Williams resigns off boards

December 7th, 2008 at 5:25 pm by David Farrar

On Agenda this morning John Key was asked whether he thought should go off all his Government boards, and Key said yes.

To give credit to Williams, he has taken the hint and resigned, according to Radio NZ:

Mr Williams says he was advised by the agency that oversees Crown owned companies, the Crown Company Monitoring Advisory Unit or CCMAU, that his resignation was expected by ministers in the new government.

Mr Williams says he has now resigned from Genesis Energy, the New Zealand Transport Agency and GNS Science.

He says the only complication is that he needs to have his name removed from an upcoming $150 million bond issue by Genesis.

Mr Williams says otherwise he would have liability, without accountability, for the bond issue.

I don’t think being Party President per se meant he had to resign. People such as former Deputy Leader David Caygill give very good service. It was Williams involvement in trying to smear John Key with the H-Fee that made his continued service impossible – in my opinion.

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83 Responses to “Williams resigns off boards”

  1. Johnboy (16,994 comments) says:

    The smiling Assassin strikes his first blow. Of many hopefully.

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  2. Johnboy (16,994 comments) says:

    Engine driver to spud farmer next?

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  3. pushmepullu (686 comments) says:

    Caygill is an exception – and his staunch support for free market values marks him as not really a Labour politician any more than Roger Douglas is.

    People shouldn’t be excluded from office for former Labour membership. They should simply be excluded from office if they have ever promoted socialism.

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  4. calendar girl (1,265 comments) says:

    Weren’t there more than three public body appointments for Williams?

    Now, what about Diane Yates? Are we all to pretend that she was appointed to a number of entities because of her proven governance skills, or was is just a Labour “encouragement” to relinquish her seat in Parliament?

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  5. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “It was Williams involvement in trying to smear John Key with the H-Fee that made his continued service impossible – in my opinion.”

    True, but this was only the tip of the iceberg. The Klark government was (in my opinion) a group of thugs and gangsters. Thoroughly dishonest and as always with the left, totally focused on power at any cost. Who knows yet what other irregularities will be uncovered on top of the ones we already know about?? All known Labour party supporters on government boards/ qangos/ commissions etc should resign in the same way as Williams has. The whole lot of them are (again in my opinion) thoroughly tainted and under suspicion. I said it when they were elected, and time has proved me right. Under socialism, cronyism and corruption grows like tomatoes in a hot house.

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  6. Nomestradamus (3,433 comments) says:

    Calendar girl:

    I’d like to see the broom raked over a number of political appointments – not just Yates.

    Georgina Beyer highlighted the problem – DPF’s post at the time (quoting Colin Espiner) was right on the money:

    Former Labour MP Georgina Beyer plans to move to Australia because she cannot find work.

    The three-term Wairarapa MP, the world’s first transsexual politician, said she was disillusioned with life after politics and upset at the treatment she had received from her former Labour Party colleagues.

    Ms Beyer said that while other former Labour MPs were appointed to boards, she had received nothing and was turned down for a position on the Human Rights Commission.

    “That I’m of no further use to my country is why I’m considering Australia, that my former parliamentary colleagues seem not to want to appoint me to anything, but are quite happy to accommodate others who have left or are about to, so as to shut them up from whingeing from the sidelines in election year.

    “One could be forgiven for being a little vexed.”

    Indeed – but the solution to Georgina’s vexing problem isn’t to hire more Labour castaways (based on political expediency), but to reintroduce merit-based appointments.

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  7. Rex Widerstrom (5,354 comments) says:

    I don’t have time to hunt out the selection criteria for appointment to the board of a COE but I’m frankly amazed that there’s not a clause preventing one from engaging in overt political activity. After al, if one is appointed to some piffling office like Justice of the Peace you’re told that you’re expected not to get political. You can be a member, even perhaps be the local electorate chairperson or somesuch. But it’s made clear that your appointment is one by the Crown and that it would be entirely inappropriate for you to be actively and publicly engaged in attacking Her Majesty’s Government or Loyal Opposition.

    I have to assume for Williams to even be appointed in the first place no such expectation is written into the contracts of COE directors. Perhaps it’s time that it is. There are plenty of talented company directors out there who don’t feel the need to indulge in a bit of partisan knee-capping in their spare time. We don’t need political appointments from either party.

