Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Metiria's Problem

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  • Neil, in reply to Moz,

    They were only right if they knew then what we might learn tomorrow about why exactly she resigned. But unless they told Shaw that then , they were just being whiners.

    Or possibly from having worked with her they had doubts about her reliability.

    But for whatever reason their judgment turned out to be more acute than every other Green MP. They paid a price.

    They were immediately subject to a remarkablely dishonest character attack.

    Since Nov 2016 • 382 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie, in reply to Moz,

    They were only right if they knew then what we might learn tomorrow about why exactly she resigned.

    I don't think anything else will come out. Someone had contacted John Campbell today to say that Metiria's child's grandparents had provided support. She confirmed on Checkpoint that there was no direct financial support... just things like babysitting or looking after the child when Meti had exams. Just the typical things most grandparents do, in other words.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1438 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie, in reply to tussock,

    So, Bill English gets a government subsidy to rent his own fucking house, and we slap a coat of paint on that law to make it go away and now he's Prime Minister without anyone even getting to vote on it.

    If I recall correctly, English had been claiming the subsidy for years, but only had to pay back the amount he'd claimed during the previous 2 or 3 years. So a nett gain of tens of thousands of dollars for Mr. double Dipton.

    Metiria has resigned for not telling WINZ the full story when she was in her early 20s. Meanwhile a prominent National MP has been accused of telling much bigger lies to WINZ, including not declaring she was living with a partner for years while claiming a benefit. It's a pity that scores of legal letters seem to have silenced the media in that case.

    The hypocrisy is palpable.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1438 posts Report Reply

  • william blake, in reply to Alfie,

    With Metiria resigning it finishes her story as a politician and it can be seen from one angle as an idealistic and naive narrative, especially when compared to the Nat MP you are referring to. If that Nat’s youthful indiscretions catch up with her I very much doubt that she would resign. It does make me realise, by comparison, that the shitstorm surrounding her story isn’t about being a Maori woman, it’s about being a socialist and wanting to help the poor.

    Since Mar 2010 • 380 posts Report Reply

  • Katharine Moody, in reply to william blake,

    If that Nat’s youthful indiscretions catch up with her I very much doubt that she would resign.

    I suspect the full weight of the party’s legal arm will only be on it up to the election and if they remain in power. If they lose the election, she’ll be a casualty of the re-shuffle and as far as this matter goes – she’ll be on her own to actually follow through on the defamation threats.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2014 • 798 posts Report Reply

  • Neil, in reply to Alfie,

    Just the typical things most grandparents do, in other words.

    I think the issue was that some within her whanau had a different perception of what went on to that of Turei.

    I don’t know the truth of the matter but I do know that Turei was determined to stay as co-leader and as an MP with the full support of her colleagues no matter what the polls said, no matter what the media or public said – right up until a member of her whanau voiced an opinion.

    Since Nov 2016 • 382 posts Report Reply

  • Lynn Yum,

    I think Metiria Turei did the right thing to resign, but the scrutiny on her benefit situation is IMO a diversion from the real issue, that the welfare system treats people it is supposed to help like shit. Most people want and need a helping hand from time to time. They don't want a handout. But given the amount of personal information WINZ requires, it is assuming that everyone is asking for a handout.

    On the other hand, her vote fraud was unjustifible and just plain stupid.

    Auckland • Since Dec 2016 • 38 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    It's a very sad day. Forget the insane soap opera, we've all lost, public discourse has lost, and no doubt future documentary makers and historians will be saying "WTF?". The madness took hold, and like so many such episodes in the past, it won't be long before Metiria Turei will be getting the accolades and the mob will be forgotten - or pretending they were never part of it.

    I'll be voting Green at the election - because, um, policies. Remember them?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1330 posts Report Reply

  • simon g, in reply to Lynn Yum,

    On the other hand, her vote fraud was unjustifible and just plain stupid.

    If anybody from the electoral commisssion, a law professor, or anyone else with relevant perspective held that view, I would listen. So far, all I've heard is sanity - we'd lose a hundred MPs overnight if that level of pre-MP misdemeanour required resignation. They drank, they drove, they weren't caught. That's all.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1330 posts Report Reply

  • Lynn Yum, in reply to simon g,

    So far, all I’ve heard is sanity – we’d lose a hundred MPs overnight if that level of pre-MP misdemeanour required resignation.

    I wouldn’t ask her to resign for THAT. No. But IMO that is stupid.

    But she is taking one for the team because her benefit situation will drag on and on with both an MSD investigation and media investigation. There will be he said-she said on and on about her “real” circumstances until the cows come home, or until the election. That has to stop if the Greens is going have any chance in this election.

    Auckland • Since Dec 2016 • 38 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Gotta say the anonymous allegation thing seems odd - since when does John Campbell start taking the word of anonymous sources as gospel?

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7950 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    Let me just illustrate what I mean about historical perspective, and the need to stand back from the mob.

    Here are the names of all the MPs in Parliament when Metiria entered, after the 2002 election.

    If you take a moment to scroll down that list, you will find about 25-30 MPs who were subsequently making headlines for legal/ethical wrongdoing while they were MPs. Some ended up in court and resigning, others survived. (I'm not naming them all, because it's not my blog and there are defamation laws, and of course there is a difference between being in "trouble" and being convicted of a crime. Lest we forget, Metiria is the former, not the latter). But if anyone needs to refresh their memory ... there it is.

    Screaming "Worst. Person. Ever" just doesn't cut it, or come anywhere close. And not everyone has joined that chorus - but far too many have.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1330 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens, in reply to ,

    Finlay Macdonald

    Pretty much sums up my view on this whole sorry affair.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2217 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    Audrey Young's throwaway line in the Herald says it all, really:

    One of my colleagues spent several hours buried in the National Library this week trying to track down her flatmates from that time.

    While all this was happening, the Panama Papers fallout continued, reported by a few (Matt Nippert), ignored by most. TLDR: Key was wrong, his critics were right, and many millions of dollars were at stake. Sir John could not be reached for comment (because nobody bothered).

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1330 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    and Barry Soper goes all MacArthur Park - well all over the place really...
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11901133

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7950 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    All the white boys are out offering condescending remarks with their heads held at a certain angle.
    So, Finlay, the poor of this country would have been better served than by the likes of Metiria fessing up the way she did. Oh Really !!!!!! BY WHO?
    The poor dont get to chose a champion, you do realize that dont you Fuck knuckle!
    Geddis is just ineffectual for all his qualifications and law learning.
    Be proud of yourself NZ be real fucking proud.
    The darker side of our country has just been exposed to the world again.
    Our collective mind is small and narrow, kind of like a butt crack

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1890 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to andin,

    So, Finlay, the poor of this country would have been better served than by the likes of Metiria fessing up the way she did. Oh Really !!!!!! BY WHO?

    Apart from the token bleeding heart "poor are always with us" window dressing, Macdonald's contribution to the pile-on is the kind of thing I'd have expected from Karl du Fresne. Describing Turei's supporters as "mewling" only demonstrates what Kiwiblog-style toxicity has reduced things to since Macdonald's Listener heyday.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    One of my colleagues spent several hours buried in the National Library this week trying to track down her flatmates from that time.

    As I've said repeatedly, wouldn't it be nice if as much deep investigative journalism went into exposing the prominent men (including one of our self-appointed media moralists, I'm reliably informed) who don't pay their child support. That's a billion dollars owed to taxpayers I don't notice any performative media outrage about.

    Let me just illustrate what I mean about historical perspective, and the need to stand back from the mob.

    Ah yes, Simon let's talk about that historical perspective.

    Prime Minister John Key says he is not concerned that Police Minister Michael Woodhouse has a past drink-driving conviction, and it was disclosed to National before he became an MP.

    Woodhouse has owned up to a past drink-driving conviction during a wide-ranging interview about his new portfolio.

    Asked if he had had any brushes with the law, Woodhouse revealed: "I have a conviction for driving with excess blood alcohol - it's 27 years old, I was 21."

    He said: "You've asked, I can't say no . . . I suppose that's on the public record."

    Key said Woodhouse was "very up-front ... to tell us about that".

