A 1News investigation has revealed the CV of Maori media personality and businessman Matthew Tukaki wasn’t checked before his recent appointment as boss of the Suicide Prevention Office (SPO).
The 1News investigation focused on two aspects of Tukaki’s CV:
- His claim that he led recruitment company Drake International’s Australian operations through the Global Financial Crisis, including holding a ‘Power of Attorney’ on its behalf.
- That he was appointed by then UN Secretary Ban-Ki Moon to a plumb position in the United Nations.
Enquiries with Drake International Australia rebuffed Tukaki’s claims. A spokesperson told 1News:
He worked there for a year between 2007 and 2008, and a further month in 2010, and that his title in their records in Australia was ‘General Manager, Government and Public Sector’.
A further top source at the company said Tukaki “overstated” the scope of his employment. When queried whether Tukaki had led the company through the GFC, the short response was, “not at all”.
In relation to the UN job, Tukaki’s position was an elected one. A spokesperson told 1News:
… it was an elected position, not an appointment by the Secretary General, and one which he held for less than a year.
“He then had to resign the role of Local Network Representative when he was asked to step off the [Global Compact Network Australia] Board for an alleged serious breach of Director’s Duties, including misrepresenting himself at meetings with the Australian Government.”
Tukaki disputes the version of events described, and stands by his claims.
The Minister responsible for Tukaki’s SPO appointment Kelvin Davis confirmed Tukaki’s CV had not been checked, but said he was well-known and held previous high-profile jobs, and had relied on Tukaki’s performance and reputation in those jobs in making the SPO appointment.
This CV controversy follows a difficult few weeks for Tukaki, where questions are being raised over a $1 million contract he signed on behalf of the Maori Council in 2021.
Tukaki responds on Facebook
In a video posted on his Facebook and shared on Twitter, Tukaki said his lawyers had been ‘corresponding with TVNZ for the last couple of days, and that if TVNZ thinks for one moment this thing is over, they have another thing coming. Let me be very, very clear, I will not be lying down on this sort of nonsense.’
Tukaki said he will be posting ‘documentary evidence’ supporting his Drake International claims.
Tukaki said it was ‘ironic’ TVNZ was bringing up his CV when they were facing similar allegations over the Kamahl Santamaria appointment process.
In regards to the Drake International claim, Tukaki said:
‘When you are in an executive leadership position, and you have staff and welfare you need to take care of during which was a tumultuous period of time in Australian history, bet your bottom dollar you lead your organisation through the GFC. I will be posting the comment and the reference from one in particular staff member at the time who said this: ‘Matt managed to shield many of the staff from difficult situations and extra battles during the GFC.”
Tukaki said he would be posting documentary evidence to prove he was also the Chairman of the ‘Drake Workwise Group’.
Tukaki said he was elected as Chair of the Local Network Advisory Group and would also provide documentary evidence of the process of appointment for his UN role. He said:
‘Why is it that we don’t celebrate the fact that somebody like me, with no bloody qualifications, grew up in Upper Hutt, left school at an early age, and has battled through my entire life just to get on with my mahi, we can’t celebrate that somebody like me actually wins that position?’
— Dee ???????????????????? (@klothklicker) July 3, 2022
Show New Zealand the money?
A million dollars missing under your watch
Previous poor behaviour
Minister Davis appoints Tukaki to a new position, no questions asked
This is Cronyism on full display
Accountability? @NgatiBird @tukakimatt @SeanPlunket @dbseymour pic.twitter.com/NfscvtcZvi
— The Consultant (@TheConsultant18) July 3, 2022
This extract, from an interview Matthew Tukaki did in 2019, speaks volumes, even though that might not have been the intention: pic.twitter.com/u4PUaLbzTq
— Tony Stuart (@TonyStuart55) July 3, 2022
Cam Slater: “Matthew Tukaki is one of New Zealand’s biggest racists and an online bully to boot. He’s also carried on like a flash rat with a gold tooth. Except it turns out his CV is a bit… well… let’s say… embellished…”https://t.co/Q3BLuVYyQX
— Zeitgeist Politics (@ZeitgeistPOL) July 3, 2022
Breaking news of Matthew Tukaki who was appointed to Director of Suicide Prevention…made up work experience. And being investigated for financial irregularities by the Maori Council.
Reference checks? Nope. Jobs for friends and cheerleaders.
— Covid Still Kills. Mask & Get Boosted ???????????? (@romulunz) July 3, 2022