Live now
Start time
Playing for
End time
Listen live
Up next
Listen live on

Seymour looks at potentially cutting Women, Māori Ministries out of policy talks

Thomas Coughlan,
Publish Date
Fri, 5 Apr 2024, 7:06am

Seymour looks at potentially cutting Women, Māori Ministries out of policy talks

Thomas Coughlan,
Publish Date
Fri, 5 Apr 2024, 7:06am

Minister for Regulation David Seymour is frustrated at the way population ministries can slow down the business of Government. 

Most proposals have to be farmed out to population ministries like the Ministries for Women, Māori, and Pacific Peoples asking whether they think any policy changes will impact the people they are responsible for. 

If the ministries have anything to say, and often they do not, their comments are put in a box on the final Cabinet Paper. 

Some papers also receive a climate impact assessment, which triggers if the proposal is likely to have an impact on New Zealand’s emissions reduction goals. 

Speaking to On the Tiles, the Herald’s politics podcast, Seymour said this slowed things down and that he was keen to change it, although a final proposal had not gone to other ministers. 

Seymour said he believed too many of these ministries were consulted when drafting Cabinet papers. 

He described a negative experience he was having drawing up a proposal to revive charter schools. 

“I’m really proud of the work that the Ministry of Education officials have done solving some pretty knotty problems,” Seymour said. 

“Then they go off to the Ministry for Women, the Ministry for Pacific Peoples TPK [Te Puni Kokiri - Ministry of Māori Development] and they all sort of get asked, well, what do you think about this?” Seymour said. 

He believed the agencies did not add much value with their analysis. 

“For the most part they come up with is, ‘well, women are interested in education’, - well, sure, but there’s no quality, there’s no addition there,” he said. 

Seymour would not say what he planned to do, saying he would wait for Cabinet to consider proposals. 

“You can probably guess what I’m thinking about it,” he said. 

Seymour is currently establishing his Ministry of Regulation, which will review existing regulations and be involved when the Government intends to draft new ones. The Ministry will be a “core” Government department, sitting alongside Treasury, the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, and the Public Service Commission. 

Seymour said this status would give it the ability to look at regulation across government. With just a handful of staff, it has already begun, in part, its review of Early Childhood Education regulation. Seymour said he hopes it will be able to begin one review each quarter, although each review may take longer than a quarter to complete. 

“Someone from the Ministry of Regulation has started talking to people in that early childhood sector and saying, ‘ok, well, where would you look?’” Seymour said. 

The Ministry will review a sector’s regulations and decide whether any should be changed or abolished. It can then recommend a new law that would abolish or amend those regulations. 

The question of whether to introduce and pass that law would still rest with the the responsible minister, their government and Parliament. 

An earlier version of this story said the Ministry for Disabled People was part of the proposal. It is not. 

Thomas Coughlan is Deputy Political Editor and covers politics from Parliament. He has worked for the Herald since 2021 and has worked in the press gallery since 2018. 

This article was originally published on the NZ Herald here. 

Take your Radio, Podcasts and Music with you