Comparing Collins’ ruthlessness to Bennett’s incompetence


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Jo Moir does an interesting job comparing the Collin’s week of controversy to Bennett’s meltdown.

Moir is ruthless on Bennett…

The ongoing headlines around homelessness and a shortage of emergency housing for the most vulnerable Kiwis has plagued the minister for months.

Attempts to get back on the front foot haven’t worked and Bennett has been left drowning in a pool of kneejerk policy.

To add insult to injury, Key was comfortable throwing her under the bus when she got things wrong about the Ministry of Social Development’s flying squad accompanying the Salvation Army to offer help to homeless living in cars.

Rewind to the day before the Budget, May 25, when media were somewhat surprised by a new social housing policy to throw up to $5000 at homeless Aucklanders able to leave the city.

The announcement was news to Finance Minister Bill English (he only happens to write the Budget) and Key (he only happens to be Bennett’s boss).

More than two weeks later, the policy hasn’t even kicked in – June 20 is when those keen to take up the offer can begin being relocated.

So it wasn’t only policy developed on the hoof – it’s one with no immediate impact or comfort for those living on the street.

But it was Bennett’s mixed messages to the PM that really gave Labour’s Phil Twyford some free hits.

Last week Key told media that the MSD flying squad had taken an active role tracking down the homeless to see what support they needed.

He said those people approached by MSD and the Sallies had declined help.

But the Salvation Army said they turned down an offer by MSD to accompany them to the park where people are living in cars, as some people are very wary of Government officials.

…doesn’t it say something about how dysfunctional our Government agencies have become that the most vulnerable fear them and district them? It is abhorrent that we are paying for Government Agencies who torment and scar those needing the most help…

The Sallies said Key’s comments “deeply upset” some of the homeless people they worked with and undermined the charity’s ability to assist them.

Bennett went into crisis mode, explaining what she meant was that MSD had gone to help by taking phone calls to assist the Sallies.

So her flying squad actually turned out to be a call centre.

This was an embarrassing blunder from Bennett who provided the muddled information to Key, meaning he had no qualms about throwing the mess back at the culprit.

…so the entire desperate scramble Paula has put on is as hollow and worthless as we feared. Meanwhile 40 000 are homeless, hundreds of thousands living in overcrowding and tens of thousands living in their cars.

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How on earth is this an appropriate response to what is clearly a crisis that National have only helped exacerbate and grow?

But it gets even worse, dodging the media, she won’t even turn up to the many Marae around NZ who are now throwing open their doors for the homeless. So shells about helping the homeless in a way that blames the homless for choosing homelessness, she then won;t apologise to the Salvation Army for damaging their relationship with the homeless and now she is ‘too busy’ to visit Te Puea Marae who are being forced to do the job that she’s paid for!

Paula’s meltdown is the fault of National’s cruel and farcical social housing privatisation agenda. She’s going to take the fall for Bill English’s idealogical experiment and she’s too dumb to get yet that she’s the patsy. The solo Westie mum from struggle street whose own back story gives her the right to burn the entire Welfare State down in the name of ‘can-do’ tyranny.

Her implosion is the first canary in the coal mine that heralds a deeper change in the electorate. The moment the media started showing the reality of existence of beneficiaries, not the lazy bigotry of the last 8 years…

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…then NZers were shocked and have been angered. Scenes of NZers living in cars embarrassed our sensibilities and the truth of the social carnage occurring at the hands of our very own tax payer funded state departments has horrified many.

Homeless people being given $50 000 debts for shitty motel rooms?

National expected NZers to just keep hating on the poor and the weak. The sudden reversal of tone and internal polling suggests that point has been reached sometime ago. Bashing the poor in the manner Paula has highlights National’s contempt for the poor despite their obligations as the Government. This reality check has finally matched with unity on the Left from Labour and the Greens and it isn’t impossible we could get parity between the Labour-Green Bloc and National before the end of this year.

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That sudden reversal of fortune explains Collin’s bizarre behaviour this week. Jo Moir describes it as odd, and without the context of what is happening in the internal polls doesn’t make much sense…

The minister usually known for her hard and crusher-like approach seemed to have a minor meltdown following the horrific road toll at Queen’s Birthday weekend – the worst in 27 years.

Labour’s Stuart Nash was quick to put out a predictable press release on Tuesday saying police underfunding was at fault.

He also blamed Collins’ announcement that 100 cops were being taken off the road.

But instead of simply pointing out that Nash was ahead of himself given the 100 police hadn’t been cut yet and his argument was redundant, Collins went a bit rogue and blamed men talking on their mobile phones.

Given there’s no proof any of the crashes at the weekend had anything to do with men talking on mobile phones, it’s just odd to even go there.

But that’s not where it stopped. The following day Collins, who has been noticeably withdrawn and quiet in the House over recent weeks, threw a grenade at police efforts to reduce speed on the roads by saying she didn’t agree with their zero-tolerance approach.

I’m not sure if Collins momentarily forgot she’s the Police Minister, but to criticise the police’s flagship policy as far as road policing goes and tackling excessive speed was just bizarre, especially given how unheralded her position was.

…Collin’s knows the polls are privately showing National in free fall and she is now manoeuvring . She is speaking out to her natural electorate, powerful blokes 50+. Those who drive bloody fast because that’s what a bloke with skills does. By attacking the speed limit, which is a favourite bugbear of privileged males – Collins is starting her tilt for leadership.

As the Polls close, the tensions to replace Key before or after the election is going to build. The fight within the Auckland Mayoralty between the Boag camp and Slater-Lusk camp is to knife the other so badly they kill the competing power faction off and win claim to running the 2017 election.

This starts tumbling into place as more of the internal polling gets leaked and starts reflecting in the major public polls.


  1. I watched Story last evening and couldn’t help noticing how much Collins looked like Muldoon.

    And with those smirks and smart arse cracks.

    Like others have been saying, the tide is turning.

    • agreed we see National looking a small bit like showing some servility and conciliatory now more than last week strangely so they may now be seeing a political shift also appearing at the coal face too.

  2. Yes. Mark Sainsbury (who is like a breath of fresh air on Radio Live compared to that ridiculous idiot Sean Plunket), was calling Paula Bennett out the other morning for a ‘please explain’ on the lies and sullying of reputation regarding the Salvation Army that she and Key told.
    Apparently she was in “back to back meetings” and would be un available for comment .
    Miraculously when the talk back reached negative fever pitch about her behaviour she suddenly appeared on the end of the line.
    Not that it was worth listening to .
    It’s a toss up as to which was worse. Her performance in the interview with Jack Tame about climate change, or her response to Mark Sainsbury’s questions.
    Crickey dick! What the hell have we got here?
    If she’s a “rising star “in the National Party then National are dead and so is N.Z if they get back in again.
    It was like listening to a 15 year old schoolgirl trying to explain why she was home so late. The fudging. The lies. The incoherent sentences. It was a mess!!
    Come on Labour ,Greens, N.Z First. Please Please Please get rid of this hideous bunch of incompetents.

  3. No National minister will front without the reassurance of the patsy Hosking / Henry / Williams / Gower scripted love fests. They are ALL running scared. Theres no answer in the National Party psyche to address the running down of government services into the ground, as you rightly point out, of their making.

    Paula is now the Minister of Cars, perhaps this is what was meant by Key when he said we’re on the cusp of something special. And it’s reaching the scary point with housing, low pay, crap working conditions and social welfare where, in share poll driven desperation, Collins will revive her containers for prisoners idea for the poor as a face-saving solution for Nationals faithful!

  4. ‘ But it gets even worse, dodging the media, she won’t even turn up to the many Marae around NZ who are now throwing open their doors for the homeless. So shells about helping the homeless in a way that blames the homeless for choosing homelessness, she then won;t apologize to the Salvation Army for damaging their relationship with the homeless and now she is ‘too busy’ to visit Te Puea Marae who are being forced to do the job that she’s paid for! ‘

    Regarding Bennett. Yes she is thick.

    Thick as a brick. But you know,… this the result of trying to ingratiate oneself with a very nasty , evil ideology that is what Key is sworn to.

    There is no social conscience involved.

    There is no concern the individual.

    There is no empathy given or recognition of mitigating circumstances.

    And I can honestly say … I have none for her. She had her chance but the seeds of her ministerial legacy was sown long ago when she abused her position by revealing private details publicly on two women who were at the time beneficiaries. It heralded the viscous nature within.

    She’s had this coming to her for a long , long time.

    Its now swinging full circle right back around on her. My only hope is that she learns from this. I do not hold much hope of that , however.

    Collins?… well,… another bombastic and arrogant individual.

    There is no tears shed for her either. The Orivida scandal comes to mind. As does the complicity in the Dirty Politics involvement. Along with all the other nasty history she presents in her various portfolio’s.

    Do we really want either of these two individuals to have sway over our lives? Do we? – would we not rather have someone who displays a bit more of the human spirit ?

    The problem with these types is they never admit fault. Thus they are beyond teach-ability. They are autocratic by nature and will leave parliament in exactly the same manner as they came in : treating people as chattels to be used for personal self advancement.

    Both of them have displayed quality’s that earmark them out for not being fit for leadership of a country. They would become a liability to this country and its people. Their motives would not be in the peoples best interests but ultimately only in their own best interests. And it shows.

