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Follow through

Written By: - Date published: 9:56 am, July 18th, 2008 - 34 comments
Categories: brand key, dpf, Media, slippery - Tags:

Over at Kiwiblog David Farrar has found an amusing error made by the Herald online in its politics section which has listed several stories from 1999 as current.

Good for a laugh I thought and so I had a look. Two stories in particular got me thinking.

One of them was headed “Clark’s mission: clean up Government” and it included this paragraph:

Brandishing the party’s credit-card-sized pledge card, she said students would get a fairer loans scheme, hospital waiting times would be cut, state house tenants would see a return to income-related rents, and this year’s cuts to superannuation would be reversed. There would be a crackdown on burglary and youth crime.

Personal tax and GST would not increase for those earning less than $60,000, and company tax would not go up.

Of course since then we’ve seen a fairer loan scheme, a return to income-related rents for state houses, the reversal of cuts to superannuation and an increase in police resourcing and tougher sentences for youth offenders. I’ve not been able to find stats on waiting lists (perhaps higherstandard can provide them?).

So not a bad follow through on promises.

The other article that is titled “The transforming of Helen” and is essentially an interview with Brian Edwards in which he describe how they media trained Helen Clark. The interesting thing here is the PM in waiting’s media training is not just common knowledge but is being talked about openly in the national media by her media trainer. Compare that with the “neither confirm or deny” policy the current wannabe PM in waiting has taken and the difference in transparency is staggering.

Will we see Crosby Textor doing a pre-election interview about the “The transforming of Brand Key”? I wouldn’t hold my breath.

Hat-tip: DPF

Update: With regard to waiting lists I’ve been sent this report which shows numbers of long-waiting patients have declined:
First specialist assessment: number waiting over 6 months fell from about 45,000 in 2000 to about 24,000 in 2005
Treatment: number waiting over 6 months fell from about 30,000 in 2000 to about 6,000 in 2005

34 comments on “Follow through ”

  1. Oliver 1

    I liked the bit about clearing up waste in the govt and public service, nowadays the Labour/standard spin is that waste does not exist unless Labour has just cleaned some up. I also like how Labour assured us all that interest free student loans would not lead to an increase in borrowing yet we’ve seen an approximately 50% increase in spending.

  2. IrishBill 2

    I think that would probably be in response to waste like the WINZ conference fiasco in which $62k went missing. As far as I am aware there has been nothing like that happen under the current government.

  3. ghostwhowalks 3

    Must have been a glitch in the Crosby Textor message line for the day for The Candy Floss man that he had to fill it in with blah blah.

    Or perhaps he thought that WAS the message for the day.

    Oliver where did labour say there would be ‘no increase in student debt’. That was allways part of the proposal that some students would borrow more. The doom sayers said all students would borrow the max which didnt happen

  4. Oliver. For all National’s bleating about waste, they can’t find any.

    Their waste-o-meter stands at $3.3 million a year(0.005% of governemnt spending) – and that’s mostly the embassy in Sweden.

    Meanwhile, Labour just made WINZ $40 million-$70 million a year more efficent with the single core benefit.

    Seems like success on the promise to me.

  5. insider 5

    No, no wastage in the the construction of prisons.

    Nothing to see in the purchase of naval vessels.

    MoD has not been double dipping in UN funds for overseas staff.

    Dianne Yates merits four board appointments.

  6. IrishBill 6

    Blah blah blah waste blah blah blah. Any government (or business, or NGO, or household, or incorporated society, or whatever) has some waste. And what “waste” is depends on your politics. I think building prisons rather than focusing on rehabilitation is wasteful and I think the increased pressure on the courts that will come for the crack down on tagging is wasteful.

    What I really think is wasteful is spending $3k a head on WINZ conferences and butchering a perfectly good ACC system.

    “Waste” aside, insider, what do you think the odds are that we’ll see as much transparency about Key’s media grooming as we did about Helen’s?

  7. Aj 7

    “The doom sayers said all students would borrow the max which didnt happen”

    Key said that banks would be offering special investment products to students who would borrow to the max.

  8. Not to mention the bill created by allowing our Sky Hawks to become comfortable nests for rodents?Talk about waste!!

  9. insider. what waste in the prisons? The most durable and economic forms of heating and TV? Altering the terrian to make it usable (flat)?

    Double-dipping isn’t waste, in fact while it’s a breach of NZ’s rules, it was getting us more money for less spending.

    The Canterbury is still finding it’s legs, but don’t expect to se it hauling oranges to Spain any time soon like the Charles Upham.

    It might surprise you to learn that many MPs get board appointments after leaving Parliament (Don Brash is on the ANZ board, for instance).. it’s the kind of work that being an MP is good experience for.

  10. “and “a barrier to developing a skilled and productive economy.'” as productivity growth gets in the words of Deborah Hill-Cone in todays Business Herald: “dangerously low”.

    Driving all those “skilled” workers across to Australia has been a major achievement for Labour!!!

    [IrishBill says: Bryan, please refrain from posting unrelated links here. I will be deleting such links from now on.]

  11. schrodigerscat 11

    d4j – just had an Auckland rescue helicopter trust crew chief tell me it costs about $7000 per hour to run the rescue helicopter. And that is a useful aircraft.

    I am happy to not be running the skyhawks.

  12. d4j. The alternative was continuing to fly fighter planes that we didn’t need – that would have been more wasteful – the question of waste is ‘are you using the least wasteful option and how much could be saved by an alternative option?’.

  13. Oh well, bye bye fighter planes and aspiring young pilots , just join the mass exodus and fly free in another air force.

  14. [IrishBill says: Bryan, please refrain from posting unrelated links here. I will be deleting such links from now on.]

    So how is productivity growth chart unrelated to Helen Clarks promise to improve productivity?

  15. IrishBill 15

    Bryan, you have been posting the same link elsewhere in the blogosphere and each time you have tenuously connected it to a different post topic. That pretty much makes you sentient spam.

  16. G 16

    Labour’s Pledge Card promises:

    “… hospital waiting times would be cut…”

    It’s not the waiting times that have been cut:

    “Answers to parliamentary questions show the number of people sent back to their GP has doubled since the previous year and has continued to grow since 2001:

    Years ending October
    2001: 3,905
    2002: 3,129
    2003: 5,844
    2004: 4,984
    2005: 6,490
    2006: 13,697

    On top of this, 24,000 patients were removed from the waiting lists because of ‘changed patient circumstances’, meaning the patient said they didn’t need an operation anymore, had gone private or died.”


    “There would be a crackdown on burglary and youth crime.”

    “… the latest crime statistics which show violent crime among 14 to 16-year-olds has gone up by a staggering 47% since Labour took power.

    Eight per cent of that has been in the past year. Under Labour, grievous assaults among 14 to 16-year-olds has risen a whopping 143%, serious assaults are up 40% and crimes involving intimidation and threats have increased by 54%.

    “Labour’s record on sexual assaults among young people is equally woeful – they have increased by 28.3%.”


    “Personal tax and GST would not increase for those earning less than $60,000.”

    “The Labour-led government has pledged to cut taxes in the next Budget. Its twin commitments on taxes when it came into office was that there would be no tax rise for those on $60,000 and that the new top rate would affect only 5% of taxpayers.

    However 11 per cent are now paying the top rate because of the effects of bracket creep, including many who are far from wealthy.”


    If this isn’t “a bad follow through on promises,” Mr Bill, then what is?

  17. G 17

    Oh… and robberies are up by a staggering 55%. Which doesn’t include the extra $21 billion in taxes. :-/


  18. Rex Widerstrom 18

    (With apologies for off-topicness)

    Uh that’d be Brian Edwards, Irish.

    The diappearance of “Edwards on Saturday” and “Dean on Saturday” marking, I think, a major signpost on the road to the dumbing-down of NZ telly.

    It could be argued, given his relative success in broadcasting vs politic spin-making, that Edwards would have done NZ a greater service if he’d remained as one of the country’s better interviewers.

  19. IrishBill 19

    Thanks Rex, I’ve fixed that.

    g, I seem to recall there was some manipulations of stats for those releases. When I have time I’ll have a proper look at them.

    For the record I think that Labour’s reactionary getting “tough on youth crime” policies are the wrong approach and I’m certain that the fact they’ve created one the highest incarceration rates in the OECD will come back to bite us. I also think it’s shameful they’ve gone down that path.

    From what I’ve seen of National’s crime policies they would only make the problem worse but while we’ve got the two main parties trying to out-tough each other on this issue then the chance of any sensible policy is pretty slim.

  20. G. When quoting stats, don’t rely on the Opposition’s press releases, the’yre not going to be showing you the full picture. that’s why Irish has a study from the internationally-respected Commonwealth Fund for his figures on waiting lists, not the answer to a selective question from a National MP.

    As for crrme rates – go to stats nz, or the Police website. a clear downward trend in since Labour came to power, and that’s before you take population growth into account.

    As we’re explained before, the increase in reported violent crime is in fact an increase in reported domestic violent crime and the Police conclude this is due to increased reporting, not an increase in actual crimes.

    Personal tax did not increase below $60K, nor did GST. And the tax cut program coming in accounts for inflation since 1999.

  21. Stephen 21

    D4J is dads4governmentjobcreation now?

  22. Jennifer 22

    The specialist waiting lists have decreased because,as many people have found, they are not placed on them.

    “Based on the information provided in the referral letter, you have been prioritised to a Routine category.

    While the preference of your family doctor and the department is to see you now, limitation on our resources mean that it is not possible to do so.

    Therefore we are recommending that you remain under the care of your family doctor. Your name will not appear on the active list for an appointment, however your referral details will be held on hospital records.”

    This is the standard letter sent out by Canterbury District Health Board Orthopaedic Department – seems only accident and emergency patients can be catered for.

    Why should we believe any stats when obviously Labour is skewing the bases to make things look better than they actually are?

  23. G 23

    SP, your link to Statistics NZ doesn’t work, and the links that return to The Standard’s charts and Russell Brown’s arch-left blog are hardly objective sources.

    “Personal tax did not increase below $60K, nor did GST. “

    This is a fudge, and you know it – Labour said only 5% would pay the higher taxes. That’s more than doubled.

  24. the links that return to The Standard’s charts and Russell Brown’s arch-left blog are hardly objective sources.

    Oh yeah – and a National party press release is totally objective. Have you got a link to Labour saying only 5% would pay the higher rate? It’s just I hear it a lot and I’ve never seen a citation.

  25. G 25

    Mr. Sod, you’ll note that my comment was in response to Mr. Pierson’s: “G. When quoting stats, don’t rely on the Opposition’s press releases, the’yre not going to be showing you the full picture.”

    And here’s proof of Labour’s broken promise:

    Speech of Hon Dr Michael Cullen
    23 December 1999

    “Ninety-five percent of people will not be asked to pay more tax. Instead, only the top 5 percent of income earners will pay more.”


    And by his own admission (9 August 2007): “Latest figures show 10.6 percent of taxpayers are in the top bracket.”

  26. r0b 26

    You’re confusing two different issues there G, the new tax rates introduced in 1999 (where only the top 5% paid more), and bracket creep in the 8 years since 1999. Things do change a bit in 8 years! And Labour’s October tax cuts more or less cancel out the effects of that 8 years of bracket creep for high earners (they do much more than that for low income earners).

  27. G – fair enough. You’re the first person to actually provide a link on that (except for the national party research unit for oral questions and some guy called TerryJ on the bog) and when I tried a variety of google partial text searches none of them kicked up the NZICA version you link to. Just outta interest – what search terms did you use to find it?

  28. G 28

    Yes, Rob, and eight years of inflation gobbled that up long ago. Bottom line is, Kiwis are paying an extra $21 billion more in tax, an increase of 37% in real terms, and the average wage earner is paying an extra $2400 more a year.

    Robinsod, that quote’s been in my ‘Dishonesty Box’ since way back. 🙂

  29. r0b 29

    Yes, Rob, and eight years of inflation gobbled that up long ago.

    Lucky we’ve had 8 years of wage increases too then.

    Robinsod, that quote’s been in my ‘Dishonesty Box’ since way back.

    Yes, a quote about apples was certainly dishonest about oranges. That makes sense.

  30. Um G bro – nobody keeps a “dishonesty box” unless they are in the game. Call me paranoid but I’m also a little suspicious of the fact that, despite there being a few more public records of that quote, you chose one that doesn’t even google. Are you in the game? I mean if you are that’s all good as you seem better at it than the last Nat party researcher I busted (the double standard) and I’m quite keen to have a bit more fun than the usual morons from the right provide…

  31. “For the record I think that Labour’s reactionary getting “tough on youth crime’ policies are the wrong approach and I’m certain that the fact they’ve created one the highest incarceration rates in the OECD will come back to bite us. I also think it’s shameful they’ve gone down that path.”

    (I’m not sure how flash my statistics are, they are from statistics nz but im not really an expert in statistics, so the only correction i have made is for population, in that age group)

    For 1998 till 2007 population adjusted youth crime has dropped 16.45% compared to all crime for all ages dropping 0.14% in that time. Oddly enough against a backround of “getting tough” on youth crime the evicence tends to suggest that the lower levels of intervention (ie, a meeting with a youth aid officer instead of a full blown youth court visit) is more likely to prevent future offening, in all but a small percentage of youth offenders.

    If you fellas at the standard want a look at my graphs just tell me where to send them, they arent flash and im no expert though.

  32. G 32

    No need for the paranoia, Robinsod, I’m just your average political animal with a ‘Dishonesty Box’ on every party. It’s interesting to note that by far the thickest file belongs to Labour, followed by National and NZ First. Act and the Greens seem to be reasonably straight up.

    Rob, whichever way you’d like to cut that block of cheese, once you account for the cost of living, the average wage earner is only 5% better off than they were in 2000. We’re paying, per capita, more tax than our folks did under Muldoon. It’s pretty shocking.

  33. G 33

    Incidentally, Robinsod, I gather most of my material Googling. I found it again just now – on the first page – with… “cullen ninety-five percent of people will not be asked to pay more tax”

  34. r0b 34

    We’re paying, per capita, more tax than our folks did under Muldoon. It’s pretty shocking.

    We’re paying, per capita, the third lowest personal tax in the OECD, see the graph on this page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Income_tax

    And that was before Labour’s October tax cuts.

    It’s pretty hard to argue that we’re overtaxed G.

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