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  • rmacculloch

It's Mates Rates: Keeping our Education System in the Labour Party Extended Families Association. Your children will be the poorer for it.

Our Worst Finance Minister Ever Grant Robertson (the one who created the cost-of-living crisis) wrote on his Facebook Page that "Chippy (Labour Leader Chris Hipkins) is my mate first and foremost. I worked out the other day I have known him for nearly 25 years. I was best man at his wedding". And what do mates do for one another? Here's what: the government appoints four members to Otago University's Council, which in turn chooses the Vice Chancellor. On 23 December 2021, then Labour Education Minister Chris "Chippy" Hipkins appointed former Labour Party Cabinet Minister, Clare Curran, to the University of Otago Council. Yesterday, on 20 February 2024, it was announced Chippy's mate, Grant Robertson, had been chosen by that same Council to be the next Vice Chancellor (VC), on a salary of $629,000 - Otago's first ever non-academic VC in its 155 year history.


Few Vice Chancellor's in the world come from non-academic backgrounds - NZ has selected several in the past, including the VC of Waikato, former UK Labour Party politician, Bryan Gould, who once ran for the Leadership of that Party (he was brought up in NZ), and Steve Maharey, a former Labour Party Minister who was VC of Massey. Seems they're all part of the Labour Party Extended Families Association which gets "mates rates" - which in Labour's case means higher, not lower, rates paid by you, the tax-payer, to fund their own.


Politics is about the pursuit of power; business the pursuit of money; universities the pursuit of truth. It's a shame Otago University, with its proud history, has rejected the truth in favor of power and money. There should be a judicial enquiry into this scandalous use of public funds used to support a retiring politician who doesn't have the energy to go on in politics (in his own words, "doesn't have much left"), but is taking a job that requires far more energy than being an Opposition MP, at least to do it properly. Let's wish him a happy semi-retirement (as Vice Chancellor).


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