Turei the victim

The Green Party has been badly compromised by the Metiria mission in which she used her life experiences as a solo mother to promote pro-beneficiary anti-poverty policies.

When Metiria Turei started her confession based campaign against poverty and the pressures imposed on beneficiaries she got quite a bit of sympathy and support, and this was reflected in a jump in the polls for the Green Party.

But things turned sour, for three reasons.

First, Turei proposed a reform of the social welfare system that would substantially increase the amount of benefit paid (by 20%), and also no investigation policy with no pressure to move off a benefit – “everyone has different life circumstances and everyone is entitled to support for as long as they need it”, meaning as long as they chose, no questions asked. See Green policy Mending the Safety Net.

Second, it was revealed that Turei had not just fibbed a bit about having a flatmate to ‘feed her baby’.

She may have fibbed for up to five years with different flats and flatmates, one of whom was her mother for a year or two.

She was enrolled to vote at the same address as the father of her daughter. She claims they didn’t live together at all ‘since before the baby was born’ and that this was so she could vote for a friend in a different electorate (she stood for Parliament in the same election so one could wonder why she wouldn’t vote for herself).

Questions remain about why she didn’t name the father so he would be required to pay child support, and whether the child supported the child under the table, and if not why did he not support his child.

Third, Turei is complaining about any scrutiny of her family. She wants her years as a benefit and voting fraudster to be ‘no questions asked’. She is claiming to be a victim of a witch hunt.

RNZ: ‘Outside opponents want to see us fail’ – Metiria Turei

Green co-leader Metiria Turei is accusing outside opponents of making “wild accusations” in a bid to bring down the party.

That’s an unfortunate fact of politics,there are some people who want to ‘bring down’ every party other than the one they support.

But Turei left herself open by refusing to be up front about her whole story. She wanted sympathy without wanting to take responsibility.

She took aim at other opponents outside of the party who had attacked her.

“They want to see us fail at the election and they’re using me as a target.”

And she said she expected the critics to continue making “quite wild accusations” over the coming weeks.

“I understand that’s the game some people want to play, but we have a much bigger kaupapa to carry through.”

Mrs Turei also objected to the level of intrusion into her and her family’s personal life as ”a little out of control”.

“We have to be very careful that this doesn’t turn into a witchhunt.”

She chose to use part of her story to promote a policy and a mission. She has been an MP for 15 years, she is a party leader seeking power in government, she can’t be that naive that she expects no scrutiny.

Playing the victim is a risky game, as she has found out.

She accepted she had opened herself up to questions and criticism by going public about lying to Work and Income in the 1990s.

But she did not expect her family to be targeted.

“Having my family paraded in the media has been really tough

“My family didn’t deserve the kind of exposure they’ve had. I might, but not them.”

Her story was about her family and about her family situation. How could she have expected for them to be left out of it?

“The kinds of questions that have been asked of me are questions that are asked of beneficiaries every day.

“The scrutiny I have been under is the scrutiny they are under … people don’t like that. They think it’s unnecessarily punitive and I agree with them.”

Here she is again using her family experience to promote her campaign, but expecting no scrutiny.

She is playing a double victim card, portraying herself as a victim of an oppressive and miserly social welfare system, but wanting no questions asked about her choosing to break laws.

But she is a victim of her own actions. I think most people would barely care about a fib 25 years ago. However they would be more concerned about several years of fibs about multiple things – the electorate fiddle is what turned media against her more than anything, because it suggested a habit of not caring about the law.

And this is the crux of the reason why two Green MPs created turmoil on the party this week.

Having a lax attitude to laws two decades ago is justifiably questionable but history.

But as an MP and a party leader now, not condoning law breaking, and going as far as proposing an amnesty for all benefit law breakers, is problematic, and this is Turei’s real problem – her attitude to benefit fiddling and law breaking now, as a law maker.

The Labour Party has distanced themselves from this stance. Last week new leader Jacinda Ardern made it clear that it rules Turei out of consideration for a Labour led cabinet position.

And this week two Greens broke rank and said that they couldn’t  remain as MPs alongside this breach of integrity and principle.

They were attacked by Green party officials for making a principled stand. Co-leader James Shaw threatened to have them expelled from the party for bringing it into disrepute.

But the damage and disrepute had already happened through Turei’s stance, through Green party policy, and through the support of this from most Green MPs.

A well intentioned ‘mission’ had been poorly thought through and it turned to custard.

The nastiness of some Green supporters was exposed, especially with their attacks on their own MPs who stood up for principles that their party had discarded.

Turei is now playing the victim card. She seems unable to see or accept that she is the victim of her own actions – her actions from 1993-1998 to an extent, but mostly due to her actions and attitude over the past month.

She took a gamble and lost. The Green Party allowed her to take that gamble, they took it with her, and they have lost a lot of credibility, and potentially a lot of support.

Turei, Shaw and the party have chosen to not back down, so they all remain compromised. This is likely to keep blowing up in their faces through the election campaign.

They can play the victim as much as they like, but that is unlikely to repair the damage or win back lost support. It may well ensure that they don’t get it back.

Many of those who have supported the Greens for their environmental activism will be very disappointed that the party focus is obviously elsewhere now.

The Greens have strong core support on social issues and should still get back into Parliament, but this has been a major step backwards for the Greens, with no sign of a change of direction.

Turei claims that things have got out of control. What got out of control was the integrity of her mission.

Blaming others won’t repair the massive damage she has done to her party’s chances this election, and to the party’s credibility and mana.

Talking responsibility for it would help, but there is no sign of that. So the party continues to spiral out of control. It probably isn’t a death spiral, but a crash landing looks inevitable.


  1. When arch leftist feminist Rachel Stewart condemns activist Greens and TUREI herself, surely, she must be bleached, fibre-free, dollar – a – loaf toast.

    “It has become apparent that if anyone questions the ethics, the timing, or the premeditation of it all, they are verbally pitchforked. I thought the Greens were bursting with love hearts and rainbows. Apparently not.

    Indeed, poking a rattlesnake nest on a West Texas August afternoon would be safer than interacting with hardcore Greens right now. I have watched Turei’s social media adherents abuse anyone who disagrees, then five minutes later quote Bible passages to ram home the angelical nature of her ways.

    Last time I looked, benefit fraud involves a degree of premeditation and follow through – like filling out forms and signing them. All the while knowing you lied. Officially. But the latest ploy is to blame the media. I don’t understand how Turei outs herself and suddenly it’s all the media’s fault. How does that even work?

    I mean, they bring up Bill English and his 2009 “double-dipping” on his Wellington house. They talk about Todd Barclay and how shocking that was, and how the media have gone lightly on him. Really? What planet are these people living on?

    You see, that’s the thing with pure partisanship. Proponents can’t even recognise that they wouldn’t even know about such things if the media didn’t bring it to them.

    But more to the point, it’s insulting. The media’s obsession with male sport thoroughly pisses me off, but I’m not going to write the entire industry off based on that. That would be like writing off the entire Green party for the questionable actions of Turei. Wouldn’t it?

    It would also be a mistake to write off Graham and Clendon as “stupid, old white men”, as some quickly did. Not only is it lazy and nasty, these men symbolise a time, not that long ago, when voters believed the Greens represented the environment.

    Bottom line: Metiria Turei made a miscalculation when she freely revealed her past. It looks and feels like it was a cynical decision solely designed to move the Greens forward in the polls. It’s backfired.

    Now, the Greens see it as everyone else’s fault. Those who disagree with the morality of her past lies are written off as racists, misogynists, haters of the poor, lovers of the rich, white, privileged – you know the drill.

    For me, it comes down to this. Dress it up as a morality play all you like. Rich, poor, rightwing, leftwing, tax evasion, benefit fibs. Nobody should steal from taxpayers. And no amount of diversion tactics changes that fact. Turning Turei’s voluntary pronouncement into some virtuous act of heroism is so far off the mark, the Greens have ended up shooting themselves in the foot. Which may explain why they are limping.

    Blaming the media – or anyone – for a political misfire of the Greens’ own making, is about as pointless as expecting sharks to stop liking blood. Not going to happen.”


    • High Flying Duck

       /  August 9, 2017

      I was about to post the same thing. If they’ve lost Rachel Stewart – they’ve lost.

      • This is all good for Jacinda. Time for simply tut-tutting is over for the seventh form prefect St Jacinda. Green votes are only ever heading her way. Now’s her time to be uncategorically overwhelmed with a lack of understanding and look forward to a NZF/Lab Govt

        • Blazer

           /  August 9, 2017

          You have high strength vitriol for women in politics. Testicular ability or unrealised. ..ambition?

    • Gezza

       /  August 9, 2017

      I think it’s well wriiten but it’s a bit long trav? 😳 👍🏼

      • I’m a speed reader mate.

        • Gezza

           /  August 9, 2017

          Oh. Ok. I stopped 3/4 of the way thru. Possers has given me a bollocking below so I’ll go back & read the whole thing. 👍🏼

      • pickled possum

         /  August 9, 2017

        Oh Jez Gez … Travz comment should get post on/of the internet today ! … bro 😉
        @Trav Wonderful Insightful Informative Educational Korero.

        This bit was pure gold …”when voters believed the Greens represented the environment”

        Gotta go on the river today Gez … raining hard … be a ruff ride …
        Hope I don’t meet Ralph ;-(

        MT the perpetrator turned victim over-night
        She thinks she is the Parti
        More important than the parti!
        If what you read on the msm isn’t fake news, and is to be believed.
        Is she
        A Gone Burger.


        • Gezza

           /  August 9, 2017


          But, all good. Will be doing a bit more korero on the bush telegraph today. Stay tuned

          • pickled possum

             /  August 9, 2017

            Uh Oh … just saw the “quotes”
            Rachel Smalleyy isn’t she that blonde chick?
            Oh yea ….arch leftist feminist Rachel Stewart
            I am not going let this 1 misunderstanding … Define me!

            • She well owns that title. Good on her. I’m an arch rightist feminist

            • Gezza

               /  August 9, 2017

              I’m not in the mood for this! I left the bloody left front overhead light on in the bloody car yesterday & the bloody battery’s flat as a bloody pancake! I’ve chucked it on the charger but it’s a slow charger & now I’ve gotta bloody walk to NW! I’ll talk lata when I’ve got back & walked the bloody frustration off! 😡

          • pickled possum

             /  August 9, 2017

            SORI BRO
            This MT cluster-fark is clouding my rose coloured spec’s.

            Was it Real cream in the doughnut?
            Mock is decadent so creamy so delis …

            Did you get a saturated trans fatty cow feet and tongue pie
            while you were at it …
            interwoven with bits of pretend mozzarella cheese?

            You Townies don’t know how lucky you are.
            Just walk/waddle down the shop kinda thing

            I have to drive for hour (like a demented thing)
            just to get to civilisation … of sorts.
            Or make my own doughnut.

            • Gezza

               /  August 9, 2017

              Look it’s ok sis, these things happen in the best of families. Yes, it was real whipped cream, with jam. I also got a steak & mushroom pie – but it’s only a treat once a week so should be ok & I’m a pretty slender racehorse. Later sis. 👍🏼 ❤️

            • Gezza

               /  August 9, 2017

              Ps who’s Ralph? Is he a taniwha or something?

  2. PDB

     /  August 9, 2017

    People have resigned from parliament for far worse, no one I can remember ever stayed in a NZ parliament after admitting doing anything similar to what she did. It should be remembered that Turei also made a great deal of the Barclay situation. If she wanted to be a ‘martyr’ then she should have resigned (as the 2 Green MP’s did) – by staying she appears more interested in protecting her position and large salary. The Greens appear to be willing to die in a ditch with her and it is also unbelievable that she has said that no matter how low the Green party polls she will not resign.

    Ardern has taken the weak route in saying Turei won’t be part of any future cabinet but has not ruled out Turei being deputy PM or being an active part of the govt outside of cabinet. Turei even suggested that this would be only a temporary arrangement and in time she could see herself in any future cabinet. Ardern’s refusal to talk about the Green’s plight is against the whole point of the MoU which was for the public to judge the Labour/Greens as ‘one block’ and in turn regard them as a joint govt in waiting.

    If Ardern had any backbone she would at the very least formally dissolve the MoU and she would earn some respect if she ruled out the Green’s policy of handing millions more $ to beneficiaries whilst at the same time removing all obligations of receiving that money.

    • Blazer

       /  August 9, 2017

      Always trying to make it rub off on. ..Labour. ..sad. ..B.

      • I have just three words for you Blazer; Memorandum. Of. Understanding

        Unless Jacinda Ardern tears up the MoU this week, Labour is tied to the Greens, and even yesterday Ardern conceded that the Greens would be first off the rank for coalition negotiations.

        • Blazer

           /  August 9, 2017

          Hardly binding and dead to all intents and purposes. ..Labour rule MT out of ministerial spot.

          • PDB

             /  August 9, 2017

            Not deputy PM though…….which Turei has always wanted. Labour should rule her out of any govt positions, committees and the like.

            • Blazer

               /  August 9, 2017

              Not minister of Finance either. …Wendy!

    • Gezza

       /  August 9, 2017

      Look, PDB, I’ve been over this before with you. Several times. Jacinda was asked about this again by the media yesterday. Did you see her on 1 ewes last nite? She simply reminded persistent media hyenas that Labour had resolved its leadership issues and that, as far as she is concerned, it is up to the Green Party to resolve questions about the leadership of theirs – it is not for her to comment on that. Also that, post-election, Labour will be happy to enter into discussions with “whoever are the leaders of the Greens” at that time.

      That is very clear code-speak for I don’t need to get involved in this stoush & cause problems I don’t need because that silly cow is now going to drive voters to my party & cause theirs to crash & burn.

      I think it’s the politically astute thing to do, & it’s not going to change, because my bet is that it’s already paying off big time for her & the next polls will show that. She said her focus is on telling the voters what the Labour party’s policies are & selling those to the electorate. You will notice she does that – she doesn’t even criticise Bill English in these interviews, only in the House. Clearly this is what she meant by being “relentlessly positive”.

      She then, for the second time that I’ve seen, firmly but politely thanked the reporters & told them that was it, & she left the scene. This girl is in control of her media appearances, not the media. She’s turning out to be one tuff, determined cookie.

      It doesn’t mean everyone will buy their polcies. Grant Robertson is still piss-easy to demolish on his numbers, Nick Smith does a superb job of rubbishing him, & Bill should just be a bit wary of attacking her & continue to focus on pointing out the flaws in their policies & the virtues of Nationals. Gonna be an awesome election campaign in my view.

      Btw, who’s Donald Trump? The name sounds familiar.

      • Blazer

         /  August 9, 2017

        So you have revised your opinion of Ardern. ..good.

        • Gezza

           /  August 9, 2017

          Oh, absolutely. I’ve been making that clear for the last few days. It doesn’t mean I favour Labour’s policies, I think National are doing a reasonsbly good job of critiquing them. But in terms of whether Jacinda actually has leadership quality & the gonads for the job of leader, I don’t think there’s any doubt left of that at all. Great surprise for me & many others, I’m happy to concede. Andy’s just a distant memory already.

      • High Flying Duck

         /  August 9, 2017

        You’re spot on Gezza, and it’s good to see after 11 years, Labour finally has a leader who knows that playing the man not the ball doesn’t work and negativity politics is a losers game.

        In that respect Jacinda is light years ahead of Labours previous post-Clark leaders.

        I still think she’ll be found out on policy but I will give her the benefit of the doubt until that is tested.

        Assuming Winston gets sidelined and Nicky Hagar and Kim Dot Com have the good sense to keep their gobs shut, we may just have a campaign on actual policies for a change.

