Comments on the Key Ministry

November 17th, 2008 at 4:04 pm by David Farrar

Key taking Tourism was pre-announced, and smart as it is key to economic growth and also a feel-good portfolio.

English is the logical choice for Infrastructure, as the money for the capital works goes with Finance. It was either him or Key to do it.

Brownlee is as expected. Power picks up a heavy workload with SOEs and Commerce on top of Justice. Probably had to arm wrestle Chris Finlayson for the Law Commission.

Ryall picks up State Services , and Nick Smith ACC on top of their current portfolios. Both will cope easily.

Collins trade in Social Welfare for Police and Corrections, plus Veterans Affairs where she will be very popular with her Agent Orange work. Governments die if they are seen as soft on law & order, so her movement these is astute.

Tolley and Finlayson are as expected, but Finlayson moves onto the front bench as the only 2005 intake on it.

Carter and McCully as expected. Groser is no surprise for Trade but usefully is also given international negotiations for climate change and Conservation.

Mapp as expected, and Steven Joyce picks up a very weightly workload at No 14 – Transport, Comms/IT, Associate Finance and Associate Infrastructure. He will be carrying some big expectations.

Georgina te Heuheu picks up a variety of roles from Courts, to Disarmament and will work with Pta Sharples as Associate Maori Affairs.

The big mover up is Paula Bennett. She may only be No 16, but she has the Welfare portfolios under their new names. This is a huge portfolio for an MP who has been in just three years. Having been a “Maori solo mother” herself, Paula will make it very hard for Labour to characterise National as heartless.

Heatley is as expected, and Pansy Wong becomes the first Asian Cabinet Minister and is an Associate Minister in two of her former portfolios of ACC and Energy.

Jonathan Coleman and Kate Wilkinson finish the Cabinet. The years each entered are:

1987 – 1
1990 – 3
1994 – 1
1996 – 4
1999 – 3
2002 – 2
2005 – 5
2008 – 1

So 11 of them entered Parliament after the last National Government. And of the nine who entered previously, only six have been Ministers before.

Outside Cabinet, you have Maurice WIlliamson, Richard Worth, and John Carter. Key has obviously used the spots outside Cabinet to place people he did not have room for in Cabinet. They are all highly likely, I suspect, to be replaced before the full three years is up with some new Ministers from the 2005 or even 2008 intakes.

Logically one would also expect most of the Ministers from the 1990s (except English) to consider retirement in 2011. If some do not retire, then there will be real pressure from the 2005 and 2008 intakes.

So who missed out?

Tau Henare is probably the most upset – he is a former Minister, and was keen to serve again. Lindsay Tisch and Paul Hutchison also missed out, but I expect will chair Select Committees.

And who might move up as vacancies occur? Watch out for Nathan Guy, Chris Tremain, Craig Foss, Jo Goodhew, Chester Borrows, Jackie Blue, John Hayes, Jacqui Dean and others to compete for spots in a couple of years time. Also Hekia Parata and others from the 2008 intake will be chasing those spots also.

Overall it looks a pretty good Cabinet, with some real talent.  28 Ministers is too large though, with some Ministers looking like they have a pretty light workload. And Labour will be a tough Opposition that will target new or vulnerable Ministers, plus try and highlight those Ministers they think are “doing a Tizard”.

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55 Responses to “Comments on the Key Ministry”

  1. adc (581 comments) says:

    so what does the ministry of disarmament do? Is that the one that disposes of all our nuclear weapons?

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  2. gd (2,286 comments) says:

    The civil service mandarins will be shitting themselves Rodders wont take NO for an answer The Sir Humphreys will finally be hauled to account and made to shape up. No more feather bedding and over paid under performed contractors

    The Comms/ HRs who havent dusted off their CVs will be too late now. there aint the cushy little well paid numbers out there in the private sector any more like there was 10 years ago.

    Belt tightening has seen the eye balls bulge

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  3. democracymum (660 comments) says:

    Great to have some real mothers in there like Paula Bennet – well done!

