The Select Committees have now elected their Chairs. This is pro-forma as in fact they were agreed to at the Business Committee. The Chairs are:
- Economic Development, Science and Innovation: Chair: Jonathan Young (N)
- Education and Workforce: Chair: Sarah Dowie (N)
- Environment: Chair: Deborah Russell (L)
- Finance and Expenditure: Chair: Michael Wood (L)
- Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade: Chair: Simon O’Connor (N)
- Governance and Administration: Chair: Brett Hudson (N)
- Health: Chair: Louisa Wall (L)
- Justice: Chair: Raymond Huo (L)
- Maori Affairs: Chair: Rino Tirikatene (L)
- Primary Production: Chair: David Bennett (N)
- Regulations Review: Chair: Jacqui Dean (N)
- Social Services and Community: Chair: Jan Logie (G)
- Transport and Infrastructure: Chair: Darroch Ball (NZF)
What is unusual, possibly unprecedented, is that two select committees are chaired by members of the Executive – Parliamentary Under-Secretaries Michael Wood and Jan Logie.
It is not uncommon for members of the Executive not in Cabinet to serve on select committees, but I’ve never known one to chair a select committee, let alone the powerful Finance and Expenditure Select Committee.
When the Chair is a member of the Executive, how can you have confidence the Committee will properly scrutinise the Executive?