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Tariana’s final days?

Written By: - Date published: 6:49 am, June 29th, 2012 - 40 comments
Categories: corruption - Tags: ,

Tariana Turia’s privatisation by stealth of welfare for Maori, known as Whanau Ora, was an open invitation to fraud. Money was signed over to groups with no track record and no plan. It’s finally caught up with her as New Zealand First, Women’s Refuge, and the Greens team up to reveal Turia’s lies and willful blindness over reported fraud in Palmerston North.

It kicked off with an accusation from Winston Peters that a Women’s Refuge centre in Palmerston North that is specially for Maori and receives Whanau Ora money had been audited and that report found evidence of fraud. Peters said that Tariana Turia must be aware of this issue and demanded to know why she hadn’t acted.

In typically cowardly style, Turia didn’t bother to show up and answer questions from Peters on this issue, although Paula Bennett answering on her behalf said she hadn’t been aware of the issue and Turia affirmed that line in a press release. She also claimed that this Women’s Refuge has nothing to do with Whanau Ora.

(btw, I wonder if Turia was the other Maori MP absent along with Pita Sharples, which led to a tie-result – which is a defeat in Parliament – on the Members’ Bill to ban depleted Uranium).

Now, we know that was a lie. The Refuge did get Whanau Ora money. And that’s why the National Women’s Refuge Collective met with Turia over the issue.

You can get away with lying as a minister, as long as you don’t get caught in black and white. But Turia has been caught. She is now a proven liar. And she’ll have to go.

But will Key have the guts? Or will he judge the risk to the stability of his government too great, and turn a blind eye to Turia, giving her permission to run a programme riddled with fraud while lying to the people of New Zealand?

I don’t need to tell you which way I think this will play out. Key’s already proven with John Banks that his support partners’ ministers are above the rules.

40 comments on “Tariana’s final days? ”

  1. Kotahi Tane Huna 1

    Looks like a job for the SFO:

    Priority cases for the SFO include:
    Multi-victim investment fraud
    Fraud involving those in important positions of trust (e.g. lawyers)
    Matters of bribery and corruption
    Any other case that could significantly damage New Zealand’s reputation for fair and free financial markets minus corruption.

    My emphasis.

    “The privatisation of Maori healthcare” – indeed.

    One Anonymous Bloke predicts that this particular failed right-wing model will fail again, helping only to fatten the wallets of the greedy.

    • Ee 1.1

      “One Anonymous Bloke predicts that this particular failed right-wing model will fail again, helping only to fatten the wallets of the greedy.”

      You say that like it was ever intended to do anything else.

      • Kotahi Tane Huna 1.1.1

        I like to give right-wingers the benefit of the doubt – I assume their beliefs are down to stupidity rather than mendacity until they demonstrate otherwise.

        • Pascal's bookie 1.1.1.1

          Yep.

        • felix 1.1.1.2

          To (poorly) paraphrase Bill Hicks, it’s not necessarily a case of them being annoying idiots OR evil fucks; they may well be evil annoying idiot fucks.

        • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.3

          IMO, That depends upon where they are in the hierarchy. I’m pretty sure that the RWNJs at the bottom actually do have the best intentions but I think the ones at the top really are out to screw society over for their own enrichment and aggrandisement.

        • Murray Olsen 1.1.1.4

          Some of the idiots who vote for right wingers might deserve the benefit of the doubt, but to believe that a right wing government is trying to do the right thing just plays into their hands.

          • Kotahi Tane Huna 1.1.1.4.1

            Sure, but like the ongoing temper-tantrum that is ACT, without popular support they are nothing. Much easier to persuade the electorate that the National Party’s policies are stupid and destructive (since the evidence abounds) than that they are malevolent.

  2. r0b 2

    I see two terminal problems for Turia:

    (1) She said she wasn’t informed of the extent of the problems, but she was briefed, and should have informed herself fully.

    (2) She said it wasn’t Whanu Ora funding – and it was (here, here).

    Not good.

    • Adele 2.2

      Rob

      There is some confusion as to what is whanau ora funding. The Whanau Ora Scheme that Tariana Turia is advancing is about getting NGOS, primarily Māori, to work together in collectives for the benefit of whānau. This should make complete sense from both a left and right perspective as it means less of the ‘silo’ mentality in terms of provision of services. The collectives provide a range of services for the benefit of whānau which may include a GP practise, addiction services, child wellness, housing etc.

      There is at least one other fund that I know of that calls itself whanau ora but is not related to the above scheme. The fund that relates to the women’s refuge centre appears to be under the umbrella of Paula Bennett and not Tariana Turia. If the women’s refuge centre is part of a whanau ora collective than most definitely it comes under Tariana’s oversight.

      But I also agree with other commentators – if there is fraud involved than deal with that without necessarily slitting the throat of the organisation involved. It should be supported back onto the accountability track and not euthanised. It has an anti-violence against women and their children kaupapa which means its there for the right reasons – and is needed.

      Peters is morally corrupt. He is not about accountability despite his righteous stance in the media. Politicians should be barred from using citizens as meat in their dog wars.

