Paula Bennett

You have to wonder if they actually care

The NZ Herald is arse.

They can’t even get simple things right.

heradlbomb Read more »

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.

Read more »

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.

Read more »

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.”

Read more »

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.

Read more »

National aware of State Housing sell-off risks

State-houses-generic-Housing-New-Zealand-Corporation-Getty-Images

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 »

Winners are grinners, thanks John

John Armstrong tries to have a dig while at the same time declaring me a winner of the year…ah and there is yet another cartoon about me.

He will be the next target of Giovanni Tiso’s Stalinist inspired online bullying.

Winners: Andrew Little; Paula Bennett; Cameron Slater. Has Labour’s luck finally changed? Little nearly did not make it back into Parliament following Labour’s dreadful election. His victory in the party’s subsequent leadership contest could hardly have been slimmer. But he has taken on the cloak of leadership with gusto. Labour finally has a game-changer. National would be foolish to still believe otherwise.

Bennett got the jobs she wanted in the Cabinet reshuffle. Now positioned as deputy leader-in-waiting as a minimum – and could go even higher when Key eventually departs.

Slater got slam-dunked by Dirty Politics; his influence within the corridors of power has consequently diminished. Outside, it has grown exponentially. Bad publicity is good news for Whale Oil.

Read more »

Big projects on back burner, but not Len’s canoe centre

Auckland Council has decided to stop spending any money on maintaining basic infrastructure to save money for Len’s pet project. This is bad news for everyone.

This comes in the wake of the Auditor-General’s report that Len Brown is quickly redacting before submitting it to Council on Thursday.

This is the most basic of functions for a council. Capital works are already paid for by residents over extensive periods of time thanks to depreciation included in our rates.

So what does Auckland Council do?

Defer capital works in a bid to save money for Len’s pet train set.

Only last month the auditor general issued a dire warning about the condition of infrastructure around New Zealand in which she says much of it will fail unless local government gets its act together and focussed on core assets.

She also issued a warning to Len that any attempt to start the train set without funding is irresponsible.

Aucklander’s should be calling for the government to do something before the city falls to bits. Local government minister Paula Bennett needs to issue a letter and publicly redress Auckland Council for the choices it is making – clearly instructing them to focus on the core services as a priority.

That’s what Councils are supposed to do. Keep the roads, sewer, potable water, stormwater and parks in tip top shape through careful management. Not ignore them to build a project it can’t afford.

Speaking of which, a lot of projects may well be on the back burner but one project is steadily moving ahead and that is the expensive white elephant canoe centre in Manukau.

The diggers and trucks are shifting tonnes of dirt at the moment.

Why is that project going ahead when other more important infrastructure projects are being shelved in favour of Len’s train set?

If this isn’t stopped, the rot will result in Auckland becoming a broken down wreck the the government will have to pay to fix.

And we all know how that will go?