Acknowledgment: Radio NZ – Government sticking with Novopay – for now
“Steven Joyce revealed that Education Minister Hekia Parata, Finance Minister Bill English and former education minister Craig Foss approved the use of Novopay despite being told that it had bugs.”
In colloquial terms, that is what is known as ‘dropping someone in it’ – “it” being brown, smelly, and heading for waste-treament ponds.
Is there a civil war going on within National, comprising two factions with one led by technocrat Steven Joyce and the other by neo-liberal Bill English?
Or is there something even more disquieting going on within National’s ranks.
“There was definitely knowledge there were bugs at the outset of going live. But the advice of all involved was that the thing should proceed. I doubt they’d give the same advice today.”
Noticeably, when queried by media, all three Ministers had similar responses – obviously coached by the same tax-payer funded Party spin-doctors and media-minders,
“I think hindsight’s a wonderful thing....”
And the tongue-tied Craig Foss,
“Well in hindsight… is a benefit of hindsight...”
You can always tell when a politician has been coached; they use the same words and phrases over and over again. Spin doctors/media-minders develop a mantra, and their clients are expected to learn and parrot it, by rote. It takes a skilful journalist/interviewer to peel away the carefully-crafted coaching and get to the truth.
This indicates that Parata, English, and Foss had been pre-warned of Joyce’s press conference and admission of the three Minister’s actions.
So is this some sort of carefully managed internecine warfare?
Or a very subtle, clever strategy to neutralise possible Opposition disclosures in Parliament?
Joyce’s statements that there will be on-going problems with Novopay could be seen as an attempt to minimise future media reports on Novopay errors.After all, if National admits that there will be ongoing problems – does that make it news when it happens?
Whichever is the case, this is Steven Joyce at his most cunning, and the Opposition will need to be on their toes. As will the media, if they are not to be out-manouvered by National’s “Mr Fix It”.
“Mr Fix It” does not apply to sorting out computerised pay systems. “Mr Fix It” fixes political messes.
This certainly qualifies as the Mother of all Messes.
As is common with National, Joyce attempted to shift blame onto advisors/bureacrats/Uncle Tom Cobbly, when he stated,
“There was definitely knowledge there were bugs at the outset of going live. But the advice of all involved was that the thing should proceed…”
My bet is that we will never, ever see this “advice”.
= fs =