Bridges expenses leak claimed to be a hit job

A curious item talking up a leak of big spending by Simon Bridges on his tour of the country, but say the information would be released soon anyway.

Politicians spending a lot of taxpayer money is not new.

Newshub – Simon Bridges’ roadshow cash splash: $113k in taxpayer money on limos and hotels

Simon Bridges is spending up large – using taxpayer funding to pay for his limousine.

Newshub has been leaked MPs’ expenses, which show the National Party leader has spent far more money on travel and accommodation than MPs usually manage to chew through.

More than $100,000 has been spent over the past three months.

Not due for public release until later this week, the leaked figures show Mr Bridges has been splashing cash.

So who would leak information that will be made public in a few days. And why?

RNZ:  Simon Bridges defends $113k expenses bill

Asked whether it was a good use of money, Mr Bridges told RNZ that it was.

“I’ve been working incredibly hard to get out and around New Zealand regionally, to understand what’s happening, to get a real sense of what’s going on with businesses,” he said.

“It’s really important for National – given that we represent… nearly half of New Zealanders all around the country – that I get out and do this hard mahi [work].”

Mr Bridges concluded a 12-week national town hall roadshow last month, holding almost 70 meetings around the country.

Getting out and about New Zealand was a crucial part of the job and the government would be wise to do more of it, Mr Bridges said.

“If the government got out of the Beehive bubble and did a bit more of this, they would have a better sense of what’s driving the plummeting business confidence and also the economic downturn.”

Mr Bridges lives in Tauranga, whereas previous Opposition leaders have lived in Wellington or Auckland, meaning their costs have been lower.

Former Labour leader Andrew Little spent roughly $35,000 less on travel during the same period last year.

Little was doing a lot of visits around the country then to – bit he lives in Wellington so it would be cheaper for him to get around the country, and especially to get to Parliament.

The Bridges bill looks big, but should it be a big deal?

 

68 Comments

  1. David

     /  August 14, 2018

    Labour/NZ First doing shabby hit jobs with a compliant media mates, lets see what Nicky Hagar has to say about this shabby dirty politics episode.

    • Blazer

       /  August 14, 2018

      its not that shabby.
      Bridges is so full of holes…one more will make little difference.

      Typical rightie…spending up large on other peoples ..money!

      • David

         /  August 14, 2018

        Remind me my fiery friend what was your position on Peters pension leak.

        • robertguyton

           /  August 14, 2018

          National did that too!
          Form; they’ve got form !

          • Sunny

             /  August 14, 2018

            Lol. So the all leaks come from National, even the ones that are negative to themselves?! Yeah nah. . The form that is consistent is Tova O’brien’s whose articles are consistently negative to Bridges and 100% positive to Ardern. She has yet to put a critical headline to the new government. Jacinda Headlines from Tova – “Jacind Ardern’s Big Plans After Giving Birth” “PM’s daughter Neve to Travel to U.N” “Jacinda Shares 2nd Baby Photo” “Ardern to donate thousands to PLunket” or Tovas Bridges Headlines -“Bridges has apologising to do”, “Bridges pitches old Labour idea” “Leaked Bridges Roadshow Costs…” Whoever wanted a hit on bridges leaked it to the right person. As Tova seems consistent in delivering hits on Bridges and the Nats and fluffy unicorns for the PM and Labour.

      • High Flying Duck

         /  August 14, 2018

        He spent 1 tenth of a working group on getting around the country. Not that bad really.

        • Blazer

           /  August 14, 2018

          so his expenses are legitimate,why should he be embarrassed,ashamed or concerned at..all!

      • Corky

         /  August 14, 2018

        Like Jonesy in the North, Blazer? Still, if bad publicity means Bridge’s tenure as Nationals leader is cut short, I’m all for it. Why wait until next year – let’s do this!

  2. lurcher1948

     /  August 14, 2018

    How many hip operations,eleqution lessons for Simon and MS drugs that money could have paid for.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  August 14, 2018

      Probably just a few hours of one of Labour’s 120+ working groups, Lurch.

      • lurcher1948

         /  August 14, 2018

        Getting things done Alan,must be a shock after years of National doing SFA, go Jacinda a leader getting things done.

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  August 14, 2018

          Getting nothing done, Lurch. Having babies instead.

          • lurcher1948

             /  August 14, 2018

            One day science could help YOU have a baby Alan

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  August 14, 2018

              I prefer a woman to help me with that job, Lurch.

      • Blazer

         /  August 14, 2018

        ‘The National Party did not respond to questions on how many committees or inquiries it formed after taking power in 2008.’

        ODT.

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  August 14, 2018

          Look there – no squirrel!

          • Blazer

             /  August 14, 2018

            a small nut for you ..Al.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  August 14, 2018

              I wouldn’t call you that, B. You might be big for all I know.

            • lurcher1948

               /  August 14, 2018

              How can you have a baby Alan if you have nuts??

    • David

       /  August 14, 2018

      Less than could have been done with Peters billion dollar diplomatic spend or for that shiny new embassy in Sweden.

  3. robertguyton

     /  August 14, 2018

    Bridges should sue his caucus; that’ll flush out the narking rat.

  4. robertguyton

     /  August 14, 2018

    The Nat’s have form with bringing down leaders by these foul means; usually it’s the leaders of other parties. Messy, National. Messy.

    • Do you know who leaked? Or are you making allegations or presumptions based on no evidence?

      • robertguyton

         /  August 14, 2018

        Your first commenter this morning,David, claims Labour/NZ1st did it!
        You immediately demanded “Do you know who leaked? Or are you making allegations or presumptions based on no evidence” (I note).

        • David

           /  August 14, 2018

          National wouldnt have access to it would they, parliamentary services or Mallards department does the collating and they would be well aware there was a lot of travel. All expenses should be released but they should be released in the proper way rather than using the public service for your political hit jobs. Dirty dirty politics.

          • robertguyton

             /  August 14, 2018

            Now’s your chance, Pete; David’s doubled-down on “making allegations or presumptions based on no evidence” – give him one of your good, old-fashioned unbiased grillings, for the sake of your reputation as an even-handed fellow!

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  August 14, 2018

      That’s just stupid, Robert. The Nats won’t consider chatting up the regions anything but good politics.

  5. alloytoo

     /  August 14, 2018

    If this information is due to become public anyway, why release it now? The only reason that comes to mind is to avoid comparison.

    Be interesting to see how Simon stacks up then.

    We must also remember that both the MSM and this government are not used to a Leader of the opposition actually doing his job, and they’re confused by it after 9 years of opposition neglect.

    • robertguyton

       /  August 14, 2018

      Bridges spent like a drunken sailor!
      (Hat-tip John Key)

  6. Duperez

     /  August 14, 2018

    I heard the PM say they get the expenditure details for their party not others.
    As for accusations and allegations of leaking without evidence, is it fair for “outsiders”like Hamish Price to be able to do that, and have their views highlighted yet regulars not to have their flights of fancy?
    David’s “dirty dirty politics” of course is not party specific. 🙂

    • robertguyton

       /  August 14, 2018

      Yeah, Hamish Price: “Do you know who leaked? Or are you making allegations or presumptions based on no evidence?” (Pete wants to know; chop, chop!)

  7. Trevors_elbow

     /  August 14, 2018

    Gee … when does the waka jumping legislation go to a final vote? Next few days maybe? Nice diversion from the Winston Uber Alles legislation maybe?

    If Bridges is out pressing the flesh and meeting people as LOTO AND that the travel spending is in line with rules around allowable travel expenses then it’s all just a storm in a beltway tea cup…..

    Probably a little NZF sponsored mayhem to distract from their Waka Jumping bill ….

    • robertguyton

       /  August 14, 2018

      Off topic, Trevors_elbow – desperate attempt to divert as well. Trouble at mill?

      • Trevors_elbow

         /  August 14, 2018

        Go back to your trees Robert they understand you meanderings

        Comfortable with the Greens being Winston’s little yes people? Comfortable seeing your party vote for theWaka Jumping law…even when your first female leader says it’s a sell out of Greens principles….

  8. Gezza

     /  August 14, 2018

    Storm in a teacup. Waiting to see how other MP’s spending stacks up. Tova O’Brian’s clearly going after the poor chap with a full ammo box. There’ll be no hiding from her.

    • Blazer

       /  August 14, 2018

      your mate Little spent $35 k doing the same ‘tour’ when he was LOTO.

      • Koom

         /  August 14, 2018

        Little spent $35k less. Not total spending.

      • High Flying Duck

         /  August 14, 2018

        And the difference was to do with his home base being more central.

      • Gezza

         /  August 14, 2018

        True. I wonder how many cities towns & villages they both visited. And when they did their meet & greets. A criticism I read of Bridges was that his included many done on weekdays during ordinary working weeks so the audiences were generally very small. In both cases it didn’t translate into improvements in their polling.

        But by the same token we all know Andy was crashing the Labour Party’s chances & excruciatingly had to hand over the reins to a cover girl with not an achievement (except for the tractor) to her name.

        Bridges is not impressing, after all that spending, so it was money wasted in that sense, & so was Andy’s – but if it was within the rules in both cases, the only problem may be if other Opposition party leaders (when there are more of them) don’t get the same meet & greet country-stumping spending allowance.

        Core National voters won’t be bovvered, & those who vote for the coalition parties don’t like him anyway. It doesn’t say much for his commitment to fiscal responsibility, but I think it will be poll-neutral.

        My guess is he won’t be the only big spender.

    • High Flying Duck

       /  August 14, 2018

      With the new fuel tax here in Auckland I won’t be surprised if my travel costs come in a bout the same!

      • Blazer

         /  August 14, 2018

        the falling dollar has affected fuel prices.Get an electric car.

        • PDB

           /  August 14, 2018

          Along with the govt enabled regional fuel tax plus their own increase to come.

          • Blazer

             /  August 14, 2018

            doesn’t add up to National’s 17c a litre increase.

            • PDB

               /  August 14, 2018

              Quite right – it is already close to the same under less than one year of this govt then under 9 years of the National govt with more to come when other regions are given the same ability by this govt.

            • Gezza

               /  August 14, 2018

              National’s was bad enuf. Adding more on top isn’t going to win them any friends at the checkout.

  9. Patzcuaro

     /  August 14, 2018

    All politicians find it easy to spend money that doesn’t come out of their back pocket.

  10. Zedd

     /  August 14, 2018

    I commented yesterday.. in media watch. :/

  11. robertguyton

     /  August 14, 2018

    “National has confirmed all of its MPs had the full range of National Party MP expenses.”

    Collins!

  12. lurcher1948

     /  August 14, 2018

    SHUT UP SIMON at a $1000 a day and you want a high court judge to make you feel good, shut up trougher, pension is a little over $600 a fortnight, so stop whining AND SPEAK ENGLISH,not bro maori english

  13. Gezza

     /  August 14, 2018

    Item One on 1ewes tonite !

    Bridges calling for “a high level investigation” !

    • Blazer

       /  August 14, 2018

      my feeling is that it is a National M.P…one that is ambitious ,mercenary and a real dog of an individual.

    • robertguyton

       /  August 14, 2018

      “High level investigation” – ’cause it’s a critical issue, yes?
      Jude should just come clean. Save us all a lot of wasted time and energy.

      • Gezza

         /  August 14, 2018

        1ewes said there were only 3 places the info was available:

        1. The Parliamentary Service
        2. The Parliamentary Library
        3. The Speaker’s Office

        Judes said on TV that it wasn’t her. Time for Tova O’Brian to be leaned on.

        • Blazer

           /  August 14, 2018

          1ewes is wrong the National M.P’s know too.

          • Gezza

             /  August 14, 2018

            I thought only get told their own individual expenditure? But I imagine Bridges probably got told all of his MPs’. Parliament &/or the Public Service seem to be leaking like a sieve.