A tough week for those affected

January 28th, 2013 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

This week seems the ministerial reshuffle implemented, and it will be a tough week for many MPs and staff affected.

On the staffing front, you may be unaware that lose their jobs if their Minister is demoted. But you also lose your job if your MP is promoted to be a Minister (as different employers). Also if your party loses an election you lose your job but also if your party wins an election you lose your job! Some get rehired, of course. But there are few jobs where you can learn at one hour’s notice you no longer have a job – no consultation, no notice, no appeal. As I say often, don’t choose to work at Parliament if you want stability.

It is of course equally tough for the Ministers involved. I know MPs are not the most beloved of creatures (even though most people like the local ones they actually know), but again not the most stable of jobs where you can learn with an hour’s notice you lose your job as a Minister, let alone everything that goes with the job.

Most MPs are pretty sympathetic to those who get demoted, but Hone Harawira was particularly ungracious with his comments on Phil Heatley:

Yesterday, Mr Harawira said on National Radio’s Morning Report that the sacking of Mr Heatley would be a welcome relief for low-income families.

He said Mr Heatley presided over policies which make it harder to access affordable housing and called him a smarmy p**** who put poor people down by making jokes about them.

Mr Heatley wasn’t too concerned about the insult, but said poverty was no laughing matter.

“Local people who know me and who know Hone are quite capable of making their own judgment on our respective characters,” the Whangarei MP said. “That aside, I take welfare policy seriously. Poverty is no joking matter.”

Phil’s one of the nicest guys around, in fact. And the way he (and Kate) has taken the demotion is totally absent any rancour or bitterness:

Mr Heatley’s demotion took everybody by surprise and the MP heard he was to be dropped only that morning.

He said he would now be able to put more time into issues affecting Northland and would be pushing for better infrastructure, including road and rail, better broadband coverage and speeds, electricity supply security and economic development.

Mr Heatley said he would be working closely with Northland MP Mike Sabin to help address those issues.

I have no doubt Phil and Kate are bitterly disappointed. You’d be inhuman not to be. But the way they both have taken the decision speaks volumes about their characters.

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17 Responses to “A tough week for those affected”

  1. Graeme Edgeler (3,289 comments) says:

    I have no doubt Phil and Kate are bitterly disappointed. You’d be inhuman not to be.

    First journalist to ask them whether they are bitterly disappointed gets a chocolate fish!

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  2. Graeme Edgeler (3,289 comments) says:

    DPF – there is a bug in your “karma” voting system. I’m not that awesome!

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  3. Redbaiter (9,122 comments) says:

    You are right. Phil Heatley is a nice guy.

    He was completely ineffective as a minister and a political strategist.

    That said, it occurs to me that these were probably not the reasons behind his demotion, as they could apply to about 90% of National’s ministers. (IMHO).

    As for the tough week, well tough. Its tough for many right now and that’s to a large degree because of the actions of a too big too powerful government sector that these people are all part of.

    I would like to see another 98 politicians fired and their ministries and committees abolished.

    Excessive government is strangling this country to death.

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  4. Manolo (13,839 comments) says:

    Nice guy or not, Heatley flunked it as a minister. Politics is a brutal business.
    Job competence and performance are important, except if you are Hekia Parata, in whose case, anything goes.

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  5. sparky (235 comments) says:

    Very well put David. I agree with you 100%. If that was Labour, you would see bitterness and mud slinging.

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  6. David Garrett (7,318 comments) says:

    Hone Harawira is both a nasty bastard and a coward. After my demise he made some public comments that were considerably more than “ungracious”. When I ran into him a few months later I invited him to make them to my face. He not only failed to do so but caught the attention of a journo nearby who rushed over with his recorder out…thus precluding any “resolution” of the matter… Course it might have been different if some of his bros – or even Mummy – had been there…

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  7. alex Masterley (1,517 comments) says:

    Er David, Most of the Harawira clan can be described in that manner.

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  8. Red Sam (122 comments) says:

    “Mr Heatley’s demotion took everybody by surprise and the MP heard he was to be dropped only that morning.”

    This speaks volumes about John Key and his values. As a boss, he’s clearly got a cruel and mean-spirited streak. Is it acceptable to treat a fellow colleague and staff in such a way? Obviously the Employment Relations Act doesn’t apply to parliament.

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  9. Tookinator (221 comments) says:

    I think i would be ‘more’ than a ‘litle bit disappointed’ if I learned in the morning that my wages were to be reduced by $100,000 PA by lunchtime!

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  10. Paulus (2,632 comments) says:

    Surely the “profession” of Politics is like a Club.
    You know the rules before you join – if you do not like them then do not join – you are not forced to do so.

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  11. tvb (4,431 comments) says:

    I think Kate wilkinson was pretty sore about things. There are other not very effective Ministers but I guess they will be given another 12 months to perform. And there will be retirements known by then as well.

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  12. Viking2 (11,491 comments) says:

    Manolo said:

    Nice guy or not, Heatley flunked it as a minister.
    ——————-
    Please tell us how you come that conclusion Manolo.
    I am really interested to know.

    And don’t side step the reply with the usual inane remarks.
    Thanks

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  13. Redbaiter (9,122 comments) says:

    As Minister of Energy he did nothing.

    Even staff in that Dept said he was useless in the decision making process.

    Just a seat warmer.

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  14. Manolo (13,839 comments) says:

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1212/S00386/phil-heatleys-hidden-housing-statistics.htm
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/3372681/Housing-Minister-Phil-Heatley-resigns-portfolios
    http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/auckland/news/nbpol/1833489035-formal-complaint-lodged-against-phil-heatley-in-parliament
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/3376202/Housing-Minister-Phil-Heatley-warned-before-over-credit-card-use

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  15. Viking2 (11,491 comments) says:

    Ah Manolo you are just like the barbers cat. All piss and wind.

    Here was what I asked. Do you want me to translate it to Maori so you can understand that simple english request?
    Not one of yopur links relates to Heatley’s work on the Minerals and Gas Industry.
    But don’t let that stop you using google. I’m sure it has the answer to everything.

    Please tell us how you come that conclusion Manolo.
    I am really interested to know.

    And don’t side step the reply with the usual inane remarks.
    Thanks

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  16. Viking2 (11,491 comments) says:

    And of course the cynical in me says that’s a white pakeha fellow in Cabinet replaced with a rough caste to further the racist agenda that these Nats seem to be fostering.

    My question, what does Simple Simon know about minerals and oil and gas exploration?
    Changing Ministers according to DPF above allows for a reshuffle of the Ministerial Staff as well.
    I fear that before we know it they will have been replaced with a group that considers the rights to the said minerals and oils to belong to the racist minority that claim to own everything.

    I could be wrong but, if it smells like shit it usually is.

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  17. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    ..but again not the most stable of jobs where you can learn with an hour’s notice you lose your job as a Minister, let alone everything that goes with the job.

    For which they are over paid anyway, so the , “fuck I’ve been sacked factor’ is factored into salaries

    So who cares whether a couple of politicians are disappointed ? I certainly don’t. I loathe them as a species, even the ones I ‘know’ are people I would not like to work with or for ,they disappoint the voter every day, so tough shit.

    My personal wish is that they would all get so ‘disappointed’ they’d bugger off and fend for themselves in the real world

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