War Veteran’s superannuation cancelled because of Government policy

Written By: - Date published: 11:04 am, January 26th, 2016 - 163 comments
Categories: benefits, national/act government, paula bennett, welfare - Tags:

Selwyn Clarke

National is a master of the micro policy, making with great fanfare and noise small changes to existing rules to address what on the scale of things are limited difficulties.  The micro policies appeal to those predisposed to thinking that all beneficiaries are bludgers and living the high life at every one else’s expense.  But so often the personal status of the recipient is one that is affected by some human tragedy or frailty.  And the policy as well as being a complete waste of ministerial time to establish will only increase existing individual hardship.

Take for instance the changes to housing corporation waiting lists so those concerned about the colour of doors or the volume of birds chirping may end up being taken off the list.  The numbers of cases where this actually occurred were probably limited.  But the claimed problem has occupied an enormous amount of media time and Ministerial effort.

Another example has recently come to light, this time concerning the effects of a policy that a beneficiary with an arrest warrant will after a period of time have their benefit cancelled.  I referred to the policy a year ago and at the time said this:

… beneficiaries with a warrant out for their arrest face the cancellation of their benefit thanks to one of Paula’s reforms.  No ifs, no buts, no allowance for human fallibility, just the end of their benefit if they do not act quickly enough.

My many years working in Courts has shown to me that people, particularly people whose lives are really chaotic and who rely on a benefit to survive, accumulate warrants for all sorts of things.  Fines that have not been addressed because they cannot afford to, a minor court case forgotten because they had too many, a night on the town where they consumed too much of some narcotic substance and then forgot to turn up to Court in the morning, or some minor matter where the authorities had the wrong address and obtained a warrant in lieu can all result in arrest warrants.

Bennett’s reforms had some ameliorating features.  For instance if they had dependant children their benefit will only be halved.  They could not survive on the original benefit, but it is a sign of how out of touch National is that they would think that halving a benefit would somehow make it OK.  Or maybe it is a sign of how indifferent National is to poverty.

Poor people live so close to the edge that any temporary interruption to payment of their benefit will cause chaos.  A week’s missed rent or important bills not otherwise paid can mean that the misery of poverty will be amplified really quickly.

This week one of those very difficult examples has come to light with news that an elderly war veteran has had his superannuation cancelled because he has refused to deal with an arrest warrant relating to a trespass charge.  From RNZ:

Eighty-nine-year-old Māori war veteran Selwyn Clarke has been begging for money at Kaitaia markets after his pension was cut just before Christmas.

Māori Battalion veteran Selwyn Clarke being taken away by police at Kaitaia Airport.

Mr Clarke’s Veteran’s Pension and disability allowance were suspended on 23 November after he was issued with a warrant to arrest.

The veteran was part of an occupation of Kaitaia Airport in September last year.

He was evicted and arrested for trespassing.

Mr Clarke appeared on Māori Television’s news show Te Kāea and said in Māori “I thought I would receive the pension for the rest of my life, but now it’s been cut and I’m here seeking financial support to live off.

“The people who were arrested that day are the people who have rights to that land. The land does not belong to Ngāi Takoto, neither does it belong to the government.”

Of course some will say that it was his own fault and he should have sorted out the warrant.  But he has well and truly earned his pension.  And the offence is not a major one and should be able to be dealt with quickly without this rather dramatic consequence.

163 comments on “War Veteran’s superannuation cancelled because of Government policy”

  1. johnm 1

    Outrageous! This shonkey government is becoming more overtly fascist everyday. It ain’t over till the fat lady sings : She’s already done some singing, if her fuhrer Shonkey gets in for a four term Reich Pullyabenefit will be doing some more singing.

  2. Whispering Kate 2

    Paula Benefit is paid one of the State’s biggest benefits given/taken from the largesse of the taxpayer. She has never been off a benefit of some kind from being a single mum – shame on her for being so lacking in discipline to paid uni fees to giver her her degree. Now she is a smug, overfed (again lacking in discipline) lady who cares not one jot for people just like she was – needing some sort of benefit. She has no heart, compassion or couth in her body. This does not surprise me at all. Look for a quick smart back pedal as this stinks for our veterans who may in the future fall by the wayside. The way this country is going there are still a lot of veterans who will be coming through from tours of duty overseas who may end up in the same situation.

    Also isn’t National Superannuation a payment of right to everybody over 65 – not a benefit as such.

  3. aerobubble 3

    Govt of the slippery slope. Key oils the slope that kicks veteran hard.

  4. greywarshark 4

    … maybe it is a sign of how indifferent National is to poverty.

    I say yes. And also what makes a sterling human being to be admired.

    Because that requires more than having personal goals such as to ‘be all you can be’. Or to try for an interesting lifestyle mixing with other similar people and thinking as they do, living as one wishes, and always having a backstop fund when there is a downturn in prospects.
    edited

  5. Colonial Viper 5

    This step by National is just another example of how the NZ government aims to suppress citizen dissent and democratic protest.

