It doesn’t cost millions to just use both names

Stuff reports:

The cost to rebrand more than a dozen government departments, which primarily use te reo Māori names, could be “millions”, according to marketing experts.

It doesn’t need to cost anything. All people want is both the English and Te Reo names in publicity and releases so people understand what the entity is. There is no need for new logos, just a directive to include both names.

I also note that when departments decided to make their te reo name their primary name, that presumably cost money also – but did media cover that cost?

If it affects your public job, then it is a matter of public interest

The Post reports:

A person with a front row seat to Tory Whanau’s Wellington mayoral campaign has talked of her missing meetings after nights out drinking and of how volunteers had to police her alcohol intake. …

The campaign volunteer, who spoke anonymously to protect job prospects, said Whanau would frequently cancel morning events after nights out drinking.

Everyone knows this has carried on as Mayor.

Questions were raised in in May when Whanau missed a regional mayoral forum to discuss water reforms.

Her frequent absence at civic functions – including monthly citizenship ceremonies, in which the mayor welcomes new residents – had also been noted. Also in May, she pulled out of a Government House ceremony for young Duke of Edinburgh award winners.

On the same day, dignitaries were embarrassed when she was missing from a commemoration of the 1941 Battle of Crete.

The Mayor is paid a salary of $180,000 a year. Turning up is not an unreasonable expectation.

Listen to the Auditor-General

Newsroom reports:

Ryan acknowledges the coming years will be challenging for the public sector, with rising costs, government-imposed belt-tightening, and the increasing frequency of emergencies like pandemics and climate-induced severe weather events.

That makes it all the more important, he says, that government agencies are assessed not just on what they spend, but on what outcomes they deliver. 

And those outcomes are about more than just their budgets and balance sheets – they must also set in place performance measures for less tangible standards, especially integrity.

“I’m not being alarmist, I’m being concerned. We should all be concerned about the integrity of the public sector, because it’s one-third of the economy, and it actually has to have the trust of the public to operate effectively,” Ryan says.

“Integrity is about more than following the rules. It is about consistently behaving within agreed or accepted ethical principles and doing what is right in any given circumstance.”

In a report this month, the Auditor-General finds three weaknesses that need to be “urgently” addressed: measures that aren’t meaningful or comprehensive; gaps in measuring what difference is being made; and poor measures for assessing the stewardship, oversight, and monitoring functions of departments.

The last Government increased spending by over $1 billion a week and abandoned measuring if they improved outcomes. It is vital we do better at measuring if spending is actually improving performance.

A great example of media bias

Edgeler nails it with this comparison. Winston’s hyperbole has been a major story in every news outlet for many days. There has been many columns about how this is a major issue for the Government etc etc.

But the far far far worse hyperbole from the Maori Party gets a total free pass. It is reported once, without comment. Where are the columns decrying Ngarewa-Packer? Where are the shouted questions to Chris Hipkins demanding he denounced Ngarewa-Packer’s comments? Where are the opinion pieces decrying such extreme language?

The media have been so uneven handed, that it actually proves the underlying point Winston is getting at – we have a media that overall is hostile to the non-left.

Labour’s Top 10

  1. Chris Hipkins – leader
  2. Carmel Sepuloni – welfare, Pacific Peoples, Auckland issues
  3. Grant Robertson – finance and racing
  4. Megan Woods – climate change and energy
  5. Willie Jackson – Māori development, broadcasting, employment
  6. Ayesha Verrall – health, public service and Wellington
  7. Kieran McAnulty – Shadow Leader of the House, housing, regional and local government 
  8. Willow-Jean Prime – children and youth
  9. Ginny Andersen – police, violence prevention, social investment
  10. Jan Tinetti – education and women

It’s great that Hipkins has kept failed Ministers in their portfolios, so the public can be reminded of how bad things were in health and education under them.

Hysterical bullshit

Radio NZ reports:

Te Pāti Māori’s co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer has accused the new government of “deliberate .. systemic genocide” over its policies to roll back the smokefree policy and the Māori Health Authority.

