Companies Office another victim of National subjugation?
Our Companies Registry was a marvel of user-friendly digitalisation. But I feel sorry for the public service geni who created it. Their good work has been undone, buried inside the e-govt monstrosity.
I do not know how many wasted hours have gone into trying to communicate on the emissions trading unit registration scheme. And I've gone back to paper rather than try again to remember all that is needed for infrequent use of the IRD's horrible system.
But for years I've felt good each time a Companies Office annual return was filed, knowing that it was more simple, reliable and cheap than was possible in any other country.
But now it too appears to have fallen victim to the National government's policy of strangling any successful independent official initiative inside amalgamated super bureacracies.
First I had to create a new identity when something called 'Realme' would not accept any of the names or email addresses I'm likely to have used previously. It told me my street address does not exist, then showed it all to me, presumably taken from some old record
Then the new me (with identical details to the old me) has to provide direct debit details to pay for compulsory 'services' (filing the annual return) that I have not asked for and find no value in. After that I must get permission from the Registrar to file the same confirmations that the old me could have filed. But that could take days, the system told me.
If New Zealand some day experiences a version of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building bombing in Oklahoma, it will be absolutely deplorable, but I'll wonder whether it was someone driven mad by the time wasted in being forced repeatedly through procedures supposed to simplify, but which actually complicate, do not work if you forget your password, and do nothing to make any boat go faster.
Stephen Franks is principal of Wellington commercial and public law firm Franks and Ogilvie.