Garner’s cheap deal with Labour

Garner did one of his classic cheap deals with Labour tonight, securing exclusive video supplied by the PSA. He even dressed up in a fetching red table cloth and tie.

UPDATE: Duncan Garner rang me this morning and after he stopped yelling, swearing and ranting like wharfie at me and spinning like a top he calmed down enough to answer some questions. Apparently, for what it is worth the decision to review Key’s speech was a stunning revelation yesterday morning between him and Pedro Gower, and not a patsy seeded story from Labour’s research unit. Anyway there is some clarity for readers.

I note that David Shearer’s promise of not engaging in gotcha politics is right out the window, with Garner dutifully stating that this is indeed a “gotcha”. Shearer was into this boots and all, so the end to “gotcha” politics is ended itself.

The speech which he so passionately reported, is hardly a revelation, being published since 2008. It included the following highlights that were relevant to the story he ran tonight (but which he excluded in order to repeat a nice cut scene about state service cuts 5 times).

John Key confirms public service change on a scale of those undertaken by Labour and cautions about the tight economic times. He also refers to a first term.

There’s no way Garner should be arguing this speech four years ago is a demonstration of broken promises. Read it.

The true highlights from that speech 4 long years ago:

In this context, it is not an ideological statement to say that restraint will be required. So National won’t be spending up large, which would simply have the effect of increasing deficits even further.

Just as Labour has done, we will take opportunities to make changes to some agencies as part of the usual business of government.

A National Government will ensure that resources are focused on the provision of frontline services rather than continuing to boost the numbers of people in Wellington head offices.

This allocation of resources towards central government administration has real effects. It uses significant resources which could have been used in providing frontline services or could have been used in the private sector.

So let me reiterate National’s position. We are in no way going to reduce the number of frontline staff. Let me make this absolutely clear – under National the numbers of doctors, nurses, teachers, social workers, police and other frontline staff will grow.

What we are going to do is halt the runaway growth in government administration.

Therefore, my commitment to New Zealanders is this – in the first term of a National Government we will not grow the size of the core bureaucracy. We are going to make do with the resource we have, and work to get more value out of it.

I need to be able to look them in the eye and assure them that the money they pay in tax is being spent wisely, and as much of it as possible is going to frontline services from which they will directly benefit.

The next point I want to make is that a National Government is going to uphold the professionalism of the public service.

I believe that over the next few years the public service will benefit from a focus on results over process, on decisions over discussion, and on professionalism over politics.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

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