web analytics


Written By: - Date published: 5:10 pm, March 9th, 2009 - 32 comments
Categories: national/act government - Tags: , ,

So, ‘Crusher’ Collins has failed in her high profile campaign to have Barry Matthews sacked. How embarrassing, what with her staking her entire political reputation on it and all.

I doubt John Key will be particularly happy about being dragged into this whole sorry affair either. Less than two weeks ago the Herald reported:

The Prime Minister says the public should have no confidence in the Department of Corrections’ handling of parole procedures, and is backing Judith Collins’ efforts to remove its chief executive, Barry Matthews.

He won’t appreciate being made to look like a fool by one of his ministers.

UPDATE: Thanks to ‘gobsmacked’ in the comments for alerting us to this little gem from two weeks ago. Take it away, John Armstrong:

‘Collins now has too much political collateral invested in Matthews being sacked for her to pull back and accept that he stays in his job. The longer he clings on, the more embarrassing it becomes for her.

” If he doesn’t go, Collins will not only be seen as weak and a blowhard, she will be seen as losing a crucial battle and thus losing control of her portfolio. That is an image no minister can allow to take hold.’

32 comments on “Fail ”

  1. rodgeredgnome 1

    Perhaps they should sack Rennie and Matthews …….. or should we just accept that there is no accountability amongst the NZ public service.

    [lprent: Is this a new phase in your personality? The IP is extremely interesting. Anyway, I’m putting that psuedonym into anti-spam as being deliberately offensive. Find another one ]

  2. Rex Widerstrom 2

    What’s most embarrassing is that NZ’s chief executive appointment process is now seen to be a lackadaisical circus (or an old boys’ club, I’m not sure which), thrown into stark relief by a Minister who didn’t know (or perhaps care, or perhaps both) the limits of her own power and thus, as you correctly point out, is now in an embarrassing position.

    Barry Matthews was an utter failure when in charge of INCIS and then, somehow, managed to escape scrutiny by decamping to Western Australia to become Police Commissioner. He then exceeded his own record of arrogance and incompetence by creating an unworkable relationship with the then Minister [Michelle Roberts, ALP] and his own staff [the force effectively went on strike, handling only emergencies, and had to be ordered back to work].

    His tenure was summarised thusly by the Kennedy royal commission:

    …poor management within the service had allowed corruption to continue unimpeded…

    A single example that comes to mind is the time WA taxpayers got saddled with a $A100,000 legal bill for two police officers judged by courts to have been corrupt. The court’s findings were simply rejected by Matthews, who recommended no internal disciplining.

    Play this as an embarrasment for “Crusher” if you like, but it’s more than that. The fact that a reference check with his former employer (Roberts), his former subordinates or the independent watchdog – let alone his woeful performance while with the NZ police – should all have rung alarm bells loudly enough to prevent his appointment to Corrections makes the entire NZ public service appointment process, and the SSC, more of a laughing stock than the Minister.

    She, after all, was just inexpertly floundering around looking for a way to fix the mistakes of others.

    • lprent 2.1

      I think that point was that she was trying to “quick-fix” rather than to follow the process. Has tried to do the same in a couple of other areas. Not the right approach for a minister.

      • Chess Player 2.1.1

        But nice to know that she is well intentioned, given Matthews’s past performance, don’t you think?

  3. gobsmacked 3

    Quiz time.

    Who wrote this, a couple of weeks ago?

    “Collins now has too much political collateral invested in Matthews being sacked for her to pull back and accept that he stays in his job. The longer he clings on, the more embarrassing it becomes for her. … If he doesn’t go, Collins will not only be seen as weak and a blowhard, she will be seen as losing a crucial battle and thus losing control of her portfolio. That is an image no minister can allow to take hold.”

  4. higherstandard 4

    Rex it can be added to a long list of embarrassments which have happened over decades on both parties watches I suspect we only ever know about the tip of the iceberg – feck it’s depressing.

