National – United Future Agreement

November 16th, 2008 at 7:37 pm by David Farrar

The agreement is online here.

  • Peter Dunne to be Minister of Revenue and Associate Health

Good. He can keep pushing for flatter taxes from there.

  • Maintain Families Commission

I just knew that would be there!

  • Reduce elective surgery waiting lists by greater utilisation of private hospital capacity, in a planned way where this cannot be met by the public hospital system

Excellent – no arguments at all.

  • Progressing the long-term medicines strategy for quality use of pharmaceuticals in the health sector
  • Support Public Private Partnerships for major roading infrastructure developments such as the Transmission Gully highway

I’ll celebrate the day the first car drives along it, but not before!

  • The government notes that United Future has been committed to income splitting as a key part of their tax policy and agrees to support appropriate legislation to First Reading in Parliament.

Where parties can’t agree on something, an agreement to support to select committee is quite sensible, as it allows the public and other parties to consider their positions and submit on it.

  • Establish a Big Game Hunting Council as part of a national wild game management strategy

I guess that came from the Oudoor Recreation Party they gobbled up a few years ago.

I did note one section in the agreement:

Cabinet Manual

The Leader of United Future agrees to be bound by the Cabinet Manual in the exercise of his Ministerial responsibilities, and in particular agrees to be bound by the provisions in the Cabinet Manual on the conduct, public duty, and personal interests of Ministers.

This is what you would call the Winston clause. Helen allowed Winston to trample all over the Cabinet Manual – he didn’t get permission for travel, he ddn’t declare gifts, he didn’t get the PM’s permission to keep gifts etc. John Key is signalling he will expect a higher standard of integrity from his Ministers than Helen Clark did.

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9 Responses to “National – United Future Agreement”

  1. petal (705 comments) says:

    “This is what you would call the Winston clause”

    Coffee just left my nose…

    …brilliant!

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  2. Ross Miller (1,681 comments) says:

    David … was the Cabinet Manual clause also a feature of the ACT & Maori Party agreements?

    [DPF: Yes]

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  3. Rex Widerstrom (5,330 comments) says:

    A Big Game Hunting Council?! At first I couldn’t work out why but then I realised there’s probably a shortage of whatever the hell that thing is on Peter Dunne’s head, and they need to work out a conservation plan, or something.

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  4. deanknight (263 comments) says:

    DPF:

    On the Cabinet Manual clause, your highlighting of the clause makes a big deal out of nothing.

    Under the previous adminsistrations, as with this one, all Ministers, be they inside or outside Cabinet are automatically bound by those provisions. There’s no magic in the clause.

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  5. GerryandthePM (328 comments) says:

    No magic in the clause, but a sensible refocusing of the Parties on what is expected to be honoured.

    Last term we saw the blatant dishonouring of the Cabinet Manual, and the accompanying weasel words that suggested that the Manual was “for guidance only”.

    Goodwill was abused for the weakness it became.

    Dignity needs to be restored.

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  6. radvad (704 comments) says:

    “Maintain Families Commission”

    Surely Dunne would not have made this a bottom line. He would not have allowed the baubles of office to slip through his fingers because of this expensive waste of space.

    Your bad, National.

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  7. Ross Miller (1,681 comments) says:

    radvad … surely the question is not whether they maintain the Families Commission but how they maintain it. I would be suprised if there aren’t changes.

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  8. big bruv (13,571 comments) says:

    I love the idea of the Nat’s working with ACT and the Maori party, Pita Sharples will be a great Maori affairs minister.

    However I just cannot get my head around that pompous wanker Dunne being part of this government, the families commission should have been the first thing to go in any revue of government spending, I also want to know if Dunne has paid back the money he stole from us three years ago.

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  9. dad4justice (7,988 comments) says:

    Will the Families Commission still maintain a radical feminist as its head researcher? Go Rowena before things get real nasty!

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