BUSINESSDESK: Treasury secretary Gabriel Makhlouf turned down several invitations to schmooze with private sector high-flyers in the first six months of the year, limiting the risk he will be accused of corporate cronyism.
Mr Makhlouf accepted dinner invitations from the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and the governor-general in the six months ended June 30, but shied away from other offers, according to his latest expense claims.
He declined offers of theatre tickets from Craigs Investment Partners, which is one of the firms involved in the government's mixed-ownership model programme, and Deutsche Bank, and said no to drinks with the board of Bank of New Zealand, and didn’t attend a farewell for KPMG's Andrew Dinsdale.
Mr Makhlouf’s cautious social calendar suggests he has taken up the baton from predecessor John Whitehead, who shared $80 of pizzas with Finance Minister Bill English and Reserve Bank governor Alan Bollard when he departed.
New Zealand's Debt Management Office, a unit within Treasury, got into strife last year when it emerged staff accepted 118 gifts from investment banks, including lunches, dinner, theatre and sports tickets.
The ensuing row prompted Treasury to audit its gift and hospitality guidelines and ultimately led to tougher rules to avoid the impression it was too matey with the private sector.
Mr Mahklouf also turned down dinner with officials from the Ministry of Science and Innovation and a dinner date with the Lord Mayor of London, Alderman David Wootton.
This article is tagged with the following keywords. Find out more about MyNBR Tags
- Spark boss ditches *another* Sky decoder
- Carry on: Xiamen for Auckland, Cathay for Christchurch, Virgin for HK and more
- Hidesight: Advance means retreat for glacier scientists
- Hunter's Corner: Sealegs: an underperforming marine technology innovator
- Hooton: Racism lies behind Little’s kaupapa Maori attack
Most listened to
- Business Week in Review with Grant Walker and Andrew Patterson
- Rob Hosking on the politics of protest vs the politics of government
- Rodney Hide: Advance means retreat for glacier scientists
- Stewart Germann and Gehan Gunasekara go head-to-head on the franchising debate
- Racism lies behind Little’s kaupapa Maori attack, says Matthew Hooton