The Coleman resignation

It was relatively easy for Bill English and Steven Joyce to resign from Parliament, they were list MPs who were automatically replaced by the next on the National list.

But if an electorate MP resigns, and they don’t wait until just (a few months) before a general election like John key and David Cunliffe, it is more consequential, as a by-election is required.

Yesterday Jonathan Coleman announced his resignation from Parliament, just six months after the general election. He stood for and won the Northcote electorate, so a by-election will be necessary.

In some ways Coleman’s resignation wasn’t surprising. He has spent most of his time in Parliament in government and as a Minister. Some MPs with similar experience struggle to adapt to being relatively ineffective and powerless in Opposition.

Coleman had also just failed in a leadership bid, his second unsuccessful attempt (he also competed with English to replace Key in 2016).

So he’s packing his bags and leaving Parliament. Obviously this option is open to him, but I think is poor.

Like anyone standing for an electorate Coleman effectively committed to representing people for a three year term. To leave after half a year is bad, for no reason other than (he claims) he was offered a better job.

This is cynical pissing on democracy. And taxpayers have to fork out for the substantial cost of a by-election.

On the plus side Parliament will be better off without a poorly committed politician. Better that Coleman is replaced by someone who is committed to the job and to the responsibilities.

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48 Comments

  1. Traveller

     /  March 23, 2018

    I’d imagine the man has at least trebled his salary.

    Be honest and hand on heart tell us who’d take Opposition and a drop of significance in one’s own benches for three years when employment conditions allow it.

    I’ll go to my grave saying this, but the majority of National MPS can and do earn vastly more in the private sector ( with notable exceptions). The difference between them and Labour is palpable. Even a backbench salary for a Labour MPs is reaching the public sector pinnacle.

    I’m not a particular Coleman fan, but don’t blame him for moving in because he can.

    Change the rules and make electorate MPs sign binding contracts would arrest this greed.

    • Blazer

       /  March 23, 2018

      So when he stood for leader around 12 months ago he was not genuine..?

    • Blazer

       /  March 23, 2018

      ‘I’m not a particular Coleman fan, but don’t blame him for moving in because he can.’…very generous of you…will you charge him…board!

      • that’s an “on” for those unable to tell a typo from a grammatical error

        • You’d turn down a treble-quadrupled salary on principle would you.

          Imagine how you’ll get your blazer on if English gets FONTERRA CEO!

          • Blazer

             /  March 23, 2018

            Bill’s brother would have the inside…running surely.As Zedd says…money,money,money…went into politics for…money!

          • lurcher1948

             /  March 23, 2018

            I would not be surprised if Bill English got to be CEO of Fonterra, mutual backscratching plus English is a farmer

  2. Gezza

     /  March 23, 2018

    About what I’d expect from him.

  3. Pickled Possum

     /  March 23, 2018

    Yep … Rats leaving a Sinking Ship.

  4. Patzcuaro

     /  March 23, 2018

    Coleman wanted the relative security of an electorate while in government but the versatility of a list seat in opposition. Not bad you get the cake, eat it and somebody else pays. Where is the taxpayer union on this? Or is he still preoccupied in the sandpit with his mate Colin?

  5. High Flying Duck

     /  March 23, 2018

    12 years in parliament, 9 as a minister.
    Turned a Labour seat into a very safe National stronghold (with the help of demographics).
    He stood again in the belief they would get back into power.
    Wasn’t looking to leave but received a great opportunity in his field of expertise.
    I don’t think you can blame him for moving on.

    • Patzcuaro

       /  March 23, 2018

      Did Coleman turn it into a safe National seat or did rising house prices do it?

      • High Flying Duck

         /  March 23, 2018

        Actually, while he took the seat off Ann Hartley, who had held it for 2 terms, it was held by National in the prior election. I think redistricting may have changed the make up as it includes Birkenhead and Glenfield.
        But he took a narrow 2000 vote win in 2005 and turned it into an almost 10,000 majority which he retained for 3 terms. He is very popular in the electorate.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  March 23, 2018

      Three years listening to codswallop from Labour, blustering b.s. from NZF and fairy tales from the Greens would make anyone look elsewhere?

      • Blazer

         /  March 23, 2018

        how profound…look forward to a dercimated,impotent…opposition.

        • PDB

           /  March 23, 2018

          As you didn’t rate Coleman doesn’t him leaving actually make the opposition stronger in your eyes?

          • Blazer

             /  March 23, 2018

            depends who replaces him…naturally.

            • PDB

               /  March 23, 2018

              Considering whoever replaces him (if a National MP) will be an invisible backbencher it should still be a positive in your eyes.

          • Blazer

             /  March 23, 2018

            they might replace him with a…celebrity.

            • PDB

               /  March 23, 2018

              Well unless it’s a ‘bad’ celebrity it should still be an improvement in your eyes.

            • High Flying Duck

               /  March 23, 2018

              They should stand Clark Gayford for National. That would make parliament far more interesting.

