Metiria Turei for Kiwi of the year. No, he’s serious ……

fraud metiria turei

Guy Williams, the partner of Golriz Ghahraman, has written an opinion piece promoting Metiria Turei as Kiwi of the year.

That’s right, the partner of a Green MP who mislead the public about her representation of war criminals is promoting a Green ex-MP who lied about her circumstances to claim more benefit than she was entitled to.

OPINION: I often wonder if I would “risk everything” for the chance to do something amazing? It takes a lot of courage to risk your life savings to start a business or make a film. Or risk losing your job to stand up for something. […]

What did she stand up for?  Benefit fraud.  She told everyone it was ok to commit benefit fraud.  She justified it.  She was proud of it.

[…] When Metiria Turei stood up and made her now infamous speech, arguing that we need to change the welfare system and the narrative around those at the bottom, I was proud. It was about time.

It was also a ludicrous political strategy, and a surprising admission for a politician to make. She told us she was a young single mother so desperate, that she lied to get more money from WINZ to support her family.[…]

[…] Metiria’s speech was a catalyst that helped change the Government.

It also opened my eyes; she was expressing a perspective I hadn’t heard before, something many New Zealanders hadn’t heard before. Obviously, a lot of people found it hard to get their head around.

People called her a liar. She tried to respond: “I know, I’m the one who told you that! I did a speech admitting that on the news and everything! That was my point!”

Criticism is always understandable, and the backlash was poorly managed, but this was something else. Why were people so incredibly angry? Do people really think she’s a criminal? Or a danger? A fraudster!

Ok, it seems I have to spell it out for you.  People were incredibly angry because this entitled woman cheated the system and was proud of it.  She is a criminal and a fraudster.

To me, the more she’s called a fraud, or a cheat, or a criminal, the more I feel like that reinforces the point she was trying to make. Many said that her controversy overshadowed the message, and for most New Zealanders it probably did. They’ll see the headlines and remember her as just that MP who did the “benefit fraud”, but to me, she’s a bit of a hero.

She is a fraud and a cheat.  Not one bit of a hero.

She took her chance, and while she was a long way from sticking the landing (she fell off the landing pad, cartwheeled into the stands and knocked over the hotdog stand), she helped spark the most significant political change of the past nine years, and she helped open peoples minds and hearts towards our treatment of our poor. I hope people will remember her kindly, and that’s why Metiria Turei is my New Zealander of the Year.

Let’s wait and see how many children Jacinda brings out of poverty before we start celebrating how significant the change has been for the poor.  Tax cuts will be cancelled and petrol costs are up.  Not good for the poor.

All Metiria can be remembered for is admitting to benefit fraud and election fraud.  No way is she my “Kiwi of the year”.


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