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Notable quotes

04 May 2018

I just felt compelled to raise with LawTalk the inclusion of a “Notable Quote” in the latest edition of LawTalk [Issue 915, March 2018, page 99].

In particular, the quote from Russell McVeagh HR director, announcing the firm’s sponsorship of gay and inclusive rugby club, the New Zealand Falcons. While I have absolutely no issue with the cause, I feel, in terms of the present environment that Russell McVeagh finds itself in, the comments about the firm embracing “diversty and inclusion … but also to show we are creating and embedding a welcoming working environment” demonstrating the firm’s culture are disingenuous at best, and an appalling misrepresentation of the culture and attitude of Russell McVeagh at worst.

The inclusion of this quote has the feeling of a cheap stunt and marketing tool to try and provide cover for Russell McVeagh. As someone who is gay, I neither need, nor want, Russell McVeagh advocating or advancing diversity and inclusion in their environment at this time because I know for a fact that this is simply not true.

I do hope LawTalk will take more care in future when considering what to include in its quote section.

James Gallagher
Wellington

Geoff Adlam, LawTalk Editor, replies: The Notable Quotes are built each month by adding material as it comes to hand. The Russell McVeagh announcement was made on 7 February and the quote was included at that time as it was a positive initiative and the quote was interesting in its context. The matters relating to sexual harassment were first published by Newsroom on 14 February and the story developed rapidly thereafter. Retention of the quote was considered for some time. At the end, it was decided to keep it as something which should stand by itself with all the contexts and interpretations which could be given.

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Last updated on the 4th May 2018