Sir Robert, Sir Roger – Make Way for Ms Bennett!


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YESTERDAY I WAS PRESENT at the birth of a new political expression.

My daughter was reading an article in The Listener by Karl du Fresne. It was his take on another neologism – the “precariat”.

I asked her what she thought of the article. After a moment’s thought she replied:

“Well, it’s an interesting topic, but the article itself is a bit Paula Bennettish.”

I laughed like a drain.

Should Paula Bennett feel proud? Well, yes, I think she’s entitled to a sly smirk of self-congratulation. After all, it’s not every politician who makes a sufficiently large impact on the electorate to generate a new noun or adjective.

Sir Robert Muldoon sired “Mudoonist” and “Muldoonism”.

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Sir Roger Douglas gave his name to “Rogernomics” – the radical mix of economic and social policies that transformed New Zealand between 1984-1988. Over the past two decades the word has increasingly been used to describe the whole historic shift from social-democratic to neoliberal New Zealand.

No doubt my daughter’s expression will morph in similar fashion, but, for the moment, it may be defined as:

Paula Bennettish – adj.n Having the characteristics, or suggesting the political beliefs and behaviour, of Paula Bennett, New Zealand’s Minister of Social Development (2008-) a politician notorious for her punitive attitudes towards, and policies controlling the behaviour of, social welfare beneficiaries. e.g. “That was a real Paula Bennettish article.”

Feel free to use the expression whenever and wherever you get the chance!


  1. Bennett (verb): to benefit from a system then dismantle it, preventing others from doing the same. To pull the ladder up after oneself. Not to be confused with Bobbitt.

  2. Well, Chris, I am astonished you see the humorous side of this. Paula Bennett is a nasty politician, self serving, self righteous and mean spirited, having come from welfare recipient to mercenary to the National Party. I have no good words for that woman.

    I can also deliver you inside documents from MSD I obtained that reveal the whole rotten agenda followed by senior policy advisors and developers in that ministry. You will see your eyes opened. Just due to the way I got these documents, I cannot elaborate too much and cannot make it all too public in an easy manner.

    We are lied to in a great fashion, we are treated with utter contempt, and the way MSD and WiNZ handle OIA requests is just a sign of this.

    Paula Bennett had no bloody scruples to deal to two sole parents years ago, disclosing private details, and she unashamedly states she would do it again, despite of warnings from the Human Rights Commissioner.

    What a shameful character sticks behind such conduct? And you try to portray it as a bit of a joke. Sorry, Chris, this is very serious what this perpetrator of many breaches of human rights, and also going to be in charge of draconian treatment of beneficiaries soon to come, is responsible for.

    I have NO time for this woman, and she is truly ill placed for the job she holds, definitely much over paid and over valued.

    Disgusting this person is, a shame on NZ’s political landscape, for sure!

  3. She (and I use that term lightly – ‘it’ is a more appropriate term as even calling her a man is offensive to men) is the festering boil that this country needs lancing off and discarded into oblivion – nasty nasty nasty creature that one

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