The mandarins are running amok.
One bunch of tossers – literally, in this case – can be found at Housing New Zealand.
The effect of their refusal to budge on one of their oh-too-precious points of principle is to toss out a tenant’s much-loved dog.
She pleads she wants her dog back and is scared she will be robbed without it to protect her.
Fair to say, Manurewa resident Nga Behekite was given a bit of time – but not much – to deal with the bureaucrats’ rigid stance.
She had lived with a dog in the same state home for 13 years but was told she would be evicted if Spiky was not removed from the premises because she had never sought permission to have a pet.
Behekite was given until the end of Queen’s Birthday Weekend to find a new home for her dog.
Since then Housing New Zealand has refused to change its stance.
Stephanie Rolfe, acting manager tenancy services for East and South Auckland, said HNZ would not allow the dog to live on the property.
“Ms Behekite signed a tenancy agreement with HNZ which stated that pets or other animals could not be kept at the property she was renting without the corporation first agreeing in writing.
“As Ms Behekite did not seek permission to keep a dog at the property, she was therefore in breach of her tenancy agreement and has now removed her dog as requested by Housing New Zealand.”
And there we have it.
It’s not that dogs are prohibited.
It’s that you have to beg the mandarins for permission.
Behekite says she has fostered Spiky out to a couple who contacted her when they read of her plight.
She visits Spiky daily to feed him – but she wants him back.
The only way that will happen – thanks to the bureaucrats’ refusal to budge – is for Beheikite to do the budging and move elsewhere.
Then on to the next mob of manic mandarins.
This lot can be found in the Auckland Council, according to this report at Stuff.
Smoking could be banned across much of Auckland including town centres, pedestrian malls and at council-run events if a strict smoke-free policy is adopted by the Auckland Council.
A report to this week’s Parks Recreation and Heritage Forum recommends the non-regulatory smoke-free policy initially be limited to council-controlled open spaces such as parks, reserves, skate parks, playgrounds and sports fields, but says over time its scope would be extended to other public places and events.
Alf has no urge to smoke.
But he recognises that some people do enjoy smoking (or have become addicted).
And he is sure the health damage done by a smoker in a park is around zero.
Yep. Smokers might throw their butts away.
But we have environmental laws to cover that.
We also have nobody to police the environmental laws, and so people throw their rubbish away anyway, which makes those laws more than somewhat pointless.
Bans on smoking in public parks are likely to be no more effective which perhaps explains why a non-regulatory ban – whatever that means – is being proposed.
But it gives the busy-body bureaucrats something to keep their feverish minds exercised, eh?
And it gives their bloody employers the idea they are being gainfully employed and therefore entitled to a publicly provided pay packet. .
Councillors will vote for or against the development of the smoke-free policy at the aforementioned Parks Recreation and Heritage Forum and pass matters on to the Regional Development and Operations Committee.
The health benefits?
The bureaucrats haven’t actually identified any, other than hoping to discourage people from taking up smoking, which might then result in health problems.
Nope. This one is all about social engineering.
The report lists the benefits of a ban in town centres, pedestrian malls and streetscapes as de-normalising smoking, reducing cigarette butt litter and reducing exposure of children to smoke.
However, it says it may drive smokers to cluster in certain areas, would be difficult to implement and may not be supported by the business community.
Then we come to the ACC.
The mandarins there don’t know when to wave the surrender flag.
The other day ACC maintained it had been right to lay a complaint with police in the Bronwyn Pullar case, despite the police announcing no charges will be laid.
But chairman John Judge said the board had full confidence in the ACC’s chief executive and the managers who dealt with Ms Pullar.
He has also said he remained satisfied the version of the meeting reported by the ACC managers was “a complete and accurate” account.
The background has been well canvassed.
The ACC mandarins reckoned Ms Pullar wanted her benefit guaranteed for two years after an ACC staffer inadvertently sent her details of thousands of claimant cases in an email.
They further claimed Ms Pullar threatened to release the emails to the media unless her benefit demands were met.
Allegations of blackmail, no less, but as TV3 reports here –
“After careful consideration of the evidence now available and a separate legal review of the facts we have determined that no offence has been disclosed,” said assistant police commissioner Malcolm Burgess.
The police also decided against looking further into a meeting last December of ACC managers and Ms Pullar at which they said she made threats to reveal the emails to the media.
Alf reads today that Ms Pullar and her friend Michelle Boag, a former National Party president, popped up on telly last night and rebutted corporation claims she had threatened to use private information of almost 7000 ACC claimants to help further her own ACC claim.
She had been smart enough to record the meeting.
Last night, TV3’s 60 Minutes interviewed Ms Pullar and played part of the recording showing she made no such threat. The link between the accidentally released information and its possible use by Ms Pullar in the media was made by one of two ACC staff members in the meeting.
“The fact is the meeting was totally about getting Bronwyn back to work,” Ms Boag told TV3. “It was nothing to do with [getting more money from] ACC.”
This has given the bloody Greens fresh ammunition for assailing the Government and insisting we get rid of the ACC chairman.
Green Party ACC spokesperson Kevin Hague issued a statement to say the 60 Minutes item concerning ACC’s interactions with Bronwyn Pullar had highlighted the need for the Minister to act decisively to restore public trust and confidence in the organisation.
“The further revelations about shonky assessment and claims handling practices, and lack of integrity at the highest levels means that, at the very least, the ACC Minister should remove John Judge as ACC Chair.
“I know, from the people who contact my office, that these are far from isolated incidents.”
But Alf would look further down the pecking order for the mandarins he would sack.