Audrey Young writes:
Prime Minister John Key has just shown why he is Prime Minister.
His intervention yesterday in the debacle over the Rugby World Cup was perfectly timed.
It could not have come any later without the issue getting completely out of control.
But it probably could not have come any earlier, either.
It would have been nicer if it hadn’t become necessary.
Mr Key’s late leadership on the issue stands in marked contrast to his ministers, many of whom have contributed to the chaos.
Labour is pointing the finger largely at Rugby World Cup Minister Murray McCully over the saga, not least because he gave the Te Puni Kokiri chief executive a burst at a Beehive meeting. Mr McCully carries a fair degree of blame but more for what he hasn’t done than what he has.
He has been absent as Foreign Minister for a large amount of time and neither his World Cup deputy, Gerry Brownlee, Mr Coleman, or Mr English have taken charge.
That leadership vacuum was exacerbated when Mr Key was absent during some critical stages of the MTS bid.
Dr Sharples is not blameless, either. It is clear that he and Te Puni Kokiri kept knowledge of the $3 million TPK commitment to themselves. And when Dr Coleman asked Dr Sharples about the bid, he dissembled, saying he didn’t know much about it.
Hopefully a lesson learned for everyone.
Maori Television has been given a reprieve from being gazumped by a higher bid. But its celebration should not be too premature. In a sense it has been returned to the position it found itself in after the TPK funding had been revealed.
Maori Television have a great opportunity ahead of them. The challenge now is to deliver high quality coverage.