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Open mike 30/01/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 30th, 2012 - 34 comments
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34 comments on “Open mike 30/01/2012 ”

  1. There is an interesting article on Stuff this morning.  Christchurch City Council Chief Executiv sony Marryatt’s salary kept increasing despite the scores on his performance review decreasing.

    Despite this he received the benefit of a 14.4% salary increase worth a cool $68,000.  To a City that has been wracked with natural disaster and accompanying economic hardship this is utterly appalling.

    I have taken part in a few performance reviews and it is amazing how the language in the reports is always the same.  A firm like Sheffields in Auckland will be engaged to conduct the review and prepare a report.  They will talk about “talent retention”, “market forces”, “overseas pay rates”, “the need to maintain relativities” and “price of disruption” to almost inevitably recommend a huge salary increase.

    They are then set a few Key Performance Indicators which will always include profitability and productivity KPIs.  They then set out to cut what already may be modest salaries or wage levels in order to get a bigger bonus.  POAL’s Tony Gibson is perhaps an extreme example of this.  

    It appears that Marryatt will not pay back all of his increase.  He has already received $34,000 of it.  He says that he will return the money if Councillors “work together collegially”.  He did not define this but I suspect it means “be nice to Bob Parker and me and stop pointing out contentious stuff”.

  2. happynz 2

    “the need to maintain relativities” and “price of disruption”

    The last one somewhat implies, ‘don’t rock the boat’ (I guess), but ‘the need to maintain relativities’…? What’s that all about?

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      The born to rule are ordained by the gods; this jargony language is merely the chanted prayers of their priesthood blessing them and confirming their status as Masters of the Universe.

      Judging by how Maryatt defended his own pay increase for months the cult leaders have drunk their own Kool-Aid and are disappointed that the rest of us have chosen not to commit spiritual suicide alongside them.

    • “Relative pay rates with other CEOs in the public sector and also the private sector” is probably a better description.

      Interestingly a while ago notions of “competitiveness” meant that salary levels had to match what CEOs could earn in the private sector even though historically there was an element of “public service” in the job that meant that wages were lower than in the private sector. 

      • happynz 2.2.1

        I see. Thanks for explaining that.

      • Kevin Welsh 2.2.2

        “Relative pay rates with other CEOs in the public sector and also the private sector” is probably a better description.”

        Sounds like socialism to me Micky.

        Sure they should be beholden to their capitalist principles and be paid what they are worth… like the rest of us.

        Always amuses me when they think that the rules that govern how I am paid do not apply to them. Once again the old boys club comes to the fore – once you are in you are in and sweet for life.

        • Herodotus

          This “Public Service element” is that not a major reason why public servants receive gongs, as a means of recognising this sacrafice? Now their remuneration is on a level as that of the private with the benefits !!!
          The same with pollys, but with the higher salary commission there is now an element of private sector basis.
          At least our judicial still are seen to sacrifice wealth for service i.e what a partner in a legal firm receives to that of a judge, in return for honours.

      • Ed 2.2.3

        Lower salaries in the public service were offset in part by a pension scheme that was generous to those who stayed until retirement. The cult of chief executives being only on short term contracts did for that, as well as the start of measuring remuneration on a ‘whole package’ basis instead of just salary.

  3. Sanctuary 3

    The whole Council CEO pay inflation shows how self-serving the salary justifications and wage inflation of the managerial elite is. It is a pay model where the outlier is the benchmark, and where if one executive can get a massive pay rise private sector toadies (AKA “salary consultants”) can use that to drive up the salaries of an entire class of managerial parasites. Then they use the new inflated salaries to re-grade the positions to a more important level and kick the whole process off again.

    Imagine if the MUNZ got to recommend their own pay rise based on a salary and wages survey run by firm they get to pick (a firm that relies exclusively on trade unions for it’s work, so it doesn’t want to give answers MUNZ doesn’t want to hear) and benchmarked on what the highest paid stevedore in the world earns.

    Now then we would have a level playing field!

  4. Jenny 4

    Like an out of control monster rampaging on the downtown waterfront of our city, before which the civil authorities seem powerless and impotent.

    After savaging their workforce. Now Auckland’s beautiful and unique harbour is under threat from the Ports of Auckland Ltd’s management.


    in a shrinking global economy and increasingly fragile bioshere, PoAL are presently progressing greater, and more extreme measures to intensify exploitation of both the natural environment and the human environment.

    If PoAL get their way it can only end badly for the people of Auckland.

    Aucklanders must ask themselves; What price growth?

    A degraded natural environment?

    A depressing, dangerous and ruthless working environment?

    What is behind it all?

    PoAL are engaging in a mad scramble to increase “growth” in the midst of a global economic melt down.

    All is to be sacrificed, The environment, The workforce, these are mere speed bumps in the drive for greater growth.

    In their blind madness PoAL are chopping up the ship to feed the boiler. PoAL admit themselves, we are doing what all our competitors are doing overseas. We have to keep up.

    On a global scale the corporate behaviour being mirrored by PoAL can only make the environmental and economic crisis worse.

    Of course the managers at PoAL can’t see that, as their immediate personal prospects are tied to increasing their already inflated salaries and egos, which they can only justify by seeking “a greater return for the the people of Auckland.”

    In a microcosm PoAl are acting out what is happening to capitalism on a world scale.

    Illegitimate, irresponsible, extremely arrogant and increasingly reckless, PoAL are now using the sort of rhetoric previously reserved for their workforce and turning it on the citizens themselves.

    From the New Zealand Herald:

    The port has taken a hard line with its critics, accusing them of playing “Russian roulette” with the Auckland economy and consigning the region to a certain and looming national infrastructure shortfall.

    But what about our elected leaders?

    Are they doing anything to reign in the destruction of this rampaging corporate monster?

    Unfortunately we witness the same cringing, gutless, forelock tugging to corporate power, we witnessed from Brown in the attack on the wharfies.

    Mayor Len Brown said a working port was critical to the health of Auckland’s economy and it must be able to grow within its current zone to cope with projected growth. “The plan relates to potential development over the next 40 years. I am sure it will be refined over time.”

    Aucklanders must be asking themselves is our Mayor suffering from pump head?

    Should he be replaced?

    There can be little doubt now that he will be.

    • Gidday Jenny,
      Keep the the good fight.
      We need a Wukan in Auckland (its only a village anyway) kick out the corrupt Super city admins and the global corporates who dictate NZs economy. MUNZ/CTU leadership can’t lead this fight they are part of the Labourite bureaucracy with a stake in the dying system. Occupy could be the catalyst to reach the rank and file of the union but so far neither has risen to the task unlike in California where there has been truly militant cooperation between Occupy and the ranks of the ILWU. I think that a mass picket at the wharves in solidarity with MUNZ when they get the chop is the obvious rallying point for a local revolt. By then it will be clear that the issue is much bigger than MUNZ and we need a 1951 response from the working class. It represents a point of resistance against the converging devastation that is drowning us in our little village. The race to the bottom by capitalism in its death march is starting to wake up the people all around the world. We need to join the fight.

      • Jenny 4.1.1

        Dear Dave,

        I had to ask myself what is a Wukan?

        Thanks to google, I know now.


        I always thought that the Chinese system was a melding of the worst of both Capitalism and Communism.

        Yes it’s amazing what a determined people can achieve even, against a communist tyranny, that doesn’t shirk from mass arrests and murder in the service of a rapacious and greedy private land developer.

        You would think it would be easier to defeat a rampaging publicly owned corporate in a western style democracy.

        Yet somehow it seems harder.

        Are we New Zealanders less brave than the Chinese?

        Are we less concerned about our environment and working people’s rights?

        Or are we just too soft?

        Are we just too concerned about our own personal comfort?

        Is it best to ignore a harbour mostly paved over and silting up?

        Is it just best not to become involved till it’s our job that is being outsourced or deunionised?

        For all the so called leftists like The Voice Of Reason or Eddie I would like to ask them to recall the famous words of Cardinal Niemoller. Because if they do nothing, they will be next.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Are we New Zealanders less brave than the Chinese?

          I think it’s because we’ve become steadily more disconnected from the political process especially over the last couple of decades. The people probably do want change but have no idea as to how to achieve that change. This disconnection benefits those who believe themselves to be the rulers, the leaders.

          Freedom is not the choice of baubles at the shop(s) but the ability to have a say in the governance of our society and how our resources are used.

          We’re losing our freedom in the name of choice.

          • Colonial Viper

            The ancient Greeks considered democratic freedom as the duty to participate in the processes of government and the considered activity of rule making which affected all citizens. You were not considered free until you fulfilled your duty to participate in the process of political governance. You were not free if you behaved or allowed yourself to be treated like a slave.

            These days the modern NZer thinks that “freedom” is choosing between 8 different varieties of the same hamburger and 12 different Kiwisaver funds, all of which are going to lose you money.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.2

      Mayor Len Brown said a working port was critical to the health of Auckland’s economy and it must be able to grow within its current zone to cope with projected growth.

      Ha, that’s funny. This guys just as disconnected from reality as the RWNJs.

      • Jenny 4.2.1

        I agree.

        Despite global trade being in a serious slump from which it is unlikely to recover for some time. (If ever).

        The PoAL management are displaying a cargo cult mentality. If we can just enlarge the port and shrink the workforce, they say, we will generate more trade.

        What crap.

        Aucklanders are being asked to willingly sacrifice our harbour and our working conditions for this arse about face myth.

        The time of the global oil powered civilisation miraculously dropping wondrous amounts of manufactured goods (cars, flat screen TVs, beads and blankets) onto our small island nation is approaching it’s historical conclusion.

        International trade will have to be rationalised down sized and brought under democratic control.

        As peak oil hits and the economic malaise deepens, some of us might like to, as my grandfather did during the Great Depression, go down to the waterfront in the hope of catching a fish for his family.

        If the proposed landfill for extra wharf area, has the same effect as wharf reclamation in San Francisco Harbour, sedimentation and silting caused by landfill and restricted tidal flows that concentrated pollution and runoff in the inner harbour suffocated all the fish.

        My mother once related to me, how as a little girl she witnessed my grandfather an unemployed architect, crying when he came home after a whole day on the Auckland waterfront and caught nothing.

        If we can’t adapt to the new normal this past general misery will be repeated and worsened, that is, if the corporate criminals who have hijacked the Ports of Auckland get their way.

        What is particularly disturbing to me, is to see our democratically elected Mayor defer to these overpaid and out of control corporate bullies, when his first duty should be to the people of Auckland.

        One of the few democratic institutions prepared to stand up to this corporate scum, are the members of the Maritime workers Union, long may they do so. A defeat for MUNZ will be a defeat for all Aucklanders.

        • Draco T Bastard

          What is particularly disturbing to me, is to see our democratically elected Mayor defer to these overpaid and out of control corporate bullies, when his first duty should be to the people of Auckland.

          That and the fact that we’re not hearing a damned thing at all from the Auckland Council – even just independent councillors.

          A defeat for MUNZ will be a defeat for all Aucklanders.

          Agreed but I think that it will be a defeat of all NZers.

  5. randal 5

    yes we are indeed heading for some sort of climacteric but it isn’t evident just what sort of even it will be.
    all we know is that the current crop of wardheelers will not be up to the task.

  6. prism 6

    You tube has a clever witty economics rap thing. In two parts – quite long.
    First – “Fear the Boom and Bust” a Hayek vs. Keynes Rap Anthem – YouTube
    Second – Fight of the Century: Keynes vs. Hayek Round two

    There is on google a listing for another clip – Hayek discussing Keynes. Haven’t watched but looks okay, and seems the real deal not satire.

  7. felix 7

    Many times more interesting than watching racist idiots embarrass themselves via psychological projection is this piece of tealeaf-reading from Puddleglum: http://www.thepoliticalscientist.org/?p=582

  8. Morrissey 8

    Words vs. Israeli soldiers- Demonstration in Nabi Salih, Palestine, 25.11.2011

    Palestinians confront verbally the Israeli soldiers during the weekly demonstration against the occupation and settlements in the West bank village of An Nabi Salih, Palestine, 25.11.2011. During the demonstration, the Israeli army attacked the unarmed protesters and invaded the village; spreading foul-smelling liquid at houses, shootings scores of tear gas canisters and rubber bullets and metal-coated rubber bullets. One protester was injured in the head.

  9. randal 10

    for a diversion I went for a little tiki tour around the blogs.
    monique watson is off her head.
    fatboy farrar wont list the standard.
    and cracked ass crate is as silly as a two bob watch.
    what has the worl d come to?
    I hope the Chinese are not reading these.
    they will think the whole country is filled with bloody idiots.

  10. millsy 11

    All Vichy-style puppet governments tend to be full of crackpots….

    New Zealand’s bunch will be no different.

  11. felix 12

    I see David Farrar feels so strongly about using real names on teh interwebz that he’s banning all use of pseudonyms from the bog: http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2012/01/hate-mongering.html

    I’ll give him his due, he’s nothing if not consistent.

    • ropata 12.1

      Hmmm.. Farrar and cohorts are desperately recycling the racism meme and blathering about the KKK and US politics? No mention of the Crafar farms? No doubt there is a strong element of tribalism here, but over there it seems that facts are irrelevant, the smear is all that matters. They are rightly worried … there is no justification for National selling off the country, it is really pissing off the electorate, even the media aren’t enamoured of National spin any more.

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