Derek Handley releases his texts with Clare Curran

For some reason that is as yet unclear the Government resisted releasing communications between Clare Curran and Derek Handley, but Handley has now released the texts himself. These seem largely innocuous – “there’s no smoking gun” – but raise questions about what Jacinda Ardern claimed in Parliament.

NZH – CTO bungle: Emails, texts between Derek Handley, Clare Curran and Jacinda Ardern revealed

Entrepreneur Derek Handley said no one from the Government has told him why he was dropped as New Zealand’s chief technology officer after he’d accepted the job.

“There’s nothing untoward here, the actual recruitment process was really robust, I’ve nothing to hide,” he told the Herald in an exclusive interview.

In the face of persistent questions, speculation and innuendo over the recruitment, Handley sat on the sidelines and says he was waiting for the Government to clear things up.

But he says it’s been “open season” on him after his contract was terminated and the Government has chosen to keep a lid on his text messages and emails with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and former Minister for Government Digital Services Clare Curran.

Handley is today releasing his messages with Ardern and Curran to “clear the air” and says it clearly shows “there was nothing untoward or inappropriate” in them.

“There’s no smoking gun,” he said.

No one from the Government has explained to him why his contract was terminated on September 12.

“I think the average New Zealander in my situation would expect a lot more, whether it was from the Government or another organisation,” he said.

Stuff: Jilted CTO candidate Derek Handley disappointed by lack of explanation from Government

Entrepreneur Derek Handley says he has still not been given an explanation from the Government on why it withdrew its offer to appoint him as the country’s first chief technology officer.

“Neither have I heard personally from Minister Hipkins, Minister Woods or the Prime Minister during this challenging time, which has been disappointing from a Government that highlights compassion and kindness as hallmarks of their leadership,” he said in a statement on Tuesday.

Handley’s statement made it clear he was unhappy about how he had been treated.

“In a small country such as ours, we need as many energetic and passionate people as possible to work together to shape our future,” he said.

“The handling of the chief technology officer appointment and subsequent fall out in the last four weeks is likely to be be discouraging to anyone from the private sector contemplating making a contribution to New Zealand through a Government role,” he said.

Handley released a timeline of his dealings with the Government over the appointment, which was put on hold after it emerged that Curran had met privately with Handley in February and then “omitted” to mention that in response to a parliamentary question asking her to list the meetings she had had during the month.

Stuff have a detailed timeline of communications that suggest that Ardern may have misled Parliament – she was careful in how she spoke but left herseld iopen to further questioning – Handley de-jobbed, Government de-monied, Ardern statements debatable.

Plus:

 

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69 Comments

  1. robertguyton

     /  September 25, 2018

    “These seem largely innocuous – “there’s no smoking gun” “…but let’s keep digging – there must be something we can pillory the Government for!

    Reply
    • PDB

       /  September 25, 2018

      Ardern has lied (again). She lied in parliament as she DID engage with his email and then gave him her private email so as to keep all their future discussions private. Most open & transparent govt & PM ever…..right?

      Reply
      • robertguyton

         /  September 25, 2018

        Like Key, she’ll say she “forgot” and will correct the mistake. If, in fact, she knowingly mislead the House, I’d be very disappointed in her. However, let’s hear what she says before we make a definitive judgement. Well, I will in any case.

        Reply
        • PDB

           /  September 25, 2018

          Yes, likely she forgot she actually replied to Handley multiple times before giving him her private email so as to carry on discussions ‘off the record’ which she has also no doubt ‘forgot’ about. No doubt she will try to blame her office staff for not finding these emails, even though a quick search of his name would have easily found them.

          You need to face up to the fact she has mislead on purpose (her careful wording during question time suggests she was trying to fudge it) and more will surely come out of her part in all this.

          Reply
          • robertguyton

             /  September 25, 2018

            I’ll wait to hear what Jacinda says. I was taught in the Local Government New Zealand “Making Good Decisions” workshops, to gather all available information before making a final decision. Could I sign you up for one of those workshops, PDB? Make a better man of you.

            Reply
            • PDB

               /  September 25, 2018

              I ‘better man’ would fess up that it is pretty obvious Ardern (their hero) has lied/mislead on purpose in this instance. Ardern is never going to come clean and say she lied on purpose as her political career would be in tatters, therefore you are waiting to hear her lie again that it was a ‘mistake’ in order to make yourself feel better.

            • robertguyton

               /  September 25, 2018

              Not willing to contain your glee until Jacinda has responded, PDB?
              Good decisions require a full array of facts. Your folio is part empty.

            • PDB

               /  September 25, 2018

              Ardern has no option but to double down and lie again. Waiting to hear another lie from Ardern in order to justify the first one she made is you being silly.

              To add (Kiwiblog);

              *The Prime Minister did respond to some of the messages from Handley and even said she would ask her team if they find a way to make use of him.
              *When the PM said on 24 August that the recruitment of CTO was in its final stages, she knew a job offer had been made and accepted and that Cabinet had confirmed the appointment four days earlier.

  2. Blazer

     /  September 25, 2018

    We know Handley was coming back to live in NZ regardless of the job offer.
    He only got citizenship in Feb 2018.
    His entrepreneurial reputation= 2 bigtime disasters for investors precedes all this.

    Reply
    • PDB

       /  September 25, 2018

      Exactly right Blazer – I’m glad you agree he only got the job because he was a mate of Ardern’s. You’re learning.

      Reply
    • High Flying Duck

       /  September 25, 2018

      He was a Kiwi in all but name – he grew up here, and went to school and university here but was born in Hong Kong to overseas parents. He had to go through the lengthy process of official citizenship after being overseas for too long.

      Reply
  3. David

     /  September 25, 2018

    Our dear leader is somewhat economical with the truth when it suits her.

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  September 25, 2018

      not going by the emails he has released.

      Reply
      • PDB

         /  September 25, 2018

        What does your good friend Hamish say?

        Reply
        • Corky

           /  September 25, 2018

          Oh, dear. She must think we are fools. Lets add a little more grist to the mill.

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  September 25, 2018

            Smokin’

            Reply
            • Corky

               /  September 25, 2018

              That’s a mighty fine auger. Electric too. Mine had a 10 hp B/ Stratten. The noise was horrendous..a little better when it came under load. The engine had so much compression it literally broke a workers hand.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  September 25, 2018

              It could hardly figuratively do so,

              Any machine as dangerous as that must have been seriously faulty and the owner deserved to be charged and fined for allowing it to be used.

              Were you ?

            • Gezza

               /  September 25, 2018

              Now now, Kitty. Leave him alone… ☝

        • Blazer

           /  September 25, 2018

          the only liar is Hamish.
          Prove she engaged re the CTO role…you can’t and you …know it.

          Reply
          • PDB

             /  September 25, 2018

            Can’t you read? He talks to her about his thoughts on what the CTO role should involve and then asks her what email is best to contact her on for further discussion & she replies (engages with him directly after he mentions the CTO role) by sending her private email address.

            Reply
            • Blazer

               /  September 25, 2018

              she acknowledges knowing Handley.
              Why on earth you think she is not entitled to the widely accepted ‘different hats’ rule …is worrying! 🙂

            • David

               /  September 25, 2018

              I dont know why she lied it just seems a bit pointless, who cares if she engaged with Handley about the job as its her appointment to make. She should just yeah we are mates and we communicated over the years, he is a smart guy and would be good at the job because of this this and this reason.

            • robertguyton

               /  September 25, 2018

              PDB – can you read? What do you make of the comment in bold text?
              “Here is the Hansard:

              “Rt Hon JACINDA ARDERN: Mr Speaker, I would have to go from my recollection. [Interruption]

              SPEAKER: Order!

              Rt Hon JACINDA ARDERN: But I can off the back—[Interruption]

              SPEAKER: Order! Order! The Prime Minister will resume her seat. This is a matter of some seriousness. It’s a matter which I’ve had a number of representations on and I’m told that the House takes it seriously. I want to be able to hear the answer.

              Rt Hon JACINDA ARDERN: Mr Speaker, I would have to go from my recollection. But my recollection is that he mentioned that the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) role had been mentioned to him. Again, as I said, I did not directly reply to that message, and it was received in April.

              Hon Simon Bridges: Did she flat out ignore his text—not even an emoji?

              Rt Hon JACINDA ARDERN: Mr Speaker, I did not even send an emoji.

              Hon Simon Bridges: Was there more than one text from or to Derek Handley from the Prime Minister?

              Rt Hon JACINDA ARDERN: The text that I received, again, as I said, was in April. I did not directly reply to that text message on that day or engage with him on the CTO role. On the CTO role, I did not engage with Mr Handley via text message.

              Hon Simon Bridges: Well, were there any other texts between the Prime Minister and Derek Handley?

              Rt Hon JACINDA ARDERN: Mr Speaker, as I acknowledged the very moment I was asked this question, I have known Mr Handley for a number of years and have had correspondence with him for a number of years.”

              Did you read the bit where she said she was working from recollection and she never said there was only one text?”

            • robertguyton

               /  September 25, 2018

              Oops – this bit:
              Did you read the bit where she said she was working from recollection and she never said there was only one text?”

  4. Reply
    • PDB

       /  September 25, 2018

      The timeline is looking very much like….

      *Handley tells his mate Ardern he wants the position.
      *Ardern sends Handley her private email address for further *private* discussion.
      *Govt cancels first recruitment round under direction of Ardern who has found the candidate she wants.
      *Handley given clear run for job.
      *Handley offered job and accepts.
      *Curran busted by the MSM for her part in the process.
      *Ardern covers for Curran & goes soft on her and in return Curran keeps Ardern’s part in the whole mess a secret.
      *Curran eventually becomes the sacrificial lamb and resigns after she has little other option.
      *Ardern lies in parliament about her dealings with Handley.

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  September 25, 2018

        Espiner launched against Megan Woods covering this topic this morning.
        Woods handled him with…aplomb.

        Reply
        • PDB

           /  September 25, 2018

          What would Megan Woods know? Did she give Handley her private email address as well?

          Reply
        • High Flying Duck

           /  September 25, 2018

          The same Megan Woods who claimed a confidentiality agreement existed. And then claimed it didn’t?

          “Digital Services Minister Megan Woods was mistaken when she said earlier today that there was a confidentiality agreement with entrepreneur Derek Handley over the settlement he received over his recruitment as government digital technology officer.
          A spokesman for Woods said she had received incorrect advice from the Department of Internal Affairs, and as a result, misspoke when she responded to reporters’ questions on the issue this morning.”

          Reply
  5. Ray

     /  September 25, 2018

    Another day, another lie from our PM, you know the one who said when she would be PM she would never lie!

    Reply
    • robertguyton

       /  September 25, 2018

      Did Key make the same claim, Ray?

      Reply
      • PDB

         /  September 25, 2018

        When you can’t defend the undefendable a good ole whataboutism is the next best option.

        Reply
        • Blazer

           /  September 25, 2018

          surely you don’t entertain double standards!

          Reply
          • Corky

             /  September 25, 2018

            You are on fire this morning, Blazer. All over the place. What set you off?

            Reply
            • Blazer

               /  September 25, 2018

              we have to be ever vigilante for the rights fake news,dirty politics,propaganda and…misinformation.

        • robertguyton

           /  September 25, 2018

          It’s not like Key was a 14th Century lord…why, it seems only a short time ago that he was … misremembering his way through New Zealand politics. Have you suffered some sort of political amnesia event, PDB? I can see why you’re pushing the “you can’t talk about Key” idea though. He’s a mine of valid comparisons. Did you defend his “flexible” memory at the time it was wavering about the place, PDB? Bet you did!

          Reply
          • PDB

             /  September 25, 2018

            Trying to derail another topic to cover the PM’s/govt’s obvious lying and/or lack of leadership/capability….at least you are consistent.

            Reply
            • robertguyton

               /  September 25, 2018

              Still throwing shabby drop-cloths over Keys behaviour, PDB?
              At least you are consistent.

      • Ray

         /  September 25, 2018

        I don’t believe John Key was silly enough to stand up in public and say I will not lie to the public if I become PM.
        I also don’t believe you and other leftie mates scurrying around shouting about “squirrels over there”, putting forward dancing on pin head arguments, and giving your own side allowances that you never show the other side, will change how ordinary people view the facts.
        Thing is Miss Ardern said ” “Well, I actually believe it is possible to exist in politics without lying and by telling the truth”
        Next time we get a chance to vote we will see how that is viewed

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  September 25, 2018

          It’s not possible to remain in politics if you are not prepared to lie. When the polls are bad it is compulsory to lie and say things are wonderful and you are going to win anyway. You are also compelled to lie by omission in many situations.

          So if you say you can exist in politics without lying, you are lying.

          Reply
        • Blazer

           /  September 25, 2018

          he did stand up and say he would resign if mass surveillance of NZ citizens was being conducted….of course when confronted with reality,he resorted to..semantics…’bulk collection’!!

          Reply
      • Strong For Life

         /  September 25, 2018

        Key has zero to do with this issue.

        Reply
    • Blazer

       /  September 25, 2018

      citation Ray.

      Reply
      • admiralvonspee

         /  September 25, 2018

        0:10s
        Ardern: “I believe it is possible to exist in politics without lying and by telling the truth”

        0:27s
        Gower: “You’ve never told a lie in politics?”
        Ardern: “No”

        0:22s is my favourite part personally:
        Ardern: “be as transparent as possible”
        …confidently said while shaking her head as if to disagree with her own words…bol!

        Reply
  6. Maggy Wassilieff

     /  September 25, 2018

    Timeline of communications laid out in Kiwiblog post.

    Summary of where the PM has misled Parliament at end of post.
    https://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2018/09/derek_handley_releases_comms_with_ministers.html#comments

    Reply
  7. Reply
  8. Reply
    • PDB

       /  September 25, 2018

      Digging herself a bigger hole in saying she doesn’t think she has lied in parliament…will be interesting to see if she can hold that position with available evidence heavily against her.

      Reply
      • robertguyton

         /  September 25, 2018

        Telling the truth.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  September 25, 2018

          Chris Bramwell doesn’t seem to think so in that interview with Guyon Espsiner – “still questions to be answered”, “seemed to be dancing on the head of a pin”, “avoided saying why she told Parliament there was only one email when there were two”. More to come when the emails come out I think.

          Overall robert I think its probably a good thing for her. She doesn’t need to bang on about being open and transparent and honest any more. It’s become a joke anyway.

          She’s now shown to be just like Key & any other pollie in the poo – obfuscating and avoiding direct answers. Once everybody’s stopped giving her a kicking over this totally botched can of worms, she can stop having to worry being held to any higher standard of openness and honesty than previous administrations and getting caught out.

          And just get on with co-running the government. Question Time now: I’ll see how the Deputy PM goes.

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  September 25, 2018

            Winston (re MBIE and Treasury’s report estimating the cost of the oil and gas policy):

            “If NASA had that sort of accuracy, then Neil Armstrong would still be trying to find the moon” 😀

            Reply
            • robertguyton

               /  September 25, 2018

              Ha! He’s good. Jacinda will have to recalibrate her expectations. When I watch her speaking, I don’t see the sneaky snake-oil-salesman I saw whilst watching Key. I reckon she’ll learn from this. Key was only emboldened with “getting away with it”. Jacinda’s woven from a finer cloth, Imo.

  9. David

     /  September 25, 2018

    Its a real shame its torpedoed her expected positive coverage overseas.
    Labour used to save these things up for when Key was on tour, National are far to classy to engage in this awful dirty politics. Labour has been done in by friendly fire, the shocker release of the oil and gas ban info, the MBIE advice that Twyford is going to cause rents to skyrocket. Happy holidays

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  September 25, 2018

      ‘, National are far to classy to engage in this awful dirty politics. ‘….really!!…are you…serious? Bol.

      Reply
    • robertguyton

       /  September 25, 2018

      It hasn’t “torpedoed” that coverage – it’s still extraordinarily good and positive. Your comments about National are a … joke… but not so funny as you might think.

      Reply
      • David

         /  September 25, 2018

        None of this is National they are just sitting around watching these clowns blow themselves up.

        Reply
  10. High Flying Duck

     /  September 25, 2018

    Curran seems to have been cleared of any wrongdoing in this process:

    “Handley’s file of documents, released at 5am today with a statement on LinkedIn, includes an email dated September 12 from Catherine Williams, the Deputy State Services Commissioner for integrity, ethics and standards, to the Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins, who took responsibility for the CTO process once Curran was demoted.
    Williams says the recruitment process was robust, that it is unlikely there could have been a legal challenge over the process and:
    “Viewed objectively, the meeting between the Hon Clare Curran and the candidate [Handley] before the recruitment process commenced did not prejudice the process.””

    https://www.newsroom.co.nz/2018/09/24/251193/curran-cleared-of-prejudicing-cto-process

    Reply
  11. David

     /  September 25, 2018

    Seems like we now have lies from /obfuscation from the prime minister, the finance minister, the oil and gas minister and the ex broadcasting minister.
    What a damn disgrace no wonder Handley decided to throw them all under the bus when Ardern was in NY.

    Reply
  12. PDB

     /  September 25, 2018

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  September 25, 2018

      Bishop has form for texting..bad form…has he been cleared of leaking ..yet?

      Reply
  13. admiralvonspee

     /  September 25, 2018

    “I was unaware at the time of giving the answer that there were two further emails on 11 August from Clare Curran in response to Mr Handley’s original email and an email from Mr Handley on the 13th of August to begin the process for setting up a phone call. I apologise to the House for that,” Robertson said.

    The Gmail application uses Google’s own search engine to power it. Type in the words “Derek Handley” and you will have every single piece of correspondence using that term at your fingertips within milliseconds.

    Do us a favour, Mr Robertson…bol.

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  September 26, 2018

      Robertson did…he apologised…about the only person Key apologised to was…the slothful slater.

      Reply

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