appointment of three new District Court Judges, to replace Judges who have recently retired. Peter James Davey of Auckland has been appointed a District Court Judge with a jury jurisdiction to be based at Whangarei. Mr Davey initially started work as a law clerk/solicitor with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Unions should put learning ahead of ideology
    Associate Education Minister David Seymour is calling on the Post Primary Teachers’ Association (PPTA) to put ideology to the side and focus on students’ learning, in reaction to the union holding paid teacher meetings across New Zealand about charter schools.     “The PPTA is disrupting schools up and down the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Craig Stobo appointed as chair of FMA
    Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Andrew Bayly today announced the appointment of Craig Stobo as the new chair of the Financial Markets Authority (FMA). Mr Stobo takes over from Mark Todd, whose term expired at the end of April. Mr Stobo’s appointment is for a five-year term. “The FMA plays ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Budget 2024 invests in lifeguards and coastguard
    Surf Life Saving New Zealand and Coastguard New Zealand will continue to be able to keep people safe in, on, and around the water following a funding boost of $63.644 million over four years, Transport Minister Simeon Brown and Associate Transport Minister Matt Doocey say. “Heading to the beach for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand and Tuvalu reaffirm close relationship
    New Zealand and Tuvalu have reaffirmed their close relationship, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says.  “New Zealand is committed to working with Tuvalu on a shared vision of resilience, prosperity and security, in close concert with Australia,” says Mr Peters, who last visited Tuvalu in 2019.  “It is my pleasure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand calls for calm, constructive dialogue in New Caledonia
    New Zealand is gravely concerned about the situation in New Caledonia, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.  “The escalating situation and violent protests in Nouméa are of serious concern across the Pacific Islands region,” Mr Peters says.  “The immediate priority must be for all sides to take steps to de-escalate the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand welcomes Samoa Head of State
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met today with Samoa’s O le Ao o le Malo, Afioga Tuimalealiifano Vaaletoa Sualauvi II, who is making a State Visit to New Zealand. “His Highness and I reflected on our two countries’ extensive community links, with Samoan–New Zealanders contributing to all areas of our national ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Island Direct eligible for SuperGold Card funding
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has announced that he has approved Waiheke Island ferry operator Island Direct to be eligible for SuperGold Card funding, paving the way for a commercial agreement to bring the operator into the scheme. “Island Direct started operating in November 2023, offering an additional option for people ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Further sanctions against Russia
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters today announced further sanctions on 28 individuals and 14 entities providing military and strategic support for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.  “Russia is directly supported by its military-industrial complex in its illegal aggression against Ukraine, attacking its sovereignty and territorial integrity. New Zealand condemns all entities and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • One year on from Loafers Lodge
    A year on from the tragedy at Loafers Lodge, the Government is working hard to improve building fire safety, Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk says. “I want to share my sincere condolences with the families and friends of the victims on the anniversary of the tragic fire at Loafers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pre-Budget speech to Auckland Business Chamber
    Ka nui te mihi kia koutou. Kia ora and good afternoon, everyone. Thank you so much for having me here in the lead up to my Government’s first Budget. Before I get started can I acknowledge: Simon Bridges – Auckland Business Chamber CEO. Steve Jurkovich – Kiwibank CEO. Kids born ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand and Vanuatu to deepen collaboration
    New Zealand and Vanuatu will enhance collaboration on issues of mutual interest, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “It is important to return to Port Vila this week with a broad, high-level political delegation which demonstrates our deep commitment to New Zealand’s relationship with Vanuatu,” Mr Peters says.    “This ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Penk travels to Peru for trade meetings
    Minister for Land Information, Chris Penk will travel to Peru this week to represent New Zealand at a meeting of trade ministers from the Asia-Pacific region on behalf of Trade Minister Todd McClay. The annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Ministers Responsible for Trade meeting will be held on 17-18 May ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago

Page generated in The Standard by Wordpress at 2024-05-24T11:21:40+00:00