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Key’s reshuffle bad news for working Kiwis

Written By: - Date published: 8:03 am, March 16th, 2012 - 64 comments
Categories: workers' rights - Tags:

The reshuffle announced yesterday effectively made Steven Joyce the new Minister of Labour.

Joyce was the Nats campaign manager so he knows exactly what National’s business backers have been putting the money up for.

Call me paranoid but I’m thinking that putting the Government’s bully-boy in charge of the rights of working Kiwis may not bode well for employment relations over the next few years.

That said, Joyce tends to cock up everything he touches – from the exclusive brethren backing to the roading disasters so he might not be as effective as National’s backers are expecting. I guess we’ll wait and see.

64 comments on “Key’s reshuffle bad news for working Kiwis”

  1. Tom Gould 1

    Tories have always wanted to get rid of the name Department of Labour, and Key has delivered. The rest is diversionary puffery. Even the Gallery Gimp is in two minds.

  2. Bunji 2

    But do we really want a cock up of employment?

    At least it won’t impact on the jobs of ministers – the departments may be merging, creating hundreds of job losses, but every minister gets to keep their title and their warm limo seat…

    • rosy 2.1

      Agree, the Department of Labour under Business Innovation is a huge concern. I saw on SkyUK tonight that the UK business ‘union’ is looking for legislation to permit ‘no-fault’ dismissals for small businesses – just send employees off due to ‘under-performing (90-day employment law, permanently). A case of watch this space to see if NZ will experiment with this first? (btw any evaluation to see if a single job permanent full-time job, that otherwise would not have been, has been created under the 90-day law?)

      And small points – what on earth is the Building and Housing doing here? Do they have something planned further down the line? And – is scientific research only about commercial interests now? I know the message had been given awhile ago that science benefiting commercial interests would be prioritised but explicitly grouping it with Business Innovation is very restrictive.

      • Acting Up 2.1.1

        Department of Building and Housing is no easy fit – unless you remember that the Govt have a bit of a problem with the current chief exec, who allegedly takes a very hands-on approach to staffing issues.. I suppose deconstructing the entire department is one way of sorting that out.

      • Vicky32 2.1.2

        I saw on SkyUK tonight that the UK business ‘union’ is looking for legislation to permit ‘no-fault’ dismissals for small businesses – just send employees off due to ‘under-performing (90-day employment law, permanently). A case of watch this space to see if NZ will experiment with this first?

        Oh, horribly likely! 🙂

  3. Peter Martin 3

    “Key’s reshuffle bad news for working Kiwis”

    But good news for taxpayers as we will have three or four fewer Cabinet Ministers to support. Surely…;-)

    • shreddakj 3.1

      And less funding/staffing in essential government services.

    • lprent 3.2

      Nope. There will still be ministers for each, jus under the uber-Munster

    • Hami Shearlie 3.3

      No, they’ll probably all be associate ministers of the new super ministry and keep all the perks – otherwise there would be too much internal fighting – let’s watch and see? It’s only the workers further down the food chain who’ll be axed!

    • Foreign Waka 3.4

      Under true democratic rule it is every citizen or resident (not taxpayer) that decides what the elected rulers are expected to do. It certainly looks like that the form of government has changed from democracy to a capitalist oligarchy with some decorations of deceit within a rather short period of time. How else can one interpret that the reshuffle will have millionaires/billionaires running the show.
      I don’t mind that they are rich (good on them) but they certainly do not represent the majority of people and hence certainly do not speak for them. I do not remember that anyone elected Mr Joyce for a starter.
      Looking at the outcome by which any venture is measured, this government not only has not delivered but failed abysmal the country and its people alike.
      The reality is that too many people loosing their jobs and there is nothing that a “reinvented Dickensian age” will offer to remedy the situation – except excuses.

    • Lets us all know when you recieve you rebate for tax take PM.!

  4. ad 4

    Out the door also goes the idea of “Economic Development”, which contained deep within it from the old Anderton/Sutch wing of Labour the idea that the public and private sectors could indeed work together in both a truly commercial and state-directed manner in a common interest.

