Tuesday, April 30, 2013

National's celebrity-cronyism

Last month the government appointed former squash player Susan Devoy as Race Relations Commissioner. The appointment has been widely criticised due to Devoy's lack of qualifications for the role, and in office she has been even worse than expected, with Devoy publicly wallowing in self-pity, Christine Rankin-style.

Surely we could have done better than this? Not under National. TVNZ has obtained their short-list for the role, and discovered that it consists of other sports stars:

Two high-profile sports stars were in the running for the job of Race Relations Commissioner which was controversially given to former squash great Dame Susan Devoy, ONE News can reveal.

Rugby legend Michael Jones and netballer Irene Van Dyk were both shortlisted for the position before it was given to Devoy earlier this year.


ONE News understands Van Dyk made it to the interview stage, while Michael Jones was offered the job but turned it down.

Like Devoy, its hard to see how either of these people could possibly have been regarded as qualified for the role. Their sole qualification seems to be fame (and in Jones' case, his strong links with the National Party).

The Human Rights Commission is an important body and a vital watchdog in our society. It deserves better than National's celebrity crony-appointments.