Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Plain English June 2005

Plain English June 2005

The Fluttering Sound of Chickens Coming Home to Roost

Clutha Southland voters are telling me it's time for National's careful use of taxpayer's money. Good management of public money is about the basics - setting priorities, holding people accountable, getting more service for more resource. Cullen's reputation as a tight finance minister is not justified. High profile waste like the hip-hop tours and dodgy tertiary courses are just the tip of the iceberg. The real rot runs deep in the public sector where too many people believe the money doesn't matter and that they won't be held accountable. The idea that more money should mean more and better service is gone. So is the idea of priorities. These days everything is important.

My voters can tell. They translate the weasel words like "collaboration" "partnership" "cohesiveness" and "strategic" as big government wasting more money. And they are right. They want to hear more about value for money. They want to see more services for more spending.

Labour says National Was Right

Cullen confirmed everything National has said about Labour's big spending habits when he said this week Labour had to rein in its spending, naming health and education, where spending has been huge. For instance Labour are spending 30% more on schools than 5 years ago, and according to a recent Herald poll most people think the quality is the same or worse. They are right. Health spending has gone up about 50% with no noticeable benefit except that public sector lobby groups have gone quiet.

Treasury have told the government the state wage bill will rise by $1 billion per year for the foreseeable future. It will cost the taxpayer $1 billion more each budget just to pay the wages of existing state employees because of a series of very friendly pay deals including bonuses for those who join the public sector unions.

The Treasury papers also tell the Labour government that unless they start making some choices about how to spend, they will run out of choices. So tired Labour ministers are grappling with the dawning realisation that they have been very lucky, not very competent. They aren't sure whether it's worth getting re-elected if they can't keep spending.

Clutha Community Awards

The annual awards for community organisations in South Otago are about positive collective action that contrasts starkly with big spending bureaucracies - a strong community with active leadership following its own aspirations. We heard a story about the two ladies now in their 80's who have repaired the hire costumes at South Otago Theatrical Society for 40 years, and another one about the RSA welfare officer who has done years of hospital visiting.

Kaitangata Promotions won the main award. You have to admire the determination of a group that sets out to promote any small town. They have tidied Kaitangata and they're working with Solid Energy on how to make an attraction out of the now closed coalmines in the area. And they do it for nothing, with a bit of support from the council. These voluntary groups aren't bogged down into irrelevance by networking sessions, consultation meetings advocacy workshops, bicultural consultants or glossy strategic plans. What a relief.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>

ALSO:

Higher Payments: Wellington Regional Council Becomes A Living Wage Employer

Councillor Sue Kedgley said she was delighted that the Wellington Regional Council unanimously adopted her motion to become a Living Wage employer, making it the first regional council in New Zealand to do so. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>

ALSO:

Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>

ALSO:

With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>

ALSO:

Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news