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McCully does a seagull

Written By: - Date published: 5:01 pm, March 21st, 2012 - 14 comments
Categories: aid, International, leadership - Tags:

Murray McCully has been described as a “seagull Minister, one who flies in, squawks loudly, poops over everyone and flies away again.” Today in the House he squawked, pooped over his Chief Executive and flew away from any responsibility for the the  restructuring of MFAT, the third of the National government’s restructuring messes on show.

According to McCully, the restructuring  mess  was nothing to do with him. It was all down to the Chief Executive, John Allen. You can watch him squirming here, under pressure from Phil Goff and an obviously unimpressed Speaker.

But that wasn’t what McCully was saying nine months ago. Then he was impatient, on a mission to change the culture, working closely with his new appointee John Allen.

McCully’s recipe for trimming MFAT, with more contracting out or “outsourcing”, was strongly supported by former diplomat Charles Finny, perhaps not surprisingly as Charles Finny was later revealed to be the beneficiary of a contract from the Ministry to the tune of around $54,000. That contract apparently was not tendered; Finny was just appointed to it, a process happening all too often under this government.

John Key better get his knighthood soon. The wheels are starting to come off his government.

14 comments on “McCully does a seagull ”

  1. Pascal's bookie 1

    John Key better get his knighthood soon. The wheels are starting to come off his government

    I think he’s waiting till after the olympics.

    • Hami Shearlie 1.1

      Maybe he’ll fly up using the jetpack invented by a nz guy, and light the olympic torch, and then sing “I’m too Sexy” on the way down!

  2. vto 2

    Every PM gets a gong. That is what makes it worthless when given to PM’s.

  3. Georgecom 3

    McCully does a seagull and Nick Smith seagulled in his own nest.

    • Georgecom 3.1

      What I should have said is McCully seagulled all over his Chief Executive, Smith seagulled all over himself.

    • Hami Shearlie 3.2

      Maybe McCully and Nicky could move to Nauru and re-guano all the ground there!

  4. fender 4

    The bald eagle seagull Joyce gives the willing participants large amounts of guano to juggle, no wonder they can’t keep up, our new dictator Joyce excretes another half baked plan with regularity it seems.

  5. Disaffected. 5

    So is John Allen going to fall on his sword over this, if I were in his shoes I would, having been sold out by the Minister. I’d never have anything to do with Govt. again. Negotiate a nice fat cat package to depart and off I’d go.

    Everyone know’s Murray has been all over this restructure from the start, just like Winston was all over the previous “step change” If it wasn’t for meddling Ministers pushing their own personal agenda’s then it would likely be a much better place.

    Once that letter that Fran talks about get’s published to staff and media it’s going to be interesting times at MFAT, I can’t see how the CEO can remain with any dignity. To be frank, many of the others who have championed the changes should depart as well. There are some within the Senior Leadership Team who are all over this, others not so as they have real jobs there as well and were not just put in place to see through the Minister & CEO’s “vision”.

    Problem has been for a while now that if you were in a senior role at MFAT and were to speak up against the proposed changes (pre consultation) you were seen as out of touch with the new Vision and “ministry values” and crap so were quietly ushered to the door with terms equivalent to redundancy.

  6. Disaffected. 6

    How much has MFAT now wasted on this process… The 200 page DSD consulting remuneration report would have cost a bucket load, $340K to tell staff to get a pet, all the advisors, change managers etc let alone the lost productivity.

    Great really, most of the work so far is about to be chucked in the bin and little savings made but how many millions have MFAT now spent to get this far. Another great example of misguided and poorly thought out cost efficiencies….

    Clearly the wasted money is in the millions, total saved so far: $0

    God help the new “super Ministry” that is about to be created.

    • Tc 6.1

      Allen is a trial barrister by profession if my memory serves and spent many years in the lofty heights of NZPost with a lot of other lawyer Ex service types like the dim as Peter Fenton….hardly top management material so this comes as no surprise as he and the likes of Fenton now sit in other plum taxpayer funded roles.

      More script monkeys…..couldn’t write one, have trouble following one.

  7. felix 7

    Key’s hero, as the wheels fell off his govt, called a last ditch snap election in a desperate drunken haze and blew it.

    Still got the knighthood though.

    So there’s always hope.

  8. Kotahi Tane Huna 8

    One thing was certain, that the white kitten had had nothing to do with it: — it was the black kitten’s fault entirely.

    Pressure is mounting on MFAT chief executive John Allen as the Government orders him to scale back his controversial cost-cutting proposals.”

    “Mr Allen declined to comment last night. A spokeswoman said the ministry has been “in discussions with Government throughout the process and they have provided clear direction on their priorities and expectations”.

  9. Johnny 9

    This is MFAT’s 2010/11 consultants spend. Some big change management contracts. 2011/12 should be interesting reading. Eg $380,000 for offhshoring advice contract. $213,000 for outsourcing advice contract. 100s of 1000s on change management advice contracts. And this is 9 months old.


  10. Johnny 10

    Is the Minister lying? As well as initiating the change, the Minister has been regularly updated on the reorganisation.

    Q147. What reports and advice has the Ministry made to the government on reorganisation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade? Please provide a list of reports by date and title.

    “The Ministry has engaged regularly with the Minister of Foreign Affairs on its intentions and progress under the Ministry 20/20 change process. This has been largely through briefings from the Chief Executive.”


    The change proposals are discussed at Q5, Q128 and Q129.

    $7 million in redundancies is anticipated in 2011/12 alone, more in following years (Q19). Big increase in staff turnover already to 14% (Q22). Increase in PGs (Q26).

    MFAT is holding 87 vacancies (Q117).

    A department under pressure I would say.

    Still managed to find $11 m for the World Cup (Q94) for guest events.

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