National criticise 'incompetent handling' of CTO job offer, then retraction

National have hit out at the $100,000 sting for the taxpayers over the "incompetent handling" of the chief technology officer role, after the position was scrapped by the Government. 

National's State Services spokesperson Nick Smith said the role was budgeted at costing over $500,000 per year, but an offer to Derek Handley was then retracted by the Government. 

"The process around appointing a CTO has been a shambles from the beginning," he said. "It involved secret meetings and emails, the resignation of Minister Clare Curran and now we're paying Derek Handley around $100,000 for a job he never even started.

"The Government should apologise to taxpayers for wasting their money and Mr Handley for wasting his time."

Today the Government confirmed it put a "full stop" on the process of CTO, and the new Digital Services Minister Megan Woods confirmed Mr Handley would be paid out $107,500.

Greg Boyed talks to tech entrepreneur Derek Handley about his continued interest and investment in New Zealand – and his fellowship for exceptional young Kiwis.
Source: Q+A

"As the new Minister I have asked officials to review the CTO role and provide advice on the best ways to drive a forward-looking digital agenda for New Zealand," she said. 

Mr Handley wrote in a statement he and his family "decided not to accept the settlement money personally and instead donate the net proceeds towards a fund that supports ideas, programs and grants that seek to tackle this societal issue in creative ways. I welcome collaboration from all communities on how we may do that".

The latest developments come after MP Clare Curran was stripped of her position as Minister for Government Digital Services after not disclosing a meeting with Mr Handley previously.

A delegation from GM-free Hastings met with the Environment Minister over reforms they say will destroy their export markets.
Nelson MP Nick Smith. Source: 1 NEWS



Government to loan $339 million for Auckland housing infrastructure

Auckland Council is getting a $339 million government loan to enable 7000 houses to be built in the north-west of the city.

The interest free 10-year loan will go towards major infrastructure projects in Redhills and Whenuapai.

Auckland mayor Phil Goff said it will deliver new roads, wasterwater infrastructure, bus and cycle lanes.

This will allow developers to quickly build housing on greenfields land.

Housing Minister Phil Twyford said the developments would be near the planned light rail line and be supported by growth at the Westgate commercial centre, providing local services and employment opportunities.

He said the investment promoted one of the city's more affordable areas.

QV estimates properties in west Auckland average $824,000 compared to over $1m city-wide, he said.

rnz.co.nz

Housing Minister Phil Twyford is now weighing up his options.
Source: 1 NEWS

TODAY'S
TOP STORIES

NZ First bill to give police power to hand out on the spot fines to shoplifters

New Zealand First are in favour of introducing legislation that will see police be able to hand out on-the-spot fines to shoplifters.

A member's bill submitted by Law and Order spokesperson Darroch Ball is aiming to curb the described 'shoplifting epidemic', estimated to cost retailers over $1 billion in 2017 alone.

A 2017 survey from Retail NZ and Otago University found that retailers did not report 68 per cent of shoplifting, because they did not expect an adequate response from authorities.

"Currently, any formal prosecutions for shoplifting are time-consuming and costly as they must go before the courts, where the only punishments available are either custodial sentences or fines handed down by a judge," Mr Ball said in a statement.

"This bill shortcuts the litany of red tape, going straight to a scheme of proportional fines. It also sends the clear message that offenders will not get away with it."

Police would have the power to hand out a minimum $150 instant fine or a fine of "one and a half times" the value of the goods stolen, whichever is greatest.  

The proposed bill would only allow for two infringements, with a third seeing an offender prosecuted in court.

A police emblem on the sleeve of an officer.
A police emblem on the sleeve of an officer. Source: 1 NEWS


Topics

TODAY'S
FEATURED STORIES

Michael Hill hires new CEO as jewellery chain looks to expand

Jewellery chain Michael Hill has hired Specialty Fashion's Daniel Bracken as chief executive after current CEO Phil Taylor quit to deal with health problems.

Mr Bracken, a former Myer deputy chief executive who oversaw Specialty Fashion's well-received sale of the Katies, Millers, Crossroads, Autograph and Rivers retail brands, will join Michael Hill in November.

Michael Hill said today that Mr Taylor, who has worked at the company for more than three decades, has been diagnosed with a health issue and resigned to focus on treatment and recovery.

Mr Taylor led Michael Hill's recent exit from its loss-making US business and closed most of its ailing Emma & Roe stores to refocus on the core Michael Hill brand.

"Phil's leadership during his period as chief executive has been outstanding in what has been a period of recalibration and repositioning for the company," chair Emma Hill said in a statement.

Ms Hill said Mr Bracken's international experience with Burberry London will be valuable as Michael Hill plans to open a minimum of 10 new stores in Australia, New Zealand and Canada in the current financial year.

"Daniel's global experience and strong commitment to create engaged customer centric brands is aligned with the board's commitment to see Michael Hill become a globally relevant leader in the premium jewellery category," Ms said.

Melbourne, Australia - August 24, 2017: A pedestrian walks past a Michael Hill jewelry store at the corner of Little Collins and Elizabeth Streets in the Central Business District of Melbourne, Australia.
Michael Hill jeweller. Source: istock.com


Why can we smell the rain before it actually arrives? A weather expert explains

Some say it's a stony smell, others say sweet. But we all know what it is: That distinctive earthy scent in the air just before and after fresh rain.

It's a phenomenon called petrichor, and we're instinctually programmed to love it, MetService meteorologist Georgina Griffiths told TVNZ1's Breakfast today as she answered a question from a viewer.

"A lot of people can't describe it but they actually really like it," she said. "And it's historical, we have an affection for this smell because originally it was survival. We relied on rain to live."

The smell, which is especially distinctive when the rain is just about to break a dry spell, is the result of oil in rocks that becomes an aerosol when humidity in the atmosphere reaches just about the same point that causes rain, she said.

The term petrichor, a reference to the blood of Greek gods, was coined by Australian scientists in 1964 who did a series of studies about what caused the smell.

"Basically, they tested in the lab -- they steamed distilled rocks from the Australian outback or somewhere nice and dry to see what would happen," she said. "And they identified what the smell was. It was actually a yellow oil that came out of the rocks."

Since then, some enterprising amateur geologists have tried to bottle the oil in attempts to make money off our natural affinity for the smell, Ms Griffiths said.

"I'm not sure if they were successful," she said.

MetService meteorologist Georgina Griffiths looks at the science behind the smell we’re instinctually programmed to love. Source: Breakfast