More CV cuteness from Cunliffe - this time involving his work with Boston Consulting Group
“Bollocks” was Labour leader David Cunliffe’s one word response, via Twitter, to the latest accusations of CV padding against him.
Mr Cunliffe claimed in a weekend newspaper interview he had, in his time at Boston Consulting Group, worked “in a dozen different industry sectors, helped with the split up of ECNZ [the Electricity Corporation], helped with the formation of Fonterra, worked in an ACC-type insurance company, fixed up a pulp and paper mill."
The difficulty with this is Mr Cunliffe entered Parliament at the end of 1999 and spent that year campaigning and – according to other parts of his CV, some of which have also been questioned – doing voluntary social service work in Auckland,
Fonterra was not formed until 2001.
Lobbyist and National Business Review columnist Matthew Hooton – who worked in the office of then Trade Minister Lockwood Smith in the late 1990s – said on Radio New Zealand's Nine to Noon panel programme today the claim is untrue, and that the Fonterra concept was not developed until New Zealand Dairy Group and Kiwi Co-operative began talking in 2000.
It is true a great deal of work was done in the late 1990s on the future of the dairy industry.
In 1996 the assets of the old Dairy Board Dairy Board were transferred to the four remaining co-operative companies.
The question then became what the future model would be: Boston Consulting did a report in 1997-98.
However it was not the only firm doing this sort of work: McKinsey also worked on possible future structures of the industry, and there were any number of other studies, both within the New Zealand government and being commissioned by the various dairy companies themselves.
The model that emerged in 2001 - after Labour's Jim Sutton managed to persuade his colleagues to overturn the Commerce Commission's decision on creating a monopsony which was then dubbed Fonterra - was quite different to that being put together under the National government between 1996-99.
Unless there is a clearer link between Mr Cunliffe’s work for Boston (most of which would have been done in 1997) and what eventuated in 2001, it appears the Labour leader is engaging in another bout of CV padding.
Mr Cunliffe had to “update” his online CV on the weekend after it emerged his claims of numerous community and union efforts appeared exaggerated.
A claim he had worked for the Auckland City Mission was removed from his online CV after it was queried: there was also much head scratching over claims to have been a Public Services Association union delegate during his time at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
The Dominion Post quoted a bewildered spokesman for Mr Cunliffe as saying Mr Cunliffe definitely remembered being a union delegate for three years and “co-convenor” for a year, although Mr Cunliffe could not remember whom the other convenor was and no one else has been able to locate this person.
A claim he worked for the Wellington City Mission was also unsubstantiated by people who worked there, although Mr Cunliffe put out a press release on the weekend saying he worked on budget advice.