David Cunliffe releases Confidential information

The Whaleoil team have been hard at work investigating David Cunliffe’s ‘Fonterra’ claims.  Part of this involved contacting the Boston Consulting Group to fact-check the assertions made by Cunliffe on Wednesday.

We presented BCG with the “timesheet” document Cunliffe released to the media, asking for it to be authenticated, among other questions.

A spokesman said

On request from Mr Cunliffe’s office, BCG supplied the letter confirming his employment for external release.  His office was also supplied with an internal record of his employment, which was not intended for release.

(our emphasis)

After seeking further clarification, this was expanded to

The internal record that BCG supplied and the work record you supplied are the same document. Mr Cunliffe’s office whited out the names of other clients on BCG’s internal record and chose to release it.

So, BCG supplied it but we did not intend for it to be released.

Hence my statement BCG was not involved in releasing it.

As explained yesterday in our first post on this, forensic analysis of the ‘timesheet’ document (referred to by BCG as the ‘internal record’) shows it has been altered.

As it was a Confidential internal document, clearly marked as such, and not intended to be released to the public, it has been redacted and possibly changed by Cunliffe’s office.

How can a 14 year old time sheet can have the name of a company that never existed?  The explanation that the system has been updated since passes initial inspection, but how many firms are running a 14 year old timesheet system?  Possible, but unlikely.

And for the auditors and accountants among you, how frequently would the work history belonging to one legal entity be changed to those of another?  In simple terms, how do  two separate legal entities end up sharing the same unique client code in a billing system?

This isn’t a case of a name change – but they want you to believe this.  It is a case of a totally different company appearing on the scene.  And, our allegation:  It was David Cunliffe’s office that altered the confidential report before it was released.

Because of the fact checking with BCG we accept that David Cunliffe worked on some dairy related business, however to claim that 8 hours work was influential in the eventual set up of a company some 2 years later is a stretch.  It is akin to those who participated in a days focus group for the Super City claiming they were integral in the formation of the Super City.

So here is where it is at

  • David Cunliffe did work for BCG
  • He claims 8 hours towards a project that has billed thousands
  • On that basis he claims to have been instrumental in the formation of Fonterra
  • This happened at least 2, perhaps 3 years before Fonterra was created
  • He actually worked on another concept of dairy business restructure, which was thrown out in favour for Fonterra’s late in the piece
  • Cunliffe has released a Confidential internal document against BGC wishes
  • BCG clearly state that any alterations to the document were made by Cunliffe’s office

I still believe the only way for David Cunliffe to put the speculation behind him is to table the unredacted version in parliament.


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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.

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