web analytics

Fewer bureaucrats

Written By: - Date published: 3:20 pm, September 5th, 2008 - 36 comments
Categories: election 2008, national, polls, slippery - Tags:

OK. They were laughably bad before but now they don’t even have the grammar correct.

If you can count it, you use fewer: less water, fewer litres of water; less bureaucracy, fewer bureaucrats. Simple. This from the bunch promising to magically raise education standards?

Wait though – since when did National have a policy to reduce the number of ‘bureaucrats’? Isn’t the policy a cap at present numbers (worth 50 cents a week in tax cuts)? And haven’t they actually announced policies, like the new prison and the $1.5 billion in corporate welfare for Telecom, that will require hundreds, if not thousands, more public servants to implement?

Of course, the number of doctors and nurses is actually up significantly since 1999 because the Labour-led Governments have spent billions more on staff and paid more. That spending has been constantly criticised by the Right. So where are they going to get more doctors and nurses from? 08wire suggests the doctor stork or osmosis. I doubt National has thought that deeply about it.

36 comments on “Fewer bureaucrats”

  1. gobsmacked 1

    More World War I cemeteries?

  2. Lew 2

    As a declared grammar totalitarian, this has improved my daycycle immensely. I think we’ll see much merriment made of this.

    And therein lies the barb. This can’t be an error. Ad agencies and PR companies of the calibre employed by political parties in election year don’t let this sort of thing slip by – they pay former journalists and copy editors big bucks to defect to the dark side, and put them to work crafting just these sorts of messages. I think they’re pitching for a little bit of Sarah Palin-style backlash against the know-it-all beltway elites on the government benches, and their hot-air-blowing stooges in the librul edjucated media, ourselves included, who’ll take the piss out of people using `less’ instead of `fewer’ when most simply wouldn’t see the problem. Woe betide the party who makes the electorate feel dumb – but well, National sure ain’t in much danger of doing that.

    Aww, look, now I’ve gone all conspiratorial.

    L

  3. Tane 3

    Lew, having seen the calibre of their billboards, I’m not sure they’re that smart.

  4. Janet 4

    Nurses have fought very hard in recent years to increase their wages and conditions. Since 2000 they have first had to unite under a MECA agreement across DHBs which meant turning around the divisive policies of the 90s. Then they had to fight for two major pay rises, which included seeking parity with other occupation groups such as police and teachers. There are still shortages as there is a global shortage of health professionals, but without these advances the situation would be even more dire. And which party fought against the nurses forming a MECA, and then opposed their efforts to improve wages and conditions? – National of course. Specifically, Judith Collins who clearly told the campaigning nurses at one meeting that National did not and would not support pay rises for nurses.

    So how are they planning to get more doctors and nurses now?

  5. Lew 5

    Tane: But that’s just what they want you to think!

    L

  6. Lew, I’m not sure they make tinfoil hats big enogh to fit over your hair.

    But it is an incredible error. Hard to believe it could be accidental but it also stretches crediblity to think they would do something so elaborate and risky as to purposely put a grammar error in a billboard to elicit mocking and then turn that into ‘us vs the elitists’. Occam’s razor suggests mistake.

  7. Lew 7

    SP: Yeah, yeah, I know. I’m only half serious (having a Travellerev moment, between this and Nick Smith), but these are strange times in which we live.

    L

  8. insider 8

    This is advertising not an English test. I think it is deliberate the whole contrast between ‘more and less’.

    Sadly less is is becoming commonly accepted so, in an advertising sense, it makes sense to use it. It is slightly punchier than fewer.

    It does have overtones of those Escher screen prints with the birds.

    Can’t see that blue text on blue background is a wise design. That said they look a lot crisper when I saw a photo in the paper. Perhaps they don’t repro as well online.

  9. Dom 9

    Wow, I thought it couldn’t get any worse. But magically it has!

    Another problem – these billboards just don’t have a cohesive theme or look. The blue is too wishy washy to tie them together and the background designs are lost once the sun hits them. And does the logo look even smaller than it did in the first two?

    National’s ads last election were superb. Divisive, vile, but brilliant. These are…bland. Sort of like their leader.

  10. Vanilla Eis 10

    Dom +1

  11. Tane 11

    Good to see Grant Robertson gets it.

    “Recently National candidates in Wellington have been tying themselves in knots trying to explain their party’s position on public services, and have claimed that there will not be job losses. Yet today we see the message National wants the rest of the country to hear is that there will be less (or should that be fewer?) public servants. They can’t have it both ways”.

  12. monkey-boy 12

    Still not getting it are you? They aren’t designed to withstand the kind of analysis you are used to using. They are designed to dogwhistle to the undecided voter.

  13. Tane 13

    MB, I get that. I just think they’re crap in every way imaginable.

  14. bill brown 14

    Shouldn’t it be:

    More “family values” +, more creationism +

    Less evolution

  15. Dom 15

    At a glance it looks like an ad for Southern Cross. Or Shortland Street. Maybe it’ll make undecided voters watch TV2 at 7pm on weeknights…

  16. Matthew Pilott 16

    It’s another road safety ad? Bloody nanny-state National party.

  17. Paul Williams 17

    “Recently National candidates in Wellington have been tying themselves in knots trying to explain their party’s position on public services, and have claimed that there will not be job losses. Yet today we see the message National wants the rest of the country to hear is that there will be less (or should that be fewer?) public servants. They can’t have it both ways’.

    He’s a clever chap, indeed.

  18. Tim 18

    Janet – a very good point. Wasn’t National complaining vociferously about the doctors’ strikes last year? Although to be fair Helen Kelly was too. I also seem to remember a similar comment from Wayne Mapp I think about the SFWU – Spotless lockout being about “filling union coffers” rather than pay rises for low paid workers.

    Do you think some of those youths who got into trouble instead of training wrote this billboard?

  19. Edosan 19

    Something of a death related theme seems to be pervading these billboards. First I thought they were going to bomb my loved ones if I didn’t wave goodbye to higher taxes, now all I see are rows of crosses staring at me.

    The National Party scares me.

  20. Matthew Pilott 20

    Edosan – don’t you see? It’s part of National and John Key’s promise to run a positive and ambitious campaign.

    The crosses do, at a visceral level seem to be a reminder that our health system isn’t perfect, I wonder if that’s accidental. Doubtful. Positive and ambitious indeed.

    I don’t see crosses as happy “plus” signs of National’s promise to fund more doctos and nurses, somehow.

  21. Edosan 21

    I didn’t pick up the happy plus signs at all. All i got was a subliminal warning.

    If they want to make me feel positive with that billboard, then i can say that this campaign *is* very ambitious.

  22. But it is an incredible error. Hard to believe it could be accidental but it also stretches crediblity to think they would do something so elaborate and risky as to purposely put a grammar error in a billboard to elicit mocking and then turn that into ‘us vs the elitists’. Occam’s razor suggests mistake.

    Careful there: if “purposely” is a word at all, it’s one of those words that gets anointed purely to make people feel better. Try “deliberately”.

    But … wow. I saw this above the fold and thought it must be from the new National billboard generator site. Big effin’ deal, I thought.

    But this is an actual billboard? With text that someone paid money for?

    Good grief.

  23. schrodigerscat 23

    The white cross is of course the central element of the Swiss flag. This must be related to mssrs Fay and Richwhite and the Alinghi thingy.

    Could also be eyes on a Chucky doll though.

  24. Janet 24

    As part of this new policy I look forward to the National Party announcing re-training courses for the Ministry of Health and DHB ‘bureaucrats’ such as

    ‘Heart surgery for contract relationship managers in six easy lessons.’

    Which will mean we will also have to have

    ‘Contract relationship management in your spare time for heart surgeons’

    (and basic literacy testing for National Party ‘bureaucrats’ ie those in Keys’ office paid by the taxpayer who must be signing off these ads)

  25. Sarah 25

    I think they’re brilliant. You don’t need to use your imagination all of the time. Just get the point across. You guys will moan about anything that even hints the colour blue.

  26. Razorlight 26

    I agree Sarah.

    Who of you thought the 2005 ad and billboard campaign was clever. The majority of you still laugh at them yet they were without doubt very effective in the campaign.

    All an effective billboard needs is a simple, to the point message. These billboards deliver that simple message. The correct use of the Queens language does not really matter if that message is delivered.

  27. RedLogix 27

    And of course with fewer ‘bureaucrats’, the actual doctors and nurses simply get to spend even more of their time doing paper work than they do now…. and less time looking after patients.

    People love beating up on the bureaucracy, but rarely do they think of the alternative without them. It’s the same class of thinking that says, “I hate getting speeding tickets, lets get rid of the cops.”.

  28. Razorlight 28

    RedLogix

    It is more about getting rid of the work that bureaucrats do. Filling out form after form and having 3 meetings a day to discuss when to employ a consultant about advising the DHB about how to reduce the amount of time consultants need to spend in meetings.

    This is what is meant by getting rid of bureaucrats. It is streamlining the whole operation and skimming off the work that did not need to be done in the first place.

  29. It may be that National’s billboard lack imagination, but I note they seem to have the entire NZ political blogosphere talking about them…

    Steve, your doctor numbers are misleading. Your figures posted on 31st March are total numbers of doctors registered. What these figures don’t tell you is that a substantial number of these doctors registered here are either working part time or are working in Australia as locums. The Hospitals have massive shortages and trotting out your lovely graphs is not going to change that.

    [from memory, they’re active doctors and as we’re looking at change over time unless a higher proportion of registered doctors in nz are now working overseas than was the case in the past then the trend is still correct, but maybe you could provide a better metric. And I’m not arguing that more doctors wouldn’t be great, I’m arguing we are getting more doctors already. SP]

  30. Pascal's bookie 30

    It may be that National’s billboard lack imagination, but I note they seem to have the entire NZ political blogosphere talking about whether or not they suck on purpose.

    Fixed.

  31. Anita 31

    Sarah,

    I think they’re brilliant. You don’t need to use your imagination all of the time. Just get the point across.

    Ok, so committed National voters (like you) get the point, and committed-not-National voters (like many other people here) say they’re bollocks.

    Neither of those groups actually matter.

    The question is what the reaction of uncommitted or soft voters is.

    My hunch (feel free to have a different one) is that they billboards are too visually and message weak – people who don’t already care simply won’t notice them or pay attention to them. They fade into the wash of car, radio, supermarket and bank billboards. One of the reasons the Ansell billboards worked so well last time was that they stood out. These risk being background noise.

  32. Lew 32

    Anita: As I watched some TV programme last night which was sponsored by Bond+Bond, I reflected upon the fact that the background to the latest billboard (blue with white +es) was similar to the Bond+Bond colours (blue with light blue +es, if I recall).

    L

  33. Anita 33

    Lew,

    You tricked me into looking at the Bond+Bond website: it hurt my eyes!! 😉 Who in their right mind would use that particular blue without at least some fading, let alone a dirty lime 🙁

    But yes, plenty of similarities, including pages with “>>Locate” on them and fake handwriting. I wonder if they used the same firm. It is much more memorable (and hideous) that the Nat billboards tho.

  34. Lew 34

    Anita: There’s scope for mashup billboards, here. The Nat billboards with some of the B+B slogans, like:

    Wave goodbye to higher taxes. Instant gratification available now!

    Get them into training. Perfect for rockstars!

    I might mock some up when I get back from the beach.

    L

  35. Anita 35

    Lew,

    Get them into training. Perfect for rockstars!

    Hee! 🙂

  36. Pascal's bookie 36

    There’s scope for mashup billboards, here.

    heh

    Need Infrastructure? No Repayments for the first 10 years!*
    |
    |
    |
    |
    |
    |
    |
    |
    *special conditions may apply.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

No feed items found.

  • Pacific partners work together to provide additional support to Australia
    The NZDF continues to support the Australian Defence Force (ADF) as it battles fires in Victoria and New South Wales, including by transporting Republic of Fiji Military engineers from Nadi to Australia, announced Defence Minister Ron Mark. On Saturday morning a NZDF Boeing 757 will depart New Zealand to uplift ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Kaikōura $10.88 million boost in tourism & business
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10.88 million to boost business and tourism opportunities in Kaikōura, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. As part of the Kaikōura Marina Development Programme, the following two projects will receive PGF funding: A $9.88 million investment to begin the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Govt accounts in surplus, debt remains low
    The Government’s books are in good shape with the accounts in surplus and expenses close to forecast, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown accounts for the five months to November. The operating balance before gains and losses (OBEGAL) was above forecast by $0.7 billion resulting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Auckland focus for first Police graduation of 2020
    The number of Police on the Auckland frontline is increasing with the graduation today of a special locally-trained wing of new constables. Police Minister Stuart Nash says the graduation of eighteen officers from Recruit Wing 333-5 means that more than 1900 new Police have been deployed since the Coalition Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Wairarapa gets $7.11m PGF water boost
    The Provincial Growth Fund is putting $7.11 million into creating a sustainable water supply for Wairarapa, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. The following two projects will receive Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) funding: A $7 million investment in Wairarapa Water Limited for the pre-construction development of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Progress with new Police station in Mahia
    Community safety and crime prevention in the East Coast community of Mahia has moved forward with the opening of a new Police station to serve the growing coastal settlement. Police Minister Stuart Nash has officially opened the new station, which was relocated almost 20 kilometres along the coast from the nearby ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Plans to protect the future of whitebaiting announced
    With several native whitebait species in decline the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage has today released proposals to standardise and improve management of whitebait across New Zealand. “The need for action for a healthy whitebait fishery has never been greater,” Eugenie Sage said.  “Four of the six whitebait species are ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New resource for schools to increase awareness and understanding of climate change
    A new Ministry of Education resource available for schools in 2020 will increase awareness and understanding of climate change, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The resource, Climate Change – prepare today, live well tomorrow, will help students understand the effects of climate change at a local, national and global ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Getting more out of our most productive firms
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has approved the terms of reference for an Inquiry into the economic contribution of New Zealand's frontier firms. Frontier firms are the most productive firms in the domestic economy within their own industry. “These firms are important as they diffuse new technologies and business practices into ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • NZDF sends more support to Australia
    The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) is sending an Environmental Health Team, a Primary Health Care Team and a Chaplain to Australia, boosting New Zealand support for the Australian Defence Force (ADF) as it battles bush fires in Victoria and New South Wales, Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand joins partners in calling for full investigation into air crash in Iran
    Acting Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Rt Hon Winston Peters says that developments suggesting a surface-to-air missile is responsible for the downing of the Ukrainian International Airlines flight in Iran is disastrous news. “New Zealand offers its deepest sympathies to the families of the 176 victims. It is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Staying connected to Australian agriculture
    Agriculture Minister, Damien O’Connor, says the Ministry for Primary Industries is continuing to stay connected to federal authorities in Australia as devastating fires affect the country.  “The Ministry is using an existing trans-Tasman forum for discussions on the agricultural impact of the fires and the future recovery phase,” says Damien ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Investment in schools – a commitment to communities
    Thousands of school-age children, their teachers and wider communities are benefiting from the Government’s multi-million dollar investment upgrading and renewing schools, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “We want New Zealand to be the best place to be a child and that means learning in warm, comfortable and modern classrooms,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand Defence Force sends support to Australia
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark today announced New Zealand is sending three Royal New Zealand Air Force NH90 helicopters and crew, and two NZ Army Combat Engineer Sections as well as a command element to support the Australian Defence Force efforts in tackling the Australian fires.  The New Zealand Defence Force ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Better access to books for blind and low vision citizens on World Braille Day
    "Today is World Braille Day and I am delighted to announce that an international treaty giving blind and low vision New Zealanders access to books and literary works comes into force today,” Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni announced today. “Today the Marrakesh Treaty and the associated amendments to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand to send further firefighter support to Australia
    The New Zealand Government is sending a further 22 firefighters to help fight the Australian fires. “The devastation caused by these fires is taking a substantial toll on our Australian neighbours and we will continue to do what we can to assist as they deal with this extremely dynamic, dangerous ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Reducing the cost of education
    Twenty-two more schools have opted into the Government’s policy of providing $150 per child to schools who don’t ask parents for donations– bringing the total number of schools in the policy to 1,585. The Ministry of Education has accepted late opt ins past the November 14 deadline from schools that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Road deaths lower in 2019, but still more work to do
    “As we enter the new decade, my thoughts are with the families, friends and communities of the 353 people who lost their lives in road crashes last year. While the number of deaths is lower than in 2018 (377), this is still a staggering loss of life,” Duty Minister Iain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • PM congratulates New Year 2020 Honours recipients
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated the diverse group of New Zealanders recognised for their contributions to the country and their communities in the New Year 2020 Honours List.   The list of 180 honours recipients includes three Dames and three Knights Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Justice Minister congratulates first Māori Supreme Court judge on New Year’s Honour
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has congratulated The Honourable Justice Joe Williams for receiving a knighthood for services to the state. Sir Joe Williams has been appointed as a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the New Year 2020 Honours List. “Sir Joe Williams has made an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • New Year honours for top sportspeople
    Twenty-one of New Zealand’s top sportspeople, coaches and leaders in the sporting community have been recognised in the New Year 2020 Honours List. The Silver Ferns coach Noeline Taurua has been made a Dame Companion and the former All Blacks Steve Hansen has been made a Knight Companion of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Leading architect of Zero Carbon Bill honoured
    It’s great to see ordinary New Zealanders doing extraordinary things, Minister for Climate Change James Shaw today said in response to the news that Lisa McLaren is included in the New Year 2020 Honours List for her exceptional work leading the campaign for the Zero Carbon Bill. Lisa McLaren was ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Social entrepreneurs and innovation leads Pacific contribution
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says the New Year 2020 Honours List highlights the valuable contribution Pacific social entrepreneurs and innovators make to New Zealand, the Pacific region and the world. “The standout common factor that underlines their contribution to Aotearoa is the value they place in their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Service to birds and bush recognised in New Year Honours
    Decades of dedication to Aotearoa’s unique birds, landscapes, and native eels is recognised in the New Year 2020 Honours List said Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage. “I’m delighted that the decades of dedication to conservation, and fantastic leadership in giving nature a helping hand is being acknowledged,” said Eugenie Sage. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Closer Economic Partnership with Singapore comes into force on 1 January
    New Zealanders will start to see the benefits of the upgraded Closer Economic Partnership (CEP) with Singapore from 1 January 2020, when the agreement comes into force. Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker said the agreement would open more opportunities for New Zealand companies looking to do business with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago