Labour attacking public servants

December 6th, 2013 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Labour has accused one of New Zealand’s top public servants of behaving like an “emperor” and warned he may struggle to gain a Labour government’s confidence.

Labour forestry spokesman questioned the decision of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment () to bring more than 30 officials to yesterday’s appearance before the commerce select committee.

The number of officials is a reflection of the huge number of areas MBIE has. If there is a question on immigration, then the energy person can’t really answer it.

Jones said the large team brought to the committee “hinted at the CEO’s vanity” and said Smol had a “lot of work to do” to create confidence from Labour MPs when they next took power.

“If that doesn’t change, by this time next year, then the Kaiser will learn it’s a different world,” he said.

So Jones is saying he may sack the CEO, and compares him to a German dictator. Charming.

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13 Responses to “Labour attacking public servants”

  1. Mighty_Kites (81 comments) says:

    The Kaisers weren’t dictators, unless of course you consider Queen Elizabeth II to be a dictator also…

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  2. BeaB (2,057 comments) says:

    This Labour.
    We need a list of these comments especially when they attack and threaten workers – state or otherwise.

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  3. Pete George (22,781 comments) says:

    At another select committee Maryan Street questioned the Government’s use of foreign aid in its campaign for a seat on the Security Council – while David Shearer was at the UN lobbying for the seat.

    Two Labour MPs working against each other isn’t unusual, but this time it’s the spokesperson and the associate spokesperson for foreign affairs at odds.

    Labour criticises UN bid as Shearer lobbies for support

    The Labour Party has criticised the Government’s UN Security Council campaign at the same time as its foreign affairs spokesperson David Shearer is in New York lobbying for support.

    At a parliamentary select committee, Mr Shearer’s associate foreign affairs spokesperson, Maryan Street, raised questions about the Government’s use of foreign aid in its campaign for a seat on the Security Council in 2015-16.

    Mr Shearer was, meanwhile, lobbying representatives of the Palestinian Authority and Somalia, among others, at the United Nations. He says New Zealand’s bid is based on its reputation as a small country with an independent foreign policy.

    The chief executive of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, John Allen, dismisses Ms Street’s suggestion aid is being used to win a Security Council seat.

    What is the official Labour position? Who speaks for Labour on this? Or do individual MPs say whatever they like.

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  4. Rex Widerstrom (5,254 comments) says:

    Jones would do better to ponder whether a “super Ministry” is the most efficient way of delivering programmes and policy advice. Perhaps there was a need for a large number of officials, but that then suggests that the CEO and senior staff have very little idea of what’s going on within such a large organisation, which is never a good thing.

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  5. smttc (689 comments) says:

    As I have always said, Shane Jones is a pompous git.

    Still, good to see Labour making every effort to get offside with the public servants.

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  6. david (2,535 comments) says:

    Rex, you should have put a full stop after the word “ponder” and left the rest. Motormouth Jones likes the sound of his own voice just a bit much. Probably the only bit of him that gets more exercise than his vocal chords is his wrist.

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  7. RichardX (321 comments) says:

    It is often the vainest people who criticise the vanity of others

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  8. Akld Commercial Lawyer (160 comments) says:

    I can’t, for the life of me, see how this is a winning strategy. If, God help us all, the member did get a position in a future Govt, these are the same officials he will have to work with. White anting senior officials must come back and bite him on the bum – as it will risk harming the relationship of trust and confidence that must exist between a Minister and their senior officials.

    I tried not to smirk when the member is said to have accused someone else of vanity.

    And anyone who dealt with David and his senior management team would be well aware that he is very good at his job, and good to deal with and has worked very hard to bring the various strands of MBIE together and have them working at the same levels and with the same high standards he sets himself.

    And this sort of grandstanding detracts from the message that member was trying get across. We deserve a better opposition.

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  9. Fentex (859 comments) says:

    It’s silly rhetoric to compare such a person, if you mean to, as a despotic emperor to Kaiser Wilhelm – it doesn’t really work.

    Germany’s place in rhetorical evocation of bogeymen is different than that of despotic emperor – using the Kaiser or you-know-who only evokes fascism, war and genocide.

    For despotic emperors in rhetoric North Korea makes a better topical example, or look to the Romans and other ancients.

    Anyway, it’s a stupid thing to do in the first place and I can’t see how spraying insult around will raise anyone’s opinion of Cunliffe. If he wanted to make a point about possible waste of resources (which I think there might have been an opportunity for there) then that’s what the focus ought have been.

    Making it personal is just silly unless you’re already winning the Who-Do-We-Like-Most competiton, and Cunliffe isn’t, making it a losing tactic.

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  10. tvb (4,199 comments) says:

    30 officials to a select committee hearing is OTT. It is obviously a grossly overstuffed department.

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  11. RossM (36 comments) says:

    >It is obviously a grossly overstuffed department.

    Rubbish. It came from the combination of four other ministries and has a wide range of responsibilities. If an MP wants actual answers to a question they need to have an expert in that area present to answer it. If they want blather and platitudes, any one representative will be fine. We can see what Jones would prefer.

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  12. Archer (170 comments) says:

    More from “Yeah, nah” Labour.

    Yeah, let’s abolish the 90 day trial period.
    Nah, let’s threaten to summarily dismiss a worker without due process.

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  13. KevinH (1,131 comments) says:

    Shane Jones is an eloquent speaker, a result of his Harvard education, however he reveals through his criticism that he is not a details person, the same mistake that plagued David Lange. The Ministry rose to his challenge but Jones rebuffed them to his own peril. With that sort of commentary Shane would not be considered for a cabinet position in a Labour government.

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