An interesting twist in the case of benefit fraudster Metiria Turei

Lindsay Mitchell writes:

When Ann Hartley was in parliament, 2002-05, Labour passed legislation to increase the penalties for claiming a benefit and not naming the child’s father:

25 August 2004

Heather Roy: When will he admit that this is just a rort so that fathers can dodge child support, and why should taxpayers always have to pick up the bill?

Hon STEVE MAHAREY: It is a rort, and I have said time and time again in this Parliament that fathers must front up to their obligations, and we will make sure they do, as much as we can.

Labour raised the weekly section 70A penalty from $22 to $28 (I argued at select committee it would make no difference).

Ann Hartley wasn’t responsible for her son not being named as father of his and Turei’s daughter, but on the balance of probabilities, she would have known. Paying child support is no small deal.

The stance Labour took then, shows how politically difficult it will now be for them to continue their pact with the Greens.

Andrew Little should be asked if he thinks dodging child support is a rort.

No, Ann Hartley wasn’t responsible for Metiria Turei hiding the involvement of her son as the father of of Turei’s child.

But, the section 70A penalties that Metiria Turei is banging on about had a direct involvement of Ann Hartley when she knew her son wasn’t being responsible for his own child.

Now that it is known that he is the father and Metiria Turei’s own statements suggest she never named him as a liable parent so he wouldn’t get interrogated by IRD, or indeed have to make payments for his own child, surely IRD is entitled to chase those 18 years of outstanding payments and penalties?

But Lindsay Mitchell is right, Andrew Little should be asked if he agrees with former Labour Social Welfare Minister Steve Maharey, that this sort of behaviour is a rort on the system.


-Lindsay Mitchell

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story.  And when he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet.   Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet, and as a result he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him.  But you can’t ignore him.