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Simon’s first six months

Written By: - Date published: 9:00 am, August 28th, 2018 - 106 comments
Categories: Media, national, same old national, Simon Bridges, trevor mallard, twitter, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: ,

Simon has now been leader of the opposition for six months.

How has he been going?

Not very well I am pleased to say.

Perhaps it is an indication of how well Aotearoa New Zealand is being run currently.

The really big issues, homelessness, child poverty, climate change are being addressed and being addressed properly.  There are no major chinks in the Government’s armour for Simon to make hay on.  Apart from elements of the Business Community people are pretty happy and looking to the future.

Simon has responded by trotting out the usual stuff, and searching for issues that he thinks will make a difference.

But his judgment is pretty poor.  He thinks that beating up some sort of controversy over the early leak of information that would have come out anyway will give him an advantage.

He is fixated on who released embarrassing information about him three days before it would have actually been released.

I have struggled for a while to understand why Bridges thinks he is on a winner with this issue and why he has continued to attack Trevor Mallard and Labour over the issue.   Richard Harman (thanks Neale Jones) may have discovered why.

National’s leak problem may have become more intense although I should mention that Richard Harman has printed the following addition to his article:

(Bridges says this claim is false)

I bet he does.  Others stepping up and denying it would increase the validity of the claim.

If it did happen I can imagine a scene where Simon fixed Mallard with his lawyer’s eye and determined conclusively that he was lying.

If only the practice of law was so simple.

The weakness of the claim is that there may have been an awkward interaction between the two but Mallard lying was not necessarily the reason.  Mallard may have been thinking “you are an absolute tosser” and realising that in the interests of the proper functioning of Parliament he should hold that thought back.  That is not evidence Mallard was involved in the leak of the information.

And any good lawyer knows that you should always reassess your hypothesis against new information that may appears.

So when texts arrive from someone claiming to have been at National Party caucus meetings saying they are from the leaker and they are proof that they are a National MP there are a few things you would do.

Firstly you would ascertain if the information was accurate.  If so there are three possiblities:

  1. The texter was indeed either a National MP or a trusted staff member that had access to meetings or records of caucus discussions.
  2. National MPs are being loose with caucus discussions.
  3. National is being hacked.

Of course if the information was not true then you shout this to the rooftops and state that National is being subject to a false flag operation.

But Gerry Brownlee gave it all away yesterday.  He said that the information about the caucus meeting came from gossip or hacking.  Ergo it must have been accurate.

The claim conjures all sorts of visions.  I bet National’s caucus room is being swept for bugs and hidden cameras as I type this.

What proof is there that Mallard or Parliamentary Services leaked it?  Mallard was that confident he was willing to call for a formal investigation.  If he was wrong and his office did actually leak the information this would have been the end of his role as speaker and probably his career.

Mallard noted early that the format of the released information meant that it could not have been Parliamentary Services.  I am sure he was right.

What are the chances of National being hacked?  I guess nothing is impossible although Labour learned a while ago that the best way to do politics was not to play games but to be straight up and authentic.

Or was it the collation of gossip?  Only if you believe that the National Caucus leaks like a sieve and I have thought its discipline over the past few years was pretty good.

What about the other possibility, that the leaker was a National MP or staffer.

Everything points to this.  Sensitive information being released in a format that was not Parliamentary Services format, an anonymous texter providing accurate evidence of what happened in caucus meetings as proof that they are a National MP?  The counter hypothesis that the leaker is a Parliamentary Services employee that has access to confidential information does not gel.

And what about the counter evidence?  All we have is the fact that the release occurred and Parliamentary Services may have been in possession of a different form of the information.  And Simon thought that Trevor was acting strangely.

It seems that every time someone mentions this Simon doubles down.  Perhaps I should continue with daily posts on the subject.

But this is like a whodunnit over a shoplifting case.  You have to wonder at Simon’s judgment to keep it going.

I am sure under the last Government it would have been different.  I bet the conclusions of the police investigation would have been provided to the relevant Minister quicker than you could say “no surprises” and the assault on the leaker’s character would have started.

So six months into Simon’s career and everyone is already questioning his judgment.  This is what they say in the business is not a good start.

106 comments on “Simon’s first six months”

  1. Chris T 1

    Simple answer

    Have the inquiry

    • National are having an inquiry. Simon’s running it and he’s a former police prosecutor, doncha know. If any member of his caucus so much as smiles awkwardly when he questions them, he’ll know the truth.

      • Chris T 1.1.1

        I meant that Mallard could flip flop for “apparently” no reason again and restart the proper inquiry.

        It would clear it all up

        • bwaghorn 1.1.1.1

          The cops should just tell him for fucks sake.

        • McFlock 1.1.1.2

          What needs clarification from anyone other than the nats’ point of view? It’s obvious they leak like a seive.

          Whether thats the result of one or two tossers or general indiscipline, that;s a nat problem ratherthan a parliamentary issue.

          So soimon can hire his own damned QC.

          • Chris T 1.1.1.2.1

            We won’t know this for certain till there is a proper inquiry

            Which both Ardern and Mallard seem extremely reluctant to have, to the point of Mallard suddenly shutting it down even though he just announced who was running it.

            • McFlock 1.1.1.2.1.1

              All the more political capital for soimon when he pays for an inquiry more substantial than his magical psychic powers, then.

              Once I was in a flat when the drains blocked. I was going to call a plumber, then my flatmate pointed out it was the landlord’s problem. So I decided to not pay for a plumber and let the landlord sort it.

              That doesn’t mean I was “extremely reluctant” to have the drains fixed.

              It. Just. Wasn’t. My. Problem.

            • ianmac 1.1.1.2.1.2

              ChrisT. When Labour had a problem with a sex thing at camp should the State have paid for an enquiry? No? Labour’s problem to fix.

              When National has a problem with leaking,should the State pay for an enquiry? No? National’s problem to fix.

              • alwyn

                Actually the State did pay for an enquiry.
                The Police did it and someone was charged. Still the Labour party seems to have covered it up and I don’t see any prospect of the case actually proceeding any further.
                Can’t embarrass the PM can we?

                • ankerawshark

                  No Alwyn,

                  The police investigated a crime and pressed charges. Labour investigated what went wrong as the hosts…………

        • Drowsy M. Kram 1.1.1.3

          The opposition National party can’t run a “proper inquiry”? Probably not.

  2. Pat 2

    The Police know the identity of the leaker….has Mallard sought clarification from the Police the position of that person?….the Police have said they wont identify the individual but they may well have confirmed or denied whether the person is a member of the National caucus (or a staffer) without revealing their identity….hence Mallards decision.

    • dukeofurl 2.1

      So do I ….Marinus van der Lubbe..LOL

    • alwyn 2.2

      And how do you interpret Mallard’s decision?
      Suppose he was told it was in the National Caucus?
      Mallard’s immediate inclination, being the ratbag that he is, would have been to push ahead at full speed with the inquiry.
      Suppose they said that it was someone in Parliamentary Services, or worse in the Labour Caucus?
      He would have shut it down and fled the country to keep away from questioning.

      Now what did he do?
      “Mallard has been asked for comment but he is on holiday abroad and after cancelling the inquiry on Friday said he would not be commenting further.”
      https://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=12114502

      Hmm. Methinks it stinks.

      • marty mars 2.2.1

        He’s too nice trying to save useless Simon. He is neutral as the speaker – it is you who is slanted al.

        • alwyn 2.2.1.1

          I’m glad I wasn’t drinking my cup of coffee when I read this comment of yours.
          “He is neutral as the speaker “.
          What an innocent little lad (or laddess) you are.
          Thank you for giving me such a good laugh.

          • marty mars 2.2.1.1.1

            I’m just not a cynic like you. Righties like you are so funny thinking everyone is venal, self serving, vain and unfunny like you guys ha Classic shoot your own foot al try aiming next time lol

            • alwyn 2.2.1.1.1.1

              I don’t think everyone is as you describe.
              On the other hand I have seen an enormous number of examples of Trevor’s boorish ways over the years.

        • Rae 2.2.1.2

          Why would the govt want to get rid of Bridges, they are better off to leave National with him.

      • Pat 2.2.2

        have just demonstrated how i interpret Mallards decision…..have a straw

        • alwyn 2.2.2.1

          Keep up.
          Straws have been banned. Something about saving endangered ducks like Mallards.

          • Tricledrown 2.2.2.1.1

            Whiro are endangered mallards are in abundance.
            Your pathetic dog whistle isn’t original or funny.
            Simple Simon has fdup now his minions /backbenchers are baffling with BS it will be like water off a Ducks back as National Duck for cover with their duckshoveling.

      • dukeofurl 2.2.3

        The evidence is that its from the caucus, but Alwyn doesnt like evidence when it goes against Bridges. He still cant accept the various parties only got their own Mps numbers not the other side, which removes any doubt it was ‘labour’.

        • alwyn 2.2.3.1

          Parliamentary Services got the lot. Who did they leak to, and what happened then?

          Apart from the Police saying that they knew the persons name what happened between Thursday, when Trevor announced who was going to do the inquiry and Friday when, after getting a call from Jacinda, he scrapped it and fled the country?
          Well at about 7.00am on Friday the Police Minister got a “no surprises” head-up.
          Who did he then talk to, and exactly what had he been told?

          Just what is “The evidence is that its from the caucus”?
          Apart that is from Mallard and Ardern saying so with no evidence at all being provided?
          In a paraphrase of the immortal words of Mandy Rice-Davies.
          “Well they would say that, wouldn’t they?”.

          • dukeofurl 2.2.3.1.1

            Where do get all this timeline. Its all fantasy.
            Bridges has confirmed its nationals caucus secrets…. which of course you ignore completely

            • McFlock 2.2.3.1.1.1

              Alwyn’s trying to shovel shit uphill spinning this one.

              Has even gone so far as to pretend to not have read the post, for the information you point to was clearly mentioned…

          • Fireblade 2.2.3.1.2

            Alwyn you are wrong.

            Police have confirmed no Government minister has been briefed on the identity of the texter.

            • alwyn 2.2.3.1.2.1

              Trevor is not, of course, a Minister.
              Neither id someone like O’Connor who spent nearly 40 years in the force and would know everyone.

              • McFlock

                So you suspect that mallard or Ps leaked, and then the cops leaked to mallard or the cops leaked to Labour who leaked to mallard.

                Oh, and someone also hacked the nats in order to get details about caucus meeting conversations, lol.

                Option b: the nats are leaking like a seive.

              • Tricledrown

                Alwynger, Desperately dredging up deflection and distraction.

          • You_Fool 2.2.3.1.3

            What happened in that time period? The txt became public knowledge.

            Not to do your work for you, but you realise that you and the rest of National & other RWNJ have got this all about face… You state the known fact, why did Mallard cancel the inquiry when he did, he had known about the txt and leaker for days. But instead of jumping to, he must be defending someone, the actual issue is why was he playing politics before the txt became public?

            So Mallard knew it wasn’t one of his staff, but kept the inquiry as it would hurt National, as if there was $100k inquiry into a $100k expense then the public will want to have it make sense, and if it is all internal politics by the factions of National, then the public wouldn’t have any of it and National will start to free-fall. So if Mallard only cancelled the inquiry when it became public knowledge that he knew it wasn’t from Parliamentary Services, and keeping it running meant he was no longer being neutral and was spending money on ruining national, something that would hurt him personally.

            Of course taking this line means admitting that the leak is internal and that Bridges was wrong….

            • Carolyn_Nth 2.2.3.1.3.1

              But instead of jumping to, he must be defending someone, the actual issue is why was he playing politics before the txt became public?

              So Mallard knew it wasn’t one of his staff, but kept the inquiry as it would hurt National

              If Mallard had called off the inquiry after he received the text, how would he have explained to the public the reasons for calling off the enquiry? He could only have done that by revealing the existence of the text.

              He may also have had to wait til he talked with the police. But, as it is designated a mental health issue, he may have been reluctant to reveal the existence of the text and its content, before it was made public.

              • You_Fool

                Still could have delayed it, or just sad he had new information, and that bridges had it too… o just sad he got a txt, it had been verified and the leaker was in national

          • mac1 2.2.3.1.4

            And about whom was Mandy Rice-Davies speaking when she said that? Lord Astor denied having slept with her and her response in court was “Well, he would say that, wouldn’t he?”

            Point one was that even that quotation from court records has been modified from the actual words used, and second point is that the liar was a member of the Establishment who have been after all, even though they are ‘better people”, seen to be liars and habitués of prostitutes.

            Now we have our representatives of the “better people”, our conservative MPs and party, seen as leaking, lying, licentious spenders.

        • Tricledrown 2.2.3.2

          Alwyn is one of Nationals caucus that’s why he’s playing the victim card and knows Mallards behaviour so well.
          National had John Carter who was less independent than lock wood Smith.
          So what.

      • miravox 2.2.4

        Hmm.

        I’m still trying to think why anyone in the Labour-led government would want to take Simon Bridges down. I’m thinking the pretty happy just to let him get on with the job in the same way as he has in the last 6 months.

        • Chris T 2.2.4.1

          Because National are still polling at 45% under him

          Undermine him, it undermines the party

          • miravox 2.2.4.1.1

            He’s doing the job of undermining himself quite nicely and the longer he remains, the more he’ll erode soft National support.

          • Incognito 2.2.4.1.2

            I can’t shake the impression that the Government is not losing any sleep over the polls and getting on with the job of governing this country. The only people who have an unhealthy fixation on (the) polls are the ones who are still smarting that a ‘majority’ of 44.4% was not enough for their beloved party to take its ‘rightful place’ in Government.

        • NZJester 2.2.4.2

          I’m still trying to think why anyone in the Labour-led government would want to take Simon Bridges down.

          I know Simon has been a godsend for Labour. Labour would miss him if National found a competent double talk debater to twist their words as a replacement for him.
          Labour responses to his questions gives the government a lot of airtime to show just how much of a more competent of a job they are doing than the previous National government.

          • paul andersen 2.2.4.2.1

            simon should stay leader for the natz for the next ten years. he is the best leader the the natz have had since jenny….lol

        • Rae 2.2.4.3

          Me too

    • xanthe 2.3

      yes pat. i think thats most likely, the police without disclosing identity could still confirm not PS staff

  3. JanM 3

    What I can’t grasp in all of this is why all this uproar when the police already have the answer? Is there no way this can be resolved sensibly with their support even if there are privacy issues?

    • Anne 3.1

      My position too JanM. Some of us have been poking fun at Bishop and co. in the past few days but its now become ridiculous. Bridges is milking the uncertainty for all its worth – still banging on about a conspiracy between Mallard and Ardern.

      Why are the police being so cagey and protecting the person who did the leaking? The privacy excuse is a smoke screen. In doing so, they are aiding and abetting the ability of Bridges and Brownlee to smear their political opponents with impunity.

      • mary_a 3.1.1

        Anne (3.1) … “Why are the police being so cagey and protecting the person who did the leaking?”

        Dealing with a former minister of police perhaps?

      • Chris T 3.1.2

        You are encouraging the police to ignore peoples right to privacy?

        • dukeofurl 3.1.2.1

          The mental health is just a false flag to avoid getting exposed.

          • McFlock 3.1.2.1.1

            Any politician willing to take that chance over a 3-day premature leak is a bit of a fuckwit.

            • Tricledrown 3.1.2.1.1.1

              Mc Flock so that makes it very hard to figure out which National MP it is being most of them are.
              What’s worse is that what the leaker’s opinion was that Simon Brudghes is an arrogant fool.
              The truth hurts.

      • veutoviper 3.1.3

        Over the last few days, plenty of us have put up opinions, reasons as to why the Police have had to maintain privacy re the identity of this leaker; and what the Police may or may not be able to say to at least narrow the field.

        The privacy reason is not a smoke screen – it is the law when they were dealing with a personal safety issue, not a suspected crime or similar.

        And plenty of us here and elsewhere (eg Richard Harman as per the link to Politik in Neale Jones’ tweet in the post above) have suggested ways that the Police possibly could – and may have to Mallard – ruled out things such as whether the person works in Parliamentary Service.

        My latest on the above re safety vs crime – https://thestandard.org.nz/national-plans-to-breach-privacy-rights-of-all-of-its-mps-to-find-leaker/#comment-1518548 Also see my 10 below.

        All Bridges and Brownlee are doing is further impugning their own reputations and credibility – long may it last.

        As Harman says in his Politik article:

        This escalation of tension between the Opposition and the Speaker is in itself surprising.

        Alleging that the Speaker is partisan is a serious issue and could well see Bridges face some sort of sanction when Parliament resumes.

        But again, even if National picks up on some of the wilder talk among people close to it and moves a motion of no confidence in Mallard, the motion would not succeed.

        Bridges and his party look to have painted themselves into a corner.

        Partly that is because an inquiry by the Opposition Leader is unlikely to have the clout to conduct investigations outside the National caucus which means that unless the leaker is a National MP or staff member, the issue will remain unresolved.

        … His problem now is that with no real way of identifying the leaker the issue is likely to remain unresolved and he will appear to have failed.

        Not a good look for a new leader struggling to gain traction in the polls.

    • Incognito 3.2

      Bridges is trying to force Mallard to do the dirty work for him so that he can keep his hands clean. I reckon the Police should tell Bridges, and only Bridges, in strictest confidence who the leaker is. As a former Crown Prosecutor Bridges ought to be able to handle sensitive and confidential information and the cops are very experienced in reading his body language if he can’t or won’t …

      In any case, this ongoing witch-hunt won’t do any good for the mental health of the leaker.

  4. dukeofurl 4

    I remember way back in 2008 , a few months after the election, when a story about a election visit by Key to somewhere like Keri Keri came out.
    It was the famous ‘ he wanted wages to fall’ conversation. The exact details dont matter now but boy did Key and his acolytes go to town in getting the ‘news erased’.
    The local paper stood by the story as the journalist had taped the conversation for the write up ( as it was some months later the tape no longer existed), so the Nats and Key pushed for the Editor in Chief in Auckland to overule the local editor and journalist to have a retarction.
    Even that didnt work, so Key pulled strings and went to board members of the media company.
    Unbelievable in the context of what was likely for him to be a slip of words but fitted his mindset of ‘ labour market competitiveness’.

    The scorched earth tactics now by Bridges follow the same playbook. The reason why is to basically intimidate and bully the media from giving ‘normal coverage’. Im real sure Tova O’Brien will be watching her step in future along with the leaker inside caucus.

  5. Kevin 5

    Makes me wonder just who Bridges was trying to ‘connect’ with on his road trip jolly as the feedback on social media has been completely scathing. Its been hard to find anyone giving him any sympathy.

    No one seems to care who the leaker was, they are just pissed about the money he spent.

    If he is trying to show decisive leadership, it’s been a complete FUBAR.

