Bridges and flouting the OIA

Written By: - Date published: 7:03 am, June 17th, 2017 - 18 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, corruption, law, national, same old national - Tags: , , , , ,

Simon Bridges seems to be as full of third term arrogance as the next Nat, if this fiasco is anything to go by. RNZ:

Rail proposal that Minister’s office tried to block released

Kiwirail has publicly released the proposal for a new Auckland railway line which the Transport Minister Simon Bridges wanted to be kept secret.

New Zealand First released a series of emails last week showing Mr Bridges’ office had urged Kiwirail not to release the business case for the rail line, saying the prospect made it “extremely uncomfortable”.

The emails showed Kiwirail had planned to release the document in full, but many parts of the business case released today have now been redacted – including its benefit to cost ratio. …

Read on in the RNZ piece for the report that Bridges didn’t want you to see. It says that a proposed rail link would remove a critical bottleneck. Naturally Kiwirail’s bid to have it funded in the budget was unsuccessful. The Nats seem to irrationally hate rail. But it’s another aspect of the story that has attracted the most attention:

Ombudsman urges ministers to follow OIA rules

A top government watchdog wants an assurance ministers aren’t flouting the law when dealing with requests for official information.

Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier has written a letter to Prime Minister Bill English after the Transport Minister’s office tried to stop KiwiRail from releasing a report.

He said such incidents risked eroding public confidence in the government and democracy. …

Abuse of the OIA is a well established pattern of this government. Read David Fisher on the “OIA arms race”.

So that’s where we are in NZ, officials are pleading with government MPs to obey the law. What the hell? Of course MPs should obey the law, and when they don’t there should be consequences! What does Bill English intend to do about this? Hah hah – sorry – silly me.

18 comments on “Bridges and flouting the OIA”

  1. One Anonymous Bloke 1

    Does the National Party hate rail? Or does it just love the donations bribes “lucrative business opportunities” that come with prioritising roads?

    I wonder how much money Simon Bridges will make from his time as Transport Minister.

  2. Keith 2

    Ideology management, opinion management, bad news management.

    Somebody/s within the National Party apparatus knew that triaging anything that goes against their warped logic equals taking bad news off the front pages.

    And how fucking patronising to state that a man with Boshiers legal experience doesn’t have the historical perspective when questioning ministers…..translated, doesn’t he realize we arrogant pricks don’t give a shit about the law.

    Their complete control over everything and anything is paramount to their reelection because if the public saw what was really going on they would have turfed them out on their corrupt arses years ago.

    Investment in rail makes complete sense and now its at peak capacity in Auckland speaks volumes of the success of rail. But these dodgy fucks in National don’t get to personally clip the ticket when it’s not pouring our money into roads. So OIA’s get blocked and the whole uncomfortable truth erased.

  3. Gabby 3

    Something else about which Bingles gives not a shit.

  4. Kevin 4

    The 3rd Main in the Auckland network is a no brainer. Probably has the best BCR of any transport project in NZ, is relatively cheap at around $50 million, and benefits everyone.

    But its rail.

    End of story.

  5. Draco T Bastard 5

    The Nats seem to irrationally hate rail.

    It’s stupid but not really irrational. Trains, being far more efficient than trucks, don’t use as much resources and so they don’t generate as much profits or GDP.

    Of course MPs should obey the law, and when they don’t there should be consequences!

    In a case like this they should be sent to jail for not more than five years and fined years salary.

  6. Ethica 6

    Where are the ‘democracy is under attack’ headlines in the mainstream media, for this blatant disregard of the OIA.

  7. Incognito 7

    I do believe that National obeys the law in a strict legalistic sense. After all, they stand for Law & Order so everything they do has to be (seen as) pretty legal. However, IMO they tend to give two fingers to the spirit of the law. National displays a lot of hypocritical antithetical behaviour; do as I say, not as I do. People are getting fed up with this and rightly so. We want to be treated better and with more respect.

  8. red-blooded 8

    Bridges looked pretty uncomfortable when grilled about this on The Nation this morning. He kept insisting that the benefits of a roading project were “1.9” when the business case had said “between 1.4 and 1.9”, and saying that his office was right to try to stop the details of the rail project being released, because it was an “old report”, when he was happy to make claims about the roading project based on a report done at the same time. Not exactly convincing!

  9. Skinny 9

    I had a good laugh when someone shared this petition page to me. Classic Geoff Simmons from TOP sums it up perfectly;

    “Is it because a freight rail line doesn’t offer the same photo opportunities?”

  10. georgecom 10

    English should have Bridges in his office first opportunity next week instructing him to approve the report being released to the public. He then should make it absolutely clear at his next caucus meeting that no national party MP will be obstructive with OIAs.

  11. Sacha 11

    A commenter at Greater Auckland blog (ex-Transportblog) has suggested the most likely explanation I’ve seen for Bridge’s office feeling quite so uncomfortable with the 3rd main rail business case being released:

    Whole post and comments are worth a read, but this seems to be the nub of it.

  12. A lot of good comments here . The bottom line is rail IS more efficient than private trucking firms. Not only that , but it is more environmentally friendly and can lower the costs of bulk transport and the costs of road maintenance.

    FOUR THINGS that the rest of us want but this bunch of globalist neo liberal subversives will go to any lengths to discourage. And for them ?

    The profits are HUGE.

    THAT’S WHY they do not want any report being made public about the benefits of rail and how it has been suppressed and described as an ‘ old ‘ report.

    You never wanted this country run by a bunch of subversives?

    Too late. You already have.

    Vote the shitters out this coming September and be done with them and having to discuss things like this.

  13. greywarshark 13

    We don’t want to know that. Too much information. And we, the gummint, don’t want you to know ..whatever… either.

  14. web-developer 14

    Yes, according to the Greater Auckland link – apart from the fact the third main takes a significant amount of time off the Auckland – Wellington rail run, making rail much more competitive against the trucking lobby, part of the report revealed plans to consolidate some reasonably large staging yards to a location elsewhere. This relocation/consolidation would almost entirely remove the need for the trucking lobby’s beloved East-West motorway link. What a disaster.

  15. Philj 15

    Webdev. Putting Corporate interest ahead of private interest? Surely not! Is this treason or just Business as usual?

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Labour is the only party with a plan to fix teacher shortage
    Only Labour has a comprehensive plan to fix the critical shortage of teachers that is already hampering our schools and is set to get worse after nine years of inaction by the National Government, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. ...
    1 hour ago
  • Labour to invest in regional road rail
    Labour will invest in a rapid rail network connecting Auckland, Hamilton, and Tauranga, and double funding to help complete important regional roading projects, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern.  “The ‘Golden Triangle’ of Auckland, Hamilton, and Tauranga contains half ...
    2 hours ago
  • Rattled Nats announce slapdash roads policy
      The Government rattled by the polls, has announced a poorly thought through slapdash policy for new Roads of National Significance, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Michael Wood.  “There is a complete lack of any answers in National’s plan to build ...
    21 hours ago
  • Let’s do this – Labour’s election campaign launched
    The Government I lead will be a government that listens, then acts. A Government that leads, not follows, says Labour Leader Jacinda Ardern at the launch of the Labour Party’s 2017 election campaign at a packed Auckland Town Hall. “I ...
    21 hours ago
  • Government must apologise over rebuild debacle
    The Prime Minister owes the public of Otago and Southland an apology and then he must come up with an unredacted copy of the business case for the Dunedin hospital rebuild, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark. "For too long the interests of ...
    3 days ago
  • Government caves to multi-national tax avoiders in the shadows
    News that the Government has secretly caved in to the demands of multi-national tax avoiders come as no surprise, but will disappoint Kiwi taxpayers, says Labour’s spokesman for Revenue Michael Wood.   “It has been revealed that a United States ...
    4 days ago
  • Cheaper to stay at The Langham than emergency housing motels
    Labour’s comprehensive plan to fix the housing crisis and ensure there’s enough state housing, means we won’t be paying through the nose for emergency accommodation like the current Government has to, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. “National has ...
    4 days ago
  • Government must come clean on water
      News that the National Government is secretly working behind closed doors on its own water charging schemes shows their utter hypocrisy on this issue, says Labour’s water spokesperson David Parker.  “They have been carping on about Labour’s plan for ...
    4 days ago
  • Government pays twice the price for emergency housing motels – with two more on the way
    Under Labour’s plan to build at least 1000 state houses each year, New Zealand wouldn’t be paying more than double the valuations for motels to house Kiwis needing emergency housing, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. “Under questioning today, ...
    5 days ago
  • HAM shows country needs Labour on housing
    The latest Housing Affordability Measure report shows affordability dramatically worsening for Auckland first home buyers, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    5 days ago
  • Canterbury kids get more support for mental health
    Children in Canterbury and Kaikoura will get dedicated mental health support to help them overcome the trauma of the earthquakes, says the Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “We’ll fund an extra eighty mental health professionals for the next three ...
    5 days ago
  • Statement on Julie Bishop’s comments
    It is highly regrettable that the Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has chosen to make false claims about the New Zealand Labour Party. I have been utterly transparent about this situation. I stand by my statements this morning that I ...
    6 days ago
  • Labour stands with Pike families
    A Labour Government will stand with the families of Pike River and reaffirm its commitment to safe workplaces by ensuring there will be a Minister responsible for Pike River, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “The Pike River disaster ...
    6 days ago
  • Yes to Sallies – Labour will build more state houses
    The Salvation Army’s latest report ‘Taking Stock’ shows why New Zealand needs a Labour-led Government committed to a massive house building programme, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “When the Sallies say the country needs 2000 extra state houses a ...
    6 days ago
  • New Zealanders deserve better than scaremongering over water
    New Zealanders need to hear from National about how they will fund the clean-up of our rivers and lakes for future generations. Instead, National has broadened its scare-mongering, says Labour’s Water spokesperson David Parker. ...
    1 week ago
  • School Leavers’ Toolkit to equip young people for adult life
    Labour will give school leavers the practical skills and knowledge they need for adult life with a new School Leavers’ Toolkit, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “Our teachers and schools do a great job of teaching our children ...
    1 week ago
  • Pay equity to be a priority for Labour
      Labour will make sure that the country’s mental health workers are a priority when it comes to pay equity negotiations, says the Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern.  “It is very important for me to right the wrong created ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s positive education plan
    Today’s announcement on learning support is more tinkering and proof that only a Labour Government will deliver the resources that schools and parents are crying out for, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  “We have a positive vision for a ...
    1 week ago
  • Pike footage raises questions over government’s actions
    The Government’s seeming determination to turn a blind eye to new questions about what happened at Pike River Mine is troubling, says Labour’s West Coast-Tasman MP Damien O’Connor. ...
    1 week ago
  • Solution to rent rises lies in building houses and stopping speculators
    The spread of rental increases from the big cities to the surrounding regions shows why we need to get on top of the housing shortage build homes our families can afford, and lock out the speculators, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Clean rivers don’t cost $18 a cabbage
    National is falling into a bad pattern of promising the world and not saying how they will fund it, says Labour’s Water spokesperson David Parker. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Time for honest answer on transport funding
    National needs to explain how they will fund the $6 billion funding gap in their 10-year Auckland transport plan, says Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Time for true numbers on overseas speculators
    It’s time for the Government to give accurate figures on the number of houses being bought by overseas speculators, says Labour’s Land Information spokesperson Raymond Huo. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Fair and sustainable trade: A Green Party vision for New Zealand’s trading relationships
    Trade is a cornerstone of the New Zealand economy. It provides us with the things we want and need, and enables us to pay for those with exports that generate business opportunities and jobs. However, it should be recognised that ...
    GreensBy Barry Coates
    2 weeks ago
  • Clean rivers for future generations
    Labour will lead a nationwide effort to restore our rivers and lakes to a clean, swimmable state, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand really can do better on health
    Labour’s commitment to affordable access to high quality healthcare will provide a better service for New Zealanders than the current Health Minister, who will not apologise for statements that he made that wrongly criticised hard-working staff in the Southern DHB’s ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s plan the answer to motorway chaos
    Labour’s plan to build a light rail network and improve heavy rail and bus services across Auckland is the only answer to the kind of motorway congestion Aucklanders endured this morning, says Labour Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour to build rail to Auckland Airport
    A world class city needs a rail connection from the CBD to its international airport – that’s why Labour will build light rail to Auckland Airport as a priority, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern.  “Let’s get Auckland moving ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Is pay equity just too hard for this Govt?
    You are hard pressed these days to find someone that openly admits their misogyny, that men should still be paid more than women. Politicians proclaim that they want to see women paid more, but do their actions back it up? ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s commitment to our Rainbow nation
    The Labour Party has reaffirmed its commitment to New Zealand’s rainbow community with its 2017 Rainbow policy, featuring the goal to end HIV in New Zealand by 2025. Grant Robertson says Labour continues a long and proud tradition of advocating ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s vision for Auckland more than reheated roads
    Labour is more ambitious for Auckland than the reheated set of transport projects proposed by National, says Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Waiting urology patients are the tip of the iceberg
    The 10 patients waiting for urology surgery at Dunedin Hospital are just the tip of the iceberg, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark.  "Hundreds of patients are waiting for follow-up appointments, but they are not deemed serious enough to be ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Maori Landowners Misled by Maori Party
    Māori landowners are being misled by Government hui being held throughout the country promoting the troubled Māori Land Service (MLS), which underpins the Crown’s unpopular Ture Whenua reforms, says Labour’s Ikaroa-Rāwhiti MP Meka Whaitiri. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government’s Johnny-come-lately approach to multinational tax won’t wash
    It’s a case of baby steps for a Government that still allows multinational companies to avoid paying their fair share of tax, says Labour’s Revenue spokesperson Michael Wood. “After nine years in government, five years after the issue of multinational ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Auckland congestion up there with the world’s worst
    Traffic congestion is costing Auckland up to $2 billion in lost productivity according to the latest report from the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Michael Wood.  “This is a disaster and underlines the need for ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Experience in Youth Parliament 2016
    Being a Member of Youth Parliament was an unexpected, but fabulous opportunity for me. It provided me a way to connect with other young people who have some things in common, and to learn what it is like to be ...
    GreensBy NZ Green Party
    3 weeks ago
  • Labour backs renters’ call for warm, healthy homes
    80 per cent of renters wish their home was warmer and drier, and that’s what Labour will deliver, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • We can – and must – do better for Kiwi jobs
    Labour has the plan to get more young New Zealanders into jobs and tackle concerns raised in the latest statistics which show an extra 3000 young Kiwis are neither earning or learning compared to the same time last year, says ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Statement from Jacinda Ardern, Leader of the New Zealand Labour Party
    I want to start by giving my thanks to Andrew. His announcement today and the situation we have found ourselves in is not what anyone expected or wanted In my time working with Andrew I know one thing to be ...
    3 weeks ago

%d bloggers like this: