Confirmed: Brownlee made it up

Written By: - Date published: 3:43 pm, March 7th, 2011 - 18 comments
Categories: accountability, democracy under attack, Gerry Brownlee, making shit up, Politics - Tags: , , , ,

More bad news for Gerry Brownlee today. No Right Turn has had confirmation that Gerry Brownlee makes his ‘policy’ up as he goes without seeking competent advice. This must be more than slightly terrifying to the people of Christchurch because Brownlee is their dictator by legislation in the rebuilding effort. His bulldozing ineptness is not just confined to buildings but is endemic to everything he does.

Reproduced from No Right Turn, under the very kind permission of Idiot/Savant.

Last year, when the government was making a lot of noise about its goal of “closing the gap” with Australia, we were confronted with the odd sight of Economic Development Minister Gerry Brownlee claiming in the House to have targets and milestones for this goal, but refusing to say what they were. When later pressed on this, he claimed that his targets and milestones were

to remove the millstones from around the neck of the New Zealand economy placed on it by the previous Labour Government […] to assist the Government’s programme to undertake comprehensive economic reform of the New Zealand economy [and] to rebalance the economy towards export-led growth.

Since then I’ve been engaged in a prolonged OIA battle with the Minister to force him to either produce the advice on which these “milestones” were based. Despite being given numerous interesting but irrelevant documents, its been clear from the beginning that there was no such advice – that Brownlee made up his “milestones”, and in the process lied to Parliament. And today, I received confirmation of this, in the form of the Ombudsman’s preliminary views on a complaint I lodged about Brownlee’s answers. The Ombudsman has formed the view that Brownlee should have refused my request, on the grounds of section 18(g) of the Act – basically, that it does not exist. Why? Because the Minister had admitted it:

My investigator met with the relevant officials from the Ministers office. She was advised that the answer given in the House was not based on specific advice received by Mr Brownlee either from the Ministry of Economic Development, or from the advisors in his office. It was developed by Mr Brownlee and the relevant advisor. The answer in the House was drawn from the Minister’s political career and his understanding of National Party policy. While documents were provided to the Minister to assist him with the line of questioning in the House, those documents are not relevant to the targets provided in his answers of 27 July and 5 August 2010.[…]

It has become apparent during my investigation that there are no source documents for the answers given in the House on 27 July and 5 August 2010.

(Emphasis added)So there you have it. Confronted with a tricky line of questioning in the House, Brownlee sat down with his political hacks and made up policy out of whole cloth without advice or Cabinet authority. But its not just mildly embarrassing – this is supposed to be a core government policy, the heart of their economic programme. And yet they have no targets, no milestones, and when you get down to it, no plan except to keep doing what we’ve always done (which hasn’t closed the gap in the past, so why will it in the future?). Its a perfect example of the yawning void at the heart of this government, the way they focus on spin and ignore policy. And its a perfect example of the contempt they have for us – they think we won’t notice.

18 comments on “Confirmed: Brownlee made it up”

  1. Kevin Welsh 1

    No doubt, once again we will be met by the deafening sound of silence from the MSM on this.
    Great work from NRT to bring this to our attention.

  2. The Economic Illiteracy Support Group 2

    I know it’s part of the right wing agenda to bring government into disrepute by being utterly incompetent at the actual business of government when they’re in power, but isn’t Gerry carrying it a bit far?

  3. Fabulous work I/S

  4. tc 4

    Why should they enter politics when the NACT gov’t haven’t but rather indulged in a taxpayer funded exercise of gifting to big business, helping their farmer mates (and SCF) and generally removed the spark plugs and distributor caps across many areas so it all looks functional and in good nick like they promised back in blagathon 08….till you try and start/use it to find they’ve hobbled it.

    Chickens meet roost and it’s about time….as for the MSM taking this up that’s better than any tui billboard you’ll see ever….hilarious….they’re too busy doing Kent Brockman impersonations at chch….why use your brain and craft something new when you can stand by the rubble and go ‘ oh the humanity’ when the time for constructive proactive pieces on chch is long overdue.

  5. Awesome work – thank you I/S

  6. BLiP 6

    I/S FTW!!

  7. Deadly_NZ 7

    What you mean that Bullshit Brownlee has surpassed Meddling Murray for ineptness???

  8. Akldnut 8

    It has become apparent during my investigation that there are no source documents for the answers given in the House on 27 July and 5 August 2010.

    Should have put more emphasis on this as well!

    The silence from Tsmithfield, Fizzy and all the trolling RWNJ’s that relish in baiting everyone here is deafening.

    Awesome I/S

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      Next press release from PM Key: “We are closing the gap with Australia by encouraging more of our young graduates and young families to migrate there on a long term basis. Not only does this meant that New Zealanders will benefit from higher wages, it will have the added bonus of helping the National Government reduce our unemployment statistics.”

      • The Economic Illiteracy Support Group 8.1.1

        If National had been captaining the Titanic, the announcement would have been “Good news, ladies and gentlemen! We’re just stopping to take on a little ice … “

  9. Macro 9

    Captcha “lied”
    Says it all really!
    Keep up the excellent work I/S. Many times I want to thank you for your blog – so this is not just for this post but for them all. 🙂

  10. Cnr Joe 10

    I/S, this seems the opportunity – w munged address and all – to say keep up the work, its all to the good

  11. Gerry Brownlee hates democracy and accountability. This is a matter of public record. Somewhere I have an mp3 file that captures him saying as much….though not in so many words, but the meaning is crystal clear.

    Anyone who doesn’t want to make $13/hour indefinitely in a crap job with no overtime and no minimum hours /week, where the boss dictates your holidays, should be off to OZ like a shot. That’s pretty much everyone under 25 who isn’t entering a profession (Dr, Lawyer, dentist, accountant) or inheriting a dairy farm.

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      Anyone entering a profession should figure out that they’re also stuffed in NZ unless they happen to be in a firm which provides specialised services to the elite. Because 80% of NZ won’t be able to afford their services, the bread and butter business which pays the bills.

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