An open letter from Paula Bennett

You may have seen me a bit on the telly recently. TV3 have been on my case, claiming I paid money to silence a complainant.

Let me tell you how shocked I was at the allegation. You know me, battling Paula, the feisty but lovable former DPB mum who came good. It’s just not my style to do anything like that. Smearing someone publicly by releasing their personal details to the media is one thing, but paying someone off? That’s not my style.

And I’d never do anything without getting proper advice. I always get legal advice whenever I’m about to make a contentious decision. For example, whenever I am about to release to the media personal details of someone who’s had the courage to stand up to me, I spend three or four minutes looking on the Privacy Commissioner’s website to make sure it’s all kosher.

So on this scandalous payment allegation, you can be sure I’ve been getting the very best legal advice. My cousin knows a lawyer in Henderson who helped him collect a debt. He’s dirt cheap, which is the main thing. His English isn’t the best, but then nor is mine! I did think it was strange how he could run a legal practice from the back of a kebab shop, but he seemed so pleased to help that I thought no more about it. He was eager to display his legal credentials, and even went so far as to show me his framed degree from the University of Abuja.

Let me tell you I can’t recommend Serkan highly enough. And another thing: if you’re at the Star of Byzantium, make sure you ask for the Lamb Doner. And tell Serkan that Paula sent you. He’ll give you a 10% discount, and if he’s in a good mood he might even throw in some hummus for free.

Serkan said to me: “Paula, the best thing you do when you in big shit is deny everything. If any otuz birci say something you say ‘no, my friend, you mistake’.”

Deny everything. That’s pretty good advice for a politician, isn’t it?

And I have to say that Serkan’s plan has the media completely perplexed. Just a few hours ago I ran into a reporter from the Herald, and she asked me if I had time to talk. I said I didn’t know what she was talking about. She appeared confused by my reply but then said she wanted to ask some questions about what was going on in the Ministry.

I said “what Ministry?”

The Ministry of Social Development, she said.

Well I gave her a serve. I told her I didn’t know what Ministry she was on about or where she’d heard that rubbish from, and that I wouldn’t stand there and take such nonsense from anyone. I told her to get her facts straight, then went off in a huff.

I think John will be very pleased with my performance.