Paula Bennett

Sack her then

John Key says Paula Bennett’s staff were wrong to have discussed a police investigation with dodgy journalists who don’t respect their sources.

The Social Housing Minister’s staff should not have discussed a police investigation into the Te Puea marae chairman, says Prime Minister John Key.

The minister, Paula Bennett, apologised to Te Puea marae chairman Hurimoana Dennis last week after one of her press officers told a journalis the was being investigated by the police.

The Auckland marae has been taking in dozens of homeless families, many of which have found new homes.

At a meeting with Mrs Bennett to discuss what help officials could provide to the marae, Mr Dennis told the minister about the police investigation – information one of Mrs Bennett’s staffers then passed on to a reporter.

“There was a sense it was more widely known than maybe it was and I think that was the mistake that the staff member [made],” Mr Key told Morning Report.    Read more »

Key won’t speculate on Paula Bennett’s future as PM

Prime Minister John Key says embattled Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett has been victim of a media frenzy.

A victim now?  Seriously?

This is the National Party, isn’t it?   We’re all into being victims now?

She came under fire last week, accused of trying to smear the reputation of the chairperson of a marae that helps the homeless.

Ms Bennett denied deliberately leaking details of a police investigation into Hurimoana Dennis, blaming it on a member of her staff.

The Prime Minister has full confidence in her, regardless.

Fair enough.  Not like she was fired on the strength of a leaked private letter that had nothing to do with anything that she was later completely cleared on.   And you wouldn’t want to stuff up like that twice.

“She’s in some difficult areas, but she’s handled that before. She was an outstanding Minister of Social Development. I’m totally confident in her,” Mr Key told Paul Henry on Monday.

He admits his minister’s under a lot of pressure. Read more »

Mike Williams on leadership of Labour and of National

Mike,”Fat Tony” Williams was Labour’s best fundraiser. He was also the president of Labour under Helen Clark and resigned shortly after the 2008 election loss.

He writes in the “Hawkes Bay Today” about Labour’s leadership problems:

THE week in politics graphically underlined the knife-edge result of the 2014 general election.

A parliamentary majority was recently assembled by the Labour Party to extend paid parental leave from 18 to 26 weeks, and Finance Minister Bill English was forced into the rare use of a “financial veto” to defeat a measure that would have otherwise passed into law.

This demonstrates just how close the National-led government came to defeat in 2014, and caused me to contemplate our political parties’ succession plans and to speculate on who will be National leader in a few years’ time.

One of the few weaknesses of the Helen Clark government was that no such plan was developed and this meant that Phil Goff, her successor, got off to a weak start from which he arguably didn’t recover.

We acted as though Helen would be there forever, even though we all knew that anything more than three terms was historically unlikely.

Goff was effectively selected over the heads of the party and the caucus as a whole by the outgoing cabinet, which delivered a fait accompli via cabinet solidarity.

He would have won a contested ballot, but the contest would have engaged the media and given him a three-dimensional profile which he never really achieved.

As he contests the Auckland mayoralty, people are getting to know him in ways that simply didn’t happen when he was Labour Party leader. He’s interesting, he’s funny and he’s grounded.

Read more »

Winston on Paula Bennett

Perennial opportunist Winston Peters comments on Paula Bennett.

If Prime Minister John Key had any political sense he would shift his Cabinet “powder keg” – Minister Paula Bennett – to the back benches with haste.

She’s prone to outbursts.

And doing dumb shit.

At Budget time she plucked a figure out of the air and decided to solve the Auckland housing crisis with a $5000 “leave Auckland” bribe. Finance Minister Bill English tried to hide his surprise and shock, but you can bet there were some words behind those ministerial walls.

Let’s face it, Bill takes some persuading to use taxpayers’ money for the greater good, even if their issues are not their fault, or they are deserving, or it might make us a better nation.

This week he pulled a rare trick to stop parents getting 26 weeks parental leave.

Not something he will look back on and be proud of – surely.

Read more »

Ahhh…the missing link

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Yesterday everyone was speculating on who the journalist was who busted her source. Which journalists had the lowest of all morals to throw a source under the bus?

Initially, people thought it may have been Andrea Vance or Katie Bradford. I think Corin Dann has too much credibility for it to have been him.

Then we learn that it was actually Rebecca Wright. Her sources have now probably dried up completely. I mean, who would trust a journalists who has burned their source to get a bigger story? It’s why David Fisher mostly does dodgy neighbour stories now…or takes dictation from criminals. Sources of this type of reporter usually end up being the story, eventually.

