When the PM demoted Clare Curran from Cabinet, she made the curious statement that @dgh was still a candidate for the Govt CTO job. She was lying. Handley had already been offered, and accepted, the job. #nzpol pic.twitter.com/BZjLeDK3Qw
— Hamish Price (@hamishpricenz) September 14, 2018
So on the 24th of August Jacinda Ardern said:
“He is a qualified and capable candidate who has made it through to the final stages of the appointment process based on his talent, experience.
Now what would 99.9% of people reading that conclude. That he was shortlisted.
And the Herald reported:
The SCC will report back before the appointment is made.
Handley remains a candidate for the CTO position. An appointment is expected to be made shortly.
So explicitly says no appointment has been made.
One month ago I was offered and accepted the position as the first Chief Technology Officer for New Zealand.
A month ago is before 24 August.
So the Prime Minister again didn’t tell the truth. Getting to be a habit.
Why did they lie? Was she hoping he would quietly agree to pretend that he has never been appointed?
Were they trying to cover up the fact that he got appointed after a secret meeting with the Minister that her staff and officials knew nothing of.
Also of interest is that Handley says he only gained residency for New Zealand after the change of Government. Presumably just a coincidence but I imagine an OIA is on its way.
And again of interest is that Ardern and Handley are reportedly friends. Metro noted:
The dinner turned out to be a fancy affair in the private dining room at Euro. It was the second of Handley’s salon dinners, where he gets a range of people together to debate a topic. The guests included lawyer Mai Chen, a sales rep from a big alcohol company, broadcasters Clarke Gayford and Brooke Howard-Smith, someone from New Plymouth-based International Volunteer HQ, young law graduates and MP Jacinda Ardern, who made a presentation on Labour policy after the entrée was served.
Now being friends with the PM isn’t a disqualification. But again why did she imply he hadn’t yet been appointed when he had already accepted the job offer?