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Routine incompetence

Written By: - Date published: 7:12 am, March 8th, 2016 - 45 comments
Categories: accountability, national - Tags: , ,

From the party that brought you the Novopay debacle, the Auckland IT costing blowout, the unachievable Christchurch rebuild plan, the MBIE cost extravagances, the bungled charter schools mess, the embarrassing Auckland housing nonsense, the SERCO prison failures, the abolition of democracy in Canterbury, the Solid Energy fiasco, the negotiating disasters (with Sky City, Hollywood, Rio Tinto and Saudi millionaires), and so very much much more, comes the latest in this parade of National government cock-ups:

Government facing cost error at Health Ministry, and payroll woes at Mbie

The Government is facing dual crises in two of its biggest departments, with an office a refurb and payroll issue both turning sour.

A two-for-the-price-of-one bad news dump!

A multimillion-dollar miscalculation on the $24 million refit of the Health Ministry’s head office in 2014 has bought a strong rebuke from Treasury, accusing the ministry of “serious financial mismanagement”. … Independent auditors were called in to investigate how the ministry “miscalculated” the levels of its cash reserves, and came up short of funds for the refit.

And at Joyce’s MBIE:

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment is facing a major problem in its payroll system that may affect up to 3000 employees. MBIE Minister Steven Joyce said the issue involved how holiday entitlements and shift pay were calculated. It could potentially involve millions of dollars …

See Labour’s press release on MBIE:

“Mr Joyce’s MBIE lurches from one debacle to the next. The common link in all of these things is a man not on top of his portfolios,” says David Clark.

Seriously, is this the least competent NZ government ever?

45 comments on “Routine incompetence”

  1. Sabine 1

    it’s only imcompetence if ya did not mean it 🙂

  2. Ad 2

    Would have been a better look to upgrade Dunedin hospital before the Ministry headquarters. Hope their b/c included health outcomes. Yeah nah.

  3. One Anonymous Bloke 3

    Obviously the solution is to defund MBIE and the MoH then sell them. No, wait, we already tried that.

  4. Dr. Curiosity 4

    Grey’s Law: “Any sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice.”

  5. BM 5

    More public service incompetence.

    I agree with this comment

    Some big savings could be made from downsizing the Ministry of Health as they have 1,200 staff. Why do they need so many staff I ask. From their website – “The Ministry of Health is the government’s principal advisor on health and disability policy”. I can’t believe they need 1,200 staff to provide advice to the Minister. Again from their website in a vacancy listing for a recruitment person, the description includes the following “The Ministry of Health is going through an exciting period of transformational change as we reset the New Zealand Health Strategy and our own internal direction and priorities.” Perhaps the transformation they need is a new CEO and a big downsizing!

    Hopeless, out source the lot.

    • dv 5.1

      Worked well with Dick Smith BM

    • One Anonymous Bloke 5.2

      National’s solution to National’s incompetence. The problem is National. This is what I mean by electoral amnesia: it only takes a certain amount of time for people to remember what the National Party is: incompetent and corrupt, utterly devoid of insight or ethics.

  6. Lucy 6

    Notice that the only people to lose jobs are the finance people. Forecasting was wrong according to DG said finance thought it was $4 million but was $20 million. DG sacked most of finance but won’t offer resignation.

  7. Lucy 7

    Damn misheard the interview with DG finance budgeted $24M thought it was available then found they needed $18M so they had $6M not $24M. Surely if the budget was that far out the DG should at least ask questions especially as he is an accountant. He also could not say how much he had spent on PwC surely if you are going on radio you would prepare!

  8. BLiP 8

    Seriously, is this the least competent NZ government ever?

    No, not in terms of transferring wealth from the public purse to the private sector. How much do we all owe the Bank of America now? You have to also bear in mind the standard neoliberal process for privatisation.

    1 – underfund existing services and appoint fellow travellers into key positions so that services become so poor everyone starts moaning

    2 – blame the public servants

    3 – bring in private sector “partners” because TINA.

    So far as competently running that ruse, National Ltd™ is doing exceedingly well.

    • saveNZ 8.1

      +100 Blip.

      They are exceedingly competent if their agenda is to run everything down, put ‘yes’ cronies or neoliberal zombies into every position they can, from Mayor to University Chancellors, fire everyone else and outsource it to cronies and then sell off the assets to their other cronies, while writing glowing reports on how efficient this all is. Not to collect or manipulate statistics so that nobody can get firm data on the issues.

      In addition having MSM print government spin and press releases and news stories run through intermediaries going on how incompetent the opposition is.

      Has worked pretty well now, so far. But I suspect the wheels are starting to spin off…. because the country stops working after 8 years of pretending it’s working…

      • BLiP 8.1.1

        Sure, things are getting worse and worst but I don’t think the wheels have come off just yet, Its only the most vulnerable and marginalised in society who are really bearing the brunt at this stage. And, lets face it, does “mainstream New Zealand” really care about the marginalised? I guess it might but it won’t go out of its way to hear their stories and the MSM is colluding by not telling the stories. So, rather than the wheels falling off National Ltd™’s economic mayhem, I speculate that the government is actually about to change into third gear and bring in its major “private sector partners”. That’s what all this “social investment” neoliberal-speak is about.

