Simon Bridges describes Christchurch Call 'nebulous, feel-good thing'

Simon Bridges is describing the Christchurch Call as a "nebulous, feel-good thing" that he doesn't believe will achieve anything. 

He said Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern should instead be focusing on domestic issues, citing homelessness, measles and housing waiting lists as issues he believes Kiwis want sorted.

"I think, ultimately, what New Zealanders know deep down when they think about this, is the Christchurch Call hasn't achieved anything and it will be this nebulous, feel-good thing," Bridges told The AM Show.

"I am not entirely dissing it [but] the focus should be on New Zealanders and New Zealand... Less time with Twitter and Facebook bosses, and more time on New Zealanders and New Zealand."

Bridges' comments follow his attack on Tuesday of the Prime Minister's attempts to curb terrorist content online in the wake of the March 15 Christchurch shooting. 

She has been working with technology companies to try to limit extremist material on the internet as part of the Christchurch Call pledge by governments and tech companies to work towards eliminating extremist content online. 

But Bridges says Kiwis aren't interested in that, and he doesn't believe it will achieve anything.

"I think politics is about your focus and your priority, particularly when you're in Government you only have so much time and resource, at the moment it is going into this," he said. 

The Prime Minister met with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey on Monday at the Beehive in Wellington. 

A spokesperson for Dorsey said they discussed progress on the Christchurch Call ahead of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly meeting later this month. 

Six months on and heading to New York for the UN General Assembly, Ardern has to show it's all been worthwhile.

"I don't believe it will achieve anything," Bridges said. 

"I just don't think talking to Jack [Dorsey] from Twitter, talking to [Mark] Zuckerberg from Facebook and coming up with some nebulous, feel-good plan is going to achieve anything.

"I might meet them... what I wouldn't do, is I wouldn't have basically the entire resource of DPMC, PMO and other agencies all focussed on this as I say nebulous, feel-good thing."


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