9 Apr 2014

Minister wrongly blames Greens co-leader

10:13 pm on 9 April 2014

Energy Minister Simon Bridges has been rebuked in Parliament for wrongly blaming the Green Party's co-leader for mining decisions made by the last Labour-led government.

Simon Bridges

Simon Bridges. Photo: RNZ

Mr Bridges on Wednesday afternoon faced questions about his knowledge of conservation areas he has approved for mining exploration.

In a response to co-leader Russel Norman, Mr Bridges falsely accused him of being in a previous Government.

"One wonders if the member had heard of the four permits when he was last in government for coal mining in the Victoria Forest Park, including for open cast coal mining in the area he now purports to be concerned about."

Mr Bridges repeated the claim twice, despite loud protest from opposition MPs who were quick to point out that Dr Norman had never been in Government.

The Speaker eventually stepped in, calling Mr Bridges' behaviour unacceptable.