This man gets the prize

Members of the public have been saying it or blogging it. However, in today’s ODT print edition we get it straight!

### ODT Wed, 5 Jan 2010 (page 10)
To the point
Good enough for our staff to be randomly tested – health and safety are paramount. Same for elected members.
Colin Weatherall, Dunedin

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### ODT Online Tue, 4 Jan 2011
DCC proposal for random drug testing
By Chris Morris
Random testing and the use of covert electronic surveillance could be among powers to be used by the Dunedin City Council to root out drug abuse by its staff. Council staff are being asked to consider a proposed new alcohol-and-other-drug policy, which details procedures for random and targeted testing for inappropriate use of illicit substances.
Read more

Post by Elizabeth Kerr

12 Comments

Filed under People, Politics

12 responses to “This man gets the prize

  1. Elizabeth

    Contributors to What if? should be circumspect with any comments they might want to make on this thread. The owner and authors of this blog-site prefer to avoid legal challenges. #JustSaying

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Thu, 6 Jan 2011
      Drug tests ‘good for the gander’ – Weatherall
      By Chris Morris
      A Dunedin city councillor says his colleagues should also volunteer to be drug-tested, but Mayor Dave Cull warns sobriety is no guarantee of good decision-making. Cr Colin Weatherall said he would not support compelling councillors to be tested for illicit substances, but believed they should be allowed to volunteer.
      Read more

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      ### ODT Online Thu, 6 Jan 2011
      DCC drug search plan worries union
      By Chris Morris
      A union representing hundreds of Dunedin City Council workers is concerned about covert surveillance and search powers proposed in a new drugs policy for council staff. Amalgamated Workers’ Union New Zealand (Southern) assistant secretary Peter Costello, of Dunedin, said he planned to discuss the proposed policy with council union delegates next week.
      Read more

  2. peter

    I reckon a fair number of councillors, past and present, ‘get high’ on frivolous spending of ratepayer money. That seems to be the real problem rather than booze and/or dope.

  3. Russell Garbutt

    Many employers have the right to request employees to undergo drug (including alcohol) testing. As I understand it, a refusal to take the test results in stand-down in most cases. People in this category would be those that are required to drive vehicles, supervise safety etc etc.

    The rationale for such testing is to ensure a safe working environment through making sure that employee’s judgement or performance is not hindered by any drugs.

    We have in the past seen some extraordinary exhibitions of people in public office being demonstrably affected and the one that springs to mind was Muldoon the night he called for a general election after not being able to get Marilyn Waring’s vote in support. Of course there are others and I suppose there will always be more. I certainly can think of prominent people that have reputations both locally and nationally for very high consumption of mind-altering drugs (including alcohol), but Mayor Cull is right in saying that sobriety is no qualification for good decision making. Having a working brain is a good starting point.

  4. Phil

    It was a bit of a strange thing for Mayor Cull to say. I guess he was trying to diffuse a potentially volatile staff/union situation. But it was a bit too much on the light hearted side. It’s like saying that seatbelts don’t guarantee that you won’t be killed, so they’re not really essential. I do think it’s a good programme to bring in, with an organisation of that size. I would assume there will be some cause required for testing, to ensure that some of the lower rank insecure managers don’t abuse the system just to exert a bit of power.

    Not convinced about the survelliance though, don’t know why that has come about.

    I remember a former colleague of mine sending emails from his DCC work address to his private home address with subject lines hinting at sensitive council information being included. As a test. The body of the email contained just a light hearted message to any would-be snooper. Not one of those emails made it to his home address. Normal emails sent at the same time made it through every time. So survelliance of some form has been regular for a few years.

  5. Anonymous

    Yeah, can we have a sobriety test to identify those drunk with power?

  6. peter

    I’d be happy to administer any random drug/alcohol testing for DCC councillors- and, better still, I’d do it for free! A ‘Court Report’ could be a regular feature in City Talk. Now wouldn’t that be a big tick for transparency.

  7. Calvin Oaten

    The first one to be tested ought to be the one who instigated the ‘draconian’ idea. He must be steeped in either mind altering stuff or too much George Orwell. Graeme Hall will be very, very closely associated with the perpetrator.

    • Elizabeth

      I assumed the testing was a logical add-on to Jim’s turning the Civic Centre into a security bunker… Pentagon style (except, opportunities to breach the new arrangements for controlled entry and exit are numerous, do you think he’s noticed?)

  8. Phil

    This confuses me somewhat. I still keep reading about how they are trying to find funding for security systems to restrict access to the staffing areas within the Civic Centre. The existing building security system, called Cardax, http://www.cardax.com/default.aspx has been able to do exactly that, and more, for the past 10+ years. It can shut down stairwells and lift cars, track the movements of staff through the building, open specific doors and elevators at specific times for public meetings. It even turns the lights off and on when needed. It can do it all.

    You just can’t help some people some times.

  9. Calvin Oaten

    Phil,
    do you think perhaps the people who dreamed this one up might be the ones with the problem?

  10. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Sat, 15 Jan 2011
    Editorial: A place for workplace drug testing
    Drug testing for workplaces is one of the modern growth industries. Spurred by health and safety legislation, and sometimes productivity concerns, more employers are preparing policies, implementing tests and acting on them.
    Read more

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