Monday, 16 January 2012

It's a mistake

Things that shouldn't have happened are one of my themes, and there have been quite a few recently.  I'll look at some of the less serious ones in this post (and hopefully avoid any obvious politicking).
First, the Costa Concordia.  I can't for the life of me imagine how this could have happened.  People have been navigating the waters around Italy for thousands of years, it seems unlikely the rocks just sprung up all of a sudden, and even really big ships can be sailed to avoid known rocks.  It's difficult to think of a good explanation of how this was "just an accident".
Incidentally, the Costa Concordia is almost three times the length and about 25 times the displacement of the NZ Navy's frigates.  Huge.
Second, the swap your HOP debacle, which is on the Herald website but mysteriously absent from the HOP card website.  It looks like bad marketing, and bad planning, though the always good Auckland Transport blog provides a thoughtful explanation.  Auckland Transport can explain that the cost is only in the order of hundreds of thousands of (public) dollars, but it looks a lot like polishing a turd.  Even if it is only hundreds of thousands out of a budget in the hundred million mark.
Third, the subject of dollar comparisons is interesting.  A few days ago it was reported that there had been $22 million of benefit fraud in 2010/11.  Today it was reported that five people associated with SCF are being prosecuted for a fraud that is an order of magnitude larger (and a judge will decide on their innocence or guilt - I have not formed an opinion on the matter).  Does anyone believe the government's next crack-down being on corporate fraudsters, rather than benefit fraud?  I could offer odds.

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