We trust Minister Martin gets the message about wasted spending (but we can provide a translation)

We are not alone – here at Point of Order – in questioning Tracey Martin’s spending on the “translation” of a written press statement into a sign language video. The Taxpayers Union (which also monitors government spending and hollers in protest when it spots squandering) regards the translation into sign language as a waste, when the vast majority of any deaf or hard-of-hearing persons are perfectly capable of reading the statement.

The Taxpayers Union asked the Ministry of Education for the cost of this extravagance.  It reports: 

“In a Friday afternoon media release, the Minister boasted that her statement had been translated into NZ Sign Language. After questioning from the Taxpayers’ Union, the Ministry of Education confirmed the translation cost “less than $800”. Continue reading “We trust Minister Martin gets the message about wasted spending (but we can provide a translation)”

Proposals to put the brakes on climate pollution run into a red light from Taxpayers’ Union

One lobby group spoke up on behalf of low-income people, when the government announced it is proposing to make electric, hybrid and fuel efficient vehicles more affordable.

Another – which speaks for car dealers – expressed a willingness to talk about the government’s plans.

Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter announced the policy, aimed at enabling families to “choose a vehicle that’s better for the climate and their back pocket”.

Presumably this will be done by calling on taxpayers to pick up a part of the tab.

Genter said the cars, utes and vans we use every day are also the fastest-growing source of harmful climate pollution and account for nearly 70 per cent of our transport emissions.  Continue reading “Proposals to put the brakes on climate pollution run into a red light from Taxpayers’ Union”

Acculturation at our central bank – Orr branches into spiritualism (maybe to give more mana to money)

Our financial ecosystem seems well and truly rooted.

Point of Order doffs its cap to Michael Reddell for alerting the public to the Reserve Bank of New Zealand’s plunge into political correctness.

Reddell draws attention, too, to the awful reality that a great deal of government improvidence goes undetected by the Point of Order Trough Monitor, which limits its surveillance to the profligacy of the inhabitants of the Beehive.

In particular, he has highlighted the Reserve Bank’s recruiting a “cultural capability advisor Maori” and wonders what this bureaucrat will do in an agency with three main jobs, none of them involving direct dealing with the general public – Maori, European, Chinese, Mexican or whatever:

  • the Bank issues bank notes and coins.  That involves purchasing them from overseas producers, and selling them to (repurchasing them from) the head offices of retail banks;
  • it sets monetary policy.  There is one policy interest rate, one New Zealand dollar, affecting economic activiity (in the short-term) and prices without distinction by race or culture.  Making monetary policy happen, at a technical level, involves setting an interest rate on accounts banks hold with the Reserve Bank, and a rate at which the Reserve Bank will lend (secured) to much the same group.  The target – the inflation target, conditioned on employment (a single target for all New Zealand) – is set for them by the Minister of Finance.
  • and it regulates/supervises banks, non-bank deposit-takers, and insurance companies, under various bits of legislation that don’t differentiate by race or culture.

Continue reading “Acculturation at our central bank – Orr branches into spiritualism (maybe to give more mana to money)”

How MfE mandarins make a jumbo contribution (at our expense) to greenhouse gas emissions

The Point of Order check on  Beehive press statements – which suggests ministerial globetrotting has been on hold during the Christmas-New Year holiday period – tries to keep watch over just one governmental rat-hole. But Wellington is riddled with these rat-holes – far too many for the news media to monitor, especially in an era when newspapers and broadcasting companies are having their more experienced watchdogs put down and increasingly treat their audiences as consumers rather than concerned citizens.

Readers should be grateful, therefore, for the work of organisations such as the New Zealanders Taxpayers Union.

The union has alerted us to Ministry for the Environment officials “enjoying luxurious trips abroad...”

Since July 2017 – it says – the ministry has spent $769,955 on international flights, at an average cost per person per trip of $6,637. Continue reading “How MfE mandarins make a jumbo contribution (at our expense) to greenhouse gas emissions”

Here’s hoping Guyon Espiner now grills Callaghan Innovation about its OIA practices…

Before exposing his moral indignation about the Taxpayers’ Union using false names to file Official Information Act requests, Radio New Zealand’s Guyon Espiner should have consulted  the publisher of No Right Turn.

This blog and the Taxpayers Union are poles apart, ideologically.

But political commentator Malcolm  Harbrow – who blogs under the nom-de-plume is an indefatigable champion of the public’s right to request information from public agencies under the OIA and a stern critic of agencies which fail to meet their legal obligations to provide the information requested.

He was astonished by the thrust of an article, published by the New Zealand Herald under the byline of one David Fisher and beguilingly headed How right-wing lobby group NZ Taxpayers’ Union used false identities to make OIA request – and how it got caught.

This article was the prompt for Espiner, on Morning Report today, grilling Taxpayers Union chief executive Jordan Williams about the use of pseudonyms.

Continue reading “Here’s hoping Guyon Espiner now grills Callaghan Innovation about its OIA practices…”