Friday, March 02, 2012

Pure cronyism II

Last month, ACT leader John Banks purported to appoint ACT crony Catherine Isaac to head the government's new charter school implementation committee. The "appointment" was quickly undermined by the government, who said it was "unconfirmed" - but before it was I dashed off the usual OIA to John Banks asking for the advice he had relied upon in making it. Today, I received the response [PDF], which makes it clear that Isaac has not been appointed:

No advice has been provided on appointments to the Committee.


Cabinet will approve the establishment of this Working Group in the normal way. The Minister of Education and I will identify our nominees for membership of the Working Group. These nominations will be approved by Cabinet via Appointments and Honours (APH) Committee. Once they are approved, the Minister of Education will make the appointments.

Which obviously matches the government's story that no appointment has been made. At the same time, it raises a bigger question: if he hadn't received any advice (e.g. on potential members), why was he floating Isaac as a candidate? Its hard to see any reason other than the aforementioned cronyism, which should have no place in our government.

The good news is that having made such a public blunder, National will hopefully now run a mile from any attempt to appoint Isaac. Otherwise, they risk being seen as a party to Banks' cronyism.