Why be a public servant?

Written By: - Date published: 1:16 pm, July 20th, 2017 - 28 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, accountability, Deep stuff, national, national/act government, Politics, Privatisation, same old national, treasury, Unions, workers' rights - Tags:

Why be a public servant? Why in particular work in a government department in Wellington?

Twenty years ago there was still a mythology that such office jobs were cushy numbers with great perks. Ten years ago some could still say they had a calling to actually make a difference through work beyond their own self interest. Maybe a few still start off like that.

Now, two big instances pull back the curtain on what it’s really like, and what it means for government.

First off, the State Services Commission has confirmed that three staff at the Ministry of Transport who sought to be whistle-blowers on the massive and long term fraud there, were vindictively restructured out.

Any large government department has an atmosphere of controlled perpetual repression, because it is ruled over by a Minister whose personality is usually a mixture of naïve ideas, bullying, fear of the Prime Minister, fear of Parliament and the media, and everything else you see on House of Cards. It really is like that. So seeking to expose active and long term corruption by your superior is something really only those with no mortgage can undertake without real fear. Gordon Campbell noted in March this year that “If whistle blowers don’t feel protected if and when they relay their concerns to senior staff – let alone if they later feel impelled to go public to the media – then the formal protections on paper are worthless”.

The State Services Commission themselves understand how important the whistle-blowing function is to our public service:

Winston Peters was quite right: the then-Chief Executive of the Ministry of Transport, who is now the Auditor General, should leave. He allowed this repression of his own staff under his watch. He also failed to detect the corruption. He is now in charge of detecting corruption in the public sector.

That gives you a little hint of what it is really like to work in Wellington as a public servant now. It is a perpetual climate of fear and obedience, where the good go punished and there is no justice for incompetence or malice.

At the Inland Revenue Department, they are going to cut 30% of the workforce. They are rolling out an enormous new computer system, to overtake the old one which has been running as a set of patch-ups with Kiwisaver loaded onto it, childcare payment changes, new tax thresholds, new rebates, all on an ageing computer architecture.

Sure, this kind of automation is affecting the entire accounting industry. And granted this set of changes has been building for several years. However the Public Service Association says that “The loss of expert staff and the lack of certainty for workers reapplying for more simplistically modified roles means that important regulatory changes to the tax system rest on very shaky foundations.”

The Taxpayers Union agrees with the PSA (!).

Other accounting analysts on Radio New Zealand this morning were equally concerned at the gutting of regulatory and interpretative capacity in the department.

The IRD is one of the largest and most vital instruments of state. It collects the money in tax, but does far more. People I know of in there are there because they want the whole of New Zealand to pay their share in order that the instruments of state do their best to redistribute equity across the whole population.

3,000 people likely unemployed, meaning 3,000 mortgages at risk in Wellington. That is one huge hit to the economy.

Granted this is nothing on the scale of perpetual restructures that occurred in Wellington in the 1990s. And yes, with unemployment at around 5% they will likely find lesser jobs to do something with.

But let’s make a couple of quick points.

The public service in Wellington are a core of the remaining middle class in New Zealand. Liquidate them and you liquidate not only their mortgages, but also the things they buy: travel, babysitters, gardeners, concert bookings, trips to Moore Wilsons, private schools, nice clothes, nice cars, restaurants, wine, regular haircuts, and in fact all the things that employ tens of thousands of other New Zealanders. Your entire life and family goes down a couple of pegs, and never returns. That’s not a reason to keep them in jobs. It simply notes that such moves cool the entire Wellington economy by devastating thousands of people.

The public service run the country. To take the IRD for example, there’s very little chance you can call them to get exemptions or extensions to filing deadlines, interpretations of regulatory clauses, or someone who can actually point you on the phone in the right direction. Because they will have been fired. That is the capacity being hollowed out. And don’t get me started on the lies and lifeboat ethics you see when there’s a major restructure on. It’s the evil part of human nature, covering a good shanking to your future with a tissue of meaningless and flippant corporate lies.

For those political parties who would like to do large things with the public sector, such as the Greens plans for massive social welfare spending all of which have huge tax implications, good luck getting those implemented. Compare that to the lack of capacity that already exists in Wellington to deal with the housing crisis, and you can see the inertia any future Labour government would face implementing tens of thousands of houses built per year. Hundreds of people debate and contest policy ideas in elections, and politicians make their promises, but without public servants to do them they just can’t and won’t happen.

Some people survive such restructures, and you see their names pop up across town in new departments, freshly-minted government agencies doing roughly the same stuff with yet another new brand. The churn is perpetual, the dumb ideas and new departments are just a pathetic and perpetual waste that you see year after year after year. That’s almost part of the nature of governments changing.

But this government has led this culture. Hollowed out, unable to act, disempowered, vengeful, cowed, increasingly corrupt. Most public servants, like most of New Zealand’s middle class, just continue to go backwards. A good country needs a good public service and good public servants to deliver that service.

It’s dying.

28 comments on “Why be a public servant?”

  1. Sam C 1

    I live in Wellington and know plenty of public servants (including a couple of chief executives). I don’t know any who have gardeners or send their kids to private schools, but most of them do enjoy a wine and, God forbid, get a regular haircut.

    You yourself point out that the IRD restructure has been telegraphed for years – by all means jump up and down if you don’t like the final outcome, but at this stage there is scant detail of what the final structure will look like.

    What exactly is the point of this post?

    • Ad 1.1

      After two massive stories about specific departments, you don’t see a point to the post?

      Since you asked, and don’t have a critical faculty to actually use, here are some points within the post.

      1. Public servants are important to executing policy, but they are being gutted in IRD and a lot of people are reasonably worried about it. There’s a fair few commentators about today who are also concerned – some of whom I linked to so that you can help form that missing critical faculty of yours.

      2. Restructuring a government department with very large redundancies has a very large economic impact.

      3. The middle class is very important to New Zealand, and the Wellington public service is vital to that.

      4. The culture of bullying within the Ministry of Transport has occurred under the current government, and was carried out in a noteworthy specific instance by the person who is now the Auditor General. And it was noteworthy enough that the State Services Commissioner got involved. And made a specific speech about the importance of whistleblowing. Again, I linked to that to assist with your missing critical faculty.

      5. Degrading public servants and cutting their capacity severely limits the ability of an alternative government to implement policy. This is worth taking note of with two months to go to a new government.

      Since you didn’t understand any of that, you need to sit down with these public servant friends of yours – including those chief executives – and do a bit of reflection.

      Ask them about the culture and capacity within MoT.

      Ask them about the culture and capacity within NZTA.

      Ask them about the culture and capacity within IRD.

      Ask them about the culture and capacity within DoC.

      Ask them about the culture and capacity within MoJ.

      Ask them about the culture and capacity within MoH.

      Or the Ombudsman’s Office. Or the Privacy Commissioner.
      There’s a few more I could list, but that should be enough conversations with your friends for you to be getting on with so that you can figure out what the point of the post is.

      • mickysavage 1.1.1

        I agree with Ad. Today is a really bad day for the public service. How the feck did Mot get things so bad? And how can they justify cutting a third of IRD’s staff?

        • Ad 1.1.1.1

          It was great to see the PSA voice their serious concerns about the IRD restructure, in the release I linked to.

          The stories I hear of the departments I listed are horrific. Hopefully the PSA will call out the relevant Ministers for these departments for disgraceful conduct. After all, there’s an election on.

          There is nothing to lose, except an oppressive government.

        • Sam C 1.1.1.2

          With ref to my comment at 2 below, I hadn’t seen the SSC’s findings when I typed that. Hard to argue with the findings – as Micky says, how did MOT get it so badly wrong?

          Not sure that Martin Matthews will be returning from his leave of absence.

          • mickysavage 1.1.1.2.1

            Agreed.

          • Rob 1.1.1.2.2

            If Matthews can be so easily conned by J Harrison how can he be auditor General
            He may even be conned by bully boys like a former minister of transport!

          • gsays 1.1.1.2.3

            he certainly shouldn’t.
            made me curious how auditor general got the job.
            the officers of parliament committee said so.
            said committee includes carter, mallard, clendon, sepuloni, stewart, ross, flavell.

            • Loop 1.1.1.2.3.1

              “made me curious how auditor general got the job.”

              The same way surjon became a night and got oz order of merit. Systemic failings and willful blindness

      • Doogs 1.1.2

        You only missed out the Ministry of Education. All sorts of shit going on there!

      • SARAH 1.1.3

        You left out MPI. I listened to someone talking about the culture there and most who work there are appalled at what goes on.

  2. Sam C 2

    In re your first 3 points, as I said above, this has been telegraphed for a long time. There were always going to be relatively large job losses as a result of the implementation of the new system at IRD. Since I (and presumably you) don’t know the exact nature of those job losses, it is premature to speculate as to the economic impact or otherwise.

    As for 4, I’m not close enough to that to agree or disagree about the culture at MOT, but will wait for the findings of the report.

    Re point 5 – so are you saying that the IRD restructure was announced two months before the election with the express intention of limiting the ability of an alternative government to implement policy? That’s a pretty long bow to draw.

    I think I’ll pass on the reflection with my friends though, thanks. We’ll probably just sit around drinking wine, eating small-goods from Moore Wilson while watching the gardener raking the leaves, talking about how miserable the culture is in their departments and how lacking in capacity their departments are and how they can’t wait for an alternative government to save the day.

    • Ad 2.1

      Top work on the analysis and capacity to use a reply button.

      If you think it’s premature to speculate on the economic impact of a restructure, then you haven’t been through one. Speculate about your future is the first thing to do, and it’s the only wise thing to do. Every one of those people going through restructures goes through fear and a focus about their actual interests. Their entire family goes through that damage together. If you are not aware of the studies about how the great majority of restructured people never recover either their economic or social status they once had, elucidate yourself.

      Since you think just sitting on your fucking ass hoping that the impact will be light is the right approach, then clearly you are either a chief executive, a minister, or a union organiser that has been bought. Doesn’t matter which – your reaction would be the same.

      You sure aren’t from the SSC, because they are the only people showing spine right now.

      Every single large scale restructure in Wellington in the last thirty years has involved massive job losses. These fuckers are true to their word. If you don’t know that, then you don’t know as many public servants as you say you do.

      On point 5, if you can’t see the capacity issue, you are blind.

      Clearly you don’t like the idea of being middle class. You don’t like seeing how restructures affect an entire economy. You don’t like admitting who does or does not go to Moore Wilsons. Or has childcare. Or goes to Pacific islands or skiing during winter. You are in denial.

      Every single thing you say shows that you are caught within a bubble. About time you started opening your eyes to the damage to the public service that this government is doing.

  3. Bill 3

    Maybe somewhat relevant.

    Was in conversation with a foreign national who works for ACC. They were saying ACC seems to prefer hiring foreign nationals to do claim assessments because they lack the insight to know what ACC used to be and so are unable, perhaps, to evaluate or criticise new claims criteria on the basis of historical or institutional knowledge.

    And that conversation originally reminded me of scenes from the “I Daniel Blake” film where the lead character has to make their claim in electronic form where to will sent off to someone he never meets or speaks to who will assess his claim against a series of tick boxes.

    And coming back to your post.

    What would be a possible motivation for gutting the civil service? Some departments, I’ve no doubt, could be deliberately run down then held up as inefficient failures that would be better run as and by private contractors.

    UK equivalent of WINZ is already contracted out. I could see ACC being contracted out. And I’m sure there are many other departments that could be “ripened for the picking”.

    And then government’s reduced to over-seeing the process of contracting out and perhaps somewhat lackadaisically, monitoring the services that have become contracted out.

    Small and corrupt government heaven?

    • Ad 3.1

      I certainly don’t think the public service in general is corrupt here – I think on the contrary the mid-level and operational staff are usually saints operating in ridiculous constraints.

      Yes there is an accelerated hollowing out of actual public servants in many of the social welfare arms, in favour of a highly devolved and contractarian culture with awkward and opaque accountability mechanisms into NGO trusts. But that’s too big an area for my little post today.

      I do think the quality of mid and high-level management in the public service in Wellington’s core public service is on average very, very low.

      There have been a few standouts with real heft and excellence over the last few years – Dr Prebble, Jeff Dangerfield and David Smol and of course Hugh Rennie come to mind. But so many of them are out of their depth, and do exactly what we have seen at MoT and are seeing now in IRD. Chaos ensues.

      • Bill 3.1.1

        Didn’t mean to imply that the public service is corrupt.

        Your description of mid-level and operational staff compared to higher-level management, seems to chime with what I hear from people working for larger NGOs dependent on government funding.

        You want regime change and you have the wherewithal, then step one is to promote unimaginative “yes” peeps into top positions, no?

    • AsleepWhileWalking 3.2

      I shudder to think of what WINZ would be like if it contracted out like the disaster that is UK welfare.

  4. savenz 4

    Maybe IRD will offer free meals and training and help getting residency in return for free workers at IRD on their new computer systems and turning a blind eye, wink wink to government tax evasion and fraud.

    They could put Judith Collins in charge and with our auditor General after his promotion after being asleep at the wheel with The ministry of Transport frauds.

    A joint brain fart from The Maori Party and National party policy in action – what a winner.

  5. Anne 5

    Thanks Ad. Your summation of the Public Service as I experienced it is very accurate. Especially:

    That gives you a little hint of what it is really like to work in Wellington as a public servant now. It is a perpetual climate of fear and obedience, where the good go punished and there is no justice for incompetence or malice.

    Be assured it not only happened in Wellington and it is interesting to note my own experience also involved the Ministry of Transport – 20+ years ago.

    One aspect you only touched upon which plays a significant role is the Peter Principle

    • Andre 5.1

      The Peter Principle is long gone. And that’s not a good thing. When the Peter Principle was operative, the boss was someone who, once upon a time, was actually good at something related to that workplace. Now, not so much.

      • Anne 5.1.1

        I was referring more to this definition:

        the Peter Principle the theory, usually taken facetiously, that all members in a hierarchy rise to their own level of incompetence.

        It began with the restructuring in the late 1980s/1990s and is imo a direct consequence of neoliberal practices. I witnessed it firsthand in the MoT 25 years ago. Wisdom and experience flew out the window and was replaced by “youthful dynamism” – at least that was the expression used by one idiot manager I had the misfortune to work under.

        • Andre 5.1.1.1

          They used to have to rise to their level of incompetence. Nowadays they just get bunged straight in to a level of greater incompetence.

          • Anne 5.1.1.1.1

            That is true. I saw tried and true managers starting at the very top tossed out in 1989 and replaced by a bunch of incompetents from other jurisdictions, including the private sector, and within 2 to 3 years the govt. department I worked for was on its knees. They, in turn, were tossed out and the whole shebang became an SOE and as far as I can tell has prospered since. I hate to say it but it was the Minister of Transport, Rob Storey in the Bolger Govt. who came to the rescue and re-introduced some commonsense appointments.

      • Cricklewood 5.1.2

        Its why I having started my career in council have moved and stayed within the small companies in the private sector. Inevitably the company owner understands and is engaged in what they are doing.
        The admin building where i started out was colliqually known as ‘bullshit castle’ which was apt. As a small but typical example an edict was issued that no small plant could be purchased as a result we spent thousands of dollars hiring a $500 lawnmower for 6 months…

  6. One Anonymous Bloke 6

    the inertia

    How many degrees does the direction of the inertia need to change?
    Things that are already moving get lighter, as anyone who has ever pushed a car can attest.

  7. Nice post.

    I worked as a labourer ( officially called a ….’ Headworks Assistant ‘ … L0L ! ) in the ARA… ( Auckland Regional Authority ) in the 1980’s out there in the Waitakere Ranges.

    1980 – 1986.

    I left that job just before the guys knew it was all going to be broken up and privatized. They all said I was mad to leave . Little did we all know. At the depo I worked at , they almost all lost their jobs. And so it was across the ARA as all depts were privatized to one extent or another.

    I don’t forget or forgive easily when people in suits fuck others over.

    Especially when I see the shitters responsible rolling in cash and in social positions publicly commenting on ‘changes that need to be done in order to be more efficient’ .

    The same goes when I see shitters who are well off talking about economic downturns that affect thousands of peoples lives forever talking about ‘ market corrections’ … as if sanitizing it with a euphemism legitimizes fucking those thousands over as if they are mere cattle to be consumed.

    Neo liberalism.

    The filthiest , most treacherous ideology to afflict the modern western democracy’s that ever we had the misfortune to be taken in by.

    New Right Fight – Who are the New Right?
    http://www.newrightfight.co.nz/pageA.html

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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • A future of government
      How could government evolve over the next decades? Reports of democracy’s imminent demise are greatly exaggerated.  However, satisfaction with political systems in many countries is low, so there is much to do for governments of all political stripes to improve relevance and trust. Digital technologies are seen as one ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    7 days ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    7 days ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
    Overruled: The joint decision of Finance Minister, Grant Robertson (Labour) and his Associate Minister, David Parker (Labour) arguably the two most powerful ministers in Jacinda Ardern’s government, to grant OceanaGold the consents which Land Information Minister, Eugenie Sage (Greens) had earlier denied them, offers bitter proof of how hard fighting ...
    7 days ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
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    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Barbaric
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    1 week ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
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    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
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    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
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    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter
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    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Let’s Hear It For Up-Close-And-Personal, Hard-Copy Democracy!
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    1 week ago
  • 10/10: World Day Against the Death Penalty
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Talking Freer Lives: a Marxist gender-critical perspective from Australia
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    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Government spin accepted by union leadership
    by Don Franks  The Auckland City Mission is struggling with a 40 percent increase in demand for food parcels this year. A total of 23,020 were needed by June. Last month Missioner Chris Farrelly told the Herald the “cupboards are bare” and without an emergency food drive, he can’t see ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Forbidden Thoughts
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Much love to my loyal Ukrainian readership
    For some reasons, my post about the mystery message from inside the Downing Street bunker seemed to catch people's attention.  Quite a lot of hits from NZ (unsurprisingly) and the USA (a bit more puzzlingly, but hi there, USAians!!) and 76 views from the Ukraine.I've celebrated my Ukrainian readers in ...
    1 week ago
  • Another day of bonkers GNUmours (again, sorry)
    First, almost a score of Labour MPs seem to have sent a letter to the EU basically begging them to accept a deal - any deal - just so Britain can get the Heck on with Brexiting instead of being trapped in limbo:
    To avoid no deal, deliver on the ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour vs working class immigrants – again!
    by Phil Duncan In 2016 the National-led government suspended the Parent Visa Category, through which migrants were able to bring their parents into New Zealand.  Since then over 5,700 people have been in immigration limbo, stuck on the visa wait list. Labour is now bringing back the scheme.  Well, sort ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women press statement: on Massey University and Feminism 2020
    The following was released yesterday (Tues, October 8) by the women’s liberation organisation Speak Up for Women. On 23 September Speak Up For Women announced that we would be holding an event at the Massey University Theaterette in Wellington. The event is called Feminism 2020. The intention of the event ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Farmers support dirty rivers
    The government is currently consulting on plans to improve freshwater quality. So naturally, farmers oppose it:South Taranaki farmers are preparing to fight proposed national freshwater changes that some fear will bankrupt them. The Government's proposed National Environment Standard on Freshwater Management, released in September, rated the Waingongoro River as one ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No-one cares about local government
    Yesterday was the last day for (reliably) posting your vote away in local body elections. Turnouts are mostly much lower than the equivalent time last year (Palmerston North is down 2.3%), and so naturally people are pushing their online-voting snake oil again. Because the online census worked so well, lets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The political ghosts of eugenics may matter more than the genetic
    This essay, on the political legacy of the eugenics movement, by Kenan Malik was originally published in the Observer on 6 October 2019, under the headline ‘The spirit of eugenics is still with us, as immigrants know to their cost’. Birth control. Intelligence tests. Town planning. Immigration controls. It’s striking how ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “Surplus” again
    Another year, and the government has announced another enormous government "surplus". And just like last year, its nothing of the sort. When we have people homeless and sick and hungry, when we have schools and hospitals still falling down, when we have underpaid public servants and infrastucture unmaintained or unbuilt, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Inside the Downing Street bunker
    James Forsyth at The Spectator (I know, I know) has tapped one of his contacts inside Number Ten for an insight into the Johnson administration's thinking and strategy.It is fascinating, unsettling and quite, quite mad.  Some key points:Negotiations have stalled and the Johnson administration are keen to blame the EU: ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Taking Control Of The Nation’s Story.
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    2 weeks ago
  • Are GNUs extinct?
    Another round of tactical talks about forming a Government of National Unity have come to nothing with the Liberal Democrats still refusing countenance putting Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street:Opposition talks on Monday made little headway over when to try and vote down Boris Johnson's government and who might succeed him as ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour chickens out again
    When the government was elected, it promised to lead the way on electric vehicles, and specifically to make the government vehicle fleet emissions-free where-practicable by 2025.They lied:There are 15,473 vehicles in the government fleet and only 78 are electric. When the coalition Government came into power in late 2017, the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Transgender extremism, violence at work against feminist meeting at British Labour Party conference
    by Nick Rogers The debate around the meaning of sex and gender made an appearance at this year’s British Labour Party conference in Brighton. Women’s Place UK – an organisation that questions the demand that biological males who self-identify as woman should have access to women’s spaces, to all-women shortlists, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Rebelling in Wellington
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • ‘The Workshop’ – Report: Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform: A Guide to Strategies that ...
    The Workshop is a charitable trust for public good. The Workshop undertake research to find ways of communicating that will build support for the solutions that work to solve complex social and environmental problems. See their Report on Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform below. ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • Exclusive language
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    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    2 weeks ago
  • April 2018 – Submission to the NZ Govt Tax Working Group
    You can read our submission HERE ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago

  • Methane reducing cattle feed one step closer
    The Government today announced its support for a project that could substantially reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from cattle. The announcement was made as part of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s visit to Nelson’s Cawthron Aquaculture Park. The Cawthron Institute will receive $100,000 from the Government’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
    Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill. “Every New Zealander has a stake in New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “They are our most common form of social assistance – nearly 800,000 New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
    Babies in Auckland aged six months and over can receive a free vaccination and children will all have access to vaccines, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced today at Papatoetoe High School.   The move comes as part of Government efforts to step up the fight against measles. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
    ***Check against delivery*** Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here, and to have the honour of opening this important conference on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. Let us take the opportunity to acknowledge all the people who have helped make today possible, including our special ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
    Police Minister Stuart Nash says the safety of frontline officers and members of the public will be the focus of a new trial of specialist Police response teams in three of our largest urban centres. Police have this morning released details of an initiative to be trialled in Counties Manukau, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
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    2 days ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
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    3 days ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
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    3 days ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
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    3 days ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
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    3 days ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
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    3 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Lyttelton Parking
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    4 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Hagley Oval
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    4 days ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
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    4 days ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way. “We’re on high alert to stop BMSB arriving in NZ. The high season runs until April 30 and we’ve strengthened our measures to stop stink ...
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    4 days ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter welcomes PHARMAC’s move to improve access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs). PHARMAC has today announced it will fund the full cost of Mirena and Jaydess for anyone seeking long term contraception, lifting previous restrictions on access to Mirena. “I welcome women having greater choices ...
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    5 days ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Extra support for rural families
    Extra funding will allow Rural Support Trusts to help farming families, says Minister for Rural Communities and Agriculture Damien O’Connor. “I know that rural families are worried about some of the challenges facing them, including the ongoing uncertainty created by the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. “Those concerns sit alongside ongoing worries ...
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    7 days ago
  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Finance Minister to attend APEC meetings
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    1 week ago
  • Pacific languages are a source of strength, they ground us and build confidence
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    1 week ago
  • Major boost to support disabled people in sport and recreation
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    1 week ago
  • More prefab homes to be built as red tape cut
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    1 week ago