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Trouble? Re-announce a distraction…

Written By: - Date published: 6:52 am, September 6th, 2012 - 232 comments
Categories: benefits, national, unemployment - Tags: ,

I see Paula Benefit is up to her old tricks again. As the government desperately wants to be doing something other than not attending huis over water rights, it’s up to Paula to pull a benefit bash.

But she’s obviously run out of ideas.

So now we’re re-announcing the old bene-bashes.

Just like two weeks ago when she re-announced beneficiary drug-testing (I guess she got a bit too much into the Olympics), now we’re recycling no benefit if there’s an arrest warrant.

As they continue to run their lines to portray beneficiaries as druggie criminals (and Paula should know after her years on the benefit…), my argument from the last time this was announced still stands:

But the question needs to be asked: how many people on the run are collecting the benefit?  (Even if they’re on the benefit, are they collecting it?  Isn’t that giving the police clues as to where they are?)

How much will this policy change save compared to the amount we spent on Paula & her advisors to come up with it?  The amount it will cost for parliament to spend time passing the law?

As with drug-testing this policy isn’t about saving money. It is about demonising those who’ve fallen on hard times.

National is desperately trying to pass the blame to the tens of thousands of extra unemployed it has created.

232 comments on “Trouble? Re-announce a distraction… ”

  1. A lot of these warrants will be for unpaid fines where notices have been sent to a former address.

    Even a temporary suspension of payments will cause hardship.  Many of these people are on the breadline and a temporary cut will mean they will not be able to make the next week’s rent or grocery bill.

    For political gain and minimal savings Bennett intends to make it that much harder for them.  Shame on her.

    • higherstandard 1.1

      From what I understand all the person/s have to do to continue to receive a tax payer paid benefit is to present themselves at the nearest cop shop.

      While the announcement is timed for political purposes I can’t see why anyone with an outstanding warrant should be paid a benefit of any type as one of the fellows who we’ve got working with us from overseas commented when she heard that the government gave money out in these situations……. you kiwis are crazy.

      • Kotahi Tāne Huna 1.1.1

        Did you get the point about outstanding fine warrants being sent to the wrong address? Or the fact that this will result in people missing rent payments, and inevitably therefore, more homeless families?

        Or do you simply not give a toss about the actual effect of a policy so long as it sounds good and strokes your wizened little hate?

        • felix

          The second one, the stroking of the wizened little hate.

        • TightyRighty

          SO unfortunate. How about this, most people know they have fines. so need to front.

          You seem to have no problem making all the rich suffer when one does something that hurts or affronts you, but if one poor crim can’t keep up, all the rest should keep their benefits. regardless of the severity. god your inane.

          • bbfloyd

            “most people know they have fines”… what utter bullshit!!! I personally got rorted for over $400 worth of fines when i got back to nz…. None of which were actually mine, as someone had used my name when being pulled over for having no rego…. in 1995…They waited nearly fifteen years to start harassing me over it..(and yes, there was a warrant issued for non payment)..

            The police never checked the information for accuracy…. And then insult was added to injury when I was informed that it was up to me to prove they weren’t mine,(the fines), necessitating the cost of the hearing i would have been forced to demand(with very little chance of successfully “proving” my case) ….

            the police, on hearing That I was considering disputing the fines, refused to pass the necessary paperwork over to me, saying that they had none to give me….making it effectively impossible for me to put any valid argument up in my defense..

            I know of at least half a dozen people who have had the same experience…

            translate that across the country, and the numbers get into four figures…. So you think every one of those people should lose their income, their home, their ability to feed themselves, and their chances of getting work because our legal system is rotten with incompetence, and corruption?

            What kind of an arsehole are you anyway?

            That is just ONE example of how mind numbingly stupid this approach is…. If I thought you had the wit to understand commonsense language, I could outline many more….

          • Kotahi Tāne Huna

            “…rich suffer…”

            Oh the humanity.

        • David H

          AHHHH But if you have no address then they can’t send you mail so there fore they can’t contact you. Hey Presto no Benefit…

      • Roy 1.1.2

        If a person is facing a sizeable fine, how the hell are they supposed to pay it if they are on a benefit? Benefits provide barely enough to survive and keep a roof over one’s head.

        • Balanced View

          Ahh – so should we just not fine beneficiaries?

          • Adele

            Balanced View

            Firstly, your views are not that balanced and I suggest you change your moniker to something more appropriate like perhaps – cock-eyed and skewed.

            The Justice Department was at one time working on reviewing fines as a punishment as the system contains an underlying bias in favour of those with money. A $200 fine has greater punitive effect to a person on a benefit than to someone who can easily afford the fine. Its a relativity thing.

            The justice system is definitely blinkered rather than blind and throughout favours the monied and screws the un-monied. This new beneficiary bash will simply exacerbate the injustice anbd the sense thereof.

            There is absolutely no point in fining beneficiaries and other means to make them accountable to society are actually being trialled in some communities – with success. And we need to stop fining people for the same offence over and over again. These people end up requesting jail time because they have no ability whatsoever to pay accumulated fines.

            • Balanced View


              Firstly – if our pseudonyms had to represent the nature of our comments then many would need to change. Judging by a couple of your comments tonight, “potty mouth” might be apt.The amount of times my moniker is referenced by comments here and at Whale Oil goes to show how easily distracted you all are. This comes through in spades in your comments which are largely completely missing the bigger picture.

              In saying that, I agree with your comments about fines holding differing levels of deterrence depending on your wealth. I would be interested to hear what some of these other successful punishments are.

              • Adele


                How old are you? Here is what I think of your use of ‘potty mouth.’ Not my words but excellent nonetheless:

                I’m allergic to people who willingly and without irony use the term “potty mouth” in adult conversation. The notion that a word like fuck can make your brain curl up and cry like a toddler is so pathetically disturbing that it makes my skin crawl….

                But at least the potty mouth reaction is a useful leading indicator for personality fits. It’s almost as good as the f-bomb reaction. Both are fake euphemisms that are actually much worse than the honest words they’re trying to put a fig leaf to. And if you’re serious about using them, I’m serious about thinking you’re too fucking lame to bother further debate with.

                Which of course is ironic. Since the whole potty mouth fuzz is about distancing yourself from that foul person on the basis of words. Heh….
                David Heinemeier Hansson

                Before I end this distraction – big picture thinking requires big googly eyes cognisant of the issues confronting people at all levels – not some armchair exercise from an old person’s home. I understand the issues confronting peoples from various angles because I have practical experience in those areas. So don’t limit my gaze to accord with your myopic viewpoints masquerading as worldliness.

                The trials being conducted is about reparation and restoration to the victim and rehabilitation to the offender. Marae justice involves a community approach to offender management. English Law and Māori Lore in collaboration – and it is working. Offenders that meaningly work off their offence to community rather than pay $5 a week for the rest of their natural days as punishment.

                • Balanced View

                  I’m glad I persisted through all the drivel at the beginning to get to your last paragraph.

                  This Marae justice sounds promising – although it would be great to get more detail around it before jumping to any conclusions. When will the trials be complete?

              • When you refer to being “distracted” , BV, it occurs to me that Bennett has succeeded admirably with you.

                I find it hard to understand how otherwise intelligent people cannot connect the dots and realised that distraction & deflection is the Name of the Game here.

                Or… may be you do, but it serves your own interests and validates your own political views?

                *shakes head*

                • mike e

                  Frank Even the herald has changed its tune these days especially the comments and Cartoons are running ten to one against the governments failure and their policy of blaming everybody else for their failure the teflon has worn off’ the honey moon is over.

      • vto 1.1.3

        higherstandard, can you explain why this policy should not apply to all people that receive taxpayer money?

        Because the only reason so far provided by the nincompoops on the right is “its taxpayer money”.

        • Pascal's bookie

          And seeing it’s all about ‘taxpayers money’, and the social contract and what not, what should we be doing about those people who are disputing how much tax they owe?

          Why should people who have the IRD after them for unpaid taxes have the benefit of police protection for their person and property?

          Makes no sense, it’s an outrage, no-brainerm, why are my taxes protecting these bludgers etc.

        • higherstandard

          Yes I can’t see why the policy shouldn’t apply to all people that receive taxpayer money, much as the system that operates as you fly ex NZ and get pinged for outstanding fines.

        • Roy

          So will we see it applied to superannuatants?

      • HS – you must be aware that to receuive a benefit, you have to provide a valid address to WINZ?

        Ergo, it’s a simple matter for WINZ employee to talk to Police employee, and – voila! (as they say in Kazakhstan) – the Boys in Blue pay a visit. If the address turns out to be false, WINZ act on that at near lightspeed velocity.

        What Bennett is doing is deflection. And as one of the smarter right wing commentators here (not being sarcastic), I’m sure you know that.

  2. Kotahi Tāne Huna 2

    Failure and incompetence are the hallmark of the National Party, so they hide behind these distractions.

    The question is: will the Labour Party come out strongly and promise to reverse this and other attacks on New Zealand’s most vulnerable citizens?

    Perhaps a promise to fully compensate any person who can show that this policy caused genuine hardship?

    Or will we hear about an old guy whose neighbour didn’t pay a fine?

  3. Have you wondered at all why Paula Bennett does this? It’s because it succeeds. First, because she can rely on left-wingers writing about it, and second, because she can rely on them to get all outraged at the prospect of people with outstanding arrest warrants having their dole stopped – such outrage being a guaranteed voter turnoff for just about anybody who doesn’t have an outstanding arrest warrant. Let’s see if the Green/Labour MPs are made of smarter stuff.

    • So Psycho you understand the reality and the politics at play.  Do you think that this cynical manipulation of the electorate is a good thing or a bad thing?

      • Tom Gould 3.1.1

        It’s good for the Tories’ poll ratings, and that’s all that matters. The pavlovian response from the ‘left’ is all part of their plan. However, ever asked yourself why a bit of ‘bene bashing’ keeps their polling up? Could it be that lost of people don’t like the idea they are being ripped off? Regardless of how few folks on the benefit also have outstanding warrants, and whether they are largely for outstanding fines, and cutting off their pay to punish them for not paying their fines is complete lunacy, the facts no longer matter.

        • Uturn

          If people truly think social welfare is a “rip off” the problem lies with them – something they are “personally responsible” for – not beneficiaries.

        • just saying

          Tom, I think you are being naive. If this were just about indignation about being “ripped-off” do you really think citizens would be baying to have the poorest and most vulnerable demonised, humiliated and stripped of their few remaining human rights to catch a small minority responsible for a very small proportion of the total sum of the extensive rip-offs they are prey to?

        • SpaceMonkey

          Then they should be up in arms about the banks ripping us all off.

        • fisiani

          The Pavlovian response here is truly staggering.
          Why on earth should we keep giving benefits to people who choose not to pay their fines for law breaking.?
          The predictable Pavlovian outrage on behalf of the ‘blameless’ shown above is regarded as outrageous by the mainstream.
          Please keep it up. Please keep speaking up for the people who rip off the system.

      • Psycho Milt 3.1.2

        Do you think that this cynical manipulation of the electorate is a good thing or a bad thing?

        I think it’s a politician thing – “good” or “bad” doesn’t come into it. The important bit is, when people are trying to play you for a sucker, you should refuse the game.

        • Polish Pride

          And yet we continue to persist with this BS system….

        • Draco T Bastard

          I think it’s a politician thing – “good” or “bad” doesn’t come into it.

          Oh, good and bad definitely come into it – it’s called having morals which a few people obviously don’t have.

          The important bit is, when people are trying to play you for a sucker, you should refuse the game.

          So we should just keep quiet about injustice?

          • Psycho Milt

            It’s straightforward enough:

            1. Bennett knows the overwhelming majority of voters are likely to be keen on people with a warrant out for their arrest not being eligible for social welfare benefits – in fact, the only outrage is likely to result from the realisation that such people are eligible at the moment.

            2. She also knows that leftist activists with moral principles based on “poor-people-good, rich-people-bad” are likely to respond by making a big fuss in support of people with warrants out for their arrest, thereby alienating a significant number of potential Labour voters.

            3. That’s a gold-plated, guaranteed win-win for the govt, so best hang onto it until the voters need distracting from some particularly heinous govt clusterfuck – like now, for instance.

            The question of whether the potential injustices resulting from the policy outweigh the potential justices resulting from it is arguable; the excellence of the play is not. Sometimes it’s better to keep your mouth shut and not swallow the bait.

            • Jackal

              I disagree that people should keep quiet as Balls up Benefits rolls out yet another platter of bullshit. You’re right that it’s going to go down well with many voters who don’t think beyond the “bad people should be punished” meme. But staying quiet only reinforces their ignorance and whether a majority of the public is ignorant enough to accept National’s dog whistling is debatable.

              If a majority of the public agrees with such negative politicking then the country will get the government it deserves and we will have more desperate people on the streets doing crime just to survive. National will then be able to justify building all those extra jail cells that are currently not required.

              Standing up for the principle of the matter is worth a bit of alienation from people who would normally agree with such demonising anyway. As usual National are playing to their field of sheep and people who are principled with moral values will see right through such propaganda. Lets hope that these people make up the majority of Kiwis who vote at the next election.

              • The “principle” here being that a warrant out for your arrest is insufficient reason to suspend your social welfare benefits. As principles go, that’s a pretty ridiculous one – it serves mainly as a stick for the govt to beat you with. Try not handing them the stick.

  4. David 4

    Yesterday was the finale of the Public Health Association conference in Wellington: theme, “Equity from the Start, Valuing our Children”. The finale involved invited politicians including Paula, who didnt show, but sent a statement to be read at the conference.

    And then, in case there’d be any press coverage of that, cue her real statement about welfare and child poverty in the media: “crims on the run will lose benefits”.

    It seems pretty clear to me: Nats re welfare are using the child poverty debate to send dog whistles (well, klaxon alarms, really) to their support base and others about what they really think about welfare and people on social security.

  5. Tiger Mountain 5

    Labour in govt. was hard on beneficiaries with the “jobs jolt” that among other things dictated that you could not move to an area of high unemployment and expect to get a work tested benefit. A form of pass law in my opinion. They fought the “special benefit” class action case all the way.

    Labour never did reverse the Richardson benefit cuts but created a new layer of middle class welfare with no stigma–WFF in work tax credit that saves thousands of asses in the ’burbs and lets them off the hook of joining a union and getting organised to obtain their own wage rises from employers rather than other taxpayers.

    However importantly Labour also helped get the unemployed ranks down to an all time low in the modern era with policies that stimulated employment and promoted collective employment agreements.

    National however likes high unemployment as it makes it easier to put downward pressure on wages. The Natz could just quietly ping acutal serious criminals on the run, few would argue such people should be in receipt of a benefit, but no they have to pander to the sadistic kiwis to whom bashing “dirty, filthy bennies” is the second favourite sport. What next for bennies–testing for chocolate biscuit consumption, or a non bruising clip or two in a back room with a telephone directory?

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      Want to hear something dumb? A time of very low unemployment when the vast majority of people are doing well, is exactly the best time to increase the unemployment benefit.

      Labour, weak kneed as usual, completely missed the opportunity.

      • Tiger Mountain 5.1.1

        Agree CV, because they were going for the middle. I try not to give Labour too hard a time here not being a member, but friend and colleague to many that are.

        Until basic democracy prevails and the members at large rather than the parliamentary wing and caucus run the NZ Labour Party it is on a hiding to nowhere.

      • Jackal 5.1.2


        A time of very low unemployment when the vast majority of people are doing well, is exactly the best time to increase the unemployment benefit.

        The opposite is also true… When there is high unemployment and a recession it’s advantageous to increase benefits to reduce hardship that leads to things like youth suicide. This was categorically proven in the 90’s when Finland who had a similar high level of suicide chose a different welfare system to New Zealand’s. Their suicide rate decreased while New Zealand’s increased massively. New Zealand has the highest youth suicide rates in the world. With a bit of a delay, the suicide rate invariably increases under a National government and declines under a Labour government.

        However they did miss the boat so to speak on the welfare reform front when the opportunity arose. Instead of ensuring the repressive policies of Rogernomics and Ruthenasia etc were rolled back, they sat on their hands and largely allowed the dysfunction to continue. Instead they got NZ into a financial position that was meant to buffer us against the current recession. National has of course just used that equity up by giving their rich mates (and themselves) huge tax breaks. So it’s a lose lose situation for the welfare dependent all round.

        I recall Balls up Benefits making a big song and dance a while ago about increasing benefits to match inflation. Does anyone know if benefits have been increased to match the 11.5% inflation since National gained power and was there any increase to account for the GST rise to 15%?

  6. redfred 6

    A universal social welfare system should be based on assistance “without fear or favour”; these are warrants, no one has been found guilty of anything.

    It is another shining example of the two class system in this country, on one hand you have Guy Hallwright who runs someone over and fuck off, turns up to court with a QC and a wink and nudge to his private school chum and he gets slapped with a wet bus ticket.

    On the other hand you have our “Paula Bennet Pintada, Beneficiary” who may have got a ticket for no car rego, perhaps over running the meter all demands go to an old address. What is the State’s response “We’ll starve them out” oh and their kids too.

    The police should be allocated the resource they need to do their job and catch up with those with warrants.

    Where is the Labour Party on this? Dead fuckin quite,.Why? Bcause they are chasing votes of those that suck this sort of shit smoke screen policy up. National are deep in the shit at the moment where is the opposition?

  7. The Woodpecker 7

    This really is a farce. The poor and those on a benefit must really be wishing those damn power generators would get sold already!

    • burt 7.1

      Those with arrest warrants must be so annoyed that they won’t be able to be know to the government and collect benefits while hiding from the government to avoid justice. How incredibly unfair they must think the system is when they can’t have it both ways in their own best interests while other people pay to support them.

      • Kotahi Tāne Huna 7.1.1

        What an idiot you are for not thinking this through beyond your tiresome vengeance fetish.

      • felix 7.1.2

        So fund the police to go and arrest these thousands of dangerous criminals if it’s so important.

        Oh wait, it’s not. It’s just a bunch of people with traffic fines, who are presumed innocent until found guilty in court, many of whom don’t even know there’s a warrant out.

        • TheContrarian

          “many of whom don’t even know there’s a warrant out.”

          Got any figures for that? I worked at the Ministry of Justice for many years and can tell you getting a warrant to arrest issued for an outstanding fine is only for people actively avoiding paying their fines.

          Warrants to arrest for fines was not issued if you couldn’t find a person – a least shouldn’t be according to practice

          If you are on the benefit and you have unpaid fines the Ministry of Justice deducts it straight from your benefit. They don’t need to issue a warrant to arrest.
          Your argument is invalid Felix

          • lprent

            Define “actively avoiding”. In several cases I know of this appears to consist of ‘..they change address frequently..’ or their mail goes to their parents. Both are pretty common amongst people going on and off the benefits and moving to work and the younger members of society

            • TheContrarian

              If you are on a benefit and have unpaid fines they will never issue a WTA because they are allowed to deduct money from your benefit.

              A WTA was only ever issued for fines if the person had no benefit, was not working (the IRD would provide employment details), there was no known address (because then a Warrant to Seize Goods is issued instead).

              • King Kong

                In the light of these facts does this make the protagonists in Lprent’s “several cases I know of” liars or were they as real as Shearer’s roof painter.

                • lprent

                  What ‘facts’. TC is talking about one possible scenario that is one of the less likely to be the case.

                  People who are on long term benefits are probably less likely to get fines and the like because they usually can’t afford to run a car – the most common way to get pinged. They are the people that TC’s scenario is assuming.

                  But most people on benefits only use them for pretty short periods of time – read the stats.

                  • “What ‘facts’. TC is talking about one possible scenario that is one of the less likely to be the case.”

                    Deductions from your benefit or wages is the most likely scenario, not the least. WTA is the FINAL method of enforcement for fines.

                    I used to do this for a living dude. 

                    • lprent

                      Yeah I am aware of that. You’d also be aware of the things that make it hard to find people.

                      The government systems are not integrated, so usually the addresses held by the police, courts, WINZ, IRD, etc are quite different unless you stay in one place for a few years.

                      Things like phone books are usually useless – I haven’t been listed there for two decades because I hate telemarketers. I think my parents are the only immediate family who still are.

                      There is largely no requirement to inform anyone in government where you are currently sleeping unless you’ve gotten a benefit based on rentals. Since stuff goes into the bank directly they don’t need to know where to send anything. They even seem to be cottoning on to the fact that the best address is your gmail..

                      The amount of snail mail I receive is minimal. I have to get rid of the last few statements from the banks into digital email and then there won’t be any. Most people will be heading the same way.

                      The only organisations that have any real idea where I work is the IRD and whoever they data match with.

                      etc etc…

                      Paradoxically with more information available on people, where they live is getting harder to know or find.

                      And I think that it is getting worse. Which is why the numbers of unpaid fines are increasing and the waste pile of WTA’s keeps increasing.

                    • We’ll have to take this up later dude, I got a meeting to attend.

              • lprent

                Think it through carefully and factor in the charging/court delays. Nothing happens instantaneously. The systems aren’t integrated. People move around and the addressing systems for changes of address fail more often than they work in practice. So do the court addressing systems.

                For instance what happens (as is most common bearing in mind that the median residence time on most benefits is somewhat short) if a WTA is issued before you go on a benefit.

                Do the courts give access to WINZ to the lists of outstanding warrants that go back years? Doesn’t look like it from what I have seen. In fact I suspect that neither the courts nor police allow WINZ direct access to their systems. And I know that WINZ can’t remove a WTA once it is issued because only a court can do that.

                Basically you’re being ridiculous in demanding that ONLY the scenario you’re interested in arguing ever happens.

                BTW: I just moved two weeks ago. I’m expecting that the change of address that I did will start working sometime soon. That will eventually update the published electoral roll which is about the ONLY thing I will tell the government institutions about my change of address directly.

                Right now most of the various organisations who try to contact me have no idea apart from a few like banks who I’ve already informed. I’ll inform them as I see mail coming in with the wrong address.

                The police and the courts may eventually get an update because I think that the courts are allowed to use the electronic electoral roll for jury duty. However I believe that they only get it every few months.

                Quite simply asserting a system works perfectly is like saying you can make the rhythm system of contraception work 100% all of the time. It doesn’t…

                • See my response to mickey below which is relevant here.
                  Basically, if the courts know you are on the benefit then they’ll deduct money from you in the first instance. If they are looking to stop your benefit for fines they know your on a benefit hence there is no need to issue an warrant.

                  No system is flawless though, granted, but benefit or wage deduction is the first measure of enforcement.   

          • SpaceMonkey

            WTAs are issued for people they can’t find as it will flag them should they ever be located, e.g. at airports.

          • mickysavage

            Warrants to arrest for fines was not issued if you couldn’t find a person – a least shouldn’t be according to practice

            Not in my experience.  And I just checked with a colleague and it appears that people appear regularly on benefits for failure to pay fines.
            • TheContrarian

              Call the Ministry of justice, they’ll tell you the same thing.

              If the Ministry of Justice knows you are on a benefit and you have fines they will always take the money before issuing the WTA.

              They want the money before they want person. 

              (note this applies to fines issued by the council or police, not civil matters)

              • Are you saying it never happens?

                Because my experience is that it does happen.  They can be unusual cases, for instance $5k plus in fines.  Or it could be that they were not on a benefit when the warrant was issued but since have applied and the data match has not recently happened.

                But in my experience it has happened in the past and I am assured it happens now.

                • No, I am not saying it never happens but as a rule it shouldn’t.
                  But to stop the benefit they first must no you are on a benefit. If the Ministry of Justice/courts knows you are on a benefit then the first action is to place an attachment order on it to recover the money. 
                  They’ll always go for the money first when fines are involved. And if they nowhere you live they’ll seize assets before issuing an arrest warrant. I used to do this as a job before I realised it sucked.

                  It goes:
                  Initial fine
                  Enforcement fee
                  Attachment order
                  Warrant to seize
                  Warrant to arrest 

                  While I am sure it does happen it the vast majority it won’t. Remember, fines are a good source of revenue and arrest warrants are time and resource consuming 

                  • lprent

                    The problem is that you get an accumulation of WTS’s and WTA’s over time as they are unable to be served for the addressing reasons I’ve indicated above.

                    The tail for those things is long and getting longer because once made they never seem to be checked or reviewed. Two or three years ago a friend of Lyn’s was arrested on a WTA that was about a decade old with WINZ alleging a non-repayment of an emergency benefit. I think in the end it wound up that WINZ had just totally screwed up.

                    • WINZ fucks up quite a lot, I’m sure. But if you are receiving a benefit they can find your address and serve the warrant then so this comes back to what I saying about people actively avoiding police. 

                    • lprent []

                      Half of the time WINZ doesn’t know peoples correct addresses. In fact I don’t think that they even are required to have current addresses. Many people particularly when they go on to a benefit tend to move soon afterwards to reduce their living costs. Typically spending temporary time with various family is common.

                      That isn’t deliberate avoidance of police or the courts. People are not required to be kind to bailiffs regardless of how much you think that they should be,

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Slow comprehension day

                    • But then there you go, they have a benefit, the courts will know, deduction from benefit.

                      What I am trying to impress is that Felix’s initial “all these people with fines will get caught up in it” is invalid when fines are dealt with firstly by deducting from your benefit – not WTA. When i worked at Justice WTA’s were rare and very final

                    • McFlock

                      Um – them updating their records to reliably serve a warrant is predicated on them not fucking up a lot.
                      Otherwise they’re serving a warrant to the wrong address.
                      And that’s not including drop-kick flatmates who forget to give you the letter that arrived when you were out. 

                    • How many times – being a issued a warrant for outstanding fines is the final act of enforcement. If you have a benefit they’ll deduct money from it first.

                    • lprent []

                      If you have a benefit they’ll deduct money from it first.

                      And you are presuming that they are already on a benefit – why? Bearing in mind the relatively short residence time of most people on benefits – that seems stupid. Apart from the DPB where it is counted in months, super or invalids where it is counted in years, the median for employment or sickness is counted in weeks – and that is where the vast majority of fines will be.

                      How many times have we said that scenario makes absolutely no difference if you have an outstanding warrant when you go on a benefit. WINZ can’t remove a WTA – as far as I’m aware only a court can.

                      Because there is such a backlog of existing and ever growing WTA’s that can and often are years or even decades old, and that most people aren’t as likely to get car violations when they don’t have money to run a car, THEN it is far more likely that WTA’s are pre-existing when people go on a benefit than they get them in the weeks that they are receiving one.

                      If they do get a fine while on a benefit and don’t pay it immediately, then the probability is that they will off the benefit before it gets to a final demand and the bailiffs attention.

                      So your neat little scenario only applies to a pretty small minority. People who have a fine that gets to final demand while they are on a benefit – and the most common reason for that is that the enforcing authority sending demands to the wrong address as they don’t data share with WINZ (or the IRD).

                      Basically the whole thing is a wackfest for idiots who can’t think jerking off about how hard they will make it for a very small minority of beneficiaries…

                      Now think it through for that teeny group. In the end the bailiff or court will only be able to mandate a minuscule levy on their benefit because the income is minuscule. If it gets increased too far then you’ll find WINZ has to start giving extra money or have a client starving or on the streets. Because the alternative is make it so they think it is better to go to jail costing at $80k per year – at least they will get fed and have accommodation there.

                      How long does it take to pay a $400 fine at $5 per week? 80 weeks…

                      In all probability most of the people will be off the benefit a few weeks or months later working somewhere or living with family or on a course. Then the whole arrangement with WINZ collapses. The whole thing costs like a maniac and is unlikely to have any effect except for a very very few long term beneficaries paying less than the cost of collection per week.

                    • McFlock

                      Part of the process nonetheless.

                    • Jackal

                      So what you’re saying TheContrarian is that if the fines are deducted from a benefit, then they are automatically being paid and there’s no need to reduce or cancel the benefit. Balls up Benefits is basically saying that people who don’t pay their fines will have their benefits cut so that the fines cannot be automatically paid. WTF! Could National’s dog whistle be anymore stupid?

                  • “And you are presuming that they are already on a benefit – why?”

                    Because this originally started  with Felix comment

                    “Oh wait, it’s not. It’s just a bunch of people with traffic fines, who are presumed innocent until found guilty in court, many of whom don’t even know there’s a warrant out.”

                    My discussion has been focused on someone on a benefit, with fines (or getting fines) will have the money deducted from them long before any warrant so there is no concern that someone will have their benefit cut of suddenly because a WTA has been issued for outstanding fines.

                    I don’t know what would happen when someone has a preexisting WTA when they apply for a benefit though. That’d be an interesting case

                    I do know though that people on a benefit who can’t afford to pay can apply for community service. Doesn’t happen often but does happen.

                    • I have checked with a second colleague who works for a Community Law centre.  He confirms they see people on benefits regularly with warrants for their arrest out.

                      TC we seem to be dancing around reality a bit here.  You say it does not regularly happen, I say it does happen but whatever.

                      Do you think these people, who can get themselves into a fix by neglect or sometimes innocently, should face the cutting of their benefits because the system has not caught up with them.

                      And don’t get me started on warrants issued by the Court by mistake.  There are a myriad number of ways a warrant can be issued.  To have an automatic cut in benefit is cruel and degrading. 

                    • “He confirms they see people on benefits regularly with warrants for their arrest out.”

                      Sure, that can happen. But with fines, that began this conversation, it is rare and unlikely. There is nothing to stop someone on a benefit getting a WTA for failing to appear, assault etc etc etc. But not for fines as listed in the process I detailed earlier, with fines revenue is the name of the game. Not arresting people.

                      I’ll tell you what I’d rather – if someone has skipped bail, failed to appear, assaulted someone seriously and left before being caught then a targeted approach can be used. Much like bank accounts can be frozen. That would, I am sure, provide an adequate middle ground between doing nothing and a blanket approach.

                      What do you think about that.

                    • lprent

                      My discussion has been focused on someone on a benefit, with fines (or getting fines)..

                      In other words it had nothing to do with what felix said. He was clearly pointing to people who already had a WTA. Since then you’ve been arguing in your own pocket universe.

                      I don’t know what would happen when someone has a preexisting WTA when they apply for a benefit though.

                      Bearing in mind that I’m pretty sure that WINZ doesn’t have direct access to court decisions or police files, and that the police don’t have access to WINZ files – it will probably wait for a subsequent data match run. Since they are unlikely to have much more than a name or maybe a drivers license ID or passport ID* in common (do WINZ ask for those?) the match could be somewhat tricky to be absolutely correct on. I’d bet the process takes a while.

                      * And from 2000 to 2006 I had neither myself. I stopped travelling overseas in 1992 after a very long holiday because it was boring (and the net was somewhat more accessible than 10 hour flights in a airborne cattle truck). I wasn’t driving after 2000 because I was working from home in central Auckland with readily available taxis and it’d turned out that “lifetime” license wasn’t (and I couldn’t be arsed retaking the test I took in 1975). Someone lent me a wee sports car in 2006 so I took the test.

                    • “He was clearly pointing to people who already had a WTA”

                      Considering that justice can find out if you are working, on a benefit, trace the registration of your car license etc etc. With all the processes involved this group is very a small minority indeed.
                      Particularly now as having a fine can affect your credit rating meaning any credit card application, loan application, HP application etc etc will raise the flag.

                      So you are talking about someone with no job, no benefit, acquiring no loans etc etc. Hell, even some video stores require a credit check.
                      A small group indeed.

                    • But lets consider there are some who might be caught out, however small that group or unlikely it is. What would you think about the following:

                      “if someone has skipped bail, failed to appear, assaulted someone seriously and left before being caught then a targeted approach can be used and their benefit will be cut”

                    • Colonial Viper

                      You should be a crime fiction writer

                    • Crime writer? I run a blog I haven’t visited myself in over a week and that I fail to post on with any regularity. Fuck writing crime, I have my own pile of crap to write on.

                    • Jackal

                      You run a blog? Talk about an overactive imagination.

                    • felix

                      “Fiction” was the key word in CV’s comment to you TC.

                      That comment and your reply actually make quite a compact little case study of the non-comprehension thing you do in long form most days.

      • Uturn 7.1.3

        Yes damn those rich and powerful beneficiaries! They’re responsible not only for the global financial downturn, but the elimination of good faith in industrial relations and the need to sell off our assets to rich people for a song and now, now, they have created a voodoo to stop police doing their job and for average people to be unable to understand how society works! Holy hell will the abuses of these secretly rich and influencial beneficiaries never end?!

        But don’t worry, once we wrestle a couple of million off these people and leave them to starve on he street and give the spoils to the already rich, the world will come right. God and history is on our side! oh… hang on…

      • The Woodpecker 7.1.4

        Ok burt i’ll bite. So what about all the folks out there going about their business who also happen to have bench warrants for unpaid fines, withold thier pay cheques? Freeze thier bank accounts?

      • mickysavage 7.1.5

        Burt many of these people may not actually know that a warrant has been issued.
        And they may have kids.
        Do you think it fair that to make you feel a bit superior the children of these people should be put through tremendous hardship? 

        • King Kong

          Here is a novel idea. How about not breaking the law. Its not that hard.

          Or perhaps for the left this falls into the same catorgory as why should beneficiaries stop taking drugs in order to pay for their kids food or get a job.

          • Bored

            To sum up KKs contention: benes take drugs and break the law. So do bankers but we give them bonuses….oh I forgot, we have a legal and justice system to deal with this stuff. You are an idiot KK.

            • King Kong

              No what I said is that if you are Joe “Speedy”, this mythical poor bastard benficiary who moves home every three weeks and has twelve sick kids who will suffer when his dole gets stopped because he has an arrest warrant (that he doesn’t know about) and you are worried about hardship then a) pay your fines (but this will happen anyway because they will be taken from his winz payments) or b) dont break the law.

              • Dr Terry

                It is very easy to break the law, and at some time in their lives (if people are really honest) they have done so, even in a trivial way. When under great hardship, it might almost become a life-saving necessity to break the law. The rich and powerful have themselves already broken the moral law – why not follow their example?

          • tracey

            you mean like the privacy act?

  8. No doubt bennett will feel ‘quite powerful’ in her ‘timed’ announcements that are
    waiting in her office to be sent to the media for release/re-release, Bennett will
    get alot of admiration from her nact buddies in parliament though.
    I do believe also that she operates on a ‘warrant’ to be a minister, the question
    is has she acted in ‘good faith’ and complied with that ‘warrant’?, her history
    to date would say she has not,she has breached privacy,she has ignored
    child poverty,she has attacked mums and kids, now she is going to deny more
    vulnerable people from having money for survival purposes,,so bennett is
    protecting the key led nact govt when they want to ‘distract’ the wider public
    from serious issues of the day, does she get a bonus for that ? the media, i
    thought, does the job of protecting the nact govt from any adverse publicity,
    by ‘hiding’ headlines or has them up for 15mins as with the un report on women,
    which the govt got criticized

  9. tracey 9

    Ok. One of the reasons for this and the drugs thing is irs taxpayer money… Someone please publicly suggest

    Tge best way to teach, is by example. Leadership starts at the top. Lets bring in drug testing, including random, for our politicians. No one is more taxpayer subsidised than them. And they would be practising what they preach right?

  10. Sanctuary 10

    Many people on the benefit are itinerant – on the run from the bailiff, constantly falling behind on the rent so always moving on, the mentally ill constantly being evicted. I would guarantee that this vulnerable group – itinerant, desperately poor, down on their luck, unemployed and possibly unemployable – make up the bulk of those with outstanding warrants. Warrants issued because they were stopped with no warrant and rego and couldn’t afford to get a warrant and rego let alone pay the fine and warrants issued to addresses where they no longer live. People on the move, on the run for fines they can’t pay, never of a fixed abode, people for whom the traditional methods of contact simply don’t work. And besides, an arrest warrant does not (yet) constitute guilt, not even for Paula Bennett’s persecuted untermenschen.

    And what is the state response a la Paula Bennett? To try and starve ’em out. like so many filthy Jews hiding in the ghetto sewers of Warsaw.No matter if starving them will starve their children – all the better, since as the DPF sewer reminds us, these are the sorts of people who shouldn’t be breeding anyway. And yes, her language, her marginalisation and objectification of beneficiaries as an enemy within and the way all the good Germans of the Kiwiblog sewer lap it all up and approve of the newest round of benefit purity laws. And in the way they personally re-double their efforts to spot and report the location of this dangerous enemy within is an exact parallel with the psycho-social processes of the enthusiastic bottom-up apparatus of repression that were the good Nazis of Hitler’s Germany.

    Which brings me to my point, which is about a certain roof painting dole bludger and a certain Pagani wailing that triangulation is a cynical political necessity in the persuit of power since the right “owns” the welfare debate. This objectification of a whole class of people is where that triangulation gets you in the end. Sure, the right “owns” that debate – a debate redolent of zero sum, hate and objectification which the right has so fine tuned. They own it and they can keep it.

    But you don’t win a war by fighting it on the terms of the enemy, on their ground and using their chosen weapons. Someone in Labour needs to ask the obvious questions. What happens to their children? Is having a minister happy to starve eight year olds because their parents can’t afford to pay a motor vehicle fine the government decent, fair minded New Zealanders want to run their beautiful country? Tearing toddlers from their parents because they’ve gone to languish on remand in prison for rent arrears – isn’t that the country our forebears fled from and swore to never recreate here? Is that the way we want to squander their heritage? And what will be the consequences to society when you take the destitute and desperate and drive them to being starving and dangerous as well?

    • Uturn 10.1

      “…you don’t win a war by fighting it on the terms of the enemy…”

      “…Is having a minister happy to starve eight year olds because their parents can’t afford to pay a motor vehicle fine the government decent, fair minded New Zealanders want..?”


      • Bored 10.1.1

        +1. The unfortunate thing is that it was “westies” who voted this misanthrope in. There is a streak of nastiness in Kiwis, the poor must be to blame for their own misfortune. Labour may have tumbled to that when Shearer made his “bene bashing” statement.

      • Balanced View 10.1.2

        Hopefully these parents teach their eight year olds about accountability – confronting your mistakes. Because of course – presenting yourself to face up to the arrest warrant is all that is needed to maintain a full benefit.

        “starve eight year olds”
        Extremism in its purest form. Surely a good responsible parent will use the 50% benefit they will still receive to feed their children?

        • McFlock

          Kids are already going to school without breakfast or lunch.
          50% of that means less than one good meal a day.
          As to your platitudes about ” confronting your mistakes “, that requires you know about them, understood the letters, any contacts went to the correct address and you could afford a phone, etc. Seems a shame to starve kids because of any failure in that chain.  

          • Colonial Viper

            Just put them all in debtors prison

            Make the kids work off their parents debt

            Problem solved

          • Balanced View

            “As to your platitudes about ” confronting your mistakes ”, that requires you know about them, understood the letters, any contacts went to the correct address and you could afford a phone, etc. Seems a shame to starve kids because of any failure in that chain.”

            Agree. So surely the right thing to do is to fix this breakdown? But instead you want to leave this broken and continue to pay those with arrest warrants – some for very serious crimes.

            “Kids are already going to school without breakfast or lunch.
            50% of that means less than one good meal a day.”

            I think a minimum of $160pw for a couple of weeks is enough to ensure children aren’t left starving.

            • Colonial Viper

              I think a minimum of $160pw for a couple of weeks is enough to ensure children aren’t left starving.

              Zero dollars left after rent

              Children can eat air

              • Balanced View

                Would you pay rent ahead of feeding your children?

                • Colonial Viper

                  Kids fed, and live in a cardboard box or at the shelter

                  Problem fixed

                • Vicky32

                  Would you pay rent ahead of feeding your children?

                  If i had to! After all, they also need a roof over their heads… and such things are very hard to find, especially for someone who has been evicted… Trust me, I know!

            • McFlock


              Seems a shame to starve kids because of any failure in that chain.

              Agree. So surely the right thing to do is to fix this breakdown? But instead you want to leave this broken and continue to pay those with arrest warrants – some for very serious crimes.

              Where did I say I want to leave it broken? I’m all for communicating with people in ways that they can understand. I just think we should make sure that happens before we decide to starve their kids.


              “Kids are already going to school without breakfast or lunch. 50% of that means less than one good meal a day.” I think a minimum of $160pw for a couple of weeks is enough to ensure children aren’t left starving.

              I’m not surprised you think that, because you obviously have no idea what it’s like to spend an extended period of time on insufficient funds and then to suddenly not get any money on dole day. Especially when rent and power bills don’t stop coming just because your income dries up. $160p.w. wouldn’t even cover the rent for a lot of people.

              • Balanced View

                Sounds like we’re pretty much on the same page.

                Let’s fix the way warrants are presented – and then go ahead with the proposed benefit cuts to those that still fail to confront them.

                • McFlock

                  If it was fixed, the proposed benefit cuts wouldn’t need to happen. 
                  The few that continued to evade would be apprehended by a well-maintained police force. Or nabbed when they came in to confirm their status with WINZ. Like the french spies who got nabbed returning their rental car.  And if they didn’t confirm their status, they’d lose their benefit with no extra processing or data matching – they failed to complete their winz obligations.
                  And you still haven’t addressed the fact that if they access their winz payment while on the run, they’d be telling the police exactly where they are within seconds. 

                  • Balanced View

                    “The few that continued to evade…..”
                    I believe it would be many.

                    “And you still haven’t addressed the fact that if they access their winz payment while on the run, they’d be telling the police exactly where they are within seconds”
                    For that second they would be telling police that they are in that very specific location. Pity most of them would have feet and be able to move from that spot instantly.

                    • McFlock

                      So if we address the communication issues for the “tiny group of violent and sexual offenders” who actually have something to run from (rather than petty issues that it’s reasonable to turn up to court for), “many” would continue to evade. You really do have a “balanced view” – problems are tiny and huge at the same time.
                      And yes, they can run. But they can’t hide if they want their money. And even a cop of your calibre would be able to add two and two if the fugitive who lived in Counties uses his card in Hamilton, and has a cousin or known associate there. Security cameras will tell you if the subject has altered their appearance, or has an accomplice. And occasionally a car just happens to be around the corner – you might want to leave the cops a chance to get lucky and catch a violent offender, yeah?

                    • Balanced View

                      I cant work out if it is always your intention to compare apples to oranges, or if you’re just too stupid to realise you’re doing it. I’ll put some more thought in on it and get back to you.

                      1. The “tiny group” was intended to be read as a quote of the person I was replying to
                      2. Even then “tiny group” was referring to the context of beneficiaries with outstanding arrest warrants vs the entire NZ population
                      as opposed to
                      3. “many” being in context of the total number of beneficiaries with arrest warrants that would continue to evade the police

                      “And yes, they can run. But they can’t hide if they want their money. And even a cop of your calibre would be able to add two and two if the fugitive who lived in Counties uses his card in Hamilton, and has a cousin or known associate there. Security cameras will tell you if the subject has altered their appearance, or has an accomplice. And occasionally a car just happens to be around the corner – you might want to leave the cops a chance to get lucky and catch a violent offender, yeah?”

                      Or we could just stop paying them to run and wait for some of them to hand themselves in.

                    • McFlock

                      Okay, fair call on the tiny group thing. It’s late, my bad.
                      Basically, there are 1400-odd violence charges. They already have the police looking for them, hard. They are unlikely to hand themselves in. And they’d probably be better adapted to switch to 100% illegal earnings anyway, so little chance of “handing themselves in”. But because the cops are looking for them, they are less likely to be represented in the 30+ day category. And only half of them will be beneficiaries if the WTA/winz cut is even across the board.
                      As groups to base government policy on, it’s pretty small, with little likelihood of the policy having the desired effect. The others are more likely to come in if communication methods are improved to be accessible to all. And they are most likely to need the benefit to feed their kids, especially if the WTA is for something minor that wasn’t worth a great deal of police effort.

        • mickysavage

          presenting yourself to face up to the arrest warrant is all that is needed to maintain a full benefit.

          BV you have no idea.  You have not the faintest concept of what it is like at the bottom of the pile.  Some of these people do not know what day it is, let alone how much fines they owe.  They suffer from alcoholism, or drug addiction or mental illness.

          Expecting a sophisticated response from them is way out of line, not to mention silly.


          • Balanced View

            “Some of these people do not know what day it is, let alone how much fines they owe. They suffer from alcoholism, or drug addiction or mental illness.
            Expecting a sophisticated response from them is way out of line, not to mention silly.”

            This unfortunately is true. So how do we go about identifying these people to try and give them the support they need?

            But this is a separate issue to that we are discussing.

    • mike 10.3

      Good post Sanctuary. The demonization of beneficiaries rolls along at the pace of a weekly TV drama. Why is that? (At this rate we’ll have them wearing yellow stars on their jackets by xmas. I can hear the Whaleoil bloggers now: “It’s my money that’s keeping them breathing, why shouldn’t I make them identify themselves so I can spit on them when I see them?” Or maybe we should save time and just proceed directly to bunging them in the ovens? Unemployment figures would be so sweet. Benebash would need a new job though, maybe a blanket all departments Minister for Dog Whistling?

      Could be it’s because of the coincidental avalanche of bad news reports about unemployment and child poverty in this country. Could be it’s because this rather obviously shows up the fact that NAct doesn’t care enough about this to bother even pretending to come up with a plan to counter it. The attitude appears to be: why are you being so poor and unemployed? Stop doing that!

      “And what will be the consequences to society when you take the destitute and desperate and drive them to being starving and dangerous as well?”

      More crime, more gangs, more drinking, more drugs, more violence. My prediction of NActs solution to this? Build more prisons.

