Metiria Turei and Paula Bennett on benefit fraud

Written By: - Date published: 10:46 am, July 17th, 2017 - 241 comments
Categories: benefits, class war, law, Metiria Turei, paula bennett - Tags: , , , ,

Metiria Turei’s admission that she lied to WINZ back in the day was a political gamble. On one hand it could resonate with a big chunk of non-voters – here’s a politician that’s just like us – has been through what we’re going through. On the other hand it gives the usual mean-spirited righties a club to beat her with (see the usual blogs).

Interesting that Paula Bennett is treading so lightly round the issue – Paula Bennett says she never ‘deliberately’ misled WINZ

Acting Prime Minister Paula Bennett has refused to condemn Metiria Turei’s admission she committed benefit fraud in the 1990s.

Gosh.

Ms Bennett also spent time as a beneficiary in the 1990s, but says she never “deliberately” misled welfare officials.

Leaving open the possibility, just hypothetically, that she “accidentally” misled them? Sins of omission perchance.

“I’m not perfect,” she told The AM Show on Monday. “I’ve never led a perfect life, but I certainly never deliberately misled them or took money that I shouldn’t of.”

She said Ms Turei’s actions were “disappointing for all those taxpayers that pay”, but she was not “interested in sitting here and throwing stones”.

“I know when I was on a benefit I always wanted to get off and kept trying to get off, and get jobs and do everything else… She can just be judged on her own merits, and others can make that kind of decision.”

If only Bennett’s judgements of other beneficiaries could be as considered as this.

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241 comments on “Metiria Turei and Paula Bennett on benefit fraud”

  1. mickysavage 1

    This was a very interesting choice of words. There is also an offence of wilfully omitting to tell an officer something with intent to mislead or attempting to mislead any officer concerned in the administration of the Social Security Act for the purpose of receiving or continuing to receive a benefit.

    Telling porkies is one think. But you can also get into trouble for failing to disclose information which you should disclose.

    • Carolyn_nth 1.1

      Wasn’t Turei’s sin also a lie of omission?

      I’d also like to know how much support Bennett got from her family while on benefit. Bennett had a more privileged background than Turei. Turei’s family struggled from the get go with life in impoverished circumstances.

      • mickysavage 1.1.1

        Possibly.

        I have acted for a number of people charged with these offences over the years. The system is designed so that if your circumstances change you should tell WINZ. If you deliberately don’t then you face prosecution.

        An intrepid reporter should ask Paula if she ever deliberately declined to tell WINZ anything that she had an obligation to tell them.

        • Andre 1.1.1.1

          Paula should be asked if she ever failed to tell WINZ (or it’s predecessors) anything she should have told them, whether by accident or not. If the answer is yes, the follow-up question should be if it was deliberate.

          • mickysavage 1.1.1.1.1

            Aye!

          • mary_a 1.1.1.1.2

            @ Andre (1.1.1.1) … and the answer will be NO!

            • Andre 1.1.1.1.2.1

              …and a blunt denial like that will be a challenge to all the gotcha journalists and they’ll go running out to dig through everything they can.

              • dukeofurl

                Yes its one thing to ‘fail to understand the rules’ when you are young, buts another thing to completely mislead the public when you are an elected MP

      • Cinny 1.1.2

        With all the fuss around this topic, maybe media will be able to do some journalism for a change? I’m interested to know Paulas background on the DPB as well.

        • dukeofurl 1.1.2.1

          This is a quick summary
          https://fmacskasy.wordpress.com/2011/09/01/hon-paula-bennett-minister-of-hypocrisy/

          Theres a lot more detail around about the circumstances of her moving between benefit and work and back , but some of it might be ‘contested’ so I wont mention it.

          • Carolyn_nth 1.1.2.1.1

            the article about Bennett getting a housing corporation loan to buy a house 2 years after being on the DPB, was written by Fran O’Sulllivan in about 2012. All links to it result in a baaa – nothing here page.

            In searching for this, I found out Bennett was on the DPB, and got substantial grants, etc, in 1986.

            Turei had a daughter when she was 22 (that’d be 1992) – then went to law school.

            What were the differences in the benefits between 1986 and 1992?

            Richardson’s Mother of all budgets was 1991.

            • dukeofurl 1.1.2.1.1.1

              benefits are substantially the same- rule are changing all the time around circumstances and elegibility

              What both Bennett and Turei would have got to study was the TIA- training incentive allowance, still around but it cant be used for university study on DPB ( you would be expected to look for work now 12 months after child is born)
              I understand TIA back then paid for most of the course costs only. Not sure if student loans were around in mid 80s?

              • dukeofurl

                With the house Paula bought- again with state assistance no longer available its worth looking at IRD advice on boarders/flatmates

                Flatmates and tenants
                In most flatting situations payments made by one
                flatmate to another as a share of the overall cost of the
                accommodation isn’t likely to be classed as taxable income.

                But if you OWN the house and have flatmates to pay the mortgage etc that is considered as income and taxable
                http://www.ird.govt.nz/forms-guides/number/forms-1000-1099/ir1037-guide-boarders-flatmates-tenants.html

                Was Paula also ‘not deliberately’ misleading IRD as she owned the house, which was the same as Metira who just was in a shared house

                • Ed

                  That house purchase is very interesting.

                  • dv

                    56k at 19?

                    we had 15k deposit , got 22k 3%, state advances (That was the max), and still had to borrow 14k @ 20% 2nd mort guaranteed by parents.
                    And we had a double income at the time too.

                    Early 80,s

                    Something doesn’t seem to add up for PB.

              • Craig H

                Student loans were introduced in 1992.

  2. Stunned Mullet 2

    “Shouldn’t have” for goodness sakes.

  3. Cinny 3

    I found the choice of words interesting as well. I listened to Paula on RNZ and she claimed she did not tell lies re when she was receiving a benefit, a big claim, one that may well bite her in the bum in the future.

    Reflecting on everything, I asked myself would I lie or steal so I could feed my children if I had no other option. And yes I probably would.

    It would be incredibly troubling and embarrassing to be put in such a situation, but in the end I would do anything so my children wouldn’t starve. Am sure most parents would.

    I admire Meti’s honesty, it was her decision to share her story, she was straight up with us, which seems a rare trait in some political parties.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/335218/deputy-pm-on-turei-s-benefit-dishonesty

    • mary_a 3.1

      @ Cinny (3) … but you have to realise a lie from the mouth of a Natz MP is totally different from that of a lie from the rest of us, which would be construed as being deliberately misleading, with the possibility of a criminal offence being the outcome!

      And yes like you, I would have lied and stolen in desperation, if it meant my children’s well being and survival was at stake! It’s the automatic mothering nurturing response.

      • Cinny 3.1.1

        Too true Mary, too true.

        Maybe there is a National Party Thesaurus of Propaganda, issued to all their MP’s and press secretaries etc?

    • Blade 3.2

      And not naming the father?

      • North 3.2.1

        Dirty Blade ! Dirty Dirty Blade !

      • Cinny 3.2.2

        Yeah Blade, cause some women are raped by a stranger and become pregnant, but hey guys don’t have to worry about that.

        JS… there are all sorts of situations, it’s not just black and white.

        • Blade 3.2.2.1

          North and Cinny. What the hell are you talking about?

          She didn’t name the father. That’s strike 2. I see she is a lawyer. Did she sign an oath? Is that oath now fraudulent?

          Talk about the nutty Left.!!

          • Cinny 3.2.2.1.1

            Well what are you talking about Blade?
            Naming the baby, whose baby? Mine, her’s, Jane Does?

            The point I made is some women may not name the babies father because they have been raped by a stranger.

            Blade, maybe if your comment contained more information, you would not have been so confused as to replies and I wouldn’t have been so confused as to what you were on about. But I see you have now cleared that up since our replies, well done Blade, pat on the back.

            • Carolyn_nth 3.2.2.1.1.1

              Or because the father is intimidating the mother with threats of violence if she names him.

            • Blade 3.2.2.1.1.2

              ”The point I made is some women may not name the babies father because they have been raped by a stranger.”

              Yeah, but not Matiria. Strawman argument. Trying to muddy the waters.

              ”Blade, maybe if your comment contained more information.’

              Says someone who wrote a three sentence reply.

              Maybe you are not used to someone posing pertinent questions without a screed of bs attached.

              So whatdaya reckon….do you think she should be removed from the lawyers roll? Technically she hasn’t been charged with a crime….but the Law Society, I believe, can use discretion.

              • “Law Society, I believe, can use discretion.”
                Then you can rest assured, Blade, the case is not only closed, but in fact, never opened. It’s highly unlikely that the Law Society would be populated by Pharisees such as yourself (hat tip, In Vino)

                • Blade

                  Robert, a confirmed troll. Enough said about your insightful scribble.

                  [lprent: One of the fastest ways to come to my attention is to be thick enough to try to do our job. I strongly suggest that you read our policy again about trying to make the rules on the site. If I see you do it again I will kick your arse off the site for a long time. You have been warned again – I find my self incredulous that you are stupid enough to try this again. I guess that ignorant self-entitled fuckwits never learn. ]

                  • Is it even possible to be a troll on a sympathetic site? I’d always thought trolls troll in places with philosophies in opposition to their own: you troll here, where your right-wing ideals jar with the prevailing ideologies, I, were I a troll, would surely be over on Kiwiblog, or the now thankfully extinct (killed by revelations in the book Dirty Politics, as Kiwiblog should have been), Keeping Stock. Here on The Standard, if I had any status at all, I’d like to be thought of as a troll-sticker, in much the same way as the picadors prick bulls prior to the matador swirling in for the coup de grâce.
                    In fact, I’d prefer to be thought of, if thought of at all, as a maletilla.
                    All this, of course, is fanciful nonsense, as is every bitter and shrivelled thing you write.

              • McFlock

                Unless you were there, who the fuck are you to talk about the circumstances of someone’s conception?

                Even if you were there, I’m not sure I’d trust your judgement on the matter. But pay your child support.

                • Blade

                  ‘Unless you were there, who the fuck are you to talk about the circumstances of someone’s conception? ‘

                  Really? How infantile. Btw who was talking about someone’s conception? You may have your wires crossed, as usual.

                  Don’t forget, Metiria went public to start this.

              • Cinny

                I found you weren’t that clear blade and then you have a crack for misunderstanding you?

                congratulations on your communication technique blade, seems like a real winner.

              • Stuart Munro

                You’ve never posed a pertinent question in your life, Blade. Your specialty seems to be impertinent ones. You seem to think you have carte blanche to other people’s private affairs. The Law Society understands the concept of privacy; a few years of tertiary study and you could too.

                • Blade

                  ”You seem to think you have carte blanche to other people’s private affairs. ”

                  What private affairs?

                  [RL: I’m getting sick of you. Last warning.]

                  • Blade

                    I will save you the trouble. If you can’t see the stupidity of…

                    ”You seem to think you have carte blanche to other people’s private affairs. ”

                    Then I need to move on to where people understand 2+2 doesn’t equal 5.

                    [RL: Permanent ban. Do not come back.]

        • Rightly or Wrongly 3.2.2.2

          I don’t think this was the case. Turei has stated that she received support from the father, his family, and her family to raise her child.

          She has said she chose not to name the father so that he wouldn’t be ‘hassled’ by WINZ even though it no doubt lead to a reduction in her benefit.

          Why she chose to not receive the full benefit legitimately by simply naming her child’s father and instead took a significant risk by earning undeclared income is a question that should be put to her.

          There is talk as well about her being outed on Facebook several weeks ago – I hope this is not true as this would indicate that her great ‘confession’ was no more than cynical front footing spin to minimize the damage to her political career.

          I also hope that her public justifying of 5 years of dishonesty does not cause a backlash against genuine solo mums who are trying to bring their kids up without ripping off the system.

          • lprent 3.2.2.2.1

            Why she chose to not receive the full benefit legitimately by simply naming her child’s father…

            Which really just shows that you are simply a sanctimonious fool who has no real appreciation of how humans work and an obvious inability to read.

            Presumably she didn’t want to have a long term relationship with him, nor he with her. Quite what the interfering dipshit politicians and their minions should have to do with that decision is beyond me. Having seen the way that the poor bastards at WINZ/MSD under the direction of obsessive Mrs Grundy fuckwits like you, all I can advise is that no-one tells them anything more than they absolutely have to.

            For a starter it increases the effectiveness of the taxes I pay. The less information that WINZ/MSD have, the less they have to work with to obstruct and waste taxpayers money on meaningless witchhunts.

            • Psycho Milt 3.2.2.2.1.1

              Quite what the interfering dipshit politicians and their minions should have to do with that decision is beyond me.

              It’s not beyond me. That mofo made a kid and handed financial responsibility for it to the rest of us. Fuck him, big-time. I elect dipshit politicians in the hope that they’ll direct their minions to squeeze this kind of waster for whatever he’s got.

            • Rightly or Wrongly 3.2.2.2.1.2

              I don’t think it has anything to do with her having a long term relationship or not lprent.

              The fact is that the father is responsible for causing the conception and birth of her daughter and should contribute financially to the support of his daughter. (Whether they are together or not)

              Why Turei would penalize herself and her daughter (to the point of deciding to break the law) for the sake of the obviously absent father beats me.

              I just think there is a bit more to this than what has been stated to date.

              • lprent

                That really just shows how little you know about actual family law or the actual behaviour of MSD –
                Instead you appear to rely on what looks like some kind of bigoted theoretical fantasy. I hate to use the phrase conspiracy nutter – but you read like one.

                In almost every instance that I have ever had to look at, there is absolutely no point and minimal or no benefit for any party in an accidental pregnancy in getting heavily involved with either MSD or the family court.

                The amount extracted from biological parents by MSD is fuckall by the time it gets to the kid, and it costs a lot of effort and time by all parties. The biological parent not interested in raising a kid gets pissed off by the MSD trying to extract THEIR pound of flesh, and often more effective help (like babysitting, shoes, etc) comes from a parent that isn’t getting harassed by the dimwits of the bureaucracy.

                I think that you could be just some kind of prurient innocent loon. Or possibly not so innocent – but definitely sucking up on the sexual adventures of others. Do you also wander around with a up-skirt camera?

                Jez, this conspiracy stuff is so easy to invent …

    • Ed 3.3

      She didn’t ‘deliberately’ lie….whatever that means…..

  4. Booker 4

    Interesting also to see Joyce’s choice of words, which were that NZers will be disappointed she’s chosen to disclose she lied to WINZ. Classic National party response – it’s not doing something illegal that’s the problem, it’s being honest about it!

    • Cinny 4.1

      LMFAO… yes NZ public are very disappointed that a politician was honest, rather than a story breaking via media, and politicians being economical with the truth.

      Lolz… Mr i think it’s pretty legal, but have recently been taken to court Joyce.

      Also was wondering why Paula was wheeled out to address Media this morning instead of Bill, it’s not like he’s left NZ or anything.

    • weka 4.2

      where did he say that?

    • Nic the NZer 4.3

      Thats entirely the right way for it to be put. The welfare system in the 90s only functioned on a don’t ask, don’t tell basis. Welfare was intentionally set at starvation levels from above with the idea to drive people into lower wage work. A lot of people at WINZ would have been doing a lot of looking the other way while the changes were relatively recent.
      Not that this has really yet been reversed. The other nasty combination at the time was the unemployment rate was much higher.

      BTW in the dominant economic theory of the day these reforms were a massive success and supposedly solved the unemployment rate problem caused by benefit rates being too close to minimum wage rates (if you believe that crap!).

  5. mary_a 5

    Be interesting to see how Natz play this one out.

    However, I have a feeling not much will be said considering one of their own has been in similar circumstances to those of Meteria Turei. So I very much doubt the boat will be rocked too hard. To do so could rattle a few closeted skeletons, something I doubt the Natz will want, being election year and all!

    Well done Meteria for your refreshing honesty.

    • Norfolk Traveller 5.1

      It’s a stretch to describe owning up to something 26 years after the event as ‘refreshing honesty’.

      • mary_a 5.1.1

        @ Norfolk Traveller (5.1) … better late than never perhaps, don’t you think?

        Meteria Turei was very brave I thought, to go public with this information. Not something too many people would choose to do, stand on a public platform and confess to not being totally honest with welfare. That takes some guts and Meteria has proved she has plenty.

        While we are on this topic, let’s not forget the very senior National MP caught rorting the taxpayer funded housing allowance, claiming public money on his own property in Wellington and wasn’t required to face the consequences of his deceit! PM John Key’s approach at the time was a case of yeah, nah, not important, move on!

        • Norfolk Traveller 5.1.1.1

          I really can’t see that it takes any particular courage to admit to fraud almost 3 decades late. This looks more like a publicity stunt to get attention for their policy. I do admire the political gamble, though.

          • McFlock 5.1.1.1.1

            You don’t think it’s maybe opened her up to criticism from certain quarters, especially from folks who’d prefer to use her personal history to distract from the decades-old problem that her personal history highlights?

            • Norfolk Traveller 5.1.1.1.1.1

              Possibly, McFlock, but that could also be part of the political risk – that in admitting fraud she becomes the victim?
              Anyway, I object to the ongoing trend here to defend fraud rather than debate policy.

              • McFlock

                Accepting and taking on risk is often known as being “brave”.

                What you’re missing is that the so-called “fraud” illustrates the need for the policy.

                The fact is that living as a beneficiary is a precarious existence and frequently mathematically impossible. When faced with the conundrum of one’s strict entitlements being insufficient to meet the minimum necessities, what would you do?

                • Norfolk Traveller

                  “What you’re missing is that the so-called “fraud” illustrates the need for the policy.”
                  No, no more so than a wealthy person dodging taxes illustrates taxes are too high.

                  But here’s a question. The committing of the fraud was 26 years ago. The Greens have been around a long time. If things are so dire, if things were so dire as to be of such personal consequence to Metiria, why has it taken so long for this policy to be developed and announced?

                  “The fact is that living as a beneficiary is a precarious existence and frequently mathematically impossible. When faced with the conundrum of one’s strict entitlements being insufficient to meet the minimum necessities, what would you do?”
                  I don’t agree with the assumptions behind you question, but one thing I wouldn’t do is commit fraud.

                  • solkta

                    Yes, often see wealthy people utterly distraught that they can’t can’t afford to give their child an overseas holiday this year.

                  • McFlock

                    Will the wealthy person go hungry if they don’t evade taxes? Will the wealthy person lose the cheapest home in town if they don’t evade taxes? Will the wealthy person die if they don’t evade taxes?

                    No. Your comparison is stupid and callous.

                    If things are so dire, if things were so dire as to be of such personal consequence to Metiria, why has it taken so long for this policy to be developed and announced?

                    Maybe the dialogue around poverty and beneficiaries needed to change before it was appropriate. Maybe it took her that amount of time to get into a level of leadership that let her champion this level of policy policy. Maybe we had to wait until people started dropping like flies in this brighter future before people would be prepared to accept the reality of living on a benefit. Hell, maybe she’s just farther along her personal growth journey than you or I, or the discussion around Bennett’s past indirectly gave her a moment of clarity.

                    “The fact is that living as a beneficiary is a precarious existence and frequently mathematically impossible. When faced with the conundrum of one’s strict entitlements being insufficient to meet the minimum necessities, what would you do?”
                    I don’t agree with the assumptions behind you question, but one thing I wouldn’t do is commit fraud.

                    They’re not “assumptions”. They’re my reality back in the day, and they’re the reality of some of my friends today. It’s the reality of going to budget advisors who outright state that you don’t get enough money to live if you fill in all the forms truthfully. It’s the reality of eating nothing but rice for weeks and still not keeping up with the bills. It’s the reality of reaching the limit of which bills you can put off another month and just sitting in your shithole, staring at the latest demand and seriously considering suicide. After that, yeah, taking cash under the table starts looking pretty fucking reasonable.

                    People are dying in doorways and on park benches. You might choose death before dishonour, but I doubt you’ve ever been in that position.

                    And you compare it to high-income tax evaders? 🙄

                    • Norfolk Traveller

                      “Maybe the dialogue around poverty and beneficiaries needed to change before it was appropriate. ”
                      Why not set the dialogue? That’s what a truly courageous person would do.

                      “People are dying in doorways and on park benches. ”
                      Not because of a lack of welfare support. This is a discussion that is easy to drag into emotive and irrational discourse, your comments demonstrate that ably. The reasons why people get into difficulty are complex, which is why the Greens approach won’t work.

