Speaker by Various Artists

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Speaker: Memorandum To: Citizens of NZ

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  • Idiot Savant,

    <I>Elected representatives NEVER fix anything.</I>

    Abolition of the Death Penalty Act 1989

    Fixed that, didn't they?

    (OK, substitute the rlevant clause of the Crimes Act 1961 if you really want to be picky)

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1639 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    interesting how the best private sector firms don't stuff around with all that

    Who are these "best private sector firms" of which you speak, earthling?

    In my experience the private sector consists of:
    - Established quoted companies, keen on following the latest fads, like outsourcing, mission statements, accountability, blah, blah (while still behaving much as they did 30 years ago in reality).

    - Venture capital funded startups (not too many of these around now). Also fad-driven, but also under pressure from the VC firm to grow at an unsustainable rate in order that they come back for more dollars.

    - Privately held small business. Every dollar of investment has to compete with the owners boat/bach/new kitchen. Usually don't grow at all and eventually fade away after all concerned lose interest.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4442 posts Report Reply

  • cant touch,

    PSM,

    Contra RB's justified comment about cynicism, I should say I am sympathetic to most of what you say, or what I think you are trying to say.

    When you get it wrong though, you really get it wrong.
    William Bell (you are still wrong on his background etc) and Graham Burton's parole were disgraces, and the AG's Report is far from comforting. RB, of course we can't have 100 percent safety, particularly the PC/NOT PC version, but the status quo just ain't good enough.

    Re Court of Appeal on Bell:
    http://www.nzlii.org/cgi-bin/sinodisp/nz/cases/NZCA/2003/179.html?query=~%20william%20bell
    "The psychiatric reports before the Court suggest that he represents, in the words of one of them, a high and persistent risk of violent re-offending.Unless that risk can be convincingly dispelled, Bell ought to be kept in custody for the rest of his natural life."

    I could write a PHD about how frustrating the considerable potential of parts of the public service are, constantly being stymied by the cancer of managerialism and pathological bureaucratic risk aversion.
    A decade of Tory beat-ups enabled by their kneecapping media
    has left some people constantly hiding under their desks and trying to push other under there, too.

    Meanwhile the media take their orders from Mr Oil,
    Farrar, and the rest of "the sewer" (H/T NRT), collectively circle-jerking over pathetic non-stories like Winston's car, the hip-hop tour and Paintergate. Properly investigating complicatedl issues. Forget it!

    Since Mar 2009 • 3 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    "The psychiatric reports before the Court suggest that he represents, in the words of one of them, a high and persistent risk of violent re-offending.Unless that risk can be convincingly dispelled, Bell ought to be kept in custody for the rest of his natural life."

    And the next sentence:

    For the reasons given his appeal is allowed.The 33 year order is quashed.In its place we make an order of 30 years duration.

    I'm not aware of any law that allows us to lock anyone away in jail for the rest of their natural life. A psychiatric institution maybe?

    Since Nov 2006 • 6162 posts Report Reply

  • cant touch,

    30 is the minimum. Just read [the whole Court of Appeal decision]. It takes time.

    Since Mar 2009 • 3 posts Report Reply

  • Public Service Manager,

    When you get it wrong though, you really get it wrong.

    Guilty as charged - a monumental fuck up.

    So, the stuff I was getting confused was this.

    I wanted to refer to the Supreme Court decision surrounding Bell's despicable actions Couch vs. Attorney General [2008] NZSC 45.

    To quote from the Auckland University Law Review (2009 p261) "At the time of the robbery Bell was on parole ... for his first offence of serious violence, an aggravated robbery of a petrol station."

    The litany of cock ups reads like a black comedy, particularly in light of Bell's alcohol addiction: "the probation officer supported Bells decision to undertake a liquor licensing course with a view to .. employment"

    Sheesh.

    It's a shame my lack of attention to detail has detracted from the underlying point I was trying to make (this was written before the release of the reports about Corrections recently) that front line public servants have to make judgement calls based on experience, and sometimes they are going to go wrong.

    That's what rationing is all about. We ration according to our discretion every day. NZ wouldn't be able to afford a system that operated any other way. Zero fault tolerance is extremely expensive...

    Wellington • Since Mar 2009 • 5 posts Report Reply

  • FletcherB,

    I'm not aware of any law that allows us to lock anyone away in jail for the rest of their natural life.

    I think the closest we have is Preventative Detention..... which has no term, and is until the offender stops being a risk to society... which is periodically re-assessed, and could conceivably be until death.... although I suspect most will assessed as no longer being a risk when they become physically infirm through age?

    West Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 794 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    30 is the minimum. Just read [the whole Court of Appeal decision]. It takes time.

    I did. The 33 year sentence was inappropriate based on relativities to other cases, reducing it to 30 years.

    I'm not really sure what your point is. The appeal judges noted the nature of the crime and the offender as part of the background to their decision to reduce the minimum non-parole period.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6162 posts Report Reply

  • Zippy Gonzales,

    Thanks for the post. Nice advice on the tension on the free and frank front. I gather the State Services Commission has been examining this Gordian Knot for a few years.

    Screw the media. It's no longer a matter of being solely reported by them, or swamping the public with trivialities such as in Yes Minister. Google changes everything. Bloggers do the rest. You'll find some that are constructive in their criticism ;-)

    If the advice is sound and reasonable, stand by it. Don't fear the OIA, use it as a platform. The truth will out.

    The State Sector Act 1987 cut at the strength of the Public Service by demanding it be run as separate businesses.

    To be fair, quite a bit of good was done by Rod Deane downsizing the Public Service rulebook. Silo-isation of the Public Service was done for the best of reasons. Fiefdoms and turf wars existed before as well as after the Act, but I'd agree there is some room for improvement.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 186 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    On the Bell case, when Bell was released from his original 5 year sentence, he had completed the (at that time) statutory 2/3 of his sentence. So there was no discretion in giving him parole, though he could be recalled.

    I don't quite see how his being allowed to do liquor license training resulted in the RSA shootings. If he'd gone to work in a supermarket or factory, he might have robbed that and killed the people working there.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4442 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    and for the record. public address manager isn't me.

    but here's an anecdote. when i started at the inland revenue (i worked there for a little over a year before the culture drove me out), i was brought into a team with a joker who'd just left-off from 3 months reading the internet at the BNZ, because they couldn't find other work for him.

    money-wasting and red tape isn't strictly a public service issue.

    the only really difficult thing about the job is the relationship management, whether it be with a government that wants to build the longest footpath in the world, or an overexuberant project team who wants to do some "sexy" and "fun" with public money (when in fact they should just get on with the thankless and boring job they've signed up to, and shut the fuck up).

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2026 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    waitaminute... did i mean "public service manager".

    apologies. a long day of seeing 100 of my fellow employees sacked.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2026 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    apologies. a long day of seeing 100 of my fellow employees sacked.

    crappy :(

    Since Nov 2006 • 6162 posts Report Reply

  • John Mortimer,

    What a write up! After working in the public sector in the UK for the past six years, this article mirrors the same behaviour that I have seen in four local authorities. It is so interesting, and sad, so see how good we are at promoting poor practice in such an organised way.

    Where I have been involved is in looking at changing this crazy situation. John Seddon from the UK has developed an interesting approach to instigating change in both the private and public sector. And for once, it can have deep rooted effect - not just the usual whitewash and everybody gets back to the usual routine. The great thing that I have seen change is the way that those at the front line and their managers can create a new way of working. But only if the senior managers accepts that things need to change fundamentally. The change needs to start with the senior bod.

    So, how long do we have to wait for real change to happen in the public sector? Why do we have to tolerate such damage to the public service, our taxes, and to those who have to work in these places. I believe there is an alternative and we jsut need to wake up to that fact. I understand thet John Cooney from Central Otago is one senior public sector manager who is trying a different approach. Anybody know of how it is going?

    Auckland • Since Mar 2009 • 1 posts Report Reply

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