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New Zealand's longest-running online daily news and commentary publication, now in its 25th year. The opinion pieces presented here are not purported to be fact but reasonable effort is made to ensure accuracy.

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Do your job, get an award?

26 November 2021

As someone who has been self-employed for pretty much their whole life, the idea of giving someone an award for simply doing their job to the best of their ability is ridiculous.

However, that's exactly what the government has done.

The Spirit of Service Awards have just been announced by the PM herself and it seems that a huge slew of government departments have been given an award -- for simply doing what they're paid to do.

What is wrong with the world?

Everyone's a victim, nobody can fail, people (in government service) should be given an award for simply doing their job properly?

This is utterly outrageous.

For a start, how will all the other government departments who didn't get an award feel?

You can be pretty sure that many of the people working in those departments and agencies worked every bit as hard as those in the depts/agencies that were awarded an accolade this year. Yet these poor sods are now effectively told that they weren't up to scratch.

A full list of the awards handed out by the PM can be found here and it makes interesting reading.

Even more interesting however, is the long list of "finalists" which is found here. Yep, that's right, it looks as if everyone was a finalist so there were no real losers (yay, the wokeness of the day is saved!).

So what about the *real* heros? The Kiwis in private industry who work bloody hard and go to extraordinary lengths to deliver the best products and services to New Zealanders? Where are their awards?

Well, unlike the well cosseted civil servants that abound in these lists, too many average Kiwis have been well and truly hammered by the CV19 pandemic. Many, through no fault of their own, have lost their jobs; some have lost their entire businesses and the decades of hard graft and struggle that this may represent. No awards for these poor sods eh?

However, the award for having a well-paid, taxpayer-funded, government-guaranteed job in the civil service is the one that we can be proud of... right?

I see that the CAA and the IRD were finalists. N'uff said.

Don't you wish YOU could win an award for simply doing your job?

It's nice to be some people I guess. Meanwhile, the vast majority of "The Team of 5 million" will have to make do with an occasional (increasingly insincere) "thanks" from the Prime Minister during her press conferences.

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