National’s Bennett problem

Written By: - Date published: 8:17 am, July 27th, 2017 - 94 comments
Categories: accountability, national, paula bennett - Tags: , ,

Graham Adams at Noted has written an interesting piece:

Why Paula Bennett is trouble for the National Party

Bennett barely rates in the preferred prime minister polls, and her record since she became Deputy PM has been lacklustre. When she makes the news, it’s often for distractions such as recommending tipping, or joking about her $950 shoes at the National Party conference, much like a modern-day Marie Antoinette. And, of course, for her ham-fisted attempts to justify the government’s failure to house the homeless.

But now her public profile is being dominated by speculation about her former life as a young beneficiary and whether she lied about her circumstances to welfare officials. It didn’t help when she told Duncan Garner on The AM Show that she had never deliberately” misled the department.

Bennett is not keen to talk about that chapter in her life but the questions keep on coming. Journalist Tony Wall reported on the Stuff website on Sunday that Bennett declined to be interviewed “about what she had told Social Welfare officials when she was on the benefit”.

When he asked if she had claimed the DPB while in a relationship, or while living with her then-boyfriend (now husband), Alan Philps, Bennett replied through a spokeswoman: “I was on and off a benefit during my teens and early twenties but I did not receive support that I wasn’t entitled to.”

Wall also noted that “some people we approached said they’d been asked not to talk to the media”.

Nevertheless, these questions are not going to go away and what is certain is that Bill English can not afford to have Bennett share billboard space with him until they are answered satisfactorily.

When it was pointed out later that month that the government was on track to spend $30 million a year on housing the homeless in motels (rather than the $2 million budgeted), she expressed surprise at the scale of the problem: “We just didn’t know!”

How could she not know? The news reports about people living in cars and garages and on the streets have been relentless since The Nation exposed the problem in May 2016.

This month, Bennett was still expressing surprise about the homeless when it was revealed that the cost of motels and other emergency housing for the homeless was going to blow out to $50 million a year.

We had no idea how much it was going to cost,” Bennett told Duncan Garner on The AM Show.

Bennett may survive the questions about her past, whether the fog of suspicion lifts or not. After all, Bill English is now the Prime Minister even after he was entangled in a messy accommodation allowance affair in 2009 that saw him eventually — and reluctantly — pay back $32,000 of taxpayers’ money. He is still occasionally called The Double Dipper from Dipton, but, as Bennett has noted, New Zealanders often give people second chances.

If she does survive, however, the least she could do to earn her $326,697 salary is to start mastering the details of her portfolios and stop telling us so often that her career is a modern-day miracle.

Plenty more in the full piece on Noted.

94 comments on “National’s Bennett problem ”

  1. Ad 1

    So this is the sick side of what Metiria has started: every single candidate who ever looked like they ever took any social welfare is now fair game for as much invasive scrutiny as the media and opposition can muster. Might feel rightous to start with, but it’s an unending Pandora’s Box.

    • JanM 1.1

      ‘Judge not that ye be not judged’ I have a feeling that if they are not very careful the judging of Metiria is going to come back and bite.

    • John up North 1.2

      Dont think it’s ” this is the sick side”. It’s pretty much the logical conclusion of the attack dogs and such being loosed on Metiria while completely ignoring the message behind her revelation.

      Are we gonna see Pullya admitting it was impossible for her to survive/provide for her child whilst on a punitively low welfare support package? Maybe Pullya had to tell a few porkies/find other income and forget to inform Winz but not in a deliberate like manner tho’

      Goose meet Gander

      ohh and by the way I don’t know a single tradie that has never done a cashie, and some of the dicks spouting shite about fraud etc are these same “self employed” trade related people who can’t/won’t compare their “fraud” with Metiria. Sigh! some people need a good kicking!

      • greywarshark 1.2.1

        Metiria did set the pigeons among the cats. And there are so many pigeons that there is a safety in the mass and the cats try to attack, but are likely to get their eyes pecked, and other parts too. Kereru of NZ Unite!!

      • Korero Pono 1.2.2

        +100

    • weka 1.3

      So we shouldn’t talk about this in order to protect the political class?

      What Turei did has brilliance on a number of levels, and one of them is this. She would have known full well about the allegations against Bennett about her past. She would also understand how much deep anger there is towards Bennett that she had that past and then not only pulled the ladder up behind her but started throwing rocks at the people left behind.

      So when Turei stood up and told her own story, she did a number of things. She was honest. She told the story to help others. She signalled very clearly to the underclasses that she is on their side (I don’t recall any other politician in my life time doing this).

      She nodded at Bennett, a subtle acknowledgment of knowing, but she basically said all beneficiaries deserve to be treated as human beings and it’s the system that is broken. All beneficiaries, even Paula Bennett. That’s the opportunity to base our politics and culture in aroha rather than punishment. It’s very Māori, and it’s a way out of the kinds of political divides we are seeing internationally.

      Don’t worry, this isn’t some wet, hippy shit. Turei is as tough as they come, and there are serious challenges being laid down too. As with the wider issues around what MT and the GP have done (see their policy), this is a very obvious framing of choosing which side are you on. Because now it’s explicit. You either grant beneficiaries the same rights as other NZers or you don’t.

      Bennett has a choice here but she’s in a very difficult situation. Hoisted on her own petard comes to mind and there is a certainly a large amount of schadenfreude in this, but she can still choose to do the right thing because the Greens are saying they want this fairness for everyone, including her.

      • Korero Pono 1.3.1

        +100 Weka but sadly it is too late for Paula to back out of the lie that she has likely started with her “I did not deliberately lie” and other evasive responses.

    • @Ad .

      And this is PRECISELY and EXACTLY what we do want.

      33 years of lies, garbage and deceitful crap is more than enough out of these sorts of characters.

      And weve all had enough of them.

      We not only have a right to know where our tax dollars have gone , but we DEMAND to know and whats more , – DEMAND they keep their noses clean. At least Metiria was blunt and open. Unlike dozens of these neo liberal scumbags who have rorted the system in such as way as it cannot easily be traced… at first.

    • Bill 1.5

      Agree.

      It’s a variation on the whole “did you inhale” bullshit. I don’t care if Bennett lied to WINZ ‘back in the day’.

      I do care what role she thinks WINZ should play today and what Social Security culture she’d rather promulgate today.

      On that front, her hypocrisy is clear enough regardless of whether or not she lied to the Department at some point in her past.

    • Sabine 1.6

      and so they should.

      if your hole life is was made on the ‘benefit’ as Paula Bennets life has, who then goes and cuts every allowance that she used for others, who outs peoples private details simply because they complain about having study allowances cut (the same that got Bennet through her studies), who is forcing mothers of young children into work, child care be damned while she is on record of going off work to go back on the benefit cause ‘t’was to hard’, then yes, her years and ‘earnings’ should be under scrutiny.

      You can’t say do as i say and not as i did and at the same time be the most vicious vile human being to those that were unlucky enough to be ill, become a widower, be a sole parent, be a grandparent raising your grand children.

      I for once want to know if she ever received a penny she was not entitled to, and if she did, i want her to get that famous WINZ letter that states, you received funds you were not entitled to – here is the sum total – pay up or we send baycorp for collection.

    • Cemetery Jones 1.7

      A decent UBI would end this madness.

    • Sumsuch 1.8

      Justice is often injurious to the participants. But there it shines for our betterment, enlightenment.

  2. ianmac 2

    I was surprised that Bennett and other attack dogs did not attack Metiria with their usual venom. Is it possible that they suspect that Metiria has inside knowledge on Bennett’s alleged DPB flaws?

    • Hooch 2.1

      Agree, what’s not being said is of more interest.

      • Akldnut 2.1.1

        Most likely to not draw attention on themselves, glass houses and stones….ya know

        • Psych nurse 2.1.1.1

          Maybe the Greens are just cleaning their own house before the shit hits the fan with a big dump on Bennett.

    • AsleepWhileWalking 2.2

      This is what I was thinking too… it’s just so darn quiet

    • weka 2.3

      What the Greens have done is deeply politically intelligent. It’s impossible that they don’t know about the allegations against Bennett. And because they’ve stood up for integrity and honesty and being real, National are in a pretty difficult position. If they go to hard against Turei, their own MP and Minister has potentially a much worse story to be told. After Barclay I’m sure they will be treading carefully. I expect the nasty to come in other ways than full frontal attack.

      • And the opposition parties must always include the Dipton Dipper in any conversation..

        His was actually the worst of the lot, just a great big money grab from an already wealthy man.
        He had no need for extra dosh, apart from greed.

    • alwyn 2.4

      Turei’s political opponents don’t have to say anything about her.
      The media are realising that MT’s story simply doesn’t hold up. The more time that goes by the more the full gory details are starting to come out about the scale of her fraud.

      Winston Peters must be laughing into his whisky. He doesn’t have to do anything to get his polling above the Greens. They are doing it to themselves.

      I think that the Green Party vote is going to drop back into the mid single figures unless they get rid of her, and do it soon. The more that comes out the more the Green Party core voters, the middle class conservationists, are going to desert them. If Turei resigns, and does it this week, the MSM will probably drop the whole subject. To continue after she quits would mean highlighting the fact that MT fooled them for so many years. If she gets out fast the party may survive the election with not too much permanent damage.

      I wonder who it was in their Caucus who encouraged her line of “defence”? It is proving about as successful in saving her as Shearer’s two fish. That was of course only silly. MT’s is suicidal, both for herself and, unless she goes very quickly possibly for the Green Party.

      • Lara 2.4.1

        As a middle class conservationist Green party member…

        What utter bullshit and drivel your comment is. You’ve really no idea.

      • Korero Pono 2.4.2

        Well goes to show how little you know then alwyn, my ‘middle class’ swing to Greens was solidified by their welfare policy announcement, Metiria’s admission and the back story that resonates with so many other WINZ stories.

    • JanM 2.5

      I would say she has a fair idea

  3. james 3

    Bennett is pretty clear that she never lied.

    http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/election/2017/07/i-never-lied-to-get-the-benefit-paula-bennett.html

    And no evidence has been provided to prove otherwise.

    • dv 3.1

      Pretty clear
      Pretty legal, !!!!

    • Yeah, John Key was always pretty clear about the same thing.

      • weka 3.2.1

        And Bill English and Todd Barclay. It’s very amusing that a righty would say that a National Party MP claiming she didn’t lie means something.

    • AsleepWhileWalking 3.3

      Sorry James, the fact is some guy willing to make a sworn statement is evidence.

      • james 3.3.1

        Has he made this sworn statement?

        Nope.

        • weka 3.3.1.1

          Do you know he hasn’t? (haven’t looked at his FB for a while).

          • james 3.3.1.1.1

            No evidence I can see that he has.

            • weka 3.3.1.1.1.1

              In other words you made it up?

              • Pete

                Easy weka, surely you don’t think James would make something up!

                There could be a guy who is prepared to make a sworn statement, there could be a guy who hasn’t made a sworn statement.

                What is pretty certain is that Paula Bennett has not made a sworn statement. Paula Bennett’s followers think she doesn’t need to, mainly I suppose, because they believe everything she says.

                Me? What do I think? I think she has served under the most consistent liar PM in NZ’s history and serves under another who recently batantly lied to the public. She serves alongside others who are proven liars. She has adapted well to the mire of the environment she inhabits. She won’t come clean on the episodes in her history because there is no clean.

                • weka

                  There is a guy who is prepared to make a sworn statement (at least he said so online).

                  Agreed about Bennett. I see no reason to believe her word given the party she is in and the way lying has become routine during their time in govt.

                  I’m less interested in PB’s past than I am in the fact that she’s been such a shit to beneficiaries.

    • ianmac 3.4

      James. Bennett said that she didn’t lie. Meteria didn’t lie either. She just omitted to tell all to Winz.
      So when Bennet says she didn’t lie might be so.
      But the question should be, “Did she omit to tell all about her circumstances?”
      Pretty remarkable that on the DPB Bennett was soon able to produce $50,000 for a house

      • weka 3.4.1

        Bennett chose her words carefully.

        • ianmac 3.4.1.1

          In James clip above she spoke very carefully until the questions moved on to a very general nature. Remember when Key would claim if caught out, that he had answered correctly but the question was not quite right.

        • rhinocrates 3.4.1.2

          Always, always when a politician ‘honestly’ denies something and doesn’t dare an outright lie, look at how specific they are being and what they’re not denying, and keep listening for the dogs that don’t bark.

          http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/SuspiciouslySpecificDenial

          Helmet: Did you see anything?
          Sandurz: No, sir! I didn’t see you playing with your dolls again!
          — Spaceballs

    • Sure – it’s entirely possible that the dope-smoking life-of-the-party at the Napier Tattoo Club her boyfriend started was utterly, scrupulously honest in her dealings with WINZ and always made sure to pro-actively declare things to them that would damage her interests. Stranger things have happened. She’s unusually precise in her wording when she talks about it, though…

    • joe90 3.6

      Bennett is pretty clear that she never lied.

      Quietly massaging the message …..last weeks I certainly never deliberately misled them or took money that I shouldn’t of has become I never lied to get the benefit……

      http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2017/07/paula-bennett-says-she-never-deliberately-misled-winz.html

    • JanM 3.7

      Yet !

  4. “Andrew Little and Jacinda Ardern look well together, sharing the Labour
    Party billboard, Leader and Deputy, side by side.
    The Green leaders too, Metiria and James make a happy pair on their
    billboard, along with their binding message, “Great together”.
    National’s billboards however, have Bill English standing without support,
    alone. Why hasn’t Deputy Paula Bennett joined him on the campaign? Her
    face is missing from the picture. Bill looks abandoned.”

    • indiana 4.1

      Looks like you application for the the National campaign manager go turned down…

      • They’re still deliberating. Personally, I think I’m in.
        (btw – your keyboard needs a spruce up – the “R” and “T” buttons – lint (probably blue).

    • Stuart Munro 4.2

      In fairness, Bill looks pretty awkward in company too.

      One does not become a Treasury wonk without otaku level misanthropy.

      • But have you seen him though, standing in a flock of sheep?
        “Otaku level misanthropy” is elegant, thanks, Stuart.

        • Stuart Munro 4.2.1.1

          It’s sad he went into politics really – he’d’ve probably made a decent farmer.

          • Robert Guyton 4.2.1.1.1

            “he’d’ve” – elegant!
            In any case, isn’t it, “descent”?
            I suppose it depends on one’s ideology.

          • rhinocrates 4.2.1.1.2

            He would have made decent compost.

            • Stuart Munro 4.2.1.1.2.1

              I kind of think a left position is all about second chances.

              Take the Whale for example – extravert, impassioned but often about problems that aren’t real. He should be in opera, where his predilection for playing bad guys could be a plus. Of course he’d need to develop his voice a bit, but he’d make a splendid Sweeney Todd.

              Recycling Bill is more of a challenge, (but that’s why they pay us the big bucks). He is clearly more comfortable in mud than in public, and let us be frank, he needs our help.

    • LivinInTheBay 4.3

      Oh come on.

      We all know full well why Jacinda is on the board with Andrew. And it’s not ‘to portray a united front’

      Metiria and James are apparently co-leaders so it makes sense they’re in together.

      National have never used a leader and deputy on their billboards. they haven’t needed to. Unlike the position Andrew finds himself – I.e. Being a distant last in the preferred PM stakes, and in some polls behind his deputy.

      • National haven’t “needed to”?
        Deigned to – fify.

        • LivinInTheBay 4.3.1.1

          Nope, I was right the first time.

          We’re seeing it from Labour for a specific reason. Trying to get away from Andrew’s dour image. Exactly the same reason as he’s ditched his glasses and started wearing contacts. Image. Image. Image.

