Helen Clark has released her new cabinet line up and probably due to the shallow pool of talent is incredibly timid considering they face increasing electoral pressure.The new Cabinet ministers are:
o Steve Chadwick, MP for Rotorua
o Shane Jones, MP
o Maryan Street, MP
Helen Clark said that the three vacancies arise from the impending retirement of Steve Maharey, the decision by Mark Burton to return to the backbench, and the place vacated by David Benson-Pope in July. Burton has seriously been demoted, he was after all the poster boy for the Electoral Finance Bill but has performed so woefully under sustained pressure about that draconian bill he had to go.
Significant reallocations of portfolios are:
- Michael Cullen takes on the Treaty Negotiations portfolio in addition to finance
- Phil Goff adds the Corrections portfolio to his responsibilities, showing the ineptitude of Damien O'Connor
- Annette King takes on the Justice portfolio, and retains Transport and Police, strong performer with an increased load. This also signals Labour's insistance that the EFB be rammed through. I predict it being rammed through under urgency, now that Burton has been replaced.
- Pete Hodgson becomes Minister for Economic Development, Tertiary Education, and Research Science and Technology, Loses Health as predicted, he must seriously be out of favour.
- Chris Carter becomes Minister of Education and retains Ethnic Affairs, effectively a slap in the face for his ineptitude and meddling in Conservation.
- David Cunliffe becomes Minister of Health, and continues his responsibilities in Communications and Information Technology
- Trevor Mallard becomes Minister of Broadcasting, the Environment, and Labour, and retains SOEs and Associate Finance
- Ruth Dyson becomes Minister of Social Development and Employment, Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector and retains Senior Citizens and Disability Issues responsibilities
- Lianne Dalziel takes on Food Safety and Associate Justice in addition to Commerce
- David Parker adds States Services to his responsibilities
- Nanaia Mahuta takes on the full Local Government portfolio and Associate Tourism in addition to her other responsibilities
- Clayton Cosgrove takes on the full Immigration portfolio, Sport and Recreation, Small Business, and responsibility for the Rugby World Cup. He retains Associate Justice and Finance responsibilities. Cosgrove is rewarded for good performances and takes Mallards prized Rugby World Cup responsibilities
The new ministers duties are as follows:
- Steve Chadwick becomes Minister of Conservation, Women's Affairs, and Associate Health
- Maryan Street becomes Minister of Housing, Minister for ACC, along with Associate Minister for Economic Development and Associate Tertiary Education
- Shane Jones becomes Minister for Building and Construction, Associate Minister of Treaty Negotiations, Associate Immigration and Associate Minister of Trade
The ginga Darren Hughes becomes a Minister outside Cabinet with responsibilities as Minister of Statistics, Associate Minister of Social Development and Employment, and Deputy Leader of the House.
Overall a timid response to their increasingly failing ministry. The fact that Mallard has not seriously been affected, certainly not monetrarily shows how out of touch Clark is with the rest of New Zealand of his bully-boy actions. Cullen the scrooge retains Finance leaving Clark with only a last minute replacement option to stave off electoral retribution over his excessive taxation. Labour will go into the election next year with essentially the same old tired faces.