Here comes the breathtaking incompetence from Waikato DHB hack 


Sweet Jesus, the incompetence at the Waikato DHB hack gets worse by the bloody day!

Ministry of Health abandoned cybersecurity system for Waikato and other DHBs due to budget issues

The Ministry of Health abandoned an effort to secure all district health board computer systems citing budget constraints.

The Government also has not followed through on its Cyber Security Strategy 2019which promised annual reports around cybersecurity breaches.

National Party’s health spokesman ​Shane Reti says the Government is not giving cybersecurity issues the urgent attention they deserve.

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Stuff has seen messages between IT industry vendors showing high-ranked Ministry of Health technology personnel discussing a more advanced cybersecurity system with the industry in 2019. Conversations ended because the department said it had no approved budget to pay for the proposed system.

So let’s get this straight.

The Ministry didn’t pay attention to the 2019 recommendations, didn’t implement anything after the Irish hack, looks like they’ve spent the cyber upgrade budget on something else, have risked every patients privacy and looks like their excuse of a staff member opening an email is bullshit.

Oh and it’ll take a year to fix while no one in the Government looks like they have any control of the situation.

The incompetence is breathtaking.

This needs an urgent national security review right now to asses what else is at risk and the compensation for such an egregious privacy breach will be in the hundreds of millions.

There will have to be an inquiry into this, and heads must roll.

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  1. So medical records and patient privacy is important now? So we won’t be handing over our deeply personal information to money grubbing tech monopolies, or entrusting our data to random security guards, small business or unelected ‘officials’ after all? Our health data is now more than a statistic to be leveraged for political gain or a weapon to be used against us if we don’t conform to the demands of a few ‘experts’?

    As an undergraduate I had to research the information risks of an organisation in a public setting and I placed cyber security at the top of my list. I was laughed at. Let’s hope then the authorities investigate this data theft as enthusiastically as they are investigating this fantasy of finding a two-year old Covid monster lurking in a wet market laboratory hospital tea room broom closet in China (or is the Covid lab leak theory just more ‘human shield’ propaganda, an information weapon of mass distraction?).

  2. AO/NZ has a ridiculous number of Spy Agencies, of “Security Services”. The combined cost of running all these agencies has to be in multi millions of dollars, paid for by all Kiwis.

    They are tasked with ONE JOB: To – Keep – Us – SAFE!

    After such a massive failure, WHY are we still paying them?

  3. The money the government gives to wealthy sociopaths that run corporatised sport -such as Americas Cup- has to come from somewhere.

    • A bit simplistic?
      Since the false Labour Govt of Lange in the 80s, policy has been to starve state sectors like Health, Education, etc, and feed wealth into the profiteering private sector. (And thence offshore in many cases.)
      Labour govts like Helen Clark’s and this one appear to be too timorous to do anything to reverse that trend.
      This government will achieve little by mere minor increases for beneficiaries.

      In talking about Health and Education funding, it needs to stop fudging figures, and refer to spending per person in the country while fully taking inflation and population growth into account. I am tired of false claims about how we are spending more dollars than ever before. These are inflated dollars spread more and more thinly over a growing population.

      And get rid of the huge Health bureaucracy that Bill English said we must avoid, but nevertheless introduced.

  4. I knew it. By saving pennies it cost them pounds. Who would have thought?

    It is so hard to have the slightest faith in our health system as it is obviously run by idiots and overseen by morons.

    Whoever the minister is or was must take the hit and resign because they were too incompetent to realize what most citizens do, having a computer without cyber security is unacceptable.

    This should be followed by a clean out of the Ministry of Health management from the top down.

    This coupled with the failure in mental health has destroyed what little credibility our health system had.

    This totally unnecessary disaster will cost lives so the usual buck passing and “we’ve learned from this” bullshit no longer cuts it.

  5. Andrew Little was very quick to blame National but it is obvious that the current government has not followed up on advice from their time in power . When it first happened it was going to be fixed by the weekend but I suppose they never said which weekend. It has to be remembered this is the same crowd who gave us the promisebof Kiwibuild and light rail in Auckland.

  6. “Public health” is NOT an anagram of “profit making business run by incompetent professional managerial class parasites”.

  7. Firstly this government and the country has zero understanding of the importance of IT.

    It is pretty much lip service to IT in NZ and paying vast sums for a thousand monkey type scenarios creating poor IT outcomes. NZ is wary of anybody who knows what they are doing in IT and is qualified and experienced.

    They then run into problems and become guinea pigs for private practise who start at $1 and then somehow it turns into millions with free data, no tenders and questionable motives.

    Peter Thiel’s Palantir charges NHS England £1 million for coronavirus ‘data store’

    Controversial ‘spy tech’ firm Palantir lands £23m NHS data deal

    Billionaire Peter Thiel makes fortune after ‘sweetheart’ deal with Government

    Thiel spent 12 days total in New Zealand before gaining citizenship, DIA says

  8. The problem is the amazing amounts of money private firms like Orion are taking from the health budget to deliver systems that give the dhb’s bugger all! We would have a great IT system if the money vaccuumed out by all the IT firms was used to train staff and operate an effective system

    • NZ is all over the place from giving money to Orion who don’t deliver, to getting a CTO who was never a CTO before and has no tech qualifications before embarrassingly firing them after a bizarre and lengthy recruitment process with a government recruitment company that did not specialise in IT. It worked out for Derek Hanley (whose job description on LinkedIn is stated as “Astronaut in Waiting, Virgin Galactic / Entrepreneur”,) because he got their lapsed NZ citizenship and family into NZ off it.

      Then in typical government style the government after not following through with the CTO role for government, then split the salary amongst 5 other people to do the job (possibly at least 2 were lawyers). Can you imagine any other career where you create such a botch up in the appointment and then offer a fraction of the salary to a committee to do someone’s professional role.

      It’s so mind blowingly bizarre – that having the DHB’s have virtually zero IT security after a talk fest on the subject seems normal in NZ.

    • That’s actually not the case, from being first hand in healthcare IT. Sweet fuck all is spent on IT in the health system, and as a result, they hire morons with little to no actual experience, and IT systems are almost always out of date, out of support, and full of security holes.

      Even worse, there is no appreciation for how to architect technology, and procure and run IT projects, with too much decision making left in the hands of doctors and / or the MoH bureaucracy. I once worked with some of the people in health IT at the MoH (and MoE) and they are without exception bottom of the barrel in talent and capability. And these fools make the major decisions. Sigh

  9. The Waikato mess just a symptom of a much larger problem, that Aotearoa’s Health, Education & Local Government has been allowed to fall under the control of greedy, uncommitted guestworkers.

    Most of these types imagine that they will head “back ‘ome” eventually, consequently have little or no personal investment in the long term viability of the organisations they were stupidly allowed to manage.
    The fact that grandchildren, reluctance to freeze their balls off & old age inertia likely means many won’t in fact piss off, doesn’t prevent the belief they will from encouraging them to choose short-term careerist (“The staff will just have to live with cuts”) options ahead of the more sensible, possible career obstructing calls which a manager whose entire whanau depends on quality health & education services would make.

    There is no way around that, which is why even now many nations require all senior staff to be citizens of the nation whose public is employing them & depending on them.

    The Waikato DHB has been an ongoing blot on Aotearoa health-care for at least two decades, yet the only thing that changes or moves is the revolving door of foreigner appointments to senior positions.
    ‘Health managers’ a by product of the decision to cost healthcare back in the 1980’s have grown fat off the burgeoning health management industry, yet health outcomes have barely improved, in some cases they have got worse.
    It is time for us all to bite the bullet and accept that industry growth via population increases obtained from immigration isn’t true growth & generally results in a productivity decrease.
    We need to develop our own Aotearoa focused education & training systems for those public & private sectors which are currently dependent on imported expertise.

    • +1 Debsisdead, “Aotearoa’s Health, Education & Local Government has been allowed to fall under the control of greedy, uncommitted guestworkers.”

      Sadly at some point in the management chain there is a leeching Kiwi like Jenny Shipley types so we can pretend NZ is still NZ run. To counter that they often have a woke Kiwi, as the ‘other voice’ advocating for more of the same but with a neokind face.

      Unfortunately any worker qualified and living in NZ, who point out the issues and who know what they are doing, often fails the cultural fit criteria or is deemed too expensive as most industries in NZ seek to save the pennies in IT, costing millions in the long run.

      Rod Drury much loved by the Natz, has business acumen but is well known as a tight wad, which is why Xero is always looking for staff and has difficulty retaining quality staff. But he is not the worst offender just somewhere in the middle….

      The top pay rates on many job search engines in NZ date from 15 years ago. Employment is so poor quality and insecure in NZ that salary in NZ is often really a contact rate. In addition often the top rate for IT is now so low it’s almost entry level for qualified people. Then employers bang on about how they can’t get anyone and have to search further a field. They attract foreign applicants who have no idea how low the salary is in real terms of living in NZ or will get paid peanuts to a few yearsto get NZ residency. Clearly that is not an ideal criteria for good work results going forward.

      It really is as simple as, low pay rates in NZ are not attracting and retaining those who have the skills and experience but won’t work for peanuts. In addition many organisations seem incapable of doing a proper recruitment process to find the best person industry so go after the faux IT candidates with excellent and (creative) marketing of their CV’s while real work slips through the cracks and eventually long term failure of keeping up, destroys everything.

      • the real money in IT is in contracting. salaried workers are constantly screwed down, but contractors are immune to stupid pay freeze bullshit

        also the private sector is leaner, less mired in bureaucracy than the public service.

  10. IRD: here’s a billion dollars for an amazing new IT system
    DHBs: chronically underfunded, here’s a budget ‘increase’ that barely covers inflation


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