Brownlee should stop vilifying scientists

Written By: - Date published: 7:53 am, November 22nd, 2016 - 21 comments
Categories: disaster, Gerry Brownlee, national, same old national, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags:


Gerry Brownlee has been in the news lately.  First for attacking a public servant for not telling the Government about a rather major gap in our civil defence network then for attacking him after admitting that the scientist had actually raised the issue in reports about this rather large gap.  I kid you not.

First there was this:

Acting Civil Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee has blasted comments made by the head of Geonet – saying he feels blindsided.

Brownlee said he took issue with Dr Ken Gledhill, who works for GNS Science and heads its Geonet department, talking publicly about how better technology would help the service, when no approach had been made to the Government.

Brownlee said he would contact the leadership of GNS Science, including acting chief executive Neal Wai Poi, tomorrow and express that view.

That centred on the fact that Gledhill or his team had not made an approach or report to the Government about their view that a better monitoring system was desirable.

Nek minnit:

Acting Civil Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee has been accused of vilifying a Geonet scientist who spoke out about the need for a better tsunami warning system in New Zealand.

Brownlee stood his ground today, saying the country’s quake monitoring agency Geonet had “never, ever” raised the issue directly with the Government.

Following last week’s Magnitude 7.8 quake near Kaikoura, Geonet director Ken Gledhill blogged about the need for an expanded, around-the-clock monitoring system.

When Gledhill repeated the comments at a press conference at Parliament yesterday, Brownlee responded angrily, saying he had been blindsided by the scientist.

In response, the NZ Association of Scientists president Craig Stevens said today it was “of deep concern that the Government response is to vilify voices that seek to encourage us to learn from a post-mortem of events”. He said the Government should avoid actions that could lead to the repression of scientific advice to the public.

Brownlee met with GNS Science chair Nicola Crauford today to discuss the matter.

Speaking to reporters this afternoon, he said it was now apparent that GNS had raised a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week monitoring system in various reports over the years.

“But they have never, ever provided anything directly to Government or even close to it.”

This arrogant testosterone driven crap is normal operating procedure for this Government, but parse the statements and it appears Brownlee’s position has changed in this way:

  1. Brownlee claimed Gledhill never approached the Government for increased monitoring.
  2. Brownlee accepted Gledhill had sought increased monitoring in various reports over the years but had never, ever run into Brownlee’s office and chained himself to the front desk insisting that it should happen therefore Brownlee did not know about it.

Dear Gerry.  You must try better.  You guys have been in power for eight long years, you have experienced a number of significant earthquake episodes and basic stuff like making sure that the warning systems are up to scratch should be a fundamental requirement.  Throwing temper tantrums because you have been embarrassed for not knowing your job is not something a competent Minister does.

21 comments on “Brownlee should stop vilifying scientists”

  1. David H 1

    But he’s NOT a competent Minister. Just the opposite in fact.

  2. One Anonymous Bloke 2

    Can we avoid references to Brownlee’s appearance? Insult the bumptious oaf by all means, but come on, people, be creative 🙂

    “I was elected to lead, not to read”? Seriously? Is that his excuse?

  3. 3

    agree with David H

  4. AmaKiwi 4

    I laughed when Brownlee said he had never been approached for more money. For eight years Brownlee, Key, English, & Co. had one message to every department: “Cut, cut, cut, cut, cut, cut!”

    If Geonet had ever asked for a big funding increase, Geonet would have been targeted for budgetary destruction.

    After TWO devastating CHC quakes, Minister Brownlee never evaluated the warning systems? Resign in disgrace, Brownlee. You’re a gargantuan failure.

  5. Draco T Bastard 5

    Oh, look, an incompetent minister throwing his toys out of the cot because his incompetence was found out.

    • Pasupial 5.1

      Brownlee’s claim seems to reduce to; Gledhill was clearly incompetent because he expected competence from Brownlee as a minister. That is almost a valid point, when all past evidence shows Brownlee as inept in managing the response to disasters. However, it does beg the question of; why does he continue to hold the role of Civil Defense Minister when he has so clearly lost the plot?

  6. Tamati Tautuhi 6

    Obviously we learn’t nothing from the Christchurch Earthquakes

  7. Sacha 7

    This guy has form for attacking public servants who he knows are not allowed to fight back. Just another cowardly bully.

  8. dv 8

    Isn’t Nikki Kay the Min of Civil Defence? May be she read the papers?

  9. Rosemary McDonald 9

    Brownlee should stop.

  10. D'Esterre 10

    Gerry Brownlee has always been thin-skinned; given to bullying public servants who can’t talk back. I’ve seen this behaviour from him before, back in the 1990s. Nothing new…..

    • emergency mike 10.1

      Narcissists are never wrong. so when they’re wrong, a narcissist being the most tremendous person in the world, will loudly bluff and bluster, point the finger elsewhere, and play the victim. A sociopath will shrug their shoulders and swallow a dead rat when they have to – whatever, they have no shame – but a narcissist will hold out well past the point of ridiculousness because admitting any kind of failure conflicts with their internal narrative of massive awesomeness.

      I’ve always seen Brownlee as a classic example. But then the blue team seems to be conspicuously well stocked with them. Could be that’s because sociopaths, being superior manipulators, understand that narcissists will unquestioningly do as they are told as long as their vanity is sufficiently well fed.

      • AB 10.1.1

        Yeah – his primary motivation is to avoid looking bad, not to improve the safety of the populace.
        Narcissist – tick!

  11. NZJester 12

    National has always been a short sited government, not reacting until the problem is already upon us. Labour governments try to plan ahead for the future.
    The only Labour government that was not very forward thinking was the Proto Act Party infected Labour government that luckily managed to cut out the cancerous tumor that later formed the Act part.

  12. Wensleydale 13

    Brownlee was an inept woodwork teacher by all accounts, and now he’s an inept Minister of the Crown. At least he’s no longer ruining the futures of budding carpenters nationwide.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 13.1

      It’s easy to blame ol’ Scapegoat Brownlee for problems that in truth, result from a mixture of market-fairy dogma and blatant disaster capitalism.

      Not much we can do about earthquakes, but there’s plenty we can do about preparedness. The Nats would far rather follow the money.

  13. JustMe 14

    Again and per usual when a National MP is caught in a corner(or lets be more cruder here with his pants down) he resorts to blame games. In this instance it is as per usual Gerry Brownlee.
    The incompetence of this so-called minister leaves a Hell of alot to be desired.
    I believe, when he was a teacher, he would tell the students to read say page 200 of a book. But when one or more students pointed out to him that the relevant text ONLY had say 150 pages he would have a hissy-fit and storm off.
    Maybe Brownlee is jealous of those who are far more intelligent than him. And for him to get any sense of ‘upmanship’ he resorts to blame games and bullying behaviour. Dr Ken Gledhill is obviously far more intelligent, better educated and more clued up with matters of the behaviour of the earth than Brownlee can ever deem himself to be. But Brownlee wants(or rather HE MUST)feel he is more important and more wiser than anyone else.
    All in all I would much rather we had Ken Gledhill as a Minister than an incompetent idiot like Gerry Brownlee.
    After 8 years in government the ENTIRE Key government is coming across as totally incompetent.

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