Friday 17 June 2022

Thou shalt not suffer a conservative on your Board

Stuff reports on how Wellington works, and how the consensus is enforced. Former NZIER CE Laurence Kubiak has long been a patron of the arts. He's been Chair of the NZ Symphony Orchestra Board since 2019.

But he joined the Board of the New Zealand Taxpayers' Union in January. 

And Labour will not suffer a witch to live.

In December last year Kubiak advised the NZSO and the Ministry for Culture and Heritage that he accepted an appointment to the Taxpayers’ Union board, starting in January this year.

The ministry then informed Arts Minister Carmel Sepuloni by way of verbal update in a regular officials’ meeting shortly thereafter, according to ministry spokeswoman Emily Fabling.

Kubiak said he was then contacted by officials prior to his term as the NZSO chairperson ending on May 31 this year, saying the minister wanted to make some changes to the NZSO board, among other boards.

Kubiak said he asked whether there was any specific reason why his contract was not being renewed, and asked whether there was any issue with his governance of the NZSO, to which he said he was told: “absolutely not”. “[They] wanted to make changes. [It was] nothing more than that,” he said. “We serve at the minister’s pleasure.”

He told officials he was prepared to stay on until a replacement had been appointed, however that had not happened as of Monday.

Kubiak said it was “often hard to judge the timeline on these things” and there was a “large bureaucratic process” behind board appointments of agencies like the NZSO.

I don't know whether National should be pushing Sepuloni on this, or taking inspiration from her. 

National could, now, start drawing up an enemies list. 

All of the affiliations that would render someone no longer be suitable on various Boards, come a change in government, for Boards that serve at the Minister's pleasure. 

I'd really prefer that governments not play this game, but only one side playing it may be worse than both playing it. 

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