Cartoon of the Day

Credit:  SonovaMin

Credit: SonovaMin

What about the Fire at Will Clause?

little-zero

Labour think they have won a major battle by getting the very small number of zero hours contracts employees contracts improved in parliament. This is all well and good because it doesn’t actually have any impact on Labour.

What would have an impact on Labour is them removing the fire at will clause from parliamentary staffers contracts, something that they rail against in anyone in the private sector from having. MPs who don’t like the look of their staffer can fire them without reason, and instantly.   Read more »

PPTA will be outraged over this!

The government is spending $298 million on four new schools via a PPP (i.e. a private company is making a profit).

Education Minister Hekia Parata last week signed the $298 million contract with the Future Schools Partners (FSP) consortium to finance, design, construct, and maintain Ormiston Junior College in Auckland, Aranui Community Campus and Rolleston Secondary School in Canterbury and Wakatipu High School in Queenstown.

Eventually this will cover 6000 students and the set up cost equates to $9.83 million per 200 children.

Charter Schools are all charitable and their set-up equates to $1.12 million per 200 children.    Read more »

Dirty Media – NZME. and NZ Inc. “Rent a Quoting”?

I know that New Zealand is a village but when it comes to reporting, repetition seems to be the mother of un-invention.

Fran O’Sullivan, who is now the NZME. Business Editorial Director of all things has put out yet another puff piece on the dairy industry.

In it she does her usual reach around using large quotes from her favourite pet of the moment, this time on a Sean Keane.

“For a tempered – and “outside in” view – it is hard to go past Sean Keane of Triple T Consulting”.

Who is Sean Keane you may ask and it is a good question as he doesn’t have a huge online profile since returning to NZ in 2008. And outside in? How about inside inside at the Herald?

Could it be the same as this Sean Keane? Of Triple T based in Hong Kong? Online it seems he’s in New Zealand?

 

“One of the most insightful analysts is Sean Keane of Triple T Consulting based in Hong Kong”.

Read more »

First they came for Whaleoil, and everyone thought it was just trivial

NZH0555923331

Several New Zealand organisations are being targeted in an extortion attempt, a government cyber-security agency says.

The National Cyber Security Centre, a division of the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB), said the unnamed organisations had been told via email that if they didn’t pay up they would experience a “sustained denial-of-service attack” that would knock them offline. Read more »

Police Complaints Authority won’t release results on Banks complaint

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has investigated how the police handled the inquiry into John Banks’ donation returns following the Super City election.

However, the findings of the IPCA will not be released publicly until the court case is finished.

The police received complaints in April 2012 alleging Mr Banks had failed to properly declare details of donations from Kim Dotcom and SkyCity as required and therefore committed a criminal offence.

Police conducted an investigation into the matter and eventually decided not to prosecute Mr Banks.

However, a private prosecution was then launched by Graeme McCready against Mr Banks and he was found guilty of filing a false electoral return in respect of the Dotcom donations.

He was convicted and sentenced to two months’ community detention and 100 hours’ community service. Read more »

Auckland Council has no city wide plan for public transport so what is it doing?

Auckland Council has boxed itself into pushing on with an agenda to build a public transport network entirely based on three strings of rail corridor and the CBD. The key plank in this plan is to build a tunnel in the CBD that is 3km long and costs $3 billion or more.

Now that there are cracks appearing in the form of budgetary constraints the Council has taken the drastic step of reducing capital budgets to keep the rail tunnel alive. And it’s coming at the expense of affordable housing and other transport projects. But why?

There are plenty of arguments for and against the tunnel itself. The Auditor General has warned Auckland Council about committing to the tunnel without resolving its full funding package. The Government is unconvinced that the tunnel is needed and has set targets on patronage for the Council to achieve before it will even bother thinking about it.

But the question is whether the tunnel is the best first expenditure for Auckland Council to make if it intends to build a public transport network.

The planning around this whole idea sprung from Len Brown who politicised the tunnel as an election promise. It didn’t come from analysis and cost benefit analysis as it should. It’s a politically driven project not a needs driven project.

But even then, there isn’t even a sound plan for how public transport should be developed over a period of time in Auckland. The planning is piecemeal, uncoordinated and lacks any complete picture of what the city is going to do over 50 or 100 years.

And that’s an important matter to consider.    Read more »

National sprinkle a little more budget pixie dust

More New Zealanders will get elective surgery after the Government pledged an extra $48 million of funding.

Prime Minister John Key and Health Minister Dr Jonathan Coleman made the pre-Budget announcement at Porirua’s Kenepuru Hospital.

The new spending in this year’s Budget is to ensure National meets its long-running target of having about 4000 more elective surgical operations carried out each year.

“This funding boost will mean that even more New Zealanders can benefit from elective surgery,” Dr Coleman said.

“We want to maintain the momentum and continue to deliver year-on-year increases in elective surgery.”

Another $50 million will be spent over three years to support extra orthopaedic and general surgeries, and to create early intervention orthopaedic teams. Read more »

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Today in History

fgp-u2

On this day, in 1960, the Soviet Premier, Nikita Khrushchev announced to the world that the pilot of a downed U2 Spy Plane, Gary Powers, was alive and well.

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