Wednesday, 2 March 2011

simon power retires

so simon power is going to retire in november. as minister of justice, he was working his way through changes to the justice sytem to improve the conviction rates for perpretrators of sexual assault and abuse. i don't know that he was working on it as any kind of priority, because my recollection is that the next report is to come out in december this year. but at least he was working on it and taking the issues seriously.

who in this government will do that now? it won't be the minister of women's affairs, since we've seen that minister stay silent on crucial issues that have had a negative impact on the lives of many women. haven't heard too much out of the new minister, though i am going to a meeting where she is in attendance in less than half an hour. i'm very interested in what she has to say.

in any case, the loss of simon power is not a good thing, as i don't believe there is any other person in this government who has the mana and courage to make the changes that are needed.


Hugh said...

I think the most hopeful outlook is one that sees the policies Power was working on as a product not of his particular personality or preferences but of Cabinet's consensus and the National Party's policy platform, and that Power was simply guiding them, rather than generating them on his own initiative. So whoever replaces him may well continue.

And there is also the possibility of getting a woman to replace him. Although I'm not sure if any of the ladies currently in Cabinet would be given the post, and it's unlikely that somebody outside Cabinet would be elevated to a senior position directly.

LudditeJourno said...

From the perspective of someone working in the sexual violence intervention sector, this is a disaster.

I'd love to agree with you Hugh, but my perception is that Minister Power had a commitment to issues around sexual violence at least that was not shared by his colleagues. I hope I'm wrong, but cuts to ACC, continued lack of funding, and the PM's seeming lack of understanding of sexism in so many ways just makes Simon Power's careful and considered response to issues around sexual violence stand out all the more.

I had respect for his leadership on this issue, and will miss him.