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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

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.

4 Comments:

At 19/11/08 4:29 pm, Anonymous Ponty. said...

Wake up!One of the first thing ACT insisted on as part of their "coalition"deal,was to get a seat on the Cabinet committee on honours and appointments,the body that hands out medals and ribbons.This outfit also fills the boards of SOE's and many government bodies.Be prepared to see the little twerp,try and get as many of his cronies and supporters,onto as many boards,committees,and what have you, as he can.For the next three years,politically neutral appointees,is a pipedream.

 
At 19/11/08 6:19 pm, Blogger Barnsley Bill said...

A very high ethical bar. High enough for labour to walk under without stooping the next time they get in.

 
At 19/11/08 11:31 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thought this one out, eh Tim? ;) You want appointments subject to:

"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"

So party members and donors can't be appointed to any govt board? Kinda draconian don't ya think? Candidates, employees agents & officials maybe, but members...

Even allowing for the low party membership, that rules out a lot of people - and the most politically active people at that.

So Willie Jackson couldn't be appointed to the board of Maori TV say. Nor rower Rob Hamill to Sport & Recreation NZ (he endorsed the Greens in their ads, so is almost certainly a party member). Ditto actress Sheryl West couldn't go on Creative NZ or the Film Commission...

That should clear the decks nicely for the back-room capitalists to be the only eligible board appointees. After all, they don't need to join the parties - their sycophants can do that. And their donations get laundered through trusts on their way to the parties.

So its a green light for Sir Michael Fay to be Chairman of the Board. Every Board. Nice.

 
At 19/11/08 11:50 pm, Blogger Tim Selwyn said...

Have a cup of tea before you start seeing right wing conspiracies in the Alliance Party.

that rules out a lot of people - and the most politically active people at that.
I know. Good. That's my point.

There will be capable people left out just because they gave $20 to a party as a donation. Too bad. But this should be the rule for this term, until a better system can be worked out where parliament could have some input and restore some credibility.

My suggestion is that the government parties can appoint anyone but their own. Labour appointed Bolger to several things - I think that was a good thing, my idea will make it more likely they will appoint opposition supporters - because their flunkies are ineligible.

 

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