According to Ethnic Communities Minister Jenny Salesa, the government every year makes appointments to 429 state sector boards and committees.
This gives Ministers several opportunities to wield substantial power by making appointments or recommending them, creating a perception that appointments are a form of political patronage.
They can give a job to a former colleague, such as appointing Dame Annette King High Commissioner to Australia.
Or they can acquire a bit more ministerial muscle by being given new responsibilities. This happened to Nanaia Mahuta, who has been appointed Associate Minister of Housing and Urban Development (Māori Housing).
And if there are no new jobs to be announced – well, a minister can always win headlines and a photo opportunity by dishing out some awards.
Point of Order’s weekly monitoring of Beehive press statements to learn who has been favoured by ministerial appointments and/or awards in the past week shows this …
12 NOVEMBER 2018
Royal Commission of Inquiry scope expanded
Cabinet today agreed to expand the scope of a proposed royal commission of inquiry into the abuse of children in state care, to include the abuse of children in the care of faith-based institutions.
Cabinet also confirmed the four other members of the inquiry to serve with the chair, Sir Anand Satyanand.
The four new commission members are:
- Ali’imuamua Sandra Alofivae, MNZM, a barrister from South Auckland, who specialises in child and family law, adoption, youth justice, domestic violence and protection orders.
- Dr Andrew Erueti, senior lecturer at Auckland University School of Law, who specialises in the human rights of the child, indigenous rights, international human rights law and Ngā Tikanga Māori, and who has also been involved in the calls for an inquiry into abuse in State care.
- Paul Gibson, former Disability Rights Commissioner at the Human Rights Commission from 2011-17, where he was involved in the Never Again / E Kore Anō campaign and has a strong and impressive record as a disability advocate.
- Judge Coral Shaw, who has recently undertaken reviews in the public sector, brings knowledge and expertise on educational settings, and has served as a District Court and Employment Court judge, and judge of the United Nations Disputes Tribunal.
13 NOVEMBER 2018
Biosecurity champions honoured
Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor paid tribute to the winners of the 2018 New Zealand Biosecurity Awards.
- New Zealand Biosecurity Community Award – Pirongia Te Aroaro o Kahu Restoration Society
- New Zealand Biosecurity Industry Award – Kiwifruit Vine Health
- New Zealand Biosecurity Science Award – Scion: New Zealand Forest Research Institute
- New Zealand Biosecurity Emerging Leader Award – Dr Amanda Black
- New Zealand Biosecurity Māori Award – Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Te Rangi Iwi Trust
- New Zealand Biosecurity Local and Central Government Award – Environment Southland
- New Zealand Biosecurity Innovation Award – Jacson3 Limited
- New Zealand Biosecurity Supreme Award – Environment Southland
- Minister’s Biosecurity Award – Greg Corbett
Further detail is at www.mpi.govt.nz/biosecurityawards
13 NOVEMBER 2018
Dame Silvia Cartwright to lead public inquiry into EQC
EQC Minister Megan Woods announced former Governor-General and High Court Judge Dame Silvia Cartwright will lead the public inquiry into EQC.
Dame Silvia led the Cartwright Inquiry into Auckland National Women’s Hospital in the 1980s, and served on the Cambodian War Crimes Tribunal.
The inquiry will be the first of its kind under the Public Inquiries Act 2013 and will have all the powers of a Royal Commission, be independent of Government and make its report directly to the Governor-General.
The terms of reference can be found on the DPMC website.
14 NOVEMBER 2018
New High Commissioner to Australia announced
Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced the appointment of Dame Annette King as High Commissioner to Australia.
Dame Annette previously has held several senior Cabinet portfolios, including Justice, Police and Health. She was Parliament’s longest serving female MP with 30 years’ service,” said Mr Peters.
The other 25 Head of Mission appointments announced this year have been career diplomats.
Dame Annette is expected to start her High Commissioner duties at the end of the year.
14 NOVEMBER 2018
New Minister and Unit for Māori housing
Housing and Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford announced the establishment of a dedicated Māori Housing Unit to improve housing opportunities for Māori and the appointment of Minister Nanaia Mahuta as Associate Minister of Housing and Urban Development (Māori Housing) to lead it.
The Unit is being established within the new Ministry for Housing and Urban Development.
16 NOVEMBER 2018
172 young Kiwis head to Asia on Prime Minister’s Scholarships
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today congratulated the 172 young New Zealanders who have been awarded prestigious Prime Minister’s Scholarships for Asia (PMSA) as part of the August 2018/19 round.
The newly announced awardees – 49 individuals, and 17 groups totalling 123 – are either recent graduates or come from universities, institutes of technology and polytechnics or private training enterprises across New Zealand. They will travel to destinations including China, India, Viet Nam, Japan, Korea, Taiwan and Singapore to study, carry out research or undertake internships – spanning from four weeks to one year.
A total of $1,408,578 was awarded this round for 2018/19 covering both individual and group awardees.
The PMSA recipients’ names from the August 2018/19 round can be found here. The PMSLA recipients’ names from the August 2018/19 round can be found here.