Loved-up text message reveals the Armenian term of affection disgraced ex-Liberal MP Daryl Maguire used as a pet name for Gladys Berejikilian during their secret relationship
- MP Daryl Maguire used pet name for Berejiklian during their ‘close’ relationship
- Ms Berejiklian on Monday said she had a ‘personal attachment’ to Mr Maguire
- The stunning admission came during inquiry investigating ex-Wagga Wagga MP
- In one message exchange from 2014 Mr Maguire called Ms Berejiklian ‘hawkiss’
- Hawkiss is an Armenian term of affection translated as ‘my soul’ or ‘my beloved’
Disgraced ex-government MP Daryl Maguire used an affectionate pet name for New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian during their ‘close personal relationship’, an inquiry into state corruption has heard.
In a bombshell admission on Monday, Ms Berejiklian admitted she had a ‘personal attachment’ to Mr Maguire at the Independent Commission Against Corruption investigating the ex-Wagga Wagga MP.
Mr Maguire was forced to quit the Berejiklian government in 2018 after a separate ICAC inquiry heard he sought payments to help broker deals for property developers.
One message from 2014, before Ms Berejiklian was premier, appears to reveal Mr Maguire telling her about how a motel had sold for $5.8million, and how he was entitled to $5,000.
Former NSW regional MP Daryl Maguire referred to New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian by the pet name ‘hawkiss’ during their relationship, which became public at a Independent Commission Against Corruption hearing on Monday. The two are pictured together
Mr Maguire leaving the NSW ICAC in 2018. ‘Hawkiss good news. One of my contacts sold a motel for 5.8 million,’ he wrote in one message to Ms Berejiklian heard at the inquiry
Pictured: A mock up of the allegedly sent text messages. Ms Berejiklian allegedly replied, saying: ‘Congrats!!! Great news!!! Woohoo’.
‘Hawkiss good news. One of my contacts sold a motel for 5.8 million I had put her in contact so I should make 5k,’ he wrote.
Hawkiss, or hokis, is an Armenian term of affection meaning ‘my soul’ or ‘my beloved’.
Ms Berejiklian allegedly replied, saying: ‘Congrats!!! Great news!!! Woohoo’.
The NSW premier spoke Armenian at home and is descended from grandparents who fled the tiny, landlocked Caucasus nation for the Middle East during World War I as the Ottoman Empire massacred its subjects.
Her mother, Arsha, was born in Jerusalem, Israel, and her father, Krikor, in Aleppo, Syria – a city now known for a more recent humanitarian crisis.
Berejiklian’s mother and father migrated, separately, to Sydney in the late 1960s, met and later married at an Armenian Orthodox church in Chatswood, in the city’s north.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian has admitted she shared a private relationship with her disgraced former colleague Maguire while he was in office
They worked as a nurse and a boiler-maker/welder – her father working on the Opera House during its construction – and settled in suburban North Ryde.
Gladys, the oldest of three sisters Rita and Mary, was born on September 22, 1970.
She attended public schools, was her high school captain and carried the burden of being the first-born to parents ‘obsessed’ with her attending university.
She went on to study at university and became the president of the state’s Young Liberals.
Berejiklian (bottom right) with her parents Arsha and Krikor and sisters Rita and Mary
In 1996, she wrote a letter to newly elected Prime Minister John Howard, demanding a meeting – and was shocked when he said ‘yes, sure.’
She then worked as an executive for the Commonwealth Bank and was elected to the NSW Lower House for the seat of Willoughby in 2003, before becoming transport minister in the O’Farrell and Baird governments.
Ms Berejiklian told The Weekend Australian magazine last year there was something else that drives her – the loss of her twin sister at birth.
‘I’m very lucky… for me every day in life is a bonus,’ Berejiklian was quoted saying. ‘I had a twin sister and she didn’t make it. It was just luck that I came out first.
‘Imagine if you had a twin; you came out first, they didn’t make it, I feel like I’ve got to justify my existence by sacrificing. So I don’t care if I’m not happy all the time. I feel like I’ve got to work hard.’
A historical photograph of Armenians killed in the genocide of 1915, more than a century ago
An intercepted phone call between Ms Berejiklian and Mr Maguire was also played to the commission on Monday, revealing their close relationship.
The first private conversation was about Mr Maguire’s first trip to China.
He was concerned about looming job losses in the Riverina despite the company, United World Enterprises, being based outside his electorate.
Ms Berejiklian can be heard saying her former chief of staff Sarah Cruickshank had concerns about his travel.
‘Alright babe, what do you think?’ Mr Maguire said in the call.
Berejiklian (back row) is the oldest of three sisters. The NSW Premier only revealed last year that she had a twin sister who was stillborn, who she learned of as a child
‘I just got home, did Sarah ring you from my office?’ Ms Berejiklian replied.
‘No why?’ he asked.
‘She sent me a text, when she has to ring a member of parliament she lets me know.’
‘They seem to think it’s in your electorate. I didn’t say anything, it’s none of my business, I’m just letting you know.’
Mr Maguire went on to use ‘offensive language’ to explain why he was going to China.
‘I will [interfere]… these bureaucrats don’t care… they’re shaking hands, they are sucking people’s d***s and they are turning up to everything and they do nothing.’
In another intercepted phone call Ms Berejiklian told Mr Maguire: ‘You will always be my numero uno’.
When asked what she meant by that statement, Ms Berejiklian said she probably meant, ‘in my personal life I placed importance on how I felt about him’.
In another call between the pair, they discuss a deal involving William Luong, a property broker who was working with Mr Maguire.
The duo were helping racing heir Louise Raedler Waterhouse in securing the $330million sale of land near Western Sydney Airport.
After being summonsed last week Ms Berejiklian said she would be ‘pleased to be assisting with those inquiries’
The inquiry had heard Mr Maguire looked to make about $1million if the Waterhouse land was sold to a Chinese buyer called Country Garden.
‘William tells me, we’ve done our deal’, Mr Maguire said on the call.
‘I don’t need to know about that bit,’ the Premier replied.
She was then grilled over whether she was indicating he shouldn’t give her details of deals ‘with a view to avoiding you being fixed with information that you might then have to act upon’.
She claimed she believed he was making full disclosures where needed. She said if she felt as though there was any wrongdoing by anyone, she would report them.
‘I don’t care who it is. I don’t care what the circumstances are, the public comes first, as far as I’m concerned. If I felt that [anyone] was doing the wrong thing, I would have made damn sure that I reported it,’ Ms Berejiklian said.
Ms Berejiklian told the inquiry their relationship was kept private as she had always tried to separate her personal life away from her public role.
She said she was never concerned Mr Maguire might be attempting to use the influence of her office to promote his own business activities.
She admitted that over the course of their relationship, Mr Maguire frequently spoke of his finances and was ‘obsessed’ by them.
But she denied distancing herself from specific details on Mr Maguire’s affairs in an attempt at self-preservation.
‘I would never, ever, ever turn a blind eye from any responsibility that I had to disclose any wrongdoing that I saw, or any activity that I thought was not in keeping with what a member of parliament should be doing,’ Ms Berejiklian told the inquiry.
‘I would suggest that I was either not interested or I thought what he was raising with me was fanciful. He was a big talker.
Mr Maguire (pictured) was forced to quit the Berejiklian government in 2018 after a separate ICAC inquiry heard evidence he sought payments to help broker deals for property developers
‘A lot of the time, I would have ignored a lot of what he said as fanciful and information that I didn’t care to be involved in or interested in.’
The premier also said she didn’t take a personal interest in Mr Maguire’s finances, despite their relationship, as she was an ‘independent woman’ with her own finances.
Emails and text messages were tendered to the commission, revealing conversations the pair previously had about his finances.
‘She won’t survive this’: How Australia reacted to Gladys’ secret relationship
Radio host Ray Hadley: ‘I don’t think, for a whole range of reasons, that Gladys Berejkilian can survive this.’
‘Given this relationship predated his divorce and separation, and given that she’s now admitted had he retired from politics in 2017 she would have made public the relationship.
Greens MP David Shoebridge: ‘It’s hard to see how the Premier can survive a day in Parliament this week given the bombshells being dropped in ICAC about her relationship with the… Liberal MP Daryl Maguire.’
Sky News political editor Andrew Clennell: ‘When they call a premier you know they’ve got something. I actually think I that there’s a good chance Gladys Berejiklian will have to resign over this.’
After being summonsed last week Ms Berejiklian said she would be ‘pleased to be assisting with those inquiries’.
The current inquiry has heard evidence Mr Maguire sought payments to help broker deals for Chinese property developers.
The inquiry is investigating whether Mr Maguire breached the public trust by using his public office and parliamentary resources to improperly gain a benefit for himself or for G8way International – a company he ‘effectively controlled’.
The premier was dragged into the saga last week when the ICAC heard Mr Maguire gave a western Sydney landowner – Louise Waterhouse – Ms Berejiklian’s email address to help her lobby for rezoning changes that would benefit her parcel of land.
ICAC heard Mr Maguire passed on the email address and suggested the premier would be able to provide a ‘tickle from up top’.
Ms Berejiklian could become the third Liberal premier in New South Wales to be brought down by the anti-corruption body her side of politics created
In 2014, Barry O’Farrell (pictured) resigned over an undeclared $3,000 bottle of Grange Hermitage, bottled in the year of his birth – 1959
Ms Waterhouse told the inquiry Ms Berejiklian never responded to her email and no zoning changes were made to her property.
Ms Berejiklian could become the third Liberal premier in New South Wales to be brought down by the anti-corruption body her side of politics created.
Nick Greiner became its first victim in 1992 – just four years after he established the Independent Commission Against Corruption in a bid to uncover Labor scandals during Neville Wran’s decade in power.
While the Supreme Court later cleared him of scandalously offering a government job to former education minister Terry Meterell, the damage was done and the late John Fahey replaced him as premier.
Little more than two decades later, in 2014, Barry O’Farrell resigned over an undeclared $3,000 bottle of Grange Hermitage, bottled in the year of his birth – 1959.
He had received the gift in March 2011 in the week he won a landslide election victory that ended 16 years of Labor rule, following a series of scandals in Kristina Keneally’s government.