Labour using the Hipkins standard again, they should look at their own history

Labour is kicking up a stink again about what they call crony appointments. I call this the Hipkins Standard. WHen they get back into power I’ll look forward to them applying this and not appointing anyone remotely connected tot he Labour party. Most likely they will be rank hypocrites like they are now.

Labour is accusing the National-led Government of cronyism after Social Development Minister Paula Bennett hired her former adviser – a Cabinet minister’s sister – as Chief Families Commissioner.

Mrs Bennett defended the appointment of Belinda Milnes, saying she was the right person for the job. As minister, she had been careful in the hiring process because of the candidate’s ties to the National Party.

Ms Milnes was previously a senior adviser to Mrs Bennett and is Cabinet minister Amy Adams’ sister.

Labour was also accused of political appointments while in Government, but its MPs felt National was especially guilty of this.

Really? Check out this list that I have helpfully compiled for journalists who just take Labour’s word that they never did it.  


– February 2000 – Ross Armstrong appointed Chair of TVNZ by Marian Hobbs. [Link]

– August 2000 – Lesley Soper appointed to the Southern Hospital and Health Services Board (HHS) she later became a Labour MP by Annette King. [Link]

– September 2000 – David Lange and former Clark staffer, Simon Mitchell appointed to the LTSA [Link] Louisa Wall took up her appointment effective September 2001. [Link]

– September 2000 – Shane Jones appointed to the Industry New Zealand board:  subsequently accompanied Helen Clark as a formal appointee on a delegation to Latin America in his capacity as Chairman of the Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Commission. [Link]. He was appointed to the Poutama Trust by Parekura Horomia in March 2003: He was appointed to the Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Commission in September 2004. [Link] and the Hui Taumata ’05 Steering Group that same month. [Link] In June 2004 David Benson-Pope appointed him to the RMA Reference Group. [Link]

– October 2000 – Labour Party President, Mike Williams appointed to the board of Transit New Zealand. [Link]

– 2000 – Labour President Mike Williams was appointed as a director of GNS Science.

– 2000 – Dr. Graham Hill was appointed to the MetService. He’s mentioned in this Annual Report. [Link] He was a director of Niwa who was appointed 21 days after his wife Joan Caulfield (Ms Clark’s electorate secretary) burned the artwork at the centre of the “paintergate” scandal involving Ms Clark last year.

– April 2001 – Labour/CTU activist, Rosslyn Noonan appointed Human Rights Commissioner. Two former Labour and Alliance candidates are also appointed to the Commission, Warren Lindbergand Ella Henry[Link]

– July 2001 – Maryan Street was appointed to the board of the Housing New Zealand corporation. [Link] also appointed to the board of the Centre for Housing Research in August 2003. [Link]

– July 2001 – Alison Timms (Wife of Clark staffer, Tony Timms) took up a short-term contract at WINZ assisting Margaret Bazeley [Link]. In November 2001 she is appointed to the Radio New Zealand Board.[Link] she was appointed to the New Zealand Parole Board in 2002.[Link] “She is the wife of Tony Timms, a close adviser of Prime Minister Helen Clark” (NZH). As a Board member she reportedly earned $15,372 and as a member of the Casino Control Authority she earned $500 a day (Colin Espiner “Nice work if you can get it” – THE PRESS, 2 JUN 2003, Edition 1, Page 13.)

– September 2001 – Former Labour Minister, Stan Roger appointed by Trevor Mallard to chair Pay Parity Working Group for Kindergarten Teachers. [Link] he was also appointed to a new panel providing independent advice to the government on injury-related information in March 2003. He is also appointed as a Commssioner of the Electricity Commission for a three year term in August 2006.

– December 2001 – Friend of former Alliance MP Liz Gordon, Kathie Irwin was appointed head of the Teacher’s Council, she later resigned after accusations of double-dipping. [Link]

– February 2002 – Marian Hobbs appointed one of her former media advisers and wife of Brian EdwardsJudy Callingham to the board of NZ on Air. [Link] in 2007 she was appointed to the Film and Literature Review Board. [Link]

– March 2002 – Air New Zealand appointed Ken Douglas as Directors to its board.Trade unionist, he’s appointed to Industry and Trade agency in November that year [Link] later appointed Chair of Whanganui DHB in 2007. [Link] NB: Was appointed by Don McKinnon during the National/NZ First Government in October 1997 to the Aisa 2000 Board. [Link]