    I really like Anne Tolley as well, she has been kicking Carter’s backside regarding school truancy
    which any idiot would know is the beginning of youth offending in all sorts of areas.

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  4. Mike Collins (170 comments) says:

    DPF (or anyone else), do you know Anne Tolley’s views on VSM? Is she amenable to promoting VSM as a government policy or will we have to hope Heather’s bill gets drawn from the ballot?

    [DPF: Not sure. I suggested to ACT they stick VSM in the coalition agreement :-)]

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  5. homepaddock (434 comments) says:

    Great to have Tim Gorser for negotiations on climate change and also lands. Farmers have very strong feelings over the mishandling of tenure review by the previous minister and Tim will be much better.

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  6. adc (581 comments) says:

    I guess the ministry of disarmament does things like this…

    http://www.beehive.govt.nz/?q=node/23129

    gives away money…

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  7. adc (581 comments) says:

    hey, where’d my post go? No mention of moderating it…

    Was just related to what the ministry of disarmament seems to do – give away money

    http://www.beehive.govt.nz/?q=node/23129

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  8. adc (581 comments) says:

    VSM?

    Value Stream Mapping?
    Very Small Member?

    just another TLA?

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  9. adc (581 comments) says:

    test…

    http://www.beehive.govt.nz/?q=node/23129

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  10. adc (581 comments) says:

    what’s with blocking posting any links to the beehive?

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  11. kevin_mcm (152 comments) says:

    does anyone know what has happened to Peachey (not sure on spelling). Ran one of the biggest schools in NZ successfully, and would have ripped the MOE apart (which it needs). Does not seem to get a mention – another victim of the Tamaki curse?

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  12. CrazyIvan (88 comments) says:

    homepaddock
    Tenure review and pastoral leases are under the Minister for Land Information (Richard Worth), not Conservation

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  13. georgebolwing (662 comments) says:

    Don’t get too carried away with Rodney’s ability to do things.

    While a man of great intellect and blessed with a forceful personality, he is up against literally thousands of self-interested public servants, who have all the tools to defeat him. First, they will capture their new ministers. They will do this by overwhelming them with paper work. Then they will get their Ministers to agree that while fiscal discipline is clearly important, their ministry is different.

    Rodney suffers from two great institutional implements: he is not in Cabinet and is not an Associate Minister of Finance.

    All final spending decisions will be made while he is not in the room.

    While he will have one Treasury secondee in his office, he will not be able to direct the work of the Treasury. He will not get automatic access to Treasury briefings, thus putting him at an information disadvantage.

    The real decisions about government spending will be made by Key and English, with help from a few senior ministers.

    I confidently predict that Government spending will increase as a proportion of real GDP over the next three years.

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  14. Inventory2 (10,161 comments) says:

    The dickheads at The Standard are very quick to diss Paula Bennett

    http://keepingstock.blogspot.com/2008/11/paula-bennetts-journey.html

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  15. goodgod (1,363 comments) says:

    How much longer do we have to bear the media or some other leftwing equality based organisation labelling people as brown, maori, westie, solo mum or otherwise as the total and final word on what and who that person will ever be, and as either an endorsement with no bearing on the skill required to do a specific job or as a condescending sneer?

    Lefties really are a hateful disgusting bunch. Long may they rot in hell.

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  16. baxter (893 comments) says:

    Kevin I think I recall one of the Political reporters stating Peachey was in poor health (before the election).

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  17. Put it away (2,888 comments) says:

    WFT we’ve got a disarmament ministry ? That would explain Helen’s defense policies. Hopefully he’s only putting a minister in there to show the razor gang where to start

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  18. Chess Player (4 comments) says:

    Peachey has unfortunately for him and his family had cancer the last year or so. I imagine he has other things to worry about.

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  19. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    How much longer do we have to bear the media or some other leftwing equality based organisation labelling people as brown, maori, westie, solo mum or otherwise as the total and final word on what and who that person will ever be, and as either an endorsement with no bearing on the skill required to do a specific job or as a condescending sneer?

    Lefties really are a hateful disgusting bunch. Long may they rot in hell.

    How awful that people are being categorised – all lefties are just terrible though.

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  20. getstaffed (9,189 comments) says:

    stephen – ha ha. a leftie with a sense of humour… so you’re not really a leftie, but you comment like one, but you… ah bugger it. Another wine?

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  21. Nichlemn (63 comments) says:

    The large cabinet is probably the cost of trying to build a large majority. When you have 70 MPs supporting the government you’ll need to placate more of them with ministerial roles than you would with a smaller majority.

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  22. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    Haha! I voted gnat, but i think that still makes me a leftie.

    edit: had a few drinks that night, but couldn’t decide whether it was in celebration or in self-consolation.

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  23. Graeme Edgeler (3,274 comments) says:

    Lindsay Tisch … also missed out, but I expect will chair [a] Select Committee…

    According to Key at the press conference, Tisch will be Deputy Speaker.

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  24. Owen McShane (1,226 comments) says:

    The MSM have been no help at all.
    The do not realise that Rodney is now “Minister for Ending the Depression” and that Maurice is his Associate Minister for ending the depression because the LGA, the RMA, and the Building Act are the key. Leighton Smith’s callers yesterday showed that the Building Act is now as big an obstacle to recover as the RMA.

    Rodney and Maurice are of simlar minds and with Rodney dealing with the RMA (in spite of what Nick might think) and Maurice dealing with the building fiasco we might have a chance of getting the country moving again.

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  25. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    The MSM have been no help at all.

    Aw.

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  26. dad4justice (7,898 comments) says:

    stephen – do keep sipping the socialist champagne matey. Aw what a doh !

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  27. side show bob (3,660 comments) says:

    I was happy to see williamson relegated to head tea lady. This is the man who killed the lifetime licence and wanted an upgraded licence with photo. His main reason was this would bring peace and civility to the roads as all would have a photo ID and all would have to obey the rules . What a crock of shit this con was, on par with Kyoto. I had no problem with the government changing the licence system what makes we spew is that thousands of Kiwis had a contract with the government for a lifetime licence, the government broke this contract. The then National government under this arsehole’s bequest decided this contract meant nothing. So what did we get, another tax, more parasites, more bullshit. As far as I’m concerned he can rot on the bench.

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  28. georgebolwing (662 comments) says:

    Owen

    I think you over-estimate what a Minister outside Cabinet can do, even one as able as Rodney.

    The most important thing is that he is not a member of Cabinet. Think back to the last parliament: Jim Anderton, in a party of one, was a full member of cabinet and its committees, had an office on level 7 of the Beehive, with good staff and a sizeable department of his own. For good or ill, he had a lot of clout. Winston, with seven MPs and the balance of power, was outside Cabinet and got the policy concessions the Prime Minister decided to give him when she decided to give them too him. The only people who really benefited were MFAT, who had their budget increased greatly (for a little while!!). What did Dunne get?

    Being in Cabinet gives you information: you get all the Cabinet papers, you attend all the meetings. Outside Cabinet, you get what information the major party wants you to have, and you get to attend committees meetings only when matters relating to your portfolio are on the agenda.

    And even then if you are not on the front bench, you don’t have free reign.

    And what is Rodney going to do if he gets shafted? Vote for Labour?

    Sorry. Key has done a great job in neutralising his two greatest potential critics: ACT and the Maori Party.

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  29. Lindsay Addie (1,143 comments) says:

    My comments on the Key cabinet is here:
    http://lindsayaddie.blogspot.com/2008/11/key-builds-his-first-cabinet.html

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  30. Buggerlugs (1,609 comments) says:

    A tough Opposition? Pah. They won’t be so tough after having to listen to three years of Question Time answers that begin with: “That is a problem inherited from nine years of mismanagement and economic masturbation by the labour Party…” etc.

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  31. OECD rank 22 kiwi (2,819 comments) says:

    We need a Ministry for Creating Ministries.

    If only John Key could appoint people to cabinet from outside parliament like they do in the UK. Then the pork barrel politics could really start to roll.

    I’m disappointed that John Key hasn’t made every National MP a cabinet minister, twice over. How is BMW supposed to improve sales now? ;-)

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  32. OECD rank 22 kiwi (2,819 comments) says:

    Once again John Key overlooks Sarah Palin for a cabinet position. What a misogynistic, Anti-American bastard! :P

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  33. OECD rank 22 kiwi (2,819 comments) says:

    How many new Cabinet Ministers have run corner dairies? The National party are making a serious mistake in not drawing from this valuable area of expertise. How can you seriously expect to run a country without any experience in running corner dairies. Labour failed to include anyone in cabinet that had run a corner dairy and looked what happened to that government.

    National could be outflanked by Labour if Labour captures this valuable area of expertise and make it its own.

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  34. natural party of govt (461 comments) says:

    hmmmm.

    I think kiwiblog from the 9th floor of the beehive is going to about as interesting as the daily show under barack obama.

    Face it, DPF, your talents lie in opposition.

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  35. OECD rank 22 kiwi (2,819 comments) says:

    Top article from Dr Michael Bassett:
    Clark’s Career and Achievements (National Business Review)

    Michael notes “Under the populist Clark, everything was measured not in terms of what would save the country, but what would save her bacon, and her narrow view of the world.”

    Will John Key be able to avoid a case of history repeating? Time will tell.

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  36. OECD rank 22 kiwi (2,819 comments) says:

    Dr Michael Bassett identifies why the last Nine years were a disaster for New Zealand:
    Helen Clark’s Years (New Zealand Herald)

    It’s good to remember that Helen Clark won’t be setting any records for longest servicing Prime Minister. Another bonus of the results for 8 November 2008.

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  37. goodgod (1,363 comments) says:

    How awful that people are being categorised – all lefties are just terrible though.

    They sure are. The last nine years of their hateful attitude stands as evidence. What evidence do you and your disgusting bunch have that Paula Bennet is only ever going to be a westie solo mum? I mean for fuckssake, she’s an MP now. Miss that with your blinkered vision?

    So tell me what westie solo mum means. Oh let me guess, I’m meant to form a stereotypical picture in my mind about her based on a label reported by The Herald in the early nineties as a result of things she’s never done and then either sneer or say: my my hasn’t she stepped above her station in life!

    For example,

    she wears a lot of black, probably black lacey/frilly stuff, you know the Hippy Stevie Nicks look. She drives a Holden that’s either paint bombed flat black or primer grey and her boyfriend just dropped in a rebuilt 454. She owns at least two dogs, one of them is an old German Sheppard called Pat, the other is a slathering leather studded boxer. She likes to drink. Heaps. And listens to Iron Maiden. She never achieved school cert and went to work at Foodtown on Lincoln road. She’s a bit dense, but everyone loves her giggling when she’s on the piss.

    Of course, all of this is made up nonsense, but you and your lot want it to be so. So you can sneer. The difference you won’t see is that the hateful sneers of the left, of which you are part, and which you displayed over the election campaign on this site, is that the reason people don’t much like you is becasue of the things you actually did. That’s the difference. Got it now? Didn’t think so. Twat.

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  38. kiwipolemicist (393 comments) says:

    Snap quiz: how many ministries does the government have?

    I added it up and once I recovered from the shock I wrote a list:
    http://kiwipolemicist.wordpress.com/2008/11/18/the-bloated-new-zealand-government/

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  39. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    They sure are. The last nine years of their hateful attitude stands as evidence. What evidence do you and your disgusting bunch have that Paula Bennet is only ever going to be a westie solo mum? I mean for fuckssake, she’s an MP now. Miss that with your blinkered vision?

    etc…

    Man, I did a lot, somehow. Guess short, inane quips can make a difference after all! Good luck to Bennett though – but I would say that, having voted for her party and all now wouldn’t I?

    edit: Can’t say i’m really worried about what a bunch of anonymous Kiwibloggers think of me, but always interesting to hear.

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  40. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    stephen – do keep sipping the socialist champagne matey. Aw what a doh !

    Have one on me D4J!

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  41. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    Gerry Brownlee was a woodwork teacher.

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  42. OECD rank 22 kiwi (2,819 comments) says:

    Helen Clark is a loser.

