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CYF Review: Great work if you can get it

Written By: - Date published: 12:21 pm, October 13th, 2015 - 40 comments
Categories: child welfare, national, national/act government, Politics, same old national - Tags: , ,

I posted about this earlier and suggested that the Government is trying to blame Child Youth and Family for its inability to handle the tsunami of social problems caused by child poverty.

The appointment of an advisory panel was evidence of this.  The role of these panels is to give the impression of action and to provide justification for radical transformation of existing public services.

But they clearly come at a cost.

Paula Rebstock, the chair of the Government’s CYF review panel is being paid the eye watering amount of $2,000 a day for her work.  From Radio New Zealand:

The head of the panel that is carrying out a review of Child, Youth and Family (CYF) is being paid $2000 a day by the government.

Paula Restock … will be earning almost double the maximum standard fee. Social Development Minister Anne Tolley (right) said there were ‘very few people in New Zealand with Ms Rebstock’s wealth of experience’

The government had to create a special exemption to enable the payment to Paula Rebstock, which is about double the maximum standard fee.

Labour Party state services spokesman Kris Faafoi said he thought most New Zealanders would struggle to comprehend such a daily fee.

“If you walk down most main streets of New Zealand and asked people what they thought of that, they would think that would be exorbitant,” Mr Faafoi said.

“And I think it just starts to add up to the case that this government is spending money on exorbitant amounts on consultants, TV screens, doing up offices with expensive furniture, and I think it’s starting to get a little bit out of control.”

An exemption has also been granted for an international member of the panel, Duncan Dunlop, who is being paid $1500 a day.

Her cost is the equivalent daily cost of over thirteen social workers for each and every day.  If only these resources were put into front line workers rather than report writers.

The primary issue is not structural, it is directly due to poverty and the lack of resources available to deal with distressing family issues.  But the appointment of this highly paid panel suggests strongly that the Government is not interested in addressing the causes just shifting the blame.

40 comments on “CYF Review: Great work if you can get it ”

  1. CnrJoe 1

    her Part-Time job

  2. shorts 2

    not bad for a part time gig

    *shakes head*

  3. Steve Reeves 3

    And it’s not even as if these guys are doing anything new…they have presumably had it made clear, in a hidden way, what the required answers are.

  4. Draco T Bastard 4

    Social Development Minister Anne Tolley (right) said there were ‘very few people in New Zealand with Ms Rebstock’s wealth of experience’

    Translation: There’s very few people about who will find the way we want them to find and so we have to take care of them.

    It’s pure crony-ism.

    “If you walk down most main streets of New Zealand and asked people what they thought of that, they would think that would be exorbitant,”

    Simple fact of the matter is that, for such a position, $500/day is exorbitant.

    Her cost is the equivalent daily cost of over thirteen social workers for each and every day.

    We need to at least double those peoples pay and hire more of them.

    But the appointment of this highly paid panel suggests strongly that the Government is not interested in addressing the causes just shifting the blame.


    In fact, the appointment of these highly paid panels actually increases poverty as it shifts money from where it needs to be spent.

  5. Macro 5

    It takes a lot of money to do what Paula does – you have to salve a a conscience for a start, and that doesn’t come cheap. How can one write a report that will end up ensuring misery and hardship for thousands of young New Zealander’s, and make it look like you actually care. That takes a lot of effort and there are not all that many who could do such a job, let alone want to.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 5.1

      Years of experience inventing sophisticated arguments, following doctrine, only to get schooled and shown up by Sir Michael Cullen: these things take their toll.

  6. Whispering Kate 6

    Two things come to mind, no moral compass and corruption laced with arrogance at the highest level of power.

  7. Anonymous Ninja 7

    It’s not just the top level staff being paid insane amounts. The opposition need to dig around and find out more.

  8. greywarshark 8

    Any hints as to where Anon Ninja?

    • Anne 8.1

      They should have sufficient information about her to embark on a digging expedition re- her former activities in America. Part of the problem lies in the fact most people have no knowledge of the ultra-right wing back-grounds of these individuals and the fact they are chosen by an ideologically driven government in order to get a certain outcome – an outcome that has bugger-all to do with poverty stricken vulnerable children.

      It’s up to the opposition parties to enlighten the voters.

      • AB 8.1.1

        Rebstock is the Nats’ go to girl when they want to implement right-wing social policy, but avoid being seen actually holding those opinions themselves.
        They get what they want via proxy, and maintain a ‘centrist’ image.
        It’s morally corrupt and of course cronyism.

        • North

          And then there’ll be “Dame” Paula Rebstock……and the yokels will clap. The Bazley Report……same preordained crap. Different “Dame” same shit.

          Talk about corrupt !

    • Anon Ninja 8.2

      Consultants. Several thousand dollars per day.

  9. Disgusting greed – should not be allowed.

  10. savenz 10

    Seriously Paula Rebstock is so disgusting she probably needs $2000 a day to sleep at night.

    Have the abused kids on your conscience Paula!

    We can already predict the result for nothing Paula – privatise.

  11. but are those unfortunate and unemployed ready to vote labour yet.
    This must be shouted from the roof tops.
    Come Leftieset going on this insult to unfortunate and hard up.

  12. Smilin 12

    Why dont they call this review by its proper name “The ambulance at the bottom of the cliff review”
    This review is at least 5 yrs overdue and this govt pissing in the pockets of shyster Skycity and the pokies industry plus the 1% of the 10% of the fuckin rich sir need to be put up for public condemnation as they have dealt to the poor in so many ways that they are no better than the policies that they crap on to about the Aussie treatment of Kiwis in Australia
    This Key is no way a leader of this country in that he has deliberately allowed the democratic social responsibility of a civilised govt to neglect and negate help for those who cannot help themselves, not reinforce fascist separation of those responsibilities from a democratic govt christian responsibility and also to tax the fuck out of these lobbyist shyte organisation that support the Dirty Politics fraternity and create the social mess for those most susceptible
    They are gearing up for another go by paying huge money to these odious people to deliver another blow to the democratic process that should have delivered results 5 yrs ago
    This country needs a set of laws that cannot be changed and protect those who cant protect themselves and govts like this one should not be allowed to deliberately destroy 9yrs of governance by another party purely on the grounds that they have the democratic right to institute laws or by obtaining a fascist or totalitarian majority in the house of representatives because Key and his socially ignorant self important caucus if they were in their right mind wouldnt allow this kind of fucking about to go on for so long in relation to CYF

    • James Last 12.1

      Smilin (although I doubt you ever do, you seem a very glass half empty kind of person) have you ever considered that the pokie industry and sky pour truckloads of money into central government coffers – and I mean truckloads, hundreds of millions of dollars every year in taxes – which the government spends on schools, hospitals, and welfare for complaining whiners such as yourself?

      By the way, learn some basic punctuation – it will make your rants easier to read.

      • Smilin 12.1.1

        Well if they pay so much in tax, why are we 100 billion in debt , it just doesnt stack up
        When we had a rich country the majority of the people had seen the effects of WW2 .
        Sadly any of the wealth that was shared and produced since then was declining after 1964 and its been a game of funny money since then pretty much
        When societies begin to fund non sustainable activities like housing money go rounds and allow the value of some professions to be professions and charge ridiculous amounts of money when the cant fix broken bones but they can break your arse tryin to get the carrot which for most is not that obtainable
        and we are supposed believe these people know how to run a country ? ?
        There’s your punctuation and a bit of thought and facts to go with it
        Try Gamblers Anonymous

  13. Mike the Savage One 13

    Paula Rebstock – New Zealand’s highest paid “beneficiary”!

    They deny support to others, even those with little kids, sanctioned and having benefits cut in half, if they “fail” to meet new stringent, draconian obligations. They shovel it into her pockets that are the size of quarries with no bottom.

    I’d say, shame on you, Ms Rebstock, shame on this government dishing out generous privileges to some, and ripping into others, facing endless pressures and poverty.

    I am not impressed, I increasingly feel disgusted, by what is going on in NZ Aotearoa in the year 2015.

  14. My contribution:

    “There was a consultant called Paula
    Who was hired as a tough overhauler
    Of a department whose role
    Was to help those on the dole –
    Her brief was to make it much smaller.”

