Handley de-jobbed, Government de-monied, Ardern statements debatable

RNZ: Govt to pay Derek Handley $100k after CTO offer retracted

Tech entrepreneur Derek Handley was offered the role of the country’s first Chief Technology Officer, but will now be paid out $100,000 after the offer was retracted by the government.

Megan Woods, the Minister for Government Digital Services, said a full-stop had been put on the process as the government reconsidered its approach to digital transformation.

Dr Woods could not say when Mr Handley was offered the role but she admitted it did not look good.

For now she is working towards providing Cabinet with a rescoped chief technology officer position in November because she thinks thereis merit in keeping the role.

Mr Handley, a New Zealand entrepreneur, will be paid out $100,000 – three months of the one-year contract for services – and $7500 for any set-up expenses.

In a message posted on LinkedIn, Mr Handley said it had been a distressing time for his family who moved to Auckland from New York for the role.

Ms Woods, who took over the ministerial role from the embattled Clare Curran, said she had asked officials to review the CTO position and to make sure there were no overlaps with any other existing roles.

“Today we’ve put a full stop on this process.

In February Ms Curran met with Mr Handley at her Beehive office to discuss his interest in the vacant role. She failed to record the meeting in her diary after she had used her personal Gmail account to arrange the catch-up and subsequently failed to record it in a written parliamentary question.

In a message posted on LinkedIn, Mr Handley said he was offered and accepted the job a month ago.

A month ago? If he has shifted from the US with his family to take up the now non-position then it would probably take that sort of time.

NZH on 24 August: Clare Curran sacked from Cabinet, PM Jacinda Ardern announces

The February meeting with entrepreneur Derek Handley was over his interest in the vacant Chief Technology Officer role.

It was held at 8pm in Curran’s Beehive office with nobody else present, and was not put in her diary.

The next month Curran responded to a written question from National but failed to disclose the meeting.

It was her second strike, after a similar omission in relation to a meeting with former Radio NZ boss Carol Hirschfeld earlier this year.

“That’s not good enough, and that’s why she’s been removed by Cabinet,” Ardern said at a press conference at her electorate office in Morningside this afternoon.

The Prime Minister was told of the issue on Monday, which was when Ardern said Curran realised her mistake.

The issue came up during the final stages of the appointment process for the CTO job vacancy.

The State Services Commission will examine the CTO appointment process to ensure the Handley-Curran meeting had no bearing on process or outcome.

24 August:

The SCC will report back before the appointment is made.

Handley remains a candidate for the CTO position. An appointment is expected to be made shortly.

14 September:

“Mr Handley said he was offered and accepted the job a month ago.”

The omissions created an “impression and perception that lacks transparency and is not something I will tolerate, particularly from a Minister for Open Government” (Ardern).

There seems to be some omissions in this story. Is that a lack of transparency that Ardern will tolerate?

 

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52 Comments

  1. Reply
  2. Gezza

     /  September 14, 2018

    1ewes really went for Jacinda on this.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  September 14, 2018

      I’m not completely sure about this, but Wendy Petrie did the sensational negative headline intro piece, before handing over to Katie Bradford to womble on about this. And I have a feeling all the negative slant items on Jacinda’s government are always being delivered by the female co-presenters – notwithstanding there’s always a male like Simon or Peter Williams to deliver them if they wanted.

      Just a curiosity I’m going to keep an eye on from now on.

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  September 15, 2018

        If men did these stories, they could be accused of sexism;.

        New Shub gave the story a deserved raspberry, too.

        The $100,000 seems very mean compensation considering the expense that he’s gone to and that he is now, one must assume, jobless.

        Reply
  3. Reply
  4. PDB

     /  September 14, 2018

    Things looking very murky for Ardern, caught out in an obvious lie (not the first time but even the most ardent supporter can see this is one) – who knows what the google emails say in terms of her involvement in his hiring and one can only speculate why she was so keen to keep Curran in the fold.

    Reply
  5. PDB

     /  September 14, 2018

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  September 14, 2018

      Righto. I’ve got a hard choice to make here,
      Need your assistance.
      Have you been downticking me? 😐

      Reply
      • PDB

         /  September 14, 2018

        No – I’m sure there are numerous other people that would though?

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  September 14, 2018

          Can anyone trustworthy here corroborate your claim on this?

          Reply
          • PDB

             /  September 14, 2018

            Zedd always downticks me – go ask him?

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  September 14, 2018

              I’m not sure if we’re actually talking these days.
              You know what they get like.

            • Gezza

               /  September 14, 2018

              Let, I’ve given you the benefit of the doubt & given it an uptick because it’s funny, PDB. But just be careful if it’s sunny here tomorrow so my psychic energy level’s still right up high. I made a sikh warrior do my bidding today, after he attempted to tell me to do his. And I’m watching you.

            • PDB

               /  September 14, 2018

              Are you sure you’re just looking for just one person?

            • Gezza

               /  September 14, 2018

              (“Let” should’ve said “Look”, btw. I dunno how that happened, but for anything like that this week I’m blaming the government.)

            • Gezza

               /  September 14, 2018

              Are you sure you’re just looking for just one person?
              Yup.

            • Gezza

               /  September 14, 2018

              Gotta be just one person, Pants. Nobody as eminently reasonable as me is likely to make more enemies than that. You know that.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  September 14, 2018

              You’ve got to have more than one enemy, Sir Gerald, because you know I never give downticks.

            • Gezza

               /  September 15, 2018

              Enemy? You? Ridiculous, Sir Alan.

              You are my unpaid perennial adviser whose advice can be oftentimes be wonky, due to the Pink Elephants, and that orange one. Harmless fellow.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  September 15, 2018

              16 PDTs downticked you, Gezza. That has to be a YNZ record.

            • Gezza

               /  September 15, 2018

              Can scarcely believe someone could get their head up there 16 times and still do that, Kitty. But there’s the evidence.

            • SEVENTEEN now.

              17 PDTs are around and downticking their tiny fingers off.

            • Gezza

               /  September 15, 2018

              I’m just smiling. I was in a naughty mood yesterday.

  6. Rickmann

     /  September 14, 2018

    What’s next ?

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  September 14, 2018

      Dunno whether to shudder with worry, or relax and get in some popcorn for a comedy week here, tbh.

      Reply
    • Blazer

       /  September 15, 2018

      Gaynor NZH-

      Snakk Media, which holds its annual meeting in Auckland on Tuesday week, is probably best known for Derek Handley’s involvement.

      Handley’s recent meeting with the then Government Minister Clare Curran, regarding the country’s Chief Technology Officer (CTO) position, ultimately led to Curran’s resignation.

      Snakk Media listed on the NZX in March 2013 with Handley, who was chairman, owning 22.6 per cent of the company. There were massive expectations regarding the new listing and it had a market value of $60 million at the end of its first day on the NZX. Snakk Media never achieved its expectations and now has a market value of less than $1m.

      Handley started selling shares at the end of 2013 and resigned from the board in October 2015. The latest Snakk Media annual report shows that Handley still owns 12.5 per cent of the company, worth only $101,932 at the current share price.

      Many successful people have been involved in failed companies but the problem with Handley is that Snakk Media is his second unsuccessful NZX listing. In 2001, he listed Feverpitch International, which planned to establish a successful on-line betting business.

      It suffered huge losses and was unable to develop a viable business model. In 2003 Feverpitch was used as the backdoor listing vehicle for KidiCorp, the childcare centre operator.

      Two unsuccessful NZX companies is one too many and his offer and acceptance of the country’s CTO position was bizarre, although this has now been terminated.

      The only notable feature of the upcoming Snakk Media annual meeting is the nomination of Brent King as a director. King has also been associated with some poorly-performing NZX listed companies.

      Reply
  7. Blazer

     /  September 14, 2018

    Handley..entrepreneur ..very polite way of describing a young Eric Watson…

    Think Murray and Arab shiek for perspective about taxpayers money..$100k against $11mil and..some.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  September 14, 2018

      Ok that’s twice now. Otherwise I wouldn’t take the risk …
      It’s sheikh – or for the non-purist, you might get away with sheik. it’s not shiek.
      No need to thank me. Somebody else might..

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  September 14, 2018

        what happened to ‘i b4 the e..except after..c’!

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  September 14, 2018

          Shit. Weren’t you even bloody taught the rest of that??

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  September 14, 2018

            It’s:

            “I before e, except after c – except for exceptions”.

            Learning English is about learning the exceptions. WTF’s gone wrong with Education in this country? Are all the teechirs & even universidy lecherers bloody educationally sub-optimal now?

            Hardly NE1 can spell anythink – sumpthink even our Pry Minisda stinksat.

            Besides, I think it’s a borrowed word from Farsi or some blimmin foreign country’s lingo…

            Reply
            • Blazer

               /  September 14, 2018

              well Gez ..you know I’m going tocatch you out on your spelling now…be careful! 😉

            • Gezza

               /  September 14, 2018

              Phsaww. Means nuthink to me, Frazier, My psychic energy levels are thru the bloody roof twoday. I’m totilly bulletproof at the mow-mint.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  September 14, 2018

              Mind the pink elephants, Sir Gerald. They are up to no good.

            • Gezza

               /  September 14, 2018

              Alan, if you’re seeing pink elephants, it’s not a good sign.
              Just saying. Is Mrs Al seeing them too?

          • Gezza

             /  September 14, 2018

            Joshing aside, it’s been a weird time since Jacinda got back and you can’t miss how the 1ewes crew have really turned on Jacinda. I knew that they’re full-time sensationalism-mongering sharks but the rapidity with which they’ve started really putting the boot in to the government and Ardern after all the puff pieces before is bloody interesting and I wonder if some of this savagery has been prompted by the threat to their perceived market Curran was driving.

            Reply
  8. Hooton seems to be implying that ‘several friends’ may point towards Ardern.

    Reply
  9. New Zealand is a small country, but the checking out of Ardern-Handley links was inevitable. Via https://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2018/09/did_ardern_fib_again.html

    The dinner turned out to be a fancy affair in the private dining room at Euro. It was the second of Handley’s salon dinners, where he gets a range of people together to debate a topic. The guests included lawyer Mai Chen, a sales rep from a big alcohol company, broadcasters Clarke Gayford and Brooke Howard-Smith, someone from New Plymouth-based International Volunteer HQ, young law graduates and MP Jacinda Ardern, who made a presentation on Labour policy after the entrée was served.

    https://www.noted.co.nz/money/business/derek-handley-would-like-to-reintroduce-himself/

    That was 16 September 2016.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  September 15, 2018

      Handley is the only one in this whole disgraceful saga who has told the truth.
      Ardern has got caught out in the most blatant lie, and this is not something she can recover from. This one really puts her up there with John Key. It means she has no compunction about lying & any attempt hereafter to suggest her word can be relied on to to be the honest truth is forever gone.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  September 15, 2018

        *relied on to be

        Reply
      • Blazer

         /  September 15, 2018

        Handley has been economical as well…Vetouviper TS..

        “So even though he’s walked the Kiwi talk on the world stage, it was only on the last day of February [2018], at the Auckland Town Hall, that Handley affirmed allegiance to the Queen and became a New Zealand citizen.”

        The article also covers Handley’s strong general desire to return to NZ which is relevant to what has now been revealed re the CTO position. In other words, it appears that Handley wanted to return to NZ and intended to do so next year, and this was not just to take up the CTO position.

        “Q Has Donald Trump’s presidency entered your thinking about returning to New Zealand for good?

        “Yes, it is one of the nails in the coffin leading to us coming home. It’s not just Trump: there are lots of problems there, guns being just one of them. Racism is still a huge issue and the healthcare system makes no sense. These problems would exist whether Trump was there or not.

        “Q Where do you live in the US?

        “We live in a hamlet called Halcottsville in upstate New York. It has about 100 people and that has taught me a lot about community. There are people from several generations who have always lived there, and whatever grooves or grudges they have remain. Some are accepting of new people; some are not. We moved there from Brooklyn in July. We wanted to spend more time at our house there before moving home to New Zealand next year. [MY BOLD]

        “Q Do you have any reservations about returning to New Zealand?

        “I land at Auckland Airport and cry – with happiness. Increasingly, we have all felt like that and so we are coming home. We can always be a bit bolder about how we shape New Zealand for ourselves and put New Zealand on the world stage.

        “Q What will you be doing?

        “Whatever I do long term, it will have a heavy component of service. Not necessarily public service but working for some sort of entity that is working on society and the issues we face. I am already involved via my foundation and the collaboration with Splice and through supporting social enterprises such as Eat My Lunch.”

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  September 15, 2018

          Good posts, B. Keep up the good work and sensible contributions like these.

          Reply
    • David

       /  September 15, 2018

      Now didnt Ardern and Co. go nuclear over Key asking one of his, albeit qualified, mates to head up the spooks department even though it was an appointment Key was entitled to make.
      We had weeks of headlines and outrage.

      Reply
      • Ray

         /  September 15, 2018

        I remember the outrage, I have even seen it being resurrected lately but the connection was as a school boy friend of his brother, god help us all if my brothers school boy chums are now my besties.
        This sounds more as if Miss Ardern suggested a name to Clare Curran, someone who impressed her at a meeting, ’cause salesmen are good at that sort of thing!
        The OIA trail will be interesting, if it hasn’t already disappeared.

        Reply
      • Blazer

         /  September 15, 2018

        Key didn’t know him…then he did,then he couldn’t remember,then he could,then he changed hats,then he had brain fade…then he…

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  September 15, 2018

          History. And whataboutery. The rest of us are in the now.

          Key got slammed for it by all his detractors. So will Labour & Jacs.

          Reply
          • Blazer

             /  September 15, 2018

            speak for yourself..after 9 years of ‘whataboutry’ from the Nats,they can’t avoid it..now.

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  September 15, 2018

              I am speaking for myself. And I’m larfing at all of yous who do this.

  10. PDB

     /  September 15, 2018

    “and MP Jacinda Ardern, who made a presentation on Labour policy after the entrée was served.”

    Must have been 2 minutes long, max.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  September 15, 2018

      Absolutely. Mostly consisted of absolutely and aspirational I would think.

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  September 15, 2018

        She seems to have cured herself of using absolute/ly in every other sentence. Let’s absolutely hope that this is an absolute change.

        Reply

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