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3951 posts

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  Reply # 1985431 29-Mar-2018 14:43
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Freedom of speech includes freedom not to speak.

 

If you want to force someone to answer a question you would need to drag them into a court proceeding or Royal Commission or similar.  There would be law changes required if ministers are currently exempt from those issues. I'd question the point of going to all that trouble.  If someone has a mind to be uncooperative, their answers can be just as frustrating and unhelpful as their silence.

 

The Coleman-Fergusson interview underlines an apparent issue with current NZ journalists.  They only prepare one line of questioning.  When that stalls all they have the wit to do is repeat, repeat, repeat.

 

 





Mike

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  Reply # 1985538 29-Mar-2018 17:44
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1.  You do realise that it is the Board of the DHB not the Minister that is responsible for the maintenance and condition of the DHB's assets don't you? The law is clear on this. If the Board never disclosed the issue to the Minister, and he says that they didn't, then why should he be held accountable and for what?

 

2.  He can actually be compelled to answer questions about what he knew or did. Select Committees, and the courts have the power to require him to attend, and there can be sanctions if he does not answer a Select Committee's questions. The Auditor-General and Ombudsman also have some powers in appropriate circumstances. However a journalist cannot, and indeed should not be able to, compel anyone to answer questions just because they feel they have a story. Can you imagine how nasty things could get if any journalist or blogger had that power?

 

3.  When the question has been answered and the journalist is just badgering him, then hanging up is perfectly reasonable.


 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1986112 30-Mar-2018 17:22
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Plus:

 

4.  If the journalist thinks he is lying, she can always make Official Information Act requests to the DHB and/or the Ministry of Health, for any advice that was provided to the former Minister.

 

So I think this is a non-issue.




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  Reply # 1986150 30-Mar-2018 17:57
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That's a lot of verbiage for a non-issue.

 

 





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  Reply # 1986219 31-Mar-2018 01:40
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Rikkitic:

 

That's a lot of verbiage for a non-issue.

 

 

 

 

Isn't it just.

 

 

 

Quite the comedy...

 

 

 

Quite instructional. I think you will find many of those who are all for Coleman being blameless, have been seen in previous threads prattling about Responsibility, Professionalism, Integrity...

 

Your question was not a difficult one to understand Rikkitic. The point was not vague or confused. Your opposition is biased. The saddest thing of all however is they honestly cannot see it.

 

 


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  Reply # 1994381 11-Apr-2018 17:22
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Rikkitic:

 

Geektastic:

 

How can he be accountable after the fact? Ministers are not responsible for the daily running and maintenance of hospitals any more than Theo Spierings is responsible for who milks the cows.

 

 

Isn't the Minister responsible for policy? If a hospital is rotting from poor maintenance due to inadequate funding and wilful refusal to allow necessary finance for repair, surely that is something a Minister should be held accountable for? As Truman said, the buck stops at the top. Otherwise why have a Minister at all?

 

 

 

 

Quoting Patrick Smelley, as reported here

 

"Is pedantic to question the narrative about under-investment at Middlemore when today’s DHB stats show the capital budget is significantly underspent? I.e., under-funding can’t be the issue if money for capital upgrades is going unspent."

 

So I am inclined to think that no, the previous government did not have responsibility for this smokescreen


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  Reply # 1994628 12-Apr-2018 09:10
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What's interesting is to see what Middlemore did choose to spend capital on in the last few years.

 

Not hard info to find.

 

Do a little research and form your own conclusions.

 

 





Mike

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  Reply # 1995226 13-Apr-2018 09:49
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Also an interesting take on the story in a Herald column here

 

Even given that Hooton's well known political sympathies, he makes some good points.

 

It is starting to smell like a political beat-up, which the media are breathlessly reporting without checking up on things first.

 

 


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  Reply # 1995245 13-Apr-2018 10:17
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JimmyH:

 

Also an interesting take on the story in a Herald column here

 

Even given that Hooton's well known political sympathies, he makes some good points.

