They say a week is a long time in politics. So, it turns out, is an hour and a half.
At 8.30 on Tuesday morning, Labour Party leader Andrew Little told reporters that he was not going to resign – “I’m going to fight”.
90 minutes later he was fronting a press conference announcing his resignation: “Today I have announced that I will step down as leader of the Labour Party… The Labour team of MPs and staff have worked incredibly hard during my leadership, however recent poll results have been disappointing. As leader, I must take responsibility for these results… My colleagues in the Labour Party caucus will elect a new leadership team this morning. I wish my successor all the very best in their new role, and offer my wholehearted support to them.”
Just after 11 am, Labour’s new leadership team was announced – 53 days before the General Election.
Jacinda Ardern was elected unopposed as Labour’s new leader with Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis as her deputy.
She is Labour’s sixth leader in nine years.
At her first press conference, Jacinda Ardern said she’d just taken on the worst job in politics but she’d bring “relentless positivity” to the party and next month’s election campaign: “There will be some core elements of our campaign that we absolutely stand by because they’re the issue that New Zealanders have told us are important to them. You’ll see those as consistent things in our campaign but you’ll also see Kelvin and my stamp on the campaign too.”
As this week’s NZCPR Guest Commentator, political scientist Dr Bryce Edwards of Otago University, reports, Labour’s announcement has unleashed an overwhelmingly positive response from the media and political commentators:
“New Labour leader Jacinda Ardern is promising to run an election campaign characterised by ‘relentless positivity’. And, so far, there’s been an almost relentlessly positive response to her rise to the top. It appears that Ardern’s extraordinary elevation is going to lift this election campaign out of the ordinary, too. Below are some of the more interesting examples of ‘The Jacinda Effect’ taking hold…
“Newshub’s political editor Patrick Gower is not afraid of attacking or grilling politicians, but he seems to have been struck by Jacindamania, writing two very positive accounts of the new leader. In his report, Ardern could capitalise on the mood for change, he says ‘Jacinda Ardern represents one thing that Bill English and National never can – change. And if you can harness change, it is one of the most powerful political weapons there is.’
“In a second piece, Jacinda’s on fire, National should be frightened, Gower really lets loose, summing up Ardern’s first media appearance like this: ‘Powerful, composed, eloquent – and actually quite funny… Ardern brings energy…. She has presence. She isn’t anxious – she looks in control. She doesn’t look reluctant – she looks ready. And importantly, Jacinda Ardern has got that valuable political ingredient – vibe. She has got serious vibe… If National aren’t scared now – they should be. Because if anyone can cause a political ‘youthquake’, it’s Jacinda.”
So what does all of this mean for the forthcoming election?
First of all, some perspective: the Labour Party is no stranger to disastrous polling – nor to leadership changes just before an election.
In 1990, after six years of ‘Rogernomics’, Labour’s support had slumped to 28 percent, and in that First Past the Post environment, they were at risk of losing many ‘safe’ seats. As a result, just 35 days before the election, Mike Moore took over the Labour leadership from Prime Minister Geoffrey Palmer to – in his words – “save the furniture”. While Labour won 35 percent of the vote at the election – a seven point improvement on the polls before the leadership change – they still lost 28 seats.
Three years later, Mike Moore led Labour to within two seats of beating National. But that was not good enough to retain Labour’s leadership, and a month later he lost it to Helen Clark.
In the lead up to the 1996 election, despite falling to 14 percent in the polls, with Helen Clark ranking at two percent in the preferred prime minister stakes, Labour went on to gain 28 percent of the party vote in that first MMP election – and almost formed a government.
So from an historical perspective, while Labour’s poll results under Andrew Little were not that bad, in reality it was his inability to connect with voters – in the face of rising support for the Greens and New Zealand First – that was leaving Labour vulnerable to relegation to third party status.
The rise of the Greens could be attributed, in part, to the disastrous Memorandum of Understanding that Labour had signed with them in 2016. It had given the Greens relevance as part of a viable government-in-waiting, and committed them to working together to oust National, instead of competing against each other for votes.
The problem for Labour was that the agreement had signalled to their left wing supporters that it was OK to support the Greens. It had also driven moderate Labour voters – who didn’t want any association with the radical Greens – into the arms of New Zealand First and National.
The Memorandum had also put the spotlight on Labour’s identity crisis. Since the Trade Unions had gained ideological control of the Party in 2012, their focus had been on worker rights. Yet, with New Zealand’s established laws now firmly protecting the rights of workers, those issues no longer resonated with the wider public, leaving the party stranded with a grumpy trade union leader looking for a cause.
Elections are won in the centre ground of politics – through the support of middle voters, who shop around for whichever party appeals to them at the time. But instead of moving into the centre – as Helen Clark had done to win office – Labour’s one-eyed union-controlled leadership decided that their future lay to the left, alongside Parliament’s most socialist party.
What the Memorandum failed to do, was stop the Greens from targeting Labour supporters. In fact, the Green’s co-leader Metiria Turei couldn’t resist the temptation to try to ‘out-compassion’ Labour to win the beneficiary vote.
She took a big gamble by using her own benefit fraud as the rationale to underpin a social justice campaign featuring a more generous welfare system without sanctions and obligations.
While blaming the system for her cheating enabled her – in her mind – to excuse herself of all responsibility for defrauding taxpayers by lying to the welfare department, that’s not the view of most New Zealanders.
In the latest Newshub Reid Research poll, 74 percent of Kiwis said it was wrong for Metiria Turei to lie to get a bigger benefit. Eighteen percent said it wasn’t wrong and 8 percent didn’t know.
Of those saying it was wrong, 85 percent were National voters, 77 percent were New Zealand First, 67 percent were Labour, and 51 percent were Green voters.
It transpires that Metiria Turei was receiving a solo parent benefit from 1993 until late 1998 but failed to tell WINZ about flatmates who paid rent during her time of living in five different flats, while completing a law degree.
Her mother was also a ‘flatmate’, but although they lived together in the same home for some of the time, she says they were financially independent. According to TVNZ, the father of her daughter also spent time as a flatmate.
As well as benefit fraud, Metiria Turie has admitted electoral fraud by enrolling to vote at the same address as her daughter’s father – despite claiming not to have lived there: “I was, however, enrolled to vote at the same address as him, which was in the Mt Albert electorate. A friend of mine was running as a candidate in Mt Albert in 1993, and I wished to vote for them. That was a mistake.”
It was not only a mistake, but under the Electoral Act, electoral fraud is a criminal offence which carries a maximum penalty of three months jail.
It is also clear that by refusing to name the father of her child, not only was the Welfare Department unable to detect whether or not she lived with him, but the Inland Revenue Department was unable to pursue him for child support.
While Metiria Turei did not seek employment during this period, she did find time for politics, standing for the McGillicuddy Serious Party in 1993 and campaigning for the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party in 1996. Asked by Radio NZ why she hadn’t worked, she said, “I also had fun like other people do. Campaigning took a little bit of time but this is the thing, people are entitled to have a decent life and I want every beneficiary to have enough money to be financially secure.”
Whether or not charges are laid for any of her fraudulent activities remains to be seen, but ‘public interest’ is a key factor that is taken into account by the Crown when determining whether or not to prosecute.
If Metiria Turei is not prosecuted, two very strong and dangerous messages will be sent: that not only is it acceptable to commit fraud if family circumstances so dictate, but that MPs are above the law.
The on-going problem for Metiria Turei is that she has now lost credibility. In explaining away her welfare fraud, she said, “I lied to survive”. Is she now lying to survive politically?
Yes, she’s ruled herself out of taking on any Ministerial responsibilities in any new Government, but in reality, that’s farcical – there is no sacrifice in giving up something that’s unlikely to happen.
Instead, she needs to rule herself out of Parliament altogether.
Those on the left of politics, who have been longing for ‘galvanising’ forces like Bernie Sanders in the US or Jeremy Corbyn in the UK, to emerge in New Zealand to ignite the campaign and persuade the ‘missing million’ to vote, have been in raptures about Metiria Turei and now Jacinda Ardern. However, it’s important to recognise that these are essentially sideshows.
With support for the National and the Labour-Green blocs not too far apart, but not great enough for either to govern alone, the key issue for this election is whether the ‘king-maker’ party decides to change the government – or not.
As things stand, Winston Peters will determine the outcome of the 2017 election. He will decide whether to keep the present National Government in power, or change to a Labour-Green Government.
He will no doubt make that decision based on how effective the main parties will be in enabling him to deliver on his election promises.
So how should National and Labour respond?
It’s obviously in both of their interests to maximise their support.
Labour has already taken the first step, by changing their leader. To beat National it now needs to move into the political centre ground by promoting sensible policies with a heart. Through proactive and energetic campaigning, they may even persuade some of the missing million voters to turn out on Election Day.
For National, their biggest challenge is to reverse the slide in their support.
The UMR Research poll that sparked Labour’s leadership change, had New Zealand First on 16 percent, the Greens on 15 percent, and National slipping to 42 percent.
The Listener’s Insight poll, from Tuesday night, had National falling further to 39 percent.
To stem the flow of National voters, who are disillusioned with the Party’s support of race-based privilege, from moving to New Zealand First, National should match the promise made by Winston Peters to hold a binding referendum of all voters on the future of the Maori seats.
This used to be National’s policy, and the timing is right to do it now, with the Treaty settlement process almost over, and Maori more than adequately represented in Parliament.
By announcing such a policy, National’s voters may well return ‘home’. But without such a circuit breaker, National could find itself on a very slippery slope indeed.
THIS WEEK’S POLL ASKS:
Should Metiria Turei resign from Parliament?
*Poll comments are posted below.
*All NZCPR poll results can be seen in the Archive.
