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Which National MP leaked Bridges’ expense details?

Written By: - Date published: 7:29 am, August 24th, 2018 - 358 comments
Categories: national, Politics, same old national, Simon Bridges, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, trevor mallard, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags:

All those right wingers who claimed with some vehemence that Labour and/or Trevor Mallard leaked Simon Bridges’ expenses information have rather large amounts of egg on their faces.

And National MPs must be questioning Simon Bridges’ judgment.

Because it has been stated this morning that the leaker of Bridges’ expense information is a National MP.

From Jo Moir at Radio New Zealand:

A person claiming to be the National Party leaker has sent an anonymous text to Opposition leader Simon Bridges pleading for the inquiry to be called off, RNZ has learned.

It’s a major development in the saga over who leaked Mr Bridges’ expenses and raises huge questions about the stability of his leadership and disquiet among National MPs.

Sources have told RNZ Mr Bridges and the Speaker Trevor Mallard both received an anonymous text message last week from a person claiming to be responsible for leaking the information to Newshub.

The author of the text warned they suffered from mental health problems in the past and said being exposed publicly could push them over the edge and put their life at risk.

And the motivation?

In the message, the author said they had leaked the expenses because they disagreed with Mr Bridges’ leadership style, describing him as “arrogant”, and wanted him to be held to account for his spending of taxpayers’ money.

For Bridges the repercussions are big questions over his judgment and about the stability and loyalty of his caucus.  Asking for an inquiry clearly was a very stupid thing to do.  Claiming that his caucus would not have done such a thing clearly was a stupid thing to say.

And he has a bigger problem.  Either he has a serial leaker in his caucus willing to damage him by the release of information.  Or he has two leakers each with the same idea.

I suspect that National will now want to end the inquiry.  It will be interesting if they ask for this and how Mallard handles any such request.


I agree that mental health is an important issue so I am replacing the picture associated with the post.  The story is relevant however.

And Stuff have added further detail:

It’s understood National immediately sought advice from mental health professionals in dealing with the issues. Police are also understood to be involved as well.

Bridges is to do a stand up at 9:30 am.  The first question should be why did he say a few days ago that Labour was to blame when he clearly had this information?


358 comments on “Which National MP leaked Bridges’ expense details? ”

  1. Incognito 1

    How refreshing, an anonymous text instead of a tweet 😉

    It is fascinating to see how they use DP to ‘sort out’ all their shit; it seems to come (too?) easy and almost natural to them.

    Nothing like an open & upfront challenge & debate, because, you know, they’re politicians and they don’t ‘do’ that sort of thing …

  2. Dennis Frank 2

    Many of us have long suspected that the National Party is a refuge for people with mental health problems, so I suppose we must give the leaker credit for coming out of that closet. Will Bridges acknowledge this? I doubt it. The stigma remains strong & the Nats’ entitlement syndrome is still sufficiently prevalent to deter emulators.

    Richard Harman told Duncan Garner that there’s not the usual static around this leaker so anonymity may prevail. Jude declared she knows nothing about it & referred us to the press conference where Bridges will progress the issue today. So we wait to see if it’s an MP or Nat staffer, I guess…

    • KJT 2.1

      Not correct.
      People with mental health problems tend to be caring and empathetic.
      One of the reasons for going nuts, is trying to help more people than one can cope with.

      Not qualities that can be attributed to National MP’s..

      Greedy, Sociopathic, oblivious, narrow minded, authoritarian, arrogant, entitled, and lacking regard for others. Yes!

  3. One small request, Standarnistas. The MP who has fessed up is saying that they have mental health issues and that they fear that exposure will make them suicidal. Can we please show some restraint and, if possible, empathy in the comments.

    • Incognito 3.1

      Good point! I just deleted a short comment.

    • Ross 3.2

      Where in the article does it say the leaker is an MP and specifically a National MP? I believe it isn’t just MPs who had access to the info.

    • bwaghorn 3.3

      Is it to cynical of me to suggest it’s a great lie to make up to shut down a cluster fuck .

      • riffer 3.3.1

        Whether true or not, any potential for suicide or self harm must be taken seriously. If it were to happen there would be serious repercussions.

        • Cinny

          Too true Riffer. have lost a number of friends to suicide, none of them came out to anyone and said I need help or don’t do this because I’m suicidal…. in contrast have been threatened by a psycho exboyfriend… if you leave me I’ll kill myself, which was his power trip to control me.

          I’m on the fence with this, it’s a tricky one.

          Maybe the leaker needs some help, maybe this whole situation will help them get the help they need. But regardless they should feel proud of themselves for speaking up about over spending.

        • simbit

          Maybe someone points out the irony of this sensitivity overkill further down, but National and mental health…

        • Gabby

          Maybe parliament isn’t the safest place for the poor soul.

    • Cinny 3.4

      Te reo, was it an MP who fessed up please?

      • Apparently so. To prove their bona fides, they gave details in the texts which only a Nat caucus member would know.

        • ianmac

          Unless it was a staffer who attends the meetings.

          • AB

            Or a suitably briefed DP operative outside parliament altogether.

            • Anne

              Or an MP who couldn’t resist whispering into the ears of a few people.

              • dukeofurl

                Mps gossip to others about what happens in Caucus, maybe its a partner of an Mp or someone at the level of a Regional party Chair who would have snippets from various Mps
                While I dont think its John Key, Im sure he would know the goings on of the current caucus, as an indication of wider group who know various dealings of the caucus , while even being outside of it.

                Thats how ex Mps trade on their previous and current knowledge when they work for private companies- they are in know on past and present discussions.

                • Robert Guyton

                  Nah. Second hand accounts don’t convince those who were there: The details had to be bona fide or they’d not be convincing.

        • Cinny

          Interesting, thanks.

    • Sabine 3.5

      That is gonna be hard TRP, considering that the National MP – who was most likely in parliament for nine years before the current government, had no issues cutting services to mental health services, regular health services, counceling services etc.

      The national MP has the funds and the insurance to receive help, the ordinary NZ taxpayer however not.

      So showing restrained is one thing, empathy? I can show as much as Ms. Bennett showed to people living in cars.

    • Michael 3.6

      I think people should display as much empathy towards right-wing MPs pleading mental health issues as they did towards all the non-MPs who pleaded mental health issues while the Nats were in power.

    • the other pat 3.7

      well said but i gotta say i wonder if its even true and that the investigation forensics would have brought this person out anyway and its just a way to slide out of consequences?……do not trust blue no way .

  4. Ross 4

    The text could of course be nonsense but I don’t assume it was an MP who leaked the information. Mickey has made that assumption.

  5. Cinny 5

    The girls and I love a good game of cluedo.. Mrs Peacock with the candlestick in the study?

    I really hope the person is not leveraging mental health as an excuse. Because that is a serious condition, and not a joke.

    Personally am still pissed off about simons spend up, but that’s not the topic…

  6. KJT 6

    The witch hunt over the leaker is a “dead cat” to distract from Bridges entitled and arrogant waste of, our money.

    Where is the association of tax dodgers, sorry, “Tax payers Union”, when you need them?

    • James 6.1

      Jacinda also ran up a large bill getting around the country as new leader of labour – was the arrogant and a waste of money also ?

      Must be using your logic.

      • KJT 6.1.1

        Yeah right.

        About half the daily charges of Simon. Despite the extra security required.

        • James

          Why would the leader of labour need extra security- I’m talking about before she became PM.

          You are wrong.

          • joe90

            Why would the leader of labour need extra security-

            Farrar’s cretins,

          • Cynical Jester

            She needed extra security because she was flocked toby numbers of people I’d never seen before in nz politics. Even her security guards became somewhat famous. That said I do kinda feel that the party should pay for travel if it’s for campaigning not official reasons.

            But then that makes it harder for working class people to stand…

            No easy answer though I do recall andy little doing a tour around nz before election was his travel costs similar?

        • alwyn

          It is hardly surprising that his “charges” were higher.
          The current Government, at the first opportunity they had, increased the nominal charge-out rate for the Leader of the Opposition’s use of the VIP transport, which is what the debate is really about, to a rate which is higher than the rate charged to Ministers.
          When Ardern was leader of the Opposition the rate for her was the same as a Minister. I suspect they did it simply to try and get something like this to smear Bridges with.
          How can you possibly justify a different rate depending on who is actually in the vehicle?

          • Draco T Bastard

            The current Government, at the first opportunity they had, increased the nominal charge-out rate for the Leader of the Opposition’s use of the VIP transport

            [citation needed]

            • alwyn

              If you have a look at the expenses for members, available here
              you will see that starting with the ones from Jan 1, 2018 they include the following note

              “(1) The surface travel figures include VIP Transport costs from the period when the member was Leader of the Opposition. Note that Parliamentary Service users of VIP Transport are charged at a higher rate than Ministers.”

              That note, which also applies to the Speaker only appears for the periods after this Government assumed office.
              They do not appear in any of the other expense reports because the charge out rate was the same for everyone.
              That satisfy you?

              • Draco T Bastard

                Yes but you need to prove that it was the new government that changed it to that and not something that applied earlier but wasn’t noted.

                In other words, where’s the legislation?

                • alwyn

                  “In other words, where’s the legislation?”
                  Get real. Do you think that the charge-out rates between departments for state owned assets is included in Legislation?
                  On that basis I assume you can show me the legislation setting the price of food in Bellamys.
                  Where is the Legislation that sets the price of a cup of coffee?

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    So, what you’re saying is that you can’t prove that it was the present government that changed anything?

                • SpaceMonkey

                  Something like that doesn’t require legislation DTB. It’s an operational matter within DIA, who run VIP Transport. At a guess it may be an inter-departmenal charge in play between DIA and Parliamentary Services.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    I was pretty sure it would be something like that in which case the government has nothing to do with it. After all, they’re legally prevented interfering in operational matters

              • McFlock

                They do not appear in any of the other expense reports because the charge out rate was the same for everyone.

                [citation needed]
                Feel free to provide a comparable report where members of government and opposition swapped across the board.

                A note has been added to a report upon a change of government. It is your baseless inference that the note describes a change in charging policy, rather than the change in MPs’ circumstances.

                Edit: It’s actually pretty funny – the note might indicate that MPs swapping jobs queried why they were suddenly being charged more or less than previously. Maybe after nine years Labour didn’t realise that the expense reports while they were in opposition were actually quite unfair. Or maybe they just used cabs because PS cars were so expensive.

      • WILD KATIPO 6.1.2

        Well if your going to argue that line, – the difference was she didn’t have a caucus that wanted to sabotage her position, – unlike the leaker in National. Now,… just why would New Zealanders want to re-elect such a dodgy divided cabal as National after this?

        The chickens are coming home to roost for National and their tactics and skulduggery for all to see.

        • James

          Whilst I get you wish this – there is no evidence of who leaked it yet.

          • WILD KATIPO

            The evidence is now all in, – and it WASN’T Labour.

            Straight from the mouth of your great and glorious leader, Soimon Britches.

            • dukeofurl

              Bridges statement:
              “Mr Bridges said the text made clear to him that it was from the leaker.
              “The text stated that the leaker was in the National caucus.”

              • alwyn

                That proves precisely nothing. The statements are just like the following pair. You would probably accept them and could be persuaded to say them.
                “The tweet was clearly from President Trump”
                “The tweet stated that the President is a very stable genius”.

                I suppose you must therefore think the Trump IS a stable genius?
                Personally I think it only demonstrates, from the “stable” reference the Trump is a horses arse.

      • Muttonbird 6.1.3

        It was an election campaign, idiot.

      • Cinny 6.1.4

        Wasn’t that a few weeks prior to an election James?

        Rather than years before an election.

        Just to add a bit of balance.

        • James

          So leaders should only get out around the country just before an election?

          • Cinny

            Leaders should not exploit the goodwill of the NZ public by clocking up $100k of NZ road travel via ‘get to know you’ limo tours, years out from an election.

            A good contrast would be to see how say Shearer or Little traveled on their ‘get to know you tours’. Using Jacinda as a contrast to simons limo rides is way off balance.

          • Molly

            The point is, your comparison is flawed.

            For some, spending thousands on wedding finery for the occasion of a wedding is justified, however, continuing to spend thousands on one item of clothing after the date… is not.

            Simon was not campaigning for election, he was spending large amounts of money for… ?

            • NZJester

              Simon was not campaigning for election, he was spending large amounts of money for… ?

              Begging the smaller regional National Party branches to tell their representatives with the main branch not to roll him from the job as the leader of the National Party?

      • Anne 6.1.5

        Jacinda’s was during an election campaign. I wonder what Bill English’s bill was during the same campaign.

    • georgecom 6.2

      good point. they appear to have been remarkably quiet about spending a decent amount of tax payers money on effectively a national party investigation into some internal leaks.

  7. Tuppence Shrewsbury 7

    This is weak false flag operation by labour to protect its civil servant leaker pal.

    Appealing to mental health to try and stall the investigation is abominable

    • Pat 7.1

      oh dear…its contagious

    • Sabine 7.2

      caricature of Trump?

      only thing missing


    • Don’t be a drip TS.

    • mary_a 7.4

      Tuppence Shrewsbury (8) you state …

      “This is weak false flag operation by labour to protect its civil servant leaker pal.”

      And your evidence to support that statement is …

      • dukeofurl 7.4.1

        Yes labour knows details of national caucus discussions how ?

        • dukeofurl

          Its only Soper who is saying ‘he understands its not a national MP’

          really. So someone told someone else who told his wife who told him? – Ist that how it works barry .

          id there are any false flags around its most likely to be Soper

      • Tuppence Shrewsbury 7.4.2

        That the investigation has now been shut down at the behest of mallard, but not by bridges. says it all really.

        An anonymous leaker, cowering behind a burner phone, trying to divert and shut the investigation by claiming mental health problems? and achieving the speaker acquiescing?

        Cui Bono? only a labour member or some one hostile to national

        • georgecom

          …..or a national Party MP, as the balance of probability strongly suggests.

          Yes, that Mallard has accepted the above and decided not to waste any more time and money on what would effectively be an internal National Party investigation does say it all. Only thing left we don’t know is which Nat MP did the leaking

    • the other pat 7.5

      ahhh i see you’ve taken the blue pill then.

    • mike 7.6

      could the nacts china connection be behind it .

  8. Kevin 8

    I would be expecting the offender to not seek re-election next time around.

    If they have serious mental health issues then they are hardly in a position to be potentially running the country.

    • Pat 8.1

      their political career is over, genuine or not

    • KJT 8.2

      Why not?

      In fact it could make for a more caring and understanding politician.

      “The biggest barrier to employment for those with mental health issues, is prejudice, not capability”.

      One of the engineers designing Auckland motorway junctions years ago, was schizophrenic. With an understanding employer he was a high achiever. None of the spaghetti junction has fallen down, unlike a building in Christchurch, designed by a “sane” person.

        • KJT

          MP’s expenses, Government contractors payments and other Government accounts should be publicly available at all times to those paying for it. Us.

          Then. this would be irrelevant.

          BTW. The greedy should be disqualified from public office. They have already proven they cannot be trusted.

          • Pat

            they are in case youve forgotten,,,they were released a few days later anyway…thats why it made no sense

          • Draco T Bastard

            MP’s expenses, Government contractors payments and other Government accounts should be publicly available at all times to those paying for it. Us.

            And with modern technology it could be available in real time.

            BTW. The greedy should be disqualified from public office. They have already proven they cannot be trusted.


            That would exclude all National MPs though.

          • David Mac

            We are all capable of being greedy. We have a tendency to spot it when someone is gorging on something we’d like more of, like money. I suspect most are just like me, I don’t need any more than 2 Mallow Puffs from the packet but gee, I can’t stick to 2.

            Some of the grandest displays of cold-faced greed that I’ve witnessed were carried out by people that live in poverty: eg: sacks of undersize shellfish.

            • KJT

              Sounds more like hunger, than greed.

              Unlike playing with the NZ dollar, costing everyone in New Zealand, thousands.

            • Draco T Bastard

              We may all be capable of being greedy but most of us restrain ourselves.

              And we most definitely shouldn’t excuse greed just because we can all be greedy.

              • David Mac

                You may not be able to see it from up there on your virtue unicorn Draco but obese people aren’t all trying to make the All Black front-row. Most of us know what’s good for us but we struggle to have just one piece of KFC.

                Greed is amongst all of us. The 7 deadly sins don’t check for political allegiances at the door.

                • Draco T Bastard


                  You really don’t get it do you?

                  We really need to ensure that greed IS NOT the driving force of society.

    • Robert Guyton 8.3

      He was planning to retire anyway (is my guess).

  9. Muttonbird 9

    Got to be Slater doesn’t it? Constantly referring to mental health issues as an excuse for his behaviour. Fed the info by his sugar daddy, Judith Collins, of course,

    • mickysavage 9.1

      Actually I am sure it is not. He is making all sorts of denials and hints at who it is.

      • Blazer 9.1.1

        I’m sure he is ..trying to throw the dogs of the scent…motive=yes..opportunity=yes..form=yes..mental cond=yes..

    • BLiP 9.2

      I tend to agree – at a guess, Slater is covering for Judith Collins who gave him the leak (and the juicy National caucus chitchat to jazz up the confession text), burner phones are in Slater’s big of dirty politics tricks, so too is the cynical playing of “mental health issues”, him and his minions have become Trumpian in their attempts to cast suspicion elsewhere, but, most telling of all, is Bridges’ initial insistence that the inquiry go ahead – because he knows it was Collins who leaked.