    In fact, the first term of Labour asserted (through the Growth and Innovation Framework in the early 2000s) that it was indeed central government that leads economic growth and inovation here, because the private sector in such a small and not well off country will never have enough capital to lead growth by itself, or even innovation. GIF itself forced all Ministries to make budget mids as if there was a common direction for the whole of the public service. imagine that.

    If only GIF had gone this far and forced such hard coherence, rather than budget and process-driven coherence.

    The best hope I could see in this merger is that National’s Green Growth paper is actually implemented and goes further to expecting productivity and growth targets for specific industry sectors, spurred by central government investment. Wonder if Labour and the Greens could come up with an alternative paper by the next election, rather than complaning about National’s Blue-Green effort.

    Seemed like Shearer was indicating pretty much the same kind of policy direction in his speech anyway, so really what was the problem with this merger?

    The Standard followers should be the first to accept that more policy coherence is good. Merging Ministeries with a good fit. Joyce is a bastard Minsiter if you are an official – he never lets you get away with any shonky or unstable number, and keeps drilling down into the papers. Few in Labour can do that among the current lot.

    If Key fell under a bus, National could do worse than Joyce. Couterfactual of Shearer against Joyce, anyone?

    • Georgecom 4.1

      Joyce is a bastard Minsiter if you are an official – he never lets you get away with any shonky or unstable number

      Only one possible reply to that, ‘Holiday Highway’ road of ‘national significance’ with a disasterous BCR. Joyce Minister of Transport.

  5. Ordinary_Bloke 5

    Yup, it’s a clear succession strategy – with Key to become ‘Prime Minister Emeritus’ somewhere around mid-term.

    There is a great line in Marcus Aurelius about organisations being continually reshuffled, but nothing changing substantially on the ground.

    Re. “Couterfactual of Shearer against Joyce, anyone?” – government by local shock jock Vs government by an international reconstructor ?

    Stay Stoic as you head for the exits.

    • Roy 5.1

      I think you refer to
      “We trained hard, but it seemed that every time we were beginning
      to form up into teams, we would be reorganized. I was to learn later
      in life that we tend to meet any new situation by reorganizing;
      and a wonderful method it can be for creating the illusion of progress
      while producing confusion, inefficiency, and demoralization.”
      which was attributed to Gaius Petronius Arbiter, although the accuracy of the attribution has been challenged.

  6. Fisiani 6

    Stephen Joyce a bully boy?????? Care to produce a scrap of evidence for such a ridiculous claim.

    • tc 6.1

      What do facts have to do with it, we have opinion that differs from yours, thats good enough for the government so let’s apply it consistently.

    • ad 6.2

      Definitely tough on officials – as he should be.
      Not anywhere near bully.
      If only the Left side of Parliament could be trusted to be as tough.

      • Ant 6.2.1

        I think you mean tough on officials when the facts (or reality) don’t suit his agenda hahaha

        • insider 6.2.1.1

          let’s be honest, every minister does that. They are politicians first and foremost; there to push political agendas.

  7. Maui 7

    Fisiani: lack of integrated urban cycling strategy in favour of pushing through the pouring of carcinogenic asphalt all over our “clean ‘n green” islands ?

    • Fisiani 7.1

      Try again. not even close to being a bully

      • Roger 7.1.1

        How about pouring his “carcinogenic asphalt” in places like Kapiti where the local community is required to be displaced and don’t get a say. Also in Auckland where the people wanted a solution to the traffic problem and wanted a viable public transport alternative and Steven said no, you can have roads. He doesn’t allow local bodies to make decisions about their own affairs and uses his position to enforce his own project regardless of the harm it causes, that sounds like a bully.

  8. Maui 8

    Fisiani: Have you ever, or are you now, working for him ?

  9. Fisiani 9

    Clutching at straws Maui.

    • Foreign Waka 9.1

      Fisiani, the pertinent question is: Has he been democratically elected or not. The answer is :NO. So he has no right of “bullying” himself into any position. I hope you know what democracy means and how it works.

      • felix 9.1.1

        “I do not remember that anyone elected Mr Joyce for a starter.”

        and

        “Has he been democratically elected or not. The answer is :NO.”

        What on earth are you talking about? He was elected as part of a party list along with almost half of the parliament – at no.4 on the list of the largest party ffs.

        You might not like him and you might not like the MMP system that he was elected under but it’s a nonsense to say he wasn’t elected.

  10. Maui 10

    It’s a relevant question, Fis .. going to the question of bullying.

    I happen to be acquainted with his working style within MoT.

    I can report that certain views, eg. highways, were encouraged while others regarding
    alternative modes of transport were not even considered.

    His staff – based on my international experience in the area – appeared timid and browbeaten,
    and reluctant to pursue other viewpoints and ideas in broad ranging discussion.

    I have to enquire what you mean by ‘evidence’. Bruises and contusions from a beating ?

    There are many different ways of doing it.

    • insider 10.1

      Every official that I have dealt with inside and outside his office say similar things about him – hard taskmaster, don’t front unprepared or with dodgy evidence, but ultimately a good employer and reasonable, not an unpredictable prima donna. They enjoy working for and with him.

      We need more bullies like that.

      Not having time for your particular personal bandwagon Maui is not bullying it’s called setting priorities – that’s what we voted him in for. If you think he’s wrong, stand for election.

      • Maui 10.1.1

        Sorry, ‘insider’, I see no reason to resile from my observations, nor from my replies to Fisiani’s line of questioning.

      • VB 10.1.2

        Not one of us EVER voted him in! He has no constituency!

  11. Fisiani 11

    So effective efficient and focused are now tantmount to bully boy????

    • bbfloyd 11.1

      so you’re back to playing the “why” game little fizzer? have you no imagination? or are you feeling insecure in the knowledge that you have fallen in love with a failed, and fading star?

      you know that johnny sparkles is getting ready to run away from the hard stuff…. you know joyce is a barely concealed fascist…. are you polishing your jackboots for his coronation parade?

      meanwhile, we are treated to your continuous series of freudian slips as you desperately dissemble on behalf of fascists everywhere…. rather obvious young laddy….. try saying something that doesn’t come out of mein kampf….. at least it might be slightly amusing then….

      • ad 11.1.1

        The moist lefties on this site are just begninig to sound like they woudn’t be able to hack it as an official who has to sit down in front of a half-decent Minsiter and inform, turn their minds, or take orders from them.

        Politics isn’t tiddlywinks people.

        Can you point to anyone on the left of Parliament who would be Joyce’s equal as a Minister? Cunliffe was good in Health according to officials who had to face him. But who else?

        Does anyone really think Parker for instance could take on Treasury? The top three of Labour don’t have a pair between them. Wish they would.

        • muzza 11.1.1.1

          So what you are saying is that the biggest bully with the loudest bark gets to dictate to NZ…

          Sounds like a great place to be!

          None of the bullys, nor the snivelling pansy bridage inside parliament, represent the average kiwi, and have not done so for a long time…

          The moronic left/right fans are enabling the disaster to continue thinking they are making a differnce…the rest of us just have to put up with it!

    • muzza 11.2

      Yeah he is doing a great job, they are are right….

      I’ve watched him in action, and it was pathetic, he is a standover man, the arrogance was beyond belief!

  12. framu 12

    “appeared timid and browbeaten, and reluctant to pursue other viewpoints and ideas in broad ranging discussion.”

    doesnt equal

    “effective efficient and focused”

    you may think that Joyce is effective (or whatever) but thats different to the argument Maui is making

  13. framu 13

    hey – reply button strangness – anyone else getting that?

    is it possible to get a feature where you can shift a comment from new comment to a reply?

    [lprent: Once you hit 10 comments in depth in comments, the reply turns off. Not that interested in seeing one wor per line replies on the right due to indenting.

    Moderators can move comments. I can’t really see a good reason for extending that. ]

  14. Ordinary_Bloke 14

    Some of the greatest mass murderers of our generation were, or are, “effective efficient and focused”.

    Aotearoa-NZ aspires to be a liberal democracy, which implies other values besides effectiveness, efficiency, and focus.

    As Prime Minister, Joyce will have to grapple with such difficult concepts – especially on the international stage.

    On the up side, he might rediscover his degree in Zoology in preserving our unique fauna and environment.

    Hat tip to Maui – the high rate of testicular cancer among young chimney sweeps in London, UK, during the Victorian era provided the first link between it and soot accumulating in their pants.

    Joyce might wish to apply his zoological expertise to the references below.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chimney_Sweeps%27_carcinoma

    http://sites.google.com/site/kundaparkneighbours/asphalt-plants-benzene-and-cancer

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/34809699/ns/us_news-environment/

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1035415/

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7892824

  15. ‘Business-facing’?

    On that basis, I’m surprised they didn’t merge all government ministries into one – given that is how all operations of government are seen by this government.

    Education is all about readying people for the workforce (and providing business opportunities);
    Health is about getting people who are sick back into the workforce so businesses can burn them out again;
    ‘Social Development’ is about making sure people not in the workforce are a minimal burden to business and that they become available for businesses asap;
    Treasury is about ensuring that all government expenditure is aimed at preparing a nice comfortable bed for business;
    Corrections is about keeping the riff-raff out of business’ way (and providing business opportunities);
    Conservation is about making sure New Zealand is available for tourism businesses;
    etc.

    When you think about it, what isn’t ‘business-facing’?
     

  16. taxicab 16

    Wake up and smell the coffee !! Joyce is a GRADE A psycopath he has been running this gig since before the 2008 election . Key has always been the glove puppet only interested in his 30 pieces of silver . Soon to be Gonekey he will be replaced by Collins who is more than happy to have The Grim Reapers hand up the back of her skirt , he knows that he can’t be leader he is unelectable . English had better get his finger out soon if he intends to lead the revolt or he will be road kill . All this bullshit from his fan club and appologists above is misguided sure he is efficient but so was Hitler , Mao , Mussolini , Stalin to name but a few . English and his band know he has to be stopped what remains to be seen is whether they have enough bottle to do it .

    • starlight 16.1

      Dont you get the feeling also that the tearing down,pulling apart,restructuring is
      taken off with speed,the asset sales pushed ahead and 3 different thieves to manage
      them.
      Does NZ have enough waste bins to throw everything into and where is key and joyce
      going to stash the thousands they have put out of work?
      Perhaps key is in a rush to ‘get er done’ before he leaves nz,not with honors but
      remembered as the ‘a—-ole’ that stole nz’s wealth.

    • Hami Shearlie 16.2

      Judith Collins as Nat leader? Even her husband would be scared of her. Pretty unpopular generally , nearly as bad as Steven Joyce. The Nats may love Collins and Joyce but they, particularly Joyce are pretty unpopular with the public. The Nats will be regretting the fact that Simon Power left! He was popular, but too centrist for Key and Joyce! We thought there was a good reason that he left – now we know what it was – he knew what the Nats were planning for this term, and if I were him, I wouldn’t want to accept any future directorships that the Nats may offer. Not smart to get tainted with these crazy policies! And he has a good job now, why get sucked into this maelstrom?

      • Lanthanide 16.2.1

        I wonder if Simon actually had a long game planned. Go to OZ now, wait for the poison chalice of 2014 electoral defeat to fall on Key or his successor, then he can parachute back in to National leadership in 2015-2016 and contest the 2017 and 2020 (2021?) elections.

      • taxicab 16.2.2

        Hami ,
        you are right about their relative popularity with the public but since their agenda is to totally slaughter this economy and spread the spoils to their mates the only real challenge is how to get it done before the next election and to maintain order in their own ranks so as to see it through , a third term is not necessary . Key is becoming a liability as he craves too much adoration as soon as he is close to meeting up with Shearer on his way down the popularity polls he will be ‘Gonkey’ and Joyce will be unshackled like a rabid dog let off it’s leash .. enter the enforcer (Collins) yes even the husband would be shit scared so imagine how the Nact govt members would happily get in to line , my reference to electability was more from the party caucus perspective , frankly neither would be electable as leader in a general election context . The Zoology degree is an asset for Joyce in terms of species behaviour in the same way that he has assisted in the creation of the Key phenomenon and subsequent election successes he has also probably compiled quite a hansome stamp collection of information on each and everyone of his colleagues that none of them would wish to see the light of day to ensure his success . On the other hand a psychopathic megalomaniac like him may just want to go it alone but like most cowards he probably feels the need to have someone on hand as a fall guy/gal

        • Hami Shearlie 16.2.2.1

          Yes, I can see it all now! Joycie knowing the dirt about so many Nats. Sort of an upmarket version of the little scruff McCully, without the eyebrows and with a significantly quieter slitheriness, all the better to lure his targets into the mire. Think Swamp Thing without the green tinge!

  17. Jester 17

    Roy Morgan. Have a nice weekend. Jester

    • Ordinary_Bloke 17.1

      Biggest lead for Key Government since election.

      Today’s New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll shows increasing strong
      support for Prime Minister John Key’s National Party 48.5%
      (up 3% since February 27-March 11, 2012) while support for Labour
      has fallen 1.5% to 30%. This is the highest vote National has
      recorded since being returned to Government at last year’s
      New Zealand election.

      [lprent: wish some of the lazy RWNJ’s would exert themselves to link in their rather selective quoting. http://www.roymorgan.com/news/polls/2012/4754/
      The trends for the government haven’t been looking good for the government over the last 4 months.]

    • burt 17.2

      Come on good folk supporters of Labour….

      Wasn’t that poll pre the POAL bombshell. Start calling it, be bold! Try this; It will have swung back by the next one.

  18. U 4 United 18

    How’s the latest Roy M poll…girls?

    • burt 18.1

      It’s a rogue poll.

      • ScottGN 18.1.1

        Wow! You guys really jumped on that Roy Morgan Poll eh? Been sweating it a bit lately?

      • lprent 18.1.2

        Any single poll is a rogue poll and not really that interesting. The bounce around along with sampling bias in polls i(ncluding Morgans) is such, that you have to look at trends for anything to be meaningful. Morgan’s is the only one that has a regular enough cycle to see trends.

        I haven’t looked at the last one. But the trend over the last 10 polls and since before the election hasn’t been good for the government. I guess that is why on the right some are clutching a single poll like it was a life jacket after a shipwreck.

  19. burt 19

    Isn’t two party politics amazing.

    The right screamed when Labour merged WINZ & Social Welfare to create MSD. Economies of scale, single view of client yada yada v socialist empire building… So much has changed this time, now we have Economies of scale, single view of client yada yada v the left screaming tory public service bashing.

    It’s a beautiful game.

  20. captain hook 20

    somebody around here seems to think that the key government is going to last more than 2,1/2 years.
    so who is the tory stooge then?

  21. There was the roy morgan poll taken from 950 people,then there was the ipredict poll which
    labour have increased support, polls are polls and really mean buggar all,in the ‘teapot’saga
    key said winston wouldn’t be back he was polling around 4-5%,so he got that wrong,much
    to his angst.
    I enjoy winston giving key and co a serve.

  22. Further to my post labours predicted vote share is 37% nationals 40%,i predict says that
    there has been heavy trading.
    Based on current trading mana,maori parties are both predicted to get 2 seats each and
    nz first 6,posted on tv3 site 16/3.

