Transcript: Peter Williams & Simon Bridges on budget leak cover up

Transcript for Magic Talk audio starts at 9:57

Peter:

And how much are you worried about the influence, if I can put it that way, of the speaker in this question time debate tomorrow because it would appear that he might be one of your problems?

Simon:

Ah, well, let me just say this. Um, for the prime minister and those around her to try and hide behind the fact that there is a state services commission… commissioner report on this is totally wrong. And why do I say that? Because the state services commissioner, by his terms of remits of this enquiry that he’s doing, but actually the law, the state services legislation, he is not allowed to look at what ministers and the prime minister did. So, if she seeks to hide behind that – that will be wrong. And, let me be positive about the speaker, I am confident he will seek to uphold my right to ask her about what she, what Grant Robertson, what Andrew Little and others in her cabinet knew about this and why in the end they didn’t act. They sat on a lie.

Peter:

And when do you think Andrew Little was advised by the head of the GCSB that what Makhlouf and then Robertson were about to put out was not true? Do you believe Little had plenty of time to stop those releases going out?

Simon:

Well, Derek Cheng in the Herald piece was quite clear he found out from GCSB, um there quite clear position on it before those statements to Treasury and ah… and Robertson went out. So, I believe that is true.

All of that said, I think we’ll see some ducking and diving. Robertson says “no way, I didn’t know anything” although of course Little says “I told him in a timely manner.”

So, I personally, you want my honest gospel truth? I think they knew before they put those statements out.

But here’s the point. It’s sort of doesn’t matter. Even if butter wouldn’t melt in Robertson’s mouth and he was just led by the nose by his Treasury secretary and so on… and had it wrong, he certainly knew soon thereafter.

He had a false police complaint and if we are to believe how it is sort of rolling out at the moment, they didn’t go back to the police and say “sorry, we are wasting your time.”

They didn’t um go to the public and say “sorry, look this is a bit embarrassing chaps, but we got this entirely wrong.”

And, you know, I come back to your main point in the… your initial comments on this. Actually, it’s never the… the… the thing, it’s never what happens.

We got the information literally by going on a search bar and searching. It’s the way the reacted afterwards and you are seeing the inexperience, the lack of competence and… we’ll see, but I believe the lack of integrity in this government around this issue.

Peter:

Okay, so is it going to be Simon Bridges returning to his role as crown prosecutor tomorrow to do some forensic questioning ah from the prime minister or the leader of the opposition’s bench?

Simon:

I… I try and shake free of that. I mean… and… and… and be a, you know… I just want to ask some straightforward questions actually. Ah, there’s not going to be a lot of guile or trickery or anything like that, they’re just going to be “what did you know? When did you know it? Um, how did that go?” Um because I think the opposition, and New Zealanders, deserve answers to these pointed questions.

Peter:

All right Simon, thank you for your time this morning. Thanks for calling in and I hope that you can join us again between nine and twelve sometime on MagicTalk. I know you prefer Duncan in the mornings but you know…

Simon:

No… no… no…

Peter:

We’ll ask you every now and then.

Simon:

And I want to do it in person.

Peter:

(Laughs) yeah well, I mean we’re neighbours Simon, we’re neighbours, so drop by sometime.

Simon:

Cheers mate.

Peter:

Okay, thank you. Simon Bridges, leader of the National Party. Well, you got to admire the man’s optimism. You might want to have some thoughts on what he’s just said.  

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