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I am Metiria

Written By: - Date published: 9:12 am, July 19th, 2017 - 75 comments
Categories: benefits, class war, greens, poverty, Revolution, Social issues, vision, welfare - Tags: , , , , ,

I’m old enough to remember that in the mid 1980s people weren’t blamed for being on a benefit. On the contrary, there was overt sympathy for people on the dole because the Labour government was busy experimenting on the economy and the alarming increase in numbers of unemployed being created by lay-offs was seen as either out of individuals’ control, or a good thing that we needed to tighten our belts for until the new goodies trickled down.

But then it changed. I don’t remember when exactly but by the time National came into power in 1990 the stage was set for the benefit cuts that signalled a massive change to the culture of NZ and the end of compassionate social welfare.

Until now.

I spent some time last night reading #IamMetiria stories on twitter. This hashtag arose from Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei’s speaking truth to power last weekend about the realities of life on a benefit. These stories aren’t new to me personally, I’ve got enough of my own experiences and those of people I know to draw on. But they are still moving and shocking.

I am struck by the sheer amount of wasted talent, creativity, time, effort and emotional energy that’s being sucked out of NZ by this brutal clusterfuck of a system.

There’s something potent about seeing the stories said out loud in this way. We’ve not seen this before and it lays bare the extent and nature of the problem. It’s not just the usual media reports of how many people are unemployed or on DPB/SLA. It’s how many New Zealanders have passed through this system over the past 30 years and had really shitty, often devastating experiences.

None of this is new to the wider culture. It’s not like it hasn’t been written and talked about for some time. I remember a few years ago when stories started being reported by the mainstream media. Like the woman who was legally blind but WINZ wouldn’t believe her.  Some of those stories were of middle class people who were shocked at the treatment they were getting, while the rest of us were sitting there nodding and going yep, this is what it’s been like for a very long time, no-one has been listening.

It was good that the MSM finally paid attention then but there was no momentum. Now it seems like a volcano awakening. It’s important that these stories are kept visible. I think even many compassionate lefties probably don’t truly understand just how bad this has been. For so long no-one wanted to talk about this. This is the first time I can remember in more than 20 years that it’s been socially sanctioned to stand up and talk about life on a benefit and what it means.

These are stories of many kinds. Some are stories of people who like Turei found a way out of the poverty trap. They struggled while they were there and now they express gratitude and solidarity. Some are the stories of people still in the thick of it. Too ill or cold or hungry to function properly. Some of them are from women who have chosen not to eat so their kids could. There are lots of stories about ill people being treated badly, and mental health issues are significant. And stories not speaking out for fear of repercussions. There are also many stories of mistakes made by the department and people losing their income, and of the mind-blowing, banal stupidity of the hoops that people have to jump through.

And running throughout all the stories is the thread of humiliation and stress and grief and disbelief that NZ could be treating people this badly.

If you are able to, please go and read #IamMetiria. Understand what is being said and be willing to act. This is a watershed moment. Whatever happens in September, there’s no putting this genie back in the bottle. Metiria Turei broke the spell and now the flood gates are open.

There are things that need to happen next. One is getting out the vote. Making sure that as many people as possible who have had these experiences are enrolled and then voting on or before September 23rd.

This is momentum. We wanted this and here’s an opportunity. It’s not enough to just criticise National (or Labour). We have to act and make things happen. Go to meetings, send emails, encourage people to think about the issues, talk politics. Be upset and depressed and scared, but then move on to support and proactive, creative responses. Get angry. Vote. Tell the stories of people who are struggling as real human beings, change the narrative.

Whatever happens in September we need to build a movement and this is the first time I can remember when we had a real chance at one. It’s not this single twitter stream, nor is it solely about beneficiaries. It’s what’s behind this tip of the iceberg, the fact that NZ is allowed to care again, and that we now have part of the political class ready and willing to act.

 

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75 comments on “I am Metiria”

  1. Stunned Mullet 1

    I must be getting old but all I see is the human race hastagging itself into absurdity.

    • It’s not “getting old” that makes you comment about hashtags while ignoring the content of the feed. Have a think about what else it might be.

      • esoteric pineapples 1.1.1

        Good comment Psycho Milt – your comment made me think about what was wrong about Stunned Mullet’s comment. Essentially it was a disguised attempt to belittle the argument.

      • Stunned Mullet 1.1.2

        Your comment has made me hide in my safe space.

