Prescription for ailing health system


Macdoctor  has a prescription for our ailing health system:

Processes become more important than people and we wonder why we are short of the very people that make the system work. That’s doctors, nurses and allied health professionals NOT managers. And there is only one way to keep them:

We need to make the New Zealand Health System a nice place to work.

Make it flexible. Make it friendly. Make it supportive. Make it financially and intellectually rewarding. Make it streamlined and facilitating. Make it empowering (in a non-managerial sense!) Stop treating your staff as units that fill gaps in rosters.

None of this is difficult. It probably doesn’t even need a whole load of extra money, just money spent in the right place (Note to Minister of Health – Access to surgery fluctuates wildly around the country. THIS MEANS THAT YOUR FUNDING FORMULA DOESN’T WORK). Excuse the shouting. (Stupid Turkeys)

To paraphrase an alcoholism advert – It’s not the funding, it’s how we’re funding…

That’s simple medicine really, but how do we get the minister, and the ministry of swallow it?

Wrong answer from wrong question


If the answer involves more bureaucrats, consultants, lawyers and the potential for third parties to make most of the money, you’ve asked the wrong question.

That is at the root of the problem with the proposed Emissions Trading Scheme which parliament is considering.

The bureaucrats, consultants, lawyers and brokers will do well out of the ETS. But it is doubtful if the scheme will have a measurable impact on domestic emissions and, if businesses move out of New Zealand, it may well increase global emissions.

The ODT  has a contrary view:

The Bill that is now proceeding through the House is a compromise, but one with much to commend it, although in itself the immediate effect of the legislation amounts to little enough.

But it also says:

The Bill can only be regarded as a starting mechanism, a small beginning for what will become a highly complicated and probably very expensive response to a scientific theory, and one that will have an economic impact on every household and business in the land, although it will have very little impact in reducing global warming.

 So what’s the point if it’s going to do so much harm and very little good? Shouldn’t we, as Tariana Turia said last week, be aiming at emissions reduction rather than emissions trading?

It is folly to sabotage the economy at a high social cost for little or no environmental gain but that’s the ridiculous answer Labour and its allies are imposing on us because they started by asking the wrong question.

Different medium


Adam Smith at Inquiring Mind  periodically peruses Letter to the Editor and posts thereon.

He found this gem today:

A change of medium

The Winston Peters’ situation is fascinating. I note that the arts and culture minister has changed her medium from oils to whitewash.

I’m not sure if it’s a change or a return to a medium previously used.

Dog tucker


Trust gave to NZ First


TV3 has been given an extract from the Spencer Trust’s records which show Sir Robert Jones’ $25,000 donation did go to New Zealand First.

Grant Currie one of the Trust’s three trustees said its sole purpose was to receive donations from NZ First supporters and pass them to the party.

The Trust was formed in August 2005 – its intention was to channel money from donors to New Zealand First.

Its bank statement shows the first payment made into the trust was from Tirohanga Holdings Limited, the company of which Sir Bob Jones is a majority shareholder.

He gave $25,000 on the 18th of August 2005.

The statement shows that money along with another anonymous $25,000 donation was paid to New Zealand First less than a month later, on the 7th of September.

“If the allegation is that Mr Jones’ donation didn’t go where he intended it to then it completely refutes that allegation,” says Currie.

Currie would not talk about the blacked out donations – saying they were made on a confidential basis.

But Act MP Rodney Hide says the blacked out donations are more evidence the SFO should be investigating – because those donations, and Jones’s, were never declared to the electoral commission by New Zealand First.

“The whole trust now needs to be broken open by the serious fraud office and looked at because it’s clearly a device to break the law. These monies have never been declared as required by the law,” says Hide.

The Electoral Commission has confirmed no payments over $10,000 were declared by the New Zealand First Party in 2005 – a technical breach of electoral law.

But New Zealand First cannot be prosecuted for it now  – the window closes if the alleged crime is not investigated within 6 months.

There would have been nothing wrong about the donations had they been declared – and had Winston Peters not built his political career on his opposition to secret donations.

It is too late to act on any breach of the electoral law, but there is no statute of limitations on accusations of hypocricy.

Hopkins not #5


Jim Hopkins is not the mystery candidate who will occupy the vacant number five spot on Act’s list.

The party had approached him but he declined for a variety of reasons, one of which was, he said,  “I don’t think I’d be happy with parliament and parliament wouldn’t be happy with me.”

Benson-Pope’s office exterior stripped of party colours


The advertising material on the outside of David Benson-Pope’s electorate office was removed last week.

Until then the exterior carried signage in Labour Party colours with a large red banner and party logos promoting the services of Benson Pope and his colleagues David Parker, Mahara Okeroa and Winnie Laben.

The exterior is now bare and my informant says the office is still operating but looks “semi empty”.

What does this mean when:

* An electorate office is paid for by parliamentary services and can’t carry party political advertising material so it should not have anything to do with preparation for the election.

* An electorate MP is an MP until election day and MPs and employees have time after the election to clear up and clear out should the MP not be re-elected.

* It should be far too close to the election to use parliamentary services funding to refresh signage for MPs.

* The Labour Party hasn’t enough money to fund a website so it wouldn’t spend its own money changing signage when what was there was spreading the message already.

So is this confirmation that Benson-Pope’s coy response to the ODT  about his future means that he will stand as an independent?

Because an MP who was going to resign from his party and stand as an independent would neither want nor be able to have his former party’s colours, logo and other material on his office.

Isn’t it funny


Isn’t it funny

How a bear likes honey?

Buzz! Buzz! buzz!

I wonder why he does?

 – A.A. Milne –




Isn’t it funny

How an MP likes money?

Buzz! Buzz!  Buzz!

I wonder why he does?

– Anon. –


The cartoon is by Chicane from The Southland TImes.

Hat Tip: Roarpawn

Horses’ birthday


The climate doesn’t always co-operate with the calendar about the first day of spring, however whatever the weather, September 1 is the official birthday of all race horses.

Calving starts down here in early August so that’s well through. Lambing starts a couple of weeks later and those downland farms which still have sheep now also have lambs.

[Update: A comment from Steve below tells me I’m a month late – August 1st is the horses’ birthday in the southern hempisphere.]

Benson-Pope coy on future


David Benson-Pope’s  name was not on the Labour Party list which was released yesterday but he’s still being coy about his future.

He lost a selection contest for the Dunedin South seat to Claire Curran earlier this year.

The electorate remains divided, with Mr Benson-Pope still commanding large personal loyalty from many in the electorate.

He has been urged to stand in an independent capacity.

Asked yesterday whether he had decided about his future in politics, Mr Benson-Pope said it was not surprising his name was not on the list as he had not sought to be ranked there.

“I have no other comment to make other than to urge people to vote Labour with their party vote.”

There could be some indication of his future on September 9, 10 or 11.  On those days, retiring MPs will give their valedictory speeches in Parliament.

He says vote Labour with the party vote but doesn’t mention the electorate vote. That could just mean he hasn’t got over losing the selection or it could mean he’s still considering standing as an independent.

If he does there’s a chance he could win and if not does it mean he’d be on the parliamentary pay roll a little longer anyway?

I think – and I welcome correction if I’m wrong – that if MPs resign their pay stops on election day; if they stand and are not elected they get their pay for a few more weeks.

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