Attorney General and Minister for Treaty Negotiations and Labour Chris Finlayson has number one spot in the NZ Herald’s ministerial rankings.
Audrey Young dubs him the Minister for results:
Chris Finlayson has emerged as one of John Key’s most valuable ministers in National’s second term. He has scored the highest rating of all ministers in my report card on the Executive prepared with colleagues in the Herald press gallery team. . .
Mr Finlayson is Attorney-General and Treaty Negotiations Minister. He is also Labour Minister since Kate Wilkinson resigned after the royal commission’s damning report into the Pike River disaster.
On the face of it, that may not seem a natural fit – and it may be just a temporary appointment until the next reshuffle. But Mr Finlayson’s skill set may be the right one to keep the job for the rest of the term. He gets results. He has a big intellect and has a good head for detail. But he is also emotionally intelligent, and was a good choice to send to the West Coast to discuss the report with the Pike River families.
His achievements in Treaty Negotiations are the most notable. Who would have imagined two years ago the Government concluding a deal with Tuhoe?
He doesn’t make a fuss but gets things done and the number of Treaty settlements successfully concluded is worthy of praise.
Health Minister Tony Ryall and Justice Minister Judith Collins scored highly as well. The Opposition has been able to inflict few dents on the Government in health, such is Mr Ryall’s control after four years in the portfolio. Labour has had three spokespeople over four years. . .
At the other end of the ranking was education Minister Hekia Parata.
Education is always a tough portfolio and always seems to be tougher for National ministers.
That is partly due to the strength of teacher unions which are ideologically opposed to the party regardless of the merit of its policies.
Let’s not forget that for all the bad press, the Minister has kept an unrelenting and much needed focus on improving standards, especially for that long tail of under achievers.
Then there’s the Ministry of Education which has obviously learned nothing from the debacle over school closures udner Trevor Mallard in the last Labour government’s first term .
Closing or merging schools is always going to be fraught. Doing it in Christchurch which was already dealing with so much after the earthquakes required extra sensitivity which it didn’t get.
How some of the really silly suggestions, merging Avonside and Christchurch Girls’, and Christchurch and Shirley Boys’ for example which even the minister admits was crazy, was ever mooted, let alone presented for discussion, is difficult to understand.
And a ministry which says it didn’t gives schools information because it was too complex requires radical surgery.
The full ranking (in Cabinet order) is:
John Key – 7
Prime Minister, Tourism, SIS, GCSB
Bill English – 8
Gerry Brownlee – 7.5
Canterbury Earthquake Recovery, Transport
Steven Joyce – 7
Judith Collins – 8.5
Tony Ryall – 8.5
Health, State-owned Enterprises
Hekia Parata – 3
Chris Finlayson – 9
Attorney General, Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations, Labour
Paula Bennett – 7
David Carter – 8
Primary Industries, Local Government
Murray McCully – 7
Anne Tolley – 7
Jonathan Coleman – 8
Defence, State Services
Tim Groser – 8
Trade, Climate Change issues
Phil Heatley – 5
Housing, Energy and Resources
Kate Wilkinson – 4
Conservation, Food Safety
Nathan Guy – 6
Immigration, Veteran’s Affairs, Associate Primary Industries
Craig Foss – 6
Amy Adams – 7
Environment, Communication and Information Technology
Chris Tremain – 6
Maurice Williamson – 7
Building, Customs, Land Information
Jo Goodhew – 6
Senior Citizens, Women’s Affairs
Chester Borrows – 6
Courts, Associate Justice, Associate Social Development
Simon Bridges – 7
Consumer Affairs, Associate Climate Change, Associate Transport