    • David 10.4

      +1 The Nasty Party are letting us all see just how Bad they are. I, for one, am not entirely disturbed by this: they are doing it again and again and again, and soon enough people will see through it, if they are at all open to reason on these things. I’m sad it’s still appearing to work: but watch what it does to relatively aware but right commentariat, like John Armstrong and John Roughan. They, and lots of others, are simply not impressed. It’s a bit like the CGT, I hope: people will come to see the reason…

      The alternative is that, as in the climate change debate in Australia, somehow the deniers (in this case, the ‘bad parenting’ people denying child poverty, come to win… I would like to think about how to prevent that happening. Ideas?

    • Well said, Sanctuary (and others).

      I think we’re all quite aware that the demonisation of the unemployed is a cunning plan to distract from National’s misfortunes lately. In fact, their cunning stunt may even give them a (short term) boost in the polls. This is “raw meat” to low information voters.

      Once you analyse the process though, it becomes fairly obvious what National are up to. Their tax-payer funded party strategists have earned their bloated salaries these last couple of weeks./

      This is how I’ve mapped out their strategy; http://fmacskasy.wordpress.com/2012/09/07/national-in-trouble-time-to-dog-whistle-the-middle-class-part-rua/

      One further comment: as National continues to fall in the polls and suffer from ongoing bad-news stories – expect their viciousness to increase. These people are desperate and know no boundaries.

  11. tracey 11

    I too dont know why those questions arent asked. Too scared to do the right thing for fear of loss of a chance at power. Shame on all of them.

  12. marsman 12

    Getting very tired of seeing Paula Bennett’s nasty porcine visage on TV on a regular basis spouting her odious drivel.

    • mike e 12.1

      so is every body else
      Porky’s telling porky’s
      Pitt Bull Paula benefit basher
      Gerry wind bag bully brownoselee.
      Stephen Joyce Spin bully
      Bad Cops
      Shonkey sweet as apple pie smile and wave compulsive liar.
      Good cop
      comes to their rescue when the going gets tough.

  13. tracey 13

    Is her size important to the issue?

    • Bored 13.1

      Yes. Children are going to school unfed, she appears sleek and padded on the fat of the land. She can choose to be fat, they cannot. I am disgusted by that craven Quisling class traitor.

      • QoT 13.1.1

        She can choose to be fat

        Citation needed. This might help:

        “There isn’t even one peer-reviewed controlled clinical study of any intentional weight-loss diet that proves that people can be successful at long-term significant weight loss. No commercial program, clinical program, or research model has been able to demonstrate significant long-term weight loss for more than a small fraction of the participants. Given the potential dangers of weight cycling and repeated failure, it is unscientific and unethical to support the continued use of dieting as an intervention for obesity.”

        • Bored

          QOT, nice article, I struggle with weight maintenance. Fighting your genes before facing the prejudices is a pain. In the case of Paula my sympathy for anything is zero, take “fat” metaphorically, as in fat cat exec etc.

          • Colonial Viper

            Refined sugars, fructose and high GI index refined carbs (which break down ASAP to glucose). Avoid all like the plague. Life and energy levels are a bit tough to manage for a month, and then living is very very good.

    • marsman 13.2

      @ tracey. Was referring to her facial resemblance to the animal not her body size.

      • Beryl Streep 13.2.1

        No you weren’t. You were referring to her size. Own your words mate and don’t try to weasel your way out of them. Her size isn’t what’s being debated here, try and stick to the issues.

        • Bored

          Actually I think we should debate her size: my contention is that under her regime children dependent upon welfare wont get the opportunity to reach her size. Call that unfair and “fattist” or weasel words or whatever but is the logical end result: her policies will make children go hungry whilst Paula will have the choice of being what ever weight she wants to be on her Ministerial salary. “Fat” wont be my only insult, her indifference is criminal, her thinking f&$cist.

          • QoT

            It’s not just “fattist”, Bored, it’s fucking stupid. Poor people are over-represented in obesity statistics.

            (I personally have issues with the way obesity is measured etc., but that’s not the point. The point is your prejudices aren’t in any way backed by evidence. But go on, I know it’s a lot easier to make piggy jokes than actually think about issues.)

            • Bored

              You think I don’t know that poor people are over represented in obesity stats. I don’t happen to have prejudices against fat people (I own a mirror)….so read again. I said Paula has a choice about her weight, what she spends cash on, how she lives because she has a big fat salary. The people who she decrees over and who she has power over (i.e. the children of beneficiaries) don’t have that choice. Consequently I am going to keep calling her whatever I like.

              (PS To be honest I might just be “fattist”, I am not happy with what I see in the mirror. So if you call me a fat slob……).

              • QoT

                You have no idea what “choice” Paula Bennett has in her body size. You are the one who said children “won’t get the opportunity” to “reach her size”, thus implying that you didn’t realise obesity correlates with poverty.

                You’re frankly a bit fucking desperate to defend your right to attack Bennett’s size rather than her policies. Go ahead, call her “whatever you like”, but the point being made to you is that others will judge your sad little obsession accordingly.

                • Bored

                  Telling me what I think again eh QOT? What I really think after seeing your misandrist posts is that you don’t give a fuck about beneficiaries, poor children etc. I’d like to be convinced otherwise but I am not.

                  I do get that what is most important to you is to be the high priestess and definer of PC, a person who takes it upon themselves to state that men should not have opinions because at heart, well they are only men. Only. Not really real people like women. I am probably wrong that you think that, but that is how you actually come across.

                  • QoT

                    So … I’m “misandrist”, which means I don’t care about the poor or children?

                    No worries, Bored. I understand now. Your logic is clearly not our Earth logic. Otherwise you’d have evidence to back up the idea that I “state that men should not have opinions”. Evidence visible to humans, that is.

                    • Bored

                      No, you hold your ideology highest, first and foremost. Others opinions, especially mens, come second. Tell me you care for the children, I am not hearing it. All I ever hear from you is all men to the gulag. Human, you, questionable.

                    • QoT

                      A++ performance art trolling, would snort loudly again.

                    • NickS

                      No, you hold your ideology highest, first and foremost. Others opinions, especially mens, come second. Tell me you care for the children, I am not hearing it. All I ever hear from you is all men to the gulag. Human, you, questionable.

                      The Stupid, It Burns.

                      You’re smarter than this, so how about using your brain instead of lying and making up bullshit like you’ve done above? It’s not hard at all…

                    • Bored


                      Thanks for the citation, I keep good company.

                    • weka

                      I’m getting a bit sick of the feminist = misandrist myth being put out here lately. It’s such a tired old trope, and boring when it turns up in otherwise intelligent places like TS. It’s also a shame – there’s been an increase in women participating on TS this year. Telling women that their politicised voices aren’t welcome will make TS a poorer place.

                      “play the ball not the man” 😉 

                      btw, using fatphobia to put down your political opponents is equivalent to using any other kind of prejudice. It undermines all the other people who have the same issue and are trying to reduce prejudice against it.

                      [lprent: I am generally of the view that people making these types of arguments in all types of areas of concern need an education. Happily we tend to crowd source education here. While it sometimes gets somewhat boring to read, I figure that arguing about it is useful for all interested for one reason or another

                      Moderators tend to intervene rapidly when we see it moving to people outside of participants, outside of political figures (who can defend themselves), and take closer attention when it moves to mere public figures. We will also intervene if it gets too boring. ]

                    • weka

                      Thanks Lynn. It seems like one of those things the commenters could be dealing with too, rather than just leaving it to the moderations. I’m pleased to see people doing that in this thread.

                      Fatphobia is as common on TS as we have discussions about Brownlee. It’s not Brownlee (or Bennett) I am concerned about, it’s the endorsement that attacking people because they are fat is an ok thing to do (and all the bullshit beliefs that go with that), and how that then translates into general prejudice against big people.

  14. What’s is all this bullshit about people with fines being issued a warrant to arrest?

    If you are on the benefit and you have unpaid fines the Ministry of Justice deducts it straight from your benefit. They don’t need to issue a warrant to arrest. 

    • Kotahi Tāne Huna 14.1

      What is all this bullshit about this policy being in the national interest? You seem more interested in picking holes in the arguments against it than condemning it for what it is, which depending on your point of view is either:

      1: an assault upon human rights and/or
      2: ineffectual, costly and counter-productive.

      • TheContrarian 14.1.1

        I don’t give a fuck if a rapist has his benefit cut off.

        • Bored

          What a fucking stupid statement.

          • TheContrarian

            As is yours, my friend

            • Colonial Viper

              lolz so you do accept that your statement was fucking stupid

              • No but if mine is stupid then Bored is at least as fucking stupid. 

              • Bored

                Well spotted CV, actually what TCont said is at the heart of Bennetts “policy”. It is allowing a government body that is NOT the legal or justice system to make moral value and crypto legal calls about individual citizens. Not only is this NOT the core function of welfare, BUT it also sets an ominous precedent about the role of the state in the life of its citizens. Very Orwellian.

                That TCont is why your statement was fucking stupid in the extreme.

                • Jackal

                  We used to have Aunty Helen’s Nanny state… Now we have Keys Ministry of doublethink. Is that who you’re working for now TheContrarian?

                • Mary

                  Very short step to stripping benefits for any criminal conviction. Feeds easily into agenda around “crime” and “taxpayer’s money”. Thin end of the wedge.

        • idlegus

          what rapist? you have those figures on how many rapists have outstanding warrants & are on the dole? or you just using emotive shrieky language to get your (non) point across? like how matthew hooton does. if you cant see this policy for what it is (dog whistle to thickos) then you are even more stupid than i thought. (coz i can see a point if you know its dog whistle politics & you still do agree with it, but to pretend it is anything but bashing benes is pretty shitty.)

        • Roy

          [sarcasm]Ooh yeah, let’s give rapists more reason to feel angry and powerless; more motive to exert power over someone to make themselves feel better. [/end sarcasm]

        • mike

          “I don’t give a fuck if a rapist has his benefit cut off.”

          Paula Benebash: (Whistles) “Here TC, come here boy!” TC comes a running with his tongue flapping merrily. “Good boy.”

          +1 Fucking stupid.

          • F*#k Off

            That’ll be all those pakeha child abusers that have been detected lately you’re talking about aye Mike? Sneaky bugga’s. They should make them reside in Epsom where they do dodgy quite well. They call it the Banksie factor!

        • Vicky32

          if a rapist has his benefit cut off

          Lolwut? I hope a rapist has more than fines to worry about!

        • prism

          I had a look at Ideologicallyimpure and like this quote – this might be a suitable place to insert it, ironically.
          “… pithy exegesis … lurking and sniping on the periphery” – Mike Moreu

          I remember Mike as a clever cartoonist, but I think he was too clever in the opinion of the newspaper.

    • Bored 14.2

      You have a good point there: whenever I hear Bennett attempting to bring misery to a few more of the less fortunate I am often left wondering about her grasp of basic governmental and legal process.

    • tracey 14.3


  15. captain hook 15

    we’re getting closer and closer to a police state.
    umm you know.
    like the nazi’s.

    • SpaceMonkey 15.1

      But National have a mandate to take us there…!

    • vto 15.2

      + heaps.

      At every new policy change the movement is very much to making us subjects of the state, which we are not. The last Labour government did this and so too now is this National government. And I see yesterday Australia announced a new policy whereby internet provider organisations need to keep records of all internet use, for state purposes, for two years.

      And then witness developments in the USA over the last ten years.

      There is absolutely no doubt we are becoming more and more like the nazis (and godwin and his fucked law can get fucked).

      And you know what? This trend will only reverse through radical societal disruption. It will not reverse through the current system and settings. I’m going bush.

  16. F*#k Off 16

    Pulla Benefit is a bit unhappy at the moment …. [personal insults deleted. r0b] Or is because she really wants to get the bene numbers down? She realises that PinoKeyo & Joyceski have no job creation plan at all.
    She did try to flog off the West Coast to Gina Rinehart and Gina said she’d like our minimum wage to be reduced to $2/day so Pulla will have to talk to Ronald McDonalds mum, Kate Wilkinson about that. Pulla said she will catch up with Gina at their next Jenny Craig session! Yeah Right!

    • Carol 16.1

      Attacking PB’s weight and your fantasies about her sex life are not helpful, and a distraction from PB’s real agenda of distraction.

    • Bored 16.2

      Mr F*** the imagery you conjured there is neither relevant nor pleasant: it put me right off my lunch. Mr Bennett is certainly a braver (or more foolhardy man) than myself, even the most convinced misandrists must feel a smidgen of sympathy with his plight. Will Paula pull his pocket money for some alleged misdeed?

  17. F*#k Off 17

    Keep your knickers on C and stop trying to make a feminist argument for/about Pullah Benefit. It is what it is and she is. Grow up.

    [lprent: Have you tried using the reply button? It makes it a lot easier for others including who you are talking to to see your reply. ]

    • Carol 17.1

      f**ed…. give some people enough rope….

      Paula Benefit’s words and actions in attacking and smearing beneficiaries, and using them as a NAct distraction are a disgrace. Her appearance and sex life have nothing to do with it.

      • F*#k Off 17.1.1

        Perception is everything. In the real world you are judged by your appearance & sex and intellect. Giddy up! Living in a bubble can explain your obtuse way of making asumptions that people are women haters. Like I said, get a grip.

      • gobsmacked 17.1.2

        Carol +1

        Bennett is condemned by her words and deeds as a Minister. That’s all that matters.

  18. Carol 18

    I see Petra has joined those of us here who refer to the Minister as Paula Benefit:


    • fnjckg 18.1


      and McFlock: your ‘Pavlovian response’ was Timeless
      i chuckled inside all the way down the thread to F O

      (touche-oh contrare)

    • Vicky32 18.2

      I see Petra has joined those of us here who refer to the Minister as Paula Benefit:

      Brilliant! 😀

  19. captain hook 19

    [lprent: Don’t SHOUT. I have kindly reduced the comment volume to it’s actual level of worth. I don’t like being ‘kind’. ]

  20. Mary 20

    A journalist needs to ask Bennett to her face whether she’s ever smoked pot or had outstanding fines when she was getting the DPB. It’d be a lot of fun watching her try to stammer her way out of that. She really is the pits.

  21. xtasy 21

    Hiiiiiiihh –

    My name is Paula, Paula Banditfit, I got a great career, it worked so great and well for ME, I recooommend it!

    If you get away with it, get laid by a guy, get the sole parent bene, apply for all you can, get a student loan now (as I abolished that TIA shit), study a bit, get squallified, go to your next National Party PM, sell your soul, get a secreatry job, and bloody well, grease her or him up, and “work ya way uppety”!

    I made it, I am a “self made mum”, “raised my daughter” in hard ship, cut everything back, but of course, took all I could bloody GET, yet I did the “hard yarn”, dearos.

    I now now to “struggle”, straddle this and that and get a comfy favour, I have learned the bloody rooops/ P or so they say?

    Anyway, get a bloomin job, lay abouts, nobody did a hard yarn as IIIII did. YOu gutta sturts sumewhere, aye?

    Oooh, where is my proof-reader now. Gutta get her buack.
    My dughta is a good one tooth. She got a bit distructed or distracted for u whil, but now she goona gooose real good. She is one like me. Doing righ, struggelin and so, and she will a be great, become MINUSTA too some time.

    So do never givva upp un hope, we aere ALL in it togethya, you me, Tariana, Pita, Kekia, Tau and da rest, we go all da way, to get our country together with leaeder Key, to do the Maori Cuncil in, to do one for us separate lot, to get a job done real good, we do never need MP,. Hone, the radical lot, we are happy to sella bit bi bit now here and there. No probs.


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  • Support for innovative Pacific education responses to COVID-19 needs
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  • District Court judge appointed
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