Latest political update from the New Zealand Government Directory.


Parliament sits from 12 June
Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment operational from 1 July
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In this update

The Wild World of Wellington

The National Government continues to be wracked with issues, while the Greens, particularly, and Labour are envisaging a greater presence (and possibly) leading Government post-2014.
The Greens continue to outpoint Labour in terms of both their commentary on current issues and raising new ones aimed at scoring political points against the Government.  Their agility in this sphere is due almost entirely to their lack of previous electoral success, and not having been part of a Government.  Labour on the other hand is hobbled by its track record and prior policies.  It has to take care least it gifts to National commentary that will rebound because of past deeds.
This is seen in stark relief as the Mixed Ownership Model legislation crawls through the House (the sale of State Owned Enterprises (SOEs)). There is a taint to Labour’s ‘no sale’ position, given the historic reality of previous asset sales. Similarly, it took previous National governments a long time to rid themselves of the odour the ‘Think Big’ projects of the 70s and 80s.
The jaunty confidence of The Greens that they will be part of the next Government is somewhat naive over 24 months out from an election.  Labour, on the other hand, has been around long enough to be less boisterous in its optimism, at least overtly.
The polls have finally turned on the Key Government, and despite a remarkably sustained performance until now, it’s hard to see the required level of support continuing for two full years.  As much as anything, people tire of the same faces and voices.
Comments that will come to haunt National came out of the Teapot Tapes event – i.e., the crack about NZ First’s ‘dying constituency’.  It will be anything but dying, the more and harder young voters focus on the so-called generosity and unsustainability of national superannuation.  This is, of course, aside from the mater of age eligibility.
At such a distance from the next election, we see the likelihood of a National-NZ First semi-coalition to offset the centre-left alliance of The Greens and Labour.  Despite his much admired tenacity and common wholesomeness, Peter Dunne will surely fall out of the frame next time, and ACT is problematic regardless of their electoral success.  

Labour Leader for breakfast
Network Communication are hosting Labour Leader David Shearer for a ‘sold-out’ breakfast seminar Wednesday 27 June. Submit your questions for consideration to

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (Mobie) or the “Super Ministry” 

A leading figure in the public sector change process, David Smol (pictured), sits at the head of the super-ministry – the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment - that comes into force from July 1, or effectively the following day, Monday. While the other leadership team appointments have been made, the detailed organisational design and implementation plan for the new Ministry is not in place.  It will be developed by September 30, following consultation with staff, and will determine how many positions fall out of the current total staff numbers.

The senior leadership team comprises:
  • Murray Bain will be the Acting Deputy Chief Executive, Science and Innovation (currently Chief Executive, Ministry of Science and Innovation)
  • Nigel Bickle will be the Acting Deputy Chief Executive, Building and Housing (currently Acting Chief Executive, Department of Labour)
  • Rebecca Boyack will be the Acting Deputy Chief Executive, Corporate Services (currently Deputy Chief Executive Corporate Services, Ministry of Science and Innovation)
  • Liz MacPherson will be the Acting Deputy Chief Executive, Labour (currently Acting Chief Executive, Ministry of Economic Development)
  • Greg Patchell will be the Acting Deputy Chief Executive, Economic Development (currently Deputy Secretary Commercial Solutions, Ministry of Economic Development)

As the Government casts around for public sector saving, shrewd managers are keeping casual vacancies to an absolute minimum, on the basis of the “use it or lose it” principle.


The little known External Reporting Board (XRB) - an independent Crown entity responsible for the development and issuing of accounting and auditing and assurance standards in New Zealand – has a new deputy chair in Graeme Mitchell (pictured).
Mr Mitchell sits on a number of boards including the National Provident Fund, the Council of Victoria University of Wellington, Barnardos New Zealand, and Karori Sanctuary Trust. He also chairs the audit committees of the Ministry of Justice, and the soon to be disestablished, Ministry of Science and Innovation.


ACC vacancies

Treasury’s Crown Monitoring Unit will be working overtime to fill the slew of Board vacancies at ACC. Among its roles is assists with the appointment of directors, including vetting potential directors and chairs.
 While most of the ACC vacancies have been the result of political fallout, at least one director has decided there are better places to be.
Acting Chair Paula Rebstock is richly talented, and finds herself as the current government go-to  person for the tough jobs and disaster recovery.  Whether his has the commercial acumen to take the ACC role permanently remains to be seen.


The New Zealand Government Directory will be reflecting changeS to government structures (including the Super Ministry rewiring) – stay tuned to the site for key updates at


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