Rodney Hide on why benefit cheat Metiria Turei should pay it back ( why she is paying it back)

Rodney Hide writes at NBR about why he thinks self-confessed benefit cheat Metiria Turei has decided to pay it back.

I suspect two things are at work.

First, Work and Income will have told her they are investigating.

Better then, that she front foot.  Second, she will be suffering a member and candidate backlash.

Chloe Swarbrick and Hayley Holt did not sign up the Greens to spend the campaign defending Turei’s benefit cheating. I am sure they disagree with it.

They must be rethinking their commitment.

The good news we should get all the details eventually.  The Greens’ commitment to transparency should ensure that.

More to the point I think she has had some legal advice and been shown that section 240 of the Crimes Act says…and seen the penalties for a conviction. She is trying to head off a prosecution.

Rodney, earlier, lists 10 reasons why she should pay it back:

The media have failed to enumerate the many problems thoughtful people (non-Green voters) have with Ms Turei’s admission.

1. My girls at three would blame Dolly when they played up, as in, “Dolly made me do it.” At four and six they take some responsibility. In blaming welfare for both her predicament and her lying, Ms Turei shows an infantile sense of personal responsibility.

2. Ms Turei presented her admission as a badge of honour in that she, too, has had to struggle. There was no hint of shame or of embarrassment, just a poor me.

3. She’s oblivious of where her money came from. She has no thought of taxpayers struggling to earn a living to support their families and having to support hers as well.

4. Ms Turei sees no need to apologise. Indeed, in Turei logic, it’s taxpayers who should apologise to her for not providing the money she needed. They left her “stressed and terrified,” the poor dear.

5. At the time Ms Turei was a single mother choosing to study law. She found time while studying to stand first for the McGillicuddy Serious Party in 1993 (she got 121 votes against Jonathan Hunt in New Lynn) and then the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party in 1996 (she was fourth on the list, ahead of Nandor Tanczos). She graduated in 1999. She fails to see any cause-and-effect between her choices and her predicament.

6. Ms Turei demonstrates a gargantuan sense of entitlement. She is not only entitled to have her adult choices funded by others but if the funding proves insufficient she is entitled to lie and cheat to get more.

7. As Ms Turei sees it, it’s not up to her to make restitution. That’s WINZ’s job. “If WINZ does an investigation, of course, I will pay the money back.”

8. Ms Turei has waited over 20 years to make her admission, apparently for political advantage in election year. She has even attempted to benefit from admitting her fraud.

9. “Todd Barclay’s actions damage the relationship between the public and the politicians elected to represent them. The Green Party want to be part of a government you can trust” – Metiria Turei.

10. Fellow co-leader James Shaw has promised that with enough Green votes Ms Turei will be Deputy Prime Minister. She would have to either order a general amnesty for all benefit cheats or prove a gigantic hypocrite.

The Greens think they can get away with this because they can hide behind their shield of sanctimony. It is my belief that they have misread the public and the voters and are about to get punished severely. That is why Metiria Turei is busily back-tracking on her arrogance right now.



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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.