David Parker round-up

As one would expect many stories today. The NZ Herald reports that the Companies Office inquiry could be over in a few days. There’s also a profile of him which reflects how he has been held in high regard and seen as competent. They also talk to his former business partner, Russell Hyslop, about why he went public.

In the Dom Post Tracy Watkins and Vernon Small write that Parker’s resignation came after being told the PM had lost confidence in him. The Dom Post editorial refers to the “shallow gene pool” of the Clark Ministry (a wonderful phrase) and notes “Unlike the teachers, university lecturers and one-time unionists who populate Cabinet, Mr Parker himself noted that he was ‘probably the only MP who has taken a company from start-up to the main board of the New Zealand Stock Exchange’.”

Finally back to the NZ Herald their editorial laments Parker’s departure and says that the Prime Minister made the wrong decisions in both the Benson-Pope and Parker decisions.

The two certainly are linked. A Government only has a limited amount of time and energy it can put into fighting off calls for a resignation. By expending so much energy on keeping Benson-Pope in place, it meant that any future Ministerial misbehaviour would and could not be allowed to stretch on. The sadness for David Parker is that the PM mistook one battle for the war. In hindsight it was a massive error to not have Benson-Pope resign for what was very serious deceiving of Parliament as it meant the next Minister in trouble would have to be chopped. I doubt a single member of the press gallery thinks Parker would be gone as a Minister of the Benson-Pope saga had never occurred.

So the irony is that the damaged discredited and unpopular Minister carries on in his job while the popular and competent Minister is gone.

UPDATE: John Armstrong has much the same conclusion.

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