THIS WEEK’S POLL COMMENTS
|Fraud is fraud and twice is 2 times too many. Resign now would be the honest thing to do?||Laurel|
|Can’t understand why she is still there!!||Elizabeth|
|She has lost all credibility and her complete lack of contrition is appalling. She thinks she is above the law.||Ray|
|She stole. She had plenty of time subsequently, at a very high parliamentary salary, to pay bac her debt to society. No morals, no place in parliament.||Henry|
|But as Christ exhorted the mob surrounding the woman caught in the act of adultery; “let he who is without sin cast the first stone||Anthony|
|What sort of message is she sending to young people? It’s OK to cheat and lie when you are young you don’t have to tale responsibility for your actions and all will be forgiven later in life when you are mature?? Yea right!||John|
|I hope she does not become a martyr.||Graeme|
|She is dishonest and while I detest the Greens ACT MP who committed offences were kicked out of Parliament so what is good for ACT MP’ the same should apply to the Green’s and any other party that commits offences that an ordinary citizens would be prosecuted for.||Colin|
|Yes. one rule for all||Ngaire|
|If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime.||Fred|
|The sooner she resigns the better, before her lack of honesty become contagious. Her brazen attitude of self entitlement on the backs of hard working New Zealander’s is an embarrassment.||Sam|
|A fraudster and a poll manipulator …. who is her kid’s father? … son of former MP Ann Hartley?||Barrie|
|Absolutely – her staying sends a very strong message that dishonesty is acceptable – extremely damaging.||Barbara|
|This brazen Maori seem to think she can buy and bluff her way out of the criminal situation in which she has placed herself. She has done the crime now she should do the time..||William|
|She should go immediately! She is nothing but a dishonest bludger!||Rex|
|Yes Yes Yes. Because she is part maori, does she think she is above our laws? She has no integrity. Just dishonest and a self proclaimed liar.||Darryl|
|She should be prosecuted too Fancy saying that beneficiaries should be financially secure no matter what their circumstances!!! Frig i pulled my self together after a major accident to get off a benefit, she’s disgraceful both now and when she put fwd the idea Northland Part-Maori should be able to turn dope growing into a business. Time to get rid of her and her PC Party.||Carol|
|And she should be prosecuted.||Elizabeth|
|Absolutely. And, if she repays the money she wasn’t entitled to, the amount should be as todays dollar equivalent plus interest. To repay only the amount taken illegally at the time whilst currently pulling down an MP’s salary would not be seen to be a just reparation. The fact that she was studying to pass a Law degree at the time just makes it all the more reprehensible.||Alan|
|If she does she will be heading for the dole queue! Her admission does reflect the idiocy of the elections in the current era of socialist politics where lies are told as the parties try to buy the vote and on the other hand truths are told to try and gain our trust! She took a big risk that has likely not paid off and will likely end in disaster!||Frederick|
|She should get the same punishment any fraudster gets and she should be EXPELLED, without the dignity of resignation!||Linc|
|Definitely and not before time. She has been ripping off the taxpayer and encouraging others to do so . As if they need to be encouraged.||Benjamin|
|She cannot be trusted. And what financial support did she get from the various Maori funding agencies? There was a lot of “positive discrimination” thinking go on at that time.||Malcolm|
|No – but only because Bill English did not resign when he diddled $32k in housing allowances.||David|
|Turei – contrite – No, arrogant – YES. She scammed the taxpayer and happily blames everyone else for her situation – of her own making. I fume.,||Fiona|
|Is there any other dishonesty by her to come to the fore. She is disrespecting all beneficeries who make an effort to find work and raise their children. When I hear her say “I did it to put food on the table ” sounds like a quote from a Dickens novel…..||Colleen|
|Commit the crime – do the time. It beggars belief that she still has not been prosecuted. What IS wrong with the legal system?||Bill|
|A cheat and thief. How many others in the hard left are the same||Wayne|
|It is theft whichever way you look at it, how can she be trusted, she should be prosecuted as well||Colleen|
|Didn’t Jeanette Fitzsimonds first get into Parliament because Auckland greenies registered in Coromandel? A Labour Greens deal will see a similar rort. On the other hand, thousands of young people innocently register at Mum’s address, which is their “home.” Many lefty voters see nothing wrong with benefit fraud, which is very common. Meteria will not loose many votes.||Alan|
|Necessary to maintain any semblance of reputation for ALL politicians and their institution. And she should be charged with every offence evidenced.||Gordon|
|A trumpianism for you. We do not want to create our own swamp in NZ.||Roger|
|Yes she should resign from Parliament. She thought she was being so clever revealing her theft of public funding just before the election. Looking at her face you can read that she is not the least bit sorry for her act. She is just a cheat and a liar and should be got rid of NOW!!||Ernest|
|She should not only resign from parliament she should also be removed off the register of Lawyers.||David|
|All the excuses doesn’t change the criminal intent, others are being charged so she should be also.||Ian|
|Once a liar and a cheat -always a liar and a cheat—unless there is a realistic showing of remorse which would require resigning from Parliament.||Frank|
|The sooner the better this crook is gone||Gerard|
|When you are responsible for making the laws for the country how can you think that it is is ok to break them ??????????????????||Anthony|
|Obeying the laws of the country should not be “an opt-out option”.||John|
|No One should be exempt from the Laws of the Country!||Trish|
|Yes but if her determination to stay damages the left-wing coalition then perhaps that would be a good result||Bruce|
|She chose to admit to fraud expecting to receive public sympathy and to promote her political ambitions. She chose not to name the father of her child but seemingly received his support anyway and probably didn’t need any special benefits except she wanted to continue living the life of Riley. All that can be added is there is honour among thieves and she’s in the middle of that particular pack!||Alan|
|What a crook. Smarmy stupid woman.||Tim|
|It’s appalling that she is still there and just goes to show how unsuitable she is to be in Government.||Helen|
|She is a thief. ordinary people would be prosecuted, so why not her?? Is this a third world country ?? I would like to know. Corruption must not rule ,,PLEASE>||Norman|
|Send her packing because she is a crook and when you consider she was studing law while de frauding the government is totally wrong. Iam suprized that the media have not exposed the fact that she was studding law at the time.I am convinced that the media are also crooked. Get rid of her but wait till after the election.||Ken|
|Absolutely astounded to read that she refused to name the father of her daughter so the IRD were unable to pursue him for child support. No name no financial support as in Queensland should be the ticket. Plus I bet her law degree was attained while getting Govt support. Good old tax payer once again footing the bill for beneficiaries||Toni|
|We have enough questionable people in responsible positions without having one in Parliament||Tom|
|Once again part of the elite upper class of parliament with no brains.||Barry|
|She admitted to being a criminal in more ways than one. Can she ever be trusted? NO!||George|
|Parliamentarians are supposed to be the leaders of our nation. Leaders are also subject to the same rules as other citizens – they have no moral right to be above them and subject to different standards. Why has parliament not taken action as one body to impeach Ms Turei and remove her from office? Prosecution must be the very least and as she has already confessed, then statutory penalties enforced.||Michael|
|Fraud…Jail for any one else????||Ian|
|Yes. That smarmy cow should never have been there. Shes just another thieving fraudster.||Des|
|Yes. And at the same time as calling for her resignation, I’d be after the leader of NZ First, Winston Peters. There is a long litany of false claims he has made over the years. Then the 2005 election fraud of $158,000 of taxpayer money has never been paid back to us taxpayers||Peter|
|She is an unrepentant liar, a cheat and a fraudster. She should fall on her sword if She has any integrity at all.||Adrienne|
|She now lacks any credibility. Lies and even more lies.||Peter|
|People shown to have broken the law duo in fact resign from Parliament. Is she exempt from doing the right thing? She clearly thinks she is because that’s how she offended in the first place.||Mike|
|Everyone at the “front” should be TOTALLY squeaky clean – i.e.. HONEST. She must go. Brian.||Brian|
|Any person entering plititics that has ‘skelitons’ in the cupboard NEEDS to be upfront with the facts prior to going to the polls.||Maureen|
|The benefit is a privilege given by the workers not a right||Margaret|
|Turei admitted to two offences. If found guilty and sentenced, will she be ineligible to stand for parliament? I sincerely hope so as I am not comfortable having a criminal assisting in the running of our country.||Dennis|
|Yes and she should charged for fraud||Robert|
|Absolutely. It was fraudulent behaviour.||William|
|Absolutely yes. She is a self confessed liar and cheat who has commit fraud and encouraged others to do the same. She does not deserve to be an MP or a lawyer due to her disgraceful actions and self righteous attitude. The sooner she goes the better.||Frank|
|How about some integrity?||David|
|She is not above the law.||Barbara|
|Could you ever trust her statements again? She is a Member of Parliament for God’s sake, she should be above all this, but having proved she is a liar, she should NOT be in parliament.||Carl|
|If Metiria disapproves of the welfare laws, she should try and change them but not by her words and actions, encourage others to break the law as it stands.||Sue|
|Parliamentarians should under no circumstances be seen to be above the law. She cheated the taxpayers and must go.||Lee|
|Absolutely: should have already!||Frank|
|Get rid of her. It was OK to get rid of the Nat guy wasn’t it?||Neil|
|Lawmakers must be beyond reproach, certainly not benefit and electroral fraudsters.||Graeme|
|She should go||Claire|
|We want integrity in our polititians.||Douglas|
|If she can cheat at this level, without any compunction, what would she do at a higher level?||Yvonne|
|No one is above the law. She sends a dangerous message to those who expect the tax payers to support their life style.||Donald|
|Metiria must resign. She has zero credibility and should never be allowed to be any kind of participant, in a system she has shown considerable disrespect for, by using a false address in a past election. If we all did this, there would be chaos. She must disappear from politics altogether!||Mika|
|By her own admission (boast?) she has committed a criminal offence. There is no place for her in public life!||TOBY|
|She would demand a National mp resign||Don|
|She is a complete disgrace She has no moral compass and should be the last person to be anywhere near making our laws.||Mary|
|Sooner rather than later. She is a liar and a cheat.||Jan|
|She also needs to be charged with fraud and tried in court.||Bruce|
|Benefit fraud is plain and simple Benefit fraud no matter who you are. She did it and if any one else did it they would be prosecuted so she should be no different.||Graham|
|A breakdown of the rule of law would be a disaster for NZ.||Keith|
|She shouldn’t resign she should be JAILED FOR A LONG TIME, LIKE FOR EVER.||Leonie|
|She should go. No question!! She not only defrauded the taxpayer and broke the law(while doing a law degree!) she used the fact to try to gain political capital and boasted about it. Disgraceful. No integrity at all.||Mary|
|MPs are NOT above the law||Robyn|
|It is a no brainer. She is a crook who has outsmarted herself. As with most crooks they only think they are smart. Public opinion says she iis a cheat, a liar, and a fraudster. Lets add to this, crafty, but not smart.||Lloyd|
|With a crime attracting a jail sentence, how can a thief & Liar remain an MP?||Maurice|
|Once a liar, always a liar.||Fergus|
|When Todd McClay was outed for making a recording of one of the office staff, Turei was at the forefront of the baying pack for his resignation. If she does not resign from Parliament forthwith, she will remain as a neon sign that says “cheat, liar, fraudster” … do not vote for the watermelons or anyone associated with them. This will give a good deal of clarification for those who were starting to feel some empathy with the Greens. In my opinion, the Greens will now go back in their also ran box. They have done what they always do … peak 6 weeks before the election and fade quite noticeably well before the finish line. I’ll drink a toast to that. So Metiria can stay as long as she likes, but has already gone as far as any sensible New Zealander is concerned. Her ability as a long term thinker is non existent and as custodian of political leadership, she is done and dusted. Poison!||Dianna|
|Social Services in NZ provide both financial support and advice for people in true need. If you have the ability to use the system then you should be using this to get a job. Benefit fraud, electoral fraud etc. are crimes. What are we telling people if we do not condone crime. We do not need criminals in our Parliament. Good bye Metiria!||Bruce|
|WE have enough liars and fraudsters already in parliament.||Vernon|
|And be prosecuted. Time to drain the swamp!!||Nevile|
|Of course she should she is a criminal and seems proud of it . How could you ever trust her||Peter|
|Hell, yeah!! Should have been gone before now. She shows credibility and leadership how??? As for stating that she wants “every beneficiary to be financially secure”, what planet is she on? Will that flow on to the children? Of course not.||Alan|
|She either got no legal advice before opening her mouth, chose to ignore that advice, or it was all coming out anyway, so she chose to divulge. Should have spilt ALL the beans at once. Her political career is doomed, unfortunately for her. I THINK she was trying to do something positive for beneficiaries, but she shot herself in the foot. What would be VERY, VERY interesting to see would be an investigation into Paula Benefit’s WINZ days, as I have seen quite a lot of interesting and credible info on her, including dates and addresses, and she stated that she “had never INTENTIONALLY misled WINZ”. So, what? She misled them by accident? Pull the other one, Paula…||Andy|
|An ordinary citizen committing the same crime would be prosecuted. I do not think Politicians should be above the law, in fact they should be upholding enforcement.||Wayne|
|She cheated she should go.||Barry|
|Absolutely ! She seems to think that as a maori she is immune from prosecution and has privileges that apply to maoris and no one else. If this had been a non maori and a member of one of the major parties you would hear the screams of protest from the moon. One law for all, no exceptions whatever the race !||David|
|Integrity in tatters. Political gamble on her part.||Lois|
|She should also be prosecuted and thrown out of parliament.||John|
|She’s a crook & should be made an example of. She’s cheating the taxpayers, what’s more.||Jane|
|Goes without saying a thief, I’ve worked all my life so she and many others can bludgeon on welfare||Ian|
|To many lies! Others have been death by media for far less! Resign or be sacked!!||Trish|
|Lost respect for her.||Ann|
|I one maori does it then they will all jump on the never ending cash grab.||Chris|
|Yes with A capital Y”||Vaughan|
|HOW CAN YOU HAVE LAIRS RUNNING THE COUNTRY AND EVEN GLOATING ABOUT IT.||JOHN|
|She, as others of her Ilks, eem to think they are imune to the rule of Law.||David|
|Three lies your out.||Douglas|
|Absolutely, we don’t need confessed criminals in Parllament already some are a little borderline. Lets hope someone is prepared to pursue her causing her to resign from her party. Her actions are totally unacceptable, effectively giving a signal to many that crime is OK!||Peter|
|It should not be one rule for the working class or poor and another for politicians. That is never right.||Kerin|
|Turei is a criminal. Since when do you leave the fox in charge of the chicken coop?||Chris|
|I thought criminals were not acceptable in parliament.||Jim|
|Yes she should do the decent thing.She also should be procecuded.||Cindy|
|Yes. Parliament is meant to be the epitome of truth and honour – the absolute court of this land. Any breach of truth is a breach of that warrant sworn under oath. Sadly “ME” is becoming more important (in this case totally) than the roll of representing ones electorate or political party WITH HONESTY. Otherwise we could all ‘demand’ benefits without effort. The money tree would very soon run out whence we would all have to work to survive. Even the thought of work seems to hurt some!!||Stuart|
|Well, the ACT M.P. was forced (?) to resign for rather less, in my opinion. I don’t like to put the knife in, but she should really be offering to pay it back with compound interest. After all, the Inland Revenue levies very heavy penalties on miscreants.||Jonathan|
|Unquestionably. Sooner, rather than later. MJL.||Mabel|
|Despite being in the “privileged” category for over15 years, she has failed to rectify her scapling of taxpayers and other beneficiaries. This is her worse crime and she deserves to go for that first and foremost.||Fiona|
|If she does not she will face prolonged scrutiny every time she rises to speak on Greens policy. Her concept of increased benefit with no obligation will sink their social policy.||Bryan|
|There has to be a signal sent that it is not O.K. To blatantly break the law||Bryan|
|Why Not if it was another New Zealander they would probably be in Court and fined or imprisoned. “All for one and One for all”||Ian|
|Why should she resign from parliament for telling a lie when 90per-cent of her ‘Parties’ policies are lies, or based on lies. Man made global warming, 304,00 children living in poverty, farmers being blamed for polluted rivers, when cities & towns are the main offenders, are examples that come to mind. The ‘Left’ seem to rely on lies to get any traction at all. John Key was a classic lefty in disguise, he had the ability to lie without any give-away body language what so ever. Look at the Democrats & CNN news in America at the present time. While our news media grasp & transmit every bit of left wing propaganda that they can get their hands on, while refusing to acknowledge any press release issued by left of centre Conservative Party..||A.G.R.|
|And she should be prosecuted for fraud.||Jim|
|She is not above the law so she should resign.||S|
|Welfare should be regarded as a safety net and not be increased until it becomes a comfortable way of life which seems to be Metiria’s view.||Jon|
|Absolutely! MPs must be trustworthy and she has proved herself to be otherwise.||Graham|
|How can she show any credibility in the face of what she has done.Does she think because she’s a maori that she is entitled to rip off the system. What an example she has shown to the rest of New Zealand.GO||Ross|
|After she pays back the amount stolen a couple of hundred hours of community service would not go astray either..||John|
|She is not above the law of the land!||Jim|
|She should not only resign but should be prosecuted for admitting to having commited a criminal act.||Tom|
|Lying, cheating the taxpayers of NZ, electoral fraud, you name it. she’s done it! Nasty person lies beneath I suspect.||John|
|Leopards don’t change their spots. This person is a lawyer with no respect for the law. Can she be trusted?||Lindsay|
|She is a cheat. Anyone defrauding the system would be prosecuted.||Murray|
|No special treatment for an MP thief||John|
|She should resign to show benefit Fraud is theft regardless when it happened. Political people need to lead by example.||Ian|
|But better still, she should be booted out.||Geoffrey|
|There is no place for cheaters in our government.||Konrad|
|Very poor example set, unacceptable.||Jenny|
|You cannot set a precedent of lying and cheating by a member of Parliament in any government of newzealand. Other cheaters of the welfare system would have the same rights as the co leader of the greens. She has to be prosecuted.||Brian|
|Most definitely, others have resigned for lesser offences.||Winifred|
|She lied & has no moral ethics.||Les|
|She is a cheat and a thief and did all that while studying law for goodness sake||Murray|
|Of course she should. She is a professional bludger and has lied and cheated to give herself the good life at the taxpayers expense. She should be strongly prosecuted, sending a message to other dole bludgers that it is wrong, and no-one is above the law, including politicians.||Robbie|
|Yes, she should be compelled to resign by her Party – but she won’t! She has become just another ‘trough feeder’ like so many of the elite ethnic group, feeding off the monetary grants for the vast majority of the ‘non-elites’.||MervB|
|OMG .. absolutely! She has committed fraud and is basically saying it’s ok to lie in cheat if you are in difficult circumstances. Being a bit of a cynic I’m wondering if she was in fact THAT broke or was it just a good way to make some extra money without having to do the hard yards? The Greens should be forcing her to stand down because it is not a good look for their party. Unless they believe we should all be out their rorting the system? Imagine a society where that happened…!!!||Maddi|
|She has demonstrated that she has no integrity even today.||John|
|Of course she should, she was very vocal about John Banks now the shoe is on the other foot and now she has to wear it.||Les|
|She no longer has any trust from the populace at large as one would not know whether or not she was being truthful. She has broken the law and one must ask how come the Law Society are staying so quiet?||Ian|
|Yes – but her overweening sense of entitlement and lack of integrity would completely overwhelm the faintest suggestion that she needs to do so, in my opinion.||Scott|
|Why trust one who committed wilful fraud ? Do the crime, pay the fine, no matter how long afterwards. Turei must resign||William|
|I, for the life of me, don’t even understand why this is up for discussion. Of course she should resign or be fired, no more questions asked. What is wrong with this damn country?? If she actually gets to the elections, it will be the biggest ‘slippery slope’ ever created in NZ. We have a government that thinks an apology is deserved to a group of people who were convicted for committing a crime, but years later their act is no longer deemed illegal and so be it. I was charged for drinking at a pub when the drinking age was 21 and I was 19 and there are many other examples but not too many apologies being given out. Will we be apologizing to beneficiaries of the 90’s who were charged for fraud but were forced to do it to maintain their ‘lifestyles’? Come on WINZ, there is only one choice here and you better make it, this person has to be made an example of or there will need to be a major change of management, starting from the very top. Take note National, another vote swinger!||Gordy|
|Most definitely yes.But will she-I think not unless she is pushed.Hers is just another example of Maori arrogance toward so called rights.Turei is an insult to hard working Kiwis,and has not only brought the Green Party into disrepute but also the legal profession as well.One has to ask how is it that a dishonest liar can hold such a high office and where is the credibility of the Greens now and where is the integrity of the welfare judiciary.||Don|
|I am only voting No because I would prefer that she is sacked after convictions for fraud. And the Law Society should de-register her too. Immediately!||Rod|
|Absolutely!A cheat should not be in a position of power.If it was anything but beneficiary shed been ousted on first day||JC|
|Just another left wing , progressive bludger. She’ll be right mate, the taxpayer owes people like me||Sam|
|The honesty of politicians should be above reproach. no ifs, no buts.||Peter|
|If a law student was finding it though supporting herself and a child then the father of the child should be the one to help not the taxpayer. If she had stolen from a food market after prosecution she would be given community work to do.||Bruce|
|Yes she is a crook & should go to jail. National should go ahead with the refremend about getting rid of the Maori seats that will win back voters for them.||Geoff|
|We need all the honesty we can get in the executive and this is not it||Joseph|
|She has clamored enough for others to resign!||Mark|
|Do we want people with her selfishness running our country?||Dave|
|She is dishonest.||John|
|There appear to have been two deliberate and intentional cases of flaunting of the law.||David|
|Absolutely but remember she is a part Maori and they have special rights and can justify any thing they like How the Green Party can offer their support to her is unbelievable . Let’s not forget dear old Bill English , he must be rubbing his hands that Turie came along and saved him from scrutiny over his lies about his knowledge of the texts which Winstone produced and he just flatly refused to comment. I think Bill and Turin should both be made to resign.||Jock|
|She has held others to account on lesser charges. She has to go.||Chris|
|She is dispaying total arogance to our laws of this land.||Keith|
|Not only is Metiria Turei sending two very strong and dangerous messages that not only is it acceptable to commit fraud if family circumstances so dictate, but that MP’s are above the law. She is also appealing to the Moari and Beneficiaries and sending the message that it is ok to steal from the hardworking taxpayers of New Zealand.||Derrick|
|A bludger on all of us||Bruce|
|Unfortunate illustration of todays growing entitlement culture||Ian|
|She is a liar and a thief and should not be eligible to hold office||Arthur|
|Such a blatant lack of integrity in an MP is deeply alarming asshe so flagrantly flouted the law. She might as well say “the law is just a guideline”.||Marilyn|
|She probably should but with her there it keeps the Green’s credibility at a low for people to see.||Andrew|
|An MP who is self-confessed fraudster should have no place in Parliament.||Ian|
|No doubt, she should fall on her sword||Beryl|
|Got to resign for her electoral fraud.||Ian|
|Morally she has no choice but to resign. Staying, she damages the credibility of The Greens.||Barbara|
|How can a lair, fraudster and many other things possible be standing for Parliament , hasn’t she already cheated the tax payer out of much with these confessions. She is no role model and does not deserve any respect from the public.||Elizabeth|
|She’s utterly compromised and not fit to sit in the Parliament.||John|
|Unreservedly yes but she won’t because she would loose her parliamentary pension||Kevin|
|She has broken the law and has been dishonest. She certainly needs to resign from politics.||Kay|
|An admitted thief, electoral fraudster and liar. She has no place in a free parliament, rather a place behind bars.||Bill|
|She’ll screw up labour and the greensfor the next 2 months! then she can be prosecuted and forced from parliament….||Mike|
|As leader of the benefit fraud party.||Dick|
|Not a fit person to be in politics||Dennis|
|Not only has she committed fraud twice, financial and electoral, she is proud of it.||Dave|
|The woman is a thief, having stolen taxpayer funds. This criminal act was further compounded by the fact that she told blatant lies in the commission of the offence. Furhter compounded by a refusal to show any contrition. She is a wholly unfit person to be trusted with any office whatsoever. There is a case for the Law Society to assess her fitness to practice.||Andrew|
|She broke the law, as simple as that, a young lady living next door to us did the same thing she got caught and prosecuted, no mercy for her, no mercy for Turei||Murray|
|When, as taxpayer, you are funding somebody else’s LIFE (and law degree) you get a bit grumpy when they force their hand into your pocket for more. Look to the 18% of voters who think what she did is OK. Expect to find similar benefit fraud among beneficiaries in that lot. She has given a get-out-of-jail card to any future fraudster. If the powers don’t go after Turei, now, any good lawyer (taxpayer-funded of course) will get these thieves off too.||Lesley|
|She claimed poverty but I believe the Grandmother of Meteria’s child was a well off public persona. Can anyone support this with fact?||Adrian|
|And at the very least … PAY THE MONIES BACK.||Geoff|
|Lying and subterfuge her modus operandi. Doesn’t think rules apply to HER!||David|
|She has committed FRAUD and as such this is a criminal offence and she should serve a jail term (others in similar circumstances have paid the price) why should she get preferential treatment? Her appearance on TV after her last meeting was as though she had WON. Plus if one commits a crime where is the Justice system in their rulings? She should also get struck off being a Lawyer. As it is at present she will entice and teach others on how to do WRONG –she obviously has NO MORALS so how can one trust her ? When are our Police and Lawyers in this matter?||Marylin|
|Did she have a scholiship to go to University?||Bruce|
|She should be charged with fraud as well as paying all the money back. She is saying to everyone that it is ok to cheat and lie and the law will do nothing please let our justise sytem do the right thing and charge her.||Cherryl|
|How can we trust her.||Richard|
|Stunned that anyone with a conscience could believe that they are above the Law and made worse by effectively encouraging beneficeries to lie as well.||Di|
|She is a thief.||Owen|
|Two legs good. Four legs bad.||Brett|
|The greens are one of the worst examples of welfare gone mad. Immoral leadership and the offering of untold taxpayer money to buy votes would seem to be crimes to me.||Alastair|
|She has broken the law and should be held accountable – why should she not be prosecuted like any other.||John|
|Not only should she resign she also should be prosecuted for her crimes and receive the full weight of the law including retribution from the law society.||Rob|
|If she doesn’t leave it opens the door for all liars and cheats to represent honest New Zealanders. She has to go.||John|
|She should also be charged for her offences – all of them!||Garry|
|Absolutely. If she was at all principled (which she is obviously NOT) she’d have resigned forthwith after receiving such negative feedback. Obviously, as a political ploy, it backfired on her and is a very poor reflection of the morals of the Greens. And by the way, contrary to Green Party pledges, the last thing we as a state should be doing is encouraging more indiscriminate one-parent breeding by increasing benefit payments. As the visiting criminologist stated: “We court social disaster with a politically correct and overly generous bureaucracy pandering to those with no social conscience and total lack of self control.”||Tony|
|And be prosecuted.||Phil|
|Unbelievably dishonest!!!!!! Not to mention criminal!!!!!!||Andy|
|Double Standard for Maori but not allowable for the rest of us!||Ian|
|Most definitely. She has just confirmed that she is a liar, cannot be trusted and a bloody criminal. How can she expect people to vote for that sort of politician when we already have enough in Government.||Terry|
|Without doubt. We all do silly stuff when young but obviously her great big silly smile was actually her smirking at the voters who pay her a decent salary.what is it with lawyers? Little, MT JC, Findlayson, Robinson. Should be banned from being elected.||Robert|
|She broke the Law||Hylton|
|I don’t believe a thief and a fraudster is the right type of person to be holding a place in our parliament.||Rod|
|Immoral, Parasitic, deluded narcissist||David|
|To remain is signally to NZ that it is fine and maybe expected, to defraud the system.||Heather|
|She has shown to be dishonest and manipulative. This is the style of leadership that easily condones corruption. Corruption is the downfall of society. We have a generous welfare system now, yet she would bleed our country with no regard to our future to promote her own style of shiftlesness.||Willy|
|No doubt about it. Law makers should not be law breakers. She has brought parliament into disrepute; others have previously lost their place for far less. In a way, though, she has done us all a favour by exposing her grubby lack of scruples behind the facade of virtuous morality that the Greens trade on.||Graham|
|Will a snowball melt in the sun?.|
|She’s a trougher pure and simple.||John|
|Her actions will not help unemployement ,will not motivate benificiaries to rise up and get themselves off the benefit,disgusting what she has done and even worse..NO REMORSE!!||Bruce|
|As long as she is there all MP’s are tainted by her fraudulent criminality.||Graeme|
|You reap what you sow and she sowed rubbish.||Bruce|
|Yes, definitely. She should also be prosecuted just as as an ordinary citizen would be.||Judy|
|Yes along with all the other green MPs who support her.||Ray|
|She’s a thief||Greg|
|She sets a very bad example.||Chris|
|She should be dismissed from parliament and prosecuted.||Steve|
|She deliberately committed fraud over a 3 year period.||Ron|
|Without a doubt.||David|
|Wilful welfare cheat – off you go.||Kevin|
|And she should be prosecuted.||Leonie|
|Other M P’s were stood down, some went to prison, why should she get away with it and encourage others to follow suit. Robbing the taxpayers. What happened to the so-called CLEAN Green Party?||Jill|
|Totally. She should resign voluntarily as a face-saver she should also be charged.||John|
|Also the full force of the law needs to be applied for her protracted fraud and benifit missappropriation. When are the authorities going to grow a spine or does being a female Maori list MP exempt her. Are we now to accept even lower standards as the norm for those in public office ?||Max|
|But it helps the Nats if she stays in.||Jeremy|
|She should, but she won’t. She’s a liar and a cheat, and promotes further abuse of our overly liberal social system. She should be evicted from parliament, charged, prosecuted, convicted, and incarcerated, as well as made to repay the fraudulently received payments. Doing nothing is a bad example.||Joyce|
|Just because she understands what it’s like being hard up and a beneficiary, doesn’t mean that makes it okay. Lots of New Zealanders have been in that position and we never stopped to fraud and theft.||Seftus|
|Immediately she broke the law. We were on a apprentices wages with a baby. Try that one.||Jan|
|And jail she has broken the law.||Colin|
|Her credibility has been destroyed but that is nothing new with our politician. They will all lie f it means that they stay in power. To hell with the welfare of the country they want he power and associated perks.||Tony|
|It must be clear. The law applies to everybody no excuses. Apart from that a person of any honesty would have faced up years ago when they went off the benefit. I don’t see any regret or apology in her actions. I think she should be prosecuted on both of fences.||Jill|
|We have enough dishonest people in our community and we don’t need them in parliament sad so many people see nothing wrong with it just like the Barklay happenings dishoesty is becoming part of our accepted society.||Russell|
|Anyone with a fibre of morality or remorse would – clearly Meteiria has neither – she is not good governance material!||Sue|
|She has shown she is a cheat, she is dishonest, she is an electoral law breaker. She has made no effort towards restitution from her parliamentary salary. rather saying she will pay if chased. She should resign or be sacked now. Out, out, out, OUT||Russell|
|Sure no one is perfect – we all have made mistakes – from our errors of judgement we also learn – from these sign posts in life we are able to help – educate our families etc I would say MTs actions and attitude shows her true colours as a person If she had bought her cheque book to the table from the get go and had shown a contrite heart I would have some sympathy for her. It appears her conscience is non existent in matters of theft and integrity – sadly the phrase morally bankrupt comes to mind. This MP by her actions and attitude to date has to go. The Bible is very clear – you reap what you sow!!||Ross|
|A thief who stole money from all of us some way or another.||Jim|
|She is not above the LAW||Peter|
|A crime is a crime, nothing new about that. But to announce it in the way she did, positively making the announcement with no shame or apologies, virtually indicating she would not have changed her choice. This action, I believe, surely gives all beneficiaries ideas that it’s ok to act in this way, as surely many do already. She should pay back all the amount decided to be overpaid to her, and apologise to the tax payers of this country, but of course that will not happen given the do-Goodes who run this country and judicial system.||Audrey|
|1 law for all; MPs are subject to the law||Martin|
|Good Responsible Governance and the Taxpaying citizens are past being rorted by these sham tactics, If she doesnt go and quickly by her own resignation, the full unrelenting weight of the law needs to be applied to restore confidence in the Government. The fact she is an ineffectual list opposition members counts for no favors the law needs to be seen to be applied fairly in all its facets.||Richard|
|Definitely – she should have resigned when she first made the disclosures.||Keith|
|Absolutely she should resign and if she won’t the party should kick her out.||Robert|
|It’s simply not good enough that a liar and cheat can be a Member of Parliament paid $175,000 or so by taxpayers, when she has ripped taxpayers off and is not even sorry for doing so. The whole thing is outrageous.||Murray|
|Yes, yes, yes – of course she should go and the sooner the better.||Garry|
|I am appalled that someone that people looked up to is just a liar and a cheat. I hope they throw the book at her.||Leanne|