Island Life by David Slack

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

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  • Sam F,

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

    The next time I'm required to take a Welly flight early in the week I intend to push for a weekend rail ticket instead.

    I think I'd even pay the difference if required, if it nets a greener more relaxed trip and no more ruptured eardrums.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1563 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    And fewer white knuckles... :)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16739 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed,

    "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.

    Let me guess... Christine Rankin?

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4351 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    And sweet fuck all effort being made to convince me that it was.

    Given that it's been cancelled by the person at the head of the food chain, I suspect there would be little point in anyone now arguing for it in public, or elsewhere.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6201 posts Report Reply

  • Nat Torkington,

    And sweet fuck all effort being made to convince me that it was.

    True. And that might be because it deserved to die. My point isn't that there wasn't subsequent public debate about the merits of the conference, my point is that there doesn't seem to have been prior internal debate about the merits of the conference.

    Ti Point • Since Nov 2006 • 100 posts Report Reply

  • David Slack,

    Nat, may I ask what it costs to hire a school for a conference?

    I'm talking about this on the radio next week.

    Devonport • Since Nov 2006 • 599 posts Report Reply

  • slarty,

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

    They do. And the reception halls in the Beehive itself. The security has an interesting effect I suspect: the CEO's and stuff think it's cool, most of us sigh as we submit to another scan :)

    Since Nov 2006 • 290 posts Report Reply

  • slarty,

    On a mores serious note... this was an "external" conference. Agencies also run internal ones all the time. I find the reasons interesting.

    1. If you have a big piss up on a conference, it doesn't have to be coded to Staff Entertainment, which means you can get away with putting a couple of bottles of wine on the table (like any normal business would)

    2. Rooms full of people talking aren't subject to OIA requests for practical reasons (only the printed product, which can be sanitised).

    In my shop we use an on-line discussion area much like this one. It saves having hundreds of people fly to be in one room to discuss issues.

    It's going to be shut down - we'll be back on the planes soon. And it's because the discussion is going to be subject to discovery, so we can't go through the full, frank, open banter required for human beings to arrive at a position.

    Personally I don't think the intent of the OIA was to drive reasonable discussion underground... there's a strong parallel with one of the reasons for free speech.

    Anyway, a I alone in thinking this interpretation could have a long term depressing effect on the performance of the Public Sector? It's one of the (many) reasons I'm trying to leave... what do you think?

    Since Nov 2006 • 290 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Slarty, that's fascinating. Do you know if other agencies are following suit in shutting down online forums?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16739 posts Report Reply

  • slarty,

    ... apparently we're radical and leading edge to have the thing in the first place! <sigh>

    I've given this to our legal shop. The problem of course is that Public Sector organisations are not capable of evaluating risk in a rational manner, because of the skewed view they have of what is a serious problem... and the obsequious approach to managing the ego of the Minister...!

    Just once I'd like to hear someone say "yes that's an interesting point of view Mr. <insert name of stupid old white man here>, but it is, as anybody with an IQ higher than their shoe size would know, complete bollocks."

    Shame public servants don't get a valedictory to their Ministers...

    Since Nov 2006 • 290 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Heh. There could be fertile ground for that type of frank advice with the new crop of Ministers...

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16739 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    I imagine the eGovt folks would have an interest, wouldn't they?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16739 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    And is a teleconference discoverable?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16739 posts Report Reply

  • slarty,

    And is a teleconference discoverable

    Interesting point: I would say technically yes, but the defence is simply that the record is not retained.

    The letter of the law (ETA 2002) says that any electronic record has the same standing as a "paper" one. This means that any streamed media (VoIP, IPVid, IM etc.) has the same status as if someone had been sitting taking minutes of the conversation. This is because, however transient, a record did exist for the communication.

    I'm interested in what distinguishes a (made up term) fluid, interactive conversation from a discoverable piece of information?

    As far as I can tell the Courts / Ombudsman / learned counsel have based the distinction entirely on the matter of whether there is a record that can be recovered. IMHO this is a very shallow interpretation in a world where more and more stuff gets digitised and stored.

    I think we urgently need some consideration of the law to reflect the intent of the conversation: did the parties intend it to retain some force for a future purpose? This covers contract, policy statements etc., but excludes the normal day to day banter in which we need to engage to explore and establish our position.

    Crikey, that was a bit deep for a Sunday morning...

    Since Nov 2006 • 290 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Thanks, Slarty. I may follow up a bit in officialdom (without divulging any sources, o course).

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16739 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Austin,

    Agreed about the E-govt bit. It would seem very odd if they hadn't picked up on this apparently fatal flaw long since (they've been on the job for 4-5 years now at least). Or have they?

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 894 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Where's Mark Harris when we need an answer like that?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16739 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    "Valium on a screen" - nice.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16739 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Sorry, my context-free comment was about David describing the evils of Powerpoint on RNZ this morning (MP3, 4.8Mb).

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16739 posts Report Reply

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