Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search

 


No Right Turn: Tony Soprano Would Be Proud

Tony Soprano Would Be Proud
http://norightturn.blogspot.com

So what's the difference between Maori Language Commission CEO Haami Piripi and the Labour Department executive forced to resign because she was a member of the Maori Party? Simply that, unlike Mr Piripi, Ms Panoho was a member of the core public service, and therefore subject to the Public Service Code of Conduct.

Public servants are required to be politically neutral, and to be able to enact both the policy of the government of the day and the policies of future governments. However, this does not necessarily preclude membership of political parties. It does however require avoiding the appearance of a conflict of interest.

What gives this whole thing a foul odour is the political context. Ms Panoho's resignation was apparently sparked by a compalint about her behind-the-scenes involvement in the Maori Party's Tamaki Makaurau branch - a complaint made by staff of MP John Tamihere, who is coincidentally the current MP for that electorate. So we have a sitting MP and Minister using the Public Service Code of Conduct in an effort to nobble his electoral competition. No matter which way you look at it, that's fairly ripe.

But there's also a vindictive aspect. Labour's attitude to the Maori Party has been characterised by vindicitiveness and outrage that Maori might be unhappy with Labour's treatment of them. The complaint against Ms Panoho is putting supporters of the Maori Party on notice that their change of allegiance will cost them dearly. Tony Soprano would be proud.

Public servants are permitted to belong to political parties. Frequently they are permitted to be involved "behind the scenes" in strategy and organisation. The limit is generally being publicly identified with a party, or stepping forward into the limelight as a spokesperson or candidate (though even that usually results in a mere leave of absence during the election, rather than a forced resignation). Labour's vindicitve actions invite retaliation - they aren't the only people who can lay complaints - and the result is going to be more resignations, either forced by previously tolerated political activity, or in disgust at perceived double standards. Overall, it is our public service which will be the loser.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Werewolf: Living With Rio’s Olympic Ruins

Mariana Cavalcanti Critics of the Olympic project can point a discernible pattern in the delivery of Olympics-related urban interventions: the belated but rushed inaugurations of faulty and/or unfinished infrastructures... More>>

Live Blog On Now: Open Source//Open Society Conference

The second annual Open Source Open Society Conference is a 2 day event taking place on 22-23 August 2016 at Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington… Scoop is hosting a live blog summarising the key points of this exciting conference. More>>

ALSO:

Buildup:

Gordon Campbell: On The Politicising Of The War On Drugs In Sport

It hasn’t been much fun at all to see how “war on drugs in sport” has become a proxy version of the Cold War, fixated on Russia. This weekend’s banning of the Russian long jumper Darya Klishina took that fixation to fresh extremes. More>>

ALSO:

Binoy Kampmark: Kevin Rudd’s Failed UN Secretary General Bid

Few sights are sadder in international diplomacy than seeing an aging figure desperate for honours. In a desperate effort to net them, he scurries around, cultivating, prodding, wishing to be noted. Finally, such an honour is netted, in all likelihood just to shut that overly keen individual up. More>>

Open Source / Open Society: The Scoop Foundation - An Open Model For NZ Media

Access to accurate, relevant and timely information is a crucial aspect of an open and transparent society. However, in our digital society information is in a state of flux with every aspect of its creation, delivery and consumption undergoing profound redefinition... More>>

Keeping Out The Vote: Gordon Campbell On The US Elections

I’ll focus here on just two ways that dis-enfranchisement is currently occurring in the US: (a) by the rigging of the boundary lines for voter districts and (b) by demanding elaborate photo IDs before people are allowed to cast their vote. More>>

Ramzy Baroud: Being Black Palestinian - Solidarity As A Welcome Pathology

It should come as no surprise that the loudest international solidarity that accompanied the continued spate of the killing of Black Americans comes from Palestine; that books have already been written and published by Palestinians about the plight of their Black brethren. In fact, that solidarity is mutual. More>>

ALSO:


Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news