HR for Political Parties, Ctd

For HR to work there needs to be direct repercussions for inept or unacceptable performance.

This means List MPs who everyone knows are useless need to be moved on. MPs in safe seats who are equally useless and offer little to the party need to be replaced by high quality candidates.

Many useless MPs are useless due to being ill suited to the job, not because they are malicious or deliberately useless. It is a bit like a player who is selected for the All Blacks when there are a rash of injuries, someone who just doesn’t have the talent to make it permanent, but gets a step up due to circumstances or a mistake in selection. Unfortunately for political parties MPs can’t be dropped as quickly as All Blacks, and many hang on even though everyone knows they are useless.

Dropping MPs is an important part of building a winning team, just as dropping players is important for the All Blacks.

National is as guilty as any party of retaining useless MPs who offer little and block the path to caucus for someone more talented. Katrina Shanks immediately springs to mind, a woman who doesn’t have good credentials, has never really made it, nor will ever make it, and is not a team player. If National had a proper candidates college or a President that was not embarrassingly useless then Katrina would have been discretely asked what role she wanted outside of parliament, and whether she could help National find another a decent candidate who will follow instructions and who could make a far more effective MP than her pathetic efforts.

To have a strong HR function requires a strong party structure. National don’t have this, and since Judy Kirk left the candidates college has become almost as big a joke as the President.


THANK YOU for being a subscriber. Because of you Whaleoil is going from strength to strength. It is a little known fact that Whaleoil subscribers are better in bed, good looking and highly intelligent. Sometimes all at once! Please Click Here Now to subscribe to an ad-free Whaleoil.

  • Anonymous

    maybe someone can explain what this “Ctd” term means that I see getting flogged on a daily basis on this site

    • Michael

      “Continued”.  Generally means the post is an update/reflection on an earlier post (or series of posts) with the same title.  In this case, this is the third in a series entitled “HR for Political Parties.

      • Anonymous

        Ah thanks for that Michael, it was beginning to annoy me. Makes sense now.

  • kehua

    Sigh, I guess someone has to ask the “pattsies“, after all Barbara Stewart has made a career out of it lol.

  • Anonymous

    Yep, it isn’t any wonder many HR people are nick named Human Retards….

    Political parties should be run like commercial companies. 360 reviews by peers should be done and the results and feedback given annually etc etc etc…  I do wonder if say John Key for example does performance reviews on his MP’s etc like he must on his direct reporting staff…

    I struggle to cope with List MP’s… For example, Jacinda is rating really high in her party etc, yet cannot even win her seat in her electorate… Come on, give me strength…

    • bristol

      Same for Charlie Shovel.

  • aobugs

    Yet another example of why MMP is flawed. We all know most politicians are useless anyway, or else (most) would be making it in the real world.

  • The list provides such a good vehicle for parties to bring in new blood without the need to cause messy by-elections. If people would just retire when asked, and parties would grow the bollocks needed to ask in the first place. It means good but unknown new people can stand in safe seats without needing to shaft a retiring incumbent (eg Northland at the latest election).

    If parties would use it, the list is a fantastic tool and can be used to win more electorates, too. Instead, however, many of Labour and National’s list spots are clogged with people who need moving on. Hopefully the coverage they will get as list MPs will enable the likes of Goldsmith and Ngaro to win electorates. That is how the list should be used.

    • Ah, was meaning Rodney, sorry, not Northland.

    • Alex

      Agree.  There is a tendency to vilify the “list” but I think peoples’ dislike of it would be significantly reduced if National were to make more sophisticated use of it.  National has done this with Tim Grosser — despite his difficult personality, he does have clear skills in trade negotiations etc.  National should use the list to get people into Parliament with specific skills and qualifications that are needed to deal with the particular issues that are likely to arise during the next term.   

      • Quite right, and Chris Finlayson is another like this. I understand he has no interest in campaigning (ironic for a politician), but I think we can agree he’s been pretty good as Attorney General and minister for treaty settlements. 

        The problem with the list is the people can’t vote you out. If you get out of touch or useless but are sitting around the middle of Labour or National’s list you may never be forced out. Unlike under FPP, where you will be voted out, or your party will replace you to prevent you being voted out, should the need arise.

  • Alex

    How on earth does Shanks’ get selected as the National candidate?   Does anyone know anything about the Ohariu National party organisation/politics? Even her billboard picture screams “ineffectual”; she reminds me of the strange book-ish girl at my primary school.  But for living in Wellington Central, I’d happily band together with some kindred folks to make this her last term.