Attacking public servants

February 6th, 2013 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

attacked the appointment of Sir to the Inquiry as not being independent as he is a former head of the Department of PM and Cabinet.

Chris, of all people, knows that DPMC is scrupulously neutral and serves all Governments with total professionalism. They are totally different to the PM’s Office which is political.

Inventory at blogs:

We thought more of Mr Hipkins than this small-minded affront to a respected public servant’s integrity. Sir Maarten  Weevers was appointed as head of the department of Prime Minister and Cabinet in 2004 when Helen Clark was Prime Minister. Prior to that he had been a career diplomat who had served New Zealand with distinction both domestically and overseas, and during periods in which both National and Labour governed the country. He was also Private Secretary to PM David Lange at one point in his distinguished public service career. Sir Maarten retired from his DPMC role last year.

However Chris Hipkins slights all public servants  with this indirect attack on Sir Maarten’s integrity. It is a disgraceful slur by Hipkins, which we roundly condemn. Almost all public servants manage to achieve political neutrality and separate their personal and political beliefs from their work. Sir Maarten Weevers has proved that by serving New Zealand’s two most recent Prime Ministers in an apolitical manner.

I can’t think of anyone more independent than a former DPMC head. Probably a former Cabinet Secretary only (who reports to the DPMC head).

The irony here is that Chris Hipkins has history with Novopay that he is anxious to re-write. We blogged back in November that the first Novopay contract was signed when Chris Carter was still Minister of Education. And when it was put to Hipkins on the telly last week (we can’t find the video, unfortunately) that he had been involved when he was a ministerial advisor prior to entering Parliament in 2008, he was very quick to change the subject.

Heh I’m sure he was.

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22 Responses to “Attacking public servants”

  1. Keeping Stock (10,441 comments) says:

    Cheers for the link DPF. As if Hipkins dissing Sir Maarten Wevers wasn’t bad enough, the Greens jumped on the bandwagon last night, claiming that Wevers had a conflict of interest.

    One can only imagine what the public service would look like under a Labour/Green government :D

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  2. Manolo (14,077 comments) says:

    And to think the imbecile Hipkins could even be the next Minister of Education!
    The duplicitous socialist needs to be reminded of his previous utterances and numerous lies.

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  3. Keeping Stock (10,441 comments) says:

    Quite so Manolo. Oddly, the left-leaning media has been all but silent on the inconvenient little fact that the first contract between the Government and the Novopay providers was signed in September 2008 by then Education Minister Hon. Chris Carter after two years of negotiation and planning. Hipkins changes the subject whenever this is mentioned.

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  4. Reid (16,634 comments) says:

    The leaked briefing paper to Joyce pretty much spells out the issues, so why do we need to pay a retired DPMC head and the Deloittes head plus the staff who’ll work on it plus the time of the people who’ll have to provide information, to come up with something which will, I bet, say approximately the same thing?

    And since the issues mostly involve around the reputation of an Australian company, why do the Gweens and Liarbore hallucinate that any gilding of the lily will be going on? After all, the only possible issue that could be said to taint the govt’s political handling of it (apart from their incredibly poor PR management, which the report won’t address because it won’t be included in the terms of reference, Joyce will make sure of that), is the decision to go live, which is easily defended by the need for the Minister to rely on ‘expert advisers’ and the incredibly convenient fact that one of those advisers happens to be one of the big consultancies, upon whom all eyes will be focused, in respect of this particular issue.

    I2’s post is very good however it’s not too explicit about why Hipkins is doing what he’s doing. This is why. One of the issues highlighted in the briefing paper is the inability of the Ministry to involve itself in the contact centre operations, an issue which arises from the design of the contract, which Hipkins would have been heavily involved in. This design was so poor, according to the Briefing Paper, that it’s going to require a contract amendment. So what Hipkins is clearly doing is pre-empting the criticism of that specific thing, which the report is sure to include as one of it’s main conclusions, by pretending that it’s all “political.”

    All sides are playing politics on this and as usual the silly old public and media will be none the wiser about the real machinations. But you have to ask yourself, which side is being the most venal over this and you have to conclude, it’s once again, the lefties. Notwithstanding the taxpayer is funding a technical enquiry that we don’t need because we already know what the issues are, the ones who are outright lying and smearing are, as usual, Liarbore with the ultra-nasty Gweens as usual, cheering them on from the sidelines. The fact a distinguished civil servant’s reputation is the target for these venal smears is, as usual, neither here nor there, for them. As is the fact that the truth comes a distant second, in their portrayal. In fact, their version of it is the furthest thing for it, designed to do one thing and one thing only: redirect the mud which would justifiably attach to such monstrous incompetence as Hipkins demonstrated in his capacity as the contractual adviser.

    Makes you wonder how the lefties manage to sleep at night, doesn’t it.

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  5. Chris Hipkins (10 comments) says:

    You’re being a little mischievous to describe my comment that the inquiry should be headed by someone from outside the public service as an ‘attack’. I did not question Sir Maarten’s professionalism, but I don’t think the immediate past head of DPMC is independent enough. One of the critical issues involved here is the quality of advice ministers received (which I suspect the review will find was inadequate). DPMC has a role in that process, and increasingly takes a ‘whole of govt’ coordinating role along with the Treasury and SSC on monitoring the quality of that advice. Therefore, someone outside the public service would be better in my view. But to suggest that was an ‘attack’ is just wrong.
    With regard to my role, I worked for Trevor Mallard from 03-06. The decision to implement a new payroll was made in 05, but the scope was significantly changed in 07 and the contract not signed till 08. I had no role in the discussions with Novopay or the design of the contract. Incidentally, the contract was re-negotiated at least twice under National.

