Posts by Matthew Poole

  • Speaker: The problem is Serco,

    However long ago it was that the private operator deal was announced, I said (and now cannot find) on Facebook that the only way a private operator can make money by doing the state's job on the basis of costing less is by doing it cheaper. Which means fewer staff, less training and rehabilitation of prisoners, and all the other stereotypical exercises in cost-cutting that we see in Dilbert and elsewhere. Lo, it has come to pass, so freakily close to what I predicted that more than one of my friends recalled my prophesy as though it was something that could never have been foreseen by a mere mortal.

    A good friend's OH is a prison officer a MECF, and the comments she passed on about the working conditions are scary. Officers routinely working double shifts, spending 12-14 hours a day on the floor six days a week, so tired that they are seriously impaired cognitively. That's what happens when staff are your biggest OpCost and you have to find a way to make money out of the same budget as the state operator that is doing the same job. There's no fat in the food budget - which is already too lean, really - and that doesn't leave too many other places to trim.

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3963 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: A minor change to existing provisions!, in reply to Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    I’m afraid she can claim for cleaning costs when she’s done the cleaning herself, and there’s a set rate/hr the TT allows – but if she wants to do so, she needs to demonstrate that the property needed cleaning, so she’ll have to produce photographs showing it hadn’t been left “reasonably clean and … tidy”.

    Ah, bother.
    Given that she said she's spent the thick end of three weeks cleaning the place, I don't think there'll be enough bond to cover her claimed costs.
    Of course, if it's taken three weeks to clean after we spent 18 hours on it, I'm surprised that she let us stay there for five years!

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3963 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: A minor change to existing provisions!, in reply to Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    I'd really like to see adjudicators able to rule that so long as a party to a hearing is mostly innocent in the matter, their names be left off the public Tenancy Tribunal (TT) documents. That won't help with the reference of course, but would help when landlords do TT searches on prospective tenants.

    I hadn't considered that.
    We've just moved house, and the former landlady has announced that she wants to make deductions from our bond to compensate her for the time she's spent cleaning a house that she deemed generally fine at the time of final inspection (we didn't deal with the bond at that point because there was some gardening required and a missing key). Aside from being pretty sure she's not allowed to deduct for costs not directly incurred, it's the principle of having spent about 18 hours of person-time cleaning and then being told that, actually, that wasn't sufficient; and no, we did not live in a hazard to health.

    Since there's no assurance that our next move will be a purchase, the fact that we challenged her in the Tenancy Tribunal is a publicly-available negative for future landlords is a huge disincentive to stand up to her.

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3963 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Buying a fight with democracy, in reply to BenWilson,

    I think you wanted * 0.00004. It was a percentage…so *0.004*0.01

    That'll be it. Mid-afternoon brain-fade.

    No race was that close.

    Occasionally one is. But in that case, they go through the votes carefully anyway.

    Going back to 1996 (earliest complete data set) we have had precisely three instances where the winning margin was < 97:
    - Tauranga in 1999, with a margin of 63 to Winnie
    - Christchurch Central in 2011, with a margin of 47 to Nicky Wagner
    - Waitakere in 2011, with a margin of 9 to Pull-ya Benefit

    So very, very occasionally indeed.

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3963 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Buying a fight with democracy, in reply to Rob Salmond,

    0.004% of the votes cast in 2014 (2,416,479) is 9,666.

    Actually, it is 96.66. Which makes your “no impact” argument about 100 times stronger.

    I have no idea how I managed to bugger that up (probably did *00.4 instead of *.004), but yes, that really wouldn't have affected anything. No race was that close.

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3963 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Buying a fight with democracy, in reply to izogi,

    I guess in these days when a small number of Party votes might tip a threshold, or result in MPs having been allocated differently between parties, maybe fraud could be identified as having made a significant difference

    0.004% of the votes cast in 2014 (2,416,479) is 9,666. Had they all been cast for a single party (the anecdotal claims about massive fraud by the YounGnats, for example) it would not have affected the outcome except if it was all in a small number of seats and in favour of a single MP; 43 seats were won with a majority of 9,664 votes (Northcote) or fewer. And that wouldn’t have changed the overall result because MMP.

    No party’s vote was so close to tipping over into a higher threshold, as far as I can tell, as to have been changed by so few votes. It wouldn’t have got CCCP over the 5% line, and they were the only party within cooee of getting there.

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3963 posts Report Reply

  • Envirologue: Fool me Once: Lessons on…, in reply to TracyMac,

    Turns out Democrats are far cheaper to purchase

    FTFY :P

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3963 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The epitome of reason, in reply to Russell Brown,

    the Democrats didn’t have to contend with a centre-right party claiming the centre.

    That'd be because the Democrats are the "centre-right" party in US politics. There is no left, just "right" and "much, much further right".

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3963 posts Report Reply

  • Envirologue: Fool me Once: Lessons on…, in reply to TracyMac,

    The last Labour govt was negotiating quite happily for this. Let's not subscribe to the fallacy this was invented by National. Maybe Labour was negotiating a more limited scope, but who knows?

    Started in 2005, the TPP was NZ negotiating with Chile, Brunei and Singapore; the original four countries. It was a very limited scope. The US didn't come aboard until February 2008, at which point it would've been their one set of national economic interests against the other four countries and could probably have been managed.
    The right conveniently talks up how Labour thought the TPP was a grand idea because it was commenced under Labour, which is true, but the huge expansion of both the parties and the scope has only happened since National came to power. Every additional negotiating party after the US has come in since after the 2008 election, and at every point since then National has been the one that's kept us in the deal. By the time it became apparent that the US was pushing the trans-national corporations' barrow to the exclusion of all else, Labour was well and truly gone.

    [citation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trans-Pacific_Partnership]

    ETA: We can tell the original scope would have been limited because we have seen what is in other completed trade deals to which the original countries are parties. Look at the NZ-China deal, for example. We don't need to have texts from the early negotiations to have a pretty good idea of what would have been on the table. And what's on the table now is perfectly in line with the US history of *cough*trade*cough* deals.

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3963 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Behind Baltimore, in reply to Howard Edwards,

    There was an article in the NZ Herald recently (which I can't find online - searching for "police" or "US police" produces 100s of results) which made this point.

    There are over 80 thousand statutory governance entities in the US, most of which are municipality or county structures that maintain or contract law enforcement services. I learned this wee fact when examining the background to why emergency services cooperation across jurisdictions was historically a total cluster in the US.

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3963 posts Report Reply

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