                    • McFlock

                      Only a tory would think that they can “set” what is appropriate.

                      This should be an emotional discussion. There’s a word for folk who can talk about the deaths of others without a twinge of empathy. Look it up.

                      Any individual’s death by state neglect is “complicated”. But lack of income support is an all-to-often part of it – either eligibility or accessibility. But I don’t need to prove that, because I’ve been close enough (and had friends close enough) to that to know it’s real. I have no more need to prove my experiences to you as you have to prove to me that you actually care about anyone other than yourself.

                    • Why not set the dialogue? That’s what a truly courageous person would do.

                      What do you think this story’s about if not Turei setting the dialogue, dumbass? Maybe one reason it takes so long is that people like you will leap in to jeer at the courageous person the moment they open their mouth.

                    • Norfolk Traveller

                      “Only a tory would think that they can “set” what is appropriate.”
                      I am not a ‘tory’. And I was referring to Metiria.

                      “This should be an emotional discussion.”
                      No, it shouldn’t. It should be about finding workable solutions to complex problems. That takes clear, rational thinking based on evidence.

                      “Any individual’s death by state neglect is “complicated”.
                      You’ve done it again. There has been no ‘death by state’.

                      “But lack of income support is an all-to-often part of it – either eligibility or accessibility.”
                      No, it’s not. We’ve had many periods on our history of worse economic conditions than today and far less welfare support. The Greens approach is simplistic, and likely to make the problem even worse as more people sink into the despair of welfare dependency.

                    • Norfolk Traveller

                      “What do you think this story’s about if not Turei setting the dialogue, ”
                      Oh of course it is. But you didn’t read the comments between McFlock and I properly. McFlock claimed Metiria took so long because the time wasn’t right to set the narrative. In the past. That’s not courage.

                    • McFlock

                      We’ve had many periods on our history of worse economic conditions than today and far less welfare support.

                      And yet people still die in doorways today. Not so much in the crashes of the 1970s.

                      Basically, your position is based on more people suddenly choosing to die whenever tories are elected (btw, dunno if you’re elected but you’re definitely a tory). And suddenly choosing to not die in as great a number when welfare and other state support provisions are increased.

                      I remember watching NZ media try to adjust to reporting murders of homeless people. The first one in Nat4 was called a “local personality” who had one hot meal a week and a doss in the Auckland Domain. Then a few years later a “transient” was murdered on the West Coast, but that was a little bit too dehumanising so now they’re “homeless man dies of natural causes”.

                      But then there’s people dying when the garage they live in burns down. Where was their state support for rent or directly for a home. All the poor people living in overcrowded conditions and getting all sorts of shit that kills them.

                      If you have no idea about the cases to which I’m referring, you’ve chosen not to see the evidence that you claim to want to consider rationally. I wish I had your sheltered existence.

                    • Norfolk Traveller []

                      “Not so much in the crashes of the 1970s.”

                      What about in the 1930’s depression before there was welfare?

                      I’m well aware of the human tragedy that exists in this country, but I don’t hold some irrational view that this is a money issue. It is far more complicated than that.

                    • McFlock

                      McFlock claimed Metiria took so long because the time wasn’t right to set the narrative. In the past. That’s not courage.

                      Actually, I merely provided a list of possible answers to a pretty silly question. Using the word “maybe” before each one, which was supposed to be a bit of a hint.

                      A less useful but more direct answer to your question about Turei’s timing is “Why should I know? Ask her if your knickers are in a twist about it”.

                    • Norfolk Traveller

                      I said:
                      “McFlock claimed Metiria took so long because the time wasn’t right to set the narrative. In the past. That’s not courage.”

                      You said
                      “Actually, I merely provided a list of possible answers to a pretty silly question. ”

                      Here is what you said:
                      “Maybe the dialogue around poverty and beneficiaries needed to change before it was appropriate.”

                      That is what I responded to.
                      You also gave other excuses:

                      “Maybe it took her that amount of time to get into a level of leadership that let her champion this level of policy policy.”
                      Well that’s obviously wrong. Metiria has been an MP since 2002. She has been leader since 2009.

                      “Maybe we had to wait until people started dropping like flies in this brighter future before people would be prepared to accept the reality of living on a benefit.”
                      That hasn’t happened.

                      “Hell, maybe she’s just farther along her personal growth journey than you or I, or the discussion around Bennett’s past indirectly gave her a moment of clarity.”
                      Yeah, right.

                    • McFlock

                      Or it could be any other reason that doesn’t come to mind when I’m watching TV.

                      The fact is that in your brilliance you took a “maybe” and treated it as a categorical claim. Whereas you take the categorical claims and flatly disagree with them.

                      Whatever. I’m just intrigued as to why you think people decide to drop dead in doorways rather than take the help you seem to believe is copiously and freely available.

                    • Norfolk Traveller []

                      I didn’t take it as a categorical clim, just one of a number of poor excuse.

                      As to your last paragraph? That too is complex. Mental illness is often a contributor. But the point is this – the help is there.

                    • McFlock

                      “McFlock claimed that” with no maybes about it.
                      Categorical: “Being without exception or qualification; absolute”

                      “I didn’t take it as a categorical cl[a]im”

                      If you don’t shrink from rewriting what’s right in front of everyone’s face, it’s no surprise you’ll rewrite reality, too.

                      Mental illness is often a contributor. But the point is this – the help is there.

                      The point is this: if the help were there, people wouldn’t be dying at the rate they are. We’d be back at pre-john key rates, which were still too bad. Just not as bad as they are now.

                    • McFlock

                      What about in the 1930’s depression before there was welfare?

                      I’m glad you asked:

                      The effect on children, however, extended beyond just education. In these tough conditions children’s health suffered, with up to one in six people dying before the age of 20 during the mid thirties (3), a tragedy which often followed their families throughout their lives. A decline in the birth rate and increased abortions are evidence of the tough conditions facing families, which parents were unwilling to bring new children into for fear they could not feed and clothe them. One third fewer children were born in Auckland in 1935 than in 1930 (5) and in 1937 the McMillan report stated that one in five pregnancies in New Zealand were aborted (3). The conditions for children reached a dire state, with over 1000 malnourished in Wellington alone and 70% of Auckland schoolchildren having physical defects in 1934 (3), largely as a result of the poverty facing their families. Such health problems can have long lasting and significant effects on children, preventing development and hindering their ability to learn and grow, something that would thus continue to affect New Zealanders through the coming decades. Due to concerns over children’s health, in 1937 milk was introduced to schools. This was significant to New Zealand, as the programme remained in place until 1967, continuing to provide school children with half a pint of milk daily even after the Great Depression had ended and benefitting many more children within these thirty years.

                      That’s just the bit on kids, but brings it nicely back to DPB and suchlike.

                    • Norfolk Traveller

                      “The point is this: if the help were there, people wouldn’t be dying at the rate they are. ”
                      The help is there, and yet people are still dying. Which means we need to scratch deeper for causes and solutions. That’s the part you seem to find difficult. It’s so much easier just to throw money at a problem eh?

                    • Norfolk Traveller

                      “I’m glad you asked:”
                      I really don’t think you understood my point.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      The help is there…

                      [citation needed]

                      Seriously – what part of “20% below the minimum required for subsistence” are you having trouble with?

                    • McFlock

                      The help is there, and yet people are still dying.

                      Obviously the help is insufficient.

                      Which means we need to scratch deeper for causes and solutions. That’s the part you seem to find difficult. It’s so much easier just to throw money at a problem eh?

                      Poverty is contributing to those and many other deaths.
                      Poverty is a lack of money.
                      Poverty is literally a problem that can be solved by throwing money at it.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      …literally a problem that can be solved by throwing money at it.

                      There are other solutions too, like a level playing field for collective bargaining, and living wage and benefit levels.

                      Those will take time, however, and in the interim the
                      solution is to spend my precious taxes, and endure the whinging and wailing of RWNJs.

            • Robert Guyton 5.1.1.1.1.2

              McFlock – ‘certain quarters’ set their minds the moment they learned that Metiria; was a solo mum, lives in a castle, wears a hei tiki, is a Green MP, has learned to korero Maori…the list is extensive and rich pickings for those inclined to pick. This will win her considerable support, in my view, especially if Steven Joyce rounds on her, or any of the many bullies who I’ll bet are champing at the bit to have a go.I hope Maggie Barry has a go. They’ll get Farrar to do it for them, but his readers would never, ever support Metiria in anything at all, so his efforts will be wasted.

              • Carolyn_nth

                John Drinnan has had a go on twitter. Said Turei has shown middle class entitlement over this, and could have got a student loan or …. something. And that her confession will be supported by middle class people with sense of entitlement, but not liked by those on low income who pay their taxes, etc.

                Must be great to be clairvoyant.

          • Robert Guyton 5.1.1.1.2

            I agree, Norfolk Traveller – a political gamble, though knowing Metiria and her professional grasp of legal matters and well developed social intelligence, I reckon she’s odds-on winner here.

            • Norfolk Traveller 5.1.1.1.2.1

              Time will tell!

              • I wonder how many people, on hearing Metiria’s confession, immediately think about Bill English and Paula Bennett? That can’t be helping National and if it continues to be news, those two, ably assisted by Todd Barclay, will get plenty of attention where they would prefer none. I reckon it was a smart move. She won’t have said it off the cuff.

                • Norfolk Traveller

                  “I wonder how many people, on hearing Metiria’s confession, immediately think about Bill English and Paula Bennett?”
                  I’d say almost none. The whole issue is a distraction from the actual policy. That’s one part Metiria may have miscalculated.

                  • Quite wrong, NT, I can confidently say, having trawled the social media sites covering this; English and Bennett and their relative positions and involvements feature large and many have commented that the policy is getting coverage across the news media in association with Metiria’s freely-given confession. I think you have this all backwards.

                    • Norfolk Traveller

                      On this blog, certainly. Indeed they have been a serious distraction from the real issue of the policy. But not in the mainstream. A

                    • In Vino

                      The mainstream as you call it is subject to movement. This time the movement may surprise you.

                    • Norfolk Traveller []

                      True!

                  • Dv

                    So why was bennet asked if she lied to winz on. Morning report this am?

  6. roy cartland 6

    Bill English has been a bit quiet too… not that he took the piss in regard to housing allowance or anything either…

  7. Cinny 7

    Meti is being interviewed on the wireless right now about it on Radiolive.

    Kudos Meti for fronting up all day today and yesterday to media about something that happened 24 years ago.

    • Red 7.1

      How do you know she fronted up or it’s media management and it was about to be released, be good for a reporter to put that to her

      • Cinny 7.1.1

        Fair point Red, however this is very topical today and yesterday, I’ll rephrase… Meti seems to be making herself available to any media with questions on the subject. She does not appear to be avoiding media today at all.

        Where’s English today? Avoiding questions about Barclay? It’s a bit odd that he is in NZ but not able to do his usual Monday morning interviews… like Newshub, TVNZ and RNZ

        • Red 7.1.1.1

          Not equavalent Cinny ? One is direct admitting of clear fraud and been quite proud of it, she really shows her contempt of tax payer here that she has benefited mightily over her life time, student allowance, student loans, dpb, her current salary yet she is quite happy to throw it back at working nz with a one finger salute Not a good look on any measure no matter how you want to call it re the otherside Are also bad which normally gets short ship on this site, not this time, I wonder why

          • Robert Guyton 7.1.1.1.1

            Look, the election things becoming a bore; could we cut to the chase, put Todd Barclay (Right) and Metiria Turei (Left) in a room together with Kim Hill and slide the bolt for 20 minutes (that’s all it would take. Todd’s carcass could be stuffed for the wall of National Party HQ).

            • greywarshark 7.1.1.1.1.1

              Robert G
              I was listening to Kim with Winston this morning and she tripped him up or managed to talk over him and that is a rare occurrence. I think she gets exasperated with his easy peasy principles that are fluid.

          • Cinny 7.1.1.1.2

            Yes Red, Meti broke a rule, technically it could be illegal, but any parent would break a rule in order to put food on the table if their child was hungry.

  8. Ed 8

    She never ‘deliberately’ misled WINZ……..
    What does that mean?!

    • dukeofurl 8.1

      They didnt ask about any changed circumstances and she didnt tell

      eg , I went to Australia for 2 weeks and when I came back they didnt ask. ( back then they didnt have data matching to check departure records)
      Some might think questions about part time work while on DPB would be in this category

      • weka 8.1.1

        I suspect that the forms were written differently then too. Now you have to sign a form that includes a statement about telling WINZ of any other details they might need to know.

    • McFlock 9.1

      Good for him.

      ISTR playing a bit fast and loose with the dates I worked vs the dates I got paid to find the most fiscally convenient spread, and also probably did some jobs under the table.

      But such confessions just aren’t the same under a pseudonym 🙂

      • joe90 9.1.1

        During the 70’s some claimants may or may not have had a relative report in while the claimant was in a different country doing what they loved to do

      • weka 9.1.2

        Given that most beneficiaries should only share personal stories anonymously or pseudonymously, so you’re in good company 🙂

    • Bill 9.2

      That would be a nice thing to see trending on fb or whatever – “I am Metiria” 🙂

      • McFlock 9.2.1

        yeah I was thinking somethig along those lines, too.

        I don’t really go for that “I am….” stuff, but sharing actual personal stories (without prosecutable detail) might be a go-er.

  9. joe90 11

    So, the short 2008 Herald bio of our Paula has been taken down and there’s no google or wayback cache available, goneburger.

    But someone thoughtfully c&p what appears to be the entire article.

    (scroll down to #14)

    http://archive.li/1LaZO

    • Ed 11.1

      A key section.

      ‘At 19, still on the domestic purposes benefit, she bought her own house in Taupo for $56,000 with a Housing Corporation loan.
      The mortgage drove her back to work. She did a part-time day job booking tourists on lake excursions while Ana was in childcare, then worked the 11pm-7am shift waitressing at a truck stop while someone else looked after Ana at home.
      “Then I pretty much fell apart because I was exhausted. I went back on the DPB,” she says.
      Over the next few years she worked as a cleaner, went back to the tourist job and was receptionist at a hair salon. In between, she was on and off the benefit. ‘

    • weka 11.2

      is that normal for Herald articles to not be archived?

  10. Tanz 12

    Funny that everyone here so far seems to think it ok for an ‘honourable’ member of Parliament to have committed welfare fraud. She was laughing about it on the radio even. So the taxpayer stumped up money she wasn’t entitled to and she is a lawyer, for crying out loud, a lawyer, and thinks it’s ok! She’ll pay it back, only if investigated. Unbelievable! Did she miss Ethics 101?

    Kiwis however, don’t like cheats, and this one wants to help run the gumit!! Sigh. Kind of puts Todd Barclay into the shade…

    • McFlock 12.1

      When the government says “we’ll give you enough to live on in your time of need” and then shortchanges you, I’m not sure it should count as “fraud” to fiddle things so the government lives up to its promise.

      The alternatives are theft or drug dealing.

    • marty mars 12.2

      Yep it’s like saying why didn’t president trump not do anything about 911. Why all the big talk now but nothing back then – Fail. Sad.

    • Kay 12.3

      No, that would be a certain Ruth Richardson and every government subsequently missing Ethics 101.

    • Cinny 12.4

      Police Investigation springs to mind, avoidance of the media springs to mind, a changing story springs to mind, a secret payout and confidentiality agreement springs to mind. How about the secret recordings? What was on the tapes?

      And how much is Todd getting thousands of dollars from the tax payer for behaving in such a manner while being an MP. And just to add, it was the media that broke the story, not the MP.

      But hey let’s give Meti a hard time for being honest and upfront by disclosing what she had to do to survive to provide for her child around 24 years ago.

    • It’s what she had to do to survive because the then National government had cut welfare to less than what it took to live.

      Most people understand that. RWNJs don’t because they’re Lawful Stupid.

      PS. Have you called for Blinglish and several other National Party MPs to be jailed over their role in preventing justice in the deBarclay Affair?

    • Funny that everyone here so far seems to think it ok for an ‘honourable’ member of Parliament to have committed welfare fraud.

      Well, yeah. When you’re on a benefit you sometimes have to leave certain relevant items of information out of your dealings with the department, because you want to do things like eat food and pay your rent. I just assume everyone who’s been on a benefit has done it, pretty much how I assume everyone with a fat salary and multiple properties has an accountant figuring out how they can avoid taxes.

      What does bother me is stuff like an “honourable” Member of Parliament claiming accommodation expenses that weren’t justified, not because he’d otherwise be unable to eat or pay the rent, but because he’s a greedy motherfucker who’ll always take more than he’s entitled to. Or to have bunged taxpayer dosh at someone to try and get them to remain silent about an alleged crime. Those things certainly suck a big one.

    • “Kind of puts Todd Barclay in the shade”.
      I’m pretty sure he put himself in the shade, having found the limelight too scorching for his liking. Probably shouldn’t have put the torch to that lime in the first place; it just burns on and on…

  11. Paula Bennett:

    Ms Bennett also spent time as a beneficiary in the 1990s, but says she never “deliberately” misled welfare officials.

    Compare that carefully-worded weaselry with Metiria Turei’s frank statement – illustrates the natures of their respective parties quite nicely.

  12. Tanz 14

    Who broke the story is not the point, though. Someone training to be a lawyer
    deliberately misled the taxpayer, and then years later as an MP, she seems almost proud of it. Bill English did not do anything illegal, he was within the law when he supposedly claimed extra expenses on one home. If this had been a National MP admitting to welfare fraud, I could just imagine the hue and cry on this blog…but I guess it’s different when its the left, they get applauded. Go figure.

    • McFlock 14.1

      he was within the law when he supposedly claimed extra expenses on one home

      You mean when he claimed in writing that his regular residence was somewhere other than where he and his family had been regularly sleeping, and working or going to school for the previous decade?

      I believe the phrase is “pretty legal” /sarc

      • Red 14.1.1

        Yep Been proud of ripping working nz off, it’s all a big giggle, she has been living and benefitting off the public tit for years, re student loans , allowance, dpb, MPs salary, hey but FU, not thank you to working NZ, the sense of entitlement is strong in Meteria here is where it will back fire in public perception of her on top of her very expensive jackets

        • McFlock 14.1.1.1

          Don’t confuse the underlying issue with the jubilant attitude of a party leader announcing an excellent policy to a resurgent party.

          It’s not actually a giggle.

          People are dying because the “safety net” is a fucking farce. Income support means you shouldn’t have to fiddle the books to live.

          • Red 14.1.1.1.1

            Weak weak weak

            So any one can make a subjective call wether they can defraud Winz, yep that will work, who decides when winz payments are enough

            • McFlock 14.1.1.1.1.1

              Yeah, you might have a point if people weren’t dying.

              Any actual safety net that failed to save the lives of so many people would be discontinued in favour of something that actually protected people.

              And the distributors could be charged with manslaughter.

        • In Vino 14.1.1.2

          Tanz and Red: to put it in ‘Les Misérables’ terms:

          Metiria is the wicked past crim Jean Valjean, who, having come into some money and power, is determined to do as much as possible to make a better society for others.
          You two are Inspecteur Javert, the cruel and vindictive pillar of society, determined to hunt Valjean down and put him back in prison.
          When forced to confront the fact that his view of the world is wrong, Javert jumps into the river. I suggest you two wafflers do likewise.

          • Red 14.1.1.2.1

            No Metriia is a fraudster with huge sense of entitlement, drawing parallels with a silly French novel does not change that fact beyond you are clutching at straws

            • Ed 14.1.1.2.1.1

              Victor Hugo’s ‘Les Miserables”..a silly novel.
              That says a lot.

              • Red

                Yes, Vino dropping Les Mis in was he or her just having an intellectual wank. I guess you joining in Paul confers it as a group exercise 😀

                • Ed

                  It infers a level of education; sadly your rants do not.
                  By the way, where’s Sara ?
                  You and her write in a surprisingly similar fashion.

                  • Red

                    Who Paul ? You gotta do better than that, imitation is flattering but come on son lift your game

                    • Ed

                      It’s great to see the Greens looking after our most vulnerable.

                      Policies will:

                      Increase all core benefits by 20 percent
                      Increase the amount people can earn before their benefit is cut
                      Increase the value of Working For Families for all families
                      Create a Working For Families Children’s Credit of $72 a week
                      Remove financial penalties and excessive sanctions for people receiving benefits
                      Reduce the bottom tax rate from 10.5 percent to 9 percent on income under $14,000
                      Raise the top tax rate to 40 percent on income over $150,000 per year.

                      https://www.greens.org.nz/sites/default/files/Mending%20the%20Safety%20Net%20policy%20summary%20.pdf

                • In Vino

                  It was The Chairman who called me ‘Vino’ the other day. Revealing.
                  Otherwise, Red, if you want to argue compellingly, try to keep track of your sentences. And your lack of vision reflects that of Hugo’s ‘Javert’ character. You should be in the river by now.

            • mary_a 14.1.1.2.1.2

              @ Red (14.1.1.2.) … Ignorance much! A silly French novel indeed! Blasphemy!

              FYO Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables is a classic of its time and still being read and appreciated for its social commentary. I suggest you read it sometime yourself. You might have to put the comics down though to do so.

          • Ed 14.1.1.2.2

            Great analogy.

      • dukeofurl 14.1.2

        English was a scam artist, he juggled his family trust details to try and sneak it in, but the Auditor general ruled he was in breach anyway as he did have a pecuniary interest. Strike 1

        Not to be confused over his later claiming a MPs ‘housing allowance’ in spite of
        being resident in Wellington.- Strike 2

        Another scam for him to pretend he was a farmer from Southland, all along being a Wellington treasury bureaucrat before the election.- Strike 3

        Remember Heatley- he ‘exceeded his housing budget’ as well.

    • Bill English did not do anything illegal, he was within the law when he supposedly claimed extra expenses on one home.

      You mean when he lied about where he actually lived?

      • Red 14.2.1

        2 wrongs don’t make a right, double dipping bill faced the music then Meteria turn now Draco

        • Draco T Bastard 14.2.1.1

          I didn’t imply it did but according to Tanz lying about where you live to Parliamentary Services to get an allowance you’re not entitled to is fine and legal.

          • Red 14.2.1.1.1

            Fair enough, but bill had his time Meteria turn now in the potential legal court and court of public opinion

            • Ed 14.2.1.1.1.1

              You are a very judgmental person you appear to be.

              Does this ring bells for you?

              “When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”

              Did you hear Turei’s speech in full?

              • Red

                Throwing bible Verses won’t work paul, funny how hard core leftist that are normally atheist are happy to use bible when it suits Meteria aint joe public, she is a non elected member of parliament and her actions of openly admitting a fraud no matter how admirable you find it or you buying her framing of mitigating circumstances this should not mean her actions should not be scrutinised

          • indiana 14.2.1.1.2

            …lest we forget the Greens who claimed parliamentary expenses when renting MP Offices back to themselves. But I personally think us commentators are all trying to outscore one another…

            https://www.stuff.co.nz/2930355/Green-but-not-naive

  13. Comment from Stuff story: https://i.stuff.co.nz/national/94756508/heat-on-missinginaction-national-mp-todd-barclay-to-quit-and-front-up-to-police-inquiry

    “Turei fronted up knowing that someone out there knows of this so she took the risk and cleared the air. Better than having it bite you later. Risky, yes. Liable to inflame the right. Obviously. At least she was honest which is more than can be said for this Government’s and our current Prime Minister’s handling of the Barclay debacle. It may surprise the right that many NZers in the past twenty years or so have done things we are not proud of in order to survive. I too am guilty. That is real life. We want politicians who have lived real lives, not privileged catholic farm boys or a Cabinet full of millionaires pandering to people who have lived comfortable lives with a multitude of good choices to make. Have your rants. Call for heads to roll. Do whatever you like. Government that panders to the well off only is not needed now. Time for a change and if Turei is part of that change then that’s just fine with me.”

    • Carolyn_nth 15.1

      Tweet from Matt Nippert (of NZ Herald)

      As a professional fraud-hunter, benefit fraud’s at bottom-end of the scale. Inevitably offenders are, according to my license, undersized.

      And this just tweeted by Nippert:

      I’ve chased a number of proper fraud cases whose individual quantum easily exceeds the annual total of benefit fraud for the entire country.

    • Ian 15.2

      So you don’t like Catholics ,millionares and farmboys. You like honest fraudsters who lead real lives. I really feel for my dairy farming colleagues in Southland that live real lives and have to deal with regional authorities governed from fairyland.

      • Robert Guyton 15.2.1

        Beautiful, Ian: “regional authorities governed from fairyland”.
        That would make us fairies, right?
        Eric Roy’ll be right royally proud!

        • Ian 15.2.1.1

          If the cap fits I suppose he will wear it . There is something in the water when you get south of the Waitaki.

          • In Vino 15.2.1.1.1

            Yeah – bloody excessive nutrients from intensive dairying.

            • Robert Guyton 15.2.1.1.1.1

              Ha! Ian just opened himself up to a thudding haymaker from In Vino.
              I winced when it landed and almost felt sympathy, but had just read Ian’s shitty, “wobble off” comment, so cheered instead.

      • Kevin 15.2.2

        I grew up in Southland Ian, where you could swim or fish anywhere in those fabulous 5 rivers (except below Mataura because of the Paper Mill and Freezing Works outfall).

        Now?

        I wouldn’t swim or fish anywhere in those rivers thanks to dairy.

  14. Nic the NZer 16

    Surprising that Bennett would take that position actually. Even if she was found out later typically National party politicians seem to be immune to coming off as hypocrites from what i have observed.

  15. mosa 17

    I have the nagging feeling that Bennett lied this morning on RNZ when asked if she ever falsely claimed entitlements or was not honest with Social Welfare about her circumstances…..the sugary sweet routine just does not ring true.

    • Chris 17.1

      And I am sure there is zero bias in your thinking

      • McFlock 17.1.1

        Well, the “intentionally” certainly suggests that at least she’s not sure whether she did or not…

  16. Chris 18

    I’d have more respect for Metiria if she said she is going to pay it back, without the need to be pushed.

    She is on about 250k, so it isn’t like she can’t afford it.

    Having said that, I have little doubt the whole “confession” is just your usual political stunt to try to take some media off Peters, and appeal to the beneficiary voters.

    It would hardly be a first,as a tactic for any of the partys

    • weka 18.1

      She’s already said she’ll pay it back.

      • Ian 18.1.1

        Only because she has been found out.

        • McFlock 18.1.1.1

          …because she intentionally told everybody.

          • Tautoko Mangō Mata 18.1.1.1.1

            2015-16. Benefit fraud $24 million desperate need
            Tax fraud $1.2 billion = $1200 million greed

            Get some perspective, Ian, and put your energy into chasing the real ripoff merchants.

            • Ian 18.1.1.1.1.1

              I agree that tax fraud is a lot bigger problem . In business I face it every day. I get asked for cash often and say no way every time. Stealing is stealing. The amount stolen is irrelevant for someone who wants the trust to govern our country. Turei is a disgrace and needs to wobble off back to her castle.

              • Tautoko Mangō Mata

                Any money that Metiria “stole” has been used to turn her life around, and become a good citizen. In other words I see it as a good investment, considering her early life. She has broken the cycle of disfunction and provided a stable life for her child. What is more, Metiria has the aim to provide a better system to enable others to achieve a positive outcome.
                She retains my trust.

                • Ian

                  I am sad that your values are what you say they are. The money was not hers to invest . She stole it off someone that was just as needy or even more needy.
                  you are an accomplice to her crime and show no leadership to young people . Based on your attitude it is OK to steal from others if it improves your lifestyle.
                  That is criminal.

                  • Tautoko Mangō Mata

                    Shame on me!!!!!

                    • Anne

                      Shame on you indeed! I mean Ian is a maan of undoubted integrity. I mean his well informed and inspiring logic are like shining pearls among a sea of Didymo. That I could have his gift of insightful prose but we can’t all be geniuses. 😈

                  • Based on your attitude it is OK to steal from others if it improves your lifestyle.

                    Yours too. Try reading a bit of Marxist theory on where profit comes from.

                    • Ian

                      I paid $194,375 in tax last month. I don’t need any theory crap to know where profit comes from.

                  • greywarshark

                    Ian
                    Have you not heard of social investment – it’s a new term for the Nationals that they are tossing around?

                    However the idea of investing in ‘our’ youth was around much earlier. The idea of ‘our country’ as being something that all belonged to and added to so that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts (Aristotle) was the sort of NZ that I grew up in and loved.

                    Business is not all that a real country is about, it is care for our people and their creativity and input, busy, interested people doing whatever they are good at which is good for the country. Out of that business grows and flourishes. That is what investing in people is about – education, in skills for young people whether single parents or not is all about in a real country.

                • McFlock

                  Which should actually be the purpose of all benefits: support to adjust to society, not subsistence punishment into wage-slavery.

                  Current levels are inadequate for that. Some people have to turn to crime to exist, let alone to make a successful go of it.

          • BM 18.1.1.1.2

            I heard Peters was going to out her.

            • Robert Guyton 18.1.1.1.2.1

              If so, she out-played him. My guess is, what you heard was rubbish.

            • McFlock 18.1.1.1.2.2

              heh I’m sure that’s what he’s telling folks

              edit: actually, if he did have the information and was going to out her, how did she know? Did he try a wee bit of blackmail?

              In which case he’s going nat. No leverage over the greens, and likely bad blood.

        • Ed 18.1.1.2

          Are you Red?

          [I gave a warning about this this morning. People have a right to not have their pseudonyms challenged. It’s also getting tedious. If you think there are sock puppets on site, email Lynn. I also suggest you start looking at moderation warnings. I’m over the line now where I feel like my moderator time is being wasted. Take a week off – weka]

          [lprent: Few people who know the site are willing to do sock-puppet – it tends to annoy the experienced moderators (and me) a lot. Conversely people trying to do our job for us really piss me off and you will notice that long term commenters avoid doing more than hinting where we could possibly look. Mrs Grundy rule makers are usually gormless idiots whose ego and ignorance vastly exceeds their experience of running online forums. Plus they shave seldom bothered to either think or read our policy. Don’t do it again.

          And no. Ian isn’t red. Something that is obvious to anyone who has looked at his comments for a while. ]

      • Chris 18.1.2

        She said If asked to by WINZ

  17. Foreign waka 19

    There is courage and there is stupidity. My pick is the latter.

  18. newsense 20

    Also interesting with the Herald’s update we’ve lost access to a lot of back pages such as:

    Beneficiaries ‘attacked on all sides’ – Social Welfare – NZ Herald News
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/social-welfare/news/article.cfm?c_id=322&objectid...
    Feb 6, 2013 – Beneficiaries have overtaken Asians as the group New Zealanders consider to be the most discriminated against. – New Zealand Herald.

    https://www.facebook.com/nzherald.co.nz/photos/a.176893216301.135996.34497296301/10151821654066302/
    Drug testing of beneficiaries is turning up an extremely low number of results showing drug use – and a lot of missing information about the controversial policy.

    Of the 8,001 beneficiaries sent for jobs requiring drug testing, only 22 tested positive to drug use or refused to take tests.

    Social Development Minister Paula Bennett says the policy is driving beneficiaries away from using drugs.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11184479 Photo / NZ Herald

  19. RRM 21

    Genie’s out of the bottle I’m afraid!

    We political junkies are an electorate too small to matter.

    But Toad of Toad Hall’s benefit fraud appears to have got normal non-political-junkies talking, in a most unsympathetic way.

    Probably not the ideal launch for this platform of “you have the right to bludge freely for life with no obligations!”

    • Carolyn_nth 21.1

      Great to see people not usually into politics, are discussing politics.

      “First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, and then you win.”

      And I’ve heard some beneficiaries saying that, FINALLY someone is standing up and telling the struggles they’ve dealt with as they are.

      Depends who you listen to.

      People already on the right, even though not political junkies, are not the voters the GP are wanting to engage. They are already mostly a lost cause.

      • marty mars 21.1.1

        when lowlife like vrrm pop out from under their rock we know that the plan is working. I wasn’t convinced initially but it does seem to be working – I hope it is successful.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 21.2

      I don’t think people who are duped by right wing hate speech were going to vote Green anyway.

  20. WHAPPO!

    “Though most Kiwis remain oblivious to what is happening behind the security-guarded doors of their welfare system, there are tens-of-thousands of families with direct personal experience of what it’s like to be a beneficiary – or the loved one/s of a beneficiary. To these folk, Metiria’s pledge that: “We will not be a government that uses poverty as a weapon against its own people”, is nothing less than a call to arms. Requiring the MSD to stop treating its “clients” as second-class citizens: making a bonfire of work tests, drug tests, bedmate tests, and all the other oppressive means of “sanctioning” beneficiaries; will have the same electrifying effect as the cry which swept through Paris on 14 July 1789 – “To the Bastille!””

    Bowalley Road

  21. …furthermore…
    “The question is: do the Greens possess the electoral infrastructure to spread the good news to the tens-of-thousands of disillusioned voters who stand to gain from their policies. These marginalised citizens (minimum wage workers as well as beneficiaries) now have a very good reason to enrol and vote. The Greens boast that, this election, they have more campaigning resources than ever before. Here is their chance to prove it.

    One reason to be hopeful that beneficiaries will hear about the Greens’ revolutionary welfare policies is Metiria’s extraordinarily courageous decision to admit that when, as a solo mum, she was faced with the choice of lying to the welfare authorities, or letting her child go hungry, she lied. Except that the story does not end there. Like Jean Valjean, the hero of Victor Hugo’s novel, Les Miserables, Metiria made sure that the many opportunities which flowed from her transgression were turned towards making her society a better place.”

  22. Tanz 24

    Reading letters to the editor in the Herald today, joe public is not happy. This may have cost the Greens the election., along with the own-goals aimed at NZ First.

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