            • Blazer

               /  March 23, 2018

              Bill English would be a moral for the Flying Spaghetti Monster party…would look good in a…colander

  6. lurcher1948

     /  March 23, 2018

    Wow its payback time,he sratched their backs.and they massaged his wallet.

  7. phantom snowflake

     /  March 23, 2018

    Coleman telegraphed his departure in a 2016 interview:

    “I think politics is an up-and-out game, quite frankly. I’m not interested in being the
    Opposition health spokesman you know”

    https://www.noted.co.nz/currently/profiles/minister-of-health-jonathan-coleman-interview/

    Always a smug, entitled bastard; would have stayed on as long as it took to get his dream job offer. Contempt for electors = 10/10.

    • PDB

       /  March 23, 2018

      “Always a smug, entitled bastard; would have stayed on as long as it took to get his dream job offer. Contempt for electors = 10/10.”

      That description could fit many within the current govt – Tywford and Parker to name but two.

      • phantom snowflake

         /  March 23, 2018

        No argument there! Don’t mistake me for a Labour supporter.

        • High Flying Duck

           /  March 23, 2018

          Are you more a Greens supporter?
          The greens manage to avoid the sense of entitlement (other than with welfare apparently, but lets hope that was an aberration) but make up for it with an extra helping of smug.

        • PDB

           /  March 23, 2018

          Labour are far too extreme right wing I’d imagine for you.

  8. PDB

     /  March 23, 2018

    Don’t agree with Coleman leaving for financial reasons without seeing out his term but the hypocrisy of some people posting here in terms of virtual silence over Shearer and Goff doing the same thing is not surprising.

    Goff even electioneered for a year to become Auckland Mayor whilst being paid as an MP & again the bulk of the left were silent.

    • PDB

       /  March 23, 2018

      Not forgetting Lianne Dalziel & Helen Clark as well. Clarke left for much the same reasons as Coleman & in a similar time-frame and the left congratulated her on her big paying UN appointment!

      • phantom snowflake

         /  March 23, 2018

        The whataboutery is strong in this one! “some people posting here” = your usual tu quoque + strawman.

        • PDB

           /  March 23, 2018

          Your usual post of no substance – at least you’re consistent!

          • phantom snowflake

             /  March 23, 2018

            That’s high praise from you!

    • High Flying Duck

       /  March 23, 2018

      It’s only a problem when the right do it PDB.
      When the left do it it is always for altruistic public good reasons. Righties are only ever feathering their own nest and walking over the little people.

      • Blazer

         /  March 23, 2018

        enough of this selective…’whataboutery’!..Bol.

        • PDB

           /  March 23, 2018

          Indeed Blazer – hence why we are discussing your hypocrisy.

        • High Flying Duck

           /  March 23, 2018

          You’re very selective in throwing that accusation around Blazer – the name John Key is still bandied around your posts like confetti despite his resignation and the election last year.

  9. NOEL

     /  March 23, 2018

    “Like anyone standing for an electorate Coleman effectively committed to representing people for a three year term.”
    If this is a concern for the electorate, I guess the election result will tell us how much of a concern it is.

  10. phantom snowflake

     /  March 23, 2018

    What I believe Jonathan Coleman should be most remembered for: When, as Minister Of Health, he was faced with an evolving crisis in mental health services, he did precisely nothing.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  March 23, 2018

      When was there last not an evolving crisis in mental health services?

      • phantom snowflake

         /  March 23, 2018

        Well yes; but I may have been too restrained in my language. During Coleman’s tenure as Health Minister waiting times for a first assessment at Community Mental Health Centres, and occupancy rates in Inpatient Psychiatric Units (for example) have increased alarmingly. He gave no sign that he had even noticed.

    • High Flying Duck

       /  March 23, 2018

      The health portfolio is a thankless and demanding one. It doesn’t matter how much you spend, there will always be issues.
      Even with the largest budget increases to health in history, and solid per capital health spending growth, there were still accusations of underfunding.
      We’ll wait and see how the new lot do things so much differently and better. Heck, they may even announce a committee!

      • Gezza

         /  March 23, 2018

        “Better health outcomes for New Zealanders”. That’s what David Clarke says are his priorities whenever questioned in Parliament. “Wait for the budget”. Sounds promising.

      • phantom snowflake

         /  March 23, 2018

        That “The health portfolio is a thankless and demanding one” is no excuse for incompetence. Your defence of Coleman is littered with financial language: “how much you spend”, “budget increases”, “spending growth”, “underfunding”, yet the problem with Coleman was more than financial, he had no new ideas. Sadly you are right about “the new lot” and their “committee.” I’m a bit gobsmacked at the waste of resources on another bloody “inquiry” when the problems are already well understood by everyday mental health staff.

    • PDB

       /  March 23, 2018

      Coleman will be remembered for….nothing. Like many MP’s before him he did a job & moved on without standing out for anything in particular.