Tag Archives: John Banks

Chief Ombudsman | OIA review

“The effective operation of the OIA is crucial to our system of open and democratic government, and this review will scrutinise how things are currently operating and set out a framework for systemic improvement where deficiencies are identified.” –Beverley Wakem, Chief Ombudsman

Beverley Wakem 1 [nbr.co.nz]### NZ Herald Online 2:11 PM Tuesday Dec 16, 2014
Government offices selected for OIA review
By Isaac Davison – NZ Herald political reporter
The Chief Ombudsman says a major review of the Official Information Act will scrutinise all 27 government ministers’ offices.
Dame Beverley Wakem today began her review of the way the public sector used the OIA, which she first announced in August.
Twelve government agencies have been selected for formal review, based on their size, number of OIA requests, complaints, and other criteria.
A further 63 agencies and all ministers’ offices have been asked to complete a detailed survey. At least one agency cited for good OIA practice would be included in the review.
The Ombudsman’s office would also seek input from past and present public servants, Opposition parties, journalists, academics and others.
Dame Beverley said the goal was to assess the quality and integrity of OIA practice in the public sector and to address any issues that were found.
Read more

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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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John Key’s Godzone and the OIA

Dirty Politics - Cameron Slater Nicky Hager [master - tvnz.co.nz] 1

A very experienced political journalist told me: “The whole culture of the Wellington public service towards the OIA is governed by two things – the need not to embarrass your minister or your department (putting your chances of promotion or even your job at risk ) and the need to uphold the law, which public servants are more conscious of than you might think. The result is that public servants block requests for as long as they can and delete as much as they can using whatever section of the OIA act that they can.” –David Fisher, NZ Herald

Link received Thu, 23 Oct 2014 at 8:15 p.m.

### NZ Herald Online 2:56 PM Thursday Oct 23, 2014
David Fisher: OIA a bizarre arms race
NZ Herald journalist David Fisher gave the following speech to an audience of public officials in Wellington on October 15. We republish it here to help the public understand the systematic difficulties faced by those seeking information on their behalf.

Good afternoon everyone. I am David Fisher, a reporter with the NZ Herald. I have worked as a journalist for 25 years, mainly in New Zealand but across a number of other countries.
I think there’s some value before I start in placing a context around the current situation in relation to the media and the OIA. In doing so, it should be said each of the following allegations is denied.
At the moment, there is an inquiry underway into whether a blogger gained some advantage in receiving information from the SIS for political purposes. There are also allegations of preferential treatment over the OIA involving the same blogger and the former Justice Minister.
The police are also facing allegations of trying to cover up juked stats by burying an OIA. And a former Customs lawyer has said his organisation preferred to let requests languish in the Ombudsman’s office than dealing with them.
In the 25 years I have worked as a journalist, there have never been so many questions, or such a loss of faith, all at once.
Read more

Comment by Russell Garbutt
Submitted on 2014/10/24 at 10:40 am

167968722PW011_John_Key_HolI see that the mighty NZ Police have now decided to prosecute Nicky Hager over the fact that as a journalist he will not reveal who gave him copies of the emails that implicated so many of the National Party in downright crude manipulation and God only knows what else. Even that very friendly Speaker of the House has been forced to find that Key is a devious, slippery sod by not revealing his relationship with that scumbag Cameron Slater (watch the interesting exchange at yesterday’s question time here. http://www.inthehouse.co.nz/video/34526)
Isn’t it extraordinary that the NZ Police – such an independent body of public servants – jump so quickly whenever Donkey Jonkey and his mates want action, yet they are pleading under-resourcing for really serious crimes? Remember the infamous John Banks (you know, the little forgetful coot from Auckland) cup of tea PR stunt with Key? Key lays a complaint about the recording and the cops jump immediately. Collins, Key and others are shown to be dirty manipulators in Hager’s book and the cops immediately follow up. And how many others could say that their well-documented complaints have been diligently followed? I know of a few for starters, but let’s start with the Crewe murders and the bent cops who planted evidence. Did the cops diligently pursue anyone else when Thomas was pardoned? Not even when Rochelle Crew asked them to do so. The two bent cops were praised for their integrity and diligence by the very top cop after they died.
I could go on, but the perception out there is that the cops are politically driven.

[ends]

Related Post and Comments:
23.9.14 What if? swayed by celebrity, loveliness —and dirty politics
23.9.14 John Oliver on Eminem vs National #LastWeekTonight
20.9.14 Election Night
19.9.14 Chief Ombudsman Beverley Wakem to launch post-election inquiry
● 2.9.14 John Key PM, plus and minus [recent comments]
21.3.14 Public service causing “paralysis of democracy” with OIA requests
26.7.12 ‘The Public’s Right to Know’ – OIA Review

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Images: tvnz.co.nz – Dirty Politics: Cameron Slater, Nicky Hager; newstalkzb.co.nz (Getty) – John Key PM looking tired

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In the news: Heritage goes mayoral~!

First, there was Jim Anderton:

(Media Release)
Make the Gothic buildings of Christchurch a World Heritage Site
05 June 2010 Jim Anderton, Mayoral candidate for the City of Christchurch

Jim Anderton announced today that if he becomes the mayor of Christchurch he will lead moves to achieve World Heritage Status for the city’s unique Gothic Revival buildings. No city in the world has a more complete collection of Gothic Revival buildings, of such high quality and so well preserved.

“These Victorian buildings, date back to the 1850s and, as a group, are of enormous international significance. They represent the outcome of the furthest migration of any group of people in human history,” Jim Anderton said.

“Canterbury was seen as a haven in which the best values of British society could be preserved at a time when the very future of European civilization was perceived to be at risk. The early settlers here brought their values with them, and they expressed it in the architecture of Christchurch. Part of that was an appreciation of open public spaces. They believed that the squares and parks around these buildings were the ‘lungs of a city’. It’s no accident that around the same time, an application for a park in New York was accepted and New York’s Central Park became the first public park in the United States. Christchurch’s ancestors valued quality architecture, from which this generation of New Zealanders could learn. These buildings and precincts represent a remarkable determination to create a better world on the other side of the globe,” Jim Anderton said.

“They are more than bricks and mortar. They are at the heart of our city, and remind us every day that wanting to leave the place where you live in a better state than you found it, is a worthwhile goal.”

The Canterbury Branch of the New Zealand Historic Places Trust has campaigned for World Heritage Status before but without City Council support. Local authority support is essential in order to advance a claim for World Heritage Status, first at national level and then at a future World Heritage Convention

The proposed sites consist of the most significant 19th-century public buildings associated with the founding of the city. These include Christchurch Cathedral, the Canterbury Provincial Council Buildings, the Canterbury Museum, and the former Canterbury University site, now the Arts Centre. As the proposal is developed and consultation with all parties takes place, other important sites could be added. The Canterbury Provincial Council buildings are the only complete surviving examples of government buildings from the provincial period of colonial society in New Zealand. The 1865 Council Chamber is internationally recognized as an outstanding example of High Victorian Gothic architecture.

“World Heritage listing for our outstanding Gothic Revival precinct would give Christchurch international visibility and prestige, and attract more people to the city. It would also give local people an increased sense of pride in our city. That’s why, if I become mayor, I will help lead a proposal to push for World Heritage Status for these historic sites which teach us so much about our past and the direction we should take for the future,” says Jim Anderton.

Contact: Jim Anderton on 021 777 680

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Then Banksie, tonight by Tweet:

@mayorjohnbanks Just posted my latest Banksie Bulletin – this one’s about protecting heritage and character across Greater Auckland http://bit.ly/ajK9hC

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But wait… back when (17 May)
At the launch of the University of Otago Campus Master Plan (the vision…), who should put a question at the end of the official presentation but our very own mayor, Peter Chin. He asked about ‘the possibility of the university using the heritage buildings around the Exchange’. Now there’s a heritage campaign for office.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

PS. What’s happening in Wellington???

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