Losing Momentum

Written By: - Date published: 9:28 am, September 15th, 2010 - 28 comments
Categories: accountability, auckland supercity, john banks, local government, making shit up, national, public services, rodney hide - Tags: , , ,

Momentum Recruitment is in the gun yet again, this time for placing a woman in an accounting firm when she did not have the qualifications she claimed. The fake accountant then went on to defraud the company Momentum had placed her with of $60,000. Momentum is the same company that placed fantasist Stephen Wilce in a senior NZDF role.

Momentum is also the company that’s been placing management staff for the new Auckland Supercity Council – a problem considering Momentum had former National Party President and John Banks Campaign Advisor Michelle Boag on its board (Boag was eventually forced to withdraw from the recruitment role when this conflict of interest was revealed) and still has former National Party Prime Minister Jenny Shipley as a director. But amazingly, that’s the least of the problems with Momentum. What’s really causing a bad smell is the now repeatedly demonstrated inability of Momentum to do the very basics of its job.

Momentum’s motto is: Look no further.

As hilariously ironic as that may be, it seems we do need to start looking a lot further at Momentum’s work. Leaving aside the partisan issues of having a National Party President and a National Party Prime Minister involved in the selection of staff for the Auckland Supercity Council, it seems clear that Momentum have been taking their motto a little too literally. If this Government is at all concerned about transparency and accountability, it needs to ditch Momentum and all the appointments of Supercity staff recommended by Momentum must be reviewed.

Who knows how many other appointments have been made on the basis of bogus qualifications? And just how did such a shonkey company get such a lucrative government contract in the first place?

Note: being a National Party flunky is not an NZQA recognised qualification.

28 comments on “Losing Momentum”

  1. Bright Red 1

    “look no further”

    lolz

  2. Sean 2

    Love the reference to Dr Nick. The whole thing would be funny, except of course the potential influence this outfit has is enormous.

    I imagine that that Momentum can seem plausible during an informal executive coffee meeting. Momentum could look up to the job, at formal meetings, where people are taking minutes. But ‘Look no further’ seems so much more than a motto with this outfit. It seems to be a core business process.

  3. ghostwhowalksnz 3

    Their excuse seems to be checking references takes time !
    I think their name has been trashed so expect a quick name change soon

  4. Draco T Bastard 4

    …it seems clear that Momentum have been taking their motto a little too literally.

    The interview process goes like this:
    Interviewer: Do you vote NACT?
    Interviewee: Yes
    Interviewer: Cool, you’ve got the job. No need to look any further.

    If this Government is at all concerned about transparency and accountability, it needs to ditch Momentum and all the appointments of Supercity staff recommended by Momentum must be reviewed.

    It isn’t and those appointees need to be dumped now.

    And just how did such a shonkey company get such a lucrative government contract in the first place?

    Thought that would have been fairly obvious:

    a problem considering Momentum had former National Party President and John Banks Campaign Advisor Michelle Boag on its board. Boag was eventually forced to withdraw from the recruitment role when this conflict of interest was revealed. Momentum still has former National Party Prime Minister Jenny Shipley as a director.

    NACT are corrupt.

  5. Gosman 5

    Do people have a problem with members of an organisation contracted to do work for central or local government having links to a political party or is it only having links to The National party which bothers you?

    • I’d say that’s the least of their problems Gosman, it’s also not a focus of this post, as cunningly hinted at by the statement “Leaving aside the partisan issues of …”

      The problem is more one of Momentum’s profound ineptitude or derelection of duty (at best) and the questions it raises about:

      1. appointments made of people sourced by Momentum

      2. how Momentum ever got the contract in the first place; what were the procedures followed for awarding Momentum the government contract?

      That clearer for you buddy?

      • Gosman 5.1.1

        So far you have two potential example of Momentum stuff ups. People make mistakes all the time in terms of recruitment. I’m sure if we did some digging in the past we could find example where people employed directly by the State sector have not been adequately background checked (I’m sure under a Labour led government as well as a National one). This is hardly evidence of a systematic failure yet.

        • the sprout 5.1.1.1

          potential examples ??
          what part of these cases do you think might not be stuff ups?

          while it’s true that any company can make mistakes, this is a company that’s received a lot of tax payers’ dollars.
          i would have thought it was selected by the government as a supplier because it delivers a first class, value for money service.
          i would have thought taxpayers could expect a quality service for the money we’ve spent with Momentum.

        • Loota 5.1.1.2

          So far you have two potential example of Momentum stuff ups.

          “Stuff ups”?

          Is this a new term you’ve developed for gross incompetence, negligence or possible outright fraud e.g. invoicing the Government for work done e.g. checking candidate CVs and listed referees, which was never actually carried out in reality.

          “Stuff ups”. Yeah, I’ll have to remember that.

  6. Gosman 6

    “The interview process goes like this:
    Interviewer: Do you vote NACT?
    Interviewee: Yes
    Interviewer: Cool, you’ve got the job. No need to look any further.”

    Do you have any evidence that this happened at all?

    • bbfloyd 6.1

      G.. do you have any evidence to prove that you are nothing more than an apologist for any and all things nat?

      • ryan 6.1.1

        One that that takes the thread of track and does his best to bring out the worst in comments. To put readers of visiting the site? Yup. Time to slash this goon and his IP.

  7. comedy 7

    Hasn’t the whole Momentum debacle been covered off on red alert

    http://blog.labour.org.nz/index.php/2010/09/13/nat-party-spinmeister-hired-fraudster/

    • no, this is a new issue – albeit with the same dodgey company.

      another placement from Momentum found to have bogus qualifications,
      and in this instance, with a criminal persuasion

  8. Rex Widerstrom 8

    There may well be a degree of cronyism going on here… but I’d suggest there’s also considerable incompetence.

    Given that Momentum seem to get the contracts to place every high-level government comms position (and did so under Labour, I might add) as well as many in the private sector I’ve dealt with them on occasion. The most recent one followed exactly the same pattern as all the rest:

    Sometime in the evening: I send off a CV of several pages and a covering letter with additional information.

    0836: I get the usual form email saying the information has been received, that applications are still open and that I’ll be informed of the outcome after careful consideration has been given to the suitability of everyone who’s applied… and warned that this “can take up to 14 days”.

    1143: I get an email saying I’ve been rejected, giving no specific reasons (so I’m guessing it’s automated, or at least a form email, as well).

    So one of two things is happening. Either there’s a huge conspiracy afoot and, because of my critical public comment about some of the things National does, I’m blacklisted. But I’m also critical of what Labour and everyone else does from time to time.

    Or they’re feeding CVs through a software program that looks for keywords and trashing those which don’t have a high enough ratio. And since most keywords in recruitment these days are utter bullshit, and I refuse to speak bullshit, I never get past their automated gatekeeper.

    Once upon a time a recruitment consultant used to at least speed read CVs and make an initial cut… or even have a junior do it.. From your background, experience and written references they’d ascertain if you had any potential.

    Now they feed your CV through a computer program looking for how well you can mirror the kind of Newspeak they put in their own incomprehensible job ads.

    And just to make their job even easier, assuming the software accepts you, you’ve also had to submit screeds of stuff about how you meet the “selection criteria”. In my case that asks frankly insulting questions like “Extensive experience in communications” which would be obvious to anyone who bothered to take 5 minutes to read my CV, so to which I inevitably reply “refer to CV” or simply copy bits across because I’m not here to do their job for them.

    Unsurprisingly I’ve never, ever, in 30+ years of employment, got a job through an agency. And when I’m employing I won’t use an agency unless I was guaranteed human intervention at all stages of the process – which means I don’t use them at all.

    With enormous HR departments in most government departments I don’t see why recruitment isn’t done in-house in any case. Why hand an agency 10 – 15% of the first year’s salary, plus expenses, to chuck out good applicants who fail to set off the bullshit monitor?

  9. tc 9

    The incompetance is breathtaking really as the game’s quite simple:
    a) choose a recruiter that does what you want and ensure your chosen candidates are part of the ‘process’.
    b) Recruiter ensures all compliance boxes are ticked and collects it’s dosh by ensuring it all looks open and fair by having other candidates participate….ideally some minority groups being represented is nice.

    Client gets the person they wanted from the get go and recruiter picks up the fee…..only monkeys can F this up and they have…….still when your board’s had the likes of Boag/banksie it’s hardly intellectual heavyweights is it just jobs for the boyzngirlz.

    • Gosman 9.1

      Your theory would hold a liitle more weight than it’s current anorexic standard if the recruiter in question was only used when one particular party was in power. However it falls flat on it’s face because BOTH Labour and National led administrations have been in power when people have been employed for government agencies via Momentum.

      • the sprout 9.1.1

        Speaking of anorexic arguments…
        Yours is that it’s ok for National to persist with buying sub-standard services because years ago Labour used the same services too?
        I thought National were supposed to be more prudent spenders of taxpayers’ dollars?

        • Herodotus 9.1.1.1

          Should Momentum be refunding costs incurred by the tax payer for not fulfilling their contract i.e. vetting. As this James Bond character was very senior they command an extremely large fee for sourcing. Under some organisations, references do have some bearing on offering the applicant the position, and the more senior even going beyond those references specified and with permission from the applicant making contact with others beyond their list given. At worst from Momentums perspective they have severed any govt work, as they are not performing up to expectations. Sure there will always be some that get thru, but really an Olypanian that is not too difficult to check !!!
          Perhaps we all on this site should as homework prepare a CV for a civil servants position. I can not wait until Alan Bollards position comes up and applicants are requested. Imagine what some of us could come up with knowing that we will not be vetted !! 😉

        • Gosman 9.1.1.2

          “Yours is that it’s ok for National to persist with buying sub-standard services because years ago Labour used the same services too?”

          Where did I state that?

          I think you will find I am replying to the rather bizarre asertion by tc that Momentum was used because they would guarrantee the person of choice, (presumably of the government of the day), to get the job

      • bbfloyd 9.1.2

        G… when were momentums shonky screening processes exposed to the general public? are you saying that the last administration is culpable because they were unaware of the extent of the incompetence and/or political corruption within the management of said company?

        are you saying that, because it was widely known of the national party connections within senior management of momentum, then the labour govt should have assumed that they would have been unfit to do the job?

        is that not just partisan bigotry?

        i can still remember a time when politicians of all ilk were quite amenable to cooperation and open dialogue across party lines without fear of being branded “Traitors”, or being regarded as having “lost the fight”.

        indeed, the assumption of incompetence based on ones political views has been a recent development, pushed along by the very people making the most political/financial profit from the polarisation of NZ society.

  10. tsmithfield 10

    I do employment work for organisations. I don’t ask for CV’s. I have an online form I get candidates to fill in. This standardises the information and asks other employment related questions that people might not want to include in their CV: e.g. do you have a criminal conviction; do you have a clean drivers licence; do you have any health related issues that could affect your job performance?

    Candidates then have to agree that they understand that untruths discovered later could result in loss of employment. They also have to consent to having their background checked.

    This process tends to weed out individuals who could fake their credentials. Interestingly only approx half the people who start filling out the form go on to complete it.

    • Descendant Of Smith 10.1

      So tell me in your nicely automated recruitment process would someone like me who has poor eyesight and no driving license as a result ever get a foot in your door as I answered your driver’s license question and would you expect me to say yes of no to your discriminatory health related question.

      I’m quite clear I would say no to health question – unless I was applying for say a courier driver position. I’ve held positions where a car was provided and obviously never needed the car and managed quite nicely and saved the company money as well.

      But if I said no and you then found out later that I couldn’t drive the office car would I lose my employment for being untruthful?

      • tsmithfield 10.1.1

        The form is customised so it asks questions that are relevant to the specific job. If the job was for a courier driver then having a clean drivers licence will obviously be an important and relevant requirement. If it was a desk job that required no driving, then I wouldn’t ask about a clean drivers licence. If the job requires heavy lifting then obviously having a serious back condition could be a problem, so asking a question that relates to this aspect of health would be fine. If a back condition wasn’t going to affect job performance then I wouldn’t ask about that.

        • Descendant Of Smith 10.1.1.1

          Yeah but in my experience most jobs have that they require a driver’s license when actually most of them don’t really – people only think they do and lots of people find it difficult to make sense of someone that doesn’t drive.

          I’ve managed up to 35 staff as direct reports and successfully run projects and trained staff and written and coded CBT and have a good range of skills but find regardless of these competencies processes such as you describe count me out because I don’t drive.

          I would be surprised if you could find a managers job description that doesn’t say a driver’s license is required.

          20% of NZers in my age group have a disability. I’m not surprised many would stop filling out those questions.

          The trouble is is that by weeding people out because they have a medical condition does actually often mean you miss out on some very good people. Medical condition and disability are two quite different things.

          These processes simply don’t value people with medical conditions and ensure that for many their lifetime earning capacity is reduced. The day we actively advertise for people with disabilities to join our workforce because we value the diversity they can bring to the workplace.

          In the wider picture government departments used to pick up of some of this responsibility but you know the whole private sector lean mean approach to government departments meant that those with alcohol problems, intellectual disabilities, physical infirmities and so on were left with no place left to go.

          Sure there’s some work in private enterprise but there’s not enough jobs for highly functioning people.

  11. Descendant Of Smith 11

    AD

  12. tsmithfield 12

    I am very careful to ensure that the questions I ask are directly relevant to the specific job. That goes back to a good job analysis in the first instance. This means that questions definitely do relate to important aspects of the job. I understand your frustration tho.

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  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago

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