Home > Social Issues, The Body Politic > Paula Bennett shows NZ how to take responsibility

Paula Bennett shows NZ how to take responsibility



Social Welfare Minister, Paula Bennett has been issuing edict after edict, demanding that welfare beneficiaries “take responsibility for their lives” and accept certain ‘obligations’ in return for receiving their welfare benefits,


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And not forgetting Dear Leader’s own 5 cents + 15% GST worth,


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It’s very ‘helpful’ when  a multi-millionaire explains to a person living in poverty, how to budget to buy food…

Bennett and Key expect a high degree of personal responsibility and expect obligations to be undertaken.

How does Paula Bennet, Minister for Social Welfare compare when it comes to taking personal responsibility and meeting her obligations to the public?

Let’s put it to the test, shall we?

When problems surrounding WINZ job-kiosks hit the headlines, and quickly became apparent to be the biggest leak of information in this country’s history, did Paula Bennet step up and take responsibility?


“At the end of the day I have a level of responsibility and certainly accountability. What I can’t be held to is to blame for something I have no control over.
“I set high standards for the ministry. They have not lived up to them in this case and I want … to be sure it will never happen again.”



Short answer: no.

It’s someone elses’ responsibility.

Which begs two questions,

  1. Can welfare beneficiaries be  “held  to blame for something they  have no control over” ?
  2. Just why is Bennett collecting her ministerial salary of  $257,800 p.a. plus perks and allowances?

Paula Bennett, Minister of Hypocrisy and Double standards.




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Parliament: Salaries payable under section 16 of Civil List Act 1979

NZ Herald: Bennett: Winz security process ‘atrocious’

TV3: Staff cuts blamed for WINZ computer woes


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  1. 3 November 2012 at 1:31 pm

    I look forward to any response from Ms Bennett’s office…

    Date: Fri, 2 Nov 2012 18:17:47 -0700 (PDT)
    From: Frank Macskasy
    Subject: Re the issues of beneficiaries obligations and WINZ kiosks
    To: Paula Bennett “Paula.bennett@parliament.govt.nz”

    Kia ora Ms Bennett,

    Re the issues of beneficiaries obligations and responsibilities, and mass-information leaks from WINZ kiosks,

    I would welcome your response to my blogpost,

    “Paula Bennett shows NZ how to take responsibility”

    -Frank Macskasy

  2. Taura
    3 November 2012 at 1:32 pm

    Those two words dont fit together with the clown government. Yes, they take, no they arent responsible.

    • 3 November 2012 at 1:49 pm

      Believe me, James, it took a while to put together a heading for that blogpost… I seemed to have a mental ‘block’ when it came to associating words like “responsibility” with Commissar Bennett…

  3. Jacqui B
    3 November 2012 at 1:39 pm

    Bloody double standards, they had the use of benefits etc now they are trying to say we shouldn’t have them grrrr

    They won’t get in at the next election.

  4. John B
    3 November 2012 at 1:45 pm

    maybe they wont it to fail so they can bring in other laws to help their control system work

  5. Melissia
    3 November 2012 at 1:51 pm

    Shes irresponsable

  6. Mike Pyefinch
    3 November 2012 at 1:57 pm

    Paula Bennett states that the reason for the breaches is due to processes not being in place – this is the very definition of systemic failure that she claims doesn’t exist!

    • Jacqui B
      3 November 2012 at 2:01 pm

      I think she got madcow disease and has never come right.

  7. 3 November 2012 at 1:58 pm

    @ John B,

    Funny thing, John… I could be wrong, but I can’t recall this kind of thing happening when Labour was in power… (I could be corrected on this, as I’m relying on memory only)

  8. 3 November 2012 at 2:12 pm

    I know what happened to my old office when IT staff were cut, it went to shit within around 3 months, the rest got burned out and some of those also ended up taking a walk pretty much to save their sanity, and the Dr’s were left high and dry … funny that.

    Too many people still regard proper investment in these systems as a “nice to have” instead of part of a strategic initiative that requires proper backing like any other critical process that makes a department or office run properly, and in this day and age, where systems rely more and more on such staff, that just spells a disaster waiting to happen

  9. John B
    3 November 2012 at 2:17 pm

    making the system crash the common person angry with the state and the state given reason to increase protection on its self

  10. PS
    3 November 2012 at 2:18 pm

    Print that, roll it up and symbolically slap the dogs nose with that one. Kudos to you Frank.

    • 3 November 2012 at 2:23 pm

      Thanks, Patti.

      I’ve emailed a link to Bennett’s office (copy of email after my initial blogpost, on my Blog).

      I’ll be interesting to see what response I get.

  11. Coroleen Davis
    3 November 2012 at 2:31 pm

    Covering her backside that’s what…It’s called passing the buck

  12. Chris S
    3 November 2012 at 2:55 pm

    Why should anyone from WINZ be held responsible? After all, they’re taking their cues from their boss, right?

    • 3 November 2012 at 3:49 pm

      I think that’s a fair call, Chris.

      After all, Bennett herself isn’t above (mis-)using the private details of welfare recipients; https://fmacskasy.wordpress.com/2011/11/13/hypocrisy-thy-name-be-national/

    • mcclairy
      4 November 2012 at 2:49 pm

      Good point……All government bureaucrats – local and central – take their instructions from their Minister/Mayor/Councilor. The buck ends with the Minister. Does she have meetings with managers on a regular basis? Has she written, contractual rules and are they in the possession and signed by her employees in the Ministry? Do her employees have the opportunity to meet with the minister if they find those rules are unenforceable or have other vagaries detrimental to being carried out or overwhelmingly draconian causing “suffering”? We will never know.
      It really hurts to see Key the State house boy wonder with the free tertiary education and Bennet, dragged out of poverty with welfare and education while a beneficiary denying others the same opportunities they had.

  13. MJ
    3 November 2012 at 2:56 pm

    No we are going to put her through the test, as her task at hand does not seem to be very successful at all does it ?

    Challenges are on and have been executed, they are before the courts at the moment having to try and fix their mistakes up, well she does not want to admit she went wrong and her poor chief excutive of MSD is quivering in his speeches and we all know why !

    Hes feeling like he has to protect her and he really doesnt want to cause even he knows shes wrong. And he feels its going against his ethic of beleifs and code of conducts, body language is an excellent skill to upgrade your CVs with, for all those unemployle people like myself out there makes for an interesting tool to use in daily life .

  14. Rodger
    3 November 2012 at 4:39 pm

    Bennett won’t take ANY responsibility but weren’t the kiosks her idea brought in to save money by reducing staff time or something?

    • 3 November 2012 at 4:50 pm

      Hmmmm, I do believe you’re right, Rodger. So not only did she initiate the kiosks project – but then oversaw the sacking of 70 IT staff when MSD most needed their services…

      National ministers – totally thick.

      • Mick
        3 November 2012 at 5:54 pm

        “Just why is Bennett collecting her ministerial salary of $257,800 p.a. plus perks and allowances?” WOW what would she be getting if she actually did a good job of it ?
        Mind you I’d be an arrogant hypocrite for $5000 per week . Especially seeing as she doesn’t seem qualified for her position.

  15. Alan Benton
    3 November 2012 at 6:00 pm

    Often wondered how much Peter Dunne has quietly put aside in his long and varied career as a Cabinet Minister of any party in power… and he’s done just as little for his electorate.

    I literally die of embaressment to think he’s my supposed MP every time he opens his mouth… the asset sale one-vote-to-decide-them-all had to be one of the most hideous betrayals in a while by any MP with his electorate overwhelmingly rejecting that proposal…

    • Taura
      3 November 2012 at 6:49 pm

      What was he offered?

      • Alan Benton
        3 November 2012 at 6:56 pm

        Yeah Taura, you gotta wonder eh…

  16. Mick
    3 November 2012 at 7:09 pm

    “All power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.”

  17. Aghora
    3 November 2012 at 9:37 pm

    She is too dumb to even understand what eugenics is so she is the perfect pawn, a pawn who actually believes that actual shit falling from her own hole it true.

  18. 5 November 2012 at 11:56 am

    To be honest this government is more OF A NANNY STATE GOVERNMENT THAN LABOUR EVER WAS.

    Only thing they uinderstand is how to hammer the worse off while they sit in comfort on there multi millions.

  19. Chris S
    5 November 2012 at 8:46 pm

    Say what you will about Kate Wilkinson, credit should go where it’s due for her taking some measure of responsibility in the Ministry of Labour’s part in the Pike River tragedy. Maybe Paula Bennett could learn something from that. But then again, maybe pigs’ll start flying.

  20. Debbie Kendrick
    14 November 2012 at 1:36 pm

    Frankly “Dear Leader”, if made as many “poor choices” in budgeting the taxpayers money that I receive as my benefit as you do in budgeting the taxpayers money that you receive to run our country then you might have something to complain about!

  1. 9 January 2013 at 5:33 pm
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