Simon Bridges

Cover up under Simon Bridges watch – Part 2

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While Labour and Winston Peters are using Parliamentary privilege to fire off stupid allegations at Judith Collins, they are ignoring a pile of incompetence within MBIE – the very Ministry tasked with growing NZs business.

Part one exposed the dodgy behaviour of MBIE officials under Simon Bridges’ watch.

It raised questions about how MBIE officials are managing the Government’s procurement process, and how questions about dodgy union organisations are being deleted from Supplier Questions in GETS.

Maybe it was a simple mistake, but then again we all know the unions love to think they have union-friendly government officials in their back pocket. Maybe that’s why they get an extra $500 for being a member of the unions. If Labour and NZ First want to talk about corruption, they don’t have to look any further than that rort.

But back to Simon Bridges’ MBIE officials.

This very same GETS RFP #448 then exposed a monumental flaw by the very officials tasked with advising Simon Bridges on his Employment Relations Amendment Bill.

In what is an astonishing revelation, MBIE advised – in their Supplier Questions about RFP #448 of 20 February 2014, that the Employment Relations Bill Part6A (vulnerable employees) doesn’t apply.

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Not sure how that works out for them.  Read more »

Cover up under Simon Bridges watch – Part One

In the posts about whether Simon Bridges should be considered a future National Party leader, I’ve blogged about concerns flowing into the tip-line from party supporters.

It’s Bridges cuddling of dodgy unions that most rankles. This may explain why he’s not showing the stones needed to see through the Employment Relations Amendment Bill – a bill the left hate with a passion.

Remember, Bridges told Parliament “the Government wants to ensure that employers have the freedom to complete and expand”.

While the rank and file liked the sound of that, by all accounts his union-friendly officials in MBIE were less than impressed.

These MBIE officials really don’t care for Bridges and are hedging bets that he won’t be Minister of Labour after 20 September.

It may also explain why his MBIE officials are keeping him in the dark about a little mess that shows they’ve been ignoring the Government’s own legislation.

It’s always the little things that upset the apple-cart, and while innocuous to most, little niggles tend to point to larger problems.

Thanks to an eagle-eyed reader, the question now being asked is who’s in control of MBIE’s (therefore the Governments) procurement processes? This little attempt by MBIE at a cover up deserves some sunlight.  Here’s part one.

It concerns a GETS RFP #448 for cleaning at 15 Stout Street, Wellington. It also mentions our friends at the cartel like Building Service Contractors (BSC).   Read more »

Is Simon Bridges really a future National leader? Ctd

Simon Bridges has always had the look of someone who thinks he will become Prime Minister almost by default.

He has a few things going for him like a safe seat and a reasonable media presence, but he looks like he is more of a Bill English, David Shearer or David Cunliffe type leader than a John Key or a Helen Clark.

What happened to English, Shearer and Cunliffe is they thought they could do well in the polls through natural talent, not through hard work and building up their party and people to make sure they could win. Like English, Shearer and Cunliffe, Simon Bridges is doing little build up his own caucus, or the National Party or the vitally important donor base.   Read more »

Is Simon Bridges really a future National leader? Ctd

If there’s one thing a Prime Minister has to be recognised for, it is being on top of their portfolios.

Helen Clark and Heather Simpson were all over ministerial portfolios like a rash. John Key is likewise at the top of the game, and while preferring a more managerial style, he certainly expects his Ministers to deliver on the workload expected of someone earning over $260,000 a year.

Leadership candidates need that sort of reputation to come through strongly right from the start.

In this ongoing series, we explore the push to have Simon Bridges positioned as a future leader of the National Party, and look at some of the criticisms coming through about Bridges, including the view that he’s captured by officials and close to the unions.

Let’s put aside for the moment the 200,000 acres of parkland that’s now got the Green Taliban’s puppet-masters Greenpeace calling for his sacking.   Read more »

Wanting to find oil isn’t a sacking offence, but cuddling unions is

Greenpeace, the dodgy ratbags who expatriate most of their money and avoid paying taxes here want to run a campaign to sack Simon Bridges.

They want Simon Bridges sacked for wanting to explore our countryside for signs of oil and other minerals…explore mind you not actually mine for them. They consider this to be a sacking offence.

The NZ Herald reports:

Greenpeace has launched a campaign calling for the sacking of Energy and Resources Minister Simon Bridges, saying “he doesn’t have a clue what he’s doing”.

“On April 2, New Zealand’s largest forest park was offered up for possible drilling and mining. Then a few days later Simon Bridges admitted that he didn’t even know it existed,” says the campaign press release.

At the time of going to press, almost 5000 emails had been sent to Prime Minister John Key, calling for him to sack his minister.   Read more »

Is Simon Bridges really a future National leader? Ctd

The wheels are coming off Simon Bridges’ campaign to be the next leader of the National Party.

Just when Bridges was getting over that shocker interview with John Campbell, he goes and cocks it up last week.

As a result, TV3’s Paddy Gower gives Bridges a right bollocking, wondering how he could forget, or not know, about a 200,000 hectare DOC park being part of an oil and gas exploration permit.

Paddy called it one of the biggest political “brain-fades” seen in a very long time. More telling though was Paddy labelling Bridges a liability.

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Rodney Hide on a dodgy union rorts and National’s lack of courage in taking on the unions

Rodney Hide discusses the dodgy union rort going on in the PSA:

For years government departments have been running a scam for the unions. The amounts involved total in the millions. The scam diverts your tax dollars away from their proper purpose to the union movement. The scam thereby indirectly assists Labour. It’s shonky.

The latest Government outfit engaging in the scam is Parliamentary Service. This is surprising. Parliamentary Service employs MPs’ staff and the many legions of people who make Parliament work. That includes MPs’ electorate agents, their office staff, the librarians, the cleaners and the messengers. To ensure a sound democracy and proper government the Parliamentary Service must be scrupulously fair and even-handed.

And here’s where it has fallen down. Badly.

The service has just settled a new Employment Agreement for all MPs’ support staff. The deal involves a kick-back for joining a union. There’s no other word for it. Staff who are members of the union receive a one-off payment of $1000. Non-union members receive a one-off payment of $500. The result is a $500 bonus for joining the union.

The two unions involved are the Public Service Association (PSA) and the Service and Food Workers Union (SFWU). The $500 bonus more than pays the annual membership fee.

Parliamentary Service dresses up the union bonus as reflecting “the significant input of union members to the process of developing and agreeing the terms and the agreement itself”. But that’s phooey. The payment’s purpose is to pump union membership and fatten union bank accounts.

These unions are highly politicised and the Service and Food Workers Union directly affiliates to the Labour Party and pays levies for the privilege. The union even had a vote in choosing David Cunliffe as the new Labour leader.

The union’s webpage runs the banner, “Let’s Change the Government!”  Read more »

Trotter: ‘the phrase “Labour/Greens government” does not pass the plausibility test’

Chris Trotter explains why David Cunliffe has pushed the toxic Greens out into the cold.

The answer, I believe, is to be found in the voters Labour’s campaign strategists (most particularly the political scientist and polling specialist, Rob Salmond) have identified as the primary target of Labour’s election campaign. These are not the legendary “missing million” who declined to cast a ballot three years ago, but a much more manageable group of around 300,000 men and women who have voted for Labour in the past (2005, 2008) but who, for a whole host of reasons, sat out the General Election of 2011.

Salmond’s argument is that these voters can be readily “re-activated” if Labour presents them with a plausible pitch for their support. The key-word there is “plausible”, and outside Labour-held electorates in the main centres there is every reason to believe that the phrase “Labour/Greens government” does not pass the plausibility test.

The evidence for this comes, paradoxically, from the National Party. Simon Bridges’ ridiculous comments about the 50-odd mining permits issued on Russel Norman’s watch is only the most extreme example of what is obviously an agreed Government strategy to conflate Labour and the Greens into a single, politically extreme, electoral bogeyman. David Farrar’s polls and Crosby-Textor’s focus-groups have clearly thrown up a powerful negative reaction to the idea of Labour joining forces with the Greens. So much so that National is doing everything within its power to imbed the idea deep in the electorate’s psyche.

And, if National’s voter research is picking up this negative anti-Green vibe, how long can it be before Labour’s own pollster, UMR, and its focus-group convenors start detecting similar sentiments in their own samplings? And if they do, is it really credible to suggest that Labour should simply ignore them? If the party’s whole electoral strategy is based on persuading those 300,000 former Labour voters to return to the fold, and the Labour/Greens proposition is going to make that less likely, then what possible motive would Labour have for accepting the Greens’ invitation?  Read more »

Green taliban aids in destruction of pristine landscape for a cycleway

Yesterday Russel Norman attacked the government for wanting to bulldoze tracks through pristine forest.

So the Green Party moans about the government wanting to mine in Ecological Areas, but we can reveal that they are right behind an American property developer called Mr Marion Boatwright and his promotion of the Old Ghost Rd cycleway as a means of getting tourists to pass by his lodge in the lower Mokihinui River.

This coincided with Solid Energy’s desire to push a road thru an Ecological Area and John Key’s National Cycleway Project Te Hauranga, which was launched at the beginning of the recession to mop up unemployment.

The Old Ghost Road [OGR]  was begun with a minimum of assessment and no proper budget.

So far it has cost about $5 million, plus an extra $800,000 from DOC and it is far from finished – probably needs $2 million more.

The main drivers of the project are Solid Energy’s Phil Rossiter and Mr Boatwright, with some smart PR work from Boatwrights (ex?) partner Susan Cooke, a former Press reporter.  Read more »

Is Simon Bridges Really a Future National Leader?

Simon Bridges has been touted as a future National leader by many since he entered parliament in 2008.

This is the year that could determine whether Bridges can build a faction to win half the votes in caucus to become leader.

Two blue seats in his region, Taranaki-King Country and Bay of Plenty, are up for selection and a man serious about becoming leader would have loyalists lined up for these seats.   Read more »