ACT want to get rid of ‘pretend’ ministries

Following from Rodney Hide’s column on ministries that serve no practical purpose:

Mr Seymour says he is “a little bit repentant” about having stated these ministerial roles serve no purpose, given former ACT leader Rodney Hide has subsequently noted in his NBR column that “they do play an important role – they provide somebody for the government to send to various events for photo opportunities…”

That aside, though, he insists they’re not roles that are “useful to the New Zealand people.”

Take the Minister for Women, for example, a role Mr Seymour singled out in ACT’s newsletter on September 19 (he rejects the idea as “cynical” that he was trolling in floating the idea on Suffrage Day).

He notes that “men are behind in almost all education statistics, most health statistics, men commit most of the crime but they’re also more likely to be a victim of a crime…

“So once you start to rack up these different statistics, you think, ‘Well, if it’s true we have a minister for women to deal with areas where women are disadvantaged, surely logically we should have a minister for men too,’ if we’re going to buy into this logic of having identity minsters in the first place.”

Mr Seymour deploys the example of the gender pay gap to illustrate the way in which “ modern gender issues are quite complex.”

The pay gap, he says – pointing to “an excellent paper from the American Economic Review by Claudia Golden” as evidence – is “fundamentally” due to women having to do the lion’s share of domestic work at the same time as they’re trying to further their careers, while men don’t tend to have that constraint.

If you want to solve the gender pay gap, as well as “domestic violence … and other important issues that have been in the press lately regarding deadbeat dads, rugby players and strippers,” then you need to look at “both genders and how they interact, rather than just women.”

Thus, a minister of gender would be better placed to address these societal concerns, although Mr Seymour says he’d get rid of all such ministries “as a first preference – but I don’t think ACT will be in the position to negotiate that in the immediate future.”

He applies the same logic to ethnic-based ministerial roles: “If you’re going to have such a minister, it would be far better to have a minister for the general concepts of race relations, with the added bonus that they’d be democratically accountable and actually be able to voted out, which would be a massive improvement on the Race Relations Commissioner, who is in a constant habit of shooting her mouth out without the voters being able to have their say.”

Where is the Ministry of men?



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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.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.