Collins overrides bureaucrats choice, cue outrage

Judith Collins has appointed someone she can trust to a position, as much as you trust a criminal lawyer….instead of a flunky lefty recommended by bureaucrats…and boy have they got upset.

Justice Minister Judith Collins rejected the advice of an independent panel which recommended a woman lawyer for a top state service job and selected her own nominee, despite a plea from the Chief Human Rights Commissioner.

Ms Collins announced experienced Auckland barrister Robert Kee as the new Director of Human Rights Proceedings, an independent role within the Human Rights Commission, in mid-2012 after nominating him for the post. 

This was despite a panel telling her its first choice was lawyer Catherine Rodgers and Chief Human Rights Commissioner David Rutherford’s writing to the minister to express his concern about how few well-qualified women were being selected for state-sector jobs.

Ms Collins also eliminated another woman candidate during the early selection process.

Papers released by her office under the Official Information Act show that Ms Collins nominated Mr Kee for the role as one of 13 candidates to be assessed by an independent panel within the Justice Ministry.

The panel, which was headed by Mr Rutherford, recommended that Mr Kee be interviewed as one of six on a shortlist.

Ms Collins was shown the list and cut one of the potential interviewees, understood to be a woman lawyer from Auckland.

After the remaining five candidates were interviewed by the panel, two were recommended to Ms Collins as suitable to be appointed, including Mr Kee. But the panel preferred Ms Rodgers – who is manager (policy) in the Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives – as the top candidate to be the next director.

Ms Collins chose Mr Kee over the first-choice candidate and recommended his appointment for five years.

Bloody good job…we expect ministers to make decisions not rubber stamp official recommendations…this is for a job in Auckland and she has chosen a candidate from Auckland rather than the bureaucracy liberal elite from Wellington. She has saved the taxpayers considerable coin by choosing an Auckland based candidate.

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