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PM Shoulder Tapped Mate For Top Spy Job

Wellington Central MP


PM Shoulder Tapped Mate For Top Spy Job

John Key’s intervention in the appointment process for the Director of the GCSB reeks of cronyism and is further evidence of a disturbing lack of transparency under his government, says Grant Robertson, Labour’s Deputy Leader.

“It has been revealed that Mr Key rejected a shortlist of four candidates for the position of Director of the GCSB, and then encouraged his friend Ian Fletcher to apply for the job. Mr Fletcher was then the only person interviewed for the job by a panel including State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie.

“This looks like a jack-up to get John Key’s mate appointed as our top spy. He was not even an applicant for the job, and ended up being the only person interviewed. The public of New Zealand deserve far better than this kind of cronyism, especially in a sensitive position such as this.

“Are John Key and Iain Rennie really trying to suggest that Mr Fletcher was the only person who deserved to be interviewed? And why was the position not re-advertised if the shortlist of applicants was rejected? That’s certainly what would normally happen in those circumstances.

“Late last week John Key spent a lot of time and energy trying to downplay his relationship with Ian Fletcher. We can see why now. Mr Key acknowledged by the end of the week that he had been in regular contact with Ian Fletcher for at least the two years prior to his appointment, and that they were family friends.

“Further the Prime Minister told Parliament that the appointment of Ian Fletcher was “made by the State Services Commissioner”. While it might be that he signed a recommendation, it’s very clear now that the Prime Minister’s role in the appointment was significantly greater than he was letting on.

“This appointment process is extremely murky. It reeks of the sort of cronyism and lack of transparency that is sadly becoming the hallmark of this government,” Grant Robertson says.



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