Simon Bridges refuses to rule out an MP may have exposed the Treasury Budget vulnerability

Ryan Bridge 30/05/2019

Simon Bridges joins Ryan Bridge on Magic Talk Drive following the announcement of the 'Wellbeing' budget for 2019 released Thursday May 30th. 

The days leading up to the announcement were marred by controversy when National Party revealed some key figures from the budget ahead of the details being released by the government. 

Originally Treasury had made allegations that they had been hacked. 

On Thursday, Treasury released a statement saying that Budget information had not been accessed on its website through a cyber attack - as it claimed on Tuesday - but by someone simply using the search function.

In a press conference, National leader Simon Bridges said that is exactly how the party accessed the information, demonstrating for media by typing "2019 2020" into the Treasury website's search bar.

Any member of the New Zealand public could have done this if they had an interest in the Budget.

Simon Bridges confirmed that it was in fact the National Party alone that had discovered the information.

Ryan Bridge wanted to know who was responsible for discovering the search vulnerability. Simon Bridges would only confirm that it "was someone inside the National Party."

Who it is exactly is irrelevant, I as leader take full responsibility.

The reluctance to provide a straight answer prompted the Magic Drive host to question whether or not it was an MP, which the National Party Leader was still reluctant to answer.

I don't want to get into the ins and outs of who did what.

Ryan Bridge makes the point that although it was not illegal to discover and exploit the vulnerability it does perhaps raise questions as to the responsibility of the individual, particularly as it could affect the markets. This is something he says is very relevant if it was an MP as it might inform peoples votes. 

Ryan asks if perhaps if it was an MP then maybe he should have alerted the Government to the vulnerability as it contained sensitive information. Simon continues to evade answering the question directly.

I won't answer that, I take full responsibility as leader of the National Party.

Ryan then asks if it was Simon himself who conducted the searches. To which he only says he won't be revealing who it was.

You can listen to the full interview above.