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Giovanni Tiso: Speaking Power to the Truth – The Political Assassination of Metiria Turei

Written By: - Date published: 7:03 am, August 22nd, 2017 - 116 comments
Categories: benefits, greens, journalism, Media, Metiria Turei, welfare - Tags: ,

Giovanni Tiso writes on New Zealand media and the swimming of sharks. Well worth a read.

Update: The full text of this piece has been removed at Tiso’s request, although the Pantograph Punch source explicitly allows for copying with attribution:
http://pantograph-punch.com/page/terms-of-use
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/nz/
(we should have included a link to this license though)

116 comments on “Giovanni Tiso: Speaking Power to the Truth – The Political Assassination of Metiria Turei ”

  1. Incognito 1

    My take is that Metiria Turei attempted to raise awareness and be the catalyst for a much wider debate than just dissecting her personal circumstances & story. She knew that once you throw something into the public domain it would take on a life of its own and you cannot unthrow it. The things that gets me is that there is no way one single person can or should (!) control the narrative of public debate; it’s the antithesis of robust discourse. However, many aimed at exactly that, which is to make Metiria Turei the sole focus. They succeeded because the initial support for her and her story was timid or largely absent from MSM and Metiria found herself a lone voice in the wilderness of MSM and she got hounded and taken down – the usual way it’s done: separate, isolate & destroy. Public debate only eventuates when other people and voices come to the party, so to speak.

    • popexplosion 1.1

      The dirty truth of it is govt welfare prevades society, family credits, business welfare, media grants…

  2. dukeofurl 2

    Dont why they continue to dig this hole deeper ?

    This part doesnt make any sense- “as if newsrooms or the parliamentary press gallery had a special, unmediated access to what ordinary people think, and weren’t echo chambers themselves.”

    Yet they link to newshub stories, one of which shows even 50% of Greens voters disapprove of Turei’s actions
    http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/election/2017/08/newshub-poll-most-kiwis-say-metiria-turei-was-wrong-to-lie-to-winz.html

    An echo chamber ?

    Yes its appalling that English lied to get housing allowances while living in Wellington and Key lied about living in his electorate in order to unseat a sitting MP.

    • Carolyn_nth 2.1

      The Stuff online poll question is a leading one, in that it points to Metiria being “wrong”.

      Secondly, it is open to interpretation as to what people actually think about Turei’s law breaking. People could be answering meaning that it was legally wrong – that’s a fact. Or people could be answering thinking it was morally wrong.

      • Dspare 2.1.1

        Carolyn_nth
        That newshub poll was conducted by Reid Research, and the results seem statistically significant. However, you do have a point about the interpretation, especially by some on TV3:

        There are several connotations or `dogwhistles` here. Turei`s illegal behaviour has been systematic and undertaken with malign intent, she is cynically using the New Zealand public (instead of engaging with them on an important social issue). None of this stands up to scrutiny and even if it did Gower has no interest in debating the matter, character assassination is the primary aim…

        From the very beginning of this story the dominant tone and language of media coverage and commentary was, quite simply, this. That woman is beyond the pale, her behaviour is a moral outrage for ordinary law abiding New Zealanders . She has shown no remorse and must therefore be hounded from office.

        https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2017/08/22/special-investigation-fraud-class-and-the-media-the-metiria-turei-controversy/

  3. Descendant Of Sssmith 3

    Couldn’t agree more on both how much better Maori broadcasting is than the more traditional conservative outlets.

    It’s a pleasure listening to their interviews in those mediums and reading their articles and reports in web and print mediums.

    Long may it continue and sadly it will be a long time before traditional media plays catch up.

    Couldn’t agree more about the racist assassination of Metiria Turei. I couldn’t get over how rabid some of the people around me were about her benefit fraud and so impotent and bewildered about the point she was making.

    The point was not difficult to comprehend – benefit rates are so low that good people often don’t tell the truth to WINZ in order to get more money.

    I asked these people where their (faux) outrage was when the local businessman didn’t pay the PAYE and student loan money from his employees wages to IRD, when the tradesman they got to do some work last week got paid in cash for a lower (less GST) rate, when the ……. (as many examples as you like).

    In fact where was their outrage about the benefit rates being so low.

    (I’ve posted previously about the sad state of benefit rates).

    The wilfulness of missing the point in my view was breath-taking to behold. The louder the media outrage, the louder their outrage.

    I found it a slightly surreal experience observing people who could normally have intelligent discourse lose it.

    Hypocrisy and racism abound in the reaction to the issues raised.

    Their are two compelling notions the powerful in my view use to suppress the poor:

    1. The first is the notion of 100% honesty and integrity and crime and punishment. The rules are different for the poor and the working class.

    Its why businessman can rip off millions, wind business up and start again, why the WINZ policies for establishing overpayments are different for those on benefit compared to those getting help for childcare but no benefit, and why benefit fraudsters go to jail. It’s why in the US penalties for crack cocaine (used by the poor) are 10x the level of those for powdered cocaine (used by the well-off)

    2. The second is the notion of monogamy and purity in relationships.

    The poor are fornicators and sluts and breed for a living while (as one well-off parent told me one day) the rich are sowing their wild oats before marriage or have mistresses. Different attitudes and language are used for the different classes – think simply of the various relationships within a small group such as the royal family – ironically who actually have a history, as does the Catholic Church of breeding for business and alliance reasons.

