Paula Bennett has more questions to answer

It is unthinkable that Paula Bennett’s press secretary went rogue and tried to smear the reputation of someone involved in helping the homeless, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says.

“Political staff would not take such serious unilateral action without the knowledge of their Minister. Their job is to act in the best interest of their boss.

“This is another example of Paula Bennett lashing out under pressure and embarking on a character assassination to try to divert attention away from her failed social housing policy. She has a history of vindictive privacy breaches.

“An individual police investigation into a professional matter is nothing to do with the great work the marae is doing to house the homeless. Instead of throwing mud, Paula Bennett should be supporting them – like many in Auckland are – by taking food and supplies.

“The Minister also owes Te Puea and the Kingitanga that runs the marae an apology.

“The buck stops with Paula Bennett. Throwing a staff member under the bus is a new low even for her,” Phil Twyford says.