I’ve just beeen having a look at the three respective confidence and suppply agreements that National has signed with the Maori Party, United Future and ACT.
The Maori Party and United Future ones have a clause that reads (in the Maori Party case):
The Maori Party Ministers agree to be bound by the Cabinet Manual in the exercise of their ministerial functions, and in particular to be bound by the provisions of the Cabinet Manual on the conduct, public duty and personal interests of Ministers.
However, the agreement with ACT states:
ACT agrees that its leader and any Minister or Associate Minister shall fully represent the government’s position and be bound by Cabinet Manual provisions in respect of any areas within their portfolio responsibilities and to support all areas that are matters of confidence and supply.
Now, I don’t know if I’m reading too much into this, but it puzzles me why ACT would not want the bit about “… be bound by the provisions of the Cabinet Manual on the conduct, public duty and personal interests of Ministers” in their agreement; and why National would not insist that it be in it.
Is it because Heather Roy wants to continue moonlighting as a territorial soldier while being Associate Minister of Defence? Or does Rodney Hide want to stand for Mayor of Auckland City while restructuring it as Minister of Local Government?
Or are there even more sinister reasons why ACT Ministers will not be bound by the Cabinet Manual in respect of conduct, public duty and personal interests of Ministers?