- Date published:
8:00 am, April 8th, 2018 - 17 comments
Categories: disaster, doofus of the week, Gerry Brownlee, humour, megan woods, national, national/act government, same old national, the praiseworthy and the pitiful - Tags:
Another clear winner this week. It is Gerry Brownlee for his completely inept handling of his Ministerial obligations relating to the Christchurch rebuild and his completely inept handling of news that the cost of re-repairs is over four times what he said it would be.
Back in 2016 Brownlee was asked how much the re-repair work, that is repairing shonky repair jobs, was going to cost. He said $60-70 million.
So what happened this week? News emerged that the actual cost was more like $270 million, including cash payouts for botched re-repair jobs.
Radio New Zealand wanted to ask him why. His response was to hang up on John Campbell.
After that he deigned to give an interview to Guyon Espiner. His rationale for speaking to Espiner and not Campbell was recorded in this Russell Brown tweet:
Brownlee: “I have never said no to an interview with RNZ” but “I will not be interviewed by one of your journalists”. Um, okay …
— Russell Brown (@publicaddress) April 5, 2018
I too an struggling to reconcile Brownlee’s refusal to be interviewed with his claim that he was always ready to be interviewed.
And to top it off Brownlee said that Megan Woods’s criticism of his performance was hurtful. Diddims to him. He should tell that to the thousands of Canterbury families struggling with botched re-repair jobs on their houses.
One other aspect of this claim that needs some more analysis is National’s claim that the Government should sue the contractor. Current spokesperson Stuart Smith said the EQC should be seeking reimbursement if a contractor hasn’t lived up to its obligations. But the problem is that the contract that Brownlee negotiated gave Fletchers a get out of jail free card. A term of the contract provides that the contractor (Fletchers) was not responsible for the design or construction of any work, nor the work of any contractors or consultants. The legal term for Smith’s claims is blowing hot air.
By Smith’s logic I think there is a stunning case to seek reimbursement of Brownlee’s Ministerial salary because in my humble opinion he certainly has not lived up to his obligations.
But for now Brownlee clearly is this week’s doofus of the week.