Chris Eichbaum

July 25th, 2008 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

I mentioned yesterday how the Government’s appointment of to the Board of the forgot to mention his role in at least three ministerial offices.

Now I have no position on the merits of Dr Ecihbaum’s appointment as I simply have not read enough of his background and CV to judge the contribution he can make to monetary policy.

But a reader has sent me this extract from in 2002:

In a letter published last week in response to the previous week’s NBR editorial, “Chris Eichbaum of Wellington” accused the National Party of hiding the identities of funding donors through trusts. Mr Eichbaum claimed this did not allow citizens to judge the extent to which particular interests, whether domestic or foreign, were influencing policy formulation. Several people have asked if this is the same Chris Eichbaum who is a senior lecturer in public policy at Victoria University’s school of government? Yes And if he is the same Chris Eichbaum who disqualified himself recently as chairman of a debate between Social Development minister Steve Maharey and National’s welfare spokeswoman Judith Collins because he was seen as too close to Mr Maharey to be neutral? Yes And if he is the same Chris Eichbaum who once worked in Helen Clark’s office? Yes As he is the same man, ought not he have disclosed his background before calling on all donors to the National Party to do likewise? No, he says.

Of course it is now members of Helen Clark’s Government who are facing questions over secret trusts and her Government which was so remiss in mentioning Dr Eichbaum’s background with this appointment.

NBR also reported he has been a member of the Labour Party for more than 20 years.

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30 Responses to “Chris Eichbaum”

  1. Lee C (4,516 comments) says:

    We’re fucked. Is this another example of the cronyism and corruption Helen Clark vowed to stamp out when she forst took office?

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  2. Brownie () says:

    He’s gotta be a member of at least one party, DPF otherwise he adds nothing to society IMHO.

    It’s just sad that his personal views are red.

    Are we calling into question his proffesional views as well?

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  3. Brownie () says:

    lol!!!!!!!!

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  4. RRM (10,001 comments) says:

    So you’re not *saying* anything about the merits of his appointment, but you would point out that in 2002 the NBR said he is a friend of Labour and a hypocrite? :-)

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  5. alex Masterley (1,523 comments) says:

    Labours Legacy?

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  6. PhilBest (5,125 comments) says:

    Oh this is getting just too much. What’s the chances that we can just get all members of society to adopt as a general assumption that all appointments made by socialist politicians will be cases of nepotism and power-grabbing, and that cronyism and corruption is natural to socialists? That should about cover it…………..

    It is just sickening if the opposite myth were to retain any prevalence after THIS administration, wouldn’t it?

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  7. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “the same Chris Eichbaum who is a senior lecturer in public policy at Victoria University’s school of government?”

    A half educator.

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  8. RRM (10,001 comments) says:

    Oh dear! A “half educator”…

    Is this the “Univarsity never learned anyone how to grow turnips good” objection again?

    Or is it the “All tertiary education is part of the global socialist conspiracy” objection?

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  9. themono (129 comments) says:

    I may be horribly mistaken, but surely these things are assets in taking this job?

    “Several people have asked if this is the same Chris Eichbaum who is a senior lecturer in public policy at Victoria University’s school of government? ”

    Educated in public policy? Seems to get a tick for that….?

    “And if he is the same Chris Eichbaum who disqualified himself recently as chairman of a debate between Social Development minister Steve Maharey and National’s welfare spokeswoman Judith Collins because he was seen as too close to Mr Maharey to be neutral?”

    Able to appreciate when a conflict of interest is relevant? Good, is obviously capable of that.

    “And if he is the same Chris Eichbaum who once worked in Helen Clark’s office?”

    And parliamentary experience too! Sound very well qualified indeed.

    The posts on Chris seem to suggest that his political beliefs will somehow influence decisions on monetary policy, but the evidence presented here would suggest the opposite, specifically that he is educated, professional, experienced, and understands how to distinguish between his private beliefs and his professional role.

    The only thing that comes near a complaint is that he wrote a letter six years ago in a private capacity without disclosing his background. If he’d signed the letter “Dr. Eichbaum, Senior Lecturer in Government, Victoria University”, that would not be appropriate. But he can do what he wants as a private citizen. I doubt many senior lecturers in government demand such name recognition that would require disclosure.

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  10. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    You socialist halfwit monkey RRM it’s…you dick!

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  11. David Farrar (1,901 comments) says:

    RRM. I don’t want people to think that Dr Eichbaum is appointed to a job he is unsuitable for. I think that would be an unfair criticism. I just think his political background is relevant public knowledge.

    If a future National Govt, for example, ever appointed me to a board, I am sure my political background would be reported as a factor. That doesn’t mean I would be unsuitable for the role.

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  12. Crampton (215 comments) says:

    It would be rather nice if being an economist, preferably an economist with a focus on monetary issues, were a pre-requisite for being on the RBNZ Board of Governors. Dr. Arthur Grimes, economist, chairs the Board and has authored serious work in economics. I disagree with him about the appropriate weighting of inflation versus output in the Bank’s loss function given the PTA, but nobody can question his competence in the field (though he can perhaps question mine as I’m a microeconomist rather than a macro/money guy). Look at the rest of the list of Board members though. This is the Board that is charged with reviewing the performance of the Bank. They’re largely company directors and political appointees. One might question whether the Board has sufficient competence in monetary policy to judge whether the Bank’s performance really is in keeping with the PTA. It might be nice, for example, if the Board included a few more macro/monetary economists, and perhaps some even from the more hawkish side of the ledger.

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  13. freethinker (694 comments) says:

    The issue is disclosure not suitability – and the lack or transparency and honesty from labour demonstrates the lack of integrity that makes them unfit for public office.

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  14. Paul Williams (878 comments) says:

    I don’t want people to think that Dr Eichbaum is appointed to a job he is unsuitable for.

    Heavens no. You just want to note the slights made of his character by someone anonymously.

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  15. Ross Miller (1,706 comments) says:

    I make this point. In the ‘good’ old days, once the Government called an election, the convention was that all political appointments were put on hold until after the new Government was sworn in.
    The EFA effectively proscribes 1 January in the year an election is due as the start of the election campaign. Why then is Government still making political appointments? ….. I guess the answer to that is Labour does not feel bound by any rules or convention that in any way restricts their ability to exercise unbridled power.

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  16. Paul Williams (878 comments) says:

    I make this point. In the ‘good’ old days, once the Government called an election, the convention was that all political appointments were put on hold until after the new Government was sworn in.

    The conventions stand – it’s not that close to an election, it used to be 3 months… I don’t see how the EFA should mean it need be longer?

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  17. David Farrar (1,901 comments) says:

    Paul – what is anonymous? That is an NBR article, so any reflections are the opinion of NBR editorial team obviously. Never heard a newspaper article called anonymous before.

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  18. Paul Williams (878 comments) says:

    I misread, someone sent it to you (was it the Opposition Research Unit perhaps). The criticism stands either way. You’re being a disingenuous . You quote an article that smears him but say you don’t wish to prejudge him… it’s not subtle.

    [DPF: No it was not a parliamentary staffer. Paul of course hates transparency, He spends months smearing me anonymously on Kiwiblogblog. The NBR article chides Eichbaum for the same lack of transparency for his letter many years ago. That is not a smear – it is a justified criticism. The same criticism I made of the most recent announcement.

    Why do you have such a problem with transparency?]

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  19. Paul Williams (878 comments) says:

    David, I can speak for myself thanks. I don’t rephrase you David, I quote you – it’s cause I’m sure of my point and needn’t reposition the arguments of others first.

    Oh and I love transparency. I love it so much that I was really pleased that you eventually told us that you were working for Family First after you spruiked their PR.

    Btw, are you suggesting that all bloggers must blog under their own names? I suspect that’d kill over half your traffic David. I’ve said it was me, but I’ve also said that others feel the need for their privacy; I thought you respected that (I remember your justified outrage when someone outed Cactus Kate). Plus we never smeared you David, we gave you a few ticks from time to time but you’re a big boy, plus you’re pretty good at dishing it out so surely you can cope when someone responds. No?

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  20. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “Btw, are you suggesting that all bloggers must blog under their own names?”

    Anyone with a brain can see that is not the case you sad little man. He’s pointing to the hypocrisy in your complaint at 1.02pm about anonymous people slighting the character of Eichbaum, when you were apparently one of the scum who wrote frequently on Kiwiblogblog, a site specifically set up by anonymous leftists for the hatemongering of Mr. Farrar.

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  21. Paul Williams (878 comments) says:

    Red, into the sherry so early? Got your form guide and Friday Flash? Move along now hey, I was wrong about the anonymity, I misread David’s post so let’s not get side-tracked.

    My point is/was that David’s being disengenous. The NBR peice was a classic ad hominem attack on Eichbaum – much David’s was.

    So David, if not a staffer, then a Parliamentarian perhaps?

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  22. chfr (126 comments) says:

    Paul Williams are you the well know “liberal”QC perhaps???

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  23. Paul Williams (878 comments) says:

    Nope and I’ve not heard/seen this before; why?

    I’ve commented here on and off for the last few years always as Paul W but since the little KBB experiment, I’ve blogged only under my name: Paul Williams.

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  24. baxter (893 comments) says:

    Does Dr Eichmann’s doctorate emanate from the same source as that of Dr. Maryanne Thompson..I guess if he lectures on History then in the eyes of this goverment he would be imminently suitable for appointment to the Reserve Bank Board.

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  25. Paul Williams (878 comments) says:

    baxter, I googled him and found that he’s got an online record – amazing hey – and it turns out his degrees are from Canberbury, ANU and Massey. Perhaps rather than being a dick, you could have done the same?

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  26. freethinker (694 comments) says:

    Paul
    If you love transparency so much surely you will push for all senior public appointed office holders to be politically identified if they are openly supportive of a political party. If it is fair to appoint 100 Labour supporters shortly before an election it must be equally fair for a new government to unappoint – a la US system so surely the better way is to attempt at least in an apolitical way with transparency of political leanings so perceived judgements based on such leanings can be questioned?

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  27. Paul Williams (878 comments) says:

    all senior public appointed office holders to be politically identified if they are openly supportive of a political party

    That’s really appealing initially but I wonder about what it means practically. I worked for a Clinton-staffer who was ejected when Bush arrived in Washington. You’ve got to wonder about the churn effect and the loss of memory. I know the point you’re making, but Eichbaum’s anything but inexpert. The fact that he’s worked for Labour shouldn’t mean his expertise is excluded from benefiting any other government. Clearly looking at the RBNZ Board, there’s a mix of people and experience – that’s as it should be – I like Labour but I’d work for a National government (I have done in fact). I didn’t like John Howard, but I happily worked on a project that his Ministry started (and Labor have not promoted to the same extent).

    Board appointments might be a little different but the principle isn’t. I’ll simply say this; appointments should be made on merit and there’s nothing to suggest this one hasn’t been.

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  28. gd (2,286 comments) says:

    the real question is Can the person do the job they are appointed to in a professional manner and not be influenced by their political party affiliations

    Alas my experience is in the main NO The more deeply they are involved in politics of what ever persuauion the less likely they are to be neutral and more importantly the perception by other people will be clouded because of their known political leanings.

    thats why we should forget the bullshit and the smoke and mirrors crapola and have a totally transperant model where signed undated letters of resignation are sought and can be exercied by the incoming regime at their pleasure.

    At least the citizens know the situation rather than the con job we have at present

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  29. PhilBest (5,125 comments) says:

    Murray McCully’s latest is a real GOODIE on this subject, please post it Mr Farrar………

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  30. Paul Williams (878 comments) says:

    McCully’s the bloke who did or didn’t dine with that woman? The bloke who scandalised Tourism. Paragon of virtue.

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