The Nation: Simon Bridges

Lisa Own will interview Minister of Transport Simon Bridges on The Nation this morning “about Auckland’s traffic woes and whether the right projects are being funded”.

It’s likely this subject will also come up:  Rail proposal that Minister’s office tried to block released

Kiwirail has publicly released the proposal for a new Auckland railway line which the Transport Minister Simon Bridges wanted to be kept secret.

New Zealand First released a series of emails last week showing Mr Bridges’ office had urged Kiwirail not to release the business case for the rail line, saying the prospect made it “extremely uncomfortable”.

The emails showed Kiwirail had planned to release the document in full, but many parts of the business case released today have now been redacted – including its benefit to cost ratio.

Following the release of the emails between Minister Bridges’ office and Kiwirail, Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier wrote to Prime Minister Bill English seeking an assurance ministers were not flouting the law when dealing with requests for official information.

NZ First leader Winston Peters has now requested the Chief Ombudsman to formally investigate the matter.

Mr Bridges said he was not aware of the business case or what his officials were doing, but he argued they had every right to be contesting the release of the information.

He said parts of the Third Main business case were “materially wrong”.

Delays, manipulation and flaunting  of the Official Information Act by Ministers is a growing issue, and helps reinforce perceptions of third term arrogance.

Also from RNZ: Ombudsman urges ministers to follow OIA rules

Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier has written a letter to Prime Minister Bill English after the Transport Minister’s office tried to stop KiwiRail from releasing a report.

He said such incidents risked eroding public confidence in the government and democracy.

It can also erode support in a Government.

Simon Bridges became an MP when National came to power in 2008, beating Winston Peters in the Tauranga electorate, so has always been in government.He hasn’t experienced what it is like seeking information as an opposition MP.

He stood for deputy leadership of National after John Key stepped down and Bill English took over the party, but withdrew when it became clear Paula Bennett had the numbers.

It will be interesting to see how he comes across this morning.

Bridges says he feels confident about the Govt’s contribution to Auckland’s infrastructure.

Bridges says selling assets to fund infrastructure is a decision for Auckland Council to make.

“As we do more, of course we want to see the Council do more as well”

I don’t know whether it’s bridges or Auckland traffic but I can understand why most people are not interested in politics.

The interview finishes on the OIA – and Bridges waffles around “the substance of what we are talking about here”.

He claims that he and his office were entitled to their opinion and disagree with the business case that they were not allowing to be published, or something.

Good governments should always support as much transparency as possible, and they shouldn’t try to manage and manipulate official information.




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  2. Zedd

     /  17th June 2017

    Lisa Owen said it ‘the minister did not answer even one question..’ another Natz suit.. ‘rah rah rah vote natz’ nothing else coming from this govt. before 23/9 ?!

    • Gezza

       /  17th June 2017

      It takes a while for that robot’s internal cheque system to check the answers for unseen dangerous viruses before they’re outputted.

      But was it the usual Lisa Owen-style interview where the guest can’t answer a question because she keeps relentlessly talking over the top of them to ask a stream of further questions without ever letting them actually answer the preceding one? I gave up watching her, she was so perenially & infuriatingly rude I could hardly ever hear the guest finish an answer to a question in their own words.

      • Zedd

         /  17th June 2017

        i tautoko.. but if the interviewee is just talking around the issue or waffling.. she just reminds them, they are bound by time & relevance.. not just tory b-s

        • Gezza

           /  17th June 2017

          “she just reminds them, they are bound by time & relevance”

          The solution to the issue of time is within their control. Especially as slots for the remaining segments including the two grinning idiots are usually equally short & unwatchable. An interview which doesn’t allow enough time, leading to the interviewer constantly doing a tiresome Gish Gallop, doesn’t make for worthwhile viewing.

  3. Blazer

     /  17th June 2017

    Simon ‘burning’ Bridges…is Keys ..apprentice.He trys to mimic Key when doing interviews.I thought he had promise…once.

  4. Blazer

     /  17th June 2017

    Crosby textor speak….”English claims his cabinet is ‘the most transparent a government has been’ – and ‘of course’ it acts within the OIA law
    3:09 PM – 14 Jun 2017′
    ‘English says Ombudsman is ‘relatively new’ and ‘probably doesn’t have historical perspective’ when questioning ministers over OIA abuses 1/2

    ‘we’re doing alot more ,than we ever have’

  1. The Nation: Simon Bridges — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition

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