Fails the sniff test: Gerry gets cornered making up policy

Gerry Brownlee appears to have been caught making shit up.

Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee is being accused of making up plans on the spot to sell two of the Navy’s disused inshore patrol vessels.

He made the comments last month when Newshub probed him over why HMNZS Taupo and HMNZS Pukaki has not been to sea in years.

At the time he said they were surplus to requirements, will be sold under his watch, and should never have been purchased in the first place.

But while Mr Brownlee was announcing the sell-off publicly, there is nothing official showing he’s told the Finance Minister about the plans so it’s included in the upcoming Budget.

In a written Parliamentary question to Bill English, New Zealand First asked for all correspondence presented by Mr Brownlee for his defence Budget allocation, specifically on the disposal of HMNZS Taupo and Pukaki.

Mr English replied: “I have not received any correspondence on this matter”.


New Zealand First defence spokesman Ron Mark says it’s proof Mr Brownlee made up the sell-off policy on the hoof.

“Minister Brownlee hasn’t sent a single email, letter, memo, report, or even offered Mr English a briefing on his idea to sell HMNZS Taupo and Pukaki.

“If the Minister of Defence has been advocating for defence then it’s obviously not been with the guy who holds the purse strings,” he says.

Mr Brownlee rejects the claims entirely, saying it has been in the pipeline for years.

“You have to start with an idea and you socialise it throughout government. There’s nothing unusual about that.

“The process for disposal of military equipment is not a wake in the morning and say ‘right, we’re flicking that, go and put an ad in the paper,” he says.

He says the process will take some time, which will include the Government deciding whether they actually belong in the Defence Force.

“Then you’d enter into a disposal that would see you try and identify potential purchases and make those approaches. Of course Treasury would be involved in that process.”

He says work is in the “early stages” and they’re still figuring out where they’d best be disposed of and what they could sell it for.

Sounds like Gerry is making shit up.


– Newshub

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

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