Written By: - Date published: 7:44 am, September 13th, 2018 - 128 comments
Categories: Gerry Brownlee, national, Politics, same old national - Tags: christchurch earthquake, christchurch rebuilding, steel
He has form for this sort of behaviour.
But his sensitivity about the class action concerning the use of sub standard steel in Christchurch is a major cause of concern.
And his decision to ring a junior lawyer working at the law firm bringing the case is frankly weird.
From the Herald:
National Party MP Gerry Brownlee has sternly denied bullying a junior solicitor during a phone call after claims from her firm she felt “intimidated and harassed”.
Adina Thorn Lawyers alleges Brownlee was forceful with the solicitor during a 17-minute phone call on Monday, presenting a number of complaints and allegedly making bully-like comments.
However, the former Earthquake Minister rejects allegations he bullied the woman over the phone.
“I totally reject the suggestion that I was bullying and intimidating.
Adina Thorn said Brownlee did not give his name until the end of the conversation.
"It is incredibly unprofessional for a sitting MP to ring a private law firm, make numerous allegations and bullying comments, and not identify himself until the very end of the call.
The firm was "appalled" by Brownlee’s call.
The junior solicitor suggested Brownlee bombarded her with a “tirade of questions” but didn’t give her an opportunity to answer.
After the lengthy phone call, the woman had to leave work for the day, Thorn added.
Like I said Brownlee has form for this sort of behaviour. There was the infamous case in 2002 when he was successfully sued for assaulting Native Forest Action supporter Neil Abel. And for a more recent example there is this occasion where he publicly blasted Geonet director Ken Gledhill for publicly suggesting that further resources could improve Geonet’s response system.
His response to this particular incident makes you worried about the quality of steel that was used in the rebuild. Now would be a good time to have an inquiry into the rebuild. Best that we find out what happened now.
And Bridges now has a big problem. Insisting that Ardern takes tough action against Meka Whaitiri but turning a blind eye on Brownlee’s behaviour is more than a little hypocritical.
At the risk of demonstrating a degree of arrogance that can only come from academics, I'm inclined to believe the junior solicitor's account of this interaction.https://t.co/gCUK10BVG7
— Andrew Geddis (@acgeddis) September 12, 2018
Update: Brownlee has given this interview on Radio New Zealand. He thought he was talking to Adina Thorn and not a junior staff member. And a National Press Officer gave Radio New Zealand a comment “[s]o he just kind of unleashed, you know how Gerry is”.