Home > The Body Politic > Hon. Paula Bennett, Minister of Hypocrisy

Hon. Paula Bennett, Minister of Hypocrisy

When it comes to hypocrisy, this must surely be  contender for the Double Standard of The Year…

I’m not surprised that “Bennet did not return calls”. She was no doubt holed up in her office, waiting for this  s**t storm to blow over.

A bit of background into Paula Bennett’s life before she came to Parliament…

  • Paula Bennet was a solo-mother, at age 17
  • Just two years later, she got a Housing Corporation loan to buy a $56,000 house in Taupo.
  • All of this while on the domestic purposes benefit.
  • Paula Bennet was a recipient of the Training Incentive Allowance (a WINZ benefit)
  • Paula Bennet obtained her degree at Massey University, through the TIA – a taxpayer-funded benefit




So for Bennett to then write and state,

“I know many people are frustrated that they and their colleagues and family work hard to support themselves while people on benefits receive state assistance.”

… is hypocrisy on a breath-taking scale.

And to compound that act of double-standards, Bennett is still a recipient of taxpayer funded “welfare”. As a Minister of the Crown, she is currently paid $249,100 p.a. – plus various allowances, perks, and a very generous superannuation. MPs and their partners  also recieve free air travel, at tax-payer’s expense.

Ms Bennett is no longer on the DPB.

She just found a more lucrative way to milk the system.

Hon. P Bennett, Minister of Hypocrisy

  1. Miles Lacey
    1 September 2011 at 3:12 am

    Damn good points but I need to correct you on one point: the Training Incentive Allowance is not a benefit but supplementary assistance offered by WINZ to assist people on the DPB and the Invalids Benefit into training.

    • 1 September 2011 at 8:27 am

      Yes, you’re quite correct, Miles. Of course I was using the term “benefit” in the widest possible context. But, yes, you’re quite right.

  2. Deborah Kean
    2 September 2011 at 3:01 pm

    Ah, but she sees herself as ‘special’, she was a deserving recipient, whilst the people currently on benefit clearly aren’t!
    The only cure for people like the recipient of her letter, is a spell of unemployment themselves… It worked wonders for my ex, and for a married woman I knew whose husband had suddenly for his secretary, left her with three kids under 7 years old – she came to me and apologised for the fact that she used to look down on me and think my DPB status was all my own choice! (I was amazed – I had never realised she’d despised me until she apologised – she was so two-faced, that she had never shown it!)

    • 2 September 2011 at 9:37 pm

      That’s quite a sad story, Debbie. Hopefully, your friend learnt a very harsh lesson in life, courtesy of Karma.

      There was a similar story on TV news, back in 2009, soon after the Recession hit us. A white, middle-class professional was being interviewed as he just just been made redundant. He was describing how it felt to lose his job, and then made the comment that he was surprised at how little the unemployment benefit was.

      He had believed it to be much more.

      The majority of beneficiary bashers actually have no idea how much the dole pays. They also labour under the (mistaken) belief that the accomodation supplement will pay for your entire rent or mortgage. (It doesn’t. It pays only a percentage of your rent/mortgage.) When I’ve pointed out the realities to beneficiary-bashers, they either stop engaging with me, or come up with some other ludicrous reason why welfare is such a desirable “lifestyle”.

      Many years ago, when I was a younger person (with a fuller head of hair), the company I worked for made most of their staff redundant, including me. (It didn’t stop the company from going under, though, and the hotel was sold to a Singaporean consortium.) I was unemployed for a bit, and barely managing on the dole.

      At a get-together at a friend’s house, I was chatting to some guy who I didn’t know, and the subject got around to jobs, employment, and unemployment. The guy started ranting about “dole bludgers living the high life on his taxes”.

      I listened for a bit and then said to him,

      “Well, I’m looking for a job. Tell you what; you can have my dole, and I’ll take your job. My dole comes to [whatever it was back then – $150 p/w?). What’s your salary? We can swap now so I can start on Monday.”

      He just looked at me and walked away. Idiot.

      I found a new job later, and the following year started a small business of my own. But that one incident has stayed with me over the years. I wonder if that guy is still as smug and arrogant as he was, that evening?

      Regarding your situation; we have solo-mothers as part of our circle of friends. It has to be one of the toughest jobs imaginable and I don’t know if I could do it. I’d pin medals on all solo-mums and dads!

  3. Deborah Kean
    2 September 2011 at 10:17 pm

    I first met the person who was to become my ex (to quote Jeff Goldblum in Jurassic Park), when I worked for Social Welfare in Benefits and Pensions. He would make remarks about how soul-destroying it must be for me to work dealing with useless unemployable layabouts…
    Years later, thanks to him (!) I was on the DPB, and talking to him on the phone. In a rare confiding moment he told me “I am not really working as an outside consultant… I am unemployed. It’s been 18 months and I can’t find a job!” Luckily for him, he was being partially supported by my successor – and he’d been a miserly person all through his years of working as a top executive, so he had savings he could conceal from WINZ.. But what a revelation it was for him that ‘top executives’ were just as unemployable in the middle 90s, as working people were, especially if they were over 45… but mostly, that his own fault and his own efforts had nothing to do with it!
    Yes, I wonder whatever happened to that guy at the party that you met?

