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Hooton and CV “embellishment”

Written By: - Date published: 10:39 am, September 27th, 2013 - 52 comments
Categories: david cunliffe, news, spin, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags:

So , Matthew Hooton has somewhat backed down from his liar liar accusations against David Cunliffe.  However, he and/or his cheer team, without acknowledging Hooton”s backed down, and without apology, are adopting the fall-back position of “CV embellishment”,or “padding”.

This in the face of the embarrassment for Hooton, that both Radio Live and RNZ have apologised for Hooton’s liar lair outburst.

So, for future guidance on how not to pad out your CV, I look to the expert, Matthew Hooton.  Here is Hotton’s bio, from his Exceltium web site, beside a highly professional and authoritative picture of Hooton:


Matthew Hooton is New Zealand’s leading public affairs strategist and political commentator. He has 20 years’ experience in political and corporate communications, working for the New Zealand Government and some of the country’s most influential companies.

He maintains excellent connections with senior levels of all of New Zealand’s political parties, including regular contact with both the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition and the chiefs of staff of the National, Labour, Green, Maori and ACT parties.

Matthew has a close relationship with many New Zealand Ministers and Members of Parliament, and is well known in political circles and by the public as a political commentator on both Radio New Zealand and RadioLive, and as a columnist for the National Business Review.

He has led a wide range of government relations programmes, from those where government/industry partnerships were sought such as with ZESPRI International, through to seeking controversial legislative change, such as work with the Kyoto Forestry Association.

A former press secretary to the New Zealand trade and agriculture minister, he played a lead role at the age of 28 in the government relations and communications programmes that led to the creation of Fonterra, New Zealand’s largest company. He has also worked internationally on projects in on projects in China, Europe, Mongolia and throughout Australia.

What can we learn from this?

Over to you Standardistas.

 [Update]  Is this an example of a little bit of subtle CV padding by our PM?  From the bio on Key’s web page:

In 1999 John was invited to join the Foreign Exchange Committee of the Federal Reserve Bank of NY and on two occasions undertook management studies at Harvard University in Boston.

Ask yahoo, answers:

Best Answer – Chosen by Voters

Well, John Key did not, as such, ‘study’ at Harvard. According to Britannica.com, he “took management studies courses” at Harvard University. His got his basic B. Comm degree from the University of Canterbury.




52 comments on “Hooton and CV “embellishment””

  1. Linz 1

    Matthew Hooton is New Zealand’s leading public affairs strategist and political commentator.

    He maintains excellent connections with senior levels of all of New Zealand’s political parties, including regular contact with … the Leader of the Opposition and the chiefs of staff of the Labour, Green, Maori and ACT parties.

    Proof, please.

    And finally this: He has also worked internationally on projects in on projects in China, Europe, Mongolia and throughout Australia.

    Proofread, please.

    • Hami Shearlie 1.1

      Got two words in answer to Hooton’s CV – WHO SAYS? As in, WHO SAYS that he is New Zealand’s leading public affairs strategist and political commentator? Name the leading lights who bestowed this title upon the said Hooton.

    • Rhinocrates 1.2

      Matthew Hooton is New Zealand’s leading public affairs strategist and political commentator.

      I can believe that. It might well be true… relatively.

  2. Tom Barker 2

    Mr Hooton first achieved a national public profile when Peter Keenan, chief speechwriter and strategist for former National PM Don Brash, described him [Hooton] as “an idiot… Matthew is totally full of himself and not half as good as his own self-image. He tries hard to impress, with over-the-top enthusiasm – an actor. He would be massively disruptive around here.” Subsequent events showed Mr Keenan’s judgment of Hooton’s abilties and character to have been generous to a fault.

  3. Anne 3

    He maintains excellent connections with senior levels of all of New Zealand’s political parties, including regular contact with both the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition and the chiefs of staff of the National, Labour, Green, Maori and ACT parties.

    Oh yeah… regular contact with Cunliffe and his staff? If there is any contact, it won’t be the kind he’s referring to…

    He’s a liar. Either he has embellished his CV or it’s seriously out of date! He needs to update pronto.

    (Edit: I have to fill in my details every time I comment.)

  4. Hayden 4

    he played a lead role at the age of 28 in the government relations and communications programmes that led to the creation of Fonterra, New Zealand’s largest company.

    Isn’t this getting the causality somewhat backwards?

    • ghostwhowalksnz 4.1

      More interesting is the things he left out !

      Worked for Phil Goff when he was Minister of Foreign Affairs in 2000

    • felix 4.2

      Hooten lives by what is essentially a misunderstanding of the phrase “perception is reality”.

      According to this world view the people who did the decade or so of work figuring out how and how not to structure the dairy industry, they had nothing to do with creating Fonterra.

      Meanwhile the people who came up with the logo, well they pretty much invented cows.

  5. Delia 5

    He is New Zealand’s leading public affairs strategist and political commentator. How do you know that Matthew?

  6. Craig Glen Eden 6

    Maintains excellent relations with leaders of the ……. Opposition. That’s obviously not the current leader,but now Ar least we know why Shearer was shit he was getting advice from pond scum himself.

  7. trickldrown 7

    Hootens political career is embelishing lies!
    Hey used to have a column in the Sunday star times which was full of lies I used to enjoy writing letters to the editor pointing to his factual incorrectness!
    It caused him to be far more accurate with his economic figures.

  8. One Anonymous Knucklehead 8

    I don’t know about Hollow Hooten’s cv, I’m just happy he’s damaged his brand so much in the last few days.

    New Zealand’s leading political commentator and strategist is an embarrassment and a liability to his employers, and he’s completely blind to the fact.

  9. mickysavage 9

    Oh Karol that is just not fair, expecting Hooton to live up to the same ethical standards that he demands of others.

  10. Jo 10

    Start with…

    I knew I was a winner back in the late sixties. I knew I was destined for great things. People will say that kind of thinking is totally immodest. I agree. Modesty is not a word that applies to me in any way – I hope it never will. Arnold Schwarzenegger

    End with…


    I met a traveller from an antique land,
    who said: two vast and trunkless legs of stone
    stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
    half-sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown
    and wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
    tell that its sculptor well those passions read
    which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
    the hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.

    And on the pedestal these words appear:
    “My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
    Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!”
    Nothing beside remains: round the decay
    of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
    the lone and level sands stretch far away.

    Percy Byssche Shelley

  11. Um, John Key undertook management studies twice in Harvard Boston his CV says. Did anybody ever find out if he actually did them there or if he finished them or what he learned about managing what and or who?

  12. amirite 12

    I LOLed through the whole reading of this stellar CV. However I noticed that “Full of shit first class liar” has been omitted from it.

  13. emergency mike 13

    Matthew Hooten, cynical manipulative spinmeister BS artist, accuses Cunliffle of making a vague and generous interpretation some work he did 15 years ago on his CV.

    I guess that’s what he getz paid da big money for.

  14. Not Another Sheep 14

    “The Miro Summit” speakers and panellists for yesterday and today. (The New Zealand Initiative).
    Hooten profiled as———–

    “Matthew Hooton, Managing Director, Exceltium
    Matthew Hooton is Managing Director of Exceltium Ltd, working with New Zealand’s leading companies and other organisations on corporate and public affairs projects. He is also well known as a centre-right political commentator on Radio New Zealand, RadioLIVE, television and a columnist for the National Business Review. Matthew’s early career was as a press secretary in the Bolger Government and head of communications for the dairy industry merger project that led to the creation of Fonterra.”

    Given that “Matthew Hooton IS New Zealand’s leading# public affairs strategist and political commentator.” it seems apt that he is listed on the “Speakers” page although “The New Zealand Initiative” did not profile him in his own superlative words as he has himself on his company page………….

    Heading then to the ‘Summit’ programme page http://nzinitiative.org.nz/Events/The+Miro+Summit/programme.html
    to find out what interesting topics are being forwarded for this years Summit; “New Zealand’s leading public affairs strategist and political commentator.” DOESN’T seem to be an actual speaker there at all on the “Programme”. WHAT; not a speaker amongst NZ’s luminaries.??

    Maybe this is where he validates “He maintains excellent connections…”.

  15. Not Another Sheep 15

    “However, Hooton, who was a communications consultant (Role 1?) working on the merger, angrily rejected this, saying: “That was untrue.” “ 23/09/2013 Stuff.co.nz
    “Matthew’s early career…..and head of communications ( Role 2?) for the dairy industry merger project that led to the creation of Fonterra.” – The New Zealand Initiative

    “he played a lead role (Role 3?) at the age of 28 in the government relations and communications programmes that led to the creation of Fonterra “

    Marlborough Express-23/09/2013
    The work history of new Labour leader David Cunliffe has come under scrutiny after claims from National party-aligned lobbyist Matthew Hooton. … said that as a business consultant (Role 4?) he had “helped with the formation of Fonterra”.

    Allegedly ———–“..hooton calls fonterra ‘the masters-of-cover-up’..reeling off an historical sin-litany..” (as recorded 11/8/2013 whoar.co.nz site). Role 5 with Fonterra??? Working in communications for Fonterra as part of the “masters-of cover-up”. Or (Role 6) Back-stabber of Employer???

    • karol 15.1

      Interesting NAS. However, you references are a little confusing the Stuff article by Andrea Vance, appears to be the same as the Marlborough Express article by Andrea Vance of the same day.

      The qu & a reference:

      Meanwhile, political commentator Matthew Hooton does not trust the company to investigate itself.
      “I think he does need to have a very thorough investigation with the power to compel witnesses. I think it needs to be very, very tough. Fonterra and the dairy industry in New Zealand are masters of the cover-up. You go back to the EU Customs case, you go to Powdergate, you go to Iraq thing, and there is no way that you can trust that company to investigate itself. “

      Ha! Backstabber indeed.

  16. vto 17

    And still no word from Hooton on here about all this drama? He commented early in the piece and even repeated the allegation that Cunliffe lied. But since the story has exposed his own shortcomings instead of the intended recipients (the shotgun back-fired) we have seen neither hide nor hair.

    It is all terribly cowardly of him

  17. Ken Spagnolo 18

    For the record, I have been the Green Party’s chief of staff for nearly six years and Mr Hooton has made no attempt to contact me that I am aware of. I hope publication of this fact doesn’t change anything.

  18. Anne 19

    @ Ken Spagnolo.

    Maybe he contacted you under a pseudonym. Wouldn’t put it past him.

  19. Rhinocrates 20

    One thing to be aware of is that for his brand’s sake, Hoots has depended on being able to present himself as being to some degree “objective”, but he’s fatally damaged his own brand now. Can anyone imagine him showing up in a left forum and people admitting, “well, he has a point and he’s honest”?

    His paymasters are going to see that, because while they may be bastards, they’re not dumb. They’re going to start asking themselves, “Just how valuable is this guy if he can’t convince anyone?”

    On his own terms, the most rawly economic ones, Hoots has just devalued himself due to sheer incompetence.

    He may be an arsehole, but in the eyes of his paymasters, he’s worse than that now – he’s an idiot and a waste of money.

    • Pascal's bookie 20.1

      Interestingly enough, his column in the NBR backs right away from his lies and liar liar stuff. The only mention it gets is:

      National’s second hope is that Mr Cunliffe will turn out to be some kind of Walter Mitty. I have written and said enough about that risk elsewhere.

      Suffice it to say, it is National’s most plausible path to a third term and Mr Cunliffe is going to need to learn to be much more accurate and much less self-aggrandising in what he says in public.

      That’s it. A simple admission that yeah he was talking shit to try and smear Cunliffe and drive a narrative, because that’s what he sees as National’s best hope.

      • vto 20.1.1

        “… sees as National’s best hope”

        Why don’t they try policies?

        Or why don’t they outline what they have achieved in the last 5 years for people?

        They really have shat in their own nest with the way they have firstly described themselves as labour-lite, and then gone full throttle at asset and resource grabbing. Their legacy is of dirty little shysters grabbing at everything they can.

        … from Ecan where they grab at the water to the NZX where they grab at our power companies.

        they have nothing, they are nothing,

      • peterlepaysan 20.1.2

        Reveals a lot about NBR and its ethics.

  20. North 21

    Well said Rhino. Shouty’s vileness may be his salvation however. His paymasters wouldn’t want him losing it and going feral on them. There’s bound to be endless embarrassing even sinister stuff he’s picked up along the way.

    Be that as it may, for now it’s just delicious seeing smirking hubris and self-imagined omnipresence, flat out busted.

  21. Gosh, such a contrast to how the right responded to Shearer and the ABCs.
    I wonder why…

  22. vto 23

    Does this mean Hooton will never show his face here again?

    Is he really that small of a man?

  23. newsense 24

    From Edwards political roundup:

    Debate is raging still over David Cunliffe’s alleged padding of his CV, with Matthew Hooton’s original allegations being carried on by David Farrar in posts such as A third case of padding? and by Cameron Slater in numerous blogposts – such as Is this David Cunliffe’s own “fake but accurate” scandal?. For the reaction on Twitter, see my own blogpost, Top tweets about David Cunliffe’s alleged CV lies. The left of the blogosphere is labelling it a smear campaign – see, for example The Standard’s Return of the Hollow Men.

    What a turncoat sellout. Isn’t he supposed to be an academic? No engagement with the facts or the RNZ apology or the refutation by Cunliffe. Makes you wonder.

    OMFG and this: ‘Both parties have two members with a stint at Harvard mentioned on their Wikipedia page: David Cunliffe, Shane Jones, John Key and Hekia Parata’.

    So Cunliffe’s MPA is being compared to who knows how long Key was there…Very very poor from Edwards.

    • Colonial Viper 24.1

      I think John Key spent time in a Harvard University cafe once.

      • newsense 24.1.1

        front page of The Press. unbelievable. Oh well, in someways it is a compliment. they didn’t launch one attack against Shearer. But in someways- it would be nice to have a day or two without the Nats dirty trick machine. It was horrible when they devoted all their energy to smearing Clark.

        • Colonial Viper

          Yep. The Clark government lost momentum in its third term however, and forgot how to make the news.

  24. captain hook 25

    Hooton is a manquey little parvenu who has never done anything much except the creep walk.
    His overwhelming desire is to make as much money as possible so he can buy some high heeled boots and look down his nose at the lesser breeds

  25. Martin 26

    comes across on air as a rather immature schoolboy who has to have the last word.

  26. Murray Olsen 27

    It’s quite common for anyone who is actually achieving something to revisit their CV and change stuff. The likes of WhaleSpew and Hooton wouldn’t realise this, but CVs get too long otherwise. Even with my totally modest professional life, I’ve removed and deemphasised stuff. It’s not at all surprising that Cunliffe would do it.

    • karol 27.1

      Agreed, Murray. And the older one gets, the longer the CV. Also, it’s necessary to tailor the CV to the context.

      I summarise various jobs that have been part of a phase of my life when I was focused on certain kinds of work, especially if they are not so relevant to the context.

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