Home' The Wellingtonian : April 19th 2012 Contents 9
THE WELLINGTONIAN, APRIL 19, 2012
FROM THREADS & PATTERNS TO
NEW SEASON FASHION FABRICS
ARTHUR TOYE FABRICS'
50% OFF ALL PATTERNS
CRAFT COTTON PRINTS
PRINTS- RAYONS, SHEERS
SUPA KNITS-GIANT CHOICE
MERINO WOOL JERSEY
'CITY WOOL' SUITINGS
KNIT PRINTS, FURS
Wellington NOW MOVED
REAR GROUND FLOOR
16 WILLIS ST, WELLINGTON
L c y & gh s Rd 04 212 4 3
| | |
www.c s d .c .
Everyday low price!
New Store Now Open!
choose from the
best range of readymades in NZ
Exclusive to CurtainStudio
cement, putty, rock
Exclusive to CurtainStudio
roller blinds &
lining & making!
chocolate, liquorice, natural,
silver, stonefrom $19497pair
Exclusive to CurtainStudio
gravel , linen
clearance - not all sizes avail.
Exclusive to CurtainStudio
Offe s e d 30/4/12. C d s pply, wh le s cks l s , e dym de ffe s -s e ly.
Short-term gain but at what cost?
The partial sale of state
assets has been a dominant
aspect of the political land-
scape for the past 18 months.
But ultimately the ways that
people work within state organis-
ations could prove even more
important than who owns the
Instead of offering a stable
career path, retaining their insti-
tutional memory and keeping
their technical expertise in house,
government departments are now
routinely outsourcing their work
to consultants and to short-term
Many are (temporarily) on
higher wage rates than the people
they replace but with none of the
benefits, such as parental leave or
Reportedly, the estimated bill
for public service consultancy is
running at about $180 million to
$200 million a year.
The issue involved is more basic
than merely the number of jobs
that are being lost in the public
Essentially, it is about the way
that short-term contracts and the
stop-start processes they involve
may be affecting the performance
of the public sector, and what
used to be quaintly called its mor-
At present, the effects of this
continuing churn in staff can only
Yet when the level of job
insecurity is reportedly putting
schemes of even one year s dur-
ation under pressure, overall per-
formance seems bound to deterio-
There are stories of new staff
being brought in on short-term
contracts of two to three months
duration and then being let go
Imagine trying to run anything
where the key staff come in cold
and are let go in eight weeks
time, just as the next batch of
recruits (if you re lucky) are
ushered in the door for their
induction course and briefing
Also, once appointed, contrac-
tors can hardly focus on the job at
hand, because they need to be
planning their next move.
Repeatedly, permanent staff in
the public sector are being
required to write reports justify-
ing their retention.
Last week, one such person
spoke to me (anonymously) about
how he had had to justify his job
through four re-structurings and
three re-alignments since 2008,
which have significantly reduced
his annual wages.
Meanwhile, the shedding of per-
manent staff is not only costly but
is rendering some parts of the
public service very difficult to
In some cases, managers are
reportedly barely getting to know
their staff before their contracts
run out and they are replaced by
newbies -- or are not replaced at
all, pending the next review of
funding and/or the next potential
The only winners in this process
appear to be the change
managers , brought in at a cost of
nearly $10 million so far in the
case of the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs and Trade s bungled
(One department has appar-
ently even brought in consultants
to assess why contractors are not
staying in their jobs.)
The other winners are the
For a fee, these agencies do the
screening of the constantly
churning pool of candidates, with
some agencies collecting a bonus if
anyone they refer manages to last
as long as six months in the same
job.The losers? They are not only
the people under fire but the pub-
lic who depend on the services
that the Government provides.
Not to mention Wellington
retailers, who could once rely on
there being far more public
servants with steady jobs and dis-
cretionary spending power.
The Wellingtonian welcomes
letters. Please supply name,
address and day phone number.
No pseudonyms. Preferred
maximum length 200 words.
Letters may be edited. Preference
is given to letters responding to
issues raised in The Wellingtonian.
Send your letters to PO Box 3740,
Councillor Pepperell was the only
councillor to warn that a financial
crisis was coming.
Those councillors with the
highest attendance at meetings
are not the best paid. They are not
given a title indicating their
Some retention of publicly-
owned services was attempted by
Mr Pepperell. These included car
parking buildings that were sold.
The income from them was
therefore lost and the cost of using
them became dearer for citizens.
Mr Pepperell was one of those
who opposed putting more of the
rates on householders as against
business -- the differential .
Moves have been made to
privatise the provision of water.
Mr Pepperell opposed the creation
of the business Capacity.
Mr Pepperell was one who
supported Waterfront Watch in
opposing building on the
Mobile library accessible to the
disabled, sick and elderly has
been withdrawn and small
suburban libraries closed, also
opposed by Mr Pepperell.
He is also one of the few
councillors who supports genuine
engagement with the public.
depth to survey
Your survey of city councillors
looked at only half the issue.
There was no-one to talk about
their contribution within the
Who among them brings
intelligence to policy formation
and discussion in council and
committee meetings? Who
promotes harmony and effective
action, and who impedes it?
The council gets far less press
attention than Parliament,
despite its importance to
Coverage seems limited to
salaries and just a few highlight
issues. We know little about
With 15 of them and the affairs
of the city to write about, there is
surely interesting enough
material for lively in-depth
Bus fare rises
I write in response to Peter
Kennedy s letter (April 5).
The Wellington bus service
review will not in itself result in
fares increases. But the regional
council has a policy of increasing
fare revenue regularly.
For the past two years at least
this has resulted in 3 per cent
increases per annum in fare
And bus fares are proposed to
rise yet again.
The regional council s draft
annual plan proposes to increase
fare revenue by 3 per cent,
effective in October.
And if sufficient of my council
colleagues continue to vote for it,
there will be another 3 per cent
increase next year, and the year
after that, and so on.
Needless to say, councillor Paul
Bruce and I voted against fare
increases, this year and last.
The rationale from the council
is that regular small increases are
preferable to irregular large
increases. Well, bollocks to that.
The council needs to be
continually looking for savings
and promoting greater public
transport use (for example,
through off-peak fares).
We also need to have a hard
look at the way bus users
effectively subsidise train users.
Some cross-subsidy I can
understand, but things have got
out of hand. Wellingtonians
should not be paying so much for
Wellington regional councillor
What is a poem?
After reading the letter from Mr
Pirie (March 23), giving us what
he calls a poem about the Basin
Reserve, I am yet again prompted
to ask how a poem is defined.
It seems that, by now, anyone
can write down his or her
thoughts about something and so
long as the written passage is
somehow cut up into lines, he or
she can get away with calling it a
poem. Perish the thought that the
poem should obey any of the
classic rules regarding scansion or
rhyme. Even the subject matter
need not be of an elevated or
beautiful kind nowadays.
Once more, I have to agree with
the great Doctor Samuel Johnson
He stated: No man can write
poetically of serges and druggets.
Before the 2008 election, National
made much ado of Labour s
nanny state . How times have
changed. There is growing
uneasiness about how things are
being done in Parliament.
Clayton Weatherston s
conviction led to a law change, on
the grounds of provocation.
Now we learn that the law may
be changed to keep people
detained by the Minister of
Justice for crimes the minister
doesn t like, regardless of the
length of time prescribed by the
judge or the law.
When the leaky homes issue
arose, it was because of legislative
changes. Homeowners and
taxpayers had to foot the bill.
Now we see in Christchurch the
Government has changed the
rules on how houses are to be
assessed and many of the
insurance companies are now able
to walk away, leaving
homeowners out of pocket.
Meanwhile, in Auckland,
legislation is for sale, with the
Government happy to do a deal
with SkyCity for the introduction
of 500 more pokie machines.
The Government is freely
changing the law on a whim or a
monetary favour. PETER KENNEDY
Links Archive April 12th 2012 April 26th 2012 Navigation Previous Page Next Page