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  • Opportunity for political parties to back Kiwi-made and Kiwi jobs
    The First Reading in Parliament today of his Our Work, Our Future Bill is a chance for political parties to ensure the government buys Kiwi-made more often and backs Kiwi jobs, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. The reading ...
    1 week ago
  • Solid Energy must open the drift
    Solid Energy is showing no moral spine and should not have any legal right to block re-entry into the Pike River drift, says Damien O’Connor MP for West Coast-Tasman.  “Todays failed meeting with  representatives from the state owned company is ...
    1 week ago
  • 20,000 at risk students “missing”
    A briefing to the Minister of Education reveals 20,000 at-risk students can’t be found, undermining claims by Hekia Parata that a new funding model would ensure additional funding reached students identified as at-risk, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. ...
    1 week ago
  • Crime continues to rise
    Overall crime is up five per cent and the Government just doesn’t seem to care, says Labour’s Police Spokesperson Stuart Nash. ...
    1 week ago
  • Treasury fritters $10 million on failed state house sell off
    The Treasury has wasted $10 million in two years on the National Government's flawed state house sell off programme, including nearly $5.5 million on consultants, says Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. "New Zealand needs more state housing than ever, with ...
    1 week ago
  • National slow to learn new trade lessons post TPPA
    Yesterday, the Minister for Trade misused economic data in order to try to make the case for more so-called ‘trade agreements’ like the TPPA which are actually deregulatory straitjackets in disguise. In welcoming a Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade ...
    GreensBy Barry Coates
    1 week ago
  • Skilled migrant wages plummeting under National
    Wages have plummeted for people with skilled migrant visas working in low-skilled occupations, driving down wages for workers in a number of industries, says Labour’s Immigration Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Documents acquired by Labour under the Official Information Act reveal that ...
    1 week ago
  • Child abuse apology needed
    The Government's failure to act on recommendations from Judge Henwood, based on years of work by the Confidential Listening and Assistance Service (CLAS) will further undermine any faith victims may have put into the process, says Labour’s Children’s Spokesperson Jacinda ...
    1 week ago
  • Reserve Bank again highlights National’s housing failure
    National’s failure to deal with the housing crisis in New Zealand is once again being exposed by the Reserve Bank today, in a scathing assessment of the Government’s response, says Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson “Governor Wheeler is clearly worried ...
    1 week ago
  • Palm Oil Labelling: Possible Progress?
    On Friday, the Minister for Food Safety, along with her Australian colleagues finally looked at the issue of mandatory labelling of palm oil. We’ve been calling for mandatory labelling for years and we were hoping that the Ministers would agree ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    1 week ago
  • National: Fails to achieve
    The ineffectiveness of the National Government’s approach to schooling has been highlighted by the latest Trends in International Maths and Science Study (TIMSS) report released overnight, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. ...
    1 week ago
  • Faster into Homes – a new pathway for first home buyers
    This week Parliament will select another members’ bill from the cookie tin (I kid you not, it really is a cookie tin) and I’ve just launched a new bill I’m hoping will get pulled – to help people get into ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    1 week ago
  • Selling off our state housing stock isn’t working for NZers
    I want to end homelessness and ensure that everyone has a warm, safe, dry home. This National Government has let down New Zealanders, especially the thousands of New Zealanders who are struggling with something so basic and important as housing. ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    1 week ago
  • Government needs to ensure fair deal on EQC assessments
    Kiwis affected by earthquakes might not get a fair deal if the Government pushes ahead with secret plans to let private insurers take over the assessment of claims, says Labour’s Canterbury spokesperson Megan Woods. “Under questioning from Labour the Government ...
    1 week ago
  • Key’s priorities the real ‘load of nonsense’
    The Prime Minister’s fixation with tax cuts, despite a failure to pay down any debt and growing pressure on public services is the real ‘load of nonsense’, says Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “We’re getting mixed messages from National. John ...
    1 week ago
  • Free Speech and Hate Speech
    Last week we were very concerned to hear that an Auckland imam, Dr Anwar Sahib, had been preaching divisive and derogatory messages about Jewish people and women during his sermons. It was a disturbing incident coming at the end of ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    1 week ago
  • Young Kiwis struggling under record mortgage debt
    The Government needs to step in and start building affordable homes for first homebuyers now more than ever, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    1 week ago
  • Tairāwhiti says No Stat Oil!
    Tairāwhiti says yes to a clean environment for our mokopuna today and for generations to come. Tairāwhiti are have a responsibility to uphold their mana motuhake over their land and their peoples and are calling on the Government to honour ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    2 weeks ago
  • Swimmable Rivers tour – Ōkahukura/Lucas Creek
    When Environment Minister Nick Smith said in Parliament that some waterways – like Auckland’s Lucas Creek – are not worth saving because no-one wants to swim in them, he forgot to ask the locals we met last week who have put ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • Wellington business relief package needs flexibility
    The Government’s Wellington business support package is welcome news but needs to be implemented so that all affected businesses get the help they need, says Labour MP for Wellington Central Grant Robertson. “Wellington businesses will be pleased that the Government ...
    2 weeks ago