Badges

June 23rd, 2008 at 8:30 pm by David Farrar

Bernard Hickey doesn’t want no stinking badges!

This is the guts of the problem that faces public servants on the front line and taxpayers alike. Too much money is being spent centrally on dreaming up fancy ideas for the workers at the coal face to carry out, while the poor people at the coal face don’t have the resources to do some real public service.

Talk to any nurse, teacher, police officer, principal, social worker and there is enormous resentment and anger at how much money is spent by head office dreaming up policy frameworks, policy documents, communications strategies and monitoring regimes. Not nearly enough money is spent actually providing the service.

I’m all for government employing doctors, nurses, teachers, social workers, police officers and road builders. But why so many bureaucrats working out of fancy office buildings writing policy papers and ordering the workers around? Any business would ask the question: Why so much middle management?

Schools seem to getting quite militant with the ever increasing workload being placed on them by the Education Ministry and the Government, when they see stupidity such as this sucking up funds they could do with.

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23 Responses to “Badges”

  1. OECD rank 22 kiwi (2,746 comments) says:

    The Badges were a classic waste of taxpayer money.

    Its a field the Labour government specialises in. Got to spend the money less others they might have to give it back to the taxpayers.

    Labour’s rein is about to end. The next government should be able to managing government spending in a more sensible manner.

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  2. Monty (976 comments) says:

    The badges, like the light bulb ban and so many other things Labour are doing and have done over the past 18 months (antismacking which reared its head today, the EFA which constantly rears its head) demonstrates that all sense of good political management is now devoid within the Labour ranks.

    Clark remains in denial that she is doing so badly in all polls, and her only answer is to effectively blame the pollsters. This again demonstrates her lack of political nous (something she previously had in bucketfuls)

    So Labour will slip a few more points and soon National will be double labour in at least one poll. (Hopefully on election day), and in the meantime the badges will be withdrawn and quietly shelved turning up on Trademe in a few years time.

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  3. Steve (4,547 comments) says:

    This is how Liarbour and Aunty Helun create jobs to keep the unemployment figures down.
    Useless jobs for useless unemployable people.
    I want a badge that says “Get a backbone, not a wishbone”

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  4. getstaffed (9,186 comments) says:

    The badges are small fry in terms of waste. I’ve seen a $10m IT education sector project canned after 18 months… after it delivered absolutely nothing. zip. zilch.

    Being married to a distinguished teacher and myself being the chair of a school BOT, I can tell you that this waste in education sector is gut wrenching. There isn’t a day that goes by when we don’t need to make cost-driven compromises on the quality of education delivered to our next generation NZers.

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  5. Southern Raider (1,811 comments) says:

    The school my mother teached at was due to get a new hall as the roll had got to big. They followed due process with Wellington and received tenders and thw work was awarded.

    The old hall was donated to a country school and well received. However just as they were about to start construction the MoEd told them they were going to review the feasibility of the school and all expenditure was to be halted. They had to pay out the contractor a bond for cancelling the contract. The review took 6 months.

    During this time winter came and all the students had to walk several hundred metres to a church for each assembly. This city was a cold and wet place.

    After the review was complete they had to go back out to tender. In that time all the costs has risen. They went back for more funding and were told it needed to come out of their operational budget.

    So those wankers forced the children to have no hall over winter, and then cut back on normal activities to fund a cost overrun caused by Wellington in the first place.

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  6. getstaffed (9,186 comments) says:

    TheOptimist – There is (withheld) evidence that the educational achievement of students from State integrated schools is on average better than students from State schools of the same decile, similar locations etc.

    This is the kind of information that is withheld from the public lest they start asking tough questions about their children’s education, questions that the Government (and to be fair any Government) doesn’t really want to answer.

    The soft option is to withhold, spin, obfuscate towards the next election… then do it all again.

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  7. RRM (9,839 comments) says:

    “Just shell out the money and we parents can sort it out.”

    Oh if only all parents were as responsible, and as competent in this regard, as you think you are!

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  8. reid (16,290 comments) says:

    It’s not news to many of us that waste exists and all of us I imagine see it every day.

    I imagine those of us who’ve worked in both government and commercial sectors have seen it in both.

    Frankly, any modern management that doesn’t listen to the coalface eventually gets sacked, as they should be.

    I usually like Bernard’s opinions very much and highly recommend his and many other spots on RadioLive’s Sunday Business, @12:00 (I have no connection but it’s great, Mark Walden etc.) but in this rare case have to disagree with his diagnosis.

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  9. Bryan Spondre (556 comments) says:

    From the Green Party website: $450k a year to keep the Green party voting medical fraudsters ( homeopaths,naturopaths,holistic pulsers,reiki masters,magnetotherapists,iridologists) happy:

    “The Greens secure $450K of funding in the 2007 Budget for a new Chief Advisor: Integrated Care, to work within the Ministry of Health. The Chief Advisor will be supported by a policy analyst to look at ways to integrate complementary healthcare and conventional medicine, particularly in the area of chronic condition management.”

    http://www.greens.org.nz/about/achievements.htm

    Anyone who feels like experiencing a little bit of self-righteous anger should spend a few minutes perusing what the Greens have managed to waste our money on.

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  10. Bryan Spondre (556 comments) says:

    And the consequence of this obsession that Labour and the Greens have with spending other people money: the rats are leaving the sinking ship.

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  11. Bryan Spondre (556 comments) says:

    RRM “Oh if only all parents were as responsible, and as competent in this regard, as you think you are!”

    My son goes to Ponsonby Primary, a decile 10 school that receives the least amount of government funding. I’m sure the professional and business people on it’s BOT could do a damn site better job than all the Wellington EdDept bureaucrats who have never had to make a dollar in their lives. Principal Anne Malcolm and here management team do a brilliant job of raising additional funding via sponsorship etc to fund the shortfall.

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  12. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    getstaffed, it looks awfully like you’re hinting at a government conspiracy in your 10:01 pm comment..?

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  13. getstaffed (9,186 comments) says:

    stephen – no conspiracy, just another example of selective release of information. unfortunately this happens all the time, mostly then the bigger picture is lost in the desire for massaged public approval

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  14. Scott (1,780 comments) says:

    Great post David, Bernard Hickey is right on the money. The way the taxpayers money is wastefully spent is a disgrace in my opinion. Too many bureaucrats in Wellington telling everyone else what to do and too little spent on the front line of education.

    I believe we need to elect a conservative government that believes in a limited role for itself. That trusts principals and school boards to think for themselves and doesn’t try and mandate everything from Wellington. The local school leadership is much more in touch with the local community than any bureaucrat in Wellington can possibly be.

    I would rather that school principals and boards were left to get on with it.

    Maybe they could even be trusted to decide what food they sell in the School tuckshop!?

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  15. JSF2008 (422 comments) says:

    logic, lacking with bitch sue bradford, who states that NO one has appeared in the courts for smacking, under her bill so its working ?????? so dumby sue bradford opp a tree hugging GREENY DUMBY. dont vote for these ???WHAT, tree bonkers ,) sue if no one has been charged with any offence WHY FUCK EVERY FAMILY OFF in GODS OWN BY MAKING THEM FEEL LIKE CRIMS ,stupid bitch , with the threat of the TOOTHLESS GUTLESS politilsised POLICE (plods) knocking on your door, WHAT A DUMB ARSE ACT, fuck get rid of chardonay sue bradford RICH usless GREENIE.

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  16. dave strings (608 comments) says:

    If you would like a real example of waste in Education, try the “schools Strategy”

    THis was an initiative that occupied a department for a very long time conducting workshops, interviews and research into whay our secondary schools should be taking on and doing for a five year period.
    Perhaps most exceptional was the inspired graphics design work contracted for the presentation of the strategy and a poster that communicated the high points.

    So far so good eh! BUT, Hang On To Your Hats!

    There was NOTHING NEW in the ‘strategy’. It was ‘adjusted’ to ensure that no one would be challenged or upset by it. It was, in its essence, an intruction from the ministry to schools to “carry on and steady as she goes”!

    I hate to think how much it cost, but I’d bet it cost enough to put back school milk in the mornings, so we know every child is getting some nutrition!

    Here’s a bit of a riddle. If you take ALL the money spent on year one through thirteen in public schools and divide it by the total number of pupils, then take ALL the money spent on year one through thirteen in private schools and divide it by the total number of their pupils, which number will be bigger? (Don’t ask me, as I don’t know, but it would be an interesting comparison I think.

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  17. Falafulu Fisi (2,179 comments) says:

    Bryan Spondre said…
    ( homeopaths,naturopaths,holistic pulsers,reiki masters,magnetotherapists,iridologists)

    Yeah, Brian I will include psychics in your list, since Phil U of the Green Party has admitted here on DPF blog last year (2007) that he is a fan of the TV2 Sensing Murder bullshit show. He believes that psychics can really talk to dead people.

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  18. PhilBest (5,121 comments) says:

    Remember politically-driven hiring by government departments and SOE’s back before Roger Douglas? To get the unemployment figures looking good for the benefit of the government of the day? Remember how many staff the reforms were able to dispense with? Up to ten times too many people for the actual work being done, at some places……..

    Same thing. Add to that today, the numbers of good little leftist ideologues getting useless uni degrees in sociology and the like, all subsidised by the taxpayer of course, going on to join the ranks of all the other loyal fellow-travellers in non-jobs in the public sector, again at the expense of the ever-diminishing number of “real job” taxpayers…….

    John Key doesn’t need to be so polite about “capping” bureaucrat numbers. The majority of Kiwis are so sick of this stuff that promising swingeing cuts in numbers is not going to be a vote loser. C’mon, John Key, promise us now that you’re gonna do it, so that they can’t accuse you afterwards of not being honest………

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  19. polemic (460 comments) says:

    Psychics !!
    Is that how Phil U of the green party communicates with H1 and H2 .
    They definitely need a Psychic to communicate with the people of NZ because everything else they have done (including badges)it seems as if the vast majority of NZ people don’t seem to hear!!!or more importantly don’t want to hear!!

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  20. getstaffed (9,186 comments) says:

    Labour Has Failed To Deal With Teacher Crisis

    After nine years in power the Labour Government has failed to deal with the teacher crisis, says Alliance education spokesperson Richard Wallis

    Hello… Richard?!? Wake up laddie!! Alliance is part of the government and you have done NOTHING about the problem. In fact you’ve been part of making it worse by sitting idly by, watching Labour’s nanny state meddling.

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