Gerry Brownlee

I didn’t think the big fella could make himself look more ridiculous, but he’s done it

The last time Big Gerry Brownlee went to Iraq this was the image we all had to suffer through:

Gerry Brownlee and his custom tailored ballistic vest that cost three times the standard vest worn by Kiwi troops

I didn’t think he could look more ridiculous, but dang, the big fella has done it.   Read more »

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Winston asks the right questions while McCully cowers behind Brownlee

Yesterday Winston Peters went to the house and attempted to skewer Murray McCully.

McCully lacked the courage to turn up to the house to answer the questions, sending Gerry Brownlee instead to run interference.

Gerry Brownlee made such a hash of his answers and obfuscated so much that David Carter gave Winston an extra question. He even admitted that he wasn’t an expert on the Cabinet Manual.  Read more »

At this rate Christchurch will have another major earthquake before it gets a cathedral

via ODT

Figures show the government spent $443,400 on a working group looking at the restoration of the quake damaged Christ Church Cathedral, but its fate has still not been agreed upon.

In December 2015, the Anglican Church and the government announced a working group would be set up to break the impasse between the two parties. Read more »

Face of the Day

via RNZ

 

Civil Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee says the implementation of a new nationwide channel for sending alerts about emergencies to mobile phones is on track to be up and running by the end of the year.

Cell broadcast alerting is a new way of sending information to mobile phones in a set area without people needing to download an app or subscribe to a service. “The alerts will appear similar to text messages. They are received automatically and for free by all cell broadcast enabled mobile phones in the area,” Mr Brownlee says.

“Discussions with New Zealand’s major telecommunications companies are progressing well and we expect to have contracts signed in the coming weeks. Read more »

Maybe Treasury and the Auditor General need a large dart gun…

Maybe Treasury and the Auditor General need a large dart gun, all the better to deflate Big Gerry Brownlee:

Tensions between the Christchurch Earthquake Recovery Authority () and Christchurch City Council have caused delays during Canterbury’s post-earthquake rebuild, a new report says.   Read more »

Dodgy is as dodgy does

Nothing in this story smells right:

Revelations that Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (Cera) staff tried to do commercial property deals for their own company will be investigated by the Prime Minister’s Department and the State Services Commission.

A Stuff investigation revealed on Saturday that three Cera staff employed to facilitate investment in the Christchurch rebuild tried to arrange property deals through their own company for a finder’s fee (in one case $300,000).

Greater Christchurch Regeneration Minister Gerry Brownlee has told Stuff the Department for Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC) and the State Services Commission (SSC) would investigate the private arrangements.

Read more »

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No taxpayer bailout for privately owned Christchurch Cathedral rebuild

It’s one thing the Christchurch Cathedral is still a pile of rubble, but why does it need government to have secret meetings about it?

It is privately owned.  There is no need for Government involvement nor taxpayer money.

The future of earthquake-damaged Christchurch Cathedral remains under discussion, says the Minister supporting Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Gerry Brownlee.

The Cathedral Working Group was formed in June to consider restoration options and delivered its final recommendations three weeks ago.

Mr Brownlee says the proposals were considered by the new cabinet at its meeting on Tuesday.   Read more »

Report: Gerry’s airport arrogance highlighted once more

Continued obfuscation by CAA means Gerry’s quest for a pie before flying is news again.

Former transport minister Gerry Brownlee bought chewing gum and a can of softdrink in a bookshop after barging through airport security, new information about the 2014 incident at Christchurch Airport shows.

One of his aides also bought food items while the group waited for boarding passes.

The Civil Aviation Authority has released the information after being told to by Ombudsman Leo Donnelly in response to a complaint about parts of the report being withheld.

Parts of investigator Dianne Cooze’s report remain redacted.

The report says there was plenty of time for Brownlee and his aides to board their flight to Wellington on the morning of July 24, 2014, if they had followed usual security protocols.

Brownlee was fined $2000 for the infringement and his aides were issued formal warnings, reflecting what the CAA saw as their limited culpability.

At the time, Brownlee offered his resignation to the Prime Minister. It was rejected. He apologised several times publicly for putting an airport security staff member in a difficult position.

Cooze described the unnamed staff member responsible for monitoring the Koru exit door into the secure area as being almost “dumbfounded” when Brownlee walked past and made a passing comment about being late for his flight, and then proceeded through into a gate lounge.

Brownlee’s presence and conduct, as a senior member of Parliament, would have had the effect of potentially exerting a degree of undue influence, whether intended or not, on this employee, the report said.

Read more »

China: Mind your own bloody business Brownlee

Gerry Brownlee and his custom tailored ballistic vest that cost three times the standard vest worn by Kiwi troops

China rebuked New Zealand’s Defence Minister at the opening of a high-profile security forum in Beijing on Tuesday, criticizing his stance on tension in the disputed South China Sea, saying countries “not involved” should not interfere.

China claims almost the entire South China Sea, through which about $5 trillion worth of trade passes each year. Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also have claims.

An international tribunal in Hague ruled in July that China had no historic title over the waters and had breached the Philippines’ sovereign rights there. That decision infuriated Beijing, which dismissed the court’s authority. Read more »

$100m here, a $100m there…meh says Brownlee

Big Gerry Brownlee seems quite flippant about a serious budget blowout of more than $100m.

Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee has defended a $100 million blowout in the cost to upgrade the navy’s two frigates.

The Defence Force is in the process of upgrading the combat management systems, radars and sensors, and replacing the self-defence missile systems, on both the HMNZS Te Kaha and the HMNZS Te Mana.

It was originally budgeted to cost between $354m and $374m, but Labour MP Phil Goff says it’s now expected to cost close to $473m.

Mr Goff also said the upgrade work won’t now be completed until March 2019 – 13 months later than planned.

He sought an explanation from Mr Brownlee when he fronted up to Parliament’s foreign affairs, defence and trade select committee on Thursday.   Read more »

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