Back at the start of the month Marty G pointed out that Brash’s useless 2025 Taskforce looked like nothing so much as a pension scheme for retired Tory old boys. Marty wrote:
No more jobs for Nats’ old mates
So far, we’ve paid $400,000 to employ some rightwing old boys for a crap report that the government has binned as part of its political gamesmanship. It makes a lie of the government’s commitment to eliminate government waste.
We shouldn’t spend any more money on this rubbish when we could be using it to heat homes, hire teachers, or reduce borrowing.
Well, surprise!, National are still at it. No Right Turn has an excellent discussion of the Nats recent appointments to the Human Rights Review Tribunal. Of the 9 new appointments four are both wholly inappropriate and, coincidentally, old “boys”:
- Wendy Gilchrist – real estate agent and failed Christchurch local body candidate (Independent Citizens – which is the local National Party);
- Pastor Ravi Musuku – failed National Party candidate (Mt Albert, 2008), a fundamentalist Christian bigot who thinks that “having no kids makes you inferior”.
- Brian Neeson – former National MP, archconservative who blames everything bad on prostitution and abortion and who virulently opposed the inclusion of sexual orientation in the Human Rights Act. More recently, he opposed the Human Rights Amendment Act 2001, which restructured the HRC and HRRT as well as removing various discriminatory provisions from new Zealand law, as an “Orwellian” bill about “social control” by “Big Sister”.
- Ken Shirley – former ACT MP.
It is not by any means unusual for ex politicians to be appointed to positions for which they have experience and an appropriate background. But that certainly does not seem to be the case for these four appointments. This is a significant tribunal, with the power to hold Parliament to account to the terms of the Bill of Rights Act. This important body deserved better than to be saddled with a quartet of inappropriate Tory deadwood.