John Armstrong writes in the NZ Herald:
To the list of credibility-deficient statements like “the cheque is in the mail” and “your table will be ready in a few minutes” you can now add “Murray McCully is not a micro-manager”.
In the Foreign Minister’s absence – McCully was heading for China yesterday – another minister, Chris Finlayson, drew the short straw in having to answer questions in Parliament on McCully’s behalf as the Opposition continued to press its attack over the botched restructuring of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Finlayson had been making a reasonable fist of deflecting that attack until he suddenly made his hard-to-swallow statement about McCully’s management style.
McCully has been the power behind more thrones than Robespierre and Rasputin combined. The picture painted of McCully as some political innocent oblivious to the goings-on in his ministry had the Opposition benches in stitches of genuine laughter.
I have to confess I was also laughing out loud to the statement that “Murray McCully is not a micro-manager”.
I recall this story in the Herald:
The diplomatic corps has been wildly complimentary about the forum. “Spectacular” one described it yesterday – both in terms of organisation and diplomatic opportunities.
McCully has been up to his elbows in the detail of organisation, making Helen Clarks’ micro-management style look like neglect. Yesterday he was still at it, arranging for a New Zealand rugby expert to sit next to China’s Vice-Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai at the opening World Cup game to explain the oddities of the game.
If Murray isn’t a micro-manager, then Grace Quek is a virgin.
Having said that, it is worth noting that Murray’s fine attention to detail sometimes leads to very good outcomes – the Rugby World Cup organisation being one example, and the Pacific Forum another. However it doesn’t generally win him many nominations in the “Most loved Minister by the civil service” category.