One job only for Jerry

Written By: - Date published: 1:46 pm, March 8th, 2011 - 77 comments
Categories: john key, national/act government - Tags: ,

Update: the Stuff article failed to mention the vital fact that Mateparae is stepping down from the GCSB before becoming G-G. It says “Prime Minister John Key said there was no conflict of interest with Mateparae remaining on at GCSB”. But the Herald explains he’ll step down in June before being G-G in August. Sorry. Fucken Stuff.

John Key has appointed Jerry Mataparae as the next Governor-General. That’s all well and good. I’m sure he’ll do a fine job. But Key says he can also stay on as head of the Government Communications Security Bureau. That’s not on.

This is not a criticism of Mateparae. No person can be allowed to hold these two roles at the same time.

One person can’t be a senior civil servant who serves at the pleasure of Key, who is the responsible minister, and at the same time be the Queen’s representative who appoints the Prime Minister, who is Key, and signs off on laws that Key’s government wants to pass.

This is basic separation of powers stuff. Having the G-G directly subject to the Prime Minister for his other job is not on. Trying it is a continuation if the contempt for our democracy that National has exhibited previously over the Supercity, Ecan, and CERRA.

Plus, since when were either of these part- time jobs?

77 comments on “One job only for Jerry ”

  1. randal 1

    the guts of the matter is Key is a manque and has no idea about democracy or separation of powers or anything except how to fleece investors.
    the sooner he leaves the better.

    • Jim Nald 1.1

      the better part of me would like to think that Key, his mates, and right-wing reporters, are not stupid and they know about the separation of powers but they push boundaries, including constitutional ones, to see how much they can get away with.
      if caught or faced with public backlash, they plead ignorance, blame someone else, etc.

  2. Voldemort 2

    From the Herald: Lt Gen Mateparae is currently the director of the Government Communications Security Bureau. Mr Key said Lt Gen Mateparae he would continue in that role until June. “We sought advice on that. Jerry will be stepping down in June … the advice from the State Services Commission is that would be appropriate.

    Captcha: presume

  3. Peter 3

    Hang on. My understanding of the situation is that he takes up the governor general role in August, and leaves the GCSB in July. So, no conflict of interest.

  4. Anthony C 4

    I’ve always thought the Governor General was usually a lawyer because of the constitutional part.

    • Bored 4.1

      A very good reason to overhaul our system of legislation: if we need to be a lawyer to understand the law what hope does the general public have of understanding and complying?

  5. @Anthony – yes. Jerry is the first non-lawyer since Dame Cath Tizard (1990 – 1996).

    It’s an interesting choice. Jerry topped the Republican Movement’s poll back in October.

  6. Anne 6

    This is preposterous! Even if Peter is right (and I hope he is) what the hell are they up to?
    My recollection is: Mataparea only took over as head of the GCSB about a month ago.
    Key and co. must have known he was in line for the GG at the time.

  7. infused 7

    Basic lack of reading Eddie?

  8. Alwyn 8

    I sometimes think we did rather better when we had British Peers doing the job.
    Not from the duties they carried out but from what we got from them
    The Ranfurly Shield
    The Plunket Shield
    The Bledisloe Cup
    The Treaty House and the 250 or so Hectares around it.
    In addition they went home after their time was up and stopped using things like the VIP cars for ever.
    What have any of the New Zealand based ones ever done for us that can compare?

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      As I’ve said previously, civilisation started to go down hill when they let people other than white, Christian, property owning men of good standing have the vote.

      • Alwyn 8.1.1

        No. Civilisation started to collapse when anyone was allowed to vote.
        The “Divine Right OF Kings” was the last proper form of Government.
        Everything since has been pandering to hoi polloi.

      • higherstandard 8.1.2

        ….. and yet if we were to have these people killed we would be the one’s arrested … and they call that democracy (CM Burns)

  9. Mac1 9

    Spoken as a true ASP, Viper. I bet there are no ‘burnies’ to bags on the bottom when you stir the pot! 😉

  10. SHG 10

    I guess the fact that he takes over as G-G the month AFTER he retires from the GCSB is just a trivial little detail that Eddie didn’t need to include in the article.

    • Bright Red 10.1

      I see it included in the article. Are you blind?

      • SHG 10.1.1

        No, just better informed than Eddie was when he wrote the article.

        • mickysavage

          Eddie’s only mistake was to take what was said in Stuff at face value.

          • Gosman

            Yes, jumping the gun before the facts of the matter were fully known. An affliction that affects a lot of people on left wing blogs it seems 😉

            • Bright Red

              How is it jumping the gun? The Stuff article still hasn’t been changed.

              • Gosman

                Ummmmm, I think I added ‘before the facts of the matter were fully know’.

                Are you disputing that Eddie didn’t have a good picture of the entire story before he wrote this?

                • Bright Red

                  I don’t think you can get on your high horse over the guy writing an article based on the facts as presented on a major news website.

                  should every blogger have to check multiple news sources for each story in case one of them has the facts wrong?

                  Sounds like you’re just being a dick, IMHO

                  • Gosman

                    “should every blogger have to check multiple news sources for each story in case one of them has the facts wrong?”

                    No, but I would like bloggers to stop trying to score political points from the skimpiest of information. And yes, a single news site (regardless of how well regarded it has been in the past), is still pretty skimpy.

                    • todd

                      It’s confirmed, Gosman is a dick!

                      Mateparae is first and foremost a soldier and as such is capable of undertaking orders… Perhaps that’s why he is National’s choice.

                    • Gosman

                      Hey Todd how come you are deleting all my posts on your blog when you whined like a little baby and threatened to sue when David Farrar banned you from Kiwiblog?

                • Eddie’s view of the issue, as presented by stuff, was perfect.

                  If we cannot expect one of the largest media companies in the country to get things right then we may as well give up blogging.

            • lprent

              It isn’t hard to find on the right wing blogs either – especially at No Minister…

              • Gosman

                I’m sure it isn’t hard to find on right wing blogs. However my point was directed at left wing blogs.

                I’m more than happy if you want to make a similar point on ‘No Minister’ when he similarly jumps the gun for political point scoring purposes.

                • lprent

                  Information content there tends to be too low to justify wasting my time reading it. As much as I hate to say it, Whale actually has a higher information content in his posts than the authors at No Minister.

                  Neither of those site has virtually any information in the comments unless you want a sociological profile on the bottom end of deformed personalities. – which is why they never have any comments. The sewer has a better range of observable deformations, and they actually interact with each other. It also has some people who know what they’re talking about and are who are worth reading. But as turgid as the discussions sometimes get here, I tend to find it simpler to read comments here – more information as less barracking (and besides I can do something about the barracking here when it gets too irritating)

                  KeepingStock and MacDoctor tend to be the most interesting RW blog sites IMHO

                  😈 Just my opinion of course….

                  Updated: Barracking is a nice word to describe what happens in the comments section around here 🙂

                • Bright Red

                  “I’m more than happy if you want to make a similar point on ‘No Minister’ when he similarly jumps the gun for political point scoring purposes.”

                  How would anyone know if No Minister ‘jumps the gun’? Nobody reads it. I can’t recall ever being there in the past two years or more or even seeing it mentioned apart from just now.

                  And Eddie didn’t jump the gun. He based an argument on the information presented by a major news site.

                  And I see Audrey Young says Mateparae should give up the GCSB job now anyway.

  11. lprent 11

    Added the relevant links.

  12. It’s time we chose our own head of state . This achaic system that we have inherited fom the chinless wonders of the UK should have gone years ago.
    Its the corner stone of the British Class system and has no place here in Aotearoa.
    Of course with a royal wedding almost upon us there will , unfortunatly, a revival of Royal,fever .
    Already there is talk of what we should send this rich spoilt couple for a wedding present. If royalist Key wants to send a present well let him pay for it. I expect he will get a knighthood for his pandering anyway.
    I expect he will be at this wedding bobing up and down and dribbling with excitement . What an insult to egalitrian Aotearoa. How much longer have we to suffer this nonsense ?

  13. Tigger 13

    In a similar vein (appropriate separate of roles) Key commented on the OCR yesterday. Don’t PM’s usually keep mum on the OCR?

  14. hobbit 15

    Does Eddie have any feet left to shoot after he did this last time?

  15. ianmac 16

    I understand that Jerry is a good bloke and must be pretty competent to rise to his position.

    In some countries the head of Government Communications Security Bureau, then becoming Governor General (President), would strike fear in the hearts of the people. What inside information does he have on writers for the dreaded Standard? Or members of that weird Green Party?
    Tremble folk and check for bugging! 😈

  16. Jenny 17

    Our governing general?

    Q: What is the difference between Fiji and New Zealand

    A: They both have generals as their head of state

    • Jenny 17.1

      Jerry Mataparae is the former head of the military and the notoriously secretive and paranoid GCSB spy agency.

      In 1975 Gough Whitlam was deposed by Australia’s Governor General for threatening to close down the US run Pine Gap spy base.

      As in Australia Mataparae as our governing general has the right to depose any left government that challenges the status quo.

      The question is – with his loyalties to the military and the GCSB what do you think our stern new governing general would do, if a New Zealand Labour administration decided to close down Waihopai?

      captcha – “disaster” ???

    • The Head of State of Fiji is Ratu Epeli Nailatikau. He was in the military, but his service ended when Rabuka held his first coup in 1987.
      The Head of State of New Zealand is Queen Elizabeth II.

      But please play again.

      • Jenny 17.2.1

        I don’t mind the Queen as the head of state for New Zealand. But why do we have a Governor General?

        This harks back to the day when the British had an empire and a military to back it up.

    • RobertM 17.3

      Right. Remember Pinochett and Kerr in Australia. Labour thought he was tame and useless. I assume Clark appointed Jerry because she wanted a dumb, malleable army commander. Probably proved useless at the Communications bureau.

  17. Vicky32 18

    As a linguist, I have been both puzzled and amused to hear him referred to on Radio NZ as ‘leftenant general’ and later by Noelle McCarthy as ‘lootenant’.. When did the American proununciation of certain words become de rigeur in some parts of NZ? It’s a crap-shoot whether people on Radio NZ or TV 1 will say shed-yool or sked-yool, root or rowt (route), leftenant or lootenant… On TV3, the American pronunciation is always used, and given that their CEO is American, I am not surprised. One or the other, people, preferably the NZ pronunciation – thousands of Asian and Saudi students I’ve taught would love some consistency!
    (Sorry for the OT, but I need to vent about that..)

    • todd 18.1

      Shonkey absolutely murdered the pronunciation of Jerry Mateparae on the news tonight. My word.

    • I have been both puzzled and amused to hear him referred to on Radio NZ as ‘leftenant general’ and later by Noelle McCarthy as ‘lootenant’.. When did the American proununciation of certain words become de rigeur in some parts of NZ?

      It’s not just an American vs. British distinction. The Navy and the Army adopt different pronunciations as well (with the Navy pretty close to what you seem to term the American pronunciation).

      • Vicky32 18.2.1

        Yes, but why, is what I want to know? To me, it’s simply the American pronunciation, and it didn’t exist in the Navy until fairly recently (I know, my brother-in-law was a Petty Officer Electrician until the 80s..)

  18. higherstandard 19

    Outstanding choice for G-G, congratulations Jerry you’ll do a great job.

    • RedLogix 19.1

      Of course he is hs, but you also know perfectly well that this transition is sloppy.

      Jerry will likely handle the potential conflict just fine, Key will get away with it, and the fuss will die away.

      Until some Labour PM takes a similar short-cut… and then we’ll be treated to howls and wails from the rightie talking point chorus assuring us it’s the “End of Democracy”.

      • higherstandard 19.1.1

        “Until some Labour PM takes a similar short-cut… and then we’ll be treated to howls and wails from the rightie talking point chorus assuring us it’s the “End of Democracy”.”

        And it will be equally facile and vapid

    • Jenny 19.2

      Just imagine the screams of outrage from the right, if a Labour administration placed an extreme left winger as Governor General.

  19. Anne 20

    Agree hs. He comes across as a competent and genuine person. The problem is: he shouldn’t continue as the head of the GCSB. He should step down now!!

    • higherstandard 20.1

      Why ?

      If I get another job, assuming that I’m not going to work for a competing interest, which I’m due to start in x months time what reason would there be for me to step down from my current job immediately.

      Jerry’s working on behalf of NZ now and on behalf of NZ as the Queen’s representative in his forthcoming position.

      • todd 20.1.1

        The Governments Communications Security Bureau (GCSB), has recently been found to have regularly shared extensive amounts of information with the US National Security Agency (NSA). Having the GG also in charge of selling secrets to the US is a conflict of interest, IMHO.

        • higherstandard

          I thought the US of A were our friends, why shouldn’t we share information with them ?

      • Anne 20.1.2

        Because it’s not ‘any other job’ hs. He heads a govt. spy agency. He’s directly answerable to the PM. In the months between now and taking up his position as GG, he could – inadvertently maybe – end up compromising that position. But of course we would never know because it’s a secret agency. That makes it all the more imperative that he step down now!

        • higherstandard

          He might do something, that we would never know, that might compromise something else………. what fanciful pap.

          I for one am happy for him to do the job he’s currently doing and them to take up his new position.

  20. Oscar 21

    Is Jerry our first Maori GG?

  21. MrSmith 22

    Wonkey to the spinners, we have the foreshore and sea bed mess coming up what do you think? How about we make that Maori guy we just gave the top spook job to governor general, that should be a win with the Maori vote and a nice distraction for everyone else. Wonkey, that sounds perfect. And the show goes on and on I’m getting dizzy.

  22. Jenny 23

    This very conservative appointment by a right wing administration, to my mind is as grotesque as if a Labour administration made Grant Morgan Governor General.

  23. mouse 24

    Welcome to your dystopian future New Zealand!

    In these day’s all countries need the former Head of their internal security intelligence service to be the effective head of state…

    Just ask Vlad Putin, He’s doing a fine job for his kleptocrat mates.

  24. Jenny 25

    Arise Sir Prince.

    Youth and looks win out over democratic credentials

    Couldn’t the Nats find someone less familiar with democracy?

    captcha- “imposing” ????

  25. Gosman 26

    Given the fact that the G-G is usually only appointed after consultation with the other party leaders does anyone know if any party raised an objection?

    If not why not?

    • Usually, yes. Although I’m not sure about the level of consultation with other party leaderS, it may focus on the Leader of the Opposition.

      Certainly this convention has been played with in the past (e.g. Holyoake), but I very much imagine that consultation happened here. There were stories in the media about how Labour objected to McKinnon, for example.

      The extent to which consultation is information, or allows true dialogue has fluctuated. Some in National were more than a little miffed at Margaret Wilson’s approach to appointing Court of Appeal judges – National had not made certain appointments they’d wanted to following Labour objection during the 90s, but when National made similar objections under Wilson, she apparently still went ahead (Sian Elias as Chief Justice was one that made the media).

      Why didn’t Labour object? I suspect because they think he’ll be a good GG. Why did Helen Clark appoint him to head the Army and later the defence force?

      • Gosman 26.1.1

        “Why didn’t Labour object? I suspect because they think he’ll be a good GG. Why did Helen Clark appoint him to head the Army and later the defence force?”

        Exactly. All these amateur conspiracy theorists banging on about how this is all a National Party plot to undermine democracy are just nonsense.

        I think it is valid to question whether he should resign immediately from his current role but there is nothing sinister going on here.

  26. Rich 27

    I’m sure he’s an honourable character.

    But it’s interesting that while Libya and other states are getting rid of unelected military heads of state, we get one.

    Also, he is, I think, one of a small number of world heads of state in recent memory to move from running the secret police to the top job. The others were Yuri Andropov, Vladimir Putin and George HW Bush. (Beria wanted to, but Khrushchev was a bit quick and shot him first).

    • ZeeBop 27.1

      The governor general is a rather dead end job. GCBS might have picked a dud to lead them and the governor general position came up allow them to unload the spare wood. Government communication bullshit service – hehe

  27. randal 28

    no doubt about it.
    the standard of reporting in new zealand has taken a nosedive over the last couple of years.
    it seems most reporters are barely literate and the facts dont really count anymore.
    probity and rectitude have gone out the window and the harridans at RNZ are becoming more shrill by the day.
    when a person lands one of those jobs they become just like the pollies.
    its their authority that counts and not the truth.
    the increasing use of interrogatvies in the discourse is an increasing demonstration of personal bullying and lack of respect for the consumer.

  28. Jenny 29

    All the markers are now in place for a constitutional coup.

    Those markers may never be called in.

    But the possibility is there.

    • neoleftie 29.1

      nope if the ‘guns’ didnt come out in 84-87 they will never come out in this oh so tame land of ours

  29. aotearoan 30

    The specter of Phil Goff as PM in times of global recession, changing superpower relations, the rise of BRIC, expensive oil, scarcity, peak everything, the decline of Christchurch and the rise of local unrest make it necessary for a head of state who will uphold the interests of Euro and Maori elites while getting ready for the next big quake.

    See ‘Sleeping Dogs’, the movie, read Jared Diamond’s ‘Collapse’.

    Who will fell the last kauri ?

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    2 weeks ago
  • New diplomatic appointments
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  • Speech to the Committee for Auckland
    It is great to be here today at this event as Minister for Auckland and Minister ofTransport. Let me start by acknowledging each one of you and thanking the Committee forAuckland for hosting this event and inviting me to speak here today. The Committee for Auckland has been a symbol ...
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  • Getting Transport Back on Track in Auckland
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