New District Court judges increase number and diversity

Twenty one new District Court judges have been appointed, which will increase the total from 155 to 172 (some are retiring but 10 positions are new). This sounds like a lot of judges, but the courts are under a lot of pressure, with delays in proceedings common. Increasing ethnic and gender diversity is a given these days.

RNZ: Diverse intake of 21 new District Court judges

Another 21 new District Court judges have been appointed in a move the government says is to improve access to justice and boost diversity in New Zealand’s courts.

The appointments include 11 judges filling the positions of judges who have retired from the District Courts but 10 positions are new, as provided for in last year’s Budget.

The appointees include 10 new Māori judges, eight Pākehā, one Māori/Chinese and two Samoan. Twelve of them are women.

Attorney-General David Parker said there was an increasing workload for District Court judges.

“It’s partly because of population increase, partly because the trials are more complex than they used to be and partly because we’re trying to take an approach to therapeutic courts where we’re trying to deal with the underlying drug and addiction issues of some of the offenders so they don’t reoffend.”

The names of 14 of the new judges were released today, with the rest to be announced later this year.

If the gender and ethnicity are known then all the appointees must be decided on. I don’t know why seven names won’t be announced until later in the year.

Select committee membership

Select committees

Much of the work of the House of Representatives takes place in committees made up of a small group of MPs.  These committees examine issues in detail, from government policy and proposed new laws, to wider topics like the economy.

There are 12 subject select committees and 5 specialist committees.  Select committee business items that were reinstated by the new Parliament have been published in the business list for the relevant committee.  Reinstated business resumes at the legislative stage it had reached at the close of the 51st Parliament.  Please note each committee may choose to reinstate inquiries and briefings from the 51st Parliament

Determinations of the Business Committee for 15 November 2017

Agreed, That the members of each select committee be as follows:

1. Economic Development, Science and Innovation Committee: business development, tourism, Crown minerals, commerce, consumer protection and trading standards, research, science, innovation, intellectual property, broadcasting, communications, information technology

  • Tamati Coffey, Labour Party
  • Hon Jacqui Dean, National Party
  • Paul Eagle, Labour Party
  • Hon Christopher Finlayson
  • Gareth Hughes, Green Party
  • Melissa Lee, National Party
  • Clayton Mitchell, New Zealand First
  • Parmjeet Parmar, National Party
  • Hon Aupito William Sio, Labour Party
  • Jonathan Young, National Party

2. Education and Workforce Committee: education, training, employment, immigration, industrial relations, health and safety, accident compensation

  • Sarah Dowie, National Party
  • Hon Paul Goldsmith, National Party
  • Hon Nikki Kaye, National Party
  • Marja Lubeck, Labour Party
  • Denise Lee, National Party
  • Jo Luxton, Labour Party
  • Hon Tim Macindoe, National Party
  • Mark Patterson, New Zealand First
  • Jamie Strange, Labour Party
  • Chlöe Swarbrick, Green Party
  • Jan Tinetti, Labour Party

3. Environment Committee: conservation, environment, climate change

  • Hon Maggie Barry, National Party
  • Marama Davidson, Green Party
  • Jenny Marcroft, New Zealand First
  • Deborah Russell, Labour Party
  • Hon Scott Simpson, National Party
  • Hon Dr Nick Smith, National Party
  • Erica Stanford, National Party
  • Angie Warren-Clark, Labour Party
  • Poto Williams, Labour Party

4. Finance and Expenditure Committee: economic and fiscal policy, taxation, revenue, banking and finance, superannuation, insurance, Government expenditure and financial performance, public audit

  • Kiritapu Allan, Labour Party
  • Andrew Bayly, National Party
  • Rt Hon David Carter, National Party
  • Tamati Coffey, Labour Party
  • Hon Steven Joyce, National Party
  • Barbara Kuriger, National Party
  • Willow-Jean Prime, Labour Party
  • Deborah Russell, Labour Party
  • David Seymour, ACT Party
  • Fletcher Tabuteau, New Zealand First
  • Duncan Webb, Labour Party
  • Michael Wood, Labour Party
  • Lawrence Yule, National Party

5. Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee: customs, defence, disarmament and arms control, foreign affairs, trade, veterans’ affairs

  • Hon Gerry Brownlee, National Party
  • Golriz Ghahraman, Green Party
  • Hon Willie Jackson, Labour Party
  • Hon Todd McClay, National Party
  • Hon Mark Mitchell, National Party
  • Simon O’Connor, National Party
  • Louisa Wall, Labour Party
  • Duncan Webb, Labour Party

6. Governance and Administration Committee: parliamentary and legislative services, Prime Minister and Cabinet, State services, statistics, internal affairs, civil defence and emergency management, local government


  • Virginia Andersen, Labour Party
  • Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi, National Party
  • Paul Eagle, Labour Party
  • Hon Peeni Henare, Labour Party
  • Brett Hudson, National Party
  • Raymond Huo, Labour Party
  • Stuart Smith, National Party
  • Jian Yang, National Party

7. Health Committee: health

  • Hon Dr Jonathan Coleman, National Party
  • Liz Craig, Labour Party
  • Matt Doocey, National Party
  • Anahila Kanongata’a Suisuiki, Labour Party
  • Shane Reti, National Party
  • Hon Nicky Wagner, National Party
  • Louisa Wall, Labour Party
  • Angie Warren-Clark, Labour Party

8. Justice Committee: constitutional and electoral matters, human rights, justice, courts, crime and criminal law, police, corrections, Crown legal services

  • Hon Amy Adams, National Party
  • Virginia Andersen, Labour Party
  • Chris Bishop, National Party
  • Andrew Falloon, National Party
  • Raymond Huo, Labour Party
  • Matt King, National Party
  • Greg O’Connor, Labour Party
  • Priyanca Radhakrishnan, Labour Party

9. Māori Affairs Committee: Māori affairs, Treaty of Waitangi negotiations

  • Marama Davidson
  • Jo Hayes, National Party
  • Harete Hipango, National Party
  • Nuk Korako, National Party
  • Jenny Marcroft, New Zealand First
  • Todd Muller, National Party
  • Adrian Rurawhe, Labour Party
  • Rino Tirikatene, Labour Party

10. Primary Production Committee: agriculture, biosecurity, racing, fisheries, productive forestry, lands, and land information

  • Hon David Bennett, National Party
  • Hon Nathan Guy, National Party
  • Jo Luxton, Labour Party
  • Kieran McAnulty, Labour Party
  • Mark Patterson, New Zealand First
  • Rino Tirikatene, Labour Party
  • Tim van de Molen, National Party
  • Hamish Walker, National Party

11. Social Services and Community Committee: social development, social housing, income support, women, children, young people, seniors, Pacific peoples, ethnic communities, arts, culture and heritage, sport and recreation, voluntary sector

  • Darroch Ball, New Zealand First
  • Simeon Brown, National Party
  • Hon Kris Faafoi, Labour Party
  • Jan Logie, Green Party
  • Hon Alfred Ngaro, National Party
  • Greg O’Connor, Labour Party
  • Priyanca Radhakrishnan, Labour Party
  • Hon Louise Upston, National Party
  • Hon Michael Woodhouse, National Party

12. Transport and Infrastructure Committee: transport, transport safety, infrastructure, energy, building and construction.

  • Darroch Ball, New Zealand First
  • Hon Judith Collins, National Party
  • Marja Lubeck, Labour Party
  • Ian McKelvie, National Party
  • Chris Penk, National Party
  • Alastair Scott, National Party
  • Chlöe Swarbrick, Green Party
  • Michael Wood, Labour Party
  • Hon Meka Whaitiri, Labour Party

Specialist committees:

1. Business: facilitates House business, decides the size and composition of select committees, grants extensions to the report dates for bills before committees, and grants permission for members’ votes to be counted while they are absent from the House.

2. Officers of Parliament: makes recommendations to the House on the appropriations and the appointments of the Auditor-General, the Ombudsmen, and the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment.

3. Privileges: considers questions of privilege (see Parliament Brief, ‘Parliamentary Privilege’).

4. Regulations Review: examines the legal instruments variously known as ‘regulations’, ‘delegated legislation’, and ‘subordinate legislation’, made under delegated powers in an Act of Parliament.

  • Kiritapu Allan, Labour Party
  • Simeon Brown, National Party
  • Liz Craig Labour Party
  • Hon Jacqui Dean, National Party
  • Andrew Falloon, National Party
  • Duncan Webb, Labour Party

5. Standing Orders: House procedures and practices.

Ministerial appointments

Ministers to chart new course for New Zealand

Portfolio responsibilities for the incoming Labour-led Government underline our commitment to chart a new course for New Zealand, says Prime Minister-designate Jacinda Ardern.

Inside Cabinet

Jacinda Ardern: PM, Arts Culture and Heritage, National Security and Intelligence, Child Poverty Reduction

Winston Peters: Deputy PM, Foreign Affairs, State Owned Enterprises, Racing

Kelvin Davis: Crown/Māori relations, Corrections, Tourism, associate education (Māori education)

Grant Robertson: Finance, Sport and Recreation, Associate Arts and Culture

Phil Twyford: Housing and Urban Development, Transport

Megan Woods: Energy and Resources, Earthquake Commission, Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Research Science and Innovation

Chris Hipkins: Education, State Services, Ministerial Services, leader of the house

Andrew Little: Justice, Courts, GCSB/NZSIS, Pike River re-entry, Treaty negotiations

Carmel Sepuloni: Social Development, Disability Issues, Associate Arts and Culture and Heritage, Associate Pacific Peoples

David Clark: Health, Associate Finance

David Parker: Attorney-General, Economic Development,  Environment, Trade and Export Growth, Associate Finance

Nanaia Mahuta: Māori Development, Local Government, Associate Environment

Stuart Nash: Police, Fisheries, Revenue, Small Business

Iain Lees-Galloway: Workplace Relations and Safety, Immigration, ACC, Deputy leader of the House

Ron Mark (NZF): Defence, Veterans

Tracey Martin (NZF): Internal Affairs, Children, Seniors, Associate Education

Shane Jones (NZF): Forestry, Infrastructure, Regional Economic Development, Associate Finance, Associate Transport

Jenny Salesa: Building and Construction, Ethnic Communities, Associate Education, Associate Health, Associate Housing and Urban Development

Damien O’Connor: Agriculture, Biosecurity, Food Safety, Rural Communities, Associate Trade and Export Growth

Clare Curran: Broadcasting, Communications, and Digital Media, Government Digital Services, Associate ACC, Associate State Services (Open Government)

Support Party Ministers

James Shaw (Green Party): Minister for Climate Change, Minister of Statistics, Associate Minister of Finance

Julie Anne Genter (Green Party): Minister for Women, Associate Minister of Health, Associate Minister of Transport

Eugenie Sage (Green Party): Minister of Conservation, Minister of Land Information, Associate Minister for the Environment

Ministers Outside Cabinet

Kris Faafoi: Minister of Civil Defence, Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Associate Minister of Immigration

Peeni Henare: Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector, Minister for Whānau Ora, Minister for Youth, Associate Minister for Social Development

Willie Jackson: Minister of Employment, Associate Minister for Māori Development

Aupito William Sio: Minister for Pacific Peoples, Associate Minister for Courts, Associate Minister of Justice

Meka Whaitiri: Minister of Customs, Associate Minister of Agriculture, Associate Minister of Crown / Māori Relations, Associate Minister of Local Government

Parliamentary Under-Secretaries

Michael Wood: Parliamentary Under-Secretary to the Minister for Ethnic Communities

Fletcher Tabuteau: Parliamentary Under-Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister for Regional Economic Development

Jan Logie: Parliamentary Under-Secretary to the Minister of Justice (Domestic and Sexual Violence Issues)

“I’m excited by how my executive will tackle the challenges this country faces. The allocation of portfolios shows how the government I lead will be focused on making a difference for all New Zealanders, no matter where they live.

“New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters will be my Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs. He brings a wealth of experience to both roles and I look forward to working closely with him.

“Labour Deputy Leader Kelvin Davis takes on the new portfolio of Crown/Māori Relations as we transition to the post-Treaty environment.

“Grant Robertson will be the Minister of Finance. We are a government of change, and will be one that makes fiscal responsibility a priority as we take action on our critical challenges.

“My government will have a key focus on reducing child poverty. To underline the importance of this, I am taking a new portfolio as Minister for Child Poverty Reduction. As Prime Minister I want to see urgent progress in this area. That is why we will be introducing measures and targets to ensure our policies across government are making a difference to the lives of children.

“We are making restoring the Kiwi dream of owning your own home a priority through our KiwiBuild strategy. This requires a concerted and coordinated effort across our cities, working closely with councils. That is why there will be a Minister responsible for Housing and Urban Development, who will also have responsibility for our commitment to state housing.

“We said during the campaign that many of our regions have been left behind and that we needed a new approach to ensure all of New Zealand shares in our economic prosperity.

“This is also a priority for my government. To that end, I have appointed a Minister of Regional Development to drive our strategy to create jobs in the regions. The Minister will be responsible for the new Regional Development Fund.

“In addition, the same Minister will have responsibility for both Infrastructure and Forestry which are also pivotal to providing opportunities for regions.

“Consequently, I am dividing the Primary Industries portfolio along its traditional lines of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

“We also promised during the campaign to help the families of Pike River get justice for the men they lost. A Minister responsible for Pike River Re-Entry will make re-entering the drift a priority, and will work closely with the Pike River Families and the Deputy Prime Minister on this work.

“I am proud of my Ministers. The team well knows the responsibilities they are taking on. We are all ready and determined to make a difference as we govern for all New Zealanders,” says Jacinda Ardern.

Labour staff appointments

Andrew Little has made two appointments to vacant positions in the Labour leader’s office.

Chief of Staff – Neale Jones


Jones has been upgraded from his current job of Political Director in Little’s office.

Te Reo Putake has some detail at The Standard:

Excellent appointment for Chief of Staff. I’ve known Neale for years and he is a top bloke and good value for the job. I know he also worked with Andrew Little at the EPMU, modernising that union’s comms, and, clearly, they both work together well. I predict good things for Labour.

TRP has been predicting good things for Labour for years. He might be right about it one day.

Modernising the Labour Party may be a lot bigger challenge than modernising union’s comms.

Labour stalwart Greg Presland:

Neale is really good. Safe pair of hands and dedicated to the cause.

So Jones strengthens the EPMU influence in Labour. Some, especially those with union connections, will like that. Others may be less enthusiastic.

Now shunned ex-Labour member Phil Quin tweeted:

The appointment of Neale Jones, a dyed-in-the-wool loyalist, is testament to Andrew Little’s utter impregnability as Labour leader.

Also from Twitter Stephanie Rodgers (who works in union comms):

Nice one, comrade

Little became Labour’s leader due to the crucial Union vote (affiliate unions have 20% of that vote).

Chief Press Secretary – Mike Jaspers


From NZH Labour confirms senior positions including chief press secretary

Mike Jaspers will be chief press secretary, filling a position that has been vacant since Sarah Stuart left in May after little more than a year in the role.

Jaspers works in communications for New Zealand Rugby including when New Zealand hosted the Rugby World Cup in 2011.

He has experience in Parliament – previously working as a press secretary for Sir Michael Cullen in 2006/07, and before that in Parliament’s press gallery for TVNZ.

It’s understood Little previously tried to hire Jaspers after he became Labour leader.

From a different sort of union, the Rugby Union.

Jaspers has been given the most attention by journalists and media who seem to rate him highly. The Standard reaction was more wary. Bill:

Fair to say “Neale Jones good, Mike Jaspers…jury out”?

Jaspers was very effective with the Rugby Union. This may pose a bigger challenge. He has to fill a void and somehow transform how Little and  Labour are presented.

One thing both Jones and Jaspers will need to try and overcome is the negativity that has oozed from Labour from the top down. On his return from a visit to Canada Little indicated that he was keen to follow Justin Trudeau’s positive methods.

Party comms can’t control what is said in social media but they can try to influence it. It desperately needs a positive makeover.

A comment on The Standard’s New lineup for Labour Leader’s office thread is a symptom of an entrenched problem of Labour’s image of vicious intolerance.

He is a semi-literate, trolling muppet, like Pockish Rogue and Maninamuddle. Their new tactic is to derail by being friendly and matey. Why else are they constantly cackling away on nearly every thread on this site?

A new form of Peter George.

Don’t respond to their apparent friendliness. Study the ways of One Anonymous Bloke. He identifies these sleazebags early in the piece and gives them hell. We all need to. Tell them to fuck off.

Friendly bad, fuck off good, so ‘In Vino’ and others seem to think.

Little recently very publicly branded ex-Labour members Quin and Wellington mayoral candidate as right wing traiters and and effectively told them to “fuck off”.

Enticing people like them, like me, and like thousands of other ex-Labour voters, to consider ticking Labour again will be a big challenge for Jones and Jaspers.

While some at the Standard are enthusiastic about these new appointments, hoping they finally have a ‘game changer’, shit continues to be thrown around their nest and elsewhere in social media.

Jones needs to reform the attitude of the party from within and from the top down.

Jaspers needs to present to the public a far more positive Labour, and to somehow paper over the crackpots.