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The Tolleycopter

Written By: - Date published: 9:36 am, April 8th, 2009 - 32 comments
Categories: education - Tags: ,

tolicopter1Most people have focused on the utter hypocrisy of National’s Anne Tolley flying around Auckland in a helicopter looking at education buildings from the air at the same time as the government says it can’t afford to help people falling victim to the recession. I’m more worried about how the helicopter ride came about.

It seems Tolley was meeting at AUT when someone tried to explain that to get a grip on her role she needed an overview, a helicopter view, of the tertiary sector.

Tolley thought that it meant she was going to get a ride in a whirlybird. She was apparently quite excited at the prospect.

Everyone was too embarrassed to explain the metaphor to her. So they arranged the $1800 helicopter ride.

It would be easy to think that this shows such a staggering level of ignorance or simply such sheer stupidity that it ought to disqualify a person from being a minister of the Crown, let alone Minister of Education.

Tolley won’t get the sack though. Basic competency has never been job requirement for ministers.

The most we can hope for is that Key doesn’t appoint our literalist minister to any razor gangs.

32 comments on “The Tolleycopter ”

  1. evidence 1

    “It seems Tolley was meeting at AUT when someone tried to explain that to get a grip on her role she needed an overview, a helicopter view, of the tertiary sector.”

    What evidence do you have of this? Or are you just going off what the Labour Party says (again)

  2. Eddie 2

    I’m informed by a reliable source. Obviously you can make of it what you like.

  3. dad4justice 3

    Test flight.Stage one complete.Gunship at the ready SIR!

  4. sean14 4

    How rabid are you people? Post your evidence.

  5. An education minister who can’t interpret simple metaphors? Seriously, this is pretty basic stuff taught to kids in primary school.

  6. BLiP 6

    The Office for Parliamentary Expenditure is investigating a number of unusual items sent up for approval from the office of the Minister of Education. In written answers to a list of questions, Hon. Anne Tolley stated:

    $125 steam iron: “I cannot locate the previous Minster’s iron and so require a new one for attendance at an up-coming press conference’

    $10,234 cupboard: “Again, I am unable to locate the previous Minister’s one and, so, require a new one to be able to attend the cabinet meeting next week’

    $865 “Peek-a-boo’ full leather body suit: “Look, I think the last Minister must have stolen all the office items how am I supposed to be whipped without one?’

    $1,250 Heraldic Design “This is getting ridiculous! I would have thought your office might have at least looked at the National Party’s policy in relation to the need for national standards.’

    $1,739,987, 921 Space Shuttle “I just cannot believe you are querying this. How am I supposed to do my job as Tertiary Minister if I am unable to obtain universe tea?’

    Investigations are continuing.

  7. Give us some evidence

  8. evidence 8

    why should anyone have to issue a denial to everything you guys scrape up?

    • Ari 8.1

      And why should they have to reveal their source every time you don’t like something they’re saying? Cuts both ways.

    • Pascal's bookie 8.2

      I didn’t say you have to.

      As it stands, Eddie is claiming a reliable source told him. There is no denial that I’m aware of. That’s the evidence people have before them.

  9. insider 9

    Interesting because I know of a minister who turned down a flight for the reasons Tolley is being attacked. SO there is awareness in govt of how things look.

    The bigger issue is, why didn’t AUT just say ‘no, we can’t justify the cost. We’ll be happy to accompany you if you want to organise one.’?

  10. Rich 10

    Apparently when told by English he wanted her on hiz razor gang, she had to be restrained from slicing Richard Worth’s jugular.

  11. Rex Widerstrom 11

    Look, I don’t know why you’re making all this fuss. This literalist view is surely something to be encouraged.

    The next time some politician says they want a “grassroots view” I know I’ll be the first one there with my shovel (and a cosh, if necessary).

  12. The Baron 12

    Anyone else ever read The Good Lobbyist’s Guide, by Annabel Young (I’d never heard of her either…)

    It recommends such things as helicopter rides as really good ideas if you want ministers to turn up to your briefings… perhaps someone at AUT paid a lil bit too much attention to what was a pretty crappy book…

    Seriously though, AUT offered, she accepted. I’m sure Helen and others in Labour have had helicopter rides sometime too – it is simply a more practical way of seeing some issues.

    Regardless, I just don’t think that this is the sort of issue that will seriously dent National’s polling ratings. The left need to wait for some real issues to arise (as they inevitably will) rather than waste time, and the public’s patience, with petty things like this.

    Captcha – need engine. Would be quite a different helicopter ride without one!

  13. pk 13

    The image painted is really quite funny and I did have a giggle but stretches the bounds of credulity for so many reasons.

    I’m sure after the meeting she had to arrange all her ducks, checked all her cylinders were firing, cleaned her sheets, checked how high her bar was, turned the headlights off as it caused deer problems and generally brought all her metaphors back on their feet,

    If, and I mean an enormous if, the story is true she is the dumbest politician ever elected and that’s weird as politicians independent of their ideology are some combination of astute, cunning, organised, people oriented etc Whether one likes a particular politician or not they do require talent and dedication to get to their position.

    If we add to this the required immense stupidity of AUT to not point out that she had misinterpreted what they said then this starts to feel like a Loch Ness story.

    captcha was Mr beautify – obviously saw something.

  14. BLiP 14

    Whether one likes a particular politician or not they do require talent and dedication to get to their position.

    That doesn’t explain John Key. In his case it was good old fashioned moolah.

    • The Baron 14.1

      Oh dear Blip, time face up to the fact that the majority of NZ simply just like John Key, prefer his approach, and like the general thrust of his policies; AND come up with ways of meeting that challenge.

      Until you and the rest of the left can do that, you’ll be in opposition. John Key bought his position? What a load of crap.

      • BLiP 14.1.1

        Fcuk off you patronising, holier than thou Crosby/Textor troll. We’ll see how cocky you are in 12 months when the sheen’s rubbed off.

        • Daveski 14.1.1.1

          It must be grating to many here that Key has exceeded everyone’s expectations of his likely approach and particularly his ability to work with MMP. BLiP’s outburst highlights that – it’s not really much of an analytical response to a reasonable comment from the Baron.

          I suspect to answer BLips non-abusive comment that the Nats are likely to revisit cabinet in 12-18 months time and introduce younger blood. While the extended honeymoon is still operational (more grating of teeth here), he can get away with poor performing ministers but one expects that there time will come.

  15. John E. 15

    Based on what we have seen of Anne Tolley since she became Education spokesperson and now Minister – I feel compelled to believe this hilarious tale.

    I also see an Education Ministry and Education Review Office giving her advice she wants to hear (without the accountability) – and the education minister and bureaucracy leading each other astray.

    As for the other education players – well we have Pita Sharples playing up – wants to introduce Maori seats to local govt. Heather Roy – is she pushing any zoning change initiatives? Allan Peachey lurking about and likely to make a splash chairing select committee.

    Is there hope for education?

  16. Artie S 16

    Yes this does sound like what we have been expecting to hear.

    You have heard of CRUSHER COLLINS, Minister of Corrections.

    How about CHOPPER TOLLEY, Minister of Education???

    Sounds right – CHOPPER TOLLEY!

  17. Whacky Lefty 17

    The evidence for Tolley mixing her metaphors was on Nat Radio “Fresh air is the best disinfectant”

    Obviously it is “Sunshine is the best disinfectant” & we definately need a “Breath of fresh air”

    Thus the joke is transfered to her confusion over what an overview of Auckland might mean. It becomes a bit scary with her bio from the Nat site & wiki have no mention of her having any education and the whole thing starts to have a ring of credibility. Not to mention the accepting of gifts and the Dicky Worth experience.

  18. Trevor Mallard 18

    When trying to work out if the story is true remember that she had to ask what a vice- chancellor was and complained that she was only meeting with the vice-chancellors and not with the chancellors,

  19. Sean 19

    that’s pretty dumb. I mean to be fair I was confused about it during first year but, on the other hand, I wasn’t minister of education.

    they should have made lockwood minister of education again. He’s still fit so I’m sure he would be up for climbing out of windows to escape angry students like he had to back in the 90s.

  20. What? 20

    Bitter much Trevor? The come down from government must be fairly striking for you if you’re reduced to trolling political blogs to try and perpetuate a story about the VCs that you haven’t been able to substantiate either.

    So much for a credible opposition party that wants to debate policy rather than make unsubstantiated personal digs.

  21. Artie S 21

    Wow .. Trevor Mallard struck a raw nerve didn’t he “What?”, What Oh!!

    I do recall the story about Chopper Tolley and the University Chancellor. Thanks for filling us in Trevor M.

    These are not really personal digs; more assistance to the public in understanding how the Education Portfolio is being operated these days.

    Another similar story was from a person in business who was wanting a computer system – and a recommendation of RAID array was made for disc storage. RAID means redundant array of inexpensive disk. The customer said they would not be buying anything redundant, and certainly not cheap stuff!!

    And so it is with Education. What looks like common sense can be a passport to trouble. All participants must be assumed political in agenda – including govt departments, teachers and students. Show any flakiness and they will be all in there milking it for all its worth.

    This is the nature of education .. Tick Tock Tick Tock. Boom!

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