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Embroidery, or something else – you judge


Since Saturday we have seen allegations of multiple errors in David Cunliffe’s CV emerge.

Firstly Andrea Vance had an article in which questions over the nature and extent of Mr Cunliffe’s community and union involvement were raised.

Interestingly Cunliffe’s spokesman stated in regard to the CV that:-

“Some of it is probably a bit old, and when he updates stuff now that he is leader, it will fall off the lists of stuff.”

Some might think that suggested that there were errors. Perish the thought!

Then regarding union involvement was this comment in the Vance article:-

His curriculum vitae said he was a union delegate for three years, between 1987 and 1990, and co-convener for a year. The PSA’s electronic records do not go back that far, and the union could not produce anyone who remembered his activities.

Massey University marketing expert Claire Robinson sat alongside him in the European division, and also could not remember his PSA representation.

“He remembers doing it and being involved in pay negotiations,” the spokesman insisted.

“He has a clear memory of it, but not clear enough to say who his co-convener was.”

No doubt an unfortunate brain fade. Interesting that Mr Cunliffe is allowed such memory lapses, but John Key is not, and is automatically accused of lying.

Then yesterday Matthew Hooton accused Mr Cunliffe of lying over claims to have been involved in the formation of Fonterra. A poster at The Standard, a virulent left wing blog, then posted an item supposedly debunking Hooton’s comment.

However, Andrea Vance has another article in which she wrote:-

In an interview with Fairfax Media this weekend Cunliffe said that as a business consultant he had “helped with the formation of Fonterra”.

However, Hooton, who was a communications consultant working on the merger, angrily rejected this, saying: “That was untrue.”

“David Cunliffe had nothing to do with the foundation of Fonterra.”

Cunliffe responded to the allegations this morning by tweeting: “Bollocks.”

It might well be said that Cunliffe stoked the flames with his response.

Vance notes that Hooton said as well:-

“It’s absolutely true that sometime earlier in the 1990s, he might have done some dairy industry analysis. That’s entirely plausible, but to say that he helped with the formation of Fonterra is quite obviously a lie.”

Announcements about deregulation and reform of the dairy industry were made in the 1998 Budget.  There were secret negotiations throughout 2000 at a hotel in Auckland airport before the Fonterra proposal was made public.

“By that time David Cunliffe had been in Parliament for more than a year…and he’d been a Labour candidate for two years,” Hooton pointed out.

Then Vance quoted a source, unnamed who apparently said:-

that BCG had carried out early work for the dairy board in 1998 around creating a single company and Cunliffe may have been involved in that.

But he said they were “shunted to one side” after that and were not involved in the 2000 talks. He said it was “embellishing” to say that Cunliffe was involved in the formation of Fonterra.

So one might take from that comment that Cunliffe was not involved in the actual formation of Fonterra, but may have been involved in some  preliminary work for one of the parties involved prior to any actual formation activity.

Then this morning on the inside front page of the DomPost is this item:-


So it would appear that rather than disproving what Hooton said, Cunliffe has to a large degree corroborated what Hooton said and which Vance’s source also said.

Therefore, Adam is of the view that Cunliffe in attempting to prove Hooton wrong has in fact done the opposite. Perhaps, therefore, definitively proving that as Whaleoil says ‘explaining is losing’.

You judge, has Cunliffe been found out? Is Cunliffe to be trusted?

  1. Quintin Hogg permalink
    24/09/2013 15:04

    Checking the contents and statements made in a CV is important.

    Even more important ( and amusing ) is examining a candidate on the contents of their CV.


    • adamsmith1922 permalink*
      24/09/2013 15:08

      What I find very concerning is the low level of media comment regarding this matter, even Vance’s articles have been restrained in tone.


  2. 24/09/2013 10:46

    If one of Adam’s clients came to Adam and asked for advice about an employee or a potential employee who had over-stated things or embellished his/her CV, what would Adam’s advice to his client be?


    • adamsmith1922 permalink*
      24/09/2013 14:26

      Well I would be unlikely to hire, given the multiple doubts


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