Fail

November 30th, 2012 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

NZ First MP did a release stating:

New Zealand First is accusing the Government of making changes to legislation to give the Prime Minister John Key complete dictatorship over the State Services commissioner.

Associate Finance spokesperson Andrew Williams says clause 6 (j) in the and Public Finance Reform Bill states that the commissioner must ‘exercise such other functions with respect to administration and management of the Public Service as the Prime Minister from time to time directs’. 

“This clause gives the Prime Minister complete power to dictate to the State Services Commissioner what he wants to see happen.

“It establishes a very dangerous precedent in a Westminster democracy, and is not unlike regimes of the Cold War era.

“With this Bill effectively providing for the unbridled whims of Dictator Key the National Government will continue to run the State Services sector into the ground,” says Mr Williams.

Note the hysterical language about dictatorships and the like. Even if Williams was correct in his assertion, the hysterical language is ridiculous.

The proposed new section 6(j) is:

For the purpose of carrying out the Commissioner’s role, the principal functions of the Commissioner are to … exercise such other functions with respect to the administration and management of the Public Service as the Prime Minister from time to time directs (not being functions conferred by this Act or any other Act on a chief executive other than the Commissioner).

Now let us look at the current State Sector Act 1988. It also has a section 6(j) which states:

The principal functions of the Commissioner are … to exercise such other functions with respect to the administration and management of the Public Service as the Prime Minister from time to time directs (not being functions conferred by this Act or any other Act on a chief executive other than the Commissioner).

That is a massive fail. Williams failed to even check the current law. And if you are going to accuse the Prime Minister of becoming a dictator, well an even bigger fail.

There’s really no excuse for such sloppiness.  Based on Williams press release, and the fact this clause has existed since 1988, I can only conclude that New Zealand has been a cold war dictatorship for the last 24 years, and we never noticed.

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30 Responses to “Fail”

  1. thedavincimode (6,512 comments) says:

    Associate Finance spokesperson Andrew Williams

    Good grief.

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  2. Christopher Thomson (374 comments) says:

    Pissed again?

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  3. bringbackdemocracy (391 comments) says:

    Is charging at Windmills worse than peeing on trees?

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  4. Peter (1,576 comments) says:

    The shrubbery around parliament appears to be growing extraordinarily well these days.

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  5. Graeme Edgeler (3,262 comments) says:

    not unlike regimes of the Cold War era

    But which side of the Cold War divide?

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  6. Eisenhower (137 comments) says:

    Years of alcohol abuse can have disasterous consequences on ones ability to cogitate.

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  7. RF (1,259 comments) says:

    What’s the expression… Has he drink taken.

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  8. Elaycee (4,285 comments) says:

    Is there any truth in the rumour that Andrew Williams used to sit beside Luc Hansen in class?

    It would explain a lot. 8O

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  9. Key is our man (779 comments) says:

    Guys – Andrew Pee Leaky Williams is trying to justify his existence to his dear leader. Why the hell we even think about him?

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  10. Rex Widerstrom (5,253 comments) says:

    It’s not just a matter of not having checked the existing Act, it’s having so little knowledge of legislative drafting as to be unaware that virtually any Act empowering a state agency has an “escape clause” similar to that one empowering the relevant Minister to give directions “not otherwise set out in the Act”. It’s because Parliament accepts it can’t possibly foresee every eventuality which may occur and, on a very rare occasion, the state agency may need to do something over and above the role envisaged for it in the empowering legislation.

    In fact, search for the phrase “Minister may direct” on the NZ legislation site and you’ll get sixty hits, ranging from the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Act 2011 to the Civil Service Act of 1908.

    OMGZ!1!11!!! The plot dates back to Sir Joseph Ward!! Quick, someone wake Winston from his afternoon nap and fire up the time machine!!

    (And of course the phrase “Minister may direct” is not the only way such a provision can be phrased. It wouldn’t for instance, pick up the 1988 State Sector Act as it has “from time to time” in the middle of it).

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  11. Reid (15,904 comments) says:

    Bearing in mind this is really Andrew’s first foray into the public arena since he was elected, I’m hoping it just gets better and better, like it did when he was mayor. I wonder if Winston’s thinking of him home as well, like he just did with Brendon. What a team. I bet the caucus meetings are a lot of fun. Vast gobbits of clever wisdom spewing in all directions, one would imagine.

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  12. Keeping Stock (10,085 comments) says:

    Perhaps he’d had a series of late night engagements, and was feeling “tired and emotional” :P

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  13. Reid (15,904 comments) says:

    The frightening thing is, he had to actually write this down, and tell other people to release it, and they did. Without telling him it was utter madness. Maybe his secretary is the next in line on the NZF list.

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  14. David Garrett (6,307 comments) says:

    These are the people who will be determining who forms the next government…

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  15. sparky (235 comments) says:

    Only an Idiot like Andrew Williams, would talk like that, with no knowledge of what he is talking about. He sounds like the DICTATOR himself.

