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Ross resigns, to lay corrupt practices complaint against Bridges with police

Written By: - Date published: 12:41 pm, October 16th, 2018 - 171 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, by-election, corruption, Dirty Politics, elections, Politics, Simon Bridges - Tags: ,

Rogue National Party MP Jami-Lee Ross in an explosive press conference said he will resign from parliament and will tomorrow lay a complaint with police of corrupt practices against party leader Simon Bridges.

In a stand-up at parliament, Ross said he had he will resign on Friday and will contest a by-election for his Botany electoral seat as an independent.

Ross, who acknowledged that he had a mental breakdown but was now ‘well’, said he had evidence that Bridges had accepted a $100,000 donation on May 14 last year from a Chinese businessman that had been falsely declared to the Electoral Commission.

Ross, who yesterday was fingered as the leaker of Bridges’ travel expenses, said he was asked by Bridges to collect the cash and hide it by splitting it up into sums of under $15,000 which are not declarable. Bridges has denied any wrong-doing.

Ross said Bridges then filed a false return, which was later declared a mistake. Ross said that Bridges knew about the error and that knowingly filing a false return was a corrupt practice.

I know Simon filed a false return because Todd McClay (MP) and I spotted the return in January and suggested that it needed to be tidied up.

Ross said Bridges knew exactly what the so-called the “Cathedral Club” was (a bi-monthly National Party dinner used to raise funds for the National Party) and claims to the contrary were a lie. He said it was totally implausible that someone who is trained in law and was a former Crown Prosecutor would make errors on the electoral return accidentally.

Ross claims Bridges asked Ross to keep the whole business around the $100,000 secret but on June 20 Ross covered himself by ringing Bridges and recording the conversation where he said Bridges discussed all details. Ross also has photos of the dinner with the Chinese businessman. National Party President Peter Goodfellow was completely in the picture, Ross said.

He said he would give Bridges a chance to hear the recording before taking it with his complaint to the police.

Falsifying donations was a corrupt practice.

I believe Simon Bridges is a corrupt politician.

Ross said Bridges was

…a person without a moral compass or any underlying principles except power.

He advised anyone thinking of donating to the National Party not to do while Bridges was its leader.

Ross also revealed that Bridges popularity rating plummeted after his “get to know me tour” of the country. Before the tour he had a net favourable rating, but after it plunged to a net 27% negative, according to National’s own polls.

He said the speed and magnitude of the “unlikeability” plunge was far greater than experienced by former Labour Party leaders David Shearer, David Cunliffe or Andrew Little.

Ross said Bridges and deputy leader attempted to silence him by saying they had received complaints of harassment by four women. He denied the allegation and said no details were given. He claimed it was a blackmail attempt to get him to resign his position on National’s front bench.

I strongly deny I harassed anyone.

He also attacked Bridges for the handling of his breakdown, saying that Bridges said was “embarrassing”. No one’s mental health should be described that way, Ross, who said he was now well again, said.

Ross said the by-election would be a referendum on Bridges’ leadership.

Updated:

Bridges held a news conference in response to Ross’s allegation. He said Ross had been suspended from National’s caucus and denied his allegations, saying they were “baseless”.

He invited Ross to take the allegations to the police, adding they had zero chance of success given the allegations were false.

However, Bridges continually evaded questions surrounding the $100,000 by the Chinese businessman, named as Zhang Wiyun, which Ross claimed was falsely declared to the Electoral Commission.

Journalists said these were serious allegations that required a response but Bridges responded by saying they were a matter for police to deal with.

I have done absolutely nothing wrong. I have complied with the electoral laws at every single moment.

He refused to comment on Ross’s assertion that Bridges asked Ross to pick up the $100,000.

(Simon Louisson reported for The Wall Street Journal, AP Dow Jones Newswires, New Zealand Press Association and Reuters and briefly was a political and media adviser to the Green Party.)

 


Rod Emmerson’s take on it – from the NZ Herald.

171 comments on “Ross resigns, to lay corrupt practices complaint against Bridges with police ”

  1. SPC 1

    I am left wondering who it was who leaked the expense details.

    Apparently Simon Bridges and National no longer care to keep digging on that any further.

    A bit like the Germans in the effort to avoid a two front war …

    • Michael 1.1

      On balance, the leaker is Jami-Lee Ross, according to the PWC report and Mr Billington QC. That’s sufficient for civil legal purposes. It also seems likely that the sniveling individual who pleased with Mallard and Bridges to call off their inquiries because of the sniveler’s delicate mental health is also Mr Ross – from the same sources, plus the fact that Mr Ross admits he had a mental breakdown which resulted in Bridges giving him time off work (at full pay and perks). Other rumours now reported in mainstream media add support to these conclusions.

      • SPC 1.1.1

        The said mental health issue Ross had, came at a later date. There is no connection between the two.

        And Mallard has explained his communications with Ross were not as some pose.

    • Nick K 1.2

      Jami-Lee Ross leaked it.

      • Dennis Frank 1.2.1

        Not necessarily, since he still denies that, and Mallard has come out in support by clarifying their communications around the leak.

        • Dukeofurl 1.2.1.1

          But Ross has confirmed he contacted the RNZ reporter ( as mentioned in the report) confirm the leaker had txted Mallard and Bridges with the breakdown news.
          Up till the RNZ story it hadnt been revealed that the leaker had been txting as well.
          All that Ross denial means that he used an intermediary to do the actual leaking- which is the normal case anyway.

          • Dennis Frank 1.2.1.1.1

            Ah yes, plausible deniability is always a good strategy. Of course, when you start invoking helpers as explanation, you’re teetering on the edge of conspiracy theory. Some commentators here freak out when that happens. 😎

        • cleangreen 1.2.1.2

          Nick K

          Jamie didn”t leak the expenses and tonight Jamie warned us that there is a leakier still inside National.

      • Tricledrown 1.2.2

        Nick K what if that’s a bridge to far and JLR isn’t the leaker.
        While scapegoating JLR the leaker goes on to do more damage to Bridges.
        On the back of JLRs allegations that has to be a worry for Bridges who could be blindsided again.

    • Paul Campbell 1.3

      There’s a simple way to test Ross’s claim of innocence – he can publicly tell Tova O’Brien that he rescinds any claim under journalistic privilege, giving her full permission to publish the details of any correspondence around the expenses leaks …. if he’s innocent she wont publish, if he’s not she will …. if he’s innocent JLR has nothing whatsoever to lose by doing this

      Of course if he doesn’t do this very obvious thing then, yes he’s probably guilty

      • Psych nurse 1.3.1

        Or a police statement that this is not the person who was identified and interviewed.

        • Paul Campbell 1.3.1.1

          yes but this is not (no longer) a police matter – it’s politics – and in this case there’s an easy way for Ross (but not Bridges) to prove innocence here, and if he wants to further turn the screw on National he can do it in a tweet

  2. Kat 2

    Will Warner Bros go for the movie rights or will it be another Hobbit season.

  3. ScottGN 3

    According to Stuff the wife of Zhang Yikun, the guy that Ross says offered the donation, has confirmed that Bridges had dinner at their house.

    • Dennis Frank 3.1

      If there is a police prosecution, police will ask Zhang Yikun if he donated 100K to the National Party. If he tells them that he did, focus will shift to how the Nats recorded the donation. If splitting a large donation like that into smaller amounts is illegal, they would have to identify those divisions in the book-keeping.

      If the donor recorded for each division is a real person, police would presumably have to check whether that person could prove they actually did make that donation personally – rather than operating as a Nat insider conduit for the division.

      • ScottGN 3.1.1

        Well Bridges has refused to rule out receiving the 100k donation, which given the circumstances you would have expected him to do, if he plausibly could?

        • Dukeofurl 3.1.1.1

          Bridges is ‘saying nufing’ because

          .207LA Offence relating to splitting party donation or contribution to party donation
          (1)
          A person is guilty of a corrupt practice who directs or procures, or is actively involved in directing or procuring, 2 or more bodies corporate to split between the bodies corporate a party donation in order to conceal the total amount of the donation and avoid the donation’s inclusion by the party secretary in the return of party donations under section 210(1)(a).
          (2)
          A person is guilty of a corrupt practice who directs or procures, or is actively involved in directing or procuring, 2 or more bodies corporate to split between the bodies corporate a contribution to a party donation in order to conceal the total amount of the contribution and avoid the contribution’s inclusion by the party secretary in the return of party donations under section 210(1)(b).

          Directs or procures – and Ross says he has the tape.

          Corrupt practice is up to 2 years jail and or fine up to $100k for a ‘ election candidate ‘

          The police cant make this go away now like they tried to with Banks and Barclay.

        • Dennis Frank 3.1.1.2

          As a former Crown prosecutor, he’s playing the game according to the rules he knows. If there are any loopholes in electoral law around donations to political parties, you can bet he’s more likely to know about them than almost anyone else. His instructions to JLR would have been framed precisely on that basis.

          • Dukeofurl 3.1.1.2.1

            Bridges cant be using a technical defence that might play before ‘learned judge’ on this.

            Ross has pictures of Bridges at the dinner where the donation was arranged, Ross went to collect the money and he ‘says he has Bridges on tape directing him to split the amount on the party return’
            Thats corrupt practice.

            Bridges cant survive if the tape even says things like that , but Im guessing Ross will save that for his trump card.
            Maybe he has a photo of the cheque to be revealed next?

            Top people in the caucus wont be happy with any Bridges bullshitting to them. if he says things to them that arent true…. and isnt parliament sitting this week. Nowhere to hide

            • Dennis Frank 3.1.1.2.1.1

              Hmm, you could be right, but never underestimate the capacity of the lawyers who draft legislation to get it wrong. We’ve seen that time & time again going back decades.

              One suspects that all lawyers in the National Party will be ruminating on the implications currently, those in parliament will be musing on the leadership as well, and when they start talking to each other we could get a `gone by lunchtime’ scenario out of their brainstorming.

              • Dukeofurl

                National would be on weak ground if they go on to claim splitting donations to get around the rules is ‘pretty legal’

            • Ngungukai 3.1.1.2.1.2

              JLR pictures don’t mean anything, just like ABC and the Labour Party and the $80k bottle of wine with Doung Lu ?

      • Chuck 3.1.3

        Dennis ask yourself this…why would Bridges (and others) decide to hide a donation from a well respected Chinese businessman?

        If it was NZF and Winston I could understand it being hidden, as one of Winstons key platform/vote winners is anti-Asian. He also has form re the Owen Glen donation saga.

        I think the situation is JLR (who was the leaker) is in a very bad headspace and needs to refocus on what really matters in life.

        • Dennis Frank 3.1.3.1

          Valid question, to which I don’t know the answer. However, it seems JLR realised he was being set up by Bridges, as a patsy, which is why he recorded that conversation with Bridges after he went & got the cheque. To protect himself, an insurance policy against Bridges not honouring their agreement.

          He’s announced he will give the police that evidence tomorrow so they can prosecute Bridges. If sensible, he will retain copies and deposit them in safe places, in case of those police being Nat voters & making the evidence disappear. Bridges confidently asserted today that any police investigation will find he did nothing wrong. So the evidence is currently akin to Schrodinger’s cat: either real or not. Potential, not yet actual, only real when observed. Yet since observers aren’t physicists, it will remain unreal to Nat loyalists regardless who observes it…

          • Chuck 3.1.3.1.1

            The National Party President (Goodfellow) just confirmed (One News) that he has checked the records (donations) which do not accord to the JLR allegations.

            Which brings me back to the question – why would Bridges risk it all on trying to hide a $100K donation? Logic strongly suggests otherwise.

            • Gabby 3.1.3.1.1.1

              D’you reckon Petey Goodfellas has just the one set of records chuckles?
              D’you reckon there’s just been the one big donation?

        • Dukeofurl 3.1.3.2

          “why would Bridges (and others) decide to hide a donation from a well respected Chinese businessman?”

          It could well be many donations from multiple businessmen that they cover up.

          • Chuck 3.1.3.2.1

            Looking through National Party returns suggests they don’t have an issue with anyone with a Chinese sounding name.

            If its as you assert and is a systemic rorting of the system then any investigation will uncover it.

        • Sacha 3.1.3.3

          “why would Bridges (and others) decide to hide a donation from a well respected Chinese businessman?”

          Timing. Recall the kerfuffle about the connections of their MP Jian Yang..

        • cleangreen 3.1.3.4

          Nah Chuck, 3.1.3.1.1

          As much as you think Jamie is that unstable you are wrong.

          Tonight he warned that there is still a leaker in the National Party.

          Jamie is much smarter than clueless Bridges who is always tripping over himself.

      • Chris 3.1.4

        JLR’s allegations are too precise and verifiable not to be true. I think he’s right and that Bridges is toast. Of course he always was toast – he’s got the full support of his party, today, and that’s about it – but the JLR accusations will bring him down before his party does.

    • Tricledrown 3.2

      Yet Bridges denied meeting him.
      Maybe Collins set up Bridges.

  4. Ms Fargo 4

    When did Bridges take over from English?

  5. Dukeofurl 5

    ” he was asked by Bridges to collect the cash and hide it by splitting it up into sums of under $15,000 which are not declarable. ”

    That makes sense as when you see Nationals under $15000 donations numbers and the number of donors.

    The average of the under $15k is LESS THAN than $5,000 minimum.!!

    we can see the details in nationals 2017 returns
    https://www.elections.org.nz/sites/default/files/bulk-upload/documents/national_party_-_annual_return_2017.pdf

    Donations exceeding $5000 but not exceeding $15000

    438 donations totaling $2,087,864.35

    the average of that amount is $4766. Which is impossible when each donation must exceed $5000 and be less than $15000

    Every other party has averages which fall within the bands not below. This has occured for national in previous years as well, no other partys.
    Same goes for nationals donations within band of $1.5k and $5k, the average again is below $1.5K

  6. Simon 6

    Bridges gone burger
    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12143235

    Maybe the Left should fight to keep him — it would be hard to find anyone more unelectable — maybe Judith Collins?

  7. Tuppence Shrewsbury 7

    Well…. here’s to another 3 years of a labour led government

  8. Gabby 8

    Nobody’s asked Comrade Jian to comment?

  9. alwyn 9

    In further breaking news every Minister’s Office is carrying out a mass dumping of bad news.
    The order has gone out from the ninth floor of the Beehive. Every single bit of bad news is to be released today as the “chooks”, as Joh Bjelke-Petersens termed them, will be wallowing in the Jami-Lee Ross explosion.

    • Dukeofurl 9.1

      So you have evidence of that ?
      National once famously announced a 9c + GST petrol price rise a week before Xmas- well not so famous as it was of course ignored because of bigger things.

      nationals whole donation register is now shown to be corrupt. No chance of saying it was ‘local officials mistake’ when its been a wholesale fraud.

      Bridges only hope now is to get Ross to visit the Saudi Consulate……

      Consulate-General of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Auckland, New Zealand
      HSBC Building, Level 13, 1 Queen Street
      Auckland 1010

    • AB 9.2

      Yes Alwyn – I also feel that the onus is now on Trevor Mallard to prove that he is not the Chinese businessman mentioned by Ross. You and I both know that Mallard was behind all of this from the start and his cunning (and penchant for disguise) is limitless.

      • Nick 9.2.1

        Yes, I knew it AB and Alwyn. Something about Mallard. You guys are great detectives.

      • Dennis Frank 9.2.2

        If you go to Stuff, you’ll see a report about the Chinese businessman mentioned by Ross, which includes his wife acknowledging that Bridges came to dinner…

    • woodart 9.3

      “look, over there, its a chook” “nah, its alwynge, trying to distract”

      • alwyn 9.3.1

        For God sakes.
        Do you always take everything you read seriously?
        What would I have to say so that you would realise it was a joke?

        • woodart 9.3.1.1

          long ago thought you were a joke……you have done nothing to change my opinion.

          • Tricledrown 9.3.1.1.1

            Nick K what if that’s a bridge to far and JLR isn’t the leaker.
            While scapegoating JLR the leaker goes on to do more damage to Bridges.
            On the back of JLRs allegations that has to be a worry for Bridges who could be blindsided again.

  10. Brian Tregaskin 10

    I said this in an earlier post at 8.10am
    “A real upset is in the air, Ross will come out swinging this morning, note all these National Party Aligned Journalists are saying game over for Ross and back to business as usual, well life is not clear cut like that:). Ross is better than that; i predict he is a fighter in the spirit of Peters and Muldoon.
    Go Jami you have my support!”

    • Dennis Frank 10.1

      Noted that. Does it mean you’re a National Party insider, a lucky guesser, or are you often good at prediction? If the latter, care to predict the by-election result?

  11. ianmac 11

    So even if their recording is legal, it smacks of avoiding the intent of the law. Immoral?

    • Dukeofurl 11.1

      of course its legal !

      You are allowed to record conversations that you are a part of .

      Its recording other peoples conversations when you arent there that is illegal, except when police have a warrant. Its called bugging

    • JC 11.2

      “pretty legal”…., or pretty immoral? Natz MO.

    • ianmac 11.3

      I meant the recording of donations rather than of voices. Legal to change but immoral?

      Todd McClay denies witnessing anything of the donation JLR speaks of. Well he would deny to protect himself wouldn’t he? Might have to lie though. Suspicious?

      • Tricledrown 11.3.1

        Todd McClays body language did not look convincing.
        Collins smugness in the background looked as Bridges just has one more chance, Bridges knows the old adage keep your enemy’s closer all bailed into the lift.

  12. Brian Tregaskin 12

    Thank you Dennis no not all all, i just had a sense something historical was going to happen this morning and it did. I can’t predict results better or worse than anyone else.

    • Dukeofurl 12.1

      Well it just means you read Whaleoil early : 8am
      “If he does have those recordings now is the time to drop them. It will finish off Bridges if they say what Jami-Lee says they say. He may as well drop them because his political career is over, and he may as well take Bridges with him…”

      Your comment BT was at 8:10am. Slater knew what was in the recordings about the $100k

  13. ankerawshark 13

    Simon looking very dodgy when replying to questions about a $100000 donation.

    I hope Jami has the taped conversation…………………………they deserve being exposed.

    • Dukeofurl 13.1

      Thats because his media training over weekend didnt cover the latest revelations.

    • veutoviper 13.2

      That interview was classic.

      What Bridges said was “I have not heard what Ross has said but I can assure you 100% that it is baseless, and the police will find that, as I am clean” – repeat the quoted phrase at infinitum to every question asked.

      • AB 13.2.1

        Yes – that’s pretty much the only line they can run. Essentially saying that JLR has gone full fruit-loop and is making stuff up.
        JLR will take his evidence to the Police, but the uniformed branch of the National Party will find nothing compelling, and decide against proceeding.
        In time, the Nat sycophants in the media will praise Bridges’ magnanimous handling of a troublesome colleague with mental health issues.
        And normal transmission will resume for a while.
        Judith will wait for a more propitious time – intoning under her breath the Lady Macbeth line: “fill me … full of direst cruelty”

      • woodart 13.2.2

        classic. “havent heard what said, but its wrong”. funniest thing so far. T shirt material!

        • RedLogix 13.2.2.1

          Priceless yes; but it sums up the human condition in one neat swipe of the screen printer alright.

    • ianmac 13.3

      @13: Perhaps Mallard could give an opinion on Simon’s body talk spelling guilt?

    • cleangreen 13.4

      Yes ankerawshark,

      I saw that was a sign of someone lying.

  14. ianmac 14

    Of course the disaster might really spread to Bridges so what if there is a second by-election in Tauranga?

  15. AsleepWhileWalking 15

    Hey.

    Just because someone has a breakdown doesn’t mean they can’t go on to be successful in anything they choose.

    I doubt JLR is the only Nat MP with that background

  16. Brian Tregaskin 16

    By-election for Botany electoral will be a huge event a modern day “Rumble in the Jungle”
    The might of the National Party (Foreman) vs (Ali) who is fighting for what he believes in.

    • Dukeofurl 16.1

      JLR is only fighting for what he believes in … himself !

      This will cost the Nats big big money to keep him quiet and withdraw his allegations. Thats what hes really after , greenmail.

      • greywarshark 16.1.1

        Very funny and too true Brian T and Dukeofurl

      • Ngungukai 16.1.2

        Get the beers, the peanuts and the chips & dip, this is going to be exciting especially as the football season and the All Blacks have finished.

  17. Nick 17

    Maybe the by-election will split the natz vote and Labour will come through the middle…woohoo

    • Tricledrown 17.1

      No way but Labour green’s NZ1 could put JLR back in leaving a Thorn in Nationals side?

  18. Philj 18

    Never thought dirty politics could be so entertaining! A sad day for dimocruptcy, but hey the journos found a real nashnools tory.

  19. Pete 19

    Amy Adams, Judith Collins and Simon Bridges.

    Lawyers, senior people in their party in Parliament and each at some time there involved in less than honourable actions. Bridges a Crown Prosecutor too no less.

    People can be happy that they are not practising law in public and so reinforcing the negative cliches about people in that profession.

  20. Dukeofurl 20

    Ross has now tweeted photos of Bridges at the house of the big Chinese donor where they had dinner.


    Someone tell him to slow down …. its all happening tooooo fast.

  21. Brian Tregaskin 21

    Jami-Lee Ross 2- National Party 0
    Jami is taking on the National Party and winning.

    • Booker 21.1

      Agree. I just had a look at Kiwiblog and Whale Oil, Kiwiblog has a rambling post from first thing this morning about JLR but nothing on today’s events. Whale Oil doesn’t have anything remotely related.

      The National PR gang had obviously been caught well on the back foot, will take some serious focus-grouping to figure out a spin on this.

      • Ngungukai 21.1.1

        Crosby Textor’s staff will be wheel spinning trying to figure out a counter strategy.

        • UncookedSelachimorpha 21.1.1.1

          Looking at Kiwiblog’s awful stuff – seems the line is “JLR terrible (e.g. power crazed madman etc), Bridges victim / great”. Any comment on there critical of Bridges or favouring JLR gets heavily downvoted.

  22. greywarshark 22

    This is a most arresting image that Radionz has published of the media conference, and will be a stand-out for political doings for yonks;. I don’t know how to share it with you. But here are the bones, you will have to put the flesh on them.

    https://www.radionz.co.nz/assets/news_crops/67506/eight_col_7524873136_074A2498.jpg?1539648600

    image.png

    • Dennis Frank 22.1

      Chess-board! Cheque, mate! No, that’s a matter for the police to determine. I can neither confirm nor deny that there was ever a cheque, mate. How can you possibly suggest that JLR has me in checkmate, the entire caucus has just voted to support me!

      • greywarshark 22.1.1

        You are sharp today DF.

        Could be captioned – How politicians play checkers or something like.
        Anyone for draughts – as some exit and others enter?
        Something from Chess maybe?
        Perhaps Nobody’s Side.

      • Dukeofurl 22.1.2

        Ross has to have a picture of the $100k cheque that Bridges sent him to collect.

        That could be next to be revealed. Bridges is likely doing a lot of explaining to his front bench Mps.
        They arent going to be proxies for him over this week , if more evidence emerges, as Im assuming the tape/phone recording will stay hidden for now.

    • woodart 22.2

      that is a brilliant photo, six people standing waaay to close with the endless steppes of parliament ,and a man with his arms folded just out of camera shot…

  23. Fireblade 23

    Simon the nitwit knows nothing.

    • greywarshark 23.1

      Classic Fireblade. But Manuel – He learn! That is the main thing about him, and oh the difference to RWs, of any persuasion.

  24. Cinny 24

    Winston….. ROFL 🙂

    Winston Peters just walked up to a press pack, opened his phone, played a song named “Burning Bridges” (the theme to Kelly’s Heroes) into the microphones, then said “thank you very much” and then walked into the House.

    • Now how often would you get a politician with a sense of ironic humour like that?

      And that’s one of the reasons why Winston Peters is STILL our most senior politician , and why he’s deputy PM and Bridges is only the leader ( sort off ) of the Opposition. Because he is no fool like the rest of the neo liberal pack.

      • woodart 24.1.1

        quick quizz.. name an m.p. for tauranga that went on to have a long successful political career. hint, think about long, and successful…….

  25. Dukeofurl 25

    Someone should tweet JLR to avoid this address this week.!

    Consulate-General of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Auckland, New Zealand
    HSBC Building, Level 13, 1 Queen Street
    Auckland 1010

  26. newsense 26

    So Ross to form a coalition partner?

    • Dukeofurl 26.1

      Resigned from Parliament , nonsense

      if he had any long term political ambitions he might have gone Conservative and stayed in parliament

  27. mickysavage 27

    There is now a China angle with suggestions the linker has Communist Party links.

    What a complete and utter mess.

  28. joe90 28

    Oh.

    Just so we’re clear, JLR is accusing SiBri of committing offences that carry a 2 year jail term and lead to automatic expulsion from Parliament (upon conviction).https://t.co/ANg39Mf8kUhttps://t.co/z2FItLQlVm— Andrew Geddis (@acgeddis) October 15, 2018

    • miravox 28.1

      If JLR puts in a police complaint, shouldn’t Bridges step aside while the investigation is being carried out?

  29. Simon 29

    If JLR’s allegations stand up Bridges may spend some time in jail lawyer says:
    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12143248

  30. ianmac 31

    When Todd McClay says the donation story from JLR is “baseless”, what does that actually mean?
    Is it the same as saying that it is “not true” or that it is “false”?

    • Dukeofurl 31.1

      Its just a cliche, but a definition is ‘unproven’
      or these:
      unsubstantiated, unsupported, uncorroborated, untested, unconfirmed, unverified, unattested.

      Basically they cant even deny it did happen so look for other words to make it seem they are saying something

  31. Lets hear the full version Peters played,… shall we?

    Mike Curb Congregation – Burning Bridges (with lyrics) – YouTube

  32. And lets play it again , John…

    BASF WW2 Commercial – Dear John – YouTube

  33. Gabby 34

    Will Bodges be keen to talk to the police or will he Wee Toddy Baccy the interview?

  34. Brian Tregaskin 35

    [audio src="http://120.138.20.16/WeekOnDemand/ZB/auckland/2018.10.16-17.00.00-D.mp3" /]
    Explosive Interview with SB just now, Heather du Plessis guns blazing.
    This has been a train wreck of a day for National
    start at 8.00

    • Please answer a simple yes or no question , – Yes or No !!!

      ” Blah , blah , blah , blah , divert , deflect, skirt around, blah , blah , blah ” ….

  35. KJT 37

    So. Ross was OK with corruption, until he wanted revenge.
    Doesn’t say much for him, or any of them.

  36. Dennis Frank 38

    “Ross also alleged Bridges had received $100,000 from Chinese businessman Yikun Zhang, which Bridges asked Ross to collect and split up so it could be filed anonymously.” https://www.newsroom.co.nz/@politics/2018/10/16/278869/jami-lee-ross-leaves-more-questions-than-answers

    Ah, that rings a bell. If you split large donations into enough small amounts, you can file them as anonymous? Wouldn’t be hard to do that, would it? Looks like a loophole in our electoral law you could get any big donation through, in which case hiding large donations via this method has probably become the norm for both major parties since the law first took effect.

    So, if Zhang testifies that he donated 100K and it cannot be found in the official documentation of the NP, what did they do with it if not divide it up into anonymity?? “National Party president Peter Goodfellow said the party could find no proof of Ross’ allegations, which seemed “inconsistent with the donor information we have to date, including information previously supplied by Mr Ross”. What constitutes proof? If Goodfellow doesn’t want to find those anonymous donations, why would he spot them?

    If computer forensic examination provided evidence of the division of the 100K, it could probably also identify those anonymous divisions that resulted, and a court would believe that rather than believe Goodfellow. Prosecution for electoral fraud would then hinge on who in the National Party authorised the division of the donation. I would expect the court to order whoever in the Nat hierarchy had formal responsibility for the donations to testify.

    • Dukeofurl 38.1

      Not a loophole.
      Elections law specifically calls it a corrupt practice ‘to direct or procure’ donations to evade the disclosure bands

      • Dennis Frank 38.1.1

        Okay, so I presume we’re back to plausible deniability. Bridges, a lawyer and former Crown prosecutor, is confident that the evidence will prove he’s done nothing wrong, keeps saying so. Since the evidence is likely to prove National’s declaration of donations was false, whoever falsified it is guilty of breaking electoral law.

        Prosecution will have to target the person or persons who processed the donation and delivered anonymity, plus anyone who officially signed off the declaration as correct. Bridges can only be roped in as accessory if the recording implicates him as ordering division of the donation. The National Party auditor is likely to be having a worse day than anyone else right now!

  37. ianmac 39

    A weird interview on Newstalk ZB. From halfway Bridges avoids any answers to the questions. And great persistence from the female interviewer.
    “Simon. Did you get an offer of $100,000?”
    Talks about JLR should put up or shut up.
    “Simon. Did you get an offer of $100,000?”
    Talks about JLR should put up or shut up.
    “But Simon. Did you get an offer of $100,000?”…

  38. Draco T Bastard 40

    Why are we allowing Chinese business people to donate to New Zealand political parties?

    No foreign person has any rights to have any say in our governance.

  39. Ngungukai 41

    Sound like a game of Chess mixed up with a game of Chinese Checkers IMHO ?

    • woodart 41.1

      no, chess is russian, trump is presently a pawn. this is cluedo mixed with chinese checkers.

  40. Jack Ramaka 42

    National doing what Labour used to do to itself consuming itself from within.

  41. James 43

    I said it yesterday and I’ll say it again today.

    What a clusterfuck of monumental proportions.

    Still Ross is gone. Bridges won’t be far away either.

    He couldn’t have handled this any worse if he tried.

    Oh and if found guilty of what’s being accused- he should go to jail.

    • The fish rots from the head down.

      – Confucius.

    • Dennis Frank 43.2

      Good on you James. Did you listen to his ZB interview with HdPA? Just kept on digging deeper into his hole. Thinks 55 caucus votes supporting him is all that matters, clueless about the effect on public opinion. This country needs a Nat leader who does actually have an operational moral compass, not one dead keen to sell us out to rich chinamen.

      • Dukeofurl 43.2.1

        Ross has lifted the lid a bit on the vote for the leadership earlier this year, by saying Soimun only won on second ballot, so that a majority of Mps didn’t want him on the first ballot

      • Fireblade 43.2.2

        Simon had an interview on Radio Live this afternoon. He wouldn’t answer questions around the donations and concluded with “I’m almost absolutely certain I’ve done nothing wrong”.

        • WILD KATIPO 43.2.2.1

          Hes ‘almost ‘ absolutely certain …

          A bit like when he was interviewed today if he did or didn’t receive a $100,000 donation to the National party from a Chinese businessman. But in that case he repeatedly dodged answering in either the affirmative or the negative.

          Do we really want evasive double speaking people like that leading the country ?

          Oh wait,- we’ve already had them, – Bolger, Shipley , Brash , Key and English.

        • Dennis Frank 43.2.2.2

          Funny, eh? I just wonder if he was acting as his own lawyer (something lawyers reckon is the kiss of death). And when does denial ever work nowadays? The more steadfast in denial you come on, the worse you look. How could any political leader not know that already??

        • Ross 43.2.2.3

          He wouldn’t answer questions around the donations and concluded with “I’m almost absolutely certain I’ve done nothing wrong”.

          The trouble with that response is that he was adamant all along that the leaker wasn’t a National MP and just a few days ago he was pretty sure that Jami-Lee wasn’t the leaker. Bridges’ judgment isn’t his best asset. 🙂

        • Tricledrown 43.2.2.4

          It’s pretty legal Stephen Joyce 8 mile lie

  42. Brian Tregaskin 44

    I was wrong to dismiss Jami-Lee Ross as just another entitled born to rule person.
    But like LOTS of others around NZ, I was moved by hIs determination to fight back over these last two days against the might of the National Party Machine
    It was obvious this has been traumatic time for him; he was a victim. I wouldn’t have blamed him for staying at home today.
    Anyone who switched on to Jami’s press interview today –would have there preconceptions shattered almost instantly. Jami showed this week he has resilience and courage in spades.

    • Ross 44.1

      Jami-Lee was a victim? I’m not seeing it. He thought he deserved a plum front bench spot and had a tantrum when it didn’t eventuate. That’s not the behaviour of a victim, but the behaviour of a spoilt brat.

      • Dennis Frank 44.1.1

        Understandable, and was my first read on his behaviour, but if you listen to his press conference at parliament you’ll see there’s more to the guy. Often people have multidimensional characters, enough to make them seem different people in different circumstances. I agree young male Nat MPs present with a natural sense of entitlement that makes them seem arrogant, and often they are. However anyone who can use emotional intelligence to read character will figure this dude as more than just that.

        Like he said he was brought up by his grandmother to respect women and has always done so to his knowledge. But then the guy his wife stood against (another Nat, local) was interviewed today & reported a pattern of bullying by JLR. Both can be true simultaneously, or partly true. Someone who is naturally forceful is easily experienced as bullying even if no intent is involved.

        • RedLogix 44.1.1.1

          Finally got to listen to JLR’s presser. Clearly he’s a man who’s permitted his loyalty to his Party (a good thing in of itself) to be exploited.

          Now we know why Bridges overreacted to the original expenses leak. It was not what was in them which mattered, it was that he had so much more to hide which panicked him.

          When it became clear to JLR that his old friend Bridges was going to throw him under the bus … an act of deep betrayal, it’s not at all surprising JLR has reacted the way he has. I’m willing to give the man some credit for having the courage, belatedly, to stand up for himself.

      • Ankerrawshark 44.1.2

        Agree with both takes (Ross and brian’s) on jami-Lee even though they are opposing.

        What really struck me about J-l is how credible his account of things seemed. He’s far more plausible than Simon I

  43. Fireblade 45

    This is the video of RNZ talking to Annie Zhang about the donations.

  44. Timbeau 46

    Where is Jason Ede?

  45. National’s corrupt electoral practices
    The National Party mess has just gone thermonuclear, with Jami-Lee Ross making public allegations that party leader simon Bridges repeatedly engaged in corrupt electoral practices. In his unscheduled press standup, he specifically accused Bridges of knowingly falsifying the identity of the “Cathedral Club” donor on his electorate donation return, in violation of s207G of the Electoral Act, and of instructing him to split a $100,000 donation from a “Chinese businessman” in order to avoid disclosure, in violation of s207LA. He says he has recordings and photographs, and will be going to the police tomorrow to make a statement.

    (He also says he’s been accused of multiple cases of sexual harassment by National Party staffers, which he portrays as a political stitch-up. We can treat that with the contempt it deserves)

    This is an allegation of serious criminal behaviour. Both of these are corrupt electoral practices, and if convicted, both Bridges and Ross (because he’s a self-admitted party to at least one of the offences) would be automatically removed from Parliament. Of course, that assumes the police will bother to investigate. And as we’ve seen, they are only interested in prosecuting electoral offences by small parties outside Parliament, not by those who might one day set their budget. So, I fully expect that nothing will legally come of this, no matter how compelling Ross’ evidence. But if what Ross says is true, it should taint Bridges permanently, and renders him utterly unfit to be in Parliament, let alone a party leader.

    Source – No Right Turn

  46. cleangreen 48

    Judging by watching Paula Bennett being grilled by Duncan Garner on the AM show at 7.30am today 17/10/18 I truly believe Paula is a partner in the ‘cover up’ of the whole Chinese donation cover-up now.

    “nothing to see here” was done on any evidence of the whole $100 000 donation by these two running national.

    This looks like what the Saudi’s have done to cover-up the Turkish embassy killing of a prominent Journalist..

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