Cabinet Reshuffle Backward Step for Environment and Outdoors

Press release CORANZ

The government’s reshuffling of ministers is a retrograde step for the environment, conservation and outdoors says the Council of Outdoor Recreation Associations of New Zealand (CORANZ).

CORANZ chairman Andi Cockroft described the cabinet reshuffle announced by new Prime Minister Chris Hipkins as “bizarre” in the light of mediocre ministerial performances in the past by some still remaining in highly ranked portfolios and/or cabinet rankings.

“Many of the one million plus New Zealander recreational fishing public will be very disappointed that David Parker has lost Ocean and Fisheries. Making the reinstatement of Nash to Ocean and Fisheries makes the switch even more illogical and puzzling,” said Andi Cockroft.

Stuart Nash was minister of fisheries in the newly elected Labour-led coalition in 2017 but was replaced by David Parker in late 2020.

“Whereas David Parker showed he could in the public interest, stand up to ministry bureaucrats and corporate fishing industry influence, Stuart Nash in his three years as Minister 2017-2020, seemed a lapdog to both the ministry and industry,” said Andi Cockroft.

CORANZ viewed the retention of David Parker as Minister for the Environment as good. However there was disappointment that the Conservation portfolio now held by Willow-Jean Prime, was a minister outside of Cabinet.

“The inescapable conclusion is that the Labour despite being in near coalition with the Green Party, does not rank conservation highly. In view of the state of deteriorating rivers and other environmental problems, that is very sad,” he said.

It was also puzzling and disappointing that David Parker was now ranked number 14, well below mediocre, arguably incompetent, ministers above him he added.

The recreational hunting public and firearm owning public will view with deep misgivings the reinstatement of Stuart Nash to Minister of Police. As with the fisheries portfolio, Nash served as Minister of Police from 2017 to 2020 and was then replaced by Poto Williams. During Nash’s tenure, the Mosque shooting by an Australian terrorist saw panicked, urgent but futile law passed about firearms.

“The rushed law was predictably poor law and in fact aggravated the situation with gangs and criminals better armed while government and police wrongly targeted the law-abiding firearm owning public.”

Andi Cockroft said political history revealed that governments hoping to avoid election defeats which had rearranged cabinet, often were dismissed by the public at election time.

When Jack Marshall became National’s Prime Minister in early 1972 he brought in four new Ministers but that did not stop his government losing to Norman Kirk’s Labour Party in a landslide a few months later. Significantly environment and outdoor recreation issues were major election issues in Save Manapouri, trout farming and sale of public lands to foreigners.

In 1990, Labour’ Prime Minister Geoffrey Palmer made major cabinet changes before the Labour government was routed at the election a few months later. In 1998 Prime Minister Jenny Shipley made one of the boldest pre-election reshuffles of recent times. It was to no avail. Helen Clark and Labour won the next election by a good margin.

“History strongly reflects that any Prime Minister who believes a government’s flagging political fortunes can be revived by an election year reshuffle is being a cock-eyed optimisti,” he said.

Prime Minister Hipkins described his latest cabinet make-over as demonstrating the depth of Labour’s talent that has brought some new energy and focus to the task ahead.

“That statement’s downright puzzling and illogical in reinstating ministers to old previous portfolios and downgrading some of his more competent ministers.

Some critics have likened the reshuffle to rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. I’m sure the PM is well-meaning but they’re arguably counter-productive adjustments to an election endeavour that may well be doomed to fail.”

He said contrary to the PM’s claims the cabinet reshuffle suggested a lack of depth of ability.

 “But very importantly CORANZ is extremely disappointed that government has a low priority for conservation when so many matters such as deteriorating rivers, monocultures of pines through the carbon trading farcical fad, foreign ownership, the Urewera National Park shambles, corporate monopolistic sea fish quotas and other issues need urgent attention,” said Andi Cockroft.

Contact: Andi Cockroft: 027 204 1878


“Deteriorating Rivers Urgently Need Attention” – CORANZ

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8 Responses to Cabinet Reshuffle Backward Step for Environment and Outdoors

  1. Frank Henry says:

    Thank you for raising some curious aspects to the Prime Minister’s cabinet changes. Why is David Parker ranked so lowly? Why put Stuart Nash back into portfolios where he did not perform well, e.g. Police, Fisheries? Why is Conservation – surely so important in this day and age – outside of Cabinet?
    That really tells people who value a quality environment where this Government’s ranks the environment and conservation. Even the environment portfolio with David Parker is ranked low at his number 14 slot.
    Okay let us see where the other parties are? Curiously National have set up a shadow fishing and hunting portfolio.

  2. Charles Baycroft says:

    All anglers, hunters , responsible firearm owners and people that want to reatin their natural rights to life, liberty, privacy, independence, personal property and ownership of their own bodies ought to understand that electing the political celebrites of the major political parties is detrimental.

    These parties are dominated and controlled by a small elite group of members and funders whose ambition is authority and power over the rest of the people.

    Their goal is an all powerful and authoritarian government (by them of course) that the rest of the people are totally dependent upon and obedient to.

    These elites beleive that the rest of the people need to be controlled by them “for their own good”.

    The assumption that our government has to be by the celebrity politicians that were selected, supported and promoted by the elites of the major parties is called a FALSE DILEMMA.
    It prevents voters from understanding that they have alternative and perhaps better choices of people that would represent them instead of the elites of the major political parties and the wealthy “donors” who support them.

    The habit of electing increasingly AUTHORITARIAN Labour or National governments has been socially and economically detrimental to the productive working people of New Zealand but very beneficial to the political and financial elites.

    Our current social, economic and environmental problems are the result of too much government authority and control by people who believe they are entitled to take and spend the money that productive workers own to regulate and control their lives.

    The centralization of authority and power in governments controlled by an elite ruling class and their wealthy supporters always results in the oppression, exploitation and impoverishment of the rest of the people.

    History has taught us (or should have) that governance of the people by an elite ruling class always results in oppressiion and poverty for the rest of the people.

    Our precious natural resources and the productive working people have been increasingly regulated and exploited for the economic benefit of an elite minority at the expense of the rest of the people.

    The failure of our social and economic systems that people are beginning to suffer from was actually caused by the people who have been promising to imporove them by spending and borrowing more and more of other people’s money and imposing more and more restrictive regulations that violate our privacy, independence, freedom, property rights and even the ownership of our own bodies.

    The assumption that our government needs to be by celebrity politicians selected, suppported and promoted by the elite members and funders of the Labour or National parties is called a FALSE DILEMMA.
    It prevents us from hiring other representatives that would probably respect and serve the people better if given a chance to do so.

    The people in the minor political parties have realised that the major ones are corrupted by their accustomed political success and ambition to make the people more dependent upon and obedient to them.

    We have an opportunity in October to teach the politically elite MINORITY that they are our EMPLOYEES and not our RULERS.

    Stop voting Labour, National or Green because the elites that control these parties only care about their own agendas and authority over the rest of us.

    Join, support and vote for the smaller parties and their candidates to oppose the increasing exploitation and oppression of overly authoritarian government and the restoration of our privacy, independence, freedom and natural rights that are being increasingly violated.


  3. Steve Vee says:

    Its so sad that the New Zealand Government that has been democratically elected has ventured so far away from its mandate to generate a supposed co governance style government with a small sector of New Zealand apparently been given 50% control if not more in public areas to benefit a race based control. Every body in New Zealand suffers and could do with more assistance in many areas of their lives. To segregate on a political basis is just plain apartheid, which I am sad to witness.
    I concur with the Indian gentlemen who claimed on the news that 23 years ago NZ was held as the best country in the world to live, but with the crime and the apartheid politics of today it has not been for a long time.
    I call on the government to govern for all 5 million NZ citizens equally, and eliminate all race based policies with our government and our laws.

  4. Pre says:

    David Parker’s Ministry for the Environment has proved inaccessible in terms of failing to reply to emails or letters.
    On the plus side he is the first Minister of any party to seek advice from scientists and ecologists and actually re-set some environmental limits for freshwater that will give greater protection to aquatic life.

  5. Peter Trolove says:

    Text error above “pre”

  6. Stewart Hydes says:

    Hipkins is inevitably shuffling deck chairs on his particular Titanic.
    He’s inevitably made a pretty poor job of it (they are still the same doomed chairs, on the same doomed deck) .. unlikely to affect the outcome.
    Handing the Police back to Nash is indeed incomprehensible. As is giving the important portfolio of Conservation to a Minister outside Cabinet. Farmers will not welcome the retention of O’Connor .. for the sake of their sanity, they desperately needed a breath of fresh air.
    I am sure the majority of New Zealanders will be celebrating the demotion of Mahuta – that could not come soon enough (nor has it gone far enough). She has been single-handedly disastrous not only for the future prospects of this Labour government .. but also for the rights, freedoms, and democracy of all New Zealanders. The manner in which she has overseen our democratic due processes being ridden over roughshod .. has been equally disgraceful, and unforgivable.
    However, in this government .. Mahuta has neither been, nor acted, alone. Far from it.
    Remarkably, she has apparently had the past, unfathomable support of her leader, caucus colleagues, and others – whilst pursuing catastrophic policies.
    Meanwhile however, others have been wreaking their own havoc – also on the rights, freedoms, and democracy / democratic due processes that are (or should be) sacrosanct to all New Zealanders.
    Some say we are witnessing a rise in racism in this country. Others realise what is really happening .. is growing frustration and anger at divisive, separatist policies.
    And that this growing frustration and anger is morphing into a backlash
    All being driven by an arrogant government pursuing it’s own agenda, in the grip of a staunch minority, and refusing to listen to the will of the people.
    Of course, it remains a question .. how much courage and fortitude will a National-led government have, to repair the devastated path wrought by this Labour cyclone?
    But that is secondary to the disaster we continue to immediately face …

  7. Lew says:

    I think regardless of who is in Government the freedoms we have known in the past will slowly but surely be eroded.

  8. Esha Katene says:

    I think it shows Labour doesn”t care for conservation/environment values. Otherwise why have Minister of Conservation outside cabinet and give it to a minor MP? Why pout Stuart Nash back as Minister of Police and Fisheries? He’s had both portfolios before and performed poorly in both.
    Why is David Parker ranked 14 below non-performers like Kelvin Davis and Stuart Nash? obviously he hasn’t been compliant to Ardern and Hipkins.
    Sorry but as a person raised in a strong Labour atmosphere, this Labour government is bad and undemocratic. Not that National under John Key were only slightly better.

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