Come Clean Simon Bridges

By   /   July 25, 2016  /   47 Comments

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Last Thursday I exposed an allegation of serious fraud at the highest management levels in the Ministry of Transport. General Manager Organisational Development Jo Harrison is being investigated by the Serious Fraud Office over several hundred thousand dollars of public money going missing.

simon-bridges-john-key
New Zealand’s corruption-free status is one of our most valuable assets.

That’s why the decline in our reputation under this Government and the pattern of fraud unfolding in the Transport portfolio is deeply disturbing.

Last Thursday I exposed an allegation of serious fraud at the highest management levels in the Ministry of Transport. General Manager Organisational Development Jo Harrison is being investigated by the Serious Fraud Office over several hundred thousand dollars of public money going missing.

Last week, a damning report into the driver licensing regime showed serious holes in the processes which allowed fraudulent licenses to be issued. Ten high risk issues were found in our driver licensing regime at a time when our road toll is soaring.

Last year, Transport Minister Simon Bridges was himself under scrutiny for his infamous “ bridges bribe”, where he made a Ministerial announcement to double-lane bridges in Northland in an attempt to use public money to win the by-election. Still, they lost.

Maybe this is the reason he’s staying silent on the fraud issues in Transport?

Because several hundred thousand dollars of public has gone missing at the highest levels in his Ministry and the Minister is nowhere to be seen.

An unknown number of drivers, including truck drivers, have been let loose on our roads without sitting a driving test ……..and again, the Minister has nothing to say on this major matter of public safety.

In both instances, the fraud was uncovered by other parties – One News outed the alleged driver licence fraud and Labour exposed the alleged Ministry fraud.

And yet Simon Bridges must have known about the Ministry fraud for months.

The Ministry says it “stood down” Jo Harrison in April and they would have been briefing Bridges weekly on relevant issues.

So why did the public no nothing about it until July?

In the interests of New Zealand and our precious status Simon Bridges must come clean and reveal what he knows and when he knew it.

 

Sue Moroney MP
Spokesperson for Transport
Spokesperson for ACC
Associate Spokesperson for Workplace Relations and Safety
Hamilton based Labour Member of Parliament

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About the author

Sue Moroney

Labour Party MP.

Sue Moroney is a Labour MP based in Hamilton where she lives with her husband and two teenaged sons. Her list of "ists" include being proud to be a trade unionist, feminist and former journalist (and community newspaper editor). Sue is Labour's Spokesperson for Transport, ACC, Workplace Safety, Pay Equity and Paid Parental Leave. She has formerly held responsibilities as Chief Whip, Spokesperson for Education, Social Development, Women's Affairs, Early Childhood Education and Aged Care. Her no. 1 horse racing tip is "never bet more than you can afford to lose" and pointing out that if she really knew what horse was going to win, she probably wouldn't be working long hours for a living.

47 Comments

  1. bert says:

    You’ve seen it before Sue but it is now starting to become more and more prominent. Ministers not being held to account with the reason being ” my ministry did not pass on the information, as they didn’t see it important enough to inform me”.

    It appears Crosby and Textor have come up with a new “get out” excuse.

    As an aside, Bridges appears full of his own self importance, the type you’d deal with at the bottom of a scrum.

  2. Blake says:

    Thanks Sue, well done. Seems both Simon Bridges and Paula Bennett have things to hide and have gone silent when the media calls out and invites them to front up. One has refused 5 invitations to front up on one TV show.

    Is anyone surprised with their lying and unethical leader that is running their trainwreck of a inefficient government.

    Fraud, secrets and fear – not a great base to build a healthy future on.

  3. Penny Bright says:

    Having now attended five international anti-corruption conferences, in my considered opinion, the Transparency International Corruption Perception Index, which ranks New Zealand now as being perceived to be the 4th ‘least corrupt country in the world’ – is not worth the paper upon which it is written.

    It wasn’t until 1 December 2015 that New Zealand FINALLY ratified the UN Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC)!

    How does THAT work?

    For years New Zealand was ‘perceived’ to be the ‘least corrupt country in the world’ and we hadn’t even ratified the UNCAC?

    Sorry folks – but the reality is, in my opinion, that New Zealand is a corrupt, polluted tax haven, led by a Prime Minister who was once a Wall Street banker, and is still a shareholder in the Bank Of America.

    Penny Bright
    2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

    • Words says:

      John key is a Wall street derivatives insider trader, to be exact.
      Yes, you are correct Penny Bright. New Zealand has indeed become a corrupt, polluted tax haven, led by a lying treasonous Prime Minister, who is himself inherently corrupt.

      The lie that New Zealand is free from corruption is a carefully orchestrated facade perpetrated by TransparencyNZ that has been set up to hide NZ’s corruption.
      Funded by the National government, TransparencyNZ reports to Transparency International that New Zealand has no corruption. Couldn’t be easier to spread lies, can it?

    • Mike in Auckland says:

      Some have raised questions about ‘Transparency International New Zealand’ before, as anecdotal evidence seems to indicate they are not really doing their job that well. Transparency International relies on reports from the various national agencies to base their rankings on:

      http://www.transparency.net.nz/?s=TRANSPARENCY+INTERNATIONAL+NZ&search=Search

      “Transparency International New Zealand are represented only by some 70 people 10 of whom are directors making 1 in 7 of them directors. http://www.transparencynz.org.nz/index.php/about/governance

      Those listed on the governance site represent amongst them the large accountancy companies and appear to be well connected with Government and big business, the representation is mainly of the rich and famous , those of us who bang our heads against the corporate walls are not welcome. It is after all about perception and we bring too much reality and insist on accuracy.”

      So when the well connected keep quiet on what really goes on, no wonder then we continually get New Zealand rated as more transparent than it may as a country deserve to be rated.

      Our government talks about “transparency” but shows damned little true and honest transparency. Leading by example, I suppose.

      • Words says:

        Stellar post of real journalism Mike. It is of no surprise seeing the list of National party connections including Mark Sainsbury and Bryce Edwards, who is a big supporting fan of John key. Thank you, your work is very appreciated.

  4. mosa says:

    Just another example of poor management and lack of responsibility by this administration and by the looks of it another cover up.
    So much for Keys promise in 2008 too have high standards for his ministers , that was a lie when he first said it and his high standards mean something very different to the meaning in the dictionary.
    Well done Sue for going after them on this but its like wrestling with a National party balloon, you grab one bit and it pops out somewhere else then you try too grab that bit and so on.
    Fraud aside its a frightening revelation that we have drivers on the roads that have not sat the legal test.
    Its get better and better this brighter future.

    • Wensleydale says:

      In all fairness to his ministers, when Key sets the bar so low it’s almost subterranean, they don’t really have much to aspire to. Is it any wonder they’re such a motley collection of head-nodding wastrels?

  5. Michelle says:

    So much for more efficient and effective public health services this hasn’t happened under the brighter future promises unless you are one of the 1%

  6. Samwise says:

    The more we hear from this government, the more we learn of it’s ineptitude.

  7. Kim dandy says:

    Last 8 years of the National Government = FAIL for the New Zealand people – WIN WIN for the 1%.
    Think the majority can see it now ( ignoring ‘fixed’ polls ) – definitely time for a vote of no confidence – the place is a mess!

    • CLEANGREEN says:

      Absolutely true in every word Sue and Kim Dandy,

      We live in a dangerous time with a Government that likes to gamble our future away with notion’s of grandeur like spending 13 Billion now last month for double lanning from Hamilton to Tauranga for truck traffic as the roads’ are gridlocked now as everyone can clearly see.

      Incidentally Bridges should know that NZTA have warned him in their NZTA 2014 “Freight Demands Study” that truck freight demand volume’s will rise nation wide by 2.8 times today’s truck gridlock.

      Then they were told rail freight demand will rise also by 2.5 times and sea freight by three times and guess what Government are doing with our rail?????

      Yes they have cut the urgent maintenance funding while quietly closing almost all regional rail down in a “sinking lid” rail policy!!!!

      National are hoping the opposition are not noticing what is happening to their bought back Kiwirail policy after buying the rail track & rolling stock back in the years 2005/8 consecutively.

      Transport in particular rail demonstrates the GAMBLE THIS TARSEAL CRAZY ADMINISTRATION HAS EMBARKED ON WHILE THEIR COMMITTMENT TO CO2 REDUCTION HAS BEEN LOST IN THIS HAIRBRAINED TRANSPORT PLAN.

      This while at this time we have our regional Napier Matawai Labour MP for Napier Stuart Nash is fighting his heart out without any support from Andrew little it seems (Sue correct me if I am wrong) without any rail policy while NZ First & green party has recently new rail policies to restore regional rail so Sue where is Labour’s regional rail policy please?

      Web all meet Stuart Nash on Wednesday in Napier so we would appreciate you sending it on this blog site please so we can fight with labour again to save our Napier Gisborne rail.

      National are a slow train wreck on transport so sorry Mr Bridges no vote here for you until you signal to save regional rail before they tear the tracks up and it is gone forever.

  8. Michelle says:

    This is not the first time Bridges has shown he is incompetent, By the way where are the bridges Bridges ? he is the same as his boss he tells big porkies for more power

    • bert says:

      Arrogant young man. Lets hope at the election we see burning “bridges”.
      Did not trust this arrogant minister who seems so full of his self importance, but you get that with neoliberalism.

  9. countryboy says:

    [Comment vulgar. Deleted. – ScarletMod]

    • Doubting Thomas says:

      I read it before it was deleted CB and it was also anatomically impossible

    • CLEANGREEN says:

      Oh I wished I could give Country boy my email, to see that I love his stunning comments he is colourful as heck, and a real treat on an otherwise dull day- bugger, cut the first letter off and send so we can imagine the words instead can he Scarlet Mod.

      [I can forward your email to him if you wish, Cleangreen. – ScarletMod]

      • CLEANGREEN says:

        Yes scarlet Mod send to CB to send his deleted comments as I love a laugh.

        [Will do. – ScarletMod]

    • countryboy says:

      Aw C’mon. I’ve written worse and isn’t censorship a funny old interpretation?
      You’ve essentially hit a nail on a head however.
      Whenever there’s a protest or a rally, limp wristed vest knitters turn out with face painting clowns to hold hands while scum bags like jonky and that other little prick above use their storm trooper cop thugs to intimidate us.
      You think the fuck word’s a toughie ? Then what might you think when the batons, tasers, pepper sprays and arrests without charges comes out at us. Are you going to hug yourselves to freedom then?

  10. David See-More says:

    Oh look, there’s nothing to see here move on – this is just a left-wing beat-up.

    The coalition of National Party, ourselves ACT, United Future and The Maori Party are beyond reproach in everything we do and we are confident that New Zealand’s International reputation as one of the least corrupt countries in the world is definitely not in jeopardy.

    What about Steve Hansen being appointed as coach until after the next World Cup Rugby, which, coincidentally will be in the 12th year of the ACT Party in coalition?

  11. Michael says:

    Good work, Sue Moroney – you’re doing precisely what an Opposition MP should do by holding a Government Minister to account for the way he runs his portfolio. Bit by bit, these tactics erode a Government’s public support. After a while, that support is so low that the Government can no longer retain office and faces defeat at the next election. The process takes time though, and your campaign is only the start, so don’t expect results for a while yet. Government in 2023 or am I being too optimistic?

    • CLEANGREEN says:

      Ha Ha Michael so you reckon this rat bag so called government will stay put until 2023!!!!

      Dream on as we don’t believe those false polls kido we don’t buy that crap, we believe the experts so now where were we oh yes Simon Bridges is a ineffective Minister and son is his side kick deputy Craig Foss both are a disgrace!!!. .

      Electronic Voting
      Rebecca Mercuri, Ph.D.
      Updated 9/1/10

      P.O. Box 1166 — Dept. EV
      Philadelphia, PA 19105
      notable AT notablesoftware DOT com

      http://www.notablesoftware.com/

    • CLEANGREEN says:

      Hooray Labour leader Andrew Little finally plays catch up.

      NZ Herald

      NZTA could take control of rail planning under Labour

      5:26 PM Monday Jul 25, 2016

      Labour would consider giving the NZ Transport Agency responsibility for rail planning.

      Leader Andrew Little addressed the Local Government New Zealand conference this afternoon and said transport planning needed to take in road, rail, coastal shipping and ports.

      “With a mode-neutral transport system we could build better transport in our towns and cities, and a more efficient freight transport network.

      “But that coherence is harder to achieve in New Zealand, partly because road transport planning comes under NZTA, but rail planning doesn’t,” Little said.

      “I’m open to discussing creative solutions to ensure that strategic coordination takes place, including by delegating NZTA the added job of strategic planning for our rail network.”

      The NZTA board allocates funds from the National Land Transport Fund to land transport activities, including local roads, state highways and public transport.

      KiwiRail, a state-owned enterprise, looks after the rail track network. The metro rail network, and Auckland Transport and the Greater Wellington Regional council own the trains that provide passenger services.

      A two-year $190.2 million funding package for KiwiRail as part of May’s Budget came with a warning, with Transport Minister Simon Bridges saying ongoing subsidies at that level are “unsustainable”.

      The new Budget spending takes total investment in the company since 2010 to $1.4 billion.

      – NZ Herald

    • Wensleydale says:

      You spend all day laughing at your own jokes, don’t you Michael.

  12. Kim dandy says:

    @ Micheal – are you blind? the Nats have trashed the place – the only way is ‘down’ with them. I could write a very long list of all s**t this government has, and still is, causing, but to be frank, the task is mind boggling….

  13. Mike in Auckland says:

    I think the list could go on, not only Simon Bridges has questions to answer, they do all seem to be convenient with the truth, as the truth does no longer matter to this government, if it ever did.

    We heard about Paula Bennett being convenient with the truth, we hard about Jonathan Coleman being convenient with the truth, we today learned about Trade Minister McClay having been convenient with the truth about Chinese threats to NZ businesses, we know that John Key is very convenient with the truth most the time, we also know that Steven Joyce is the same, and Bill English and other Ministers, including the ones for housing, do mostly seem to be very convenient with the truth.

    And the MSM does too often let them get away with it. The public is so disconnected and disillusioned with politics, they do in too large numbers not care, hence we continue to have the government sit comfy with significant support in the polls.

    It is beyond belief what goes on in this country.

  14. Mike in Auckland says:

    This is “transparent” government Key and Nats style, rather opaque, I reckon, most of the time.

  15. CLEANGREEN says:

    Hi rail stakeholders,

    So how are Government going to tackle this suggestion now, as last November on RNZ Kiwirail asked for funding to be under NZTA rules.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/288334/kiwirail-calls-for-support-for-trains

    KiwiRail calls for support for trains
    5:07 pm on 29 October 2015

    The state transport company KiwiRail has made an impassioned plea for support from the government and public.

    Speaking at the release of the annual report, KiwiRail chairman John Spencer insisted that money pays for vital infrastructure, not KiwiRail’s daily operations.

    “KiwiRail itself, if you put the network to one side, we can survive, we do not need any money from government at all as a commercial operation,” he said. “Where the money is needed is on the network.”

    “We do not have enough volume on our rail to pay for the network, it is as simple as that.”

    Kiwirail & it’s CEO & his Board Chair, had already asked this in a press release for Kiwirail be funded under the same rules as road is with a “emergency fund to fix things like road washouts without firstly assessing if it is a viable task?

    No response ever came from Government/NZTA, on or after 29th October 2015 so WHAT WILL BE THE RESPONSE NOW?

    Now we also need to publically discuss this and the need for a re-commissioning a position of Minister of rail again hence rail is now under public ownership again since being severed when the Shipley Government decommissioned Minister of rail when our rail was privatised back in 1992.

    Government needs now to consider a new position for “Minister of Rail” because it is run by a road controlling agency (ingrained) we need a strong single representation after seeing that the three Ministers of “Transport all let the rail die?

    Interesting times abound.

  16. Graham Townsend says:

    Considering the many cracks in their façade of competence, it’s both fascinating and sad that the Nats keep polling as high as they do. So far, it does not seem to matter what their policies are or how their integrity stacks up. It’s been pointed out that Key is their one hope. I really do think we fall for the strong man image – the prime minister as tribal chief. I’m sure a heap of Kiwis would vote for Ritchie McCaw if he stood for parliament, no matter what he stood for, simply because he’s a big guy with a nice reassuring smile and a good sporting record. If I’m right, this is really pathetic behaviour when we live in a complex and post-tribal world with serious issues to deal with.

  17. bert says:

    New Headline: COME CLEAN AMY ADAMS

    Amy Adams and Amy Adams alone denies Teina Pora’s compensation to be inflation adjusted. Ignores advice by Justice Rodney Hansen yet the minister left the impression it had been a decision made by Cabinet.

    As Gomer Pyle once said, Surprise,Surprise,Surprise

  18. Blake says:

    What is tying and chaining tons of concrete to Amy Adams and Paula Bennett and Simon Bridges and John Key etc. . . and throwing them over board ?

    A good start.