Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The cost of Christine Rankin

Yesterday in Question Time, Labour's Annette King took the government to task over its appointment of Christine Rankin as a families commissioner:

Hon Annette King: Is Christine Rankin a suitable appointee in light of the culture of extravagance and sideshows she created when last employed in public service, including the $1 million spent on a new logo for, and the rebranding of, her department; the $80,000 spent on roadshows; the $25,000 spent on self-promotion videos in which she appeared alongside Martin Luther King and Ghandi; the $250,000 spent on advertising to overcome her bad publicity; not to forget the $165,0000 spent on charter planes to take her staff to a luxury resort for a meeting?


Hon Annette King: Why did the Minister support Christine Rankin’s appointment, in light of her comments to colleagues that Christine Rankin’s behaviour that had led to the sacking of a Television New Zealand staffer was outrageous and she avoided having anything to do with the woman?

This is the cost of Christine Rankin - and if the appointment goes ahead, the opposition can do this every single day for the next two and a half years. "Culture of extravagance", racism, child-beating - a whole lot of stuff the government does not want to be associated with, and all handed to the opposition for free. And that's assuming Rankin doesn't make any more bad headlines in her new role. Sure, she'll make the Families Commission utterly dysfunctional - that is I think the point - but the government will be paying a very high price for doing so, and one that will come back to bite them in 2011.