ICT Minister Steven Joyce has not published any of his public speeches on the Beehive website this year, because he rarely uses a prepared speech, his office says.
“It is very rare that the Minister uses a full text when giving a speech - he generally just has a page of bullet point notes to guide him. This is not unique to ICT - same deal for all five portfolios,” says his press secretary Anita Ferguson.
Computerworld made the enquiry after Simon Riley, director of New Impact, a technology and marketing communications consulting firm, raised the issue after failing to find any of Joyce’s speeches for 2011 on the Beehive website.
“Like any armchair policy wonk I always think 'what did the Minister say, what was in his speech'?” Riley told Computerworld.
Riley noticed that Joyce has, in previous years, published speeches he has made at major industry conferences such as the TUANZ Telecommunications Day and TelCon 11. Other ministers have published speeches they have made this year on the Beehive website. Computerworld asked for the speech notes relating to the ICT portfolio and his office promptly emailed them to us.
"Please find attached the notes provided to the Minister ahead of the speeches you mentioned yesterday. Aside from the KANZ speech, they are in bullet point form - i.e. not a set text," wrote Ferguson in the accompanying email.
“While we are happy to give these to you, for your information, it would be wrong to assume that he stuck to these notes as he spoke. You can't quote him on the basis of these notes. In some cases he may have spoke entirely off the cuff - I suspect this was the case with the Hi Tech Awards, in particular."
“As you know, the Minister's speeches are publicised in the Ministerial Media Diary which is circulated each Friday.”
Computerworld did not know this and has asked whether this Diary contains the transcripts of any speeches Joyce has given this year that are related to the ICT portfolio.
Computerworld has decided that in absence of a transcript the speech notes are the closest we can provide to an on-the-record document of what Joyce has said at significant ICT events in the past two months. Please note that in the speech notes (links below) Joyce may or may not have used these notes in his actual speech and he cannot be quoted as having said any of these points unless there is an independent note or recording that he did so.