Island Life by David Slack

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Island Life: Keynote speaker: Paula Bennett. MC: Jim Hopkins. BYO sandwiches.

44 Responses

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  • giovanni tiso,

    The expression is 'live-blogging' but what constitutes a life, exactly?

    Ouch !

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7363 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    Why don't they offer the Beehive banquet hall at a good price to Govt Depts?

    They'd not only be saving money. but bringing people to spend that saved money, in Wellington!

    Or if it has to be elsewhere, scout halls are always good value.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2073 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Stevens,

    As someone pointed out in one of the news shows last night - the money for the conference is being reallocated - it's not being saved - so the whole thing is nothing more than a beat up by bennet et al.
    Whetehr the conference would have done any good I couldn't judge, but the attitude here is nothing less than shallow "look at me" politics

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 229 posts Report Reply

  • Rochelle Hume,

    I logged in because I knew someone on PAS would make a comment on Paula Bennett's first foray as an MP. Every where else in the media, I have heard nothing but congratulations for her stance.
    Listening to John Key commenting to this on Mikey Havoc's show this morning - apparently National want to spend the money on the front line, not on conferences, reports and policy analysts.

    And I had to wonder what the front line are going to do, if nobody has thought about the big picture. I have images of all these front line people madly rushing about 'taking action' being heartily congratulated by mainstream NZ, but with no idea about what they're doing or why - or whether its helping...


    And of course, I thought of Kiwi Foo - where the most amazing minds come together for a weekend of discussion and future planning - with incredible results and benefits for teh whole country - run on a show string. My favourite Foo camp photo is of Jenine with a notice on the wall behind her "Cleaning duties: Hall.... Marae..... etc" for the delegates to put their names up, like school camp.

    Can be done, brilliantly, on a shoestring.

    Warkworth • Since Sep 2007 • 34 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    As someone pointed out in one of the news shows last night - the money for the conference is being reallocated - it's not being saved - so the whole thing is nothing more than a beat up by bennet et al.

    Bovine excrement, Michael. So CTU President Helen Kelly now has a hole in her diary? Big friging whoops - if $160K can't be more productively expended at the flaxroots where actual families live, then you're just not trying.

    And I had to wonder what the front line are going to do, if nobody has thought about the big picture.

    Oh, so those on the front line don't spend any time thinking about "the big picture"? Sorry, but it might be useful if the blue sky thinkers actually got out of the seminar room and spent a little more time down where those clever flow charts and mission statements have to be translated into tangible results.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11991 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    David, that tip of the iceberg link is broken.

    I don't mind the conference being cancelled. Or I might mind a little, but that's not the main point really.

    To me, it's a media stunt by National. Find something that we can loudly and obviously cut as 'lavish' and put money into front lines. Get one of our new, fresh ministers to do it. The Families Commission paid the price for being the next government organisation with a big conference coming up.

    Along with the Herceptin decision, it's over-politicising things that shouldn't be so political. Nothing new in politics, but taking it a step further.

    For a hands off government, it's very hands on in the public service.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6175 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    Yeah, it's page one from the "Yes Minister" playbook, really. The modern equivalent of expelling the Soviet diplomats, buying the front page at a bargain price.

    In the last term, Labour were hopeless at not seeing the easy and empty stories coming (light bulbs, showers, etc.). National are as glib as a televangelist dripping in cheese, and will doubtless be providing plenty more of this kind of thing. Steven Joyce is there for a reason. He knows you can never underestimate the media's love of an effortless headline.

    It's just the actual governing that the Nats will struggle with. As we've already seen.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 771 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    He knows you can never underestimate the media's love of an effortless headline.

    Anything that keeps the DomPost from printing the headlines they put effort into ("Moms Sob at Inquest into Seven Cot Deaths") is fine by me.

    Getting a bit sick of what passes for journalism in this otherwise fine country, I really am.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7363 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    Hey, Giovanni, be grateful you live in Wellington.

    I have no opinion on Auckland's noisy, winking Santa. There, I've said it now.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 771 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Curtis,

    That $200,000 would be what it costs for each of the the TWO high priced PR talent that she has taken on board to 'advise' her during the next 6 months.

    Whats they bet they bought this to her attention and wrote the media strategy -with their eyes closed- for little miss solo mother

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 221 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Curtis,

    In defence of DPF , he does seem to do all that AND have a life

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 221 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    little miss solo mother

    Steve, dude, srsly? That didn't feel at all unnecessary when you typed it?

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4366 posts Report Reply

  • David Cormack,

    little miss solo mother

    Yeah not cool dude...

    Sorry, but it might be useful if the blue sky thinkers actually got out of the seminar room and spent a little more time down where those clever flow charts and mission statements have to be translated into tangible results.

    That seems to be a piece of blue-sky thinking from you sir, how exactly does one do what you suggest?

    Suburbia, Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 216 posts Report Reply

  • Lyndon Hood,

    As someone pointed out in one of the news shows last night

    I still can't quite decide what I think about the quote the same people (I think) had from her, saying she didn't look at the details of what it was being spent on, just decided it was too much money.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1096 posts Report Reply

  • Raymond A Francis,

    Have to agree on your main point David
    I have been invited to COGs chairpersons conference, this is a two day affair and will cost a bomb for me to attend..flights, meals accomodation etc
    Unfortunatly we have already had our allocation meetings ($800,0000 requests with only $300,000 to give)

    So what a waste of money, some pressure has been applied to make me or someone attend but if this is not a pure expression of waste I just cannot imagine a better one

    45' South • Since Nov 2006 • 542 posts Report Reply

  • Nat Torkington,

    Craig wrote:

    Oh, so those on the front line don't spend any time thinking about "the big picture"? Sorry, but it might be useful if the blue sky thinkers actually got out of the seminar room and spent a little more time down where those clever flow charts and mission statements have to be translated into tangible results.

    The problem is that you don't know whether the conference was needed, I don't know whether the conference was needed, and we all suspect that after a week in the job, Paula Bennett didn't know whether it was needed either.

    There probably is a lot of fat that can be cut from government departments. I've certainly seen my share of head-shakingly pointless things. But you won't find fat by randomly cutting off big lumps, because you're as likely to sever a head as a wobbly bum.

    A metaphor so strained that I believe I can hear it creaking ....

    Ti Point • Since Nov 2006 • 100 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    I think one of the great things about the NZ health system is that we DO argue about how and where we should spend our health $$$ (look at the US: some pointy headed accountant at your company's insurance company decides) - we have a public health system we need to keep it functioning in an open way

    Health care could happily soak up our entire tax take, or more - obviously we can't do that - instead we make trade-offs between preventative health care and more direct stuff - we put people into waiting queues to smooth out demand and better fit it to the resources available - (think about it - if there's always a surgeon/body scanner/etc available right away then they need to be sitting idle on their hands waiting for you - so (small) queues are a good thing).

    The down side of course is that if advocates of a particular treatment (be it patients or, perish the thought, drug companies) manage to subvert the political process then others will miss out - and that's the problem I see here - just like all the other stuff National is jamming through the system without appropriate review this too should be handled more openly - maybe there are other, less vocal, groups who could use that money to help more people.

    As I understand it National want to up the health budget by some largish chunk - let's see that go to a select committee - get some some health professionals who understand outcomes and medical economics in to testify, do it right

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2152 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    as glib as a televangelist dripping in cheese

    Surely a journo could spin a headline out of that gold. I believe Noelle has some free time..

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16662 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    What a barrel of laughs Hone Harawira is shaping up to be. With the right face-furniture he'd blow Jim Hopkins off the stage at the next National shindy.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 3505 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    we all suspect that after a week in the job, Paula Bennett didn't know whether it was needed either.

    No suspicion required. She said so yesterday.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    The problem is that you don't know whether the conference was needed...

    And sweet fuck all effort being made to convince me that it was. In the end, I can't get too torn up that some folks in my partner's employer (Kiwirail) are spending a less time flying off to Wellington for the day, because there's a clear expectation that travel and accommodation costs have to come down and be more carefully justified. As a citizen-shareholder, I'm sure you'd be pleased about every possible penny being "reallocated" to infrastructure and staff recruitment and training. Or you should.

    I can't say it would be a bad look either if a publicly-owned transport company was being a little more self-conscious about reducing the corporate carbon footprint.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11991 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    . . . some folks in my partner's employer (Kiwirail) are spending a less time flying off to Wellington for the day . . .

    Kiwirail - that's two flightless birds. Carbon footprints aside, it's against nature that anyone in their employ should fly at all.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 3505 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    But you won't find fat by randomly cutting off big lumps, because you're as likely to sever a head as a wobbly bum.

    A metaphor so strained that I believe I can hear it creaking ....

    I think I heard it screaming, actually.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18883 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    The whole thing smacks of all manner of either lazy or throwback thinking.

    John Key, thinks aloud to himself whilst some cronies lurk around.
    "Now who can we get to run the Families Commission."

    Crony No.1 "Well we do have a woman who has had a kid/kids (not sure) she must know all about families and, ya know, having a women as its head is so today. Woman ...um... families it show how up to date we are. But we cant let the Moari's head the Waitangi Tribunal tho. So this is like the second best thing. And she will be really wanting to prove herself so we can wind her up first off.

    Key's eyes light up as this all sinks in. "Hmmmm" He sez casually.

    Crony No 2 " And remember how good that closet homo Banks was running the cops, overcompensation at its best. Its a natural fit."

    Key looks puzzled, (thinks) John Banks is a homo?

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1219 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    As a citizen-shareholder, I'm sure you'd be pleased about every possible penny being "reallocated" to infrastructure and staff recruitment and training.

    Maybe the extra staff recruitment and training will be needed to replace all the staff that leave for somewhere less austere.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4459 posts Report Reply

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