Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Team Little: pretty good

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  • nzlemming,

    Interesting that the last four ranked are all former leaders, if only temporary. I wonder if there's ever been another party anywhere where that's happened.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2930 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    the rankings themselves do not seem closely tied to conventional notions about portfolio seniority

    Oh I don't know. Disability is in the demoted unranked zone at 17. Behind animal rights. Nothing new there.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Sacha,

    Oh I don’t know. Disability is in the demoted unranked zone at 17. Behind animal rights. Nothing new there.

    True. I don't think you can even blame it on the spokesperson being out of favour.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • Grant McDougall,

    I'm quite surprised that Finance has gone to Robertson. He's a clever bloke and should handle it competently, but I think his heart is more in the social issues / policy area, not bean-counting.

    Still, he's a safe pair of hands and it's a good way of keeping him close to the leader. It's a pity David Parker didn't want to retain it, as he's been very good. It's also pleasing that Little has signaled for the likes of Goff, etc, to hand in their retirement notice before the next election.

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 759 posts Report Reply

  • Rik,

    On the other hand, his responsibilities (shadow Attorney General, Treaty negotiations, trade and export growth) are substantial.

    Well...they would be, if Labour were actually the government!

    Since Jun 2007 • 130 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    I don't think it's behind Animal Rights - unranked MPs are listed by year of first entry... Still, disappointing it's so far south.

    I think Ruth may be being given the message it's time to think about moving on - certainly she's part of the King/Goff/Mallard era that's been given very polite but pointed positions.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    I feel a little saddened (and worried) the trio of Davids are so down-graded. There's a lot of talent sitting in that clump. Hope it's not wasted, or worse.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2091 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to Sacha,

    Disability is in the demoted unranked zone at 17.

    They gave it to Goff? Or did you mean Dyson? EDIT: sorry, it's clearly Dyson. I think it makes sense to leave it with her, rather than giving it to someone ranked higher but who wouldn't know what to do with it. She could do the policy work (which includes working with the highly ranked Hipkins) and be effective in the house on the issues.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah,

    I think that asking Annette King to stay on as deputy is a very wise move. Her accumulated wisdom about processes and how to manage caucus and all the day-to-day minutiae of politics is substantial, and we need to have some continuity as well as change. Also, having sat on the Party’s policy council with Annette, she is very, very astute, and her grasp of policy matters is formidable.

    New Lynn • Since Nov 2006 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to nzlemming,

    Usually, political or biological longevity are limiting factors, so not that many parties have four or more former leaders among their number – but Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party certainly does.
    The following former LDP leaders are all still alive, and mostly still active in politics: Yasuhiro Nakasone; Yoshirō Mori; Junichiro Koizumi; Yasuo Fukuda; Taro Aso.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1889 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    Dyson, so at least there’s continuity. However, she had less success getting cabinet to fund much change than Turia has done since.

    Hopefully she can also work with King and Sepuloni across the intertwined Health and Social Development portfolios, but I don’t have high hopes of anyone in that bunch grasping the economic development or other tie-ins without a big push from outside.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Keir Leslie,

    I don’t think it’s behind Animal Rights

    has been in previous line-ups.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    Parker himself had clearly already got the memo

    All the reporting I have seen says that Parker took himself out of the Finance portfolio, and had announced as much before the first vote was cast. What evidence do you have that this was anything other than the true situation?

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Jim Cathcart, in reply to Grant McDougall,

    I'm quite surprised that Finance has gone to Robertson. He's a clever bloke and should handle it competently, but I think his heart is more in the social issues / policy area, not bean-counting.

    Still, he's a safe pair of hands and it's a good way of keeping him close to the leader. It's a pity David Parker didn't want to retain it, as he's been very good. It's also pleasing that Little has signaled for the likes of Goff, etc, to hand in their retirement notice before the next election.

    I was surprised too. Is it possible to oversee a Finance portfolio for NZ without any sturdy finance experience or academic credentials? If that is the case, I guess he could also run Ernst & Young without too many issues (as long as he has an eager bunch of number crunchers who can readily explain relevance and implication).

    Since Nov 2006 • 228 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Grant McDougall,

    It’s a pity David Parker didn’t want to retain it, as he’s been very good.

    I don't blame Parker for not wishing to stay in Finance given Little's pronouncements on the policies he had developed -- but he's clearly a significant loss from the front bench and the most regrettable casualty in the whole business.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    All the reporting I have seen says that Parker took himself out of the Finance portfolio, and had announced as much before the first vote was cast. What evidence do you have that this was anything other than the true situation?

    I've been out of the country and I saw references to that, but couldn't find the reports saying so. The post-leadership-election stories I saw made it seem like a response to the result, but I'm happy to be corrected.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to Jim Cathcart,

    Is it possible to oversee a Finance portfolio for NZ without any sturdy finance experience or academic credentials?

    Bill English has an honours degree in English literature. Michael Cullen had a PhD in history.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Jim Cathcart,

    Is it possible to oversee a Finance portfolio for NZ without any sturdy finance experience or academic credentials?

    well it's not exactly brain surgery :)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace, in reply to Sacha,

    Ruth Dyson and Annette King worked well together on Disability Issues in Helen Clark’s era. Annette at No 2 certainly knows the Health aspects, and Chris Hipkins has been learning a great deal about issues around inclusive education in the last few years as Education spokesperson and Carmel Sepuloni has been working as a CE of a disability NGO for the last three years – so there is some seniority there for disability. Surprised that ACC is so low down the ranks though.

    But I will be interested it see whether Andrew Little takes up his earlier ideas from when he was ACC spokesperson about addressing the MoH/ACC funding inequities for disability. Little came to it from that income maintenance perspective that the original Woodhouse inquiry started with, and asked why things were so much harder for those on MoH support than those on ACC. After all much of disability is about income maintenance. Something for Grant to look at too from the Finance portfolio.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3202 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Russell Brown,

    The post-leadership-election stories I saw made it seem like a response to the result, but I’m happy to be corrected.

    Yes, it was a response to the result. A response that he signalled before the ballot, when he said (paraphrased) that if he wasn't elected leader he was going to step down as Finance spokesman.
    Don't have a source, but it was definitely announced before the election that it was not his intention to cling on. Potentially he was forestalling a clash with Little, who was the winner-presumptive, over Parker's hard-developed tax policies with which Little appears to have little sympathy. Little winning certainly does not give me much hope that we will have a CGT and other sensible taxation changes within the span of the next decade.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    After all much of disability is about income maintenance.

    yes, it does often seem to come down to chronic poverty

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    Bill English has an honours degree in English literature. Michael Cullen had a PhD in history.

    In fact the last vaguely qualified Minister of Finance the country has had was Roger Douglas, who studied accountancy.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    In fact the last vaguely qualified Minister of Finance the country has had was Roger Douglas, who studied accountancy.

    And look where that got us. The dangers of a man who knows the cost of everything and the value of nothing.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    Bill English has an Hons degree in English from Victoria (and a BCom from Otago, but that may not have had a great deal of accounting or finance in it), Cullen had a PhD in economic history from Edinburgh (while Gordon Brown had one in history from Edinburgh), Birch was a surveyor from Waikato, Richardson was a lawyer as was Caygill. Last finance minister to have had a specific qualification and actual experience in accounting was Roger Douglas and look how that turned out.

    Finance is a political role - you aren't actually going out and doing deals on the markets yourself.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    Bill English did have a stint at Treasury, and Michael Cullen's PhD was in economic history.

    New Lynn • Since Nov 2006 • 1445 posts Report Reply

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