Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Metiria's Problem

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  • Dennis Frank, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    Yes Rob, quite right. That's why I supported her stand. Now that it seems the damage is greater than I expected, I'm becoming critical of her stand. It is a complex situation, multidimensional, in which the truth has many sides. Ultimately, losing control of the political narrative may result in no change to the govt at the election. A political leader polarising folks and thereby defeating her own side is incompetent, and the next polls may reveal this stark reality.

    New Zealand • Since Jun 2016 • 292 posts Report Reply

  • andin, in reply to Dennis Frank,

    A political leader polarising folks

    folks that it seems want to be polarised

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1890 posts Report Reply

  • izogi,

    Has Turei actually come out anywhere saying she condones beneficiaries breaking the law?

    Maybe she has, but in the mess of so many people screaming that she has, I can't seem to find a clear reference.

    The most I've found with a moderate search is her saying that she doesn't regret saying she did it, which is a completely different thing.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1141 posts Report Reply

  • dave stewart, in reply to dave stewart,

    Gullible old me didn't pick up on the irony - but not surprising given some of the hysterical and spiteful nonsense being spouted about!

    Since Aug 2014 • 37 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to ,

    Needing to commit benefit fraud to “feed a baby”, is complete bullshit. It might however be the case today, but it wasn’t back then.

    I was on a benefit with children in the nineties, and I can remember standing in the kitchen of our tiny ex-state-house rental crying because Plunket was on our case over our baby not gaining weight and I was already spending $20 a week on baby rice and steaming veggies to feed him and it was half our food budget.

    We had a panel heater in the bedroom our two kids shared that had a thermostat. I had it set to 12 degrees, because that was as warm as I could afford to run it, and yes it turned on, because the house was so cold. That's not warm enough to keep kids healthy.

    We didn't commit benefit fraud, but it wasn't out of ethics, it was out of pure fear. And we did not have enough money to keep our kids healthy.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to izogi,

    Just replying to my own comment, the most I've been able to find from Metiria Turei is along the lines of:

    "I will never condemn a beneficiary for working as hard as they can to put food on the table and a roof over their head."

    While Turei said she could not condemn those who lied to Winz to protect their children, she did not go as far as saying she would encourage beneficiaries to cheat the system.

    From http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11894932

    I still can't find anywhere where she actually condones people breaking the law, but plenty of people seem to be out there shouting that that's exactly what she's said.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1141 posts Report Reply

  • Dennis Frank, in reply to izogi,

    That'd be because her political opponents are spinning that line. Human nature to misrepresent what others say. Interpretation is a subjective process. We interpret according to our social context, which is constituted by our niche in the ecosystem, our power relations, our origin, our education, and our values - which tend to arise from all of those put together.

    New Zealand • Since Jun 2016 • 292 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    "Metiria Turei's benefit fraud revelation was an act of political cannibalism that backfired both for her and the centre-left, writes Bernard Hickey"

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Just to say that (as noted previously) I was toying with the idea of voting for TOP or National (I'd never vote Labour) but now I'm firm on voting Green, provided Mets is still leader at the election, just out of solidarity with her for staunching it out.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Dennis Frank,

    A political leader polarising folks and thereby defeating her own side is incompetent, and the next polls may reveal this stark reality.

    They stand to lose a lot more by resiling from the position they have taken so far.
    There is a lot of clamour, and shouting from the usual suspects and the commentariat, but that is still a very small number of people.

    In the immortal words of Donald Trump "time will tell, time will tell".

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7950 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Russell Brown,

    She was impressive – and showed a degree of grace that perhaps some of the party’s activists could take a lesson from.

    Perhaps a lesson that could be taken by Kennedy Graham who was all over the media telling party activists to "stop inflaming" a fire he started and plenty of others have been cheerfully pouring fuel on. There does come a point where clutching your invisible pearls when you get exactly the reaction you're fishing for just isn't credible.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    To me the issue is very simple, if the law let's children go without food, for any reason, the law is an arse, and needs to be changed

    Metiria is shining the public spotlight on this ugly corner of our society at risk to her own future, that makes her a step above those people who are guarding their precious status quo and quietly sweeping the hungry and homeless under their rug of mediocrity

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2622 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell, in reply to ,

    In the mid nineties, it was possible to rent heathy accommodation in Auckland, and have a healthy diet, and do tertiary education whilst on a benefit. Needing to commit benefit fraud to “feed a baby”, is complete bullshit.

