What a dilemma…who do you trust?

Paula Bennett has reportedly refused to accept the resignation of the staff member who whispered in a TVNZ journalist’s ear leaking information.

Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett has refused an offer of resignation from the press secretary who told a journalist that a marae leader was under police investigation.

Ms Bennett today faced further questions about the leak, which she said was a “grave error of judgment” by her staff member.

Pressed by Labour MP Kris Faafoi during a scheduled appearance before a select committee in her role as State Services Minister, Ms Bennett said she had no idea the information had been passed on, until confronted by media yesterday afternoon.

“I do not think that she tried to deliberately smear. I do not think that she was trying to deliberately undermine anyone, and I think it was in the context in a conversation about something else, and then at the end it came up.

“She deeply, deeply regrets it. And I can’t apologise enough.” ?

Ms Bennett has phoned and apologised to Te Puea Marae chairman Hurimoana Dennis, a police inspector and iwi liaison officer.

Mr Dennis has been leading efforts to help the homeless, and Mrs Bennett and the staff member met with him last Friday to discuss those measures and what Government support could be made available.

During that private meeting Mr Dennis disclosed that he was subject to a police investigation.

Later that day, the staff member returned the call of a One News reporter, based outside of the Parliamentary press gallery. It was during that conversation that the police investigation was mentioned.

Paula Bennett has thrown that staff member under the bus by saying it was them, but no press secretary I know would leak without their minister approving it.

If anyone should resign it should be Paula Bennett.

This whole saga raises and interesting question.

Who was the One News reporter they tried leaking this to, who then decided it was a better story to bust Paula Bennett’s chops and burn a source?

Which then raises another question.

Which MP in parliament will now talk to that reporter now that everyone knows they don’t care about source protection when it suits them?

It’s a short list of reporters from One News.

Which one do you think it was?

-NZ Herald

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