Duncan Garner: Treasury look like a bunch of muppets over Budget leak

Opinion 30/05/2019

Budget day has been thrown into further turmoil.

Everything Treasury said yesterday about their website being hacked, and everything Labour said about National being reckless and irresponsible in using stolen information doesn't stand up - it's simply not true.

It turns out there was no hacker, but there was a gigantic stuff up by Treasury.

They started to upload the top secret budget to their website, and they thought they had it in the backseat; out of view of the world.

But instead, it was in the front seat - that is; people who were on the website could see parts of it, and grabbed it. It's not illegal and not wrong, but stupid - and I'm not talking about the people that found it.

It was a world-class mistake from the Treasury boffins.

Their IT experts look more like a bunch of muppets than experts in anything.

Now, this will blow over. The budget will grab the attention from 2pm, but know this - Simon Bridges has done nothing wrong, except overreach by demanding Grant Robertson resign. Robertson isn't responsible for Treasury's IT.

But the head of Treasury Gabriel Maklouf looks asleep at the wheel, and in any decent democracy, would offer up his job.

But he won't, because Wellington rarely works like that; excuses will be made, an emotional junior staffer will be blamed, and Robertson will firmly kick Gabe [Maklouf] up the backside. But Grant should be more careful next time blaming National and hacking - that was reckless and untrue.

A gentleman would apologise, but that's also rare in Wellington.

Get on with running the country - the voters are rarely impressed by your games and stunts.

Duncan Garner is host of The AM Show.