  6. Lanthanide 6

    I almost wonder if half the reason National put in petty and stupid policies like this, is so when a responsible future Labour government repeals them, they get to jump up on their soap boxes and go on about how soft the government is and how they like beneficiaries / criminals, etc.

    • Kevin 6.1

      No Lanth, some people are just born cunts and incidents like this do not even register on what passes for the conscience they have. If any.

      • framu 6.1.1

        i reckon lanth is right – much of the “why” of nat policy does have a “it will be fun hamstringing labour” edge to it

        • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.1

          Labour spends most of its time in Government partially rolling back what National has done.

          Two steps to the right, one step to the left. Two steps to the right, one step to the left.

      • Thom Pietersen 6.1.2

        Er yup, nicely said.

  7. Gristle 7

    I get no relevant hits when searching Stuff and NZHerald using “clarke war veteran pension”.

    Obviously this is not news, or RNZ just made it all up.

    An Eighty-nine-year-old Māori war veteran begging on the streets because National Government has cancelled his pension is gold. This is like getting a hat-trick when bowling to the Australians. Where are NZF, LP, MP……?

  8. BM 8

    I thought Maori were all about the whanau.

    Bit sad that no one could be arsed helping this old boy out and left him to beg at the markets.

    • weka 8.1

      Ignorant, prejudiced and racist, well done BM.

      • BM 8.1.1

        Where was his family or friends?, this is Kaitaia not Auckland.

        You can’t tell me that this old boy has been begging for food for at least a month and no one knew anything about it.

        This story has holes you could drive a bus through.

        • weka 8.1.1.1

          your inability to answer your own questions just reinforces what a bigot you are.

        • framu 8.1.1.2

          you know that having to beg isnt the threshold for getting a benefit dont you?

        • crashcart 8.1.1.3

          The guy is old. For all you know he has no direct family alive or is estranged from his family. There are so many reasons why he may not have support available to him. That is the reason we have these benefits.

          The people of Kaitaia have already contributed to help him. They paid their taxes which should have gone towards paying this mans Super. The fact he is not getting support from the community is down to your favourite party putting policy in place to cut that support off.

        • Tricledrown 8.1.1.4

          Maybe Maori should lock up a few minister for allowing their land which was confiscated under the public works act for the protection of New Zealand during WW2 to be returned after WW2 when it was no longer needed for that purpose!
          Now 70 years on it still hasn’t been returned to its rightful owner.
          So Selwyn is fighting the good fight again but against his own racist thieving govt!
          Go Selwyn hopefully someone sets up give a little account.
          So a Man who has fought for his country and his land can have some dignity.

        • Thom Pietersen 8.1.1.5

          Of course it does, maybe, still doesn’t mean a war vet hasn’t been dumped on by some petty policy – I’m surprised there isn’t a distinction between a pension and working age benefits? I would assume this relates to the disability portion?

          I’d be pissed if it was my granddad – he can bloody well go out there and support himself the bludging fuck, what’s he done for us? Plus I can’t afford to feed another mouth.

      • marty mars 8.1.2

        bm likes to use a wide range of techniques to show how idiotic he is – gold star you aced it bm

    • framu 8.2

      thats a pretty low distraction mate

    • One Anonymous Bloke 8.3

      Do you agree with taking the pension off people with outstanding warrants? Yes or no.

          • McGrath 8.3.1.1.1

            If you break the law, you forfeit your benefit.

            In this case, he had an outstanding arrest warrant that he ignored.

            • marty mars 8.3.1.1.1.1

              and you think that is a reason??? It is a description ffs

              • McGrath

                If you’re willing to ignore the laws of the land, then you cannot expect a benefit from the land. It’s all about personal responsibility.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Minor problem: no National Party member or supporter has ever demonstrated a single shred of personal responsibility.

                  In fact, the whole notion is a thinly-veiled conceit that enables you to blame poverty on the poor while worshipping the self attribution fallacy.

                  It’s transparent, and pathetic, and nowhere near as disgusting as the way you project your petty hatreds onto anyone the media tells you to.

                  • McGrath

                    Correct me if I’m wrong, however I don’t believe any National (or Labour) MP has deliberately refused an arrest warrant? If they have, they deserve what they get under the law.

                    Why is it hard for you to understand consequences? He ignored an arrest warrant? If it was a Retired National Party member, you’d be all over him like a rash.

                    • Anne

                      If it was a Retired National Party member, you’d be all over him like a rash.

                      If he’d been a ‘white’ retired Nat. member he would not have been arrested in the first place.

                    • McGrath []

                      Your racism towards white people is duly noted.

                • change land to state – you know nothing about this man’s relationship to his land but he does and THAT is personal responsibility

                • Thom Pietersen

                  I say that about bankers – but hey, knighthoods all around wot wot

            • One Anonymous Bloke 8.3.1.1.1.2

              Right. So no pension for David Garrett then. No pension for Doug Graham. No pension for Chester Borrows.

              Definitely no pension for Cameron Slater.

              Or on the other hand, perhaps you’re a hateful creep who deserves everything you wish upon others.

              • McGrath

                I don’t care who it is, be it the Pope, John Key or Cameron Slater. If you deliberately ignore the courts, then you lose the benefit.

                If the person subsequently “Man’s Up” and accepts his/her court punishment, then the benefit should be restored in full.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Nah, the correct course of action is to prosecute anyone who enables, encourages or perpetrates human rights abuses. Like you, for example.

                  • McGrath

                    Very well, who decides what the correct course of action is to prosecute anyone who enables, encourages or perpetrates human rights abuses?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      You do know how the Westminster justice system works, eh.

                    • McGrath []

                      Excellent!!! Glad you agree with me that the laws and courts of the land should be respected.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Yes, all of them. So, for example, when the Crown ignores property rights, when the Crown ignores human rights, and indeed, writes into legislation clauses that remove human rights from particular classes of citizen, and when public servants obey orders, it is best to treat these crimes as the upper end of the scale.

                      Trespass in pursuit of justice? Not so much.

              • McGrath

                One cannot give the fingers to the laws of state with one hand and have the other hand out for state funds at the same time.

                • Thom Pietersen

                  English law has always been based on reining in the establishment since the Magna Carta and creation of parliament etc. – OK it was mainly about poncy barons and devolution of absolute power, but disobedience has been core to law reform in the UK, US, and many Commonwealth countries. So you McGrath are a plain and simple douchebag with your boring little suck arse comments.

                  “It’s the rules, whimper, whimper, sniffle, suck balls” Yawn.

                  Fuck compassion, and a reasonable call of discretion by the law enforcement powers that be.

                  That been said he could be a murderer, rapist, thief, and in that case I offer my insincere apologies.

                  • McGrath

                    So you advocate ignoring laws you don’t agree with because they don’t suit your agenda?

                    Personally I’d love to ignore the laws on tax. I could even base that decision on my ties to the land via my tribe and iwi in Thames.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      That is precisely Mr. Clarke’s position: that his property rights have been not just ignored but trampled over.

                      One law for all?

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Come and see the little authoritarian who packed a huge tanty about lightbulbs bow and scrape to the power of the state.

            • Ian 8.3.1.1.1.3

              correct. End of story.

    • David H 8.4

      Give it as rest Bullshit Man your spin will not work here. but since you are so concerned, I expect to see a headline about the oldish fella getting a hand out from a mystery beneficiary.

    • Tricledrown 8.5

      Selwyn Clarke was fighting Nazis in WW2,only to have dictators take away his dignity in his own country.

    • North 8.6

      As usual. Bowel Motion missing the point.

    • Ian 8.7

      or sorted out his duty to our legal system

  9. My heart goes out to this man who does not deserve to be treated this way. His so called conviction is wrong and the cutting of his pension is even worse. Shame shame shame on us for letting this happen to him and many many others.

  10. Gangnam Style 10

    Thanks MICKY for highlighting this. I also think it might come as a bit of a surprise to pensioners that it can be taken away on the whim of some WINZ staffer nobody.

    • weka 10.1

      I was shocked by that. Other beneficiaries losing their benefit is commonplace, I don’t think I’ve ever heard of someone losing their pension.

  11. joe90 11

    When I heard about the withholding of Selwyn Clarke’s veterans pension I was reading the short biography of Ngāpuhi (Te Hikutū) treaty signatory Kaitoke Te Whakawai.

    Prior to signing he had his doubts.

    Kaitoke signed the Treaty of Waitangi at Mangungu, Hokianga, on 12 February 1840. He had previously spoken in opposition to Governor William Hobson:

    “No, no,” cried Kaitoke; “no, Mr. Governor, you will not square out our land and sell it. See there, you came to our country, looked at us, stopped, came up the river, and what did we do? We gave you potatoes, you gave us a fish-hook; that is all. We gave you land, you gave us a pipe, that is all. We have been cheated, the Pakehas are thieves. They tear a blanket, make two pieces of it, and sell it for two blankets. They buy a pig for one pound in gold, and sell it for three. They get a basket of potatoes for sixpence, sell it for two shillings. This is all they do; steal from us, this is all.”

    He also spoke a second time, calling for chiefs to choose their own governor.

    http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/politics/treaty/signatory/1-118

  12. Mr Nobody 12

    I find it interesting that his spokesperson has (according to the NZ Herald) Said: “He takes the view, which quite a few of our people take, that under the Treaty we never acceded our sovereignty, and therefore he does not come under the jurisdiction of the Crown,” she said.