  6. The bridge is over troubled waters indeed – unruly caucus, no name recognition, miss after miss politically, a wasted 6 months that has solidified the perception that bridges is useless. He will shudder with horror when he thinks of the next 6 months – and the leaker (high profile I’m betting) still to come. I think Simons about to cop a load.

  7. mary_a 7

    IMO Mallard has moved to quit the enquiry, because police have clarified it’s a Natz issue, without revealing the identity of the leak. As a result he has left it to Natz to sort out and clear up.

    If that is the case, then it makes sense not to pursue the original enquiry.

    • Anne 7.1

      Yes. It looks to me like Mallard received an assurance from the police last Friday that the leak did not come from Parliamentary Services. Therefore he no longer had any reason to go ahead with the inquiry.

      The problem as I see it is:

      a) The Nats are still in deep denial.
      b) They see everything in a political context and can’t conceive of the possibility others might take more nuanced considerations into account. In other words they’re dumb.

      My conclusion is that its a bit of both.

    • Rae 7.2

      I agree with that, and if it is indeed a mental health issue, then neither Mallard or I would want the person involved to be put at further risk, even though part of me thinks that could be a red herring.

  8. Nik 8

    Every day another headline about the scandalous leakage of information destined to go public anyway. I’d agree it warrants internal investigation but does it warrant two weeks plus of daily headlines??!
    Surely this is the very definition of strawman politics! What far more undesirable bad publicity are the opposition successfully choking with their fixation on this petty issue?

  9. Tricledrown 9

    Alwynger you should listen to simple Siomon’s speech pleading with the public not to release his/her name as the damage it would cause to said person.
    The damage it would do to National is what slyman Simon is the reality!

  10. veutoviper 10

    As MS has put up a link to Richard Harman’s excellent blog post on his Politik.co.nz, people may also be interested in hearing what Harman had to say on RNZ’s The Panel yesterday afternoon so here is a link to just that part of the Panel’s discussion. Ten minutes but most of it is Harman.

    https://www.radionz.co.nz/audio/player?audio_id=2018659900

    In this audio, amongst other interesting points, Harman goes into more detail as to what – in theory – the Police could and could not tell Mallard. Harman is also of the view that perhaps they could have confirmed to Mallard that the person did not work in Parliamentary Service without disclosing their actual identity – in exactly the same way the Police handled the rumours about Clarke Gayford when they confirmed he had no police record.

  11. Philj 11

    Shouldn’t the blog title be “Brudges LAST sux months”.

  12. Cinny 12

    Wait… what?

    simon bridges wants to stop Chelsea Manning coming to speak.

    LMFAO !!! Sounds like a distraction…. or could it be an attack on free speech?

    “National is calling on the Government to bar ex-US army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning from visiting the country next month.”

    Standby…… for the backlash.

    Oh dear simon the stupid it really hurts.

    Can’t stop laughing, he’s the gift that keeps on giving.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/106620364/national-wants-chelsea-manning-barred-from-new-zealand

    • Bewildered 12.1

      He has some pretty serious convictions thus could easily fail good character test in regard to an entry visa

    • ianmac 12.2

      Simon would certainly try the distraction to get him off the front page but Gerry and Simon are still able to get themselves on the pages over a minor leak. But what a dumb way to do it using Mannering.

      • ianmac 12.2.1

        As No Right Turn says:
        “Compare and contrast

        Bridges backs free speech for far-right writers banned from Auckland Council venues, New Zealand Herald, 9 July 2018:
        National leader Simon Bridges says two Canadian far-right writers …
        …I (Simon) think freedom of speech was important”

        And:
        “National is calling on the Government to bar ex-US army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning from visiting the country next month.
        National wants Chelsea Manning barred from New Zealand, Stuff, 28 August 2018:”

        http://norightturn.blogspot.com/2018/08/compare-and-contrast.html

    • Anne 12.3

      I look forward to the Free Speech Coalition attacking the Nats for trying to deny Nzers the right to come to NZ and express their views. I might even consider joining them at their next rally in Aotea Square. 😈

      • Carolyn_Nth 12.3.1

        Here ya go

        http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1808/S00358/coalition-condemns-campaign-to-bar-chelsea-manning.htm

        “We agree with the reported comments Green Party MP Golriz Ghahraman that Mr Woodhouse’s campaign for censorship is offensive. New Zealanders should not be denied an opportunity to hear a personal account of military use of power, even by an ally. The Free Speech Coalition hopes Ms Ghahraman continues to support the principle of free speech, no matter the politics of the individual speakers.”

        • Anne 12.3.1.1

          Goodness that was prescient of me wasn’t it. More likely coincidence. 😀

          • Carolyn_Nth 12.3.1.1.1

            It looks like it came from Trotter. I understand Brash refused to comment on the Nats’ stance initially.

            • Anne 12.3.1.1.1.1

              It didn’t take long for the fractures to develop. Not surprising. They seem like a fairly disparate bunch of individuals.

      • Cinny 12.3.2

        Lmao

      • paul andersen 12.3.3

        I look forward to don brash and the tax avoiders onion also attacking the natz for trying to block free speech. but I expect brash and co to try and dance on the head of a pin and agree with the natz on a point of principle(which is hilarious in itself, principle and right winger, hah!)

    • Bill 12.4

      Oh dear simon – and every other idiot who confuses political outcomes and principles – the stupid it really hurts.

  13. Aaron 13

    The first sign of Bridges poor judgement was thinking that being the leader after 9 years in power was a good idea.

  14. ‘ Mhmmmm…. the plot thickens’….

    Life and death while preparing sandwiches: Emilio’s death – Kill Bill 2 …
    Video for kill bill the plot thickens you tube▶ 2:17

  15. ianmac 15

    Tracey Watkins in the Press today:
    “National in contrast seems to be morphing from an well oiled machine to just another Opposition party barking at every passing car…
    It has even started to look a little ragged as the first signs of its legendary discipline and unity start to unravel over the leaking of Simon Bridges travel expenses…
    …will rattle the confidence of his MPs in his judgement…”

    I reckon she is about right.

  16. Ad 17

    Hang in there Simon great work, and keep going to 2020.

    The country needs you. 🙂

    • paul andersen 17.1

      you are correct ad, we need a new sideshow. sideshow bob has left the building, step up, sideshow simon.

    • mac1 17.2

      Simon Bridges admitted in a public meeting I attended that National would not win the next election ‘unless someone got kicked in the head”. It was a metaphor for Labour doing something very, very stupid and even Simon disallowed that.

      So, do National want to keep this self-admitted loser or is this a cunning plan to be used to motivate the troops, like sports coaches do when they downplay their team’s chances?

      What a team member is saying now is that there is “a tight housing market” which is “presenting problems”. His suggested fix is to convert unused office space into inner living apartments. I note he is also highlighting the local problem which really grew under his and former National governments of many empty shop fronts.

      https://www.stuff.co.nz/marlborough-express/106592719/Empty-spaces-above-shops-perfect-for-living-but-NZ-isn-t-using-them-enough

      This government is putting $1 billion into the regions which his government let founder. Now the wine industry is needing workers as it grows. Two thousand more workers needing accommodation in an industry which is 80% owned outside the region, in Auckland or overseas. This region has a very low average wages income.

      The solution was not to put money into the regions, nor to address, let alone admit to a ‘housing crisis’, by building more affordable houses. Nope, his bright idea is to convert empty offices built by developers looking for big dollars in a market that was over-supplied into apartments.

      Not purpose built apartments. Not affordable one bedroom units while 50 rough sleepers find accommodation under bridges, in disused spectator stands, in children’s play houses and under trees in church grounds. Not affordable houses whilst 80 people had high priority housing needs identified by state agencies. Not affordable houses while upwards of 50 people line up to inspect a rental property.

      Not under National’s long nine year watch.

      What Bridges should fear is a collapse in National’s vote, as in 2002, which his mediocre performance and poor judgement is facilitating.

      I wonder if he ever went to Mangapurua during his recent $100,000 rural jaunt and had a selfie with the Bridge to Nowhere? I can see it clearly. Like the photo at Bluff of Simon and the AA Direction sign, him in black overcoat pointing to a sign saying “Nowhere”. For that was where NZ was going in the regions in 2017, and would again under the promise of a Simon ’10’ Bridges’ government.

      • cleangreen 17.2.1

        Yes mac1

        We expect better from this new Labour lead Government;- as they are not very good at fixing anything that is now adversely affecting our environment now are they ?

        Labour need to clean house now, as they are making many errors including doing nothing much about lowering the monster trucks causing road gridlock!!!!!

        While our Kiwirail public owned rail still withers sadly!!!!!

        So labour wake up!!!!!!!

        ‘Lets do this’, – and kick Phil Twyfords ass while you are at it and wake him up.!!!!!

        Tywfords office will not allow Twyford to meet community groups since November last year and he seems to be busy helping road upgrades and trucks.

        While twyford was in my town (Napier) on friday his Weliington office said he was to busy to meet with our committee in Napier!!!!!

        Bad feelings here for you twyford.
        See this.

        He wanted to just take some glory in the local press for himself while turning his back on the community.

        Another less than perfect politician again we see sadly.

        https://www.nzherald.co.nz/hawkes-bay-today/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503462&objectid=12113074

        • mac1 17.2.1.1

          I don’t want a huge argument, cleangreen, but there are some logical errors in what you write.
          Eg Do monster trucks cause gridlock, or is it the sheer volume of traffic and the accidents which have cause that. Proponents of larger trucks would argue that they should reduce the number of trucks, and drivers, on the road.

