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Paula Bennett – Out Of Touch

Written By: - Date published: 4:04 pm, April 27th, 2011 - 21 comments
Categories: politicans, tv, welfare - Tags: , ,

Make The Politician Work” is a new “reality” series from TVNZ, with its first episode on Easter Sunday.

I don’t particularly like the premise, as the vast majority of our politicians work very hard.  But despite that, and the shonky reality stylings, the first episode with Paula Bennett was most enlightening.

Bennett, about to help out in the Wellington Mission Soup Kitchen, and deal with people with much bigger problems, is worried about wearing a hair-net on National Telly, and that the heat will make her make-up run.

Here is our Social Development Minister, actually meeting those on welfare and realising that a cookie-cutter solution won’t solve their complex problems.  Getting to talk to people desperate to work in National’s economy that has no jobs for them.  They have needs that cost more than the benefit.  All these are revelations to Paula.  How did she get to be Minister again?

She pays for everyone’s hot drinks when they can’t afford 20c, without a thought to the Mission’s having to charge them again in future.  She tries to smuggle extra biscuits into food parcels, without a thought that later families will miss out altogether.  She’s pleasantly surprised her expensive home-made guacamole is a hit, when it will have been a long time since the regulars could afford avocado – my hope is that at least “I’ve got to go make my guacamole” becomes a catchphrase out of it.

I’m sure future episodes will make all the politicians look vain, and show up their foibles, such is the indignity and purpose of ‘reality tv’; but hopefully other politicians aren’t so out of touch on their portfolios.  Although the way National are ignoring food price rises and the cost of living while insisting on keeping their tax cuts for the rich, I’m not too hopeful.

If you haven’t already, I recommend you watch it.

21 comments on “Paula Bennett – Out Of Touch ”

  1. Lanthanide 1

    It’s a pity it was only 30 minutes long, instead of an hour. It seemed very rushed, in and out, and barely covered much of the 2 days Paula spent out on ‘the beat’.

  2. Campbell Larsen 2

    Shameful that’s what it is – In the episode she expresses trepidation about opening the door to the public (quite fearful) and then goes on to single out people with mental health issues and those with drug and alcohol problems as the reason why (implying that they are violent or unpredictable or worse) What the hell is this woman doing in charge of a Ministerial portfolio?

    I have begun a complaints process, I would ask that others do the same.

    • ianmac 2.1

      Wonder why Paula repetitively fears opening the doors believing that they might have a go at her. Guilt? Probably the customers wouldn’t know who she was anyway.

      Wonder if Trevor was recorded before his accident as it will be hard to harvest asparagus from a wheelchair.

    • Vicky32 2.2

      I didn’t watch it (Doctor Who or Terry Pratchett on Prime was just too desirable – but I didn’t want to watch her anyway!)
      Frankly I find her terrifying.

  3. James 3

    I think the complaints should be made to the people who voted for her…

  4. infused 4

    Complain? wow.. No one forced you to watch it buddy.

    • Blighty 4.1

      about the minister, not the programme, methinks.

    • Colonial Viper 4.2

      Complain? wow.. No one forced you to watch it buddy.

      I see, its a modern take on the old Zen koan of the tree falling in the forest.

      If no one watches the shite programme on TV, its not actually offensive and inappropriate.

      Very wise of you infused 🙄

    • Kaplan 4.3

      No one forced you to read the comment you just complained about.
      See how it works? Or in this case doesn’t…

  5. korero 5

    Kaplan: very zen.

    It was good to see Paula slumming it in Newtown, not long after Annette King popped in to Newtown Park Flats to see what the renovations will look like.

    Paula reminded me of one of my in-laws who cannot conceive of an existence outside her leafy suburb, and seems to believe that problems are solved by being supercilious and speaking louder.

    I’m not a supporter of Paula’s politics, but give her credit for turning up.

  6. M 6

    So Paula was worried about a hair net and her make-up running?

    Just what drugs is she dropping these days? Wake up leopard print aficionado, who gives a shit, it’s the poor starving people you deigned to serve that are the point of interest.

    Paris Hilton in all her flummery would probably have a better grasp of what life’s like for the down and out.

    Paula Bennett, cockroach of the year

  7. Jum 7

    I almost started thinking ‘maybe those people got through to her’, but then her last line “must get back to work and blah blah blah – no change there people.

    1st May March – let’s show Paula what we think of her policies.

    2pm outside Britomart, march along Queen Street to Aotea Square. Placards, but more importantly, your good selves lads and lasses.

  8. Roger 8

    I was laughing when she was told who was in charge and her response was “Oh, you’re the boss, normally the Prime Minister of New Zealand is who I call boss.” This was the icing on the cake. Her aversion to hairnets and her makeup running was also breathtaking.

    • rosy 8.1

      I wonder how much editing the TV people had to do to get those gems. I’d love to see the out-takes.

  9. BLiP 9

    When is the Human Rights Commission going to finally get around to dealing with Paula for the breach of privacy when she peeked into confidential information to stifle dissent from ungrateful beneficiaries?

  10. richard 10

    Paula “Let them eat guacamole” Bennett. What a joke.

  11. Tanz 11

    Was in Auckland’s Queen St this week, was shocked at the amount of homeless people dotted up and down the place, begging bowls out. This is a very sad indictment on the state of the nation, I thought…never used to be this bad. Things too hard, too tough, and one is put through hoops for any job, these days…really sad.

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