ToryAid: Wastewatch (2)

Written By: - Date published: 2:40 pm, June 19th, 2008 - 38 comments
Categories: national, slippery - Tags: ,

Here’s the waste National has identified so far:

1) Embassy in Sweden – approx $3 million capital, $3 million operating

2) Badges about Te Teo for school kids – $56,000
Why it’s waste: badges for Maori language! Next they’ll be wanting their land back.
Why it’s not a waste: Meh, maybe it is waste but a bit of pride in Te Reo, making it fun, can’t hurt.
Potential tax cut instead of this ‘waste’: 0.00003 cents a week each.

Cumulative total of National-identified ‘waste’: 2.00003 cents a week or, since cheese has become the prime denominator of value in our political discourse (thanks, Irish), 1.5 grams of Mainland Mild cheese a week.

And, now, introducing ‘waste-o-meter’. Key says National doesn’t need wastewatch now the Herald is running the Porkometer for them. But the porkometer is about all spending promises, not spending National calls waste. So, here we are – the waste National has identified compared to the $3 billion of waste they need to fund larger tax cuts:

Umm, you can’t see the “waste” portion because it’s too small relative to the $3 billion target.

We’ll update wastewatch and waste-o-meter for National if they identify any more ‘waste’.

38 comments on “ToryAid: Wastewatch (2)”

  1. T-rex 1

    Meh, maybe it is waste but a bit of pride in Te Reo, making it fun, can’t hurt.

    ‘Meh’ sums it up perfectly – maybe it is poorly inspired and a waste and unproductive… but it’s a waste like me going and buying a peanut slab for afternoon tea is a waste, who gives a f*ck. Life has waste, nothing is 100% optimal, not every scheme is brilliant and successful, you usually get things wrong while getting other things right, jumping on this one for happening to be wrong… or at least pretty average… doesn’t prove sh*t.

    To the National party, their supporters, and almost every damn thing they’ve come up with so far, I say…

    MEH

  2. I’ve been wondering, how much do you reckon a print run of the Dompost costs? I think they print over 100,000 copies and they cost well in excess of the $1.30 purchase price to produce (advertising makes up the difference). And the article on the badges takes up half of a page in the 30 page newspaper…

    Could well be that the story cost nearly as much the badges.

  3. T-rex 3

    By god you’re right! They could insulate the roof of several kiwi families on struggle street for the amount the dom posts print run costs each day! Clearly news has no place in our society!

  4. Vanilla Eis 4

    Steady on Rex, that would be implying that what the Dom gives us is actually ‘news’.

    Alternatively, you could possibly insulate the homes of those kiwi families on struggle street with the daily print run of the Dom.

  5. T-Rex. I’m very pro-news, otherwise I would be terminally bored. Just putting this ‘issue’ in perspective.

  6. IrishBill 6

    I have it on good advice that doing so attracts rats into your attic.

  7. alex 7

    Nick Smith and Tony Ryall just got kicked out of the chamber… chumps.

  8. mike 8

    It’s great the Nats have pricked your conscience though Steve – keep it up. Save cents and dollars will come…

  9. ghostwhowalks 9

    The $56,0000 was for the DVD and other material for the teaching resources, the badges were 80c each.

    Meanwhile the money saved by building cheap building platforms at Cave Creek will cut inflation

  10. mike. i’m just helping you fellas keep track of all this waste you’re always going on about. Only $2,999,946,000 of National-identified waste to go and you’ll be able to afford those bigger tax cuts you’re demanding.

    Hey, check out wastewatch.co.nz they’re no longer on hiatus!

  11. Ari 11

    T-Rex: there’s News, and then there’s NOOZ. 😉

    The Dompost has more NOOZ than News, but it’s not so bad as many of the other papers in New Zealand. Or NOO Zealand.

  12. alex 12

    SP, good to see National identified so much waste that they’ve now marked the site inactive.

  13. andy 13

    SP

    went to waste watch and clicked on the link to Nationals policies, and there was none. sigh!

  14. hmm 14

    what does wassup mean in Maori? Do any of the badges actually use Te reo Maori? No. how then do they encourage Maori Language?

    Also you may want to get your facts right – they’re not about encouraging Maori language – they’re meant to promote Ka Hikitia the Maori Education Strategy which isn’t solely about Maori language at all.

  15. T-rex 15

    I value news media, even when it’s lazy and sloppy. My point was more that you have to spend money if you want anything, and even if you’re not getting awesome value for the money you’re spending it’s often still a lot better than what you’d get if you spent nothing.

    Most of these “OMGWTFSUCHAWASTE” stories make some retarded comparison between the amount that was spent, and some other figure. In this particular case, the principal of Sacred Heart College in Lower Hutt is throwing a tanty because it’s a “waste at a time when schools are trying to balance their budgets”. So what? We’re supposed to stop making any effort to improve maori education until schools stop having trouble balancing their budgets?

    Maybe this was a bad effort (though maybe not – The Ministry Maori education deputy secretary said initial feedback on the badges has been positive) but it MAKES NO DIFFERENCE. There are 700,000 students at primary and secondary school in NZ (http://www.educationcounts.govt.nz/statistics/schooling/july_school_roll_returns/student_numbers/student_numbers_as_at_1_july_2007). These badges, therefore, represent an effort to improve maori participation in education at a cost of 8 cents per student. So if they don’t work… WHO GIVES A CRAP! Move on, and try something else.

    This exact same strategy is used with Keys waste. He never says “we’re going to can the embassy in sweden – delivering 2 cents a week to each NZer” – he says “We’re going to can the embassy in Sweden, delivering 3 million dollars”, and then keeps quiet and hopes that the mouth breathers listening to him will go “wow, 3 million dollars, I could buy a PIMPED OUT BACH at Taupo for that” and don’t stop to think that maybe the rest of NZ will want a share as well.

    Same thing happened with the housing NZ thing. “Housing NZ spent $65k on a conference… that could have paid DOT’S RENT FOR 3 YEARS!”. You know, coz Dot is the only person who lives in a state house, and housing NZ had actually been weighing up the decision of whether to have a conference or pay her rent. Furthermore, Dots rent is the only topic that was mentioned at the conference – no references were made to any of the other 66,000 houses HNZ manage.

    The headline should have read “Housing NZ spends $65k on 2 night conference to discuss improvements to (whatever) – money could instead have been spent on 2/3rds of a lemonade popsicle for each state house!”. That’s the actual level of waste we’re discussing, but the general standard of journalism in NZ is so low it’s barely ever mentioned. Sure, it typically comes out after some discussion, but to begin with it’s all underfunded schools and Dots rent.

  16. Felix 16

    Sure, it typically comes out after some discussion

    Yep, and by then everyone’s forgotten what the topic was and the nats are running some other bullshit line.

  17. Ari 17

    It was more like $7,000 more than typical conference accomodation, T-Rex. You’re John Keying again 😉

    Apologies for missing your earlier point. 🙂

  18. jbc 18

    While it is easy to make fun of this I’m not so sure it is a bad idea.

    I purchases one of those cent-a-meter things a few months back (shows instantaneous electricity consumption). At first I was skeptical. All I could do was save a few cents here and there for a few hours at a time. Seemed like a waste of time.

    After a few weeks I became conscious of the cost showing on the little LCD display. Whenever I walked past and noticed higher consumption I would walk around the house looking for things to turn off. Now I have managed to cut 30% off my power bill. All those little things add up…

    That this approach could be successful when applied to state spending is highly unlikely as it would require all of government and its agencies to be:

    1. aware of the cost of things,
    2. apply some intelligence to reduce those costs,
    3. while keeping the end goal in mind.

    In the early 90’s I did some contract work in a couple of recently privatised companies (Air NZ and Telecom). The govt-run mindset still prevailed at the time. My personal experiences within those organisations tell me that those 3 points above would be regarded as heresy.

  19. You forgot the TPK conferences boys.
    There’s another $240,000.
    Remember the Housing Ministry conferences a few weeks back.
    In 1999 Dear Leader said she was going to put a stop to such nonsense.
    But here we have more of it.
    Was she lying again!
    It’s not so much the conferences.
    But the rank hypocrisy of Liabour saying one thing in opposition and saying another when in office.
    As for the badges, I am sure extra books would have helped better.
    But Liarbour likes been patronising to Maori.
    Are they so dumb they need teachers wearing badges containing US-street gangsta slang to help them read?
    I don’t think so. But obviously Liarbour and the MED obviously do.

    Go to http://www.nominister.blogspot.com for more

    BTW If you get bored while David’s away in Europe, feel free to drop by at No Minister. Ten posts a day should keep you all amused.

    [Tane: We’ve covered the Housing NZ ‘scandal’ here – http://www.thestandard.org.nz/?p=2059. Try to keep up with the play old boy.]
    [We’re not listing whatever a writer on some blog I’ve never heard of decides is waste. It’s National who is saying they will pay for tax cuts by cutting waste, it is the ‘waste’ National says it finds that I am listing. Incidentally, if we did include the $240K TPK conferences, that would get you another 0.00014 cents a week tax cut. Still not enough to show on the wasteometer. SP]

  20. T-rex 20

    Ari, no worries, it was probably vague.

    jbc – yup, the little things do count, but it’s the cause and effect is so vauge in some cases that you basically HAVE to accept a level of waste. Plus the system has a huge time lag.

    Can kind of appreciate your point on telecome/airnz and govt-run mindsets, but I think that’s improved a lot lately, and in case you think the privately run mindset is any different in a large corporation… well… have you SEEN what’s happened to telecom and airnz’s share prices lately?

    UnfairFacts: (huh huh – see what I did there? That’s some kiwiblog humour to make you feel at home). I just addressed the housing NZ conference and what a total beat up it was. The only thing Clark did wrong was not support her junior minister (who called a beatup a beatup). I can’t imagine how painful reading ten of your posts a day would be.

  21. Felix 21

    No thanks FearFacts (hey this is fun!), I read your comment twice and I have no idea what you’re talking about.

  22. jbc 22

    t-rex, yep I’m well aware of the attitudes in some big private companies. The difference is that if the end product of the company is price-sensitive then some kind of equilibrium is reached over time (productivity vs what customers are prepared to pay).

    The problem with govt services is that we have no say over what we pay and we don’t know whether it is good value because we have nothing to compare with.

    I’m all in favour of public funding, and broadly agree with the types of services provided. I just have more than a sneaking suspicion that too much is spent, or looking at it another way, we could get more and better services for the same money.

    But unfortunately I agree it is not a simple matter of cutting budgets.

  23. Matthew Pilott 23

    Fare-thee-well facts,

    Care to tell me what was a waste about the TPK conference?

    Which objectives weren’t met? How TPK could have better allocated that money? perhaps you pride yourself as a scrimper – is there a backpackers they could have held teh conference at?

    Are you so dumb that you think the puropse of those badges was to “help people read” Coz if so, eye’ve got a badge 4 u, sumfink bout readn th kontent of a thred b4 postn s%!^ lolz.

  24. dave 24

    Hey although National didnt explicitly mention it, any salary paid to any staff member participating in waste is also waste. You havent included that factor in. Another 0.00013% increase?

    And how about including all the time spent by government funded bloggers – and readers – that will be at least 0.00013% increase a day in ewages paid for non productivity.

    [lprent: I wasn’t aware that you are paid by the government to blog – Invalids benefit? Mental problems? We’re quite sympathetic.

    It must be – because otherwise you’re impuning someone without a fragment of evidence. Since one of those is me… I will reciprocate on the graffiti you troll here…..]

    [graffiti time]


    ALso the time spend making those badges, thinking about them, being paid for makingthem… thats waste too.

    Then you can include all the 10 min smoko breaks taken by WINZ, Housing New Zealand and IRD staff every hour

    What about all the time wasting and government funded wasted on trials like the Kahui trial.

    What about the sale of Toll, 1.5 billion.

    Gee it all mounts up, doesnt it. But of course that may not count, as John Key hasn’t specifically identified it.

    Or has he in some cases..

    There. That’s at least $2.50 a week tax cut – including the public servants aforementioned.

  25. If Phil Heatley and the National Party think that the 6 Housing NZ conferences were such a huge waste of money, and that Ministers need to be fired over it etc.

    I’d wonder then, in all good faith, why they are considering putting someone on their party list, who in 1999, thought it was a good idea to spend $160,000 on a single conference?

    “There. That’s at least $2.50 a week tax cut – including the public servants aforementioned.”

    Re: Dave – I guess you’ll be wanting some chuddy with your cheese?

  26. dave 26

    Yeah that`ll be nice, I have to identify some more waste, should take about 10 mins.

  27. What about John Key? He’s a waste of space…

  28. dave 28

    Well, John Key has had a real job, which is more than one can say for Helen Clark, who is on her way down the political ladder..

    [lprent: do you have any merits that mean I shouldn’t just ban you. Not here..]

  29. Lukas 29

    heh that one wont go down well

    Captcha Cancases… Wow! its looking back through the looking glass

  30. andy 30

    Well, John Key has had a real job

    When he was 12 and a paper boy?

    well that means he is waste of money (by your argument) now, as his job is not real, just like Helen. Awesome 0.00000000000000000000000000001% savings and less ummms and aahhhs to struggle through..

  31. Ari 31

    Where by real job you mean he was employed as an opportunist investor who made problems in other nation’s economies worse? Yeah, I wouldn’t brag about that, dave.

  32. andy 32

    or was his real job during the spring bok tour in 81?

    explains the memory lapse, maybe.

  33. T-rex 33

    Dave – Yeah you’re right, buying back the railways was a total waste of money, all they got was the entire railway network. One of the most efficient means of transport around. In an era of increased fuel costs. $3/week, and we’ve got an entire National Railway Network that actually works (I say actually works because your use of the 1.5 billion figure implies you’re talking about post-upgrade).

    And the Kahui trial? Yeah, total waste! That fair trial business should go back to all those hippy countries it came from.

    You munter.

  34. Pascal's bookie 34

    Parrot,

    I’d wonder then, in all good faith, why they are considering putting someone on their party list, who in 1999, thought it was a good idea to spend $160,000 on a single conference?

    Gawd knows. Same reason they’ve got a Social Crediter as an electorate candidate I suppose.

  35. dave 35

    Hey , T-Rex, to be fair, the Kahui trial was a waste of money, irrespective of the right to fair trial. The police should really be investigating things so that they arrest the person who did the crime and makea decent case out of it before they commit to trial. They shouldn’t be going after the person they think they can most easily string up.

    hey, I think Ive found some more waste – the Kahui investigation, not just the trial.

  36. T-rex 36

    It was not a waste of money.

    Do you honestly think the police didn’t try to find the right person? Do you think they WANTED the case to end with no conviction?

    Come on.

    Personally I think Maxina King should be thrown in prison for life, but I don’t believe that so strongly that I’m advocating the abandonment of due legal process to achieve it.

  37. MikeE 37

    Time to quote Friedman…

    “There are four ways in which you can spend money. You can spend your own money on yourself. When you do that, why then you really watch out what you’re doing, and you try to get the most for your money. Then you can spend your own money on somebody else. For example, I buy a birthday present for someone. Well, then I’m not so careful about the content of the present, but I’m very careful about the cost. Then, I can spend somebody else’s money on myself. And if I spend somebody else’s money on myself, then I’m sure going to have a good lunch! Finally, I can spend somebody else’s money on somebody else. And if I spend somebody else’s money on somebody else, I’m not concerned about how much it is, and I’m not concerned about what I get. And that’s government. And that’s close to 40% of our national income.”

    The point being, with all govt spending, whether or not its good value or not is up to the individual judging it. The problem being, is this isn’t spending their own money, but someone elses

  38. infused 38

    You guys are pretty anal about moderation here.

    [lprent: With good reason. We’ve had numerous descents of idiotic trolls that make reading the site a pain. Since I read the comments, and I’m a programmer, I enjoy squashing bugs whereever I see them. Now was there a question in there somewhere?]

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