While the Minister of Social Development is never slow to tell us what the obligations and responsibilities of beneficiaries are, she seems to think she can do whatever she likes and to hell with the consequences.

Last year, in what was a deliberate political attack, she released the benefit details of two women who had dared to publicly criticise her policies.

When it was pointed out to her that she had violated the privacy of the two women concerned , Bennett insisted she had the 'implied consent' of the two women to release their details - which was news to the two women.

Bennett though claimed that she had found her information about 'implied consent' on the website of the Privacy Commissioner. But there is no reference to 'implied consent' on the website - Bennett was just making it up as she went along, hoping to bluster her way out of an awkward situation.

One of the women, Natasha Fuller, decided to take action against Ms Bennett and complained to the Privacy Commissioner.

Now it has been revealed by Television Three that Bennett had a secret meeting with Fuller yesterday (April 28) in a bid to make the complaint 'disappear'.

Stunningly, TV3 has alleged that Bennett made a financial offer in return for Fuller dropping her complaint.

On Campbell Live Bennett denied she had offered money but did not deny that the meeting had taken place.

When she was asked what the meeting was about, Bennett went into bluster mode and started talking about 'following a process' and 'respecting' the privacy of Natasha Fuller - which was bit rich coming from Bennett since she was the one who deliberately violated her privacy in the first place.

The fact that she chose to secretly approach Ms Fuller is totally unacceptable and could be viewed as Bennett using her position to intimidate a woman who has suffered health and emotional difficulties since Bennett crashed into her life uninvited.

Bennett should be sacked for just approaching the complainant but if she has offered money to Ms Fuller than her position simply becomes untenable.

There is no evidence, as yet, that Bennett did offer a financial deal but what if TV3 has yet to play all its cards? What if they have set up Ms Bennett for further embarrassment?

Let's hope so.


  1. What a sordid state of affairs. Goes to show John Campbell can still do some journalism though. I hope she's hung out to dry. I also hope not to hear anyone trying to justify this kind of disgusting bullying and abuse of power because I don't like getting sick on my shoes.

  2. The really depressing part is that many New Zealanders think she's doing a great job. Well done for pointing out she isn't.


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