Tag Archives: Central government

Govt No! to local body online voting

Object sign polling booth [collections.tepapa.govt.nz]

### msn.com (2 hours ago)
Govt pulls plug on online voting
Source: NZ Newswire
Online voting in council elections will not go ahead later this year because of fears the system isn’t yet secure enough. Eight councils had planned to trial online voting in October’s local body ballot, but Associate Minister of Local Government Louise Upston has pulled the plug. Four months out, planned security tests had not yet been carried out, she said on Tuesday.

“Without seeing the results of testing we cannot be confident the systems are secure enough, and the trial could not be authorised.”

Public confidence in local elections was fundamentally important and given real concerns about security and vote integrity, it was too early for a trial, she said. She said councils had done a lot of work and would be disappointed, but maintaining public confidence and understanding was more important. Online voting could be trialled in 2019 but there was still much to learn about it, Ms Upston said. Selwyn, Wellington, Porirua, Masterton, Rotorua, Matamata-Piako, Palmerston North and Whanganui councils had all expressed interest in taking part in the trial.
MSN Link

****

### NZ Herald Online 1:05 PM Tuesday Apr 19, 2016
Online voting not on the cards this year
By Claire Trevett
The Government has pulled the pin on a trial of online voting in this year’s local body elections, saying it could not guarantee the security of the system in time. Internal Affairs Minister Louise Upston announced the plan for some councils to trial online voting would not go ahead because time was running out for councils to prove voting system addressed concerns about security and vote integrity.
“Due to timing restrictions, preparations for the proposed trial have not yet met the legislative requirements and cannot guarantee public confidence in the election results.” She said security testing was planned but had not yet taken place. “Without seeing the results of testing we cannot be confident the systems are secure enough and the trial could not be authorised.”
While local bodies are responsible for running their own elections, including deciding on a voting system and method, the Government has to decide whether new voting methods meet the requirements of the Local Electoral Act. All councils currently use postal voting.
Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Image: collections.tepapa.govt.nz – Object: sign, polling booth

31 Comments

Filed under Democracy, Media, New Zealand, People, Politics

Ratepayers achieve for Kaipara District —what Dunedin counterparts fail to do for spurious ‘pet projects’

Link + message received.
Thu, 31 Mar 2016 at 8:24 a.m.

█ Message: Maybe time to revisit Jacks Point and Luggate? …

The Mangawhai wastewater scheme cost about $63.3 million. Overall costs were not just financial, the Auditor-General’s report said. “They included a failed council, councillors replaced with commissioners, the departure of a chief executive, a severely damaged relationship between the council and community, an organisation that needed to be rebuilt, and much more.”

### Stuff.co.nz Last updated 17:21, March 30 2016
Dispute settlement sees Auditor General pay nearly $5.4 million to Kaipara District Council
About $5.375 million will be paid to the Kaipara District Council by the Auditor-General’s office now that a dispute between the two has been settled. Mediation of the dispute over audit issues around the controversial and costly Mangawhai wastewater scheme was held by retired High Court judge Rodney Hansen QC, without any admission of liability and for each party to cover their own litigation costs.

Auditor-General Lyn Provost’s scathing inquiry report to Parliament in December 2013 outlined “a woeful saga” surrounding the community wastewater scheme, managed by the then-council between 1996 and 2012. It covered roles played by other agencies, including the Controller and Auditor-General’s office. The inquiry found the council failed to adequately perform its responsibilities to the community in connection with the wastewater scheme. The council itself alleged the Auditor-General did not identify these failings in a timely manner and take appropriate steps to bring them to the council’s attention. It also alleged some of the poor decisions it made could have been averted if the Auditor-General’s office had performed its responsibilities appropriately.

The Auditor-General offered an unreserved apology in the report to the Kaipara district community for the office’s failings in some of its work, but disputed the council’s damages claim. In particular, the Auditor-General considered the council had the responsibility to comply with its statutory obligations, and its failure to do so is not attributable to the Auditor-General’s office. The dispute was settled with neither party admitting liability but the Auditor-General’s office agreeing to pay $5.38 million to Kaipara District Council.

A rates revolt began as costs were included in Mangawhai rates, with some properties connected to the new scheme now paying around $3000 annually in rates. Kaipara District Council commissioner John Robertson said the council was pleased to see a positive outcome from the High Court action it took against the Auditor-General in 2014. “If we hadn’t got an outcome we would be back in court and facing all the risks of whatever judgments go on these sorts of things.”

The Kaipara District Council has two more court battles pending with Mangawhai ratepayers.
Read more

Related Posts and Comments:
3.10.15 Kaipara Concerns —ADOTROL* disease [Dunedin mention, again!]
13.2.15 Associate Minister of Local Government: Return democracy to Kaipara
2.2.15 LGNZ run by Mad Rooster Yule, end of story
27.11.14 Auditor-general Lyn Provost #Resign
31.10.14 Whaleoil on “dodgy ratbag local body politicians” —just like ours at DCC
9.9.14 Mangawhai, Kaipara: Latest news + Winston Peter’s speech
19.7.14 Whaleoil / Cameron Slater on ratepayers’ lament
29.5.14 Mangawhai Ratepayers and Residents Assn wins at High Court
31.3.14 Audit services to (paying) local bodies #FAIL ● AuditNZ ● OAG…
29.1.14 Mangawhai, Kaipara —we hear ya!
3.12.13 LGNZ: OAG report on Kaipara
12.11.13 Northland council amalgamation
29.6.13 Audit NZ and OAG clean bill of health —Suspicious!
21.4.13 Councils “in stchook” —finance & policy analyst Larry.N.Mitchell
19.3.12 Local government reform
21.2.12 Kaipara this time

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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NZ flag is the NZ flag is the #NZflag [beach towel selection in context]

RNZ Toby Morris 'Make Your Own Flag' eight_col_DIY-FLAG (1)RNZ/Toby Morris — eight_col_DIY-FLAG

### radionz.co.nz
RNZ: On the Inside
OPINION: Flag failure – Where did it go wrong?
By Toby Morris
Well, that’s that. The votes are counted and at last the shambolic flag saga is finally over, banished to eternal life as a series of pub quiz trivia questions. An embarrassing phase best forgotten like a national bad haircut.
As much as I’ve always wanted a change, in the end I think we made the right choice. So why do I feel so rotten?
I had a bad feeling about it from the start, and I wasn’t alone. This time last year, anyone who has ever worked on any kind of corporate creative brief took one look at the chosen panel and their proposed process and saw that it would result in a mediocre, safe choice. It was creativity by committee, with no designers involved, and a process that allowed no room for development or refinement.
So we expected the worst, but like George W Bush said, we ‘misunderestimated’ them. Things went from worst to ‘worster’ as they lurched from one disastrous step to another. An inane and vague campaign to engage people about what they stood for led to the saddest road trip ever as the panel toured the country for public meetings with record low turnouts. No one was interested.
By the time the public was able to submit entries, the mood became more evident…. In large numbers, we were treating the flag process as a huge joke.
Read more + Cartoons

RNZ: How the world saw NZ’s flag decision
RNZ: Kiwis have their say; flag’s here to stay
RNZ: NZ flag result – how it happened
RNZ: MPs split down party lines on flag vote

NZ Herald
‘Wasteful vanity project’ ….How world reacted to flag result
Defeated PM defends $26m flag vote as critics round on him
Andrew Little: PM’s pet project has cost NZ $26m

Related Posts and Comments:
29.2.16 Jonkey a flag!
14.11.15 New Zealand Flag: 1000s of public submissions ignored by panel…
25.9.15 New Zealand Flag —symbolism
28.2.15 Campbell Live | TXT POLL: Does NZ need a new flag?

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

41 Comments

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Jonkey a flag!

nz-flag2 [flagz.co.nz]

Prime Minister John Key has warned if people vote against changing the flag they will not get another chance until New Zealand becomes a republic.

### radionz.co.nz Updated at 12:46 pm today
RNZ News
Has the PM mistaken himself for a flag?
By Finlay Macdonald
OPINION: To borrow a title from the late, great Oliver Sacks, we appear to have a prime minister who mistook himself for a flag.
John Key is now arguing that a vote against the silver fern flag in the March referendum is really a vote against him. He is echoing those commentators who have already tried to depict opposition to a new flag as simply anti-Key sentiment in red, white and blue drag.

Last chance to change flag before republic – PM
Only citizens should vote on flag change – NZ First

The flag debate, they claim, has been “politicised” by the Left out of bitterness and spite. Aside from their own absurd partisan assumptions, what those arguments can never address is the ideologically diverse nature of so much opposition to the Lockwood flag.
How else to explain the informal alliance of lifelong republicans and ageing anti-establishment boomers with monarchists and RSA traditionalists? If anything unites these camps it seems less likely to be a shared loathing of the prime minister than a nose for what you might call a false dichotomy – an unnecessary choice between two inadequate options.
Because you can say a lot of bad things about the alternative flag, but probably the worst is that it makes the current flag look good.
Read more

Related Posts and Comments:
14.11.15 New Zealand Flag: 1000s of public submissions ignored by panel…
25.9.15 New Zealand Flag —symbolism
28.2.15 Campbell Live | TXT POLL: Does NZ need a new flag?

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

Tweets:

63 Comments

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SDHB underfunded, no bandage

hospital2 [clipartlord.com]

Review of the population based funding formula completed
Ministry of Health news article
22 December 2015
A five yearly review of the population based funding formula (PBFF) for district health boards (DHBs) has been completed and will be incorporated into DHB’s 2016/17 Funding Advice.
The funding formula is a technical tool used to help equitably distribute the bulk of district health board funding according to the needs of each DHB’s population. The formula takes into account the number of people who live in each DHB catchment, their age, socio-economic status, ethnicity, and sex. It also has mechanisms to compensate DHBs who service rural communities and areas of high deprivation.
The funding covers a range of health services including primary care, hospital and community care, health of older people, and mental health.
The review recommended no structural changes to the overall model but proposed several changes, including to the rural adjuster to better reflect DHB population and geography.
In 2015/16 the PBFF distributed a total of $11.4 billion to DHBs. DHBs will not receive less funding as a result of the review.
Read more

Population-based funding formula Link

The embattled board – whose members were dismissed this year over a persistent deficit – will not get any extra cash (apart from deficit support) until the changes take effect next July.

### ODT Online Wed, 23 Dec 2015
Review helps SDHB a little
By Eileen Goodwin
A review of the health funding model has revealed what many long suspected – the Southern District Health Board is not receiving its fair share of health dollars. A Cabinet paper on the Ministry of Health review was released yesterday. […] The formula is essentially a head count with adjustments for demographics, deprivation, and other factors.
Read more

****

All up, 561 employees received more than $100,000, compared with 521 last year – 413 were in medical or dental roles.

### ODT Online Tue, 22 Dec 2015
Doubling of DHB staff on $400,000+
By Eileen Goodwin
The number of Southern District Health Board staff earning over $400,000 more than doubled in the last financial year, the board’s annual report shows. The 2014-15 report shows 13 staff received more than $400,000, compared with six the previous year. Chief executive Carole Heatly has been overtaken in the pay stakes by two employees earning $520,000-$530,000.
Read more

The numbers: (via ODT)
561 staff earning $100,000 or more
13 staff earning more than $400,000
2 staff earning $520,000 to $530,000
10.7 executive management staff earning almost $2.8 million
$357,000 board members’ fees

Source: Southern District Health Board annual report

Related Posts and Comments:
3.11.15 SDHB will ‘takeaway’ more than freshly cooked meals and a head chef
30.11.15 Dunedin Hospital #despair
17.6.15 Southern District Health Board sacked !!!
9.6.15 Southern District Health Board
16.4.15 Talk of replacing Southern District Health Board with commissioner
1.5.14 Dunedin Hospital buildings SORRY STATE
25.2.15 South Link Health, hmm that name….
6.8.14 Otago Therapeutic Pool at Dunedin Hospital
14.1.14 DCC: Hospital area parking changes #cyclelanes
5.12.13 Swann case: ODHB/SDHB and friends
10.11.10 Neurosurgery STAYS @Dunedin
6.8.10 SERIOUSLY

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Image: clipartlord.com – hospital2

90 Comments

Filed under Architecture, Business, Construction, Democracy, Design, Economics, Geography, Infrastructure, Media, Name, New Zealand, People, Politics, Pools, Project management, Property, Resource management, SDHB, Site, What stadium

OIA Review: Bev’s off, thank god! #politicallyblinkered #shakethattreesomemore

Updated post
Sat, 5 Dec 2015 at 1:17 p.m.

LIES and SPIN, Bev

Beverley Wakem 1 [nbr.co.nz]### NZ Herald Online 1:40 PM Wednesday Dec 2, 2015
Official Information Act review finds ‘no deliberate misuse’
By Isaac Davison – NZH political reporter
A high-level review of the Official Information Act will not uncover any widespread political interference in the release of information, its author says. The Ombudsman’s Office will release the findings from its comprehensive, year-long review next week. Chief Ombudsman Dame Beverley Wakem said today that the investigation had not discovered malicious or deliberate misuse of the Act by ministers’ offices or by Government departments.

“We’ve really shaken the tree over this and haven’t been surprised by what’s fallen out,” she told a Parliamentary committee this morning.

She admitted that she had suspected political interference, but had found no hard evidence of it. Dame Beverley said people who had complained to her office could be perceiving political spin or “bad behaviour” when it did not exist, and she could not make any findings “based on hearsay”.
Read more

█ The release of the report will be Dame Beverley’s last act as Chief Ombudsman after 10 years in the role. She is being replaced by former Principal Family Court Judge Peter Boshier next week.

Gun shy ? (broken record – your 10 limp-wristed years, inter-agency OBFUSCATION, or lose your privilege, your confidence, your connections, your office budget….)

DemiLovatoVEVO Published on Oct 9, 2015
Demi Lovato – Confident (Official Video)

Sharon Murdoch (@domesticanimal) 5.12.15 Dame Beverley [Stuff.co.nz]Sharon Murdoch, Dame Beverley December 5, 2015 [Stuff.co.nz]

Related Posts and Comments:
9.11.15 Citifleet investigation: Final police report 29.10.15
5.3.15 John Key’s NZ spying on Pacific neighbours
15.1.15 New Zealand: Salmond on abuse of democratic freedoms
16.12.14 Chief Ombudsman | OIA review
24.10.14 John Key’s Godzone and the OIA
19.9.14 Chief Ombudsman Beverley Wakem to launch post-election inquiry
21.3.13 Public service causing “paralysis of democracy” with OIA requests
26.7.12 ‘The Public’s Right to Know’ – OIA Review
2.12.09 DScene – OIA requests about stadium endless?

█ For more, enter terms such as *audit nz*, *auditor general*, *citifleet*, *corruption*, *courthouse*, *cst*, *dcc*, *delta*, *department of internal affairs*, *dia*, *dvml*, *fraud*, *gambling*, *kaipara*, *nzru*, *oag*, *orfu*, *pokies*, *racing*, *rugby*, *sfo*, *stadium*, *ttcf* or *whistleblowers* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Image: nbr.co.nz – Beverley Wakem

20 Comments

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Mayor Cull and the GREAT Asbestos Defeat ….trucks in toxic waste

Dave doesn’t know whether to swallow his kornies or not.

Dave breakfast gruel - Warcraft-All-Nighter-Gamer [cartoonaday.com] tweaked (1)

His hair is turning grey, he’s feeling tired and he looks old.

Meanwhile, someone files divorce papers.
[“I thought we were Green! I can’t understand you anymore! Asbestos for cash?! These are your scarves, your suits, I’m throwing out the window – along with this stupid bike helmet, used camel shackles and all the skanky lycra. Go away!”]

Secretly, young woman seen rubbing hands with glee at so much dosh.

[Stifle obvious questions about what else goes into Green Island landfill. This is Tartan Mafia town.]

DCC receives $millions for landfill dumping of hazardous waste, WHO CARES ABOUT GREEN except for the imprint of Serious Money to bolster Council slush funds, rugby? stadium ? cricket ? – anyone ?

NOO! For Sue’s next trips to Oxford, staff’s Grand Central City Plan, and some left-over to pay planning fees and charges for the VB’s aquarium, hotel and connector bridge to the waterfront.

[Share spoils, maties! Leave suspicious Ratepayers out of it.]

There are no serious equitable plans to improve South Dunedin or Mosgiel drainage systems, or manage coastal erosion.

The dilemmas of High Office and short men.

Cheaper to dump hazardous waste at Dunedin than at Canterbury.
DCC stoopid again, takes a cheap ride instead of bumping up contract price.

Deals worth millions of dollars —council staff cite commercial sensitivity.

### ODT Online Tue, 24 Nov 2015
Asbestos fill headed for Dunedin
By Chris Morris
Up to 12,000 tonnes of asbestos-contaminated fill from Canterbury is destined to be dumped in Dunedin, but that might just be the tip of a toxic – but lucrative – iceberg. The Otago Daily Times understands the Dunedin City Council has more than one contract to accept contaminated material from outside the city at the Green Island landfill.
Read more

The latest inanity. [Comic Sans]
Cull on SDunedin RNZ interview 20.11.15 (2)Source: RNZ News: South Dunedin considers sea level threat.
20 November 2015 at 8:42 a.m. (AUDIO LINK)

[Listen and Learn] At another thread:

JimmyJones
June 17, 2015 at 9:49 am

Hype O’Thermia: YouTube and Wikipedia are good places to find out more about ICLEI. ICLEI teaches the DCC how to inflict the Sustainable Development world view on the citizens by using devious, undemocratic, secret and manipulative methods. ICLEI has helped the DCC to produce “marketing and communication” strategies to break down barriers to their deeply stupid ideas being accepted by the public. The goal is “behaviour change”. East Germany had the Stasi (Staatssicherheit), now we have ICLEI, Dave Cull and Sue Bidrose.

The influence of ICLEI explains a few things – like the DCC’s tendency towards increasingly secret (staff only) decision-making (eg the development and implementation of the Environment Strategy) and the generally severely deficient level of public consultation due to: skimpy information, poor publicity, expanding decisions beyond the scope of the consultation and treating it as just a ceremonial procedure (eg Dave’s Bicycle Network and its implementation). The pursuit of ICLEI’s goals is a direct cause of the underfunding of the city’s deficient (and worsening) infrastructure.

As far as I can tell most DCC councillors don’t know that the DCC has become a member of ICLEI and are unaware of the financial cost and its big influence in forming DCC policy. This demonstrates a problem with the attitude of the staff that councillors need to fix. The collusion between Dave Cull and Sue Bidrose is, however, a barrier to this that needs to be overcome. Councillors need to stop sleepwalking and start to become aware of the decisions that are being made without their involvement.

[ends]

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Image: cartoonaday.com – Dave breakfast gruel [Warcraft-All-Nighter-Gamer tweaked by whatifdunedin]

15 Comments

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