Ending the party appointments system
I want to see this appended to the coalition agreements or promoted by the new government (or indeed all parties):
Appointments by government to be politically neutral
The parties are concerned that the abuse of the appointment systems over time has undermined confidence in a politically neutral public service.
The parties affirm that every appointment to the governing body of a Crown entity or any other appointment that the government or any minister may make will not include anyone who at any time after the last general election was a member, candidate, donor, employee, agent or official of any party participating in government, ie. National, Act, Maori, United Future. This declaration will form part of the routine vetting procedures.
It is desirable to ensure robust examination and transparency of candidates for public appointments. Legislation will be introduced to the House as a government bill in 2009, and will come into force 2012, that will regulate the appointments system and provide for parliamentary input into the government appointments process. Any process must adequately protect the privacy of the applicants.
It suits the governing parties, National and Labour, to allow themselves to appoint their political mates to whatever positions on Crown boards they like. It is time that came to a stop. If the new government was prepared to end this long-running scheme of political pay-backs then it would set a very high ethical bar.