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Archive for 3 November 2012

W.o.F “reforms” – coming to a crash in your suburb (Part Rua)

3 November 2012 4 comments

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Continued from: W.o.F “reforms” – coming to a crash in your suburb

On TV3 News tonight,

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Source

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… and this is what Simon Bridges wants to liberalise and change from six monthly Warrants of Fitness, to yearly?! Or spot-checks? Or at point-of-sale?!

See: Warrant of fitness changes considered

See: Private vehicle inspectors could stop cars to check warrants

Whether the police set up this exercise as some kind of “propaganda event” is immaterial.

The point here is that in one night, they found 25 cars that were unroadworthy. One had been lowered to such a degree that their rear tyres were scrapping against the metal body of the car. Double blowouts waiting to happen. (With two young children in the back seat to cap off the car owners’ exercise in stupidity. Candidates for the Darwin Awards, for sure.)

One hopes that Simon Bridges, or some other National Minister,  watched TV3 tonight and will squash any suggestion to liberalise the WoF on Monday’s Cabinet meeting.

How many other unsafe, unroadworthy cars are there, driving around on our roads?

I wouldn’t mind so much – except I happen to share those same roads with those rolling death traps.

An email sent to Mr Bridges,

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Date:  Sat,Saturday, 3 November 2012 9:48 PM
From: Frank Macskasy
Subject: Liberalising the Warrant of Fitness
To: Consumer Affairs Minister Simon Bridges “Simon.Bridges@parliament.govt.nz”
Cc: Campbell Live “campbelllive@tv3.co.nz”,
    TV3 News “wellington.news@tv3.co.nz”
Bcc:
Kia ora Mr Bridges,
I hope you watched TV3 news on Saturday evening (3 November).
TV3 presented a news story on a Police clamp-down on unsafe cars on our roads. In one night they wrote of at least 25 vehicles that were in an unsafe and unroadworthy condition. 
One vehicle had been lowered to such a degree that their rear tyres were scrapping against the metal body of the car. Double blowouts waiting to happen. (With two young children in the back seat to cap off the car owners’ exercise in stupidity.)
It is plain to see that there are too many people  who think nothing of driving unsafe cars on our roads. A six monthly WoF check picks up some of these foolish people.
One can only image the number of rolling deathtraps that will be on our roads should the WoF go from 6 to 12 months, or even longer still.
Your suggestion to liberalise the WoF system is badly misguided, and judging by tonights TV3 news story, will result in more deaths on our roads.
I ask that you cease your agenda on this issue and focus your attention elsewhere to facilitate safer roads. Otherwise your little experiment in de-regulation will cost lives.
Regards,
-Frank Macskasy
Blogger

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Let’s hope that common sense prevails. It’s not that difficult.

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Greg King, RIP

3 November 2012 18 comments

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Greg King, R.I.P.

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On TV3 tonight; the shocking news that lawyer Greg King was found dead, by his car.

Our household first became aware of  Mr King on now-defunct TVNZ7’s “The Court Report“, where in half an hour he would explain the arcane workings of our justice system in ways that Joe and Jane Citizen could understand.

His personable approach made the legal system intriguing as well as  easy to comprehend.

Mr King has since appeared elsewhere in the media, explaining his approach to high-profile cases, and further explaining in considered, patience that even the most dubious-appearing individuals deserved a fair go in our Courts.

He was a cool intellect and logic personified. One could feel a keen mind at work, during our brief glimpses of him on our television screens.

This blogger never met Mr King in person, but through his media appearances one got the feeling that he was a decent bloke, and one whose personality would have made him an iconic name in the years ahead.

My condolences go out to his family…

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Categories: People Being People Tags:

Guest Author: MSD. WINZ. IT. OMG!

- Alan Benton

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I wonder who is handling the hiring of staff for the IT side of MSD. I highly suspect it is a private firm, such as Addecco who I know have a concrete and firmly locked up contract for instance at StudyLink, and adminster all their temps and contractors. Some of those staff have been rolled over for years my flatmate tells me, one person he works with had been rolled over for more than 6 years.

That means, to me, there is possibly a whacking great sum of budgeting that is just used as straight out corporate subsidy. This simply means in turn that there is a whacking great some of money that is not and cannot every be put into operational budgets, it’s literally flying out the door in “costs” to have an outside private firm do the work that internal management ought to probably be handling themselves.

My last contract at MOH was handled by an outside firm. I worked out they made just short of $15K off me on one stint there, even though the only work they did was sourcing me, and that was it. Absolutely nothing more. I was interviewed by internal staff, my workload was set by internal staff, my performance was monitored by internal staff and payments came from within the MOH’s system, not the Agency, YET the Agency actually still made money off me every single hour I worked there.

I couldn’t help wondering what would happen if this sort of thing was dropped, and the budget that gets set aside for such “management” using these outside companies actually went into operational matters.

And I was just one of many there at the time who got brought in to help oversee the next iteration of one of one of the systems there … multiply that by more staff and more departments across the Government, and you’re probably looking easily at millions and millions going to these private companies instead of the systems themselves.

And in one of my older roles as mentioned, when staffing was cut, it was still a case of crank out even better and “more efficient” systems but with a steadily diminishing ability to do it properly to start with. It seemed complete madness to demand that sort of thing. Kind of like MSD demanding people get off their butts to work and berating them for not having the ability to cope when they’ve gone and cut the programs that were helping people in the past get OFF the bloody thing in the first place – including one Ms Paula Bennett of all people!!!

I was constantly told that we couldn’t do this, couldn’t do that, didn’t have the money. And yet it never seemed to stop pay rises for the CEO, never seemed to stop splashing out on decor, never seemed to stop demands for the latest and greatest flashing lights and gizmos … but if I as Manager tried arguing for server investment, security investment, it was uphill all the bloody time. Yes, there was capital outlay involved. But it was banging my head against a concrete wall to make them see that if they did right first time, we wouldn’t constantly be mired in patchup jobs, make do workarounds and the threat of chronic system failure dangling above our heads. And I just got very apprehensive when this was happening in the security area. “Can we get a student to do that?”, always looking for the cheapest solution to fix highly complex problems. I’ve nothing against students, but we were laying off some real gun workers. As I said, we just ended up with burnouts and layoffs. Including myself.

I guess being insistant and not afraid to get up the noses of people who had no clue on what they were managing didn’t make me appeal to the Managers, but I happened to view critical infrastructure as a bloody important investment, especially when we would have rural Dr’s going mental because we couldn’t give them the appropriate technology resources to help them get on with their jobs in difficult to reach areas and the like. And I always viewed people who didn’t have a clue about it as the last people to be making the critical decisions on the support thereof of such technology and systems.

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Citizen A – 1 November 2012 – Online now!

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Citizen A

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- 1 November 2012 -

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- Claudette Hauiti & Chris Trotter -

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Issue 1: How do we get affordable housing in Auckland – is the Government on the right track and should the Super City open up more land?

Issue 2: Can the Maori Party convince Pakeha to vote for them?

Issue 3: What does the latest roy morgan poll mean for David Shearer at this months Labour Party conference in Auckland?

Citizen A broadcasts 7pm Thursday Triangle TV

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Acknowledgement (republished with kind permission)

Tumeke

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Paula Bennett shows NZ how to take responsibility

3 November 2012 32 comments

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Social Welfare Minister, Paula Bennett has been issuing edict after edict, demanding that welfare beneficiaries “take responsibility for their lives” and accept certain ‘obligations’ in return for receiving their welfare benefits,

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And not forgetting Dear Leader’s own 5 cents + 15% GST worth,

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It’s very ‘helpful’ when  a multi-millionaire explains to a person living in poverty, how to budget to buy food…

Bennett and Key expect a high degree of personal responsibility and expect obligations to be undertaken.

How does Paula Bennet, Minister for Social Welfare compare when it comes to taking personal responsibility and meeting her obligations to the public?

Let’s put it to the test, shall we?

When problems surrounding WINZ job-kiosks hit the headlines, and quickly became apparent to be the biggest leak of information in this country’s history, did Paula Bennet step up and take responsibility?

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“At the end of the day I have a level of responsibility and certainly accountability. What I can’t be held to is to blame for something I have no control over.
“I set high standards for the ministry. They have not lived up to them in this case and I want … to be sure it will never happen again.”

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Short answer: no.

It’s someone elses’ responsibility.

Which begs two questions,

  1. Can welfare beneficiaries be  “held  to blame for something they  have no control over” ?
  2. Just why is Bennett collecting her ministerial salary of  $257,800 p.a. plus perks and allowances?

Paula Bennett, Minister of Hypocrisy and Double standards.

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Highly recommended

Gareth Morgan: Belt Tightening Won’t Reduce Unemployment

Sources

Parliament: Salaries payable under section 16 of Civil List Act 1979

NZ Herald: Bennett: Winz security process ‘atrocious’

TV3: Staff cuts blamed for WINZ computer woes

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