  3. I agree Tariana should go but I can’t imagine for one moment the Maori Party accepting this. Tough times indeed for smile and wave …

    • burt 3.1

      I think she is only guilty of trying to help people – lol.

      You Labour guys are great in opposition – all the low standards you defended in your own team …. now you want accountability. What a pack of psychopathic partisan hacks you are.

      • Mickysavage 3.1.1

        You know the left are on a winner when Burt pops up and mentions Taito.

      • bbfloyd 3.1.2

        Awww… little Bort….Did that nasty man(Peters) expose your hero’s again?? tsk tsk…

      • ghostwhowalksnz 3.1.3

        Well at least Taito wasnt using government funds like those used to fatten ( or lose weight !) the pockets of convicted fraudster Donna Awatere and approved by Tau Henare and Bill English.

        Then there was the ‘hot sheets hotel’ bills of Richard Worth where he used his ministerial credit card.

      • fmacskasy 3.1.4

        Burt… oh, are we playing the tit-for-tat game?

        Ok, my turn… Bill English.

        Now your turn.

        • muzza 3.1.4.1

          Actually thats not really a very good game to play, as it seems to me Burts point may have been that NZ is so poorly served by the politicians selected for us to vote on, that it makes no differnce who is in power..

          If that is his contention, he is right, and if it was not his contention, then it is certainly mine.

          People buying into NZ politics are part of the problem..

          If you want to do something useful, go take some key issues which need to be highlighted, learn how to speak coherently, and stand up for all the things which those “selected” for us will not!

        • Lanthanide 3.1.4.2

          Haha.

      • Deano 3.1.5

        the cognitive dissonance, it burns.

        You hate what Taito Philip Field did so much that you’re still going on about it, yet you use him as an excuse to not criticise Tariana Turia.

      • North 3.1.6

        Get your words right you screeching old idiot Burt……”psycopathic” ? Ha ha ha.

  4. captain hook 4

    dont worry about her.
    she’ll have all her mighty river power shares to keep her company.
    thats the real rort.

    • yes, I wonder what, and how much, the pay off will be to the iwi along the waikato river, to NOT stand up for their(and ours) rights ,as river guardians,and custodians, and tell key and english NO SALE!!!!

  5. bad12 5

    On a political level i view with interest the intersection of concerns of both NZFirst and the Green Party, having long thought that these two party’s have a number of policy areas where the beliefs are the same albeit with the probability for the reasons behind the policy and the intended route to achieve the policy goals being different,

    Slippery of course cannot be seen to even give a hint of censure to Turia over such distortions of the truth,

    More likely our Prime Minister will offer Her the use of His Chief of Staff with the objective of having Her skill set in the area of BS enhanced so as for Her not to leave such a clear and damning paper trail,

    Slippery can’t afford to have the Maori Party toss it’s toys as He knows that the only hope He has for a third term as Prime Minister is if the Maori Party are in the Parliament and on His side,

    Whanau ora, what simply appears to be the ‘slush fund’ of the relevant Minister being used to pay bonus payments to the staff of a women’s refuge while nationally the refuges are in a continual struggle for funds just to survive and provide the service must be viewed with abhorrence,

    Turia’s actions in a Parliamentary democracy demanding openness and accountability from Government can only be viewed with the same abhorrence…

    • mike e 5.1

      well given Shonkey is on borrowed time himself with international investment bankers being investigated and prosecuted or corruption going back to the 1990’s he will be looking at every ally he can get.
      Just about every major trading bank in the world is under investigation for shonKey trading practices going back to the 1990’s.
      The only bank to come clean so far has been Barclays .They have been fined $500 million so far and face civil law suits running into the billions.
      Their are more banks facing the same litigation an estimated $ 1 trillion plus debacle.

      • jack 5.1.1

        If this is true, finally!!! Perhaps Key’s past will catch up to him. Maybe we might hear that Key is stepping down for “personal reasons” or he “wants to spend more time with his family.” That would be music to my ears but I am not holding my breath. Just dreaming.

  6. It’s a shame, in some ways. Tariana Turia is doing good work on fighting the tobacco industry. For that reason alone, I thought she merited support. In fact, to maintain the momentum, I would have welcomed her keeping her Associate Health Minister portfolio…

    • mike e 6.1

      Labour greens might need the Maori party as well.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 6.1.1

        Only if they are the last cab on the rank.

        If she not in a ministerial limo shes out of parliament ‘by lunchtime’- ergo the seat ends up with labour anyway
        Same goes with Sharples

    • bad12 6.2

      Maori figure in the highest rate of those trapped within the lowest income decile, Maori also figure highly in the rate of those who use tobacco products,

      TOBACCO IS A HIGHLY ADDICTIVE SUBSTANCE, often described as right up there with Heroin and Cocaine in terms of anyone’s ability to break the addiction,

      Given that addictive nature of the product and the lack of disposable income in particular within the cohort of users with the least amount of income it then becomes idiotic to rack raise taxes on the product in an effort to make those using it stop,

      What stops first in these situations of addiction is in fact money being spent upon proper dietary requirements as taxation increases,

      POOR DIET IS GOING TO KILL THOSE SO AFFLICTED AS SOON OR SOONER THAN THE USE OF TOBACCO PRODUCTS WILL,

      IF Turia,Harawira and anyone else were to be really interested in curbing the use of tobacco products instead of helping the Slippery National Government bolster the tax take to the tune of a billion dollars and to enable funding to be gained for what appears to all extents and purposes to be a particular politicians personal slush fund they would only need have made the product a prescription poison only available to the current generation of users via Doctors prescription thus prohibiting it’s use by anyone presently under the age of 18 and greatly reduced the chances of young Maori in particular from being able to freely gain use of the product and become addicted to that product for life…

      • Vicky32 6.2.1

        Given that addictive nature of the product and the lack of disposable income in particular within the cohort of users with the least amount of income it then becomes idiotic to rack raise taxes on the product in an effort to make those using it stop

        Yes, that’s true!

        • mike e 6.2.1.1

          it seems to be working

          • bad12 6.2.1.1.1

            It seems to be working???, expected tobacco tax has fallen by 6% and this tells you what???,

            It tells me that i am not alone in being one who has carried on smoking 20+ a day, the only change??? i now no longer pay any excise tax on the product…

          • Foreign Waka 6.2.1.1.2

            Yes, it does doesn’t it? We should do this with alcohol, gambling, and forbidding petrol guzzlers too. Should we? Whilst true that smoking is a risk to health, rate of adult smoking is 22%, NZ is ranked 7th lowest in the OECD, there are equal if not bigger problems in the community and no one seem to care. These are wrecking families because of great financial strife resulting from gambling, drinking, drugs and buying stuff on credit with unbelievable interest rates. Seems that every time any of these issues is being followed up, out of the hat comes the boohooo smoking rabbit – yes, indeed it works.

            PS. don’t bother, I am a nonsmoker.

    • Foreign Waka 6.3

      Two wrongs don’t make one right. Integrity is obviously hard to come by and any mana left was buried at the moment the Maori party teamed up with the Government (on either side). It all a fraud, slash fund to shut up, feed the people down the line with some “bonuses”. Worked also very well in the USSR for centuries!

  7. weka 7

    I haven’t had time to follow this issue yet, but a few comments on Eddie’s piece.
     
    Eddie, the use of the word ‘specially’ is problematic. There is nothing wrong with Maori having Refuge services. Saying that the refuge is ‘specially’ for Maori is like saying that Refuge is ‘specially’ for women. The problem is that this post and this issue sit in a context of this country engaging in almost continuous Maori bashing, including attacking Maori services. The use of the word ‘specially’ implies something is wrong with Maori having Refuges, irrespective of whether you meant that or not. 
     
    Instead of “that a Women’s Refuge centre in Palmerston North that is specially for Maori” I would simply have written “that a Maori Women’s Refuge centre in Palmerston North”.
     
    There are also issues with calling Maori services privatisation. If we accept that Maori have a degree of sovereignty resulting from Te Tiriti then it makes sense that they get to have a degree of sovereignty in things like social services. It seems there is this tendancy to see the world in terms of the State and private business, but the reality is more fluid than that, and as afar as I can tell Maori world views tend to be more fluid and flexible than Pakeha ones too. We need to understand Maori views on the State, private business, NGOs etc before we can judge them. I’m not saying there is no issue of fraud here (I have no idea yet). I’m saying that I don’t see much understanding of the Maori world view, which means the judgements being made lack substance and meaning. Personally I have no problem with iwi setting up services that have a third status (not State and not private, but something akin to the State only governed by Maori*).
     
    That leads me to the next thing. I have plenty of criticism of Turia myself. But, we know that the MSM have ranged from the useless to the damaging in covering Maori issues and that historically Turia has sometimes chosen to not engage with them at all because of that. That may well be a factor in her actions this week. I would encourage authors and readers at TS to use Maori media sources as well as the MSM, to get a more rounded view.
     
    And as always, why are so many people willing to take the words of Peters as gospel?
     

    *edited to add, maybe something akin to local government.

  8. prism 8

    I think Tariana is committed to the idea of Maori helping Maori and that this will give better results than the hit and mostly miss record of the past. Unfortunately it’s an ideological idealistic approach and bound to have regular gaps of integrity and outcomes. Note the recent news of the crooked bank manager – she was so thorough that the bank couldn’t see the criminality. If there aren’t checks if the temptation happens and then afterwards it seems to have succeeded well having another go is even a stronger impulse.

    As for the Refuge, if they are all hands on then there needs to be an office person to keep an eye on the analysis columns who will follow up and get which coding expenditure goes under, and keep the books up to date, not be forced to make it up later as has probably been the case. It takes discipline, but like a garden uncared for, it will become a tangle impossible to wend you way in. It doesn’t mean that these women have been scamming though.

  9. weka 9

    Where is the link that shows that Turia denied knowing the refuge was having trouble? The only one I can see is in r0b’s post, and in that she says she knew there were problems but didn’t know about the fraud.

    And where is the copy of the audit that shows fraud, that Peters’ is allegedly quoting from? (or creatively paraphrasing from, which is more likely).

  10. Peg Gwesland 10

    If only if only !

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