Wednesday, April 24, 2024

David Farrar: Two Ministers lose portfolios

1 News reports:

Melissa Lee has been relieved of the role of Media and Communications Minister, while Penny Simmonds has also lost her disabilities portfolio.

Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has explained the change saying due to significant challenges in each portfolio they should be held by senior Cabinet ministers.

It follows controversies and pressure in both ministers’ portfolios in recent months.

Paul Goldsmith with take over from Lee, and Louise Upston will take over for Simmonds.

“It has become clear in recent months that there are significant challenges in the media sector. Similarly, we have discovered major financial issues with programmes run by the Ministry of Disabled People,” Luxon said in a statement.

“I have come to the view it is important to have senior Cabinet Ministers considering these issues.”

This is a level of performance management we have not seen before. To have Ministers lose portfolios after just six months for sub-par management.

This will send a (good) chill up other Ministers they they need to perform at a very high level, otherwise they may also lose challenging portfolios, or worse.

Makes a change from the last Government when woeful Ministers were kept on for years and year and years. Not saying that these two Ministers are woeful – far from it. Just that Luxon is holding a much much higher level of performance expectation than other PMs.

David Farrar runs Curia Market Research, a specialist opinion polling and research agency, and the popular Kiwiblog where this article was sourced. He previously worked in the Parliament for eight years, serving two National Party Prime Ministers and three Opposition Leaders.


Anonymous said...

Good move. Not everyone who is appointed as a govt minister is a rock star. Some people just aren’t up to it. Best to move them on and get someone else in the role.
Media portfolio is a poison chalice, trying to appease all those whining journalists.😬
Wouldn’t do that job for all the tea in China.

hughvane said...

You may not say it Mr Farrar, but I will - Ms Lee was incompetent, and "woeful". Nothing personal intended, she just wasn't right for the job.

In a highly demanding portfolio, especially given the open antagonism toward the current coalition government by 90+% of the muck-stream media, someone with a spine (and other parts) of tungsten was needed.

Lets see what Mr Goldsmith can achieve. One thing is for sure: the m-s media will not be happy.

Ross said...

I disagree, this is a crazy move. I guess Melissa was not "wet" enough for the rest of the front bench. But the MSM will love it.

Why should it be up to the Media Minister to reduce the antagonism to the Coalition, by herself ? The whole of Government should have taken Winston Peters' approach.

The media only have themselves to blame for the mess they are in. The government's role should only be setting the regulatory playing field for the industry and that is it. Survive or thrive. I think Melissa Lee believed this but obviously there has been a clash.

When Newshub first announced their decision, even Luxon said they needed to innovate but now this move suggests he has changed his tune. Not surprising because it seems to be that he thinks he answers to the media, not the voters. So Melissa Lee was thrown under the bus

Russell said...

Lee has been a poor politician. Still, the good news is still that hundreds of dreadful lefties claiming to be journalists will be out of a job soon.

Chin up!

Anonymous said...

On that score, who thinks Luxon is performing to promised expectations? Why is he undermining his coalition partners comments over what the WT are requiring over Minister Chhour's summons, and why the total silence and inactivity over the judiciary's recent MACA (foreshore and seabed) findings - the legislation/problem that his own party created over a decade ago? If anyone should be at risk of demotion, shouldn't it be him?

Anonymous said...

Good points Anon @9:45. And what about the Fast-track Approvals Bill with the same Iwi rep andTW principles stuff in it?