Horowhenua Mail : January 26th 2012
6 THURSDAY, JANUARY 26, 2012 OPINION 4331004AA If you love your kids, youll love About Kids January & February Educator recruitment special- any new educators that join About Kids who have at least one child in care for over 20hours $100 In home Childcare About Kids offers your family: æ Affordable childcare for children from birth to 5 years æ Low child to adult ratio ¼ æ Flexible hours to suit working parents æ Daily journals and scrapbooks created to capture your childs learning æ Regular playgroups and excursions æ Certifed mini bus to ensure all children can attend events safely æ20hoursfor3and4yearolds About Kids will ensure families fnd an educator that suits their families needs 100% Come along to our free playgroups - everyone welcome Mondays 9-11am, Waikanae Plunket Rooms First Wednesday of the month, 9.30-11.30am, Manakau Plunket Rooms Contact Stevie on 06 364 2130 for an information pack or check out our new website www.inhomechildcare.co.nz educator profles displayed • Round Posts • Round Stays • Deer Posts • Strainers • Poles • Round Deer Posts For the BEST in POLES, POSTS and DOMESTIC FENCING MITCHPINE PRODUCTS LIMITED Foxton Road, Levin Phone 06 368 5252 www.mitchpine.co.nz Battens • Fence Palings • Sawn Posts • Sleepers • Decking • Domeloc Fencing • KP102293X/FR Joyce sets the tone with tough love TALKING POLITICS GORDON CAMPBELL Years ago, a colleague went hiking for a summer hol- iday and claimed that while on the Milford Track, he had spotted two figures approach- ing who looked oddly and disturbingly familiar. One, he said, was Prime Minis- ter Jim Bolger, and the other was Bolger's Finance Minister, Bill Birch. Besides the inescapability of politics, the story said something about just how spookily insepar- able Bolger and Birch seemed to be. Apparently, they walked the backwoods together, as well as the halls of power. Prime Minister John Key and his right-hand man, Steven Joyce, don't seem to be going on holidays together, but their political futures are just as entwined. His second term, Key indicated in December, would be all about jobs and economic growth and Joyce is the man being primed to deliver on both fronts. A self-made millionaire (in radio) by the age of 38, Joyce plainly relishes his role of delivering the hard but necess- ary'' brand of political messages. Just before Christmas, Joyce defined his task as being to get the public on side with plans that generate jobs, but may be other- wise unpopular.'' On his Beehive website, token attempts have been made at humanising the man. Evidently, Joyce owns a ret- rodoodle dog called Gemma, but that's about where the fluff begins and ends. For all of Joyce's ability and ambition, Birch will be a difficult National Party legend to surpass. Serially and (sometimes) simul- taneously, Birch was the Minister of Finance, Health, ACC, Immi- gration, State Services and Employment, among others. While Labour Minister, Birch introduced the Employment Con- tracts Act that radically liberalised the labour market and he also oversaw the privatisation of state assets. Joyce has been given similar tasks and an equal array of minis- terial levers to pull in unison -- Economic Development, Tertiary Education, Science and Inno- vation and Associate Finance. If he fails, it will not be through lacking the powers to succeed. Excuses will be in short supply, too. The global recession and Christchurch earthquakes will no longer pose the same distractions during the second term. Typically, Joyce has already set the tough love tone that we can expect to hear more of during the next three years. You can't wave a magic wand,'' he said recently. The only way [to create jobs] is to boost business confidence [and] boost people's confidence to go into business if they aren't there now. The only way you do that is to remove some of the roadblocks that are unnecessarily in their way, and do it with the wider per- mission of the population.'' Right. Yet New Zealand faces softening global markets and com- modity prices, and a weak dom- estic economy. Moreover, the trouble with Joyce's remove the roadblocks'' approach is that -- even in the mid 1990s -- corporate chieftains such as Sir Douglas Myers were telling Birch that business had already been given the tools it needed to succeed. The roadblocks of red tape, high tax rates, restrictive labour laws etc had all been removed and it was now up to business to deliver, Myers publicly claimed. Nearly 20 years later, that suc- cess still hasn't materialised. Joyce may need a magic wand -- if only to make our chronically under-performing business sector deliver the jobs necessary to make his own performance look any- thing like a success. LETTERS RULES We welcome your letters to the editor but they must contain the writer's name, address and phone number. Pseudonyms are not accepted. Letters longer the 200 words, or submitted to multiple publications, are unlikely to be printed. We reserve the right to edit for brevity or sense. Send to: Editor, Horowhenua Mail and Kapiti Observer, Box 110 Paraparaumu, fax 298 2073 or email editor@kapiti- observer.co.nz CONTINUED Page 7 Backwards with management speak Michael Tull's response to my letter (Letters, January 19) and to the excellent piece by your reporter was predictable management speak. The comments of the Trade Me booksellers he interviewed make it clear that NZ Post is looking after itself rather than its customers. Why should customers have to purchase NZ Post packaging? And if they don't why should a considerable service'' fee be added to the normal delivery price? Who dreamed that up to make more bucks at the customers' expense? The boxes aren't always tightly fitting for such as books, for example. Dave Grantham, like me, favours finding his own packaging and completing parcels at home. Why should we be penalised by having to make two trips to the Post Office and pay extra for that dubious privilege, Mr Tull? I don't care how many many sizes of box you offer because I don't wish to use any of them thank you. The option -- to pay an extra fee instead of buying sometimes useless NZ Post boxes -- is frankly outrageous. I wrote that NZ Post's overseas parcel deliveries are essentially a monopoly. Mr Tull is being cute in his denial. If all this nonsense from NZ Post comes to pass it will find that it has far fewer parcels to handle in the future, particularly small parcels of books, for example, and that will not help to grow the market''. Going forward'' with the brisk wind of management speak in the sails, NZ Post? Going backwards more likely. David Pirie Shannon Too many staff at council HQ At a time when the New Zealand economy is under considerable pressure with a flow on'' effect on the local economy, the Horowhenua District Council appear to be immune from the downturn. Currently a new customer service officer'' is being sought by the council's administration to join the already established customer services team in the Levin headquarters. The advertised position would appear to be a continuation of the increasing number of salaried staff being employed by the current chief executive and management team. With minimal current development within the Horowhenua district, questions really need to be asked by the elected representatives regarding increased HDC staff numbers, after all it is the district ratepayers who have to foot the bill for increased salaries, vehicle use and general expenses. With an approximate district population of around 30,000, I am sure it would be of interest to district ratepayers, the current salaried staff numbers and in particular the number of senior managers relative to the overall council staff numbers. With increased salaried staff numbers, the large modern council building will soon be full to overflowing. Bill Stirling Levin Not as simple as ducks and humans Gary Bigelow states the proposed expressway is a choice between ducks and humans. If only it was that simple, then we can all make the obvious decision and sleep easier in our beds. But it is not. Everyone on the coast agrees that we have a transport problem that needs to be sorted out. We all agree that better access will benefit all.
January 19th 2012
February 2nd 2012