Jonathan Coleman

Doug Sellman…upset again

Well known prohibitionist Professor Doug Sellman seems to be having another bout of the dreaded #DirtyPolitics Derangement Syndrome.

So much so, that he and his off-sider Jennie Connor from Alcohol Action NZ sent out a press releases without any names attached to the comments.

Very strange.

This unquotable press release might have been issued by “Barry from accounts” for all we know.

They seem to have a real bee in their bonnet that Health Minister Jonathan Coleman mentioned in passing on TVNZ’s Q+A that Health Promotion Agency Board member Katherine Rich was, after three terms, not seeking a fourth term on the Board.

When Jonathan Coleman’s interview with Corin Dann was posted on the NZ Doctor website, Doug Sellman must have come across it.

Here’s the bit that upset the sensitive wee petal.

JONATHAN:     Katherine is not seeking reappointment.

CORIN:              Is there any reason for that? Has she given you any reason for that?

JONATHAN:     Oh, look, she will have a range of reasons, but the point is industry, actually, is an important part of the answer overall. It’s important, actually, to have them at the table in these discussions. Katherine actually did a very good job. She’s a person of very high integrity, but she’s decided she’s not going to seek reappointment.   Read more »

Anti-sugar troughers told to get back in their box

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Over the weekend Health Minister Jonathan Coleman ensured common sense prevailed.

Despite the noise of the taxpayer-funded troughers, who like nothing more than whipping off overseas to grandiose conferences where they talk to each other saying how disappointed they are that kids are getting fatter, Coleman has rebuffed their advocacy lobbying.

Tackling obesity tops the Government’s priority list – but it says punishing sugar lovers with a tax is not the answer.

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman said on Sunday there was no evidence a sugar tax worked and further regulation was not the answer to New Zealand’s obesity problem. He conceded, however, that action was needed on the way sugar-loaded products were marketed to consumers but the Government believed voluntary action by the food industry was the answer.

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EXPOSED: Ministry of Health funded group running #dirtypolitics

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State-funded group Agencies for Nutrition Action can now be exposed for running a campaign straight from the playbook of dirtypolitics.

Under the guise of reducing childhood obesity under the banner of #protectourkidsnz this trougher group has pulled together “a group of motivated people” a group of other troughers to lobby for:

  1. Healthy food polices in all schools and early childhood services (‘getting the tuckshop to match the classroom teaching’)
  2. Restrictions on junk food marketing to kids (‘it is unethical to allow junk food ads targeting kids in the middle of a childhood obesity epidemic’)
  3. Taxes on sugary drinks (‘to reduce consumption and provide funding for childhood obesity prevention programs’)

Some would say if that is what it takes to reduce obesity in kids, then that’s a good thing.

But that’s not the point.

It’s their covert lobbying strategy specifically designed to put heat on the Government and their paymasters at the Ministry of Health and the Health Research Council which will be their undoing.

Let’s break this down and see what they’re really pushing for: Read more »

Headlines you won’t see at the NZ Herald: Operations up massive 37% since 2008

If I provide data to a newspaper (and they’ve even won awards off of the back of that info) it is dirty politics, but when a politician does it the Herald journalist takes it and runs a negative hit job on the government and it is business as usual.

Despite figures showing a massive increase in elective surgery since National took over the NZ Herald decides to put NZ First’s negative spin on the headline and the article.

And don’t you just love the weaselly way they introduce the fact that it was NZ First who slipped them the numbers.

The Government’s much-publicised increase in hip, knee and other elective operations has been questioned in light of data which appeared to show the proportion of people missing out on treatment was growing.

But officials say growing waiting lists and a rising number of patients leaving hospital untreated do not tell the whole story.

The number of patients getting elective surgery has steadily increased over the past decade – especially after it was made a national health target in 2007. Since National came to power in 2008, the number of operations has lifted from 118,000 to 162,000 a year.

However, data released under the Official Information Act shows the proportion of patients on waiting lists who were leaving hospital untreated was also rising over the same period. As many as 30 per cent on waiting lists in some regions had their operation delayed or cancelled.

At Auckland District Health Board, there was a waiting list of 27,200 people for elective surgery last year. Of that number, 4558 patients – nearly 20 per cent – were admitted but left hospital without treatment. Last year up to November, 3822 patients out of 22,346 left untreated.

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Troughers gathering in Wellington, Hague excited

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Well that didn’t take long.

A bunch of tax-payer funded troughers are rolling into Wellington and to Parliament tomorrow for the so-called 10 year ‘anniversary’ of the Smokefree laws.

No doubt Shane Kawenata Bradbrook will be there waving the flag, alongside Smokefree Coalition’s Prudence Stone, who may be looking for some action.

There’s just slight problem with this. Helen Clark introduced the Smokefree Environments Act in 1990, and by my reckoning that’s more than 10 years ago.     Read more »

Kevin Hague plays #dirtypolitics and becomes a stalker

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Green Taliban MP Kevin Hague just can’t help himself but dive head-first into the pit of #dirtypolitics like some pimp-whore.

Using stolen emails, Kevin Hague has taken it upon himself to be a so-called public health champion in Parliament on behalf of the“voice of the public” Boyd Swinburn aka Boyd Swingeburn.

In the process he’s become an obsessive stalker.   Read more »

MP and ex-GP Jonathan Coleman shows no love for medical marijuana

The new Health Minister may be confessing to a few “puffs” of cannabis in his youth, but don’t expect him to go soft on drugs.

Jonathan Coleman has moved quickly to make changes since becoming the first trained doctor in the role in more than 70 years.

He has dumped the controversial cost-cutting agency Health Benefits Ltd (HBL), which his predecessor Tony Ryall vigorously defended in the face of revolt among district health boards.

And he is also pushing a more aggressive shift of health services, and potentially funding, from hospitals and into medical centres.

But in other ways, Coleman will be toeing the political line. Anyone hoping that the former GP might take a more health-focused approach to drug use will be disappointed.

Coleman said he had smoked cannabis (although never “a whole spliff”) once or twice in his 20s.

As a GP, he had regularly treated drug addicts, including prescribing methadone, particularly while working in London.

“[But] my clinical experience has led me to the view that decriminalisation isn’t going to work and the policy settings at the moment are the right ones . . . We need less marijuana in society, not more,” he said.

Another hypocrite that has never inhaled that won’t, on principle, consider the medical use of marijuana.  As an ex-GP, he very well knows the big drug companies are the bread and butter of the medical system, and the last thing he needs is non-patentable yet highly effective treatments based on the humble marijuana plant.

The way to keep it at bay, is to keep harping on about the criminal elements surrounding the “drug”.   Read more »

Trougher of the Year Tries to Protect Patch

2013 TROUGHER OF THE YEAR Boyd Swinburn aka Boyd Swingeburn has emerged from the trough and is now complaining to all and sundry that scientists (i.e. him) are under attack.

He’s saying that ‘scientists that represent the voice of the public in policy making are being shouted down by large commercial interests and their views suppressed by attack campaigns”.

Nice to see that Boyd Swingeburn thinks he’s the “voice of the public”.

Maybe it’s the rarified air he’s sucked into his lungs at Lake Como, Italy that instilled in him the view that he’s the voice of the people.

He then bangs on about “a blanket of suppression is insidiously descending on the voices for public health”.

Maybe those voices are actually calling for accountability of the millions and millions of taxpayer dollars being hoovered up sending Boyd Swingeburn and his troughing mates on flash overseas holidays junkets conferences.

Now as the “voice of the people” Boyd Swingeburn is attacking the Government, saying Tony Ryall dismissed a letter from so-called public health experts upset that there’s an industry representative – former MP and head of the Food & Grocery Council Katherine Rich, on the Health Promotion Agency (HPA).    Read more »

Josh Forman and his attempt to leak information from his government job

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Josh Forman

Josh Forman thought yesterday that he would try and nail the PM by releasing an email between me and him.

Little did he know that I had smelled a rat some days ago and set him up.

However over the course of the past month he has been sending me information that he came by in his role working in the state sector, specifically information designed to undermine CERA and the EQC, but especially Gerry Brownlee.

He states in his email suggesting a blog post and potential set of OIA questions the following from a temporary email account.

The Comedian <[email protected]>
To: camslater

Mon, Nov 10, 2014 at 7:20 PM

RE: OIA suggestion + Article suggestion

OIA suggestion + Article suggestion

When it comes to corruption, New Zealand does pretty damn well.

Where there are large amounts of taxpayers money available in a bureaucratic environment there is bound to be the occasional hiccup, but you would expect that processes would be in place to detect and deal with such instances.

This is a fair and reasonable expectation when you are dealing with a large, long established organisation such as ACC or Work and Income – while they have had their issues with largesse in the past, there has not been, to date at least the wholesale embezzlement of state funds.

What then are the safeguards that are in place when a small crown entity is forced to rapidly and massively up scale its operations, make up policy on the fly, deal with a complex disaster situation, while juggling the responsibility of dealing with billions of dollars in levy payers funds?

I’m talking about the Earthquake Commission and its primary recovery agent. Fletcher EQR.

What assurance does the public have that the organisation formerly employing 20 staff, which now has in excess of 1000 employees which has paid out almost $8 billion dollars in either cash settlements or repair works for earthquake damage in Canterbury alone, has put in place the safeguards necessary to ensure that the money is spent appropriately?

In short, there are no guarantees when it comes to EQC and EQR.

Today we submitted an OIA Request to EQC requesting specific information on it’s operations and seeking answers to the questions outlined above.

[REDACTED: 14 potential OIA requests, some defamatory in nature]

If intending to publish this I would appreciate if you could refer to me as your source close to the rebuild based in Canterbury and leave it at that. this disclosure and OIA suggestion puts me at significant personal risk.Do not identify me.

The Comedian

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What is happening with CRISP?

Josh Forman at Slightly Left of Centre has another ripper of a yarn, and what I am enjoying seeing is his willingness to call minister’s offices, and SOE CEOs for comment.

He also looks like he is working some very good sources. He should be encouraged because he is actually running stories without any vitriol and just looking at facts.

His latest post looks at the rumours floating around about CRISP.

Slightly Left of Centre can reveal this afternoon, again as a result of another National caucus leak, that the Health Minister Jonathan Coleman is set to cut yet another Tony Ryall initiative.

CRISP, which stands Central Region Information Systems Plan is an initiative of Central Technical Advisory Services Ltd (TAS), which according to its website “is a joint venture company, established in 2001 and owned by the six Central Region District Health Boards (DHBs) to provide support and services, undertaking:regional planning; implementing regional programmes of work; hosting regional groups and forums; and ensuring the compliance of contracted health service providers.”

The CRISP initiative has the following stated goal:

One Portal,
One Password,
One Patient Record
For every Clinician
At Every Facility
Across the Central Region

This initiative, in the words of those who have been employed to set it up, was meant to provide a shared database of all information relevant to every Clinician at every facility across the entire situation.    Read more »