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Bennett must resign

Written By: - Date published: 1:06 pm, July 28th, 2009 - 129 comments
Categories: national/act government - Tags:

I’m no expert in these things but Paula “bully” Bennett appears to have put herself in breach of the cabinet manual by disclosing private information about her critics’ personal finances for her own political gain.

Cabinet Manual p 117:
8.60 The disclosure of information about an individual by Ministers is governed by both the Official Information Act 1982 and the Privacy Act 1993.
(c) A release by a Minister of information about an individual, in the absence of a request for it, is governed by Principle 11 of the Privacy Act 1993. That principle allows only limited situations in which it would be appropriate to disclose personal information; for example:
– if the disclosure is directly related to the purposes for which the information was obtained;
– if disclosure is authorised by the individual concerned; or
– if disclosure is necessary to prevent a serious threat to public health or the life of another individual.

Breaching the cabinet manual is a serious matter. The appropriate course of action would be for Bennett to resign. Or, if she refuses to, for the Prime Minister to sack her.

129 comments on “Bennett must resign”

  1. That seems quite clear. Bye bye Paula?

  2. ghostwhowalks 2

    I allways thought Bennett makes Sarah Palin sound like Simone de Beauvoir

  3. BLiP 3

    Yep – if John Key meant what he said about standards in his government, Bennett has gotta go.

  4. IrishBill 4

    Apparently John Key is “comfortable” with releasing private details like this:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/2681539/Bennett-stands-by-releasing-solo-mums-benefit-info

    !

    • BLiP 4.1

      Classic National Inc., one set of rules for them, and another for the underclass. Why am I not surprised.

    • ghostwhowalks 4.2

      His actual statement was this..
      Prime Minister John Key told reporters he was “comfortable” with the women’s information being released.

      “The advice I have received is it’s within Ministry of Social Development guidelines.

      “I think the minister was trying to put a bit of balance around the story, wasn’t being over judgemental but was simply saying here are all the facts and New Zealanders can assess whether the government’s on the right track or not.”

      MSD guidelines ?? Now I wonder what they would be.
      Seems like Johnny doesnt know his own cabinet manual?

      • Ron 4.2.1

        For “New Zealanders can assess whether the government’s on the right track or not.’ read New Zealanders can buy into another round of beneficiry bashing. Christ it took them no time, didn’t it, to get around to putting the boot into people on benefits.

  5. burt 5

    Resign or retrospectively validate her actions and tell us all to move on?

    What is wrong with Labour – can’t they pick an example that is not going to blow up in their faces once the facts come out?

    • IrishBill 5.1

      National good/Labour bad eh? I was wondering how long ’til you turned up. Let’s say Labour gets back in Burt how will you feel if they start releasing details the state has about you?

      • ghostwhowalks 5.1.1

        Its all about the pathway ( or cycleway) to a brighter future.

        But first some mud slinging, because she can

    • burt 5.2

      Depends if they validate themselves for breaking the law again as they do it. If they do that again I’ll have no comeback – like Darnton had no comeback.

      It’s OK when Labour do it eh, supported by partisan hacks who only care about the colour of the flag rather than the actions of the people behind it.

      • Derek 5.2.1

        Fuck you’re an old bore burt. Do you have a view on Bennett’s conduct or are you just here to run cover for National?

        • burt 5.2.1.1

          Derek

          I do actually. IMHO details of benefits paid should be public.

          However if Bennett has broken the law she should stand in court for it. It’s simple really.

          • snoozer 5.2.1.1.1

            should all tax statements be public too?

            what about all car fines?

            what about recrods of when you entered and left the country?

            Your health records?

            All involve public funds, all info held by governemtn departments

            This is why you weren’t the one writing the Privacy Act, burt. Because you’re a dimwit.

          • Ron 5.2.1.1.2

            and you’d be happy to have details of your tax expenditure made public? You’re daily where bouts as you use public roads? Your parenting techniques as you send your kids to publicly funded schools? Your full health history as you use public health services? Daily domestic habits? – You use plenty of publicly funded resources there after all….

      • ghostwhowalks 5.2.2

        And National wanted a law change to validate the stolen money they spent for broadcasting advertisements in the last week of the 2005 election.

  6. roger nome 6

    Looks like the roll of National’s special needs class is about to be cut by 33% – now all we need is for “crushed cranium” Collins and Captain Enviro-Mental to unwittingly call it a day. You gotta love this National Party Cabinet. The mind simply boggels.

  7. roger nome 7

    Burt – go and boost New Zealand’s productivity or something else Lord Roger would approve of.

    • burt 7.1

      I pay may tax roger, I have never received any benefits – ever. Can you say that?

      • roger nome 7.1.1

        Burt do you suffer from aspurges?

        • burt 7.1.1.1

          Not liking that question roger – how is life on the public teat… hang on I’ll just tip a few more litres of cream in for you.

          • roger nome 7.1.1.1.1

            Burt:

            More like a few millilitres. The truth is, you’re a neoliberal toady – who has the social grace of an amoeba, and has no chance of being accepted by the self-serving corporatist class that you mythologise and deify.

            The research that i produce is of far more value to society than the few miserly tax dollars you drip into the public sector

      • killinginthenameof 7.1.2

        Roads, health, police… no benefits at all? Or is it just the state support that you don’t think you’ll need that you don’t believe should exist.

  8. ghostwhowalks 8

    Espiner chimes in on his blog at 12:30

    Paula’s never been one to avoid a stoush, happy to roll up her sleeves to either stop fights – or sometimes to start them – or just join in the melee.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/blogs/on-the-house/2681542/Bruiser-Bennett-and-the-beneficiaries

    As he normally does he just glides effortlessly over the glaring contradiction of Bennett breaching privacy laws and the Cabinet manual.

    Does he work for the readers of his newspaper or for the national government

  9. I say give Bennett a medal, she may of uncovered some serious fraud. The fact is these so called ladies not only went to the media but , started a freakin blog about their treatment and that they werent getting enough money form us taxpayers.

    Yet this person fail to tell people that she was getting over $700 in the hand, yet she still wanted a government handout.

    Its a clear cut case of fraud, I hope i get on the jury.

    • The money is what Social Welfare gives them. They are eligible for that and there is no suggestion that it is fraud

    • snoozer 9.2

      There’s no fraud. You must have the intellect of pond scum to think there has beend fraud.

      Hell, these women didn’t even lie, as Bennett claims. She simply put those numbers out there to try to bully them into silence.

      • Draco T Bastard 9.2.1

        Now, now, snoozer, you really shouldn’t be so disrespectful of pond scum.

    • roger nome 9.3

      Brett:

      Don’t you mean “she may have”? Or are you really a slack-jawed yokel?

    • jarbury 9.4

      Unless they went around spouting “we only get xxx a week” then I don’t see how they were misleading anyone.

      If you’re supporting three kids then $700 a week household income is pretty basic. Rent could easily eat half of that.

      • lprent 9.4.1

        Only if you didn’t live around central Auckland. I have to rent for the next year and a 3 bedroom place will be about 450 at at minimum. Generally 600 for something that I’d live in.

        I haven’t seen anything for $300 out to Avondale

  10. So Bored 10

    Perhaps NACT can replace Bennett with the beneficiary ladies in question, lets face it thats where she came from and now in a few short jumps she is a Cabinet Minister, so we have to say either of them on a Bennett scale look admirably qualified. So long as they can wade into street brawls aswell. Got to give it to Paula, she is a (dirty) scrapper.

  11. Deep Throat 11

    Bennett’s actions are analogous to when Robert Muldoon released personal information about Colin Moyle. It was disgraceful then. It is disgraceful now.

    • IrishBill 11.1

      Yeah, that’s about the only instance I could think of that was similar. You’ve got to go back a long way and into some dark places to find precedent for this kind of behaviour.

  12. Evidence-Based Practice 12

    This is setting a dangerous precedent. Anyone who criticises the government on any policy that has financial implications (ie almost everything) can now have their personal details released. So those who criticise tax policy can now have their IRD details released without their permission. Where does it stop?

  13. gobsmacked 13

    One of the women was interviewed on Radio Live at lunchtime (about 12.10, don’t know if it’s available online).

    She was far more articulate and credible than Paula Bennett, who gets given a far bigger chunk of my taxes. Perhaps they could swap?

  14. ghostwhowalks:

    Well that is crazy, there must be a mistake yet this lady, has a blog complaining that its not enough, over 700 dollars a week.

    • snoozer 14.1

      she’s raising three children two of them with severe medical issues by herself and is in trainig so she can get off the benefit. That’s where the $700 goes.

      Regardless of that, do you think it’s OK for a minister to breach the Privacy Act and the Cabinet Manual to try to bully a member of the public (yes, a taxpaying member of the public) into silence?

    • BLiP 14.2

      Really – a blog? Complaining about National Inc.? Quick, send in the SAS! Save us all!

    • Draco T Bastard 14.3

      $700/week isn’t a lot of money. I know single people with incomes of ~$900/week that can barely afford their mortgage. I’d hate to see what’s being cut out so that she and her children can live on $700.

  15. NX 15

    $47K per annum in support from the govt. is a lot of money.

    $10K grand to start a business which doesn’t get off the ground is pretty shameful.

    How many houses could you insulate with that money..? How much xcluder pest protection fence could be brought for this money? How about solar roof panels….

    You guys are on the wrong side of this argument and you don’t even know it.

    • Draco T Bastard 15.1

      Most businesses that start up don’t survive the first year so, no, it’s not shameful at all. It is very shameful that you’re dissing her for trying though.

      • JustRight 15.1.1

        Nope. He was dissing the fact that she got $10K to start a cleaning business, which went nowhere. Unacceptable outcome.

        If I borrowed $10K from the Bank to start a company and then failed due to Health reasons, I expect the Bank would require the money to be repaid! In this case however, $10K went down the drain.

        Now that is the real scandal!

        • Draco T Bastard 15.1.1.1

          Actually, if you couldn’t afford to repay it you would have the option of insolvency. The money doesn’t disappear either – in fact it would probably be doing much more than if it was in the banks coffers.

    • JustRight 15.2

      Yep NX I agree whole heartedly. I do not believe in beneficiary bashing. Equally, I am appalled by a grant for $10K for a cleaning business. Hell, we started our business and have never had a bean from the Government in terms of support. We are blessed to be able to pay LOTS of tax through being successful.

      $10K for a cleaning business – that is a scandal… total scandal

      • BLiP 15.2.1

        What has this poor woman’s failure as a business person got to do with the fact that the TIA has been cancelled and she has been complaining publicly about it?

        Sounds like Bennett has tapped your well of envy.

    • Macro 15.3

      These women are receiving monies to which they are ENTITLED after all the case workers have rummaged through all their personal details to which you and I are NOT and should NOT BE privy. These facts are completely irrelevant to the issue of whether or not a training incentive allowance – which Paula Bennett herself received in the past – should be available for people trying to educate themselves out of their current situation.

  16. Richard 16

    I guess that Paula Bennett’s argument is that:

    By publically talking about a benefit they might or might not be able to access the women implicitly authorsied disclosure of information about all other benefits they might receive.

    Which certainly sounds like nonsense. It’s the personal information release equivalent of a provocation defense.

    • snoozer 16.1

      No. there’s no implicit authorisation in taking a benefit for private information to be made public.

      See Maggie’s comment in the previous thread:

      Maggie
      July 28, 2009 at 9:30 am
      As a budget adviser I can obtain information from WINZ regarding a beneficiary client’s payments only if that client has signed a privacy waiver. Any information held by WINZ is covered by the Privacy Act.

      That people like Tim Ellis appear to have no problem with their government breaking the law to try to suppress dissent should come as no surprise.

      • Richard 16.1.1

        It’s not the taking of a benefit, but the “publically talking about it” which could in some cases be argued to allow disclosure.

        For example, if I was publically claiming that “the government wouldn’t give a student allowance”, then it would be quite OK (from a privacy point of view, anyway) for the government to release the information that this was because my income was above the means testing threshold.

        The problem in this case is that the information released has nothing to do with the women’s argument. So, absolutely I think Paula Bennett should resign and be prosecuted under the privacy act for this release of private information.

        I’m just saying Paula Bennett seems to think that she can release the information because of an argument like the above. She is wrong though.

        • snoozer 16.1.1.1

          “For example, if I was publically claiming that “the government wouldn’t give a student allowance’, then it would be quite OK (from a privacy point of view, anyway) for the government to release the information that this was because my income was above the means testing threshold.”

          No it wouldn’t. That would mean the government was disclosing personal information about you (IRD statements or whatever) without your permission. That would be a breach of the Privacy Act.

          • Richard 16.1.1.1.1

            If the only released information was that my income was above a threshold, then I don’t think it would count as a Privacy Act breach. And *only* if that was directly applicable to the issue that I raised.

            The Privacy Commission seems to suggest that this information could be released. See point 8 at the end of the list linked below. Unfortunately for her, Paula Bennett’s release is more like point 6, which is not allowed.

            http://www.privacy.org.nz/checklist-for-ministers-and-departmental-officials/

  17. She also got ten thousand dollars for a business that failed????????

    How anyone in their right mind complain??

    Does she think the NZ tax payer is her own personal bank???

    Yeppers!

    • snoozer 17.1

      So, if the business had succeeded, then you would be calling for Bennett to resign?

      Brett I know this is hard for you but think about what the issue is, rather than whom yuo reflexively hate.

      The issue is:

      Is it OK for a minister to release private information held about an individual in breach of the Cabinet Manual and the Privacy Act?

      • BLiP 17.1.1

        IMHO, the issue is:

        Is it OK for a minister to release private information held about an individual in breach of the Cabinet Manual and the Privacy Act to silence dissent?

  18. outofbed 18

    Benefit levels are one issue
    Releasing private info by a minister is another
    A lot of noise from the right on the former to silence the truth of the later

  19. jarbury 19

    Well question time should be interesting…. here we go.

  20. She has a blog and she is complaining that she is not getting enough support from winz, and I’m saying 700 a week and ten grand to start a business is a lot of help.

    • snoozer 20.1

      Who cares? It doesn’t matter if she’s getting $100 or $100,000, you can’t have ministers breaking the law and revealing private information that is held by the government in trust

    • She is saying an extra allowance, that Bennett herself received when she was on the DPB, has been removed.

      Dont expect to see the total amount Bennett got from the taxpayers, when she was eligible to be revealed anytime soon.

      Does Bennetts daughter receive the DPB, and how much is she getting. You see its all our business now!

    • BLiP 20.3

      Really a blog? Complaining about National Inc.? Quick, send in the SAS! Save us all!

    • BLiP 20.4

      Oops

  21. roger nome 21

    Brett:

    I’m more concerned about people who use taxpayers funds and assets to realise multi-billion dollar gains (i.e. the business roundtable types). Those are the people who have a real negative impact on our economy and society.

    We have a real problem with social inequality in NZ. In particular, far too many kiwi kids are being deprived opportunities to grow and be included in mainstream society, because their parents aren’t valued by the market. So you can take your gated communities and exclusive society piss off – that’s not the NZ i want and it’s not what most kiwis want either – we want a just society and a fair go for everyone.

  22. snoozer:

    What choice did Bennett have?

    Here was someone complaining that she wasn’t getting enough help (47K annually and ten grand of free money is help if you ask me) this person felt the need to blog about it, but she left out what she was getting, she made out like she was getting nothing at all.

    What could Bennett do?

    What Bennett should do now, is ask for a cent by cent break down of the ten grand she got for the business, and if one cent of that got spent on something else, this woman should be charged.

    • snoozer 22.1

      She could have um … oh yeah, not broken the law by revealing personal information covered by the Privacy Act.

      The law is there to protect us, all of us, from abuses by those in power. If that is difficult for Bennett, tough. You can’t throw out of the rule of law just because it is annoying.

    • BLiP 22.2

      What could Bennett do?

      How about put forward a case for why, when she personally has benefitted, the TIA was cancelled – or, maybe, exlain why she’s pulled up the ladder on women coming behing her, or, preferrably, resign?

  23. roger nome:

    My gated communities?????

    Actually I’m poor as, I’m basically on minimum wage. If I was in a situation where the tax payer was giving me 47 thousand a year, I would be grateful that I live in NewZealand, not blogging that it’s not enough.

    • snoozer 23.1

      Brett. She’s raising three kids, two with severe medicial conditions and is in training.

      Stop attacking the woman and deal with the issue – is it OK for a minister to break the law when it suits her political ends?

      If I was a minister and I wanted to embarrass you by showing how you’re poor yet you defend the interests of the rich and I made your IRD records public would you say fair enough?

    • roger nome 23.2

      “Actually I’m poor as, I’m basically on minimum wage.”

      And yet ou argue for more social inequality all the time. The mind boggels.

    • BLiP 23.3

      Under the Labour Government you might have qualified for assistance to get some training to upgrade your position in life – not so under the John Key National Inc crew. How long before the interest goes back on the Student Loans? Better be quick if you want to benefit from that Labour Government policy.

  24. snoozer

    You cant have ministers breaking the law?

    Labour does.

    Then again two wrongs don’t make a right, unless your John Minto or Ken workman.

    • snoozer 24.1

      No Brett. Either it’s wrong everytime a Minister breaks the law or it never is.

      I say it’s always wrong. What do you say?

      I note you’ve now admitted that Bennett broke the law.

    • Derek 24.2

      It’s Kim Worman, you tool.

  25. snoozer

    When did I attack her for having three kids, with medical conditions?

    I attacked her for not being honest, she had a blog complaining that she is not getting enough from winz, yet she left out what she was getting.

    • snoozer 25.1

      That’s not dishonest.

      You’ve reflexively assumed that because she is getting a large amount that she must be rolling in cash and that sh’es some kind of whining bludger. Not true. That is money she is entitled to help with her children’s health and her training.

    • BLiP 25.2

      A blog – complaining about the government? Really? Good grief. I guess you’re lucky to be here then, eh? How long before the John Key National Government Inc breaks the law to silence dissent at The Standard?

  26. If it is found by a jury that Bennett broke the law, she must be fired.

    • toad 26.1

      When Key was asked in relation to the Worth affair about his confidence in Ministers, he responded that it is not a legal test.

      So why would it be here Brett. Here is a Minister who has very clearly acted in breach of the Privacy Act in an attempt to intimidate her critics, but Key seems prepared to back her to the hilt.

      Mind you, he did with Worth for some time too, until he bacame just too much of a liability.

    • snoozer 26.2

      It’s not a crime, it’s a breach of the law. Do you know the difference?

      The women can sue for breach of privacy though. If they succeed will you demand Bennett stands down?

    • gobsmacked 26.3

      If it is found by a jury that Bennett broke the law, she must be fired.

      I lol, I lol, a thousand times I lol. Priceless.

      All previous references to Winston Peters are now null and void. Everyone got the memo?

  27. Evidence-Based Practice 27

    Their financial details were also released without any context. One of the women apparently has two children with high health needs. I would like to see some of the complainers above try to raise children with high health needs as a single parent. The fact that these women want to train in tertiary in careers that will continue to provide a public good (and become significant taxpayers) is extra admirable.
    What Paula Benefit has done is shameful, spiteful and unethical.

  28. Snoozer:

    If they sue her and they win, then yes she should step down or be fired.

    • snoozer 28.1

      OK, next question.

      The Cabinet Manual (which she breached as well as the Privacy Act) is not law. It is the rulebook for ministers. In the past, ministers have routinely been fired for breaching the Cabinet Manual. Do you think that Key should set the same or higher standards as previous PMs have set?

  29. roger nome 29

    Q: Annette King:

    “How can solo mums be in poverty (according to your admission they are) yet invest their own money in further training”

    A: Paula Bennett: “Yes”

    Ha? What’s this woman’s major malfunction?

  30. BLiP 30

    Implied consent!

    She’s grasping at straws and highlighting her untenable position. No professional advice, no steps taken to check the accuracy of the information (as legally required), coupled with unsufferable hubris! What more reason is required to sack Bully Bennett. And Two-Pie Brownlee as well for his deliverate aiding and abetting a crime

  31. Blip:

    Wasn’t it a labour government that passed a law saying you can satirize politicians?

    • Bright Red 31.1

      Nice attempt at distraction, Brett, but no.

    • BLiP 31.2

      Wrong. But it is the John Key National Government Inc using that law to silence dissent in relation to the upcomming referrendum.

  32. Blip:

    You don’t help your cause by name calling, you might ass well get a job at Faux News.

    • BLiP 32.1

      Thank you for you concern, Brett. However, we are actually discussing why Bennett has to be sacked. You’ve already said that if she broke the law then she must go. Are you going to wait for the judgement (and probable endless round of appeals the tax payer will have to foot) before celebrating Bennett’s departure or are you going to apply common sense and accept that its really just a matter of time.

  33. Brett 33

    The one that is receiving 47k admitted on the trade me message board that she was living with her partner while receiving her benefit.
    If this is the case she should be done for fraud.What a dumbass

  34. Bright Red 34

    Tracey Watkins blog on this is worth reading:

    “Bennett-grad”: http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/blogs/tracy-watkins-on-politics/2681769/Bennett-grad

    captcha: embarrassed

  35. Bright Red

    Im pretty sure it was Labour.

    • Bright Red 36.1

      The mistake is that it wasn’t a law. It was something about permitted use of footage provided by Parliament TV, and I’m pretty sure they didn’t go through with it in the end.

  36. weizguy 37

    I used to work at a government dept where our clients regularly went to the media – often with a doctored version of the truth. It was annoying as all hell, but we abided by the privacy act, and didn’t release their private information to the public.

    We have a privacy act for a reason – it’s not for Ministers to pick and choose.

    Captcha: owed

    A living? Bennett?

  37. Swimmer 38

    Paula sux!!!!!!!!!!

  38. ben 39

    Breaching the cabinet manual is a serious matter. The appropriate course of action would be for Bennett to resign.

    Where were you and your high horse this time last year. Winston Peters, anyone?

    • Bright Red 39.1

      ben – let’s be clear, you wanted Peters gone and now you want Bennett gone too?

      Well done, me too.

      It would be hypocritical of you not to want her gone, having called for Peters’ blood. And I know you’re not a hypocrite.

  39. Irascible 40

    Apart from Paula finding that the abuse of power is apparently acceptable under the stasi type law operating under a NACT government her immediate superior, John Key, has endorsed her behaviour.
    Surely such an endorsement of abuse of power merits two immediate resignations or challenges of abuse of the privacy act?
    I certainly can’t see anyone having a lot of confidence in anyone who, on being elected to office, abuse the powers they have as Cabinet Ministers.
    Paula Bennet’s behaviour is totally unacceptable in a democracy and Key’s support is an indication of his arrogance and ignorance of the processes of democracy. This isn’t a nanny state it is definitely a stasi state.

  40. Meanwhile since there is no money for solo mums ( or dads) to go onto tertiary training the pixy dust has reappeared in another government program.

    This from SPARC

    he country’s world class athletes will receive significant funding boosts worth tens of thousands of dollars annually.

    Sport and Recreation New Zealand (Sparc) announced today that under its new performance enhancement grants (PEGs) criteria, a world champion in an Olympic discipline will get $60,000, up from $40,000, and a medallist in an Olympic discipline will get $55,000, up from $35,000 previously.

    Sparc said it had also introduced multi-year grants under the new criteria.

    The new grants have been back-dated to take effect from July 1 this year.

    I guess Bennett wasnt involved in this one, so no FU

  41. ghostwhowalks:

    Didn’t the labour government give millions to nzonair to fund crap like outrageous fortune and a generic scribe album

    • BLiP 42.1

      Certainly more Kiwis were actaully employed than John Key’s $50 million, concrete pathed cycle race – oh sorry, $9 million gravel cycle track – oh sorry, network of cycle tracks – oh sorry, uncosted, proposed network of cycle tracks . . . that was going to employ 3,700 – oh sorry, 350 – oh, sorry 2 beauracrats and maybe 100 part time workers . . .

  42. Just seen one network news, it seems Fuller has a rather large house and a very expensive computer, she anit no victim that is for sure.

    • mike 43.1

      lol – was quite a pad the poor battler from struggle St. is putting up with.

      Liked Frans comments about Bennett being honest and up front where as other parties just leak the info to the media cough – labour – cough..

  43. Charlotte 44

    Did anyone see question time? I love it how Charles Chauvel asked her what steps she had taken and her answer was basically “big ones”

  44. The Voice of reason 45

    Are you kidding us, Brett? Did you expect her to be wallowing in filth, ragged urchins tugging at the hem of her tattered skirt? I think the fact that she is clever and disciplined enough to be looking to further her education suggests that she is capable of organising her life, her house and her possessions.

    The point is that Basher Bennett has exposed herself as a bully. A bully in charge of the ministry that should be protecting and supporting these two women and their families.

    • mike 45.1

      “she is clever and disciplined enough ” to blow $10’000 of tax payers $$ on a failed cleaning business. Is she going to pay it back?

      • IrishBill 45.1.1

        So you’d be happy for your personal details to be released to “add balance” to your political opinions mike?

        • mike 45.1.1.1

          they had already outed all their personal details by talking to the news media, establishing a website and writing a blog – they just left out the bits that made them look a little greedy.

          • IrishBill 45.1.1.1.1

            No they didn’t Mike. They didn’t for example talk about their rent or how many kids they have or their illnesses or the names of their ex-partners. And they shouldn’t have had to because they were private citizens talking about one allowance.

            In fact Mike, you’ve committed more of your personal details to the public through this blog over the last couple of years than they had in the media up to the point Bennett broke the law and outed them.

            By your logic that should give anybody the right to start releasing your details in public.

            Or is it different for you?

  45. graham 46

    as duncan garner said under helens crew they would have leaked to a tame jurno so when left wing supporters are screaming abuse at paula bennett i surgest you guys look at the bolgasphere and see what ordanary people are saying .ps it supports paulas action you guys are helping national please keep it up

  46. Didn’t she go on the trademe site to say she has been living with her partner?

    • NickS 47.1

      Source please, instead of unsubstantiated rumours.

      And it’s nothing but a constant /facepalm at all the gormless idiots who can’t wrap their heads around the fact that what matters here isn’t how much these two women are getting, it’s Bennett’s breach of ethics and the Privacy Act.

  47. Sting 48

    Is this the Standard Trademe Forum? It’s solo city over there.

    • BLiP 48.1

      Up to date with your child support are you, Dad? Better be careful, the John key National Government Inc will check and publish if you say the wrong thing. Here at The Standard you’ll just get told to fuck off. So why don’t you?

  48. The Voice of Reason 49

    Keep it up, boys, Basher needs the help.

    The issue is whether it’s acceptable for a Minister to use her power in this way. I suggest it’s not and the Privacy Act, the Cabinet Manual and, just a guess here, oh, a few hundred years of parliamentary tradition seem to agree with me.

    And, Graham? This ‘bolgasphere’ you refer to. Why do I find it? Does Jim know?

    • IrishBill 49.1

      TVOR, I believe Graham was referring to the bolgersphere which was the last place we saw this kind of beneficiary bashing from a minister of social development.

  49. NickS

    It was mentioned on smilecity, that she wrote on the trademe forum about living with her partner.

    Still good on her, shes on the dpb, and can afford a two story lockwood home, rather nice, judging by the footage of it on tvnz, also a nice wee laptop.

    She must be a good with her budget.

    • NickS 50.1

      Source, as in provide this wonderful think called a “url” aka link, not a “it was on smile city”, which given the size of that cess-pit of forum, tells me little. Besides, without direct corroboration, in other words a link to her actual words, rather than a second hand account on a bloody internet forum, the claim you provide is pretty damn worthless.

      And one other thing, that nice house is probably rental, or was acquired before what ever circumstances which lead her to be on the DPB, which probably also counts for the lap-top. Although the lap-top may have been acquired through student loan course related costs. Besides, this point you continue to raise, it’s still stupid, because the problem here is that Bennett has abused her privileges as the Minister of Social Development to release private information she had no right to release under the law.

      Then again, having lurked on realclimate and Orac’s blog, I should be used to people ragging on about things that are entirely tangential to the topic at hand. So I shouldn’t expect so much.
      /shrug

  50. ross 51

    This appeared in a recent Listener article:

    Viliami Haloholo, 23, was jailed in 2007 for four years for attacking a party-goer with a fence paling, leaving the victim with a broken jaw and a 10cm gash to his head. Haloholo was reportedly a member of the Thugs of Canal street gang. Bennett has worked hard to help Haloholo redeem himself, inviting him to live with Ana and his child at her house for six months before sentencing. In 2007 she wrote in support of him at sentencing, offering continuing accommodation and seeking to avoid a prison term. And in 2008 she wrote to the Parole Board offering to let Haloholo be paroled to her house again.

    “He has put his mistakes of the past behind him and I believe that with the support of his partner (my daughter), his family and myself, he will lead a good life and not ever be before the courts again,’ said Bennett in the 2008 letter The Parole Board did not share Bennett’s faith in Haloholo, turning down his parole bid. It said he was “an identified drug user’ in prison and had “numerous incident reports’ on his prison file, one just a month before the parole hearing. Bennett has always refused to talk publicly about Haloholo, apart from releasing a statement saying it was an error of judgment not to inform Key about the matter. Haloholo is due for release in 2011. Does she plan to renew her offer of a home for him next time he comes up for parole? She initially hedges. “At the moment all you know is what you’ve read in the papers. I actually think that I deserve you know, it’s not so much I deserve a level of privacy, I believe my family do. So I’m going to respect their privacy.’

    Hmmm, she has no respect for others’ privacy, but she is keen to protect that of her family. Why the double standard?

    • BLiP 51.1

      Thanks. I knew I’d seen that but couldn’t remember where. I think that’s the same article that talks about Bennett and her fellow National Inc Ladies Club managing to get a Wellington shoe shop to open after hours for them. Nice, eh?

      I wonder if she has spoken to Alf Garrett in the Act Party about what he reckons would be the best way to get Viliami out of jail early?

  51. NickS 52

    Well, the double standard is far too typical in politics…

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