Simon Bridges

Bridges Boo Boos

Sometimes it’s better just to shut up.

Transport Minister Simon Bridges says he’s warned petrol companies he’s watching how much profit they are taking at the pump.

But rather than say ‘yes minister’, one company has told the Government to check its facts because they’re wrong.

When oil prices dropped late last year Mr Bridges thought petrol company margins didn’t follow fast enough, and¬†he was outspoken¬†with his disapproval.

“What is¬†clear – they¬†got too high.”

The price of a litre includes the cost of the fuel, taxes, shipping and GST, while the remaining 18 percent goes to the company.

The Government says companies make roughly 30 cents per litre, but fuel company Z’s CEO Mike Bennetts says it only make about 19 cents at the pump. Read more »

The coming selection in Northland

The predictable demise of Northland MP Mike Sabin means a very blue seat is up for selection.

The majority is 9300, and Labour’s candidate, Willow-Jean Prime, has just had a baby, so is not expected to run again.

When Sabin won in 2011 there was considerable interest in the selection, with a good number of candidates putting their names forward. Some of these are expected to be contenders again.

Grant McCullum: Long time National Board member and perceived front runner in the last selection. Withdrew due to issues with a tricky missus. Inside word is she has just got more tricky over the years so McCullum will struggle to get approval to run. ¬† Read more »

Stuart Nash on the Boagan’s plans to nick the AECT trust

Stuart Nash has written a piece on Michelle Boag’s plans to nick the AECT funds to gift to Len Brown for his train set.

It is on a little read hate speech blog run by Wrongly Wrongson, the blogger formerly known as Martyn Martin Bradbury, and so deserves wider attention.

Move forward to 2014, and John Collinge is at it once again.  Collinge, backed by another former National party president Michelle Boag, and helped by Auckland EMA CEO Kim Campbell, is trying to gather support for a scheme that would steal the shares off the people of Auckland for good.

Their miserable plan, as I have been led to believe, involves pressuring the National government to introduce legislation that would allow the shares, worth around $2.1b, to be nationalised, and then gifted back to the Auckland City Council for them to sell ‚Äď to the people of Auckland and overseas buyers.

Let’s put this into perspective.  This year the AECT returned a $335 dividend to all shareholders (75.1% of whom are the people of Auckland). This is a most welcome bonus to many who are currently struggling with the extremely high costs of living in Auckland.

Vector is an incredibly progressive and innovative company and so this dividend is only going to grow.¬† Why sell it?¬† This is about ideology ‚Äď and a massive disconnect by some wealthy individuals who simply have absolutely no idea at all how important $335 is to a huge number of Auckland families.¬† Read more »

More on the lack of peak oil

Yesterday we explored the lack of peak oil.

I also found an interesting recent article on the topic at Real Clear Politics.

In a chilling 2010 column, Paul Krugman¬†declared: ‚Äúpeak oil has arrived.‚ÄĚ

So it‚Äôs really not surprising that¬†the national average for a gallon of gas¬†has fallen to $2.77 this week ‚Äď in 10 states it was under $2.60 ‚Äď and analysts predict we‚Äôre going to dip below the two-dollar mark soon. U.S. oil is down to $75 a barrel, a drop of more than $30 from the 52-week high.

Meanwhile, the Institute for Energy Research¬†estimates¬†that we have enough natural gas in the U.S. to meet electricity needs for around 575 years at current fuel demand and to fuel homes heated by natural gas for 857 years or so ‚Äď because we have more gas than Russia, Iran, Qatar and Saudi Arabia combined.

With prices returning to ordinary levels and a few centuries’ worth of fossil fuels on tap, this is a good time to remind ourselves that nearly every warning the left has peddled about an impending energy crisis over the past 30 to 40 years has turned out to be wrong. And none of them are more wrong than the Malthusian idea that says we’re running out of oil.

Each time there‚Äôs a¬†temporary spike in gas prices, science-centric liberals allow themselves a purely ideological indulgence, claiming ‚Äď as Krugman, Paul Ehrlich, John Holdren and countless others have ‚Äď that we‚Äôre rapidly approaching a point when producers will hit the maximum rate of extraction of petroleum. Peak oil. With emerging demand, fossil fuels will become prohibitive. And unless we have our in solar panels in order, Armageddon is near. ¬† Read more »

Ding Dong, El Presidente’s gone

BREAKING

This morning the Building Services Contractors New Zealand (BSC for short) sent out an email to members announcing that El Presidente Patrick Lee-Lo has stepped down as National President.

You may recall that for some time WOBH has poured sunlight into the BSC. Many, including Rodney Hide, called it a cartel-like organisation for being party to an Principles Agreement that excluded businesses from government contracts.

National’s former Minister of Labour Simon Bridges did the right thing and axed this agreement, much to the horror of El Presidente who claimed it was part of some conspiracy to undermine workers’ rights.

According to the announcement sent to members (and forwarded to WOBH by a member of the fish-gang), CEO Lillian Small says Patrick Lee-Lo was a ‚Äėvibrant President‚Äô. I’d¬†agree with that.

Here‚Äôs the email. ¬† Read more »

Gayer than Fossy’s Gay Ute

It takes a lot to find a ute gayer than Fossy’s gay ute, but the diminutive Simon Bridges has managed it, and worse splashed it all over social media.

Read more »

Taxpayers’ Union slams Joyce for his expanded corporate welfare programme

Since the opposition is asleep at the wheel the job of holding a spendthrift government to account falls upon the shoulders of the Taxpayers’ Union.

They are holding Steven Joyce to account for his expanded corporate welfare programme.

Responding to Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce’s defence of corporate welfare, Jim Rose, the author of Monopoly Money, a Taxpayers Union report on corporate welfare since 2008, says:

“Mr Joyce defends over $3 billion in subsidies to KiwiRail and Solid Energy under his watch by saying that they are state owned. Bailouts are not the role of ministers as shareholders. Since 1986, state-owned enterprises have had a statutory duty to operate as a successful business and to be as profitable and efficient as comparable businesses not owned by the Crown. The whole idea of the State Owned Enterprises Act 1986 was to bring an end to bailouts and permanent deficits.‚ÄĚ

‚ÄúInstead of putting a failed business in the hands of receivers, Mr Joyce defends throwing good money after bad by blaming the previous government for buying KiwiRail. That was three elections ago. Elections are supposed to count for something. $3 billion in taxpayers‚Äô money cannot be handed out in subsidies with ministers bobbing and weaving about responsibility for the amount and wisdom involved. The Treasury Benches come with a full ministerial responsibility for every single dollar of taxpayers‚Äô money spent under your watch.‚ÄĚ ¬†¬† Read more »

Finally a minister who gets that driverless cars and not trains is our future

Simon Bridges appears to get it.

That our future lies in enabling technologies not restrictive technologies.

Trains are constrained by tracks and are not at all versatile, whereas driverless vehicles are enabling in many, many ways.

The prospect of cars travelling New Zealand highways with no one behind the wheel is moving closer says new Transport Minister Simon Bridges. Officials are reviewing legislation allowing for the testing of umanned autonomous vehicles on public roads.

Mr Bridges has pledged to work with environmental interests while also pursuing the Government’s road building programme.

Mr Bridges said he was committed to “a balanced approach” and ongoing investment roads were important even from a green perspective, “over time as we move to electric vehicles and autonomous vehicles”.

Mr Bridges said the Government was not doing a great deal to accommodate autonomous vehicle technology, “but I don’t think there’s any doubt that if you look at what’s going on internationally, maybe not in the next couple of years, but over time we will see driverless vehicles and that will have implications, like for example less congestion because vehicles can travel closer together”.

Read more »

Tracy Watkins needs to stop drinking the gallery Koolaid

The problem with the Press Gallery is they are generally actually out of touch with what actually happens in politics.

Preferring to talk about factions and plans and conspiracies when none actually exists. They are particularly tits at these prognostications with the National aprty.

We often see stories about faction wars inside National when none exists. We know they don;t exists because if there were factions then i’d be in one of them and if there was a war there would be bodies floating down political rivers.

Tracy Watkins embarks on another gallery fantasy…that political parties groom future leaders.

Helen Clark’s mistake in being too slow to rejuvenate her caucus left a very deep impression on Key. He has been far more proactive, creating an expectation that there is no room in the caucus for seat warmers.

The departure of a slew of National MPs at the last election is evidence of his more ruthless approach, as is his approach to Cabinet reshuffles.

For the first time that anyone can remember Key has made a practice of demoting ministers for performance issues, rather than the more traditional route of sacking minister’s only when they have transgressed.  This has given him room to constantly renew his Cabinet. Key rang the changes with a reshuffle which he hopes will mitigate the effects of third-termitis.

Elevating the likes of Paula Bennett and Simon Bridges up the Cabinet rankings also shows Key has a succession plan in place ‚Äď along with Steven Joyce, they are being looked to as the next generation of National leaders. Will the drive for renewal reach even higher to the leadership and deputy leadership?

Read more »

Bridges, cuddles unions, offends stay at home mums [UPDATED]

UPDATE: ¬†The article below is wrong. ¬†As Pete suggested the other day, I’m pushing things too hard. ¬†As a results I was trying to get some stuff out quickly and let this one slip by. ¬†My apologies Simon Bridges and anyone else¬†involved.

 

This is outrageous slur on all the stay home mums. Whoever signed this poster off needs to go under the bus.

image001

Poster on Bond Street, Auckland


Oh that’s right Simon Bridges is responsible. We’ll sheet home the blame to¬†him for not being over his portfolios and is another mess under his watch.

 

– the tipline