    And yeah there are exceptions to the generalisations but they don’t disprove the way language is used to convey much more negative traits to the same behaviours carried out by the poor as compared to the rich and powerful.

    Tap into those well established embedded differences and you get the reaction we got.

    A sole-parent omitting to tell WINZ something taps into both those forms of oppression.

    It’s just sad that the point she was making got lost by so many in the media and then the public.

    If there was only as much diligence in researching and reporting on the actual message.

    Kudos to Maori media for a much more reasoned response.

    Thank you.

  4. Ad 4

    “…we must resist the temptation to claim that the demise of Metiria Turei was inevitable…”

    Journalists have no social responsibility for anything. They just have to be relentlessly interesting. They sure don’t have any responsibility for your reputation …

    …. unless they stray too far from the truth, in which case there’s the libel laws.

    They have no constitutional role within New Zealand.

    We need to get rid of the word “journalist” and start using the more prosaic “writer”. That’s all they are. Paid writers who assemble facts into narratives.

    I’m not even sure it’s useful for the media to be neutral: neutral doesn’t mean devoid of facts, it just means the facts are energised with a narrative.

    If you are about to tell me that there are too many ipublications who favour the right, and too few who favour the left, well, honey, welcome to socialism.

    So far, places like Kiwiblog and The Standard are more useful for democracy than TV1 New or the Otago Daily Times, because these sites are better able to provoke democratic engagement and action than the MSM. The blogsites are resolutely not neutral.

    If you want to see a great example of effective partisan facts, check out GreaterAuckalnd. They just managed to alter policy for two entire parties. We could easily do that.

    There are very few countries in the world with an entire tv channel devoted to indigenous people – and plenty of specific funding categories devoted to Maori within the broader media landscape.

    Metiria got as much support as she could from the media who she knew would support her. People keep telling me the Green Party MPs and team knew about the likely consequences , which just means they simply lost the media war. It wasn’t inevitable, but the responsibility is entirely on the Green Party.

    I mean OMG as Giovanni points out, if you can’t handle the consequences of a wet and empathic interviewer like RNZ ‘s John Campbell – who could not have made her need to cry any more if he pulled out single noise hairs with pliers – then there was absolutely no chance she was going to succeed with the rest of the media.

    This election is clearing out a whole bunch that didn’t have the capacity to last the distance. Which means the election process is doing its job, and we have a properly functioning democracy.

    • Carolyn_nth 4.1

      People keep telling me the Green Party MPs and team knew about the likely consequences , which just means they simply lost the media war. It wasn’t inevitable, but the responsibility is entirely on the Green Party.

      From what I’ve read, the GP MPs say they knew there’d be same backlash, but they didn’t anticipate how virulent it would be or how strongly some journos would go after Turei.

      James Shaw also is reported to have said:

      Turei’s draft passed through the hands of party strategists, who weighed up the likely risks and rewards of her startling admission. They wanted to use it to draw attention to the Greens’ new welfare policy, but they also knew the speech could backfire. The Greens offered the Labour Party a heads-up about what they were planning to do.

      “If Labour felt it was a catastrophic risk; if they said ‘This is going to burn the house down; this is a really bad idea for both of us; you gotta stop this,’ I would have listened,” says Shaw.

      • Ad 4.1.1

        If James Shaw is saying it’s Labour’s fault for a Green party campaign launch speech, he isn’t fit to lead a team of sled dogs. The speech – at their campaign launch – is entirely their responsibility.

        • weka 4.1.1.1

          That’s not what Shaw is saying. He’s made it really clear he’s not into blaming people for what happened. In that piece he’s simply describing how the situation evolved and the various things that happened along the way.

          He’s also showing us that the Greens were (and are) willing to listen to and work with their coalition partner. Not that Labour gets to dictate but that Shaw values their opinion and would take it into account. It’s beyond game playing and is how intelligent adults move in the world.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1.1.2

          Good thing he didn’t say that then isn’t it. I’m sure your concern is genuine though, thank.

        • Carolyn_nth 4.1.1.3

          I think that Shaw comment counters the line I’ve seen more than once on TS in the comments: i.e. that the Greens broke the MOU when Turei made that speech, because they didn’t warn the LP in advance about the content of her speech.

          Shaw’s comment is not blaming the LP for the consequences.

      • dukeofurl 4.1.2

        Funny that in the end it was two Green Mps who effectively said
        ” is a really bad idea for both of us; you gotta stop this”

        The end result seems to indicate the party strategists had more say than the Mps

        ‘Turei’s draft passed through the hands of party strategists’

        Isnt that what Mps are for ?

        In the end the Nationals are better prepared for ‘lawfare’ on these types of personal issues.

        eg Bills TXTs over the Southland Barclay situation- he will have an Ex-parte injunction all ready to go before a judge to shut down the media the instant the actual txts are released.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1.2.1

          Isnt that what Mps are for ?

          No, it isn’t.

          “Opposition research”, for example, is one job I’d never expect an MP to be involved in.

