Posts by Katharine Moody

  • Hard News: The climate changed, in reply to Katharine Moody,

    Oops, meant to link to the PCE document I quoted from;

    http://www.pce.parliament.nz/media/1390/preparing-nz-for-rising-seas-web-small.pdf

    p.77.

    Palmerston North • Since Sep 2014 • 770 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The climate changed, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    I participated in review of both the first and second drafts of that document – an exercise bound by a confidentiality agreement with the Ministry at the time of its preparation. Hence I can’t say anything specific about my feedback but suffice it to say that were I the government of the day, I wouldn’t have released it either (although that said, I have not read the document that has been publicly released – so am unsure what changes were made arising from the feedback given). In general, suffice it to say that the draft documents failed to provide guidance in accordance with what is prescribed by the NZCPS in terms of the assessment of hazard risk.

    The NZCPS and the AS/NZS ISO 31000:2009 Risk management – Principles and guidelines (the current standard referenced by the NZCPS) both distinguish between risk assessment and risk management but it seems in many of the cases I’ve come across in NZ, this distinction is misunderstood by both the scientific community and the regulators. The two drafts I read would have hindered, as opposed to helped, this distinction.

    The drafts also failed to accept/implement the most important of the PCE’s recommendations with respect to update of the guidance manual – that being:

    "In revising central government direction and guidance on sea level rise, specify that ‘best estimates’ with uncertainty ranges for all parameters be used in technical assessments of coastal hazards."

    And as she also pointed out:

    The standard results of running a coastal hazard model should instead [i.e.,instead of what we’ve been getting to date from the scientific assessments] be probability distributions with most likely values and ranges of potential values expressed with a level of confidence.

    Drafts 1 and 2 failed to provide those probability distributions. But again, it may be that in the released document they did specify these uncertainty ranges/probability distributions – I simply don’t know as I haven’t read it yet.

    Point is, that without knowing those uncertainty ranges as part of the risk assessment, it becomes very difficult for regulators to appropriately manage (i.e., make the right decisions about) the most appropriate way to manage the risks.

    Palmerston North • Since Sep 2014 • 770 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The new medical cannabis law…,

    A scathing review of it;

    http://vjmpublishing.nz/?p=6041

    Palmerston North • Since Sep 2014 • 770 posts Report Reply

  • Capture: Besties,

    Attachment

    For a rainy summer day (if we ever get one!), Te Papa's Lego exhibition is a must see.

    Palmerston North • Since Sep 2014 • 770 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The new medical cannabis law…, in reply to Alfie,

    Agree, it's practically useless as is. And just what is NZ First's objection - surely their older persons membership would be supportive of prescription natural pain relief that actually works where opioids often don't? There are a virtual flood of diseased hip joints out there in patients too old to perform yet another surgery on.

    Palmerston North • Since Sep 2014 • 770 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the…, in reply to Euan Mason,

    Wadeable

    Never heard before as a measure of water quality - so in that regard it is unique to NZ - and could only have come from a previous winner, that being 'Planet Key'.

    Palmerston North • Since Sep 2014 • 770 posts Report Reply

  • Legal Beagle: Questions, but no answers,…, in reply to David Clemens,

    Agree - this is a great little site;

    https://fyi.org.nz/

    Run by volunteers - expanding and improving it under a government initiative (but retaining it as the politically neutral/volunteer run operation) would be great.

    Palmerston North • Since Sep 2014 • 770 posts Report Reply

  • Legal Beagle: Questions, but no answers,…, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    Yes, I appreciate that is your perspective, Graeme but I think the form/volume of these 'fishing' questions (be they put by whatever person from whatever party in whatever term past or present) are what is unreasonable. Questions put need to be on matters of substance for the inquiry to be genuine. I think it's fair enough that if you ask a vague/obscure question - you get a vague/obscure answer.

    If fishing for something specific based on a certain whisper or suspicion - rather than ask, 'what appointments did the Minister have between 8-9 am or 9-10 am on a particular day'... better to ask whether there has been a meeting with a particular individual and/or organisation within the last 1-2 weeks.

    I think that's the point the National ministerial responses are making above and those made by the new government Minister's more recently.

    Palmerston North • Since Sep 2014 • 770 posts Report Reply

  • Legal Beagle: Questions, but no answers,…, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    Medical appointments are not ministerial.

