On the first day of Parliament, Gerry Brownlee made a complete hash of his role as Leader of the House. Despite having repeatedly needed Michael Cullen’s assistance to organise the order of business in the Business Committee, Brownlee mucked up procedures in the House, which Labour gleefully exploited. John Key tried to make light of this by saying his government ‘has its training wheels on’.
Well, that’s an under-statement. Bills that are about to be voted on are not ready. Ministers don’t understand the laws that are to be passed in their names and are afraid to front to the media. But I think what sums up the depth of this incompetence best is how our new Minister of Education and Tertiary Education Anne Tolley had to ask officials in her first briefing ‘what is a vice-chancellor?’
Places where one would have thought Anne Tolley would have learned the role of a Vice-Chancellor:
– University – she doesn’t have a degree but is currently taking a graduate diploma in, shudder, business studies
– In her role as National’s Education spokesperson
– As a member of the Education and Science Select Committee, which dealt with two Bills in the last year concerning vice-chancellors
– General reading
In these times of economic crisis, we have a government that not only has its training wheels on but doesn’t even know how to pedal. Get braced for a bumpy ride.