Home > politics > >Portfolios for Africa

>Portfolios for Africa

>The New Zealand government has ministries in the following areas

  1. Accident Compensation
  2. Agriculture
  3. Archives New Zealand*
  4. Arts, Culture and Heritage
  5. Biosecurity*
  6. Broadcasting
  7. Building and Construction*
  8. Civil Defence*
  9. Climate Change Issues
  10. Commerce*
  11. Communications and Information Technology
  12. Community and Voluntary Sector
  13. Conservation*
  14. Consumer Affairs*
  15. Corrections*
  16. Courts*
  17. Customs*
  18. Defence*
  19. Disability Issues
  20. Disarmament and Arms Control
  21. Economic Development
  22. Education*
  23. Education Review Office
  24. Energy and Resources
  25. Environment
  26. Ethnic Affairs
  27. Finance*
  28. Fisheries
  29. Food Safety*
  30. Foreign Affairs*
  31. Forestry
  32. Health*
  33. Housing
  34. Immigration*
  35. Infrastructure*
  36. Internal Affairs*
  37. Justice*
  38. Labour*
  39. Land Information*
  40. Law Commission
  41. Local Government*
  42. Maori Affairs
  43. National Library
  44. Pacific Island Affairs
  45. Police*
  46. Racing
  47. Regulatory Reform*
  48. Research, Science and Technology
  49. Revenue*
  50. Rugby World Cup
  51. Senior Citizens
  52. Small Business
  53. Social Development and Employment
  54. Sport and Recreation
  55. State Owned Enterprises*
  56. State Services
  57. Statistics*
  58. Tertiary Education
  59. Tourism
  60. Trade*
  61. Transport*
  62. Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations*
  63. Veterans’ Affairs
  64. Women’s Affairs
  65. Youth Affairs

As well as Ministers responsible for the following services

  1. New Zealand Security Intelligence Service*
  2. Government Communications Security Bureau*

I have placed an asterisk next to the areas that I think it reasonable for the government to assign ministry oversight. The number I have marked is large, but nearly so as the 67 there are! However I have caveats to my selections.

Several of them could be combined. Commercial disputes can be under a single umbrella; eg. Consumer Affairs, Building and Construction, Commerce. National Library and Archives. The Courts could possibly be combined with Corrections, though stay separated from Policing.

Some could be much smaller in scope. Health could be oversight of individual health funds and insurances with a review of fund managers/ insurance providers if necessary. Monitoring health workers could continue. But the provision and funding of health could be completely privatised.

Education could be privatised with government monitoring funding via a voucher system for school or home school options. Overview of education minimised to gross dereliction of duty.

Some Infrastructure and Transport may require oversight but tolling for revenue should be maximised.

Regulatory Reform is necessary to remove a lot of previous red tape!

Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations is required because it is a treaty. Though finalising of restitution should be sort. I don’t think a separate portfolio for Maori is probably necessary but may (or may not) be sensible while the Maori seats continue.

Overall I think the government is trying to take far too much responsibility for things that it need not and often times should not concern itself with.

Which of the above areas do you think the government should or should not concern itself with? Are there some areas it should that are not currently being covered?

Categories: politics
  1. 2009 February 21 at 20:38

    In response to your question about which ministries the government should be involved in, as I pondered this, it occurred to me that the following was relevant:
    Dan Wallace Feb 20, 2009 10:03 AM
    Context was the American Stimulus package and fears of US –> socialism and away from free market competition
    …And when the government runs businesses, there is no such thing as free market competition; it’s a monopoly, pure and simple, which historically has been shown to be good for the monopolistic business—and no one else. Only this time that business is the government. The great thing about a free market society—with sufficient government regulations to keep abuses at a minimum—is that it offers the necessary checks and balances that improve quality, production, and cost simultaneously. And checks and balances are an undergirding principle of the Christian faith: if we’re all depraved, we need to keep each other’s dark side suppressed. The involvement of the government is needed when the checks and balances are out of whack. When the government takes over businesses, where are the checks and balances? It’s an interesting phenomenon that those countries that have historically followed free market economics are generally more prosperous than those that haven’t—and they also tend to be more Christian…
    My thoughts – Governments are there to serve the people not to dominate them:
    The power of Government as a servant of the people is, or should be, vested in the people, not the Government itself (though I think we in NZ have moved significantly away from this)
    Politics as we experience it is flawed by the desire of those in political parties to see party longevity of power and influence as the real agenda all too often out of fear of what the other side will do rather than a sense of conviction of what is right and inspirational vision and leadership
    Party leaders are not good at admitting when they have lost their focus & vision for the reason just stated
    When a Govt’s focus shifts from one of checks and balances and that of servant of the people to one which the people serve (through ever increasing government legislation of daily life & involvement in regulation of the economy) then l think the purpose of government has become seriously distorted Ian Wishart’s book, “Absolute Power”, a book on the Helen Clarke Years as Prime Minister and more, is worth a read on this point.
    This has been the NZ experience, certainly over the last 3 terms of the NZ Labour Party, as we have swung heavily towards Government legislation of the status of individual relationships between adults, an employer and employee, a child and parent, a school, parent and child, and even those of like mind and their freedom of speech through the recent (and even more recently revoked!) Electoral Finance Act, to name a few examples.
    I need to give more thought to your specific question in terms of which ministries. Some will be more obviously needed than other

  2. 2009 February 22 at 01:45

    I had read Dan’s comments, but only noted your quote in passing (probably because I am in general agreement and was interested in his take on the cartoon.
    For a view from the other side (though I disagree with it) see the recent article Kingdom Economics.
    I agree with your points. The state is to serve the people. Though their role is God given and thus they don’t necessarily need to be responsive to the people as in a democracy. In a monarchy a king may make hard decisions that happen to be unpopular. If they are good decisions however, he will gain God’s approval. If they are bad decisions there will be consequences.
    I don’t mind democracy but uncertain how to best establish it. Because of the desire to enact policies with disregard to the cost (especially economic) to others one may need a constitution that limits what any one government can do. Though governments will still disregard such.
    I haven’t read Wishart’s book. I am not certain Labour have lost their way. If one looks at the principles from the 1970s many of them have come about. If one sees Labour as caring for the oppressed then they have failed. If one sees them as a group that sort to shape society away from the nuclear family toward a “beneficent” socialist state replaing the family then they have been somewhat successful.
    In terms of the ministries, I am somewhat ahead of myself. This post came from the naming of the ministers soon after the election. I think one needs to establish the meaning and need of the state from first principles and then view portfolios from that. Rather than just a pragmatic view of the necessity of such, or from the point that one “likes” government involvement in an area. Health and education would be examples that many Christians support government involvement in, but often for inadequately thought out reasons. I think there is good reason for the government to have less involvement, not the least being because it makes people accountable for decisions that affect their own lives.

  3. Blair
    2009 February 22 at 09:23

    I agree with you and would like to read more of what you have to say with regards to the first principles of how the state should function. Far more useful than the pragmatic approach which I think could well have contributed to the plethora of ministries we now have.
    In terms of Labour loosing their way – I should clarify this in terms of my perspective on good government and I probably did not express this well.
    We need an approach to government that does not only promote responsibility for decisions one makes and how these affect one as an individual but also for the affect of these on others. This is an area where we fall down significantly because, while on one hand we have a government that has promoted socialism and an increasing role of the state, we also live in a society where we appear to think less and less of others and our community on a day to day basis and are more concerned with our selves as individuals or at the most our families. Of course there are those who are the exception to this.

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: