Steven Joyce should resign

8 09 2011

Update : It’s been explained to me that careless driving and dangerous driving are not the same thing, and careless driving is the less serious of the two. His convictions are for careless driving (one causing injury) and not dangerous driving, as I originally stated. I offer my apologies to the minister for that, but I still stand by the rest of this. I’d like to know how trivial the offences were and I still ask the question is a person convicted of somewhat serious driving offences fit to hold the office of Transport Minister? The parliamentary chambers aren’t in the Beehive either apparently. There are probably other errors too, and I’ll correct anything that is factually wrong as it is pointed out to me. And yes I do think that parliamentarians should be upstanding citizens without criminal records, and if they do have a criminal record then full detailed disclosure of the crimes should be public knowledge. 

This is hilarious over at AKT – Steven Moans about Transport Blogs

Well I’m not a left wing blogger either (I blog about bicycles and public transport), although I am stridently anti-National because they are rubbish, but I am not going to call for Steven Joyce to resign because he is incompetent, or clueless about Transport Policy, or backing some giant white elephant road projects. I am calling on Steven Joyce to resign because a man with two criminal convictions for careless driving is not fit to be New Zealand’s Transport Minister.

When Act list MP David Garrett – (unbelievably the party’s law and order spokesman) – admitted that he had stolen a dead baby’s identity in 1984 and used it to get a passport, NZ parliamentarians had to get up in the Beehive and admit to their criminal pasts. Steven Joyce conveniently forgot one of his two convictions and misled the parliament by doing so. The next day he had to admit that he actually had two criminal convictions. Let’s have a look at what they were:

  • The 1988 conviction was for careless driving and he was fined.
  • The 1989 one was for careless driving causing injury, for which he was fined and lost his licence.

At the time (September 2010) that Steven Joyce was ‘misremembering’ I can’t recall any questions being asked by the media about those convictions. (I could be wrong as I don’t watch any NZ TV or listen to much NZ radio). There were no questions being asked about whether someone with two criminal convictions for careless driving was fit to be Transport Minister (or any kind of parliamentarian). I am asking that question now.

And it is not like the New Zealand public gets a chance to vote him out if they perceive he has done wrong. He is 13th on the National Party List for the November election. He doesn’t front up to an electorate, and being so high on the National Party List is an appointment, not a nomination. So he is not accountable to the New Zealand public. Who is he accountable to? Who decides that those criminal convictions can just be swept under the carpet? The public doesn’t really get a say.

Is it really okay for criminals to be cabinet ministers?

What does the motorcyclist injured in 1989 by Steven Joyce’s dangerous driving think of the man who injured him being Transport Minister?

What do all my readers think about it?

How serious were the offences? The magistrate obviously didn’t let him off both times, so they were serious enough to register a conviction. And he was banned from driving.

Is that motorcyclist still around in NZ? Get in touch, and you can tell your story here.

Maybe it is valid for Mr Joyce to be a minister, but we need more disclosure. At the moment the perception is that he isn’t fit and proper for the job. He has some explaining to do, and if unwilling to explain or resign then PM John Key should sack him.

And don’t give me some excuse that it was a long time ago. David Garret resigned and his crime was committed in 1984, and Charlie Manson isn’t about to be the next Governor of California either.

Unfit for public office?

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3 responses

9 09 2011
James F

YES! Absolutely yes, I never knew about this – it’s completely inappropriate for a man with two careless driving convictions to be Minister of Transport. Truly disgusting.

12 09 2011
Rugby World Cup is a good reason to go cycling or tramping « Wellington Region Cycleways

[…] Should that be another government minister called to resign? Or there is this one? […]

24 11 2011
The obligatory election commentary « Wellington Region Cycleways

[…] Resign.  Another Backwards Step. 7 bicycles per year. If Political Parties came on Freeview. Steven Joyce should Resign. National’s White Elephant. Protecting Ourselves from a Crazy Man. Combating Arrogance this […]

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