“You are ‘The Weakest Link – Goodbye!”
Minister for Communications, Claire Curran was stripped by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern of her Communications portfolio after successive instances of not keeping an accurate diary of scheduled Ministerial meetings. Mrs Curran was found to have made multiple breaches, which also included failing to inform the Prime Minister, failing to inform her staff and failing to log them in her official diary.
The predicament brought onto Mrs Curran by her actions reminded me of a game show that used to screen some years ago on New Zealand television. It was called “The Weakest Link”, and was a game show version of survival of the fittest – or to be the last person standing. Many people in New Zealand will remember this British game show several years ago run by a stern game master. The aim was to be the last person standing, the one person not to bow to the master and be dismissed with a bark and a glare.
All Governments have a weak link. Some would say in the previous National led Government that the A.C.T. Party might have been the Weakest Link based on list M.P. David Garrett being made to resign from Parliament in disgrace. Mr Garrett was followed out by fellow M.P. Rodney Hide at the 2011 election after he was found to be indulging the same Parliamentary perks he and his predecessor Richard Prebble had spent so much time crusading against.
National are not the only ones though. The Government of Prime Minister Helen Clark saw several ministers leave in disgrace, and at times giving the appearance of being “The Weakest Link”. Lianne Dalziel, former Member of Parliament for Christchurch East, Minister of Immigration, lost her portfolio’s after lying to Ms Clark about a Sri Lankan refugee whose case she was asked to intervene in. Early in the first term Minister for Maori Affairs Dover Samuels left with a cloud hanging over his head after sexual abuse allegations were made against him.
But back to Mrs Curran, who seems to be a rather slow learner, it would seem that her boss Ms Ardern decided to exercise restraint in punishing her wayward Minister. Perhaps this is because, not even a year into the first term of what I hope will be a multi-term Labour led Government, there is time for Mrs Curran to redeem herself – and for others in such high offices to learn of the absolute importance of keeping an official record of their Parliamentary and Ministerial activities.