Earlier this year, the government tried to slash MFAT's budget, closing embassies and cutting staff pay and conditions. After serious opposition (including a series of embarrassing leaks) from outraged diplomats, Murray McCully announced that it was all his Chief Executive's idea, that he had not approved the cuts, and that he wanted them to stop.
Naturally, he lied:
MFAT’s Four Year Budget Plan, belatedly released by Murray McCully, reveals just why the Minister was so reluctant to have it published, says Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson Phil Goff.As Goff points out, this is cowardly behaviour from McCully. But I guess he didn't get where he is in politics today by taking responsibility for his mistakes. No, instead he blames his subordinates - who are forbidden by public services ethics to speak out in their own defence - then tries to bury the info in the hope that no-one will notice. National ethics in action!
“This document proves that Mr McCully knew and had approved the botched restructuring plan a month before he publically distanced himself from it,” Phil Goff said.
“The Budget Plan was prepared in late 2011 as usual and finalised by February 2012. No Budget Plan goes forward without the detailed knowledge and explicit approval of the Minister.
“The Plan makes reference to the alternative approaches to representation, outsourcing of services, changes in pay and allowances for staff, job cuts and substantial spending cuts.
“Yet a month later in a letter to his Chief Executive Officer, John Allen, dated 22 March, which he deliberately released, Murray McCully was distancing himself from the plan we now know he approved.