web analytics

Conservative, honky males in suits

Written By: - Date published: 9:43 am, October 31st, 2016 - 23 comments
Categories: feminism, national - Tags: , , ,

There was much black humour last week when Paula Bennett was PM for day, highlighting how short National is on talent and depth. Perhaps coincidentally, Stacey Kirk in the Sunday Star Times took a look at National’s women – John Key’s got 27 problems and women are up to 50 per cent of them

OPINION: To say gender equality at the Cabinet table can’t be achieved at the expense of merit, is to say there aren’t enough capable women on the Government benches.

The problem for Prime Minister John Key, however, is that in the Government he leads, there aren’t.

He’s mulling his options as Cabinet requires a reshuffle, likely to happen in the new year.

Whatever its configuration, the A-team that National takes to next year’s election will predominantly be made up of middle-aged white men.

No change there then.

That’s certainly not to say Cabinet’s ranks don’t feature a formidable set of strong and very capable women; including Paula Bennett, Amy Adams, Anne Tolley, Judith Collins and Maggie Barry.

Maggie Barry? Anne Tolley? Really? Amy who?

But it is to say that all the female National MPs probably deserving of one of the 27 Cabinet positions are already there.

Kirk discusses the Nats’ lower order women – and doesn’t find them very impressive.

The reshuffle, though typical of a Key Government a year out from the election, has partly been precipitated by the loss of two key figures – unfortunately, both highly capable women.

In Nikki Kaye’s case, that’s by not necessarily permanent as she takes time off to focus on her treatment following a shock breast cancer diagnosis.

Key will also have a decision to make over whether to keep Education Minister Hekia Parata in her portfolio until she retires from politics at the election.

Good luck to Nikki Kaye with her treatment.

The female vote is a constituency National has performed well with under Key – though it’s by no means a given, and one they have to work to hold.

As senior Minister Murray McCully now famously put it in a 2004 internal email to party strategists: “We do look like a bunch of conservative, honky males in suits.”

Quite. As a government National is no friend to women, shutting down the Pay and Employment Equity Unit in 2009, ignoring a steadily growing gender pay gap, and undermining social services (such as Rape Crisis) that support women. As a party National has structural problems with selecting and supporting women. Problems that are coming home to roost.

23 comments on “Conservative, honky males in suits ”

  1. Richard Rawshark 1

    If you were a woman, extreeeeemly lazy, and wanted a free ride to the taxpayer trough, joining National would be very attractive, as long as you could..

    A Stand the Company
    B Not concerned with throwing what little principles you have away.

    Or perhaps it’s actually right there are not many women in National, There are far less psychopaths of the female gender..strangely that’s true. So less are wanting to join in the first place..

    Perhaps the issue is not a lack of woman in National but that women are less callous and heartless!

  2. Ad 2

    Why is this post only evaluating National female MPs?

    Key has the luxury of another very well forecast reshuffle.
    Would be far better to broaden the evaluative lens and explain whether the gender balance will be any better at Labour, Greens, NZFirst, or Maori Party any time soon.

    • Natwatch 2.1

      Because it is based on a media piece only evaluating National female MPs.

    • corokia 2.2

      NZ First- well you could have a look at this

      http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2016/09/03/embedded-at-the-new-zealand-first-convention-part-1-the-board-is-set-the-pieces-are-moving/

      where Curwen Ares Rolinson is congratulating their party on “The lowering of age demographics and increasing of diversity”

      Its a photo of 14 men!

      (All the best to the women in NZ First, but one of your cheerleaders doesn’t seem to have noticed the irony in trumpeting increased diversity illustrated by an all male photo)

    • LOL “if the gender balance will be any better at… Greens… any time soon”

      You realise the Greens have a list that alternates based on gender, right? So they policy is that they are, at most, 1 off from being 50/50. They also want to balance any participation they have in future cabinets by gender, too. The Māori party, coincidentally, (as opposed to by design…) also has a 50/50 gender balance.

      Labour made moves to adjust for gender balance a while back, (iirc in 2013?) but it was immediately mocked as a “man ban” by hostile media. I can’t exactly blame them for not returning to the topic sooner. They’re not doing badly on this front, but neither are they doing well – with 10/32 female MPs last I checked, they have a caucus that is about 31% female, which is the average over parliament as a whole. The sooner they can find a way to address this without setting off a testosterone-fueled media hysteria, the better, but at least they’ve been talking about the issue.

      It’s the conservative parties, like NZ First and National, that really need to evaluate their bias on this issue. National has a caucus that is 27% female, and NZ First is even worse, with one quarter of their MPs being women.

  3. esoteric pineapples 3

    Most powerful people in this government ie those who don’t have to answer to someone else – John Key, Bill English, Steven Joyce, Gerry Brownlee. All white males. The only woman in National who has some independence from these white males is Judith Collins.

  4. Macro 4

    Regrettably this old white male problem is not simply confined to our Parliament. If one were to research the recently elected local governments one would also find that we are governed locally by white greybeards. Of the 10 councillors on our local council 7 are male superannuates and over the age of 70. There are 2 women (the mayor Sandra Goudie Retired National MP 🙄 ) and one woman councillor. The remaining male is in his 50’s.
    http://fairfaxmedia.newspaperdirect.com/epaper/viewer.aspx
    How can these people be said to be representative of any community?

  5. whateva next? 5

    It’s come down to the same issue as the US dilemma, would we rather a woman corrupted by power, or a male corrupted by power?

  6. Mike Steinberg 6

    This kind of shallow focus on a candidates race or gender is abhorrent. It also seems to have lead to the bizarre outcome in Hutt South where a local with strong support has missed out apparently because of his gender?

    • corokia 6.1

      Where is the evidence that his gender is the reason he has not been selected?

      • Lara 6.1.1

        Conveniently ignoring all the instances where women are overlooked and not selected because they’re women.

        But then, we keep being told that never happens. Or rarely happens. Women just don’t put their hands up, don’t want to be selected or just aren’t as good as men.

        That’s why all these areas of power in NZ are dominated by men. Apparently.

  7. Bob 7

    “As a government National is no friend to women, shutting down the Pay and Employment Equity Unit in 2009, ignoring a steadily growing gender pay gap”
    Citation?
    According to the OECD figures, the gender pay gap has continued to decrease since 2009 from 8.76% down to 6.08% last year (this compares to 15.4% in Australia) and since 2010 under this government has consistently been at it’s lowest levels on record.
    https://data.oecd.org/earnwage/gender-wage-gap.htm

    Edit: added Australian figures in as comparison

    • Natwatch 7.1

      You could start with the annual media reports referenced in the first paragraph here:

      How to improve pay gender equality

      • Bob 7.1.1

        Ah, ignore the OECD reports, listen to The Herald, that bastion of reporting, they would never sway the figures to make a headline…

        Put it this way, the way The Herald reports the numbers I earn more than my wife, by the way the OECD reports the numbers my wife earns more than me.
        The difference being, my wife has cut back her hours since we had a child, her hourly rate is still higher than mine, but now that she is working less hours (our choice so she can enjoy this important time in our daughters life) apparently the gender wage gap has widened…

    • corokia 8.1

      There is a lot in that Trotter piece that feels SO wrong. I’m middle class, I guess, so I don’t feel I can speak for working class women but I found it quite offensive that Trotter said….

      “Always assuming that those working-class women wanted their consciousness raised, which, by-and-large they didn’t.”

      How the hell would he know??

      • Muttonbird 8.1.1

        Agreed. I said this in the comments, “Those Dunedin matrons weren’t suspicious of your vowels, they were contemptuous of your superior attitude, which hasn’t dimmed one candela to this day.”

      • Galeandra 8.1.2

        Cause he said they told him on their doorsteps?

    • pat 8.2

      Chris Trotter could well be displaying the three P’s…..pomposity, patronising and prophetic

      • Corokia 8.2.1

        You are taking the piss aren’t you Galeandra? As if Trotter discussed feminism with those women back then.

