TwistedHive: Thar she blows

Written By: - Date published: 9:50 am, July 5th, 2012 - 16 comments
Categories: public services, Steven Joyce - Tags:

There’s a new member in the ‘sphere, a cheeky little blog called Twisted Hive that appears to be a member of what you might call the Labour Ulterior, that great mass of Labour people who are unhappy with and feel excluded by the way things have been managed lately. This post, though, is about Steven Joyce’s white whale.

Thar she blows

One of my favourite headlines of all time came from the satirical Onion.

Set in the near future, the bold front page headline reads: “All Corporations Merged Into OmniCorp

Is our Tory government turning that satire into reality? With all the recent public service mergers and the ‘whole of government approach’, could we conceivably pick up the Dom Post in 2014 and read “All departments merged into Treasury”?

We’re halfway there already.

Steven Joyce’s new Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment (Mobie) has been dubbed the Moby Dick of central Wellington – the great white building beached on Bowen Street. And it’s big alright. Replacing numerous agencies like the Ministry of Economic Development, the Department of Labour, the Department of Immigration, the Department of Building and Housing, the Ministry of Tourism, and the Ministry of Science and Innovation.

I’d like to know how Moby Dick with it’s 3200 employees could ever have any kind of sane focus.

Imagine the interaction with the public:

I’m a cutting edge scientist and am curious about funding options. Hey – I’ll just go see those friendly folk at the Ministry of Scienc… . Lost in Moby Dick.

I’m a tourism operator and am going to talk to some guys in government who know and understand the industry …. Lost in Moby Dick.

I’m a new businessman and I’m wondering what my obligations are under the Employment Relat….. argh! I’m being swallowed whole by a giant whale.

It’s just not credible that a Ministry with 3000 people and a single Chief Executive will cover off all the bases that use to be done by five or six departments. Not only have we lost  public sector leaders who were dedicated to work with different sectors, Moby Dick will see the loss of important relationships between industries and government.

Isn’t the government supposed to be opposed to building bureaucracy? Well they’ve just created a lumbering monster. A white whale that’ll swallow anyone whole who dares approach.

Who’s our Captain Ahab?

Check out more from TwistedHive, here

16 comments on “TwistedHive: Thar she blows”

  1. Leftwing blogs in New Zealand now outnumber the right by at least three to one.

    • wobble 1.1

      If only the same applied to voters.

      • Jackal 1.1.1

        It does make me wonder if there are just more literate thinking lefties or if the entire election is a crock! I mean how could anybody in their right mind vote for Nationals bungling of the economy for instance?

        • bbfloyd

          Never underestimate the stupidity of the average kiwi…. as my gnarled old grandfather used to say…

      • darkhorse 1.1.2

        actually the voters would show the same proportion too if the leadership of the left gets its act together and stops being so meek conventional and uninspiring

        • bbfloyd

          It’s easy to be inspiring when one has the whole fourth estate cheering every little brain fart one emits..

          Imagine how fast johnny sparkles would have sunk without trace if his utterances had been reported objectively…. by journalists who understood the difference between fact, and fiction…

  2. Bill 2

    Step 1. Ensure that beaucratic institiutions are structured and organised in such a way as to make them (more) remote, dysfunctional and inefficient.

    Step 2. Point out how remote, dysfunctional and inefficient beauctratic institutions are.

    Step 3. Privatise any potentially profitable bits in the name of functionality and efficiency.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1


      That’ll be it precisely. Everything this government does is done solely to get more taxpayer money into private hands as government guaranteed profit.

  3. ad 3

    This is definitely what you do when you don’t have an idea of what to do. Just make bigger globs out of smaller globs like bureaucratic PlayDough.

    For a fresh Government that had a plan and a purpose for the country, getting Mobi and the Primary Industries Ministry and DPMC to come up with an actual economic development plan for the coutnry now surely must get a little easier.

    God it would be great to see the ZGreens and Labour come up with one before the election, rather than hash one together afterwards.

    Mind you an extra problem with such massive Ministries is that the senior bureaucrats will be able to look at coalition-type governments (unlike really what we have which is a master-slave arrangement) and just wait them out, unless they have really strong mandates that can get them a real shot at minimum six-year governments.

    Such massive ships to turn around now. More inertia.

  4. marsman 4

    Sneaky Steven is the Dick in charge of Mobie, watch for some Super Sneaky Scams.

  5. ghostwhowalksnz 5

    Just reading the spin on MBIE website and it just says the usual things about its existing activites.

    Bit this stood out like a red flag and it seems entirely new

    Supporting access to capital: Having a holistic view of capital markets and being well placed to identify and address barriers to businesses accessing the capital they need on competitive terms.

    A government department supporting access to capital ??
    And on competitive terms ?

    Let me think of what part of the bureaucracy did this before ? Zero !

    And knowing Joyces penchant for Crony Capitalism is he going to hand out loans ( like Mediaworks) or will he act as middleman to offshore financiers ( maybe China )

    And post politics wouldnt this be a ‘good space’ to be in and provide lucrative contacts for someone who wouldnt appear to want to stay in politics for the long haul

    • ad 5.1

      Great spotting.
      Better if they left this to NZVIF and Kiwibank surely.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.2

      Interesting, I thought that was the job of the banks. You know, the ones that just caused the GFC through having capital far too easily available and have now been caught manipulating the market.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 5.2.1

        or the job of the Hedge Funds…. surely Joyce is not going to use taxpayer funds or guarantees to compete with the Wide boys of Wall St, The City or Sydney

    • Yeah. Good spotting alright.

      “A holistic view of capital markets”?

      Nevermind all the other statutory and other responsibilities Moby is supposed to have.

      Forget about health and safety, tourism, science. The focus of this lumbering giant is capital, capital, and more capital.

  6. tracey 6

    Anyone one seen the animated comedy beached az? I think its where mobie is headed. Its on youtube

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