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‘Too busy’

Written By: - Date published: 12:16 pm, October 17th, 2016 - 61 comments
Categories: paula bennett, same old national - Tags:

You can only piss the journos off for so long…

National ministers have a habit of not wanting to turn up to the ‘hard’ questions, but Paula Bennett has been severely caught out by RNZ:

Back in August RNZ’s Insight programme spent two weeks chasing Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett for an interview. Finally, just days before the deadline the minister agreed to a five minute phone interview. The Insight programme had repeatedly been told the minister was simply too busy to front up for a face-to-face interview about homelessness.

But at the same time as being ‘too busy’ to discuss her day job, social housing, when given the chance to spend half-an-hour on the telly chatting about KFC perfume:


Text exchange between Minister of Social Housing Paula Bennett’s office and TV3’s Friday Story programme. Photo: RNZ


61 comments on “‘Too busy’ ”

  1. Sam C 1

    Are you serious? Caught out? Although a horrible woman, Paula Bennett can decide who she wants to interview with and when, can’t she? Get a grip.

    • Gangnam Style 1.1

      She’s not beholden to the public in any way? She’s just a glorified public servant isn’t she? We don’t live in a dictatorship, or do we? Whats she got to hide? What is she so scared of? Maybe I just expect more from my Govt Ministers than you.

      • Sam C 1.1.1

        Of course we don’t live in a dictatorship. Which is exactly my point. Minister Bennett is not beholden to RNZ, just as Hillary Clinton is not beholden to Fox News. Get over yourself.

        • Gangnam Style

          ‘Get over yourself’- What the fuck does that mean? Is it just a polite way to say ‘get fucked’? Then same to you chuckles.

        • Chris

          That’s the trouble with right wing idiots. Democracy, accountability and transparency are anathema what they hold dear.

        • Muttonbird

          This comparison is a track I don’t want to go down. That is the creeping Americanisation of New Zealand.

          To intimate that the partisan politics/media relationship in The States is a healthy one is being dishonest and to want to replicate that here is to further erode the honesty and accountability with which NZ political life used to be known.

        • mickysavage

          But Ms Bennett is beholden to the New Zealand public and should talk to the media, especially the high end good quality media.

          • jcuknz

            The media are simply getting too big for their boots these days when they expect a minister to front up to them. Tough bickies . they are lucky they got five minutes. Even if you think they are useless twits and make fun of them ‘off air’ * they are ministers and they talk if they choose to.
            * I remember a hilarious impersonation of Kiwi Keith coming into the editing room many years ago by the interviewer after the actual i/v 🙂

    • Corokia 1.2

      She can decide, but ought to be honest about her reasons. It appears “too busy” was a lie.

      • Michelle 1.2.1

        really what a load of bollocks she tells lots of porkies, and you all sound like a bunch of tired sheep following the leader no wonder our country is going to the poo to many like ewes

    • Bill 1.3

      No. She can’t “just decide”. She’s a minister and as a minister she makes herself available in order to be held to account.

      If she just wants to do pap interviews she should set herself up as a media celeb and step down from public office. (As should John Key and anyone else bent on avoiding scrutiny)

      • Sam C 1.3.1

        Actually, I think you’ll find she can “just decide” whether she engages with Radio Red or not. I’m pretty sure Ministerial Guidelines don’t specify that all Ministers of the Crown have to grant interviews to RNZ whenever they demand them. As an aside, if you read the post, the Minister did agree to an interview, when it suited her.

        • Bill

          Only an idiot would argue that I suggested a minister wouldn’t decide which outlet to speak to on matters of accountability. Only a complete idiot would imply that talking about KFC perfume was anything like taking part in interviews focused on matters of accountability.

        • Stuart Munro

          “Red Radio?” That’s Public radio you fuckwit.

          And although Bennett may think she’s a princess, she’s not.

          She’s a minister of the crown and accountable to the public.

          Clearly she wants to normalise the fiction that she is not accountable, and hires or suborns pathetic specimens like yourself to forward that agenda.

          NZ is rapidly reaching the point where the ballot box is not sufficiently punishing and errant ministers must face more tangible sanctions. The pillory seems appropriate.

          • Sam C

            well, it is publicly funded radio. With a distinctly red hue.

            Since when does accountability to the public equate with the assertion that a Minister MUST do an interview with RNZ within a timeframe to meet its journalistic deadlines?

            And, as per usual, you blame the voter: “the ballot box is not sufficiently punishing”. Look where that gets you.

            • Stuart Munro

              I’m not blaming the voter Sam C, as you very well know.

              I am blaming this lazy lying corrupt and worthless government – and its mindless troll servants, namely yourself.

              • Sam C

                What exactly do you mean when you say “the ballot box is not sufficiently punishing” then? It is voters who cast their votes at the ballot box last time I checked.

                I’m no fan of Bennett’s, but I don’t think any politician, opposition or Government, should be judged on their unwillingness to dance to RNZ’s tune.

            • Bearded Git

              Brian Crump, Guyon Espiner, Jim Mora, Susie Ferguson, Kathryn Ryan.

              Distinctly Red? Yeah right.

            • Paul

              ‘Red hue’
              Miserable trolling.
              No doubt for you Whale Oil is impartial journalism.

              • Sam C

                How is it trolling? RNZ is certainly not impartial journalism. There are enough moaners on this site suggesting that. Look at Bearded Dickhead’s comment above.

          • Anne

            And although Bennett may think she’s a princess, she’s not.

            She was filmed by a TV crew about a year ago poncing along a parliamentary corridor in a frilly skirt pretending to be Twinkle Toes.