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  8. georgedarroch (317 comments) says:

    Rex, indeed. It is wholely inappropriate for directors of state-institutions to be presently active in the running of political parties, or other public political advocacy. Directorship should be seen for what it is: a job in the public service, and public service constraints should apply.

    If the Government wants to determine the direction of these agencies it should do it by passing legislation through parliament, which is our house of representatives.

    We should be sorely disappointed if National allow this practice to continue. We’d probably get appointments of a higher quality too.

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  9. Nomestradamus (3,433 comments) says:

    DPF:

    It’s worth revisiting your 8 July 2008 post on Dianne Yates:

    Lianne Dalziel has appointed former Labour List MP Dianne Yates to the Food Standards Australia New Zealand Board. Yates stood for election last October to the Hamilton City Council and filed to even get elected as a City Councillor despite being an MP at the time.

    So why did Lianne appoint Yates:

    “Dianne is ideally suited to this role on all levels. She’s from the Waikato, arguably the food bowl of New Zealand …”

    Yes, her qualification is she lives in Hamilton, and Hamilton is in the Waikato and Waikato grows a lot of food, so hence she is qualified to sit on the Food Standards Board of Australia and New Zealand.

    You really know they are stretched for justification, when they have to rely on “She’s from the Waikato”.

    If there is a change of Government, I would like to be considered for appointment to the FSANZ. My qualifications are I live near Boudeaux Bakery in Thorndon and they sell food. We also have a Subway down the road.

    I could happily live with DPF, rather than Dianne Yates, on the FSANZ board!

    Seriously, this highlights Labour’s attitude to political appointments: the sole criterion was political expedience (for Labour) – not merit-based appointments.

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  10. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,917 comments) says:

    So, the other major matter of unfinished business is Winston Peters. Where the hell is my $158,000?

    And forgive me David but don’t you mean ‘resigns FROM boards?

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  11. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “We should be sorely disappointed if National allow this practice to continue.”

    Pffftt.. Meanwhile “we” said SFA all when Labour was handing out appointments to its cronies like chocolates at a kid’s birthday party. Why are the left always so grossly hypocritical?

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  12. kisekiman (219 comments) says:

    Williams is apparently very articulate and a good communicator but it seems self praise is no recommendation as far as John Key is concerned. Perhaps he should hit KFC up for some kind of role in Marketing or PR.

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  13. calendar girl (1,265 comments) says:

    What’s a COE, Rex? (Nothing to do with the Church of England I assume.)

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  14. Brian Smaller (4,024 comments) says:

    “I could happily live with DPF, rather than Dianne Yates, on the FSANZ board!”

    Me too. My mother told me to never trust a skinny chef. I think that can be extended to food watchdogs.

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  15. burt (8,315 comments) says:

    calendar girl

    COE – Crown Owned Enterprise.

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  16. Nomestradamus (3,433 comments) says:

    Brian Smaller:

    Me too. My mother told me to never trust a skinny chef. I think that can be extended to food watchdogs.

    Yes, but within sensibly defined limits, otherwise you’d be saying Parekura Horomia is eminently well-qualified for the FSANZ board :)

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  17. expat (4,050 comments) says:

    LOL! Bye Mike!

    Wonder where the SubStandard will get its dirt now? Ha Ha.

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  18. Turpin (342 comments) says:

    I’m with RedBaiter and Rex on this one.

    “Who knows yet what other irregularities will be uncovered on top of the ones we already know about?? All known Labour party supporters on government boards/ qangos/ commissions etc should resign in the same way as Williams has.”

    “I have to assume for Williams to even be appointed in the first place no such expectation is written into the contracts of COE directors. Perhaps it’s time that it is. There are plenty of talented company directors out there who don’t feel the need to indulge in a bit of partisan knee-capping in their spare time. We don’t need political appointments from either party.”

    It’s going to take time but JK and crew have to sort this out permanently for the future.
    What about M/S Curran?

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  19. V (749 comments) says:

    Sorry, at the risk of sounding too 1980’s, what’s the difference between a SOE and a COE?
    Are they one and the same, i.e. a re branding exercise as we had nothing better to do with the cash, – or is there a distinction?

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  20. OECD rank 22 kiwi (2,753 comments) says:

    Has Batman had his wings clipped?

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  21. Nomestradamus (3,433 comments) says:

    V:

    You raise an interesting question.

    Someone else will know the precise answer, but my best guess is to look at the different legal framework applied to SOEs (the State-Owned Enterprises Act 1986) and to Crown Entities (the Crown Entities Act 2004) – in addition, CEs are often subject to their own specific legislation.

    One particularly relevant distinction is the commerciality requirement imposed on SOEs – see section 4 of the SOE Act:

    The principal objective of every State enterprise shall be to operate as a successful business and, to this end, to be-
    (a) As profitable and efficient as comparable businesses that are not owned by the Crown

    SOEs are also required to be a “good employer” and to exhibit “a sense of social responsibility”.

    By contrast, Crown Entities don’t seem to be subject to exactly the same commerciality requirement, though some may argue that they should be. If you look at the CE Act, you’ll see that a wide variety of Crown Entities are captured, ranging from school boards of trustees, tertiary education institutes, as well as an extensive array of statutory entities and crown entity companies (listed in schedules to the CE Act).

    Anyway, that’s my legalistic take on it – interested in what others think.

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  22. OECD rank 22 kiwi (2,753 comments) says:

    Is this the same John Key who states that Mike Williams should go in one breathe and in the other says he is fully behind supporting Helen Clark in being appointed to some big flash international important job? John Key had better sort himself out because if he thinks he can square the difference and sail through choppy waters unscathed he has another thing coming.

    Case in point for 2009, the Anti-Smacking referendum. Now here is a big trap waiting for John Key if Phil Goff wants to box clever. It’s a guaranteed lose for John Key. Here’s how. John Key personally supports the legislation and believe it should stay as is. His ego won’t allow it to be repealed the same way Winston Peters wouldn’t allow the Foreshore and Seabed Act to be repealed. The referendum result is going to give crazy numbers for the repeal of the Anti-Smacking Bill, possibly as high as 80%. What Phil Goff does then after this result is stand up in parliament, state that the Anti-Smacking law is an ass and that the Labour party will immediately support and vote for the repeal of the Act. John Key loses what every happens at this point. He either repeals an Act against his own personal will or he makes Phil Goff look popular and pisses off the vast bulk of his own National MP’s that want this law dumped.

    Fun times ahead.

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  23. Nomestradamus (3,433 comments) says:

    OECD rank 22 kiwi:

    What Phil Goff does then after this result is stand up in parliament, state that the Anti-Smacking law is an ass and that the Labour party will immediately support and vote for the repeal of the Act.

    Sorry, can’t see that bold statement happening in my lifetime, but I could see how Labour might take the path of least resistance (“the public have spoken and, while we strongly disagree with the majority of public opinion, we will accept it“).

    Your point about Helen Clark has more merit. I propose appointing Helen to the International Business Roundtable (*) forthwith :)

    * This organisation is rumoured to exist in the shadows of the VRWC. Investigations by The Standard and its part-time guest blogger, Batman, are ongoing.

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  24. expat (4,050 comments) says:

    Smarmy, Kullen, Hulun, Wife Beater & Co are gone – that doesn’t leave a lot of talent on the Layabout ‘opposition’ benches. Bugger.

    The sooner Hulun is offshore the better as far as the National Gummint is concerned, Hulun is dangerously capable.

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  25. AG (1,831 comments) says:

    “To give credit to Williams, he has taken the hint and resigned,…”

    DPF’s timing doesn’t quite work on this – Williams already had tendered his resignation before JK got all righteous on his ass … (admittedly ’cause CCMAU effectively told him to, but still, you’d think JK would check his facts before pontificating).

    Unfortunately, JK’s high principle then developed a severe case of clay feet – as the Herald reports:

    “However, Mr Key would not rule out appointing people with strong National Party links to similar positions. He said it was his preference that appointments to overseas posts and government boards were based on ability, but it was possible some would also have links with the National Party.”

    So we’ve switched mild red for pale blue – plus ca change.

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

    The way this guy has been drummed out of his directorships is a scandal. If Labour had won he would have deservedly had a fat bonus and a couple of additional dirrectorships as a reward for his unstinting defence of teh poor and oppressed, before he was quietly stood down from his LP President role. This is utu, no more no less. After his years of selfless dedication to the working man, to be tossed off like this, is criminal.

