Editorial: Bridges must give public his views

By Michele Hunter

 Campbell Live 's producer said as a Cabinet minister Mr Bridges is "accountable to the people of New Zealand".
Campbell Live 's producer said as a Cabinet minister Mr Bridges is "accountable to the people of New Zealand".

In my experience, Simon Bridges doesn't usually avoid calls or emails from journalists and in most cases appears confident in speaking to them.

However, last time I sought comment from him I was disappointed at what I got back. His words mimicked those I had already received from the government organisation related to the story.

I had their stance and as MP for Tauranga, I wanted his.

Yesterday we brought you the story of Mr Bridges' war of words with broadcaster John Campbell. According to Mr Bridges, Mr Campbell wants him to participate in a pre-recorded interview on the issue of deep-sea oil exploration near Kaikoura.

Mr Bridges has declined, saying he's already participated in a lengthy interview with the show on the same issue, which was never used, and doesn't want to risk his comments being edited down to a couple of embarrassing lines.

However, the story continues in today's edition with Campbell Live's producer saying as a Cabinet minister Mr Bridges is "accountable to the people of New Zealand".

The producer says the show has been working on the Anadarko oil story for more than a week and has repeatedly tried to get Mr Bridges on the show and has offered him a live interview.

Mr Bridges is the Energy and Resources Minister and the public deserves to hear direct from him, in his own words.

While a live interview would have been ideal, and was supported by Mr Bridges, other commitments meant he was unable to appear on the Auckland-based show on Tuesday night.

News moves daily and if he was out of the country he could have released a statement to Campbell Live, outlining his position on the oil exploration, not ignored the show's attempts to make contact.

Regardless of how it happens, the pair need to come to a compromise that allows the public to hear direct from the minister on such an important economic and environmental issue.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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