Is Simon Bridges the stupidest minister in this government?

Is Simon Bridges the stupidest minister in this government?

Of course not, he has to compete with Nick Smith for that honour, but this effort will see him sharing points with Nick.

Transport Minister Simon Bridges’ office discouraged the release of a report despite KiwiRail advising there wasn’t a case to withhold it from the public.

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters raised the matter in Parliament yesterday.   

He has also released emails that show Bridges’ office pushed back against KiwiRail’s intention to release the business case for a proposed new rail line in Auckland.

Peters said the emails reveal “clear interference” in the workings of a state-owned enterprise, which needed to remain at arm’s length from its minister.

Bridges has today rejected claims his office acted inappropriately.

Requests for information made under the Official Information Act (OIA) can be declined for a number of reasons including to enable a minister or department to carry on, without prejudice or disadvantage, negotiations.

In an email in June, KiwiRail told Bridges’ office its legal team had advised the business case could not be withheld for this reason.

“Our advice is that releasing the Third Main Business Case would be unlikely to prejudice our negotiations with the Crown for funding for it in future years and prejudice to such an extent does not override any public interest in the release of the information,” the email reads.

In an email the next day, Bridges’ private secretary emailed an official to raise “a few concerns” about KiwiRail’s proposal to release the document in full, and outlining reasons why that should not happen.

“We are still extremely uncomfortable with the idea of releasing this document … we would like to resolve this before advising the Minister.”

Peters said that approach was “yet another symptom of the National Government’s arrogance after nine years”.

That is pretty dopey stuff from Bridges.

Sounds like the business case for a new rail line in Auckland doesn’t stack up or match the rhetoric from the Minister, so he is trying to hide it.

-NZ Herald

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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.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.