Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson will become the Government’s informal Minister for Delivery, thanks to a newly created “implementation unit” within the Government’s powerful Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, or DPMC.
The move comes after a term of Government in which several big-ticket plans fell apart as they were implemented – most notably KiwiBuild and light rail in Auckland – and is inspired by a unit set up by British PM Tony Blair.
Chris Trotter’s must read blog last month highlights the power of the neoliberal Wellington elites and the power thy wield…
The State Sector Act (1988) restricted politicians to the formulation of policy. The implementation of that policy was the responsibility of the CEO of the relevant ministry or department. Hiring and firing, and holding his or her underlings accountable for their mistakes – was the CEO’s job – not the Minister’s. Politicians had no role to play in “operational matters”.
That this arrangement constituted a drastic reduction in the power of government ministers to “make things happen” was (and remains) entirely deliberate. That it also profoundly disempowers the people’s representatives, working through the Executive, to give practical expression to the people’s will is, likewise, completely intentional. The neoliberal revolution has always been about limiting the effectiveness of democratic institutions. The State Sector Act fulfils this revolutionary function admirably.
…The greatest enemy of the new Government is not the National Party, it’s the self interested Ministry fiefdoms whose internal right wing ideological stance will strangle any real attempt at culture change or left wing policy implementation.
There is a legendary story that David Lange would save up all his a cigar and Cigarette ash in his car until he left Wellington on a Friday night so he could dump it on the Wellington motorway. That summed up his contempt.
The great Unionist Robert Reid said it best…
…Jacinda’s kindness is no match for the Wellington Bureaucratic Elite and Grant in the 4th year is getting on top of that.
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