Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Things worth knowing

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  • Richard Aston, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    what was her arse as Justice Minister doing over there ? We have no idea.What is she actually responsible for that requires her dealing over in China?

    Bloody good point Sofie. She's the minister of Justice and moonlighting on ACC and Ethnic Affairs, what the hell was she doing there anyway . Ethnic affairs ?

    Northland • Since Nov 2006 • 510 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    In other big Business news...
    Fletchers, having seemingly given up sticking feathers onto arrow shafts are all set to Bring in the Big Boys to scoop up the gravy in Christchurch and any other profitable PPPs they can get their sticky little mitts on.

    Link was munched. Fixed.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5430 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Wong actually paid for her husband’s personal business trip on the taxpayer dollar, so it was definitely a level up.

    But...
    Collins deliberately removed her husbands ticket from the public expense.
    Had she also removed hers and had her husband pay, there would have been no real problem. After all, there would be nothing wrong, surely, with her going in the private capacity of the wife of a company director. So why, we have to ask, did she not follow that path? Was it to give the impression of Government sanction or was she just trying to save a few bucks?.
    The latter is just too humorous to accept.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    Link was munched. Fixed.

    Thanx Red, don’t know how that happened, must be all thumbs today.
    ;-)

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Young,

    If Collins falls, that could have major strategic consequences, given that she's a senior Cabinet Minister in a core portfolio of high importance. It could sow antagonism between Key and Collins, dent her leadership aspirations but also clear Steven Joyce's probable role as Key's ultimate successor. Or not, or might even sow Joyce/Collins animosities in any post-Key National leadership contest and caucus.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 571 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh,

    Not sure what Judith Collins was doing here on this latest trip, but she has been here in her capacity as ethnic affairs minister. I don't see keeping the Chinese border control official's name secret as a sign that customs issues were not involved, though. Nor that any such issues were involved. But it is worth asking a few questions

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    between Key and Collins, dent her leadership aspirations but also clear Steven Joyce’s probable role as Key’s ultimate successor. Or not, or might even sow Joyce/Collins animosities in any post-Key National leadership contest and caucus.

    Key's off to China today ( to avoid being in the House tomorrow,but that is only going by what he normally does, not fact as I'm not in his team) Joyce however he may try, just hasn't got charisma.With a number of National leaving this year, I suspect they are looking now at possibilities, seeing as Key announced he's definitely going if he don't win the big prize come September. Like others he's probably already lined up his prospects to move to. Brownlee can't takeover, Ryall could have but he's gone, Power left ages ago, who else is there? I bet Bridges believes he'll be there one day.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    I don’t see keeping the Chinese border control official’s name secret as a sign that customs issues were not involved, though. Nor that any such issues were involved.

    I'm sure he was necessary for the Dinner they had but it was the brushing aside any attempt to know his business or name other than a border official, several times but happily noted the other guests, all from Oravida is what seems out of order to me. Thing is if it's Ethnic affairs ,she could have easily said so. Why doesn't she?

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    I bet Bridges believes he’ll be there one day.

    Bridges displays all of the ambition but little of the necessary judgment or experience to be PM. He's in desperate need of a few years in Opposition (I also suspect he's an error away from being an also-ran).

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • bmk, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    Ryall could have but he's gone,

    I have to say this surprised me. I'm not a fan of National but I would say he's easily been the most effective minister throughout their two terms. Others get more publicity but that's been his success that he hasn't. I can't remember a previous six-year period where health has been out of the news and that's despite very constrained budgets.

    In that sense though he's getting out at the best time. The health budget has been cut as far as it can and there's really nothing left there and unless it's funded better soon it will really start showing back up in the news.

    And again I hate having to praise National but I know several people in the health sector and they said that while Labour had the best intentions they didn't do health properly and a lot of money was being wasted and National re-focused attention on priorities which is how they have got away with six years of restricting the growth of health spending without crises.

    I'm hoping when Labour get in they increase health spending like they did last time but this time make better use of their spending.

    Since Jun 2010 • 327 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to bmk,

    I have to say this surprised me. I’m not a fan of National but I would say he’s easily been the most effective minister throughout their two terms. Others get more publicity but that’s been his success that he hasn’t. I can’t remember a previous six-year period where health has been out of the news and that’s despite very constrained budgets.

    I tend to agree. The lack of health scandals has been remarkable, and it's not as if he hasn't had very able Labour and Green spokespeople to contend with.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to bmk,

    I have to say this surprised me.

    Deciding to leave after you've been announced as your electorate's candidate is strange.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19719 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    I don't know how, precisely, you measure effectiveness in the health space. I concede, not being on the front page is a proxy or sorts. However, are there more heart surgeries, shorter waiting lists for elective surgery, fewer avoidable somethingorrathers?

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    You can see how riled up the right are that no less than three Tories are doing spin in the first hour this was up.

    Get back under your bridge, Rich -- can't be bothered today.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie, in reply to Paul Williams,

    No. Ryall has been a very good manager of a pretty decent health system primarily devised under the Clark government. (Roughly speaking, the Shipley government utterly trashed NZ healthcare, Labour bodged it back together, and Ryall's made sure it hasn't fallen apart again.)

    But he hasn't really implemented a vision in health --- and in particular, he hasn't confronted the big picture problems in health: aging population, and the need for a shift away from a focus on health-as-hospitals.

    Mind you Labour hasn't done that in Opposition either, despite some good signs when Grant Robertson was spokesperson. I think one problem with Health is that it is seen as a scandal portfolio, because between 1990-9 it was. But under Clark it wasn't, and Ryall has just kept it tight.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Paul Williams,

    shorter waiting lists for elective surgery

    Yes - at the expense of many other things. Accountants like Ryall prefer things they can measure easily.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19719 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    As an opposition, National made healthcare about one thing - elective surgery waiting-lists. As government, they've made remarkable progress on that score, while deprioritising investment in other things. The NZMA and most other major professional bodies have been onside, particularly as they know that National have no intention of reshaping the landscape in ways which would deprive their members of financial opportunity.

    I've talked with Hague, and he doesn't see a fundamental reshaping of the sector, but any change of government will see a change in priorities.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    More to the point though, Ryall resigned after being selected to represent the Bay of Plenty once again.

    This is quite unusual, and he’s been able to slide away with his halo relatively intact, despite quite serious questions about his decisions not to refer potential Southland DHB fraud to the police. I’m surprised this has not gathered more attention. Perhaps if King had done a better job we'd have seen some movement.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to George Darroch,

    he doesn’t see a fundamental reshaping of the sector

    you mean by Ryall already, or if the Greens get some say over it in future?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19719 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Attachment

    Took you a bloody long time to count to three?

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Jason Kemp, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Not quite - Fonterra has a number of dairy farms in China already
    OUR FARMS IN CHINA

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 368 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to George Darroch,

    This is quite unusual, and he’s been able to slide away with his halo relatively intact, despite quite serious questions about his decisions not to refer potential Southland DHB fraud to the police. I’m surprised this has not gathered more attention. Perhaps if King had done a better job we’d have seen some movement.

    That's been Hague's issue and he hasn't been quiet about it. But, no, not much interest ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Jason Kemp,

    Interesting. It's probably a good idea for NZ to export expertise rather than milk powder (given that if we don't, someone else will) but it will eventually cannibalise the latter business. (I guess if you can do dairying in the Mackenzie, you can do it anywhere, but there must be a whole lot of places in the world with a Waikato type climate and cheaper land and workers).

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward, in reply to George Darroch,

    As government, they've made remarkable progress on that score, while deprioritising investment in other things.

    IIRC there were six priority measures implemented, all of which have done well. Are there measurements of the deprioritised areas? Interested to know what the tradeoffs have been for such a laser focus...

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1727 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Gareth Ward,

    public health, aged care, disability supports..

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19719 posts Report Reply

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