    If this position is accurate I would argue that if he believes he does not come under the Jurisdiction of the Crown he equally isn’t entitled to the benefits that the Crown grants its citizens/servant.

    • weka 12.1

      Wouldn’t you have to know what the position is based on in order to make such a call?

      Besides, the implication of what you have just said is also that if one wants to eat one has to suffer injustice. That’s worth resisting in whatever ways we can.

      • Mr Nobody 12.1.1

        Yes

        • weka 12.1.1.1

          Yet you made that call without knowing what he’s basing it on.

          • Mr Nobody 12.1.1.1.1

            Sorry Weka, I’ve stuffed up.

            My previous Yes statement (12.1.1) was meant to be a response to One Anonymous Bloke (12.2) and his question Of do I agree with removing pensions from people with outstanding arrest warrants.

            12.1.2 was meant to be my response to your previous statement 12.1

        • One Anonymous Bloke 12.1.1.2

          No pension for Bill English then. Nah, that isn’t what you meant, eh. You just meant it to apply to people you hate.

          That’s the thing with Tories: they’re vile trash.

      • Mr Nobody 12.1.2

        I disagree. I believe that if you want to reap the benefits (Welfare, Justice, Health, Education etc) that a society presents those that live within it then you need to agree to meet your obligations as a citizen of it, by following the laws that the elected government put in place, paying your taxes etc, voting etc.

        If you don’t like the rules there are processes in place to change them eg the voting of a new government every 3 years, going to court etc.

        • Stuart Munro 12.1.2.1

          Not credible.

          The present government are largely white collar criminals – the law that must be respected exists independently of their bizarre and ineffectual right wingery.

          This man is a pensioner, therefore he should receive a pension.

          End of story.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 12.2

      Do you agree with taking pensions off people as a result of arrest warrants?

      Yes or no.

      • Thinking Right 12.2.1

        Yes. Obviously they require appropriate notice so they can sort their legal issues out.

        My understanding is that the benefit/pension is not stopped until after 28 days has passed and the person has been sent written notice.

        Sadly Mr Clarke has chosen to thumb his nose at the legal system due to his political beliefs – never a good idea.

        For those who mention Politicians with Criminal Histories, this is comparing apples and oranges.

        Criminal Convictions do not cut the benefit – its the bucking/ignoring/thumbing your nose at the Judicial Process which puts you in the situation of having a Warrant issued.

        An entirely self inflicted injury by Mr Clarke – I suggest some of his family go and have a quiet chat with him and tell him to make a voluntary appearance at the Court so he can get the Warrant lifted.

        After that he can then rant and rave against the government as much as he wishes to.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 12.2.1.1

          So, you can’t see anything wrong with it, which probably means you can’t fathom why anyone would think you are low-life trash.

    • Rosemary McDonald 12.3

      @Mr Nobody

      “If this position is accurate I would argue that if he believes he does not come under the Jurisdiction of the Crown he equally isn’t entitled to the benefits that the Crown grants its citizens/servant.”

      Does your job description not cover reading the articles the loony lefties link to on TS?

      Or, can’t you read?

      Or, do they not pay you enough to be a bit more creative and a little less ignorant when you’re on duty as the righty troll on TS?

      Any fool would know that left, right or centre saying this gentleman deserves his superannuation stopped because he is protesting a Treaty issue is political suicide.

      Twit.

    • Hera 12.4

      Article 3 of Te Tiriti gives us all the rights and privileges of British citizens, even though in Article 1 we did not sign away our sovereignty!

  13. Rosemary McDonald 13

    Coincidentally, my superannuitant partner and I had to go into WINZ this morning.

    After sorting out our issue, we asked whether or not the super was a benefit (with conditions attached) or an entitlement.

    Oh, its an entitlement…we were told.

    So why, we asked, did poor old eighty bleeding nine year old Selwyn Clarke get his super and disability allowance stopped because he is protesting over a land/Treaty issue?

    I must admit WINZ person looked a bit flummoxed….she wrote down Selwyn’s name…hopefully to do some research.

    She then talked about the 2013 Welfare Reforms….but but but we said…this guy…a Maori Battalion bloody veteran… is standing up for the rights (that were proved in court) of his hapu….

    We rather emphatically told her we were not impressed if that was the way elderly citizens were going to be treated by WINZ…especially since it is supposed to be a discretionary option.

    She then said that it was a link between WINZ and corrections (she may have mean’t Justice or police, since Selwyn hasn’t been convicted) and that the benefit termination comes from their end.

    ???

    I do know that CYFs will inform WINZ if children of a beneficiary have gone into care, under certain circumstances, and the benefit is cancelled….but a protesting Old Person?

    • Gangnam Style 13.1

      Good on you Rosemary!

    • weka 13.2

      Good for you!!

      Information sharing between government departments is pretty routine, that part doesn’t surprise me and it makes sense if they want to have such a punitive policy that they organise that between depts. What surprises me is her saying it comes from corrections (or whoever). I think what she means is corrections notify WINZ, but I’m pretty sure that it’s on WINZ whether the benefit gets cut or not.

      I’m getting more curious now about the entitlement thing. It’s pretty clear from WINZ’s website that they consider it not an entitlement because they use phrasing that says one might be eligible etc and then list the conditions (residency/citizenship, age).

      • Rosemary McDonald 13.2.1

        I remember when they started to change the terminology…referring to National Super as a ‘benefit’ rather than an entitlement.

        I think it was late eighties, early nineties.

        There was a wee bit of protest…

        According to this…http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11579819

        some 14 Old People have been bumped off the Super for “Outstanding warrants”.

        I wonder how many warrants were issued for protesting?

        Reason I ask….there were a significant number of white/ grey and salt ‘n pepper heads at the last few protest marches we’ve been to.

        • weka 13.2.1.1

          That’s a good write up (although unclear on what pension has been cut). Will have a look at the Māori TV piece later too.

          14 pensioners. I bet there are going to be some hasty focus groups done today.

      • Rosemary McDonald 13.2.2

        “I think what she means is corrections notify WINZ, but I’m pretty sure that it’s on WINZ whether the benefit gets cut or not.”

        The impression we got (after a debrief) is that it was an order from the court….that WINZ had to abide by)

        To be honest…she wasn’t very clued up about this….

        Perhaps MICKEYSAVAGE might clarify?

        (The instance where WINZ stopped a benefit at the behest of CYFs was when mum had literally abandoned children with an almost stranger for a few days to go off with a bloke. Three weeks later and no contact, stranger finally had to contact cyfs. Mum refused to answer phone or messages….so decision made to cut off her benefit…to get her attention. It worked. Sorry, folks, but some parents do do some shit things with regards to their children.)

    • Sabine 13.3

      first yes, benefit or pre-paid (via income tax) entitlement. It should be established which it is. I am of the opinion that all of these ‘benefits’ are actually entitlements, as we through our income tax foot the bill for these ‘benefits’ and only often can get these ‘benefits’ when we have worked long enough and contributed.
      The idea that one cuts the pension of an old bloke, one who has fought for this country, should put fear in the hearts of all. Remember, no matter what happens in 2017, one day we are all gonna be old farts.

      Secondly, yes, again so a benefit can be cancelled for a warrant? A warrant is not a conviction as far as i know.

      Thirdly, as I was told by a customer WINZ drone, the Accommodation benefit is not a benefit but a supplement. So question would be could that also be cancelled, or is it not a benefit as the Accommodation Supplements primarily benefits Landlords and Investment Companies. – so essentially corporate welfare under any other name.

      I think there is going to be a large part of NZ that never considered themselves to be ‘beneficiaries’ that will have a rude awakening, when their ‘benefits’ are cut, or suspended, or sanctioned for what ever spurious reason WINZ will make up to not pay out. And a lot of these people will have been National voter/supporter, not sure how that is gonna work out.

  14. James 14

    He was arrested. He needs to go to court just like everybody else.

    If he selects not to – there are consequences – you cannot just ‘opt’ out of the court system.

    This was easily fixed – but he made (by choice) a decision deliberately which put him in this position.

    He could solve the problem, but he choses not to “Mr Clarke said he had no intention of appearing before the district court so his warrant to arrest would be withdrawn and his veteran’s pension restored.”

    “Attending the court is not in my kaupapa,” he said”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11579819

    “When he clears his warrant, we are happy to help and will resume payments,” the ministry said.” – easy solution.

    • crashcart 14.1

      Yea honestly. Let the old bugger beg in the street and starve. He should know better than to protest if he wants to eat.

      That about sum it up James?

      • James 14.1.1

        Not at all.

        He can get paid – all he has to do is attend court – as he is legally required to do. The Ministry has said that they are happy to help and resume payments.

        Question for you:

        Do you believe that people should be able to opt out of the court system?

        • crashcart 14.1.1.1

          No I don’t but I do think that in accordance with the law any punishment for opting out should be in line with the offense being committed. I don’t think the cutting off of a retired war veterans only source of income is in line with that.

          This is where I differ from you. Just because National made it law to starve and old man into submission doesn’t mean I have to think it is appropriate.

          So I turn it back on you. Do you think it is OK to starve and perhaps drive an old man (or any one for that matter) to homelessness because they refuse to attend court?

          • James 14.1.1.1.1

            I honestly do not believe they are driving him to that. He is choosing it. It can be resolved in a day, but he wont complete his obgliations to resolve it.

            He owns this outcome – not the government.

            • framu 14.1.1.1.1.1

              shouldnt the sanction be coming from corrections instead of WINZ?

              by cutting off his current income what do you think MSD are trying to achieve?

