Grant Robertson – pre-interview praise by The Nation producer

Grant Robertson will be interviewd on The Nation this morning.

@grantrobertson1 on why he wants an inquiry to the #GCSB affair

And he’s looking forward to it…

@TheNationTV3 see you there, bright and early.

…and he seems to think he is getting good coverage on his GCSB recruitment campaign. he will have been encouraged by an interview on Firstline yesterday with Richard Harman, “political commentator and producer of TV3 current affairs show The Nation”.

“It’s turning into a pure political management issue, and this morning’s [New Zealand] Herald’s got this picture of John Key’s class at school, there’s Ian Fletcher’s brother standing just behind John Key, the two of them were in the debating team together. The Prime Minister is going to have to come clean.”

Mr Harman praised Labour deputy leader Grant Robertson’s handling of the scandal, saying it made sense for Mr Robertson to take on the attack dog role, rather than leader David Shearer.

“I think they’ve been very effective, and I think Grant Robertson has taken this issue very effectively. There’s two interesting things about Grant Robertson on this one – he’s a former diplomat, so he knows a little bit about the murky, secret world; two, he’s worked in the Prime Minister’s office, so he knows how these things pan out.

“Grant Robertson is a creature of Wellington. He knows how these things work, and that may be why they’ve given it to him.”

So will Rachel Smalley be praising Robertson as much as her producer on The Nation? Robertson will get in some self praise, but if Smalley is true to form she will gently ask some searching questions. Like…

Robertson needs to be clear if he has confidence in public service heads Iain Rennie and and Ian Fletcher. They are implicated in his accusations of cronyism – see Grant Robertson, cronyism, and Iain Rennie and Attacking Public Servants.

And if Robertson “knows how these things pan out” he should know that attacking public servants could have serious implications should he become deputy Prime Minister – and possibly Prime Minister, or at least acting Prime Minister. He will have to have a working relationship with people like Rennie and Fletcher.

A comment by ‘niggly’ at Kiwiblog:

Fascinating to hear Grant Robertson dancing on the head of a pin this morning on Morning Report.

In essence he is implying the PM dismissed the 4 other applicants to ensure his “mate’ Fletcher got the job.

When actually it has been in the public domain that the other 4 candidates were rejected (presumably due to lack of change management experience etc) and afterwards in some discussion with Rennie and Key Fletcher’s name was mooted.

So factual history shows up that it is Robertson who is lying.

At the end of the I/V when asked by the show’s host whether Robertson is actually attacking Fletcher, Robertson stated no it is actually about attacking John Key.

So here we have it, Robertson admits what we here know already, that this is nothing more than more unstanciated Labour personal attacks on the PM. What a jolly nice guy Grant Robertson is, a Bully!


The part I omitted above about Grant Robertson/Labour is that again, they are using public servants (Fletcher, Rennie) to attack the PM.

Stephen Franks asks in More on Fletcher GCSB appointment:

The media lapping up the opposition line should think to ask Mr Robertson “what would stop a future government ensuring that a third party does the shoulder tapping of favoured candidates, if it was true that a Minister should not do it directly?”.

And as as Robertson has “worked in the Prime Minister’s office” he will have already seen how appointments have worked in the past. ‘Niggly’ again:

…let’s not forget it was Helen Clark who made the changes to allow the politicians to appoint the heads of Defence, SIS, GCSB etc.

And of course Labour and Grant Robertson are self-projecting when they talk about subjects such as “cronyism”. It was one of Labour’s “strength’s”…

Robertson’s knowledge of and possible involvement in appointments made while he worked for Helen Clark would be interesting to explore.

Robertson returned to New Zealand during the first term of the Fifth Labour Government to work as a Ministerial advisor to Minister for the Environment Marian Hobbs and later Prime Minister Helen Clark.

During his time in Clark’s office, Robertson was rumoured to have the nickname “H3” during the 2005 General Election (H1 being Clark, and H2 being Chief of Staff, Heather Simpson).


As Harman said, “Grant Robertson is a creature of Wellington. He knows how these things work…”

I hope Rachel Smalley knows how some of these things work. And asks some pertinent questions.

There are hints that Robertson may be being disingenuous making attacks on John Key while trying to weasel out of responsibility for collateral damage on public servants and the public service – which he has been a part of.

Leave a comment

1 Comment

  1. Grant Robertson and easy rides | Your NZ

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: