Golriz Ghahraman cops more criticism for inaccurate claims

Green MP Golriz Ghahraman has attracted attention in the past for making questionable claims. She was in the firing line again today over this tweet:

That states: Golriz Ghahraman is the Green Party’s defence spokesperson

I think it’s questionable that she ‘holds the Defence portfolio’. She seems unclear on proper Parliamentary job descriptions.

Oxford: portfolio – the position and duties of a Minister or Secretary of State.

She is Green spokesperson for Defence. She isn’t a minister, nor an associate minister.

And she isn’t the first woman to be defence spokesperson.

Ghahraman has responded to this:

No woman has held the portfolio as full spokesperson (as far as the Parliamentary Library records confirm. Associates aren’t full spokes persons. I had no idea it was a thing before being contacted about it tbh. But there you go).

But again, she isn’t a minister or an associate minister. She can’t even claim to be shadow minister 9not a common term in New Zealand) – that is Opposition MP Mark Mitchell (National’s Spokesperson for defence).

And she isn’t the first female spokesperson for defence either – @GraemeEdgeler :

No-one is disputing Heather was Associate Minister of Defence. Golriz was disputing that Heather Roy was ACT’s (full) defence spokesperson. Golriz is wrong. There is a single 2005 press release from ACT listing Heather as ACT’s Defence Spokesman. That resolves the claim.

Ghahraman is getting a reputation for not being a particularly solid MP. She is floundering online.

Woodhouse appointed to Opposition health role

A National shuffle was required after Jonathan Coleman announced his resignation from Parliament. Simon Bridges has appointed Michael Woodhouse to replace him as Opposition spokesperson for Health.

Michael Woodhouse.jpg

After studying commerce and accounting Woodhouse worked for an accountant, at Dunedin Hospital and for ACC before becoming CEO of the private Mercy Hospital.

He was elected as a list MP in 2008, and became a minister in the National Government in 2013.

It’s interesting (for me anyway) that the current Minister for Health, David Clark, and the new Opposition spokesperson for health have both contested the Dunedin North electorate. Especially so with the ongoing delays in announcing plans for the replacement of the Dunedin Public Hospital.

Woodhouse was ranked 10 on the National list for the 2017 election, but is currently rank #13 after Bridges’ recent appointments. That may change slightly after Coleman leaves Parliament.

1 News: National Party appoints Michael Woodhouse as new Health spokesperson

In two other National Party changes Nikki Kaye has been appointed Sport and Recreation spokesperson and Scott Simpson has been appointed Workplace Relations spokesperson.

National Opposition spokesperson roles

Bill English has announced the roles for MPs in the National Opposition.


National Party Leader Bill English has unveiled a strong Opposition team which will hold the Government to account and ensure it does not squander the opportunities New Zealanders have created for our country in recent years.

“New Zealand is doing well, with low unemployment, thousands of jobs being created every month, strong public services and New Zealanders getting ahead,” Mr English says.

“That’s a direct result of the hard work and dedication of New Zealanders who have operated confidently with the support of a clear and consistent economic plan and a government focused on achieving measurable results.

“We will be pushing the new Government to maintain that success and that focus.

“Today I am announcing our Opposition lineup which makes the most use of our dedicated and talented caucus. We are the largest Opposition Party New Zealand has ever seen, and the largest party in Parliament. We will ensure we make those numbers count.

“I have ensured we make the most of the experience and knowledge of our former ministers, while also utilising the talents of our large caucus who are passionate about New Zealand’s future.

“All but the latest intake of MPs have been allocated portfolios. Those MPs will be given time to understand Parliamentary processes and work alongside our spokespeople, and be allocated portfolios in due course.

“We will be a strong and loyal Opposition. We are ambitious for New Zealand – and we remain committed to building a stronger, more confident and more prosperous nation.

“We will work tirelessly to ensure New Zealand continues to succeed and New Zealanders continue to get ahead, while holding the current Government to account on any decisions that place that progress at risk.”

National Party Spokesperson Allocations 2 November 2017

Spokesperson for Associate roles
Rt Hon Bill English
Leader of the Opposition
National Security
Hon Paula Bennett
Deputy Leader of the Opposition
Children
Women
Social Investment
Hon Steven Joyce Finance
Infrastructure
Hon Gerry Brownlee Foreign Affairs
Fisheries
Land Information
Hon Simon Bridges Shadow Leader of the House
Economic and Regional Development
Immigration
Hon Amy Adams Justice
Workplace Relations and Safety (incl Pike River)
Hon Jonathan Coleman Health
Sport and Recreation
Hon Christopher Finlayson Shadow Attorney General
Commerce
GCSB
NZSIS
Hon Judith Collins Transport
Revenue
Hon Michael Woodhouse Housing
Social Housing
Hon Nathan Guy Primary Industries
Hon Nikki Kaye Education
Hon Todd McClay Trade
State Services
Hon Paul Goldsmith Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment
Arts, Culture and Heritage
Hon Louise Upston Social Development
Hon Anne Tolley Nomination for Deputy Speaker
Rt Hon David Carter State Owned Enterprises
Hon Nick Smith Forestry
Aquaculture
Hon Maggie Barry Conservation
Hon Alfred Ngaro Courts
Community and Voluntary Sector
Pacific Peoples
Hon Mark Mitchell Defence
Hon Nicky Wagner Disability Issues
Hon Jacqui Dean Tourism
Small Business
Hon David Bennett Food Safety
Racing
Associate Immigration
Hon Tim Macindoe ACC
Hon Scott Simpson Environment
Planning
Jami-Lee Ross Senior Whip
Local Government
Associate Transport
Barbara Kuriger Biosecurity
Rural Communities
Junior Whip
Matt Doocey Greater Christchurch Regeneration
Mental Health
Third Whip
Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi Internal Affairs Associate Police
Melissa Lee Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media
Ethnic Affairs
Jonathan Young Energy and Resources
Joanne Hayes Whānau Ora Associate Children
Ian McKelvie Seniors
Veterans
Simon O’Connor Corrections
Jian Yang Statistics Associate Ethnic Affairs
Andrew Bayly Building Regulation Associate Commerce
Chris Bishop Police
Youth
Sarah Dowie Early Childhood Education
Brett Hudson ICT
Government Digital Services
Nuk Korako Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations
Māori Development
Todd Muller Climate Change
Crown/Māori Relations
Parmjeet Parmar Science and Innovation
Shane Reti Data Associate Health
Alastair Scott Customs Associate Regional Development
Stuart Smith Civil Defence
Earthquake Commission

Portfolio allocations with images: National_Party_Portfolios.pdf


That’s 46 of the 56 National MPs who have been given spokesperson roles.

Green reshuffle

greenreshuffle

With the exit of Kevin Hague from parliament the Green party has reshuffled their spokesperson roles.

The most notable are a shift to Finance responsibilities for James Shaw – it was a surprise he didn’t get that when he became co-leader next year – and Julie Anne Genter moving to pick up  Health.

Newcomer Barry Coates moves from leading anti-TPPA protests to leading anti-TPPA protests as an MP.

Green Party announces portfolio changes
James Shaw MP on Thursday, September 29, 2016 – 17:14

The Green Party is today announcing changes to its MPs’ portfolios, to accommodate the arrival of new MP Barry Coates.

Mr Coates joins the Green Parliamentary team following the resignation of Kevin Hague, and will officially start on Monday 10 October. He will take on the trade, overseas development and senior citizens portfolios, as well as commerce, consumer and internal affairs.

Also as part of the portfolio changes, James Shaw will take on the finance portfolio, while Julie Anne Genter picks up health and Auckland issues, to go alongside transport and associate finance.

Canterbury-based MP Mojo Mathers will be the new conservation spokesperson, while continuing to hold the disability issues and animal welfare portfolios.

Hagues roles were: Spokesperson for Health (inc. ACC, Sport & Recreation), Conservation, and Rainbow Issues

Health goes to Genter (with her Finance moving to Shaw) and Conservation to Mathers. No mention of what is happening to Rainbow Issues.

 

Robertson versus Statistics

Grant Robertson is Labour Spokesperson for Employment as well as Spokesperson for Finance.

In the former role today he put out a media release today:

Govt should face the facts not skew the facts

Posted by on August 16, 2016

National appears to be actively massaging official unemployment statistics by changing the measure for joblessness to exclude those looking online, says Labour’s Employment spokesperson Grant Robertson.

“The Household Labour Force Survey, released tomorrow, no longer regards people job hunting on websites like Seek or TradeMe as ‘actively looking for work’.

Released tomorrow? Is Robertson jumping the gun?

“That means they no longer fit into the unemployed category, meaning tomorrow’s delayed figures will almost certainly show a decrease in unemployment. This new definition saw a revision of the last quarter’s unemployment figures from 5.7 per cent to 5.2 per cent.

“These figures do not mean there is a drop in the number of people looking for work or that unemployment is actually falling. For the many New Zealanders who use the internet to search for work, the Government is telling them they don’t count.

“Bizarrely while cutting out modern forms of job hunting the HLFS still includes outdated methods such as registering at a ‘employment exchange’ or ‘checking at worksites, farms, factory gates, market or other assembly places’ for work.

“These changes are typical of a Government that actively manipulates official data to suit its own ends. I have no doubt National ministers will embrace the massaged figures and continue not to worry about the real people who are out of work.

“Despite the many flaws in the HLFS its biggest strength is that is has been a consistent measure for almost 30 years. National’s recent changes have completely undermined that. It is arrogance of the highest order to simply write thousands of jobless New Zealanders off the books,” says Grant Robertson.

The Household Labour Force Survey is done by Statistics New Zealand – and the Government Statistician Liz MacPherson has responded:

Like my predecessors I am fiercely protective of the statutory independence of the role of the Government Statistician and strongly refute any assertions made by Grant Robertson that there has been political interference in the production of official statistics.

This independence means that I maintain the right to make changes necessary to ensure the relevance and quality of our official statistics. Changes to the Household Labour Force Survey have been made to ensure that we produce the best possible measure of the current state of the labour market and to maintain consistency with international best practice.

Far from ignoring technological change during the past 30 years, such as the advent of the internet, we are incorporating these changes so as to be technology neutral.

Within the survey questions, to be regarded as actively looking for a job you must do more than simply look at job advertisements, whether it is online or in a newspaper.

It is not uncommon for revisions to be made to official statistics as a result of more accurate information becoming available or changes to international standards and frameworks.

In addition we are introducing new measures – for example underutilisation – enabling a deeper, richer understanding of New Zealand’s labour market.

When this does occur it is standard practice for Statistics NZ to communicate reasons for revisions and anticipated changes well in advance of their official release, as we did on 29 June 2016. View the Household Labour Force Survey – Revisions to labour market estimates.

Statistics NZ has a legislative obligation to release objective official statistics. We will continue to do this at all times.

That’s quite a smack down for Robertson.

There doesn’t appear to be anything on this on Robertson’s Facebook or Twitter, where he is often quite active.