The left love hysterical language. If you oppose racial quotas in laws, you are a racist. And now if you sack 400 bureaucrats you are genocidal.

Everyone tuts tuts (including me) when Donald Trump says outrageous things such as calling his opponents vermin, but here you have an opposition leader accusing her opponents of being genocidal. Does she get condemned for hysterical language? No. As she is on the left.

“For 150-plus years no health system has been able to address the growing inequities of Māori, we come up with a unique, well thought out, futuristic model. It’s not perfect … but it is a solution that is addressing inequities that only Māori confront.

Having 400 more bureaucrats doesn’t fix inequities. Lifting immunisation rates does.

And while there are differences in health outcomes for many groups (much due to lifestyle choices), the improvement over 125 years has been immense. The life expectancy for Maori men has gone from 25 to 73 and for Maori women from 23 to 77.

For European NZers, the change over the same period has been from 55 to 81 for men and 58 to 84 for women. So an increase of 48 years for Maori men, 54 years for Maori women, 26 years for European men and 26 years for European women.

Wellington’s Mayoral problem

Wellington Mayor Tory Whanau put out a statement today saying:

I was elected as Mayor on the platform of transformational change, where I can make a difference, represent a different type of politics and of course, represent different communities. 

I am not a career politician, and leadership positions in public office are not built for regular people who may have struggles with addiction, mental ill health, or any other illness that has stigma attached. We have seen this play out with career ending moments from politicians across the political spectrum in recent times.

I did not engage in any sexual activity as alleged, but I do have a problem with alcohol. After an incident where I was drunk in public, which to my great embarrassment and shame seems to have been recorded, I sought counsel from my friends, family and colleagues and have since sought professional help.

I am a flawed person, but I care deeply about this city. I will continue to represent the hopes and aspirations of my local community and I will do so with the compassion and care of those around me and with the professional help required.

I would like to say to others struggling with alcohol issues that you can seek help and still commit to your passions, work, family, friends in a way that is meaningful. We are complex, layered people and deserving of love.

I would appreciate respect and care from the media whilst navigating this period of sobriety and professional support.

In July Tory Whanau was accused of being drunk, walking out without paying and saying “Don’t you know who I am”. She “strenuously” denied she was drunk or behaved badly.

Now she has said she does have a problem with alcohol, but only after media approached her regarding a video of allegedly drunken antics, and asked her extremely direct questions. Rather than answer the questions, she has done a press release.

National List MP Aaron Gilmore was forced out of Parliament over alleged behaviour with alcohol that was far less serious that what is alleged here.

The Mayor recently supported a Code of Conduct complaint against a third of her own Council. Of interest the Code states:

Members should not place themselves in situations where their honesty and integrity may be questioned, should not behave improperly and should on all occasions avoid the appearance of such behaviour.

Should a Councillor lodge a code complaint against the Mayor? I don’t think they should as I hate code of conduct complaints, but she has not been shy to use them herself.

Of course there is no mechanism to make a Mayor resign. The Council can’t sack a Mayor, and the Minister can’t sack them (only an entire Council).

Only 23 months until the next local elections!

Where all the stories celebrating the increase numbers of Māori in Cabinet?

The Luxon Cabinet has seven Ministers (out of 20) who are Māori. This is a huge 35% of Cabinet. The Hipkins Cabinet that left office had only five Māori Ministers, or 28%. So where are all the stories celebrating this?

Or is there so little publicity around this, because the Māori in the Luxon Cabinet are the wrong sort? They don’t think the Treaty was about co-governance. They prioritise equality over equity. They obviously don’t count.

Also did you know nine of the 20 Cabinet Ministers are women, or 45%? The so called trail-blazing Ardern Cabinet had only seven female Cabinet Ministers when sworn in, or 35%. But again the female Ministers in the Luxon Cabinet don’t count it seems, as they are have centre-right views.

How the Empire will strike back against the new government.

Education is my thing. The Ministry of Education has been an unmitigated disaster for many years – but especially the last six years. There has been nothing positive of note and the Secretary of Education and all of the Deputy Secretaries should step down.

Education in New Zealand is in absolute crises and the new government has a massive mandate for change.

So what is the first move?

Iona Holsted – the incredibly failed Secretary for Education – under the two worst ever Ministers of Education (Hipkins and “losing the election is a weight off my shoulders” Tinetti) – sent Erica Stanford a list of the people whom she could choose to be the education lead in the new Minister’s office.

It is official that Stanford has chosen Ellen MacGregor-Reid – a current Deputy Secretary of the Misery of Education. I have had several dealings with her – the approach she takes an anathema to high quality and aspirational education.

This is like making Sauron the Mayor of Hobbiton.

For the transformational mandate in education this is a disaster and Stanford needs to re-think very quickly. Already the voters, children and families of NZ have been ripped off and disrespected.

Alwyn Poole
Innovative Education Consultants

Think if a National Party Councillor had done this about Jacinda?

The Herald reports:

Wellington City Councillor Teri O’Neill has defended her decision to post flyers featuring Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and his two deputies inside the image of a penis around Wellington City.

O’Neill took pictures of herself and her friends sticking the posters up around the city on Friday night and posted them to social media yesterday.

When contacted by the Herald about the pictures, she made her Instagram private but says she stands by her decision to post the flyers – one of which featured new Prime Minister Christopher Luxon inside the outline of a penis.

Another had Act leader David Seymour and NZ First leader Winston Peters inside the scrotum of the genitals while Luxon formed the head.

A child pretending to be a City Councillor.

Imagine if a National Party City Councillor stuck up posters of Jacinda Ardern inside women’s genitilia. There would be howls of outrage, and demands they resign immediately.

I don’t think O’Neill should resign for acting like a child. But it does mean that no one in central Government is going to take WCC very seriously.

Another neutral board member

The Herald reports:

An NZ On Air board member has resigned after making a social media post calling new Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters’ attack on media independence “malicious” and him being “the worst of this gang of thugs”. …

NZ On Air board member Andrew Shaw, a screen sector consultant who has previously worked as a television host, posted today on social media: “Winston Peters attack’s independence of media [sic]. He’s not truthful. He’s not accurate. He’s malicious and he is here on behalf of international tobacco. His return is the worst of this gang of thugs.”

This shows how bad things have got, that a public sector board member thinks he can refer to the new Government as a gang of thugs just because his preferred parties lost a democratic election.

Winston vs media

The Herald reports:

Peters interjected as Luxon ushered for media to leave and proceedings to get under way.

“Before you go – can you possibly tell the public what you had to sign up to to get the money, it’s called transparency,” Peters said.

Luxon was asked about those comments but did not respond. Fellow Cabinet ministers shuffled awkwardly in their seats.

Peters’ attack on the fund is tied to his criticism of the use of te reo Māori in the media.

“Well, we’ll see the speed at which TVNZ and RNZ – which are taxpayer-owned – understand this new message. We’ll see whether these people, both the media and journalists – are they independent? Well, isn’t that fascinating, I haven’t seen evidence of that in the last three years,” Peters said at Government House yesterday.

“You can’t defend $55 million of bribery, cannot defend $55 million of bribery. Get it very clear,” Peters said.

Applicants to the fund were asked to show a commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi, including a commitment to te reo Māori.

Winston is being hyperbolic, and the media deliberately are avoiding the elephant in the room.

No the media were not bribed to be left-wing – that comes naturally.

But the media were given $55 million of taxpayer funding, and a condition of that funding wasn’t just a general commitment to the Treaty but:

Actively promote the principles of Partnership, Participation and Active Protection under Te Tiriti o Waitangi acknowledging Māori as a Te Tiriti partner.

The view of the Treaty being about partnership rather than equality is a highly partisan view. It is a view in fact rejected by the parties that won a majority of seats in the last election. So it is no surprise that some of those MPs think the media were not neutral as a result of accepting $55 million conditional on accepting Labour/Greens views of the Treaty.

The oil and gas ban that increased coal imports

The Greens are wailing over the new policy to allow oil and gas exploration in NZ. This is short sighted s gas has far fewer GG emissions than coal. Let’s look at what our coal imports have been for the last few Governments:

  • 2006-08: 2.56 MT
  • 2009 – 11: 1.12 MT
  • 2012 – 14: 1.12 M
  • 2015 – 17: 1.35 MT
  • 2018 – 20: 2.76 MT
  • 2021 – 23: 2.64 MT

So the last National Government only had to import 3.6 MT of coal while the last three terms of Labour Governments imported 8.0 MT of coal.

Luxon is absolutely right

1 News reports:

Christopher Luxon says he was told by some Kiwis on the campaign trail they “didn’t know” the difference between Waka Kotahi, Te Pūkenga and Te Whatu Ora.

Speaking to Breakfast, the incoming prime minister said having English first on government agencies will “make sure” people “understand” what agencies are and what they do.

“For some of us, it’s quite straight forward, but for many New Zealanders, they didn’t understand that.”

Luxon said if people “can’t understand” their government agency, let alone hold them accountable, that is a “big problem”.

The media tone is sceptical of the claim, but this probably more reflects how out of touch much of the media is. Over three months I polled 1,000 NZers on whether they knew the English name of various government agencies, using their Te Reo name. I published the results on my Patreon in August, and reproduce it here now:

“At the suggestion of a subscriber Curia in June, July and August has asked 1,000 New Zealanders if they know the English name of various government agencies in Te Reo. We now have results for six agencies:

  1. Manatū Hauora, Ministry of Health: 8.1%
  2. Te Manatū Waka, Ministry of Transport: 7.7%
  3. Te Putea Matua, Reserve Bank of New Zealand: 5.7%
  4. Te Pou Hauora Tūmatanui, Public Health Agency: 4.6%
  5. Waka Kotahi, NZ Transport Agency: 50.1%
  6. Te Aka Whai Ora, Maori Health Authority: 11.1%

This reinforces to me how insulting it it to the public for media or the agencies to only use the Te Reo names. Taxpayers should not have to google an agency to know what it is.

These results are not at all an argument against government agencies having a Te Reo name. I personally think it is a good thing for agencies to have names in both English and Te Reo.

But again what it shows is that if the agency, or media, only refer to themselves using their Te Reo name, then most New Zealanders do not know what agency is being referred to, and hence they are deliberately making it harder for citizens and residents to access their services or make sense of the story.

A good example is this recent press release from the Reserve Bank:

Today Te Tai Ōhanga, Te Tūāpapa Kura Kāinga and Te Pūtea Matua are publishing a joint paper that provides an assessment of the key drivers of rents in New Zealand.

By deliberately excluding the names in English, they are producing a media release that almost no recipient will know what they are referring to.

It’s an obsession that is elitist and patronising. It shouldn’t actually need a coalition agreement to instruct government agencies to not deliberately be unhelpful to the public.

Prohibition doesn’t work

Newshub reports:

Health experts are labelling the new Government’s plans to scrap smokefree legislation “vile” and “devastating”.

The tobacco industry brings in nearly $2 billion a year in tax revenue.

And incoming Finance Minister Nicola Willis has admitted that scrapping smokefree legislation will help fund tax cuts.

New Zealand’s smoke-free laws are heading to the tip.

This is typical alarmist bullshit.

The smokefree laws that we have had for 20+ years are not being repealed. What is being repealed is the daft new law passed a few months ago that basically prohibits tobacco sales over time.

It baffles me that the very same people who argue cannabis should be legalised (which I agree with) think prohibition will work for tobacco. It won’t.

Already the high tax levels of tobacco tax has seen the black market flourish. This latest law change would have turbo-charged that. Prohibition is a failed policy.

The law change being repealed was mainly going to result in tax from sales of cigarettes going to the Mongrel Mob, instead of the Crown.

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