Paula Bennett – a driver of crime

Media release Wednesday 18 June 2013

Paula Bennett – a driver of crime

Tonight’s ‘Safer Communities’ meeting held by Paula Bennett was not only hypocritical but a gross misuse of parliamentary funding, says Auckland Action Against Poverty spokesperson Sarah Thompson.

We held our loud and strong picket tonight to point out the hypocrisy of Bennett talking about safer communities when she and her welfare reforms are some of the greatest threats we face.

Ongoing poverty and the denial of a decent income has the potential to result in an increase in theft, drug dealing, homelessness and domestic violence in addition to the physical harm caused by poor health, decreased self-esteem and depression.

While Bennett spoke of ways to decrease the ‘drivers of crime’ through increased police numbers, hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders (at the hands of her and Work and Income) go without the bare necessities – a form of violence and insecurity in itself.

With the second wave of reforms due to hit on July 15 even more will be worse off, facing punitive sanctions for any misstep.

Protestors tonight outnumbered those who turned out to hear Bennett – despite the multitude of billboards with Bennett’s smarmy face advertising the event around Waitakere.

Tonight we sent Paula Bennett a loud message letting her know that poverty is violence, and our communities would be safer without her and her welfare reforms.”

ENDS