 

It is starting to smell like a political beat-up, which the media are breathlessly reporting without checking up on things first.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Agreed.   Here are some of the highlights:

 

  • Middlemore Hospital continues to function, including its highly regarded intensive care and burns units. Would such services continue were sewage really seeping down the walls as implied?
  • no one in authority seems to have been told about the alleged sewage or even the alleged extent of leaky buildings
  • just two-and-a-half weeks ago, new Health Minister David Clark and local MP Louisa Wall also denied being told about the watertightness issue, let alone the "sewage-in-the-walls" story
  • Counties Manukau District Health Board (CMDHB) didn't mention the issue when it presented to Parliament's health select committee in February
  • this week, former CMDHB chair Lee Mathias told RNZ she didn't know about leaking sewage.
  • The Government also confirms that Middlemore's building problems can be fixed for just $27.5 million, less than 0.28 per cent of its $9.9 billion capital allowance for the next three years and a fraction of $298m spent on Middlemore's new Clinical Services Block.
  • CMDHB also planned to spend $8.6m this financial year extending its innovation hub but not $7.3m to re-clad its children's hospital. Its capital budget has been significantly underspent

JimmyH:

 

It is starting to smell like a political beat-up, which the media are breathlessly reporting without checking up on things first.

 

 

Yes - and an incredibly poorly-executed beat-up at that.  No surprises there.


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Master Geek
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  Reply # 1995248 13-Apr-2018 10:26
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6FIEND:

 

JimmyH:

 

Also an interesting take on the story in a Herald column here

 

Even given that Hooton's well known political sympathies, he makes some good points.

 

It is starting to smell like a political beat-up, which the media are breathlessly reporting without checking up on things first.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Agreed.   Here are some of the highlights:

 

  • Middlemore Hospital continues to function, including its highly regarded intensive care and burns units. Would such services continue were sewage really seeping down the walls as implied?
  • no one in authority seems to have been told about the alleged sewage or even the alleged extent of leaky buildings
  • just two-and-a-half weeks ago, new Health Minister David Clark and local MP Louisa Wall also denied being told about the watertightness issue, let alone the "sewage-in-the-walls" story
  • Counties Manukau District Health Board (CMDHB) didn't mention the issue when it presented to Parliament's health select committee in February
  • this week, former CMDHB chair Lee Mathias told RNZ she didn't know about leaking sewage.
  • The Government also confirms that Middlemore's building problems can be fixed for just $27.5 million, less than 0.28 per cent of its $9.9 billion capital allowance for the next three years and a fraction of $298m spent on Middlemore's new Clinical Services Block.
  • CMDHB also planned to spend $8.6m this financial year extending its innovation hub but not $7.3m to re-clad its children's hospital. Its capital budget has been significantly underspent

JimmyH:

 

It is starting to smell like a political beat-up, which the media are breathlessly reporting without checking up on things first.

 

 

Yes - and an incredibly poorly-executed beat-up at that.  No surprises there.

 

 

Yes - and from the previous article

 

"Now the nature of Government is you always get unexpected expenses. This is why Governments normally allow $1.5 billion a year or so of operational allowances to cater for unexpected expenses. The problem Labour has is that they have pre-allocated almost all of their future operational allowances – this is the point Steven Joyce was trying to make.

 

"The mould issue at Middlemore is not a hugely expensive one. An estimate I’ve seen is it might cost $25 million to fix. The Government spends over $70 billion a year.

 

"The previous Government had huge unexpected expenses. $20 billion or so on the Christchurch earthquakes. Hundreds of millions on Kaikoura. Pike River. The Rena cost $50 million etc. To have Labour cry shock and horror because one DHB has an unanticipated expense just shows how unused to governing they are."

 

 


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  Reply # 1995446 13-Apr-2018 12:52
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StructureDr:

 

"The previous Government had huge unexpected expenses. $20 billion or so on the Christchurch earthquakes. Hundreds of millions on Kaikoura. Pike River. The Rena cost $50 million etc. To have Labour cry shock and horror because one DHB has an unanticipated expense just shows how unused to governing they are."

 

 

Especially ironic given how much Cullen paid for Kiwirail and, by some accounts, deliberately spent down the surplus in the 2008 budget because the writing was on the wall. All the while not thinking to raise beneficiary payments that hadn't been lifted for years.


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