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  16. Reid (15,904 comments) says:

    These are the people who will be determining who forms the next government.

    I’ve been looking into an Anderson Shelter. It’s mostly the Gweens that I fear. Imagine Wussell in his first Tweasuwy meeting to discuss the QE proposition. He’d just get madder and madder as they rejected idea after idea until finally he almost burst, but for Metewia’s quick actions, who was there as his Whanau Support person. But how depressing would being those Treasury officials be? Trying to run the fucking country and you have to listen to this ginger tosser.

    Crikey.

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  17. orewa1 (428 comments) says:

    Having a person of that intellect on the public payroll is an insult to the public and a classic illustration of the dangers of the party list. I actually think Winston performs a useful role in parliament, but the hangers-on he brings with him are an utter embarrassment.

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  18. Grizz (499 comments) says:

    The bigger question is how did the good folk of the North Shore ever elect this drunken fool to the Mayoralty in the first place.

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  19. Tauhei Notts (1,601 comments) says:

    I think you are all being too harsh on Andrew Williams.
    Following a chat over beers with my cow cocky mates this evening I looked at yesterday’s Hansard for the debate on the Taxation (Livestock Valuation, Assets Expenditure and remedial matters) Bill first reading.
    Andrew Williams’ comments were the most intelligent of any on that Bill.
    And how do I know?
    Well, I have been studying livestock taxation matters since the days of standard values; long before Sir Roger Douglas’ 12 December 1985 announcement of the government’s intention to introduce a new livestock valuation sytem. I have considerable knowledge in that rather narrow field. And Andrew Williams was the only parliamentarian who showed any knowledge whatsoever with the present legislation.
    …………………………
    But don’t those cow cockies whinge? One was complaining that he had to find $70,000 to buy extra Fonterra shares. I remarked;
    “You are whinging about paying $4.52 per share for shares that closed today at $6.85! Spare me the anguish.”

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  20. Liberty (233 comments) says:

    “run the State Services sector into the ground,”
    So what’s the problem. The size of the State should be slashed.

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  21. sparky (235 comments) says:

    Reid, I so agree with you.

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  22. mikenmild (10,595 comments) says:

    Tauhei Notts
    That’s interesting – obviously Williams has some capabilities, which makes his bizarre attack on this clause even less explicable.
    What is a shame is that this deeply flawed bill is being attacked on one inconsequential clause.
    The debate on the first reading brought out that the government intends to abolish by law one of the two man exercises of parliamentary scrutiny of the executive – by combining the Estimates examination and departmental financial reviews in one process. That is something on which they will actually need more than a bare majority to change.
    There are a lot of other problems with the whole ‘better public services’ programme, but that’s a doozy right there.

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  23. hinamanu (2,352 comments) says:

    ‘New Zealand has been a cold war dictatorship for the last 24 years, and we never noticed.’

    1989 was the year Labour took away the treason laws so without opposition from teh National opposition and this lead the way to selling of state assets and the privatisation track.

    This is Fabian Socialism and Keysnian economics in action where slow change produces massive change.

    If anyone has confidence in todays economy compared to the 80′s they are truly deceived. Nothing is getting better and nothing will. This is why we need to get rid of the Nat/Lab coalition and promote third party representation which is happening
    and why the govt is repeatedly trying to deal to MMP.

    Democracy is certainly under seige. The way National brought in the EFB under stealth before breaking off before Christmas with absolutely no opposition from Labour proves this effectively.

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  24. mikenmild (10,595 comments) says:

    Which EFB do you mean?

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  25. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    I would hope that someone collates all this bullshit that comes out between election periods and when these knobs are waxing full of lies on the campaign trail someone questions them on it.

    This then highlights what utter twats these guys are and leave s a fresh memory with the voter. Otherwise all you get is promises that will never be kept with prepared scripts.

    christ I hate politicians

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  26. Paulus (2,485 comments) says:

    Williams is taking the heat of Horan by getting the publicity for the Winston Party.

    Do you realise that they could be the Government makers after 2014 election having the seats for the balance of power, and prostitute Winston being the whore. He has till not paid back the $158,000 he stole from the taxpayers.

    He will sell his body and his hangers to the highest bidder.

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  27. hinamanu (2,352 comments) says:

    @milkenmaid

    Electoral Finance Bill

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  28. mikenmild (10,595 comments) says:

    hinamanu
    Which one?

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  29. hinamanu (2,352 comments) says:

    @mikenmild

    The one protested against during Helengrad. 5,000 protestors in one day.

    A lrge part of what brought about Labour’s huge defeat. Possibly demise

    The front bench anyway

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  30. mikenmild (10,595 comments) says:

    Oh, I thought you were talking about current ‘reforms’, not old news.

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