          Your first paragraph is one large generalisation. It’s a bit hard to ask you to cite an example of something that you say has not happened, but to prove it a false generalisation, take these examples from the NZLP web site.

          “We’ve joined the United Nations-led CleanSeas campaign to rid our oceans of plastic waste and reduce the use of non-recoverable and single-use plastics.
          We’ve committed to becoming a net zero emissions economy by 2050 and to making our electricity system 100% renewable by 2035.
          We’ve stopped granting offshore oil and gas exploration permits, and are supporting communities that have traditionally relied on fossil fuels to transition to a sustainable economy.
          We’ve started planting one billion trees to tackle environmental issues like erosion, improve water quality and reduce the effects of climate change.
          We’ve announced there will be no new mines on conservation land, to make sure our precious native species and ecosystems are protected.
          We are tackling climate change by establishing the Green Investment Fund, which will stimulate investment in low-carbon industries and clean technology.
          We’ve launched a six-week public consultation on the Zero Carbon Bill.”

          As for meeting or not meeting Twyford with your unspecified committee. That is what happens with a busy Minister. Your slagging of him as a headline glory boy would be seen by others as a Minister interacting with the media on an important local issue- that of road safety on a 10 times lethal road.

          Just think, cleangreen, if he did not take the time to talk to the media, then people like yourself would not know what it is this Labour-led government is achieving.

          My post above was to point out the situation laying the blame at the previous government’s feet and pointing out the richness of a situation whereby a local MP comes up with a very partial solution to a problem that he, and his party, still do not fully agree is a crisis, as I hope my local examples showed.

        • mac1 17.2.1.2

          As a result of that busy time that Phil Twyford has been having recently…….

          https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2018/08/government-reveals-16-9-billion-transport-investment-plan.html

          • mac1 17.2.1.2.1

            In contrast to Simon’s first non-bridge building six months……

            Transport Minister Phil Twyford unveiled details of $16.9 billion investment in the land transport system over the next three years- $4.3 billion towards preventing and reducing the severity of accidents, focusing on dangerous intersections, median barriers in high-risk areas, and increased road policing.

            Most roading investment goes to the regions. Regional roads will get $5.8b in funding compared to $5b in metro areas. Four billion will be invested in public transport, rapid transit and rail, and $390 has been put aside for walking and cycling improvements.

            “State highways continue to receive the largest share of funding with a total of $5.7b. $3.5b in new state highway projects and $2.2b in state highway maintenance.”

            $12.9b comes from the National Land Transport Fund, generated through fuel excise, road user charges, and other revenue sources; $3.4b from local government, generated through rates and Auckland’s Regional Fuel Tax; and $557m in other Crown investments.

  17. Ken 18

    Six months!
    Congratulations Soimun, I hope you’re still there for the next election……something tells me that you won’t, though.

    • Muttonbird 18.1

      I’m still backing the four Nat leaders in one calendar year scenario. He assumed office on 27 Feb 2018 so if he’s stabbed in the back before then there will be three for starters.

      But then if it’s Collins who rolls him before summer she will do something completely stupid in short time. The adrenaline of power will go to her head, the needling of the media, the scrutiny of her dodgy past, and the rapidly inflating ego will combine to make her tenure brief.

      Then it’s all on to find the fourth National Party leader within a year.

      Bingles didn’t last much more than a year so there were three leaders in the space of a bit over a year. There’s form already…

  18. Flogging Molly – Kiss my Irish Ass – YouTube
    Video for kiss my irish arse you tube▶ 4:06

  19. cleangreen 20

    100% Mickey,

    Quote; “I am sure under the last Government it would have been different. I bet the conclusions of the police investigation would have been provided to the relevant Minister quicker than you could say “no surprises” and the assault on the leaker’s character would have started.
    So six months into Simon’s career and everyone is already questioning his judgment. This is what they say in the business is not a good start.” Un-quote;

    Mickey; – John Key/Bill English/Simon Bridges policy was = “plunder the ccountry and sell it at any price”.

    Our rail Company was next on the chopping block.

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/AK1709/S00053/national-party-transport-policy-for-hbgisborne.htm

    Last election in 2017, we watched the first leaders debate on TV One between Jacinda Ardern & Bill English then as our current PM.

    The debate never actually tackled the thorny issues of transport issues we all face deficits from in our East Coast regions.

    That has provoked the need for our press release to clarify our Community concerns at those current deficiencies we all face in our regions of HB/Gisborne since the National Party have assumed the mantle of governance over our regions and lives.

    When the National Party took over in November 2008 the former Helen Clark Labour lead Government had just bought back the rail system from Toll Rail, an Australian Company for $650 thousand dollars and had set aside a track Maintenance Company called Ontrack who were given a $200 Million reserve account to rely on to keep the rail line in service, for the new Kiwirail operator to run their services.