    • I concur, MB. The operative is Slater, with info fed by Collins.

      It fits their M.O. by about 100%, complete with txt-messaging: https://www.nbr.co.nz/article/key-forced-backtrack-over-texts-slater-165934

      • Muttonbird 9.3.1

        Key’s long history of lying makes Farrar’s current squealing (about Ardern’s recent comments on Curran) look a little hypocritical shall we say.

  10. John G 10

    Wrong spelling not an MP it’s MH

  11. I find it hard to believe the claims of self harm as disclosure gets nearer. First off, as there stands a good likelihood of the MP in question being found out, it seems more like a desperate ploy to close the investigation down before they are identified. And that makes it a very nasty ploy if using mental illness as a ploy.

    Secondly, the leaker would have always known there was a possibility of being found out , yet proceeded anyway. Now that it looks like it could backfire,… they squeal. And that reeks of cowardice. Or an inverted form of Dirty Politics.

    And that makes it hard to feel sorry for any of them or believe any of their claims.

    • mike 11.1

      the prospect of a nact mp jumping off a building after 9 years is very appealing

      • Incognito 11.1.1

        No, it is not!

        One personal tragedy can never undo nine years of political and social tragedy hoisted upon New Zealand; it only adds more tragedy to tragedy.

        I have to say that I find your comment despicable to an extreme.

  12. Robert Guyton 12

    Simon! You clever devil! Bridges leaked the information himself, squawked and carried on to attract the attention of the media, demanded and got an enquiry, sent this text dobbing in the Nat MP he wants to get rid of, you know, the one threatening his position as leader, includes details of caucus to give credibility to the ruse – Bridges’ next step; accept the resignation of MP “X”, broker a deal with Mallard/the investigator to keep the identity secret, citing the mental health of said MP, and, job done! Machiavellian

    • Whooooo boy !

      That sounds so National its scary.

      And totally plausible.

    • Matiri 12.2

      Robert – this was my second laugh out moment today! The first was the anonymous text story on RNZ this morning.

    • mac1 12.3

      One small problem with that scenario- “broker a deal with Mallard/the investigator”.

      I suggest that both gentlemen would feel more than a little miffed that their integrity should be called into question. I don’t believe that they would act in any way to further Simon Bridges’ cause, just as I don’t believe that Bridges is implicated.

      However, Bridges has been shown to be very partial to a version of history which could be termed very inaccurate- ie he chose to still point the bone at Labour when the leaked text showed too much National Party inside knowledge, and he knew that.

      Did Bridges lie? Promoting a very half-arsed version for paerty political purposes is close to that. It’s also poor form to continue to blame Labour when he at the same time is asking for sympathy and understanding for the leaker who had mental health issues.

      Bridges is compromised by this whole episode which he initiated by firstly being so arrogant as to lose the trust of two colleagues, whatever their status, and secondly by calling for a high level enquiry to be run by a Judge.

      Everything after that is arse-covering behaviour, having exposed himself in the first part as a profigate spender, a misleading politician and a damaged leader.

  13. Rosemary McDonald 13

    This morning Wendy Shoebridge popped into my head, and I can’t seem to move on.

    Now Wendy didn’t seek the baubles and privilege of political office.

    She had no aspiration to immerse herself in the cut and thrust of Parliamentary combat.


    Wendy just wanted to learn to live with her demons.

    And she just might have done that had arseholes working at WINZ not taken it upon themselves to hound her to her bitter end.

    Well fucking done National.
    Well fucking done.

    • I’m afraid I’m with Rosemary on this one.

      Those callous bastards in National underfunded the mental health services in this country, and just about everything else, as well as turning WINZ into a punitive outfit – and we’re meant to show empathy?

      Sorry, not this time!

  14. SPC 14

    Maybe an MP leaked the information to another party who passed it onto the media – thus the media would not know who the MP was?

  15. dV 15

    The text was from a burner phone, so it can’t be traced.
    Why are burner phones legal?

    • Paul Campbell 15.1

      Because people value their privacy, because the govt doesn’t need to know the metadata of every phone call, because the ability for people to be able to communicate safely is sometimes a life and death issue, because whistleblowers are an important part of keeping government honest … and just plain sometimes what people do is none of anybody’s business

  16. Puckish Rogue 16

    This is either
    a. a clusterf**k of Labour proportions,
    b, enormously entertaining
    c. both

    This is getting really interesting, for what its worth my moneys on Nikki Kaye

    • Robert Guyton 16.1

      While your designs are on Judith.
      Great day, here in the South; in fact, it’s a great day across the country 🙂

  17. Dennis Frank 17

    RNZ’s Suzy Ferguson: Bridges has just arrived at parliament, will have press conf about 9.30am.

    • veutoviper 17.1

      Interesting timing for press conference as have been some reports that all National MPs have been called to Wellington. If this was true then it would more likely that the press conference would be much later.

      Ps will be replying later today re your reply on Electoral Integrity bill.

      • bwaghorn 17.1.1

        They will be expected to stand behind dear leader and nod adoringly .

        • Ffloyd

          PB can roll eyes,shake her head, tut tut, look scandalized and say WOW! a lot. Always adds to the entertainment that ISN’T Bridges.

  18. James 18


    Soper says his understanding is that it is not a National MP.

    Time will tell of course –

    “The text, which RNZ has not seen, detailed a number of conversations and pieces of information from National caucus meetings over a period of weeks in an attempt to prove the author was a National MP.”

    Which is somewhat different from it stating that it was a National MP which is what you posted.

    • Soper would say that.

      He wasn’t Keys cheerleader for nothing, you know…

      • James 18.1.1

        Yeah – it’s the biased media – get a new record.

        • WILD KATIPO

          Why bother,… Solid Gold Top 20 from Nationals oldie but goodies works just fine in this case.

          Too bad they all sing out of ‘KEY’.

          • dukeofurl

            Sounds like the person outside caucus who leaked directly could be Whaleoil.

            But where did the leaker get their info from , it must have been an MP

            • James

              No it dosnt.

              • Robert Guyton

                It does to the dukeofurl.
                Great to hear your “voice” again, James – although circumstances could suit you better; The Nat’s, mid-whollop is hardly the best moment for your return to TS!

              • dukeofurl

                How does the ‘textor’ know details of national caucus discussions.

                Whaleoil has hinted at caucus discussions before since he is close to Collins , Simpson, Ross. They all could have gossiped about caucus meetings , as people do and he has relayed the info to show his ‘cred’

    • Draco T Bastard 18.2

      So, the leaker used information that only a National MP in their caucus would have to prove that they’re a National MP…

      And you and Soper are saying that it’s not a National MP?

      Yeeeah, pull the other one – it’s got bells on.

      • Ffloyd 18.2.1

        I reckon it’s Key because he wants his lady friend PB to have a shot at becoming leader. Those two are as thick as thieves. As well as being just plain thick.

  19. Ad 19

    A great day to watch Liberal governments and National parties tear themselves apart over nothing.

    Looking forward to drinks tonight.

    • Hooch 19.1

      Don’t forget the Conservative party in UK as well in a total shambles. What is it with these right wing stooges more interested in their own agendas

  20. Cinny 20

    Update…. apparently simon is going to address the ‘issue’ at about 9.30am this morning according to the wireless.

    • James 20.1

      Lol – that made me laugh

      So we have 25 mins

      Who was it.

      I name guess only.

      I have no idea (could be a ton of people)

      Anyone who guesses the correct name wins a internet chocolate dish.

      • Cinny 20.1.1

        Love that little sound effect 🙂 It’s such a crack up 🙂

        Alrighty James, I might be way off with this guess, but Mum suggested it could have been the baby 🙂

    • Hooch 20.2

      Popcorn for breakfast!

  21. Gosman 21

    If it is a National party MP the implied threat around the mental health issues is appalling in my mind and it should be ignored (It also unfairly focuses attention on National party MP’s who have had issues in the past).

    If it is not a National party MP then this is extremely odd behaviour from a Parliamentary staffer. It must be someone with access to information around the National party which narrows the focus.

    This person is obviously getting very desperate to avoid detection which suggests they are going to out themselves either deliberately or by some sort of panicked reaction.

    • James 21.1

      Whoever it is – MP or not – they should be fired without hesitation.

      I’m confident it won’t be – but would love it to be mallard.

      • Gosman 21.1.1

        It can’t be Mallard as it was he who kicked off the investigation that is obviously spooking the culprit. I don’t think we’ve ever had a reveal of a leaker in Parliament before or at least not as a result of an investigation. They tend to find nothing. This could be a first.

        • James

          I doubt anyone actually thinks it was mallard.

        • dukeofurl

          Most experienced Mps who leak and the reporters who get the leaks have a good understanding of ‘tradecraft’ to avoid getting caught.

          A simple method to avoid an email trail is to use a webmail login say with the big US ones like Gmail or Outlook. They would both have the email login and you just create a ‘draft’ email so its not sent to anyone and stays with the userid/login
          Both leaker and reporter know the email login so can write and send info that way just by looking in the drafts folder.
          Presto no email trail for forensic analysis , you would have to search a particular smart phone or laptop to see if the are logging into outside webmail and any draft folders would be deleted by now. Google and microsoft arent going to provide info from their servers

        • Muttonbird

          They’ll find nothing again this time. The public, after being whipped into a speculative frenzy, will be kept in the dark as usual.

      • WILD KATIPO 21.1.2

        L0L !

        ” but would love it to be mallard ”

        Yeah. Mallard instigates an investigation on himself.

        Here we go mate. You wanted to change the record. This ones about as goofy as the above wish.

        Iron Maiden – Sheriff of Huddersfield – YouTube

        • James

          Most pathetic attempt at a 1/2 quote trying to spin ever.

          You missed the “I’m confident it won’t be”

          I put that in especially for fools like you what would think I was serious that it was mallard.

        • James

          Try reading the rest of the quote – go on it’s only a sentence- you can do it.

          • WILD KATIPO

            Bwhahahaaha… you said it , don’t try and weasel your way out now mate.

            You’d love it to be Mallard, eh mate. But I agree, – that possibility belongs in the realms of Cinderella.

  22. pete 22

    Where is Jason Ede?

  23. Dean Reynolds 23

    The good news is that this balls up will drive National’s poll ratings into the 30 something % category, which will trigger a leadership spill & then the Nats will be in free fall – couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of people

    • Gosman 23.1

      A leadership change does not necessarily mean what you think it means. In fact it could lead to a bump in the polls. Just look what happened to Labour.

      • WILD KATIPO 23.1.1

        Yeah , – except there’s no Key or Jacinda in sight,…and if you think Judith will make for a rise in the polls , Good Luck with that .

        They’ve all shot themselves in the foot one way or another under the Key machine.

        The only hope for them is to parachute in another ‘ champ ‘ , – but all that will do is prove they are divided and lacking of talent.

      • Dean Reynolds 23.1.2

        That presupposes that National has a Jacinda equivalent in their caucus, ready to step up as the new leader. Sorry to disappoint you but nobody in the Nat caucus has Jacinda’s combo of ability, charisma & steel – they’re a bunch of mediocre has beens

        • Gosman

          You probably thought that about Key as well though.

        • Stuart Munro

          “I’m just an untalented old has-been.”
          “Were you ever famous?”
          “Then how can you be a has-been?”


    • Puckish Rogue 23.2

      Nope sorry, if it is a National MP Simon will say something along the lines of I took them at their word and they’ve broken that trust so I’m accepting their resignation

      Which shows he’s loyal to his team by trusting them and then he shows he’s strong by firing them when they let him down

      • Gosman 23.2.1

        Yes, the reveal of the culprit won’t damage National if Bridges does deal with them in a brutal manner. If they can’t find them though that is a different matter.

      • Robert Guyton 23.2.2

        But, Pucky, the issue of the leak is of significant national importance according to Mr Britches, so he’ll not be able to say, “I ain’t telling’!” when the culprit is un-masked; he owes it to the country, having called-for, and got, a very expensive, high-level investigation into the matter.

        • WILD KATIPO

          Yup. This is Mr Britches big chance to redeem himself as being seen as a ‘strong’ leader.

          Too bad hes left it too late.

        • Puckish Rogue

          “It’s understood National immediately sought advice from mental health professionals in dealing with the issues. ”

          What a guy that Simon Bridges is, doing the right thing by not naming someone with mental health issues

          Shows he’d rather do whats right rather than whats politically expedient, a real leader 🙂

          • bwaghorn

            Shit he’s out lefting the wet left . Wtf up the world

          • WILD KATIPO

            L0L0L0L0L !- gotta admire you optimism, Pucko,… hows Judith?

          • dukeofurl

            For example , whaleoil has had serious mental health issues before but should he be protected from consequences if indeed he was the person?

            Whaleoil does crazy stuff and is reckless on his attacks on others – viz his court cases.
            But when it suits …should we say ‘poor boy’ you stick with your so called treatment and you can continue your vile blog .?

  24. SPC 24

    A burner phone, information that infers Collins via Slater to the wider media – using Collins as a Dutton to destablise the existing regime before entering the contest themselves as the white knight/bishop … popcorn.

    Reminds me of early November, the Melbourne Cup and US election races on the same day.

  25. mac1 25

    Jo Moir on RNZ this morning said that she found out by information from a ‘source’ who she won’t identify but says is ‘reliable’ and who had concerns on mental safety grounds about another.

    So, someone who knows about the text to Mallard and Bridges has been a source to an RNZ reporter, knowing that the matter is to be discussed by a special National caucus.

    Isn’t this just more evidence firstly of a second leaker, and secondly of a leaker who seemingly doesn’t trust the decision derived from this caucus discussion or the leadership to handle it?

  26. Cinny 26

    Link for simons live stream… sorry about the delay


  27. ScottGN 27

    Sorry but I don’t believe a word Bridges has just said in that press conference.

    • Robert Guyton 27.1

      Agreed, Scott.
      “”On Sunday evening police contacted me. They knew and had worked out the identity of the person concerned. They made clear the person was getting the help they needed.”

      Bridges says he does not know the identity of the person who sent the text.”

      Pull the other one, Simon. “Doesn’t know the identity…” pssssssssssshhhhhtttt

  28. David Mac 28

    We forget that the tea lady has been making us fabulous date scones every morning for 25 years at our peril.

    • And she still remembers the debacle over parliament cleaners low wages AND the govt in power at the time ….

      NEVER ,… mess with the tea lady.

      Or the janitor.

  29. Robert Guyton 29

    Bridges did say the leaker was a member of the National Party caucus. I believed that bit.
    Their caucus .
    Happy days!

    • veutoviper 29.1

      No Bridges did NOT say/confirm that the leaker was a member of the National Party caucus,

      See 32.1.1 and 38.1.1

  30. Robert Guyton 30

    “In the message, the author said they had leaked the expenses because they disagreed with Mr Bridges’ leadership style, describing him as “arrogant”, and wanted him to be held to account for his spending of taxpayers’ money.”
    We love this guy, right, and wish him all the best with his struggles.

    • Puckish Rogue 30.1

      Thats a bit sexist Robert, could be a woman doing the leaking

      • Robert Guyton 30.1.1

        Not if I’m correct with my assumption.
        It’s curious though, that the leaker’s action is being sheeted to a mental health state; people suffering from mental ill-health can make perfectly rational judgements from within their condition; there’s no reason to link the leaking to a state of mental ill-health. It’s convenient for Bridges to do so, but it doesn’t logically follow. In other words, the leaking could be regarded as a sane and reasonable, honest action.

        • Puckish Rogue

          Well you know what they say about assumption 🙂

        • Chris

          A sane and reasonable, honest action that’s now regretted. Bad judgement. It’s the consequences of being named the person’s claiming will affect their mental health. The reality is that it’s not really open for National to withhold the person’s identity permanently because surely given what’s happened the person’s going to have to resign. The only way to deal with this is for National to ensure all is done to ensure the person is professionally managed out of the job, and is counselled through the inevitablity of their identity being disclosed, whether their claim of how they’ll be affected is real or not.

  31. Ovid 31

    I’m fine with my curiosity going unsated if the leaker is suicidal over this. But they should be counseled to get out of politics if they can’t deal with this kind of stress. Perhaps a dignified exit a few months from now.

    • Robert Guyton 31.1

      Well, that’s right; who cares who it was, only that it was . Good news for all those who had Bridges’ finger pointed at them (Labour Party etc.) They’re exonerated, just in the nick of time. Bridges should apologise to them all, individually 🙂

      • veutoviper 31.1.1

        No, Robert. In his standup, Bridges continued to try to point the finger at other people other than Nat MPs or staffers, saying several times that the original leaker could be a MP from another Party, or someone in Parliamentary Service or elsewhere.

        See Carolyn Nth’s comment with links at 38.1.1

  32. National.

    The party with feet of clay.

    Crumbling in a town near YOU.

    • mac1 32.1

      The cleaning bill for the back seat carpet in the Crown limos used by Bridges is very high. Parliamentary services have leaked unverifiably the fact that special solvents had to be used to lift the clay residues…….. and on the discovery and binning of a damaged mobile phone found on board during the cleaning process……

  33. mauī 33

    Lots of people have to live with the consequences of mental health issues every single day. That’s why the term ‘suffer’ is used so often.

    Not many are in the position to choose when they face the consequences of them or will ever get the chance to manipulate an entire country’s democracy. This looks like an appalling low blow on New Zealand’s vulnerable.

    • marty mars 33.1

      Yes – on one hand we need people to talk about their mental illness and yet we can’t have people using it for cover. Mental illness should not be weaponised and too many people on this post are gleeful. STOP and have a fucken real think about it dicks. The vulnerable are not your sordid playthings.

  34. Pat 34

    why wasnt Paula there?

  35. dukeofurl 35

    Interesting that the Police have so quickly been able to identify the text message sender.
    I dont see how its a criminal communication, after all they only had the phone number from the text sent to Bridges and yet they were able to get meta data from the mobile company- no warrants etc.

    Likely there were able to use either GPS details from phone if it was turned on or from cell phone tower triangulation. But its still guesswork and wont pin it down to a particular person, unless that person was known to police for that location and they have contacted them. That might fit a particular person who is very well known politically and has connections with national caucus members

    Its all been too easy to keep this persons identity quiet, by very unusual means.

    • Yes,… its all been very efficient, hasn’t it…

      Too efficient, in a way…

    • Anne 35.2

      Interesting that the Police have so quickly been able to identify the text message sender.

      Very interesting. I can’t recollect the details off the top of my head, but I do remember Labour over the past decade making several complaints to the police about stolen
      information and other covert activities against them. Someone will correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t recall the police conducting any prompt and in-depth investigations into any of them.

      • dukeofurl 35.2.1

        Maybe they have software from Palintir which they use all the texts from a certain cell phone tower in a period like a day and then they narrow it down to two phones from one location . One is the burner phone number which wasnt used before and the other number is the regular phone of the leaker. The other method is of course the GPS which would have activated when the phone was setup with the provider _ if it was a brand new phone and not a second hand one.

        That the Police were involved really baffles me…. they arent a health service and there has been no crime committed.

      • Louis 35.2.2

        You’re not wrong Anne.

  36. Delia 36

    According to Simon, the police told him the person has mental health issues and they won’t identify him to Simon. So that is probably the end of it.

    • Yep, and in truth , that’s just probably standard protocol in these cases.

      But still doesn’t detract from the very obvious fact that National is divided, Britches is not particularly popular , and this whole fiasco ( kicked off by Britches himself ) will not serve to highlight Soimons ‘ strength and compassion’ or leadership,- but rather his ineffectiveness in challenging the juggernaut of Jacinda Adern and the coalition.

  37. In the meantime everyone connected with National whether MP or staff is under suspicion – they are not going to put up with that for too long – the person will be named by someone.

    • Internally, most likely.

      It no longer matters, Britches has admitted it came from within his own party, – despite his former ‘confidence’ it didn’t.

      • Carolyn_Nth 37.1.1

        Britches has admitted it came from within his own party

        No he hasn’t. I listened to some of Bridges stand up. He repeatedly said he didn’t know whether it came from within Nats’ caucus, another MP, or was someone from outside parliament.

        RNZ is reporting that the text to Bridges stated the leaker was within the Nat caucus.

        Mr Bridges said the text made clear to him that it was from the leaker.

        “The text stated that the leaker was in the National caucus.

        “There’s been some comment about potentially this person identifying …. specifics about them being in the National Party caucus. There is a range of credible scenarios that really mean I cannot say whether they were or they weren’t – [whether they] were a National MP, another MP, someone in Parliamentary Service or indeed wider than that.”

        “I do not know who the person is.”

        But Stuff is reporting pretty much the same quotes, and says,

        Bridges said it was important that person received all the help they needed, but the integrity of Parliament had to be protected too. However, he had climbed down from the staunch claims he made last week that he did not believe it was a member of his own caucus.

        • WILD KATIPO

          Yet the individual concerned deliberately quoted issues that were only privy to Nationals caucus as proof …

          • Carolyn_Nth

            It looks a likely scenario. But Bridges has not admitted the leaker is within his caucus.

            • WILD KATIPO

              But unlike Britches claims a few days ago it was not one of his own party’s people, and thereby casting suspicions on someone ‘outside’… ie: implying Labour,… he can no longer do that.

              Which leaves us with the question : Just how popular is Britches , and just how divided is National,… doesn’t it.

              • Carolyn_Nth

                WK – yes.

                But you are dodging the issue that you were reporting something that was not correct. End of.

            • Robert Guyton

              “Bridges has not admitted the leaker is within his caucus.”
              Well, he wouldn’t, would he, even if everyone else knew…
              it’s the Britches-way!

            • ScottGN

              At the very start of his presser this morning he said he had received a text from a member of National’s caucus?

              • Carolyn_Nth

                No. It’s a fine point, but, let’s be accurate about what Bridges did say. He is not admitting it was a text from a Nat caucus member, but that the texter claimed s/he was a caucus member.

                Here is the vid of bridges statement. He says near the beginning, after framing it as something that had been reported int he media,

                The text made it clear to me that it was from the leaker. The text stated that the leaker was in the National caucus

                Then he goes on to report the texter said they had mental health issues, and that Bridges was concerned about that.

                Basically, Bridges is making it all about the mental health of the leaker. He therefore contacted the police with his concerns about the texter’s well being. The police then got back to Bridges to say that they had worked out the texter’s identity, did not see it as a safety concern, and there was no need to call off Mallard’s inquiry.

                Then Bridges says,

                There have been some comments about potentially this person identifying, you know, specifics about them being in the National Party caucus. There is a range of credible scenarios that really mean I cannot say whether they were or they weren’t. Whether a National MP, another MP, someone in Parliamentary Services, or indeed wider than that. I, as I say, do not know who the person is and will obviously waiting to see the investigation unfold.

                • Dennis Frank

                  Plot thickens. Waving a straw-man real fast so it’ll appear as a smokescreen to anyone watching. Cops identify the leaker, but he doesn’t say they reported that identity to him! Privacy law prevents them doing so, presumably.

                  No safety concern, according to cops. So not serious mental health problems currently. Simon says the leaker declared in the text that he/she was in caucus, but “I cannot say whether they were or they weren’t”. Texter could be lying. Simon’s got a law degree, right?

                  • Carolyn_Nth

                    Yes, Bridges does say the police did not tell him who the texter is because of privacy concerns.

                    And Bridges report on his conversation with the police did indicate some mental health concerns, but not sufficient to indicate safety concerns – presumably meant safety concerns neither for the texter nor others.

  38. Observer Tokoroa 38

    Gobbledygook Bridges

    Going by his parliamentary abuse against Jacinda, The Prime Minister of New Zealand, and also going by the way old timer Judith Collins just rolls over him like a child and goes about doing just exactly what she willfully wants – Simon Bridges shows no depth of leadership.

    I wonder what murky net he has thrown over the Police and the megaloads of soulful chatter about mental health.

    A serious Leader would have moved immediately to get Psychiatric Care for a person who describes himself as being on the very edge of Losing life itself.

    But no. Simon spends a half hour saying on Air that he knows nothing of who is sick; and how he, Simon, personally is not a cruel man.

    But then , no one has ever thought that National is competent or caring. Simon is just there to keep the struggling poor – hopeless.

    • Carolyn_Nth 38.1

      No, Bridges said the police have assured him they would ensure the texter gets the support they need.

  39. Robert Guyton 39

    duperez / August 24, 2018
    Pull the other one, Simon?

    I’m still trying to come to terms with the earlier bit, “Just three days ago Bridges confidently blamed the leak on “a Government that wants to distract”

    This was after he had received a credible text message from a National MP claiming responsibility.”

    That simple contribution says a lot.

    • ScottGN 39.1

      Exactly Robert.
      It turns out that as recently as last Monday Bridges was telling outright lies about the matter. Why would anyone believe a word he has said this morning?

  40. pete 40

    All we need now is Matthew Hooton to give us the true oil. He will know everything, he always does.

  41. Robert Guyton 41

    Wot Kiwiblog reckons:
    “…this is going to bring down Jacinda’s Joke Government and destroy the media’s credibility too, once and for all.”

  42. Robert Guyton 42

    Bridges said:
    “On Sunday evening police contacted me. They knew and had worked out the identity of the person concerned. They made clear the person was getting the help they needed.” (my bold)
    So, Bridges needs do nothing; the Police have organised the needed support for the MP with mental health issues. Bridges can get on with due process, without having to hide behind the illness. No excuse for secrecy, Mr Britches!

    • dukeofurl 42.1

      Police have organised the support someone needs ?

      really . The Police do this without a crime being committed – its more a breach of trust leaking.
      This has me very worried that the Police supposedly have stepped into this case…. stomping all over an ongoing parliament process. !

      This is a lot worse that what some leaker has done, it wasnt top secret info , just a pre release type of leak – which happens more often then you think as its useful to have a few days notice ahead of the ‘pack’

      • Carolyn_Nth 42.1.1

        The MO of leaking, then blubbering when likely to be caught out, does point to someone with form (and outside Nat caucus). And that person also has form for being treated lightly by police.

        • Robert Guyton

          Is it a coincidence that whales and slaters are both crustaceans???

          • WILD KATIPO

            No , no , no … its cetaceans and crustaceans…

            And ‘the text made clear the leaker WAS IN THE NATIONAL CAUCUS’…

            Just had another listen to Britches speak this morning.

            • Dennis Frank

              Which does rather seem to be the key point. He’s implying the police told him that. Any reason not to believe the cops on this identification?

              I’m inclined to agree with how he’s handling the situation. The QC will do a thorough job and produce a definitive verdict, one supposes, but will it necessarily be made public? Does the public have a right to know?

              A National MP with mental health problems may have the right to privacy under the law. The leak can be seen as one Nat MP trying to destabilise their leader. Politics as usual, in other words. In-house squabble for the Nats, no public interest component that could be a plausible basis for exposure?

        • Robert Guyton

          Isn’t Crusty…a clown???

      • Graeme 42.1.2

        If this affair resulted in the individual having a meltdown that required police intervention, police are the agency that has the coercive powers to deal with these situations, then the Police statement is totally correct and within normal practice.

        The unfortunate consequence is that everyone will want to know who it is and will start counting heads around the National ranks. So it will come out quite quickly who is involved. The fudging just makes it look as if soimon is trying to keep the lid on a rapidly expanding pressure cooker.

  43. Robert Guyton 43

    All National Party MPs had to sign over permission to have their devices trawled by the enquiry. A confession now would stop that, if the mental health aspect means the enquiry is canned.

  44. the ORIGINAL “Coronation Street” theme – Eric Spear – YouTube
    Video for coronation street original theme song▶ 1:29

  45. Enough is Enough 45

    Is there any evidence that the person who sent the text is a National MP.

    Like really, does that have any credibility at all?

  46. ScottGN 46

    Tova’s pretty pissed off that her source has spreading themselves about…

    • Robert Guyton 47.1


      • Pat 47.1.1

        Your are Nat party leader and you are giving a Q&A and have brought along senior MPs for moral support and to show solidarity….

        where is the Deputy Leader?

        • Dennis Frank

          Indeed, Pat. I spotted that but was too busy posting higher-priority stuff to respond. Is she in parliament today??

        • veutoviper

          I have no idea where the Deputy Leader is, but don’t jump to conclusions.

          Parliament is halfway through a two week recess so most MPs are nowhere near Parliament today with many back in their electorates etc. or elsewhere on scheduled commitments.

          Even if Parliament was sitting, the House does not sit on Fridays (except when under urgency) and Select committee meetings/hearings are rarely held on Fridays so again most MPs are out of Wellington on Fridays.

          There were media suggestions that last night a full National Party caucus meeting had been called in Wellington this morning but it seems that may not have been the case but some Nat MPs flew to Wellington to support Bridges at his press stand up.

          • Pat

            not jumping to or for anything….noting an anomaly.

          • Anne

            I have no idea where the Deputy Leader is, but don’t jump to conclusions.

            They’re just having a bit of fun at Paula’s expense. 😉

        • mary_a

          Pat (47.1.1) …

          Who knows? Although there is the point, the police did issue Simon Bridges with an assurance they are making sure the person concerned will receive the help they need! Might explain the absence!

  47. dukeofurl 48

    Well Whale has posted to say:

    ‘I happen to have Mallard’s mobile number, and Bridges. However I categorically deny that I have active mental health issues and further deny, since people people are speculating, that it was me who leaked. I certainly would never leak to Radio New Zealand or to Newshub, especially to Tova O’Brien.”

    Since hes a bullshit artist supreme lest pick these parts

    ‘active’ mental health issues…didnt the leaker say had ‘previous’ mental health issues

    never leak ? Pleeeese. Tova Obrien may not be the original recipient of the leak , just the one who fronted it. This happens in the gallery more than you think, where scoops are passed around, sometimes to provide ‘deep cover’ as the connection between the 2 may be well known and sometimes just as a favour


    Anyone of these could have been the actual recipient of the leak, maybe even Paddy Gower of Duncan Garner.

    So dont be deflected by absolute claims because that can be used to just provide cover. And Slater has basically told big fibs throughout his blog.He denied contact with Collins, just his denial didnt include private facebook contacts which he did use.

  48. Michael Smythe 49

    I pick Nick.

  49. OnceWasTim 50

    This is all rivaling the the Okker Liberals.
    Do we know if its a leaker or a leakerine or still on a voyage of discovery?
    “Like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives.”

    • The Speaker has called off the inquiry.

      Split Enz – Six Months In A Leaky Boat – YouTube

      • mary_a 50.1.1

        WK (50.1) … thanks for the video 🙂

        Getting quite confused here.

        While I realise the leak issue, is something totally separate from that of Bridges expensive taxpayer funded excursion, what I’m getting from Mallard’s action calling off the expenses inquiry, is that Bridges will not be required to justify spending on his “Getting to Know You” tour around the countryside recently?

        Am I right? Or have I missed something?

        This issue is just getting more weird by the hour, especially with police on mental health watch now, alongside everything else that’s going on!

        “Send In The Clowns …” oh wait Natz is already there!

  50. Carolyn_Nth 51

    Mallard has called off the inquiry – does that mean he now knows who the leaker is?


    • SPC 51.1

      No, just that if the matter does not involve parliamentary staff or the Speaker, it’s no longer a matter for those outside of the National Party.

    • Muttonbird 51.2

      An investigation seems a bit redundant if everyone knows who it is, tbf.

      We, the public, will be kept in the dark though despite being whipped into a frenzy by this circus of performing freaks.

  51. Dennis Frank 52

    Speaker Mallard on why he’s cancelled his inquiry: “”The text is from someone who is clearly very disturbed and today’s publicity will almost certainly make that worse. My priority is to get appropriate support to them whether they are an MP or a staff member.”

    Mr Mallard said Mr Bridges wanted the inquiry to continue. “I have indicated to him that the Parliamentary Service will cooperate if he decides that he wants to proceed with an investigation and appropriate consents from MPs are in place. The general manager will make any relevant staff emails available.” [RNZ]

    • Dennis Frank 52.1

      What’s missing here is an explanation from Mallard as to why he has the opposite opinion to the police, who assured Bridges that the leaker was not in an unsafe state.

    • SPC 52.2

      A more limited (cheap) in house investigation, where National Party MP emails are accessed (to the discomfort of some) if Simon Bridges (really) wants this …

      Noice one.

      • Hanswurst 52.2.1

        It would seem that Bridges has little choice but to proceed with an inquiry and own any fallout. Imagine how he would look if he were to back down now, having told Mallard that he still wants an inquiry and having had confirmation that he will receive the appropriate cooperation should he request one.

  52. the other pat 53

    my view the leaker is of National ilk……….as for mental issues…..perhaps they need a dose of good ole tory mental issue help?….sweet feck all!!…….out them and then see they get some real mental support and help….enuff of this political bullshite and treat it for what it is.

  53. dukeofurl 54

    A court gets to consider ‘name supression’ all the time. The standard is extreme hardship.

    And normally just to claim extreme hardship isnt done by anonymous txt!

    The involvement of the police is doubly weird- who requested it , was it Bridges. Are they a mental health service now and know when someone is OK ? Its collusion with the leaker .

    Anyway what would have been proper was for the leaker to have contacted the head of the enquiry Heron QC. Some sort of confession was in order and further information , maybe medical advice to establish the extent of the claimed illness.

    I would feel a whole lot better if a former Solicitor general has considered all the facts and publishes the report with the name redacted on compelling grounds.

    Just an anonymous txt to assert a claim of a crippling mental condition isnt enough. They need to contact Heron, indeed that should have been the first contact, and work from there

  54. Robert Guyton 55

    Called it off? Whaddayamean, called it off???

  55. Ad 56

    Excellent judgement by the Speaker to suspend the inquiry.

    Bridges no longer has any bouncer to do his dirty work for him.

    Instead, Bridges will be held accountable in caucus for having escalated the leakers’ mental stress through calling for the inquiry in the first place.

    And of course there is nothing good that Simon Bridges can now do.

    – Can’t go to the Police about it since that would be a PR catastrophe

    – Can’t go back to Parliamentary Services through the Speaker without explicit consent from his own MPs – a National party disaster since it would amount to a witch-hunt against his own people that would end in a spill

    – Can’t really back down since he’s instigated the whole thing as so important it needed a judge to get to the truth

    – Can’t act against the person in any way since it would join on to the “highest suicide rate in the world statistics” and mental health stories that now shield the leaker

    – Can’t care for the person as a proper leader could, because of assumed rights to privacy in mental health issues

    – Can’t work to rebuild the trust he has so evidently lost from his own caucus because by disagreeing with the Speakers’ decision, he shows he wants the inquiry to continue.

    New Zealand needs an effective Parliamentary Opposition, and we will not have one while Simon Bridges leads the National Party.

    • ScottGN 56.1

      Yep. Bridges has been completely outplayed by Mallard.

      • McFlock 56.1.1

        Mallard didn’t play a damned thing. He just acted above-board all the time.

        There was a leak. He knew it wasn’t him, so he had an interest in cleaning his own house to assure everyone of his office’s impartiality. So he launched a genuine inquiry in order to find out who it was.

        Bridges demanded an inquiry when he didn’t know if the answer would harm him. Leaving doubt as to whether it was the speaker’s office is better than exposing divisions and fractures in caucus. He should have just said he was disappointed it was leaked with incorrect information but it’s pretty trivial information anyway. Probably someone who was proud of how much work he’d done around the regions, lol.

  56. AB 57

    Judith Collins is ambitious – ambitious for NZ, ambitious for Judith Collins, ambitious for Oravida.
    She will now be thinking that two of her rivals will be gone by 2020. Bridges taken out quickly – inviting Amy (Five Farms) Adams or Mark (Mercenary Millionaire) Mitchell up to the plate. Kaye is a smidgeon smarter, so will hang back.
    The winner gets wiped out by JA and the field is reduced for Jude’s big play in 2021.

    Whether or not she organised for the wheel nuts to be loosened, she’s the big winner. Pucky must be feeling like the second son of Judah today.

  57. Puckish Rogue 58

    ‘Newshub can verify that a text message was sent from the leaker to Simon Bridges and the Speaker urging them to call off the inquiry. I think it’s beyond appalling that details of the text have been leaked and reported on given the mental health issues involved.’

    — Tova O’Brien (@TovaOBrien) August 23, 2018

    I agree, for the sake of the individuals health and well being we should all just drop this and move on

    • Carolyn_Nth 58.1

      Did O’Brien know of the mental health issues when she initially reported the leak?

      Looks like one journo in competition with another one, and maybe each one having their own loyalties?

      • Puckish Rogue 58.1.1

        Well there are no winners in this sad state of affairs, i just hope the media, and politicians, can leave whoever it was alone so they can get the help they need

        Unless it was someone from Labour after all in which…cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war!

  58. Kasey 59

    We can all claim some sort of mental health problem – we’ve all had a meltdown and done or said something we regret. I hope this isn’t going to be used as an out for unscrupulous people. This is an issue because this person is in a position of power, so to say we shouldn’t know who it is, is a crock. Interestingly, Judith Collins was the only national MP I heard who wasn’t saying it couldn’t be one of her colleagues, where others were saying nope, couldn’t happen. She only said she would be gutted if it was. So, is this person going to resign now?

  59. Robert Guyton 60

    Pundit reckons:
    “Mallard’s decision, while seemingly compassionate, doesn’t actually resolve things. If the person who sent the text is so unwell that he/she cannot stand public scrutiny, then they have no place serving as an MP. For their own health and the good of the people they represent, they should stand down immediately. It’s OK to ask for help; I’m not sure if secrecy really helps. Further, you cannot be unfit for scrutiny yet fit for public office.

    Of course this will necessarily reveal who they are. Anonymity cannot be preserved. But they need to stand aside and get better.

    It’s time for the person who sent the text to step forward, account for their actions and get the help they need.”

    • Puckish Rogue 60.1

      I agree with this

    • McFlock 60.2

      Mallard’s decision has little if anything to do with “compassion”.

      He needed an inquiry to determine if his office were leaking info to the media or to Labour (who then might have leaked to the media). If the speaker’s office were to be so partisan, that is a real constitutional problem.

      Now the high likelihood is that this is a nat leak of nat information. No constitutional or parliamentary issues, just a nat problem.

      Let nats hire their own QC to look into it. They’ve got the cash.

      • Graeme 60.2.1

        “They’ve got the cash.”

        Well maybe not…. Jerry still think it’s the Speaker’s job to hold an enquiry, presumably from his budget


        “The Speaker … was happy to appoint Mike Heron but today it’s all off because he’s decided that all the guilt lies with our caucus. That’s a pretty unacceptable position for a Speaker to put themselves in,” Brownlee told the Herald.

        “Clearly there is a duty to find that person. I think he’s obfuscating his duty as a Speaker, quite frankly, if it turns out to be a staffer, [Mallard] is the head of the Parliamentary Service and he has a duty of care to every person who works in that place, and he’s walking away from that.”

        This is getting curiouser and curiouser

        • McFlock

          God I love these nats, suddenly being sensitive about mental illness and now Brownlee lecturing people about “duty” lol.

          I’m not sure what’s “obscure, unclear or unintelligible” about Mallard’s position, which originally was to exonerate his office by finding the guilty party and removing them from his office if the leak was from there.

          If Mallard has enough to know the leak most probably wasn’t from his office, he doesn’t need the inquiry. It’s a nat problem.

          I suspect Brownlee meant “abrogate” rather than “obfuscate”, but he was only a woodwork teacher after all… 👿

          • greywarshark

            Don’t diss woodwork teachers. One made Pinocchio after all.

            Pinocchio – Wikipedia
            Carved by a woodcarver named Geppetto in a village near Lucca, he was created as a wooden puppet but dreamed of becoming a real boy. He lies often. Pinocchio is a cultural icon.

          • KJT

            Woodwork teachers are generally competent and astute tradespeople, and Teachers. Which explains why Brownlee is no longer, a woodwork Teacher.

        • Gabby

          Sounds like a job for Natwhip, gramy.

    • Anne 60.3

      Agree Robert Guyton.

      I knew someone who made a profession out of reporting/leaking ‘information’ to all manner of people including some govt. agencies. Some of it was done anonymously and that person ended up causing a great dealt of trouble and humiliation for numerous individuals who were in fact innocent of the misdemeanours claimed.

      We don’t know the background of the leaker nor do we know if that person has done the same sort of thing before. Until we do… then suspicion is going to fall on the shoulders of innocent people and that is totally unacceptable.

  60. Well, what to make of this whole schmozzle?

    I think the only reasonable conclusion is that there’s someone in the National Party (caucus) with mental health problems.

    Which really, seeing as we don’t know who it is, therefore casts suspicion on the whole parliamentary National Party.

    Would you want someone like that running the country?

    • Anne 61.1

      Which really, seeing as we don’t know who it is, therefore casts suspicion on the whole parliamentary National Party.

      Precisely. If you believe in justice for everyone then regardless of one’s political colours. it is wrong to leave all the Nat. MPs facing this dilemma. I have seen and felt the results of this kind of behaviour and believe me it is very distressing for those who find themselves under suspicion.

      Even if the police are not prepared to name the person, it is their responsibility to reveal whether they are a current MP, or a former MP who got to hear about the expenses issue, or even an ordinary Nat. Party associate.

  61. Jimmy 62

    I want to know who the leak is?

    • McFlock 62.1

      National can have their own inquiry.

      Mallard now has enough reason to not throw parliamentary money at a national party problem.

      • Herodotus 62.1.1

        Yet the police we are told knows who the person is “Police had identified the person who sent the text message but would not reveal who it was.”
        And the Nats are still pushing for this, does that not infer that those within the National caucus is comfortable to proceed with this.
        “National rejected Mallard’s assertion that the leak could only have come from within the National Party.”
        And if it is someone within Nat caucus then should not our Speaker treat them with kid gloves, and any comments thrown their way be dealt with more harshly than he would otherwise do ? which to those close to parliament will identify the leaker ??

        • McFlock

          Whatever inference you take from it, ot whatever the implications might be, the fact is that Mallard isn’t the only one who can hire a QC to look at something.

          If the nats want to do their own investigation, good luck to them. If their investigation demonstrates the leak didn’t come from them, the ball is back in Mallard’s court.

  62. appleboy 63

    Interesting that you have to page down a long way to find this story on the Heral website…4.35PM

    • Bearded Git 63.1

      I noticed that appleboy, its the same on Stuff.

      The media is trying to hide this story. Imagine if it had been about Cunliffe’s leadership.

  63. ianmac 64

    Oh boy. Where does it stop. And is Brownlee at odds with Bridges?

    “National has criticised Parliament’s Speaker Trevor Mallard for pulling the pin on an inquiry into who leaked details of leader Simon Bridges’ expenses to the media….

    …National MP Gerry Brownlee, who is shadow leader of the House, questioned what had changed in the 24 hours between Mallard yesterday announcing the appointment of Michael Heron QC to lead the inquiry, and today’s decision to discontinue it.

    “The Speaker … was happy to appoint Mike Heron but today it’s all off because he’s decided that all the guilt lies with our caucus. That’s a pretty unacceptable position for a Speaker to put themselves in,” Brownlee told the Herald….

    “Clearly there is a duty to find that person. I think he’s obfuscating his duty as a Speaker, quite frankly, if it turns out to be a staffer, [Mallard] is the head of the Parliamentary Service and he has a duty of care to every person who works in that place, and he’s walking away from that.”

    National rejected Mallard’s assertion that the leak could only have come from within the National Party….”

    • Blazer 64.1

      why do you need an inquiry when the Police already know who the leaker is?

      • McFlock 64.1.1

        Thinking about it this evening, it occurs to me that the police would have investigated on the grounds that the person might be in emotional distress and at risk. So they needed to identify and contact the person.

        But they quite likely won’t disclose the identity on the grounds that the person’s privacy can’t be overruled for essentially a civil or employment dispute. Which seems reasonable to me.

        • Blazer

          so a full ,costly inquiry could come to the same conclusions then?

          • McFlock

            I suspect that the police only identified the sender of the texts. Apparently the texts had enough in them to identify them as the leaker, but cops on a welfare check wouldn’t be looking at that.

            If they are the same person, obviously the leaker felt that Mallard had outlined investigative plans that would have disclosed their identity (or they just bottled it).

            But it might have been someone stirring shit, or deflecting from someone they wanted to protect.

            So the cops have one side of the puzzle that might not solve it, and any investigation wouldn’t need that side to actually solve it.

            If Mallard can happily state the leak most likely came from the nats, it’s not really his problem any more. If the entire nat caucus released their email and phone records to a nat investigator and no link could be found, maybe Mallard could be shamed into restarting the investigation at his end.

  64. Gabby 65

    I f Browneye’s so cwoss about Mallard dropping the inquiry, maybe he should pull finger and find out who the leaker is.

  65. Ken 66

    It was the mad Nat wot did it……….

  66. newsense 67

    Maybe this has come up in this thread about this frankly bizarre situation. Nats do weird scandals. Rawshark, Slater. Just odd. Anyhou.

    National in government: Years of throwing people off benefits, out of state housing and championing ‘personal responsibility’ while people lived in cars. Underfund and defund all kinds of mental health services.
    National out of government: can’t own up to leaking information cos they are fragile.

  67. I think this is a poor taste post in the circumstances. Mental health is not a joke, nor should it be used for making cheap political shots.

    [lprent: Just read through this thread. Basically TRP is correct. You are wrong. Shoving this silly diversion thread to the end of post. ]

    • aj 68.1

      Nor should it be used as a shield against taking reponsibility for actions. This has a very bad smell about it.

    • Pete, with the exception of the ‘cluedo’ picture, there is nothing humorous in this post. No jokes are made in the post about the mental health issues of the MP concerned.

      So, in short, your comment is in poor taste and you are using the matter to make a cheap political shot.

      Poor form.

      • Pete George 68.2.1

        I haven’t made a political shot at anyone.

        I think the poor taste is clearly in the graphic – both trying to trivialise a serious mental health issue, and also by identifying specific MPs.

        • te reo putake

          Pete, the graphic has been around since the original leak. Posts have to illustrated with something and in the circumstances (a fast breaking news story about a mystery MP) it’s not inappropriate.

          However, you didn’t specifically mention the graphic in your whinge. You specifically called out the post.

          So you were having a crack at the author for your own beigely bland political purposes.

          If I were you I’d just be grateful you were merely admonished, not banned. If you have anything to say about the substance of the story, have at it. If not, silence is golden.

          • Pete George

            I think the graphic is fairly obviously unwise in the circumstances.

            You’re really threatening a ban for criticising this?

            • te reo putake

              You didn’t criticise the graphic, you criticised the post.

            • WILD KATIPO

              And I think you don’t give a damn about the mental illness ploy. I think your just using this to deflect.

              Ask yourself, – should someone with an alleged track record of mental illness who cannot handle stress in parliament be holding public office ?, – and then participating in leaking information where there stands a very good chance of being caught and being publicly shamed / having their political career terminated ?

              Come on. This is just skulduggery in operation . National style.

          • greywarshark

            The RW love to put on this superior line when it suits them. They are above this junior diversion and show of bad manners, they proceed in such matters at a senior level.

        • Ankerrawshark

          Pete your statement about mental health is not worth responding to

        • Sabine

          no the poor taste is the leader of the Opposition to go on a NZ tour on taxpayers money, an extra three month of paid vacation if you so want.

          National Party, what would they do if they had to pay their own way.

          Fwiw, the person writing the email is still unknown. Anyone can say they have mental health issues, many people in NZ have mental health issues and yet the people of NZ don’t have the access to mental health services compared to the people in Parliament, in large part thanks to the last National Government who had to ‘save’ money to reach a surplus and cut fund to health services up and down the country with gusto, never once worried if that would be in poor taste and if that would harm the people of NZ.

      • Nic the NZer 68.2.2

        I took that message to mean they passed on the information, after getting it from an MP.

    • Ross 68.3


      We don’t know if the leaker has mental health problems. Given they’re not a fan of Simon, they seem pretty astute! (Yes, being astute and having mental health problems aren’t necessarily contradictory.)

      • dukeofurl 68.3.1

        Nick Smith is my guess based on past ‘issues’
        But hes pulled through before and faced crisis’s like the time he was convicted of a court contempt by influencing a witness.

        • Gosman

          Except that is almost too obvious. If it was him then he is hiding behind his previous problems which is totally appalling in my mind. Given his political career is at an end now anyway, if it was him, he is much better to fess up and resign.

          • dukeofurl

            Staying in politics is the worst way to ‘self medicate’ your well to wellness. keeping it ‘semi hidden’ would send the wrong signals that they arent serious about their recovery.

            In an unrelated situation the Australian mogul James packer stepped down from the day to day dealings of his company to deal with his issues.
            Any competent medical advice would be to put your health first as the way to recover.

            • Dennis Frank

              I agree. You’d think the effect of a toxic-sludge political environment on someone sensitive to mental-health issues would be a precautionary deterrent to entering, right? Obvious to any friends or family if not to themselves (if delusional). Was such elementary advice ignored? I suppose the other side of that coin is that anyone has the right to stand for public office..

              • dukeofurl

                Often they can handle the stress and difficulties are seen as challenges to overcome when you are younger. Ambition is boundless and optimism is in plentiful supply. later stages in life can sweep away these ‘supports’

                Plus the outward signs of illness are not apparent till later in life for all sorts of reasons. There could be relationship difficulties later in life that cause a collapse of wellbeing as well.

              • greywarshark

                Some would say, after following thye news for a while, that you have to be mad to stand and stay in politics.

          • ianmac

            Nick was appointed Deputy PM for English wasn’t it, but a couple of days later resigned because of stress issues. About 1999 I think.

    • veutoviper 68.4

      Pete I have read both this post and your one on YourNZ several times and see no real difference in relation to sensitivity to the possible mental health issues of the leaker. As TRP said, poor form on your part.

    • mickysavage 68.5

      I thought about this.

      First there is no proof that the person has mental health issues.

      Second it is clearly a topic of public interest.

      Third there have been numerous allegations from the right that Labour was responsible for the leak. Clearly this is not the case.

      Fourth the emphasis is on disunity in National’s ranks and Bridges’ poor judgment.

      Fifth I raise the possibility of canning the inquiry.

      • Grantoc 68.5.1


        You need to be careful with your comments on this matter.

        You say ” there is no proof that the person has mental health issues”. Equally there is no proof that the person doesn’t have mental health issues.

        Given the sensitivities of mental health at this moment; is it not better to seriously and sensitively check out the veracity of the mental health claim first, before taking any other position on this issue.

        Secondly there are claims (Soper) that the individual concerned is not a National party MP. This also awaits verification.

        You would be better advised to see where the cards lie before you rush to any sort of judgement on this matter.

        You could try showing some compassion for what may be a ‘sick’ individual.

        I agree with you though that there is very chance that the inquiry will be cancelled.

        • mickysavage

          If you read the post it concentrates on Bridges’ handling of the issue and disunity. As well as how it appears to be almost certain that the leak was not from Labour.

        • Robert Guyton

          What’s “sick” about expressing one’s distaste for Simon Bridges: his arrogance and carelessness with taxpayers’ money?
          That’s not “sick”, that’s …reasonable.

          • greywarshark

            What is wrong about listing the progression of events as we have seen them? These appear to be the facts.

        • pete

          There you go, no need for an inquiry, no need for Gerry to panic.

          All that needs to happen is for someone to introduce Gerry to a chap called Barry Soper. The Soper fellow apparently knows who it is and given his concern for all involved will undoubtedly be most willing to share the information.

    • Robert Guyton 68.6

      Go back to your panic room, Pete.

    • Drowsy M. Kram 68.7

      Possibly an opposition MP still in denial, and/or grieving…


  68. Knarf 69

    The leak wasn’t all that scandalous to begin with, Bridges’ expenses are mildly embarrassing at worst. Sure Labour could have taken a few shots at him over it but it would soon blow over. Speculation over at The Daily Blog hints that it might have been Slater….

  69. Philj 70

    Hahaha. Simon. Can’t wait for the next press conference, when a trusty journalist asks Simon, ” Do you know who the leaker in your caucus is?” Hahaha. Hilarious.

  70. eco maori 71

    some music for this post from Eco Maori

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