    "In the end very few people come to Parliament with a background of perfection. Some do, but most people have made the odd mistake in their life," Key said.

    People with drink-driving convictions are not allowed to become police officers. Woodhouse was appointed police minister this month.

    It was barely a one-day story, and far from being hounded out of Parliament for being well... less than entirely forthcoming with voters, Woodhouse got promoted. Repeatedly.

    And before any Labour folks unholster their pointing fingers, I'd note Ruth Dyson's political career isn't over either.

    So yeah, we have two MPs whose criminal convictions didn't deem them unfit for public life, let alone Ministerial office. Our media moralist were happy to say "shit happens, move along" for people whose law-breaking could easily have ended in tragedy.

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

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to simon g,

    Audrey Young's throwaway line in the Herald says it all, really:

    One of my colleagues spent several hours buried in the National Library this week trying to track down her flatmates from that time.

    While all this was happening, the Panama Papers fallout continued, reported by a few (Matt Nippert), ignored by most. TLDR: Key was wrong, his critics were right, and many millions of dollars were at stake. Sir John could not be reached for comment (because nobody bothered).

    Which is my problem with this as well.

    Our media, including John Campbell and Checkpoint (of whom I expected better), spent a huge effort going after Metiria and framing her "crime" even to the extent of condemning her for not becoming a drug dealer.

    Yet we have a PM who has demonstrated he is completely comfortable with ripping off the taxpayer if it can be squeezed past a lawyer and happy to have the taxpayer continue the salary of an MP who recorded private conversations (possibly between aforesaid PM and a staff member).

    Where are the nightly updates on that investigation? How many checkpoint journalists are digging through Mr Barclay's life history, or heaven forfend, Mr English's tax records?

    Our media need to have a long hard look at themselves and ask themselves just how balanced are they? And are they really serving the best interests of the public with where they have placed their effort?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    It would be nice if one of the media that went after Metiria so enthusiastically had an extended investigative journalism series about how our welfare system is failing the very poor and how the hostile approach of WINZ is doing more harm than good.

    You know - for the public good.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • Mikaere Curtis, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Yet we have a PM who has demonstrated he is completely comfortable with ripping off the taxpayer if it can be squeezed past a lawyer and happy to have the taxpayer continue the salary of an MP who recorded private conversations (possibly between aforesaid PM and a staff member).

    This. What we are seeing is our culture of beneficiary-bashing in full swing. It is simply a socially acceptable form of bullying. It sucks that members of our media are cheerleading this kind of ignominy.

    I really hope Metiria has done enough to change the government. That will provide some solace at least for the loss of such a talented and hard-working MP.

    Tamaki Makaurau • Since Nov 2006 • 528 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell, in reply to ,

    Human beings are way more complex than our educated thinking.

    Reading 'The Righteous Mind' at the moment. Nothing very startling so far (finding it disturbingly bias-confirming :)) but a good discussion about how our decisions - moral and otherwise - tend to be driven by instant emotional responses, with reason coming along later to justify/make them respectable.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2110 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to ,

    Am I wrong ?

    You're neither entirely wrong nor entirely right. Which is true of almost everyone expressing opinions.

    However, the question for me is "Is what we are focusing on going to improve the well-being of New Zealanders?"

    What has made me angry and upset is that rather than addressing the issues Metiria raised, and policies that might improve things, the response has largely been one of attacking the person. Exacerbating that anger has been the overt and covert sexism and racism in the way Ms Turei has been examined.

    That behaviour is to be expected in the social media (sadly) but for the MSM to behave that way is really disappointing.

    And then when she resigns, for the media to proclaim "it wasn't our fault, what did she expect if she bends over of course we'll kick her and stomp on her once she's down" is disgusting. Some people need to check their humanity.

    But yeah, she isn't poor now and she was trying to get votes as well. But that doesn't make what happened since right or good or something for which New Zealanders can be proud.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Vink, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    This is not something that Greg O'Connor personally supports. He said that only in his capacity as President of the Police Association, as it was a policy supported by the members he represented: http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/89338825/Greg-O-Connor-not-in-favour-of-general-arming-of-police-officers

    Wellington • Since Apr 2017 • 3 posts Report Reply

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