            Yeah I’m being a bit of a bitch but it was funny.

            • Sam C

              You’re right. You are being a bitch. But then again, focusing on personality removes the need to focus on fixing the broken policy, right?

              • Anne

                That ass would take more than an RNZ smear to cover it.

                Pot/kettle and projection much!

                • Sam C

                  “Projection”? One minute I’m being accused of being a Bennett sychophant, the next I’m being accused of being a pot. Or a kettle. I’m confused, Anne.

                  • Wensleydale

                    It’s okay, Sam. Everyone gets confused sometimes. Have a cup of tea and a bit of a lie down. You’ll feel better.

        • Chris

          Hope she’s the next leader of the national party. It’ll be a laugh a minute…every single day of the week.

    • repateet 1.4

      She wasn’t caught out. She does not have to ask questions or front up.

      Corokia (below) says Bennett lied about being too busy. That could be wrong, maybe she was too busy to discuss homelessness, but just has KFC perfume higher on her priority list.

      I think she will easily be re-elected. I think she will a Minister in the next Government.

      I also think she’s a cow. And I think her “too busy” suggests she is either a lying cow, or a gutless coward, afraid to front up and have the courage of her, and her Government’s convictions.

      • Gangnam Style 1.4.1

        You forgot ‘arrogant.’ Shes a gutless, lying, arrogant coward. Obviously the thought of going on ‘red’ radio for 5 minutes was too scary for her. Though I did see Jack Tame(!) eviscerate her in an interview (about climate change), her face went all Jim Carey with all these weird facial tics, it was fascinating to watch. These people have got it too easy, obviously ‘Duncan’ is a nice safe pair of hands.

        • Garibaldi

          Red radio ? Good god -it used to be a fair and balanced station; now the Natz are running it and it has a blue haze .

          • jcuknz

            I find it funny as an ex-employee that the ‘right ‘ think it is red and the ‘left’ think it is blue. Obviously colour is in the ears of the listener 🙂
            edit I could have said brain but neither side appear to have one of those.

            • Stuart Munro

              The right don’t think at all.

              They label it red to lever it to the right.

              They neither recognise nor care about balance. The RWNJ idea of democracy is them telling us what to do – which is why the LWNJ ideal involves guillotines.

              This is how America got so fucked up.

        • Whispering Kate

          I saw that interview and I totally agree with you, I thought Jack Tame was going to be another “tame” interviewer but I was wrong. Will be good to see if he can do the same again on NZ TV – but no doubt he will be muzzled like the rest of the presenters. It was a very good interview with Paula Benefit but it was in the US and out of the sphere of influence of this country.

        • philj

          A link to the Tame/ Bennett interview on climate change would be appreciated

    • Bunji 1.5

      She has no legal obligation, just a moral one to be accountable as an elected public servant.

      And if you don’t front up, and it turns out you’re just making up excuses, sometimes the journos you’re lying to will publish that fact (aka ‘being caught out’), which may harm your future career prospects…

    • Chris 1.6

      So it’s fine that she lied?

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 1.7

      -> Sam C @ 1.

      Sure, she can decide to avoid serious discourse about serious topics…but it is whether she should

  2. Anno1701 2

    Paula Benet is a fantastic example of just HOW small the pool of talent is for Pollis in this country….

  3. Siobhan 3

    On the up side…I didn’t wake up to her voice.

  4. mosa 4

    Red Radio ????????
    The only difference between RNZ and the others apart from long spells of boredom is they dont promote their radio hosts as celebrities and carry on as if we are entitled to their opinion.

    As for Paula Bennett she follows the same rules as all other National ministers her spin and safeguard team decide wheather its in her political interest and safety to allow her to be scrutinised.

    John Key has escaped interrogation on everything when he should have been held to account but most of the time its a quiet fireside chat with a few laughs nothing to pressured.

  5. mosa 5

    ” You can only piss off the journalists for so long ”
    Ben in case you missed it they have all been paid off by the National machine.

    And all the good ones left the building a long time ago and have left us to it.

  6. Paul 6

    All journalists need to do is to say stuff like “we have asked Bennett 23 times for an interview” and then provide a open forum for the other side of the argument to criticise the government .
    They’ll front if they know they lose when they fail to front.

    • Sam C 6.1

      Shit, you should be a media adviser Paul. Your talents are wasted on here.

    • Anne 6.2

      Didn’t John Campbell once produce an empty chair for John Key on Campbell Live because he kept refusing to front up?

    • Whispering Kate 6.3

      John Campbell still regularly says “we have asked so in so for in interview and have been refused for whatever excuse. ” I still think he should have cardboard cutouts made of all our cabinet ministers and have them seated next to him so he can make fun of the fact they are absent from being made to be accountable. JC is one of the Nation’s treasures but I fear he will not last long in his position.

      • Wensleydale 6.3.1

        Or sock puppets. Actually, you’d probably get more intelligent comment and sound policy from a sock puppet than from many National ministers.

  7. gsays 7

    there’s a kfc perfume?

    the mind boggles.

    • Sabine 7.1

      yeah, true that.

      bwhahahah, and she has something to say about that. Ohmygosh that women, despite all her education is not to bright.

      • Sam C 7.1.1

        “That women”. “Not to bright”. Oh, the irony.

      • jcuknz 7.1.2

        I think you mean ‘not too bright’ Sabine … but relax the spell check probably did it for you, like it does for so many bloggers 🙂

  8. mosa 8

    Bennett not too bright !
    Perfect National party replacement PM then.

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