Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Transparency defeats cronyism

Last week, Labour exposed an apparent case of cronyism at Maori Television, highlighting the deficient process being used to appoint a new CEO, and the (coincidental, I'm sure) close links between the favoured candidate and board member (and National Party crony) Georgina te Heuheu. Today, Maori Television has backed down and announced that it will not be making an appointment after all.

And that's how you defeat cronyism: by exposing it to public scrutiny before an appointment is made, and so shaming decision-makers into acting justly. Governments can only appoint their cronies because the entire process is shrouded in secrecy, allowing the "irregularities" (the complete ignoring of process, the insertion of new candidates at the last minute by Cabinet committee, the Minister selecting the shortlist herself) to go unnoticed and unpunished. If the entire process was open, they simply wouldn't be able to get away with it.