Mallard says too many Ministers

April 22nd, 2013 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

Max Rashbrooke blogs:

New Zealand has too many Cabinet ministers and too many government agencies – but more departmental mergers is not the solution, Labour MP said at a joint lecture for the Institute for Governance and Policy Studies and the Institute of Public Administration New Zealand.

Mallard, a former Minister of Education and State Services Minister, said New Zealand’s government was too fragmented, with “Crown entities for Africa” and agencies like Work and Income New Zealand that were “a body with no brain”.

Too many ministerial positions had also been created to tie caucus into Cabinet, he said, and most of the “talent” in a Cabinet was in the top half. Under Helen Clark, the Cabinet committee of the 10 most senior ministers “worked extremely well … Those ministers were much more likely to have read – which is a good start – and understand – which is even better – the papers they were being asked to consider.”

The “ideal” Cabinet, Mallard said, would have 10 members and 5-6 positions outside Cabinet “with training wheels attached”. However, he admitted this was not a popular view among those ranked 8-20 in his own party.

I agree with Trevor Mallard in terms of size of Cabinet and the Executive. I’d have 12 Cabinet Ministers and say eight outside Cabinet. The 12 Ministers would each be in charge of a cluster of portfolios.

Ideally you would amalgamate as many entities as possible so there was one agency per cluster, with a top class Chief Executive.

I blogged in 2011, a possible structure for a future state sector. So a Cabinet would be:

  1. Prime Minister (DPMC, SSC)
  2. Minister of Finance (Treasury)
  3. Minister of Economic Development (MAF, MOBIE, Fisheries, MORST, Transport)
  4. Minister of Social Policy (Pacific Island Affairs, MSD, CYF, Youth Development, Community Sector, Senior Citizens, Families, Women’s Affairs, TPK_
  5. Minister of Health (Health)
  6. Minister of Education (Education, ERO, TEC)
  7. Minister of Internal Security (Crown Law, Corrections, SIS, Justice, SFO, Police)
  8. Minister for the Environment (Environment, EPA, Conservation, Biosecurity)
  9. Minister of  External Relations & Security (GCSB, Defence, MFAT,  NZDF)
  10. Minister of Incomes (IRD, WINZ)
  11. Minister of Culture (Culture & Heritage, Broadcasting, Nat Lib, Archives, NZ on Air)
  12. Minister of Administrative Affairs (DIA, LINZ, Building & Housing, Customs, Stats)

Also the Speaker would be the responsible Minister for a Department of Parliament which includes the Parliamentary Service, Ministerial Services, Office of the Clerk and Parliament Counsel Office.

Tags: ,

15 Responses to “Mallard says too many Ministers”

  1. metcalph (1,359 comments) says:

    Justice under Internal Security? Needs a less repressive name!

    [DPF: Two of the names are piss-takes!]

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. Manolo (13,316 comments) says:

    The thug Mallard is right, but it is exptremely hypocritical of him to speak about this matter, because nine years of his socialist government did absolutely nothing to reduce the size of the state. Quite the contrary.

    On the other hand, Labour Lite has done sweet eff all to reduce the number of quangos and useless organisations.

    Vote: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. Grizz (500 comments) says:

    A Labour MP advocates for smaller government. I thought I would never see the day.

    Vote: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. tvb (4,193 comments) says:

    The realities of Government rarely fall into your neat little boxes. I think the attorney general should be separate from justice. And there should be a significant economic counterweight to the Treasury.

    Vote: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. Vinick (214 comments) says:

    Agree with tvb that A-G should be separate from the Justice portfolio.

    But economic counterweight to Treasury? I think DPF has provided for that far more than the status quo – look at the next two portfolios:
    Minister of Economic Development (MAF, MOBIE, Fisheries, MORST, Transport)
    Minister of Social Policy (Pacific Island Affairs, MSD, CYF, Youth Development, Community Sector, Senior Citizens, Families, Women’s Affairs, TPK)

    As an aside, DPF, MORST is part of MBIE. You could also add Housing to the Social Policy portfolio.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  6. freedom101 (462 comments) says:

    Trevor is right. But the realities of MMP and a 120 seat Parliament dictate a large cabinet to buy support. Peter Dunne would be a minister whether the government was communist or libertarian. Remember the Robertson’s petition for a 99 seat parliament? I don’t remember Labour supporting that.

    Vote: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  7. OneTrack (2,564 comments) says:

    Trevor is right, but, no doubt, when he gets back to the treasury benches he will have his own brain fade and start adding more ministries, quangos and god only knows what. Russel won’t give him any alternative anyway.

    Vote: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  8. kowtow (7,581 comments) says:

    grizz @415

    Smaller govt,yes but only while in opposition .Thus manolo’s comment “hypocrite” fits exactly.

    Vote: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  9. krazykiwi (9,189 comments) says:

    Being right about something, in this case smaller governemnt, is nothing.

    Doing something right even when nobody is watching is everything.

    It’s called integrity, and Mallard is yet to discover it.

    Vote: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  10. Reid (15,912 comments) says:

    Combining WINZ and IRD actually makes a lot of sense DPF.

    It brings the audit expertise of the IRD (with the staff they have on the ground) together with the distribution and registration systems that both depts have great need for and great expertise in. Not a bad idea at all. Shame about the name but hey.

    Re: Internal Affairs – you mean, Home Office? Add in Customs and Immigration and you’ve got that. Too disparate, IMO. Although the security information commonalities have a lot of merit, all their operational arms are too different. They need to retain their institutional knowledge, in the field. It counts for a lot of their effectiveness. But what need to happen is break down the walls in their respective Bullshit Castles.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  11. Steve (North Shore) (4,490 comments) says:

    A labour MP would like smaller Govt and less MP’s?.

    Watch this trougher Mallard squeal like a suck pig if he is one that has to go.
    What you gonna do when they come for you bad boy?

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  12. salt (123 comments) says:

    Politically infeasible unless you reduce the House to 60. What is Mallard smoking.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  13. redeye (631 comments) says:

    Is he advocating for smaller government, or just a smaller number of bosses?

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  14. OECD rank 22 kiwi (2,810 comments) says:

    Ministry of Peace
    Ministry of Plenty
    Ministry of Truth
    Ministry of Love

    Sorted.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  15. The Stig (32 comments) says:

    Ministry of Administrative Affairs? I’m guessing that’s pairing Internal Security. Can Jim Hacker become a list MP?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.