Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The Vision Thing

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  • DeepRed, in reply to Ross Mason,

    Well well well.

    It WAS a a timely release of local body debt wasn’t it.

    What, no mention of Tony Marryatt? And do I get the feeling it’s driven by sour grapes, especially with the case of Len Brown aping John Banks? Not quite Livingstone vs Thatcher, but still...

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4154 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Ross Mason,

    The idea of central government shaking up local body is quite scary, to me. Local body is democratically elected, after all. If we had a constitution, it would be likely to be unconstitutional. We didn't actually elect central government to set the priorities of local body at all. The feelings of Epsom residents on the management of the Invercargill local government should be nearly irrelevant.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8313 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    I was going to satirically suggest that Shearer was taking policy advice from Farrar at Kiwifoo, but left it out as too snarky.

    Truth is stranger than speculation, evidently.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4418 posts Report Reply

  • Robert Urquhart,

    I really don’t like this bit – maybe quote out of context, maybe not …

    The minister has expressed concern about councils getting involved in social issues …

    As our local elected representatives I fully expect our councils to pay attention to social issues. Now he may be talking about banning gang patches or prostitution bylaws but he could equally well be eying up things like the large amount of social housing Christchurch City Council provides.

    Christchurch • Since Mar 2009 • 140 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    things like the large amount of social housing Christchurch City Council provides.

    Well, they can sell that to help finance the earthquake damage can't they. It's a no brainer. ....for those with no brains.

    The Hooten was heard on Nat Radio a few weeks ago making comments about local v central govt. He was making a point that our 'fees' for local govt are 20 times less than our 'fees' to central govt. He was suggesting we should tame the big fee rather than the small one.

    If there is any organ of society that should borrow to improve services and facilities it is local govt. The people who will use them should be the ones that pay. It is healthy as we get to see what our fees are being used for. Buy in and ownership are healthy attitudes to encourage.

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1491 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to DeepRed,

    What, no mention of Tony Marryatt?

    Nothing. Key, Brownlee and Smith have all been extremely coy when questioned about the practice of CEO lotto. Brownlee's described the Marryatt issue as a matter for the Council, while Key finds his fake rejection of his pay rise* "clever".

    Hastings Mayor Lawrence Yule has been briefed by Smith in his role as Local Government New Zealand President. Despite his having been a prominent apologist for local government salary largesse he's currently "unable to comment"

    While there's no specific reference to attacking faux-corporate wastage in Smith's proposals, that hasn't stopped both Fairfax and the Herald spinning things by pretending that there is.

    (*Marryatt has already trousered around half of his $70,000 pay rise. His 'refusal' of the rest is so vague and conditional as to be meaningless. Presumably that's what Key finds admirable)

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 3370 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to BenWilson,

    We didn't actually elect central government to set the priorities of local body at all.

    Local government always answers to central. Worth remembering when considering who to hold accountable for various things that involve both.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16466 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Robert Urquhart,

    The minister has expressed concern about councils getting involved in social issues

    That element has major implications, yes. The 2002 Local Government Act explicitly added social and cultural responsibilities to the environmental and economic ones that had more commonly been the focus of councils for decades. That change has been expressed in various ways including prominent subsidies for the sporting, tourism and events industries, some of which have blown up publicly like a certain city's rugby stadium and associated deals.

    The Nats (and Act) have long been antagonistic about local and regional delivery of economic development and social services. If the government strips those from councils, there would have to be a transfer of some functions to MSD, Housing and other govt agencies.

    The current lot's ideology would dictate using that opportunity to privatise delivery, cut funding and fire more public sector staff, and assume that the charity sector or families would magically pick up the slack.

    Naturally, you'll recall them campaigning on this significant move in the recent election, despite planning it for over a year. And the opposition bringing it to your attention then and now.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16466 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed,

    And surprise, surprise...

    Australia beckons for sacked workers

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4154 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood,

    This government, in its previous term, encourage Dunedin's major debt albatross around its neck (the stadium) by giving 15 million (then about 8% of the claimed cost) for the project to happen. I even seem to remember rhetoric of the nature of "it wasn't going to happen without central government support".
    I guess, since they encouraged it, this is not what they have in mind as poor debt decisions. {/stillbitter}

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 854 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to David Hood,

    You have to make a distinction between essentials of life, like new rugby stadia, and fripperies, like decent housing.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4418 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    especially in Chch.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16466 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to insider,

    Accountants are engineers just as much as a guy designing a physical structure; they just work with a different type of material.