        [if you troll this thread expect some time off – weka]

    • CLEANGREEN 1.2

      100% SM I see it the same.

  2. james 2

    Bit of irony with the photo for that this is the exact opposite of what she did.

    • gsays 2.1

      Please be more eloquent James.
      Which she are you referring to and explain the difference you are eluding to.
      Please.

      • Psycho Milt 2.1.1

        He’s saying that Metiria Turei not telling WINZ about flatmates is the opposite of “Speak the truth even if your voice shakes.” He should try reading the linked Twitter feed and see if there’s a shred of human empathy in him at all.

        • gsays 2.1.1.1

          Don’t think so PM, your explanation does not refer to the photo of Helen Kelly.

          • Psycho Milt 2.1.1.1.1

            The “Speak the truth even if your voice shakes” photo is attached to this post on the Standard home page, but isn’t in the body of the post here – I’m assuming it’s the photo on the home page James is referring to.

        • roy cartland 2.1.1.2

          If that’s the case, he’s being a twerp disingenuous. She did speak the truth when she outed herself, at great risk.

  3. Tautoko Mangō Mata 3

    People are beginning to talk about the indignities that they have been forced to suffer and the nasty attitudes which have been engendered in organisations that are meant to been supporting people in their need. These attitudes have come from the top,
    We need a change of attitude and it will come from a change of government.

  4. jcuknz 4

    Me too TMM except for your last words as I have no faith that the alternative will be/do much different. We need to encourage the existing MPs to do the right thing not bring in a bunch of novices.

    I think,remember, it was there in the 80’s and was the source of arguments I had with my wife who at one stage called me a communist because of my anger at the heartlessness of some letters to the editor at the time. The self assurance of the ignorant as to what it is like.

    • Me too TMM except for your last words as I have no faith that the alternative will be/do much different. We need to encourage the existing MPs to do the right thing not bring in a bunch of novices.
      You need those that haven’t been captured by the system to change the system. National are not only captured by it but are leaders in preventing it’s change.

  5. Anne 5

    Thank-you weka for a splendid post. Your opening gambit says it all in a nutshell:

    For me, the lasting effect was the absolute determination on the part of WINZ (known then as Income Support) – and related sections of the establishment – not to believe a word I said. It was as if my past, my qualifications, my long and loyal service to the Public Service no longer counted for anything. I became a beneficiary in the 1990s and it turned me instantly into a morally bankrupt, lazy, bludging liar.

    I was placed under surveillance. They rang me cold on a couple of occasions to see if they could “catch me out” . When you reported to them in person they looked down their noses and spoke to you as if you were a village idiot. My case officer was a woman in her 30s who wore ultra short skirts and dangly ear-rings. No. It wasn’t Christine Rankin, just some ignorant bimbo trying to copy her.

    The memory of those days can still reduce me to tears.

  6. Personally I don’t do iamwhatever – remember the iamcv rubbish – I was embarassed for people over that.

    However, these stories are important. I can’t say that they are gamechangers – I can’t get there. i am enjoying the change in momentum that this has created

    And these stories are us. Kia kaha.

    • Xanthe 6.1

      #IamCV

    • McFlock 6.2

      personally I found the IamCV thing a useful self-identifier for likely nutbars.

      • weka 6.2.1

        Which time? Wasn’t there one back in the day, something about the conflict with Clare Curran, when CV was still an actual left winger?

        Also the rawshark one.

        • McFlock 6.2.1.1

          there was one with the handles over the curran thing, but didn’t some folk do it last/this year as well after he tumbled head-first into the abyss?

          • weka 6.2.1.1.1

            Yes I was sidestepping the more recent one (plus saw some of his tweets on the GP welfare package and extremely grateful he’s not commenting her).

  7. esoteric pineapples 7

    Will all those criticising Metiria who have either paid someone under the table or been paid under the table please put your hands up

    • Cinny 7.1

      Don’t forget to make sure you declare any such earnings to winz or ird

    • It would be easier to ask for those that haven’t.

      Paying under the table and doing cash jobs are some of the little corruptions that are endemic to NZ culture.

    • Jilly Bee 7.3

      Absolutely EP – guilty as charged. An interesting read from Fran O’Sullivan’s opinion piece in the Herald today pretty much backs up what you said. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=11892317

    • Red 7.4

      This is a fallacy of an arguement, she is not joe citizen but a mp and a lawyer thus is held to a much higher ethics threshold than joe private citizen , I agree at time of fraudulent activity she was not any of above but training to be a lawyer thus I assume very aware of the implication of been caught at the time The life she choose to take means her actions of 20 years ago do have a bearing on her current position which many would argue is untenable

      • Drowsy M. Kram 7.4.1

        Are you one of the many? Maybe not as many as you think, and fewer every day.

      • Carolyn_nth 7.4.2

        But the reality of the benefit system is that many are cheating to get by and/or to try t get themselves out of a dire situation.

        The welfare situation is also very gendered. One of the people posting in the #IamMetira discussion yesterday, referred to research she done, and I think publsihed about on our welfare system. She the welfare system is especially harsh on women, and especially solo mothers. She plans to write on this in future.

        But a Stuff article today picks up that current, and has interviewed some solo mothers struggling on benefits.

        Other beneficiaries said it was common to lie to Work and Income, because sometimes that was the difference between their children having lunch for school or not.

        This was especially common in Auckland, where the cost of living often eats up more than the benefit can provide.

        Auckland mums said life on the sole parent support benefit – previously called the domestic purposes benefit – could mean going without power for days on end, in the middle of winter.

        It could also mean begging, borrowing or stealing to get by.

        The fact that some were committing fraud to get by on a benefit was not surprising to hear, she said.

        “I completely understand, with the way they treat us we need support. It’s very easy to commit fraud in their eyes. They don’t treat us like a human.”

        West Auckland mum Neta Hadfield agreed that the thresholds were too restrictive and said she often felt like a prisoner to the system.

        It’s very easy for people in a comfortable position to point the finger at people breaking the law.

        But, in contrast with some of the rule breaking in Fran O’Sullivan’s article, some break the law out of greed, not like Turei and other solo mothers, out of necessity.

        i.e

        But thousands of tradies, cleaners, lawn mowers, street market vege sellers, dairy and chipperie owners – among others – each year avoid the tax fiend through doing cash jobs.

        Then there are the offshore-owned companies – many of them multinational blue chips

      • Nice to be so judgemental when you live comfortably, “Red”, and free of want. Oh wait, are you going to come back and tell us you’re poor, on the bones of your arse, scrimping, making do without, blah blah blah? Are you?!

        Well if you do try run that BS past us, don’t forget to tell us where you lost your empathy along the way.

        The only thing “untenable” is a welfare system that forces people to bend /break the rules.

        Which is not the case for $7 billion of tax-dodgers, who live comfortably and aren’t forced into desperation.

        #iammetiria

        #thewellfedwellpaidmoralistscangogetfucked

      • Delia 7.4.4

        Pardon her for keeping her daughter feed. In trivial NZ political events this is surely the most trivial. Waiting for WINZ to tell us the thousands that Metiria owes.

  8. … ” But then it changed. I don’t remember when exactly but by the time National came into power in 1990 the stage was set for the benefit cuts that signalled a massive change to the culture of NZ and the end of compassionate social welfare ” …

    Because of HIM

    http://liberation.typepad.com/.a/6a00d83451d75d69e2010536ce1acb970c-320wi

    ( And HIM )

    http://img.scoop.co.nz/stories/images/1201/16a19b1ddfeb275957b6.jpeg

    And because of HER
    http://www.rrnz.co.nz/images/Ruth2.jpg

    ( And HER )

    https://resources.stuff.co.nz/content/dam/images/1/4/h/g/7/n/image.related.StuffLandscapeSixteenByNine.620×349.14he32.png/1430437610671.jpg

    And THIS

    The ‘mother of all budgets’ – National Party – Te Ara Encyclopedia of …
    https://www.teara.govt.nz/en/photograph/33885/the-mother-of-all-budgets

    And THAT

    https://isonztest.files.wordpress.com/2016/02/defeat-employment-contracts-bill.jpg?w=756&h=660

    ( Oh … and THAT ALSO . )

    Defeat the Bill! The struggle against the Employment Contracts Bill, 1991
    https://iso.org.nz/…/defeat-the-bill-the-struggle-against-the-employment-contracts-bill…

    • Siobhan 8.1

      I would be interested to know if things improved under Helen Clarks 5th Labour Government.
      Anecdotally I don’t think so, but I would love to hear otherwise.
      And I was disheartened to hear Andrew Little state very strongly that there was no intention to increase basic benefit levels. The power subsidy is a small life saver, as is some more houses for those in chronic need….but that doesn’t include the majority of people on benifits, to get on those waiting lists is as likely as a small win on lotto.

      • weka 8.1.1

        Clark removed the needs-based hardship grant Special Benefit and replaced with Temporary Additional Support, which is capped and creates more paperwork and hoop jumping for beneficiaries as well as WINZ.

        She also created Working For Families, which excluded beneficiaries that aren’t working.

        Within WINZ things are generally better under a Labour government in the sense that they try and get their staff to be human. But they also did a lot of stupid shit in Clark’s years like using temp staff.

        • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1.1

          Yep, if we truly want change then we need to vote Green.

          Labour are still wedded to being ‘centrist’ rather than doing what’s right.

        • CLEANGREEN 8.1.1.2

          yes agreed Weka,

          Also remember that labour boldly bought back the rail company that John Key had a hand in stealing for his enrichment of $40 Million dollars as a broker for the deal to sell to Wisconson rail/Fay/Richwhite.

          Labour was very good to work with.

          We met with Michael Cullen several times in Napier, to request he assist and labour buy the company.

          labour are a good solid base Party on which to build a joint policy with a coalition with Green/NZ first where possible. YES PLEASE!!!!!!

          • Xanthe 8.1.1.2.1

            Eeeeek was it not a labour govt that sold the railways!

            • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1.2.1.1

              Nope, it was National:

              In 1982, the Railways Department was corporatised into a new entity at the same time land transport was deregulated. The Railways Department became the New Zealand Railways Corporation.

              Privatised in 1993, in 1995 the new owners adopted the name Tranz Rail.

          • weka 8.1.1.2.2

            Labour do some good things. Benefits is one of their core weaknesses.

        • AsleepWhileWalking 8.1.1.3

          Let’s never forget just how much the change from Special Benefit to Temporary Additional Support (TAS) has damaged our community.

          When you hear people saying they can’t afford medications, yep…bloody TAS.
          The business case for TAS doesn’t stack up. It runs people into the ground.

      • Delia 8.1.2

        Under Steve Maharey it did and he got more into work to without insulting anyone along the way. Labour currently avoid talking about beneficiaries and hope we do not notice, we do Labour.

    • jcuknz 8.2

      To 8.
      Once again Sir Roger Douglas gets the blame when the problem was the guy who wanted time for a cuppa and stopped the introduction of the welfare policies which should have gone with the restructuring. The damage was done and by the time he started ACT was an impossible hurdle to overcome.It is fair to blame the Alliance for that stupidity and it continues today in the Greens.

      The climate that National inherited in 1990 was well established by the mean self satisfied and un-charitable folk of both the left and right …afraid somebody would get something they don’t have … hence the pernicious abatement set up we have today which penalises anybody trying to get off the benefit by means of work.

  9. Cinny 9

    Elderly brainwashed by years of bene bashing propaganda, cold, hungry and manipulated into being too ashamed to ask for help, suffering and dying #IamMetiria

  10. tuppence shrewsbury 10

    I am struck by the sheer amount of wasted talent, creativity, time, effort and emotional energy that’s being sucked out of NZ by this brutal clusterfuck of a system.

    Why will no one will these amazing people for jobs that pay well and negate the need for welfare?

    • weka 10.1

      The low wages issue and poor work conditions is a big part of this picture too. Not because people don’t want to work but because the system is making it so hard when the do

      Some people can’t work. They still need help.

    • Because out government operates on the assumption that there needs to be ~6% unemployment and that the welfare payments need to be low so as to encourage people into work. It’s a false assumption based upon a fundamental misunderstanding of human psychology.

      We used to operate on the assumption of full employment – back when the PM knew, and was friends with, all of the unemployed.

    • Zorr 10.3

      Because employers want people with 10 years experience willing to accept minimal wages/salary for entry-level/grad positions and are completely unwilling to invest in employee training or anything like that.

        • s y d 10.3.1.1

          c’mon, the ‘welfare’ system and ‘beneficiary’ are essential tools – DO NOT rock the boat, or you will be there too.
          This is the threat.
          Take that away and whats to stop a kiwifruit picker/cleaner/caregiver/fastfood operative/warehouse intern/hammer hand telling the boss/manager/labour hire parasite to take their below minimum wage slavery and stick it?

      • tuppence shrewsbury 10.3.2

        Really? i’m an employer and I want nothing of the sort. I don’t even require relevant tertiary qualifications. I look for aptitude and attitude first, the rest is ancillary and can be taught on the job. Employers who expect that tend to pay minimum wage and then wonder why customers hate them. I also pay a minimum of 60k a year. So I don’t hire layabouts or idiots

        My above comment was sarcasm, if these people were that amazing, they wouldn’t be on a benefit. If they displayed the right attitude towards working, they’d be employed.

        I mean anyone that creative and possessing enough energy for that much effort would be able to get a job.

        • Bill 10.3.2.1

          Well, assuming that all creativity ought to be monetised and that that process is deserving of energy, then maybe.

          Personally I think it’s a crying shame that so many visually creative people wind up beached in the advertising industry. But hey.

        • Zorr 10.3.2.2

          Do you work to upskill your employees with relevant external qualifications so that, if they wish to, they can move on to another job with a different employer later in their careers? Or is what you teach them all “on the job” learning with nothing to show for it other than that they continue to be employed?

          You may be one of the better employers but that would make you somewhat of an exception and not the rule as the average NZ employer is significantly worse.

          I have been on the benefit many times, for extended periods, for several reasons. Every single time, that period on the benefit has counted as a black mark when attempting to find employment rather than an understandable consequence of the way our job market is geared. Without 100% employment, there will always be unemployed, regardless of merit and, often, it’s a first come first served system where those with experience get the job.

          I am currently finishing an Honours and will likely do my PhD *precisely* because of this. I don’t trust any employers to be willing to utilize my skills without a stupid piece of paper to shove under their noses to show that I’m worth investing in and every single role I see advertised requires a minimum of 5 years experience for a job where they only want Masters and PhD qualified people. It’s goddamned insane.

          • tuppence shrewsbury 10.3.2.2.1

            Yes. I do. I’d rather take the chance and train them, even if they do leave. Because the alternative is I don’t train them and they stay.

            Employers don’t trust a piece of paper, they trust the person. This waa waa attitude my generation shows just because they spent a but load of cash getting educated to no good purpose is disappointing. You’d think these highly educated people wouldn’t miss the point. But there you go

            And what jobs are you applying for? someone with as many gaps on there cv as you admit too isn’t exactly up for a 200k a year job. so unless you are doing science, medical or research, whats the point in applying?

            It’s not about experience either. i’ve just appointed a person who is 26, no relevant qualifications, over someone who is in their late 40’s plenty of qualifications and relevant experience.

            the job pays the same regardless of the person filling it. But the 40 year old waltzed into the interview seemed to think that they knew everything. So attitude box was left unchecked, whereas the 26 year old wanted to learn, grow and adapt. so she got the position. experience and qualifications aren’t worth shit if you aren’t a good candidate. but that’ll be lost on most people, too much inflated self worth

  11. mary_a 11

    I’m pleased this issue is being exposed through discussion. I don’t do social media, so I don’t know what’s been said there. But I do know of friends who have been treated really badly at WINZ, through unnecessary intimidation practices, causing one to leave the offices in tears. A very sick, bullying and threatening culture indeed.

    So I stand with those “I am Meteria” folk. I think they are very brave putting their personal situation out there on social media, despite the chance of official “preying eyes” taking notes.

    My one and only experience with WINZ was six years ago when I applied for national superannuation. The woman I saw was like a robot, officious with cold, soulless, glaring eyes. Quite scary. No pleasantries such as hello, good morning, my name is …..?, good bye, have a good day. Nothing like that, despite me greeting her and using customary pleasant formalities, which were ignored. Just told to put my documents “there”, pointing to her desk. Couldn’t wait to get out of there quick enough! Not something I’d like to experience again, even though it was nowhere near a bad bullying time I know far too many good decent Kiwi folk have to endure.

    Our social welfare culture reflects the government of the day and that about says it all!

    Let’s keep the discussion going.

    • weka 11.1

      mary, you can follow the #IamMetira thread without having a login/account. Just click on the link in the post.

  12. CLEANGREEN 12

    100% MARY A

  13. Ad 13

    I have no idea what dealing with WINZ is like, thank goodness.
    I hope Metiria’s gambit does more than simply shift votes around the hard left. I don’t think it will do more, but good luck to her.

    I would prefer that the government concentrated less on doling out supplements, and concentrated on getting our unemployment rate below 3%, and cut seasonal work immigration, to start forcing wages up through competition for workers.

    • s y d 13.1

      amen to less supplements and better wages.

      • garibaldi 13.1.1

        Ad says he would prefer the govt concentrated on getting our unemployment rate below 3%.
        Sounds a good idea but this low wage economy demands a high unemployment rate and cheap immigrant labour. This,, of course accelerates all our social problems. We must get rid of neoliberalism to fix this abomination in what used to be a fair minded Country before we lost our way post 1984.
        I doubt that tinkering around with the status quo will fix the problem.

        • Ad 13.1.1.1

          We already had unemployment around 4% for parts of the Clark government.
          It can be done.

      • weka 13.1.2

        “amen to less supplements and better wages.”

        Except for the people who can’t work. We’ll just keep throwing them on the scrapheap. Any policy that doesn’t take those people into account is not social security but economic management of stock units. Might be more enlightened management, but it’s still not willing to treat people as humans.

        • Keepcalmcarryon 13.1.2.1

          When a family could rely on one income, not two, there was less need for welfare from others. Eg: not everybody had to be an income generating unit or be scrapped when one partner made good money and cost of living was low. Now both partners have to be making good money to afford shelter and food, any loss of income could precipitate financial collapse, hence need more welfare if one physically can’t work.
          There is a lot of truth to the fixing wages argument. It’s plain shit that workers have to rely on what the government gives us back (working for families) to get by in this country.

          • weka 13.1.2.1.1

            I totally support better wages. It was the less supplements bit I was objecting to.

            Single people don’t have partners to support them not matter how good the wages are. We still need welfare and supplementary benefits.

    • jcuknz 13.2

      Sorry AD but are you happy to pay $10 kg for apples…. higher wages=higher prices.
      higher wages do give an increase discretion on what it is spent on … but better off, I think only maybe.
      I married on$15 week and retired on much much more…. I was better off mainly because of what I had done with my wife in building the family home together. Saving on interest to a bank or rent.
      WINZ reflects the governments attitude which encourages the tough unreasonable stance. Plus with bludgers spoiling the pitch for the genuine one has to have some sympathy for the front line staff who deal with the public.

      • ropata 13.2.1

        The real bludgers in NZ are not beneficiaries they are the white collar capitalists extracting rentier incomes from their fellow Kiwis. Spurred on by governments obsessed with inflating the housing bubble and giving tax breaks to property “investors”. Bankers and real estate agents are happy to sit by and soak up the profits from other people’s labour. The system is fucked because the government is a tool of corporations and social services are an inconvenient cost

  14. Gordon Campbell on The Greens and the sorts of things Metiria is drawing attention to:

    “It is a very relevant example. Because the Greens here are currently being criticized by the commentariat for not making the same kind of pragmatic choices that sunk the Democrats. If only the Greens hadn’t ‘boxed themselves in’ by ruling out working with National. If only they would trade off their ‘hard left’ social justice agenda for some nice environmental gains that everyone could agree on, assuming these wouldn’t be too ‘extreme’ for agri-business to tolerate. If only the Greens acted like every other pragmatic bunch of political chancers in Parliament. What a golden future could be theirs! Real power, a seat at the Cabinet table. What’s wrong with the Greens that they can’t see that etc etc?”
    http://gordoncampbell.scoop.co.nz/2017/07/19/gordon-campbell-on-the-greens-room-for-political-pragmatism/

  15. savenz 15

    The tweets are heartbreaking and illuminating.
    Particularly liked

    I claimed $32K worth of housing allowance I didn’t need nor was I entitled to #IAmMetiria… oh wait, shit no I’m not, I’m @pmbillenglish

    Having to haul someone into WINZ while on an oxygen machine bi-weekly just prove they’re sick/dying….#IAmMetiria

    The kids that tell me “I’m not hungry, miss” because they’ve already internalised the shame of being poor. #IamMetiria

    Mum’s 4 lounge walls are covered with ours family certificates from school through to university
    She calls them her masterpieces #IamMetiria

    Waited with a child who has wet pants (no toilets in winz) & if you leave you could miss the appointment that was an hour ago #IamMetiria

  16. Keepcalmcarryon 16

    I have sympathy for those at the wrong end of any of our givernment agencies.
    I am fairly cynical about our politicians though. Good on Ms Turei for her honesty. I suspect There is reasoning to this admission: either she was going to be sprung, wanted the high ground on Paula Benefit or it’s a play for some of the missing million.

    • weka 16.1

      Also, the Greens have spent a fair amount of time in the past year talking directly with poor people. I see the policy and announcement as being good strategy to get the issues on the table for discussion. Bold, risky, but the right thing to do morally and strategically.

      The unspoken messaging about PB was brilliant.

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