Most of the focus yesterday was on Dr Cullen’s appointment. There were some other interesting ones.
The Dom Post reports that Don Brash was appointed to the Transpower Board and Judy Kirk to chair the Lotteries Commission.
Transpower is a good choice for Don. It’s the only SOE that he doesn’t believe should be sold off at some stage 🙂
The Lotteries Commission is the traditional repository for senior party officials, and Judy has six years of board chairmanship skills to bring to it so her appointment is no surprise and I would say uncontroversial. I would caution though that National should never get to the stage they did in the 1990s where every single member of the Board was a senior National official. That was an awful look.
I have blogged in some detail in the past on Government Appointments. The summary of my advice was:
- Never have those with political connections forming a majority or even close to a majority on a board.
- Unless someone was already a professional company director (or widely seen as possessing similar skills), they should not be appointed to more than a couple of boards.
- Appointees must bring genuine value to a board – their appointments must be based on merit, even if they have political connections.
- The more important a board, the more critical it is that the apointees be top class.
Another interesting aspect is that Phil Goff a couple of weeks ago, unwisely complained that National was engaging in a witch-hunt against Labour Party supporters. His whinging was because Tony Timms and Polly Schaverien were not reappointed to Meridian Energy Board.
The appointment of Cullen should show how stupid his whining was. But to further highlight how off the beam he was, I quote from Simon Power:
“Joanna Perry (Genesis), Polly Schaverien (MetService) and Ian Donald (Transpower) have been elevated to deputy chair,
So Polly Schaverien has been elevated to MetService Deputy Chair despite being a former Labour Researcher and Mallard staffer. So again where is this witch hunt Goff complained about?