DHC on Five Fingers Feeley

Deborah Hill Cone joins the chorus of those ticking off Adam Feeley:

Everything the head of an organisation does sends a message to the staff about what is considered “normal” – and if this communication doesn’t throw his judgment as a leader into question, his arrogant response to the issue certainly does.

What does it say to his staff that it is OK to take a bottle of wine from one of the companies you are investigating? If that is OK – hey, it’s only a bottle of wine – what next? But what is most wonky about this story has been everyone’s eagerness to dismiss it as petty.

We have a proclivity in New Zealand, maybe because we are such a small country, to excuse misbehaviour with an absurd or personal element – a glass of champagne, Tuku Morgan’s underpants, police having seedy sex lives – as not worth getting upset about.

Perhaps it’s part of our anti-authoritarian “she’ll be right” attitude: we like to think of our authority figures as being ordinary blokes like us. We have all done silly things, and we feel uncomfortable about the idea of our own behaviour coming under such scrutiny, so we rationalise it as petty. Or maybe we are just a bit Italian.

But the fact is, our SFO has wide-ranging powers and it should be above reproach. Feeley has relished being cast as the righteous crusader who was going to clean up the finance sector. I profiled him for the Listener when he started, whereas most other SFO directors (except for Charles Sturt) would not even do publicity. When you get the public satisfaction of being the heroic do-gooder, you have to make sacrifices. You can’t afford to act like the people you are prosecuting, even in small, seemingly trivial ways.

I find it astounding that Adam Feeley hasn’t even tendered his resignation.

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.