'No one really cares' about Budget leak story - Labour MP Kris Faafoi

Labour MP Kris Faafoi has a succinct explanation for why headlines about the Budget breach didn't hurt the Government at the polls.

"No one really cares."

National leader Simon Bridges released details of the Government's hotly anticipated 'Wellbeing' Budget early, after a flaw was found in the Treasury website's security. Parts of documents that weren't supposed to be live until the Budget was released could be found simply by searching for certain keywords.

The scandal deepened however with accusations of hacking, police complaints and calls for the Finance Minister to resign.

More than two weeks on, no one has resigned - and two recent polls found the Government still in the driver's seat. The Newshub Reid Research poll had Labour able to govern alone, National's support in freefall and Bridges languishing on 4.2 percent support, well behind Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (49 percent) and even his own colleague Judith Collins (7.1 percent).

Faafoi told The AM Show on Friday it's a "beltway story". 'Beltway' is a term used to describe issues which tend to be discussed at length by politicians and media, but hold little interest to the wider public. It's a reference to the Capital Beltway, a road which encircles US capital Washington DC.

"Does anyone really care about this? I went to the Dannevirke Chamber of Commerce last Thursday - not necessarily friendly territory - and not one person raised it at all...  no one really cares."

Collins insisted it was an important story "because it shows the incompetence of the Government and their wish to go and throw public servants to the wolves and not to front up".

She said she "absolutely" supported Bridges' decision to release documents ahead of the Budget. Pressed by host Duncan Garner if she "100 percent" supports Bridges to remain as leader she said, "I have to because that's the right thing to do."

Collins and Faafoi.
Collins and Faafoi. Photo credit: The AM Show

Asked if she'd been approached to take a shot at his job, Collins said "no, not really".

"It's a tough job, being Leader of the Opposition. I've seen a few come and go, and I just think that it's really important everyone stays focused on the big game - and the big game is getting rid of your Government, Kris."



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