Tuesday 1 February 2022

Good on Kiri

Minister Kiri Allan stomped on this when she found out about it. Good.

But what does it tell us about what our public sector thinks is important?

Do you feel "part of the web of life", asked a Department of Conservation survey that was meant to track the effectiveness of some $500 million of spending through a make-work scheme. The survey, which has since been dropped, asked workers a range of disjointed, personal questions that ranged from gauging their connectedness to the earth to estimating how safe they felt making online transactions.

In many cases, participants were asked how much they agreed or disagreed with a range of statements. Questions which focused on the natural world asked participants to consider their feelings about statements including:

• "I feel as though I belong to the Earth as equally as it belongs to me."

• "Like a tree can be part of a forest, I feel embedded within the broader natural world."

• "I often feel part of the web of life."

• "I feel that all inhabitants of Earth, human, and nonhuman, share a common 'life force."

As far as the public service was concerned, these were important benefits of the enviro-jobs make-work project, undertaken in what turned out to be a labour shortage. 

It isn't some isolated thing. Remember how StatsNZ was treating this all a couple years ago.

The eventual public sector purge of this kind of woo, come a suitable change in government, will not be a small job. 

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