Mental age, like high and low functioning ,have eugenic undertones and are from the age of institutions. But I know what you mean.
Yes, I find the term a bit odd too. But that’s how it was quoted in the story.
I like, smarter than the average bear :)
And yet there are still New Zealanders convinced that she’s just some management puppet.
It's either that or admit she is genuinely a more talented human being than most of us. In a way it's the tall poppy syndrome framed slightly differently. And it's bizarre given how easily we accept the rugby player X is more gifted/talented than almost everyone else on the planet.
For what it's worth I think she is pretty clearly an amazingly talented young woman. Clear of thought, inspired and able to work hard enough to bring the inspiration to fruition. Now, if we could just allow her to be an inspirational example to other young women without tearing her down ...
While the discussion here and David's post have rightly focused on the way our government is abusing the OIA act I do think there is a case to be made that the media have to bear some blame for the current state of the relationship.
David describes a past that was open, where he could ask a direct question of the person who actually knew the answer and expect a full and helpful answer.
But one reason those people are less inclined to answer now is that they simply don't trust the media to use that open honest answer fairly.
Quite simply if Russell (and perhaps David) asks me a question I'll give him the fullest answer possible, if Mike Hosking asks the same question I'd choose my words very very carefully, expecting each possible sound bite or quote will be used in the worst possible way.
It's about trust.
government information was presumed to be secret
Except it wasn't treated as such by most government departments. For most departments it was expected that inquiries from the public (even journalists) would be answered as openly and honestly as possible.
That has changed and using OIA requests does not change it back.
Just thinking about it - isn't an OIA meant to be the method of communication of last resort.
David's post tracks the change leading to it being used as first port of call.
But trying to fight for OIAs to be released earlier and with less political interference would seem to be fighting the wrong battle.
We should instead be fighting to open up the public service as a public resource at all times. The public service should, as a rule, be open access with exceptions few and far between. An OIA should only be necessary where an exception is open to question by the ombusdman.
I suspect it comes back to the idea of the government as a business and the PM as a CEO. Government should not be a business, we have private enterprise for that.
I suspect part of the change is due to that way our public service has been remodeled and restructured to match private enterprise. The business model, complete with highly paid managers and complex layered structures is inwardly focused. The goal is to benefit the business/department/SOE and that has very little to do with serving the public.
I consider myself a public servant (albeit with a wider view of public then merely NZ) heck most of my salary derives from tax dollars. How could I consider myself anything else. But the Institute I work for considers itself a business, we don't work for the public, not even for the funding agencies, but instead we are focused tightly on serving the industries our work tries to benefit and that relationship is a strictly business one.
We are managed by professional managers with no interest or connection to the work we do, no interest in serving the public, only an interest in meeting their KPIs. Little wonder they see requests for information as at best a distraction and at worst as a threat. And their attitude is passed down the pyramid to those with actual knowledge.
All that makes your job harder and results in you resorting to OIAs which in turn are treated as if they are live hand grenades.
But to be fair, there is not much confidence in the media. That loss of confidence makes it easier to dismiss or distrust requests for help. When the media are more interested in the latest fad diet than the latest health science why would you bother helping them, I mean they are only interested in the story that sells the most.
TLDR No trust in either direction any more, but that's just business.
At what point do Roughan's falsehoods become a problem for The Herald.
Isn't there some kind of code of ethics?
I think that so much of our issue with sex stems from the fact that we’ve separated it from normal human behaviour.
Yeah, I have a real bug-bear about this. You want to go to the movies with someone? You ask them.
I'd never go on one of those AirNZ mystery escapes for exactly this reason. Yeah I get some folks like the spontaneity and surprise but I like knowing and anticipation.
Or indeed, for the peace of mind of most of you, at all.
Not that I'm afraid ... well yes actually I am :)
the best they could do for NZ
What I actually wrote was
I think they could have done better but I don’t think for a second they were doing anything other than what they believed was the best they could do for NZ.
Misquoting is uncalled for. I'd also point out that the horticulture industry in NZ is more than just the business owners and also point out that much of the horticulture industry is made up of very small operations who would be as affected by this pest as the big companies.