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National’s leak inquiry blows up

Written By: - Date published: 8:31 am, October 4th, 2018 - 76 comments
Categories: Media, national, paula bennett, same old national, Simon Bridges, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags:

I was planning to ignore National’s civil war and write something about the Government’s bill to stop the issue of of further permits for offshore oil drilling.

But instead National’s simmering problems created by the very unwise decision to find out who leaked Bridges’ travel expenses has erupted into civil war.

A further leak has revealed that the leak inquiry is being extended out of Parliament staff.

From Mitchell Alexander at Newshub:

A leaked email shows the National Party has widened its investigation into who leaked Opposition leader Simon Bridges’ travel expenses.

The email shows National staff were told on September 25 the investigation will include those who don’t work in Parliament.

“The scope of the PwC review, for completeness, now also includes all National MP’s [sic] out of Parliament member support staff,” the email informs staff. The word ‘all’ is underlined.

Investigators will be looking for “two specific documents and related emails accessing and/or referencing either/both of these two documents”.

They are also focusing on communications with a specific phone number.

The email acknowledges it “may be an unsettling time”, and reminds staff counselling is available through an independent third-party organisation.

Screen shots have been provided.

And the media is starting to seriously question the viability of Bridges’s leadership.

Duncan Garner has asked why Bridges used the word “embarassing” when describing Jami-Lee Ross’s leave causing condition.  For possibly the first time ever Mike Hosking has said something I agree with, describing the National leader as “bumbling Bridges“.  And Tracey Watkins, hardly a Labour friendly reporter has said this:

If there were seeds of doubt in Bridges’ judgement before among his MPs, they must have blossomed into full grown dismay that Bridges’ decision to order an inquiry keeps blowing up in his face.

Tuesday’s train wreck of a press conference dealing with the abrupt departure of front bench MP Jami-Lee Ross on personal leave must have only deepened their dismay.”

At this rate the leader’s budget will soon be extinguished because of the need to hire high cost lawyers and accountants to find out who is continuing to leak information.  The National Party caucus cannot be a very happy place right now.

76 comments on “National’s leak inquiry blows up ”

  1. cleangreen 1

    ‘Simple Simon’ Bridges is finally a ‘gone burger’!!!!

    Hurray for that as he was a disaster at running the transport portfolio when he took over from the other disaster called Steven Joyce the ‘$11 billion Dollar man’.

    I sent a note to the press about his mismanagement of our public rail system and he failed there too.

    My public letter to him;

    29th September 2018.
    Media press release

    “New evidenced based ‘zero emissions train’ developed in Germany that scientists claim are the best transport option.

    NZ also may be easily able to develop our own ‘manufacturing Hydrogen plant’ here to supply the transport of rail freight and passenger services as South Australia is doing currently.

    https://reneweconomy.com.au/s-a-to-host-australias-first-green-hydrogen-power-plant-89447/
    S.A. to host Australia’s first green hydrogen power plant
    Giles Parkinson12 February 2018
    QUOTE ;The South Australia government has announced funding for what will be Australia’s first renewable-hydrogen electrolyser plant – a 15MW facility to be built near the end of the grid at Port Lincoln on the Eyre Peninsula.
    The “green hydrogen” plant – to be built by Hydrogen Utility (H2U), working with Germany’s thyssenkrupp – will include a 10MW hydrogen-fired gas turbine, fuelled by local wind and solar power, and a 5MW hydrogen fuel cell.
    End

    We at CEAC want to see NZ Government plan to also build a ‘first renewable-hydrogen electrolyser plant’ as Australia is now developing.

    We therefore have no reasons to believe that Simon Bridges will reverse his “anti-rail – pro-road freight policies” in an attempt to help in reducing carbon emissions by at least 488,000 tonnes a year.

    Question to Mr Simon Bridges;

    Will you now use rail with a zero emissions train system (hydrogen-powered-trains) for even lower carbon emissions for more by increased use of rail freight to lower all those carbon emissions sharply now?

    So unless we see solid evidence of his move back to restoring rail freight written in policies by him laid out before the voters of NZ we do not see rail in National Party policy going forward.

    Example;
    • below with conventional rail use before we switch to hydrogen-powered-trains
    • also seen below is the press release from Germany switching to hydrogen-powered-trains.

    http://www.kiwirail.co.nz/uploads/Publications/The%20Value%20of%20the%20Rail%20in%20New%20Zealand.pdf

    Facts at a glance:

    • Rail contributes up to $1.5 billion in often unseen benefits to New Zealand each year.
    • The value of rail to New Zealand far outweighs its cost to the taxpayer.
    • Using rail reduces the number of deaths and injuries on our roads by a net 271 a year.
    • Rail saves taxpayers money on congestion, road maintenance costs, injuries and fatalities and reduced carbon emissions.
    Reducing congestion saves $1.3 billion, the equivalent of 100,000 fewer daily car trips and taking 30,000 trucks off the road for an hour a day.
    • Reducing carbon emissions by 488,000 tonnes a year – the equivalent of taking 87,000 cars off the road – saves $8.5 million.
    • Improving safety outcomes saves $60 million.
    • Reducing road maintenance saves $63 million.
    • Rail is also an important and sustainable economic contributor to the regions and links New Zealand to export markets overseas.

    • Dukeofurl 1.1

      ” ‘zero emissions train’ developed in Germany ”

      No such thing. Hydrogen isnt a primary energy source when used for a train. Hydrogen has to be produced by consuming energy from another source. The most economic current method is – natural gas. Then there is via electricity, but trains are already zero emissions when they electric powered- our main trunk has such a ‘zero emissions’ method now.

  2. AB 2

    They’re moving on Bridges earlier than expected.
    Looks like we may get a version of this woman as Oppo leader

    • ScottGN 2.1

      Chris Trotter on Newshub this morning has said his poll numbers have collapsed. Presumably he’s referring to internal party polling on both sides?

  3. mickysavage 3

    It just dawned on me. The email has been sent to a gmail account …

    Clare Curran must be grinning …

    • Anne 3.1

      And we thought our troubled times in Labour were bad. 😯

      • shadrach 3.1.1

        Phil Goff 3 years, 24 days.
        David Shearer 1 year, 9 months, 2 days.
        David Cunliffe 1 year, 15 days.
        Andrew Little 2 years, 8 months, 14 days.
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leader_of_the_New_Zealand_Labour_Party

        Simon Bridges (27th February) 7 months 5 days.

        Will Simon outlast David Cunliffe? You’d have to be brave to bet on it.

        • alwyn 3.1.1.1

          Are you going to bet on Ardern outlasting Goff?
          Brave bet I would say.

          • shadrach 3.1.1.1.1

            Yes, I would, and it’s not a risky bet.

            When Jacinda Ardern became leader of the Labour Party, Labour were staring at electoral carnage in the next election. In the 2 opinion polls taken immediately before Andrew Little’s resignation, Labour were polling at around 24%, National at 47% and 45%. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opinion_polling_for_the_New_Zealand_general_election,_2017.

            In the 2017 Election, Labour scored 37%, National 44%, with Labour drawing virtually of it’s gain from the Greens and NZF.

            The resurrection of Labour under Ardern has been little short of astonishing. There is no-one else in Labour who could hold that level of support, and even if Labour’s polling (or that of it’s coalition partners) fell, Labour will stay the course until at least the next election.

            • Ngungukai 3.1.1.1.1.1

              The Sparkling Pony made a huge run down the straight and with Winston’s assistance nutted Natzi on the line.

          • woodart 3.1.1.1.2

            well you are always full of it. why dont you have a bet on ardern not outlasting goff?

    • DirkDirkin 3.2

      Gmail Funny that.

  4. Philj 4

    Wow. MSM holding the opposition to account. That is News! Bridges burnt by Christmas? Watching…

  5. Incognito 5

    So, Simon (and Paula) has gone for the nuclear option and leave no stone unturned; trust (and respect) nobody and show no mercy. Given that this is a National-led witch-hunt Parliamentary Services will have to agree to their employees being electronically ‘strip-searched’? Does it let the National MPs off the hook? Simon displays utter disregard for other people and he’s only looking after Number One.

  6. Sacha 6

    And didn’t they already set the scope of their internal inquiry early enough to pick up the infighting around English resigning? Wonder who in the party hierarchy will have access to the results. Deep ructions.

    • ScottGN 6.1

      Yeah. Weirdly they’re now trawling for information that predates the time the travel expenses were even incurred?

    • veutoviper 6.2

      The scope of the inquiry involves all Nat MPs’ (and now all related staff’s) communications dating from 8 February 2018 to August 2018, so yes it does cover the period around Bill English’s resignation on 13 Feb, the campaign to choose a new Leader, and Simon Bridges’ election as Leader on 27 Feb 2018.

      Re access to the results of the inquiry, PriceWaterhouseCooper are doing the forensic work and Simpson Grierson who will then filter the results of the PWC findings and provide information to Simon Bridges and Paula Bennett.

      Big bickies right there $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

      • veutoviper 6.2.1

        UPDATE to the above.

        I have just rechecked the Newshub report referred to in the post – link under ‘Mitchell Alexander at Newshub’.

        At the end there is a response from the National Party to the article as follows”

        In response to this story, a National party spokesperson said the scope of the inquiry has not been widened.

        “It was always intended to include all MPs and staff who had access to the information and was intentionally broad to provide the greatest chance of finding an answer.

        “In relation to the email, the terms of reference relating to staff are actually more narrow, with a shorter time frame than MPs. The email from Parliamentary Service was sent when discussions around the time frame were finalised and the provision of staff information progressed.”

  7. Enough is Enough 7

    “I was planning to ignore National’s civil war”

    You do amuse me

  8. ianmac 8

    It is possible that the Bennet leak is deliberate.

    Maybe that they wish to make it seem that no MP has been found to have done the original leak, so to spread the blame widen the list of possible suspects.
    This will lead Bridges to state that No MP was guilty. And look how loyal the National Caucus is.

  9. millsy 9

    Its easy enough to leak documents or info without leaving a trace if you know what you are doing. Everyone is operating on the assumption that the leaker used Parliamentary devices to leak. This inquiry is a waste of time, and while we all have our suspicions, it will never be proved who did it.

    • alwyn 9.1

      Yes, it is rather like Winston claiming that he never gave reassuring notice to his New Zealand First mate in the Police Commissioner’s Office that Winston would cover up his problems in his appointment.
      “No record of any call from my office” says Winston. Of course there wouldn’t be. Winston may be getting a bit hazy about his actions but he still retains some of his cunning.

      • Dukeofurl 9.1.1

        The Deputy Police Commissioner is a political appointment, why wouldnt a choice from those suitable for the job be made that is politically suitable as well.

        You would be surprised how many district court judges appointments for provincial areas are vetted by the local MP – well it was common with national who wouldnt want a ‘soft judge’ in their town -unless they were Chester Borrows

    • Michelle 9.2

      I think we all know who did it, the person who all of a sudden has health problems.
      I hope he gets the same treatment, we all got = nothing , ignore it and it will go away

  10. Cinny 10

    Kind of off topic, kind of relevant…. could another nail be hammered into simons coffin this evening? Miss 13 tells me simon is going to be on Jono and Ben tonight.

  11. Ross 11

    I hope Simon doesn’t get rolled. He is an asset to the Government.

  12. Ffloyd 12

    Wouldn’t it be funny if the leaker is Paula Bennett. And she is in charge of the investigation so she will never be found out. My conspiracy theory for the morning.

    • Pete 12.1

      Wouldn’t it be funny if the leaker of the Winston Peters’ thing turned out to be Paula Bennett.

    • mary_a 12.2

      Ffloyd (12) … would hardly be surprising if she was.

      • Dukeofurl 12.2.1

        Nah . She would lose out if Bridges was replaced by say Collins.

        Two woman Mps from Auckland for the Nats leadership….. their identity politics doesnt work that way.

        Even Amy Adams would probably mean Paula goes and is replaced by a …man.

        Then again she may think shes got the chops….

  13. veutoviper 13

    If you haven’t read the full Tracey Watkins’ Stuff article linked to, and quoted in in the post, I recommend you do so as there is quite a lot of interesting ‘detail’ in there Including the following:

    “Worse, Bridges’ dogged pursuit of the leaker has caused a chain reaction of events that leave little room for doubt it came from within the National caucus.

    That in turn has exposed at least three of his MPs – of which Ross was one – to ugly rumours that they were the leaker. In one case, even family members have been dragged into the gossip mill.

    Bridges’ stood his ground on calling for an inquiry because he feared not doing so would be read as a lack of confidence in his support in caucus.

    But there was always a better than even chance it would back fire on him if it was proved that the leak did indeed come from one of his MPs. That now seems certain.

    But Bridges has backed himself into a corner over what to do if the report identifies one of his MPs.

    Better to have left the door open to the possibility that it was dirty politics by his opponents.

    But now it’s been opened, that can of worms can’t be closed.”

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/opinion/107575174/Simon-Bridges-judgment-call-coming-back-to-haunt-him

    • Sacha 13.1

      Suggests the gallery journos are well aware of what’s going on, doesn’t it – which may explain the tone of Audrey Young’s recent article.

      • veutoviper 13.1.1

        Exactly – hence also Hosking’s article yesterday.

        Usually there is a big silence re certain activities, believe it or not, but once things reach a certain level, things start to get alluded to, if not openly talked about.

    • Anne 13.2

      Better to have left the door open to the possibility that it was dirty politics by his opponents.

      To do that is, in itself, dirty politics. That is, to deliberately let the rumour-monger mill continue to infer “Labour did it”.

      I know its not the reason Bridges is pursuing this witch hunt, but hopefully it will mean innocent parties are cleared of wrong-doing.

  14. Delia 14

    Glad I don’t work for them.

  15. newsense 15

    Turns to stone awaiting endless media narrative about how divided and hopeless National is. More like they are attacking Bridges at the behest of other factions

  16. Lisa Redmond 16

    So the media have been instructed to bring Simon down. Interesting.

  17. mary_a 17

    Seems someone within/closely connected to Natz has quite an incontinence problem!

    Toxic Natz not looking too well at the moment.

  18. tsmithfield 18

    This of course could be a trap to catch the leaker. It might have been anticipated that this letter would be leaked, and measures could already be in place to track what happens with it.

    • McFlock 18.1

      What “measures”?
      Any that would pick up the email being forwarded would be redundant.

      The only way would be to include typos or similar indications on the cover letter (the bit most likely to be screenshot and leaked). And only a few of those can be used. And even then someone simply tidying it up (or cut&pasting and not noticing an autocorrect) before taking the screenshot would throw the suspicion on an innocent party.

      If the FAQs were attached files then steganography would work, assuming the original files were leaked or the reproductions have enough definition to carry the watermark.
      But that’s a plan with a doubtful probability of success and a much higher likelihood of leak without result.

      Either way, this leak means that the others didn’t come from PS or Labour.

    • ianmac 18.2

      Yes TS. Quite possible. The Nats might be a miserable bunch but not stupid.
      Allow the Leak to leak:
      1. To catch the leaker
      2. To cover that they wanted us to believe the outcome that it wasn’t a MP.
      3. To revisit the possibility (probability?) that the Leaker had nothing to do with the
      Caucus but could be someone like in the Labour camp or the Speaker’s Office.
      4. That they are stupid.

    • Sacha 18.3

      A cunning plan, m’Lord.

  19. jcuknz 19

    From day one of this saga I have wondered at the serious nature of leaking something two days earlier when it doesn’t involve anybody making money out of the disclosure.
    Looks like a dam fool poly getting his knickers in a twist over little or nothing to me.

  20. Hehehe… Bridges… National…

    Hehehee…

    Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard – It’s All Going to Pot (Digital Video …

  21. Nick 21

    Not many RWNJs saying much today……are they all busy helping with the hunt ?

    • mary_a 21.1

      @ Nick (21) … Far too traumatised at present I think through recent events to share their brain farts.

      • Chuck 21.1.1

        All good mary_a can’t speak for any other non-far leftie…but had other commitments today 🙂

        BTW: It was pretty boring just having the Labour no sorry NZF lead coalition grabbing all the headlines.

        • WILD KATIPO 21.1.1.1

          I daresay the profit margins will take a hit when all the cheap labour immigrants are pruned back in numbers , eh? Perilous times to be a far right wing idiot, I must admit…

          I ‘feel’ ya.

  22. Jum 22

    Two questions I don’t know where to find the answer:

    ‘ leader’s budget will soon be extinguished ‘ if one leader goes does the new one get their budget renewed?

    Who advised Bridges to go down this route and would that be the next aspiring (I think I’m feeling nauseous now) leader for national?

    • veutoviper 22.1

      Re question 1, each Party’s Leader’s budget is an annual allocation as part of the overall operating budget for Parliament and does not change if that Party changes leaders during the budget year.

      Re Question 2, only Bridges could answer who advised him to go down this route if indeed anyone did advise him.

      • Jum 22.1.1

        Thank you, Veutoviper.

        • veutoviper 22.1.1.1

          Jum, you are so welcome, so thank you to you.

          My paid career was in the areas of government and how it works etc. I was brought up in a family where being part of and contributing to your community whether religious or not was just as important as the paid bit. In relation to that, my biggest but not only area I chose to give of my time, energy etc on a voluntary and unpaid basis was animal welfare and I know that is important to you too. So I value you. Mojo Mathers was a loss, and I was actually surprised that Meka picked that up but we will not give up on that thread, will we? I have already had discussions … Kia kaha.

      • ianmac 22.1.2

        Are the figures/costs published? Supposing Bridges spent over $100,000 on an Enquiry using a highly expensive law firm. PwC does not come cheap for at least a months work. Wonder what the Budget is?

    • Perhaps the answer you seek is found in the Collins Encyclopedia , – under politics.

  23. Sacha 23

    Ahaha. Parliamentary Services told the Nats to piss off on their request to trawling through much older communications of its staffers: https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/367932/national-leak-access-denied-to-staffers-older-communications

    • Dukeofurl 23.1

      Good catch.

    • Incognito 23.2

      Thank you, that answered my question @ 5.

      Parliamentary Services produced a strong argument in it being a bit more restricted as far as the staff were concerned, we’d already done the MPs’ one and we’re sort of interested in looking at algorithms and language and going back a bit further, so we respected Parliamentary Services as the employer. [my bold]

      As usual, National is a little liberal with the English language when a “a National party spokesperson said the scope of the inquiry has not been widened.” (cf. veutoviper’s comment @ 6.2.1).

  24. Michael 24

    It looks like the Nats are trying to blame instead of Jami-Lee. Some poor electorate officer staffer will do nicely. I wonder if Crusher flashed her talons to protect her factotum?

  25. Observer Tokoroa 25

    Nationals’ Sick Persons… a small sample

    The Angelic Ms Collins, who supplies provisions to the mighty nation of China, is more than capable of making clear cut words and events mean anything she wants.

    Schooled and abetted by her close friend the faithful Slater, she has access to the dirtiest schemes National politicians & Kiwi Blog can and do produce.

    She has skin harder than all the Salt Sea Australian Crocodiles. For, Angelic Ms Collins has no known interest in anything other than her self. And her little imaginative dolls house.

    Collins’ understudy, the morning glory sweet voiced Paula Bennett, openly reveals anything she wants – whether legal or not – at any time she wants. Her brazen stilettos stamp right through the heart of poor women of New Zealand. She cannot hide her venom and her stenchy knowledge.

    It’s a pity NZ has no decent media. And only a Childish Opposition. Greed and Hatred is the banner of National and all who sail in her. It always has been.

  26. Nina Foster 26

    I am wondering if the leaker is one of Jamie’s family members. Just a thought

  27. Jackel 27

    You’d have a better chance of locating the culprit among a union of used car salesmen.

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