  5. Mike Bond 5

    I have not been over to this site for some time and decided to have a look today. It is ridiculous how you all try to kid yourself that Paula is the bad one and you can then justify what Metiria has done. What is it with Labour and Green supporters? Stop fooling yourselves that this election is a walk in the park. Metiria has stuffed it up for the Greens and Andrew Little remains as toxic as ever for Labour. I would say they need a wake up call, but I think it is to late for that now.

    • It is ridiculous how you all try to kid yourself that Paula is the bad one and you can then justify what Metiria has done.

      Er, yes, that would be pretty ridiculous if it were what was going on here. Maybe your reading comprehension isn’t up to the job.

    • Molly 5.2

      The basic issue is one of human dignity.

      We have a government that intentionally leaves a margin of unemployed to help suppress wages and create an economic environment that benefits the employers and companies. We also have a benefit system that deliberately pays below 20% of what treasury decided what necessary to live. Live. And that payment has not been effectively adjusted for inflation for over twenty years.

      Essentially – deliberately ensure that a percentage of NZers are kept in unemployment – for a brighter future. And while they are – make sure they are not given enough to live. Then proceed to politically and administratively make them (and everyone else) understand that they are not worth consideration, and have no value (other than the wage suppression aspect – so kudos to them for that).

      Go back to this basic premise, instead of focusing on individual cases and ask yourself: Is this a moral system?

      • indiana 5.2.1

        Which government in the entire history of NZ has ever had zero unemployment?

        “deliberately ensure that a percentage of NZers are kept in unemployment”

        I think the tinfoil around your head is a little to tight.

        • Molly 5.2.1.1

          indiana. If the issue regarding unemployment is a problem for you and stops you thinking further, ignore it and consider the second half of the question.

          Is it moral or ethical to provide income support that is deliberately set so that it does not provide all that is necessary to live?

          • WILD KATIPO 5.2.1.1.1

            Yes. There was a poster recently who said that Ruth Richardson approached Treasury to establish the then minimum wage , then set the benefit 20% lower than that to ensure people could not survive on it.

            She was a total shitter and wouldn’t put it past the neo liberal scumbag at all.

            And each neo liberal scumbag govt since has never changed it back to anything remotely humane or realistic.

            Metiria should be hailed as a political hero.

        • Brigid 5.2.1.2

          Educate yourself Indiana
          “After 1984, the Wellington economic policy establishment abandoned the goal of full employment in order to prioritise other objectives such as fighting inflation, privatising, state assets and cutting taxes. The goal of full employment wasn’t only abandoned in a practical sense, but theoretically as well, in favour of the competing doctrine of the “natural rate of unemployment”, a doctrine which is closely bound up with the Reserve Bank’s regulation of the economy. ”

          http://www.jobsletter.org.nz/jbl08410.htm

        • McFlock 5.2.1.3

          Didn’t we have a PM who knew all the unemployed by name? It was a small list in a country of 2 million. Zero, to the nearest percentage.

        • alwyn 5.2.1.4

          Actually about 50 or 60 years ago in New Zealand we did have essentially ZERO unemployment.
          I can’t remember whether it ever got to single figures but it certainly got under 20. That was 20 people, not 20%.
          Oh the glory days of the Holyoake era.

        • Nic the NZer 5.2.1.5

          “deliberately ensure that a percentage of NZers are kept in unemployment”

          Were you not aware of this? The actual percentage that is targeted is called the Non-Accelerating Inflation Rate of Unemployment (or NAIRU). Its presently assumed to be around 5% of the workforce. The reason for this policy is its assumed that wages will rise over real wages if unemployment drops below this level and according to theory this will cause the economies equilibrium inflation rate to accelerate. Bill English has asked questions in parliament about this.

      • greywarshark 5.2.2

        Don’t let anyone say that Gnashional doesn’t use any underhand psychological techniques. They know that their complacent supporters enjoy lots of feel-good when they view others worse off.

        So they set up bennies to be like the guys on November 5th, only as yet they don’t destroy them publicly. Guy Fawke figures get burnt in public bennies just get their fingers burnt in semi-private when they reach out for help with their difficult circumstances.

        • greywarshark 5.2.2.1

          I should not say they don’t destroy bennies publicly. There was that time that Paula Bennett discussed the private information of one or two beneficaries asking for return of the training incentive allowance that gives skills and keeps people in a ready state for getting a job.

          But as government doesn’t really care about that, it’s been abandoned, as beneficiaries themselves are, and the work that they might have done in NZ owned businesses, now closed because of having open borders to get everything cheaper from overseas. That’s Gnashional for you, cheap, and very nasty.

    • greywarshark 5.3

      You sound like James (Bond, that is).

      And why Indiana? Why not Waikikamukau? You seem not to know anything about the methods of neo lib economics.
      Need to loosen up your own mind I think.

    • Brigid 5.4

      “I have not been over to this site for some time”
      Nobody cares.
      ” It is ridiculous how you all try to kid yourself that Paula is the bad one and you can then justify what Metiria has done. ”
      That isn’t what’s being discussed.
      This blog isn’t for simpletons.
      Best you stay away.

      • Mike Bond 5.4.1

        So I take it you don’t like the truth?

        • weka 5.4.1.1

          Expressing an opinion doesn’t constitute truth. Read the site Policy.

        • Robert Guyton 5.4.1.2

          It was a pretty crap rag, from memory. Didn’t Slater kill it stone dead? Best (and only) good thing he’s ever done (aside from getting in the ring, that was epic! Oh, and the cycle race – whippo!)

  6. esoteric pineapples 6

    Paula is just another in a long line of women to be used by the leadership of National and then gotten rid of when they have served their purpose or are no longer useful. It’s a Faustian pact any underling makes with this government – whether they are women or men.

  7. Kevin 7

    “I was on and off a benefit during my teens and early twenties but I did not receive support that I wasn’t entitled to.”

    Try doing that now.

  8. Pedant 8

    “what is certain is that Bill English can not afford to have Bennett share billboard space with him until they are answered satisfactorily”.

    ergh only Andrew Little needs to share space with his deputy. I cannot recall a National campaign where the deputy has been needed to prop up the leader on a billboard.

    • Pedant the Patriarch – bow down before his Authoritar!

    • SpaceMonkey 8.2

      No… under John Key every National candidate needed propping up with John Key’s mug. But that’s not the same, eh?

      • LivinInTheBay 8.2.1

        No, under John Key National MPs and candidates knew that association with him was a good thing for their campaign and so *wanted* to be on a billboard with him.

        Here it’s a case of a leader with a very poor public image (polling at 4 or 5% in the preferred PM stakes dependingnwhich poll you read) being on a billboard with someone with a much better public image.

        It really doesn’t take much imagination to work out why they’ve done that. And if you’re actually honest with yourself and others you’d admit it.

  9. Rondo Rowling 9

    A large number of people I talk with seem to see the likes of Ms Bennett & Co as being; “out of touch with the real concerns of the NZ public” or “on another planet”.

    Such commenters are generally the type of women (and men) who have some self-dignity and self-respect and who don’t wish to support “Flash Harry’s and Flash Harriette’s” who go about building themselves a fashionable/crass wardrobe of clothes, shoes and words at the taxpayers’ expense.

    At least Johnkey paid for his suits from his own pocket.

    One mystery is what part she and similarly minded played in what is rumoured to be their own version of behind the scenes King & Queen making, and to whose detriment?

    Some consider her to be vile, although it is not the way I would put it.

    Comments she made in her more formative political years regarding selective breeding and sterilisation was well below the belt, and I believe that she has simply grown a wealth of dislike or disdain since then with her various customised outpourings of vitriol and venom.

    On the matter of historical non-declaration relating to WINZ, all political considerations aside, I would wonder what legitimate grounds any investigator might have for proceeding past a handful of straight forward and simple questions, likely to be responded with by a number of genuine, “I really don’t remember” responses.

    Many people I know cannot remember who they shared a flat with decades ago, let alone how much room rent money changed hands.

    Thanks once more for your time.

    • Adrian 9.1

      I dont know, I suspect that most of us has a very good memory for any nefarious and dodgy actions that could have got one deep in the poo.

  10. Chris 10

    The

    “Yeah. I might be guilty, but it doesn’t count, because look what they might have done!!”

    Defence.

    News flash

    What some one else may or may not have done, going by rumours, does not make Metiria less of a thief and a fraudster, who should get whatever punishment is warranted

  11. tc 11

    I like to see bennett as the deputy PM and albatross.

    Helps to remind folk about the mean spirited abuser of personal details for political gain amongst her other indisretions and ladder pulling activities.

  12. mary_a 12

    Bennett it seems used everything the state had to give (and possibly more) to improve her status.

    A state dependent for much of her adult life and still going strong!

  13. Cinny 13

    Does Paula Bennett ask media what she is to be interviewed about or does she pre-screen/approve the questions prior to any interviews?

    Just wondering because of this bit in the Stuff Article linked via initial post…

    “Bennett, who is Minister of Police, Tourism and Climate Change Issues, declined to be interviewed about what she had told Social Welfare officials when she was on the benefit. Some people we approached said they’d been asked not to talk to the media.”

    I’m getting really pissed off with national party politicians that should be representing the people, refusing to answer questions or be interviewed by media.

    • tc 13.1

      Par for the national course. Key refused to front without questions in advance and would blank out those who refused to indulge him or strayed into forbidden topics.

      Even the fluff womens weekly pieces with him and bronagh had run sheets full of no-go topics and a cavalcade of media minders in attendance to ensure it was strictly adhered to.

      Issue for national is the pm and deputy have as much charm and charisma as don brash did so its steady as she goes and hope their msm and dp mates help.

      • Cinny 13.1.1

        Far out for reals TC? Dang it’s like Muldoon media manipulation all over again.

        Well that makes sense, if they don’t like the questions, they simply refuse interviews, and to hell with honesty and being upfront with the public.

        Embedded Journalists? Or simply fearful of not getting another interview should they deviate from the pre screened list of questions.

        Avoidance and lies, where’s the freaking accountability, where are the freaking journalists?

        Fucken manipulation circus, yeah I’m pissed off, please excuse my language.

        General public can’t stand Paula Bennett, guessing that’s part of the reason she’s not an ‘advertising feature’

  14. Whispering Kate 14

    On RNZ news the constant litany is “we asked so and so Minister for his opinions and he/she declined to come on the programme”. There is absolutely no accountability with this current administration and probably wasn’t much in other administrations. As we pay these low lifes their salaries there should be some rules in place that they front up and be answerable for their decisions they make on our behalf.

    Ethics and morals have departed by the exit gate these days and I don’t know if it is that it is not taught in schools, there is no one body which teaches right from wrong – even religion is a bad word and frowned on. At least when I was a kid Sunday School taught us to look after one another and to be mindful of some of the 10 Commandants. Surely that wasn’t so bad that it had to be culled out of kid’s lives. Hate seems to be everywhere from road rage, assaults on people every day – it is a God forsaken country as far as I can see. I can see why so many young and not so young people are committing suicide these days, what a crap of a future they face. Only my ramblings of course before I am off to bed.

    • greywarshark 14.1

      Hi Whispering Kate
      I was thinking about how religion has been pushed away in our society the other day. It did say to everyone – you’re a sinner, but you can make it better. And while that was boring, being told that, it didn’t encourage you to think yourself perfect. You had to examine your conscience even if once over lightly. Unfortunately Bill English is a Catholic and gets forgiveness and more children in about equal measures I suppose.

  15. Cinny 15

    Jacinda and Paula were interviewed on Newshub this morning. Visual expressions from Paula were interesting…..

    Jacinda was asked for comment re Meti.

    Both Jacinda and Paula were on the screen as Jacinda spoke to Duncan about Meti.

    Paula was glaring in Duncans direction as Jacinda shared her thoughts.

    Paula was not asked by Duncan Garner for her thoughts re Meti, instead he quickly changed the subject to putting up election hoardings.

    Was Duncan Garner told not to ask Paula any questions re Meti?

    Will newshub post the FULL interview or just a couple of soundbites?

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