Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Two Cabinet Ministers to retire?

TVNZ's reported (in a news item that isn't online) that two Cabinet Ministers are expected to retire in this term. I got the impression that this was in addition to the already announced retirement of Jim Sutton. My list of suspects are:

Michael Cullen: is now sixty and has been overworked for some time. Since he's picked Peter Dunne as a Revenue Minister and Trevor Mallard as an Associate Finance, it could just be that he's keeping Finance for old time's sake but allowing others to do most of the work. If so, I'm wrong about Trevor being in disfavour.

Jim Anderton: is sixty-seven and just had his hobby-horse taken from him. There is the complication that he belongs to a different party and has no obvious successor to his Sydenham seat (Matt Robson is from Auckland and carpet-baggers aren't welcome). If he rejoins the Labour Party then this wouldn't matter.

Annette King: is only fifty-eight but has recently been put into a portfolio she could do in her sleep. Richard Prebble once remarked that he spend half a day a week on police matters and was considered an activist because of that. The only problem is that if she leaves, Helen won't have anybody to watch over Phil Goff.