web analytics

Slippery old Ryall

Written By: - Date published: 10:22 pm, August 12th, 2010 - 26 comments
Categories: health, slippery, spin - Tags:

It seems Tony Ryall has been “secret shopping” around New Zealand’s accident and emergency waiting rooms and Labour is concerned about the breech of protocol.

Get real. The idea that a minister cares enough about his portfolio to take time out of his busy schedule to spot check services is PR gold.

Especially when that minister is responsible for under the radar cuts all over the place, is facing some backlash down south, and needs some cover.

But Tone’s a particularly good operator and he’s learned from National’s Crown health Enterprises fiasco in the 1990s – he’s not going to do a bells and whistles attack because that’s amateur hour – you only have to look at how Bennett is in perpetual damage control on welfare issues to see the dangers of a front-on attack.

On the other hand carrying out a series of cuts while running a “business as usual” line is enough to stay under the radar. After all, if you’re messing with operational stuff and not running your agenda through legislation you avoid the parliamentary spotlight.

And that’s exactly what Tony’s been doing. Cutting the budget in Wellington, ditching neurological services in Dunedin, driving down the health budget nationally – it’s all been done with moderate terms like “certainty” and “strong finances” and a careful strategy of not being available to answer the hard questions.

Now he’s the minister of “spot checks”. I suspect the news of these drop-ins has come from Ryall’s office and will work to offset the bad PR he’s had around the Dunedin neurological issue and Labour is walking straight into it by trying to gain traction on a “protocol” issue nobody gives a damn about.

A couple of better questions would be how did this get out (I’ll be it was his office) and how many “spot checks” has he made (I’ll bet it’s no more than needed to sell the story).

He’s a slippery old bugger with quite some time in the saddle. Just look at how low profile he’s kept health issues. I wonder how long he’ll get away with it…

26 comments on “Slippery old Ryall ”

  1. Bill 1

    So step on up to the second and third link on Pascal’s bookie’s comment from open mike…

    Open mike 12/08/2010

  2. Pete 2

    When I saw the story on the news I thought it was classic “look over there” B.S.

  3. gingercrush 3

    Perhaps Ryall was taking tips from Annette King whose admirable skill for making health a non-issue in the noughties was legendary. She could remove people from the waiting lists and still be considered golden.

    My partner brought it hook line and sinker and was screaming at the television when Annette King was criticising Ryall.

    • comedy 3.1

      Ryalls handling of health to date from a political perspective makes King look like a rank amateur, clearly a master of the dark arts

  4. Mike 4

    [Deleted entire text of this article here. Mike, please post links or excerpts, not just cut and paste entire articles. Thanks. — r0b]

  5. jcuknz 5

    As one of my elected representatives I would think it good that Ryall drops in without warning so the supervisors don’t run around tarting the place up. What else he does may be questionable but this is a good idea and I hope he continues to get the nitty gritty rather than gloss.

  6. If all news media outlets had accurately sourced this story you and your readers would know Mr Ryall made the admission in repsonse to an OIA request from the press gallery office of online news service newsroom.co.nz. The request was put to all ministers about whether they observed frontline services within their portfolios without telling staff or management.

    Marie McNicholas
    Political Correspondent
    Parliamentary Press Gallery
    newsroom.co.nz

  7. joe bloggs 7

    The only slippery thing about this whole story is that it highlights the difference between an ex-Health Minister who lived in an ivory tower and the present Health Minister who is interested enough in his portfolio to get out and see first-hand what really happens without trumpet fanfare or red carpet

  8. Gosman 8

    Shock Horror!!!

    Minister of the Crown attempts to see for himself what services he is responsible for without it being stage managed by other people.

    By the way, given the controversial nature of the Minstry of Health in the past, Tony Ryall must be doing a reasonable job for health issues not to be a major bone of contention as it has been before. Wouldn’t you agree?

  9. Gosman 9

    Hey Irishbill, it looks like you have uncovered a conspiracy involving members of the Parliamentary press gallary and Tony Ryall’s office. Tony has obviously been working secretly behind the scenes with these journalistic patsies to set up the PR coup. Brilliantly done don’t you think?

    IrishBill: Nope, it looks like I’ve uncovered a troll with nothing to add but snide rhetoric. Take a month off and when you come back make sure you run an argument rather than a series of banal bating lines.

    • joe bloggs 9.1

      This is almost as good as Annette King’s own-goal: telling people that a Minister shouldn’t go and take a look at things for themselves.

      Speaks volumes for Labour’s view on ministerial responsibility.

      Also speaks volumes for the ways that Labour ministers set up visits like this for PR goldmining, rather than out of genuine interest in their portfolios.

      What’s next?
      – the Minister for Tourism shouldn’t travel?
      – the Minister of Transport shouldn’t drive anywhere?

      Talk about scraping the bottom of the barrel…

      • Frank Macskasy 9.1.1

        If Ryall really wanted to check up on A & E departments, he should front up; introduce himself; roll his sleeves up; and pitch in.

        Perhaps on Friday and Saturday evenings, when drunks start rolling in, after a night of boozing and bashing.

        As for your statement,

        “What’s next?
        – the Minister for Tourism shouldn’t travel?
        – the Minister of Transport shouldn’t drive anywhere?”

        Straw-man argument.

  10. I wonder if we’ll see Basher Bennett on the front line down at the foodbank checking on the growing cues there or the cues at Work and Income as more line up for accom allowances to front up with the rent and checking to make sure no one gets one dollar or can of food more than they need to survive til the next week…

  11. Scott 11

    I can’t believe Annette King is being critical of Ryall over this.

    Does she think voters care that an apparent ministerial “protocol” has been breached with Ryall’s surprise visits?

  12. Frank Macskasy 12

    Taking a leaf out of Tony Ryall’s book on “secret squirrel” activities in our public hospitals; would he be ok if I, and other members of the public, wandered through his Parliamentary office incognito?

    After all, as tax-payers, we’d like to drop in to get “a perspective on how things are working”.

    • Gosman 12.1

      Ummmmm…. if you want to see the ins and outs of the parliamentary process you can always visit Parliament during a sitting day or attend a select committee meeting.

  13. Adrian 13

    This is as TV3 described last night, creepy. Even by Back-Door Tony’s standards.

  14. odysseus 14

    Have on very good authority that Health Ministry staff spent most of the day the other day, opening 20000 envelopes addressed to Mr Slippery rejecting Otago neurosugery cuts.

  15. Jim Nald 15

    oh puhleaze. you think we’d fall for the BS?
    at best, it is a political gimmick

  16. Gosman 16

    Test

    [lprent: test too short – wound up in spam. ]

  17. Frank Macskasy 17

    I think we should all visit Tony Ryall’s office – incognito of course – and have a wander through. After all, as taxpayers, his office belongs to us, and we’re entitled to poke around. Just to see “how things are going” of course.

  18. Deborah Kean 18

    My son is nurse at Welly Hospital, and he’s certain that Ryall’s stunt would be a disaster! EDs have better things to do… and aside from anything else, an ED can *look* as if staff are doing nothing, when in reality they’re flat out like the proverbial lizards drinking..

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • NZ announces a third P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    The Government has deployed a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea, announced Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark. “New Zealand has long supported ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Pacific trade and development agreement a reality
    Pacific regional trade and development agreement PACER Plus will enter into force in 60 days now that the required eight countries have ratified it. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker welcomed the announcement that the Cook Islands is the eighth nation to ratify this landmark agreement. “The agreement represents ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Securing a pipeline of teachers
    The Government is changing its approach to teacher recruitment as COVID-19 travel restrictions continue, by boosting a range of initiatives to get more Kiwis into teaching. “When we came into Government, we were faced with a teacher supply crisis,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “Over the past three years, we ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Border exceptions for a small number of international students with visas
    The Government has established a new category that will allow 250 international PhD and postgraduate students to enter New Zealand and continue their studies, in the latest set of border exceptions. “The health, safety and wellbeing of people in New Zealand remains the Government’s top priority. Tight border restrictions remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • First COVID-19 vaccine purchase agreement signed
    The Government has signed an agreement to purchase 1.5 million COVID-19 vaccines – enough for 750,000 people – from Pfizer and BioNTech, subject to the vaccine successfully completing all clinical trials and passing regulatory approvals in New Zealand, say Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods and Health Minister Chris Hipkins. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • International statement – End-to-end encryption and public safety
    We, the undersigned, support strong encryption, which plays a crucial role in protecting personal data, privacy, intellectual property, trade secrets and cyber security.  It also serves a vital purpose in repressive states to protect journalists, human rights defenders and other vulnerable people, as stated in the 2017 resolution of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ministry of Defence Biodefence Assessment released
    The Ministry of Defence has today released a Defence Assessment examining Defence’s role across the spectrum of biological hazards and threats facing New Zealand. Biodefence: Preparing for a New Era of Biological Hazards and Threats looks at how the NZDF supports other agencies’ biodefence activities, and considers the context of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Approaches to Economic Challenges: Confronting Planetary Emergencies: OECD 9 October 2020
    New Approaches to Economic Challenges: Confronting Planetary Emergencies: OECD 9 October 2020 Hon David Parker’s response following Thomas Piketty and Esther Duflo. Good morning, good afternoon, and good evening, wherever in the world you might be. I first acknowledge the excellent thought provoking speeches of Thomas Piketty and Esther ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Kaipara Moana restoration takes next step
    A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed today at Waihāua Marae between the Crown, local iwi and councils to protect, restore and enhance the mauri of Kaipara Moana in Northland. Environment Minister David Parker signed the document on behalf of the Crown along with representatives from Ngā Maunga Whakahī, Ngāti ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand and Uruguay unite on reducing livestock production emissions
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor and Uruguayan Minister of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries Carlos María Uriarte have welcomed the launch of a three-year project that will underpin sustainable livestock production in Uruguay, Argentina, and Costa Rica.  The project called ‘Innovation for pasture management’ is led by Uruguay’s National Institute of Agricultural ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • 3100 jobs created through marae upgrades
    Hundreds of marae throughout the country will be upgraded through investments from the Provincial Growth Fund’s refocused post COVID-19 funding to create jobs and put money into the pockets of local tradespeople and businesses, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta have announced. “A total ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Health volunteers recognised in annual awards
    Health Minister Chris Hipkins has announced 9 teams and 14 individuals are the recipients of this year’s Minister of Health Volunteer Awards.  “The health volunteer awards celebrate and recognise the thousands of dedicated health sector volunteers who give many hours of their time to help other New Zealanders,” Mr Hipkins ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Community COVID-19 Fund supports Pacific recovery
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio says a total of 264 groups and individuals have successfully applied for the Pacific Aotearoa Community COVID-19 Recovery Fund, that will support Pacific communities drive their own COVID-19 recovery strategies, initiatives, and actions. “I am keen to see this Fund support Pacific ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Community benefits from Māori apprenticeships
    Up to 50 Māori apprentices in Wellington will receive paid training to build houses for their local communities, thanks to a $2.75 million investment from the Māori Trades and Training Fund, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “This funding will enable Ngāti Toa Rangatira Incorporated to provide its Ngā Kaimahi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Training fund supports Māori jobseekers
    Rapidly growing sectors will benefit from a $990,000 Māori Trades and Training Fund investment which will see Wellington jobseekers supported into work, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “This funding will enable Sapphire Consultants Ltd. to help up to 45 Māori jobseekers into paid training initiatives over two years through ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Ruakura Inland Port development vital infrastructure for Waikato
    The Government is investing $40 million to develop an inland port at Ruakura which will become a freight super-hub and a future business, research and residential development for the Waikato, Urban Development and Transport Minister Phil Twyford, and Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today. The funding has been has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Appointments made to Defence Expert Review Group
    Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today the establishment of an Expert Review Group to review a number of aspects of the New Zealand Defence Force’s (NZDF) structure, information management and record-keeping processes.  The Expert Review Group’s work arises out of the first recommendation from the Report of the Government’s Inquiry ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • No active community cases of COVID-19
    There are no active community cases of COVID-19 remaining in the country after the last people from the recent outbreak have recovered from the virus, Health Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “This is a big milestone. New Zealanders have once again through their collective actions squashed the virus. The systems ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Clean energy upgrade for more public buildings
    More public buildings will be supported by the Government to upgrade to run on clean energy, the Minister for Climate Change James Shaw announced today. Minister Shaw announced that Lincoln and Auckland universities will receive support through the Clean-Powered Public Service Fund to replace fossil fuel boilers. Southern, Taranaki, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Schools back donations scheme for the second year
    More schools have opted in to the donations scheme for 2021, compared to 2020 when the scheme was introduced. “The families of more than 447,000 students will be better off next year, with 94% of eligible schools and kura opting into the scheme,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “This is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Ruapehu cycle trails gets PGF boost
    The spectacular Mountains to Sea cycle trail in Ruapehu District will receive $4.6 million in funding from the Provincial Growth Fund for two additional trails, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “This is an exciting development for the local community, and one that will provide significant economic opportunities ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Update to air border order strengthens crew requirements
    Additional measures coming into effect on Monday will boost our defence against COVID-19 entering New Zealand through the air border, Health Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “As part of our precautionary approach and strategy of constant review, we’re tightening the requirements around international aircrew,” Chris Hipkins said. The COVID-19 Public ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • A true picture of Māori business activity
    A better picture of the contribution Māori businesses make to the economy will be possible with changes to the way information is collected about companies and trading enterprises. Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Small Business Minister Stuart Nash have announced a new option for Māori enterprises who are part ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF funding for Taranaki projects
    The South Taranaki museum, a New Plymouth distillery and a Pasifika building firm will benefit from a Government investment totalling more than $1 million, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. The $1.05m in grants and loans from the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will help the recipients expand and create ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Fijian Language Week 2020 inspires courage and strength during COVID-19 pandemic
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio says the theme for the 2020 Fijian Language Week reflects the strong belief by Fijians that their language and culture inspires courage and strength that is strongly needed in times of emergencies, or through a significant challenge like the global COVID-19 pandemic ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Trades training builds on iwi aspirations
    An investment of $2.025 million from the Māori Trades and Training Fund will support Māori to learn new skills while making a positive difference for their communities, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “K3 Development Limited Partnership will receive $2,025,000 for its Takitimu Tuanui apprenticeship programme, which will support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Conservation Minister plants two millionth tree in Raglan restoration
    A long-term conservation project led by the Whaingaroa Harbour Care group in the western Waikato reaches a significant milestone this week, with the planting of the two millionth tree by the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage. “Planting the two millionth tree crowns 25 years of commitment and partnership involving Whaingaroa ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago