Experience will count

November 17, 2008

You don’t have to be a teacher to be Minsiter of Education nor have a medical background to be Minister of Health.

You don’t have to have been a beneficiary to be Minister of Social Development either, but Paula Bennett’s experience on the DPB will mean that no-one can accuse her of not knowing what it’s like to live on a benefit.

Promoting Paula, just entering her second term as an MP, to cabinet and in one of the most demanding roles is a big call but as Tim Donoghue’s  profile shows she’s not one to be daunted by challenges.

I’ve met Paula several times and have been impressed with both her intelligence and her compassion.

The Herald recalls her presentation to the 2006 party conference:

She told the mainly older delegates that mums on the DPB should not all be lumped together.

She said there were some solo mums who needed to be persuaded back to work through “mutual obligations” such as work testing and training.

But about a quarter of mums were off the DPB within a year and another 37 per cent were off within four.

For most of these mums welfare was only a temporary backstop they were keen to leave behind.

She said National was committed to giving those mums the tools to re-enter the workforce through re-training and employment schemes.

“There are many that if we gave them the opportunity and if we gave them the inspiration and belief in them and showed them the way then they actually would be getting off more.”

The Social Development portfolio will be an especially demanding one given the gloomy economic outlook but Paula has both the head and heart to cope with it.

TV3 profiles Paula  here and TV1 profiles her  here.

New party serious about sex

November 17, 2008

They’ve got a name and slogan that are sure to get attention:

‘We are serious about sex’ is the slogan of a new political party to be launched on Thursday.

With four million Australians accessing pornography, The Australian Sex Party, says it has a real chance of winning seats in state and federal parliaments.

Its platforms include a national sex education curriculum, reducing censorship, abolishing the government’s proposed internet filter and supporting gay marriage.

Sex sells and the party is already getting attention. But will it get memb supporters and will it get votes?

Trotter returns to Bowalley Road

November 17, 2008

Just days after retiring from Policy Blog, Chris Trotter has returned to the blogosphere at Bowalley Road.

It’s named after the road leading to the North Otago farm where he lived until he was nine. It’s in the Otepopo district, so I presume Chris started his formal education at the school of that name in Herbert.

Herbert (so small it should really just be Herb, Jim Hopkins quipped in a celebrity debate) isn’t known as a hotbed of socialism. But Chris wouldn’t be alone in his leftwards leanings if he returned because every election year a large Labour hoarding sprouts outside a cottage in the township.

Hat Tip: Jaffapete

What’s in a number?

November 17, 2008

Commentators are analysing Naitonal’s new cabinet and it won’t be long before someone looks at the numbers.

One is important, so too are those which follow it closely and you have to have a front bench.

But I don’t think there’s anything to be achieved by close analysis of where Ministers are ranked.

They can’t all be number one or on the front bench. Where they are in the rankings may help or hurt their egos but it’s not necessarily a reflection on them or the importance of the portfolios they hold.

While no-one would argue that racing is as important as health it’s more difficult to differentiate between most of the roles so there’s nothing to be gained by anguishing over the rankings.

It’s not the number in front of their name but the job they do with the ministry after it which really matters. Good ministers will ensure their portfolios are important and get the attention they warrant regardless of where they’re ranked.

Some thoughts on the new ministers

November 17, 2008

Bill English has a big workload as Deputy PM, Minister of Finance and Minister of Infrastructre.

Federated Farmers has been pressing for irrigation to be included under infrastructure. Agriculture Minister David Carter has always been supportive of that so I hope he convinces Bill and his associate Steven Joyce of its importance too.

Whether or not you accept the science for climate change, it’s a political issue which needs careful handling and we will be very well served in that area by Tim Groser. He’ll be a very able Trade Minsiter too.

I’m also pleased to see Richard Worth as Minister for Lands.

Farmers have very strong feelings over the mishandling of tenure review by the previous minister and Richard will be welcomed for the new and more reasonable perspecitve he’ll bring to this area.

For everyone pleased to be in cabinet, or a minister outside it, there will be more than one MP disappointed to have missed out.

However, John Key has made it clear that some appointments will not run the full term. The experience of longer serving MPs, especially those who’ve been Ministers before, will be appreicated in the interim. But there are plenty of talented MPs waiting to take over and at least some of the senior MPs must know their tenure as Minister will not be for the full three years so that National can present a refreshed line up for the next election.

New cabinet

November 17, 2008

John Key says his government will be focused on growth to deliver prosperity for all New Zealanders when he announced his new Ministry.

 “The National-led Government takes office at a challenging time for the country.  The growth outlook is weak, and international and domestic difficulties abound.

 “This Government will concentrate on boosting economic growth because that is what will lead us out of these challenging times. 


“Part of the right response is to tackle the infrastructure blockages. . .  “


National will nominate Lockwood Smith for Speaker.


The new cabinet is:


1 John Key – Prime Minister, Minister of Tourism, Ministerial Services, Minister in Charge of the NZ Security Intelligence Service, Minister Responsible for the GCSB


2 Hon Bill English – Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance, Minister for Infrastructure


3 Gerry Brownlee – Minister for Economic Development, Minister of Energy and Resources, Leader of the House, Associate Minister for the Rugby World Cup


 4 Simon Power – Minister of Justice, Minister for State Owned Enterprises, Minister of Commerce, Minister Responsible for the Law Commission, Associate Minister of Finance, Deputy Leader of the House


5 Hon Tony Ryall – Minister of Health, Minister of State Services 


6 Hon Dr Nick Smith – Minister for the Environment, Minister for Climate Change Issues, Minister for ACC


7 Judith Collins – Minister of Police, Minister of Corrections, Minister of Veterans’ Affairs 


8 Anne Tolley – Minister of Education, Minister for Tertiary Education, Minister Responsible for the Education Review Office


9 Christopher Finlayson – Attorney-General [Includes responsibility for Serious Fraud Office], Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations, Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage 


10 Hon David Carter – Minister of Agriculture, Minister for Biosecurity, Minister of Forestry 


11 Hon Murray McCully – Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister for Sport and Recreation, Minister for the Rugby World Cup 


12 Tim Groser – Minister of Trade, Minister of Conservation, Associate Minister of Foreign Affairs, Associate Minister for Climate Change Issues (International Negotiations)


13 Dr Wayne Mapp – Minister of Defence, Minister of Research, Science and Technology, Associate Minister for Economic Development, Associate Minister for Tertiary Education


14 Steven Joyce –Minister of Transport, Minister for Communications and Information Technology, Associate Minister of Finance, Associate Minister for Infrastructure


 15 Hon Georgina te Heuheu – Minister for Courts, Minister of Pacific Island Affairs, Minister for Disarmament and Arms Control, Associate Minister of Maori Affairs


16 Paula Bennett  – Minister for Social Development and Employment, Minister for Disability Issues, Minister of Youth Affairs 


17 Phil Heatley – Minister of Fisheries, Minister of Housing


18 Pansy Wong –  Minister for Ethnic Affairs, Minister of Women’s Affairs, Associate Minister for ACC Associate Minister of Energy and Resources 


19 Dr Jonathan Coleman – Minister of Immigration, Minister of Broadcasting, Associate Minister of Tourism, Associate Minister of Health 


20 Kate Wilkinson – Minister of Labour, Minister for Food Safety, Associate Minister of Immigration



21 Hon Maurice Williamson – Minister for Building and Construction, Minister of Customs, Minister of Statistics, Minister for Small Business 


22 Dr Richard Worth – Minister of Internal Affairs, Minister for Land Information, Minister Responsible for Archives New Zealand, Minister Responsible for the National Library, Associate Minister of Justice 


23 John Carter – Minister of Civil Defence, Minister for Senior Citizens, Minister for Racing, Associate Minister of Local Government



Rodney Hide – Minister of Local Government, Minister for Regulatory Reform, Associate Minister of Commerce 


Heather Roy – Minister of Consumer Affairs, Associate Minister of Defence, Associate Minister of Education 


Dr Pita Sharples – Minister of Maori Affairs, Associate Minister of Corrections, Associate Minister of Education 


Hon Tariana Turia – Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector, Associate Minister of Health, Associate Minister for Social Development and Employment


Hon Peter Dunne – Minister of Revenue, Associate Minister of Health


The list is here.


Cabinet announcement to be broadcast live

November 17, 2008

John Key’s announcement of his cabinet is to be broadcast live by both TV1 and TV3 at 3pm.

UPDATE: Well I had a media release saying that was what was going to happen, but it didn’t.

%d bloggers like this: