Around the "blogs": Wow factor missing in Cabinet reshuffle

Blog: Wow factor missing in Cabinet reshuffleIt is hardly Helen Clark's big, fat bold reshuffle.
There is no Wow! factor is this reshuffle. But she has been bolder than usual in a couple of respects.
She has finally done what she has never done before and demoted a minister…
[NZ Politics]

Aunty Aud at the Herald is decidiedly underwhelmed.

Colin Espiner is derisive;

[quote]Beyond this, however, there is little to indicate a new team is waiting on the bench. Time-servers like Jim Anderton, Rick Barker and Parekura Horomia remain in Cabinet. Outside, plodders including Judith Tizard, Harry Duynhoven, Mita Ririnui and Mahara Okeroa will continue to draw their ministerial salaries for doing very little.

In fact, Tizard has been asked to do even less, losing her Auckland Issues portfolio, which has been abolished – although whether Auckland no longer has any issues or Clark is admitting they can't be solved is less clear. (I wonder who will carry Clark's handbag now?)

Clark has opted for the minimum of new blood that she felt she could get away with without facing accusations of a Clayton's (excuse the pun) reshuffle. There are no bold moves and nothing that signifies a change of approach from this administration.

Perhaps that is the right recipe – after all, it's served Clark and Labour well for the past eight years. But with Labour trailing 12 points in some polls, one might have expected a slightly bigger roll of the dice from the Prime Minister.[/quote]


Vernon Small is a little more conciliatory;

[quote]Trevor Mallard has lost his treasured sports and rugby world cup roles to Clayton Cosgrove as well as his front bench slot. That may not seem like much of a punishment to the public for his punching of Tau Henare, but it will hit him where it hurts. Nevertheless he retains his associate finance role and SOEs and picks up the coveted broadcasting role as well as environment. That suggests Clark still has a lot of confidence in his abilities as a minister … post his anger management course.

Clark was at pains to point out that half the ministers in today's line up were not in cabinet after the 1999 election and almost half were not in the post 2002 one either.

But one problem remains – the ministers outside cabinet which she select, as opposed to the caucus election for cabinet – still need a clean out of underperforming ministers. That should be her next job to get her administration ready for the 2008 election.[/quote]


Still the upshot from the "experts" is that the reshuffle was wide of the mark and more than a little disappointing, not the kind of coverage Clark was hoping for going into their last conference before the election next year.