Paula Bennett

Explaining is losing, Paula

The Government’s social housing policy is lurching from one PR disaster to the next.

While I get what the aim of the policy is, it just seems to be sloppy.

Government says its proposal to lease some state houses instead of selling them does not mean one of its biggest policies has failed.

Social Housing Paula Bennett said today that leasing some of the state houses was always a part of Government’s plan, and it was not a response to a lack of interest from community housing providers.

“We’re looking at everything at the moment,” she told reporters. “This is part of a discovery process as we look at community housing providers – what works best for the tenants and how we can increase their involvement in social housing.  Read more »

Paula Bennett’s Graceless Attacks on Helen Kelly

Regular readers will know that CTU President Helen Kelly is one of the sworn enemies of this blog, and one of the left-wingers who make us get up in the morning to keep fighting the good fight.

Unfortunately Helen Kelly is suffering from lung cancer, and has been through some very tough therapies that have made her very, very ill.

She has made some over-the-top and overly-aggressive decisions that are totally out of character as Kelly is usually reasoned and pragmatic, even if she is wrong. Her staff, friends and advisors have been discretely telling people and asking them to show some compassion and forgiveness.

Which is why Paula Bennett’s graceless twitter attacks on Helen Kelly are unacceptable.   Read more »

You have to wonder if they actually care

The NZ Herald is arse.

They can’t even get simple things right.

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After Key. Then what?

When the media regularly speculate about what is to happen after you’re gone, it is an indicator that you are in the autumn of your political career.   Audrey Young assists the process along.

The ponytail saga might have confirmed Mr Key’s infallibility to his hero-worshippers, but it has made talk of his succession a little more relevant.

As was evident in his biography, John Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister, his threshold for tolerating failure is low.

In 2012, after a difficult but not disastrous year, he talked to wife Bronagh about whether he was still committed to remaining in the job.

And she was stronger than him about staying on and not be seen to be ”running away”, as he put it.

He has said he will stand again in 2017 because that is what leaders have to say until they change their minds.

But nobody would be shocked if Mr Key changed his mind if his popularity waned, given that his popularity sustains his political drive.

If it happened, it would not happen soon because he would want to recover his respect rather than slink away.

There is no suggestion of a leadership challenge.

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Nobody throws their mates under the bus like the left

On Friday Rachel Glucina broke the news that Phil Kitchin, the former premier investigative journalist at Fairfax, was working for Paula Bennett now.

My word haven’t the left and media luvvies turned on him.

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Pimping the Not So Poor; who just want more

Simon Collins is at it again this morning in the NZ Herald, Pimping the Poor, except this case it is the not so poor.

His story is about a woman moaning because her husband and sperm donor to 2 plus another on the way is having to up his payments to pay for a kid from a previous relationship. Simon Collins rolls out all the usual pimping the poor lines…but this is the new woman moaning about paying for her sperm donor’s other kid, so perhaps not the best example.

The husband doesn’t front, just the new missus with two kids and another on the way moaning about how terrible it is that her sperm donor should pay for the other kid he fathered.

A pregnant mother of two has been left with less than $300 a week to feed and clothe her family after a $50-a-week jump in the child support that her husband pays for another child.

The West Auckland family is one of many affected by a new formula for child support payments which came into force on April 1. Almost 33,000 liable parents will pay more under the new formula, 46,000 will pay less, and 58,000 are unaffected.

Sunnyvale mother Vanessa Runagall said her family’s budget was so tight that they simply couldn’t pay an increase in her husband Ross’ child support from $305 a month to $503.

“We were just managing,” she said. “We changed our bank earlier in the year to get a good interest rate [on the mortgage], and they told us that with what my husband earned, that we couldn’t live on that.

“We had to prove that we could live meanly … We don’t actually go anywhere, we don’t actually do any entertaining.”

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The vacuity of Andrea Vance’s analysis

Andrea Vance was spreading propaganda for the Joyce faction in her recent column, but she needs to understand some basic facts about the National Party. Otherwise her opinion is based on factual errors and flawed logic. In the interests of getting decent journalism from a paid journalist there will be a series of posts pointing out the errors in her analysis.

The first point is that the National Party leadership is decided by the National caucus.

To win the leadership you have to have the support of the majority of the caucus. There are no formal rules, and previous leadership battles have either been concessions of defeat or a two candidate race. In the event there are more than two candidates it is expected that the leadership race will be run the same way as selections, with the lowest polling candidate dropping out and votes taken again until there is a winner by majority.

The contention that Steve Joyce and Paula Bennett are presumed replacements for John Key needs to be checked against whether they would win votes from half of caucus.   Read more »

Who feeds them in the holidays?

Paula Bennett is dead right, and of course the usual harpies of the left are moaning that she is benny bashing.

But is she?

Minister of Local Government Paula Bennett says she expects parents to send their children to school with lunch.

National, ACT and United Future parties have voted down the Feed the Kids bill by 61-59 which sought to feed 20 per cent of New Zealand’s lowest decile school children.

“It absolutely is the right thing to do. We provide breakfast into any school that wants it and this is being taken up which is great, but we believe in parental responsibility and I stand by the decision we made,” Bennett says.

Meanwhile Labour Justice Spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says of course it’s the role of parents to feed their kids but some parents cannot afford to feed their families.    Read more »

What would National get for a pig hunt with Paula?

The pommy tory party has managed to auction off shoe shopping with Theresa May for an awful lot of money.

A mystery bidder paid more than £17,500 for a shoe shopping trip with Theresa May at Tory’s annual Black and White fund-raising dinner.

The dinner raised far in excess of its £3million target and was hailed as one of the most successful fund-raising events in the party’s history.

The opportunity to go shoe-shopping with the Home Secretary, which included tea and a £500 voucher for store in Bond Street, central London, was one of the star lots and bidding continued until after midnight. Mrs May is renowned for her leopard-print kitten heels and diamante patent brogues.

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National aware of State Housing sell-off risks

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I’ve criticised National a number of times about the handling of the Housing New Zealand “asset sale” because the government isn’t in control of the message with Labour pushing it very hard as another John Key asset sale where people with no money are left on the streets.

Cabinet papers from December – prepared by the offices of the Minister of Finance Bill English and the Minister for Social Housing Paula Bennett – which were released by Treasury late yesterday show that overall, Housing New Zealand will shed up to 8000 properties by 2017.

These papers were dumped late on a day before a long weekend.  The Government doesn’t want these papers to be discussed in the media. Read more »