Top Govt job with no CV check!

One News reports:

Checks weren’t done on Matthew Tukaki’s resume before he was appointed to a key Government role.

And in the same week he was appointed to Director of the Suicide Prevention Office, 1News can exclusively reveal his CV holds inconsistencies.

Just over five years ago, Tukaki came home from Australia with claims of an extraordinary career, claiming he held down a role with the United Nations (UN) and led Drake International through the global financial crisis (GFC).

Back in New Zealand, he became the Māori spokesman on just about everything, and has taken on a number of Government roles.

That includes chairing an advisory board to turn around the maligned ministry, Oranga Tamariki, being a director for the Workforce Development Council for the Tertiary Education Commission, and this week he was appointed as the Director of the Suicide Prevention Office.

The circumstances surrounding Tukaki’s departure at the UN are disputed.

In his Māori Council bio, Tukaki claimed he was directly appointed to the global entity by the then Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, to sit as a member of the institution’s governing board. According to Tukaki, he undertook the position for over three years.

A UN spokesperson said it was an elected position, not an appointment by the Secretary General, and one which he held for less than a year.

“He then had to resign the role of Local Network Representative when he was asked to step off the [Global Compact Network Australia] Board for an alleged serious breach of Director’s Duties, including misrepresenting himself at meetings with the Australian Government.”

Tukaki disagrees with the spokesperson’s representation of his departure.

“First of all, we were appointed by Ban Ki Moon in a press release on the sixth of May of 2013. And you’ve got to understand the process of election, I was elected. I’m very proud of that.

Just because you get mentioned in a press release doesn’t mean you are the personal appointee of the Secretary-General.

I could play that game. Back in the 2000s the UN set up a “Secretary-General’s Working Group on Youth Unemployment”. Various global youth groups were asked to nominate reps to it. For a meeting in Beijing I was asked to attend on behalf of the International Young Democratic Union and an obscure parliamentary staffer called Jacinda Ardern was due to attend on behalf of the International Union of Socialist Youth. We were both on their respective boards. Now never in a million years would I suggest that I was personally appointed by the UN Secretary-General. He wouldn’t know me from a block of cheese.

In various places, including on LinkedIn, his biography for the Māori Council, and the information he presented to the Tertiary Education Commission, Tukaki described leading Drake International through the GFC, and holding power of attorney for the Southern Hemisphere at the recruitment company.

A spokesperson for Drake International rebuffed Tukaki’s description.

They say he worked there for a year between 2007 and 2008, and a further month in 2010, and that his title in their records in Australia was ‘General Manager, Government and Public Sector’.

A further top source at the company said Tukaki “overstated” the scope of his employment. When queried whether Tukaki had led the company through the GFC, the short response was, “not at all”.

Good reporting by TVNZ, but I should point out Cactus Kate actually exposed this claim over 14 months ago in May 2021.

Tukaki was never asked for a CV when charged with turning the organisation around and being paid a rate of $1000 a day, on the taxpayer dime.

There was no requirement to check Tukaki’s employment history, says the Minister for Children, Kelvin Davis.

He was well-known and had previously been appointed to Government positions, Davis says.

“So we just trusted in what they had done, and I’d heard about the stuff he’d done apparently overseas.

There’s two issues here. One is that Tukaki had massively exaggerated his CV – say an 8.5/10 on the Golriz scale.

The second is that he got appointed to senior government roles without a reference or employment check. Kelvin says there was no need as they knew him. You’d get sacked in the private sector for that.

Tukaki is of course a very vocal critic of National and ACT. Maybe that was the only reference checking they decided was needed?

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