Ministry for Inappropriate Names

Monty Python made famous a Ministry of Silly Walks. Perhaps there’s a need for a Ministry of Inappropriate Names.

Ministry of Slackers and Layabouts?

Ministry of Old Farts?

Ministry of the Crippled and Sickly?

Stuff: Planned ‘Ministry for Vulnerable Children’ labelled “stigmatising” and “cripplingly disappointing”

A week into his new role as Children’s Commissioner, Andrew Becroft described the mooted name for CYF’s replacement “cripplingly disappointing”.

Child Youth and Family (CYF) is being shut down and will be completely replaced by a new agency by April next year.

While “Ministry for Vulnerable Children” is expected to be the new name for the department, this has not been finalised by Cabinet.

“I understand no decision has been made but regarding the name mentioned [Ministry for Vulnerable Children] … the response from me and the office and indeed most of the sector that I’ve spoken to is entirely negative,” Becroft said. 

My response is entirely negative too. That’s an awful name for a Ministry. A negative name.

I hope the Cabinet has enough sensible Ministers to veto this name and insist on something sensible.

I didn’t think changing a name would change a Ministry but changing to a name like this would be a distinct change for the worse.

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50 Comments

  1. Kitty Catkin

     /  28th July 2016

    Why not leave the name as it is ? it’s a nice little acronym and everyone knows it.

    Reply
    • Corky

       /  28th July 2016

      Use your huge intellect, Kitty, and give us a profile of the person(s) who created this hideous shingle to be hung out the front of every so named agency up and down the country.

      1- All earning over $100.000. Probably a lot more.
      2- ?
      3-?

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  28th July 2016

        Shingle ? How American.

        It could well have been someone who’s already there, and probably was, I imagine.

        It’s a clumsy and uneuphonic name. I don’t see it as stigmatising-everyone knows what CYF’s for-so much as emotive.

        Vulnerable ? Does that mean vulnerable in a medical sense ? It could be anything.

        Reply
        • Corky.

           /  28th July 2016

          American? Your Indian doctor doesn’t have his shingle up?

          Reply
      • Corky.

         /  28th July 2016

        2- Live in a leafy suburb.
        3- Talk incessantly about their trip to the Cook Islands for Beckies wedding ( its the in-thing)
        4- Wouldn’t know a Maori except for the Treaty of Waitangi refresher courses most government departments must do every few years

        Reply
  2. Gezza

     /  28th July 2016

    I am reminded of the ill fated & short-lived Ministry for Picking Up Pinecones.

    Reply
  3. MaureenW

     /  28th July 2016

    Maybe they’re looking for a downturn in business .. anyone who approaches them is signalling that their children are vulnerable, which is not necessarily the case. Horrible name, some genius probably got plenty for coming up with that one.

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  28th July 2016

      It was more likely to have been someone in the department.

      I would have thought that, by definition, a CYFs child was vulnerable-but there’s no need to rub their noses in it. CYF is neutral, it’s an acronym like WINZ, and everyone knows what it means and what it’s for.

      I can’t think why anyone would approach CYF about a child who wasn’t vulnerable or at risk.

      They could call it MARC; Ministry (for) At Risk Children. CYF isn’t a Ministry, I suppose, it’s a department.

      Reply
  4. Seriously? The name is wrong?

    Bejesus kids up and down this country of all race and creed are being ill treated by pond scum and Ministry for vulnerable Children is not appropriate?

    Its close to the right title for these kids position – they are vulnerable and in many cases abused. Call it what it is

    Why are people complaining – because it makes them uncomfortable to acknowledge the effin horrible situation that endless decades of hand wringing haven’t fixed and may well have made it worse???

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  28th July 2016

      No! Because it’s been pissed around with so bloody much – 14 restructurings since it started in 1992 – it’s probably now completely rooted & whatever decent staff have stuck with it have probably had their heads almost done in by short-funding, short-term idiots on huge salaries being put in charge, shorted out processes & systems & short-staffing.

      https://yournz.org/2016/07/28/open-forum-thursday-89/#comment-120822

      It doesn’t matter what they freakin call it, what matters is that it gets a chance to do its bloody job without being done over every 5 minutes.

      Reply
      • Its broken. It has been for awhile. Give the new set up a chance to settle.

        I agree constant jerking around of the set up isn’t the best way to get high performance… but bleating about a name ffs is just crap.

        Reply
        • It’s a crap name. Getting a reasonable name sorted is pretty basic stuff.

          I very much doubt it will stay as suggested.

          Reply
          • Really its a crap name? Why because its in your face and confronting? Are the children not Vulnerable that the agency will be seeking to help?

            Whats a better name? ‘Ministry for Family conferences, not hurting feelings and letting kids die or not reach their potential’ HQ situated 3 Bowen Street?

            Reasonable is no longer the answer to the problem of kids being maltreated, bashed and stunt in their potential.

            Time for a blunt name and a head on approach to calling the various problems underlying the situation squarely what they are regardless of how unreasonable that sounds. Name the problems properly, then address them with a zeal to reduce the problem to as close to zero as humanly possible.

            Reply
  5. Blazer

     /  28th July 2016

    the Ministry for Child Protection…M.C.P…The Ministry for Child Advancement,so many options.The word vulnerable suggests they are not protected.

    Reply
    • I reckon they actually got it right with WINZ, Work & Income NZ, because it is at once informative and simultaneously a form of ‘positive reframing’, catchy and memorable, with that additional integrated ‘NZ’ built-in.

      Child Well Being NZ or something? I think the ministry should be targeted at Family Safety and Healthy Relationships, with Childrens’ Welfare as their key indicator and primary focus.

      Reply
      • Reminds me a bit of Transfield’s ‘rebranding’ or ‘greening’ as Broadspectrum …

        There’s something ‘unwise’ about Ministry for Vulnerable Children? It just doesn’t look good or feel right and, like BS, it doesn’t abbreviate well … MVC.

        Our Future NZ maybe? OFNZ … pronounced OVinZz …

        Reply
  6. patupaiarehe

     /  28th July 2016

    Why bother rebranding it at all? Are they trying to attract new ‘customers’ ???

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  28th July 2016

      Rebranding is a disease that has been infecting the Public Service & been unable to be eradicated ever since the Richardson Administration. The original source of infection, and still the place which seems to have the highest and most long-lived rate of infection, is the State Services Commissariat.

      Reply
      • patupaiarehe

         /  28th July 2016

        A bit like the stupid ‘safety reminder’ roadsigns I see every time I drive over the Kaimai ranges. Call me cynical, but it makes me wonder who in the NZTA is related to a signwriter….

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  28th July 2016

          I counted 16 orange cones outside the Porirua Harvey Norman’s when I went there to collect the batteries for my Uniden Twin-Portable Phones for my Digital Answering Machine system yesterday.

          Painters were working on an elevating work platform. The cones excluded disabled people from using the Disabled Parks. The painters had obviously long since finished working there and were way down the far end – but the cones were still there. I thought of Al & his fence. 🙂

          Actually, big ups to Harvey Norman though. My ansaphone system’s great but it’s 10 years old now. Noel Leeming couldn’t give a toss that they didn’t have the batteries in stock. Harvey Norman didn’t either, but Mohammed said he’d order them in for me if I gave a commitment to buy them once he did so. He said it would take about a week & rang me yesterday morning – 8 days later – to say they were there. $25 each.

          So Harvey Norman will be getting business & referrals from me.

          Reply
          • patupaiarehe

             /  28th July 2016

            Well there you go G. Real evidence that not all guys named Mohammed are bad buggers 😉 . Goodnight e hoa, I GTG

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  28th July 2016

              Ma te wa. Never said they were. Only their religion is. And for all we know he’s an atheist,agnostic, or a Christian – you don’t have to change your name to become one of those. You just don’t dare tell anyone you have in a Muslim country.

          • Blazer

             /  29th July 2016

            a good aussie company eh Gezza,along with the 4 main banks….helping us with our biggest export….billions of profits for overseas interests.

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  29th July 2016

              Yup. They employ a lot of kiwis though. (I wonder where the cones are made now.) If you’re happy to take out a stupdendously massive loan & buy out their NZ stores I’ll be very happy to send you a congratulatory email & further customer referrals, Blaze – as long as you don’t bugger them all up not knowing what the hell you’re doing once you’ve acquired them.

            • Blazer

               /  29th July 2016

              was going to buy out another Aussie icon…Dick Smith…..got there too late!BOL.

            • Gezza

               /  29th July 2016

              Timing is everything.

            • Blazer

               /  29th July 2016

              apparantly they employed…alot of…kiwis too…and rinsed shareholders .

            • Gezza

               /  29th July 2016

              Are you annoyed because they beat you to it? o_O

            • Blazer

               /  29th July 2016

              you may admire thinly disguised fraudulent behaviour …I do not.

            • Gezza

               /  29th July 2016

              Well of course I don’t but what I want to know is what you are going to do about it instead of bashing your gums here.

            • Blazer

               /  29th July 2016

              I find that post of yours quite offensive and not at all in the impotent spirit that is a hallmark of inter active forums and those that inhabit them. What excuse can you offer for your prescence apart from unrequited love of an aging spinster?

            • Gezza

               /  29th July 2016

              prescence. Presence.

              1. What excuse can you offer for your prescence …
              The need to correct your spelling when Kitty is otherwise preoccupied with weightier matters.

              2. … apart from unrequited love of an aging spinster?
              You are sorely mistaken. I do not find you in the least bit attractive. :/

            • Blazer

               /  29th July 2016

              ahhh…spelling errors the refuge of the desperate….and just to be sure…

              Are you Nan enough? This is the early-release full version of Spinster – A Cat Lady Game……enjoy…Bol…

            • Gezza

               /  29th July 2016

            • Gezza

               /  29th July 2016

              Poor wee thing Blazer. Because you appear to be an entirely humourless, impotent, bitter, obsessive, unoriginal ranter who is almost certainly single & likely for these reasons to forever remain so – you are clearly incapable of understanding the finer points of humour & warmth with which those of a more generous disposition towards the differences of viewpoint & character of others choose to engage without there being any intention by any of them of forming some kind or romantic or other association beyond enjoying friendly discourse.

              I feel sorry for you.

            • Blazer

               /  29th July 2016

              hilarious geeza..look in the mirror before you try psychological profiling…your posts scream for succour,and you are not fit to judge me ..or anyone else,Lemon juice on your weetbix is not the way to start ..the day.

            • Gezza

               /  29th July 2016

              I’m not judging you Blazer. I’m just sharing my opinion and thanking you for yours.

  7. What about ‘The Ministry of TOTALLY outdated & inappropriate drugs policy’ ?

    Oh that’s right.. Dunne already runs that one ! 😦

    Reply
  8. Zedd

     /  29th July 2016

    heres another ‘The Ministry of wasting tax-payer millions on a Flag referendum’ 😦

    Reply
  9. Zedd

     /  29th July 2016

    what about several ‘Ministers of BLUFF, BLUSTER & B-S’ ?

    the whole front row of ‘Team Key’ ! 😀

    Reply
  10. @ Gezza – “Rebranding is a disease that has been infecting the Public Service & been unable to be eradicated ever since the Richardson Administration … The original source of infection … is the State Services Commissariat.”

    An oldspeak description ‘newspeak’, eh Gezza? You still speak the lingo. Language like this will eventually have to be preserved like te reo is now, because rebranding is ‘revisionism’.

    How many companies have appeared since ‘1984’ with claims like ‘Established 1892’ or ‘Serving Kiwis for 130 years’ and you’ve never heard of them before!!!

    The scourge or ‘contagion’ of neoliberalism, being an unnatural thing, had to be ‘sold’ to us on so many levels, and (as far as I know), for the first time during a change in fundamental political ideology – which was inevitably destined to toss the baby [a whole way-of-life] out with the bathwater [a slightly soiled nappy-wash economics] – the media were used in the most universal sense possible: Especially the media of television advertising: Maximum manipulation. It was our socio-economic-political equivalent of the Vietnam War … full throttle … fully televised.

    Those fu%king BNZ commercials!

    Rustic Farm Bank Consultant. “That’s a great fence that is mate”

    Farmer. “Yep, not a bad fence … [Can’t afford to repair the fu%ken thing any more]”

    RFBC. “Yep, and I just nailed up your ‘Mortgagee Sale’ notice to it mate”

    Since then the spread of this disease has been unrelenting, as we all know, ranging across an ever faster internet to inhabit social media ‘hosts’ and contaminate consecutive generations of new devices …

    Reply
    • @ Gezza – If, as I read on their website, the role of the State Services Commissioner is to “provide leadership and over-sight of the State services so as to ensure the purpose of this Act [State Sector Amendment Act 2013] is carried out …”, then surely their job is connecting state bureaucracy with current government policy? Continuity?

      They’re following orders, surely? [I wonder if each successive government ‘updates’ the Act?]

      Conclusion: Their orders are to “spread the infection” and the infection comes from higher up …

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  29th July 2016

        It has come from the SSC’s reponse to the diktat from the time of the Richardson Administration to “professionalise” and “corporatise” the Public Service, which was itself based on the theory that slashing budgets and introducing an inappropriate Corporate Model into the Public Service this would force them to become more efficient, PZ.

        As a result of this flawed Government thinking, successive new governments now have no conception of the Public Service ever having operated in any way that is different.

        And in fact, for a significant number of departments, it has – quite obviously to their ‘clients’ – had exactly the reverse effect.

        However, because the State Services Commission and Senior Executive Service is now more or less entirely staffed with people who only get appointed if they parrot this line, and spout the latest meaningless jargon from whatever is the flavour of the day management model or theory doing the rounds, and they naturally appoint lieutenants who do the same thing, we’re stuck with what we’ve got. Which is not pretty.

        Reply
        • Nice elaboration there old chap. It sounds like the Old Boys Club has closed forever?
          Can’t expect the neoliberal Thought Police to recruit socially-minded staff, can you, eh?

          But now there’s these ‘signs of subterfuge’ within certain industries, eg corporate image consultants, a glimmer of hope that humanity might return to the State Sector.

          They are, presumably, Kiwi Guy’s “Social Justice Warrior infiltrators” showing themselves and linking across the media? Their first encoded messages in the prelude to a neosocial values “revolution”?

          How deliciously ironic that it should emerge from the cesspool of social manipulation, “advertising” …

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  29th July 2016

            I found it intensely frustrating to watch the last department I worked in get destroyed by endless restructuring PZ. And I mean, really destroyed. I don’t want to go into detail but it got utterly wrecked by a whole succession of short-term nincompoops put in charge.

            The intelligent people with the get up and go all eventually just got up and went. Including me, although my departure was more driven by the necessity of needing to take care of my wife who had reached the point where she required 24 hour care. What prompted my leaving when I did, though, was the realisation the entire department in which I was working was going to implode. I thought it would happen within 3 months but in fact it took a year. When it did implode it was rather spectacular & I was really glad I was no longer there.

            Reply

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