    Lee – MWT http://monkeyswithtypewriter.blogspot.com/

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

    ps did he get anything out of the transrail sale and negotiations? I think we should be told.

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  28. Bob (497 comments) says:

    If Williams had simply done his job it would have been churlish to remove him. In the circumstances of his attitude to Key going out of his way to smear him those positions are untenable.

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  29. expat (4,050 comments) says:

    It wasnt Jowel boys smearing per se but the fact he was a govt appointee to the boards of crown/SOE agencies and he acted in such a partisan and unetheical manner ergo he isnt fit for public office.

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  30. slightlyrighty (2,475 comments) says:

    Fair enough.

    He was looking for overseas opportunities anyway.

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  31. AG (1,831 comments) says:

    Look – face it – politics is all about rewarding your friends and punishing your enemies. It’s silly to think anything else would have happened to Williams now National has come in … just as it is silly to think that National will perform in any different a fashion when it starts making board appointments. I’ll bet my house that (if and when) National have been in office 9 years, the boards of SOEs etc will be just as stacked as they are under Labour. No – nix that – UNLESS National stacks the boards of SOEs like Labour has, they won’t get 9 years in office. You don’t give your people their share, they have no reason to be your people.

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  32. adamsmith1922 (890 comments) says:

    Meritocracy not cronyocracy

    http://adamsmith.wordpress.com/2008/12/07/11050/

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  33. AG (1,831 comments) says:

    “Meritocracy not cronyocracy”

    Fairyland not Wellington

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  34. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “I’ll bet my house that (if and when) National have been in office 9 years, the boards of SOEs etc will be just as stacked as they are under Labour.”

    Maybe so, but as these people are not likely to be steeped in the destructive ideology of the left, then the circumstances would be far less damaging to the country. One only has to look at the sewer that the UK has become to know that there is only destruction in store for any country that allows itself to follow a similar path. Simply for the sake of civilization, the left’s grip on our public institutions has to be broken.

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  35. AG (1,831 comments) says:

    “Simply for the sake of civilization, the left’s grip on our public institutions has to be broken.”

    Too late. We even own the National Party now. Bwah ha ha!!!!!

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  36. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    Its never too late.

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  37. dime (10,102 comments) says:

    wow AG. Key has said he will pick on ability and sure, some of the best people will have national ties… and in your little mind that means everyone they pick will be national.

    we arent the left. we dont treat the people of NZ with such contempt.

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  38. PhilBest (5,125 comments) says:

    I hope you’re right and AG is wrong, Redbaiter.

    You could read “Our Political Parties are Corpses and Democracy as we know it is Quite Dead” by Peter Hitchens;
    just change a few names and he could be talking about NZ…..

    Last few paras:

    “……..The Tories have genuinely dropped most of their remaining conservative positions.

    Labour remains a very Left-wing party. Most of its radical 1983 manifesto has in fact now been implemented, though in more subtle ways.

    The only lasting deep change in Labour policy since the Eighties has been the party’s lobotomised conversion to support for the EU and globalism in general.

    Nationalisation hadn’t mattered for years, the old industrial unions were as dead as the industries they helped to ruin, and the H-Bomb wasn’t an issue any more.

    Labour’s real ‘Clause Four’ – its bilious hatred of selective state schools – remains untouched. What’s more, it has now been openly adopted by the Tories as well.

    The rule nowadays is that you cannot become the government unless you bow to the views of the ‘Centre-Left’ media elite, especially the broadcast media elite.

    That elite speaks for the 1968 generation which fanned out in the Seventies into the civil service, education, entertainment, the law, the arts, rock music and – above all – the media.

    We no longer have elections where two evenly matched parties go into a fair contest with competing ideas and it is over only when the last vote is counted.

    Instead, we have wild swings in which the approved party goes into the Election with a giant poll lead and then wins the Election with a mad, crushingly enormous majority over the unapproved party.

    And the winner is always the ‘Centre-Left’, which claims to be moderate but is in fact a swirling cauldron of wild Sixties Leftism – anti-British, anti-family, anti-Christian, anti-education and pro-crime.

    But if you dare to oppose this stuff, they’ll call you an extremist.

    British democracy, as we used to know it, is quite dead. It just needs to have a new funeral every few years.”

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1058771/PETER-HITCHENS-Our-political-parties-corpses-democracy-used-know-quite-dead.html

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  39. AG (1,831 comments) says:

    Dime,

    “in your little mind that means everyone they pick will be national.”

    Not at all. Just as Labour appointed Bolger to numerous SOE posts. But when it comes to defining “ability”, you can bet that “National ties” will come into the mix in an increasing fashion, as and when the Nats settle into office. Just as Mike Williams’ (undeniable) commercial experience became inflated because of his ties to Labour.

    The more you think JK represents a “fresh change” and a “new way of doing things”, the more disappointed and disillusioned you will be as and when the reality of politics strikes home. Just a friendly warning. Or you can learn the hard way.

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  40. dime (10,102 comments) says:

    Philbest – its just a phase. the Left always loses! The only way they can hope to prolong their reign is top keep as many people down as possible.

    Print and TV media will become less and less relevant.

    The RIGHT needs to start making more inroads online!

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  41. expat (4,050 comments) says:

    That may be so AG but at least there will be a cleansing of old filth out of the halls of power – thats got to be a good start.

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  42. AG (1,831 comments) says:

    Of course – that is the whole point of democracy. You occasionally clean out the incumbents and allow the other side a turn to f*ck it all up.

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  43. expat (4,050 comments) says:

    Lets hope this side arent as full of shit as the last side, labour turned back the clocks to the muldoon years when it came to partisan politics.

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  44. AG (1,831 comments) says:

    Whatever, expat. But you do realise that by running that argument, you forever give up the right to claim “but Labour did it!”?

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  45. expat (4,050 comments) says:

    LOL,

    Labour were the most venal administration NZ has seen since Muldoon.

    Mike Moore sums it up nicely although too gently
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz-election-2008/news/article.cfm?c_id=1501799&objectid=10546758

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  46. expat (4,050 comments) says:

    and I disagree that Labour can come back quickly from this one or his assertion that labour have the depth in the ranks.

    Labour = Layabouts.

    Cause thats all the Labour bench will be doing for a decade, laying about in opposition!!

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  47. AG (1,831 comments) says:

    “Cause thats all the Labour bench will be doing for a decade, laying about in opposition!!”

    Quite possibly. Although predicting the political future tends to be a mugs game … at least, beyond the next few weeks. However, if you are right, by that time National will be old and tired, and in need of rejuvenation. So the circle continues.

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  48. expat (4,050 comments) says:

    Oh, dont get so serious AG. Its not like we are talking about far reaching economic policy like signing up to Kyoto.

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  49. dime (10,102 comments) says:

    expat – i hope so! it will take JK 2 terms to turn the ship around. If we can get a third.. we can really fuck with the left! start selling assets n stuff :)

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  50. expat (4,050 comments) says:

    AG = a labour stooge out of job. Fact!

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  51. AG (1,831 comments) says:

    “AG = a labour stooge out of job.”

    Fiction!

    But keep guessing!

    Oh – and anthropomorphic climate change not equal to the political preferences of a nation in several years time. First will happen unless steps taken to prevent it (you can’t wish away physics). Second is governed by “events, dear boy. Events.”

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  52. insider (1,028 comments) says:

    Scary thing is this makes Dianne Yates almost look smart. She got out early and got some cushy numbers to see her through the transition while her former colleagues still held power. And they are in relatively bland organisations that it won’t be worthwhile sacking her from. Do you think the new Govt is going to do the same for Duynhoven, O’Connor, Tizard, Swain etc?

    PS This on the CCMAU website “The Minister responsible for State Owned Enterprises (SOEs), Hon Simon Power, is currently calling for nominations and expressions of interest in the boards of 14 SOEs.”

    so there will be more than Mike WIlliams going by the looks of it.

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  53. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,917 comments) says:

    David, I hope one of the first actions of the relevant Minister is to instruct Transit or whatever they now are called to review it’s decision to dig a tunnel under the Mr Albert electorate. I understand this will cost $2 billion more than the conventional option and afraid we don’t have any more spare billions to throw around for the sake of the ex PM’s view from her back balcony.

    I’d be very interested to see the boardroom minutes associated with that decision.

    My Key can buy a hell of a lot of Herceptin for $2 billion.

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  54. baxter (893 comments) says:

    In the last three months before the election CLARK made 78 Public Office appointments despite convention being that none be made in this period.(Griffin or Soper can’t remember which). DPF states that the appointment of CAYGIL to Electricity Commissioner was on merit. IT WAS NOT. It was so the Goverment would have a yes man who agreed with their policy instead of the INDEPENDENT Commissioner who did not agree and was constructively dismissed. Unless the Goverment is able to get rid of these plants from strategic positions reform will be difficult and the Opposition will always be ahead of the Goverment.

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  55. insider (1,028 comments) says:

    Baxter

    Caygill has been in place for over a year – he;s not a new appointment. Look at his CV. There are few others with similar experience, political included, that were available at the time. I don’t think that even National seriously think he is unqualified. Who would replace him? It took a year to replace the last one.

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  56. Ed Snack (1,927 comments) says:

    AG, one can’t “wish away physics”, true, but also one should understand it properly before pontificating on it. Anthropogenic climate change is a politico-religious set of beliefs desperately searching for scientific justification. As far as we can tell, and the evidence is relatively difficult to gather and interpret, nothing that has happened over the last 100 – 150 years is in any particular way different to previous climate fluctuations nor abnormal in terms of past climate. It is hugely uncertain what impact additional CO2 will have on climate in the future, and the anti-scientific methods used by the AGW crowd make it even harder to decide.

    That is not to say that additional CO2 should have some impact, and the feedback free impact of doubling CO2 is about 1 degree (C). And what sort of feedback, positive or negative, is likely, that is hard to workout as climate is an immensely complex system, but the evidence to date suggests that it is at least approximately zero. Unfortunately that number doesn’t satisfy the catastrophisists (is there such a word ?) so climate modellers assume, without good evidence, that the number is positive and significant. I suggest you try to find a good, detailed, and well supported, exposition of exactly what impact doubling CO2 will have in terms of temperature. Good luck in that, for as far as I have been able to search, no such thing exists, which is strange as so many people will tell you numbers that roughly centre around 3 – 5 degrees C, and do so apparently without understanding why they do so, other than for politico-religious reasons in that it sounds like enough to justify massive intervention in peoples lives.

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  57. AG (1,831 comments) says:

    Ed,

    Oddly enough, I prefer the to follow the consensus view of the vast majority of the world’s scientific experts on this topic, rather than random commentators on a NZ political blog. But I’m just politico-religious like that.

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  58. baxter (893 comments) says:

    AG…………So you agree with Ed Snack and myself the science runs counter to that claimed by the Climate fearmongers.

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  59. AG (1,831 comments) says:

    Oddly enough, no I don’t. I don’t have the time or the relative competence to assess the claims for myself. So I’ll make do with the IPCC for now. You know. The body with, like, lots of science guys on it.

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  60. thedavincimode (6,871 comments) says:

    Just think how much we’ll save on his sausage rolls.

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  61. burt (8,315 comments) says:

    So if CO2 is the most significant factor in global temperatures as suggested by the command and control socialists then that’s great because now I know why it gets cold at night and warm during the day. Here was me thinking that sun-spot activity (periods of increased solar activity) had an effect on the temperature of the planet and that the lack of solar energy was why it gets cold at night and warm during the day. How foolish of me to think it’s the effect of the sun when it’s obvious that CO2 levels drop every night and increase every day.

    Just imagine if increased solar energy from period of increased sun spot activity had been related to global temperatures, it would be a disaster because our human ego’s would not be able to claim that we made a difference. Imagine how insignificant we would feel knowing that we are not in control of the climate on planet earth. Imagine how stupid some people must be thinking that the sun and the amount of energy it is radiating has a major effect on the climate of our planet…

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  62. AG (1,831 comments) says:

    Burt,

    From: http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=state-of-the-science-beyond-the-worst-climate-change-case

    “Climate change is “unequivocal” and it is 90 percent certain that the “net effect of human activities since 1750 has been one of warming,” the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) —a panel of more than 2,500 scientists and other experts—wrote in its first report on the physical science of global warming earlier this year. In its second assessment, the IPCC stated that human-induced warming is having a discernible influence on the planet, from species migration to thawing permafrost. Despite these findings, emissions of the greenhouse gases driving this process continue to rise thanks to increased burning of fossil fuels while cost-effective options for decreasing them have not been adopted, the panel found in its third report.

