Raging at Metiria is not about the fraud – it’s that she sided with the lepers

Written By: - Date published: 7:01 am, July 27th, 2017 - 324 comments
Categories: activism, benefits, class war, election 2017, greens, Maori Issues, Metiria Turei, racism, welfare - Tags: , , ,

Cross-posted from Graham Cameron at First We Take Manhattan.

____________________________________________________________________________

In case you missed it, at the Greens annual conference in mid-July, Metiria fronted the launch of an impressive welfare policy, Mending the Safety Net. During that launch, she used an anecdote from 25 years ago to personalise the policy; when she was solo mum she didn’t tell Work and Income that she had flatmates so that she could retain the accommodation supplement.

It was a calculated risk, a chance to capture the news cycle, and if the last two weeks are anything to go by, it paid dividends. Every day there has been hand wringing and righteous anger from National and their proxies, sympathy from the Greens’ friends and the hashtags #IamMetiria and latterly #LeftwithEnough were an offensive defense of Metiria that dominated social media.

The attacks have been inevitably led by white and wealthy men who have stated that it is the crime of benefit fraud and should be prosecuted forthwith. It’s been a pile-on really: Barry Soper‘s written a self-congratulatory series of masturbatory metaphors; Martin Van Beynen claimed to not want to judge but then did; John Armstrong writes like he is the id of the Baby Boomers generation. The coverage has been overwhelmingly critical, not because of the crime, but because Metiria’s attitude is an attack on the comfortable narrative of the past quarter of a century.

The ideological narrative that was deliberately manufactured, particularly in the nineties, was that people who required a benefit of any description from the welfare state were flawed people. They had failed. They had not seized the readily apparent opportunities to make a positive economic contribution to our society and were therefore enemies to growth and productivity, and as such, enemies of ‘good’ New Zealanders. Beneficiaries are our modern day lepers: unclean, dangerous and infectious.

Whilst manufactured initially by a the second term Labour government and then Bolger’s National government, the narrative was quickly adopted by New Zealanders because it fits comfortably with our racist and sexist narratives: many beneficiaries were Māori, a violent and failed race who had consistently threatened New Zealand society; some beneficiaries were Pacific peoples, outsiders who stood at the barricades of white New Zealand trying to seize our riches and opportunities; many beneficiaries were single women, the promiscuous detritus of feminism that was a threat to the proper New Zealand family. If you need any further convincing, it’s telling how superannuation is not treated as a benefit in this regards, as the predominantly Pākehā elderly population don’t fit into the former narratives.

These narratives allowed governments to transform the welfare state. I know a few old social workers from the sixties and seventies. They are very clear that they understood their role was to provide an average standard of living so that families and people on a benefit had enough left over to engage in their local community and society. By the nineties and through to today, the welfare system became a system of punishment. We have condoned reforms that punish beneficiaries by decreasing benefit levels in real terms, reducing their potential for autonomy in spending decisions, and increasing funding to surveil and prosecute people on a benefit for infractions.

Just as lepers were a threat, now people who are on the benefit are a threat. Just as lepers must be excluded and controlled, so too we must control and exclude people on a benefit.

Metiria has unmasked this narrative. She has provided an alternative narrative: the lepers are the same as us. People on a benefit are caring and loving parents, children and grandparents who are oppressed by a system that is so punitive that survival often requires them to act in a dishonest manner; and the agencies of that system are unable to meet the real needs of those people because they are purposely designed to act as a barrier to support.

The reaction has not been because this is the first time that somehow has pointed to these alternative narratives. No, it has been because Metiria Turei, as co-leader of the Greens, has a real chance of being in a Labour/Greens Executive at the conclusion of the next election, and has expressed a desire to be the Minister for Social Development. In other words, she has the potential to have the tools to transform the status quo. So, as they have always done when faced with change, the defenders of the status quo are rallying to the cause with hate vitriol.

Meanwhile, Metiria is asking us to care again for each other. To have compassion for our neighbour and our whānau. To see ourselves in the other. To embrace the leper. Stacey Kirk described it succinctly:

“She’s effectively drawing an ideological line in the sand and asking New Zealanders: “Which side are you on?””

Each of us needs to ask ourselves that question in the coming election and vote accordingly. If you are going to vote for the status quo, for individualism, for gated communities of the like minded, for the current power arrangements, for the current economic system, for you retaining much whilst many have little, I have a warning for you. If we will not change to a path of generosity, then look to the recent Bastille Day celebrations and remember: a day of reckoning is coming, when all of your walls will fall and the many will take what the few have greedily hoarded.

[The image is an icon The Healing of the Ten Lepers]

324 comments on “Raging at Metiria is not about the fraud – it’s that she sided with the lepers”

  1. Tony Veitch (not etc) 1

    By an accident of birth, I am white. By a further aligning of the genetic miasma, I am male. By the grace of the society at my time of life, I received a good and free education, including university.

    Am I entitled by these accident not of my own making to cast stones at people less fortunate?

    Like hell I am! And I won’t! And nor should any compassionate New Zealander!

    • Cinny 1.1

      +1 from this white girl nicely put Tony
      Just missed out on free tertiary education, but not pissed off with people for having what I didn’t, pissed off with the system for not allowing people equal opportunities.

      Would be interesting to see the stat’s on rising poverty v’s lack of free tertiary education.

      • Nic the NZer 1.1.1

        We know the causes of widening inequality and poverty. They are changes in tax rates allowing large fortunes to accrue and the intentional maintenance of persistent high levels of unemloyment in the economy.

        The later change in economic practice in the 70s is discussed here.
        http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=36530
        This indicates people wind up unemployed because they are the least employable. Better education can change who is least employable but not reduce their number.

        • Norfolk Traveller 1.1.1.1

          “We know the causes of widening inequality and poverty”
          That would be difficult when the evidence shows neither are widening.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1.1.1.1

            Delusional idiot doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Offers zero intelligent comment. Denies reality.

            • Norfolk Traveller 1.1.1.1.1.1

              Your reference refers to the mid 80’s and 90’s.
              The 2016 MSD Household Incomes Report shows you to be totally out of touch.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                GINI in the 80’s: less than 2.5
                GINI today: more than 3.

                QED.

                • Norfolk Traveller

                  [deleted]

                  [stop cut and pasting without links. See my moderation note in your comment that got moved to OM. I suggest you start paying attention to what is going on in conversations. Putting you in moderation until I see you get what needs to happen here – weka]

                  • Norfolk Traveller

                    I provided the source…the link is a downloaded word document (which I named) available here https://www.msd.govt.nz/about-msd-and-our-work/publications-resources/monitoring/household-incomes/

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Are you trying to look a bit daft or something?

                      The Ministry of Social Development’s report on “Household Incomes in New Zealand: trends and indicators of inequality and hardship 1982 to 2016” found income inequality before housing costs has been broadly unchanged for the last 20 years, having worsened substantially between the mid 1980s and the early 1990s.
                      However, it found that inequality after housing costs was significantly worse than before housing costs, and has risen over the last five years versus the early 2000s.

                      Newsroom: Bernard Hickey on the Perry report.

                      Perhaps you were hoping no-one would check.

                      Now you know the facts, you’ll be able to keep reminding yourself of them. Everyone else is already up to speed.

                    • Norfolk Traveller

                      “Are you trying to look a bit daft or something?”
                      No, I’m happy making you look daft. YOU cited the GINI. I stuffed it back in your face. Now your ranting about something entirely different.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      The GINI is a measure of inequality which has risen significantly since the eighties. It isn’t the only measure of inequality, which the Perry report also discusses.

                      Entirely different, sure. Pfft.

                    • Norfolk Traveller

                      “The GINI is a measure of inequality…”
                      …you used to make a point and failed. Miserably.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Explain how my point failed please.

                      First, demonstrate that you can articulate or paraphrase my point.

                      Then, wait for my contemptuous and half-interested response.

                      Next, demonstrate that you can articulate or paraphrase the argument I’m using to support my point.

                      Then we can discuss it.

                    • Norfolk Traveller

                      “Explain how my point failed please.”
                      Easy. You used an measure I showed to be inadequate. As it was moved to OM, I will repost (with source):
                      There is no evidence of any sustained rising or falling trend in BHC household income
                      inequality over the last two decades using the Gini and top 1% share measures
                      o The share of income received by the top 1% of tax-payers has been steady in the 8-9%
                      range since the early 1990s, up from 5% in the late 1980s.
                      o The Gini measure of inequality is a popular one but, because it uses information on all
                      household incomes, it is susceptible to showing large fluctuations because of sampling
                      issues for very high income households:
                      – the 2015 HES (like the 2011 HES) had an unusually high number of very high income
                      households, which led to an usually high Gini number
                      – in the 2016 HES the number of very high income households was a little closer to
                      normal and the Gini number dropped accordingly, back towards the trend line
                      – for the lower 99% there is no evidence of any sustained rising or falling trend in the last
                      20 years, using the Gini.
                      o Apart from a blip in 2011, the 90:10 ratio was fairly flat from 2004 to 2016. Like the top 1%
                      measure, the 90:10 showed a large rise from the late 1980s to the early 1990s – there was a
                      slight rise in the 90:10 ratio from the mid 1990s to the mid 2000s, but much less than the
                      earlier large rise.
                      https://www.msd.govt.nz/documents/about-msd-and-our-work/publications-resources/monitoring/household-income-report/2017/c6-headline-findings-final-21-july-2017.pdf

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      So you can neither articulate or paraphrase my point. Here it is again. Have another try.

                      “GINI in the 80’s: less than 2.5
                      GINI today: more than 3.

                      QED.”

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Oh, and by the way, the very next line from your cherry-picked cut-and-paste says:

                      Incomes after deducting housing costs (AHC incomes) are more unequal than BHC incomes,
                      as housing costs make up a higher proportion of the household budget for lower income

                      Which was already covered (see link above).

                      inequality after housing costs was significantly worse than before housing costs, and has risen over the last five years versus the early 2000s

                      QED.

                    • Norfolk Traveller

                      “GINI in the 80’s: less than 2.5 GINI today: more than 3. QED.”

                      “The Gini measure of inequality is a popular one but, because it uses information on all household incomes, it is susceptible to showing large fluctuations because of sampling issues for very high income households: – the 2015 HES (like the 2011 HES) had an unusually high number of very high income households, which led to an usually high Gini number – in the 2016 HES the number of very high income households was a little closer to normal and the Gini number dropped accordingly, back towards the trend line – for the lower 99% there is no evidence of any sustained rising or falling trend in the last 20 years, using the Gini”
                      https://www.msd.govt.nz/documents/about-msd-and-our-work/publications-resources/monitoring/household-income-report/2017/c6-headline-findings-final-21-july-2017.pdf

                      To spell it out, the GINI is a statistically weak measurement.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      As previously noted, your MSD source also says

                      …inequality after housing costs was significantly worse than before housing costs, and has risen over the last five years versus the early 2000s.

                      So both the GINI and the MSD agree with Nic the NZer.

                      You can whinge and wail about the inevitable imperfections (cf: George Box) of the statistical model all you like, but since your own source undermines your argument (“the evidence shows neither are widening”) as above, your bleating isn’t very persuasive.

                    • Norfolk Traveller

                      “As previously noted, your MSD source also says…”
                      “AHC income inequality was also a little higher from 2011 to 2016 compared with the mid 2000s and earlier.”
                      https://www.msd.govt.nz/documents/about-msd-and-our-work/publications-resources/monitoring/household-income-report/2017/c6-headline-findings-final-21-july-2017.pdf

                      A “little higher”.
                      There, fixed it for you.

                      (PS, next time quote you’re actual source).

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      🙄

                      As previously noted, straight after that it says:

                      …inequality after housing costs was significantly worse than before housing costs, and has risen over the last five years versus the early 2000s

                      I didn’t think I needed to link since you already had. It was embarrassing enough that your own source contradicted you without rubbing your face in it, enjoyable as that is.

                      Funnier still, McFlock and Carolyn_nth had already made the same point, and you still thought you could get away with misrepresenting your source.

                      Consider applying for a disability allowance. Libertarianism should qualify you automatically.

                    • Norfolk Traveller

                      “As previously noted, straight after that it says…”
                      The reference I quoted is at the end of a section, at the top of page 3 of the reference document from MY source. That does not contradict me, it supports me.
                      Now where is the wording you are quoting? Because “straight after” (YOUR words) my reference is the following:
                      “Housing affordability issues remain for the lower two income quintiles (ie when looking at
                      rent, mortgage payments and rates … relative to income)
                      o The reports do not look at affordability for purchasing homes, just how affordable the
                      accommodation is once in the accommodation.
                      o From HES 2011 to 2016, around 42% in the bottom income quintile had housing outgoings of
                      more than 30% of income, 32% spent more than 40% of their income, and 25% more than
                      half their income on housing costs.
                      o For under 65s, over the whole bottom quintile, housing costs account on average for just over
                      half of household income (51%), up from 29% in the late 1980s.
                      o These figures are all high historically, but the rates have plateaued for the bottom quintile.
                      o There are regional variations, as indicated by analysis of rental information, for example …
                      but reliable HES-based regional analysis is not feasible because of sample size.”

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Oops wrong quote: that’s Bernard Hickey’s summary at Newsroom.

                      Directly after the passage you’ve been cherry-picking, (ie: end of page 2, beginning of page 3) the MSD say:

                      Incomes after deducting housing costs (AHC incomes) are more unequal than BHC incomes, as housing costs make up a higher proportion of the household budget for lower income households…

                      Hickey’s summary is an accurate representation.

                      Nic the NZer’s original point stands. Yes, yes I know you don’t think so, and you can spare me your predictable tiresome denial.

                    • Norfolk Traveller

                      “Oops wrong quote: that’s Bernard Hickey’s summary at Newsroom.”
                      Right, so you lied and then slagged off people with disabilities to have a crack at me for catching you out.

                    • Norfolk Traveller

                      …and you still haven’t admitted you screwed up on the GINI comparisons. You really are having a bad day.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      🙄

                      Keep telling yourself that.

            • Norfolk Traveller 1.1.1.1.2.1

              We don’t. The Yale survey is not accurate, because of the measurement methodology. If you actually read the report you would have seen the disclaimer.

              • Stuart Munro

                Laughable nonsense – the OECD is just a little bit more reliable than you, you pitiful munter.

                [everyone, please dial back the personal abuse. Someone has kindly allowed their work to be reposted here, I’d like them to feel that was a good idea – weka]

              • The measurement is accurate.

                It’s you’re beliefs that are a denial of reality.

              • Stuart Munro

                Yes we do – however much you twist and squirm the OECD numbers are absolutely credible – as confirmed by our own census data.

                • Norfolk Traveller

                  Read Chris’s post below. It includes a quote from Katipo’s own link.

            • Chris 1.1.1.1.2.2

              The Measurements are flawed, but we are still pretty high comparatively, I would think.

              eg Most countries don’t count people in their early 20s still living with their parents homeless, or elderly who have moved in with their kids, like they do here (which is frankly laughable)

              And anyone who thinks we have more homeless than some countries in Europe have after the 10 odd million of syrian refugees that have been displaced, might want to take a reality pill

              Turkey alone has had an influx of 5 million

              And that isn’t counting what these countries already have

              Britain has their refugee tunnel where they don’t even bother counting them anymore

              The disclaimer statement from your own link

              “Homelessness is more visible and varying definitions prevent global comparisons; experts debate if the problem is even solvable”

              • adam

                So nothing to see here, move along approach by you chris.

                You obviously oblivious to church yards and church grounds across Auckland. These are now covered with the homeless. That said I’d expect the amoral to deny by any means possible that there is a problem. Or to attack the messenger.

                It’s just another step in the rejection of Christian, and/or any values – which don’t worship cupidity.

                • Chris

                  I’m just saying the report itself says it is flawed and pointed out obvious reasons. Reasons that kind of make the conclusion we have the most homeless in the OECD a bit stupid.

                  With regard to your accusing me of saying “nothing to see here”.

                  Could you please point out where I said our homeless issues aren’t a major problem?

                  Obviously what we do have needs to be resolved and people helped.

                  • I’m just saying the report itself says it is flawed and pointed out obvious reasons.

                    No they didn’t.

                    They pointed out how it was difficult to compare across nations because of differing measures and standards and then used a methodology to generate a comparison that is generally accurate.

                    • Chris

                      If it was “generally accurate”, they wouldn’t spend most of the page explaining and repeating why it can be so vastly in-accurate.

                    • It makes it difficult to do comparisons – it doesn’t make it impossible.

                      And here’s the major point – comparing developed countries is easier because the data is more readily available and usually more accurate.

                      This is something you RWNJs don’t understand because, as reality always does, it proves your beliefs wrong.

                    • Chris

                      Sorry. Can’t reply to your other post

                      What beliefs?

                      I haven’t said any

                      And “comparing developed countries is easier because the data is more readily available ”

                      Doesn’t make the data any more comparable, if the methodology the countries use has wildly different definitions, it’s availability is irrelevent.

                      As well as the issues of stigma and embarrassment the site says destort it, which would be worst in developed countries.

                    • Norfolk Traveller

                      “If it was “generally accurate”, they wouldn’t spend most of the page explaining and repeating why it can be so vastly in-accurate.”
                      Exactly.

                    • What beliefs?

                      Your beliefs that right-wing policies are good when all the evidence tells us the opposite.

                      Doesn’t make the data any more comparable, if the methodology the countries use has wildly different definitions, it’s availability is irrelevent.

                      Yes it does because it’s easy to define where the inconsistencies are and make adjustments.

                      As well as the issues of stigma and embarrassment the site says destort it, which would be worst in developed countries.

                      [citation needed]

                      In fact, isn’t that what you’re doing now? Claiming that it really isn’t that bad despite the facts showing that it really is that bad?

                    • Chris

                      In fact, isn’t that what you’re doing now? Claiming that it really isn’t that bad despite the facts showing that it really is that bad?”

                      All I have claimed is that the report uses flawed methodology

                      The report even says that it’s stats are wildly inaccurate

                      I haven’t said we have not got a major issue, so please stop putting words in my mouth.

                      Did you miss this in my original post?

                      but we are still pretty high comparatively, I would think.

                      Why do you insist on making it personal?

                      And now I am probably going to get some sort of warning because I bothered to answer your name calling.

                  • adam

                    Then offer solutions rather than attack the messenger with nothing to see here arguments.

                    • Chris

                      The only one that seems to be attacking the messenger is DTB

                      I’m criticising a study that uses the very same criticism on itself

                    • McFlock

                      I’m criticising a study that uses the very same criticism on itself

                      Apart from the fact that acknowledging shortcomings and difficulties is not the same as saying that it’s generally inaccurate.

                      I actually like a report with lots of disclaimers – it suggests that the authors are being rigorous, and we can examine those factors to see if they effect the specific point we’re looking at.

                      So the general jist for us of the Harvard thing is that “homelessness is comparatively bad in NZ”, and it makes a reasonable go at comparing apples with apples.

                      So maybe the ordering is off, or whatever – the fact remains that if we’ve enough homeless to be leading the developed world even by tabulatory accident, this country is going off the rails.

                    • adam

                      So again chris nothing but more attack the messenger stuff from you. It’s quite tiresome, and not a little sad. I invited you to offer up a solution, indeed any solutions, but you are just in attack politics mode.

          • Ed 1.1.1.1.3

            Two NZs: one is very rich, the other very poor

            A toxic mix of low wage growth and fast-rising rents

            https://www.newsroom.co.nz/2017/07/25/39964?slug=a-toxic-mix-of-low-wage-growth-and-fast-rising-rents

            • Norfolk Traveller 1.1.1.1.3.1

              And yet the MSD data shows:
              “Strong real income growth for most income groups from HES 2008-09 to HES 2015-16 …”
              “There is no evidence of any sustained rising or falling trend in BHC household income inequality over the last two decades using the Gini and top 1% share measures.”
              https://www.msd.govt.nz/documents/about-msd-and-our-work/publications-resources/monitoring/household-income-report/2017/c6-headline-findings-final-21-july-2017.pdf

              • Korero Pono

                Such rote learned rhetoric is tiresome and delusional, drawing on an ideologically biased and flawed analysis without any critical analysis is evidence that you are unable to see beyond the indoctrinated rhetoric that has become such a large part of your psyche. I am not sure that people such as yourself can learn how to critically analyse information, but based on the comments above, I suspect it is highly unlikely.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Oh, it (the MSD study) isn’t really a flawed analysis: Norfolk Traveller was just very careful to select only the parts of it that support their internal story.

                  A reading of the whole, as McFlock and Carolyn_nth have said, paints a very different picture.

                  • Norfolk Traveller

                    Rubbish. The report is absolutely clear. It rubbishes the false rhetoric you’ve been running, so you don’t like it. Own up.

                • Norfolk Traveller

                  So you don’t like the result, and therefore you accuse the MSD report of being “ideologically biased and flawed”? Yet you fail to support that assertion.

              • Carolyn_nth

                Crap – i had almost finished a comment, quoting from the linked report, then my keyboard flipped me away from this thread – lost the comment.

                Basically, you are quoting BHC – Before Housing Costs are deducted. The major divide/inequality shows AHC – After Housing Costs are deducted. The major divide these days are between home owners and renters – and that kind of inequality is much harder to reverse than income inequality.

                Furthermore, the report shows that incomes for all deciles went up between 2008-9 and 2015-6, by about 11-13% at the median, the minimum wage went up by about 7%, and beneficiaries incomes remained flat.

                So any people sitting comfortably on owning property, as well as a good income, and pontificating about the behaviour of renters on low incomes, including beneficiaries, need to get a clue!

                PS: To quote the placard beside the little home a guy has set up on the covered public walkway beside the St James Theatre in Auckland CBD, during recent weeks:

                The struggle is real.
                Don’t hate.
                Donate.

                • Norfolk Traveller

                  “Basically, you are quoting BHC – Before Housing Costs are deducted. The major divide/inequality shows AHC – After Housing Costs are deducted.”
                  Rubbish.
                  I quote “AHC income inequality was also a
                  little higher from 2011 to 2016 compared with the mid 2000s and earlier.”
                  Note – “a little”. https://www.msd.govt.nz/documents/about-msd-and-our-work/publications-resources/monitoring/household-income-report/2017/c6-headline-findings-final-21-july-2017.pdf

                  “the report shows that incomes for all deciles went up between 2008-9 and 2015-6, by about 11-13% at the median, the minimum wage went up by about 7%, and beneficiaries incomes remained flat.”
                  Quote:
                  ” Strong real income growth for most income groups from HES 2008-09 to HES 2015-16 …
                  o BHC median up 3% pa in real terms in the post GFC recovery phase (ie 3% pa above CPI).
                  o Net gains of around 11-13% in real terms from HES 2008-09 to 2015-16 for all income
                  groups from the top of the bottom decile (P10) up, 11% at the median.
                  o This is better than many OECD countries whose middle incomes have been relatively flat
                  since the GFC (eg Australia, UK, Spain, France, Italy, Germany, and the US)”
                  And then we had the first real increase in benefit rates in 40 years, and the families package in the 2017 budget. So an already favourable position gets better.

                  I hate to burst your bubble, but the left have been running a poverty rhetoric that is utterly devoid of reality, and the public is now seeing through it.

                • Norfolk Traveller

                  “Basically, you are quoting BHC – Before Housing Costs are deducted. The major divide/inequality shows AHC – After Housing Costs are deducted.”
                  Rubbish.
                  I quote “AHC income inequality was also a
                  little higher from 2011 to 2016 compared with the mid 2000s and earlier.”
                  Note – “a little”. https://www.msd.govt.nz/documents/about-msd-and-our-work/publications-resources/monitoring/household-income-report/2017/c6-headline-findings-final-21-july-2017.pdf

                  “the report shows that incomes for all deciles went up between 2008-9 and 2015-6, by about 11-13% at the median, the minimum wage went up by about 7%, and beneficiaries incomes remained flat.”
                  Quote:
                  ” Strong real income growth for most income groups from HES 2008-09 to HES 2015-16 …
                  o BHC median up 3% pa in real terms in the post GFC recovery phase (ie 3% pa above CPI).
                  o Net gains of around 11-13% in real terms from HES 2008-09 to 2015-16 for all income
                  groups from the top of the bottom decile (P10) up, 11% at the median.
                  o This is better than many OECD countries whose middle incomes have been relatively flat
                  since the GFC (eg Australia, UK, Spain, France, Italy, Germany, and the US)”
                  And then we had the first real increase in benefit rates in 40 years, and the families package in the 2017 budget. So an already favourable position gets better.

                  I hate to burst your bubble, but the left have been running a poverty rhetoric that is utterly devoid of reality, and the public is now seeing through it.

                  • Stuart Munro

                    Repeated rubbish is still rubbish NT – no amount of spurious logic redeems your lack of rigour in using data. You’re supposed to be critical of what you surmise, and look for multiple ways to check that you have real effects, not cherrypick.

                    A few simple things like foodbank expansion and suicide numbers are sufficient to show that your position is blatant misrepresentation.

                    • Norfolk Traveller

                      I’m posting data from an MSD report. If you think the data is wrong, prove it. Denying it is just delusional.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      You’re posting cherrypicked data instead of trying to build a comprehensive profile of the problem. I’m kind of curious to know how you managed to graduate.

                    • Norfolk Traveller

                      “You’re posting cherrypicked data …”
                      You’re just parroting talking points to use when proven wrong. There is no cherry picking. I am quoting directly from the MSD report.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      Selectively quoting – because no whole report is so unbalanced as to serve your false narrative.

    • Red 1.2

      Still does not mean you can commit fraud and be above the law That’s all MeTu has done and declared for political gain, every one knows life is not a bucket of roses on the bwnifit we don’t need MeTu to tell us, it’s not suppose to be, that’s what most people want it to be, not a long term life style choice Your white guilt privilege is a bit silly but for another day

      • marty mars 1.2.1

        oh der you are such a one note song – out of tune too – with the times, with the changes coming – just a wee boy or girl who is scared and doesn’t know what to do – here you go wee fella – vote left and you will feel better.

        • Tony Veitch (not etc) 1.2.1.1

          I feel no ‘white guilt.’ What I do have is the imagination to put myself in the place of Metiria and to conclude that I probably would have acted exactly as she did.

      • North 1.2.2

        You completely missed it, didn’t you Red ? And magnificently reinforced the message of the post. Well done !

        • Red 1.2.2.1

          Nup I get exactly what he was saying You in turn have missed my point that basically disagrees with his underlying premise , will dumb. It down for you next time, sorrry

      • Ed 1.2.3

        “Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well- warmed, and well-fed.”

        ― Herman Melville

    • mary_a 1.3

      Well said Tony (1). Wholeheartedly agree.

  2. To me this election is becoming more and more about a simple choice.

    Do you want a world that is more human? Yes then vote green, the party that has a human centric policy platform

    • garibaldi 2.1

      This is such a positive, invigorating article and flys in the face of the wall to wall msm bullshit about Metiria.
      The Establishment is panicking. Can we beat them?

    • Red 2.2

      Human centric platform policy whatever thst means, but one snall problem no economy to sustain the human centric platform

      [both Labour and the Greens have credible and professionally assessed economic policies and platforms. Stop trolling, and count this as a warning – weka]

      • You_Fool 2.2.1

        Human centric is focusing on the human interaction and humans needs, not on the needs of the economy (what ever that is).

        There is no economy without humans, so why do we focus on economic solutions? Why are we so obsessed with making the economy better if it means ruining human lives? or the environment?

        Surely if you want a strong secure economy you ensure that you have strong secure human society. If you want strong secure human society surely you ensure the environment is strong and secure?

        I recommend reading a book called “More Human” by Steve Hilton

        Steve Hilton was a policy advisor for David Cameron, and who has now moved to the US and had an epiphany when he realised that we were ruining the world for his kids when we focus on just the economy. He is still wedded to the idea that the market is a supreme being, but in the book he argues for a change of focus of the economy to deliver better outcomes for humans.

        • srylands 2.2.1.1

          Isn’t improving human lives why the Government has a Social Investment Agency?

          https://siu.govt.nz

          The overarching objective of all of the Government’s policies is about improving prosperity. Strong economies deliver that.

          There are some things that do need work. More efficient markets in housing is the pressing need. Also much better use of tradeable water rights to improve water quality.

          Hopefully over the next 6 years we can see progress on all these fronts.

          • Penny Bright 2.2.1.1.1

            Prosperity for WHOM?

          • Ed 2.2.1.1.2

            isn’t 9 years enough to tackle these issues?

            Guess who said this in 2007?

            “These are tough problems – very tough problems. But I have no intention of being a Prime Minister who tackles only the easy and convenient issues. I don’t pretend I’ve got all the solutions. But I can tell you that dealing with the problems of our growing underclass is a priority for National, both in opposition and in government.
            ………..[W]e are all in this together. We all stand to lose from the emergence of a growing underclass, and we all stand to gain by doing something about it.

            ……………Is it really beyond us as a country to ensure that every kid turns up to primary school with some food in their stomach? I don’t think so.”

      • National have an economic policy that’s destroying the economy hand over fist as they hand it all to the rich.

      • Red 2.2.3

        partially agree but simply saying we will raise tax to further redistribution only looks at upfront cost not necessarily the unintended consequences and indirect cost of such policy , that is my point, you could argue this both ways re left and right policy , example raising tax on tobacco all good and well until you hit a tipping point of unintended consequences as we see now, black market, price hitting the poor the hardest, increased crime etc

    • North 2.3

      True about the clarity of it all YF ! In fact I’m now propelled from ‘considering’ a party vote Green (in the first place because of Metiria) to a settled intention that way. Comment of the like from Red above and mortified pearl clutching by the parasitical and often hubristic rich, a la the loathsome Hosking, only strengthens my resolve. Gosh it feels good !

  3. roy cartland 3

    I have no problem at all supporting the poor through taxes. In fact, I wish they were high enough – for everyone – to eliminate poverty. The only reason there are poor people is because there are rich people.

    • indiana 3.1

      You do realise it is possible for a rich person to make a poor financial decision and become poor overnight don’t you?

    • Red 3.2

      Make every one poor that will work. Venezuela, North Korea, the old Soviet Union all good examples, every one poor but at least equal

  4. DH 4

    I’m left wondering how flexible our justice system is. They’ve been regularly charging and imprisoning people for this type of benefit ‘fraud’ and Metiria looks to have thrown down the metaphoric gauntlet to authorities.

    If they don’t charge her those already convicted for similar offences may have new grounds to appeal their convictions. Those yet to be charged will also have a new defence. If they do charge her it will be a bit of a cause celebre.

    Whatever the ramifications it’s a pretty courageous and selfless admittance from Metiria, she must have known the risks.

    • Reality 5.1

      Exactly. Where are those raging critics having apoplexy at Bill English’s lack of conscience in wanting this housing allowance and an extra cleaning allowance. Nowhere to be seen. Likewise the entitlement of Todd Barclay to keep his income as long as possible. It seems if you are higher up the ladder it is accepted and expected you get all the benefits possible. That shows how deserving and smart you are.

      The bullying male culture of Hosking and others is in full swing though towards someone they can pick on and someone who speaks for all those struggling.

      What obnoxious creatures they are – and as for Michelle Boag, what a nasty horrible woman she is.

      • OncewasTim 5.1.1

        “What obnoxious creatures……etc”
        They and their hypocrisy are bloody interesting to watch though.
        Amazing how they all emerge when something like the MT episode happens and one is (more than) familiar with some of their backgrounds.
        Bloody Soper FFS! BOAG ( what a vile specimen – reminds me of how history repeats….all those Karori pearl clutchers of old who used to rinse their hair with ‘a touch’ of blue and be seen at “National Orchestra” concerts because it was the place to be seen….and of blokes who consciously or unconsciously emulate their fathers whilst the “wimmin folk” worry about turning out like their mothers).
        Then there’s Hosking and others ffs!
        Funny lot the boomers and for many of them, the progression from peace love goodwiil to all mankind and sex drugs and roknroll to staid unimaginative bigoted socially conservative kaka.
        Do as I say, not as I do or have Dunne

        • Morrissey 5.1.1.1

          Nothing wrong with the “National Orchestra”, Tim. There was a time when the National Party, like the Labour Party, was full of cultured and sensitive people such as the late Alan Highet. They actually appreciated music and patronised classical concerts for the sake of the music.

          Michelle Boag, on the other hand, doesn’t seem to have any finer feelings whatsoever.