    Yes, it's all numbers in the end eh?
    "And what are you feeding your kids tonight?"
    "I think a plateful of threes and nines might be nutritious"
    As Ben said earlier

    They’ve got all sorts of delusions about how what they’re doing is a form of productive capitalist enterprise, when actually it is taking stuff away from others.

    The job of an engineer is to make sure things are built strong enough, not cheap enough, that is an accountants job. Like spoiling the ship for a Ha'penth of tar.
    Frinstance... "If we make that bit out of brittle plastic not only does it cost less to make but it will need replacing earlier so we sell more."

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4659 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    And now an ACC leak. It appears Michelle Boag is somehow linked to the "client" who is the subject of a report.

    Today Bronwyn Pullar says that Michelle Boag was at the meeting.

    The report says it occurred 1 December "

    when two senior managers met with the recipient of the information".

    No mention of a fourth person. How strange.

    Wow. Poor privacy rules and procedures. This would never happen if it was in private hands.

    Could be a very convenient leak.

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1491 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    The detail of the speech having been workshopped at Kiwi Foo is almost too good to be true.

    Because, as I have attempted to explain to you, it isn't true.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18693 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    I was going to satirically suggest that Shearer was taking policy advice from Farrar at Kiwifoo, but left it out as too snarky.

    Truth is stranger than speculation, evidently.

    The difference is that with speculation, you get to just make shit up. See above.

    It was a discussion. Farrar was there. So was Cunliffe and so were about two dozen other people. Perhaps we can lay this stupid conspiracy theory to rest.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18693 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    On the other hand, Daniel Spector was sitting between Farrar and Cunliffe. He's American -- and so it all becomes clear ...

    Shearer is a stealth candidate for the Americans.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18693 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __,

    I’m appalled that the govt is thinking of disestablishing (as it sounds) the regional economic development agencies. Like so many others in Chch I’ve had huge help from the Canterbury Development Corporation. Without their courses and their mentoring, how are Chch SMEs supposed to get organised and get going?

    Isn’t economic growth and development what Key et al say they want?

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3415 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Because, as I have attempted to explain to you, it isn't true.

    Yes, the explanation came some days after I posted that. And I'm not alleging any sort of conspiracy.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7351 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    Yes, the explanation came some days after I posted that. And I’m not alleging any sort of conspiracy.

    Thanks. I only mentioned it to illustrate a point about the respective personal styles of the two men, but I'm rather regretting it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18693 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Russell Brown,

    but I’m rather regretting it.

    Oh, we all do that. So come and join the rank and file. It can be fun. Honest.
    jus' sayin' ;)

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 5988 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Russell Brown,

    He's American

    troublemaker :)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16466 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Lilith __,

    Nick Smith seems a tad confused about what local government actually does (reflecting the inadequate Act policy he is implementing on that tiny party's behalf).

    He insists regional economic development is a "public service" but also seems to be vaguely saying such things could be done by central govt including Joyce's new mega-toy. No doubt such details are 'yet to be worked out'.

    Council social teams are at far more risk than any business-focused ones (except events staff who will become another export industry).

    Smith is against Councils being 'involved in' education but is confusing the inclusion of local results targets in Council plans - like their area's NCEA achievement levels - with *providing* educational services. Doesn't give much confidence in his government's recently-trumpeted 10 national results targets if senior Ministers can't grasp the basics.

    The main impact however may come from the ridiculous capping of annual rates rises to inflation plus demographics - which has been proven in Colorado and California to completely screw any ability to plan ahead and provide for future needs. Short-sightedness has always been a feature of right-wing councils in Auckland for example.

    Here is the Minister on RNZ Checkpoint this evening (6 mins, listening options).

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16466 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Sacha,

    Nick Smith seems a tad confused

    That's really all you need to say.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 1872 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Russell Brown,

    This guy Spector, did he have a white cat?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8313 posts Report Reply

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