Hooton responds to Cunliffe’s response

Last week Matthew Hooton questioned David Cunliffe’s claim he’d exaggerated his role in helping with the formation of Fonterra.

Cunliffe responded with a time sheet from the Boston Consulting Group.

Hooton has now responded to that.

. . . In politics, explaining is losing so in writing all this I have just lost the little public contretemps between me and the likely next prime minister.  I was wrong to call Mr Cunliffe a liar when he said he had “helped with the formation of Fonterra” and consequently apologise to him for using an inaccurate word.

On reflection, I think he genuinely believes that a month’s work in 1997 on the impact on R&D of an early iteration of a failed proposal for dairy industry consolidation is the same as “help[ing] with the formation of Fonterra”, but I do not agree.  Nor would any of the top players in the GlobalCo project.

While I think his claim to have “helped with the formation of Fonterra” is untrue, I accept he believes it and it is good that the likely next prime minister feels such a strong connection with the country’s most important export industry. . .

Of course, this little kerfuffle is hardly the biggest issue facing the nation, and is relevant only because Mr Cunliffe’s Fonterra comments are the same type of self-aggrandisement that gets him into trouble over other issues.  There were his false or exaggerated claims of community work for the Auckland and Wellington City Missions and Forest & Bird, and his claim to have graduated with a Master of Public Administration from Harvard Business School when in fact he earned the degree from the nearly-as-impressive John F. Kennedy School of Government.

It is the same self-aggrandisement his colleagues complain about: that he takes credit for policy work for which he has only peripheral involvement. . . 

This all pretty petty, even to a political tragic, but it does provide an insight into Cunliffe’s character and confirm that less is more with CVs.

It’s safer to stick with the basics. If you’re as good as you think you are it will soon be obvious, and if you’re not, you haven’t tried to convince anyone you are.

The media and political opponents will remember this but what matters now to most others is not what Cunliffe did in the past, and how he portrays it,  but how he performs now and what he plans to do in the future.

6 Responses to Hooton responds to Cunliffe’s response

  1. robertguyton says:

    Hooten ‘used an inaccurate word’?

    Here’s an accurate one: liar.


  2. Viv K says:

    Amazing that you continue to quote Matthew Hooton . He appears to have lied and ‘padded’ in his own bio on his exceltium website, as I pointed out on Sunday soapbox. How about a post on that Ele? Or is actual lying by your own side not worthy of a mention?


  3. Paranormal says:

    Viv, let me assist in explaining the difference between Hooten and Cunliffe’s CV’s.

    Hooten works in an industry where spinning the truth is required.

    Some could say the same for Cunliffe’s industry, but there is an expectation of honesty that it appears Cunliffe has failed to maintain a thin veneer of, on what are really trivial issues. How would that translate to the bigger issues he may be involved in?


  4. […] backdown is followed by a further passage which outlines what will be the continuing line of attack on […]


  5. Armchair Critic says:

    Hooton is a pawn, sacrificed as part of National’s increasingly desperate uphill battle to avoid becoming the first two-term National government ever.
    Does it concern anyone that he refers to Cunliffe as the “likely next PM”? That sounds like an admission of defeat already. I have my doubts, there’s a good chance that the next PM is on the National party front bench waiting for their opportunity to pounce, then get trounced anyway at the next election. Like Shipley, and before her, Moore.


  6. Viv K says:

    Oh I see Para, Hooton works in PR where lying is acceptable, or even expected. Thanks for clearing that up. Now Ele reprints National party press releases and speeches, she seems to be doing PR for National. Does that mean she’s allowed to lie too? How do we know when someone is doing PR (lying ok) or journalism (lying not ok)?


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