    The IPCC’s fourth and final assessment of the climate change problem—known as the Synthesis Report—combines all of these reports and adds that “warming could lead to some impacts that are abrupt or irreversible, depending upon the rate and magnitude of the climate change.” Although countries continue to debate the best way to address this finding, 130 nations, including the U.S., China, Australia, Canada and even Saudi Arabia, have concurred with it.”

    But it only takes you, a single blogger looking out his window, to realise “it’s the sun that done it”. And the same view also lets you know “the earth is flat” (or we’d all fall off!). And obviously “the sun goes round the earth” (or we’d feel it moving!)

    Or – to quote Stephen Colbert – reality has a well known liberal bias.

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  63. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) —a panel of more than 2,500 scientists and other experts—wrote in its first report on the physical science of global warming earlier this year.”

    Scoff..

    The religion of government- such a disastrous burden upon mankind’s development.

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  64. burt (8,315 comments) says:

    AG

    Here was me thinking that it was colder during winter when the intensity of the sun is lower due to the angle of the planets axis and yet it’s bloody obvious that the intensity of the sun has nothing to do with it. There is less CO2 in winter than summer – it’s obvious really isn’t it.

    So If I turn the heater up and the cat who is stretched out in front of it gets hot it’s got nothing to do with the increased output from the heater, it’s CO2 levels increasing in the room. I should have know that.

    So if increased solar radiation from sun spots, flares etc has no effect on the temperature on earth then is CO2 also responsible for increased levels of skin cancer that track a similar graph as sun spots?

    It can’t be increased radiation from increased solar activity because if it were we (humans) could not claim responsibility for it and therefore we would be less important than we like to think we are.

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  65. AG (1,831 comments) says:

    Burt.

    You are guilty of exactly the sin you accuse me of. You desperately, desperately want climate change to be sun-related, so you don’t have to do anything about it. Unfortunately, the science is what the science is, no matter what your ideological preconceptions would desire.

    CO2 links to climate change:

    http://www.grida.no/publications/vg/climate/page/3057.aspx

    Comparative irrelevance of solar radiation to (at least recent) climate change:

    http://www.grida.no/publications/vg/climate/page/3059.aspx

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  66. burt (8,315 comments) says:

    AG

    Here is another graph. Has a different conclusion to the one you like so it must be wrong.

    http://ideonexus.com/2008/02/13/sun-spot-cycle-prompts-fears-of-global-cooling/

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  67. AG (1,831 comments) says:

    OK. You look at your graphs. I’ll let the vast majority of the world scientific community look at theirs. As neither of us are in any way, shape or form qualified to adjudicate in this debate, it’s pointless squabbling here.

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  68. burt (8,315 comments) says:

    AG

    Agree, so you stop the religious CO2 is responsible shit then. It’s only another 5-10 years and we will know the truth. Either the current decline in sun spot activity will cause a lowering of temperatures or it won’t.

    Will you (and all other sicence fashion victims) have the balls to say “we were wrong” if global warming is not casused by humans as big ego creatures like humans would like to think ?

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  69. Ed Snack (1,927 comments) says:

    AG, you are right, to take what you are told and never (never !) look behind the “consensus” is indeed a religious style of thinking. But you are obviously happy being told what to think. Why not, just for a change, have a look behind the curtain and see for yourself. It just might be enlightening, but you do have to start with an open mind.

    You see, there are not many studies on whether or not the current climate is “normal” or not. Perhaps you might like to look for yourself, the one that used to be most commonly cited, Mann, Bradley, and Hughes 1998 (and extended in 1999) is not openly relied upon, people have “moved on” to newer versions of exactly the same thing. But none of them withstand scrutiny, both the data and the statistical treatment of the data are so basically flawed that none of the conclusions of those papers holds water.

    But you’re right, you can’t take my assertions at face value, and neither should you necessarily take the AGW proponents at face value either. The best I can suggest is look for yourself, carefully, and don’t dismiss contrary views just because they disagree with your predetermined conclusions (or your religion, as it were), and don’t take the assertions at face value either, look at the data and how it is treated. Oh, and the IPCC document you are quoting isn’t the science part, it’s the re-written political “summary for policy makers”, that is written by politicians for politicians, and doesn’t necessarily reflect the science at all.

    You may not be qualified to adjudicate the global warming debate, but some of us do have a sufficient scientific background to evaluate the quality of the data, and although I don’t feel qualified to publish definitive papers on the subject, I have enough background to recognise poor data and methods whenh I see them.

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  70. AG (1,831 comments) says:

    “Either the current decline in sun spot activity will cause a lowering of temperatures or it won’t.
    Will you (and all other sicence fashion victims) have the balls to say “we were wrong” if global warming is not casused by humans as big ego creatures like humans would like to think ?”

    Yes. If you and the rest of the deniers agree to spend the next 5-10 years pursuing policies designed to reduce drastically CO2 emissions.

    If you are right, worst case then is you can point at us “science fashion victims” and laugh and laugh and laugh. But if you are wrong and we do not do this, worst case is a planet no longer able to support human life at all. Deal?

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  71. AG (1,831 comments) says:

    Ed,

    “You may not be qualified to adjudicate the global warming debate, but some of us do have a sufficient scientific background to evaluate the quality of the data, and although I don’t feel qualified to publish definitive papers on the subject, I have enough background to recognise poor data and methods whenh I see them.”

    You may well have such a background. But given that the way the scientific community works out the various claims and counter-claims about “how the world is” and “why it is that way” is through the publication of peer reviewed papers that enable open critical commentary on the merits of each claim, you’ll forgive me for taking your views on this matter with a grain of salt. If you don’t think you can work your claims up to that standard, then (while I do not dispute your own capacity to make up your own mind) you can’t really blame me for preferring the arguments of those who can!

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  72. burt (8,315 comments) says:

    AG

    I’ll do my bit, I already are. I cycle to work for example.

    But I can’t stop NZ from sending coal to China by the ship load. Nor can I stop Chinese people falling in love with cars and drastically increasing their fossis fuel usage each year. NZ as a country has such a small part to play in the overall CO2 situation that it is madness to think we can lead the world through example.

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  73. AG (1,831 comments) says:

    Right. Hence the need for Kyoto-type agreements and a global ETS.

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  74. burt (8,315 comments) says:

    AG

    Fair enough then, I’ll play the game. It’s also why we must never have a Labour govt as NZ carbon emissions have been increasing faster under Labour than the US under Bush.

    OMG – we are doomed and all we needed to do to stop it was not have a Labour govt for the last 9 years – what were we thinking !

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  75. AG (1,831 comments) says:

    But wait! It gets worse!! Now our future now lies in the hands of … Peter Dunne.

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  76. expat (4,050 comments) says:

    Yawn.

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  77. Johnboy (16,994 comments) says:

    Hey AG-ony where is your mate Ratsarse you two normally work as a team. Is he off reinventing himself since he got outed as a bullshit artist on friday?

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  78. AG (1,831 comments) says:

    JB,

    Am I my brother’s keeper?

    Maybe he thought we were a bit tough on you last week, so he thought he’d give you a rest for a few days.

    PS: I see what you’ve done with my handle … AG-ony. That’s genius, that is. Here’s some more … fAGgot, mAGgot. trAGic.

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  79. Johnboy (16,994 comments) says:

    I like them all but trAGic suits you best since Helens mob are getting rid of their excess bAGgage now they have no tax dollars to spend and you have nowhere to go except here to be ridiculed for the sad arse you are.

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  80. Johnboy (16,994 comments) says:

    Not that I am interested of course but tell me when did you start seeing yourself as a fAGot was it after your first sleepover as a young labourite? You can be honest here no one is listening.

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  81. mara (794 comments) says:

    Williams is a cane toad. Even looks like one. Brought in to do a job of work then buggered everything up. Must be gotten rid of. Sorry Williams. It’s clear out time.

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  82. AG (1,831 comments) says:

    Oh, JB … you are such a wAG.

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  83. Johnboy (16,994 comments) says:

    Took you a long time to come up with that weak response mAGgot past your prime are you?

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