A DPB solo mum ‘catfight’ on the cards in Upper Harbour

Paula Bennett vs Christine Rankin

Paula Bennett vs Christine Rankin

The Conservative Party have asked Christine Rankin to stand against Paula Bennett in the new electorate of Upper Harbour.  Ranking is “thinking it over”, but I call it a done deal.  Colin Espiner reports (well, rewrites the conservative party supplied propaganda  – but let us be charitable)

The Conservative Party is poised to stand its high-profile chief executive Christine Rankin against National’s Paula Bennett in Upper Harbour, setting up a potential battle of the former solo mums next election.

Conservative Party leader Colin Craig confirmed to the Sunday Star-Times that the party’s board had formally asked the controversial former boss of Work and Income New Zealand to stand in next year’s general election.

Polling had indicated Rankin would do well in the proposed electorate that would wrap around the north and west of Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour.

Rankin, who until now has said she did not want to enter national politics, told the Star-Times she was “seriously considering” the request and would make up her mind after Christmas.

But Craig said Rankin’s candidacy was a “no-brainer” and he was confident she would run.

“It’s going to be a fascinating contest between two very strong, determined women,” Craig said. “The word that comes to mind is catfight.”

Maybe we should forgo the election process, get a big para pool, fill it knee deep with mud and let them ‘debate’ until there is a winner.  

Bennett and Rankin have similar back stories; both grew up in households without much money, had children at a young age and raised them alone on the domestic purposes benefit. Both ended up in charge of their former paymaster; Rankin as chief executive of Work and Income New Zealand and Bennett as Minister of Social Development.

Bennett appointed Rankin to the Families Commission in 2009, where she served one term before becoming chief executive of the Conservative Party. She was re-elected for a second term on the Upper Harbour community board at the Corecent local body elections.

Paula will of course get back in Parliament as a scum list MP anyway, but the media won’t be able to resist focusing on that particular electorate for the sound bites, the manufactured controversies and the faux outrage that will bleed into our nightly news.

Craig has yet to decide on where he would stand next election, but it would be either Rodney or East Coast Bays. In a sign the Conservatives are fast gaining in political confidence, he was “not waiting around” for a signal from National about either seat.

“This is politics – it’s not actually about making National happy. If they are upset about this [Rankin standing], I think they just need to harden up.”

Just about every election New Zealand seems to have a lunatic fringe party that captures the media’s attention and benefits from disproportionate attention.  In 2014 that will be the Conservative Party.

And National will be loving every second of it.

The likes of the Green Taliban and Labour are the same old same old.  This move by Craig will suck valuable media exposure away from them, and focus it on National and the Conservatives.

Win/Win for the right.

Run Christine, run!


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  • S R P

    yeah, a jelly wrestling ” stoush ” instead of the normal old boring debates would be great. Bring on the G-strings…………

    • Pissedoffyouth

      You want to see them in g strings? I threw up a little

      • John Warren

        Thanks a lot. There are now unwanted visions in my head that will prevent me from sleeping for days.

    • blokeintakapuna

      You sick, sick puppy!
      Can we watch wearing our mankini’s?

      • Mr_Blobby

        You are both sick fucks. Mutton dressed up as lamb, comes to mind.

        • blokeintakapuna


  • blokeintakapuna

    Battle of the Cougars?
    Westie stylz Yummy Mummy’s wrestle it out…
    Battle of the battle axes?

    • Patrick

      Mate, lift your standards, these two were never yummy mummys, even out west.
      Battle of the battle axes is far more appropriate.

      • blokeintakapuna

        They aren’t my flavour, but plenty others drink alcohol.

      • IWantToBeLikeMallardOneDay

        The old boilers.

        • John Warren

          Compared to Christine Rankin, Paula Benefit is almost attractive.

  • toryboy

    “Everyone thinks 90% of the people support them….until they stand for election”
    – that is an old saying about politics.

    Rankin, like Craig (Hone, Minto, Anderton, Goff etc) thinks she can win and there will be a lot of media comment about this right up until election night when Rankin gets about 4000 votes.

    End result in Upper Harbour? Paula gets a majority of 14,000 or so (and everyone wonders “gee, how did we get it so wrong?”)

    • seeare

      The irony of this whole Craig thing is that no one has even heard of him outside the Bombays….. he is a media beat up..

      • Other_Andy

        True, but (like it or not) Auckland represents almost a third of the votes,

        • seeare

          also sure.. but… 2/3 never heard of him…

      • toryboy


        Whaleoil should be pointing out that Craig lost Rodney last time by 15,000 votes! (ie: he ensured National received a record majority!)

        To put that in some sort of context – ‘token’ Labour candidates in places like Tauranga, Rangatikei, Waitaki and North Shore did better! hahahaha!

        I notice nobody is running a story about Josie Pagani giving Ian McKelvie a fright and is likely to win next year (even though the swing required is considerably less than to elect Craig) HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

  • Other_Andy

    “…….a lunatic fringe party….”
    Mud slinging is easy.
    Mud sticks.
    As for ‘lunatic fringe parties’, try Mana or the ‘Greens’.

    • Clareta

      like Patricia said I’m startled that anyone able to profit $6606 in four weeks on the internet. go to website

  • Jimmie

    Umm who hacked WO?

    Surely this isn’t Cameron Slater making a mildly positive post about the Conservatives is it?

    Wonders never cease

  • Honcho

    Rankin is still damaged goods, I still remember her as the bureaucrat who spent tax payer dollars chartering aircraft to fly everyone into an expensive conference in a taupo resort … the good people of upper harbour also have long memories

    • Night Stick

      The Greens spent $9 million on junk mail.

      • rockape

        That too will be remembered.

    • Dan

      Rankin is damaged goods? Every CEO in the world is guilty of doing that at times if they want to value their staff. Then we have Chris Finlayson, along with the National party cabinet signing over hundreds of millions to Iwi for bogus template treaty claims but no one says a dickie bird? Clearly you have a very selective memory.

      • Honcho

        I agree with you whole heartedly, but I stand by my words, when I think of Paula Bennett I think of someone who is working hard to break welfare dependence, stop so much tax payers going to bludgers, and doesn’t let any bleeding hearts tell her what to do …. when I think of Christine Rankin I think of that silly women with the dangly earings who’s reputation was destroyed night after night for weeks on end on the evening news after it was exposed just how much of the tax payers money she was frittering away …. she probably isn’t a silly women, probably quite a switched on operator to have survived this long, but I already have this other opinion of her cast.

        • IWantToBeLikeMallardOneDay

          Terrible taste in men though…

      • kehua

        Bogus? Really?

        • Dan

          Show me one that has any basis in fact if you interpret the ToW honestly as it was signed and agreed.

  • Night Stick

    Deborah Coddington said on Chapman’s Lefty Show this morning she hates the word ‘catfight’, and that other guest (Tauber?) hates it also. Mind you Tauber is a Green and thinks Len did no wrong.

    • Bea

      I don’t like it either – it’s straight out sexism.

      • Ururoa

        If two blokes can have a stoush why can’t two chicks have a catfight?

  • Cadwallader

    Why don’t the Conservatives stand Rankin against one of the existing Labour hacks…say Ardern or Curran?

    • davewin

      Curran????? In Dunedin South? In that electorate there is only one name on the ballot – Liarbour, and has been for 70 years.

      • Cadwallader

        Have a look at the Party Vote….not impregnable.

  • sheppy

    why don’t they stand someone where they have a real chance of winning? We desperately need someone right wing in parliament to stop the country from going broke with a lefty moronic coalition

    • dyannt

      They don’t need to win a seat. They just need the media attention and 5% party vote. The Conservatives couldn’t have chosen a better candidate to go against Paula Bennett – whatever the outcome.

      • sheppy

        Yep, that’s why i wonder why they’re going up against Paula on the first go at getting a seat

      • Rod

        Yep, and Craig should stand against Key in Helensville. His face would be on TV every day during the election campaign, and the party would be assured of around 7%. Far better than to be seen doing deals for an electorate seat.

  • jaundiced

    Here we go again. If its between two women its a ‘battle of the babes’ and now a ‘cat fight’. And feeding the drooling imaginings of you lot – g strings, mud wrestling… .

    Lets have a competition. What if its between Colin Craig and Murray McCully? It would be a….????.

    • Night Stick

      A dog fight?

      • IWantToBeLikeMallardOneDay

        A harridan show down?

    • bladelores

      sword fight?
      balls off?

      • Orange

        Isn’t the term “balls out”?

    • Mr_Blobby

      I’m feeling a little bit sick.

  • Eiselmann

    As loopy as Craig is with some of his views …given a choice between National lead Government with a small conservative tail and the five headed beast that is Labour, the watermelons, Winston Peters, Hones protest party and the Maori party its a no brainer……while the five headed beast would provide a lot of entertainment the cost of that particular ticket is way too expensive.

  • rockape

    I think that Craig needs to pick his battles. He will be, like ACT ,before him dependent on Nationals good will. I still dont rule out old Winney, much as I dislike him, as a future partned. Hopefully he wont lasta term! Nasty I know!

  • steve and monique

    Turkey vulture Rankin( to old to pull down her own prey) or Cougar Bennett. Pick the one you would want to find in your bed, after a drunken night, and vote. Seems easy.

    • rockape

      Very drunken night!

      • steve and monique

        Correct. Blind drunk even.

    • LesleyNZ

      That is not a nice thing to say.

  • Phill

    It seems strange to me, That the conservatives talk about supporting a national led government, but in this electorate they are going into direct competition, taking votes off national. Not because they disagree with nationals candidate or policies, just cause he wants a “catfight”
    Colin Craig…..the guy is just weird!

  • Ben

    Perhaps we could put Len in the middle of it. There was an old Turkish punishment of tying the malefactor up in a sack with two fighting tomcats before chucking the sacks in the Bosporus. That should cool len’s passions a bit.

  • timemagazine

    Paula Bennett. The other lady looks scary, sorry Christine.

  • Liberty

    Conservative Party leader Colin Craig is not very bright, Christine Rankin would make a good MP . So why piss of a possible coalition partner by taking on one of their best Ministers.
    There is a heap of Labour seats in Auckland with some inept
    has-beens. Should be easy picking for the likes of Rankin.

  • Dan

    Rankin hasn’t got a show against a cabinet minister simply on the basis of public recognition and the fact that she is in government. Game set and match right there.

  • Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

    Spoke to my spies inside the Labour circle….Labours and Greens will vote as a block in favour of Rankin….Paula will be toast…Curryleaf is thinking brilliantly….

  • Jaffa

    Split the right wing vote with two strong candidates, and let Labour in!

    Who thought of that? Cunliffe?

    • IWantToBeLikeMallardOneDay

      More likely that genius political theorist, Don Brash.

  • Mr_Blobby

    They may both have rags to riches stories. But they have both failed.

    The poor are still with us 43+ % of households effectively pay no TAX. The figures may jump around a little bit and the propaganda machines spin into action. But it doesn’t change the fact that the poor are still with us, kids still get bashed by their, so called, care givers. Apparently we are suffering from both severe poverty kids going hungry and an obesity epidemic.

    It appears that the same sub class of people are starving and suffering gluttony on alternative weeks.

  • kehua

    The rich boy is pulling his own dick methinks.

  • Ururoa

    Why no have Rankin stand in Epsom; ACT is dead in the water, Epsom are obviously happy to follow instruction from the Nats, a sure Conservative seat?

    • thor42

      Good idea!

      I also like the idea of LesleyNZ – Paula going list-only and Rankin contesting the seat.

      That *should* get the Conservatives into Parliament.

      Either option would be fine with me.

  • LesleyNZ

    Maybe Paula should go on the list and Christine Rankin take the seat. Would be good to have both in parliament.

    • blokeintakapuna

      I’d prefer “The Ridges”

  • IWantToBeLikeMallardOneDay

    Christine’s got a few skeletons in her closet, which is why they’re carpet bagging her in Auckland. Imagine if she tried to run in Wellington…
    Mutton dressed as lamb.

    • LesleyNZ

      Of course the Royal New Zealand Herald (Horrid) has never apologised for telling lies about Christine and defaming her character. Still waiting for that apology and retraction. Wonder how many days/years it is now? I like Christine Rankin. You know where you stand with her. Calls a spade a spade – not a trowel. So what how she dresses. She doesn’t give a toss what others think about her. Paula doesn’t care either. They would both be good value to have in parliament.

  • This_comment_was_deleted

    Did you just refer to all Nationals list MP’s as scum?

    Steven Joyce, Tim Groser, David Carter, Bill English (to be), Tau Henare, Chris
    Finlayson…..ah well, maybe you’ve a point.

    I know Paula is no Judith but you’ve just got to move on and stop making unfavourable comparisons, of Couger vs Crusher.

    Now there is a para-bill I’d gladly pay to view.