Bridges keeps pushing on leak, challenges Speaker and PM

Simon Bridges seems determined to keep the leak of his expenses issue alive.

NZH: Simon Bridges says if leaking issue is not resolved, Trevor Mallard is to blame

National Party leader Simon Bridges has lashed out at Parliament Speaker Trevor Mallard for cancelling an inquiry into the travel-expenses leak 24 hours after confirming it was going ahead, and suggested he had been influenced by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

He said if Mallard or Ardern had any new information, they had a duty to share it with National.

If the issue remained unresolved, National blamed Mallard, Bridges said.

This is upping the ante somewhat. That’s a serious accusation aimed both at Mallard and Ardern. It pretty much guarantees that the Speaker will not be able to walk away from the inquiry and wash his hands of the issue.

On Thursday last week Mallard named Michael Heron QC to conduct the inquiry into the leak.

On Friday afternoon Mallard cancelled the inquiry – more than a week after the alleged leaker sent a text pleading not to hold the inquiry.

That did seem to be an odd sudden reversal of Mallard’s position.

“Nothing had changed fundamentally on the Friday other than that the Prime Minister said it was an internal matter for the National Party,” Bridges said.

“Surprise, surprise, Trevor Mallard then changed his position.

“I know of nothing that gives any good reason for his change unless the Prime Minister or he knows something we don’t and if they do, they should be sharing it with the National Party,” he said.

“I believe he is obliged as Parliament’s Speaker, not a partisan one, to tell us what he knows unless there is an exceptional reason not to.”

This should force Mallard too do something in response.

Mallard appointed Heron to conduct the inquiry, despite having received the text the previous week.

The existence of that text was not revealed until last Friday – and later that day Mallard issued a statement cancelling the inquiry.

The statement said: “The text is from someone who is clearly very disturbed and today’s publicity will almost certainly make that worse.”

Mallard said the person who sent the text was the leaker. “He or she has details of events that it is unlikely anyone outside the National Party would be privy to.”

So a day after appointing a QC to conduct the inquiry Mallard has reversed his decision based on his judgement that it would be “unlikely anyone outside the National Party” would be involved. That seems quite unusual.

Speaking on Friday, Ardern said the inquiry should be stopped if it was proven the individual had mental health issues, and it was an internal matter for National.

“I would want to deal with that internally but that is a matter for the leader of the National Party.”

“If indeed this is an issue that’s come out of the caucus, and if there are indeed mental health issues, it would strike me it needs to be dealt with really sensitively. It is perhaps best dealt with internally than externally.”

This was also an unusual involvement of Ardern, saying much the same thing that Mallard had said in justifying scrapping the inquiry.

It does seem odd that Ardern and Mallard are saying much the same thing. The Speaker is supposed to act independent of any party.

It seems to be high risk for Bridges to escalate this issue into a likely confrontation with the Speaker, given that whatever the outcome this is an awkward issue for him and National.

Does he have information that he hasn’t disclosed that justifies his challenge of both Mallard and Ardern? He has as good as accused them of collusion in scrapping the inquiry.

This is all becoming increasingly messy, and seems to be far from over.


Bridges is just now being interviewed on RNZ.

116 Comments

  1. lurcher1948

     /  August 27, 2018

    Just heard him on AM,he was fired up but i struggled to understand what he was saying, he needs speech training.

    • lurcher1948

       /  August 27, 2018

      Changed over to TV1 and Simon was asked why didn’t he ring the number to which he replied”I texted the phone”instead.So to finish up Simon has the person’s phone number but won’t ring and Simon wants to be PM…spare us.

      • lurcher1948

         /  August 27, 2018

        Morning downticker,now go and suck on a lemon

    • Corky

       /  August 27, 2018

      ”I struggled to understand what he was saying, he needs speech training.”

      It takes a good man to self reflect on his inadequacies, Lurchy. Always fear a man who knows his weak points and isn’t afraid to admit them. For that that reason I said Bridges should have been gone weeks ago. I think this incident is about trying to make that happen.

    • Ray

       /  August 27, 2018

      Love the way Lefties recycle.
      That meme you ran that “John Key doesn’t talk like us” worked so well, you all decided to run it again?

