Ethnic Communities Minister Jenny Salesa earlier this month announced the Cabinet decision to have ethnicity data collected for candidates appointed to State sector boards and committees.
These data would be used “to identify opportunities and challenges in delivering our goal of ensuring Government bodies have a balanced membership reflective of wider New Zealand society.”
This raises the question of whether “political” considerations come into the attempt to balance membership and – if so – to what extent.
Governments notoriously find jobs for political croneys and friends, although the glare of publicity sometimes can trigger a reconsideration as happened in the case of millionaire Derek Handley who will received $100,000 after the Government pulled the plug on his appointment as chief technology.
More interesting, Salesa’s press statement drew attention to the numbers of croneys and friends for whom jobs could be found – potentially – if ministers paid no heed to the need for “balance” and/or relevant competence.
Every year the Government makes appointments to 429 State sector boards and committees, she said.
Readers may care to check the credentials of the appointments made so far this month, according to our monitoring of Beehive press statements.
These statements don’t ensure we can spot every hint of croneyism.
Rotorua mayor Steve Chadwick (a former Labour MP and associate minister of health.) was named chair-elect of a new national primary health care group, the Federation of Primary Health Aotearoa New Zealand, which was formally launched at Parliament this month.
Earlier this year an establishment board was tasked with setting up the federation under the chairwomanship of Dame Annette King, Chadwick’s party colleague in Helen Clark’s government.
But this was not a ministerial appointment. The federation is a membership organisation of multi-professional and multi-agency primary health bodies working together to provide national leadership on key issues affecting primary health in New Zealand.
Here’s what the Ministers announced –
7 SEPTEMBER 2018
Reserve Bank Review Panel appointments
Finance Minister Grant Robertson announced three new appointments to the Independent Expert Advisory Panel ahead of Phase 2 of the Review of the Reserve Bank Act.
Barbara Chapman, Belinda Moffat and John Sproat join existing members Suzanne Snively (chair), Malcolm Edey and Girol Karacaoglu on the panel.
A joint Reserve Bank and Treasury team will soon release details outlining the Phase 2 process. The previously announced terms of reference for Phase 2 can be found here.
The Panel’s role is to provide independent advice to the Minister of Finance on the work being carried out by the team.
Chapman, former CEO of ASB, is a director of Genesis Energy, NZME and Fletcher Building; .
Moffat is chief executive of the Broadcasting Standards Authority and previously was the Director of Enforcement and Investigations at the Financial Markets Authority.
Sproat recently was appointed to the Independent Advisory Panel of the Provincial Growth Fund.
New appointments to the Education New Zealand Board
Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced four appointments to the Education New Zealand Board.
Steve Maharey, former Vice-Chancellor of Massey University and Education Minister in Helen Clark’s government, was appointed as a member of the board for the next six months. He will become chairman in February 2019 when Charles Finny retires.
Lyn Provost and Rachael Tuwhangai have each been appointed as board members for three year terms, and Victoria Spackman has been reappointed as member for a three year term.
Maharey nowadays is an independent director, commentator and consultant on a wide range of social and political issues.
Spackman is Director Creative and Director Te Auaha at Weltec and Whitireia Polytechnics. She is also a director and co-owner of the screen and visitor experience company the Gibson Group.
Provost was Controller and Auditor-General from October 2009 until 2017 and from 2001 to 2009 was the first female and civilian deputy commissioner of New Zealand Police. She is a member of the International Auditing and Assurance Board.
Tuwhangai is Managing Director of Maori and Pasifika Support Services, a privately owned multi-service agency which aims to positively transform the lives of individuals, families and organisation’s through a range of culturally responsive support services. She is also managing director of Niu Digital, an app and web development company. Before establishing MAPSS she was the Education Manager of Kohuora.
10 SEPTEMBER 2018
New appointments to Pacific Education Foundation Board
Associate Minister of Education Jenny Salesa and Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio announced five appointments to the Board of the Pacific Education Foundation.
This board was formed in 1972 to promote and encourage better education for Pacific people and provides financial assistance to Pacific people in New Zealand who are enrolled in tertiary study.
The new board appointments are George Gavet (Auckland), Palatasa Havea (Palmerston North), Dr Litea Meo-Sewabu (Palmerston North), Aiono Matthew Aileone (Wellington), and Bradley Watson (Dunedin).
11 SEPTEMBER 2018
Appointment to the Guardians Kaitiaki of the Alexander Turnbull Library
Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced the appointment of Lyn Provost (one of the Education New Zealand Board appointments announced a few days earlier) as chair of the Guardians Kaitiaki of the Alexander Turnbull Library.
This outfit has a statutory role to provide the Minister with independent advice on key matters associated with the operation of the Alexander Turnbull Library.
13 SEPTEMBER 2018
Appointment to the Library and Information Advisory Commission
Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced the reappointment of David Reeves as chair, and members Dr Judith Johnston, Helen Tait, and Carolyn Robertson to the Library and Information Advisory Commission.
The commission has a statutory role to provide the Minister with independent advice on key matters associated with the operation of the Turnbull Library.
Minister Martin acknowledged the work of Rachael Ka’ai-Mahuta who was not reappointed this year (which doesn’t seem to gel with Salesa’s diversity objectives).
13 SEPTEMBER 2018
New appointments to New Zealand Tourism Board
Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis announced the appointment of Colleen Neville and Kauahi Ngapora as members of the New Zealand Tourism Board (known as Tourism New Zealand).
He reappointed John Thorburn, Jamie Tuuta, and Jan Hunt for various terms, while chair Kerry Prendergast’s term was extended to March 2019 to retain her experience and leadership while future changes are considered.
The board is a Crown entity, responsible for ensuring New Zealand is effectively marketed as a visitor destination in order to maximise long-term benefits to the country.
Neville is chief executive of Te Arawa Group Holdings, which invests in the tourism, forestry, geothermal and agri-business sectors. She has been on the boards of Poutama Trust, Te Ohu Kaimoana, the NZ Forest Research Institute. Te Kakano Whakatipu Ltd, and Te Arawa Agribusiness Ltd.
Ngapora is general manager of Whale Watch Kaikoura Ltd and has 25 years of experience in the Māori tourism sector. His governance experience includes directorships at Tourism Industry Aotearoa and Whale Watch Australia. He has been chair of Destination Kaikoura and is a member of the Tourism Infrastructure Fund panel.