Almost 20 years back a Finnish Government office-worker sat undisturbed for 2 full days amid his colleagues, despite being dead.

Commenting on this recent revelation Britain’s Daily Telegraph noted that his absence of activity had no effect on the Department’s output and was testimony to modern day growth in office non-jobs. Bear in mind also, that Finland is held up as the example of efficiency and fresh thinking in so many activities and specially education.

Is this possible in New Zealand Government offices? The answer is yes, at least in respect of nonsense jobs of which there are vast numbers.

My company owns 20 prime location Wellington office-buildings which include numerous Government agencies. A few years back in my library I said to Trevor Mallard, “There are government agencies I’ll wager you’ve never heard of”.

“Rubbish”, Trevor declared and as one of the longest experienced MPs and Ministers he genuinely believed I was talking nonsense.

So having gained his assurance he’d do nothing about it, which he readily gave feeling safe in his belief, I pulled out our building tenancy schedules. I won’t go into details but he was flabbergasted at what they revealed.

Note though that on the other side of the coin I’m also aware of some Government departments and agencies which are massively under-staffed. I also know of senior personnel in some Departments who hit the office at 6am and earlier, to try and get through their work-load uninterrupted before the rest of the staff arrive. This also applies to the capital’s private sector. Testimony of this is we have coffee-house tenancies which open at 5am and close shop about 3pm.

Their target market are the hundreds of senior management personnel who work long hours and come in early. While most of us are lying in bed or whatever, there’s quite a lively scene going on in the CBD.

ACT have signaled out 3 Government Agencies they want to close.

One is Women’s Affairs. That was created back during the Rogernomics reforms as a sop to the anguish of Labour’s traditional supporters.

I vividly remember TVNZ3 News item on this. Shown through the new offices by the newly created Department Head, it revealed a number of middle-aged smiling fat woman with no paper on their desk, pertinent in those pre-computer days.

“So what exactly will the Department do?” the TV interviewer asked the Head. I treasure the memory of her response, specifically that they’d written to diverse organisations asking for suggestions. I used that incident to send them up in my 2002 satirical novel “Degrees For Everyone”.

Recently, the office-block in which their premises are located came on market. For a number of sound reasons we decided not to buy it, so as occurs everywhere it was duly sold to German investors who are suckers for off-shore bad commercial property.

That aside my chaps reported that when they inspected it, the circa 6,000sq ft whole floor occupied by this bogus outfit at a rental cost and God knows how much for salaries, to taxpayers of $252,000pa. was filled with desks, mostly unoccupied. Perhaps as in Finland two decades back some have died and no-one has noticed. But otherwise the explanation will be the bull-shit “Working from home”, which as numerous studies have shown, amounts to simply not working at all.

ACT is right to call an end to this ridiculous outfit . Their personnel will feel better actually working, such as in the desperately labour short Immigration Department and others.

ACT also want to close the ridiculous Human Rights outfit and its affiliate, the Race Relations office. Both are nonsensical. The only rights are legal ones; others are simply a wish-list.

As for the Race Relations office, now in the news thanks to the ineptitude of Meng Foong. I believe under his stewardship it’s done enormous harm to race relations. I put this down to his guilty conscience at having exploited vulnerable idiotic maori women welfare beneficiaries in Gisborne with his poker machine outfit in the city’s poorest districts some years earlier.







ACT on right track – but National will do nothing

Hmm. As a long serving civil servant, I can honestly say that I’ve never come upon a worker or department that was non productive – most of my colleagues and I had too much to do. My time was spent in maintaining telephone and computer networks, essential services by and large. But mind you, I’ve never worked in Wellington and I’ve never found anyone dead at work either, that I noticed. I do recall an NZPO fault-man, shirt off, lying in the sun whilst waiting for a cable-pair to be changed at the telephone exchange. When the subscriber saw him from the window, she had called the police and ambulance as she thought he’d fallen off the ladder on the phone pole.

Close the Army as well. Put the money in to Coastal search and rescue

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