web analytics

National use opening of Christchurch Justice Precinct for political purposes

Written By: - Date published: 7:43 am, September 13th, 2017 - 21 comments
Categories: bill english, election 2017, national, Politics, same old national, spin, the praiseworthy and the pitiful - Tags: ,

In the insanity that is this current election campaign the media has missed a rather large story, Bill English breaching the Cabinet Manual’s requirement that the resources of the State not be used for political purposes.  Yesterday there was a grand opening of Christchurch’s Justice Precinct.

And it was done a month before the Christchurch Justice Precinct, a rather large project was ready to be opened.  Clearly rules and understandings to not apply to National.

From Stuff:

Christchurch’s justice and emergency services precinct has officially opened – but the project is not yet complete.

As Prime Minister Bill English and Justice and Courts Minister Amy Adams opened the $300 million yet-to-be finished precinct on Tuam St, construction workers huddled out of sight.

The Ministry of Justice was expected to start operating from the building about mid-October. Agencies would start fitting out their offices after a public open day on Sunday, Adams said.

The area, which has been repeatedly delayed, will house the ministry, police, Department of Corrections, Fire and Emergency New Zealand, St John and Civil Defence.

Stuff reporter at the opening said the part of the building where the launch was held looked finished, but 100 metres down the path the parking building and some of the emergency services building was incomplete.

See the problem?  National is getting political brownie points for the opening of a building that we all paid for.  Business as usual is somehow virtuous.

And the pointy head constitutionalists have thought about this.  The Cabinet Manual says this:

6.9 In the period immediately before a general election, the government is not bound by the caretaker convention unless the election has resulted from the government losing the confidence of the House (see paragraphs 6.21 – 6.40 for information about the caretaker convention). Successive governments, however, have chosen to restrict their actions to some extent during this time, in recognition of the fact that an election, and therefore potentially a change of government, is imminent.

6.11 In practice, restraints have tended to be applied from about three months before the general election is due or from the announcement of the election (if the period between the
announcement of the election and polling day is less than three months).

6.15 The State Services Commission publishes guidance on the pre-election period for those agencies in the state services that are subject to the Commissioner’s mandate. The guidance is available on the State Services Commission website, and sets out good practice that may also be useful for other agencies in the state sector. For guidance on the pre-election period, the State Services Commission is available to provide advice on the obligations of agencies and their employees, and the Secretary of the Cabinet is available to provide advice on decision-making.

And this is from the SSC guidance on treatment of the pre election period:

Programme launches and events

Key points

  • Agencies should continue to support Ministers with ‘business as usual’ initiatives during an election period.
  • Particular care is needed around ceremonial events to avoid perceptions of being associated with any political aspects of such events.

There is no blanket restriction on Ministers wishing to launch programmes or initiatives in the lead up to the election. In general, the business of government should continue and State servants should support Ministers with ‘business as usual’ initiatives. However, the nature and timing of high profile ceremonial events (e.g. building openings or award ceremonies) must be carefully considered.

During an election period, there is a risk that public launches and events may take on a ‘party political’ character that would not be evident at other times. This is particularly so when Ministers and/or MPs are involved in the event. In general, State servants should support Ministers as usual, but must be vigilant in avoiding association with any political aspects of such events. Particular care must also be taken with the preparation of supporting material. All agency material must remain strictly impartial and factual to avoid any perceptions of being associated with any party political messages (see ‘advertising campaigns’ directly below).

National know about this rule.  They did their best to open the Waterview Tunnel on June 18, just outside the three month election period.  So what happened?  Why did the Public Service agree to a highly politicised event two weeks from the election?

And we are talking about a $300 million precinct in the middle of a marginal seat.  It seems there was too much for National to refuse.  And so finished or not finished a publicity event had to occur at our expense.

 

21 comments on “National use opening of Christchurch Justice Precinct for political purposes ”

  1. Nick 1

    They are gifted at deceit.

  2. Don't worry. Be happy 2

    It will be ok. They will forget they did it soon…..

  3. cleangreen 3

    Dirty subjugated politics is well and alive, so we hope the MSM is happy they have subjected our Democracy now since they have not even battered an eyelid.

    ‘Carry on nothing to see here.’

    Nothing has changed.

    Vote national out!

  4. Pat 4

    did anyone expect any different?…..however National have frequently misjudged the mood in ChCh (although this will be playing to a wider audience) and is unlikely to move any voter intentions….a non event, albeit one that highlights their lack of ethics.

  5. Just imagine the howls of outrage we’d hear from National if Labour had done this.

  6. alwyn 6

    I find it difficult to see, in the quotes you provided that show anything that English shouldn’t have done.

    Your quotes seem to be aimed at any Public Servants involved rather than any politicians.
    eg
    “In general, State servants should support Ministers as usual, but must be vigilant in avoiding association with any political aspects of such events. Particular care must also be taken with the preparation of supporting material. All agency material must remain strictly impartial and factual to avoid any perceptions of being associated with any party political messages “.

    This is all for the guidance of Public Servants, not the Politicians.

    • TootingPopularFront 6.1

      Are you suggesting MPs are not public servants? I believe we taxpayers pay their salaries, expenses, accommodation supplements (although some have to pay those back due to breaking the law)…

      • In Vino 6.1.1

        Exactly. I clearly remember that in 1970 (my first year of work) Sir Leslie Munroe stood before us, and as an MP proclaimed how proud he was to be a public servant. He was trying to belittle our protests at the poor working conditions his Govt was imposing on us public servants. Get it right, Alwyn.

        • alwyn 6.1.1.1

          I’m afraid you seem equally confused then Vino.
          When you write something like ” his Govt was imposing on us public servants” you are clearly NOT regarding him as a public servant. The term “public servant” is clearly only intended for “us” not him.
          What is the word these days? It used to be “Civil Servants” but not many are “Civil” and they don’t “Serve” us very well.

          • In Vino 6.1.1.1.1

            He was imposing the term, not I, and it embraced us all. He definitely said public, not civil. I was young, and took a while to see him as the puffed up hypocrite that he was. You appear to be of his ilk.

  7. NZJester 7

    National is all about illusion.
    It’s a lot like his visits to those pack houses full of staff. Only there was no one there but the management as the season was not underway yet and there were no real workers there for him to address.

  8. It won’t worry their Mate Peter Hughes who is the State Services Commissioner…. Why else do you think they might have appointed him to the job… Old boys club going well LOL

  9. mpledger 9

    I was kinda surprised when I heard it was “opening” and then the police said they weren’t moving in till next Feb. A strange kind of opening.

    I was also kinda surprised it was all in one pricinct. What if there is another earthquake and this is the site of most damage – everything will get wiped out.

    • Jimmy 9.1

      It is a highly resilient building with backup generators, potable water storage, fire supply storage, wastewater holding tanks, base isolation etc. It can go off-grid when all else fails around it.

  10. tc 10

    Radio off limits this election is it ? Points for consistency in disregarding electoral guidelines, if nothing national are predictable.

  11. Wayne 11

    Shock, horror, the election is mentioned during an election campaign.

    • Stuart Munro 11.1

      it’s quite understandable Wayne – we know you Gnats are scurrilous and absolutely desperate. As any party that treats its citizens this badly in a democracy is wont to be.

      Principles are for other people eh.

  12. Tanz 12

    Who cares. They arn’t trying to write certain electoral rorts into law.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • The Duke of Edinburgh
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today expressed New Zealand’s sorrow at the death of His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. “Our thoughts are with Her Majesty The Queen at this profoundly sad time.  On behalf of the New Zealand people and the Government, I would like to express ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Five Country Ministerial Communiqué
    We, the Home Affairs, Interior, Security and Immigration Ministers of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States of America (the ‘Five Countries’) met via video conference on 7/8 April 2021, just over a year after the outbreak of the COVID-19 global pandemic. Guided by our shared ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Inspiring creativity through cultural installations and events
    Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni has today announced the opening of the first round of Ngā Puninga Toi ā-Ahurea me ngā Kaupapa Cultural Installations and Events. “Creating jobs and helping the arts sector rebuild and recover continues to be a key part of the Government’s COVID-19 response,” Carmel ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Drug-testing law to be made permanent
    Interim legislation that is already proving to keep people safer from drugs will be made permanent, Health Minister Andrew Little says. Research by Victoria University, on behalf of the Ministry of Health, shows that the Government’s decision in December to make it legal for drug-checking services to operate at festivals ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Better rules proposed for freedom camping
    Public consultation launched on ways to improve behaviour and reduce damage Tighter rules proposed for either camping vehicles or camping locations Increased penalties proposed, such as $1,000 fines or vehicle confiscation Rental companies may be required to collect fines from campers who hire vehicles Public feedback is sought on proposals ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government backs Air New Zealand as Trans-Tasman bubble opens
    The Government is continuing to support Air New Zealand while aviation markets stabilise and the world moves towards more normal border operations. The Crown loan facility made available to Air New Zealand in March 2020 has been extended to a debt facility of up to $1.5 billion (an additional $600 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Building gifted for new community hub in Richmond red zone
    Christchurch’s Richmond suburb will soon have a new community hub, following the gifting of a red-zoned property by Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) to the Richmond Community Gardens Trust. The Minister for Land Information, Damien O’Connor said that LINZ, on behalf of the Crown, will gift a Vogel Street house ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Pacific languages funding reopens
      Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says the reopening of the Ministry for Pacific Peoples’ (MPP) Languages Funding in 2021 will make sure there is a future for Pacific languages. “Language is the key to the wellbeing for Pacific people. It affirms our identity as Pasifika and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • ERANZ speech April 2021
    It is a pleasure to be here tonight.  Thank you Cameron for the introduction and thank you for ERANZ for also hosting this event. Last week in fact, we had one of the largest gatherings in our sector, Downstream 2021. I have heard from my officials that the discussion on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Strengthening Māori knowledge in science and innovation
    Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods has today announced the 16 projects that will together get $3.9 million through the 2021 round of Te Pūnaha Hihiko: Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund, further strengthening the Government’s commitment to Māori knowledge in science and innovation.  “We received 78 proposals - the highest ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government delivers next phase of climate action
    The Government is delivering on a key election commitment to tackle climate change, by banning new low and medium temperature coal-fired boilers and partnering with the private sector to help it transition away from fossil fuels. This is the first major announcement to follow the release of the Climate Commission’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Continued investment in Central Otago schools supports roll growth
    Six projects, collectively valued at over $70 million are delivering new schools, classrooms and refurbished buildings across Central Otago and are helping to ease the pressure of growing rolls in the area, says Education Minister Chris Hipkins. The National Education Growth Plan is making sure that sufficient capacity in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Two more Christchurch schools complete
    Two more schools are now complete as part of the Christchurch Schools Rebuild Programme, with work about to get under way on another, says Education Minister Chris Hipkins. Te Ara Koropiko – West Spreydon School will welcome students to their new buildings for the start of Term 2. The newly ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Independent experts to advise Government on post-vaccination future
    The Government is acting to ensure decisions on responding to the next phase of the COVID-19 pandemic are informed by the best available scientific evidence and strategic public health advice. “New Zealand has worked towards an elimination strategy which has been successful in keeping our people safe and our economy ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Supporting Māori success with Ngārimu Awards
    Six Māori scholars have been awarded Ngārimu VC and the 28th (Māori) Battalion Memorial scholarships for 2021, Associate Education Minister and Ngārimu Board Chair, Kelvin Davis announced today. The prestigious Manakura Award was also presented for the first time since 2018. “These awards are a tribute to the heroes of the 28th ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Global partnerships propel space tech research
    New Zealand’s aerospace industry is getting a boost through the German Aerospace Centre (DLR), to grow the capability of the sector and potentially lead to joint space missions, Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods has announced. 12 New Zealand organisations have been chosen to work with world-leading experts at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government backs more initiatives to boost food and fibre workforce
    The Government is backing more initiatives to boost New Zealand’s food and fibre sector workforce, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced today. “The Government and the food and fibres sector have been working hard to fill critical workforce needs.  We've committed to getting 10,000 more Kiwis into the sector over the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Minister welcomes Bill to remove Subsequent Child Policy
    Minister for Social Development and Employment Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the Social Security (Subsequent Child Policy Removal) Amendment Bill in the House this evening. “Tonight’s first reading is another step on the way to removing excessive sanctions and obligations for people receiving a Main Benefit,” says ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Mental Health Amendment Bill passes first reading
    The Government has taken a significant step towards delivering on its commitment to improve the legislation around mental health as recommended by He Ara Oranga – the report of the Government Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction, Health Minister Andrew Little says. The Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Amendment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Whenua Māori Rating Amendment Bill passes third reading
    Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta has welcomed the Local Government (Rating of Whenua Māori) Amendment Bill passing its third reading today. “After nearly 100 years of a system that was not fit for Māori and did not reflect the partnership we have come to expect between Māori and the Crown, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Trans-Tasman bubble to start 19 April
    New Zealand’s successful management of COVID means quarantine-free travel between New Zealand and Australia will start on Monday 19 April, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed the conditions for starting to open up quarantine free travel with Australia have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Ngāti Hinerangi Claims Settlement Bill passes Third Reading
    Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little welcomed ngā uri o Ngāti Hinerangi to Parliament today to witness the third reading of their Treaty settlement legislation, the Ngāti Hinerangi Claims Settlement Bill. “I want to acknowledge ngā uri o Ngāti Hinerangi and the Crown negotiations teams for working tirelessly ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Independent group announced to advise on firearms matters
    Minister of Police Poto Williams has announced the members of the Ministers Arms Advisory Group, established to ensure balanced advice to Government on firearms that is independent of Police. “The Ministers Arms Advisory Group is an important part of delivering on the Government’s commitment to ensure we maintain the balance ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Kiri Allan to take leave of absence
    Kiri Allan, Minister of Conservation and Emergency Management will undertake a leave of absence while she undergoes medical treatment for cervical cancer, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. “I consider Kiri not just a colleague, but a friend. This news has been devastating. But I also know that Kiri is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Excellent progress at new Waikeria prison build
    Excellent progress has been made at the new prison development at Waikeria, which will boost mental health services and improve rehabilitation opportunities for people in prison, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis says. Kelvin Davis was onsite at the new build to meet with staff and see the construction first-hand, following a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Expert panel proposes criminal limits for drug driving
    To reduce the trauma of road crashes caused by drug impaired drivers, an Independent Expert Panel on Drug Driving has proposed criminal limits and blood infringement thresholds for 25 impairing drugs, Minister of Police Poto Williams and Transport Minister Michael Wood announced today. The Land Transport (Drug Driving) Amendment Bill ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Covid-19 immigration powers to be extended
    Temporary COVID-19 immigration powers will be extended to May 2023, providing continued flexibility to support migrants, manage the border, and help industries facing labour shortages, Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi announced today. “Over the past year, we have had to make rapid decisions to vary visa conditions, extend expiry dates, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Covid-19 imgration powers to be extended
    Temporary COVID-19 immigration powers will be extended to May 2023, providing continued flexibility to support migrants, manage the border, and help industries facing labour shortages, Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi announced today. “Over the past year, we have had to make rapid decisions to vary visa conditions, extend expiry dates, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • More support for mums and whānau struggling with alcohol and other drugs
    The Government is expanding its Pregnancy and Parenting Programme so more women and whānau can access specialist support to minimise harm from alcohol and other drugs, Health Minister Andrew Little says. “We know these supports help improve wellbeing and have helped to reduce addiction, reduced risk for children, and helped ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Ahuwhenua Trophy Competition Field Day – Tātaiwhetū Trust at Tauarau Marae, Rūātoki
    *** Please check against delivery *** It’s an honour to be here in Rūātoki today, a rohe with such a proud and dynamic history of resilience, excellence and mana. Tūhoe moumou kai, moumou taonga, moumou tangata ki te pō. The Ahuwhenua Trophy competition is the legacy of a seed planted ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Crown accounts again better than forecast
    The economic recovery from COVID-19 continues to be reflected in the Government’s books, which are again better than expected. The Crown accounts for the eight months to the end of February 2021 showed both OBEGAL and the operating balance remain better than forecast in the Half Year Economic and Fiscal ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • FIFA Women’s World Cup to open in New Zealand
    Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson and Economic Development Minister Stuart Nash have welcomed confirmation New Zealand will host the opening ceremony and match, and one of the semi-finals, of the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2023. Grant Robertson says matches will be held in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington and Dunedin, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • 1 April changes raise incomes for 1.4 million New Zealanders
    Changes to the minimum wage, main benefit levels and superannuation rates that come into force today will raise the incomes for around 1.4 million New Zealanders. “This Government is committed to raising the incomes for all New Zealanders as part of laying the foundations for a better future,” Minister for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Dunedin Hospital – Whakatuputupu approved for fast track consenting process
    The New Dunedin Hospital – Whakatuputupu has been approved for consideration under the fast track consenting legislation.  The decision by Environment Minister David Parker signifies the importance of the project to the health of the people of Otago-Southland and to the economy of the region.  “This project ticks all the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Next steps for Auckland light rail
    Transport Minister Michael Wood is getting Auckland light rail back on track with the announcement of an establishment unit to progress this important city-shaping project and engage with Aucklanders. Michael Wood said the previous process didn’t involve Aucklanders enough.                       ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Tourism fund to prioritise hard-hit regions
    The Minister of Tourism is to re-open a government fund that supports councils to build infrastructure for visitors, with a specific focus on regions hardest hit by the loss of overseas tourists. “Round Five of the Tourism Infrastructure Fund will open for applications next month,” said Stuart Nash. It ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Governance Group to lead next phase of work on a potential new public media entity
    A Governance Group of eight experts has been appointed to lead the next phase of work on a potential new public media entity, Minister for Broadcasting and Media Kris Faafoi announced today.  “The Governance Group will oversee the development of a business case to consider the viability of a new ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New funding to keep tamariki and rangatahi Māori active
    Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson today helped launch a new fund to provide direct financial support for tamariki and rangatahi Māori throughout the South Island who is experiencing financial hardship and missing out on physical activity opportunities. “Through Te Kīwai Fund, we can offer more opportunities for Māori to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Single tāne, sole parent dads supported into papakāinga housing
    Six whānau in Pāpāmoa receive the keys to their brand-new rental homes today, in stage four of a papakāinga project providing safe and affordable housing in the regions. Minister for Māori Development, Willie Jackson congratulates Mangatawa Pāpāmoa Blocks Incorporated on the opening of three affordable rentals and three social housing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to Disarmament and Security Centre
    Kia ora tatou. It’s great to be here today and to get a conversation going on the disarmament issues of greatest interest to you, and to the Government. I’m thrilled to be standing here as a dedicated Minister for Disarmament and Arms Control, which I hope reinforces for you all ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago