The evidence is absolutely damning and a slam dunk, and still Ardern equivocates about it all. If she is this much of an equivocator over a case that is so open and shut it is scary to think what she would be like dealing with a really serious crisis.
The situation is clear cut yet it appears to be quite a conundrum for the prime minister, as Treasury Secretary Gabriel Makhlouf is after all one of the main architects of the Labour party’s “wellbeing” budget. Throwing him under a bus will feel like a betrayal of sorts, but why he was back at work yesterday as if everything was fine is beyond me.
The advice was found wanting, but the prime minister is reserving her judgmentover what to do with Treasury Secretary Gabriel Makhlouf until the State Services Commission has finished an investigation into the handling of last week’s Budget “leak”.
Speaking with Stuff on Tuesday, Jacinda Ardern would not be drawn on whether Makhlouf’s head was on the chopping block, after it appeared he misinformed both her office and Finance Minister Grant Robertson’s office that Treasury had been the subject of a hack, when it hadn’t.
“I don’t want to make any rash judgments or statements, while the State Services Commission are still looking into what happened over the course of those few days,” Ardern said.
You have to ask what exactly it will take for Ardern to take action. Does she really think she can treat the situation the same way that she treated the sexual assault and underage drinking scandal at the Young Labour camp? Does she think if she stalls long enough it will all go away and the media will lose interest?
[…] Hughes later confirmed he was considering claims by National that Treasury and the Government were “sitting on a lie” for 36 hours before coming clean, but he did not go so far as to confirm it was the subject of an investigation.
The Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) has since responded to media questions to confirm it advised Treasury from the outset that it was not dealing with a hack.
The GCSB’s advice came before Treasury referred a potential hack to police, advised the minister’s office there had been a hack, and released a public statement saying the information had been received – directly or indirectly – as the result of a hack.
[…] It’s understood spy agencies were unaware the public statement on Tuesday evening would contain the word “hack” – Treasury having not consulted the GCSB before delivering its comment to media – which sent the intelligence community into a spin at thought a critical Government department may have been the subject of an offshore hack.
National took the step on Sunday of writing to Hughes to formally request the terms of his investigation be extended to include both Labour and Treasury’s communications in the aftermath of the incident […]