One thing that everyone is still wondering, is how Radio NZ knew.

People are again speculating on who is so distrustful at Radio NZ, but then again it has become a lifeboat for failed left-wing journalists.

But seriously, how did they know?  Read more »

Bennett outed, Bennett outed and a Wright mess. However, how did RNZ know?

I made it up, so what...

It’s all on now….

Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett has been criticised for a leak of information from her office about a police investigation into Te Puea marae chairman Hurimoana Dennis.

The marae has taken it upon itself to house some of Auckland’s homeless.

The information was given to a journalist by one of Ms Bennett’s staff members.

So who are the people involved?

Read more »

What a dilemma…who do you trust?

Paula Bennett has reportedly refused to accept the resignation of the staff member who whispered in a TVNZ journalist’s ear leaking information.

Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett has refused an offer of resignation from the press secretary who told a journalist that a marae leader was under police investigation.

Ms Bennett today faced further questions about the leak, which she said was a “grave error of judgment” by her staff member.

Pressed by Labour MP Kris Faafoi during a scheduled appearance before a select committee in her role as State Services Minister, Ms Bennett said she had no idea the information had been passed on, until confronted by media yesterday afternoon.

“I do not think that she tried to deliberately smear. I do not think that she was trying to deliberately undermine anyone, and I think it was in the context in a conversation about something else, and then at the end it came up.

“She deeply, deeply regrets it. And I can’t apologise enough.”   Read more »

Andrew Little’s stupidity in parliament

Andrew Little is a complete fool.

You might say that is harsh but, following on from getting himself sued for basically calling a couple corrupt, he went to the House where he thought he would play Mr Clever and ended up walking away looking more like Mr Retard.

On a day when he could have lined up all his questions to prosecute Paula Bennett, who is the most vulnerable minister right now, he sent in Phil Twyford to ask dopey questions and Carmel Sepuloni to ask even dopier ones unrelated to Paula Bennett, and Stuart Nash to ask questions of Judith Collins completely unrelated to Paula Bennett.

Then he put himself down to ask questions of John Key…which is really dopey…because he isn’t going to get Paula Bennett by asking dopey questions of John Key.

It was a set of questions that ended with this one:

Andrew Little: Does anyone in his Government take responsibility for anything anymore, or is it just an endless exercise in passing the buck?  Read more »

Is it time for Paula Bennett to be sacked?

Paula Bennett is stumbling from one disaster to the next.

Last week she was busted making shit up and lying to the Prime Minister, and now she’s been caught leaking private details about the chairman of Te Puea Marae

The leaking of details about a police investigation into the chairman of a Mangere marae is a “smear” after his work to help the homeless, a marae spokeswoman says.

Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett this afternoon phoned and apologised to Te Puea Marae chairman Hurimoana Dennis, a police inspector and iwi liaison officer, after a member of her staff told a journalist that Mr Dennis was under police investigation.

Police are investigating Mr Dennis’ handling of a case in which he intervened on behalf of a teenager who was in a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old girl.

The investigation follows a complaint about Mr Dennis’ handling of the case, and is not a criminal investigation of him personally.

The Herald understands Mr Dennis intervened on a personal basis outside working hours on behalf of a 16 or 17-year-old youth, known to him through family friends, who was in a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old girl.   Read more »

NZ petulance towards Fiji continues

The attitude of NZ politicians towards Fiji has not improved if the interviews given by Paula Bennett and Annette King on Paul Henry are anything to go by.

The neo-colonial big brother attitude still pervades which is what Fijian PM Frank Bainimarama highlighted in his speech yesterday.

Fiji feels aggrieved by their treatment from New Zealand in the past decade, and statements like those by Bennett and King prove his point.

The Fijian Prime Minister’s slapdown at an event intended to honour John Key has been met with disapproval from MPs across the political divide.

Both Labour’s deputy leader Annette King and National Minister Paula Bennett vented their views on Paul Henry.

Fiji’s Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama made a lengthy speech on Thursday justifying the military coup and his ban on some New Zealand journalists.

King said it was insulting to Prime Minister John Key, especially occurring on such an international stage in front of media.

“Take what has happened in the past. Forgive, you don’t forget, move on. He didn’t. And I think to have our Prime Minister being insulted while he grandstands is just not acceptable.”

Fiji had “made progress” in their democratic governance, but freedom of press and human rights were the main issues to look at in Fiji, King said.

“To continue with the blacklists against journalists is unacceptable, and they have not reached what we would find an acceptable democracy.”

Read more »