Thursday, October 20, 2005

The upcoming purge

The NZ Herald, the Press and the Dominion Post are running articles on the upcoming house-cleaning that I blogged about here and here.

The Herald notes that Jim Sutton had turned down proposals and suggestions of being posted to Canada, Canberra or Washington. Likewise Dover Samuels has turned down a posting to Niue. For retiring MPs, they do mention Russell Fairbrother, Dianne Yates and possibly Ann Hartley on the account of their age. I was skeptical about Russell going but that was before I learned that he had been passed over for a Ministerial portfolio in favour of David Parker.

Lastly the Herald states in the final paragraph:
Dr Cullen is expected to stand down later in the term and Mr Mallard, another Associate Finance Minister, is considered his heir apparent in Finance.
Which is pretty much what I was thinking. However that it comes so late in the article makes me feel that the Herald reporter doesn't know for certain.

The Press states:
[Helen Clark] said she had an "expectation" of one Cabinet minister retiring next year and she expected others to follow suit. "So we are looking at exits with dignity for long-serving people".
Which indicates that we are looking at a resignation in addition to Dover (who isn't in Cabinet) and Jim (who's leaving this year).

Dover seems to be holding out against the unsubtle hints with the NZPA reporting that he's not seeking re-election in the next term. That's probably too late for Helen's liking and so he probably have more unsubtle hints dangled in front of him.

The Dominion Post article is less informative with the statement that a minister will go next year "appears" to have been directed at Dover. The reporter "appears" not to have noticed that Dover isn't in Cabinet and that Helen could have cut him loose as she has done with Taito Philip Field.

Speaking of which, the Press also reports:
Former minister of state Taito Phillip Field has also effectively been sacked from his position outside the Cabinet over allegations he used his ministerial post to obtain favours and profit on a house sale.

Those claims are still being investigated by an Auckland QC, but Clark said it was too late for Field whatever the inquiry's outcome.

"I've advised him that the train is moving by," she said. "We will see what happens at the end of the inquiry, but this is the complete ministerial list for the foreseeable future."
Given that there are at least two or three openings being created in the foreseeable future (Dover, Jim and another Cabinet Minister), Taito would have to be exceptionally dim not to have noticed the snub.