Red Alert

Transparency and accountability

Posted by on February 5th, 2010

Nathan Guy wins the inaugural “Richard Worth award for transparency and accountability”. Much like his predecessor, Guy has consistently demonstrated a high level of skill in ducking questions and providing as little information about his ministerial activities as possible.

Late last year I poked a bit of fun at his expense when he answered my written parliamentary question about his priorities over the next 6 months by saying he needed more time to come up with an answer. He’s finally answered that one, even if it amounts to little more than a cut and paste from DIA’s Statement of Intent.

However, when asked any questions about briefings that he has received from DIA or his official engagements, he simply dismisses them saying they aren’t specific enough. It doesn’t seem to be a problem for his more senior colleagues, who regularly answer written questions listing the reports/briefings they have received.

Guy’s predecessor confirmed that the DIA has a database recording all the briefings he gets, so it would simply be a matter of extracting the relevant data, a job that would take no more than a couple of minutes. Why is he so reluctant to be open and transparent about what he is working on?

8 Responses to “Transparency and accountability”

  1. James says:

    One of the huge things that I’ve noticed about the National gvoernment is their lack of willingneass to answer questions.

    Regardless of that, I am finding Guy a relatively good minister in general, probably just comparibly to Worth though. 😀

  2. slightlyrighty says:


    At least in Parliament, National Government ministers are made to answer questions, not simply ‘address’ them.

  3. logie97 says:


    Your comment suggests wishful thinking rather than your having actually watched Question Time. This Speaker has regularly allowed ministers off. (On technicalities – particularly on the issue of addressing questions rather than answering them.) They have simply avoided answering questions. Your Jon has been sat in the coffee lounge rather than face Question Time on at least one occasion.

  4. James says:

    Logie92’s point, not logie97?a point

    Ministers get away with not fully answering questions, not Ministers getting away

  5. James says:

    sorry, that comment doesnt make sense cause the first one is underr moderation :(, it said,
    @slightlyrighty. Apologies, I should have been more specific. I do agree that Guy is not being very open and transparent about what he is doing, BUT, the point that I was trying to make, was that compared to other Ministers, he is one of the better ones.

    Here is a case of where even addressing it wasn’t done,–AGq-s

    logie97?a point about “Your comment suggests wishful thinking rather than your having actually watched Question Time.”, i agree, I watch question time on Parliament TV on 99%of sittings, and the others i’m genrally in the galleries, I have seen many Ministers get away, when I an think of a specific case, I will let you know. If you are not able to watch PTV, or the replays, or go into the galleries, is PTV on demand 😀

  6. Bob says:

    Bob. Personal and perhaps you could rephrase with a real question. Clare

  7. James says:

    This is what Guy has been doing this year in his Internal Affairs portfolio:

    – announced new appointment to Lotteries Commission
    – announced new Waikato lottery appointments
    – announced new Wellington/Wairarapa lottery appointments
    – announced new Taranaki lottery appointments
    – announced new Otago/Southland lottery appointments
    – announced new Northland lottery appointments
    – announced new Manawatu/Whanganui lottery appointments
    – announced new lottery marae appointments
    – announced new Hawkes Bay lottery appointments
    – announced new Canterbury/Kaikoura lottery appointments
    – announced new Bay of Plenty/Gisborne lottery appointments
    – announced new Auckland lottery appointments
    – announced new lottery appointments for West Coast/Nelson/Marlborough


    – answered 15 written questions.

    Well done Guy… looks like you’ve been working hard

  8. mjwkiwi says:

    Let us know Chris what happens when you complain to that so-called unbiased “Speaker”.