  8. The Real Matthew 9

    Nothing like throwing a racist term in a headline to galvanise the left

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Protect seamounts and ban bottom trawling right now
    The Green Party is renewing its call for Minister for the Environment, David Parker to immediately ban bottom trawling on seamounts. ...
    5 hours ago
  • Building Auckland’s transport future
    We’re making sure Auckland has the infrastructure it needs for the future, so Aucklanders can get around safely and efficiently as our biggest city grows. The new, linked-up transport system we’re building will include partially tunnelled light rail between the CBD and the airport, as well as another Waitematā Harbour ...
    7 hours ago
  • Build Auckland light rail for benefit of everyone
    The Government’s decision on light rail in Auckland is the first step towards building the climate friendly, accessible city our communities deserve. ...
    7 hours ago
  • Put our most vulnerable first
    Don’t forget whānau and communities most at risk, says the Green Party, as the Government lays out its three-phase plan for Omicron. ...
    2 days ago
  • Boosting our immunity against Omicron
    With Omicron in the community, it’s vital we all do our bit to help to slow the spread, keep each other safe and protect our health system. One of the most important ways we can reduce the risk of Omicron is to get a booster dose as soon as we’re ...
    2 days ago
  • Equitable response to Omicron vital
    The Green Party supports the Government’s decision to move Aotearoa New Zealand to traffic light level Red at 11.59pm tonight, but says its success will depend on the support that is made available to the most vulnerable. ...
    5 days ago
  • How we’re preparing for Omicron
    As countries around the world experience Omicron outbreaks, we’re taking steps now to ensure we’re as prepared as possible and our communities are protected. ...
    1 week ago
  • What’s Labour achieved so far?
    Quite a bit! This Government was elected to take on the toughest issues facing Aotearoa – and that’s what we’re doing. Since the start of the pandemic, protecting lives and livelihoods has been a priority, but we’ve also made progress on long-term challenges, to deliver a future the next generation ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Tackling the big issues in 2022
    This year, keeping Kiwis safe from COVID will remain a key priority of the Government – but we’re also pushing ahead on some of New Zealand’s biggest long-term challenges. In 2022, we’re working to get more Kiwis into homes, reduce emissions, lift children out of poverty, and ensure people get ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Tupu Tai graduation-It’s time to step up
    Greetings: Kia orana, talofa lava, Noa’ia e mauri, malo e lelei, taloha ni, fakaalofa lahi atu, ni sa bula vinaka, talofa, kia ora, tena koutou katoa.  I would love to begin by acknowledging everyone here in attendance, especially the families and friends of the 2021/22 Tupu Tai cohort, and those ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Building and shaping a city: Future-proofing Auckland transport infrastructure
    The Government is bringing Auckland’s transport infrastructure into the future by moving forward with an additional Waitematā Harbour crossing, progressing light rail from Auckland’s CBD to the airport, and creating a linked-up rapid transport network as part of a 30-year plan. Key decisions on additional Waitematā Harbour crossing to be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Penguin rehab and native forest restoration get helping hand
    A long-running penguin rehab facility which has been hard hit by the tourism downturn, and work to restore native forest habitats in the Catlins are being supported through Jobs for Nature funding, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. Otago’s Penguin Place and The Hokonui Rūnanga Catlins Biodiversity Project will receive combined ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Resilient economy reflected in Crown accounts
    The Government’s financial accounts continue to reflect a resilient economy that has performed better than expected and puts the country in a strong position to respond to Omicron, Grant Robertson said. The Crown Accounts for the five months to the end of November were more favourable than forecast in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government announces three phase public health response to Omicron
    Reducing isolation period for cases and close contacts at Phase Two and Three to 10 and seven days Definition of close contact required to isolate changes to household or household like contacts at Phase Three Increased use of rapid antigen tests with test to return policy put in place for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Ambassador to Thailand announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced the appointment of Jonathan Kings as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to Thailand. “Aotearoa New Zealand has a long-standing relationship with Thailand, celebrating the 65th anniversary of diplomatic representation between our countries in 2021. We also share much in common at regional and multilateral levels ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government’s Family Package continues to deliver for New Zealanders
    The Families Package helped around 330,000 families in its first year - more than half of all families with children in NZ These families received an estimated $55 per week more from Families Package payments in 2018/19 than in 2017/18, on average Families Package increases to the maximum possible Accommodation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand retains top spot in global anti-corruption rankings
    Justice Minister Kris Faafoi has welcomed news of New Zealand’s ongoing position as top in the world anti-corruption rankings. The 2021 Corruption Perceptions Index released by global anti-corruption organisation, Transparency International, ranks New Zealand first equal with Denmark and Finland, with a score of 88 out of 100. “This is an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Testing improvements see New Zealand well prepared for Omicron
    New Zealand’s PCR testing capacity can be increased by nearly 20,000 tests per day to deal with a surge in cases as part of our wider COVID-19 testing strategy, Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall said. “We have continued to adapt our public health response to safeguard the health ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • 5,000 portable air cleaners for schools on their way
    As schools are preparing to return, Education Minister Chris Hipkins has announced 5,000 air cleaners have been ordered for New Zealand schools. “As we know, along with vaccination, testing, good hygiene and physical distancing, good ventilation is important in minimising the risk of airborne transmission of the virus that causes ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand to move to Red from 11.59pm today
    All of New Zealand will move to the Red setting of the Covid Protection Framework (CPF) at 11:59pm today as Omicron is potentially now transmitting in the community, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says. “Nine COVID-19 cases reported yesterday in the Nelson/Marlborough region are now confirmed as Omicron, and a further ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Mandatory boosters for key workforces progressing well
    More than 5,785 (82%) border workers eligible for a booster vaccination at 6 months have received it so far, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. “That’s a really strong uptake considering we announced the requirement the week before Christmas, but we need to continue this momentum,” Chris Hipkins said. “We ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • NZ to move to Red
    Nine COVID-19 cases reported yesterday in the Nelson/Marlborough region have now been confirmed as the Omicron variant, and a further case from the same household was confirmed late yesterday. These cases are in a single family that flew to Auckland on 13 January to attend a wedding and other events ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand to provide further help for Tonga
    Aotearoa New Zealand is giving an additional $2 million in humanitarian funding for Tonga as the country recovers from a volcanic eruption and tsunami last weekend, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Defence Minister Peeni Henare said today. This brings Aotearoa New Zealand’s contribution to $3 million. “This support will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Quarterly benefit numbers show highest number of exits into work
    The Government’s strong focus on supporting more people into work is reflected in benefit figures released today which show a year-on-year fall of around 21,300 people receiving a main benefit in the December 2021 quarter, Minister for Social Development and Employment Carmel Sepuloni said. “Our response to COVID has helped ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Northland to move to Orange, NZ prepared for Omicron 
    Northland to move to Orange Rest of New Zealand stays at Orange in preparedness for Omicron All of New Zealand to move into Red in the event of Omicron community outbreak – no use of lockdowns Govt planning well advanced – new case management, close contact definition and testing rules ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • RNZAF C-130 Hercules flight departs for Tonga as Navy vessels draw nearer to Tongatapu
    A Royal New Zealand Air Force C-130 Hercules has departed Base Auckland Whenuapai for Tonga carrying aid supplies, as the New Zealand aid effort ramps up, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Defence Minister Peeni Henare said today. “The aircraft is carrying humanitarian aid and disaster relief supplies, including water ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand prepared to send support to Tonga
    New Zealand is ready to assist Tonga in its recovery from Saturday night’s undersea eruption and tsunami, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Defence Minister Peeni Henare said today. “Following the successful surveillance and reconnaissance flight of a New Zealand P-3K2 Orion on Monday, imagery and details have been sent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Aotearoa New Zealand stands ready to assist people of Tonga
    The thoughts of New Zealanders are with the people of Tonga following yesterday’s undersea volcanic eruption and subsequent tsunami waves, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta says. “Damage assessments are under way and New Zealand has formally offered to provide assistance to Tonga,” said Nanaia Mahuta. New Zealand has made an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Record high of new homes consented continues
    In the year ended November 2021, 48,522 new homes were consented, up 26 per cent from the November 2020 year. In November 2021, 4,688 new dwellings were consented. Auckland’s new homes consented numbers rose 25 per cent in the last year. Annual figures for the last nine months show more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Report trumpets scope for ice cream exports
    Latest research into our premium ice cream industry suggests exporters could find new buyers in valuable overseas markets as consumers increasingly look for tip top quality in food. Economic Development Minister Stuart Nash has released a new report for the Food and Beverage Information Project. The project is run by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Honouring the legacy of legendary kaumātua Muriwai Ihakara
    Associate Minister for Arts, Culture, and Heritage Kiri Allan expressed her great sadness and deepest condolences at the passing of esteemed kaumātua, Muriwai Ihakara. “Muriwai’s passing is not only a loss for the wider creative sector but for all of Aotearoa New Zealand. The country has lost a much beloved ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Have your say on proposed changes to make drinking water safer
    Associate Minister for the Environment Kiri Allan is urging all New Zealanders to give feedback on proposed changes aimed at making drinking water safer. “The current regulations are not fit for purpose and don’t offer enough protection, particularly for those whose water comes from smaller supplies,” Kiri Allan said. “This ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Planting the seeds for rewarding careers
    A boost in funding for a number of Jobs for Nature initiatives across Canterbury will provide sustainable employment opportunities for more than 70 people, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. “The six projects are diverse, ranging from establishing coastline trapping in Kaikōura, to setting up a native plant nursery, restoration planting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago