Rachel Glucina and Government pollster and right wing political blogger, David Farrar
I think the young woman at the centre of the Prime Minister’s bewilderingly abusive and arrogant privilege is a hero. She has shown courage and fortitude that is pretty rare. To tell the Prime Minister to his face to stop touching her took enormous strength when you consider the power dynamics.
I did not believe her bravery should be denigrated by a mainstream media who look to get a victim blaming ratings kick. That was why I said I wouldn’t confirm her identity to any of the media who contacted me.
She thanked me for this but accepted that her name might be made public. This understood, she was determined to direct that voice and allow it to be her narrative and her story told on her terms.
Out of her genuine concern for the reputation and economic ramifications her possible outing might have on her employers, she met with them Wednesday afternoon and was left in a position she had not agreed to.
She also challenges some of the comments the Prime Minister has made.
These are her words. She raises hard questions about the NZ Herald.
Thank you for all of the support that has been shown by the people who have taken the time to read the full account of what took place in the past few months. This is a truly humbling experience that no doubt I will never forget.
When I made the decision to publish my experience my feeling was that what transpired was not ok, and the public had a right to be aware of how poorly their Prime Minister had behaved. They could make up their own minds after that and there would be no follow-up. I have said everything there was to say and no further comments would be necessary. I had absolutely no intention of entering into discussions with any other media.
I contemplated the lasting effects this was bound to have on my near and not-so-near future, surely not worth it, but I made the moral decision to put myself second and tell the truth. There is no shame in telling the truth, and it’s a lot easier to keep track of than a lie. A lie would be claiming that I accepted an apology or spoke the words “that’s all fine, no drama.” Neither of these two things have happened and so it had to be said; even my mother knew instantly that I simply don’t talk like that.
So why am I commenting further? Earlier today, in good faith, I agreed to meet with my employers to address a side of this I hadn’t previously considered in too much detail, besides the obvious nuisance of reporters – the speculation that they failed to take appropriate action to protect me in my place of work. They asked me to meet with them at their home and join a conversation, via speaker-phone, with a concerned friend of theirs who worked in Public Relations. Their friend, Rachel, was concerned with how seriously this would effect their business, and wanted a better understanding of the situation, so that, together, we could proof and agree upon a statement to be released to the media by my employers themselves. A statement clarifying that I took issue with John’s behaviour, and that only, and not with them as my employers; that I had no intention of claiming any negligence on their part. We agreed that it would also be good to have a photo together to show that we had a good relationship and harboured no ill feelings, and for this sole purpose only.
Out of respect for my employers, and what seemed like their genuine concern for my well-being along with the future of their business (a business doing good things which I fully support), they introduced me to Rachel, by name as the employee behind the story, and Rachel said she would put together a statement for us to proof. We then waited for the e-mail she had promised so that we could look over what she had penned and discuss it further. Eventually a final statement would be agreed upon and my employers would personally forward that to any media. We waited. And waited. And waited. Questions were asked of me by Rachel, under the guise of a Public Relations expert working confidentially for my employer, and all responses given were with the effect of trying to separate clearly that the issue was a personal issue (personal, not political) with the way I had been treated by John, and not at all an issue with my employers, or their management of the situation, which they had not even been made aware of prior to Wednesday. ALL ANSWERS WERE GIVEN TO THE EFFECT OF TRYING TO HIGHLIGHT THIS DIFFERENCE.
As we waited for Rachel to e-mail the draft proof one of my employers read aloud to the other Rachel’s e-mail address. It began… RACHEL.GLUCINA and alarm bells went off. Sounded familiar, and I felt sick to my stomach – more than you’d ever imagine, a feeling I simply could not ignore. I gave in to my instinct and googled the name on my phone and one of the leading headlines that came up read “Who is Rachel Glucina and why is John Key always phoning her up?”. I questioned my employers over her name and they admitted that, yes, she works for the New Zealand Herald, but she was doing this as a favour for them for their personal use and not in her capacity as a journalist. I asked how well they knew her, if they trusted her, and they claimed they were confident in their judgement of her character, yet everything about this felt so so wrong. Rachel contacted them again and we expressed that I felt extremely uncomfortable with the discussions that had taken place as any comments I had made were made in confidence and good faith under the understanding that I was discussing an employment issue with a public relations specialist and had absolutely no knowledge whatsoever that the person my employers had requested I speak with, who was so determinedly trying to put the word “political” in my mouth, was a “feared” and “loathed” journalist from the New Zealand Herald.
Rachel’s story changed. RAPIDLY. Now she couldn’t possibly supply us with a proof because she would lose her job. She was absolutely acting in her capacity as a journalist for the New Zealand Herald and claimed that my employers had known all along, which they denied. I made it absolutely clear that all and any comments I had made were given under false pretences, not to mention completely out of context, and questioned whether her supposed story would still be published if I withheld my permission. Rachel simply responded that she would come back to us and read to us what was to be published, although she had no control over editors and sub-editors, and that she had to get in touch with the Prime Ministers office, and then they quickly ended the conversation. I later contacted my employers reiterating that I revoked any permission to use my photo or comments for any press release, and my disappointment that I had been mislead to such a gross degree whilst having my identity knowingly confirmed with the New Zealand Herald at the same time.
This must have been the “fun and games” that John was referring to; and as for the credibility of the New Zealand Herald if this is how they obtain their ‘exclusive interviews’ – no comment.
After the young woman contacted me aggrieved about the way she had been treated, I called the NZ Herald at 11.08pm and spoke to their editor Shayne Currie. I told Shane that there was a dispute by the woman and that she had been told Rachel was a PR advisor who was helping protect the reputation of her employers and that she withdrew her permission for the photos to be used or her comments.
If you are reading this and the NZ Herald has printed their exclusive interview, they did so knowing that the woman in question had removed her consent after feeling deceived.