Difficult situation for Labour over Turei campaign

Metiria Turei has dominated political discussions over the last week with her revelations about committing benefit fraud and her ongoing campaign on social welfare.

This has shut Labour out of the political spotlight, but there are bigger problems for Labour, who will probably need the Greens if they are to be able to form the next Government.

If the Green beneficiary campaign is successful they are likely to take votes off Labour. This may strengthen the Green hand but it is also likely to strengthen Winston Peters’ hand.

And despite this if Labour do manage to form a government with the Greens that could be awkward for Andrew Little, who has said he can’t condone Turei’s stance on justifying benefit fraud.

One News: ‘We can never condone breaking the rules’ – Andrew Little won’t support Metiria Turei’s stance of not condemning benefit fraudsters

Talking to 1 NEWS political journalist Katie Bradford, Mr Little said despite the reason many politicians aspire to govern is to change current laws, “we can never condone breaking the rules”.

“In the end, as lawmakers, as politicians, we are here because we want to set the rules.

“Whether or not we like the rules of the benefit system, they are the rules at the moment,” he said.

“You get to change the rules when you’re in government. I think we’ve got to be focused on what we can do.”

“Metiria is a good leader, she’s struck a nerve,” Mr Little said.

“But once the rules are set, that is what we’ve got and we cannot be seen to be condoning breaking the rules because that gets us down a very slippery slope that will create all sorts of problems.”

Turei and the Greens either didn’t see the slippery slope, or discounted it as an issue, but it could become a big issue for them.

And an issue for Labour. Little said he wouldn’t rule out a Cabinet position for Turei.

RNZ:  Greens co-leader Metiria Turei’s benefit history investigated

Labour leader Andrew Little was not ruling out Metiria Turei as a cabinet minister in any government.

“There are people who have done things before they have come into parliament that have been disclosed… it hasn’t disqualified them from being in parliament.

“I’m not ruling anybody in or out of a cabinet.”

But I think that Turei must have effectively ruled out any possibility of her becoming Minister of Social Development.

It also raises questions about any Cabinet or Government leadership role.

If MSD decide that Turei’s fraud admission justifies a police complaint that will take time, and could be unresolved when the next government is formed and roles are allocated. A prosecution could rule Turei out of Parliament.

But if the Green campaign fails none of this will be an issue for Labour, unless they can form a government with NZ First without the Greens being involved.

21 Comments

  1. Tipene

     /  July 27, 2017

    MSD will know they are in the spotlight, and as a result, they now have a gigantic opportunity to send a very, very powerful message to the 290,000 people (and the rest of the country) who receive some sort of benefit from them.

    They need to make an example of Turei, by prosecuting her to the full extent of the law (which includes prison), and by doing so, graphically demonstrate the folly of trying to rip off the taxpayer.

    If the MSD pull this off, it would be PR gold for them, and a strong sanction message for anyone else trying to pull the same thing.

    Such an outcome might even enter the language lexicon:

    “Why was your benefit cut?”

    “Oh bro, I got Tureied”

    • Gezza

       /  July 27, 2017

      Someone remind me. What exactly happened to Taito Phillip Field?

      • Porridge

        • Gezza

           /  July 27, 2017

          Corruption, wasn’t it? Misusing his Position for personal gain?

          • High Flying Duck

             /  July 27, 2017

            Jailed for 6 years, but paroled after 2 in 2011.

            “Field was found guilty of 11 of 12 charges of bribery and corruption as an MP after having Thai nationals carry-out work on his properties in return for immigration assistance between November 2002 and October 2005.

            He was also found guilty of 15 of 23 charges of wilfully attempting to obstruct or pervert the course of justice, alleging he tried to derail investigations into the work on his homes.”

            • Gezza

               /  July 27, 2017

              Metz could be in deep shit.

            • High Flying Duck

               /  July 27, 2017

              If it turns out, as is looking more likely based on articles posted elsewhere, that she was living with her de-facto partner and not declaring it, then the overclaim of DPB turns into receiving the whole thing fraudulently and her troubles get a whole lot bigger.
              Prosecution would expel her from parliament.
              I’m not sure she thought this through very well, which sounds like the whole Green party manifesto I know, but this is at a new level of “what the…?”

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  July 27, 2017

              ‘It seemed like a good idea at the time.’

  2. David

     /  July 27, 2017

    Cant wait for the next poll. Lets hope after the election its the end of Turei and her faction and the Green party can focus on environmental wins regardless of who the governing party is. In some ways the woman is detrimental to the environment by being so dogmatic on social policy the Greens have achieved pretty much nothing when they could have achieved much.

  3. artcroft

     /  July 27, 2017

    Labour could take a real hammering in the next polls, and the up coming election. But if the Greens make 15% and Labour make <25%; Turei stays and Little goes. Very interesting.

    • Corky

       /  July 27, 2017

      That would be like an owl hoot getting in a lucky shot and taking you out, Arty. As Maggy says, Andy needs to distance Labour from this ricocheting bullet. Taking cover until the election would also be another wise move.

  4. Maggy Wassilieff

     /  July 27, 2017

    David Seymour asked some very pointed questions in Parliament yesterday.

    https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/hansard-debates/rhr/document/HansS_20170726_055125000/seymour-david

    There is a lot more to come because people might start to ask the question: how deep did the fraud go? Were there children actually in the house when Metiria Turei was claiming the DPB, or were they actually living in the North Shore with Ann Hartley under a whāngai arrangement? We look forward to hearing that from Metiria Turei. Maybe she did not even have any kids in that flat where there were too many people when she was claiming the DPB.

    Labour needs to distance itself from this mess.

    • That’s as good as saying he knows that whāngai existed. If it did, it’s absolutely curtains for Turei

      • Gezza

         /  July 27, 2017

        Question Time.
        That is all.
        1401 hours.

  5. Gezza

     /  July 27, 2017

    Metz must have concluded the missing million are beneficiarie & that they’ll turn out in droves to vote for her. I’m not so sure. I think she’s single-handedly stuffed the MoU with Labour.

    • High Flying Duck

       /  July 27, 2017

      Either that or the missing millions are now in her bank account?

  6. celia walker

     /  July 27, 2017

    she should resign or sacked,

    • Gezza

       /  July 28, 2017

      Both appear unlikely at this point in time, however I await developments with mild interest.

      • That woman has more front than Smith and Caughey’s window.

        She’ll only ever go kicking and screaming.

        • Gezza

           /  July 28, 2017

          Sounds like ya over that fkn flu & fighting fit again mate?

  1. Difficult situation for Labour over Turei campaign — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition