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Crossing The Centreline – Is Simon Bridges’ appointment as NZTA chair another example of “Jobs for mates”? 

Summarised by Centrist

Professor Bryce Edwards lets journalist Bernard Hickey do the talking:  

“Is there a conflict of interest in Simon Bridges being both the chair of Waka Kotahi-NZTA and the chair of the National Road Carriers Advisory Group, which lobbies for the trucking industry?”

The answer depends on who you ask. There are many who applaud Bridges’ experience in transport policy and governance. While critics argue that such appointments contribute to the politicisation of government agencies, potentially undermining public trust.

Edwards points out that New Zealand has virtually no laws governing how lobbyists operate and the ongoing problem of New Zealand’s “revolving door”. 

He argues for transparency in the process, which needs to be independent with a short list of qualified candidates to choose from. Once appointed, potential conflicts need to be scrutinised and made public. 

“In the case of Simon Bridges’ appointment, it’s clear that none of this has happened. As a result, there will continue to be questions about his suitability for the role.” 

In a footnote Edwards concedes that Bridges is, in fact, resigning from his lobbying position. 

Read more over at Democracy Project

Image: International Transport Forum

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