Word of the day

June 9, 2013

Prolegomenon – preliminary discussion, especially a formal essay introducing a work of considerable length or complexity; prefatory remark or observation; introductory essay; prologue.


6/10

June 9, 2013

6/10 in Stuff’s Biz Quiz.


Touch screen tech helping district nurses

June 9, 2013

Touch screen technology is increasing the time district nurses spend caring for their patients Health Minister Tony Ryall says.

“District nurses at Gore Health are piloting the new Agility TRx technology, from a touch-screen tablet, which allows them to get up-to-date information about their patients instantly and securely while out in the community,” says Mr Ryall.

“Since introducing Agility TRx last year, the eight district nurses at Gore Health have reduced the time they spend on unnecessary paperwork and travel by at least an hour per nurse, per day.

“This means hundreds of extra hours of nursing care are being provided to people in the Gore community. Care provided by district nurses includes home-based chemotherapy services, dressing wounds and intravenous therapy.

“In the past these district nurses made multiple trips to and from the general practice and hospital each day to collect hard copies of up-to-date patient information – this new technology means they have all the information they need at the touch of their fingers.

“I congratulate the district nurses and staff at Gore Health for piloting the new technology and improving health services for people in their community.

“Southern District Health Board began piloting the new technology with 16 of their district nurses last month. The success of the pilot will be evaluated at the end of the year and a decision will be made about rolling the technology out across the country,” says Mr Ryall.

Health Workforce New Zealand has contributed $360,000 towards the pilot.

District nurses who service rural areas travel long distances to visit patients.

Reducing the need to return to base for patient information saves time, fuel and wear and tear on vehicles.

City nurses won’t travel as far but will take longer to go shorter distances in traffic. If the initial success of the pilot continues it would be better for nurses, patients and health budgets to roll the technology out nationwide.


4/9

June 9, 2013

Only 4/9 in the NBR’s Biz Quiz.


Right priorities

June 9, 2013

Easter trading laws are a dogs’ breakfast but successive attempts to sort them out have failed.

The mess is compounded by Department of Labour inspectors having to work on Good Friday and Easter Sunday to prosecute businesses which choose to open and whose staff choose to work.

Now there’s some sense being brought to the issue:

Labour Minister Simon Bridges signalled yesterday that in the future officials may rely solely on complaints because inspection staff were needed elsewhere.

“There are some very serious issues in relation to migrant workers and exploitation in this country,” he said.

“It is a question of using our resources and the labour inspectorate better.”

This could mean “not necessarily having inspectors out on every corner on Easter trading weekends, enforcing the laws”, he said.

“I don’t think, and my sense is, New Zealanders wouldn’t necessarily want us to be over-enforcing that, having inspectors out there all the time.”

Acting on complaints is one thing, deliberately setting out to find businesses in breach of the law when there are other more pressing matters for staff to attend to is quite another.

Finding businesses exploiting any workers but particularly migrants who are often more vulnerable is a far greater priority than looking for businesses choosing to open with staff who choose to work.


Illiberal left

June 9, 2013

Do LabourGreen and New Zealand First understand what they’re doing in calling for a police investigation over the leaking of the GCSB report?

Politics lecturer Brent Bryce Edwards rightly says they’re being illiberal:

“There’s always problems when the police get involved in the political and media realm. It can have a very chilling affect on politics and journalism,” Dr Edwards says.

Threshold not reached
Generally those that regard themselves as politically liberal will not want the police involved unless utterly necessary, says the Politics Daily compiler.

“Therefore the threshold for calling the cops into Parliament and newsrooms should be very high. It’s hard to see that this threshold has been reached in this case,” Dr Edwards says.

“Normally those that call the police in on their political opponents are from an authoritarian political philosophy. By contrast, liberals generally regard those that leak government department reports as heroic whistleblowers that are enabling the freedom of information and the right of the public to know what those in authority are doing.”

That was certainly the case when, Tracy Watkins reminds us,  Labour’s Phil Goff was gleefully leaking sensitive Cabinet documents relating to Foreign Affairs.

He almost certainly got the papers from a public servant who, like an MP, is supposed to keep confidential matters in confidence and, unlike an MP, be non-partisan in his/her work.

Jane Clifton reminds us:

The affair does underline the dichotomy we in the political firmament face over the issue of leaks, though. Labour and New Zealand First are harrumphing like scandalised Wodehousian aunts about Dunne’s behaviour. Yet both have received, publicised and gloated over similarly spicey leaks in their time.

Leaks have come to the Opposition from two of the most sacred departments, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Government Security Communications Bureau, at times in farcical quantity. Information from these bureaucracies have the potential to harm this country’s security and trade.

It’s a very unhealthy sign that such officials are prepared to undermine the Government by leaking information that could also undermine the welfare of the country. Yet the Opposition has trafficked in them with abandon, and never has a single Labour, Green or NZ First politician called the police about such documents, as they have done over the Dunne situation.

Clifton goes on to remind us that leaks are undeniably desirable for the media and the public who learn from them.

Calling for a police investigation is at best baffling and definitely hypocritical when all three parties have benefited from leaks, the most recent being of the Henry report to Peters.

Would he like an investigation into that one too?


Sunday soapbox

June 9, 2013

Sunday’s soapbox is yours to use as you will – within the bounds of decency and absence of defamation.You’re welcome to look back or forward, discuss issues of the moment, to pontificate, ponder or point us to something of interest, to educate, elucidate or entertain, to muse or amuse.


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