– May 2002 – Former NZ Dairy Worker’s and CTU organiser, Ray Potroz appointed to Biology Taskforce and reappointed the ACC Board in 2003. [Link] and again in 2006. [Link]

– June 2002 – Andrew Little was appointed as member of the Transition Tertiary Education Commission. [Link] also appointed to the Manufacturing Advisory Group in August 2007. [Link]


– August 2002 – Gregory Fortuin appointed to Accident Compensation Corporation (October 2002. [Link] Families Commission August 2008. [Link] according to McCully’s Newsletter (11 July 2008) was on the boards of NZ Post, Kiwibank, the Crown Forestry Rental Trust, Transpower, during the Clark Government.

– November 2002 – Dave Morgan, National President of the New Zealand Seafarers’ Union, has been appointed to the MSA board. Former MP John Wright will also join the Transit Board, for a three-year term to 30 November 2005. Hon Sandra Lee, is appointed by Hon. Phil Goff as High Commissioner to Niue.

– December 2002 – Former Labour list candidate, Eamon Daly is appointed to the Bioethics Council. [Link] and appointed to the Human Rights Review Panel in November 2004. [Link] and reappointed in October 2008. [Link]

– December 2002 – Maharey appoints Helen Kelly to Fee Maxima reference group [Link]

– December 2002 – Foreign Affairs Minister Phil Goff has announced MP Graham Kelly will be the next New Zealand High Commissioner to Canada.

– 2003/2004 – Former Otago Alliance party chair, Sam Huggard was on the Lottery youth committee Otago alliance chairman [Link]

– January 2003 – Helen Clark appoints her personal mountain guide,Gottlieb van Elwart to the Land Access reference group [Link]

– March 2003 – The TVNZ Board comprises Dame Anne Hercus.

– April 2003 – Former Clark Government Minister, Philida Bunkle, resigned from the Alcohol Advisory Council despite not having attended any meetings. She was appointed on the advice of Annette King [Link]

– July 2003 – Charles Chauvel was on the board of the Lotteries Commission [Link]

– July 2003 – Business partner of Labour PM, Geoffrey PalmerMai Chen appointed to the Securities Commission [Link] and reappointed in 2008 [Link]

– November 2003 – Education Minister Trevor Mallard appointedAngela Foulkes, to the board of the NZQA. A former secretary of the Council of Trade Unions and then an independent consultant.

– February 2004 – John Wright is on the Transit Board. Judith Tizard reappoints Alick Shaw, Deputy Mayor of Wellington and chair of the Wellington City Council Arts, Culture and Library Committee, to Creative New Zealand.

– June 2004 – Dr Rajen Prasad has been appointed as the first Chief Commissioner of the Families Commission

– July 2004 – Polly Schaverien was appointed to the Correspondence School’s board [Link] a former staffer both in the Labour Party Research Unit and in Trevor Mallard’s office. Reportedly a director of Meridian Energy and the MetService.

– July 2004 – Bob Harvey is re-appointed to the NZ Film Commission for a two-year term.

– August 2004 – Jill White (a former MP, current Palmerston North mayor and a Bioethics Council member) has appointed as the Council’s new chair.

– November 2004 – Peter Nielsen is appointed to the board.

– October 2004 – Bryan Gould appointed to TVNZ Board. [Link] and was formally appointed to accompany PM Helen Clark to North Asia in 2001 [Link]. In 2007, he was appointed to succeed Margaret Bazely as chair of the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology [Link]

December 2004 – Future Labour MP, Carol Beaumont was appointed to the Food and Beverage Taskforce [Link]. In December 2006, Beaumont was appointed to the Government’s Small Business Advisory Group (like Jenny Agnew). [Link] Beaumont was also appointed to the Workplace Health and Safety Council in April 2007[Link]

– January 2005 – Retiring High Commissioner to London, Hon Russell Marshall is to be the new chair of the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC).

– April 2005 – Minister for Economic Development, Jim Anderton appoints to the Growth and Innovation Advisory Board (GIAB):Russell Marshall, Chair of the Tertiary Education Commission and left-wing economist, Brian Easton, and Ross Wilson.


– December 2005 – Labour Wellington City Councillor, Sue Piper, appointed to the Local Government Commission [Link] and later appointed to the board of Te Papa for a term of three years as of August 2008 [Link] Was also appointed to the board of Quotable Value, the New Zealand Law Practitioner’s Disciplinary Tribunal and Sport Wellington Region.

– May 2006 – Greg Presland appointed to the NZ Film and Literature Review board [Link] also was a board member on LTSA [Link]

– May-July 2006 – Clare Curran worked for the Ministry for the Environment from May 22 to July 28 2006 on a $29,400 contract [Link]

– July 2006 – Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Judith Tizard today announced new appointments to the Board of Te Papa Tongarewa. Bob Harvey (Waitakere City), has been Mayor of Waitakere City since 1992. A former deputy Chair of the New Zealand Film Commission, Mr Harvey has been extensively involved in developing the “Eco-City” concept and other pioneering work in local government.

– December 2006 – Jenny Agnew a close friend of Helen Clark’s was appointed to the Government’s Small Business Advisory Group [Link]

– December 2006 – Associate Health Minister Damien O’Connor appoints Alick Shaw (Deputy-Mayor of Wellington) and Robyn Northey (former dental nurse and social worker now working in the health and not-for-profit sector the wife of Former Labour MP and current Auckland Councillor, Richard Northey) to the Alcohol Advisory Council.

– December 2006 – Economic Development Minister Trevor Mallard and Acting Trade Minister Annette King today announced appointments to the NZTE board. Peter Conway has been appointed.
Peter Conway is currently Economist and Director of Policy with theNew Zealand Council of Trade Unions. His experience includes providing advice on the World Trade Organisation and other trade issues, including Thailand, P4, ASEAN, the China FTA and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. He also has experience in the areas of climate change, economic development, industry training, and industry plans. No PR for this time but he’s referred to as a board member in February 2008 [Link]

– April 2007 – Transport Minister Annette King has announced several appointments to the transport sector. Professional company directorFran Wilde, of Wellington, and Christchurch Mayor Garry Moore have both been appointed to the board of Transit New Zealand.

– April 2007 – Andrew Casidy (who was General Secreary of theFinancial Sector Union Finsec) and Paul Jarvie (OSH Manager at the EPMU) were appointed to the Workplace Health and Safety Council [Link]

– July 2007 – Ross Wilson union boss appointed ACC Chair [Link]

– July 2007 – Prime Minister and Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, Helen Clark announced two new appointments to the Board of Te Papa, they are Hon Sandra Lee and Professor Ngatata Love.

– August 2007 – Former Labour candidate, David Shand was appointed TEC Chair [Link] he had previously chaired a Local Government rates inquiry in 2006 [Link] and in 2008 he was appointed to chair the Tertiary Education Capital Investment Fund. [Link] In 2006 he was appointed by Labour to the board of Meridian Energy [Link]

– September 2007 – Former Labour Finance Minister, David Caygill, appointed Chair of the Electricity Commission [Link]

– December 2007 – Jenny Agnew’s Husband, also a friend of Clark’s,Phil Harington reappointed to third term serving on the Lottery Grants Board. [Link]

– 2007 – Labour President Mike Williams was paid $60,000 as a board member of Genesis Energy.

– 2007 – Labour President Mike Williams was paid $40,000 as a board member of Ontrack (NZ Railways).

– 2007/2008 – Labour President Mike Williams was paid $35,000 a year as a director of the Auckland Regional Transport Authority.

– July 2008 – Labour Party president Mike Williams, failed Wellington Central Labour candidate Alick Shaw, “ex-Labour mayor of Christchurch” Garry Moore, and former Auckland City councillor,Christine Caughey (who was on the left bloc on Auckland City Council at the time) are appointed to the NZTA Board. [Link]

– July 2008 – Former Labour MP, Dianne Yates appointed to FSANZ Board. [Link] She also completed a three year term on the board of Learning Media in 2011 (thus appointed by Labour) according to this report. [Link] and was appointed to Trust Waikato and Waikato Institute of Technology.

– July 2008 – NZCTU President Helen Kelly appointed as director of the Growth and Innovation Advisory Board.

– July 2008 – former Helen Clark staffer Chris Eichbaum was appointed to the board of the Reserve Bank.

– Former left-leaning mayor Yvonne Sharpe was appointed to the New Zealand Conservation Authority, in addition to her role as chair of the Road Safety Trust

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

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