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  6. Psycho Milt (2,419 comments) says:

    One can only imagine what the public service would look like under a Labour/Green government

    It would look pretty much like it does under a NACTMP govt, with perhaps some differences – for example, more of a focus on doing the job rather than how to cut costs, and fewer instances of Ministers hiring people to provide advice the public service is already paid to provide.

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  7. flipper (4,227 comments) says:

    1.
    Mr (?) Hipkins, please enlighten us. When were you employed in a real job (where you did not suck on the taxpayer tit), and what was it?

    2.
    The psycho one is as stupid on this issue as it (she, he, or in between?) is on Robin Bain, and silly Collins (wow, does Bob Jones take the piss out of her (again) this morning. :)

    3.
    Apart from the crap from the smarty alec twerp and the psycho one, altogether excellent posts by DPF et al :) :) :)

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  8. wat dabney (3,811 comments) says:

    public servants

    Let’s lose that ridiculous term shall we.

    ‘A unionised cartel of rent-seekers’ would be a better term, but I’d settle for ‘state sector employees.’

    The class-war ended decades ago. The clash now is between those in the co-operative sector and those in the coercive sector; with the latter being very politically organised – through its ‘Labour Party’ vehicle – to plunder the former.

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  9. BeaB (2,148 comments) says:

    What a pompous little twerp Hipkins is!

    [DPF: Less personal abuse]

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  10. bc (1,377 comments) says:

    Yes, we all know the job of attacking public servants belongs to DPF and kiwibloggers.

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  11. bc (1,377 comments) says:

    So flipper, in your world only private sector jobs are “real jobs” (your question 1).
    How insulting to police officers, doctors, nurses, teachers, military etc etc

    And what was up with the question mark next to Mr when referring to Chris Hipkins?

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  12. Ross12 (1,456 comments) says:

    Chris Hipkins

    If you had absolutely nothing to do with the contract why did not you take the opportunity the say so on TV1 when asked about it ( or the reporter made reference to it). ??

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  13. UpandComer (537 comments) says:

    Ah yes, Chris Hipkins could be described as ‘the father of Novopay’.

    The Labour party politicised the public service so much that I actually don’t think they can comprehend neutrality.

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  14. RF (1,454 comments) says:

    Dear God.. Labour MPs are now under instructions to contribute to blogs so they appear human. Annette King was first and now dear Mr. Hipkins.

    I look forward to seeing comments by David Shearer on this blog trying to justify why his troops attack Public Servants.

    It’s like watching Play School.

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  15. Paulus (2,672 comments) says:

    You mean Prick Hipkins.
    Another child trying to make a name for himself.
    Stupid Is Stupid As.

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  16. bc (1,377 comments) says:

    Re: DPF’s response to BeaB @ 10.10am

    Come on DPF. You know full well by now that if BeaB isn’t getting all luvey-dovey over John Key, she’s abusing people instead. Nothing of subtance, it’s been that way forever!

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  17. alex Masterley (1,523 comments) says:

    Er Mr Hipkins, explaining is loosing.

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  18. Reid (16,634 comments) says:

    I had no role in the discussions with Novopay or the design of the contract. Incidentally, the contract was re-negotiated at least twice under National.

    I take you at your word Chris and apologise for and withdraw my 8:12. However whoever was responsible for this clause controlling the contact centres had to have been the original [Labour] negotiator(s). You don’t negotiate a clause like this at a side-session after the main event. And whoever designed it was a monumental fool who didn’t understand how the relationship would work in a crisis, which is really quite the basic point about risk management 101. So he was a bit of a der, wasn’t he, whoever he was.

    Thanks for this, whoever you were. We really appreciate what’s happened. If you could pass that onto them Chris, that’d be great.

    Happy Waitangi day, Chris. Hei konā.

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  19. BeaB (2,148 comments) says:

    bc
    Key – successful, capable, a good husband, loving father, firm convictions, loved his mum, sense of humour, rich, attractive – what’s not to like?

    Hipkins – squeaky voice, political opportunist, no worldly success, lifetime trougher – nuff said?

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  20. BeaB (2,148 comments) says:

    So what exactly was Hipkins doing as an adviser to the Labour Minister of Education if he had nothing at all to do with one of the biggest decsions of their term? Bringing him his coffee?

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  21. JonL (3 comments) says:

    Regardless, Novopay have played the Governments like a bunch of chumps! Regardless of who’s fault it was, it’s time to come down on them with the heavy clauses in the contract (surely to god there must be some – there are in most other contracts) to “get them up to speed damn quick”. The way it’s currently playing out is a farce, at the teachers expense!

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  22. PTM (47 comments) says:

    JonL, it’s a wee bit more complex than that. There’s no going back – not much chance of contracting someone else to take over – Novopay took a good 6 years to develop so what to do in the mean time if you started from scratch – off the shelf products would add a further level of farce to the one we already have.
    Unfortunately the hand has been dealt and with no chance of cheating our way through, Novopay will have to be fixed, possibly with external resources. Dwelling on the blame game is fun but not a solution.

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