Paula Bennett

Do we really still need the Maori seats?

The Maori seats are becoming a bit of a joke.

They have the lowest voter turnout, were supposed to be temporary and now after the last election seemingly irrelevant when 19 Maori were elected in general seats.

About the only use I can find for Maori seats is that it parks a whole bunch of Labour votes that might make the difference in general seats like Bay of Plenty, Rotorua and East Cape and sequesters them in irrelevance.

Parliament now has more Maori MPs than ever before, prompting one commentator to question whether Maori seats were still needed.

Nineteen Maori MPs have been elected in general electorates and on party lists. Once the seven Maori seats are included, the total number of MPs who identify as Maori is 26 – up from 21 in 2011.

This means one in five MPs in the new Parliament were Maori, compared to one in seven in the general population.

The National Party’s caucus is 15 per cent Maori, including two MPs likely to be given high-ranking portfolios – Paula Bennett and Hekia Parata.

The growing proportion of Maori in Parliament was met with mixed responses from Maori leaders.  Read more »

Key’s first move: remove another Labour policy plank

While the Labour Party is completely self absorbed, Key is moving ahead and cutting off another policy area that has traditionally been Labour’s

Prime Minister John Key has asked his officials for fresh ideas on tackling child poverty.

On his first day back at Parliament since being re-elected on Saturday, Key said he had ordered Treasury and Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet officials to start presenting new ideas.

‘‘The recognition I think we all have is that there are some extremely poor children who are missing out,’’ Key said yesterday.

‘‘And so then the question is how do you resolve those issues, it’s not straightforward but there will be more you can do.’’

Key said it needed to be done without narrowing the gap between the incomes of those on benefits and those working, to ensure people were still encouraged into work.

Breakfasts in schools, free doctors’ visits for young children and tax credits for low and middle income families were examples of policies that could be used to tackle the problem, as could programmes such as Whanau Ora.

No resting on laurels, and the trough remains open to keep the Maori Party in cheque check. Read more »

Duncan Garner anoints the next PM: Paula Bennett

I’m not sure why we are picking the next leader of the National Party at this point, we still have an election to get past.  This, to some degree is why the media is broken.  Take a look:

 I reckon this dirty politics saga has hurt him. Throw enough mud and some of it sticks. While Key wasn’t poor in the first TV leaders’ debate on Thursday, I thought he came second.

He lacked cut-through and confidence. You can guarantee he’ll be better next time.

But for now it’s hard not to think that the teflon is wearing off.

Yes, he may well win this election – but the Dirty Politics book will hurt him long-term. It’s the beginning of the end. It happens to all long-serving leaders.

Helen Clark’s former top press secretary used to say the tread goes from the tyres over time – and Key has lost a lot of tread this election campaign.

So who might replace him one day as National’s leader? Let’s rule out some non-starters. Judith Collins had designs on the job but her poor judgment, lack of composure and temperament and underhand tactics rule her out.

Steven Joyce is an option, but he’s likely to be seen as not warm or politically attractive enough.

So what about Social Development Minister Paula Bennett? Read more »

Are right wing women sexier?

Cactus Kate posted the link to this on Facebook, where a liberal-lefty-pro-feminist man  (there is some debate over whether or not he is actually a man) explains why he thinks right wing women are sexier.

Not long ago I was out drinking with a group of friends and we started playing the If-You-Had-To game. The idea is to present players with two people they would never want to sleep with — and then make them choose which they’d sleep with. Here are some of the fiendish alternatives I had to face: Imelda Marcos or Wallace Simpson? Ayn Rand or Yoko Ono? Gertrude Stein or Virginia Woolf?

Then one joker said: Theresa May or Jemima Khan? Everyone laughed at this no-contest choice. Everyone except me. How could I tell them the ugly truth: I’d prefer a night of passion with right-wing Theresa over lefty Jemima any day of the week.

But then I belong to that small, deviant group of liberal-lefty-pro-feminist men who find conservative/right-wing women super sexy. In an age when anything goes — at least in terms of sexual pleasure — ours is a lust that dare not speak its name.

I know this because later that evening, I turned to one of the group and confessed my secret longing for the likes of Theresa May, Ann Coulter and Sarah Palin — ideally all at once. I thought my fantasy night of passion would be received with sympathy and understanding. After all, this friend of mine pays a woman in Earls Court to put him on a rack and do things you don’t want to read about. He just looked at me and said: ‘You’re sick!’

Heh..sick for hankering after right wing women?

I can just hear the chorus of left-wing women complaining that, here we go again — judging women in politics by their looks! Well, actually, looks have nothing to do with it. By that criteria, I should be swooning over Jemima instead of drooling over Mrs May. So no, this is not about looks; it’s about the sexiness of a certain mindset and sensibility. What is the appeal of right-wing women to men like me? After all, left-wing men are not supposed to sleep with such women. (We’re meant to find their political convictions too repulsive for that sort of thing.) But politics is rooted in tribalism and dark emotions, as much as reason. To lefty men of my persuasion, right-wing women are the Other; alluring because they are so exotic; exciting because they’re so forbidden.

Read more »

More good news? More good news!

Paula hasn’t just been trimmer her own fat, she’s set the example for the whole workplace

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett has today released latest benefit figures showing the number of people on welfare for the June quarter is the lowest since 2008, with sole parents leading the impressive results.

“There are over 16,000 fewer people on welfare compared to June 2013, with the total number currently 293,586,” Mrs Bennett said.

“When we look back just a few years to 2010, when benefit numbers were around 352,000, it’s clear to see the difference that welfare reforms are making, alongside New Zealand’s strong and growing economy.”

Numbers on the Jobseeker Support benefit have decreased by almost 7,500 since last year and have been consistently declining since 2010, even as the overall working age population has increased over the same time.

“Most significant is the 10.7 per cent total drop in people on the Sole Parent Support benefit in the past year, which is happening nationwide with 12 per cent drops in Nelson and Waikato, and an 11.9 per cent drop in the Bay of Plenty, as well as big decreases in Canterbury and Auckland,” Mrs Bennett said

“Sole parents, particularly those who go on benefit in their teens, have the highest lifetime costs of any group on welfare and are more likely to stay on benefit the longest.” Read more »

Pull your head in Paula

Paula Bennett has seriously dropped in my estimation with her latest prognostication about the so-called “rape culture” in New Zealand.

New Zealanders need to change the way they respect each other, in order to abolish our rape culture.

That’s the message from the Minister for Sexual Violence Services, Paula Bennett.

It comes after Tania Billingsley appeared on 3rd Degree last night, opening up about her alleged assault by Muhammad Ismail in her Wellington home.

The Minister agrees with Ms Billingsley’s belief that New Zealand has a rape culture.

“You can certainly see it in pretty much a pub or a nightclub in New Zealand on most weekends to be quite frank.”

Read more »

Oh no, another of Labour’s mantras of misery destroyed

Labour continues to run a mantra of misery about New Zealand, despite their claims of a positive campaign.

I think they think that if they say it enough it will become a truism rather than the Nasty party reputation they have built.

Unfortunately for them their campaign is built upon problems that are slowly coming right as the economy grows and their mantra of misery is becoming tiresome in teh face of facts.

One area that they have harped on about, inequality is also coming right according to latest reports.

Child poverty has dropped back almost to pre-recession levels, as New Zealanders’ jobs and incomes finally climb out of a five-year downturn.

The Ministry of Social Development’s latest annual report on household incomes says the number of children in households earning below 60 per cent of the median wage fell by 25,000 to 260,000 last year, the lowest number since 2007 when there were 240,000 children in poverty.   Read more »

National conference meme contest

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You know what to do:  go complete the meme here, and put the result in the comments.  Please remember the moderation standards and just memes please.   Read more »

Colin Craig doesn’t want a cuppa deal? Pull the other one

Now that the public’s reaction to coat tailing is starting to solidify against such cosy deals, thanks largely to all the publicity the and Mana Parties have generated about it, Coling Craig is getting cold feet.

Colin Craig launched his Conservative Party’s election campaign by assuming a strong moral stance — including ruling out any “bland and inspid cup of tea” electoral deal with National like the one used to keep Act in Parliament.

But while Mr Craig, who confirmed he will stand against Foreign Minister Murray McCully in East Coast Bays, said he would turn down a cup of tea with Prime Minister John Key to give him he nod in the electorate, it would help if National let him win the seat anyway.

Mr Craig announced his well-telegraphed decision yesterday at Rangitoto College, which lies within the electorate. He said his party’s campaign theme was “Stand for Something”, and the four main things the Conservatives would stand for were binding referendums, tougher sentences for criminals, an end to race-based policies that he said were favouring some groups, and a tax-free zone to ensure everybody received a tax cut.

He and party chief executive, Christine Rankin, both railed against both National and Labour led Governments of recent years, saying they appeared more concerned with attaining and holding onto power than doing what was best for the country or what they’d promised voters.

Actually, they are doing their best to keep Colin Craig from becoming the next minor cult party to hit parliament.  Read more »

Crazier than a box of frogs

CC2

Colin Craig is polling in East Coast Bays asking:

“If Murray McCully was not standing in East Coast Bays, would you vote for Colin Craig.”

Meanwhile Colin Craig has talked about his dodgy polling:

Mr Craig is considering standing in three National safe seats: the Upper Harbour electorate, where Paula Bennett’s standing; Rodney, held by backbench MP Mark Mitchell; and East Coast Bays, home to Mr McCully.

He’s polled in all three electorates and just got his results back.

“What the polls show is that if I go up against the National candidate and they campaign very hard they would win it,” says Mr Craig.

If Prime Minister John Key decides to do a deal, it would mean National sends a message to its supporters to vote in Mr Craig where he chooses to stand.

We also know in all of these electorates if I did run unopposed, I would win it clearly,” says Mr Craig.

Read more »