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  43. Chthoniid (2,029 comments) says:

    I wonder however, why we have a separate conservation and environment minister, when most places on the planet fold conservation into the environment ministry.

    Would it be more efficient to have the same minister for both portfolios?

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  44. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    Would it be more efficient to have the same minister for both portfolios?

    If you think they’re inextricably linked(?). One seems to be more about humans and the other about the intrinsic value of nature. On the face of, not linked.

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  45. Owen McShane (1,226 comments) says:

    The good news is that Rodney Hide is now “Minister for Ending the Depression” (MED) and Maurice Williamson is his “Associate Minister” (AMED) – because the LGA, the RMA, and the Building Act are the key to enabling NZ to build its way out of the depression.

    In many ways the LGA is now more of a threat to economic growth than the RMA. Both need to be reformed at the same time – and Rodney deals with both under his new brief. He is Minister of Local government and all Regional and District Plans are Regulations – and Rodney is in charge of Regulatory Review and Reform.

    As callers to Leighton Smith demonstrated yesterday, the Building Act is as big an obstacle as the RMA.

    Maurice Williamson is Minister of Building.

    So the two of them hold the future of the private sector of the economy in their hands.

    Having them both outside cabinet is good politics because the new policies they will have to come up with cannot be attacked as being John Key’s “Secret Agenda.”

    Rodney and Maurice are of similar minds and with Rodney dealing with the big issues in the RMA (given that Nick has promised EDS in public that he will do no more than tinker) and Maurice dealing with the building fiasco we might have a change of getting the country moving again.

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  46. OECD rank 22 kiwi (2,819 comments) says:

    You could scrap the Environment Ministry all together. AGW is a crock of poop any way. Conversation should be able to deal with the important issues like acquiring more private land for the state to breed possums on.

    We won’t need an Environment Ministry when we pull out of the Kyoto Treaty and tell the UN we won’t be signing up to any successor.

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  47. OECD rank 22 kiwi (2,819 comments) says:

    Owen McShane says at 9:20 am:

    Rodney and Maurice are of similar minds and with Rodney dealing with the big issues in the RMA (given that Nick has promised EDS in public that he will do no more than tinker) and Maurice dealing with the building fiasco we might have a change of getting the country moving again.

    Right on. The more the economy turns to custard the more the right will carry significant weight over the government’s direction and the corresponding success of re-election in 2011. I can just see those sweet sweet state asset sales in 2011-2014.

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  48. Chthoniid (2,029 comments) says:

    If you think they’re inextricably linked(?). One seems to be more about humans and the other about the intrinsic value of nature. On the face of, not linked.

    Yes, I think they are inextricably linked. State of the environment reports cover biodiversity. And to take yet another example, plantation forestry is also a major contributor to native bird conservation (habitat provision). But forestry is a land use that comes larger under the oversight of the Ministry for the Environment.

    We take trees from private land, iwi land, and occasionally from conservation land (some windfall trees can, and are, used by local Iwi). Marine reserves are often advocated as they are (alleged) to have spillover effects on commercial and recreational fishers.

    Native forests are supposed to help secure slopes and reduce erosion (link to farming). Farmers kill possums in great numbers to control TB (conservation spillover).

    The Wildlife Act 1953 affects all wildlife use of listed species on private and iwi land.

    Biosecurity is seen as a cross-ministry interest.

    I don’t see that there is any practical way to separate “environment” from “conservation”, and this was my earlier point. No-one in the rest of the world has been able to either.

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  49. mudmum (31 comments) says:

    stephen (2063) Vote: Add rating 0 Subtract rating 2; Chthoniid (145) Vote: Add rating 2 Subtract rating 0;
    The Environment and conservation are inextricably linked. The department of Conservation and RECREATION is it’s real name. Humans interact with, and recreate in, the environment, all the time. The environment is all around us, everywhere we go. It doesn’t have to be about just GW or clean water or access to hunting/4wding/fishing/camping etc. It’s about all those things. It’s about looking after the environment so people can interact in it. So people can go out and have some fun. So people can breathe good air and eat good food, feed themselves by fishing etc. It’s not about confiscating large tracts of land, under the name of conservation, then locking it up, keeping humans out to enable some little dicky birds to have an environment. Of course endangered species deserve a safe environment to live in, but we were also put on this earth and deserve an environment that allows us a life as well. A life outside the hours spent working to keep the economy and ourselves going.
    Playing tame sports on a tame field, at the mercies of councils etc saying it’s too wet/dry/soft/hard to use is not everyones idea of a life outdoors. Maybe more emphasis on looking after the overall environment, including conservation areas, will help redress the balance and let younger people realise that outdoor recreation isn’t bonking in a farmers paddock or having bbq’s in the back yard, but is actually something you DO, outside, which can be both fun and learning and productive.
    In view of that, perhaps having seperate Ministers may be a good thing. If they work together to a great extent, but also test any theories against each other and public opinion, we may at last get somewhere near the right balance.

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  50. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    at least it’s not collins..

    http://whoar.co.nz/2008/from-sole-parent-to-cabinet-bolterthe-rise-of-paula-bennetand-the-case-for-strengthening-the-social-safety-netthe-welfare-state/

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  51. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    Chthoniid, points well made. I can’t imagine the two ministers not working together, but who knows…

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  52. Chthoniid (2,029 comments) says:

    Sandra Lee conflicted with Anderton (fisheries) and I think some other ministers at times.

    One of the basic problems is that the Minister of Conservation is not obliged to take account of any economic ramifications of his or her department’s decisions, nor is there any legal requirement on the Conservation Act similar to Sec 32 of the RMA. The Minister of Environment is obliged to take a more balanced view.

    This also means there is little legal impediment of the Minister of Conservation making decisions based very much on whim, and pre-determined positions (c.f. Spectrum Resources vs Minister of Conservation in the late 80s). It also means the Minister can blow $40m on a sheep station even though the conservation ramifications of this are that resource-starved endangered species will suffer. You are left with a poor rational basis for allocating resources in this system.

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  53. Ramsay (123 comments) says:

    Someone asked “what happened to Peachey – was he a victim of the Tamaki curse”. No, he wasn’t. He was a victim of his own incompetence. Suffers from Maurice Williamson syndrome, doesn’t know when to keep his mouth shut. A total legend in his own lunchtime.

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  54. Chthoniid (2,029 comments) says:

    @mudmum

    the department of Conservation and RECREATION is it’s real name. Humans interact with, and recreate in, the environment, all the time. The environment is all around us, everywhere we go…

    Yes, I agree.

    It’s interesting that pre-1980s, F&B had a different approach to conservation. That was based around a stewardship ethic- farmers were extolled to conserve native birds because these ate insects. So this is very much a reciprocating relationship- look after the land and the land will look after you.

    It was through the 1990s that there was a conscious shift to a ‘intrinsic value’ ethic, which lost this reciprocating nature. This more or less argues that we should do conservation just because it is valuable. The problem here is that it gives you licence to impose costs on farmers and iwi without little regard to the effects. Several of us dropped out of F&B at the time- I think the most prominent was Mark Davis who was not impressed at the consequences for Maori.

    I think we need to engage more with our wildlife, but most moves are to increasingly put up barriers to nature. Given that NZ’s population is increasingly immigrant and urban, I wonder at the long term political support for conservation if it increasingly an ‘invisible activity’.

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  55. Jack5 (4,786 comments) says:

    Mr Farrar writes: “Key taking Tourism was pre-announced, and smart as it is key to economic growth … ”

    Tourism’s economic merit may not be as clear cut as that. A foreign-exchange earner yes. But economically, a creator of typically low-paid, fairly unskilled jobs. In New Zealand it has been subsidised in various ways, too.

    There’s a problem of telling just how much it contributes to an economy, and it’s likely to be vulnerable to the same economic head winds as our primary-industry exports.

    Key would probably be better used addressing new ways of controlling inflation that don’t hurt exporters (and tourism) by pushing up the kiwi dollar. He has a lot of experience in the monetary world.

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