"Who dares wins," is the often repeated motto of our good friends in the Special Air Services. "Faint heart never won fair maiden," is another saying in the same vein from Olde England.
Sky City is very familar with this kind of sentiment. The company will build a new convention centre and the law will be changed to allow it to house more gambling machines. Warner Brothers did something similar so why shouldn't Sky City?
Sky City is winning the deal not because they had a heads up from the powers that be, but because they had the balls to present an exceptionally bold solution. “Our solution requires a small change in NZ law. Think you can handle that, Mr Key?”
John Key loves getting people to think outside the box. If it means changing the law then that’s brilliant too. If the law is in the way of business then simply move the law to accommodate the generation of commerce. Tenderers must think and act like the Artful Dodger, and this can often mean brushing aside the thoughts and restrictions of any legal advice sought before putting a stamp on the response to an RFP. This is a time where the bold moves of the commercial sector are winning the hearts of a government which has failed to make any such moves in its own governance. Don’t do as they do, do as they say.
Clause 22 of the latest RFP from Treasury for a new app refers to New Zealand law: “The laws of New Zealand shall govern this proposal process and each Respondent agrees to submit to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the New Zealand courts in respect of any dispute concerning this RFP or the RFP process.” It doesn’t say the solution must stick to the law, it just states that the process must be lawful.
And here is your invitation to think outside the square. “The Treasury does not have a firm view on what interactive features should (or could) be added to the current app – this requirement has been designed to allow Respondents to use their knowledge, skills and ingenuity to come up with suitable ideas for interactive features for inclusion in the App (and able to be released in time for Budget 2013).”
So here’s my two pennies worth, which came from a South Island web developer called Robert Clarkson who I spoke to last year. How about an app that can run the country in real time? Do away with the Government (that’s with a deliberate capital 'G'), keep the bureaucrats, but let the decisions be ours. Let’s make those choices ourselves. Let’s take back our democracy. Let’s use technology to help us make our own choices. We can decide who has the best idea to run a new convention centre in downtown Auckland and if we need a few more pokies in there, will that have an impact on the problem gambling of New Lynn, Porirua and Putaruru? It could be our decision, not John Key’s or whoever is the leader of the Labour Party right now.
Our big problem with democracy is that we seek to shift the blame from ourselves as soon as we’ve plopped the vote in the box. ‘That’s now their problem. You run the country for the next three years and don’t get it wrong. I have my life to live, so get on with it.’
But that is a cop out. Democracy belongs to us. We now have the power through smart phones to micro manage our country’s own destiny.
Today's technology has the power to make a fundamental change in the way we govern ourselves. If our phones are smart enough to run our lives then why don’t we let them run our country as well? Or is that thought too far outside the box?