  2. David

     /  August 27, 2018

    Its quite a trivial matter but for Bridges if its internal he gets to smack someone around but look caring and if its someone from parliamentary services then it makes Labour/Mallard look ordinary. No downside really.
    Given Ardern learned the dark arts at the feet of Clark and Mallard has the ethics of an alley cat I would guess it was from parliamentary services, I guess Bridges thinks the same.

    • Blazer

       /  August 27, 2018

      talk about irony!!
      National plumbed new depths in black ops with Ede and his willing helpers dedicated to …dirt and misinformation.

      Bridges is dead man walking …desperate to stay in the headlines.

      • David

         /  August 27, 2018

        The only irony is you missed the point completely.

      • Trevors_elbow

         /  August 27, 2018

        Waaaahhh Jason Ede. Whataboutism again Bol…

        The more you scream the more it looks like Labour dirty tricks.

        • robertguyton

           /  August 27, 2018

          To you, Trevor’s_elbow, everything looks like “Labours dirty tricks”: the birth on Neve – “Labour’s dirty tricks” -Trev.

    • Gezza

       /  August 27, 2018

      What’s your feeling Lurchy? Mikey gets it right again?

  3. robertguyton

     /  August 27, 2018

    Lesley: “Hold on. Why is PM using exact same language as Mallard?”
    Trevor & Jacinda: “This is a matter for the National party” ”
    Pete: “It does seem odd that Ardern and Mallard are saying much the same thing. ”
    UNBBELIEVABLE COINCIDENCE!!!
    THE VERY SAME WORDS!!!
    PROOF – THIS IS PROOF!!!
    OF ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!!!

    • Gezza

       /  August 27, 2018

      Why did Speaker Trev only pull the enquiry when der Fuhrerina said it was an internal madda for the National Pardy?

      No collusion?

      Needs looking into.

    • “much the same thing” is not the same as “THE VERY SAME WORDS!!!”

      • robertguyton

         /  August 27, 2018

        Crikey, Pete, you used the very same words as this bloke I know!!! Are you and he in COLLUSION???

  4. robertguyton

     /  August 27, 2018

    Andrew Geddis
    @acgeddis
    · 10h
    Replying to @acgeddis
    “So, for the Speaker to continue to spend the $ to identify a leaker not from PS would be a gross misuse of public funds. Because *it is none of the Speaker’s business who leaks Parliamentary info, if that person isn’t in PS*. This fact cannot be reiterated enough. (4/5)”

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  August 27, 2018

      Tosh until we know the leaker wasn’t from PS which is what the enquiry would establish.

      • robertguyton

         /  August 27, 2018

        Mallard knows it wasn’t. Not from Labour either.

        • How do you know what Mallard knows?

          • robertguyton

             /  August 27, 2018

            *Taps side of nose

          • robertguyton

             /  August 27, 2018

            I’m sick of Bridges, and National, playing these silly games with the public; we deserve better than to be strung along for their enjoyment. Come clean, Simon, or get out!

            • Does it escape you that Bridges seems to want the leaker to come clean, and the Speaker to come clean. You’re attacking the wrong target aren’t you?

            • robertguyton

               /  August 27, 2018

              No. Bridges has the nickname, Pants-on-fire and I didn’t give it to him. In any case, by your own words, “Bridges seems to want…”
              A clue, a clue!!

    • Trevors_elbow

       /  August 27, 2018

      God is run smokescreen now.. looking more like Labour dirty politics unit as every left speed forth diversion

  5. robertguyton

     /  August 27, 2018

    So, the mental health aspect of this debacle; releasing Bridges’ spending details isn’t evidence of mental ill-health; it was only the contents of the pleading text that brought that aspect to anyone’s attention: sobbing in Bridges was a perfectly sane thing to do. Becoming a Nat is probably the more dodgy act.

  6. duperez

     /  August 27, 2018

    So under the “no surprises” policy the police informed Briidges but didn’t reveal the name of the person.

    Has the policy changed since the Peters’ situation where Bennett, English, Tolley and whoever confidentially got the name and details?

    Is a new policy seeing a leaker’s name isn’t leaked?

    • Gezza

       /  August 27, 2018

      No I don’t think the police would be following the “no surprises” policy here.
      I’m a bit puzzled why they didn’t tell Bridges the name of the texter, to be honest.
      Also why they didn’t tell Speaker Trev. Or maybe they did? Has he said they didn’t?

      Without a proper investigation, my money’s still on a Green sleeper mole in Parliamentary Services who bugged the causcus tea trolley. Everybody but National would want to be keeping that quiet because undiscovered they could be useful again.

      • robertguyton

         /  August 27, 2018

        Is that the Lesser Spotted Green Sleeper Mole?
        Rare as hens’ teeth. I’d give my back ones to see a live specimen.

        • Gezza

           /  August 27, 2018

          We don’t know what we don’t know. Have the police been given “suggestions” not to disclose the identity of the secret texter? They are remaining tight-lipped. What’s going on in the police anyway? Some strange goings on with Deputy Commissioner appointments.

          Is there a secret protocol to the Confidence & Supply Agreement between Jacinda & James to protect each other’s spies? If it’s a secret protocol we’d never know.

          Are there any Green sympathisers relentlessly busy carrying out secret instructions to ceaselessly & ruthlessly divert attention onto the poor National Party victims of their mole eg by posting constantly on political blogs blaming National?

          A climate of fear may be stopping people in the know from blowing the whistle. We’ve already seen that Jacinda can be ruthless after what she did to poor Clare Curran.

          Some fearless investigative journalist like Nicky Hager should maybe be looking into this whole affair.

          • robertguyton

             /  August 27, 2018

            Great speculation, Gezza. Pete’ll be demanding you show your proof though, (he’s tuff like that).I reckon you suspicions about The Greens are spot on!!! . Heads will have to roll, GREEN HEADS !!! .

            • Gezza

               /  August 27, 2018

              No I’m saying that. I’m saying we don’t know. Because Mallard called off the enquiry after Jacinda said you know what when he could have called it off a week before.

              There are unknown unknowns, as Donald Rumsfeld famously said.

  7. robertguyton

     /  August 27, 2018

    Bridges received the text, along with the sender’s telephone number but …didn’t ring for a chat…
    Pants.
    On.
    Fire.

    • Blazer

       /  August 27, 2018

      amazing isn’t it ..has the number…but never thought of..calling!

    • Maggy Wassilieff

       /  August 27, 2018

      The phone will be a cheap disposable….
      untraceable

      • Blazer

         /  August 27, 2018

        not according to Mr Bridges…he said he texted but didn’t…call.

        • robertguyton

           /  August 27, 2018

          Odd…

        • High Flying Duck

           /  August 27, 2018

          It was a burner phone the texter used. He texted it but it had been – disposed.

          • robertguyton

             /  August 27, 2018

            The texter sent his message then quickly disposed of the phone, not wanting to see if he got a response?
            Yeah, ’cause humans are like that; uncurious.

          • Blazer

             /  August 27, 2018

            and you know this how?Not another…leak.Bol.

            • High Flying Duck

               /  August 27, 2018

              It was reported the texts were anonymous:

              “Sources say the text was extensive, and was sent from an anonymous number.

              Police have also become involved and National sought advice from mental health experts on how to deal with the text.

              Newstalk ZB political editor Barry Soper has told Mike Hosking Breakfast that he understands it isn’t a National Party MP.

              “It could be anyone with a burner phone,” Soper said.”

              The police said the information National supplied did not identify the caller, “but their identity was established through subsequent police enquiries.”

            • Blazer

               /  August 27, 2018

              as if this has any integrity…’It could be anyone with a burner phone,” Soper said.”Bol.

            • High Flying Duck

               /  August 27, 2018

              Well just accept that everyone knows the number used was anonymous and the police said the caller could not be identified by the text messages.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  August 27, 2018

              Why bother to buy a cheap phone and throw it away ? All they needed to do was put ‘hide my number’ on any phone.

            • Gezza

               /  August 27, 2018

              Telcos might be required to provide the details to police?

            • robertguyton

               /  August 27, 2018

              ““It could be anyone with a burner phone,” Soper said.”
              Are Nat MPs somehow unable to purchase a burner phone?
              Weird – Key had one 🙂

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  August 27, 2018

              Gezza, unless they know the number, they won’t know the telco, will they?

              When you think of the millions of mobile calls made every day from who knows how many telcos, it seems unlikely that this one could be traced.

            • Gezza

               /  August 27, 2018

              Kitty, all the telco would need to do is check for messages to Bridges phone at that time. The number is only hidden from the receiving phone – not from the telco.

  8. Griff.

     /  August 27, 2018

  9. A comment by David Farrar has raised some obvious questions: “One person who has seen the text told me it sounded like a millennial.”
    https://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2018/08/watkins_critical_of_pm_and_speaker.html

    • robertguyton

       /  August 27, 2018

      A new clue!!
      From David Farrar!!
      Farrar !…(gets back to vacuuming floor).

      • High Flying Duck

         /  August 27, 2018

        It makes a nice counterpoint to the “no clue” that you keep showing off in your posts Robert.

        • robertguyton

           /  August 27, 2018

          There are clues galore, HFD! And they all point toward…SIMON!!!
          (‘cept Farrar’s, that doesn’t!!!!).

          • High Flying Duck

             /  August 27, 2018

            • Blazer

               /  August 27, 2018

              hearsay…its sounds like a ‘millennial’!! what do they sound like?

              Simon wants to find out who the leaker is?Whats stopping him?
              Mallard not having an inquiry…?

            • robertguyton

               /  August 27, 2018

              Simon says he wants an inquiry…
              Just saying’…

            • High Flying Duck

               /  August 27, 2018

              Simon IS having an enquiry. But without the Speaker being involved he has no authority other than over National MP’s.
              So Mallard has effectively prevented any proper enquiry going ahead.

            • Blazer

               /  August 27, 2018

              @HFD…so he is having an inquiry.Wonderful, everyones happy…because when he eliminates all of the National caucus and swears he has no knowledge of the identity of the leaker it will show he had good reason.

            • High Flying Duck

               /  August 27, 2018

              It leaves the whole matter unresolved.
              The enquiry Mallard was so gung-ho about until Jacinda’s Jedi mind trick – “These are not the leakers you are looking for…” would have sorted it out properly.
              Which makes you wonder why Mallard had such a sudden and decisive turnaround with no new information, and why Jacinda was so suddenly anxious that it was a National party internal matter.

            • Blazer

               /  August 27, 2018

              I do hope this is not a forerunner of endless trivial leaks that serve little real purpose.

              Mr Bridges spent $114,000 swanning around the nation ,which is completely legit.
              Why is he so upset?

            • High Flying Duck

               /  August 27, 2018

              He’s upset because parliamentary information should not be leaked. Trevor Mallard is responsible for this and so they need to find out how the leak happened, to protect the integrity of parliamentary services.
              We seem to have come full circle here…

  10. Also from David Farrar:

    I don’t know who the texter and leaker is, but within National there is huge skepticism that the texter is as MP, as they claim. They may well be a National staffer, but the language used in the text (such referring to themselves as a member of caucus rather than just as an MP) just doesn’t sound like an MP.

    That may explain in part at least why Bridges continues to push this issue.

    • robertguyton

       /  August 27, 2018

      I was told here on yournz that the caucus means all National Party MPs; is that true or not?

      • High Flying Duck

         /  August 27, 2018

        It is true, but it is not how MP’s describe themselves. There is the caucus (the whole), and there are MP’s (individuals).

  11. Slater keeps ‘believing’ that the leaker was one of the many National MPs he doesn’t like, but like Robert produces no evidence.

    • robertguyton

       /  August 27, 2018

      Bridges has form: remember the “Pants On Fire”?
      He’s producing no evidence either, to support his strained claim that it weren’t no MP of mine!! He could have though; phoned back and asked, “Are you one of my team; yes or no?”.

      • PDB

         /  August 27, 2018

        You seem pretty over-excited about this whole affair Robert? Best you sit down and have a herbal tea, may I suggest a peppermint variety to ease your stress and anxiety over the leaker being govt related?

        • robertguyton

           /  August 27, 2018

          I am sitting down, PDB, and tead-up to the gills. Thing is, this situation is farcical and I enjoy a good farce.

          • PDB

             /  August 27, 2018

            “I enjoy a good farce.”

            No doubt why you’re a regular at The Standard then Robert.

            • Blazer

               /  August 27, 2018

              careful Bobbie might smath your farce ..in.

            • robertguyton

               /  August 27, 2018

              I’m rarely over there these days, PDB: yournz is my natural home now, I reckon, so I don’t know where that leaves the point you made…

          • You seem to have farcically contradictory positions on it.

            If it was a National MP (as you intimate) who has serious health issues or who claimed a threat to their well being or life if the inquiry continued sounds far from farcical to me, it sounds like something serious that needs to be properly addressed.

            • robertguyton

               /  August 27, 2018

              That Nat show save his party and leader a great deal of anguish (and cost) and front up, take his medicine promise to be good from now on.

            • I think it would have been quite difficult for a National MP to have not been identified by now. I’m sure a lot of questions will have been asked and things checked out. So I think there’s a good chance it wasn’t an MP.

              There’s also a chance that Bridges knows or has a good idea who the culprit is, and is setting them up. Or he is trying to flush them out.

            • robertguyton

               /  August 27, 2018

              That Nat should save his party and leader a great deal of anguish (and cost) and front up, take his medicine and promise to be good from now on.

            • robertguyton

               /  August 27, 2018

              Pure speculation, Pete; you’ve offered no proof at all. Disappointing.
              Mind you, your theory that Bridges knows, strengthens my “pants on fire” thread (thanks). I ‘m with you: I reckon Bridges knows and aims to flush his detractor/challenger out into the open to teach those errant Nat MPs a lesson they’ll never forget: don’t mess with [deleted – use proper names for MPs]!!!

            • “you’ve offered no proof at all. Disappointing.”

              Is that a deliberate joke? Or is your nose twitching again?

            • robertguyton

               /  August 27, 2018

              Who do you reckon it is, Pete: Natty MP “A”, “B” or “C”???

            • There’s probably a hundred or more people it could have been. I have no idea who it was.

              Was it Green MP MP “A”, “B” or “C”??? Is that what you’re trying to divert from?

            • robertguyton

               /  August 27, 2018

              The Green MPs! Yes, Pete, now we’re getting somewhere!!
              Golriz! I knew it!!
              We hate her here, aye!!

            • Gezza

               /  August 27, 2018

              Won’t be Golriz. This Machiavellian drama requires serious smarts.

      • You have form to, remember?

        Where has Bridges claimed with any certainty it wasn’t a National MP? I think the whole point of his continued wish for an inquiry is that he doesn’t know who it was.

        • robertguyton

           /  August 27, 2018

          Bridges claims to want an inquiry, but I don’t believe him. I don’t believe much of what he says.

          • PDB

             /  August 27, 2018

            As I’ve written below Bridges has to want an inquiry as regardless of who the leaker is it’s in his best interests to do so.

    • High Flying Duck

       /  August 27, 2018

      If Slater is sure, you can be certain the reality is the opposite. He is building an enviable track record of wrong.

  12. PDB

     /  August 27, 2018

    The leak itself was a very poor hit-job and in itself a nothing story. Bridges needs to press on and find the leaker for two reasons;

    *If the person is National related then he needs to know for his own leadership ambitions. He needs to ascertain if this person is a lone wolf or represents a bigger part of his party.
    *If a govt-related person then he would be able to push the story of a cover-up between Ardern and the Speaker. The only downside for him is the current situation where the leaker remains hidden thus all National MP’s/staff remain under suspicion.

    • Blazer

       /  August 27, 2018

      but if the leaker is exposed he may top…himself!

      Curran’s a bit slow…should have told Ardern …don’t out me or I’ll….

      • robertguyton

         /  August 27, 2018

        The police are confident the leaker isn’t in danger of self-harming, so, full speed ahead, Simon! Damn the torpedoes!

      • PDB

         /  August 27, 2018

        That in itself is worthy of discussion – is the new norm doing something dodgy but in order to avoid the consequences of your actions or being identified you just have to play the mental health card?

        • Blazer

           /  August 27, 2018

          maybe Mr Bridges should threaten to…resign unless the leaker comes clean…squeaky..clean.

    • robertguyton

       /  August 27, 2018

      PDB says: …”all National MP’s/staff remain under suspicion….”.
      With ya there, PDB.
      I reckon it’s one of them MPs…or three!

      • David

         /  August 27, 2018

        So why do you keep arguing against Bridges wanting the inquiry to continue. You are seriously making absolutely no sense at all and you dont seem to want someone with mental health issues supported into getting assistance which shows a lack of compassion.

        • robertguyton

           /  August 27, 2018

          Oh, he should, but I reckon he’s bluffing. He doesn’t really want one.

          • “you’ve offered no proof at all. Disappointing.”

          • David

             /  August 27, 2018

            Course he wants one, he is asking for one to be done and if Mallard knows its a National MP he would be getting one done. Bridges needs it done and that is why Mallard has pulled the pin and it looks like under pressure from Ardern.

  13. @ninetonoon from Richard Harman of Politik: “Has learned that Bridges told several people that he interviewed Mallard and could tell from his experience as a crown prosecutor, by Mallard’s body language, that he was guilty.”

    If that’s what Bridges thinks, no wonder he is still pushing the issue.

    • Ray

       /  August 27, 2018

      Well Speaker Mallard had a reputation for being a serial leaker when Labour was playing leader roulette and it makes sense in the light of the sudden reversal on Friday just after he announced the Inquiry was all go, all while being on the other side of the World.

      Personally I really doubt it but after reading Roberts 30* steadily more excited comments on this who knows.
      * a guess as I can be bothered counting or * lots and lots.

      • Blazer

         /  August 27, 2018

        ludicrous and defamatory…’he interviewed Mallard and could tell from his experience as a crown prosecutor, by Mallard’s body language, that he was guilty.”

        The fact that Mallard decided to have the inquiry until new evidence appeared makes a complete mockery of Mr Bridges…assertion.

        • High Flying Duck

           /  August 27, 2018

          He decided to have an enquiry until nothing changed and then he had sudden change of heart when it was about to actually begin.
          There was precisely zero new information between the time he announced the QC to head the inquiry and the cancellation the following day.
          Other than Jacinda using the exact words Mallard ended up using to decree it a National Party issue.

          • Blazer

             /  August 27, 2018

            so you put faith in Mr Bridges body language conclusion…do you?

            • PDB

               /  August 27, 2018

              I wouldn’t believe the MSM when they say that’s what Bridges said Blazer…

            • Blazer

               /  August 27, 2018

              interesting…perhaps you would tell me who you would…believe?

            • High Flying Duck

               /  August 27, 2018

              I’d believe Mike Heron once he investigated properly. If only someone could organise that and put this whole thing to bed.

            • Blazer

               /  August 27, 2018

              so as Heron is not investigating…you don’t believe…anyone.

            • High Flying Duck

               /  August 27, 2018

              Hard to believe or disbelieve a nothing Blazer – no-one has said they have the information (other than the police who are not talking). It is all conjecture until it is investigated.

            • Blazer

               /  August 27, 2018

              Bridges has burned up enough taxpayers money already without adding to it with an inquiry ..

    • robertguyton

       /  August 27, 2018

      Pete: does that sound credible to you?
      If not, why have you repeated it?
      If it does, “you’ve offered no proof at all. Disappointing.”

    • robertguyton

       /  August 27, 2018

      pete 21
      27 August 2018 at 10:07 pm
      “Well it took until 10.00 pm to get to the funniest thing all day:

      “Bridges told several people that he interviewed Mallard and could tell from his experience as a crown prosecutor, by Mallard’s body language, that he was guilty.”

      I hope several people read this. Whatever, how many of you there are, you got it from me: After a lifetime of dealing with people from all walks of life in many ordinary situations, in many positive situations and in many negative situations involving the relating of events, giving accounts and hopefully the telling of the truth, I became very experienced at observing body language.

      I can tell by Simon Bridges’ body language and what he says, that he is a fucking idiot. Not only that, his dishonest utterances after he knew more of the details of the leaking showed him to be a slimy fucking idiot.”
      Harsh.

  14. Gezza

     /  August 27, 2018

    I think maybe now nobody cares about poor young Simon any more – whatever becomes of him: the spotlight seems now to be going on to Speaker Trev.

  15. Gezza

     /  August 27, 2018

    Rumsfeld sums up this situation well, I believe:

  1. Bridges keeps pushing on leak, challenges Speaker and PM — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition