Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: That Buzzing Sound

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  • Hilary Stace,

    And more on Foreign Affairs issues from Pundit this morning about NZ losing a chance at a seat on the UN Human Rights Council and Simon Power redefining human rights.

    And more indication that we are in weird times Pansy Wong wants the Ministry of Women's Affairs to be more inclusive of men.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 2077 posts Report Reply

  • Joshua Arbury,

    Having seen the draft bills for the Auckland reconstruction (I'm quoted by proxy in a Greens release this morning about the secondment of existing councils' staff to the Auckland Transitional Agency), I can safely say that no matter how much of a "jobs for the boys" look the MFAT appointment appears to be it's nothing against what will be done for the ATA.

    Is it anywhere online yet?

    Auckland • Since May 2009 • 217 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    So just a quick note for Sean Plunket: sometimes governments massage financial numbers to make their ideas look better, and in this case, it seems the numbers haven't been so much massaged as given a full-service rogering. And a corresponding note for Sean's interview subject, David Shearer: sometimes it's easier to just say "creative accounting" or "raiding the piggy bank" than to explain the details.

    Quick note for Russell: Just because you've made up your mind doesn't mean Plunket should throw all scepticism out the window.

    And David should fucking explain the details, otherwise why shouldn't I think he's just making shit up?

    But some of the rest ... hovering over a reporter editing a story

    Oh FFS... Let's see, someone whose contract was not renewed for undisclosed reasons claims she was "rather uncomfortable" because Lee was standing behind her? What looks rather bad here is that it looks like another round of TVNZ/Three beating up the opposition because actual reporting is just too damn hard.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11933 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks,

    Craig,
    Then why didn't lee just appear on Campbell live and deny any impropriety?

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1148 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Quick note for Russell: Just because you've made up your mind doesn't mean Plunket should throw all scepticism out the window.

    Wait, Plunket accepting the numbers provided by the Minister means that he hasn't thrown all scepticism out the window? That didn't sound backwards when you typed it?

    Since Nov 2006 • 6165 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Quick note for Russell: Just because you've made up your mind doesn't mean Plunket should throw all scepticism out the window.

    His lack of scepticism was my complaint.

    Frankly, he sounded like he'd had a late night and was just reading what was in front of him.

    And David should fucking explain the details, otherwise why shouldn't I think he's just making shit up?

    He did actually try and explain the details, but it was hard to hear him over Sean shouting gotcha questions at him ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18839 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Oh FFS... Let's see, someone whose contract was not renewed for undisclosed reasons claims she was "rather uncomfortable" because Lee was standing behind her?

    If the exchange took place as reported, yes, it was troubling. If it didn't happen like that, then Lee should simply have kept her appointment with the reporter and explained how it did go.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18839 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    I thought it was rather revealing when Sean Plonker and Geoff Robinson were wrapping up Morning Report this morning, around a discussion of twitter and tweeting; Geoff R. saying that you could post 146 words, then referring to himself, Plonker and Lynne Freeman as "three dinosaurs". You said it, mate!

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2308 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    If the exchange took place as reported, yes, it was troubling. If it didn't happen like that, then Lee should simply have kept her appointment with the reporter and explained how it did go.

    Yeah, and Helen Clark should have had a sit down with Ian Wishart and explained how wrong all his little conspiracy theories are... because she's a fraking moron who can't smell a set up.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11933 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    I'm always a couple of hours late to the damn discussion...

    But, however we might not enjoy being lectured by Rankin in this context, it would be perilous to say that it should preclude her from the post. There are much better arguments than that -- most notably that Rankin and her trust set themselves against all the genuine child welfare agencies in the country by advocating strongly for the "right" to hit your children. It is genuinely difficult to see how she could work effectively with organisations like Barnado's given her comments about them in the past.

    Russell, I appreciate and fully agree this carefully worded explanation of her unsuitability. Separately, I do wonder if National won't benefit somewhat from her appointment ~ with a different political cohort who see her as a real moderate in a sea of femo-nazis.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2230 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Yeah, and Helen Clark should have had a sit down with Ian Wishart and explained how wrong all his little conspiracy theories are... because she's a fraking moron who can't smell a set up.

    For goodness sake Craig, it was relevant and she's answerable both as an MP and as someone whose company receives a million dollars a year of public money -- which is alleged to have been questionably used. She made an appointment to be interviewed -- and without explanation cancelled it.

    Like I said, I have some sympathy with her, and the mere fact that her company makes an NZOA-funded programme is no big deal. But, even given the 3 vs One dimension, there were entirely reasonable questions she could and should have answered.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18839 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Easterbrook,

    Harking back to waaaaaay up thread - thanks for the invitations to Blenheim and Warkworth, but I think I'll have to stay in Mt Albert. I've never had the opportunity to lie down in front of a bulldozer before...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 244 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    The Minister can appoint anyone they wish, achieve any composition they desire, and there's not even a requirement for a token lay person or iwi rep.

    Let's guess - what former Act MPs or friends of the right have a bit of spare time and no expertise in governance transition planning? What about Owen McShane now he's got his road wish, that man from the Newmarket Business Assn who is always on TV when Hide-friendly comments are required, and Muriel Newman for gender balance and suggestions on how the citizens of Auckland can live on the smell of an oily rag from traffic congestion. And there's always Don Brash or Michelle Boag.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 2077 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    What about Owen McShane ...

    Hilary ... don't .

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18839 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    Joshua, not looking like they're online yet. Gotta love that engagement of the democratic process, when legislation affecting the home city of 1/3 of the population isn't even available for consideration before it gets debated.

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3908 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Just in case anyone missed it, from the Herald story about the supercity transition board, another crucial deviation from the carefully recommended transition process:

    One of the first jobs for the agency will be appointing a chief executive, but it will also appoint an interim chief executive for the Auckland Council up to the middle of 2012.

    The interim chief executive has been given wide powers before he or she is politically accountable to the Auckland Council. These include the ability to hand-pick his or her executive team, enter into contracts and leases and other agreements "to enable the council to operate efficiently and effectively" from November 2010.

    The royal commission recommended the transition agency should have an independent chairman and an interim chief executive until the Auckland Council was in a position to appoint a full-time chief executive.

    The only people the chief executive will be accountable to are the members of the transition agency, who in turn, will report to Mr Hide. The agency must obtain the approval of Mr Hide and Finance Minister Bill English for spending.

    So Hide has direct control of what is done in the transition, constrained only by English.

    It's a trifecta of neutralising opposition to Waterview and any similar local matters - no RMA leverage, no Council leverage, no national political leverage. Gone. Capping rates rises and removing social wellbeing from the Local Government Act yet to come.

    Anyone who thinks this won't be repeated around the country is kidding themselves. National voters should pay close attention to what they have wrought and start asking some questions about why Act is getting so much for their tiny share of the vote, and whether this is really the kind of New Zealand they want for themselves and their families.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16627 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    Hilary ... don't.

    I know, that was painful to read because it feels too plausible. And I don't just mean He who is Afraid of Tunnels.

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

  • ScottY,

    Craig, I saw the interview on Campbell Live. An employee of Lee's gave an eye-witness account of Lee behaving in a certain manner. If Lee did what the employee said she did, then there has to be a serious question about whether Lee acted appropriately.

    All Lee had to do was front up and refute the allegations. She didn't.

    We are not talking about someone making fantasy claims based on what he/she read on the internet or the bible. This is an (alleged) eye-witness account. So the Wishart analogy isn't appropriate.

    Lee ought to know how the media game works. If she had fronted up (even if it was simply to deny the employee's account) she could have buried the story before it was aired.

    There may still be an innocent explanation for what happened. But Lee has to take some of the blame for the way the story panned out.

    Yorke of The Atatu • Since Feb 2009 • 789 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    If they try that on in Wellington, I'm gonna be advocating for a rate strike. Or a take back, where the community gets together and runs its own services using the withheld rate money.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4450 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    You can't be serious? Rodney Hide gets to decide, without consultation, a body of people to veto the decisions of elected local government and install their own CEO in the council?

    That's a mindboggling railroading of basic democracy?

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

  • George Darroch,

    "Hilary ...__ don't__."

    The Greens define a coup d'état:

    A Bill being passed under urgency today establishes an Auckland Transition Agency with draconian powers over the people of Auckland, accountable only to Rodney Hide.

    ...

    A coup d'état consists of the infiltration of a small, but critical, segment of the state apparatus, which is then used to displace the government from its control of the remainder.

    *Luttwak, Edward (1979) [1968]. Coup d'État: A Practical Handbook. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

    Throwing this into urgency is highly undemocratic. The governing arrangements for 1/3 of NZ's population should have the full review of Parliament, our representatives.

    The People's Republic of … • Since Nov 2006 • 2134 posts Report Reply

  • John Morrison,

    Prime Minister John Key said yesterday he was unhappy Mr Allen's name was in the public domain before he was officially appointed, "and I have made my unhappiness known".

    He did not believe it was a leak from the Cabinet or from the ministry. "I do have a sense of where it came from and I am grumpy about it."

    That wouldn't be Mr Farrar would it?

    Fran O'sullivan, who seems to have close contacts with the powers-that-be, pronounced this on Saturday.

    Regarding Rankin, this decision is unbelievable, shocking even. What's more worrying is the naivety of Bennett, to be 'astounded' at the reaction and putting it down to 'politics'.

    As days go by, this lot is showing all the signs of being incompetent just like the 90-99 crowd.

    Cromwell • Since Nov 2006 • 75 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    " no RMA leverage "

    They're cutting the legs off the RMA as we speak.

    The People's Republic of … • Since Nov 2006 • 2134 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Hilary, that post by Catherine Delahunty is plain silly. Michael Barnett has long been the Chair of the EEO Trust - who improve the prospects of women in the workplace. There's a difference between expertise and membership of a community, and testicles do not denote total ignorance about improving the wellbeing of women.

    Frankly, I'd rather see that kind of concern directed at Rankin's appointment - or better still, some of the things it's a smokescreen for, like gutting our foreign poverty reduction investment that prioritises women in the Pacific.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16627 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    hrowing this into urgency is highly undemocratic. The governing arrangements for 1/3 of NZ's population should have the full review of Parliament, our representatives.

    George: I really don't like urgency, because the genuine need for it is extraordinarily rare. But a coup d'etat? Oh, I'm going to call theatre supreme on that, because nobody else is going to bother. Why doesn't Norman just drop the f-bomb and save some time?

    All Lee had to do was front up and refute the allegations. She didn't.

    I hope Lee knows the difference between refute and deny, Scotty. And if you know anything about the 'media game', then you might have heard the idea that the worse thing to do with false allegations is to give them the oxygen of your attention. Which is why the Wishart analogy is perfectly appropriate: Clark has consistently said that she would not dignify any of the man's allegations with a nano-second of her time. And good on her.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11933 posts Report Reply

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