The truth behind Turei’s fraud is starting to come out, at last

The truth about Metiria Turei’s fraud is starting to slowly but surely leak out.

Metiria Turei won’t say whether one of the flatmates she failed to tell Work and Income about was a boyfriend – saying the state has no right to investigate a woman’s intimate personal life.

Warwick Stanton’s own words and statements prove he was one of the ‘flatmates’. That makes her fraud that much larger.  

If he was living with her then that was a de facto relationship and she therefore would not have been eligible for the DPB and as a consequence she would also have not been eligible for the TIA grants she received.

Her benefit fraud may be several magnitudes larger than than a few flatmates or boarders giving her an extra hundy a week.

In a sit-down interview with the Herald, Turei said she couldn’t condemn people who were faced with hard choices because of financial hardship.

Asked if it was acceptable for a small business owner on the brink to avoid tax, Turei said she couldn’t comment on individual cases but wanted to fix the system so people weren’t in poverty.

“That person might be entitled to Working For Families. And if they are, I want to fix Working For Families so it is worth more to those families who need it.

“We have a system that leaves people with too few choices. That the only choices are bad ones. Not to pay the rent, not to pay the power bill, not to have enough food for your kids. Or, lie to WINZ and keep a secret.”

Wrong answer sweetie. It is never alright to avoid tax. That is illegal and you go to jail for it. IRD wouldn’t have a bar of her obfuscation about starving children and need etc.

Turei was on a benefit from 1993 until late 1998. She started law school in 1995. In her speech to the Green Party conference earlier this month, she said she failed to tell WINZ about flatmates during her time living in three different flats.

And Warwick Stanton entered into a relationship with her sometime before 1994. That is a matter of public record.

She has said she will pay the money back, and will meet the agency’s investigate unit next week. However, she will not say whether one of the flatmates she did not tell WINZ about was a boyfriend.

“I don’t believe it is right for the state to investigate a woman’s intimate personal life. And if I respond to your question and defend myself I am validating that, and I don’t believe that is right. I won’t do it for myself – despite the fact I could defend myself – because I don’t believe any other woman would be subject to the same.”

Asked if living with a partner without disclosing that to WINZ was more serious than failing to tell the agency about flatmates, Turei said it was treated differently by the agency.

“And one of the things that I will do if I get the chance is to fix that system so a woman’s personal life is not subject to questions by WINZ, by MSD. We have seen a lot of that directed at solo mums.

“We have got stories of people from WINZ or investigation units going through women’s laundry looking for men’s underpants. Of people being spied on – photographs being taken of people who go in and out of their house.”

Currently a person stops being eligible for sole parent support if they are in a relationship.

Why shouldn’t their personal life be subject to questions, especially if they are lying about their circumstances? That is the real point. Turei thinks beneficiaries should be given a no questions asked lifestyle payment. She thinks that it is ok to lie and that lying should never be investigated because that would be prying.

She said that the need to care for her baby and not her political beliefs led her to lie to Work and Income. Turei campaigned for the McGillicuddy Serious Party while receiving her benefit, and was a part of a theatre group.

“None of us had any money. I think that’s the thing – people on benefits are entitled to a life as well. They need the financial resources so they can pay the rent and put food on the table, they need a pathway out of welfare.

“But they also need to engage in the world, to be able to be with family, to have friends, to do other things, be politically engaged if that is what they choose. We shouldn’t have a benefit system that locks people out of their community.”

Stop making bloody excuses. She lied. She stole. Her excuses about starving babies are horseshit and everyone except her and her apologists knows it. I tell you what I am sick of hearing…the word “entitled”.

They need to listen to Democrat President Frank Underwood on entitlements.

Turei said she expected a negative reaction to her admission, but not the outpouring of support and thanks, including from people who had been in similar circumstances. She said the Green Party caucus understood why she made her admission to “break open this story”.

“Not everybody in my party is going to agree 100 per cent, I understand that. But the Greens have said, ‘we will speak truth to power.’

“Poverty is a political issue. We solve it by ending poverty, by changing the system that drives people into such despair. We need to have a national conversation…and that’s been started.”

Speak truth to power? Lovely slogan there dearie. How about you start with another slogan and start to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

Metiria Turei planned this as a shabby little political stunt. She mistakenly believed that her echo chamber of advice that it was what ordinary Kiwis think. She was wrong. Ordinary Kiwis hate bludgers and especially bludgers who steal.

She is now trying to turn lemons into lemonade with claims she outed herself on Facebook several weeks ago. But what sort of advisors do the greens have if they thought this would resonate positively for them?

In her own mind, she thinks she did the right thing. She’s convinced herself that she is right and that is why we are seeing her try and link every ill in the system to her own fraud. It is unbecoming, it is sanctimonious and it is wrong.

She has lectured and hectored other politicians about truth, honesty and integrity. Now she is found to be no better than those she accused. Now she is found to be a hypocrite. Now she has been found to be a filthy fraudster.

She should stop the grandstanding, hold a press conference and shed a few tears. Then resign and disappear.


-NZ Herald


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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. 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 who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

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

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.