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Brownlee accused of bullying lawyer

Written By: - Date published: 7:44 am, September 13th, 2018 - 128 comments
Categories: Gerry Brownlee, national, Politics, same old national - Tags: , ,

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.

https://twitter.com/acgeddis/status/1039951055688163328

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”.

128 comments on “Brownlee accused of bullying lawyer ”

  1. cleangreen 1

    Oh dear Gerry Brownlee is a bully!!!!!

    Probably a hang-over from his being a woodwork teacher eh?

    Of course you see him as the carping critic over Government’s Trevor Mallard as being the ‘real speaker of the house’ .

    But we see Gerry Brownlee always criticisng the speaker every day as though he (Gerry feels as through he is the real speaker)

    it is rather pathetic really and a waste of parliamentary time when they need to be actively dealing with the the torrent of troubles NZ citizens are facing.

    Brownlee = wasting productive parliamentary time.

  2. cleangreen 2

    Christchurch council is now selling their assets we learn today.

    A legacy issue left set-up by Gerry Brownlee perhaps???

    This is terrible!!!!!

    Selling the assets built up by the long taxpayer, for private rorting.

    Labour is ‘National lite’ for sure!!!!

    Labour under Jacinda is just business as usual again under ‘Roger Douglas round two’.

    • left_forward 2.1

      You have lost me – how does it follow that Labour is National lite because Christchurch Council is selling some assets?

      • Dukeofurl 2.1.1

        Thats cleangreen shtick…. a concern troll

      • koreropono 2.1.2

        Perhaps cleangreen is referring to Labour’s propensity to continue on with a failed economic policy that is generally favoured by more right leaning political parties. I suppose cleangreen sees the sale of yet more assets to the private sector as a continuation of the bigger neoliberal agenda. An agenda that sadly Labour seems hell bent on continuing. Maybe cleangreen is right on this occasion, or perhaps Labour is more ‘right’ than you thought it was.

        • left_forward 2.1.2.1

          Maybe all of those things or not. How could you tell?

          • koreropono 2.1.2.1.1

            How could you tell? I guess actions speak louder than words and I think Labour’s actions speak for themselves. Examples could include signing up to the TPP, despite evidence that it is an attack on our sovereignty and feeds a neoliberal agenda, whilst vulnerable workers become more vulnerable. Add to that, pre- election, Labour lied/misled voters about their intentions regarding the TPP. Then there was the promise to deal with policy around the section 70a benefit sanctions that affect predominately women and children and adds significantly to child poverty. I could go on and on but given the OP is about the bully Gerry Brownlee I don’t think it is appropriate to include Labour’s negligence of our most vulnerable citizens.

            • left-forward 2.1.2.1.1.1

              Yes, I totally agree about the TPP – most frustrating that they simply don’t just abandon it, and I don’t know what is happening with the section 70a sanctions – but I would support easing up on these.
              But has Labour announced asset sales or something? What else have they done / not done to justify – ‘Roger Douglas round two’ ?

              • koreropono

                Perhaps it is because Labour have not committed to overturning the most damaging economic reforms this country has ever seen? I have read somewhere Adern agreed that neoliberal economic policy is a failed ideology, yet they’re (Labour) are continuing on with Roger Douglas’ failed agenda, just like Helen did…I think many hoped that Adern would be different.

        • Bill 2.1.2.2

          But…but…but, Jacinda has a baby, and that makes her Progressive and so much more than just a working mum. And The Guardian keeps saying nice things about her and the party she leads.

          So…so…so, how dare you!?

          • left_forward 2.1.2.2.1

            And how does this wierd baby stuff relate to the OP and Brownlee?

            • Bill 2.1.2.2.1.1

              Well, it relates to this sub-thread where you and other pom-pom wavers mounted the usual defense of the indefensible by…attacking a commenter whose take you disagree with. A form of bullying as it were 😉

              • left_forward

                Nah Bill… asking a question about the logic of a commenter’s statements is not the same as an attack. You have made a bundle of inaccurate assumptions here.

          • Philj 2.1.2.2.2

            I have a sinking feeling that Jacinda could be our Obama. All hope and no change. Time will tell.

    • Clive Macann 2.2

      Huh? What sort of drugs are you on, cleangreen

  3. marty mars 3

    Hard to believe such a useless MP is still in the house – I thought he had already gone.

    This is weird – to ring that person??? What was he thinking?

    And underneath it all the steel – what shit is going to come from that I wonder.

  4. Chris T 4

    Not sure where you get Bridges has a problem from.

    You need a bit more than a “forceful” phone call from Brownlee before you start comparing it to the Meka “Is there anyone left on my staff” Whaitiri and her actual alleged physical assault.

    • marty mars 4.1

      I think an audit of brownlee would throw up lots of things

    • Muttonbird 4.2

      Brownlee’s call was a calculated and deceitful abuse of power intended to obstruct the course of justice.

      Being an entitled Nat politician he probably does this sort of thing several times a day.

      Pretty serious for a MP (and his supporters, Chris) to think this is all ok.

      • Chris T 4.2.1

        All MPs think they are entitled

        It seems to be an affliction that they all catch as they swear the oath

        This doesn’t change the fact that to compare this “forceful” phone call to an actual alleged physical assault by Whaitiri in some kind of weird desperate “what about them!!” ‘ism is pretty pathetic.

        • Muttonbird 4.2.1.1

          Nice. You wheeled out whataboutism straight after saying, ‘all MPs are the same’.

          Self awareness not your strong point?

          • Chris T 4.2.1.1.1

            I think you need to do some reading on the meaning of whataboutism

            • Muttonbird 4.2.1.1.1.1

              I know what it means and you used it when you said, “All MPs think they are entitled.”

              And you used it again by bringing the Whaitiri case into it.

              • Chris T

                I didn’t bring the Whaitiri case into it

                The person who wrote the article at the top of the page did

                “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.”

                Which was my whole point

                • Dukeofurl

                  We saw Key take tough action against Brownlee …again… when he admitted deliberately bypassing air port security check and offered to resign as Minister of Transport.
                  Key declined to accept his resignation… as Gerry was a good old boy who meant no harm.

                  Women are supposed to be ‘tough’ are they ?

                • Clive Macann

                  Chris T. Abuse whether physical or mental has the same effect. Do not try and say one is worse than the other. Just different forms of abuse. Bullying is not always a physical thing.

                  • Chris T

                    We don’t know it was a abuse

                    The actual company doing the accusing call it a “forceful” phone call

                    What qualifies as forceful?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      We don’t know it was a abuse

                      Yes we do. The person who was on the receiving end was so upset about it she went home to recuperate.

                      It’s the result that qualifies it.

                    • Yep good point draco

                    • Chuck

                      “He (Brownlee) said he assumed the call was recorded and welcomes the release of the taped call.”

                      “That would demonstrate that there was certainly no ranting and no bullying.”

                      https://www.odt.co.nz/news/national/brownlee-defends-bullying-phone-call-law-firm

                      Adina Thorn will be loving all this press for the proposed class action. Just hope if it goes to court they have a nice Judge that won’t put their lawyers under any pressure 🙂

                    • McFlock

                      Why would he assume the call was recorded? I don’t assume everyone I call at their workplace is taping their calls.

                      Although between the former MP for Queenstown and the fact that rogue texters seem to know what goes on in Nat caucus meetings, one can see why Brownlee might be paranoid.

                    • shadrach

                      “The person who was on the receiving end was so upset about it she went home to recuperate. It’s the result that qualifies it.”
                      The person allegedly on the receiving end of Meka Whaitiri’s alleged action wasn’t too happy either. Based on your logic we should suspend all natural justice and go straight for the sentencing.

                    • McFlock

                      “allegedly”, “logic”, “natural justice”.
                      All expressions of concepts that you clearly do not understand how to use.

                  • Muttonbird

                    Christie’s point apparently is that the Brownlee bullying and the alleged Meka bullying are not the same level offence and to compare the two is whataboutism.

                    The post says Bridges is in a difficult position because you can’t attack the PM for not being hard on one form of bullying while being soft on another.

                    Christie doesn’t think there’s an issue of hypocrisy there…

                    • greywarshark

                      The fact that there was a phone call which indicates an MP interest, and that there is high interest concern was a telling point in itself.

          • greywarshark 4.2.1.1.2

            ChrisT
            Quibble, quibble, then not so bad; not as bad as; etc.etc. and never giving up till we are down to Godwin level.

        • Draco T Bastard 4.2.1.2

          All MPs think they are entitled

          No. Only the RWNJ ones.

      • Chuck 4.2.2

        “Brownlee’s call was a calculated and deceitful abuse of power intended to obstruct the course of justice.”

        From what I understand it was a letter inviting people to join a class action being put together by a law firm. So please explain how its an abuse of power? and obstruct the course of justice?

        I have no doubt Brownlee can come across as forceful…

        Mickysavage posted this as well

        “And his decision to ring a junior lawyer working at the law firm bringing the case is frankly weird.”

        There was a number on the letter posted to Brownlee that invited people to call the law firm to discuss (which he called)… I can’t see where MS gets his “frankly weird” from???

    • Michelle 4.3

      how about storming his way through the airport security gate at the airport with his staff in tow Chris t therefore breaking the law does that meet your threshold

    • McFlock 4.4

      Nobody said the responses should be identical.

      But a 17 minute diatribe deserves more than “you know how Gerry is”.

  5. Muttonbird 5

    Bridges will be weak on this.

  6. Ad 6

    “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.

    That is pretty rich from a law firm who did a mass mailout drumming up business for a class action that is designed to make their partners truckloads of money.

    Adina Thorn are bottom feeding scum preying on fear.

    Good on Brownlee for sticking it to them.

    • Muttonbird 6.1

      Better not hold government decisions to account, had we…

      Brownlee abandoned Christchurch. At least Adina Thorn haven’t.

      • Ad 6.1.1

        Mesh reinforced foundations were not required until National brought them in.

        This letter is a cheap fearmongering exercise about seeking to prove a particular kind of steel mesh was used in domestic foundations.

        Ask yourself: who benefits from this class action? Citizens? Gerry Brownlee?

        “We are seeking registrations of interest from owners of buildings whose construction was between approximately 2012-2016 with steel mesh (mainly under floors and in driveways).

        Show your interest in bringing Steel Reinforcing Mesh manufacturers to account.

        If there is sufficient interest from owners with viable claims, we will be seeking compensation from the manufacturers through a class action, that we expect to be fully funded.”
        http://www.steelclassaction.co.nz/?gclid=CjwKCAjw8uLcBRACEiwAaL6MSdmtB8-yD4ihQMeyyJzFvCQ3oV10DShlKnM3OVnYtILhyDM9mK61oxoCqWoQAvD_BwE

        Adina Thorn are not doing anything for free. They are experts in funding this kind of litigation.

        And the beneficiaries? Who do you think will win out of this? Yes, we know who they are:
        ….. Just one person: Adina Thorn herself.

        • Muttonbird 6.1.1.1

          And the people with steel related problems. You, and big Gerry seem to have forgotten about them.

          The rebuild has been cheap and dodgy, and it’s cost several hundred million dollars to re-do bad work. This is widely accepted so I think if, as is likely, other areas of poor manufacturing/instalment become apparent years down the track it’s crucial there is a path to accountability.

          CTV shows us what happens when there is none.

          • Ad 6.1.1.1.1

            Of those who are notified in this mass mailout, how many will have actual benefit from it?

            Of all people with houses and driveways constructed between 2012 and 2016, there will be a much smaller set who will be able to identify what kind of steel was used.

            Of those there will be a smaller set who can identify that it may be of a potentially defective kind.

            From that set there will be a smaller group with the will to sign up to an open-ended litigation with a very small chance of success.

            From that group, an even smaller set will have the fortitude to stick the whole process out.

            From that remaining group, they face the prospect of years in court with potentially zero reward.

            All of that based on fear for all, anxiety for some, ah but for each of those steps, this legal firm keeps staying happy, extracting fees, all the way to the bank.

            Better Call Saul.

            • Muttonbird 6.1.1.1.1.1

              Yawn. There’s obviously something personal between you and Adina Thorn so best I leave it there.

            • Dukeofurl 6.1.1.1.1.2

              “Of all people with houses and driveways constructed between 2012 and 2016, there will be a much smaller set who will be able to identify what kind of steel was used.”

              Its called discovery. They will know the ‘builders name ‘ from Council records.
              Most franchise builders have ongoing supply relationships with certain suppliers. Thats because they negotiate rebates/discounts off the price for the quantity they use.
              Plus when they get to court they will have to produce the details from their invoices, ie Quickbuild. 500m2 of mesh for say 6 months.

          • Andre 6.1.1.1.2

            Ad is on the money with this one. The requirement for any mesh at all is relatively recent, many homes have floor slabs with no steel reinforcing at all.

            When the requirement for mesh was first introduced, steel that only stretched 2% before breaking met the requirement. Then after the earthquakes, that stretch requirement was increased to 10%. The ‘dodgy’ steel ‘only’ stretches 8%. But consider: concrete has a typical elongation of only 0.3% before breaking. So the point of the mesh is to hold the bits of broken concrete together, it only does a little bit to stop the concrete breaking. In that context, the difference between no reinforcing at all and reinforcing with 2% elongation mesh is huge, the difference between 2% mesh and 8% mesh is bugger-all, and the difference between 8% mesh and 10% mesh is negligible.

            https://www.buildmagazine.org.nz/assets/PDF/Build127-16-BuildRight-ReinforcingConcreteFloorSlabs.pdf

            https://www.boinz.org.nz/Site/resources/archived-news-and-media-releases/Conformance-of-reinforceing-steel-mesh.aspx

            But none of that in any way excuses Brownlee’s appalling actions.

            • gsays 6.1.1.1.2.1

              I understand mesh in driveways, to give strength to the concrete when vehicles drive on it.
              Mesh in slabs, is it earthquake related, or to give strength where walls and roof place a load or something else?

              • Andre

                Typically mesh really doesn’t add much at all to the strength of a concrete residential driveway. Strength in this context meaning preventing cracks, that in the absence of the mesh would allow the bits either side of the crack to separate.

                There’s so little steel (less than 1% by volume) compared to the volume of concrete, and the difference in modulus (stiffness) between steel and concrete is only a factor of around 10, so that means the steel is only carrying a very small fraction of stresses. Furthermore where it’s placed near the middle of the slab is not where the highest stresses are (the surfaces are the highest stressed) further reducing the contribution to strength.

                But the mesh is able to hold the bits of concrete on either side of a crack together in close contact, so the jagged faces of the crack lock together and prevent significant relative movements. So the slab or driveway still performs its intended purpose quite satisfactorily even if it is cracked. Quite often there will be cracks in a floor or driveway slab purely from shrinkage during the concrete hardening process.

                The situation in a reinforced concrete structure is somewhat different, in that the proportion of steel is much higher, and the placement of the steel is much closer to the highest stresses so it carries much more of the load.

                On top of that there may be prestressing going on – to take advantage of the high tensile strength of some steels to counteract the way concrete is strong in compression but weak in tension.

                • KJT

                  Steel acts as both a “crack arrester” and to hold concrete together if it does crack.

                  Increases the longevity and stress resistance of a slab.

                  It adds so little to the cost, any responsible builder/concretor uses it.

                  • Dukeofurl

                    KJT is right. It would be the most dodgy builder who didnt use any reinforcement. Most sites are having some fill underneath and while that is supposed to compacted properly who knows. Then there is clay soil and people who plant trees next to the house. All these things lead to cracks . Just to make sure put in some mesh.

                    I know builders who from experience used a steel 4 bar cage for shallow footings even if the minimum is just a few bars laid horizontally. It covers any other problems you may get from foundations which arent laid in factory conditions. You cant come back in 24 months and fix it if its a foundation problem.

                • gsays

                  tutuThanks for that Andre and KJT.

                  I was in the residential building industry for 8years in a 2 man crew.
                  Old school builder, did everything from foundations to roofing.
                  Very satisfying work.
                  His slabs would have the sprinkler on them for as long as possible, they never cracked while we were still there.

                  Incidentally I am looking at pouring a slab at home and then relocating a shed into it.
                  From what you have written, I should have the mesh about 20-30 mm from the surface of the concrete rather than 50-60mm below.

                  • Andre

                    If there didn’t already exist a whole industry with established practices, then my first gut reaction would be to say 2 layers of mesh would do a lot more to improve strength, as close to the top and bottom surfaces of the concrete as reasonably possible would do the most to increase strength. But that strength increase from two layers near the surfaces rather than one near the mid-plane is still pretty marginal, and it would be kind of a pain to position the mesh before pouring.

                    However, my expertise is more in fibre-reinforced plastic composites rather than reinforced concrete, and some weird stuff happens at low levels of fibre reinforcement in plastics. That may also be the case with mesh in concrete, I really don’t know.

                    So given there’s a well established industry with well established practices, if it were my slab I’d over-rule my theoretical reckons and go with what the experts want to do.

                    • KJT

                      If you are talking about a bridge slab or a suspended concrete floor, yes, and that is where you concentrate the reinforcement, away from the neutral axis.
                      I design boat parts in composite also. My favorite being foam core with plywood and a thin f/glass skins. Gets interesting doing the sums.

                      A floor slab is fully supported by the ground underneath. The mesh is to hold it from failing in tension, along the width of the slab. Near the centre of the concrete is good.

                      Concrete, “Island” foundations are more like a suspended floor. Seen a few with foam “cores” which both insulate and act like a core in a f/glass composite.

                    • Andre

                      Ah, so I’m getting a bit of a bum steer from observing that most of the cracked slabs I’ve seen are from ground movement underneath the slab, putting the slab into bending.

        • Dukeofurl 6.1.1.2

          “Mesh reinforced foundations were not required until National brought them in”

          Uhh ?

          These have been around decades. Your usual nonsense. I can remember them being used in Auckland in the mid 2000s.

          An upgrade to Building code after Christchurch meant the mesh and reinforcing rods required a minimum 15% ductility.

          • Andre 6.1.1.2.1

            “Traditionally, NZS 3604:1999 Timber framed buildings allowed unreinforced concrete floor slabs.”

            https://www.buildmagazine.org.nz/assets/PDF/Build127-16-BuildRight-ReinforcingConcreteFloorSlabs.pdf

            “On 1 August 2011 the Department extended the requirement for stronger foundations to the rest of New Zealand. The Department modified its referencing of NZS 3604:2011 to exclude unreinforced slabs. All concrete floor slabs on ‘good ground’ are required to have reinforcing steel mesh and all perimeter foundations are required to be tied to the concrete slab with reinforcing steel.”

            https://www.standards.govt.nz/assets/Publication-files/NZS-3604-2011-advisory-note.pdf

            That unreinforced slabs were allowed doesn’t mean that a builder with a bit of pride would actually cheap out on such a small additional expense that makes such a big difference to the long term performance.

          • KJT 6.1.1.2.2

            Ductility, stress to failure and elongation are not the same thing, although related. Any concrete will fail in tension long before steel reaches maximum elongation.
            Like any composite, the main purpose of reinforcing is to prevent micro cracking propagating.

            • Dukeofurl 6.1.1.2.2.1

              Did you see those big concrete slab cracks they got in Christchurch .
              The whole house was a write off because of that even though the timber frame had fixable problems.
              The 15% ductility requirement must be worthwhile other wise why bother. if its only crack control then the main reinforcing must be long bars around the perimeter with some laid diagonal across foundation cutoffs

        • Clive Macann 6.1.1.3

          Mesh reinforced foundations were not required until National brought them in. Hmm. Show me the evidence, please? Been in the construction trade for 50+ years and this is news to me. I think you need to train up on what is a foundation and what is a floor slab. Like chalk & cheese those two.

          • Andre 6.1.1.3.1

            My inner pedant fought hard over the slab vs foundation thing. But since the topic is mesh that’s used in slabs and I’m not aware of that kind of mesh going into foundations, I was able to beat it into submission and just go with what Ad appeared to mean instead of fussing over the exact words.

            • Dukeofurl 6.1.1.3.1.1

              Sounds like you have technical knowledge but for a house foundation no practical experience

              • Andre

                Only been around a few house foundations a long time ago, and those only used rebar and no mesh. Been grunt labour helping out with a few slabs. So bugger-all practical experience is a fair description when it comes to residential construction.

                My specialist technical expertise is to do with advanced fibre-reinforced composites. Aerospace, top-end marine, top-end sporting goods etc. How to design, analyse and manufacture advanced composite products. Which has a few similarities and a lot of differences to reinforced concrete. Any other out-of-their-usual-line projects my employer of the moment wants to get into usually also land on my plate. So I’ve ended up doing vibration dampers, load cells, lighting, machine control …

    • mickysavage 6.2

      Brownlee is a bully. There is no way that someone in public office should treat anyone in this way.

      The junior lawyer was obviously traumatised by this behaviour. I used to see this happen regularly in the 1980s but it should not be tolerated now.

      • Ad 6.2.1

        Oh I agree Brownlee is a bully.
        But Adina Thorn clearly had no process for protecting their staff when they invited calls from all the public. They are inviting support for hostile legal action and are wilting because they’re getting a bit of stick back.

        Maybe they’re just not built for the kind of contest they claim they want.

        • Muttonbird 6.2.1.1

          From the public? Gerry Brownlee is the ex government minister who oversaw the shambles that is the Christchurch rebuild. He’s not just any member of the public even though he tried to pretend he was.

          • Ad 6.2.1.1.1

            Gerry Brownlee is a representative of the citizenry, because he is a local MP. As well as being a citizen. Agree he was Minister in charge of a shambles.

            • Muttonbird 6.2.1.1.1.1

              Why do you think he didn’t take the time to a) identify who he was speaking to, and b) identify himself?

              Those are two things a normal citizen would do.

              If anyone appears dodgy in this case it isn’t Adina Thorn, that’s for sure.

            • gsays 6.2.1.1.1.2

              I would venture to suggest the former minister was motivated to call by his own position as overseer of the shambles he directed in Christchurch.
              Rather than representing the citizenry or his constituents.

      • Enough is Enough 6.2.2

        ” I used to see this happen regularly in the 1980s but it should not be tolerated now”

        Agreed it should not be tolerated now but have you been asleep this year.

        The legal profession has a culture of bullying that has finally come to light. The fact that the media has got hold of it this year does not mean it has vanished overnight. You may run a friendly little practice where bullying does not exist but you are living in Disneyland if you think that culture has been left in the 1980s.

        And as for Gerry giving it to one of those culprit firms – Meh.

      • indiana 6.2.3

        Aww c’mon MS! Its not like the junior lawyer had a dildo thrown in their face.

        • Ankerrawshark 6.2.3.1

          Indiana the woman who threw the dildo was not a politician and was dealt with by the police.

          False equivalence.

          Brownlee was wrong to do what he did. It’s now a problem for Simon as he will have trouble criticizing jacinda over Meka if he doesn’t take Brownlee to task

        • Delia 6.2.3.2

          She was a registered nurse. Please have proper facts if you comment.

      • Michelle 6.2.4

        Agree with m savage and would like to add the last governments were bullies we had 9 years of being bullied and treated like shit. And when are NZders going to realise a vote for the gnats is a vote for more inequalities every time NZders need to wise the fuck up

    • pete 6.3

      “bottom feeding scum preying on fear.”

      Sort of like those running around screaming “The country is doomed,” “Reds under the bed!” “Communism by stealth,” “Terrorists will be on the refugee boats bound to flood New Zealand!”

      So, any bottom feeding scum preying on fear on the Opposition side of the House? Or among their supporters?

  7. Stuart Munro 7

    I blame the parents. Fucking reptilians.

    • Nick 7.1

      Blame whose parents?

      • In Vino 7.1.1

        Why do I suspect that Stuart Munro may be a teacher, or an ex-teacher?
        I am a semi-retired teacher, and blaming the bloody useless negligent parents is my standard practice. They frustrate our every effort, it seems at times.

    • Dennis Frank 7.2

      Yeah, goddam reptilians all over the place: “On March 4, 2013, a video depicting a security agent with unusual features guarding a speech by U.S. President Barack Obama was spotlighted in a Wired report about shapeshifting reptilian humanoids”.

  8. Muttonbird 8

    Just as I thought. Bridges will be weak – he’s a very weak man. He’ll be all relaxed about Gerry because everyone knows this is just big, gate-jumping, bullying Gerry.

  9. tsmithfield 9

    I can understand Brownlee being a bit annoyed though.

    The law firm is touting this class action, and marketing it to people who don’t actually have any reason to be concerned. It seems to me that targeted people are likely to be very worried because of concerns about insurability, resale, safety etc.

    However, when people actually take the trouble to dig more deeply into the FAQ section of their web page, then they find this MBIE document:

    https://www.mbie.govt.nz/about/whats-happening/news/document-image-library/Ductile%20steel%20reinforcing%20mesh.pdf

    What if this product has been used in my house and I’ve received a CCC?

    We have advised BCAs that in this case, it’s our view that there is no need to take any action because the house will still meet the structural (as well as the life safety) requirements in the
    Code.

    So, according to MBIE the non-compliant mesh is still entirely suitable for standard slab foundations. Hence there is no need for home owners to panic.

    BTW, I have a home in Christchurch that was built in 2014. So, could well have non-compliant mesh. However, I am not at all concerned and have no intention to join the class action.

    Hence, I think the class action lawyers are causing a lot of needless angst and stress on Christchurch home owners who have already put up with enough.

    • Stuart Munro 9.1

      Christchurch will be fertile ground for class actions – lots of people wronged by Brownlee’s gross and frankly corrupt mismanagement of the rebuild.

      Fletchers and CERA are other obvious targets, as are the insurance companies who dragged out claims deliberately. Lots of small claimants rorted by large institutions, who were counting on the imbalance of power to give them impunity. They’ll be horrified by the prospect of justice for groups of small claimants.

      Mind – listening to Brownlee for seventeen minutes? Lawyer needs to hang up – or bill him.

    • Dukeofurl 9.2

      ” MBIE the non-compliant mesh is still entirely suitable for standard slab foundations. Hence there is no need for home owners to panic.”

      So MBIE is going to pay your out of pocket expenses if their advice is …. well a load of bollocks.
      These are the same people involved with the writing building code who have been responsible for some billions of faulty construction when using the code they said was OK ‘at the time’

      leaky buildings comes to mind.

      if you bought a braodband plan from Spark or Vodafone which in reality was 15% less than what they promised , wouldnt you expect some consequences plus refunds even.

      In an extreme event like earthquake 15% is a lot as foundations are often the weakest link. For a slab is the concrete strength up to the promised numbers, is the mesh supported properly and have the right cover. Does the under slab hard fill been compacted properly
      All these things can vary on a building site, so thats why it does matter as concrete is often not laid by highly skilled staff. Its just a pump and dump and spread and we’re done.
      Not long back Fletchers were supplying below strength concrete to a motorway bridge site and thats something that does get checked.

    • Dukeofurl 10.1

      The big company Steel and Tube was the one pushing the anti Adina Thorn article.

      Steel And Tube were convicted of selling shoddy steel…go figure ( all though they claim the conviction only related to the fake certificates being a misrepresentation- but that was Commerce Commissions only avenue)

      But you have to ask , why were the certificates faked in the first place ?

  10. Delia 11

    Is there anything worse than being at work and some person, comes through the line, with an angry agenda and won’t even have the common courtesy of giving their name and the media were all over Clare Curran.

  11. ankerawshark 12

    Ok I accept politicians won’t be perfect and that both parties will have this type of behaviour. The question that comes out of this for me is has Gerry ever been punished by the National leadership for his bad behaviour? (I genuinely don’t know the answer to this). I know Key did nothing about the airport incidence. So my view is that unfortunately there will be those politicians who behave badly, break the law etc as history shows us. BUT what does the leader do about it??????? Because if the leader doesn’t discipline them in some way, then they get the message that bullying, breaking the law etc is o.k…………………………..

    So far there has been a consequence for the ministers who have mucked up under Jacinda. Phil T using his phone on plane, Clare C, and Meka has stood aside pending review.

    Bridges really has to do something about Brownlee (not sacking, but tap on the hand type thing ) otherwise his calls for Jacinda to act tough lack credibility.

  12. appleboy 13

    Oh that’s alright Brownleg just thought he was talking to a different lawyer, so the bullying confrontational language and not declaring who you are is completely fine then. What a vomit inducing defence!

  13. chris73 14

    If you are going to bully someone*, and don’t want blowback, then make sure its a lawyer or something as equally odious, like a journalist

    *You really shouldn’t bully people

  14. Delia 15

    Fact is, if he wanted Adina, he should have introduced himself and asked to speak to her. I think Labour need to complain to the Leader about this.

    • Dennis Frank 15.1

      He ought to have done exactly that. No excuse for not asking for the person he wanted to talk to. However he has asked the firm to release his phone call, apparently, so maybe he did? Can’t really judge him guilty without that evidence.

      • Muttonbird 15.1.1

        He’s already admitted he had no idea who he was talking to.

        • Dennis Frank 15.1.1.1

          Hmm. Possibly he asked for the person he wanted to talk to and got told she wasn’t available, so he vented at whoever answered.

        • alwyn 15.1.1.2

          He said he thought he was talking to Adina Thorn, didn’t he?
          Actually, and this is simply an hypothesis, the phone was probably answered by someone who gave the Company name. It is quite normal of course.
          Just as when you call any other company they will normally answer with the company name rather than their own.
          Given that Adina Thorn is both the name of the firm and the name of the person it is not unreasonable that he should think he was talking to the person “Adina Thorn” if the answerer gave that name..

          • Muttonbird 15.1.1.2.1

            You’d want to know who you were talking to if you were about to go on a tirade in an attempt to intimidate a person into not pursuing a case.

            You might not offer your own identity though…and he didn’t.

            • Chuck 15.1.1.2.1.1

              “You might not offer your own identity though…and he didn’t.”

              Nor did the “junior lawyer” offer up her identity. Class 101 when you answer an incoming phone call is to say who you are. Not just the company name…who just happens to be the same as the chief.

              Maybe this is a lesson to all…when you answer a phone call each party introduces themselves to one another!!

          • The Unliving 15.1.1.2.2

            Just as when you call any other company they will normally answer with the company name rather than their own.

            No, they will always say their name as well as the company name. Pretty basic customer service that.

            Given that Adina Thorn is both the name of the firm and the name of the person it is not unreasonable that he should think he was talking to the person “Adina Thorn” if the answerer gave that name.

            Incorrect. Adina Thorn is Principal – I hardly think she is going to be answering the phones. Unless Brownlee is a complete imbecile he would know this too.

            • alwyn 15.1.1.2.2.1

              Well their contact details do list her direct telephone number, so she may just do so on occasion.
              http://www.adinathorn.co.nz/contact-us/contact-details/

              There are also statements on the website suggest that you contact the lady “directly”.
              “If you know of a matter that could lend itself to being brought as a class action (either an existing or a new claim), please contact Adina directly.”

              Many firms telephones are simply answered with the company name. They don’t “always” give the person’s own name as well.

    • Incognito 15.2

      I think Labour need to complain to the Leader about this.

      It has got nothing to do with Labour nor with the Government (if that’s what you actually meant).

      This is about a dick being a dick and other dicks saying “so he just kind of unleashed, you know how what a dick he is”. It’s endemic; the former head dick was quite proud of his dicking around: https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/john-key-defends-pulling-waitress-ponytail-as-horsing-around-6297009

  15. Dennis Frank 16

    It’s also possible that Brownlee has decided he wants to be Minister of Bullying in the next National government, so is getting in some early practice for the job. “Let’s see, where’s bullying accepted practice? Apart from schools, I mean. Law! And there just happens to be a suitable local pretext! Cool!!”

    RNZ quotes him saying this: “They wrote to me as a householder so I spoke to them as a householder.” Given the collective reputation of lawyers, one must concede that many householders would be dead keen to bully one, given a suitable opportunity. Probably more so in Chch than anywhere else in Aotearoa, too…

  16. Morrissey 17

    Is that fat b+$%ard at it AGAIN?!!!??

    Brownlee bullies GNS staff

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