Ex-Green Tava on Turei

Vernon Tava stood for Green co-leadership in 2015 when Russel Norman stood down from Green co-leadership and resigned from Parliament. The position was won by James Shaw.

In February this year Tava resigned from the Green Party – Top Green resigns and says party has become socialist:

A former top Green official .and leadership contender in 2015 has resigned from the party because he believes it has lost its way and  he is now working with National.

As for the Greens, he said he began to part ways with them because he began to doubt whether the environment was seriously at the top of their agenda.

He also began to doubt that there was any genuine will on the part of the party to work with the Government whoever they were.

That was a central theme of his campaign for the party co-leadership in 2015.

He said the charter’s values of ecological wisdom and social responsibility were neither left nor right.

And he went on to suggest he would be happy in Government with National.

Metiria Turei strongly opposes supporting a National led government returning.

“The Green Party should be the sustainable axis around which every government turns, he said.

But he didn’t win the leadership, and he watched as the party signed its Memorandum of Understanding with Labour, and that was enough.

“When I stood for co-leader one of the great things about that was that we travelled around the country and I was contacted by a lot of the older, founder members who thought it was no longer the party of Jeanette Fitzsimons and Rod Donald.

Greens tend to claim that the environment and social issues are inextricably linked and you can’t promote one without the other.

Tava disagrees, and has come out and said Metiria Turei’s attitude proves the Greens aren’t 100 percent pure:

We are now entering the third week of Metiria Turei’s welfare fraud scandal with less than eight weeks until the election, and it is still a story.

Labour have distanced themselves, understandably concerned that her stance is anathema to the political centre; her welfare policy announcement has been eclipsed, and it seems that she has done irreparable damage to both her personal integrity and the Green brand.

Turei’s lack of contrition is irksome. Her evasion of any sense of personal responsibility in saying that the Government “made me poor and it made me lie” have infuriated both law-abiding beneficiaries and those of us who get up and go to work each day.

While there is probably wide sympathy for the difficulties faced by beneficiaries who struggle financially, there are probably many people who are troubled by Turei’s no fault, no blame attitude to rorting the system.

Saying, as Turei does, that the solution to poverty is “simply to give them more money”, without conditions or obligations to seek work, and that fraud is an acceptable means of obtaining whatever money one feels they need, makes a very poor case for redistributive justice through taxation and does little to end dependency.

More money and less punitive conditions for beneficiaries is a very worthy issue to campaign for, but Turei and her supporters seem to fail to see that there are potential with a no questions asked taxpayer handouts alongside approving of fraud if you think your need warrants it, on a moral basis, and on a state dependency basis.

The cost is another factor not thought through – if being a beneficiary provided a comfortable income and a comfortable home with no requirement to work or to be honest then the number of people wanting a free lunch as well as a free breakfast, tea and everything else they felt they ‘deserved’ could surge.

Lawmakers cannot credibly advocate breaking the law. Turei has been in Parliament since 2002 and seeks the position of Minister of Social Development, but has been unable to answer questions about how she could pursue prosecutions against those who would defraud even the more generous entitlements she advocates.

Politicians from other parties, including Andrew little and Jacinda Ardern, have said that MPs cannot condone breaking the law.

Turei’s defenders wax lyrical about the “privilege” of her critics. Ironically, she is indulging in another, more insidious, form of privilege in inciting fraud and attempting to argue some kind of moral justification. Others who follow her example will not be able to evade the consequences that someone on her considerable taxpayer-funded income is able to.

This is deeply irresponsible. Benefit fraud is not civil disobedience, nor is it a noble protest against a supposedly unjust system. It is cheating.

There is another privilege being pushed – the privilege of being something other than white and male. It has become common to see the opinions of white males being rubbished and discounted on Twitter.

It seems that benefit fraud is acceptable to Turei and her supporters as long as you are female, brown and have children.

The tension between being a protesters’ collective or a parliamentary party has always been an issue for the Greens, but Turei has gone a lot further than merely admitting legal wrong-doing – she has condoned it.

Metiria Turei may have secured a hard-left segment of the Green base and appealed to demographics who tend not to turn out on election day, but it will be at the cost of a far larger group of voters disappointed to discover the party that earlier this year claimed that “honest politics is what we stand for” is not 100 percent pure after all.

What Turei seems to want looks like 100% pure socialism. I’m not sure whether all her supporters see that.

But Tava looks male and looks white-ish so his views may mean 0% to the Green Party he has left. Same as mine.


  1. Blazer

     /  July 30, 2017

    Tavares. ..sour grapes and lemon. ..juice,.

    • Corky

       /  July 30, 2017

      Tava has nailed it, Blazer. The focus for me has already shifted to post election. I see some juicy entertainment coming up. Perhaps the new breakaway Green party my entice you to join. All you need to do is stop eating unsustainable beef. and get your gums into this.


    • chrism56

       /  July 30, 2017

      PG, you can always spot when your posts are close to the bone on Labour’s performance (or lack thereof) Blazer and Zedd will spend all their time denigrating it and namecalling all and sundry who haven’t see the light. Like dogs chasing cars.

      • Zedd

         /  July 30, 2017

        woof woof.. if it wasn’t for the likes of Blazer & I, you tories/natz would have nothing much to say 🙂 😀

        • Corky

           /  July 30, 2017

          I’m the only Rightie on this blog, Zedd%. I used to think Alan Wilkinson was one, but I’m not so sure of that anymore. So where are these other Tories?

          • Gezza

             /  July 30, 2017

            I think you might find Sir Alan is a Classic Libertarian.
            Only time will tell.

  2. Alan Wilkinson

     /  July 30, 2017

    Took him an awful long time to realise that. I never joined the Green party after Values because I could see it was headed left into control freak socialism rather than individual action and responsibility. Even though I had time for Rod and Jeanette. Not sure I want National moving even further Left taking aboard any rats leaving that ship.

    • Blazer

       /  July 30, 2017

      He realized it. .when he lost. ..reeks of insincerity.

  3. Tipene

     /  July 30, 2017

    Sometimes, in order to get an accurate perspective, one must first get distant from the object of focus.

  4. sorethumb

     /  July 30, 2017

    Turie has made a lot of other candidates positions redundant. Julie Anne Genter for instance had a sort of analytical intelligent brand on transport. Turie has come out as a Sue Bradford type and the thing is this: we all know there is never enough and everything is expensive on a low income, but we also know that there is a red line where welfare gets incentivised. Perhaps young people have forgotten but the ferals in shopping malls and welfare gentry was in full swing under Helen Clark just like in an earlier generation we had militant unions.

  5. Maggy Wassilieff

     /  July 30, 2017

    Read Metiria Turei’s maiden speech in Parliament and wonder at the Green’s economic sense.

    Her intent is to do away with corporate globalisation and to dismantle the cage of political and economic structures that entraps us.

    But nowhere do I get a glimmer of the new economy that will support us – freed captives of the State.

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  July 30, 2017

      Her speech is 100% waffle. I pity the unlicky people who had to actually listen to that tripe.

      • Gezza

         /  July 30, 2017

        I pity the unlicky people …
        Bags that one for Best of the Day.

        • Gezza

           /  July 30, 2017

          Off to the Home to see Dad. Cya’s
          1538 hours

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  July 30, 2017

          Well spotted-that aws a deliberate erorr, of course.

          It was a speech full of drivel, ‘full of sound and fury, signifying nothing’-and I had forgotten that she arrogantly ignored the rules and regaled/bored everyone with There is No Depression in New Zealand in Maori-I remembered that she’d done something of the kind but not what. What an attention seeker.

          I find it really irritating when people claim to have ’empowered’ others. This must mean that they can also disempower us.

  6. Zedd

     /  July 30, 2017

    Tava is just a sore loser.. how can anyone who seriously cares about the environment, support a right-leaning party, that promotes more & more pollution ? 😦

    Of course he could join TOP, who seem to say they are in ‘blue-greens’ space ???

    • Supporting and pressuring a party to address environmental issues a bit better and succeeding, versus proposing grand ideals that get nowhere?

      • Zedd

         /  July 30, 2017


        this the issue the maori party face; ‘sitting at the table with natz’ but supporting some agenda items that many of their people/supporters totally object to ?

        IF you’re ‘fair to the cause’. you dont join the ‘enemy’ hoping to get a few crumbs falling from their feast table.. thats a total anathema to I&I !

        • But to get what you can in politics it’s essential. All politics apart from dictatorships require compromises – actually dictatorships require more compromises from most people.

          Everyone within the Green Party has to find common ground and compromise to achieve what the want.

          Exactly the same thing is necessary in government and in Parliament. If you don’t understand and work with that you may retain your group ideals but you also retain impotence.

        • Gezza

           /  July 30, 2017

          That’s tribalism Zedd. MMP is about democracy, debate, persuasion, trade offs, cooperation. Incremental change can achieve more lasting benefits and successes than simple tribal pig-headedness & aggression, trying to persuade others to topple a reasonable government, instead of convincing them of the benefits & worthwhileness of your policies.

    • Corky

       /  July 30, 2017

      ”Tava is just a sore loser.’ Zedd, Tava saw the train wreck approaching and got his arse off the railway tracks. Just in time too before Metiria came hurtling through, More wrecks will follow. Assuming National wins, you are going to see the disintegration of the Left. Tava has the perception to see that…you haven’t.

  1. Ex-Green Tava on Turei — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition