Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Clark's Lack of Confidence Creates Huge Cabinet

Clark's Lack of Confidence Creates Huge Cabinet

Wednesday 14 Aug 2002

Helen Clark's creation of the largest cabinet since the 1980s shows she has little faith in many of her MPs to understand their portfolios without help, ACT New Zealand Acting Leader Ken Shirley said today.

"Today's Government reshuffle demonstrates the Prime Minister has low confidence in many of her huge cabinet. Helen Clark doesn't have the faith to put key portfolios such as justice, transport and commerce in the hands of her associates, so she has broken the portfolios into dumbed down, bite-size portions. As a result, taxpayers are footing the bill for almost half the Labour MPs to enjoy the trappings of office.

"It is obvious that she is anticipating trouble from the Labour backbenches, so she has expanded the executive to give her the numbers to roll caucus.

"We see the creation of the ludicrous "Urban Affairs" position for failed Broadcasting and Biosecurity Minister Marian Hobbs. It's obviously Judith Tizard's job to carry the Prime Minister's bags in Auckland, and Ms Hobbs' job in Wellington and Christchurch. Labour has turned the expensive creation of politically correct, meaningless portfolios into an art form.

"Placing Local Government responsibility in the hands of the lowest-ranked cabinet minister shows Labour has no plans to fix the mess Sandra Lee left.

"Was Peter Dunne informed of the new, mammoth cabinet? He promised before the election to: "Reduce the total size of the Executive (Cabinet ministers, ministers outside Cabinet, and under-secretaries) to 18 members; Cut the number of ministerial portfolios thereby reducing administrative costs, without any loss in services".

"This giant cabinet is insulting to taxpayers who want more accountability at a lower price.

"With the prospects of him joining the executive within this term of parliament, he is now fast back-tracking on this issue. There is absolutely no reason whatsoever why the total executive wing of Government in New Zealand should not be less than 20, and in my view the optimum number would be in the range of 12 to 15," Mr Shirley said.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Erebus Memorial In Parnell

Social media can be a wonderful tool for bringing people together in a common cause. It can also be a seedbed and spreader of mis-information on a community-wide scale. To which category do the protests against the siting of an Erebus memorial (to the 257 New Zealanders who died in that tragedy) in a secluded corner of a Parnell park happen to belong? IMO, it is clearly the latter, and the reasons for thinking so are explained below... More>>


National: Proposed Hate Speech Laws A Step Too Far

Reports of the Government’s proposed new hate speech laws go a step too far and risk sacrificing the freedoms New Zealanders enjoy, National’s Justice spokesperson Simon Bridges says. “The reforms are supposedly including protections to every ... More>>


Agriculture: Government To Phase Out Live Exports By Sea

The Government has announced that the export of livestock by sea will cease following a transition period of up to two years, said Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “At the heart of our decision is upholding New Zealand’s reputation for high ... More>>


Norman Gemmell: New Zealand’s New Housing Policy Is Really Just A New Tax Package — And It’s A Shambles

Norman Gemmell , Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington Economists like to talk about “optimal policy instruments” — essentially, policies that achieve their objectives more effectively or efficiently than the alternatives, and ... More>>

Claire Breen: ACC’s Policy Of Not Covering Birth Injuries Is One More Sign The System Is Overdue For Reform

Claire Breen , University of Waikato Recent media coverage of women not being able to get treatment for birth injuries highlights yet another example of gender bias in healthcare in New Zealand. More>>

Police: Police Accept Findings Of IPCA Report Into Photographs Taken At Checkpoint

Police accept the findings of a report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA) relating to photographs taken at a checkpoint in Northland. On November 16, 2019, Police set up a checkpoint down the road from a fight night event in Ruakaka ... More>>


Health: Drug-Testing Law To Be Made Permanent

Interim legislation that is already proving to keep people safer from drugs will be made permanent, Health Minister Andrew Little says. More>>




InfoPages News Channels