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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Devoy: Job interviews

Dame Susan Devoy, Race Relations Commissioner

She's admitted she didn't apply for the job - she wanted to be the part-time disability commissioner at the Human Rights Commission - but Judith Collins convinced her she could do the Race Relations Commissioner gig. There were 270,000 reasons to say yes - 1,000,000 reasons over the five year appointment. She said she went through about four interviews as part of the process - despite the shoulder-tapping. She has also made it clear she is still learning on the job and is not fully up to speed. The two television interviews I've seen of her confirm this. Not good enough for this pay grade.

First there was Mihi Forbes on Maori TV:
 It was a testy encounter, there were forced smiles and pursed lips.
I've been attacked for having no qualifications so I didn't do any interviews for a while...
 Well, you don't really need qualifications...
 Well you don't need experience either, it's about doing the right thing...

South Africa. Well, you know, the money was good, but I didn't go in the end because of politics, I was only 20...

Overall it showed she was in training, had nothing to say and certainly could not draw on her experiences, and on top of that had been picked for political and gender reasons. If this was a job interview she would have been a very weak candidate.

Then there was John Campbell on TV3:
She was more prepared than with Mihi Forbes, she was spouting the jargon of the HRC like a good puppet.
 Hey, give me a chance, all I need is about five years to get my head around it...
And Maori are like this... Was that patronising enough?

With Campbell, a week later, she had been transformed into a more fully indoctrinated bureaucrat - something Collins had suggested was the opposite of why she was appointed. Where had all that red neck common sense gone? What was the point of putting in a straight shooter if she turns out to be towing the politically correct party line after a few weeks? Collins may have been disappointed by her apparent co-option into the chattering liberal clique, but her sudden change lends no more credibility to her having got the job. If Devoy had tanked on Maori TV, her interview with Campbell didn't go any better. She was obviously not up to it. She hasn't demonstrated the depth of comprehension needed, or the personal mana the position needs to bring racial tolerance, harmony and conciliation. People will not take her seriously.


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