    I agree. But if you require the diaries of Ministers' ministerial appointments to be automatically provided - what you'll get is a daily account of time with gaps and redactions everywhere - and then the gaps/redactions will become the subject of speculation/criticism.

    Here's some examples of how National dealt with the same type of questioning from WP in the last term;

    Hon Judith Collins (Minister of Police (Includes responsibility for Serious Fraud Office)) replied: As Minister of Police I have a large number of meetings in Wellington and around New Zealand. I do not believe it is a good use of staff time to itemise my meetings or engagements, nor attempt to list the names of every person I met over the course of a month. If the member is interested in a specific issue or organisations then I might be able to provide more detailed information.

    Hon Simon Bridges (Associate Minister of Justice) replied: I hold or attend a large number of meetings, visits, events, and speaking engagements – both formal and informal – each month in my capacity as Minister. I am not prepared to ask my staff to bring together this information, including withholding any confidential or private information, in order to answer to such a broad question. If the Member wishes to narrow his question, I am happy to reconsider.

    Hon Paula Bennett (Associate Minister of Finance) replied: In September 2016, as part of my ministerial work I have had a number of meetings, however it would take considerable staff time to search diary records and I do not think this is a good use of staff time.

    Hon Paula Bennett (Associate Minister of Tourism) replied: As the Member may appreciate, I meet with a large number of groups and individuals during my normal course of business, so this information cannot be gathered without substantial collation or resource. I am not prepared to have my staff spend the time and resources that would be required to answer it.

    Hon Bill English (Minister of Finance) replied: As Minister of Finance I have a large number of meetings in Wellington and around New Zealand. I do not believe it is a good use of staff time to itemise my meetings or engagements, nor attempt to list the names of every person I met over the course of a month. If the member is interested in a specific issue or organisations then I might be able to provide more detailed information.

    Hon Steven Joyce (Minister for Economic Development) replied: I hold a large number of meetings both formally and informally each month with a wide range of people and discuss a wide range of topics. I do not consider it reasonable use of official’s time to provide the Member with a comprehensive list of all such meetings, nor is it feasible as the information requested is often not specifically captured by my records. If the Member could be more specific about a particular area of interest I would be happy to consider his request.

    Hon Maggie Barry (Minister for Seniors) replied: I meet with a range of individuals and groups and I do not believe it is a good use of staff time to itemise my meetings or engagements. If the member is interested in a specific issue or organisation, I may be able to provide more detailed information.

    Rt Hon John Key (Prime Minister) replied: As Prime Minister I have a large number of meetings in Wellington and around New Zealand. In September I also attended the East Asia Summit, the Pacific Islands Forum and attended the UNGA and UN Security Council meeting in New York. I do not believe it is a good use of staff time to itemise my meetings or engagements, not attempt to list the names of every person I met over the course of a month. If the member is interested in a specific issue or organisations then I might be able to provide more detailed information.

    Hon Jo Goodhew (Associate Minister for Primary Industries) replied: As Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector I have a large number of meetings in Wellington and around New Zealand. In September I also attended the Social Enterprise World Forum in Hong Kong. I do not believe it is a good use of staff time to itemise my meetings or engagements, nor attempt to list the names of every person I met over the course of a month. If the member is interested in a specific issue or organisations then I might be able to provide more detailed information.

    Palmerston North • Since Sep 2014 • 770 posts Report Reply

  • Legal Beagle: Questions, but no answers,…,

    Clare Curran has recently been appointed Minister for Open Government. She should take the opportunity to propose to Cabinet the automatic release of ministerial schedules.

    Although the sentiment regarding open governance is right - the practical application is fraught with exceptions. Diarised medical appointments, meetings with ones personal lawyers over say, a property transaction, etc. etc. Then you also get members of the public/businesses seeking an appointment with the Minister who want that appointment, if granted, to remain confidential. And then there are other commercially sensitive meetings for those Ministers with SOE and/or quangos within their portfolios.

    My experience would suggest that around 30% of a Minister's diarised appointments might be reasonably withheld under the OIA - so I imagine if you amended the Cabinet Manual with respect to the automatic release of Ministerial diaries, one would need to apply OIA standards prior to release. And then, a Minister with a great deal of withheld timeslots ends up coming under suspicion - when in fact they might be having routine cancer treatment.

    Palmerston North • Since Sep 2014 • 770 posts Report Reply

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