This letter sent to a group of five children in a government-owned house after the solo mother had died made the news yesterday.

It’s almost certainly a stock letter and some desk bureaucrat (on probably a big salary) simply sent it in response to a notification this Crown-Owned Enterprise had received.

Clearly, this bureaucrat didn’t think to ascertain what situation the children were now in; no, the rule says that anyone living in a house in which a lessee has died must vacate, pronto; or at least within the one month prescribed in Section 50(A) of the Residential Tenancies Act 1986!

We’ve experienced enough of bureaucrats, in several countries, to be able to summarize their thinking: “This is what the rules say and it must absolutely be done this way – no, it can not be done that way. We are not here to think, we are here to follow the procedure that our infallible superior has decreed.”

In fairness, you don’t just get this in government, but in big businesses, too.

Radio NZ story