        Not holding my breath for it, as this time is already starting to surpass the last election for bizarre twists and turns, but hope springs eternal and all that.

    • Brown

       /  August 9, 2017

      large salary …

      That’s it in two words.

    • Blazer

       /  August 9, 2017

      Key lied like a flatfish about everything from Tranzrail to the GCSB…and never bothered resigning.Ngaro should have resigned for his totally unacceptable threats.Collins conflict of interest…..and so on.

  3. Tipene

     /  August 9, 2017

    Outside the bubble of her deluded, self-righteous, sanctimonious, and entitled child-like mindset, the NZ voter is just becoming more and more entrenched against both Turei and anyone who supports her cacophony of wrong-doing.

    Turei has gone from defiant staunch beneficiary cheat to cowering victim in the space of a few weeks, with James Shaw playing a eunuch wet-nurse to Turei’s criminal past.

    Welcome to the land of reality, Ms Turei – it’s been a while since we’ve had the pleasure of your company.

    Now please……….pack your desk, gather your things, and take yourself off into the political and public exile you so richly deserve, and embrace the litany of consequences that are heading your way.

    All together now: “LOCK HER UP! LOCK HER UP! LOCK HER UP!”

  4. Blazer

     /  August 9, 2017

    Can’t understand how they endorsed her going public at this time. Originally thought it was just her ‘initiative ‘.Hopeless.

    • Gezza

       /  August 9, 2017

      When you’re right, you’re right, Blazer. 👍🏼

  5. Even if Turei was to finally come to her senses, do the decent thing and stand down, it is probably too late to save the Greens from an election shellacking. She might have got away with it had she stepped down at the infamous presser on Friday, but right now she is a cancer on her party. And that cancer gravely risked metatasising to James Shaw, whose leadership has been exposed as weak, and subservient to Turei.

    The Greens are in a whole world of trouble, and if the bleed votes to Labour and TOP, it is possible that they could disappera off the radar completely. Even this morning there are rumblings that their Nelson candidate (a strong Green area) is considering pulling out.

  6. J Bloggs

     /  August 9, 2017

    The worst part of all this is that under MMP there is no way of dislodging Turei from her position in parliament at this election, short of the entire Green party failing to making the 5% threshold.

  7. alloytoo

     /  August 9, 2017

    Jacinda Ardern was faced this problem when she became leader of the Labour party.

    She could have come out swinging, Condemned Turei and distanced herself (and Labour) from the Green Party as long as Turei continued to hold office in it.

    She didn’t.

    They are, to quote Bill English “Joined at the hip”

    Even if Jacinda wins the election with the help of the Greens, she will lead a lame duck government with a slim majority and ZERO legitimacy or credibility.

    • Blazer

       /  August 9, 2017

      An elected government. ..never has. ..zero credibility or legitimacy. You sound resigned to change. Wonderful. ..news.

      • High Flying Duck

         /  August 9, 2017

        You’re right there Blazer – legitimacy & credibility are not requirements to implement policy. Just getting the Government benches & having the numbers tends to do the trick.
        If you get the votes, you have the legitimacy.

  8. Alan Wilkinson

     /  August 9, 2017

    So the Greens are led by an idiot and a corrupt idiot. And want sympathy.

    • Brown

       /  August 9, 2017

      Shaw would say you are sexist, racist as he did yesterday defending the troll. It didn’t take long to fall back on the default slagging terms people who think MT is a crook.

  9. sorethumb

     /  August 9, 2017

    and the father of the baby owned two houses? That must grate with a lot of struggling Aucklanders?

  10. Zedd

     /  August 9, 2017

    hey folks.. the election is on 23/9 not 23/8.. a month & a half is a LONG time in politics.. but nowhere as LONG as the last 9 years under this current smug crowd 😀

    • Gezza

       /  August 9, 2017

      Morning Zedd. Mind me asking what your opinion of Kennedy Graham & David Clendon is?

      • Gezza

         /  August 9, 2017

        No need to answer if you’re too embarrassed to say, tho.

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