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.  

Mr Dennis helped arrange for the youth to move to Australia. He subsequently returned to New Zealand, and his family complained about Mr Dennis’s involvement.

Opposition parties have said the leak about the investigation is an example of dirty politics and a sacking offence – but Mrs Bennett says the staff member assumed the information was in the public arena.

“My staff member very much regrets this error and has apologised to me and I accept their assurances it won’t happen again. I have made it clear that it was not appropriate,” Mrs Bennett said in a statement.

“I have called Mr Dennis to offer my apologies in person.”

Not a good look, blaming the staff. Ministers are responsible for their staff and only a shameless and despicable person would throw the staff under the bus. In my experience ministerial staff don’t do anything unless their boss knows about it.

This is inept, wrong and utterly stupid.

How many chances does Paula Bennett get?

John Key needs to sack her. Her chances of remaining credible are slim, and her leadership aspirations are done.


– NZ Herald

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.