    • Rex Widerstrom 4.1

      Oh to be sure, to be sure…

      Though I think you’d be hard pressed to find someone as obviously incompetent as Matthews getting through the process. His failures weren’t so much an iceberg (and thus mostly hidden beneath the surface) as a flamin’ great illuminated lighthouse with “this way to the reef” blazing away in neon.

      I can quite understand a Minister wanting to be rid of an absolute numpty that’s mismanaging the department he or she is responsible for, and their frustration at finding they can’t. Since I’m amongst those who think Ministers should show a bit of accountability when their department screws up, it tends to derail that argument if said Minister has been saddled with a cretin who can’t or won’t run the department effectively.

      That doesn’t mean those lower down the food chain should be subject to political fiat (e.g. the Setchell case) but chief executives tend to answer directly to their board and chairman (Cabinet and Minister), not the HR consultant who recommended them in the first place.

      It is amusing, though, to see the excreable Christine Rankin mentioned in the same breath as Matthews in some parts, but somehow she’s pure as the driven snow because it was a nasty Labourite what done ‘er in.

      Anyway, I’m sure Matthews has a few spare banknotes out of the 375,000 we bung him each year on which to blow his nose.

  5. Janet 5

    John Key is now telling the head of Internal Affairs to sack one of his staff. Doesn’t he know that the public service is supposed to be independent of government?

    • Tigger 5.1

      No. None of them do. They’ve already made it clear to CEOs that they expect them to tow the NACT line or go.

      • Ari 5.1.1

        One “toes” the team line, not “tows” it, because as a sports metaphor, usually such lines are merely painted 😉

        • Tigger

          Or you could interpret it as CEOs needing to tow (ie. drag) the National line behind them…or that I was using the eggcorn version of the phrase…

          • Felix

            Do you mean to imply that you used “tow” deliberately – knowing it to be out of place in the phrase you were using – for some sort of ironic effect?

            *cough* bullshit *cough*

          • Tigger

            Note to self: put smiley face on any post meant to be read with irony or humour… 🙂

  6. BLiP 6

    Typical National – they just do not understand that the business of government is not, in fact, a business.

  7. stan 7

    Re Barry Matthews:
    It escapes my understanding why Labour keeps supporting this man?. Few of the Labour Parliamentarians are pausing to think about this issue before joining the stampede of leemings towards the cliff face. Matthews has led a department that has been dogged with failure and put the general public at risk because of its inability to operate properly. In any event I think the question of Matthews tenure is a misnomer given the impending privatisation of corrections.
    It is my belief that ACC will follow.
    My informants also tell me that things are looking extremely shaky for Helen at the U.N. Those who have the vote are suggesting that NZ has its turn over the years and are looking for leadership amongst candidates from an emerging Nation.
    I think Key has been very magnanimous with respect to Clark, who history will judge poorly.With the most recent Polls showing only 25% support for Labour it is time they stopped pointing fingers at others and put their house in order.At present they are facing a bleak landscape.
    Stan Blanch

    • lprent 7.1

      It isn’t so much that they support or don’t support Matthews. I have no opinion on him or his performance. What I have seen is the NACT’s getting themselves in a lather with figures that are so spurious that I immediately discount them. I suspect that is the McVicar influence (commonly pronounced as ‘Bullshit’).

      However Judith Collins I do have a distinct opinion on. She is incompetent as a minister and probably as an MP. I’ve formed that opinion since she took office, which is pretty impressive since it was about 4 months.

      Does that answer your question? At least from one labour member..

  8. Conor Roberts 8

    Remind me how many boy racer cars or chief executives has Crusher Collins crushed? Why does the media still give her this moniker?

    • Tane 8.1

      Beats me, but I think it’s hilarious. Crusher Collins – there’s a Tui billboard in that.

      • Tigger 8.1.1

        She’s crushing her own hopes and dreams of moving up the Cabinet rankings for sure…and crushing the chance of getting her hands on the Social Development portfolio…

        • Kevin Welsh

          Really enjoyed watching her squirm on the news last night. Still trying to sound tough in what is fast becoming a humiliating defeat.

          • TightyRighty

            if she is she could have only have learnt to do it by watching the labour party in the run up to the last election

  9. todd 9

    Personaly I think that Collins should just sack the useless sod and take the hit.how bloody useless do you have to be before you get the sack,its just an joke.And it makes her look stupid

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • NZ announces a third P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    The Government has deployed a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea, announced Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark. “New Zealand has long supported ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Pacific trade and development agreement a reality
    Pacific regional trade and development agreement PACER Plus will enter into force in 60 days now that the required eight countries have ratified it. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker welcomed the announcement that the Cook Islands is the eighth nation to ratify this landmark agreement. “The agreement represents ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Securing a pipeline of teachers
    The Government is changing its approach to teacher recruitment as COVID-19 travel restrictions continue, by boosting a range of initiatives to get more Kiwis into teaching. “When we came into Government, we were faced with a teacher supply crisis,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “Over the past three years, we ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Border exceptions for a small number of international students with visas
    The Government has established a new category that will allow 250 international PhD and postgraduate students to enter New Zealand and continue their studies, in the latest set of border exceptions. “The health, safety and wellbeing of people in New Zealand remains the Government’s top priority. Tight border restrictions remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • First COVID-19 vaccine purchase agreement signed
    The Government has signed an agreement to purchase 1.5 million COVID-19 vaccines – enough for 750,000 people – from Pfizer and BioNTech, subject to the vaccine successfully completing all clinical trials and passing regulatory approvals in New Zealand, say Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods and Health Minister Chris Hipkins. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • International statement – End-to-end encryption and public safety
    We, the undersigned, support strong encryption, which plays a crucial role in protecting personal data, privacy, intellectual property, trade secrets and cyber security.  It also serves a vital purpose in repressive states to protect journalists, human rights defenders and other vulnerable people, as stated in the 2017 resolution of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ministry of Defence Biodefence Assessment released
    The Ministry of Defence has today released a Defence Assessment examining Defence’s role across the spectrum of biological hazards and threats facing New Zealand. Biodefence: Preparing for a New Era of Biological Hazards and Threats looks at how the NZDF supports other agencies’ biodefence activities, and considers the context of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Approaches to Economic Challenges: Confronting Planetary Emergencies: OECD 9 October 2020
    New Approaches to Economic Challenges: Confronting Planetary Emergencies: OECD 9 October 2020 Hon David Parker’s response following Thomas Piketty and Esther Duflo. Good morning, good afternoon, and good evening, wherever in the world you might be. I first acknowledge the excellent thought provoking speeches of Thomas Piketty and Esther ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Kaipara Moana restoration takes next step
    A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed today at Waihāua Marae between the Crown, local iwi and councils to protect, restore and enhance the mauri of Kaipara Moana in Northland. Environment Minister David Parker signed the document on behalf of the Crown along with representatives from Ngā Maunga Whakahī, Ngāti ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand and Uruguay unite on reducing livestock production emissions
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor and Uruguayan Minister of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries Carlos María Uriarte have welcomed the launch of a three-year project that will underpin sustainable livestock production in Uruguay, Argentina, and Costa Rica.  The project called ‘Innovation for pasture management’ is led by Uruguay’s National Institute of Agricultural ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • 3100 jobs created through marae upgrades
    Hundreds of marae throughout the country will be upgraded through investments from the Provincial Growth Fund’s refocused post COVID-19 funding to create jobs and put money into the pockets of local tradespeople and businesses, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta have announced. “A total ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Health volunteers recognised in annual awards
    Health Minister Chris Hipkins has announced 9 teams and 14 individuals are the recipients of this year’s Minister of Health Volunteer Awards.  “The health volunteer awards celebrate and recognise the thousands of dedicated health sector volunteers who give many hours of their time to help other New Zealanders,” Mr Hipkins ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Community COVID-19 Fund supports Pacific recovery
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio says a total of 264 groups and individuals have successfully applied for the Pacific Aotearoa Community COVID-19 Recovery Fund, that will support Pacific communities drive their own COVID-19 recovery strategies, initiatives, and actions. “I am keen to see this Fund support Pacific ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Community benefits from Māori apprenticeships
    Up to 50 Māori apprentices in Wellington will receive paid training to build houses for their local communities, thanks to a $2.75 million investment from the Māori Trades and Training Fund, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “This funding will enable Ngāti Toa Rangatira Incorporated to provide its Ngā Kaimahi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Training fund supports Māori jobseekers
    Rapidly growing sectors will benefit from a $990,000 Māori Trades and Training Fund investment which will see Wellington jobseekers supported into work, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “This funding will enable Sapphire Consultants Ltd. to help up to 45 Māori jobseekers into paid training initiatives over two years through ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Ruakura Inland Port development vital infrastructure for Waikato
    The Government is investing $40 million to develop an inland port at Ruakura which will become a freight super-hub and a future business, research and residential development for the Waikato, Urban Development and Transport Minister Phil Twyford, and Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today. The funding has been has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Appointments made to Defence Expert Review Group
    Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today the establishment of an Expert Review Group to review a number of aspects of the New Zealand Defence Force’s (NZDF) structure, information management and record-keeping processes.  The Expert Review Group’s work arises out of the first recommendation from the Report of the Government’s Inquiry ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • No active community cases of COVID-19
    There are no active community cases of COVID-19 remaining in the country after the last people from the recent outbreak have recovered from the virus, Health Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “This is a big milestone. New Zealanders have once again through their collective actions squashed the virus. The systems ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Clean energy upgrade for more public buildings
    More public buildings will be supported by the Government to upgrade to run on clean energy, the Minister for Climate Change James Shaw announced today. Minister Shaw announced that Lincoln and Auckland universities will receive support through the Clean-Powered Public Service Fund to replace fossil fuel boilers. Southern, Taranaki, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Schools back donations scheme for the second year
    More schools have opted in to the donations scheme for 2021, compared to 2020 when the scheme was introduced. “The families of more than 447,000 students will be better off next year, with 94% of eligible schools and kura opting into the scheme,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “This is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Ruapehu cycle trails gets PGF boost
    The spectacular Mountains to Sea cycle trail in Ruapehu District will receive $4.6 million in funding from the Provincial Growth Fund for two additional trails, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “This is an exciting development for the local community, and one that will provide significant economic opportunities ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Update to air border order strengthens crew requirements
    Additional measures coming into effect on Monday will boost our defence against COVID-19 entering New Zealand through the air border, Health Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “As part of our precautionary approach and strategy of constant review, we’re tightening the requirements around international aircrew,” Chris Hipkins said. The COVID-19 Public ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • A true picture of Māori business activity
    A better picture of the contribution Māori businesses make to the economy will be possible with changes to the way information is collected about companies and trading enterprises. Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Small Business Minister Stuart Nash have announced a new option for Māori enterprises who are part ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF funding for Taranaki projects
    The South Taranaki museum, a New Plymouth distillery and a Pasifika building firm will benefit from a Government investment totalling more than $1 million, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. The $1.05m in grants and loans from the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will help the recipients expand and create ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Fijian Language Week 2020 inspires courage and strength during COVID-19 pandemic
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio says the theme for the 2020 Fijian Language Week reflects the strong belief by Fijians that their language and culture inspires courage and strength that is strongly needed in times of emergencies, or through a significant challenge like the global COVID-19 pandemic ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Trades training builds on iwi aspirations
    An investment of $2.025 million from the Māori Trades and Training Fund will support Māori to learn new skills while making a positive difference for their communities, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “K3 Development Limited Partnership will receive $2,025,000 for its Takitimu Tuanui apprenticeship programme, which will support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago