Posts by Tinakori

  • Hard News: Media Take: The creeping…, in reply to nzlemming,

    I don't know about MORST but the non departmental staffer in the Minister of Revenue's office was a secondee from an accounting firm brought in for his expertise in tax. There was a comparable one in the Minister of Finance's office who provided a private sector perspective to the MOF. What they knew about politics prior to their appointments could be written on the back of a postage stamp with a carpenter's pencil. Non departmental appointments as Ministerial advisors do not = political advisors who, as Matthew Hooton said earlier, are mostly people who, whatever their other attributes, are party activists or loyalists. That's probably why the paper on political advisors vastly overestimated the number prior to Labour becoming government.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2013 • 54 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Media Take: The creeping…, in reply to Russell Brown,

    To which I would add the distinctions I was making were most definitely not semantic but substantive.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2013 • 54 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Media Take: The creeping…, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    39 Political advisors in 1998 - they must have been hiding them in the Beehive basement or perhaps they were part of the NSA base in Northland Ed Snowden is convinced we have. I suspect that the identification of ministerial advisors as political advisors in that study was made to give the impression the introduction of the political advisors in bulk under Labour was a simple and not very significant progression from the existing setup. That wasn't the case at all.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2013 • 54 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Media Take: The creeping…, in reply to nzlemming,

    "Fail. There were plenty of political advisors in the 90's under Bolger/Shipley/ et al"

    There most definitely were not in the Bolger governments. I can think of one outside the Prime Minister's Office and they were a former electorate secretary. They also did not have the political advisor title. I can think of some troubleshooters in various offices but they weren't political advisors and usually did not work full-time. I can also think of some private sector people but they didn't do political advice other than informally. Matthew Hooton was there but he was a 20 year old speechwriter. Press secretaries did most of the work of what Labour's political advisors subsequently carried out but many Ministers in National were not interested in having political advice of any kind. For good or ill they thought they and other cabinet ministers provided all the political advice required. They were probably right! Labour introduced political advisors for all in 1999, slavishly following, as ever, the UK Labour Party.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2013 • 54 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Media Take: The creeping…,

    I would say crept rather than creeping and I would date the crept to Labour in 1999. Before that there were wild variations in performance depending on the department and the Minister and the Minister's staff. Some people are natural control freaks and others are not. What you got before the end of 1999 depended entirely on departmental culture and the personalities in Ministerial offices (Minister and staff). In the mid 90s Treasury decided rather than release the supporting Budget papers piecemeal it would do so in one hit. This incidentally was also very effective in making them less newsworthy! The appearance under Labour of political advisors in all offices (with too much time on their hands) and a dedicated OIA co-ordinator in the Beehive was a first attempt to implement an administration wide approach to managing the OIA. National is still naturally more anarchic in its management than Labour tried to be and what goes out and when depends far more on the Minister and their staff and the culture of specific departments. Some are relatively open and some are extremely manipulative. The crazy thing is that farting around with releases is almost always a sure way to make the information eventually released more appealing and newsworthy. Would sanctions on performance work and to whom would the sanctions apply? It's a difficult balance because turning the screws too tight might create even more incentives to pull their punches in their written advice to Government. As it is some Ministers try and manipulate the advice they get from their agencies by stating what they want and don't want. Incidentally, in many (sane) Departments releases under the OIA happen as a matter of course without their Minister's office having anything to do with it. Frankly trying to manage all this stuff tightly is way more trouble than it is worth. Laissez les bon temps roulez is a good policy in general not just for parties.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2013 • 54 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: “Foreign forces”, hope and Hong…, in reply to mark taslov,

    Wow, so that's what its like when you pass through the looking glass.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2013 • 54 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: “Foreign forces”, hope and Hong…, in reply to mark taslov,

    "Whether they follow through or not, the impact on the day to day life of Hong Kongers will be marginal, at least in comparison to the curtailing of freedoms being carried out in western democracies."

    Eh?

    Wellington • Since Jul 2013 • 54 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Doing over the witness, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Good for Rawshark. Based on what happened with The Hollow Men material and the material taken or leaked from Shandwick - the pr firm dealing with GM clients - in Nicky Hager's other books, he or she is looking reasonably safe.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2013 • 54 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Doing over the witness, in reply to Dean Wallis,

    It could apply to either if that was their excuse but I was responding to Bart Hansen who said that the person who nicked Whaleoil's email archive was doing it for the public good. I said that's fine as long as you accept the possible consequences.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2013 • 54 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Doing over the witness, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    "The attack on his computers was illegal. But I strongly suspect that the person made the attack with the intention of exposing exactly what was exposed, that is the crime was commited for the public good."

    That's fine as long as the perpetrator is prepared to accept the consequences should they be caught. If they are not it quickly becomes the excuse of the tyrant through the ages - those laws don't apply to me because of my motives and the threat posed by those whose rights I am violating. That isn't healthy for any part of the political spectrum.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2013 • 54 posts Report Reply

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