in the top 10, they've lost katherine rich but have gained judith collins and anne tolley. these two are likely to take over the social development and education portfolios respectively. ms tolley can particularly thank her rise to ms rich's retirement, and the failure of mr peachey to be an effective education spokesperson. certainly, had ms rich not withdrawn, i don't think ms tolley would have been in the top thirty. as it is, she is the person with the highest rise on the list, moving up 33 places.the next ten has georgina te heu heu has moving up two places to 17. interesting move, and given that tau henare has only moved to 26, it looks like they may finally be recognising her talents. on the other hand, it may be a move designed to counter some successful treaty negotiations and settlements by the government over the last year. as i've said previously, i have a lot of time for ms te heu heu, and find it sad that her party has not used her full potential.
another surprise here is pansy wong. she hasn't moved at all from her place at 20, which seems to show a real lack of faith in her abilities. ms wong is a senior MP and one would think that she could have progressed a lot further than she has over her 9 year career. seeing ms tolley, a first-term MP, jump ahead of her to the top 10 must be difficult.
the next 10 has sandra goudie down 1 at 27, and kate wilkinson up 8 at 30. ms wilkinson has obviously been forgiven for her little gaffe earlier in the year. i can't recall any significant achievements by ms goudie that would justify her position at 27, when others like paula bennett and jackie blue much further down.
for each of the batches of 10, you'll see a little pattern emerge. the women are at place 7 and place 10. 6 women in the top 30 is quite disappointing, and that they appear towards the bottom of each lot of 10 is also not great. that they haven't done better implies one of two things. either these women don't have the ability to succeed and move to the top; or their party is not able to recognise their talents.
things start getting better after 30, with 4 women between 31 & 40 (all in the bottom half), and another 4 between 41 and 50. however, some of these women have had significant demotions, with jo goodhew and jackie blue both down 4, and nicky wagner down 15 places.
so, a total of 16 female candidates in the top 60 on the list. but it's not only their placings that are of importance. the question that i'd like to ask is how likely these women are to advocate on issues of importance to women. they have been very visible on the herceptin debate, but where do they stand on extending paid parental leave to casual workers? or making significant changes to sexual violence legislation? will they support breaks for breast-feeding mothers?
they haven't been particularly sympathetic to solo-parents on the DPB, and i haven't seen any social or industrial relations policies that will benefit the many women struggling with low-paid jobs while trying to raise a family. across-the-board tax cuts will not help those women.
unfortunately, i don't think the mainstream media is going to be asking these questions. but they do need to be asked, and answered.