    The only saving grace is that both of them have been exposed to another side to their natures that they both posses – before the elections start in 2017. For that we should be grateful .

    I’m quite confident that the meat and potato’s staple of any election such as education , wages, welfare , housing , health will be where this election will be fought – the very things that have precipitated the shocking social conditions we see currently.

    And the reason why this looks set to destroy National this time is because these issues are generally the ones they have been methodically trying to destroy in a surreptitious manner for the last 8 years.

    This is evident in the deliberate underfunding of these and other govt dept’s to skew in favour of privatization. They need not deny it- it is patently obvious what they are up to. They would be wise to not treat the populace as being that slow they cannot see it.

    Once upon a time John Key gave a speech around 2007 about the appalling state of housing and that they were going to do something about it. They have done the opposite.

    And they refuse to do anything about it.

    And it will be this and the fact it goes against their ‘ free market ‘ ideology and their ‘ starve the beast’ ( dismantling big govt ) policy’s that will render them impotent.

    Once again… as a backdrop to where we are now, and a spirit level to gauge how things have deteriorated for 8 long years under this National govt I include yet again , – this :

    • Oh…and before I forget … this little something about Paula Bennett that she was also infamous for… doing a diploma at the tax payers expense while as a solo mother and then when coming into power treacherously axing those programs for other solo parents.

      Another weakness demonstrated in her attempts to ingratiate herself into the neo liberal ideology.


  5. “…Collin’s knows the polls are privately showing National in free fall and she is now manoeuvring . ”

    There isn’t a single poll reflecting this, not one. Indeed the most recent poll have National increasing it’s vote post the Greens/Labour MoU.

  6. Nice analysis. Lot’s of stuff I would never had connected the dots to.

    This government has callously used aspirational women from the wrong side of the tracks to do its dirty work by making them ministers of some of the portfolios where the worst changes in social policy are being implemented.

    • 1000% esoteric pineapples bang on there.

      We recall in June 2008 Helen Clark said the same kind of thing then as Martyn is now saying.

      That was when she saw the political ground shifting then.

      I recall her saying “there is a change in politics coming” in the press I think.

  7. “…Collin’s knows the polls are privately showing National in free fall and she is now manoeuvring . ”

    There isn’t a single poll reflecting this, not one. Indeed the most recent poll have National increasing it’s vote post the Greens/Labour MoU.

    • “There isn’t a single poll reflecting this, not one.”

      You keep saying this.

      Think of it like a tremor in the stock market. A ‘feeling’.

      And then…

      “Here come the bears! Here come the bears! Run! Run!”

      Unless you have insider feelers, then just because the public polls aren’t showing the tremors doesn’t mean there aren’t polls that do.

  8. It is nothing else but a fight for the deck chair with the best view on the sinking Titanic, what is happening with Bennett and Collins.

    Let them fight it out, it may soon be irrelevant, they may suddenly both have to rush to find a place on a life raft, which may already have left the boat, and are full with others.

    Collins is getting older, I noticed this on The Nation this weekend. She is still good at hitting and covering up her failings, but the cracks and wrinkles are showing, indeed the first deep wrinkles are greater cracks now than the scratches on the Teflon coating of our dear Smilin Assassin PM.

    And Bennett is like a wild bull in a porcelain store. Plenty more to break there, I guess, let her roar and rage, in desperation, when she gets down-ranked in the next cabinet reshuffle.

  9. Surely Joyce will be the favourite to replace Key, not Collins?

    As for Bennet, putting her is as climate change minister followed by social welfare… no wonder Key’s off to Fiji to mingle with coup leaders to wait it out.

    +100 The solo Westie mum from struggle street whose own back story gives her the right to burn the entire Welfare State down in the name of ‘can-do’ tyranny.

    • some say Simon Bridges is the man.

      He will fuck national up no end as Joyce did in Northland so maybe…..

      • Bridges has no self control. You can always tell when he’s losing it when he starts to get his high pitched squeak on and start to rant over everybody.

        No one’s going to follow that.

  10. I am on the road a lot in my job and everyday I see at least one person driving whilst holding a cellphone to one ear, and it is about 50-50 man or woman in my experience.
    To blame it entirely on men is just a petulant ignorant thing to say.

    • Yes Mike the leftie I do to as it seems the Cops are only revenue collectors for the seat belt thing and just don’t bother the cell phone users as perhaps there is a lower charge?

  11. As a former Nat I can tell you that there is a divide between the Judith Collins faction and the Steven Joyce faction (regarding the question of who takes over from Key).

    Paula Bennett is seen as the new heir apparent due to being acceptable to both factions. Therefore she is also a threat to both factions.

    So what happened? Both sides colluded to give her a poisoned chalice….

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