Transport Minister Simon Bridges Must Resign
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Our democracy must not tolerate a Minister of the Crown, Transport Minister Simon Bridges bullying a Government Department into not lawfully abiding by an offical information request (OIA). He wanted it to be kept secret. With-held from public scrutiny, keeping us in the dark on a proposed third rail line in Auckland.
If it wasn't for New Zealand First who released a series of leaked emails showing Mr Bridges' office had urged KiwiRail not to release the business case for the rail line, saying the prospect made it "extremely uncomfortable". One that apparently has 'a strong cost benefit ratio'. This is political interference, and is totally unacceptable in a first world democracy, ours.
Such were the concerns, the Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier wrote a strongly worded letter to the Prime Minister Bill English seeking an assurance ministers were not flouting the law when dealing with requests for official information.
In an unprecedented move KiwiRail through legal advice had little choice but to release the information being requested.
It now appears Bridges thinks he is still above the law, with the latest release of information having most of the key details in the business case redacted. What remains paints a picture of a project long overdue and deserving of funding now. In fact, what is visible suggests this project would have a benefit to cost ratio that would put to shame most of the road projects being built and prioritised by the NZTA.
Further details can be viewed here. Read yourself and make an informed decision. And if you agree please sign this petition which has linked the Prime Minister via email, leave a comment telling him what you think;
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