Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Leaving the bunker

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  • Russell Brown,

    that mash-up is phenomenal. cheers.

    It's made from two of the more mashed-up tunes of all time, so it has a head start there.

    Credit to ol' Havo, who played it this morning.

    He tried to pull a swifty by not saying the track name of who it was by, but that's hardly going stop me finding it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18969 posts Report Reply

  • linger,

    I/S: well, "you don't have to talk about" such things... only if nobody asks the relevant questions. What are the chances of interviewers waking up and performing that function some time before the election?

    Your comment suggests to me that there may be a more worrying logic at work here:
    "we don't have policy, so why would we need policy advice?"

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 918 posts Report Reply

  • Hamboy,

    Merc - Any idea why the yanks were using an AK47 (wooden stock) at the end?

    Think they were Iraqi soldiers. Marines get the expensive toys. Iraqis just get cheap knock offs.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 162 posts Report Reply

  • Lynda Johansson,

    A couple of interesting comments coming out of Joe Nunweek's Wire interview with Victoria's Bill Ryan: the comparison between the more generalised stereotypical armchair critics and the 'extraordinarily high satisfaction ratings' found in attitudinal studies of clients of NZ government agencies; also his surmising that a lot of the people Key was talking about may well have come from those public servants engaged in providing the answers to parliamentary questions from non-govt parties needed by ministers to use in the house, along with legislative requirements for agencies and that thorny matter of 'accountability'.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2007 • 14 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    If the kill is with an AK47, then it wasn't a Marine kill...cough.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Hey Craig you know that the ol' "National did this wrong but Labour also did something else wrong" defence, doesn't make Nationals actions right.

    That's something Cullen said in Parliament one day. This is a conscious attempt to raise public odium through the use of certain words.

    Daivd & Russell. I think you're both being a tad disingenuous, folks. My point -- and I think its a fair one -- that someone who has a very long history of throwing around barbed insults at his political enemies perhaps doesn't occupy the moral high ground over liberal use of the B-word. Cancerous and corrosive, anyone? Haters and wreckers? Secret agendas?

    Like 'cancerous and corrosive', 'secret agenda', haters and wreckers' etc.?

    I'm one of those faceless bureaucrats and frankly John's mean words made me die a little.

    You'll excuse me if I wish the IRD staffer who wasted over an hour of my time this morning would die a lot. Or is it an unreasonable expectation that someone you've made an appointment to see be competent, well-trained and civil?

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12034 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    does bureaucracy need a marketing campaign?

    not just pushing paper: pushing envelopes

    Hey, I miss getting three copies of my student loan statement. And more fool me for ringing them up and suggesting I only needed one. (I've got a theory that the IRD has been taken over by aliens that feed on bewilderment and simmering hostility.)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12034 posts Report Reply

  • Scott Common,

    You'll excuse me if I wish the IRD staffer who wasted over an hour of my time this morning would die a lot. Or is it an unreasonable expectation that someone you've made an appointment to see be competent, well-trained and civil?

    I'm one of those faceless 'crats myself (not at the IRD) and it actually appals me to hear the level of service that some people have received. I operate a contact centre for a government organisation (well I am the contact centre) and day in and day out I get people directed to me by departments who should know better, or haven't made any effort to actually help the person. There is nothing more embarrassing than having to direct a caller back to the agency which they had just spoken to (because the issue is something which is their responsibility) - it makes everyone (inlcuding myself) look bad.

    Craig, it's certainly not too much to expect that when you contact a department you get someone who is competent, well trained and civil - if anything it should be the standard - and it's not a hard standard to attain either.

    It does get to be very frustrating to work in a department which is chronically underfunded for the work we're doing (my entire group are working 1.2FTE's) and then see other departments who seem to have an excess of staff with times on their hands.

    My concern is where these 'crats are going to be prunned from - because if they take the same approach to the prunning as they have to funding I can see those agencies with more "glamourous" roles keeping their staff whilst agencies doing important technical infrastructure work loosing out.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 62 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Across my life the issue of insourcing and outsourcing of the faceless paper shuffling bureaucrats of the various special needs agencies has always had a strange feel, because for my entire life my father has worked in those agencies.

    I distinctly remember the first discussion I had with a friend when the Psych Service was being killed back in the 80s- him talking about the faceless needless bureaucrats, and me seeing my father's face, and thinking of the hundreds of dinner table conversations we'd had where he talked about the help he'd provided to this or that family with problem kids (or parents!).

    Dad's been basically working for the government the entire time, just under a different name for every government that comes along, with more or less frustrating access to the resources and support he needs to provide the kind of help that really counts. The amount of paper he's had to shuffle has increased no matter what government it's been. That's in the nature of systems as they increase in complexity.

    That's never been what gets on his goat when management changes (as it seems to do every 3 years or so). Nor is it any sense of job insecurity - he knows that his work is valued by anyone who understands it at all. What shits him off, is that the inevitable restructuring is almost always just reinventing the same paperwork, or going backwards, and it's almost always done for ideological reasons. So not only do you have to put up with it, you're also expected to like it, and to believe in it. You can only do that so many times before you stop believing in any of it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8592 posts Report Reply

  • Jimmy D,

    Whaleoil - Hilarious!

    Youtube comments - Also Hilarious!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 16 posts Report Reply

  • David Cormack,

    Craig

    that someone who has a very long history of throwing around barbed insults at his political enemies perhaps doesn't occupy the moral high ground over liberal use of the B-word

    I have a problem with it. He's using bureaucrat in the pejorative without actually specifying what positions he means.

    I like to think my role is worthwhile for the place I work for - and you would hope that everyone feels the same way too.

    I also think that "cancerous" was a bad choice of words. Don Brash doesn't inspire cell growth in me.

    Suburbia, Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 216 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Hey, I miss getting three copies of my student loan statement. And more fool me for ringing them up and suggesting I only needed one. (I've got a theory that the IRD has been taken over by aliens that feed on bewilderment and simmering hostility.)

    If you enjoy that, you should try crossing the line and having a kid and then paying child support.

    Some weeks I've gotten three letters, consecutive days, each telling me that my income has changed, and that this is the new amount I'll be paying. When my income actually only changes once a year, when I get my pay rise.

    A few times, I've had two letters on the same day, saying exactly same thing, except for the numbers after the dollar sign.

    I get about 50 bits of postage a year from the IRD. I really wish they'd just email it to me (and the damn bank too). Save everyone money and trees, and at least then I could claim they were spamming in the way god intended it.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6205 posts Report Reply

  • Snowy,

    interesting clip merc.

    hamboy, the AK47 is still a prized weapon in the feild because it's so rediculously reliable and has oodles more knock down power than an M16, which would be particularly necessary at those ranges. nothing second rate about the AK, marines covet them.

    very interesting also to see the .50 cal sniper rifle in action. a seriously lethal piece of equipment.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2008 • 62 posts Report Reply

  • Snowy,

    i suppose being a money trader doesn't count as paper pushing.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2008 • 62 posts Report Reply

  • Judi Lapsley Miller,

    Emma said

    I was talking to my daughter's audiologist yesterday. In June, 'the gummint' is bringing in hearing testing for newborns. Because the heads of newborn babies are often, through no fault of their own, full of fluid, this is going to lead to a lot of false negatives - children being picked up with a hearing problem who don't have one.

    When I'm not reading PA or updating my FB status, I'm involved with developing technology to markedly decrease the false positive rate in infant screening programs. By detecting the cases where the screen failed because there was middle ear fluid or external ear occlusion, rather than inner-ear dysfunction (which is what the screen is primarily for), babies can be rescreened rather than referred for expensive follow-up evaluation. It should make a *big* difference to the false-positive rate. The technology is commercially available now, but is only just starting to take off - it's mainly used in research centres, university hospitals, and the like currently. The cool thing is that it uses the same underlying hardware as that used for the otoacoustic emission screener.

    Cheers,

    Judi
    Senior Scientist
    Mimosa Acoustics, Inc.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 100 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    __that someone who has a very long history of throwing around barbed insults at his political enemies perhaps doesn't occupy the moral high ground over liberal use of the B-word__

    I have a problem with it. He's using bureaucrat in the pejorative without actually specifying what positions he means.

    Ditto. It's me objecting. I have no idea what Michael Cullen has said about it, and it would make no difference to my view.

    At any rate, "haters and wreckers" was uttered once (and generally quoted out of context), ditto "rich prick"; and "secret agenda" hardly stands out from the rhetoric the governing and Opposition parties hurl at each other.

    "Bureaucrats" is simply egregious, meaningless spin, applied to people National aspires to lead. Key must have used it more than a dozen times in the one bFM interview.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18969 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    Or is it an unreasonable expectation that someone you've made an appointment to see be competent, well-trained and civil?

    Holy crap, has Vodafone been nationalised?

    With apologies to the local lurkers of Voda-ilk who I'm sure are lovely people equally aghast at their system issues...

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1721 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    scott said:

    I'm one of those faceless 'crats myself (not at the IRD) and it actually appals me to hear the level of service that some people have received.

    same.

    and i was at the ird. one of the type of people craig encountered was my primary motivation to taking my skills to another department...

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2026 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah,

    I used to be a faceless bureaucrat too.

    We worked long and hard, on complex and technically difficult issues. Every time someone ranted about getting rid of faceless bureaucrats, I wondered if it was me they were after. Every time someone complained about lazy public servants, I thought abut the 40 hours weeks I was working, on a 80% salary. Literally. In theory I had a 0.8 job; in practice, I worked full time, and got to be a little bit flexible around the edges. Every time someone talked about incompetent bureaucrats, I thought about my hard won PhD.

    Does John Key actually want to get any votes in Wellington? He might think public servants are an easy target, and they are - because they are not allowed to answer back. But they have votes too.

    I have no doubt that they can do some nipping and tucking around the public service, should they be elected. Perhaps if John Key is so keen to cut costs, the public service could stop answering MPs questions.

    Manawatu City • Since Nov 2006 • 1323 posts Report Reply

  • Jose Barbosa,

    I can't believe John Key, when asked where the cuts in the public sector would be, he responded "health, education and welfare."

    Right, 'cause those sectors don't need more resources.

    Actually I suppose there's a case for less top level management in health; that can all be contracted out, of course.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 64 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Does John Key actually want to get any votes in Wellington?

    Well, I know at least one nurse who would blow John Key in the middle of Civic Square if he personally lined up Wellington Hospital management and went Rambo on their arse. I don't think that place is so much dysfunctional as something out of the more frightening corners of grindhouse cinema.

    I believe there are one or two people in Wellywood who are neither on the public payroll or the credits of LoTR.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12034 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    Does John Key actually want to get any votes in Wellington?

    it's a safe labour seat! he has nothing to fear.

    he personally lined up Wellington Hospital management and went Rambo on their arse. I don't think that place is so much dysfunctional as something out of the more frightening corners of grindhouse cinema.

    did i mention that i had to self-diagnose to get accurate information to the surgeon who was going to perform my a heart operation? (it's about four paragraphs down.)

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2026 posts Report Reply

  • John,

    Rail to Onehunga opening again and eventually the Airport reminds of a true story, cross my heart.

    Late 1960's and New Zealand doing everything it can to develop new export markets as the EEC was about to strike.
    .
    The Straits Times Express, Singpores leading English Language daily was a great help in promoting NZ in Singapore and Malaysia
    Their Advertising Manager came to Auckland to sell space in a supplement that they had planned.
    He was to come to my office in Mangere Bridge after first visiting NZ Forest Products in Penrose.
    I said I would pick him up and that he should ask NZFP to give me a ring re a suitable time.

    He was being hosted by Industries & Commerce and when he asked how he should get to Forest Products he was told that there was a train that would get him there???

    His contacts at NZFP reckoned that he was the first visitor to use the train since WW11.

    Auckland • Since Dec 2007 • 21 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    did i mention that i had to self-diagnose to get accurate information to the surgeon who was going to perform my a heart operation? (it's about four paragraphs down.)

    Yup, and that's why I don't really give a shit about people who get into a fit of righteous indignation that my partner went private for his heart op. Getting records from Wellington was needlessly stressful -- and I hardly blame the surgeon for saying that he wasn't entirely comfortable frigging around with my BH's heart without some rather pertinent data.

    I do get that the public health system isn't entirely staffed with gold-brickers sitting round all day, drinking coffee and plotting to make people's lives nasty, brutish and short. But there's also times you just don't want to be told that it's important to look at the big picture, and place the distress of someone you love in its proper context.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12034 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Darlington,

    that mash-up is phenomenal. cheers.

    It's made from two of the more mashed-up tunes of all time, so it has a head start there.

    Also check out Smells like Compton from Party Ben. Mashes up Teen Spirit with Straight Outta Compton. Ice Cube and Eazy E are perfect ranting over the Cobain guitar track.

    Nelson • Since Nov 2006 • 889 posts Report Reply

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