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Actions have Consequences

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Irish politicians hit out at Gabriel Makhlouf’s appointment to head of Central Bank

Irish politicians say they’re concerned New Zealand Treasury Secretary Gabriel Makhlouf will become the country’s next Central Bank governor amid the Budget “hack” scandal.

Last week, Makhlouf said the Treasury had been systematically hacked only hours after the National Party revealed it had access to Budget information.

But Treasury later admitted that it hadn’t been hacked and someone had only “exploited a feature in the website search tool” which “does not appear to be unlawful”.

Public statements made by Makhlouf are now under investigation by the States Services Commissioner.

Pearse Doherty, finance spokesperson for left-wing Irish republican party Sinn Féin, told The Irish Times Makhlouf should not start his role with the Central Bank until the investigation has concluded.

Doherty said it “wasn’t a small issue”.

“We need to make sure that someone in the highest position in the Central Bank has proper judgement,” he told The Irish Times.

It was also revealed on Friday that Treasury had been advised by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) to refer the matter to the police for assessment last Tuesday as the data breach, as described to the NCSC, did not appear to involve Treasury’s network being compromised.

The NCSC’s role is to protect systems from advanced cyber threats.

Ireland’s Fianna Fáil party member Michael McGrath has also reportedly sent a letter to the Irish Finance Minister.

“The governor of the Central Bank is one of the most sensitive and important roles in our States,” the letter says.

“It is vital we have full confidence in the holder of the office.”

New Zealand National Party leader Simon Bridges said heads needed to roll for what was “either gross incompetence or dirty politics”, which he described as sitting on a lie “quite consciously”.

“Makhlouf’s position is clearly untenable. He went out and put out a statement, having been told by GCSB that there was no systematic hacking, that there was,” Bridges said.

16 COMMENTS

    • ^ this. Jacinda Ardern’s Labour Party appear to be busy protecting Karl Stroubek, the youth camp sex offender, and more as there are no repercussions for what these people have been done, court dates are postponed and buried, etc. I don’t think there will be any consequences for him, even if he loses his opportunity in Ireland a new one will be created here.

      And it should go higher – not just to Makhlouf. There is a Minister of Finance and a Prime Minister above him that are part of this dialogue.

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  1. You would have to be a bit thick to get into bed with this cowardly rabble with their neverending cock-ups there will never be a bus small enough that they won’t throw anyone under to further their marxist agenda and to protect the dumbest PM this great country has ever had, hopefully this guy is toast that might make a few others think twice before playing silly political games & badly concealed coverups

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  2. He clearly did not stand his ground with Robertson who just wanted to try a student style political hit job on Bridges.
    Now Robertson is throwing him under the bus to try to clean up his own infantile attempt. Unfortunately Makhlouf pays the price.
    With a bit of luck if he loses the Irish job, he will fight back legally and catch Robertson with his lies.

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  3. I saw Makhlouf on the AMShow on the Wednesday morning before the budget. He not only lied that it was a “hack”, he laid it on thickly with the claim “there had been 2000 attempts to hack the Treasury website”. Now we find out he was informed on Tuesday that there was no hack, just a website balls-up by his own department. Under the governments no surprises policy, there is no way his boss, the Minister of Finance did not know beforehand of the lame attempt to smear the National party and to throw a police investigation at the leader of the opposition. Has Grant Robertson, minister of finance never heard or understood the saying ‘the buck stops at the top’? We cynically await the result of the whitewash investigation that will find neither Makhlouf or the Minister have anything to answer for. Surprise!

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  4. Do the Irish not understand that our open and transparent government is kind.
    Holding people to account for their actions is not kind.
    They should follow the example of our world leading Prime Minister.
    Let’s all tilt our heads to one side and be kind.

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  5. The obvious question must be asked. “What would have happened if he did not already have one foot out the door?” As things stand the COL have their scapegoat tethered as they drag out their inquiry.

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    • If the tethered goat has any balls, he won’t let them be hung out to dry if he is not at fault. Either way my Irish blood says that he might not get the position that he was aiming for. Would it be grounds not to hire someone, even if contracts had been exchanged, do we have a Secretary of the Treasury in Waiting?

      If the Irish job became unavailable, he can stay here?

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