The complex and bloated Executive

The NZ Initiative has published a research note comparing our Executive Government to others.

They note:

  • We have 44% more Ministers, 282% more portfolios and 156% more departments than countries of similar size
  • NZ has 41 departments
  • NZ has 27 crown agencies
  • NZ has 74 ministerial portfolios and 22 associate portfolios

NZ stands out like a sore thumb.

Back in 2011 I blogged a solution to this:

My future state sector would be:

  1. Ministry of Internal Security – Crown law, Corrections, SIS, Justice, SFO, Police
  2. Ministry for environment – Environment, epa, Conservation, Biosecurity
  3. Dept of Administrative Affairs – dia, LINZ, Building & Housing, Customs, Stats
  4. Ministry for Economic Development – Labour, MAF, MED, Fisheries, MORST, Transport
  6. Education – Education, ERO, TEC
  7. Ministry of External Relations & Security – GCSB, Defence, MFAT,  NZDF
  8. Treasury – Treasury
  9. Incomes – IRD, WINZ
  10. Culture – Culture & Heritage, Nat Lib, Archives, NZ on Air
  11. Health – Health
  12. Social Policy – Pacific Island Affairs, MSD, cyf, Youth Development, Community Sector, Senior Citizens, Families, Women’s Affairs, TPK
  13. Parliament – Parl Serv, Min Serv, Office of Clerk, PCO

This means you could have a cabinet of 12. The Speaker looks after Parliament, and one minister per major agency. One could have associate ministers outside cabinet who get delegated some of the specialist areas within an overall portfolio.

To match the Cabinet of 12, I would have 12 sector wide CEOs. They would be responsible for the entire sector and sit over individual agency CEOs. So you have clear accountability in each sector with one Cabinet Minister in charge and one CEO.

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