Home > On A Lighter Note, The Body Politic > Parata, Bennett, and Collins – what have they been up to?

Parata, Bennett, and Collins – what have they been up to?


Muppet #1 – Hekia Parata


I actually think she’s a very effective communicator; in fact if you look at her history in politics, she’s been one of the smoothest communicators we’ve actually had.” – John Key, 18 January 2013

See: Parata safe in her job – Key

Prime Minister John Key says Education Minister Hekia Parata will be safe in an upcoming Cabinet reshuffle, … because she is hugely talented and one of National’s best communicators.

See: Parata’s job safe in shuffle


I’d be a happy chappy if the Nats DID have more like her in Cabinet!!

If she’s one of the Nat’s “best communicators”, I’d luv to know why she’s kept ducking calls for media interviews and instead sent Lesley Longstone to cover for Parata’s f**k-ups,


2 October 2012

lesley longstone fronts instead of hekia parata (2)


3 October 2012

Ministry of Education admits some errors in data


4 October 2012

Education Minister avoids her critics


26 October 2012

lesley longstone fronts instead of hekia parata (3)


29 October 2013

Longstone challenged to find solutions


14 November 2012

lesley longstone fronts instead of hekia parata (1)


28 November 2012

lesley longstone Schools still beset by Novopay problems


When Lesley Longstone’s resignation was announced last year on 19 December, Hekia Parata was still nowhere to be seen. The announcement was handled by State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie (see:  Education secretary quits),


19 December 2012

lesley longstone Education secretary quits


20 December 2012

lesley longstone Parata, Key refuse to front over education debacle


Parata’s office explained why she couldn’t front,

Parata is currently on holiday and has refused to front on Longstone’s resignation, but in a statement released this afternoon she thanked Longstone for her efforts in leading the Ministry.

See: Education Ministry boss quits after ‘strained relationship’

Hmmmm, judging by Parata not fronting for most of last year, was she on holiday for most of 2012?!

“Smooth communicator…”!?

Ye gods, this deserves a Tui billboard.

Roll on 2013 – it’s going to be a great year.


Muppet #2 – Paula Bennett


Bennett trumpets 5000 fewer on DPB

Full story


Social Welfare Minister, Paula Bennett, has a relationship with hypocrisy, bene-bashing, and mendacity that can only be described as “intimate”.

Since 2011, she has derided and denigrated the unemployed; solo-parents; widows, invalids, the sick, and young people, and blamed them for being in a position requiring welfare assistance.

Never mind the fact that the Global Financial Crisis of 2007/08 has seen unemployment skyrocket from 3.4% in 2007 to the current 7.3%.

Or that welfare recipients as a whole were at their lowest in 2008.

National’s entire strategy for getting people off welfare has not been about job creation – that has beemn left to the “Market” to sort out – but about punitive sanctions targetting those receiving welfare.

See previous blogpost for full list of sanctions targetting welfare recipients: Johnny’s Report Card – National Standards Assessment – the social welfare safety net

Even Dear Leader had a go at welfare recipients in February 2011,

But it is also true that anyone on a benefit actually has a lifestyle choice. If one budgets properly, one can pay one’s bills.

And that is true because the bulk of New Zealanders on a benefit do actually pay for food, their rent and other things. Now some make poor choices and they don’t have money left.” – John Key, 17 February, 2011

See: Food parcel families made poor choices, says Key

Key had even more daft things to say about welfare recipients here; National to push 46,000 off welfare . But not a single word about generating jobs for the unemployed. Not. One. Word.

Now that 5,000 sole-parents have mysteriously “dropped off” from  DPB welfare, I have a question for Ms Bennet and Dear Leader;

Will those sole parents be acknowledged for finding work (a questionable assumption in itself) in a tough marketplace where unemployment stands at 7.3% (175,000 people) and where, it was announced today, growth in the jobs market has slowed? (See:  Unemployment rate set to hold as job ads flatten out – ANZ, Job growth slows, says Trade Me)

Will Bennett acknowledge that people  are on welfare – not because it is an opulent lifestyle – but because of sheer necessity?

Will the Minister – who successfully exploited the welfare system for her own benefit; bought a house using WINZ funding; and gave up paid employment because it was “too tough” to  study, work, and care for her daughter simultaneously – acknowledge that it was not National’s punitive bene-bashing policies that found work for 5,000 sole-parents, but the parents themselves?

Or will she grab the kudos for herself?

More than half of that drop happened in the last three months of the year, after the introduction of Ms Bennett’s policy required sole parents to get part-time work when their youngest child turned five and fulltime work for those whose children were older than 14.

Ms Bennett said 3221 sole parents had returned to work since that came into force in October.

See: Bennett trumpets 5000 fewer on DPB

Yup. She’s taken the credit for herself.


The numbers quoted in the Heral story are at variance with those from the Ministry of Social Developement.

From the NZ Herald,


Bennett trumpets 5000 fewer on DPB - beneficiary numbers



From the MSD,


Numbers of working-age clients receiving main benefits at the end of September, 2002 - 2012



Even the Herald’s own trance of figures is not consistent.  The DPB figures are compared between 2011 and 2012. The remaining two trances – All Types of Benefits and Unemployment – are compared between 2010 and 2012.



Muppet #3 – Judith Collins


Remember “Crusher” Collins? Remember New Zealand’s own Iron Lady who brooks no sh*t from criminals, boy racers, or stroppy Labour MPs?

Remember how Collins was going to deal to crims who had been awarded compensation for breaches of their rights,


New Bill ensures victims can lay claims against prisoner compensation

Source & More


The Nats love to thrash the Law & Order  issues. It appeals to low information voters, rednecks, and right wing simpletons and is great for the Tories to  score a few thousand extra votes at election time.

In reality it achieves zip to actually reform and rehabilitate prisoners, and address core problems in their offending; alcolhol/drug abuse; illiteracy; unresolved psychiatric problems; and off course the number one factor; no prospects for employment.

Which is why it’s a bit of a surprise when a National minister appears to See The Light, and backtracks on one of their core,  Get-Tough-On-Crims policies,


Collins backtracks on jail compo

Full story


It’s nice to see a National minister shy away from mindless knee-jerk law-making that appeals to the Talback Radio mindset – but achieves very little except nudge New Zealand closer to being an autocratic state.

Until the next election, of course,


National hoarding staying strong on crime




Other blogs

Tumeke: Paula Bennett and her amazing vanishing beneficiaries



= fs =

  1. Possum
    18 January 2013 at 2:59 pm

    sweet f.a. l believe, still 2 many issues out there and they have no idea how 2 fix or what 2 do and the muppets behind the scene’s telling them what 2 do shld also go……no clue natsland

  2. Priss
    18 January 2013 at 3:49 pm

    If Parata is an outstanding communicator as Key says, he has an odd idea what makes good communicators. Considering Parata has managded to alienate teachers, principals, Boards, and parents – precisely what is she communicating?

    My guess is that Parata will be gone before the next election. She’s too much of a liability for the Nats.

  3. Tony
    18 January 2013 at 5:30 pm

    the whole lot of them should be jail

  4. JM
    18 January 2013 at 6:44 pm

    Actually I’d argue that all three of them are great communicators: they all three perfectly and clearly communicate “I’ll do what I want and you can go get stuffed”

  5. 18 January 2013 at 11:12 pm

    Paula fainted – there was nobody left on benefits – they had all gone to Australia…

  6. 19 January 2013 at 12:26 am

    Nats just keep repeating the lies and eventually people will believe them.

  7. Cushla
    19 January 2013 at 8:40 pm

    If the average person conducted themselves in the manner these idiots have, they would be fired from their jobs in disgrace.

  8. JM
    20 January 2013 at 7:44 am

    And his wife’s with him. Who’s paying for that?

  9. 21 January 2013 at 11:22 pm

    Holy. Moly. When I last see such a blatant whopper?

    Parata is the great (mis)communicator. She muddles up everything she is supposed to pass on to her officials and the schools.

    Bennett is like a woman version of Gerry Brownlee. Arrogant, believes in clear as mud transparency and has no sympathy for the people she deals with.

    And Collins? The shark in the deep blue.

    If they all lost their jobs tomorrow, the world would be a better place.

  10. 23 January 2013 at 9:27 am

    “I actually think she’s a very effective communicator; in fact if you look at her history in politics, she’s been one of the smoothest communicators we’ve actually had.” – John Key, 18 January 2013


  1. 6 February 2013 at 1:52 am
  2. 19 February 2013 at 1:34 am
  3. 1 December 2015 at 11:11 am
  4. 7 December 2015 at 8:01 am
  5. 25 January 2016 at 7:08 am
  6. 30 January 2016 at 8:01 am
  7. 17 June 2016 at 8:01 am
  8. 5 March 2018 at 8:01 am

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