  4. 6 September 2011 at 10:05 pm

    “In a rare confiding moment he told me “I am not really working as an outside consultant… I am unemployed. It’s been 18 months and I can’t find a job!” “

    Irony, indeed, Debbie. Like an OE, I think we should all do a stint on a benefit. It would wake up the attitides of those who think it’s an easy life. It’s possible to exist on a benefit, but I wouldn’t call it living…

    “But what a revelation it was for him that ‘top executives’ were just as unemployable in the middle 90s, as working people were, especially if they were over 45… but mostly, that his own fault and his own efforts had nothing to do with it!”

    I think the old saying might be appriopriate here,

    “There, but for the Grace of God, go I.”

    I’ve always thought that was one of the most wisest expressions ever.

    “Yes, I wonder whatever happened to that guy at the party that you met?”

    Never saw him again. I can’t even recall who he was or which friend’s house I was at. It was in my younger days… More hair on my head; less bulk around my waist. *sighs* Those were the days…

  5. clive @ large
    15 March 2012 at 6:55 pm

    A mate of mine was made unemployed last year and went on the dole. I made a dumb comment that he’d be living on the beach soaking up a few rays and getting back into surfing. Then he showed me his bank statement as to what WINZ was giving him. It made me feel stink when I saw how little it was. I bought him a slab of speights so we’re all good but I still can’t believe what the dole pays.

  6. Kelley
    15 March 2012 at 8:14 pm

    Clive @ Large – well said mate.

  7. Jonathan Holloway
    17 August 2012 at 12:37 pm

    I’m a solo father of two. I have no expensive habits and I grow some of my own food. In weeks when I have work we get by. In weeks without (like this one) we are down to zero after rent, power and some food. That’s 3 or 4 days per week when we can spend NOTHING. So glad I have my health. Living on welfare is not a lifestyle choice. It’s greatest benefit to me is to keep me compassionate. Anyone have work for me? 45 years old, tertiary qualifications, 20+ years of paying taxes…

    • 17 August 2012 at 8:36 pm

      Jonathan, I think you’d make a pretty good Minister of Social Welfare. It’s a shame that position isn’t open for you, considering that the incumbent is as useless as tits on a bull…

      Your situation ties in with other comments posted here, and emails I’ve received from folk in a position similar to yours.

  8. Lawrence
    19 August 2012 at 4:59 pm

    After being made redundant from a job I’ve held down for 7 years, 115 job applications, no interviews, and plenty of rejections, I think I can safely tell Paula Bloody Bennet to go fuck herself.

  9. Another 'Happy' WINZ Client
    20 August 2012 at 1:34 pm

    Every time I challenge a bene-bashing halfwit to swap their wages with my dole, they never take up the offer. Gee, wonder why? Dickheads.

  10. Robyn
    3 September 2012 at 10:47 am

    People also forget that at ANY TIME in life they can be struck down by an illness or disease that leaves them permanently unable to work, and often with much higher living costs than Joe Average (due to higher health costs). If it’s something like diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis and you’ve had it since childhood you will find it very hard to set up any sort of health or life insurance to cover yourself later in life. Life on the Invalid’s Benefit is just as difficult as life on the DPB or the other new “Looking for Work” type benefits. Unlike ACC you get very little in the way of support, and things like costs for house or vehicle modifications that are granted to ACC recipients, have to be repaid out of the already minimal Invalids Benefit. Like the other benefits the combination of secondary tax rates and a draconian abatement regime for part time work make getting any part time work (assuming you CAN work) financially very difficult.

  11. Rusty
    1 August 2017 at 1:34 pm

    Why is this shocking hypocrite not being investigated? What has she changed to help prevent child abuse in this country? NOTHING! She has no morals or professional ethics as she still takes from the ‘heads in the sand’ NZ public. This covered up daylight robbery by members of the elected parliamentarians is criminal and should be dealt with in the courts .

    • 1 August 2017 at 7:37 pm

      Rusty, at the very least, Bennett stands in the Court of Public Opinion. The more she rails against Metiria Turei and welfare recipients, the more her own past is scrutinised and light shed on her activities…

  1. 16 September 2011 at 2:40 pm
  2. 13 November 2011 at 1:45 am
  3. 29 February 2012 at 1:23 am
  4. 6 March 2012 at 9:27 pm
  5. 31 August 2012 at 1:02 pm
  6. 9 January 2013 at 5:33 pm
  7. 30 January 2013 at 11:59 pm
  8. 31 January 2013 at 12:03 am
  9. 31 December 2013 at 8:02 am
  10. 7 April 2014 at 12:00 am
  11. 19 May 2014 at 8:00 am
  12. 18 July 2014 at 8:01 am
  13. 21 October 2015 at 1:37 pm
  14. 26 October 2015 at 8:01 am
  15. 11 February 2016 at 8:03 am
  16. 17 June 2016 at 8:01 am
  17. 3 June 2017 at 8:01 pm
  18. 6 August 2017 at 6:32 am
  19. 11 August 2017 at 8:01 pm
  20. 25 November 2017 at 8:02 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: