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Bridges is rattled, and confused

Written By: - Date published: 7:36 pm, April 9th, 2014 - 97 comments
Categories: national, national/act government - Tags:

simon bridges john key

Simon Bridges is under considerable pressure.  Yesterday he appeared to have been caught out when it was disclosed that the areas he had designated [for oil exploration] included DOC’s largest forest park, an area described by DOC as “pristine” and “untouched”.

Today in Parliament Russel Norman asked him about this decision.  The film makes entertaining viewing.

It appears that a number of parks are included and Norman listed some of them.  They include:

Kakapōtahi Ecological Area, Te Wharau Ecological Area, Deep Creek Ecological Area, Mōkihinui Forks Ecological Area, Upper Tōtara Ecological Area, Doctor Hill Ecological Area, Mount Hārata Ecological Area, Coal Creek Ecological Area, Kaniere Ecological Area, Three Mile Hill Ecological Area, Greenstone Ecological Area, Mount Richmond Forest Park, Te Wharau Wildlife Management Area, Orikaka Ecological Area, Bell Hill – Granite Hill Ecological Area, Fletcher Creek Ecological Area, Card Creek Ecological Area, Lyall Historic Reserve and White Creek Fault Scientific Reserve.

Bridges then appears to have had something of a brain explosion.  He tried to defend himself by claiming “that was not the case when under his [Norman’s] watch there were 12 mining permits, including for exploratory petroleum, in the very area—the Victoria Forest Park— where he now says there should not be any mining in.”

Bridges then said “Russel Norman allowed open-cast coalmining in that area when he was …” until he was cut off.

It appears that Bridges thinks that Norman was a former Minister for Mining.  Someone needs to advise him that Norman has never been a Minister.  Bridges appears to be as confused as to the membership of previous Cabinets and he is about where he is allowing exploratory drilling.

97 comments on “Bridges is rattled, and confused”

  1. geoff 1

    It would be hilarious if it wasn’t so fucking infuriating that we are at the mercy of these idiots.

  2. tc 2

    Another own goal from team nact, maybe jamie lee ross can help him.

    My what a dream team this govt has.

  3. Disraeli Gladstone 3

    What’s bizarre is that he kept doing it even after both Mallard and Peters had essentially gone “umm, what? Norman hasn’t been in government, you idiot.”

    It’s like he had the lines on his notes and could not deviate from them. He was incapable of thinking on his feet.

    Another previously talked about future National leader bites the dust. Joyce and Bennett must be rubbing their hands together with glee.

    • karol 3.1

      I can see why John Key and Maurice Willliamson made an early get-a-way- “You’re on your own, Simon”.

      At one point Bridges looked like he was praying.

      • Rosie 3.1.1

        He is the “son of a preacher man” so it’s possible, and in Bridges’s position, prayers may be all he has. He certainly hasn’t got a quick wit and intelligence to rely upon, so intervention from the cosmic source maybe something he seeks when things get “trickey”.

        • Rosie

          I’m sorry, I can’t help myself.

          Here’s Dusty Springfield with Son Of A Preacher Man

    • Lanthanide 3.2

      I really hope he is a future National leader. Should be about as successful as Blinglish was.

  4. Dan1 4

    Their first response is to lie. Their eyes change: how dare they question my version of reality!

    He is another psychopath like his leader.

    Cleckley’s symptoms follow:

    Superficial charm and good "intelligence"
    Absence of delusions and other signs of irrational thinking
    Absence of "nervousness" or psychoneurotic manifestations
    Untruthfulness and insincerity
    Lack of remorse and shame
    Inadequately motivated antisocial behavior
    Poor judgment and failure to learn by experience
    Pathologic egocentricity and incapacity for love
    General poverty in major affective reactions
    Specific loss of insight
    Unresponsiveness in general interpersonal relations
    Fantastic and uninviting behavior with drink and sometimes without
    Suicide threats rarely carried out
    Sex life impersonal, trivial, and poorly integrated
    Failure to follow any life plan.

    Some I can’t answer for, but both clots exhibit quite a few of the symptoms.

    • McFlock 4.1

      nah, bridges is just a fucking meathead who sticks with the script (even when it’s broken) because he can’t think of anything himself.

    • JonL 4.2

      Key is definitely a psychopath….Bridges?………I’d tend to go more with McFlock.

  5. Jim 5

    So what I took from this exchange was:
    1. Bridges is way out of his depth.
    2. The speaker is National’s lap dog
    3. Norman is smart, but a bit of a poser

    To be honest, the one that surprised/concerned me the most was the speaker. He excused the repeatedly incorrect assertion by Bridges by blaming the length of Norman’s question – a ruling which surely deserved a point of order of its own for its bias.

    • blue leopard 5.1

      +1 re the Speaker’s reaction – it appeared he was saying that if a member of the Opposition asks a ‘political’ question (not that I consider that one to be that much of a ‘political’ question – rather a fair one) that National members are perfectly entitled to just ‘make shit up’. This was a completely unacceptable ruling.

      • Disraeli Gladstone 5.1.1

        All the opposition MPs should come into the debating chamber with t-shirts with “I miss Lockwood” on them.

        • blue leopard

          I actually don’t think Lockwood was much better – he was just better at ‘appearing’ fair – he made plenty of unfair rulings and allowed National to continue lying and not have issues addressed properly.

          I agree though, the opposition parties need to make a very united stand to this ruling (and other ones too but this one really takes the cake) – it is outrageous to allow someone to make false statements and continue to do so. It just turns parliament into an unholy fiasco.

          • Disraeli Gladstone

            Lockwood wasn’t perfect. But I’d say he was the best Speaker that I’ve seen New Zealand have. So that goes back to Hunt, I think (who was pretty good himself if memory serves). Admittedly, only four people, but I’d definitely have Lockwood as the best and David Carter so far back at the bottom (with Hunt and Wilson in between and in that order). Lockwood did hold National to account a fair bit (not all the time, no) and he made ministers answer the question (as opposed to just addressing it). Even Key got called up about that.

            He was decent. That’s a sentiment I’ve seen expressed by a lot of Greens and Labour MPs.

            • blue leopard

              Yes a lot of people seem to like him – I found him still very bias and sometimes think that overt bias is preferable solely because then more people notice it and therefore is less likely to be swallowed. (A bit sad to have to choose between two different types of bias) But, yes perhaps Lockwood did have a bit more respect for rules and therefore could be appealed to on those grounds.

              I don’t have much to compare with because I only started following parliament when Lockwood was in.

              It seems a bit odd that a person from a political party is chosen as speaker – seems like it would be better if the speaker was chosen from somewhere a little more removed because it seems like a pretty tall ask to expect someone to make unfavourable rulings against one’s buddies.

            • Grace Miller

              If you remember Lockjaw Smith from the children’s quiz show ‘W3’ you’ll remember he hardly covered himself in glory, even then! He insisted on the children calling him ‘Sir’ at every opportunity; it was cringeworthy.

              He moved to Speaker of the House, with a sorrier set of kids to keep in line.

              Bridges ought to lay off the glass pipe; it’s makin’ him jittery and paranoid. 😉

              Watch his interview on Campbell over deep sea drilling – even knowing the two don’t much care for each other doesn’t excuse his grating, shouting, bullying performance!

              And is this news today? Only here, sadly. What a clown.

            • McFlock

              Lockwood was the sort of ref where dicey calls always seemed to fall in favour of one particular team, just at the important point in a match.

              Carter is a WWE referee, without the showmanship: blatantly biased and incompetent to the point of making shit up and scoring points accordingly. Arguing that bridges’ lies were fine because they weren’t a necessary part of the answer was just nuts.

          • Tracey

            i disagree. i thought wilson would be a great speaker but she was too partisan.

            i think lockwood was very even handed, which is why he got london. he had to go.


            nice idea about the t shirts.

            • felix

              Yeah Lockie was head and shoulders above any speaker I can remember EXCEPT when dealing with John Key, whom he let get away with absolute mayhem.

              • thatguynz

                I admit that I’m showing my ignorance on this, but why can’t the Speaker role be independent?

                • felix

                  Good question. I think only elected members of parliament can actually speak in the chamber.

                  But then the Clerk has to speak to conduct party voting, so exceptions to that are possible.

                  Any constitutional lawyers or historians around today?

                • Tracey

                  i suspect it is related to the idea that the place is full of “honorable gentlemen” , and having someone in the chair who knows the rules and practise.

                  • Wensleydale

                    That place hasn’t been full of honourable gentlemen since the last of the builders left.

    • Rodel 5.2

      It was most unfair to ask questions to Simon, questions which had more than three big words in the sentence.

      • blue leopard 5.2.1


      • Wensleydale 5.2.2

        True. If you look carefully at the table in front of him, you’ll find that unlike that of other ministers, his is covered with lego and colouring books.

  6. RedBaronCV 6

    A minister so loved by his civ’s that they ensure his interests are looked after at every turn.

  7. One Anonymous Bloke 7

    Simon Bridges, you piece of shit.

  8. One Anonymous Bloke 9

    Bridges isn’t confused. he perjured himself deliberately, in the highest court in the land, to avoid his personal responsibility.

    He’s incompetent, so he tell lies. Just like the lying Prime Minister. Why bother arguing with scum? We might as well negotiate with the Ebola virus.

    • Murray Olsen 9.1

      As an ex-prosecutor, perjuring himself in court would come naturally. I’m surprised he does it so badly, but maybe that’s why he had to change careers?

      • North 9.1.1

        He’s found himself a new judge in Speaker Carter who lets him get away with all sorts of shit that he’d get blasted for in the inferior courts of the land. Wee ex-Crown prosecutor Simon’s a glib lying piece of shit with the intellectual morality of a lizard. We know that. So his latest dance is more or less unremarkable except as to roll in the aisles at. Most of the cabinet are mirror images. Look at Paula Bennett(oinette).

        Carter however is abominable. Treats Parliament like his home paddock. Swear at the dogs, walk outside and piss off the porch whenever he feels like it. A Tory backwoodsmen who demeans the office.

    • Stuart Munro 9.2

      I’m astonished myself at how far parliamentary standards have fallen.

      Traditionally a minister who lies to the house in respect of his area of competence must resign.

      Bridges lied.

      Why is he still in parliament?

      • felix 9.2.1

        But lying is his area of competence.

      • Tracey 9.2.2

        because this govt has made lying normal.. it started the day key said on tv he was an honest man and would hold his ministers to a higher standard than clark…

        orchestrated litany of lies comes to mind

        • North

          Makes “Eeh it’s all Labour’s fault !” look like a sweet kiss. What a spineless little dork is wee Simon. Wouldn’t give him the gloss…….

          Check out the picture. In training with Daddy.

          • Tracey


            Master: If you look like you give a shit, and then say you give a shit, Grasshopper, it matters not that you leave your footprints all over the pristine forest floors.

            Grasshopper: But Master, are we not supposed to leave no trace of where we have been

            Master: chuckle. Oh grasshopper, have you leanred nothing, we will not be around for the clean up, we will be in Hawaii.

  9. fender 10

    This is a serious work incident and the boy Bridges should be drug tested.

    • Rodel 10.1

      Not drug tested..IQ tested. Probably low 80’s at a guess.

      • McFlock 10.1.1

        Good haircut, can smile, can’t think for himself, follows simple directions to the letter… a PM’s dream cabinet member. Zero plotting, all fall-guy.

      • Rosie 10.1.2

        In fact, Bridges is so Tard that Greenpeace are saying that he should be sacked for his incompetence:

        “Simon Bridges has got to be sacked. He’s utterly, eye-wateringly incompetent.”


        So, he’s a liar and isn’t up the job. If Key doesn’t get rid of him, then Tauranga, it’s up to you on 20th September to do so – the man is a danger to the environment and to workers too with his Employment Relations Amendment Bill

  10. Tracey 11

    interesting that mr key thinks that just because doc has something on its website doesnt mean its true… an accidental insight into the pm’s view of information? he knows how much national bullshits on their website etc?

  11. Facts and opinion weigh heavily against – Simon Bridges guilty of blatant bull

    Once could be excused as a slip but making three similar claims means Bridges looks guilty of extreme ignorance or he made blatantly false claims. Either is inexcusable for a Minister.

    • Tracey 12.1

      like dropping in for a cuppa on the way to the airport…

    • freedom 12.2

      Well done on getting Politicheck out of the gate.

      Just looked through your first Politicheck offerings…. all five of them.

      IMHO, with everything that has happened in the past six years of this National Government, it was somewhat of a shock to see the lead off articles for the big fact checking site only deal with current affairs instead of things like;

      :What the level of available funds were in the EQC coffers pre the CHCH quakes?
      :Did the mining and drilling permits follow correct procedure?
      :How many unemployed people are in New Zealand, compared to the MSD figures?
      :Pretty much everything on Blip’s list?

      Maybe I misunderstood what Politicheck was set up to do but it appears to be little more than just another blog, but one without comments. Even the “verdict” seems to be something that will be easily manipulated into whatever message of the day you are peddling. A good idea might be to list what the “verdict’ ratings actually mean.

      May I suggest a page where “Interim” verdicts can be easily linked to, i.e: tracked, or do you expect people to keep track of these things themselves?

      And the whole layout of the articles themselves is atrocious, it just looks like a big copy-paste blog with no easily identifiable difference between the copy-paste statements and the fact checking responses. The choice of template is not well thought out if clarity was intended. The chosen format allows a subtle repeating of the message, even when that message is the thing being fact checked. The Labour- National Super article being a good example.

      A simple boxing around the copy paste statements might be a good start.

      It’s early days, so I am sure I am not alone in saying I look forward to seeing how it develops.

      p.s. how is that weekly budget for poor people coming along?

      • Tracey 12.2.1

        Oh, I see, all his posting of links and figures the last few days was sow e would click on one of his links when his site opened…

        Pete, why did you not fact check the first statement of Bridges that you quoted?

        “There are over a thousand such areas, and I had not heard of all of them”

        • Pete George

          Because it wasn’t what seemed of most interest to people. I’ll see if it’s worth adding to the list.

          • Tracey

            so, criteria is what interests “people” not lets check the veracit of his statements.

            • Pete George

              Both interest and checking veracity. We can’t check everything all politicians say so have to pick the most pertinent issues of most interest to people. We can’t risk being accused of being too tedious and nitpicking, can we.

              • Tracey

                Then might i suggest you don’t start your quoted portions with a fact you haven’t checked? OR state that you haven’t checked that fact.

                Given Bridges was being accused of lying or making things up, whether there are “over a thousand” has some import.

                • I didn’t know it wasn’t a fact. And it’s very confusing with all the differently named parks, reserves and areas. Searching ‘ecological areas’ looks like taking a bit of work.

                  If you can post details here or email me it will speed up the process.

                  And it looks like this may be covered more in question time today.

                  • Tracey

                    what do you mean you didnt know it wasnt a fact? Did you know it was? If yes, how do you know.

                  • Mainlander

                    Pete just tell that hate filled hag to fk off she offers nothing but bile to any conversation on here

          • freedom

            I agree with what Tracey said.

            There are over a thousand such areas, and I had not heard of all of them

            Isn’t this statement of fact by a Minister of the Crown a complete no-brainer for a political fact checking site that has chosen to focus on the very topic whence the statement came, or am i mistaken?

            And what exactly is your qualification for this reply to Tracey’s question?

            Because it wasn’t what seemed of most interest to people

            Did you do a poll? In the precious few hours between events and posting, was their a flurry of emails by people who psychically knew you were considering doing the piece? Did you send out Carrier Pigeons?

            What is silliest of all about your reply, and the post in general, is that the story only happened yesterday. You have made numerous comments here about the thorough and time consuming process of fact checking and how Politicheck are going to be all about the integrity and yet you fall flat on the very first fact stated in that post.

            But Pete, as far gathering public opinion goes, here’s an idea.

            Once a week/month you could put up a post on Politicheck which is really a series of ‘mini posts’ being the top issues the editorial team feel should be looked at.

            As you are using ‘likes’, people can ‘like’ their preferences, and you will have an easy polling system for what your readers deem to be articles of interest for your team to work on.

            By the content so far I sense there will always be a ‘news of the day’ aspect but surely, after a month in the job, there is a long list of topics and events that you and your team are considering work on. SO, if the public input is so central then why not get the public’s opinion?

      • Pete George 12.2.2

        Re blog format, this is an interim option so we can start operating pending the development of the website. Some of the formatting issues have been addressed.

        More features will be built in to the website.

        Since before I became involved it was decided to focus mostly on topical and election related issues. We don’t want to flood it with too many posts at this stage, we’re easing into action.

        As time permits we will look back as well. If you want to contribute that would be welcome, from tips through to detailed checks. It’s all voluntary time amongst other commitments so we’ll fit in what we can and accept any assistance.

        I’ve got BLiP’s list and we’ll be looking through that.

        • Dave kennedy

          Good on you for attempting this, Pete, I just visited your new blog and think it is worthy of support. Obviously all parties would like to see a bias towards them but I admire your attempt to be impartial. All parties should be held to account for the accuracy of their claims but it does strike me that while some are genuine mistakes or sloppy research, a good number seem to be deliberate. Intent is a very important aspect to focus on although not easy to prove.

    • felix 12.3

      Yes well done getting ScrittiPolitti up and running.

      Can I suggest we all give Pete a bit of a fair go about this? I know his style of interaction here can be a pain in the arse but at least he’s trying something.

      Perhaps if we can try to be constructive with our criticism we might actually help build something for the common good rather than tearing it down at the first sign of a flaw.

      Or maybe it’s a waste of time and I’m kidding myself. I don’t know. But we’ll never know if we don’t at least let him have a go. All I am saying… ♫ is give Pete a chance. 😀

      • blue leopard 12.3.1

        +1 Felix

      • Tracey 12.3.2

        i agree. my questions above are supposed to be helping get further clarity for the project.

        i know that it is easier to criticise than create.

        • freedom

          Yup, criticism is certainly easier and because I do actually create stuff on a regular basis, I certainly know how important criticism is. I am attempting to be completely constructive in my Politicheck comments, but forgive me if a few comments are somewhat coloured by a constant gnawing in my gut that the whole thing is one big distractionary scam.

          Here at The Standard I think we will have to be careful that whatever pops up on Politicheck does not swamp the content here. This is going to be especially central to the Open Mike as the Election campaign progresses. Politicheck might be a good thing and we all can certainly encourage those that run it to do something positive, if that is the desired outcome for them.

          Maybe The Standard operators and mods could get together and consider a Politicheck board? A place where discussion on Politicheck items can be separated from general discussion. Or at least a policy guiding future discussion of the site?

          Politicheck was set up to be different from other blogs. As its mission does fall outside of what other blogs are, and if those differences are highlighted, then perhaps it will help Politicheck find its feet and become the resource we all hope it can be.

          • Tracey

            i have misgivings, based more on what i consider to be petes lack of experience as an editor or fact checker.

            • Pete George

              They are important aspects but it involves a lot more than just that.

              • Tracey

                do you have past experience as an editor, or any traing as an editor?

                • No training.

                  In the early 1980s I wrote and edited a computer user magazine, I wrote a correspondence course on computing and I wrote a book “Computing for beginners”.

                  For thirty years I’ve written and edited many course notes, training manuals and operating procedures – precision is essential.

                  I wrote and edited a book of poetry in 2009.

                  I’ve edited blogs for several years.

          • Pete George

            Politicheck is a project with a genuine aim to help improve political information, debate and behaviour. If all parties become more open and honest then we all benefit, whether our favoured party is in Government or not. We have different political backgrounds but have a common goal – better politics. That’s something that many voters want.

            I don’t want it to be an isolated enterprise. We’re in a social media world were there’s a lot of interaction, so I think we can all do better by harnessing this.

            So I want to crowd source this as much as possible. There’s already a lot of holding to account and fact checking done on blogs, so it makes sense to utilise, build on and integrate rather than work in isolation. Political blogs can still do what they want but can provide appropriate material into a neutral library. We’ll look for and pick up material anyway but working together will work better. Blogs will be a good source of leads and some detail, and Politicheck will become a useful source for blogs.

          • lprent

            What about a page (ie not a post) with comments? If I attach it to and item on the menu it can be persistent.

            As well as easter & anzac day I’m having a week off work from the 28th to the 2nd specifically to have time for TS. While I’m working the three days between easter monday and anzac day (I got the short straw), Lyn is away doing a writers retreat off the net. So I will be at a loose end in the evenings then as well.

            I’m sure that I will have time to do it..

  12. freedom 13

    Simple Simon met a mine man,
    mining here and there;
    Says Simple Simon to the mine man,
    How about right here?

    The mine man Says to Simple Simon,
    Is it not a special forest?
    Says Simple Simon to the mine man,
    Only if you’re honest.

    Simple Simon walked away,
    He thought about some drilling;
    Printed permits night and day,
    Had oil barons grinning.

    Simple Simon topped it all,
    With porkies in the chamber;
    Ministers should really know,
    The Ministers they’re naming

    • Tracey 13.1

      VERY GOOD!

    • Rosie 13.2

      A round of applause to you freedom 🙂

      • freedom 13.2.1

        I do wish I had written “digging here and there;” and ” T’is not a special forest? “,
        just for the timing and playfulness of the words but I missed the edit deadline when it struck me. In my defence, it was only one coffee into the day. That barely gets me across the studio floor 😯

  13. Tracey 14

    I can’t tell whether the picture looks like dad telling off one of his sons, or a headmaster explaining to a Head Boy how he fucked up everything for the school

  14. Lez Howard 15

    Bridges.. Key, Banks, National Wankers Paradise

  15. Delia 16

    I have always thought I followed politics reasonably well. I was surprised to learn we have had a Green govt previously and that Russel Norman had actually made decisions in that govt. It just shows I must be as deluded as some of those National MPs are.

  16. srylands 17

    It was a shocking performance by Bridges. But this is yet another example of you not focusing on the real issues – which is growth and wealth creation. What do you want the Government to do? Stop mining? There is no alternative but for New Zealand to press ahead with expanded mining and intensive farming. Unless the left wants Zimbabwean style welfare checks for its constituents. Because “green jobs” won’t do it.

    • blue leopard 17.1

      It is a big issue when the speaker of the house tells parliament members that it is perfectly o.k for a minister to make up stuff when questioned in a manner deemed ‘political’ by the speaker.

      Parliament time is a time for the government of the day to be questioned and called to account – this is an integral part of our democratic system.

      Ministers should not be supported by the speaker of the house when speaking fiction at any time – for the speaker to do so simply turns this important process into a farce.

    • vto 17.2

      “There is no alternative but for New Zealand to press ahead with expanded mining and intensive farming.”

      so what happens when it is physically not possible to keep doing this?

      and why wait until that point to do something about it?

      and the real issue is not “growth”. that is the single most misleading cry on the planet. think about it srylands – why do you supposedly need growth? what for? I tell you what for – to pay the interest on printed paper money / debt creation.

      you seriously need to expand you mind

    • McFlock 17.3

      But this is yet another example of you not focusing on the real issues – which is growth and wealth creation.

      Maybe you should write a post on growth and wealth creation yourself. Personally, I reckon that a minister blatantly lying to the house is a pretty important issue, too.

    • Tracey 17.4

      given the rich have gotten richer since 2008, wealth creation doesnt seem to be a problem. unless you are the poor bastards the wealthy are still not giving pay rises to despite the rockstar economy.

      you are just a parrot slylans

      “growth and wealth creation. growth and wealth creation. growth and wealth creation.”

      only takes a few times for it to become meaningless…

  17. Tracey 18

    why is there more outrage at dotcom, currently facing extradition, than john banks, sitting pm and former cabinet minister on criminal charges? not even front page news when he is back in court?

    • MaxFletcher 18.1

      Probably because Dotcom is still shamelessly self-promoting himself whereas Banks appears to be trying to fade away.

      • Tracey 18.1.1

        last time banks faded away, it was executive director of hujlich. he may be quieter at the moment but that doesnt mean he isnt damaging people everywhere

  18. captain hook 19

    sure he is confused. he is such a vain little popinjay the most he can consider is if the photographer has got his right side or not.

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