The Dom Post reports:
Michael Cullen is being tipped for a six-figure salary as chairman of one of the country’s top state-owned enterprises.
Top of the likely list is power generator Mighty River Power, Government sources say.
I have real problems with this.
I do not think it is credible you can go directly from attacking the Government in Parliament to working for them, chairing a major SOE, with say only a day or two in between.
Yes Jim Bolger chaired SOEs under Labour – but he was appointed around four years after he left Parliament. That makes a huge difference.
Supporting Helen for the UN job is different also – that is an international role – not a role that is serving the NZ Govt and at the total discretion of Cabinet.
I am not arguing that Cullen is not talented, and at the appropriate point in time, would be a good appointee to certain boards. But he should be out of consideration until National’s second term (if there is one), or at least for a minimum of a year after he leaves Parliament.
How can the Government think it is serious when it complains abut breaches of the Public Finance Act, massive blowouts in the Crown Accounts, the disaster of a purchase that was KiwiRail, and then people read oh yeah we are looking to reward the guy who did all this – before he even has even resigned from Parliament?
Most people in National were very relaxed about supporting Clark for a UN post. They are very much the opposite when it comes to having Cullen chair a major SOE. I’ve already had absolutely furious phone calls this morning from very senior and long standing party members. I think some members would resign if an appointment was made during 2009.