I think almost everyone on the Left who are trying to underplay what Treasury did hasn’t read this…

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Comrades of the Left

If Treasury had just pulled a hacking manipulation this audacious while National was in power, we would be screaming for heads to roll, yet the majority of the Left are ignoring what Treasury did out of a misplaced loyalty to Jacinda & Grant.

It’s infantile.

I think almost everyone on the Left who are trying to underplay what Treasury did hasn’t read this

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Worse, it’s understood Treasury was advised by the National Cyber Security Centre – a branch of New Zealand’s cyber spooks – that what they were dealing with, was not a hack by any stretch of the imagination. 

Treasury’s referral of the matter to police, after being advised of that, and its subsequent statement referring to the use of its website’s search bar as a “sustained and systematic hack” was a total waste of police resources and an example of extreme arse-covering. 

It’s not even clear at this point, that Treasury’s claim it happened 2000 times is correct. 

But its most egregious crime, for which Treasury Secretary Gabriel Makhlouf holds personal responsibility, is advising the offices of the Finance Minister and Prime Minister on Tuesday that it was a hack – knowing it wasn’t.

Makhlouf had already referred it to police at that point – removing the option of choice from Finance Minister Grant Robertson. But it also did him the favour of keeping him far enough away from the debacle that Opposition calls for his resignation are clearly a step too far. 

Inexplicably, Makhlouf doubled down. He went on national airwaves the very next morning, with an overcooked metaphor likening the documents retrieval to entering a locked room and taking to a chest with a sledgehammer – completely false.

All signs suggest Makhlouf knew what had happened, and went ahead with his own version anyway. 

…I’m not nearly as clever as my woke comrades on Twitter, but wtf is ‘beltway’ about Treasury knowing they weren’t hacked but then telling everyone they were? Shouldn’t we be incandescent with rage at such a manufactured deception by one of the most powerful Government Departments?

If Grant doesn’t sack him, Grant should be sacked. It’s as simple as that.

 

18 COMMENTS

    • OK, but where was good ‘ol Kiwi Simon Bridge’s patriotism/good faith when National found that they could access some budget details so easily? And then, unethically, marginally criminally and against protocol, release these and then crow about it? Should he not have quietly reported the lax security? NZ’ers can be equally mendacious, corrupt and devious as anybody else. You are not God’s chosen ones, blameless, pure and without taint – but you think you are.

      • Simon couldn’t even build one bridge. Not one bridge has been built in Northland and every one in the North will remember that little factoid with far more crystal clarity than the Acting Leader of the Opposition has about hacking.

    • This isn’t about foreigners. It’s about one man’s desperate attempt to cover his own arse. Arse-covering is a universal phenomenon not limited to specific countries or ethnic groups. It’s one guy choosing to put self-preservation above honesty and trying to avoid taking responsibility for an embarrassing gaffe. A kiwi could just as easily taken the same route, and many have.

      The funny thing is, if Treasury had just coughed to this from the get-go, it would likely all have blown over without embarrassing the government or providing that simpering fool, Simon Bridges, the ammunition he so desperately craves in his ongoing attempts to remain relevant. Short of setting fire to the building, Gabriel and friends couldn’t have handled this in a less cack-handed fashion.

    • Yes Sam – like John Key- family in this country 5 minutes and he tries to change the NZ flag to leave his mark – what a nerve .

      Who knows what Treasury’s agenda was here ?

    • Yeah, probably Wensleydale.

      Although in Peter Greener’s Timing Is Everything – The Politics and Processes of New Zealand Defence Acquisition Decision Making https://press.anu.edu.au/publications/series/sdsc/timing-everything

      In Peters book are treasury recommendations for cutting defence spending. These are guys with zero knowledge and skills of defending the realm, but still there advice on National Defence policy was accepted to save money.

      Same with Richard Prebble’s memoirs, treasury advice given. They’ve been sighted as advising every single state sell off and more. To save money.

      This financial speak is the gospel of liars, thieves, con artists and drunks. This is the way treasury has operated since Roger Douglas changed the modelling from Mark to market, too Mark to bullshit / modling. We do not have to hug and care for these guys. They’ve been bullshitting for the last 40 years. Now left wing politics finally has something to put the boot in for all that Roger Douglas did to The Labour Party. It’s all upto Robertson now.

    • National hired a lot of foreigners for our governments departments pulla reb stock who did heaps of damage is one nasty that comes to mind this shows they really don’t care about their own most vulnerable people

  1. The first thing I was suspicious about was the 2000 incidents in 48 hours. Automated hacking tools would probably have shown up as 2000 incidents every microsecond, and secondly a serious hacker wouldn’t have even been traced. It had to have been a manual navigation of the website then, basically altering the URL (the activist Weev was sentenced to 41 months jail in the US for extracting and publishing information from a website in this manner). State Services Peter Hughes will need to look at the timeline of events to see if and how Maklhouf intentionally misled the government. Hughes should also look at MSD spying on clients while he’s at it, if this is his purview.

  2. Here’s what I think… I like puppy dogs. That’s what I think. This is another thing I think. I don’t think Makhlouf’s an ‘imbecile’. The most likely scenario, to my feeble mind, is that he was bought. By whom, you ask?
    Well, ask your selves? Who are very rich in AO/NZ? And who are not? Do you think those whom are very rich want to stay rich? Is your answer ‘Yes’? There you go. You just answered the question of whether Makhlouf buggered it up or if he was bought. Another question might be ; If rich people like being rich, and they look like they do, then, by the same logic, the poor must like being poor. They, however, don’t look like they enjoy being in poverty. “ Fuck, I love being poor. If I get the flu? I can lie, with a fever, in a door way and there’s a very real risk of dying. I love that. “ Is something no one has ever said.
    I mean, c’mon? Everybody makes mistakes but an important mistake like this that just keeps giving? I get the feeling that labour, for all that it isn’t, comes across as pretending to be ‘inclusive’. Therefore being forgiving of fuck-ups and ‘labour’ et al could have damaged controlled this, in my mind, a minor thing.
    So what if the budget had been ‘hacked’ anway. God, what’re they going to find? That’d be like breaking in to peter dunne’s house looking for drugs but then dying of boredom. ( I just watched Rik of Young Ones fame try to kill himself by OD. He tried OD-ing… on laxitives. Was funny. Don’t know why I thought of that. Moving on. )
    Bugger it. Here it is. You know you want to. “Hands up who likes me” https://youtu.be/Shk8HawnCTs

  3. How is it that Makhlouf is still working at Treasury? He should have done the decent thing and stepped away from his job by now. And if he hasn’t got the insight to see that he ought already to have done that, how is it that he hasn’t yet got the push?

    A few days ago, I heard on radio a commentator say that his reputation in Ireland was being affected; that comment wasn’t pursued by the programme presenter, though. But it’s hard to imagine that the Irish government isn’t having second thoughts about hiring him. And rightly….

  4. “Shouldn’t we be incandescent with rage at such a manufactured deception by one of the most powerful Government Departments?”

    Why? Are we not the generation who saw John Key lying to us about the GCSB?

    The acceptance and encouragement of that showed we’re up for anything. Nothing is serious. In fact it leads on to funny – funny that at the hint of what they think is a lie from anyone in the present Government the supporters of Key and his party get incandescent with rage.

    • I’ve already mentioned John Key Peter, and frankly this new NZ’er
      shouting in the NZ Parliament that we should get some guts and send our troops to Iraq, was a lot worse than any of his lies – lies are nothing compared to John’s ranting and raving that other people’s sons should be sent to Iraq to fight other people’s wars – but not his or his cronies’ sons.

      There was a time kings lead their troops into battle, but Key wasn’t that sort of leader, but he was determined that other men risk life and limb – and maybe their mental health for the rest of their lives, as if they were lead soldiers, and not our flesh and blood.

      And up in the remote beautiful Hindu Kush, it was Key who Jerry Mateparae and Wayne Mapp stepped outside to phone and get the green light to carry out their revenge raids in the Tirgiran Valley letting loose hell on innocent subsistence peasants by dead of night.

      John Key, military strategist ? Weep. Weep wherever human lives come cheap.

      A Treasury cock-up is a Treasury cock-up – and surely after 9 years of National Govt and Dirty Politics, why should there be any surprise element in any of this ?

  5. First of all let’s reflect on the fact that Treasury was instigated by Muldoon so have deep right wing roots. Secondly, let’s reflect on why politicians cannot directly fire public servants. Think of what that would mean to ALL public servants in government service – that is what a dictatorship can do, not a democracy. we have checks and balances. They all take time to kick in.

    • Lone: “….Treasury was instigated by Muldoon so have deep right wing roots.”

      Nope. Treasury was established in 1840. A bit before Muldoon’s time.

      Moreover, his political party notwithstanding, Muldoon was far more left-wing than any of the current crop of pollies, whichever side of the House they’re on. The Treasury culture became right-wing, I suspect, after the arrival of Roger Douglas.

      “….let’s reflect on why politicians cannot directly fire public servants. Think of what that would mean to ALL public servants in government service – that is what a dictatorship can do, not a democracy.”

      Hmm….I’ve just finished reading “Fear”. Looks as if Trump can fire at will; and the US is a democracy.

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