              Do you think it is OK to starve and perhaps drive an old man (or any one for that matter) to homelessness because they refuse to attend court?

              • James

                “shouldnt the sanction be coming from corrections instead of WINZ?”

                Actually – thats probably the smartest / best / most appropriate solution.

                • pete

                  No. The sanction is, and should be, coming from ‘the government’. Whether thats Corrections or Winz is irrelevant. Government Departments are constantly acting together to solve a common goal. Immigration and winz. IRD and Winz. And so on. No difference in this case.

                  I expect as the complexity and cost of technology changes, we will increasingly see fewer government departments, but with far wider responsibilities.

            • DoublePlusGood 14.1.1.1.1.2

              A competent government would not have put him in that position in the first place.

            • Tricledrown 14.1.1.1.1.3

              He owns the Airport that has been stolen off his tribe.
              The police should be arresting the govt who refuse to give it back.
              If this was white peoples land the story would be completely different.

            • Ian 14.1.1.1.1.4

              A voice of reason.He can sort it if he wants to.

        • Rosemary McDonald 14.1.1.2

          http://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/local-news/northland/northern-news/71876802/kaitaia-airport-protesters-trespassed-five-arrested.html

          James…read the article linked above.

          This group DID go to court over the Kaitaia Airport issue and the Court said this should go to the Waitangi Tribunal.

          Chris Finlayson….hot to get the Ngapuhi Treaty settlement done and dusted basically said … yeah, nah.

          Finlayson called these legitimate, been- through- the- correct channels- and- got- shafted protesters “miscreants”.

          And you wonder why an eighty nine year old veteran chooses NOT to recognise the court?

        • Tricledrown 14.1.1.3

          James he fought against nasty bastards like you so we could have freedoms.
          Now we have laws similar to what he was fighting against.
          The Pension shouldn’t be a benefit.

        • Bill 14.1.1.4

          Red herring alert

          Do you believe that people should be able to opt out of the court system?

          A corporation is a person in the eyes of the law. Now…every fucking corporation that has a gripe with a piece of NZ government legislation in the future will be opting out of the NZ court system thanks to the TPPA.

          Picking James is just fine with the signing of the TPP.

          Not wanting replies or discussion on this tangential point btw.

    • Macro 14.2

      Lovely blue plumage James!
      But has this parrot been nailed to its perch? Or is it just tired and shagged out after a very long squawk?

      • James 14.2.1

        For you, thats a reasonably intelligent response.

        I understand that you disagree with me, however I thought that “The Standard” would give at least be open to a discussion of differences of opinion rather than – well what the heck you wrote was.

        [lprent: Since you addressed the moderators and wasted my time, I will explain it to you.

        I’m unsurprising that you can’t recognize Macro’s sarcasm about the vast amount of thought that you use to form your views. But that is a pretty apt description of the way that any ex-military like us will view your ability to think and what we think about screwups like you. We see the words of an blind unthinking fool who can’t think and has to parrot the words of others. We wonder why we bothered to take the risk of protecting a mindless civilian fuckwit like you.

        What we see is someone taking a principled stand and getting massively penalized by a bunch of unprincipled arseholes just like you.

        Does that make it clearer to you? I’d point out that all of the people who responded to you at the time I wrote this note have served in the military. ]

    • weka 14.3

      One law for all, eh? Last time I looked other people don’t lose their income if they have a warrant out on them. Nor do other recipients of the welfare state. Why is the govt not withholding education or health care for warranted people? The reason is because the policy o. This is a form of bigotry applied to one class of NZers not all.

      As for flouting the law, there are treaty issues here that outweigh the principle you espouse. Needless to say, if the government was upholding its side of the law we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

      Your argument fails on both counts.

      • marty mars 14.3.1

        + 1

        He was part of a indigenous political action and the reaction from the state has been political – albeit with real world devastation for this veteran of fighting for this country.

  15. Steve Wrathall 15

    Which war is he a veteran of?

    • lprent 15.1

      The “Māori Battalion” should have given you a hint.

      How many wars did we have one in?

      • Gangnam Style 15.1.1

        ‘Which was is he a veteren of?’, why? Does it make a difference?

      • Steve Wrathall 15.1.2

        Right, so this 89 year old (must have been 18 or 19 in 1945) served his country. How does that absolve anyone from having to continue to serve their country by turning up to court when summoned?

        • McFlock 15.1.2.1

          It doesn’t.
          It just means he earned his fucking pension.

        • marty mars 15.1.2.2

          what a dick comment steve – sad gutless wonder that you are – what have YOU ever done for this country that didn’t involve your own personal benefit SFA I’d say

          • Steve Wrathall 15.1.2.2.1

            What have I done? Follow my country’s laws, even those I don’t personally agree with.

            • marty mars 15.1.2.2.1.1

              are you sure about that? you are saying you’ve never broken any laws ever? I find that hard to believe steve

              • Gangnam Style

                A good example of White privilege right there Steve.

                • Steve Wrathall

                  How long would a white NZer stay out of jail if they tried to shut down an airport? How many days were Mr Clarke & his cohorts allowed to do this. Who has the privelege?

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    🙄

                    Come and see the violence inherent in Steve. The twisted logic, the mangled opinions, the long-dead arguments.

        • Tricledrown 15.1.2.3

          He was 15 when he went to war to rid the world of fascist dictators now at 89 years old he has found the freedoms he fought for are being taken away by dictators not unlike those he fought against.

    • Scott 15.2

      Another Grammar boy byproduct of the Tamaki mafia.

  16. Gangnam Style 16

    Low wages, high unemployment, punitive welfare. Just as long as you do as you are told you will be ok. Jeez right wingers are a fascistic bunch of gutless authority freaks.

  17. McFlock 17

    The thing is, when they brought out this fucking stupid policy of cutting benefits, I don’t recall the tories mentioning how pleased they were to cut the pensions of elderly veterans how were arrested for a minor charge like trespass.

    Burglars and suspects on the run and suchlike, I vaguely recall them being mentioned. But he’s hardly fleeing custody.

    But yeah, it’s a cautionary tale for when tories say they’re talking about targeting the worst of the worst – they’re including in that category people who stand up for their rights.

    • weka 17.1

      Plus they were targeting beneficiaries other wise sanctions would have applied to all NZers wanting state funded support. Imagine how that would go down, people bring refused a hip operation or access to A and E or university if they had an outstanding warrant.

    • greywarshark 17.2

      I seem to remember an old Maori serviceman who was taken to Court and may have had jail time for being in receipt of two benefits, in Shipley’s time I think. And I think it was in Northland. Can’t raise it on Google.

      I think he had been told that his war pension would be for ever, and then the government started paying another one, and he thought this is from a grateful government assisting me now I’m old. He didn’t question why as he thought they knew what they were doing back at the office. Hah!

      RW quite prepared to take the brutal approach we know. Anything to do with money is more important than say attacks on the person.

  18. Tiger Mountain 18

    the land Kaitaia airport sits on is Ngati Kahu land “loaned” for defence purposes in WWII and meant to be returned when no longer needed for that purpose

    70 years on it has never been returned to the farming family concerned or recompense offered to Ngati Kahu for subsequent private and commercial aviation activity, so Mr Clarke has essentially been punished by sadistic WINZ for trespassing on “his” own land

    it is disgusting that a WWII vet should lose his pension in this manner, full solidarity with Selwyn Clarke

  19. Observer (Tokoroa) 19

    @ Steve Wrathall

    What within your pitiful mind and heart enables you to get salacious pleasure from the enforced starvation of a really old man?

    You with your young mind intact, shamefully jumping like a madman on this man’s offended old mind and body.

    Are you some some kind of an abysmal Bastard steve?. Your inner infected hell hole of a heart destroying a worthy man.

    You, it must be said, will never be a worthwhile citizen of our country. You realise that don’t you Wrathall? Get back into your low life Wrat Hole. And cuddle into Paula.

    • North 19.1

      It’s just Wrathall and ‘ACT Naturally’. What would John Lennon have said about such scum as Wrathall ? And all his criminal mates in ‘ACT Naturally’.

  20. Muttonbird 20

    Interesting to speculate what sort of support the RSA would have given Mr Clarke before they too were gutted of funds and fought to hell and back over Agent Orange compensation.

  21. North 21

    It’s just amazing how the right wingers rush out to applaud areshole behaviour. Against old veterans. The people they semi-dewy-eyed line up with in the breaking dawn of Anzac Day. Then come moments like this – in favour of The Gauche Ponce and The Stomach Operation, out they come, aggressive, “Fuck That Lawbreaker !”

    Fuck Them ! Scum !

    • Colonial Viper 21.1

      Did Labour vote for the social welfare reform legislation which enabled this.

      • Muttonbird 21.1.1

        I’m not surprised that you as a Chinese New Zealander has no empathy for a WWII veteran but you really have to drop the Labour did it too meme on this one.

        • Rawsharkosaurus 21.1.1.1

          Granted, the “Labour did it too” meme is bullshit, but what the hell does Viper being Chinese (if he is – I don’t know Viper so I’ll assume that you’re right on that point) have to do with anything? That’s really out of line.

          In any case, China was involved in WWII before New Zealand was – by about ten years – click here and learn something.

          • Muttonbird 21.1.1.1.1

            Nope. CV has said he’s a Chinese New Zealander and I don’t apologise for anything I said. CV is as meaninglessly divisive as any of the RW trolls on and off this site and that includes the absolute horrors that are Pagani and Quin.

            I’m completely within my rights to make the assumption that Chinese New Zealanders have little or no sympathy for the Maori veterans of WWII. Apart from being refugees, Chinese New Zealanders had little involvement in WWII and I don’t expect them to have any interest in the plight of fighters from this country.

            Except of course when CV wants to use Mr Clarke’s situation to bash the NZLP.

            • Colonial Viper 21.1.1.1.1.1

              You clearly have significantly less than zero fucking idea of how the Chinese and the Chinese people view WWII in the Pacific.

              I reckon more Chinese died in a month at the hands of the Japanese than NZers did during the entire war. Not that you would care.

              Now, answer the question: did Labour vote for the legislation cutting this veteran’s super.

              • Muttonbird

                You sir, as always, are confusing Chinese with Chinese New Zealanders, just as you did when Phil Twyford desperately wanted information on who exactly was buying Auckland property.

                I won’t answer your petulant question. It is not relevant to the operations of the government of today.

        • Colonial Viper 21.1.1.2

          Firstly, the Japanese fucked over China and also ethnic Chinese throughout South East Asia well and good during WWII. Check your history.

          Secondly, answer the question. Did Labour vote for the legislation which enabled this veteran’s benefits to be slashed.

        • Tricledrown 21.1.1.3

          Overt Racism Muttobird

          • greywarshark 21.1.1.3.1

            Tricledrown
            I think stubborn defence of an opinion that shows Muttonbird’s prejudice and lack of discernment. From the pounding the table approach to discussion and wider understanding on a matter.

  22. Observer (Tokoroa) 22

    @ National / Act

    You shallow products of greed …. are evil men and women. You the the junk generation. John key, Bill English and Bennett flag you on and enliven their wretched evil.

    To think the once proud Parliament of New Zealand has sunk so low as to starve and old man and an old soldier. A man defending his long held right to justice.

    You are so low.

  23. gsays 23

    i just love how tories get all chapter and verse on other people not following laws, but tend to see themselves sometimes above or beyond certain law.

    i have just spent 12 days at a doc camp at puriri bay in whangaruru.
    the new neighbour is retelling the conflict she had with the camp supervisor over not having a 500mm gap between her tent and the boundary line. “ive camped in doc camps for 20 years, i have never had to do this… there is nothing in the rules about this…” (it is stated in on the website, a walkway in case of fire/emergency.)

    the next day she is busy saying how her husband is going to rark up the young jet ski riders coz they werent the full 200 metres from shore before they opened up the throttle. “these laws are there for our safety”, without a hint of irony.

    • weka 23.1

      Huh, I heard stories about the 500mm thing this summer too and I’m in the South Island. Not just DOC camp sites. I’m guessing the Fire Dept has been round and done a training on this with all the DOC offices and Councils etc.

  24. Chris 24

    “The numbers of cases where this actually occurred were probably limited. But the claimed problem has occupied an enormous amount of media time and Ministerial effort” = filthy fucking liars.

  25. Magisterium 25

    Clarke claims to have served with 28 Maori Battalion. There are five Clarke’s listed on the Battalion nominal roll … none of them Selwyn Clarke and all dead. Further, there are seven Karaka’s (Maori for Clarke) listed … none of them with the forenames Haki Herewini (Clarke’s Maori forenames) and again, all dead.

    There is however evidence that he enlisted late in the war sailing to the Middle-East with the 15th Reinforcements. That would have seen him on-board a ship when VE Day was announced. The 15th Reinforcements landed in Egypt, were processed through to Italy to join the Division in time for them to be sent home. The only ‘action’ they saw would have been in Cairo or in some Italian Taverna.

    The water gets muddier. Clarke also claims he served as a Military Policeman and that would have seen him a member of the Divisional Provost Company and not 28 Battalion. I am inclined to believe this as my sources from within Maoridom tell me that Clarke was shunned by members of 28 Battalion when he tried to gatecrash on their gatherings.

    But it gets better. Clarke would have it that he first enlisted (at age 13 or 15 … changing story) under an assumed name (not revealed) where he served with 28 Battalion in the western desert in the 1941-43 campaign. He claims one of his tasks was to escort prisoners through minefields and further, that his platoon commander (unnamed) shot prisoners and that this continually haunts him. Now clearly Clarke is not the sharpest knife in the drawer or else he would have realized that he was admitting to being an accessory to a war crime as defined in the London Charter (the Nuremburg Laws) of 1945.

    If the story is correct then Clarke may get to know more about arrest warrants. There is no statute of limitations for war crimes.

    If the story is incorrect then Clarke has bought dishonor to 28 Battalion and to an unnamed officer, now dead, with false allegations of war crimes.

    So, there it is, Selwyn Clarke, either and by his own admission an accessory to a war crime (the murder of POWs) or a liar about his service with 28 Battalion.

    http://nominister.blogspot.com.au/2016/01/the-most-curious-case-of-selwyn-clarke.html

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