  15. alwyn 15

    I wonder what the current charge out rate for a lawyer is at the moment?
    I have heard that top QCs now charge over $1,000/hour but I suppose they are the best and those of lesser ability come cheaper.
    Any lawyers reading this who is willing to tell us what they are billed at?

    • Naki man 15.1

      I am currently paying $350 +GST per hour but I have paid 400+GST for a barrister
      It gets far more expensive if you go to court.

      • North 15.1.1

        Idiot distraction Naki, and Alwyn. But thanks for your non-points anyway. District Court judges get roughly six grand a week……if you’re really interested. The real question is why the government so politically dependent on these ‘reports’ doubled Rebstock’s rate.

      • Smilin 15.1.2

        Yes Naki man. Its nice when the lawyers give a high and low figure for their work but as you say if you go to court or a figure including that is mentioned you can bet it will be that plus the aftermath of tax consultancy if you win
        There always somebody else with their hand out

  16. vto 16

    Ha ha, Paula bloody Rebstock, ha. We have seen countless of these boffins come into Chch post-eq and watched them perform their amazingly scarce talents around the town….. all to complete failure

    … ha ha ha ha ha ha, they all have little credibility left. In fact, Cera, government and crown are pretty much a laughing stock when it comes to performance in pretty much every arena in these parts.


    • Stuart Munro 16.1

      The experts Christchurch needs are a review team from Kobe. They’d recommend imprisonment for Brownlee, if not execution.

      • vto 16.1.1

        I am being a little hard on them. They are making a good effort but there are two problems – one, government processes; and two, a free market government that has ignored its own beliefs and gone the full communist heavy hand of state intervention route.

        But government processes – frikkin’ sheesh… they are designed solely around what the government needs to the point of obsession and that simply misses gigantic swathes of everything and everyone else. No wonder they stumble and muck up.

  17. johnm 17

    She’s nothing but a paid mercenary. Like Dunne, in for the money and position sod off principles. It’s people like this and their paymasters who quickly ruin a country.

    • johnm 17.1

      Key Himself fits the same bill: a mercenary for the corporations and business class and the 1% in NZ plus he’s the privatisation man, he cares nothing for poorer kiwis and children living in poverty and NZ’s great social traditions of state housing and proper support for those unemployed – not sanctions and sadistic cutoffs. He’s a lackey of the U$ hegemony. The bigots of the U$ believe public ownership and social provision are a form of communism! He made his money as a trader, a lot of money, He grew up in NZ but really he’s now just an Internationalist of the U$ variety. He has another home in Hawaii.

  18. mary_a 18

    What is it with this Rebstock woman? She seems to be cropping up in various government appointed positions quite regularly.

    Is she so attached to NatzKEY, overpaid positions are actually created for her for some reason or other to keep her around?

  19. gnomic 19

    Word of the day is shill.


    Rumour has it she was close to useless at the Commerce Commission. So what better person to be a running dog and lackey for the task of lashing the poor and undeserving? The review will always have the right(ist) outcome.

    Treasury, the LSE, trust this person sure can.

    Some might ask what use is comcom anyway? Well up there with Oicom in coming up with the right answers as directed by the scoping exercise.

  20. ZTesh 20

    Stating child abuse is directly due to poverty is not only woefully naive but it’s also completely insulting to the vast amount of parents living in poverty who don’t abuse their children.

    If there was a direct causation as opposed to a correlation, child abuse would be absolutely rampant across Asian, Indian and the like where millions of people live on less than a dollar a day and in basic shacks.

    A more accurate assertion would be that there’s a correlation between the same factors that exacerbate poverty such as ingrained domestic violence and inter generational violence in general, coupled with alcohol and drug abuse.

    Don’t simplify it as a ‘money’ problem.

    • Smilin 20.1

      Well said sir the money is a red herring and those who have the most of it seem schooled to the max on how to delivery those aforesaid herrings on the masses at the expense of the masses
      Nationalcorp ,
      “Moneys the game there’s nothing in a name,
      Hollow men collecting stipends
      adding to our nation’s shame.”

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