        • saveNZ 8.1.1.1

          @Blip I agree with you but feel a bit more optimistic.

          Mainstream does care. That is why Campbell Live was canned. Too much real world information about what was going on. His donation campaigns were always successful. People do care. They just don’t know what is going on.

          Also traditional right wingers might be getting worried, 93% did not approve of Sky City convention centre and the farmers might be starting to notice they can’t pay their bills after being painted a rosy future by government and given wads of cash by the banks. Northland is a pretty good example of sending the government a message. Sounds like junior Nats are imploding.

          The IT council disaster will continue to haemorrhage Auckland ratepayers money forever. The unity plan is a disaster for Auckland and the democratic process a shambles. If a high rise NAT INC goes up next to the good people of Remuera, Epsom and Herne Bay we are going to hear a deep rumble and even legal action.

          I’m very optimistic that National will continue to haemorrhage support. What I am a bit less optimistic about is whether the opposition will seize the moment NOW and by diligent and hard work gain voters trust again and work together without slagging each other off to create a credible future government that does not pit Kiwis against each other in a Neoliberal Austerity soup policy that does not gain support and easily ridiculed by the Natz. If you rolled together the most popular policies from NZ First, Labour and Greens then you would have a much more palatable voting offer than the current Nat LITE + Unknown.

          • BLiP 8.1.1.1.1

            I admire your optimism and wish I could share in it. But, yeah, what is the opposition to do? The MSM is blocking news of the reality of National Ltd™’s policies so its very hard to get that message out. Instead, the temptation is to start releasing some policy but that’s exactly what National Ltd™ wants.

            John Key and his crew are so bereft of any ideas other than “leaving it up to the market” any policy whatsoever the Opposition puts up will be, first, ridiculed, and, should any portion of it resonate with the focus groups, stolen and watered down. Labour is being useless, as usual. Its cuddling up to National Ltd™’s proposed labour laws and looks like its going to fall over on the new SIS/GCSB increase in powers.

            The Greens are the only ones talking any sense.

            • saveNZ 8.1.1.1.1.1

              @Blip – agree with your analysis but how you beat bullies is to unite and stand up for what you believe in.
              Winston has admirers because of that. Maybe Labour and Greens are trying to stand up but not publicly enough in the sense that 95% of people do not listen to political speeches in Wellington! Needs a more mainstream way to publicise their ideas. And before you publicise them you should iron out all the potential issues…

              Also the opposition need to engage with social media!!! Just looked at Andrew Little’s Facebook page, personally didn’t know any of that stuff he’s been doing which sounds great although not much policy – but when people post, nothing from Andrew -at least a nice message would work and some sort of engagement. Also a bit of action on the hecklers would be amusing. Nearly 25k Likes

              Social media is how busy people, families with kids and young people engage now. You don’t win support by doing it all 6 months before an election – they need to start now! Social media is free and sustainable.

              Ps checked out James Shaw fb – he has managed to engage but not much policy or support – come on folks – like him – even if you are a labour supporter. 4k likes

              Metiria Turei – has zero engagement at all! No posts. Maybe it is a fake site coming up or she has it private. (not very transparent). zero likes I can make out. This is the party that is supposed to be trying to get the youth votes…. hmmm

              Winston peters has better FB talking about TPP, land sales and where he has been… No engagement I can see, but his looks the best so far in terms of policy with his personal movements. Nearly 25k likes

              Just some suggestions for the opposition!

        • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1.2

          So, rather than the wheels falling off National Ltd™’s economic mayhem, I speculate that the government is actually about to change into third gear and bring in its major “private sector partners”. That’s what all this “social investment” neoliberal-speak is about.

          More social-engineering as they create the most poverty this country has seen in nearly a century just so a few people can cater to their greed.

  9. Jenny Kirk 9

    and meanwhile the online media (Stuff and NZ Herald) pay very little attention to the Govt’s economic incompetence. And it appears the PM’s burglaries are of more importance at his press conference. Disgraceful.

    • DTH 9.1

      Yes, although to be fair, I found it quite interesting. When reading about our ridiculous prime minister screaming at the sight of an intruder I immediately thought,
      GET SOME GUTS!
      I guess this only applies to sending some one else to do it for you. Really gutsy.

  10. dv 10

    AND the 1m by Defence!!!

  11. roy cartland 11

    To be incompetent you actually have to give a shit in the first place. I agree with BLiP here – they simply don’t work for us, as they continually and openly prove.

    • TC 11.1

      Staged distraction ……business as usual. Opposition seem completely incapable of using what minimal exposure they get to hammer the theme of incompetance.

      This allows the msm to peddle the bs spin about what great managers they are as the feckless opposition allow it.

  12. Dot 12

    YES
    and history will show this.

  13. Ssor 13

    I’m not sure I understand how it is Nationals fault for the Auckland Council IT issues?
    I’m not sure why you think the Charter Schools have been a “bungled mess” -sure one failed but have you ever visited the other successful charter schools to see the fantastic work they do were the public schools were unable to – and “no” they do not receive more funding per student.
    Is SERCO a real failure?? The Corrections department run prisons have similar issues.
    Some commenters here should try focusing on “what’s going right” -its a much better way to live than waiting for the sky to fall.

    • saveNZ 13.1

      @Ssor

      “The Auckland Transitional Authority did not conduct a public tender. Instead, as acting local government minister John Carter confirmed later that year in response to a question from Labour’s Phil Twyford, the contract was awarded to a group of four companies led by SAP after a “discussion”. The minister said he had “every faith that the Auckland Transition Agency, and particularly the new council, will deliver a grand service for the people of Auckland.”

      In a commentary accompanying his report, O’Neill noted the opacity of the ATA’s way of working and the difficulty in getting officicial information. He wrote:

      There are signs building of a serious backlash against the way the Auckland Supercity is being implemented. Whether it’s the way executives are being recruited or the way the Council-controlled organisations are being reorganised, it looks increasingly as if the entire effort is being driven out of Wellington — and that’s making Aucklanders uncomfortable.”

      He concluded that hope that Aucklanders would have to hope their shiny new council “is not hamstrung by decisions now being made by unelected officials.”

      http://publicaddress.net/hardnews/the-unstable-supercity/

    • joe90 13.2

      ever visited the other successful charter schools

      Only in wingnut land would one of four meeting their obligations be successful.
      /

      Four charter schools were awarded $60,000 in performance payments last year, despite only one of them fully meeting the terms of their contracts.</i?

      /charter-schools-paid-ideology-bonuses/

  14. Steve Withers 14

    Looking further back we have INCIS, abolishing apprenticeships and the horrendous electricity reforms of the previous National government……

    National are clearly unfit to be considered as a serious governing alternative……but the BELIEF of their voters is the opposite….and never mind all the evidence.

    • TC 14.1

      IMO people vote on selfish grounds like no CGT, buying gilt edged utility shares etc

      Most know how shonky this mob are but self interest buys votes, nact work on that basis and the apathy that is the non voting third.

  15. Draco T Bastard 15

    Seriously, is this the least competent NZ government ever?

    Considering that their job of to destroy government and privatise everything so as to return us to feudalism. Yes it is as they’re succeeding without people realising it.

  16. slumbergod 16

    Absolutely incompetent. Also the most selfish, narrow-sighted, and least caring govt in the history of New Zealand.

  17. Gangnam Style 17

    No no no no, it’s all Labours fault http://www.nzcpr.com/progressive-education-a-failure/

  18. Lanthanide 18

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/77652198/state-payroll-blunder-may-be-widespread-hitting-private-workers-too

    Still no details on what the actual problem is.

    My guess is that it relates to the payment of bonuses (and other payments earned) in the previous 12 months being calculated as part of holiday pay. This part of the law has always seemed a bit peculiar to me – when I worked at The Warehouse and took some annual leave, the rate paid was something like 20c / hour more than my regular pay, because of bonuses I’d received in the previous 12 months.

    It makes sense for people who are primarily paid on commission or have very irregular working hours, but for someone with regular hours it’s a bit of a weird rule.

    Anyway, if that is the cause of this problem, you can bet that National will blame Labour for passing the 2004 legislation. And I wouldn’t necessarily disagree with National on that point.

    Recently there was some discussion from the government that they were looking to simplify that particular aspect of the law, since it’s overly complex and hard to administer at the moment.

    • Roflcopter 18.1

      Yup, looking like it’s related to The Holidays Act…. could affect both public and private sector, and if true then Labour are wholly to blame for their incompetence.

      • Lanthanide 18.1.1

        “and if true then Labour are wholly to blame for their incompetence.”

        Er, no. The government creates the laws, and people follow them. If people fail to follow them, they are at fault for failing to follow the law.

        Labour will cop some blame for passing legislation that is too complex and therefore not fit-for-purpose, but they are far from “wholly to blame”.

        I was more making the point that National should be taking very little blame in this case as it wasn’t their legislation, and expecting a new government to come in and review all existing procedures, policies and software used by government departments is simply laughable.

    • Lucy 18.2

      I agree with the no details bit – incredible sloppy journalism does no one know what the problem is? Actually Lanthanide once legislation – especially employment legislation is passed it is up to payroll experts to get their head around it and make sure it is in the payroll system.
      The fact that this was not done for 12 years and so people have gone without entitlements shows how poor the protection for workers has become. There is an agreement about poorly constructed legislation but it does point to the gutting of the public service and the unions over the last 35 years.
      If the law is so bad it can not be implemented then it makes you wonder what other laws have bits that have been overlooked and what affect these will have on our rights and obligations

      • Lanthanide 18.2.1

        My comment at 18.1.1 should make my position clearer and address your comment.

    • Craig H 18.3

      “The problem came to light after police and more recently staff at the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) were underpaid because of an error calculating their holiday pay and shift entitlements.”

      Based on that, I would guess that they haven’t included shift entitlements and allowances in the relevant daily pay calculations, or have calculated them wrong. That would also explain the police’s issue.

  19. ScottGN 19

    What with Todd Barclay, MBIE payroll debacle, Ministry of Health coverup and we learn today the backdown by Michael Woodhouse over Zero Hours contracts Mr Key could really do with a photo-op like this
    http://i.cbc.ca/1.3480107.1457389432!/fileImage/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/16x9_620/toronto-justin-trudeau-pandas.jpg

  20. Smilin 20

    Its Natcorps continual bias against a social democracy that is the problem ,they will not concede that much of what Labour did in office was sound principled and frugal
    Key and his constant reference to the excuse of the so called financial crash of 2008 being the cause of the need for change in the actions of the govt was just BS
    Take the bailout legislation. Key could have called it for what it was, a rort of the taxpayers money but instead to save his political voters face he blamed Labour for its inception ,you cant have it both ways
    He could of pulled it under the emergency powers of the type he used in Canterbury but instead let ride for the favour of his vote for the next election ,unadulterated party politics being used as a lever to create further financial loss, pushed under the carpet and instilling the blame on Labour
    The constant process of the market regulating itself more BS nothing but .Natcorps failure to govern in the interest of the nation is all too clear, beni bashing, selling state housing to the never fail get out of doing anything to stop the growing national debt ,selling the country in so called free trade which is in the case of China is just a take over by them of us.
    And failure to force the corporation’s to take responsibility for their pollution and carbon emissions
    Derision of the rights of Unions, running down of the service section of what is govt responsibility to maintain that is core of govt responsibility, not a license to privatise by whatever means you can hide from the public, Dirty Politics
    Selling the research and educational institutions to private enterprise to balance the books and tax breaks to the rich to gain overall control of the country so that agreements like TPPA can control our future
    Just like GALLIPOLI we become canon fodder for the rest of the world to run our country
    Up yours Key you oughtta be ashamed of yourself but you don’t have a conscience that’s for real or integrity so is it any wonder you do what you do u FAH

  21. Thankfully there is video of Parliament. Jonathan Coleman can get a copy of his performance from today. He is to be congratulated on the quality and competence of his effort to prove his incompetence. He succeeded brilliantly.

    Remember the old World War 2 cry of ‘this was their finest hour’? He can archive the clip and on watching it repeat to himself, “This was my finest 15 minutes.”

  22. Stuart Munro 22

    Future generations will know who they have to thank that NZ is a bankrupt wilderness with walled corporate cities. Our government have betrayed us – their rule of law no longer binds – Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, / The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere / The ceremony of innocence is drowned.

  23. gnomic 23

    Shurely other contenders for worst PM of all time must be Holyoake for doing sod all when action was urgently required, and traitor to the nation ‘Sir’ Robert Cackle Cackle Dulmoon?

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    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    5 days ago
  • Citizens vs the Rogue Deep State
    . .   Blogger Martyn Bradbury has won his case against unreasonable search and surveillance against the NZ Police; and subsequent Police attempts to produce evidence in secrecy, in a closed Court. His case highlights a disturbing growing trend in Aotearoa New Zealand for State power to be used against ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Massey University’s free speech policy double-plus-good
    The Committee of Disobedient Women has intercepted an email from Dr Emma Eejut, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, Massey University to the university’s Vice-Chancellor, Jan Thomas. Dear Jan, Thank you for your courageous move.  I think 10 pages of blether** should tie any of the students game enough to try holding ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Unacceptable
    That's the only response to the findings of the Ombudsman's investigation into LGOIMA practices at the Christchurch City Council:My investigation identified serious concerns about the Council’s leadership and culture, and its commitment to openness and transparency. In particular, Council staff raised concerns with me about various methods employed by some ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • There is what corruption looks like
    NZ First seems to be nakedly trying to enrich itself from public office:A powerful New Zealand First figure helped establish a forestry company that then pushed for money from two key funding streams controlled by a New Zealand First Minister. An RNZ investigation has found Brian Henry, lawyer for Winston ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Escape from Manus Island
    Behrouz Boochani is an award winning author and journalist. He is also a refugee, who for the past six years has been detained in Australia's offshore gulag on Manus Island, and in Papua New Guinea. But last night, with the cooperation of the WORD Christchurch festival and Amnesty International, he ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • When World’s Collide.
    Different Strokes: If a multicultural immigration policy imposes no obligation on immigrant communities to acknowledge and ultimately embrace their host nation’s most cherished traditions and values, then how is that nation to prevent itself from being reduced to a collection of inward-looking and self-replicating ethnic and cultural enclaves?THE COALITION GOVERNMENT’S ...
    7 days ago
  • Could There Be Method In Massey University’s Madness?
    Protective Zone: Reading the rules and guidelines released by Massey University, it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that its governing body considers the whole concept of free speech a disruptive threat to the orderly imparting of orthodox academic knowledge.IN TRUE ORWELLIAN fashion, Massey University has announced its commitment to ...
    7 days ago
  • How does poor air quality from bushfire smoke affect our health?
    Brian Oliver, University of Technology Sydney New South Wales and Queensland are in the grip of a devastating bushfire emergency, which has tragically resulted in the loss of homes and lives. But the smoke produced can affect many more people not immediately impacted by the fires – even people many ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: We need more trees, not less
    Farmers held a hate-march on Parliament today, complete with MAGA hats, gun-nut signs, and gendered insults. While supposedly about a grab-bag of issues - including, weirdly, mental health - it was clear that the protest was about one thing, and one thing only: climate change. And specifically, forestry "destroying" rural ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The IGIS annual report: Dead letters and secret law
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security released their annual report today, and I've been busy reading through it. In amongst the usual review of what they've been doing all year, there's a few interesting bits. For example, a discussion on "agency retention and disposal of information", which points out that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A referendum on bigotry
    The End of Life Choice Bill passed its third reading last night, 69 - 51. Thanks to a compromise with NZ First - which looks to have been necessary on the final numbers - the commencement of the bill will be subject to a referendum. Given the ugliness of the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why municipal waste-to-energy incineration is not the answer to NZ’s plastic waste crisis
    Trisia Farrelly, Massey University New Zealand is ranked the third-most-wasteful country in the OECD. New Zealanders produce five times the global daily average of waste per person – and they are getting more wasteful, producing 35% more than a decade ago. These statistics are likely to get worse following China’s ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Political parties and GMOs: we all need to move on
    Recently more than 150 post-graduate students and young scientists presented an open letter to the Green Party via The Spinoff, encouraging them to reconsider their position on genetic modification. Their target is tackling climate change issues.[1] Can any party continue to be dismissive about genetic modification (GM) contributing to ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • Class, Identity Politics and Transgender Ideology
    by Deirdre O’Neill Under Thatcher and then Blair and continuing up until our contemporary moment, the working class has seen its culture slowly and progressively destroyed. The change from an industrial society to a service society produced a marked shift in focus from the working class as the backbone of ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Irony
    Since 2013, the Australian government has detained refugees without trial in Pacific gulags, where they are abused, tortured, and driven to suicide. The policy is not just an abuse of human rights and possible crime against humanity; it has also had a corrosive effect on the states Australia uses as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An age of protest.
    It seems fair to say that we currently live in a problematic political moment in world history. Democracies are in decline and dictatorships are on the rise. Primordial, sectarian and post-modern divisions have re-emerged, are on the rise or have been accentuated by political evolutions of the moment such as ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Another captured agency
    Last month, Greenpeace head Russel Norman surrendered his speaking slot at an EPA conference to student climate activist Sorcha Carr, who told the EPA exactly what she thought of them. It was a bold move, which confronted both regulators and polluters (or, as the EPA calls them, "stakeholders") with the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • NZ First’s dodgy loans
    The core principle supposedly underlying New Zealand's electoral finance regime is transparency: parties can accept large donations from rich people wanting to buy policy, but only if they tell the public they've been bought. Most parties abide by this, so we know that TOP was wholly-owned by Gareth Morgan, and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: The choice on End of Life Choice
    Today is a Member's Day, probably the second-to-last one of the year, and its a big one, with the Third Reading of David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill. last Member's Day it was reported back from committee, after MPs voted narrowly to make it subject to a (rules TBA) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How growth in population and consumption drives planetary change
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz The growth of the human population over the last 70 ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The disappearing Women …
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In her excellent oral submission to the Abortion reform select committee on 31st October on behalf of Otago University’s Department of Public Health, historian and public health researcher Hera Cook stated: “We would ask that the committee not use the term ‘pregnant persons’ and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “A Passage to India”: enduring art in changing times
    by Don Franks In 1957, E M Forster wrote, of his greatest work: “The India described in ‘A Passage to India’ no longer exists either politically or socially. Change had begun even at the time the book was published ( 1924) and during the following quarter of a century it ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Contemptuous
    The Referendums Framework Bill was due back from select committee today. But there's no report on it. Instead, the bill has been bounced back to the House under Standing order 29593) because the Committee didn't bother to produce one. They probably tried. But given the membership of the committee (which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Zero Carbon: It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law
    Two years into New Zealand’s Labour-led government, the long-delayed Zero Carbon Bill became law on 7 November. Passed essentially unanimously, the lengthy public debates and political manoeuvring faded away until the final passage was even anticlimactic: Flipping through the @nzstuff @DomPost I was starting to wonder if I’d dreamt ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: What happens next?
    Now the Zero Carbon Bill is law, what's next? Obviously, the ETS changes currently before select committee are going to be the next battleground. But we're also going to get a good idea of where we're going, and if the progress the Zero Carbon Act promises is good enough, during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate change will fuel bush fires
    Grant Pearce The effects of the current Australian bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland (and also again in California) are devastating and far-reaching. To date, the fires have resulted in several lives being lost and many homes and properties destroyed. Here in New Zealand, the impacts have been only ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Participation rates
    A passing comment in a post the other day about the labour force participation rates of older people prompted me to pull down the fuller data and see what we could see about various participation rates over the decades since the HLFS began in 1986.   As it happens, the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Reddell
    1 week ago
  • Not So Much “OK Boomer” As “OK Ruling Class”.
    Distract And Divert: The rise of what we have come to call “Identity Politics” represents the ideological manifestation of the ruling class’s objective need to destroy class politics, and of the middle-class’s subjective need to justify their participation in the process.THE RELIEF of the ruling class can only be imagined. ...
    1 week ago
  • Asking for it …
    "I saw a newspaper picture,From the political campaignA woman was kissing a child,Who was obviously in pain.She spills with compassion,As that young child'sFace in her hands she gripsCan you imagine all that greed and avariceComing down on that child's lips?" ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand’s Poor Pandemic Preparedness According to the Global Health Security Index
    Dr Matt Boyd, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson The Global Health Security Index which considers pandemic threats has just been published. Unfortunately, NZ scores approximately half marks (54/100), coming in 35th in the world rankings – far behind Australia. This poor result suggests that the NZ Government needs to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Thank Winston
    The Zero Carbon Act is inadequate, with a weak methane target designed to give farmers a free ride. But it turns out it could have been worse: Climate Change Minister James Shaw was so desperate to get National on board, he wanted to gut that target, and leave it in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Illicit markets and Bali Booze
    The Herald reprints an Australian story on a couple of tragic deaths in Bali from drinking cocktails that had methanol in them.  The story argues that methanol is likely the result of home distillation. But what the young tourists were experiencing was far from a hangover. They’d consumed a toxic cocktail ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    2 weeks ago
  • This is not what armed police are for
    Last month, the police announced a trial of specialist roaming armed units, which would drive round (poor, brown) areas in armoured SUVs, armed to the teeth. When they announced the trial, they told us it was about having armed police "ready to attend major incidents at any time if needed". ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Spain’s failed electoral gamble
    Spain went to the polls today in the second elections this year, after the Socialists (who had come to power in a confidence vote, then gone to the polls in April) rejected the offer of a coalition with the left-wing PoDemos, and instead decided to gamble n a better outcome ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The astroturf party
    National has finally rolled out its "BlueGreen" astroturf party, fronted by an array of former nats and people who were dumped by the Greens for not being Green enough. Its initial pitch is described by Stuff as "very business-friendly", and its priorities are what you'd expect: conservation, predator-free funding, a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • How to cheat at university
    A couple of days ago I attended (and spoke at) the University of Waikato’s “LearnFest” event. There were lots of talks and sessions on very diverse aspects of teaching, mostly at tertiary level. One was by Myra Williamson from Te Piringa Faculty of Law here at Waikato, on Contract Cheating ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • How NZ was put on world maps using a transit of Mercury
    There will be a transit of Mercury – the planet Mercury will pass across the face of the Sun – taking place at sunrise in New Zealand on Tuesday, 12th November. It was by observing such an event 250 years ago that James Cook and his scientist colleagues were able ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Georgina Beyer: We need to be able to talk without being offended
    Since becoming the world’s first openly transexual mayor and member of parliament, Georgina Beyer has been recognised as a trailblazer for trans rights. Daphna Whitmore talks with her about where she sees the current trans movement We start out talking about legislation the government put on hold that would have ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
    If FFNZ really put their faith in “Top Medical Journals” they would now be amending their billboards to recognise new research results. Image from FFNZ but updated to agree with the latest research. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
    National Messiah? Chris Luxon identifies himself as an evangelical Christian. If he is genuine in this self-characterisation, then he will take every opportunity his public office provides to proselytise on behalf of his faith. He will also feel obliged to bear witness against beliefs and practices he believes to be ...
    2 weeks ago
  • War of the worms
    I'm going to make a Reckless Prediction™ that the Tories have 'topped out' in the 'poll of polls' / Britain Elects multipoll tracker at about 38%, and in the next week we will start to see Labour creep up on them.In fact, we might just be seeing the start of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Marvelly shows us how to be a feminist without feminism
    by The Council of Disobedient Women Lizzie Marvelly: “I may have missed this… has @afterellen gone all terf-y? Or am I reading something incorrectly? “ https://twitter.com/LizzieMarvelly/status/1191840059105742849 After Ellen is a lesbian website that is unashamedly pro-lesbian, as you’d expect. So why is Ms Marvelly so bothered about lesbians having their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Out of the past – Tories to revive racist laws from the 16th century
    Did you know there once was a time when it was illegal to be a gypsy (aka Romani) in Britain?That was between 1530, when the Egyptians Act was passed, and 1856, when it was repealed.Amongst other things, the act forbade the entry of 'Egyptians' into England, ordered those already there ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 1000 of these now
    Some days I sit and think, “what will I write…?” What do you say when you get to 1000 posts? Maybe you just start where you are, diverge to where this all began, then offer a collection of reader’s favourite posts, and a few of your own? (And throw in ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Shane Jones Just Saved NZ First?
    Counter-Puncher: The “activists” and “radicals” (his own words) from the Indian community who took such strong exception to Shane Jones’ remarks about Immigration NZ’s treatment of arranged marriages, may end up bitterly regretting their intervention. Jones is not the sort of person who turns the other cheek to his critics.SHANE ...
    2 weeks ago

  • New high tech traps will reduce the need for 1080 poison
    New Zealand First are celebrating the announcement of an investment of $3.5 million into five new trapping devices. These are a range of bait and trap devices, all designed to be left unattended for long periods of time. NZ First conservation spokesperson Jenny Marcroft says that this latest development will ...
    15 hours ago
  • Cowboy clampers will be stymied
    Clayton Mitchell, Spokesperson for Consumer Affairs The ‘wheel clamping’ Bill that will cap clamper fees to $100 passed its third reading in Parliament today. New Zealand First welcomes The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill to combat predatory wheel clamping behaviour in what is currently a largely unregulated business. Cowboy clampers are: gouging ...
    2 days ago
  • Mental Health Commission back on track
    Jenny Marcroft, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First welcomes the passage of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill through its first reading in Parliament. “Today’s progress takes serious action on the mental health and addiction crisis the country is facing,” says New Zealand First Health Spokesperson Jenny Marcroft. “The re-establishment ...
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand’s key assets are not for sale: national interest test delivered
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries Today the Government announced the delivery of the promise to protect New Zealand interests by applying a new National Interest Test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. This further strengthening of the Overseas Investment Act will ...
    3 days ago
  • National interest test added to protect New Zealanders’ interests
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high-risk assets to overseas buyers. Under current Overseas Investment Act (OIA) rules, assets such as ports and airports, telecommunications infrastructure, electricity and ...
    3 days ago
  • Electoral law breach allegations
    Rt Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First Allegations raised this morning by Stuff Limited / Fairfax concern a party matter but I am confident that New Zealand First has operated within electoral laws, now and for the last 27 years. Declarable donations were declared to the Electoral Commission. Our ...
    3 days ago
  • Wayne Brown hits back at critics: Ports of Auckland has to move
    The chairman of the Upper North Island Supply Chain Strategy (UNISCS) working group, Wayne Brown, has hit back at critics of his group’s recommendations to relocate the Ports of Auckland cargo operations to Whangarei’s deepwater port of Northport. The working group's recommendation to close Auckland waterfront to all but cruise ...
    3 days ago
  • Week That Was: Supporting our schools
    We're setting our young people up for success, investing in education around the country.  ...
    4 days ago
  • Kiwis to have their say on End of Life Choice
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First backs the public to decide on the End of Life Choice Bill via a referendum at the 2020 General Election. The Bill, with New Zealand First’s referendum provision incorporated, passed its final reading in Parliament this evening. New Zealand First Spokesperson for ...
    1 week ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    1 week ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Milestone of 1800 new Police officers
    The Coalition commitment to add 1800 new Police officers to frontline policing has been achieved with the graduation of 59 constables from the Royal New Zealand Police College today. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters say today’s graduation means 1825 new Police have been deployed all ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • PM appoints business leaders to APEC Business Advisory Council
    Ensuring APEC work gets input from diverse New Zealand business and trade interests is behind three new appointments to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC), Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says. Rachel Taulelei, Malcolm Johns and Toni Moyes have been appointed to represent New Zealand on the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • PM speech notes for Trans-Tasman Business Circle
    Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tatou katoa. Thank you for having me to speak today. To start, I’d like to acknowledge Sharron Lloyd, the General Manager of the Trans–Tasman Business Circle, the partners for this event Westpac’s  David McLean, and Derek McCormack from  AUT, and, of course ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Otago Regional Council given deadline for freshwater management plan
    A four-month investigation by former Environment Court judge Professor Peter Skelton found that Otago’s freshwater planning system is not fit for purpose to manage the region’s rivers, lakes and aquifers and that the Council has inadequate rules for the taking of water and the discharge of nutrients.   “Existing planning provisions ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • LGNZ Rural and Provincial Sector Speech
      Introduction Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This is the first opportunity I’ve had to speak to an LGNZ meeting since the local elections, and I’m delighted to see the fresh faces of newly elected mayors. To returning mayors here today, as well as chief ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • New Zealand to attend G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Japan
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters departs New Zealand today to attend the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Nagoya at the invitation of this year’s G20 President, Japan. “This is the first time New Zealand will attend a G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and we are deeply honoured that it is at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Ambassador to the European Union announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced the appointment of diplomat Carl Reaich as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to the European Union. “The Ambassador to the EU is one of the most important and senior roles in New Zealand’s foreign service, advocating for New Zealand’s interests with the EU institutions,” Mr ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • New inventions boost Predator Free 2050 effort
        Innovation and technology are behind five new tools to give nature a helping hand by helping eliminate predators, funded through the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage and Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. “The new tools will be trialled in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • APEC 2021 Bill passes first reading
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation 2021 (APEC 2021) Bill in Parliament today. The temporary bill supports New Zealand’s security preparations for hosting the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum in 2021. “APEC is the leading economic and trade forum ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Making progress for our kids
    The Government is making progress on improving the wellbeing of the one million New Zealanders under the age of 18,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on World Children’s Day. The Government has today recommitted to the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history – the United Nation’s Convention on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Māori women in business contribute to our economy, whānau and communities
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter has released a new report celebrating the contribution of Māori women in business across Aotearoa New Zealand. “Māori women are leaders in our communities, they employ many people and support our economy and our communities,” Julie Anne Genter said. The report, Ngā wāhine kaipakihi: ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Two schools on the way for Omokoroa
    Four parcels of land have been bought in Omokoroa, in the Western Bay of Plenty District, for an education facility that will accommodate both a primary and secondary school on a campus-like facility, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Two parcels were acquired from private land owners and two were ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Families Package helps over 1 million New Zealanders in first year
    1 million New Zealanders warmed by the Winter Energy Payment 36,000 families bank the Best Start Payment in first year 6,000 more families received the Family Tax Credit, 220,600 in total   They receive an increase too – from an average of $117 to $157 a week for Inland Revenue clients, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Clamp down on wheel clamping passes third reading
    New rules to clamp down on overzealous wheel clamping and extortionate fees charged in order to release a vehicle have passed their final stage in Parliament today. The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill has now passed its third reading. “These changes mean $100 will be the maximum wheel clamping ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill passes first hurdle
    An independent Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission is a step closer after it unanimously passed its first vote in Parliament today.  The Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill lays the groundwork for establishing the Commission as a fully independent crown entity – delivering on a key recommendation of He Ara ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Boosting border security with electronic travel authority – now over 500,000 issued
    We’ve improved border security with the NZeTA, New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority, which helps us to screen travellers for border and immigration risks off-shore before they travel to New Zealand. It was launched in August and became mandatory on 1 October 2019. More than 500,000 NZeTAs have been issued since ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Plan of action to protect seabirds
    A proposed national plan of action to reduce the number of seabirds caught in fisheries is being circulated for public feedback. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage say New Zealand is a global centre of seabird diversity with about 145 species in our waters. It has more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • National interest test added to overseas investment rules
    The Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. Associate Finance Minister David Parker said under current Overseas Investment Act rules, assets such as ports and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New housing part of support for Kaumātua
    The Government is building special housing to accommodate one of Aotearoa’s greatest taonga- our kaumātua, says the Minister for Māori Development, Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  Speaking at a National Kaumātua Service Providers Conference in Rotorua today, the Minister reinforced the importance kaumātua play in maintaining and passing on mātauranga Māori, knowledge, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Forestry helps prisoners into jobs
    Eleven men from a pilot forestry training programme for prisoners in Northland now have full time jobs or job offers upon release, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis and Forestry Minister Shane Jones announced today. The ‘release to work’ programme was a collaboration between Te Uru Rākau and the Department of Corrections, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Reform of public service a step closer
    Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins today introduced into Parliament a Bill that will make it easier for the public service to tackle the biggest challenges facing Governments. The Bill represents the most significant change in the public service in 30 years. The State Sector Act 1988 will be repealed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Donations scheme to relieve pressure on families
    The families of more than 416,000 students will be better off next year as their schools have signed up to the Government’s donations scheme, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. The scheme will see almost $62.5 million in additional Government funding go to schools nationwide next year. “I’m really pleased ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Further support for Samoan measles outbreak
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced further support as the Government of Samoa responds to a serious measles outbreak. “New Zealand will deploy a further 18 vaccination nurses, bringing the total to 30 working in Samoa over the next four weeks,” Mr Peters said. “A New Zealand Medical Assistance ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to the Child Poverty Action Group 2019 Summit
      Fa’atalofa atu, malo e lelei, Kia ora koutou katoa Thank you to the Child Poverty Action Group for asking me to be here today to provide an update on some of the things that have been happening across my the social development portfolio.  Can I firstly acknowledge the vast ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Speech to the New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Annual Conference
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