        • weka 4.1.2.2

          “The end result seems to indicate the party strategists had more say than the Mps”

          I don’t see how. Shaw and Turei have said that caucus was on board in the sense of agreeing with the strategy, and apart from those two that appears to be true (the rest of the caucus is working on ending poverty). That the two MPs went outside of the party without telling the party is massive for the Greens, they just don’t do that, so there are issues there. I suspect that like in all groups working with consensus sometimes when under stress things get missed on all sides. Obviously Turei and Shaw didn’t realise how disaffected Clendon and Graham were, but it’s also obvious that Clendon and Graham handled it badly otherwise there would have been no need for them to go first to the media.

          The irony is that it’s likely that the way the two MPs handled that is what led to some of the drop in support.

        • Draco T Bastard 4.1.2.3

          ‘Turei’s draft passed through the hands of party strategists’

          Isnt that what Mps are for ?

          Nope. To put it in a retail perspective the MPs are the people working the counter and interacting with the customers. Behind them are a whole bunch of support people making sure that everything’s in the right place at the right time and ensuring that the MP has all the necessary information.

        • tracey 4.1.2.4

          But in the meantime the msm just sits by… they didnt ask him the same question overcand over for nearly 10 days

      • marty mars 4.1.3

        Yep good call by Shaw and labour imo. It pays to remember the utter disaster of labour – the polls, little, scared MPs, no ability to get media cutthrough – then bam! Labour were saving themselves from drowning they actually couldn’t help anyone else.

        The die has fallen.

    • weka 4.2

      “I mean OMG as Giovanni points out, if you can’t handle the consequences of a wet and empathic interviewer like RNZ ‘s John Campbell – who could not have made her need to cry any more if he pulled out single noise hairs with pliers – then there was absolutely no chance she was going to succeed with the rest of the media.”

      That’s not really what happened though, so you appear to be being disingenuous. Turei had already resigned. It wasn’t Campbell’s approach that was hard, it was that RNZ had already decided to use the family members story and had emailed Turei the questions. This was something that Turei couldn’t defend herself against, no-one could.

      But Campbell did fuck up in that interview because he framed the debate as sex workers and drug addicts are the ‘real’ poor but law student solo mums aren’t. Which is fucked up on many levels but boils down to being classist. People of Campbell’s class, or indeed yours, don’t get to define what poverty is no matter what sense of entitlement you hold around politics and discourse. On this Campbell and much of the MSM were just plain wrong, and they argued and acted from ideology and their own limited world views rather than from anything useful like understanding what poverty is.

      So sure, if you think that journalism is dead and democracy is better served by blogs, I can see why you wouldn’t care. Meanwhile, those affected negatively, i.e. people living in poverty, are yet again sidelined. I can’t see how that helps NZ unless you believe that we’re better off with poor people being kept in their place.

      And to be clear, I’m not even saying that Campbell or whoever had to be kind. But that definition of poverty is one of the most self-serving classist things I’ve seen in a long time, and it comes straight out of 30 years of bene bashing and right wing memes about the deserving poor. It’s ignorant bigotry from a class of people who barely understand how welfare in NZ works now let alone are willing or able to present information that assists the public to understand, and it’s right to push back against that wherever it’s happening, just like with other forms of bigotry.

      “This election is clearing out a whole bunch that didn’t have the capacity to last the distance”

      That’s right Ad, that’s why TS is a bastion of white male heterosexual ablebodied writing. Because everyone else (women, Māori, disabled people, the GLBTQ community, etc) just aren’t macho enough to handle it. Too bad for them, let’s just carry on with the game.

      • Ad 4.2.1

        “They emailed her the questions and she couldn’t defend herself.”
        Clearly they gave her the opportunity to.

        There’s no evidence Turei resigned over “the definition of poverty.” But plenty of evidence about her own media mismanagement, and it’s the media that this post is about.

        If TS is a bastion of “white male…” etc for you, then I can assure you it’s as safe a public space as you make it as a moderator, contributor, and commenter. But I’m sure you don’t really mean that. It’s actually really well moderated, even curated, and precisely why we need more alternative media voices

        • weka 4.2.1.1

          “They emailed her the questions and she couldn’t defend herself.”
          Clearly they gave her the opportunity to.

          That’s not what I meant. There are some things that you can’t win no matter how courageous or smart you are. When the odds are stacked against you, you make your choices. In this sense Turei didn’t lose, she place her whānau at the centre, in line with her values, and side stepped the attack. She’ll carry on in different ways with the work she’s been doing her whole life. The people that lost there were people living in poverty, esp Māori and Pasifica, who for the first time felt like they had representation. That’s massive. I think NZ also lost a great politician, and it’s still in the balance whether NZ will choose people over greed and power, so there the battle continues.

          “There’s no evidence Turei resigned over “the definition of poverty.””

          I didn’t say she did. I pointed to where the MSM fucked up in terms of democracy. At that point they were basically incapable of disentangling themselves from their own bias. You think it doesn’t matter, but the problem is that we don’t have many clear voices speaking on poverty who know what poverty is from experience. We’ve got lots of academics and NGO bods, but that’s a different thing.

          If TS is a bastion of “white male…” etc for you, then I can assure you it’s as safe a public space as you make it as a moderator, contributor, and commenter. But I’m sure you don’t really mean that. It’s actually really well moderated, even curated, and precisely why we need more alternative media voices

          Sorry Ad, but your assurances carry very little weight in the face of the people that won’t write or comment here because of the culture. Those are the people that get to define what is safe and reasonable for them. I can easily see ways that TS could be more inclusive, and I can see why it’s not happening. And yes, I did mean what I said. It’s self evident if you look at the posts that get written. That’s not a criticism of the current authors. I agree that the place is well run given the limitations, also, the current authors and admin are all supportive of more diversity on TS. But there’s no getting around the fact that TS has a specific culture that is in large part white and male.

          You said that the election is clearing out the people who can’t last the distance. I pointed out that that’s not necessarily a good thing unless you want the people of existing privilege to have the most power and loudest voices. Which is why what happened to Turei was so instructive. NZ, esp the MSM, just took part in some of the most overt bene bashing we’ve seen. This isn’t a surprise, many of us know this shit inside out, but what’s new is that it’s out in the open now and we can talk about it. That too is massive, and it’s why people like Tiso and many others are still writing about it.

          • Ad 4.2.1.1.1

            Metiria defines “the people of existing privilege”. She was on a lawyers’ salary for a fair bit, then shifted onto an MP’s salary of over $160k for 12 years. Alamein Kopu and Sue Bradford had better proletarian credentials.

            You are going to have to get used to the fact that the media did not “force” Metiria Turei out of Parliament. She resigned. She was pretty honourable in taking full responsibility for her actions and not blaming anyone else, including the media.

            But if she had wanted the voices of beneficiaries to be heard throughout the campaign, it would have been more principled and braver if, full knowing that her speech would start the reaction, she had stayed in parliament and stayed co-leader and stayed on message.

            The biggest losers of her decision to resign in the middle of the campaign and days after the Green Party launch are those she gave temporary hope to.

            • weka 4.2.1.1.1.1

              So you think she should let her family be dragged into this?

              Metiria defines “the people of existing privilege”.

              Um, yes, that’s a given right from the start. What’s your point?

            • tracey 4.2.1.1.1.2

              She proved her point about how beneficiaries are treated… that in the end they are silenced.

              Bennett silenced a couple of women by breaching the Privacy Act (broke tge law) Deliberately and calculatedly. And yet she is Deputy PM now. So, Ad, tell me your point again (rhetorical)

              • Ad

                Awesome plan there.

                My point is simple:
                The post is wrong. The media did the job she invited them to do, and her lack of skill (and bad advice from staff now that they have resigned) and its consequences, were the cause of her feeling the need to resign.

            • Anne 4.2.1.1.1.3

              Metiria defines “the people of existing privilege”. She was on a lawyers’ salary for a fair bit, then shifted onto an MP’s salary of over $160k for 12 years. Alamein Kopu and Sue Bradford had better proletarian credentials.

              Her beneficiary experiences took place well before she became “a person of existing privilege”. She could have done what Bennett did – wipe her early experiences from her memory slate and proceed to axe the hopes and dreams of solo mums at the first opportunity. Instead Metiria spent her parliamentary years trying to highlight their plight.

              But if she had wanted the voices of beneficiaries to be heard throughout the campaign, it would have been more principled and braver if, full knowing that her speech would start the reaction, she had stayed in parliament and stayed co-leader and stayed on message.

              And in the process, face the fire and brimstone that a section of the MSM (mainly middle class white men) were determined to mete out to her and destroy the lives of her nearest and dearest in the process? Not to mention the likes of Gower and co. who were cooking up a major storm on the Greens – the same way they did to David Cunliffe and Labour in the lead up to the 2014 campaign.

              The biggest losers of her decision to resign in the middle of the campaign and days after the Green Party launch are those she gave temporary hope to.

              I doubt for one second that any of those she tried to give hope to… regard her as responsible for the outcome. Instead she has opened up the issue to a vast number of people and, together with the hopeful election of a Labour led government, they probably have real hope for the first time in their lives.

              • Ad

                If Metiria had had the courage of her convictions she would not have resigned. She was the talk of the nation – which is what her launch at campaign opening wanted. She needed the “fire and brimstone” to get superior competitive campaign positioning.

                She got it. But just couldn’t cope. So she resigned and will leave parliament.

                She has now set the Green Party back massively, when she was jointly leading the campaign. Even Shaw at the re-launch admits it’s been a disunited disaster. And it wasn’t the media that invited or caused that. Metiria Turei is responsible for her own political fate, and in no small part for the future of the Green Party after the result coming up.

                • greywarshark

                  Ad
                  You are so hard sometimes. Really unfeeling about others’ difficulties. It’s the hard side of Labour without the humanitarian aspect.

                  “If Metiria had had the courage of her convictions she would not have resigned. She was the talk of the nation – which is what her launch at campaign opening wanted.”

                  Bennett could have done it, but Metiria though robust, couldn’t allow her family to be split for her own and her daughter’s sake. And
                  the political system can eat pollies alive and just spit out the bones.

                • Robert Guyton

                  “She got it. But just couldn’t cope”
                  Really, Ad? That’s it for you?
                  “If Metiria had had the courage of her convictions she would not have resigned.”
                  Is that so, Ad? She got it, but just couldn’t cope, so you damn her.
                  Have you really thought this through?

          • eco Maori/kiwi 4.2.1.1.2

            Its sad Turei is not still fighting for the poor but when I heard what she had admitted to I new the media would destroy her. That is how the media behave bad news is the best way to get there ratings up and who gives a ——- about whom they take out.
            News hub is crap got the Maori Boy there running things and he just wishes he was white. What Duncan has not figured out is they promoted his as a message look he likes our fascist way of life
            You can see that Hillary and Jack with there big smirky grins when all the bad polls come out on National. They can not wait to get out of Nationals grasp and they change there back ground colour from blue back to red

            • weka 4.2.1.1.2.1

              Have to say I’m curious to see what happens to the MSM after a change of govt (assuming we get an actual left wing one and not one with NZF in it 😉 ).

              Btw, Turei is still fighting for the poor, she’s just doing it differently now.

            • KJT 4.2.1.1.2.2

              Turei is still in there. And still fighting.
              She has put herself out there, as the Green candidate for Te tai Tonga.

        • Carolyn_nth 4.2.1.2

          “They emailed her the questions and she couldn’t defend herself.”
          Clearly they gave her the opportunity to.

          The reason she couldn’t defend herself was because, if she did, it would put her daughter in the middle of a public conflict between the dught’s mother (Turei), and the daughter’s father’s family.

          that is the no win situation.

          Also, as Tiso points out in the article, there were 2 conflicting stories about how RNZ got the statement from someone close in or to her family. One was that it was the result of a Mihi Forbes report on Manurewa responses to the story the previous day. the other was that it was the result of dogged investigation.

          In the subsequent Checkpoint interview, Turei gave her reason for standing down, that people were going after her family.

          At the time I was aware there seemed to be conflicting explanations that have never been resolved.

          • Anne 4.2.1.2.1

            I have been given to understand that the daughter’s father’s family did offer Metiria Turei finance as well as other support. Metiria chose to turn the offer of money down. That is understandable because no matter how genuine the offer of money might have been at the time, there is always the risk things will ultimately turn sour further down the track. It happens all the time.

            • mpledger 4.2.1.2.1.1

              And by the media response from the father’s family, it looked like it did happen, even without the money. People don’t drop a “daughter-in-law” in to a maelstrom if the relationships are all fine.

              • weka

                it brings up all sorts of issues about agency and control too. I’ve had WINZ staff tell me to ask my family for financial assistance instead of WINZ, with zero regard or interest in whether my family were able to help, or willing, or whether the relationship was healthy and safe enough for me to do so. Beggars can’t be choosers though right? Nor apparently people who aren’t on the street but are in law school. There’s so much wrong with this story, not Turei’s but the responses. I still feel hugely grateful to her and the Greens for standing up and exposing this.

              • Anne

                Yes, I made the mistake of accepting a loan from a sibling when I was going through a similar circumstance to Metiria although in my case it was an ageing mother not a child. From that point on I felt beholden to that sibling and further down the track things turned sour and she chose to misrepresent to other family members how the money lending came about. I felt a deep sense of betrayal.

              • Carolyn_nth

                Turei said in her original speech on the topic, that she had received support from the father’s family.

                I had the training incentive allowance as a grant to help me pay my fees and childcare. I had great support from my family and my baby’s dad, and his family too.

                She said in her interview with John Campbell, when she resigned, that she got practical support from the Hartley,s but not financial support from them. (at about 8.20mins in the video).

            • Carolyn_nth 4.2.1.2.1.2

              Thanks, Anne.

      • tracey 4.2.2

        Nicely put

    • tracey 4.3

      Thespinoff and newsroom are growing followers. Interestingly cos they write more than opine and when they opine they back it with evidence.

      • lprent 4.3.1

        Agreed. I have been tending to read their posts a lot more. In fact I think that I am reading them more than any other local site apart from this one (for obvious reasons), and the Herald business pages – which appear to be the last bastion of useful journalim form the traditional media on the web.

        • tracey 4.3.1.1

          Which might fly in the face of suggestions the msm are giving us what we want.

          Before SKY, TVNZ used to have rugby cricket etc. They told us that no one wanted “minority” sports. Once they lost the big sports they started giving basketball and hockey and the peeps watched… the sports producers liked rugby and cricjet and the perks and the corp boxes and never actually gave a shit about what peeps really wanted.

          I also note more indepth stuff starting to come through fairfax vis multi media platforms… turns out we like in depth…

          • lprent 4.3.1.1.1

            It tends to be a self-fulfilling prophecy by these pundits of the media these days when we have choice. They wind up with exactly the audience that they chose.

            I’m not one of them.

            I was never interested in watching sports although I used to play them quite a lot. I was also never interested in reality or cooking or soap opera shows. Or for that matter advertising.

            When they decided to make TV news an entertainment and drop all of the documentaries and current affairs (except in weekend mornings) I gave up on free to air TV. Despite now having a working aerial after moving apartments, it isn’t plugged into a TV.

            The curious thing is that we probably watch more TV than we used to. Because if one of us is ill, then we binge watch. My coughing experience last week caused me to watch Paranoid on Netflix – well worth watching. Even if I had figured out most of the plotlines about 3 episodes in.

  5. Sigh 5

    She assassinated herself. It’s bloody tragic, but it is what it is.

    • Stuart Munro 5.1

      Really? What about the family link who turned on her? There’s a story there.

    • tracey 5.2

      BS. She was helped. Your deprh of “analysis” is what is tragic.

    • Robert Guyton 5.3

      “assassinated herself” – technically/semantically impossible, but hey, don’t let that stop you frothing.

  6. PaddyinKiwiland 6

    Even in the few comments left already we see a good proportion of people UTTERLY unwilling to see the racist, classist and sexist way in which Metiria was treated by the media. I mean we have an equivalent counter-example with Bill English who did the same thing, except worse, whilst a minister of the crown and was pretty much ignored. He certainly wasn’t hounded out of office.

    I agree with Giovanni – and I am really glad he wrote this. He is one of the best critics out on social media and I always value his opinion highly.

    Maybe it is because myself and Giovanni are Europeans and have seen this happen back home a lot and that we both have that outsiders’ perspective on the situation that it seems so clear to both of us that this was a political assassination – surely you only have to pick up the press from the UK and see what was being flung at Jeremy Corbyn to realise that this happens all the time with politicians who threaten the established order?

    Anyhow I share some other commentators despair that so many people cannot see this for what it is – but at the same time am heartened by the many that do. A line in the sand got drawn on this debate and most of NZ has decided which side it stands on it seems…

    • dukeofurl 6.1

      She was a law student with significant family support for goodness sake.

      We have stories every week of real people in real hardship right now. Whats wrong with those being the focus .

      [define significant family support and then provide some evidence that it was true in Turei’s case. If you are going to state things like that as fact, you need to back them up. – weka]

      • One Anonymous Bloke 6.1.1

        They have been the focus of Green Party policy since there’s been a Green Party.

        Funnily enough, this is the first time anyone’s paid the slightest attention. But you already knew that.

        Who are the people who aren’t “real people” in your “real people” supremacist world?

      • weka 6.1.2

        see moderator note above.

        • dukeofurl 6.1.2.1

          Turei wont discuss her family support so it leaves it open to speculation.
          There was enough support we know about to buy the couple a house in Kingsland, she chose to leave.
          Doesnt sound like it was in laws from hell.

          • Tracey 6.1.2.1.1

            What do you mean she chose to leave?

          • One Anonymous Bloke 6.1.2.1.2

            “Speculation” which is more revealing of the speculator than the speculated upon.

          • Carolyn_nth 6.1.2.1.3

            It’s not open to speculation Turei said clearly in this video at about 8.20 mins:

            MT: I was financially responsible for my daughter.

            JC: Can I put this question on the record. … Did you get financial support from the Hartleys?

            MT: No

            JC: So they weren’t contributing at all to you raising your daughter?

            MT: No. What they were doing, and like other of my friends, and other family members where they could, they were helping me with things like picking her up from childcare when that was necessary. Taking her for the night when it meant that I could study for example. It was that kind of stuff. The normal, what you would expect families to do, especially when you are wrapping round a child. And I was really lucky to have that.

            JC: Did you ever live with them?

            MT: No. No. See this is the thing. I just so …

            • dukeofurl 6.1.2.1.3.1

              “C: So they weren’t contributing at all to you raising your daughter?”

              Well the answer to that was going to be tested by new information CP had, but Turei pulled down the shutters, refused to talk anymore and announced her full resignation for good measure.

              Whats that old political adage ? Dont ask any questions you dont already know the answer to .

          • McFlock 6.1.2.1.4

            right, so you’re just making shit up. Good to know.

            there are many reasons people “choose” to leave homes or relationships. Those who choose to speculate on a particular case simply open themselves up to criticism for the assumptions they make about stuff that, frankly, is none oftheir business.

            • dukeofurl 6.1.2.1.4.1

              None of their business- you are right.

              Now tell us again how this was voluntarily bought into the public sphere. It was political point scoring. Nothing wrong with that.

              Seems like the ‘party strategists’ have taken their leave very suddenly- I wont speculate on the reasons for that!

              • McFlock

                The financial need was brought into the public sphere. The offending it caused was brought into the public sphere. Why she moved out of that house was not.

                • tracey

                  Greens put the people they represent ahead of themselves, Duke of Url cannot relate to that

          • weka 6.1.2.1.5

            “Turei wont discuss her family support so it leaves it open to speculation.”

            Sure, but you didn’t speculate, you presented your opinion as a statement of fact. That’s a problem and the closer we get to the election the more I will moderated people doing this. It’s not that hard to state opinion instead, and then people can take you to task over it. Or if you want to assert fact, back it up with some evidence (links with specific time stamps or cut and pastes).

            Like McFlock I think you basically made some shit up and asserted it as fact instead of making an argument. It’s lazy debating, and it causes problem because it’s hard to reject ‘fact’ that’s claimed but not backed up and so the conversation gets skewed.

            Of course in this case it is tricker to restate “She was a law student with significant family support for goodness sake” as an opinion, because once you take the made up bit out you lose the basis of your argument. However you could instead say that you think that people with wealthy in laws can’t be poor, which is probably an honestly held belief and it then frees us up to ridicule your belief 🙂

            On the other hand, if you want some actual debate, just what you think and people will say what they think and so on.

      • Why should people on welfare be dependent upon family support?
        What if people don’t have family to support them?

        What if this whole thing could have been avoided if the law didn’t force people on welfare into breaking it just to live?

      • greywarshark 6.1.4

        dukeofurl
        For goodness sake, can you try to be good yourself and stop pecking away at Turei like a kea sitting on a hapless sheep’s back going for her innards?

      • KJT 6.1.5

        Dukeofurl. Like your companion Ad, I have yet to see anything to tell me you are not a concern troll.

        Acting from the same level of misogyny, racism and poor bashing, as our incompetent and partisan media.

    • tracey 6.2

      And Bennett deliberately and calculatedly broke the law by releasing a beneficiaries name to silence her… and Collins released a name to Slater which resulted in death threats for a govt employee. How on earth were those not equal or equivalent!

      Cab Ministers in their personal and profession dealings are required to adhere to “highest ethical standard”…

      Bennett
      Collins
      Brownlee
      Smith
      Key ( harrasing a woman after being told to stop)

      • KJT 6.2.1

        Yep. The hypocrisy of the people going after Metiria Turei is breathtaking.

        Certainly the level of bad faith, bene bashing, misogyny, hatred for Solo mothers and racism, exhibited in the witch hunt, was way beyound anything Turei, and the Greens, expected.
        Being decent people themselves, they under-rated the lack of fairness and compassion out there.

        Of course it cannot have been nice for many people, to face up to their lack of concern for those that are struggling. But. Tax cuts!

        But, in a way Turei succeeded. The more thoughtful among us are carrying on the conversation.
        Welfare as a punishment for being poor, and a “punitive and Kafka -esk” means of forcing people into low paid and exploitative jobs, may be changing.
        Greens are more determined than ever to “make poverty history” and Labour appear to have made poverty more of a priority. (If we can go by Adern’s speeches recently).

        • weka 6.2.1.1

          I’ve never seen the amount of discussion about welfare that’s happened in the past 2 months. Also, despite the freak out from the establishment, the tenor of the discussion is good. Lots of people writing from experience and really showing what it is like. Lots of analysis from people with compassion and social intelligence. So in addition to academics talking about % of children in poverty and stories on Stuff about x beneficiary and what happened to them from the MSM’s perspective we’re getting a much broader reporting of the situation.

          That’s gold and IMO Turei was successful and the Greens pushed this as far as they could with the first battle. Welfare is on the agenda again. I think the next push is to get Labour to talk about it in some way. I don’t expect miracles, but we have to shift the narrative from the deserving poor (children) to wellbeing and dignity for all people. If we don’t, then Labour will focus on reducing child poverty by job creation and employment law and top down poverty mitigation policies and they won’t fix WINZ or solve the underlying problems. It will be Clark 2

          • KJT 6.2.1.1.1

            To be fair Jacinda Adern has emphasized poverty in at least one of her recent speeches.
            I hope the actions match the rhetoric.

            Helen Clark, who I met several times when she was first a candidate in Mt Albert, was keen on reducing poverty also, until she was captured by the Parliamentary blender.

            • tracey 6.2.1.1.1.1

              To be fair Ardern has pretty much knicked 2 of Greens taglines… Reduce Poverty and clean the rivers

  7. Giovanni Tiso 7

    “Cross-posted” my arse, you just lifted the piece from the Pantograph Punch without asking me or them. Take it down immediately. Thanks.

    • r0b 7.1

      Apologies Giovanni, I don’t know who did that, will do.

      Fellow authors – we don’t cross post a full piece without explicit permission (e.g. our longstanding agreement with No Right Turn).

    • Muttonbird 7.2

      What a strange reaction. Don’t you want to spread the word?

      • r0b 7.2.1

        Authors are entitled to express ownership of their work Mb. Gio wants it to be read, but he wants it to be read on Pantograph.

      • Giovanni Tiso 7.2.2

        The Pantograph Punch commissioned the piece and their editor worked hard on it. As did I. I thought rewarding labour was a left-wing principle we could all get behind?

        Besides, you can spread the word by linking to things. We all do it all the time. We don’t need to help ourselves to other people’s work to boost our own readership, and there is no valid excuse for it.

        [I put the post up because I thought it was one of the best things I’ve seen written on this aspect, and a cross-post is the best way to get people on TS to read. My apologies for not asking, I can understand why you’re upset.

        I went off Pantograph’s Creative Commons licence, which I took to mean that all content could be freely shared with attribution.

        http://pantograph-punch.com/page/terms-of-use

        An honest mistake on my part – weka]

        • One Anonymous Bloke 7.2.2.1

          to boost our own readership

          I doubt that was the motivation behind it being posted here. I can see why you’d be angry about it though.

          • Muttonbird 7.2.2.1.1

            I’m always interested when the actions of ‘the left’ get framed as profit-making or attention seeking.

            As far as I know The Standard isn’t about profit, rather about promoting ideas of fairness in society, surely something close to Metiria Turei’s heart and ironically something which she sacrificed herself for.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 7.2.2.1.1.1

              Injury occurred irrespective of the motivation behind it.

              Good to see the mistake acknowledged and the apology and the immediate ‘putting right’, so that insult wasn’t added to injury 🙂

            • greywarshark 7.2.2.1.1.2

              Who’d making profit here? And yes there is interest in readership, mainly because TS wants to be appreciated as much as Kiwiblog and Whale Oil. As for Mr Tiso I would never have heard of him without TS recommending him as a wise and good writer, and pantograph means nothing except some gadget for enlarging things. So thanks to pantograph for getting enlightening content and Mr Tiso. But don’t treat us like a bunch of pirates. You are sounding like John Pilger, full of righteous rage at everyone last time I heard him.

        • Muttonbird 7.2.2.2

          Ok, fair enough. I didn’t know it was commissioned.

          • Giovanni Tiso 7.2.2.2.1

            Even if it hadn’t been commissioned, if someone lifted one of the blog posts I write for free it would make me pretty mad. It’s still work. It can be freely accessed by anyone with an internet connection. Why take it without asking?

            • weka 7.2.2.2.1.1

              Please see my note above Giovanni, thanks.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 7.2.2.2.1.2

              Reckless enthusiasm for the message it contains?

            • adam 7.2.2.2.1.3

              Givanni Tiso were you not aware of how creative commons works?

              Because, no offence, if you not happy with creative commons approach, then don’t write on web sites that use it. That was your choice in the first place.

              I thought the basis of creative commons was to generate more readership, which I assumed you would want, rather than write in a echo chamber.

              Because you and I both know people are darn lazy with following links. So using creative commons to have it here, and get your work out even if it’s just a few hundred more people who read it. I would have thought would be the point.

              Have a wee look, no money is being made from this site, donations keep it a float, with some bloody long hours by volunteers to keep it running. (Big thanks to all those people)

              You’re away with the fairies if you think people here are stealing your work for profit.

              You know you have a reputation for being hard to work with. I personally now see why.

              By the way, it was a great piece – I read it shortly after you published it – but I did not put a link here, because I knew very few people would follow that link. Pretty much how I feel about the link now.

              • Conal

                The World Wide Web is full of links. If people can’t click on a link they should stick to reading newspapers.

                Incidentally, the Creative Commons Non-Commercial Share-Alike licence is not a free-for-all. It has terms, and to legally copy that material you do need to comply with those terms, which The Standard failed to do.

                Now they’ve gone and reduced the post from a complete copy of Giovanni’s article to something that barely mentions it. It’s mostly now an apologia for having copied it in the first place. It’s not a review of that article; it doesn’t quote Giovanni at all; it’s just a link that says “here’s something to read” [shakes head exasperatedly]

                • lprent

                  Read the license on the sections about quoting. To conform to them requires more extra work than quoting the whole post verbatium.

                  Bearing in mind that Giovanni Tivo appears to have not read the license that his work was published under, then trying to explain how we conformed appears to be a pretty wearisome educational task.

                  The only thing that wasn’t in conformance with the agreement was that lack of a link to the license. That is just an educational issue on our side, and something that I am going to have to do some work on. Any such license will have to be explicitly tied just to the quoted material, and not to the rest of the page that it is on.

                  • Conal Tuohy

                    Read the license on the sections about quoting.

                    Sorry, what? What are you talking about?

            • KJT 7.2.2.2.1.4

              It got me looking for more of your posts, Gino. I thought that was the point.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 7.3

      I’m glad I read it. Thanks for writing it.

  8. lprent 8

    I had to cut down the overly long slug line for this post.

    Somewhere in the wptouch mobile theme, there is some kind of bug with cached content. It kept the old page content despite the page being updated for those using the mobile version of the site. It was just the data for the page content – which probably means that it is in the database object storage.

    Clearing the memcaches didn’t help. So I need to find out where this is getting cached. Add another bug for the list. But I changed the start of the slugline and it did. Changing the end of it didn’t. So something is caching content on the basis of a short lookup on a slugline. Wacky.

    I think I will just put some limits on the generated or entered size of the slug-lines. about 20 chars with a number afterwards if required should be sufficient. 50+ chars seems somewhat excessive.

    This comment is there to allay the fears of the usual conspiracy theorists.

    • Robert Guyton 8.1

      “I had to cut down the overly long slug line…”
      Be still my beating heart – poetry, pure and simple.

      • lprent 8.1.1

        Be calm…..

        This one didn’t attack plants. It attacked the caching system.

        • dukeofurl 8.1.1.1

          Wiktionary

          -A line of abbreviated text at the beginning of each scene in a screenplay that describes the location and time of day

  9. Gabby 9

    I certainly hope there are no reporters who believe information should be suppressed if it doesn’t align with how we’d like things to be. That would be dishonest.

  10. feijoa 10

    Wasn’t this whole Metiria fiasco started by the one and only Mr David Seymour? So it was him who fed the faux outrage to the “journalists”?
    Because he is Mr squeaky clean perfect, and National didn’t want ANYBODY looking in their direction in case they noticed Paula Bennett. And about that time National made a deal in Epsom…..

    • Tricledrown 10.1

      Feijoa Seymour is relying on welfare from National Bennett is being kept hidden away from questioning news media.

    • tracey 10.2

      Leadership is easy when you only have yourself to lead…

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