Paula Bennett and the policy that never was, except when it was

Good afternoon my fellow New Zealanders. I, Paula “The Westie” Bennett, have been asked by this obscure blog to post some words from my brain hole. Far be it from me to remain quiet on any subject, I have accepted this challenge and I now sit her in a chair typing words into a document that will, at some point in the near future, be uploaded to this blog I’ve never heard of.

You know, as deputy leader of the opposition, I see a lot of nonsense coming from the coalition government. Take the recent announcement from Sir Peter Gluckman about methamphetamine contamination. From the reaction of Phil Twyford, it looks like he may have been dabbling a bit himself (although I wouldn’t know what that would be like having never taken any drugs of any description OR misrepresented my situation to Work and Income at any time – and I will sue, to death, anyone who says anything to the contrary). Twyford has been all over the place.

What are the government doing? They know what they have to do. Compensation for any Housing New Zealand tenantwho has been evicted or private landlord who has ended up out of pocket from this nonsensical policy.

Even though I was minister at the time and I was responsible for making all manner of policy decisions for and appointing senior public servants to Housing New Zealand, at no point did I exercise any ministerial control over the department. I certainly never suggested that people and babies should be evicted from their homes. And even when I did so those things, I was just reporting Housing New Zealand policy which, as I’ve already said, I and the National Party had absolutely no control over in the slightest. How could we be responsible for this? It’s the government’s fault and we are not the government.

It’s clear the government have been caught short by this research and now they have over 200 state houses that are back on the market for people to live in.

I thought it was important people had all the facts before they jumped down my party’s throat saying we caused this crisis and it was our hysterical dog whistle politics that lead to this eviction policy. It wasn’t. In all the time we were in power we never had one single policy that stemmed from our dog whistles – except for the three strikes policy, and our benefit sanctions, and this one. But apart from that, we had no policies.

I think you know what I mean.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have another important engagement. There is an important walk-on role I have to play on the Jono and Ben show because when you’re deputy leader of the opposition you have to take what you can get.

P xx

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Paula Bennett: As a minister, I never had time

Greetings and what up to my homies. Cool National Party deputy leader Paula Bennett here. I’ve been asked by MyThinks to explain a few things about what it’s like to be a government minister.

I noticed this week that the Prime Minister released a Spotify playlist. I was quick to tweet out about that. It was important for me to point out, in the passive-aggressive way I love so well, that any minister worth their salt wouldn’t have the 10 minutes needed to create a 14-song playlist. Certainly, when I was minister I was much too busy doing my job to create a 1-song playlist, let alone one with so many other songs in it.

When I was a minister I had so little time. I had no time to make a music playlist. I had no time to do anything for fun. I had absolutely no time at all to deal with anything associated with any of my portfolios in Police, Tourism, Climate Change or Women. I was way too busy.

I was working too hard as a National Party minister leaking personal information of a range of private citizens who I believed slighted the government. Releasing benefit details of private citizens, cracking down on the head of Te Puia Marae because he was doing a better job than me, and I don’t know how Winston Peter’s superannuation details got out into the public eye… or do I???

No, I was incredibly time poor. All of those black ops activities (and the ones you don’t know about) took up so very much of my time, I definitely had hardly any time to do any other things – ESPECIALLY CREATE A 14-SONG PLAYLIST ON SPOTIFY.

Of course, now I’m deputy leader of the opposition I have plenty of time to tweet about how little time I had when I was a minister. So I suppose that’s something.

Until next time, chillax brothers and sisters.

Love PB xx

Paula Bennett: “It’s such a good news story that people in New Zealand are homeless!!”

Deputy Prime Minister Paula Bennett, who totally and absolutely definitely had nothing to do with the Winston Peters superannuation privacy breach, has admitted there are more people homeless in New Zealand now than when the National Party took office.

She says the reasons are a “very positive news story.”

Speaking yesterday to the AM Show hosts and their 78 viewers, Bennett said the quick recovery of the country from the global financial crisis* and the international terror threat meant that many tens of thousands of people were moving to New Zealand.

“Even though there is absolutely no housing crisis,” Bennett said, “there has been slight pressures in the housing market thanks to this inward movement.

“What this means is that, from time to time, as things get moved about and people move in and out of houses and homes and across the regions – particularly if Housing New Zealand has to “test for meth”, there might be the odd bit of correction where some housing is not available for people following their removal from a previous housing options.”

When asked what this meant Bennett said that, “occasionally people might have to live in a car or a plush, government-funded motel while they wait for their next home.”

Ms Bennett said this was the unfortunate price some people had to pay for a very successful and positive National Party tenure.

The Deputy PM also said it was important to remember that even though she owned three houses and many of her National Party colleagues owned multiple dwellings and other property, there was in no way any conflict of interest in the government doing nothing with the housing market so the values of their portfolios could rise dramatically.**

“Owning a house and living in a house is the right of every New Zealander,” she said, “and being able to live in a house or create a home out of something resembling a house is something that most New Zealanders strive for. I’m confident that every New Zealander that wants to live in a house is currently living in a house. Sometimes people like to live in their cars or on the street. It’s fun. It’s like camping, but all the time and we all like camping, don’t we. Camping is just so much fun.”

Ms Bennett then left the studio and headed outside to get into her free ministerial car to attend a free lunch paid for by the New Zealand Business Roundtable Initiative.***

Notes:

* thanks to the prudent financial management of the economy before the GFC by the Labour Party and Sir Michael Cullen.

** National Party politicians own nearly 200 residential & commercial properties, rental homes, holiday houses, farms and other property.

*** The New Zealand Business Roundtable Initiative is an institution set up in the 1980s which gave rise to the ACT Party of New Zealand which, unlike the NZ Labour Party, enjoys almost zero support amongst the voting public.

 

Handy timeline of the Winston Peters super thing

At MyThinks we are committed to making the news both paletable and nonsensical. With that in mind, we’ve created a handy timeline of the Winston Peters superannuation thing.

Early 2010: Winston Peters, the NZ First leader and owner of a $2.3 million mansion in Auckland, applies for superannuation.

19 June 2017: Brendan Boyle the head of the Ministry of Social Development, is told about Mr Peters’ superannuation during a routine briefing about a range of other stuff that was none of his business either.

27 July: Boyle is told the matter has been resolved to officials’ satisfaction. He then discussed the case with the State Services Commission to see whether they should continue to flout New Zealand privacy legislation and tell the responsible ministers.

July: MSD sends Mr Peters a letter notifying him of the incorrect superannuation payments that had been overpaid over the previous seven years. Mr Peters corrects the error, believed to be in the tens of thousands of dollars, within a matter of hours.

31 July: Social Development Minister Anne Tolley is verbally informed by MSD’s chief executive about the matter under the “no surprises” policy. Tolley quietly rubs her hands with glee as the MSD boss leaves her office. Unofficially she is quite surprised by the “no surprises” information.

1 August: State Services Minister Paula Bennett is briefed by State Services Commission. Bennett quietly rubs her hands with glee after hanging up the phone with the official at the Commission.

15 August: Mrs Tolley is briefed again by MSD just in case she didn’t understand quality of the private information she had received during the first meeting.

27 August: Mr Peters puts out media release saying he’d paid all the money back and people should keep their noses out of his business.

28 August: MSD and Inland Revenue confirm investigations into Mr Peters’ leaked information.

29 August: Mrs Tolley and Mrs Bennett confirm they were briefed about Mr Peters’ case. Peter Hughes, State Services Commissioner said ministers were briefed but only after officials realised how juicy all the private information was. Prime Minister Bill English says, even though previously National has leaked this kind of information either through their various bloggers or attack westie Paula Bennett, neither Beehive nor the National Party had leaked information.

30 August: Mrs Bennett tells Jack Tame on the TVNZ Breakfast show that, even though she and her party have everything to gain from any scandal surrounding Mr Peters, she did not leak the information because she and her party have nothing to gain from any scandal surrounding Mr Peters.

30 August: National Party word magician David Farrar tries to distract attention from his party’s fumbles by suggesting Winston should have received a declaration form every year. Nobody gave a toss and Peters kept hammering away at National.

31 August: In a desperate attempt to position himself ahead of the expected election day carnage, former darling of the Beehive 9th floor Cameron Slater tells Newshub, “It was someone very close to Paula Bennett who arranged the hit job on Winston Peters.”

MyThinks will update this timeline as more information comes to hand…

Could I have the Bill, please? 

The party was over. The turmoil of the last week was beginning to subside and things were slowly returning to some kind of normalcy. Everyone, for example, had stopped laughing at Jonathan Coleman’s leadership bid.

Back in the Beehive after a long weekend watching other people spend money, Prime Minister-elect Bill English was very pleased himself. He was now precisely where he wanted to be – sitting in an office chair with his hands sitting gently on a desk. This was a great day.

Suddenly, and without warning, there was a sensual knock on the door. The jangle of rings and other jewellery could only mean one thing – the wrist controlling the hand knocking on the door to his inner sanctum was a wrist from West Auckland.

Bill turned on his desk fan. He had seen the wind blow the hair of a man in a film once and he had gotten the girl. His power now gave him options. This time it would be he who would get the girl.

As he thought a few moments longer about where this day might be heading, he remembered the chap in the film had sported shoulder length hair. His hair was the classic Gore short back and sides. There was no folicle waterfall careering behind him. He was just sitting at his desk with water streaming from his eyes. 

The fan was turned off.

“Enter!” is what he wanted to say in a way that had him sounding like a classically trained Shakespearian actor. Instead he said, “Yes?” in a barely audible rural drawl. She entered anyway.

“Shit Bill,” said Paula, “we did it. We actually did it.”

“Yes,” he replied, not meaning to be frugal with his sexual wordplay, but being so nonetheless.

“You here at the big desk with the big job in your highly capable big hands while I take on the job of your number 2…”

“Yes,” he said again, even more erotically than the first time

“Now,” replied his deputy glorious in her 9th floor radiance, “I’ve got a lot of work to do so I’ll head. Well done boss.”

“Yes,” Bill replied for a third time. The atmosphere in the office had moved from lightly to highly charged. He knew it. He suspected she knew it. He decided not to ask her about it just in case she hadn’t noticed him manning around.

As Ms. Bennett walked out the door, her Impulse body spray lingered for just a little bit longer. He moved over to his stereo and, taking one more deep breath of the perfume, popped in his Luther Van dross CD. 

This was heaven and he was in it.