INDEPENDENT NEWS

ACT Leader David Seymour Offers Helpful Advice on Baubles

Published: Tue 10 Oct 2017 09:46 AM
ACT Leader Offers Helpful Advice on Baubles
ACT Leader David Seymour is offering other parties some helpful advice on baubles: slash them.
"Winston Peters campaigned on reducing the number of MPs in parliament, but he has got ahead of himself. MPs are there to hold the Ministers and their departments to account. If we want more accountability we should start by slashing the number of Ministers, not the number of MPs holding them accountable,” says Mr Seymour.
“There’s 60-odd opposition MPs holding 28 Ministers, 40,000 bureaucrats, and a quarter-million government employees accountable. If you want to reduce Government, you’d have to be gaga to start by cutting the opposition MPs.
"On the other hand, there are 28 Ministers with 76 portfolios and most of them are redundant.
"I have shown (below) how we could get down to only 35 portfolios held by 20 Ministers in Cabinet. Winston, who created ministers outside cabinet and the baubles of office, could now fix the mistake.
“I defy anyone to explain why we need a Minister for Climate Change, a Minister for Conservation, and a Minister for the Environment. Those three should be merged to one person accountable for New Zealand’s environmental performance.
“We have a Minister for Building and Housing, a Minister for Building and Construction, and a Minister for Social Housing. What we don’t have is an adequate supply of housing, what we need is one person who’s responsible for fixing that.
“How much of the Communications, Transport, and Tourism sectors do not come under Infrastructure? They should all be merged into the infrastructure portfolio so we can hold someone to account for our country’s chronic underinvestment in infrastructure that has affected all of these areas.
“Then there are the small fry: It is absurd to have a Minister for Broadcasting alongside a Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage. How is Broadcasting not part of Arts, Culture, and Heritage?
“We don’t have Ministers for Rugby or Beer, so why do we have a Minister of Racing? Come to that, does anyone think that the Minister of Sport is anything more than an excuse to get free tickets?”
“The Commerce portfolio has been treated like a joke, often given to low ranking Ministers outside cabinet with little knowledge of business. It should be merged with small business (how is Small Business not Commerce?) and Workplace Relations and Safety. Then the portfolio should be taken seriously.
"Then there are the ‘population’ portfolios, Ethnic Affairs, Maori, Pacific Peoples, Youth, Seniors, and Women. Who needs them? Not the populations involved, who get their Health, Education, and Infrastructure from real Ministers like everyone else. So who needs these portfolios? That’s easy: The Governing Party who wish to have their representative given the highest status at whatever population based event is on that weekend.
“I have spent three years as Under-Secretary to the Minister for Regulatory Reform. I am proud to have changed the Cabinet Manual so that Regulatory Impact Analysis will be taken more seriously. This will improve the quality of all lawmaking, but I could never work out what the Minister for Regulatory Reform did besides try to take the credit for my work. The Regulatory Reform portfolio should go, any Government that’s serious about the topic would just pass ACT’s Regulatory Responsibility Bill.
“Anyway,” says Mr Seymour, “There is a golden opportunity for a reset on the untidy array of Ministers, make Government more accountable, and save taxpayer money. However, I fear that the coalition negotiations will throw up an even worse potpourri of portfolios created for political purposes rather than serving the public.”
ACC
Keep
Arts, Culture and Heritage
Keep
Attorney-General
Keep
Broadcasting
Merge with Arts Culture and Heritage
Budget 2015
Merge with Minister of Finance
Budget 2016
Merge with Minister of Finance
Budget 2017
Merge with Minister of Finance
Building and Construction
Merge with Housing
Building and Housing
Merge with Housing
Canterbury Earthquake Recovery
Keep until Complete
Children
Delete
Civil Defence
Keep
Climate Change Issues
Merge with Environment
Commerce and Consumer Affairs
Keep
Communications
Merge with Infrastructure
Community and Voluntary Sector
Delete
Conservation
Merge with Environment
Corrections
Keep
Courts
Keep
Customs
Keep
Defence
Keep
Deputy Leader of the House
Keep
Deputy Prime Minister
Keep
Disability Issues
Keep
Earthquake Commission
Keep
Economic Development
Delete
Education
Keep
Energy and Resources
Keep
Environment
Keep
Ethnic Communities
Delete
Finance
Keep
Food Safety
Merge with Primary Industries
Foreign Affairs
Keep
GCSB
Keep
Greater Christchurch Regeneration
Merge with Canterbury Earthquake Recovery
Health
Keep
HNZC
Merge with Housing
Immigration
Keep
Infrastructure
Keep
Internal Affairs
Keep
Justice
Keep
Land Information
Merge with Internal Affairs
Leader of the House
Keep
Local Government
Keep
Maori Development
Delete
Ministerial Services
Keep
National Security and Intelligence
Keep
Novopay
Merge with Education
NZ Security Intelligence Service
Keep
Pacific Peoples
Delete
Police
Keep
Primary Industries
Keep
Prime Minister
Keep
Racing
Delete
Regulatory Reform
Delete
Revenue
Keep
Science and Innovation
Delete
Seniors
Delete
Small Business
Merge with Commerce
Social Development
Keep
Social Housing
Merge with Housing
Social Investment
Delete
Sport and Recreation
Merge with Health
State Owned Enterprises
Delete after Privatisation
State Services
Keep
Statistics
Merge with Internal Affairs
Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment
Merge with Education
Tourism
Merge with Infrastructure
Trade
Merge with Foreign Affairs
Transport
Merge with Infrastructure
Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations
Delete after Ngapuhi claim
Veterans’ Affairs
Keep
Whanau Ora
Delete
Women
Delete
Workplace Relations and Safety
Merge with Commerce
Youth
Delete
ENDS

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