Wednesday, August 30, 2017

An unbelievable denial

Paula Bennett has denied leaking Winston Peters' pension information to the media:

There was "absolutely no benefit" for National to leak the details of NZ First leader Winston Peters' pension problems, says deputy leader Paula Bennett.

She has rubbished suggestions National might have seen gains if Peters' party dropped in the polls, telling TVNZ's Breakfast the theory made no sense.

"It just doesn't make sense that it was. Why would we leak something on the day of our campaign launch, which we want to be all about us quite frankly.

All of which is just a little bit unbelievable. Firstly, because there is obvious motive for leaking against Winston: National's entire election strategy depends on taking him down by a few points, while benefiting from the "wasted vote". And secondly of course because Bennett has form on this. In case anyone has forgotten, she leaked the information of two beneficiaries who spoke up about government policy - then refused to apologise or rule out doing it again. Then she leaked against Te Puea Marae chairman Hurimoana Dennis after he showed the inadequacy of government housing policy last winter. In both cases, private personal information which she should never even have seen was abused for political purposes - its her favourite weapon. And of course, she was briefed on Peters' private business, in apparent violation of the Privacy Act.

In short, Bennett had motive, means and opportunity. If you believe her denials, I have a bridge to sell you.