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Published: Mon 21 Jun 1999 02:12 PM
Labour Leader Helen Clark said today that the Prime Minister's minor tinkering with ministerial portfolios scarcely justified a press conference.
"Mr English's move into the Treasurer's post has been well foreshadowed - it was announced months ago in the last round of ministerial musical chairs.
"Shifting Mr McCully out of an associate post in immigration will be greeted with surprise only because nobody knew he held the post in the first place. If the objective is to have National Party ministers marking non-National ministers in portfolio areas, then Mr McCully has been conspicuously quiet during Mr Delamere's many problems in the portfolio.
"National is clearly on the back foot on issues of arts and culture. Keeping Ms Hasler in that portfolio area, but as a junior minister outside Cabinet, will hardly help make up the lost ground caused by nine years of utter indifference to culture and heritage.
"The tinkering is so negligible - with noted under-performers like Wyatt Creech, Jack Elder, Murray McCully and John Luxton retaining their positions - one wonders why Mrs Shipley even bothered.
"In National's current state, the changes which have been made in the ministerial line-up look more like a reformation of the queue for the gallows on election day than any serious attempt to reform the poor administrative performance of the Government," Helen Clark said.

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