Cronywatch: Labour appoints former MPs partners to charity board

Labour continues to do what they accused National of doing, appointing cronies to boards, the latest being the partners of two former MPs: Quote:

The partners of two former Labour MPs have been controversially appointed to the South Island’s largest charity – the $600 million Rata Foundation.

Jane Sherriff and Philippa Burns are the latest appointments to the 12–member board of the former Canterbury Community Trust, which distributes about $18m in grants each year.

Rata made $42m from its investments in the year to the end of March 2017 and spent about $4m on administration and expenses.

Sherriff is the partner of former Labour minister Clayton Cosgrove and Burns is the wife of Brendon Burns, who was Labour MP for Christchurch Central between 2008 and 2011 and stood for Kaikoura twice without success.

The inclusion of Sherriff and Burns will mean the board comprises two men and 10 women. The current foundation chair, Christine Korako, is the wife of National list MP Nuk Korako. End quote.

So, no gender balance on this board either? Where is Julie Anne Genter on this? Quote:

Former Christchurch mayor Garry Moore said political parties had to stop “playing games” with appointments to important boards.

“This is a huge fund and needs highly skilled people to be on the board. Appointing the partners of Labour Party stalwarts diminishes the importance of these positions. I have nothing against Jane and Philippa, who, for all I know are just the right people, but they shouldn’t be appointed because they have Labour Party affiliations.”

However, Burns said any suggestion her appointment was politically influenced was “insulting” while the minister responsible for the board’s new appointments said they had been made according to a clear and long-established process.

Charities specialist Michael Gousmett said political appointments always made him nervous because political connections did not make up for the skills required by some large organisations.

“How do we know they have the right people?” he said.

The board’s trustees are appointed by the Minister of Finance for an initial term of four years and receive an honorarium. In the 2016/17 year, the board chair and committee chairs garnered $95,000 and trustees got $100,000, an average of $16,250 per trustee. Expenses are not included in the honorarium.

The responsibility to appoint the trustees was delegated to the Associate Minister of Finance, David Clark. End quote.

Labour continue to show they are utter hypocrites. How do we know it is cronyism? Well because the Minister has all but admitted it. Quote:

Clark said a clear and longstanding process for making appointments to community trusts existed.

After advice from the Department of Internal Affairs, he had sought nominations from community trusts and from the caucuses of the Coalition Government in March and April 2018. End quote.

And there you have it total crony appointments.


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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.

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