    National’s new Minister of Transport Steven Joyce somehow reorganised the Kiwirail Company and folded the On Track rail line Maintenance Company up and the $200 million somehow disappeared.

    Since 2009 we have witnessed two events of large rail washouts on the rail line between Gisborne and Central HB, first the washout around Otane in Central HB and later the larger washout at Beach Loop near Mahia Northern HB/Gisborne.

    That $200 million was setup for the track maintenance to deal with these washouts, as we have seen many other washouts around NZ rail have been repaired since.

    So we must now ask the Labour lead Government: “where is our share of that $200 million to repair the Gisborne Beach Loop washouts so our rail to Gisborne is finally repaired after being left closed since March 2012?”

    Will this be left for the new Government to find that lost $200 Million that was robbed from our Public Rail Company account?

    That was how the last National John Key/Bill English Government plundered our country.

    The National Government robbed anything that was pubically owned they possibly could to our total loss of services and taxpaid assets for their own financial gain and did this in a criminal way.

  20. Dennis Frank 21

    Soper’s view from 48 hours ago (Herald): “this was undoubtedly an inside job to undermine his leadership. The texter obviously knew his cellphone number and that of the Speaker and knew the workings of Parliament and the way National’s caucus operates. In cancelling the inquiry Mallard was in no doubt: the texter and the leaker were one and the same person and said they had details of events that anyone outside the National Party wouldn’t be privy to.”

    “Still National maintains it’s determined to find out who it is. But if that’s the case why did Bridges say the process would mean MPs would have to give their consent to their systems being checked which they’re unlikely to agree to, so what’s the point? To know the enemy from within”.

    Commentators here often depict Soper as a Nat supporter. Those above trying to deflect guilt onto Mallard and/or PS seem Nat supporters too. Seems Nat supporters aren’t on the same page on this situation. Identify the enemy within, or not? Bit like Hamlet’s “to be or not to be”?

    • Kat 21.1

      Barry Soper isn’t so much a Nat supporter but someone who just criticizes what he does’t understand. All the while calling it his right to an “opinion”. Such is the majority of “opinion piece scribblers” masquerading as journos we have in the media at these days.

      • Incognito 21.1.1

        Barry Soper isn’t so much a Nat supporter but someone who just criticizes what he does’t understand.

        QFT

        And he’s not alone in this by a long shot.

  21. Rae 22

    I have to say, Simon Bridges is singing an entirely different song to that he sang about Winston Peters taking matters further over the disclosure of his super payment stuff ups. He reckoned Peters should just get on with the business of governing rather than setting out on a witch hunt.
    The info about Simon that was leaked was going to come out in a couple of days anyway, whereas Winston’s should never have been made public, especially seeing as the mistake wasn’t his and it had already been sorted.
    Simon Bridges is making himself look foolish, as it comes across that the slight sleight against him is way more important than the possibility that someone may be in a fragile mental state.

  22. Dennis Frank 23

    Gordon Campbell’s view (Mental As Anything): http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL1808/S00142/gordon-campbell-on-counting-the-cost-from-the-bridges-leak.htm

    “Thank goodness we will soon have the waka jumping legislation in place, to ensure that any other erring wretches are forced to remain in caucus, where they can get the re-education help they need.”

  23. Agora 24

    “The weakness of the claim is that there may have been an awkward interaction between the two but Mallard lying was not necessarily the reason. Mallard may have been thinking “you are an absolute tosser” and realising that in the interests of the proper functioning of Parliament he should hold that thought back. That is not evidence Mallard was involved in the leak of the information”

    I have a friend from overseas who cannot understand the meaning of tossing.

    Could you expain in more detail what this may involve ?

  24. 4th_estate 25

    I think the RH Jian Yang would have the resources to find out…being a spy handler and all.
    Nudge nudge
    Wink wink

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  • New Zealand condemns shocking attacks on hospital and funeral in Afghanistan
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  • $62 million package to support families through the Family Court
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  • A modern approach to night classes
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  • Christchurch Call: One year Anniversary
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  • Budget 2020: Jobs and opportunities for the primary sector
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  • Finance Minister’s Budget 2020 s Budget Speech
    Mr Speaker, I move that the Appropriation (2020/21 Estimates) Bill be now read a second time. From its very beginning this Coalition Government has committed to putting the wellbeing of current and future generations of New Zealanders at the heart of everything we do. There is no time in New ...
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  • Finance Minister’s Budget 2020 Budget Speech
    Mr Speaker, I move that the Appropriation (2020/21 Estimates) Bill be now read a second time. From its very beginning this Coalition Government has committed to putting the wellbeing of current and future generations of New Zealanders at the heart of everything we do. There is no time in New ...
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