The National Party has accused the Government of "jobs for the boys" after Transport Minister Mark Gosche yesterday announced appointments to the board of Transit New Zealand.

One of the five new members is Mike Williams, Labour's campaign manager in the last election and the man expected to become the party's president at its annual conference next week.

"This looks like the start of good old pork-barrel politics," said National front-bencher Roger Sowry.

"If we had appointed someone and didn't'fess up that he was going to be the next party president, we'd have been caned."


In the brief statement announcing the appointments, Mr Williams is described as an information technology consultant.

Mr Gosche said there had been no political consideration in the board appointments.

"We've made a lot of appointments regardless of politics ... People's politics shouldn't disqualify them from these positions," he said.

"National seems to have forgotten about the Lotteries Commission and other boards."

(The previous Government appointed its former party president Geoff Thompson as chairman of the Lotteries Commission. A party office holder and National election candidate was also on the board. They were not re-appointed by the present Government.)

The other appointments Mr Gosche announced were present member Alan Bickers as chairman, Sir Tipene O'Regan as deputy chairman, and members David Stubbs, Robin Ayling and Janice Wright.

Transit New Zealand decides funding for roads.