John Key MP
National Party Leader
31 October 2007
Clark fails leadership test
Helen Clark has failed to show leadership by rewarding Trevor Mallard instead of punishing him for his behaviour in Parliament, says National Party Leader John Key.
"Instead of demoting him, she has effectively given him a portfolio promotion by handing him three influential new responsibilities - in addition to retaining his SOEs and Associate Finance roles.
"No fair minded Kiwi would view Trevor Mallard's portfolio promotion as an exercise in caucus discipline.
"It also makes a mockery of Helen Clark's claim that Mr Mallard is suffering from stress. Surely giving him more responsibilities and workload adds to his stress, especially in an area like Environment which is supposedly central to Labour's re-election plans.
"The reshuffle is a lame exercise in recycling, not renewal.
"The same people are still in charge - Helen Clark and Michael Cullen. They are the same tired old faces singing the same tired old songs.
"I note that Labour's master strategist, Pete Hodgson, has lost Health, which is an admission of failure in a portfolio that has had billions thrown at it over the past nine years for seemingly little result."