So, when State Agencies aren’t spying on us, they are spinning to us…
The rise and rise of PR in the public sector
Last September five staff were seriously assaulted on the mental health ward at Taranaki Base Hospital. The district health board (DHB) kept a lid on the incident until media found out in December.
In response to enquires the DHB confirmed, via email, a staff member had received a laceration requiring stitches to her top lip, and other staff received bruises.
But the assaults were more serious than that. The incident had resulted in criminal charges being laid – five counts of injures with intent to injure.
When clarification was sought as to how a cut lip and bruising had resulted in such charges the DHB changed its response to include significant bruising, swelling, concussion and suspected cracked ribs. Their first answer, which minimised the incident, was a “high level summary of the injuries” they said.
So their first response wasn’t untrue. But neither was it what you might describe as the truth. It was an answer put through the public relations wringer.
…the neoliberal state agencies know they can keep their Minister’s on a leash AS LONG AS nothing bad gets picked up by the media and exposes their Minister to a roasting, so withholding and spinning information to keep the media blind is essential.
When you consider the vast power these State Agencies now have to spy on you, seize your property, seize information, damage your reputation, seperate you from family etc etc etc, you would think cheques and balances to that power were essential.
The truth is those checks and balances are barely there.
Spinning and deceiving the media, spying on anyone their deem a threat and underfunding the Human Rights Tribunal so that when there is a breach of your rights there is no money to actually prosecute cases means the State is becoming the number one abuser of human rights in NZ.
We have become a Banana Republic built on avocados.