          • OncewasTim 5.1.1.1.1

            There was yes.
            I just wonder at times as to the likes of a Finlayson (for eg), and others so quick to put shit on MT given their past.
            Not that I’ve ever voted for them, but today’s Gnats are nothing like those of the past.

  5. Ad 6

    In Old Leftie thinking the proletariat would rise and form its own dictatorship.
    So Metiria, speaking for the oppressed, would be the towering voice at the vanguard of a rising phalanx of the poor, and sweep the Greens into coalition victory. Shaw is right that Metiria is the reason we are now talking poverty in an election.

    It’s generally expected that such an inspired uprising would be led against a totalitarian order that is selfish, immoral, irresponsible, cruel, and based on unconstitutional rule.

    What actually happens is different. As we have seen in the blogs and heard on the talkback shows for over a week, it is the proletariat that is the most repressive and conservative force in our society.

    It is repressive particularly about our social welfare because welfare is a class marker with really clear ratcheting points.

    Working For Families is for couples with children who work. They are in the broad public view the most deserving of the working strugglers, because they work. They have the superior implied claim to the great social bargain that if they work hard, the state in return will subsidise their labour and their children with direct money, education and health.

    But they need to keep their class distinction with the several layers below them in society. People who break that compact and crow about it like Metiria Turei get the full force of their wrath because that Working For Families class is consistently slipping backwards no matter how big the state subsidies are.

    The second tranche of Deserving are those now on NZSuper. They can roll out how they have successfully parented already, served this country for decades, and in essence deserve that public subsidy. They don’t want the lower social welfare strata broken because they are very vulnerable to being appointed guardians over children from failed families and in turn being pulled backwards.

    Our middle class have been largely liquidated. Our upper class don’t need to care. The greatest enforcers of welfare are the already-subsidised. The mid-proletariat have become our dominant class, and it is their oppression of the real poor that suppresses the revolutionary impulse Metiria is wishing for.

  6. Norfolk Traveller 7

    Did Lepers in Jesus time steal from taxpayers? Did they knowingly receive money from the government of the day they were not entitled to? Where Lepers seeking public office while knowingly committing fraud?
    Metitira did not side with Lepers. She stole money that should have been going to other people.

    • North 7.1

      Norfolk Traveller……like Red you seem to completely miss the point conveyed by the metaphor. Why would that be ? Because you’re stupid ? Frankly I doubt that. Which leaves only this – your advised response speaks much greater ill of you than it does of Metiria. Further, you piss into the wind claiming that Metiria deprived anyone of, or reduced, their entitlement. You’re being hysterical in that regard NT. Calm yourself with a cuppa and a morning read of the Bible……noting the metaphors therein citing moneylenders, camels, needles etc.

      • Norfolk Traveller 7.1.1

        No, I totally understand the metaphor. It is a disgraceful misrepresentation, using a people group who were ostracised for their conspicuous medical condition. Metiria is a selfish cheat, who put her political ambitions ahead of her child, and ahead of her fellow beneficiaries.

        • weka 7.1.1.1

          Medical beneficiaries in NZ routinely get ostracised. Turei and the Greens want to fix that.

          • Norfolk Traveller 7.1.1.1.1

            “Medical beneficiaries in NZ routinely get ostracised.”
            Do you have any evidence of this?

            • Kay 7.1.1.1.1.1

              I”m a medical beneficiary. Im’, ostracised by society at large for the simple reason I’m in receipt of a benefit, doesn’t matter WHY I need said benefit.

              It’s having to write “beneficiary” as your occupation on assorted forms that you just can’t lie on (Census, immigration, ACC).

              Having to work out a plausible answer for when you might casually be asked what you do for a job and you’re sure as hell not going to let them know what your source of income really is.

              If I lose my current flat I can forget competing in the private market. My ability to pay and glowing references will mean nothing when they find out I’m on a benefit. Surely you’ve heard via the media what awful tenants beneficiaries are??

              It’s being surrounded and not being able to escape the constant bashing. Maybe you think you’re just having a swipe at those drug addled lazy unemployed and reckless solo mums (not that you should be) but the vile nasty comments all over the media are a non-stop attack on my right to exist as a member of this society.

              Society currently ranks us maybe one step above incarcerated prisoners, if not on a par. If that’s not ostracised, what is?

              • adam

                Well said Kay. Most disabled in this country are feeling the bit of this brutal politics – perpetuated by the commitment to ideological purity from the right.

                A good example of that is Norfolk Traveller who is going to use his vote to punish people for stepping out of line, come election day.

            • weka 7.1.1.1.1.2

              Like Kay, I have my own direct experiences of this, including threats and damage to property. I’ve also listened to the stories of many ill and disabled people who have experienced lots of different kinds of prejudice and ostracisation.

              There is also the political messaging e.g. David Shearer’s Paint on the Roof speech.

              Lots of evidence.

              • Norfolk Traveller

                Hi Weka.
                That’s not evidence, and certainly not of ‘routine’ ostracisation. You are relating personal anecdotes. I have many examples of excellent treatment by WINZ (particularly around their treatment of elderly spouses of recently deceased), but I would not present it as evidence.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  In fact, every day, people go to prison on the say-so of witnesses; you don’t get to rule people’s experiences as ‘inadmissable’.

                  The times WINZ does its job competently do not excuse those occasions when it does its job poorly.

                  However, the worst behaviour by far is that exhibited by the National Party.

                  • Norfolk Traveller

                    And every day witness testimony is disregarded because it doesn’t match knowable facts.

                • Kay

                  NT,you’re never going to be satisfied with any of our responses are you? Do you need a peer reviewed article from a scientific journal proving said ostracising? Somehow I suspect that won’t even be enough because either you genuinely don’t believe it happens or you’re trying to stir things up.

                  Like it or not, the (very)few positive experiences encountered with winz are the extreme exception. Medical beneficiaries are treated on a par with all other working age beneficiaries, and as a general rule pensioners for the most still get treated as human beings by both winz and the rest of society.

                  • Norfolk Traveller

                    “Do you need a peer reviewed article from a scientific journal proving said ostracising? ”
                    No. But neither am I going to blindly accept one persons anecdote.

                • weka

                  If you take people’s personal experiences out of the picture, then there would be no way to gather evidence. Even the best researchers still need to have actual people to talk to.

                  Shearer’s Painter in the Roof story is online. That you wrote off the stories of actual beneficiaries as not important, but failed to address an MP’s actual speech suggests to me that you don’t care about evidence at all and instead are just here to support your own bigoted position in whatever way you can.

                  • Norfolk Traveller

                    Not so. I have a lot of time for David Shearer, but this was an excellent response to his piece http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/comment/editorials/7457141/Editorial-Shearer-missing-the-point.

                    If there is a systemic approach to alienate beneficiaries prove it, and I’ll join you in fighting it.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      😆

                      Proofs are hard to come by outside of Mathematics.

                      Define what would constitute ‘proof’ to your personal tiny little satisfaction.

                    • Norfolk Traveller

                      “Define what would constitute ‘proof’ to your personal tiny little satisfaction.”
                      Documentary evidence of a systemic attempt to alienate beneficiaries. A reputable study.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Define ‘reputable’. Give examples. Show how you will measure it.

                    • Norfolk Traveller

                      “Define ‘reputable’. ”
                      With independent recognition. You would need to show that there was a ‘routine’, widespread attitude that was systemic.

                    • weka

                      How would you study this now that personal experience has been ruled out?

                    • Norfolk Traveller

                      “How would you study this now that personal experience has been ruled out?”
                      I haven’t. I’ve ruled out unsubstantiated anecdotes.

                    • Ed

                      Seen this film?
                      I recommend it. It tends to build empathy in people.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      You would need to show that there was a ‘routine’, widespread attitude that was systemic.

                      Depressingly easy.

                      …the reforms [sic] breach the Bill of Rights Act on three grounds by discriminating on the basis of sex and family and marital status.

                    • Norfolk Traveller

                      “Depressingly easy.”
                      Third stuff up for you today. This discussion is about WINZ. Your reference isn’t. It refers to unintended legislative consequence, which was quickly remedied, btw.

                      “Mr Finlayson finds the discrimination cannot be justified under provisions of the Act which allow reasonable limits on particular rights or freedoms if they serve an important and significant objective’ and there is a rational and proportionate’ connection between the limitation and the objective.

                      “The stated objective of the [welfare] bill as a whole is to create a fairer benefit system with an unrelenting focus on beneficiaries entering or returning to employment.

                      “While this is an important and significant objective, the different treatment of people on the DPB-SP compared to women on the WB and DPB-WA does not serve this objective because it does not create a fairer benefit system or encourage beneficiaries to enter or return to employment.”

                      Your source.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      It’s about the work tests that WINZ administer and it isn’t about them?

                      Hmm sure. Keep on believing that.

                      Edit: you probably need more information before you can grasp this:

                      If your employer asks you to breach human rights, what do you do?

                    • Norfolk Traveller

                      “It’s about the work tests that WINZ administer and it isn’t about them?”
                      Before you waste any more of my time, read the thread. The conversation is about treatment by WINZ. WINZ staff administer the law. The law was at fault, but they were not to know that. Stop wasting my time.

                      Third time today!

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      The law was at fault, but they were not to know that.

                      Bollocks. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been asked to break the law a couple of times in my working life. On both occasions it (my flat refusal to comply) was a learning experience for my employer.

                      Beyond that, I have terminated contractual arrangements where a clients ethics were at sufficient variance to my own.

                      “I was just following orders, I didn’t know” isn’t a defence. Cf: A Report on the Banality of Evil or the Lerner experiment.

                    • Norfolk Traveller

                      “I don’t know about you, but I’ve been asked to break the law a couple of times in my working life. On both occasions it (my flat refusal to comply) was a learning experience for my employer.”
                      You have no evidence whatsoever WINZ staff knowingly broke the law. None.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Baby steps. The fact that the law breaches the Bill of Rights means they do so every day.

                      I don’t think you really got my point about the Banality of Evil or the Lerner experiment. If you want to be a better Libertarian I think you should probably acquaint yourself with them both. They go right to the guts of your dogma.

                    • McFlock

                      he’s already read up on the nuremberg defense

                    • Norfolk Traveller

                      “The fact that the law breaches the Bill of Rights means they do so every day.”
                      You’re backtracking faster than McFlock today. I’ll let it slide.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Except that I’m not backtracking.

                      First, demonstrate that you understand what I’m saying. Paraphrase my argument, so that I’m sure you understand it.

                      For clues, I suggest you read what I’ve actually written. Also, acquaint yourself with the fact that ignorance of the law isn’t a defence., and nor is following orders.

                      Plus, remember that you asked for evidence of “a systemic approach to alienate beneficiaries”. What could be better evidence than breaches of the BoRA enshrined in law. As a payer of lip service to liberty I’m not surprised you’re flailing around in denial.

                    • Norfolk Traveller

                      “Except that I’m not backtracking.”
                      Of course you are. You confused the subject completely.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      [citation needed]

                      PS: “systemic” ≠ “knowingly”, no matter how much you twist and turn and contradict your bad faith rhetoric.

                    • Norfolk Traveller

                      I said:
                      “The law was at fault, but they were not to know that.”

                      You said:
                      “Bollocks.”

                      I said:
                      “You have no evidence whatsoever WINZ staff knowingly broke the law. None.”

                      To which you replied:
                      “The fact that the law breaches the Bill of Rights means they do so every day.”

                      Perhaps you should stick to insulting people with disabilities.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Thanks for providing evidence that you attempted to shift the goalposts.

                      You asked for evidence of “systemic” discrimination at 4.14. Then, when it was provided, you suddenly, at 5.17, started pretending that the benchmark was “knowing” breaches of the law.

                      And it’s all laid out here for anyone to read. Keep twisting and turning and pretending and fuck off.

                      PS: “I’ll join you in fighting it”.

                      Turncoat piece of shit.

                    • Norfolk Traveller

                      “You asked for evidence of “systemic” discrimination at 4.14.”
                      Which you haven’t provided. If the discrimination was ‘systemic, the government would support the discrimination and further enshrine it in law. The government response in your own reference proves you wrong.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Quote the “government response” from the link I posted that “proves me wrong”, turncoat.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      “Enshrined in law”.

                      Section 121 of the Social Security Act, for example.

                      Bennett rejected Finlayson’s concerns.

                      Social Development Minister Paula Bennett admits that part of her welfare reforms breach the Bill of Rights Act but says it would not bother most people.

                      “I think that is a discrimination that most New Zealanders will see as being fair and reasonable.”

                      Except for the Attorney General and me, and one or two others like the Law Society.

                      Not you though, obviously, with your false pledges and denial.

                    • Norfolk Traveller

                      “Quote the “government response” from the link I posted that “proves me wrong””

                      Gladly:

                      “Mr Finlayson finds the discrimination cannot be justified under provisions of the Act which allow reasonable limits on particular rights or freedoms if they serve an important and significant objective’ and there is a rational and proportionate’ connection between the limitation and the objective.

                      “The stated objective of the [welfare] bill as a whole is to create a fairer benefit system with an unrelenting focus on beneficiaries entering or returning to employment.

                      “While this is an important and significant objective, the different treatment of people on the DPB-SP compared to women on the WB and DPB-WA does not serve this objective because it does not create a fairer benefit system or encourage beneficiaries to enter or return to employment.”

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      The discrimination was passed into law and therefore meets any reasonable definition of “systemic”.

                      Nothing you’ve cited refutes that.

                    • Norfolk Traveller

                      “The discrimination was passed into law …”
                      …and is being reviewed as a result of having been found. Hence the AG’s comments.

          • adam 7.1.1.1.2

            Disabled get shafted in this country, is the short answer.

            Those who are dealt a poor hand, get kicked to the curb. And many on the right of politics in this country then ignore it, or worse – reach for so called economic arguments to back up their hate and or lack of empathy.

        • blueyed1 7.1.1.2

          Norfolk I am guessing you have no idea what it’s like to be a solo mother, so until you do perhaps you should keep your opinions to your self.

          • Norfolk Traveller 7.1.1.2.1

            What nonsense. I have no idea what it is like to be a senior citizen. Should i not speak out on their behalf? Your argument is really quite puerile.

            • Robert Guyton 7.1.1.2.1.1

              Amusing. Norfolk Traveller believes he’s qualified to speak on behalf of senior citizens, though he’s not one, while also believing that Kay cannot represent medical beneficiaries, though she is one.
              Has there ever been a clearer example of logical disconnect than this?

              • McFlock

                bless his hateful little soul, lol

              • North

                “Has there ever been a clearer example of logical disconnect than this?”
                No. But let’s call it what it seminally is…….rightist social fanaticism in an order that would merit inclusion in a list.

            • Ed 7.1.1.2.1.2

              “Poverty does not belong in civilized human society. Its proper place is in a museum.”
              Muhammad Yunus

    • Lol you know your winning when the right wing nut jobs start talking about Jesus and lepers – fuck that was funny nt thanks.

    • joe90 7.3

      Did Lepers in Jesus time steal from taxpayers?

      lol, semi-literate cretin didn’t read the post

      • Norfolk Traveller 7.3.1

        The post deploys a metaphor using lepers, and included a pic of Jesus healing the Lepers (Luke 17). The only person Metiria has sided with is herself.

        • Robert Guyton 7.3.1.1

          “The only person Metiria has sided with is herself.”

          On her own in this, ya reckon, NT?

          How very wrong you are. There’s a groundswell of support for her. Metiria has volunteered as scapegoat. You’re firing your arrows, on cue, as you are bound to do, Norfolk Traveller. You relentlessly oppose the basic premise of those who are comfortable posting here and your attack on Metiria fits neatly within your prescription to unsettle and erode the confidence of readers here. Thus, your efforts are wasted on me and many others here who recognise you by the odour; rotten. I know, it’s harsh to say it out loud, but there you are.

          • Norfolk Traveller 7.3.1.1.1

            There is no groundswell. That is the echo chamber you inhabit.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 7.3.1.1.1.1

              Ah yes, the “Lefties aren’t real people’ argument. Someone remind me what percentage of the vote ACT get.

            • McFlock 7.3.1.1.1.2

              The echo you hear is actually the cavernous space inside your skull.

            • Robert Guyton 7.3.1.1.1.3

              There is no groundswell…is no groundswell…no groundswell…groundswell….

              Please demonstrate, Norfolk Traveller, that you don’t inhabit an echo-chamber.

        • RedLogix 7.3.1.2

          A metaphor involving NT and Pharisees comes to mind. 🙂

    • Stuart Munro 7.4

      If we’re talking stealing from taxpayers Joyce and English are in the gun three or four orders of magnitude before Metiria.

      • Norfolk Traveller 7.4.1

        Provide a reference for the legal case being brought against them.

        • Stuart Munro 7.4.1.1

          No – I’m not your servant you deleted expletive – many law breakers go unprosecuted and unpunished.

          Did your recent irrational frenzy and attempted demonization of Metiria include other fraudsters? How about Peter Dunne, who claims the benefits of leading a party that doesn’t exist, which he could not even be bothered to register because it doesn’t exist.

          No.

          So what we actually have here is you trying to market your prejudice, not because you give a monkey’s about fraud, but because it’s a stick you think you can beat her with – which you are trying to do instead of addressing the issue she raised.

          You are not fooling anybody.

          • marty mars 7.4.1.1.1

            + 1 yep, nicely put.

          • Norfolk Traveller 7.4.1.1.2

            “…many law breakers go unprosecuted and unpunished.”
            Stuart you have claimed that two senior ministers of the crown have stolen from taxpayers. Do you seriously believe that that action would go unprosecuted?

            • Draco T Bastard 7.4.1.1.2.1

              It has gone unprosecuted.

              • Norfolk Traveller

                Name a single crime that Joyce or Key committed that has gone unprosecuted.

                • McFlock

                  🙄

                  “Joyce and English” to “Joyce or Key”.

                  Typical.

                • Stuart Munro

                  Misappropriation of public monies – soft loans made and money paid to Mediaworks.

                  Abuse of parliamentary privilege to obtain financial advantage – John Key’s extraction of data on rail that allowed him to speculate on the shares in the manner that is called insider trading.

                  Improper claiming of allowances – Bill notorious double dip. If he’d been a bene he’d’ve got a criminal record on his cv for that.

                  • Norfolk Traveller

                    Evidence.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      These are all three well-documented.

                      If you can’t be bothered to follow current affairs your argument fails ad ignorantiam.

                    • Norfolk Traveller

                      “These are all three well-documented.”
                      So provide evidence. References to the charges. Evidence of guilt. Come on, if they truly stole, where are the charges?

                    • You asked for evidence that they weren’t prosecuted which is hard to show when they weren’t prosecuted.

                      We know that these things happened – they’re well documented. We know that they weren’t prosecuted because the fuckers didn’t go to jail for it.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      You misunderstand – it is you who are defending the accusation of flagrant bias against Metiria.

                      The onus of proof is on you to show that you were equally concerned with these public instances of fraud, or confess that you are a mere fougasse, a rightwing blatheroon pretending to rational discourse to waste everyone’s time.

                      We will of course be pleased to consider the strident pursuit of some other public fraudster, if you can demonstrate that you have ever done so.

                    • Norfolk Traveller

                      “We know that these things happened – they’re well documented. ”
                      You do know how weak that sounds.

                    • Norfolk Traveller

                      “… it is you who are defending the accusation of flagrant bias against Metiria.”
                      I’m not defending anything. If you want to justify fraud by leveling allegations against other people you cannot prove, then fill your boots.

            • Stuart Munro 7.4.1.1.2.2

              A good example is the illegal and it turns out extended surveillance of Kim Dotcom by the GCSB. It was criminal – but signed off by the acting PM. So we can repose no confidence in the supposed legal integrity of this government. And the example is by no means unique.

              • Norfolk Traveller

                So who broke the law? Certainly not the PM of the time.

                • Stuart Munro

                  In that instance the GCSB broke the law and went unpunished.

                  You should work on your comprehension skills – Robert could probably recommend someone who could help you.

                  • Norfolk Traveller

                    That’s right, the GCSB. Not the PM. Come back when you’ve got something meaningful to add.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      Illegality sanctioned at the highest level and you don’t care.

                      But you care about attacking Metiria because she threatens the maskirovka this government has performed instead of governing.

                      So, you’re not concerned about crooks – you wouldn’t turn on Bill till his appeal had been rejected by the privy council – so don’t to be pretending to ethical standards you manifestly don’t possess.

                      You’re an archetype of the abusive far-right troll: a scofflaw, given to misrepresenting data and dismissing better informed commentary.

                    • Norfolk Traveller

                      “So, you’re not concerned about crooks –”
                      You claimed that both Joyce and English stole from the taxpayers. You have not a shred of evidence.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      In fact there is an abundance of evidence – it’s very hard to keep secrets in a little country like NZ, even when the journalists are MIA.

                    • Norfolk Traveller

                      “In fact there is an abundance of evidence – it’s very hard to keep secrets in a little country like NZ, even when the journalists are MIA.”
                      So post it. And why there was no prosecution.

                    • The PM sanctioned illegal action. That in itself is illegal.

                      Here you go:

                      Bill English’s role in trying to “cover up” spying on Kim Dotcom faces scrutiny after new evidence shows the internet entrepreneur was under illegal surveillance longer than previously admitted.

                    • Norfolk Traveller

                      “Bill English’s role in trying to “cover up” spying on Kim Dotcom faces scrutiny…”
                      ‘Scrutiny’. Guilty until proven innocent?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Guilty until proven innocent?

                      If you want to justify fraud

                      Compare and contrast these two statements from the same tarnished, flailing source. Witness the colossal stupidity of trying to push an ethical barrow in opposing directions.

                      It’s like real-time Anthropology minus the new discoveries and David Attenborough.

                    • Norfolk Traveller

                      “Compare and contrast these two statements/…”
                      Indeed. Scrutiny f an issue seems to be the best evidence of any wrongdoing presented so far. If that satisfies your burden of proof, well you’re seriously lacking in intelligence.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      So, we have established that you are utterly unconcerned by fraud, that you are a wittering RW buffoon, that your bias is absolute, and that you don’t follow current events. Oddly enough this renders your views less than entirely persuasive.

                    • Norfolk Traveller

                      “So, we have established that you are utterly unconcerned by fraud,…”
                      No, what we have established is that I am utterly concerned with actual evidence. You know, like we have for Metiria’s fraud, the illegal behaviour you are defending.

          • Draco T Bastard 7.4.1.1.3

            many law breakers go unprosecuted and unpunished.

            Even when they and the crime they committed is known. Seems to happen quite a lot with rich white folk.

    • blueyed1 7.5

      Ha ha Norfolk you are to funny, unlike the govt of today, Jesus did not condem the poor or the sick or solo mothers (like myself)

      • Norfolk Traveller 7.5.1

        Not the people, but her certainly condemned the behaviour.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 7.5.1.1

          That isn’t how you spell “blessed”.

          Apart from the moneygrubbers, I’m struggling to recall the Toad of Nazareth being reported as condemning anyone, and I’m hardly his biggest fan.

          • Norfolk Traveller 7.5.1.1.1

            Neither do I. Behaviour, though, oh yes He did.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 7.5.1.1.1.1

              Hypocrisy, for example, and passing by on the other side of the road. Failing to turn the other cheek.

              The love of money.

              • Norfolk Traveller

                Are you seriously suggesting we should not call out a fraudster who lied repeatedly and then kept it secret for 20+years?

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Newsflash! Extra! Extra, this just in!

                  She called herself out. Public confession. Then you started throwing stones.

                  You may recall the phrase “ethical benchmarks”. I can’t imagine why.

            • Robert Guyton 7.5.1.1.1.2

              I thought Jesus showed tolerance of publicly-condemned behaviour, ie prostitution, as he understood the reasons for it. Would Jesus have condemned Metiria? Hell no 🙂 (Somebody had to say it). Norfolk Traveller, your milk, you know, your “human kindness” milk, is curdled and sour. Do you sometimes reflect upon why that might be? I’ve some suggestions that might help.

              • Norfolk Traveller

                “I thought Jesus showed tolerance of publicly-condemned behaviour,…”
                Not at all. That is a very common misconception. Jesus loved the sinner, but hated the sin. “10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, ‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?’ 11 ‘No one, sir,’ she said.
                ‘Then neither do I condemn you,’ Jesus declared. ‘Go now and leave your life of sin.’” John 8.

                • In Vino

                  The Pharisee is strong in this one.

                  • McFlock

                    Busy today. I suspect he’s entering the last stages of a trooling frenzy before his idiocy picks up a ban.

                • Prostitution is a sin, Norfolk Traveller?

                  I seeeee…

                  • Norfolk Traveller

                    It was as far as Jesus was concerned. Clearly.

                    • And you think He might have mounted a campaign of denigration against Metiria, as you have done?

                    • Norfolk Traveller

                      “And you think He might have mounted a campaign of denigration against Metiria, as you have done?”
                      What campaign? I am simply repeating what is in the public domain. And there is much in the public domain that I have chosen not to mention that makes this even worse for her.

  7. Ethica 8

    I am shocked at how many people in New Zealand hate children so much that they want them to suffer.

    • mauī 8.1

      And solo mums. The rights argument is that they’re the equivalent of Bernie Madoff lol.

    • Anne 8.2

      A word of warning to Labour. If you over-play criticism of Metiria Turei because you think it will pacify the mass of ill-informed punters, you will lose many of your own supporters.

      After the mass Ruth Richardson initiated redundancies of the 1990s. many of us went through the welfare system and we understand why Metiria was driven to do what she did. Many thousands of us were equally driven just to survive.

      Metiria Turei is not a criminal. She is a courageous woman and long after the Hoskings, Sopers and others of their miserable ilk have been discarded as ignorant, greedy, self-righteous hypocrites, she will be remembered for taking up the challenge on behalf of the financially poor and disenfranchised citizens of this country.

      • marty mars 8.2.1

        Yep it is time to stand with Metiria, beside her and facing the same direction.

      • indiana 8.2.2

        Who was in government after Ruth Richardson and what was done to reverse what she did?

        Why was Metiria not so courageous when she was in parliament under the last Labour government?

        • weka 8.2.2.1

          there’s a timing thing going on here. Some of it’s about the Green Party and their evolution. Some of it’s about what has happened internationally with parties breaking left. Some of it is that Labour are now willing to partner with the Greens. Some of it is that people are really just sick of how bad things in NZ have become.

          “Who was in government after Ruth Richardson and what was done to reverse what she did?”

          Clark’s government changed some things about WINZ culture. It was definitely better during those years than before or after. But Labour refused to deal with the underlying issues because of their own ideology around welfare as well as the by then entrenched bene-bashing culture. No govt has redressed what National did in the 90s, that’s the point. What the Greens are doing is that radical.

          • Red 8.2.2.1.2

            I suggest politically if this ploy by MeTu does not come off there will some interesting times for the greens as a political party post election I see in many countries Au Germany GB Etc green vote has fallen away considerably

      • rhinocrates 8.2.3

        We can certainly do without a rehash of David Fucking Shearer’s beneficiary on the roof smear. There are still plenty of neolibs in Labour who’d do that.

      • Anne 8.2.4

        Oh and I meant to add to my 8.2 but had to run:

        it was no coincidence that the cuts to the benefit rates and the mass redundancies gathered momentum at exactly the same time. They knew what they were doing!

  8. patricia bremner 9

    You Norfolk Traveller, have thrown the first stone.

    • North 9.1

      patricia bremner +++ !

    • Norfolk Traveller 9.2

      Perhaps.
      But more likely I am reflecting public distaste of 20 years of deception, that seems to get worse with every new revelation.

      • No, you’re only showing the distaste of the psychopaths that made it inevitable that people would have to break the law just to survive.

        • Norfolk Traveller 9.2.1.1

          Metiria didn’t have to, that is the entire point.

          • McFlock 9.2.1.1.1

            So, to be clear, you believe Turei when she says she fiddled the benefit, you just don’t believe her when she says why she did it?

            • Norfolk Traveller 9.2.1.1.1.1

              I don’t believe much of what she says anymore. Thankfully the WINZ investigation will out her dishonesty, at least as far as any fraud is concerned. I bet she won;t go to jail though.

              • You don’t believe much of what she says anymore?
                You used to believe what Metiria said?
                Examples please, Norfolk Traveller, or we’ll take it as read that you’re not playing with a straight bat.

                • Norfolk Traveller

                  It’s a turn of phrase. I had no reason to mistrust her before. Now we have every reason. She lied to WINZ, repeatedly. She committed fraud for financial gain. What other evidence would you need?

                  • So…wonky bat it is then, Norfolk Traveller; not that anyone thought otherwise. Condemn away, you sad fellow. Providing your condemnation once would seem to be enough, I suppose, but your continued campaign to drive home your doubtless valuable opinion reeks of righteousness and privilege, if you don’t mind my saying so. I do wonder at your insistence.

                    • Norfolk Traveller

                      So you don’t understand that someone could have no reason to mis trust Metiria before finding out she was dodgy, and then change their mind afterward? Do you still trust her?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      I am going to trust her with my vote. Sincerely, choke on it.

                    • Don’t believe you, don’t trust your words, vote for Metiria?
                      Hell YES!
                      YES
                      YES
                      YES
                      YES
                      YES
                      YES
                      Gottit?

                  • Ed

                    Yes I trust Metiria and her courage has persuaded me to vote Green.

              • McFlock

                You don’t believe what she says because of what she said.
                Funny how what you believe is the bit that conveniently enables you to disbelieve everything else she says.

                • Norfolk Traveller

                  I don’t believe what she says because she is self confessed liar.

                  • McFlock

                    which means you believed her when she claimed to be a liar in one instance.

                    • Norfolk Traveller

                      If she isn’t a fraudster and liar, then she is a fool. I’ll leave it to you to decide which.

                    • McFlock

                      She’s certainly got your knickers in a twist. Quite good for a campaign.

                      I believe her when she says today that she lied 20 years ago. So she’s probably told the truth these days.

                      I don’t believe a damned word that you would say today, though.

                    • weka

                      I’ve been trying to think of a phrase that’s like the leftie, positive equivalent of a dog whistle. Turei spoke in a language that many people can hear and understand and appreciate but is driving a bunch of other people crazy.

                    • Bill

                      Not a wolf whistle then. 🙂

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      a phrase

                      Frog whistle.

                    • weka

                      Frog whistle, 😆 that’ll do it I reckon.

                  • She came clean, so you won’t believe anything she says?

                    You’re a fool.

                    Perhaps, if she’d maintained the deception, as so many of your tribe do, you’d back her?

                    I’m thinking, your ethics are diseased.

                    • Norfolk Traveller

                      “She came clean, so you won’t believe anything she says?”
                      She didn’t ‘come clean’. She confessed to lying and fraud. There is more she didn’t admit to initially.

                  • In Vino

                    But to whom did she lie, and why? She has voluntarily confessed for sound reasons, and all you can do is scream. “What??? She LIED??? How Vile!!!” Letter of law stuff, you Pharisee.

                    • Norfolk Traveller

                      She lied to WINZ. She most likely lied to the Law Society. She profited financially as a result. Are you comfortable with that?

                    • Pharisees; they’re plague on decent folk, a plague on humanity.
                      But their sphincters! Medical marvels!

                    • North

                      ” Off with her head then……Yes…..off with her dastardly head ! ” Happy now…….No-Fuck-Trivia ?

                      I’m delighted I’m in the company of so many newcomers to party vote Green who will thereby articulate deep, deep disgust at the torture visited on so many.

                      Frequently in the course of my work I see people left, after rent, with $100 a week to meet ALL costs for a family comprised of a parent and three kids at school. It turns my guts. Particularly it turns my guts because were I to ask all those I come in contact with…….there would be uniformity in response.

                      You N-F-T are cut to the quick by Metiria’s ‘lie’. You have not the balls to openly applaud the $100 a week torture but you do effectively endorse it, at least by default. That’s why you too are gut turning. Piss off and prepare to meet some karma. Me, I’m off to vote !

                    • weka

                      “You have not the balls to openly applaud the $100 a week torture but you do effectively endorse it,”

                      This. A few have gone to ‘get a job’ bigotry (most notably Paddy Gower). But most are content to argue that there is no poverty therefore Turei is morally reprehensible, which conveniently means they don’t have to have their own morals examined.

                      I agree there is a degree of cowardice in this.

                  • Ed

                    Sigh…

                    ‘It has been astonishing to see the amount of time and energy being spent on what Greens co-leader Metiria Turei did or didn’t do properly as a beneficiary back in the early 1990s – as compared to how little time and energy is being put into the point of her personal example. Turei was citing her case in order to query whether much has changed – especially when it comes down to whether the current benefit levels and targeting rules at WINZ are helping or hindering today’s beneficiaries to escape from poverty.

                    Clearly, some people would prefer to re-litigate whether Turia can be retroactively held to account for lying to WINZ way back then. Sigh. Instead, maybe we should be asking for starters:

                    (i) whether current benefit levels are adequate to keep people and their children out of poverty
                    (ii) how pro-active WINZ staff are encouraged to be when advising people of their current entitlements, and what the take-up rates of those entitlements currently are
                    (iii) whether the current abatement levels at which added income is taxed are helping or hindering people to lift their families out of poverty
                    (iv) the extent to which the reported declines in those on benefits can be attributed to social and demographic changes eg in the declining numbers of sole parents
                    (v) what impact the Greens proposals on raising benefit levels and allowing for an abatement free zone of $200 on extra earned income would have, in helping people get out of poverty.’

                    http://werewolf.co.nz/2017/07/gordon-campbell-on-the-real-truth-deficit-in-welfare/

                    • Norfolk Traveller

                      You make some good points. However Metiria only has herself to blame for the distraction from policy.

                    • Carolyn_nth

                      Turei has been talking poverty and the need for change for a long time now – most of the time, only a hand full of people have taken notice, with most preferring to foreground that economy focus of her male co-leader – and often referring to the male co-leader as THE GP leader.

                      What does it take for someone who grew up in a very low-income, working class household, and who knows personally the cost of living in such circumstances, to be taken seriously by a broad cross section of the media and population?

      • One Anonymous Bloke 9.2.2

        There’s no doubt that there is a section of the public that shares your opinion. After all, ~29% of the electorate voted for the National Party in 2014.

        Still, that’s your echo chamber. Not many people here share your views. Not many people I’ve spoken with agree with you either. You’d be quite foolish to assume that it will hurt the Greens in September.

        • Norfolk Traveller 9.2.2.1

          “After all, ~29% of the electorate voted for the National Party in 2014.”
          Again, an obsession the government.
          BTW, what was Labour’s number then? Or the Greens for that matter?
          I think what we’ve seen over the past week is a rising up by ordinary NZ’ers against dishonesty, particularly by a high income Member of Parliament who has taken 20+years to come clean.

          • Robert Guyton 9.2.2.1.1

            “I think what we’ve seen over the past week is a rising up by ordinary NZ’ers against dishonesty, particularly by a high income Member of Parliament”

            Are you referring to Todd Barclay, NT? If so, we are in agreement. Barclay has received a flood of criticism for drawing his salary while spending his days in the Pig & Whistle. I’ve read comment after comment from you, condemning his actions…hang on!…

            • Norfolk Traveller 9.2.2.1.1.1

              When did Todd Barclay commit fraud? I mean he’s a prat, but there’s no law against that.

              • Ah, Norfolk Traveller – you’d have us believe that Todd Barclay’s only fault is that “he’s a prat”?
                Your attempt to reframe the “illegal taping scandal” as prattishness says so much about you and I bet I’m not alone here in recognising that.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 9.2.2.1.2

            what was Labour’s number then? Or the Greens for that matter?

            Evidence that a decent proportion of the electorate doesn’t share your views.

            • Norfolk Traveller 9.2.2.1.2.1

              No, come on. What was their number? How did it compare with the number you quoted for national? Come on, if they represent a ‘decent number’, let’s see that number and line them up.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                You’re quite capable of doing that: it doesn’t support or undermine my point one way or t’other.

                It’s just you talking outside your glass.

                • Norfolk Traveller

                  Oh but I’d like YOU to do it. What was the Labour and the Greens proportion? And if Labour + Greens was a ‘decent proportion’, how do you define the rest who are now in government? Come on now, you did half the sums.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    It’s like the three ‘R’s: repetition repetition repetition.

                    We know that a proportion of the electorate equal to or less than 29% share your views (You’re an ACT follower, eh.)

                    Of the rest, it’s hard to say in this context: I think some Labour voters have been duped into dehumanising certain categories of beneficiaries, just as some National Party dupes might feel uncomfortable with the rhetoric.

                    Let’s say they cancel one another out.

                    I doubt many Greens buy into your cruel, disgusting, pathetic and utterly transparent dogma though.

                    Of the non-voters, who can say? That’s why I think “You’d be quite foolish to assume that it will hurt the Greens in September.”

                    Have a nice evening.

                    • Norfolk Traveller

                      “Of the rest, it’s hard to say in this context…”
                      You’re a liar. You quoted a figure for National (although you gave no source). Why can’t you quote a figure for Labour and the Greens?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      I’m a liar now am I? 😆

                      Get some manners trash.

  9. AsleepWhileWalking 10

    60% of all renters are lepers because they need a government subsidy to afford their rent even if they aren’t on a core benefit and work full time.

    Hope they remember that come voting day here in the benefit nation.

    Further to this nationwide benefit dependency if the law of >i>not worsening your position were strictly applied most of these people would never go on holiday, gift money, etc etc. Just a thought.

    • Siobhan 10.1

      I like to think that a percentage of LANDLORDS are lepers because they need Government support to keep their business charging at a rate the market can quite simply not afford.

      • +111

        There’s quite a lot of businesses that would go out of business if they didn’t get either direct or indirect government subsidies.

        • KJT 10.1.1.1

          All business in New Zealand relies on tax payer subsidies.

          Even if it was only the rest of us paying for the owners primary and secondary education.

          Almost all benefit from a lot more than that.

          Police to keep their premises safe.
          Roads to transport their goods.
          Laws to regulate contracts.
          An educated and healthy workforce.

          Before we even go into WFF to enable them to underpay their workers.
          State supplied training, MPI and export NZ help, irrigation schemes, research, ETS credits, and the many other tax payer funded supports for business, we supply.

          • Draco T Bastard 10.1.1.1.1

            … and the many other tax payer funded supports for business, we supply.

            Like tourism and, boy, do they whinge whinge when they get asked to pay for some of those services that they use:

            Commercial accommodation providers will take their fight against Auckland City’s proposed targeted rate to the council tomorrow, claiming new hotel projects are at risk because of it.

            But user-pays is fine if it’s the little people paying.

            • KJT 10.1.1.1.1.1

              I am Ok for us to help NZ business, especially startups and innovative and sustainable business.

              So long as the owners pay their way when they succeed. Including taxes and living wages.

              Too many sell out or tax dodge.

  10. Sanctuary 11

    Turei’s mistake…

    Has been to not double down on the attack on WINZ. IMHO, admitting to fraud so as to put food on the table was a brilliant attack on the neoliberal weaponisation of social security. To be consistent, she should have refused to apologise for it, and say she could easily be a minister in charge of WINZ because she plan to make a bonfire of the cruelty and casual humiliation that pervades that department. She should have made it clear that she would, as minister, not simply administer WINZ but conduct a revolution within it. To all the white middle class hand wringers of the press she should have called them all hypocrites and agents of the establishments desire to punish the poor. She should have called them heartless animals aligned with the values of Bennett and English, and she feels sorry for the darkness in their hearts.

    Instead, she made her statement then because the supplicant. Meekly and powerlessly she now awaits her Fate – a fate she fully accepts as deserving. Instead of explicitly refusing the rules of unjust law and boldly promising to tear them down, she has confessed like a supplicant before the tyrannical landlord as he adjudges the number of rabbits he thinks she has poached. In doing so, she has affirmed the neoliberal middle class values the underlay the cruel logic of WINZ, not mocked them like someone who is determined to change the rules of the game.

    Turei may have thrown her dinner into the face of her neoliberal jailers, but psychologically and politically she has signalled she remains firmly in jail.

    • “meekly and powerlessly” – ha! You’ve not heard Metiria speak about this then. She’s taking the initiative here, framing the issue, forging the path. Metiria, “powerless”? I don’t think so.

    • weka 11.2

      ” To be consistent, she should have refused to apologise for it, and say she could easily be a minister in charge of WINZ because she plan to make a bonfire of the cruelty and casual humiliation that pervades that department. She should have made it clear that she would, as minister, not simply administer WINZ but conduct a revolution within it”

      Not sure where you’ve been but that’s pretty much exactly what she has said and done. She refused to apologise, she refused to say what she did was wrong, and the Greens intend to utterly change the culture of WINZ, not just rolling back the Bennett reforms but redressing the benefit cuts from 1990.

      I think you are confusing that with the fact that she’s not doing macho politics. Let’s see what happens with doing it in a Māori woman’s way.

    • BG 11.3

      Please tell it like it is, she did not commit fraud to put food on her plate, she committed fraud so could play politics with her Mcgillicuddy serious party mates, by campaigning for free dung.

      If she was so concerned about feeding her child, then why did she waste so much time on trivial things?

      • weka 11.3.1

        It’s called having a life. But we know that the bene-bigots don’t want poor people to feel good or enjoy their life or have fun. It’s not news.

  11. Tautoko Mangō Mata 12

    Nobody is condoning cheating by supporting Metiria.

    However, we are not prepared to condone a social security system that strips away all vestige of humanity in the way in which it is delivered or withheld.
    Most of us have been fortunate enough to have had the helping hand of a parent to help us through the times when we have been down, felt worthless or needed a small injection of cash to get us over a thin spot. There are those in our society who are not so fortunate, whose family are not able to give this support for whatever reason. This is where WE, as a society, should provide this support in a manner that encourages, instils confidence, hope, connection to society and which provides real options for the future.

  12. Bill 13

    Sorry. But Metiria didn’t “side with the lepers”.

    She essentially pulled the dirty veil from the eyes of “the normals” and handed it back to them so they could understand where the stink was coming from – that it wasn’t coming from any shadowy lepers they might have imagined by way of compensating for their occluded vision.

    Some are still clinging to their stinking veil though, and insisting it smells of roses while denying it fits comfortably with (their) racist and sexist narratives (where) many beneficiaries are Māori, a violent and failed race who (have) consistently threatened New Zealand society; some beneficiaries (are) Pacific peoples, outsiders who (stand) at the barricades of white New Zealand trying to seize (their) riches and opportunities; many beneficiaries (are) single women, the promiscuous detritus of feminism (that’s) a threat to the proper New Zealand family

    Nice cross post.

    Just to add…

    If you want to volunteer for the Green Party or for NZ Labour, then click on the highlighted text 😉

  13. Morrissey 14

    Palindrome corner….

    “REPEL A LEPER”

    https://media.giphy.com/media/KpLS5KcBiJ6IE/giphy.gif

    • Hug a leper (Jesus did).

      • Morrissey 14.1.1

        Indeed, Robert, but does that go both ways?

        (I trust the weather in the Riviera of the South is as beautiful today as it is up here?)

        • Robert Guyton 14.1.1.1

          Did they hug him back? Only if they had nothing to lose.
          We’ve squally weather; sunshine/light rain/sunshine/light rain/sunshine.
          I’m indoor/outdoor – TS/garden.

          • McFlock 14.1.1.1.1

            Did they hug him back? Only if they had nothing to lose.

            … like fingers?

            [slinks off to corner in shame :)]

            • Robert Guyton 14.1.1.1.1.1

              Have you read of the Matiu/Somes Island leper? There’s a sorry tale.

              • greywarshark

                Where would I find that about Somes Island Robert? Have you got it handy or I’ll look it up. That’s off Wellington isn’t it.

                I thought the island off Lyttelton had some sad cases too, kept separate in those days of gore, I mean yore.

  14. Tony Veitch (not etc) 15

    On reflection, I would like to see Metiria prosecuted for her ‘fraud.’

    Two reasons – First – it would keep the plight of the poor in the headlines right up to the election.

    Second reason, I’d like to help group fund a civil prosecution of Binglish for the same
    ‘crime’ (only in his case it was a crime – motivated by greed).

    • There’s some perverse wisdom in that mate,… but I would hate to see Metiria being put through that sort of stress,… but then again,… it would highlight these neo liberal scum who have been defending the status quo for 3 decades .

      And ALSO, highlight the sort of stress beneficiaries endure daily under this punitive govt in being thrown inside prison , outrageously fined and cast off their benefits.

      What an ugly , ugly government this one is.

    • blueyed1 15.2

      well that makes it ok then

    • Siobhan 15.3

      A time to remember Wendy Shoebridge and the quota system for prosecuting beneficiaries.

      “We had to get one prosecution per month. We had to get $30,000 of debt to be recovered per month,” a former MSD investigator told the inquest into the death of Wendy Shoebridge. “Four cases had to be cleared per month.”

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/87347930/aggressive-prosecution-focus-at-msd-preceded-womans-death-inquest-told

      Maybe seeing a politician stand trial..and (cough) maybe seeing TWO politicians stand trial will highlight the sorry state of things where Wendys unnecassary and avoidable death did not,.

  15. I count Metiria as a modern day political hero. She has had the guts to take on the liars narrative.

    The Greens MUST , MUST , MUST be voted for by anyone on a benefit. There is no other option.

    I will be voting for Labour this election to help provide a broad platform for a coalition government. And in doing so , will be helping to bring up the rear in regards to raising the minimum wage and working towards the beginnings of the Living Wage.

    Globally , …The neo liberal dogma is dead.

    It is time New Zealand followed suit.

    I will be happy when I see three things happen :

    1) The dismantling of the Employment Contracts Act and its euphemism – the Employment Relations Act.

    2) Total and unapologetic rejection of both the ‘ Mother of all Budgets’ and its legacy as an unjust , inhumane and degrading precedent that still causes destruction in NZ’s population today.

    3) Reserve Bank / Treasury put back under direct govt control and regulation , – with all the associated implications of a more regulated economy that goes along with that.

    4) Labours plan to tax and / or fine corporate’s and multinationals that deliberately pay little to no taxation and fail to contribute proportionately and fairly to this country’s social infrastructure

    [Duplicate removed] – Bill

    • Sorry bout the double post , – something wrong , think I punched a key when I shouldn’t have.

      Either that or John Keys bloated GSCB is having their undemocratic fun again. All jokes aside,.. I wouldn’t put it past them. Or maybe its just the weather…

      If a mod sees this could you please delete the first post and this one as well?

      • McFlock 16.1.1

        think I punched a key when I shouldn’t have.

        There’s no excuse for violence, but I’m sure that most of us have felt like punching a key once or twice in the last nine years… 🙂

  16. Ethica 17

    If it’s about using more than your share of resources, as some people have suggested MT did, then we can give any number of examples of the greedy rich. Starting with the Cabinet Ministers, their expensive cars and extensive overseas travel.

  17. Penny Bright 18

    ‘Seeking truth from FACTS’.

    How long has there been WINZ?

    https://www.msd.govt.nz/about-msd-and-our-work/about-msd/history/

    1 October 1998 – Department of Work and Income (branded as Work and Income New Zealand or WINZ) established with the merger of Income Support with the New Zealand Employment Service, Community Employment Group and Local Employment Co-ordination.

    ________________________

    So – what exactly was the LAW back in the days of Metiria Turei’s ‘benefit fraud’, regarding income from ‘flatmates’?

    Back in the days of The Department of Social Welfare?

    Did the LAW change under WINZ?

    Anyone know?

    Serious questions….

    • Bill 18.1

      I’d imagine that since the principle act is from 1967 (or thereabouts) that nothing much changed. I guess you could look up amendments enacted in the 90s if you can be arsed.

      edit – The Social Security Legislation Rewrite Bill
      The Social Security Legislation Rewrite Bill was introduced into Parliament for consideration on Thursday 17 March 2016.

      At 28 April 2017, the Bill is awaiting its second reading. With the time available, it’s unlikey that the Bill will be passed into law in 2017 and allow sufficient time for implementation.

      Any proposed changes, because of the Bill, eg tidying up the legislation, modernising the layout of the Act, changing of names of a couple of Benefits will not happen this year.

  18. Tautoko Mangō Mata 19

    Is bnz happy to be associated with Mike Hosking’s Metiria’s backing liars vitriol?
    In fact is bnz happy to be associated with Mike Hosking?
    http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/on-air/mike-hosking-breakfast/video/mikes-minute-metirias-backing-liars/

  19. Jay 20

    In the late 80’s I got my girlfriend pregnant, we were both 17. At that time many people in our situation cheated the system, usually by the mother going on the solo benefit, the dad would go on the dole, and then they’d live together anyway.

    We chose to both go on the dole, which was only maybe fifty bucks more than the solo benefit, because it was a crime to cheat the system, and no bones were made about it at that time either. Plus it was a matter of pride – it was bad enough being a dole bludger without being a benefit cheat as well.

    In the end I wound up bringing up my daughter on my own. I’m now in my mid forties and have a successful career behind me, own two houses etc… And I’m still owed 13 years of child support btw.

    At that time I knew a lot of people in the same situation as us who thought that the country owed them a living because they had chosen to breed and then keep the baby, and they also arrogantly and childishly thought that it was their right to rip the system off. I don’t know if it’s the same now, but I have no reason to think that’s it’s changed.

    We managed without needing to rort the system, why was she different?

    To now make out that her crime was one of necessity, and is also some kind of badge of honour makes my blood boil, and surely shows how morally and ethically bereft she is. It’s nothing less than insult to all the honest kiwis past and present who kept within the rules and tried their best. She should hang her head in shame, preferably while tendering her resignation.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 20.1

      And The Toad of Nazareth said:

      “Wait! I have found the one who should cast the first stone, and his name is Jay!”

      Let us rejoice.

    • Anne 20.2

      So, each of you got the dole in the 1980s. That was before Ruth Richardson changed the rules of eligibility and slashed the Benefits. Together, you would have received from the State close to double the amount that two people in the same situation would have received 5 years later. In other words you didn’t have to cheat because you had enough to live on.

      Either you are very stupid or you are dishonest. You should hang your head in shame you charlatan.

  20. Jay 21

    So everyone committed benefit fraud at the time she was on a benefit then? Or stole? Or sold drugs maybe? Otherwise I imagine there would have been alarming stories of people starving to death after the cuts which were apparently not conducive to life. My daughter was born in March 1990. When were the cuts? Cause we were on and off a benefit til she was about three and a half.

    I’m sorry if I don’t fit your narrative as someone who got off a benefit and who was fairly successful financially, but I’ve been there so, like it or not, I can speak with authority.

    And I’m willing to bet there are plenty more like me who are outraged, not about what she did, but about her justification for it. Could she maybe have taken a part time job instead of running for parliament? What a joke. It’s totally indefensible, and in 8 weeks we’ll know whether or not it was disastrous politically.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 21.1

      You imagine poorly. For example, The Lancet documented the increased rate of preventable infectious disease admissions to New Zealand hospitals at the time.

      The IMF documented the decreased economic activity.

      The OECD compared us unfavourably with other nations.

      The Salvation Army picked up some of the pieces.

      Pop goes the weasel.

    • We bask in the blinding light of your outrage, Jay, bless you!

    • Ed 21.3

      I recommend you view this film.
      It may help you gain a better understanding of the issues.
      Ken Loach is being interviewed by Kim Hill this Saturday. I recommend you listen to him.

    • greywarshark 21.4

      Do you think running for parliament is a hobby, is easy? People like Metiria are trying to get a place amongst the comfortable wealthy so that ordinary people can be represented. Like you Jay.

      You are so ordinary, because you think you are. You have little pride in yourself, no ability to stand up and say I’m alive and I’m important, and more than that I’m a trier and a sticker and not a giver-upper. But you are too low to then say I deserve better opportunities, and so do the people around me who are the same.

      You are embarrassed to be connected to people who do dare to ask for more, and scurry behind your excuse of finding fault with the way that Metiria managed in difficult times trying to get a better position, a decent job as a lawyer, an understanding of the law and its effects. Instead you are cutting her down because she has made good, better than you, and you don’t think it is fair because she had determination and audacity.

      She reflects the meaning of the saying ‘That if you keep doing the same things, you get the same results.’ So she did something different and broke the mould. And is up there fighting for people like you who put up with being trodden on. Because Metiria highlights the many people who haven’t an idea that they deserve better, and have resigned themselves to the low status allocated to them.

  21. peterlepaysan 22

    “fraud” is irrelevant this was a courageous (in a NZ way, we are ,after all pretty gutless addressing social issues) political move. I salute her.

    I might even donate to her party ,if they let me.
    Apparently one cannot donate to the Greens unless one lives i a suburb.

    I live in some 2.5 ha of greenery, definitely not suburbia, Greens send me emails seeking donations.

    Meteiria has mana. Kia Kaha!

    • weka 22.1

      Yikes, credit card payments only too. They normally have a bank account for setting up regular payments, I’ll see if I can track it down.

  22. Sumsuch 23

    Why do you all answer Norfolk Traveller? A great cause, and a small mind.

  23. UncookedSelachimorpha 24

    Fantastic post. The right wingers commenting have demonstrated the truth of the post beautifully.

    Such amazing focus on the sins of the poor, while happy to completely ignore the sins of the millionaires and billionaires holding nearly all the wealth of the country, watching others suffer.

    • Ed 24.1

      I do hope Green politicians challenge those media willing to cast stones.
      Maybe in a live interview when Garner, Hosking and Espiner don’t have control of the narrative.
      Maybe ask them a direct question.
      Have you ever paid for a cash job?
      Have you ever broken the law?
      I’m sure there are better questions that can be thought up.
      The left must challenge, ridicule and confront the corporate media.

      • KJT 24.1.1

        Garner, Hosking and Espiner are stealing from us.

        Every time they accept money, for masquerading as Journalists.

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