Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The Minister's Brain Has Exploded

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  • 3410,

    Over at Wynyard Quarter, I watched the waka fleet come in, from the balcony of the Viaduct Events Centre. It was something I suspect I'll never see again.

    Yeah, I was thinking that while watching Te Karere cut away from that majestic sight to talking heads in the studio, then to a pre-taped story, then to an on-the-spot piece to camera...

    Just... why?

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Some key interviews from last night's prime time coverage:

    McCully talks to Mark Sainsbury (5 min clip).

    John Campbell interviews both McCully and Len Brown (12 min clip)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    the government would be taking control of ... two working commercial wharves

    Do they have any idea what this will cost? As noted, there are ships booked to dock on those wharves with maybe over a billion dollars of cargo in the next five weeks.

    They'll have to be rescheduled, port users compensated, freight trucked from Wellington and Tauranga, compensation paid, workers paid to sit idle.

    Even if they wanted to, I'm not convinced it would be legal for POAL to just gift the use of the wharves to the government. Fiduciary duty and that? The alternative is that the government underwrite a huge and open-ended bill.

    I don't undertand the ideology - can anyone explain why our government believes that an essential service such as electricity supply is most appropriately provided by the private sector, while running a glorified bar is an essential state function?

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Danyl Mclauchlan,

    Armstrong occasionally writes some interesting stuff, but it has been clear for some time now he is completely besotted with Key at a personal level and all his irritating assumption he knows what voters think is complete tosh.

    Armstrong just loves whoever is powerful. You should go back and read some of his columns back when Helen Clark was flying high in the polls - sycophantic doesn't even come close. And he gets really excited when politicians do crazy, irrational things - he thinks it shows 'strength'.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Sacha,

    However, he and the Councillors share responsibility for not adequately verifying the assurances they were fed by the staff who report to them and to the CCO Boards largely appointed by the govt.

    Kathryn Ryan discusses that this morning with right-leaning Councillor Cameron Brewer who has taken on the left-leaning Mayor over potential risks for some time (10 mins, listening options).

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX,

    For me there are three sad things.

    The first saddest thing is the way that it is going or has just gone and the political dimension to it all.

    The next saddest thing is that this is about the best we can expect, after 4 years of planning, from Central and Local Govt and also the Corporations in receipt of massive Public Transport subsidies.

    The third saddest thing is that the focus is on things one and two and not the thing is should be – the Games and the people.

    Our beloved leader First Citizen John Key the First ( The teflon John) has by way of insulation first set up Len Browne and then patsy number two Murray Mccully. I was surprised not to see this move reported in mafiatoday.com.

    I would guess Mccully is a glove puppet with beloved leader First Citizen John Key the First as the hand unseen.

    Some good news a brave and happy thing:

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1224 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to 3410,

    Just... why?

    Yeah, I felt like that when watching Obama's victory speech live, then we had a live cross to some kiwi reporter standing outside the White House who was attempting to summarize what we could have just .. fucking ... watched! Appalling.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10633 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    I don't undertand the ideology - can anyone explain why our government believes that an essential service such as electricity supply is most appropriately provided by the private sector, while running a glorified bar is an essential state function?

    Well said.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10633 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX, in reply to BenWilson,

    Because, "everybody must get stoned..................".

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1224 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    However, he and the Councillors share responsibility for not adequately verifying the assurances they were fed by the staff who report to them and to the CCO Boards largely appointed by the govt.

    But hang on, how does an elected representative verify what his/her highly paid, experten officials are telling them? isn't that what you have the bloody officials for?

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2213 posts Report Reply

  • Toby, in reply to barnaclebarnes,

    Lack of ‘stewards’ or other helpers with radios to help people out, give directions and generally move things along

    Important point this, and a lesson that I hope isn’t lost in the wash.
    Queen’s Wharf was closed 20 odd minutes after it opened, but almost no one knew this. Apart from a solitary display at the main entrance, there was no means, as far as I could see, employed to let the crowd know.

    In the crush on Quay Street I spent about an hour winding in a miserable moshpit congaline (along with at least half a dozen tearful small peope on parents’ shoulders) going nowhere. Had there been a steward/marshal with an old-school megaphone telling us that there was no way thrhrough, the crush would have eased considerably. Part of the problem seems to have been that they were relying for communication between organisers on the mobile network. I’;ll say that again: the NZ mobile network.

    A similar communication failure by all accounts exacerbated the train problems. No one knew why they had stopped – and that just ratchets up anxiety, and then people do things like pulling emergency tracks, walking up the tracks, etc.
    At events with large crowds and on mass transit systems around the world the efforts to disseminate information are noticeably now made a very high priority part of planning. Its almost complete absence on Friday was surprising and disappointing.

    pt chev • Since Mar 2011 • 27 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    But hang on, how does an elected representative verify what his/her highly paid, experten officials are telling them? isn’t that what you have the bloody officials for?

    Oh, ask questions and read papers? You really don’t get to have it both ways, Tom. I guess it’s easy to blame the officials who can’t (and shouldn’t be able to) turn around and tell elected councillors they’re either incompetent, stupid or liars.

    I'm hoping someone at The Herald already has OIA requests drafted for the raw reports from Veolia and Auckland Transport. I don't think they're going to reflect well on anyone.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Sacha,

    Not quite. McCully has also introduced central govt operational staff into planning the event in detail, contesting the local CCOs, especially Auckland Transport and ATEED – who I think everyone acknowledges dropped the ball last week.

    I've slightly amended that now, but operationally it still seems to me that it'll be the council doing stuff.

    And I meant to mention ATEED in the post -- they seem to have had as much to do with it as anyone.

    Yesterday’s bad faith communication of the takeover is another matter. McCully claims with a straight face that his staff and those govt officials were communicating with Auckland Council’s CEO, so it’s Doug McKay’s fault that Brown was blindsided. A tui billboard beckons.

    It took McCully until this morning to come up with that line. And it's bullshit.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Toby,

    I’'ll say that again: the NZ mobile network.

    Which really failed.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Russell Brown,

    It took McCully until this morning to come up with that line

    It's in one of those clips last night, to be fair. And he seems to believe himself when saying it, though you'd think the effect on the good faith working relationships would seem pretty obvious to any experienced politician.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Toby,

    Important point this, and a lesson that I hope isn’t lost in the wash.
    Queen’s Wharf was closed 20 odd minutes after it opened, but almost no one knew this. Apart from a solitary display at the main entrance, there was no means, as far as I could see, employed to let the crowd know.

    And this is where the Key/McCully "well, all __our__parts worked perfectly" line was so absurd. One of the key things about running a venue is how you run the gate or door. And from what you've said, they completely dropped the ball on that.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Toby,

    Apart from a solitary display at the main entrance, there was no means, as far as I could see, employed to let the crowd know.

    And yet, strangely, I knew, despite going nowhere near the main entrance. Perhaps I guessed it because they said so on the news the night before, that it could only hold x thousand people, and it was clear there was something like 10x people there. When you can't even move towards the gates from over 100m away, you know it's pointless. It seems to me that if there was any ugliness it would have been in the few minutes just when the gates had to be closed. Then people could jolly well find somewhere else to sink piss, if that's all they came to do.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10633 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Sacha,

    Kathryn Ryan discusses that this morning with right-leaning Councillor Cameron Brewer who has taken on the left-leaning Mayor over potential risks for some time (10 mins, listening options).

    I don't often say this, but Cameron Brewer was right last week.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    how does an elected representative verify what his/her highly paid, experten officials are telling them?

    Getting contestable advice from other experts is a challenge for anyone in a governance role. This country is not so good at it (a component of our productivity), and our small population doesn't help. Engaging with professional forums and suchlike is one practical step - in this case, in the events and transport planning sectors. Of course, you have to be prepared to listen, which is where ego comes in.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Toby,

    Part of the problem seems to have been that they were relying for communication between organisers on the mobile network. I’;ll say that again: the NZ mobile network.

    Yes, I was relying on it myself and it failed. After that, I fell back on old-school methods like "wait and see", "use my brain", "go with the flow", etc.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10633 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    we are warned...
    Another case of National rushing half-baked, ill-thought out plans through under urgency, leaves a bad taste in the mouth, and a great insight to how their second term would pan out, were we collectively mad enough to re-elect them...
    A government of bullies - and we all know cock-up bullies turn into frogs, not princes!

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7889 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    while running a glorified bar is an essential state function?

    I suppose it is a bit a pre-emptive strategy so they can claim "See, we CAN run a piss-up FOR a brewery"

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I don't often say this, but Cameron Brewer was right last week.

    He could work on his delivery though, his totally adversarial approach, at this time, does him no favours - and if he was so convinced he was right last week - why didn't he go to the media then?
    He struck me as Auckland's Aaron Klown, er, Keown...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7889 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to BenWilson,

    When you can't even move towards the gates from over 100m away, you know it's pointless.

    I thought the same thing. It didn't seem worth sticking around at the gate when there was plenty of open space further along. Even the Viaduct Basin wasn't particularly crowded, and it opened up further west.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    can anyone explain why our government believes that an essential service such as electricity supply is most appropriately provided by the private sector, while running a glorified bar is an essential state function?

    Some people have accused us, as your elected representatives, of not being able to organise a piss-up in a brewery. Well, we'll show them!

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

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