Budget leaked

National claims to have been leaked the budget ahead of it going public on Thursday. If National have obtained a copy, that’s bad. But it is also bad that they are making parts of it public.

I can’t remember a budget leak before this.

RNZ – Budget leak: Embarrassing error or conspiracy?

A major pre-Budget bomb has dropped on the Beehive with top level Budget information ending up in the hands of the National Party.

The Prime Minister’s regular media stand-up at Parliament this morning was ticking along with questions about mental health, funding for dentistry and the Debbie Francis report when the news broke – the timing was of course no coincidence.

Jacinda Ardern was blindsided and reporters had just enough time to digest the document released by National before heading to leader Simon Bridges’ regular Tuesday question and answer session.

“National reveals Budget details” screamed the headline on the media release.

With it was a document claiming to reveal the funding for 18 policy areas for the next financial year.

It spanned major portfolios including health, defence, overseas aid, customs, Maori development and justice.

“This is not the Wellbeing Budget it’s the Winston Budget”, declared Mr Bridges.

That’s a reference to Deputy Prime Minister and New Zealand First leader Winston and a $1.3 billion spend on defence assets in National’s documents.

But Mr Bridges was a lot more reticent when asked about how National had come across the information – “cock-up or conspiracy?” asked one reporter.

One possibility is that someone within the Government deliberately leaked the material to National.

Mr Bridges talked about a “loose and incompetent” government and would not go as far as calling it a leak, so that seems less likely.

More likely is that someone has been careless with the information and it has ended up with National through human error.

The Finance Minister Grant Robertson hastily convened a media conference where he said some of the figures were right, but some were wrong.

The “major new initiatives”, he said, were not in the National Party document.

The only specific comment he made was about the defence spending, confirming it does includes the purchase of Boeing P-8A Poseidon Aircraft, which had already been announced.

But other than that he refused to say which other parts were right or wrong, or even how much of it was accurate.

The hunt for who was responsible will only begin in earnest once the Budget has been delivered on Thursday, but Treasury is already investigating.

There is actually serious financial implications of part of budgets being leaked ahead of the official release date.

And it is a serious matter if the budget has been deliberately leaked to the Opposition.

Circus politics seems to be getting worse.

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31 Comments

  1. lurcher1948

     /  28th May 2019

    Bridges, with stolen documents, the sort of person to run the country…dodgy

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  28th May 2019

      Mallard; can’t tell the difference between a hug and rape, Speaker of the House….gaga.

      Reply
  2. Zedd

     /  28th May 2019

    It was interesting hearing Bridges & Paula ‘glouting’ during Q-time.. ‘we’ve got all the budget data’.. Paula even went so far, as to raise ‘a point of order’ requesting that Bridges answer on behalf of Robertson.. how petty, juvenile & smug !
    Its called Politics, not ‘school yard squabbling’.. its time that some on Natls. front-bench, realise it 😀

    Jacinda just stated (paraphrased) that they may think, they have some ‘leaked figures’ BUT they, like the rest of us, will have to wait until Thursday for the actual BUDGET facts & figures 🙂

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  28th May 2019

      This is a problem, Zedd. Whatever Bridges has got, it appears he shouldn’t have it. There’ll have to be another blimmin investigation to find out how the hell he got it.

      Reply
      • Zedd

         /  28th May 2019

        meanwhile the suggestions/allegations are, that it was the Govt. who leaked it ?
        Highly unlikely.. probably a Tory insider in treasury ?!

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  28th May 2019

          We don’t have a Tory party in NZ.

          It could well be someone sending it by accident to an email address. We’ve all done that, I imagine.

          Reply
          • Zedd

             /  28th May 2019

            ‘We don’t have a Tory party in NZ.’ sez kitty

            Its a generic term.. for Right-wing sez I 😀 😀

            Reply
            • Kitty Catkin

               /  28th May 2019

              To you, perhaps, but it’s like calling all left parties Labour 😀

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  28th May 2019

              All right, cleverclogs, what does Tory mean ? 😀

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  28th May 2019

              And that’s Kitty to you, zedd.

            • Patzcuaro

               /  28th May 2019

              The only thing the “Tories” are leaking is votes at the moment, 5th place at 8.7% of the vote in the European elections. This must make them a minor party.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  29th May 2019

              Look it up and see.

        • I guess we’ll know once JA announces what she’s gonna do about it. Order a full investigation or try to sweep it under the carpet. If she tries to pass over it, we’ll know someone in cabinet leaked it. Twyford is my guess.

          Reply
          • Duker

             /  28th May 2019

            Did it ever matter Key promised to catch up with Australia …and didn’t?

            Reply
            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  29th May 2019

              Actually it did effectively. The migration flow reversed bringing workers back to NZ.

  3. David

     /  28th May 2019

    If Bridges is correct then this is a serious issue for Ardern, this is supposed to be the year of delivery and she has delivered nothing so far this year and her well being budget beyyer not include tanks and guns etc.

    Reply
  4. David

     /  28th May 2019

    If we had a proper media someone would have Joyce on live commenting during the budget delivery and wearing a tee shirt emblazoned with “told you so” and “11 Billion dollar hole”

    Reply
    • duperez

       /  28th May 2019

      Having a proper media with Joyce on live commenting, would cause an uproar. We’d have those who complain about Helen Clark being in the news and quoted on something, who say she’s ‘had her day,’ had her turn and should butt out, going crazy saying the same thing about Joyce. Wouldn’t we? 🙃

      Reply
    • Duker

       /  28th May 2019

      Joyce didn’t tell us so. There still is no $11bill hole, that had been debunked totally, as it you recread Joyce’s claim in his words you would find that hole was all about calculation errors.
      As we have seen what is called a surplus has been on track and extra spending outside the 20% limit may come into action AFTER the next election….which isn’t a hole in any case as national itself never stuck to 20% figure during it’s time

      Reply
  5. Blazer

     /  28th May 2019

    loyal National bureaucrats would have leaked it.

    Reply
  6. duperez

     /  28th May 2019

    At 8.30 pm I see; “The Treasury understands it has been hacked following leaked budget information this morning and police have been informed.

    In a statement, Treasury Secretary Gabriel Makhlouf said it has gathered evidence to show its systems were “deliberately and systematically hacked”.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12235239

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  28th May 2019

      Gee…I wonder if it’s connected to those national whizz kids making a name for themselves overseas in the IT – social media sphere.
      This will bounce back to smack Bridges in the face…unless he finds an NEW emotional young staffer to push under the bus.
      Lock them up!

      Reply
    • Gerrit

       /  28th May 2019

      Rawshark did it…master hacker that he is. Wont find him but no treace of him/her.

      ” We seek him here, we seek him there, Those Labourites seek him everywhere. Is he in heaven? — Is he in hell?”

      Reply
      • More likely it is a problem at Labour’s end. I well recall Labour allowing all and sundry to download their donors list off their website in 2011. Slater was in like Flynn. If Twyford was anywhere around during the budget talks I think we can call it case closed. All that remains is for Trev to declare Godzilla has been spotted on Lampton Quay, Jacinda to set up another working group headed by Michael Cullen and it’ll be situation normal in parliament.

        Reply
        • Duker

           /  28th May 2019

          That was another hack originating in the beehive and spreading to Slater…remember the party making a public apology for their misdeeds

          And it wasn’t all and sundry to download a donor list…it was in a ‘scrambled’ database format used as backup, Slater had to pay one of his computer henchmen to reverse engineering the format to make it readable.
          But since then hacking has become a much bigger problem and a more severely treated crime.
          Arty doesn’t seem to have heard the Treasury Secretary confirm it’s a systematic hack of their systems.
          What’s the bet that Bridges blames…..Amy Adams for not telling him it was in their possession as the result of a crime.

          Reply
      • Duker

         /  28th May 2019

        No wonder Bridges was so circular about the format of the data they had, it wasn’t the actual budget booklet itself but a systemic hack of the treasury computers with more generalised data. They must have known it was hacked rather than ‘found on a bus.’ sort of thing.
        Didn’t Bridges say they weren’t going release the raw data they had……hmmm.
        The police should be getting search warrants as we speak on Bridges office..

        Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  28th May 2019

        Gerrit;

        ‘That demmed elusive Pimpernel .’

        I had a mouse in the house who had an uncanny ability to disappear, seeming to dematerialise. I called him The Scarlet Pimpermouse.

        Reply
  7. Alan Wilkinson

     /  28th May 2019

    I wonder what phishing email link the Minister clicked on?

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  29th May 2019

      IT experience a bit thin Wilco ? The Treasury internal systems have been hacked not the beehive email server…and no the Minister doesnt have internal access to Treasury data like one of their policy analyst would.

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  29th May 2019

        I’m sure you know everything, Duker. Except how to laugh.

        Reply

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