Poor old Trevor Mallard - 2007 certainly has been his "annus horribilis"! Not only did he preside, as Minister for Sport, before his demotion/promotion, such disappointments as the Cricket and Rugby World Cups and the Americas Cup, but also suffered a marriage break-up and the loss of his father (having been through both, I truly have sympathy for him) - and of course, the furore over his assault of Tau Henare, and the lecture from the PM that followed. So just when you thought that 2007 had been the pits for Trevor, and it couldn't get any worse, it has!
Stuff is today reporting that the inquiry into the Clare Curran debacle at the Environment Ministry is to be widened - here's the link: http://www.stuff.co.nz/4287822a6160.html
So why is this a problem for Trevor? Well, you see, Trevor got very nasty in the House on last week after former Comms staffer at the EM, Erin Leigh blew the whistle on the circumstances of Curran's appointment. And maybe Trevor went a bit far calling Ms Leigh "sad" and "incompetent". Stuff tells it this way:
"On Thursday, Mr Mallard said Ms Curran was brought in because Ms Leigh was incompetent - a smear understood to have caught the Beehive by surprise.
Two former bosses of Ms Leigh while she was at the ministry have since said there was no problem with her work - including former communications manager Neal Cave who said she was the best he had ever worked with.
She also released references and tributes yesterday from several ministers and officials won during the many years she has worked in government communications roles."
"A smear understood to have taken the Beehive by surprise"? Sounds like Helen Clark is quickly distancing herself from Trevor who must be running out of warnings for being "just Trevor"! Of course, the once-Teflon PM might have been able to brush this off, but all of a sudden, with the EFB debate gaining traction, the media isn't giving her the smooth ride of the early days of her regime. This is another embarrassment for Labour, and yet another reason why the EFB shouldn't be allowed to pass - otherwise who will hold the government to account?