web analytics
The Standard
Advertising

Late analysis on the reshuffle

Written By: - Date published: 12:21 pm, January 24th, 2013 - 15 comments
Categories: national/act government - Tags:

I’ll say this for Key’s media people, they’re masters of the undersell when it comes to the insubstantial. And they know the media love to be surprised. John Armstrong gushed “Key has displayed all the sentiment of a corporate restructurer. So ministers are given the chance to perform. If they do not they are out. Simple as that.” But how ‘ruthless’ was Key really in the reshuffle? Two mediocre ministers with little political clout got the chop, but the real under-performers were too powerful for Key to touch.

Take, for example, the austerity-leading Finance Minister who was caught out lining his own pockets in the Double Dipton affair. Did Bill English get the boot due to the fact he is running one of the most under-performing economies in the developed world, one which is experiencing rising unemployment while it is falling elsewhere? Fuck no.

Steven Joyce, does he get the sack given that his economic development agenda (dig up oil, build a convention centre, seize Canterbury’s water) is falling apart, with only the last leg succeeding, and only because they won’t let Cantabrians vote for their own council. Again, unemployment is rising, the economy is under-performing relative to the other developed countries – look at the stats and we have more in common with the PIIGS or the UK (now entering its triple dip of recession) than strongly performing countries like Germany, Australia, and even the US. Instead, Key calls this perennial failure his Mr Fix It (interesting that he’s been given the job of ‘sorting out’ Novopay just as the largest problems are being solved, Camp Collins won’t be pleased).

Gerry Brownlee has made enemies everywhere in Christchurch through an abrasive attitude that takes every complaint or suggestion as a personal insult, to which he replies in kind. If there were any other senior Nats in our formerly second largest city, Brownlee never would have got the job. But he’ll keep it.

Judith Collins has overseen a dysfunctional culture of privacy invasion in ACC and, in an effort to cover her arse she has taken out everyone else int he vicinity from Nick Smith to various board members and the CEO. Certainly, she’s done worse than the quite little workhorse that was Heatley. But she keeps her jobs.

Hekia Parata. Enough said. You can’t claim to be making competence a test of continuing to hold a ministerial warrant and leave Parata on as minister of education.

Paula Bennett. It’s not so much that the number of people on the unemployment benefit has increased 150% under her watch. Or that her gimmicks, such as boot camps, have been abject failures. Or that, as a former solo mum on the DPB, she has chosen the moment of the worst economic crisis in a generation to beat up on women like she used to be. It’s the growing disparity between the number of unemployed and those getting unemployment assistance. Something very disturbing is happening almost unseen as Unemployment Benefit and DPB numbers fall while the number of people out of work rises – what is happening to the people who are out of work who aren’t getting help? Does Bennett even know?

Murray McCully made Mfat, the unleakable organisation, leak, and then his reforms fell over. That’s incompetence, pure and simple. He keeps his job.

Anne Tolley. You wouldn’t trust her to do the dishes. She’s just been lucky nothing’s blown up in Police yet.

Craig Foss. Somehow keeps his job despite being directly responsible for Novopay.

Maurice Williamson. It’s not that he’s done anything really wrong (well, not that we know about, yet), it’s just that you can’t say you’re rejuvenating when Williamson, who was first a minister in 1990 and was the architect of the leaky building disaster, is still in your ministry.

John Banks. The very name makes a mockery of the notion that Key has set accountability standards.

And what about the Minister for GCSB that is asleep at the wheel? Or the Minister of Tourism who holidays overseas for a month each year while the industry here is in steep decline? Yes, that failure keeps his jobs too.

The truth is, this had nothing to do with accountability or standards. Key wanted to get two new young, attractive faces into Cabinet, so he ditched the two that were easiest to ditch. It’s ruthless, perhaps, but it’s not about principles or competence.

15 comments on “Late analysis on the reshuffle”

  1. Blue 1

    It was amusing to see the chooks falling all over themselves gushing about how ‘ruthless’ and ‘performance focused’ Key was (despite not dumping any of the real non-performers).

    If you were forced to name the most incompetent ministers in Key’s government, Wilkinson and Heatley wouldn’t be amongst them.

    If we had halfway competent journalists this sort of sleight of hand would be ripped to shreds.

  2. Lanthanide 2

    Any thoughts on David Carter as the new speaker, Eddie?

    • Pascal's bookie 2.1

      It’ll be interesting to see how weaker ministers get on without Lockwood giving them the answers

      • Sweetd 2.1.1

        It is interesting, given that Ministers only have to ask one part of the question if it is a multi part question, that the opposition (labour mostly) still persist with these multipart questions only to give easy escapes to the Nats where that can simply answer a plain yes or no, this revealing little.

        So yes, I agree PB, without Lockie giving them a hand, then there is only a handful (less than 5) in labour that will be actually able to ask a specific question.

        • Pascal's bookie 2.1.1.1

          Yes, the escape is easy, and Labour are useless in QT far too often.

          But that doesn’t change the fact that Lockwood still had to regularly help out several front benchers; though it puts it some rather damning context I suppose.

  3. tc 3

    Armstrong is part of their game he’s neither not objective or critical, Key could take a dump on him and he’d find a way to admire the quality of kaka.

    Joyce, Muzza, Blinglish etc are all part of the same club the Hollowman back and when Key’s time is up he’ll be told if it’s not already decided that is, which could be after the SOE floats are safely in mates hands.

    This collins/Joyce replacement scenario is to give the plebs the facacde that these jokers actually make that decisions, I don’t buy that. Collins probably got told to pull her head in over the defamation case or she may be excluded from the running.

    Smith was put on the naughty step before he imploded, that’s his way, so they had to manage that situation. Performance/ability as a minister is not the issue, getting done what the backers seek is.

  4. PlanetOrphan 4

    He’s going through the motions.
    His real message …
    “We will continue the destruction in the name of our Right wing paradigms (i.e The Merrill Lynch asset stripping handbook)” and to hell with NZ.

  5. ak 5

    Significantly, Smith not given back his pet Local Govt spot – after spinning furiously for the ACTsop LGA02 amendment up and down the motu while supposedly without portfolio.

    Mega granny organ hush-hush on this one, after every single council submitted against it.

    Embarrassing clash with Tory mayors buried in LG election year with Tremain blancmange.

    So bye, Dr Nick. An out-of-body experience is more than enough for young Slippery: an out-of-minder not wanted.

    • coolas 5.1

      Tremain has championed the amalgamation of HB Councils. His brother heads the lobby group ‘A Better HB,’ but now he’s Minister, he says he’ll be impartial. WTF

      ‘Noddy’ Tremain isn’t very bright so we can look forward to spectacular fuck-ups as the LGA amendments are rolled out. And hopefully he’ll loose his seat in 2014.

  6. wyndham 6

    Could the retention of the “great communicator” Hekia Parata have anything to do with the fact that she is married to Sir Wira Gardiner ? His connections to both Maoridom and the National Party are manifold and the entries in his little black book probably equally so.

  7. Colonic Wiper 7

    I think the media have look at these changes in a comparitive way in regards to how Labour might be looking at its team.

    Wilkinson and Heatley being dumped for non performance and being replaced by new blood vs no change & business as usual except for the rumoured return of a serial wank*r.

  8. Wolfslair 8

    I’ll just saddle up the old shonkey donkey and bring in those two old ewes for the works so we can get this sorted and all feel a bit brighter about our future

  9. Liberal Realist 9

    Great piece Eddie!

    “Anne Tolley. You wouldn’t trust her to do the dishes. She’s just been lucky nothing’s blown up in Police yet.”

    +100 !! This one actually made me laugh out loud! Sadly you are 100% correct.

Important links

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

1 2 3 7

  • Time for NZ to prohibit the killing of great apes
    That ban was widely hailed, and spurred efforts in other countries to get similar bans. However, apes are still being exploited, abused and killed, both in captivity and in the wild. Examples of cruelty, neglect and abuse abound. Apes are… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    1 day ago
  • Auckland building consents: Tragic
    The only word to describe the latest building consent figures for Auckland is ‘tragic’, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Whatever the Government is doing to address the Auckland housing crisis, it is clearly not working. ...
    1 day ago
  • A whiff of a new biosecurity scandal?
    A pest which could create havoc for New Zealand’s horticulture and agriculture sector must be as much a focus for the Government as hunting out fruit flies, Labour’s Biosecurity spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “While the Ministry for Primary Industries is… ...
    1 day ago
  • Government shrugs off health sector crisis
    Despite new evidence showing that cuts to health spending are costing lives the Government continues to deny the sector is struggling, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Health services in New Zealand are in crisis. ...
    2 days ago
  • Parata lowered the bar for failing charter school
    When Hekia Parata became aware that the Whangaruru charter school was experiencing major problems her first action was to drop standards by reducing the number of qualified teachers they had to employ, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins has revealed. “Hekia… ...
    2 days ago
  • National not being straight about the economy
    John Key and Bill English need to be straight with New Zealanders about the damage their failure to diversify the economy is doing, after new figures show export growth plunged due to a collapse in dairy exports, says Grant Robertson.… ...
    2 days ago
  • Mind the Gap
    This week the International Monetary Fund released a report on the wider economic value in closing the gender pay gap. When even the bastions of free-market economics start to raise concerns about gender pay gaps, we have to realise how… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 days ago
  • Labour will hold National to parental leave promise
    Labour will hold National to its promise to increase the support given to new parents of premature, multiple birth and babies born with disabilities, Labour’s paid parental leave campaigner Sue Moroney says. "I am naturally disappointed that after battling for… ...
    3 days ago
  • It was all just pillar talk
    Steven Joyce’s confession that he can no longer guarantee a pillar-free design for the New Zealand International Convention Centre shows the Government has abandoned its dream of creating an ‘iconic’ ‘world-class’ structure, says Labour Economic Development spokesperson David Clark. “Steven… ...
    3 days ago
  • Australians move on offshore speculators
    John Key might want to have a quiet word with Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott about Canberra's just-announced crack down on offshore speculators when he visits New Zealand this week, Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says."Tony Abbott's centre right government… ...
    3 days ago
  • Government at odds on overseas driver crashes
    National backbencher Jacqui Dean has spoken out about overseas driver crashes, putting herself at odds with Prime Minister John Key who is on record as saying it’s not a big issue, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “I’m not surprised… ...
    3 days ago
  • Human Rights and the Palestine Crisis
    Last week I heard two Palestinians speak at Wellington events about the ongoing crisis in their country. Samar Sabawi spoke to a full house about the history of Palestine and gave us a lucid and disturbing account of the situation… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    3 days ago
  • Time to take real care of our kids
    An Amnesty International report has once again criticised New Zealand’s track record on looking after our kids, Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. The annual report, which looks at global human rights abuses highlights not only the fact that high… ...
    3 days ago
  • John Key wrong about Labour’s war vote
    John Key’s desperate claims that the former Labour Government didn’t put combat troop deployment to a Parliamentary vote are simply wrong, Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff says. “It was disgraceful that the Prime Minister ran rough shod over democracy and… ...
    3 days ago
  • Māori language bill needs work
     It is clear that the first draft of the Māori Language Bill was about structures and funding rather than the survival of te reo Māori, Labour’s Māori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says.  “Labour is pleased that the Minister of Māori… ...
    3 days ago
  • Report proves troubled school shouldn’t have opened
    The long-awaited release of an Education Review Office report into Northland’s troubled Whangaruru charter school proves it should never have been approved in the first place, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “This report identifies problems with absenteeism and disengaged… ...
    4 days ago
  • Reply to PM’s statement on deploying troops to Iraq
    “The decision of any Government to send troops to a conflict zone is a very serious one, and it is right that this House takes time to consider it, to debate it, and, ideally, to vote on it, but we… ...
    4 days ago
  • Minister must take action on death trap slides
    Workplace Relations Safety Minister Michael Woodhouse must take urgent action to ensure inflatable amusement rides don’t become death traps for children, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Relations Iain Lees-Galloway says. “No one wants to stop kids having fun, but horror stories… ...
    4 days ago
  • Manus Island and the New Zealand Government
    This week the Greens have participated in awareness activity about Manus Island, the refugee camp on an island in Papua New Guinea where Australia dumps asylum seekers. John Key says that he has every confidence in the Australian Government’s claim… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • Election Inquiry – Getting accessible voting on the agenda
    James Shaw has been doing a series of blogs on the Election Inquiry into last year’s general election.  I thought this was a great opportunity to raise an issue very dear to me – accessible voting. Last year’s general election… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    1 week ago
  • RMA changes no solution to Christchurch housing
    Housing will continue to be a big issue in 2015. The latest Consumer Price Index, released last month, shows both good news and bad news on the housing front. After years of being the most expensive place to build a… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 week ago
  • Saving kokako in South Auckland’s Hunua Ranges
    It is amazing that you can hear the song of the endangered North Island kokako in South Auckland’s Hunua Ranges, less than 50 kms from the central city. A heavy schedule of policy workshops at the Green Party’s Policy… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Let’s not turn a blind eye to human rights
    The Cricket World Cup has just opened in New Zealand, and it’s an opportunity for us to shine on the world stage. International sport can be a chance for us to build relationships with other countries, and examine what it… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Its Just Not Cricket
    This week it was my privilege to work with Sri Lankan Tamil communities in this country and host Australian journalist and human rights advocate Trevor Grant. I knew a bit about Trevor from his biography but I didn’t know just… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Time for NZ to #BeCrueltyFree
    The Government is about to progress the final stages of the Animal Welfare Amendment bill. This will be our last opportunity to get changes made to improve the bill to ensure a better outcome for animals. I have put forwards… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    2 weeks ago
  • We want access!
    Access to buildings is a big issue for many New Zealanders. It looks like that, due to the hard work and persistence of people in the disability community, the Government may finally be starting to take access to buildings seriously.… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Greens call on Super Fund to divest from fossil fuels
    The Green Party today called on the New Zealand Superannuation Fund (the Fund) to divest from fossil fuels, starting immediately with coal. The call was accompanied with a new report, Making money from a climate catastrophe: The case for divesting… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Young Kiwis’ housing crisis
    Shelter is a fundamental human need along with food, water and clean air. All humans need adequate shelter; it’s a human right. Warm, safe, stable accommodation is critical for young people to be able learn and grow and just be.… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 weeks ago
  • On the River Patrol in Te Tai Tokerau
    Last Wednesday, I went on a tour of some of Northland’s rivers with  Millan Ruka from Environmental River Patrol as he monitored water quality throughout Te Tai Tokerau. The dry conditions meant we couldn’t use the boat but we visited… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Opening of Parliament 2015
    Russel NormanOpening of Parliament Speech February 2015 Tēnā koutou Tēnā koutou Tēnā koutou katoa. A brief history of climate change What a summer! It's been hot, even here in Wellington, hotter than any summer I can remember. All… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    3 weeks ago

Removed at the request of The Daily Blog.
Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere