Despite botching-up the protracted Christchurch rebuild it’s taken an airport security breach to make Jerry Brownlee do the decent thing and offer his resignation.
In an era when most people are understandably twitchy about airline security, more so after the losses of three airliners in as many months, airport security must be taken seriously. No one is above the law, neither should politicians be allowed to throw their weight around.
Days after this incident Brownlee blamed his actions on “Brain fade“, maybe that explains why Christcurch still lies in ruins.
There is no doubt that there is more to this story than we’re being told by the NZ press. Expect more to come out as time goes by, in the meantime it’s not too hard to read between the lines and work out what really went on.
In a statement, Brownlee said he had been running late for a plane at Christchurch Airport and “without thought breached airport and airline security rules by entering the gate lounge through a door usually used for exit only”.
“Running late for a plane is no excuse for bypassing a security check,” he said.
“In doing this I have broken aviation rules and put individuals who hold responsible positions in upholding public security in a compromised position.
“My actions were thoughtless and I unreservedly apologise to those people who felt, and were, compromised by my actions.
“No-one else is to blame. I have offered my resignation as the Minister of Transport to the prime minister…
He said he “never gave it any thought”.
“It was just we were in a hurry to get on the plane, I wanted to get back here,” referring to Wellington.
He said one airport staff member was at the door but did not challenge him. Brownlee denied he used his influence to get past.
“We knocked on the door and I said to the guy ‘look we’re in a terrible hurry, can we get through here’ he said ‘okay’ but in reality I should never have done that … it’s not that guy’s fault. I’m the one to blame here.”
He denied allegations he told the man the rules had changed.
“I’ve got to accept that when a person who’s got a role like that sees a minister turn up they sort of think it’s probably going to be okay, so I really don’t want that guy getting in trouble.”
He said he had offered his resignation because he had put the staff member and the airport in a tricky situation, and because he was responsible for aviation security as minister of transport.”source
The Trademe.co.nz community made its thoughts know about the Minister of Transport’s security breach, this poster summing it up beautifully: