Barry soper thinks the coalition cardigan is beginning to look a bit threadbare:
Governments, since coalitions were forced on us 23 years ago, are a bit like – and just as scary as – the Fair Isle cardigan mum used to knit for you to keep you snuggly during winter.
Catch a thread on a barbed wire fence though and they begin to unravel – and with the current Beehive crop their red, black-and-white and green cardie is starting to look motley. . .
He takes a look at the last two weeks: Shane Jones doing his vote seeking rant then doubling down with threats of utu against those who complained; that was followed by leaks from New Zealand First disgruntled members.
Then came the dropping of the electric vehicle target and next:
But the red yarn simply wouldn’t knit with the green when it came to Labour ministers rightly giving the Greens’ Eugenie Sage the bird when it came to her rejection of a company buying land to extend its gold-mining operation in Waihi. . . .
This coalition cardigan’s now beginning to look a little threadbare.
That was before yesterday’s report on Immigration Minister Ian Lees-Galloway’s handling of Czech drug-smuggler Karel Sroubek’s residency case:
The Heron review found that the INZ processes were adequate but could be improved.
It said that Ministers applying absolute discretion may have limited time and did not usually receive free and frank advice on deportation cases – though Ministers were also free to take more time and seek further information.
“It is obvious to state that a process which allows a Minister to make a quick decision on a complex case with as little as an oral briefing and no advice is fraught with risk,” the review said.
The risk could be mitigated if more decision-making was delegated to experienced experts, which would keep the Minister “above the fray”. . .
Except that there is no requirement for a Minister to make a quick decision and Minister’s are paid to make careful, reasoned decisions.
Heron said it was also risky for the Minister to make a decision “without receiving any advice or recommendations and without any verification of the reliability of the information”.
“This process puts both the Minister and INZ at risk. Whilst Sroubek is an unusual case, it does provide an example of the manifestation of that risk.
“The grounds contained in the case file summary were understood by most to be sufficiently powerful such that the original decision of the Minister was unexpected.” . .
Unexpected is bureaucratise for wrong.
If the case file summary made a sufficiently powerful case it’s the minister who’s at fault, not officials and not the system.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she still had confidence in Lees-Galloway.
“These are complex cases and I think the Heron report rightly suggests the whole process needs to change, because both Immigration New Zealand and Ministers were carrying too much risk.”
Ministers are paid to carry risk.
That she maintains confidence in him reflects very poorly on both her judgement and leadership.
This ought to have been a sacking offence but with the coalition cardigan looking so threadbare she can’t afford any more dropped stitches, or dropped ministers.