Dame Jenny's cosy quango
"The real question is what constitutes a day? If one is spending 10 hours unpaid preparing for the $1000 a day, then the context of the payment changes."Featured comment
Former prime minister Dame Jenny Shipley may have lost her directors’ fees at Mainzeal.
But she retains her $1000 per day review board position at the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority.
Which helps supplement her $109,832.71 annual haul as Genesis chairman.
Collapsed Mainzeal was a major provider of services to CERA.
When the CERA review board appointments were made in mid-2011 they attracted howls of cronyism.
It was revealed that Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee tripled the pay of the three-member “independent” review panel members to $1000 a day each.
He justified this on the grounds it would be impossible to find people with sufficient calibre at lesser rates.
The trouble, is, he never advertised the positions to find out. The lucky review board members were all handpicked by Mr Brownlee.
The other members include Murray Sherwin and another knight of the realm, Sir John Hansen.
Information about their CERA activities is hard to come by.
The first review of CERA completed in June 2011 gave a glowing report. It cited the review board members as interviewees for a report which was written by Simon Murdoch.
Who are Dame Jenny's CERA cronies?
Mr Murdoch joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1972, moving to the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet in 1980 as foreign affairs adviser to prime minister Robert Muldoon.
After various foreign affairs junkets he became head of the department under prime ministers Jim Bolger and Jenny Shipley. In 2002 he was appointed New Zealand’s Secretary of Foreign Affairs in preparation for the receipt of gongs such as The Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit.
Murray Sherwin complements his income as chairman of the government’s Productivity Commission.
In 1976 he began his 25-year career at the Reserve Bank, where he headed many key departments and dealt with major issues including the 1984 foreign exchange crisis and the subsequent removal of exchange controls and float of the New Zealand dollar.
He was appointed deputy bank governor in 1993.
More recently, he led the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and was last year awarded a Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Waikato.
Sir John Hansen was a High Court judge from 1995 to 2008, when he retired and was made a Distinguished Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to the judiciary.
In 2009 he was appointed chairman of the Legal Services Agency and in September 2010 became chairman of Red Cross Canterbury Earthquake Commission.