    What you seem to be saying is the ’91 benefit cuts had no impact on poverty. That’s a big claim that needs a bit more than anecdote to back it up. Runs counter to eg research cited in this Brian Easton paper.
    It’s also hard to remember now how high unemployment was in the early nineties. Close to 12% – it really wasn’t that easy to find a job, and if you did there was someone else not getting it.
    It wasn't an easy time.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2110 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    Metiria is shining the public spotlight on this ugly corner of our society

    The problem as always is a lazy, under-resourced, inexperienced media.

    It was always much easier to chase after the "Meteria story" than to dive into the morass of our welfare system and drag the problems into the light.

    Even now places that promised better journalism (The Newsroom) are far happier talking about the politicians and politics than actually looking hard at the issues Ms Turei raised and the policies that created them.

    You can proclaim all you like that "it was always going to be about her" but that is just accepting the Garners and Gowers as normal and right.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • izogi,

    This evening's Checkpoint sent Mihingarangi Forbes to Manurewa today to ask people what they think about Turei and benefits. There's a strong contrast in that coverage to what I'm seeing in much traditional and social media.

    Ref: http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/checkpoint/audio/201853999/manurewa-voters-have-their-say-on-turei-s-benefit-fraud

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1141 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    You can proclaim all you like that "it was always going to be about her" but that is just accepting the Garners and Gowers as normal and right.

    'Normal' yes, right no. The parlous current state of our political media was a known quantity before this whole palaver started.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Trevor Nicholls, in reply to ,

    Needing to commit benefit fraud to “feed a baby”, is complete bullshit.

    This is just the John Key grew up in a state house and made millions and became PM so anyone can do it argument, really.

    Wellington, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 324 posts Report Reply

  • Katharine Moody, in reply to izogi,

    Sure is - excellent reporting - not hard to do... getting out into the real world and talking to real people, is it? MSM so angers me - this is what all NZers need to see on the 6 o'clock news as the headline story.

    There but before the grace of God, go I.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2014 • 798 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Just to say that (as noted previously) I was toying with the idea of voting for TOP

    I've been toying with the idea of TOP, and I often sympathise with or at least tolerate what the likes of Gareth Morgan have to say about things. But today I was casually browsing FB and saw Gareth saying this on Turei, Graham and Clendon (FB link):

    We've just seen that with Metirira who is saying that rorting the benefit system is ok because beneficiaries are so hard done by.

    Well I'm sorry, because we live in a democracy and there are ways to go about fixing the system faults in our social policy - namely political activism - illegal behaviour is not ok. Metirira's prescription for people to rort the system is simply wrong.

    As far as I can tell he's just making stuff up about what she's said, as are so many others, and it really put me off him.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1141 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to izogi,

    As far as I can tell he’s just making stuff up...

    Well he definitely made up a novel spelling of Metiria's name.
    Not a details person I guess...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7950 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to ,

    Sounds like you may need to actually read their policy: https://www.greens.org.nz/policy/social-policies/mending-safety-net

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to izogi,

    the likes of Gareth Morgan

    In the mid-90s I met a prosperous though mildly malcontented tradie who told me that voting was a waste of time. What the country needed was "the Warehouse guy telling us what to do". Around a decade later when our paths crossed again I asked if he still felt that way. He informed me that my recollection was wrong, what he'd advocated, and still stood by, was having "the TradeMe guy" run things.

    While I was tempted to argue that TradeMe hadn't been around at the time of our earlier meeting I decided that it was better to accept nature's jewels as they were offered. If we meet again I might ask if he'd settle for the TradeMe guy's dad.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Trevor Nicholls,

    Poverty *is* a green issue because the more you increase the inequalities in the economy the less sustainable it is.

    Wellington, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 324 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to ,

    Well yeah. People will still have to justify themselves to Winz, the money will just be a bit more generous, until National get back in and quietly erode it back.

    That's the thing that attracted me about TOP - their UBI policy gets rid of all that (it basically removes unemployment as a concept) and reversing it would become a big hurdle for a future government.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    That's the thing that attracted me about TOP - their UBI policy gets rid of all that (it basically removes unemployment as a concept) and reversing it would become a big hurdle for a future government.

    I love the concept of a UBI. TOP's UBI is impossible to live on, and would be up to a 30% income cut for some beneficiaries.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

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