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Target practice

Written By: - Date published: 1:48 pm, June 30th, 2012 - 8 comments
Categories: accountability, cycleway, employment, uncategorized, welfare - Tags:

Just before the parliamentary recess National released its latest set of Laura Naude targets. The Herald’s chief National promoter John Armstrong says they are undoubtedly drawn from focus groups, and therefore a sign of Key’s political genius. They will join all the others now discarded or discredited – catching up with Australia, jobs from the cycleway, government surplus by 2014, yadda yadda yadda.

I can’t think of a single target National has actually met – certainly not ones for economic growth. These targets are not designed to be met; they are just makework to give the impression of activity, and provide fodder for uncritical media. None of them take the country forward.

As for the political genius of performance bonuses for departmental chief executives who are supposed to actually meet these targets, all on their own of course, it’s plain simple mad. Just look at what has happened to Barclay’s Bank, fined approximately $600million because  its managers were fudging their figures to manipulate the key LIBOR interest rate. Artificial targets produce artificial behaviour.

8 comments on “Target practice ”

  1. Georgecom 1

    Another series of meaningless promises without a plan to achieve them that National can be held accountable to.

    Contrary to Armstrongs reporting, putting up ‘targets’ that it won’t achieve can actually run counter to Nationals interests. A narrative of failed promises makes the government look incompetent. It takes the opposition and media to continue highlighting these.

  2. Just like the Long-Term Plan process the councils are going through, it is all bullshit. But alas as the maternity wards bear witness, people are happy believing the BS.
    Oh and the 1.4 million Kiwi Savers
    Every long term plan ignores energy. And that includes the energy needed to keep that new born child alive (you know long term = 70 years) ….. basically anyone with a long term plan, or positive spin for the next few years is delusional, and if you are expecting someone to pull something positive out of the BS bag, then you are not paying attention. Those were the good old days, next year you will be lucky to only lose 10% of your worth.
    Now stop Morris dancing, and do some research. )

    • mike e 2.1

      blundering bus approach. and the target is wishy washy like a washing machine permanently stuck on spin

  3. We do need a plan – the long term planning process in councils does work – if it doesn’t get overwhelmed by the diversionary stuff – cycleways, stadiums and other bread-and-circuses stuff.

    China has a plan, NZ is lacking a plan.  Thirty years ago they were a broke third world country and we were sending them aid now we are a broke third world country and they are buying anything worth having that we now own.  They do not have the colonial guilt complex to hold them back or to delude themselves with, they are hard nosed and their leadership is there for the interests of China.  Unfortunately that is who ours are working for as well.


    • Dark, how can you say the long term plan works? … we haven’t been long term yet.
      And if the plane is so shit hot, why are councils wallowing in debt? 8 billion bucks and counting. We are seeing the start of rates revolts, and many people calling for the heads of CEOs.
      So please tell us of say 10% of the councils who’s LTP is working, that would be the council with rate rises @ inflation, and a community of happy rate payers. Or is the local council long term plan, to bankrupt themselves, and drive generations of the community into debt, because it seems they have succeeded in the latter.

      • darkhorse 3.1.1

        There is a need to plan when you are the custodian of large utility networks worth hundreds of millions and perhaps billions of dollars = the problem with the current  “planning” process is that it is full of opportunities and incentives to be used for avoiding proper consultation over non-essential council expenditures.  A lot of the smaller rural local authorities will be doing the job alright as most have to be frugal by their nature.

        The next issue is that the audit function is not working.  Audit NZ is useless so councils can misuse the process with impunity.

        The other part is that the true rate of inflation over the past decade is close to the increase in your rates.  Most of the rates increase comes from imported costs of maintaining and operating roads sewer and water supplies and public buildings.  Inflation has not been 2-3% over the past decade the real rate pof inflation has been twice that.  You might find my recent post and the link to a recent Farfax story helpful on that ..


  4. ghostwhowalksnz 4

    The cunning part of releasing ‘new’ targets all the time , is that it deflects questions about results from the ‘old’ targets

    No need to get into debates about what did or did not happen , right away their talking points point to the glorious future just around the corner.

  5. mike e 5

    target the weakest is Nacts policy.

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