Delta #EpicFail and Metiria Turei : How Could This Be?

Received from Christchurch Driver [CD]
Fri, 28 Jul 2017 at 11:44 p.m.

Readers, I can hear the rumblings already – is your correspondent so bereft of new information that he has to tailgate the exploding Turei benefit scandal to catch some attention ? Is this the equivalent of Sérgio Mendes & Brasil ’66, who started well but could only survive by making instrumental covers of Beatles’ hits? (I admit, Day Tripper is a particular favourite…)

Get in behind, readers. Have yourselves a draught of Bells, and let me untangle the web that starts with the inexplicable antics of Ms Turei.

Any sentient citizen must be, by now, aware that Ms Turei attempted to make political capital out of her long term benefit fraud last week to assist in marketing the Green Party’s new welfare policy. Sadly for Ms Turei, a thing called the internet means that her previous fictions about the circumstances around her early solo parent years are all easily discoverable, and the Whale Oil blog has done a telling summary of Ms Turei’s various mendacities. (Thanks Cameron).

Overwhelmingly, the Kiwiblog and other commentariat have excoriated Ms Turei’s inexplicable move, but again, Whale Oil offered the most penetrating analysis (and no, I am not a Whale Oil subscriber, or have ever been in contact with Cameron Slater…). Mr Slater made the interesting points, repeated by Barry Soper and others, that not only was Ms Turei guilty of benefit fraud, but also received a study grant as well. Ms Turei refused to name the father of her baby to WINZ, who has now been subsequently revealed as Paul Hartley, son of Ann Hartley, former Mayor of North Shore. Consequently, no child support has ever been received from Mr Hartley. Ms Turei confirmed that “Grandma” (Ms Hartley) provided support – very likely including financial support, which undoubtedly has not been declared.

One of the unfortunate unintended effects of the whole affair is that this will be red meat to many right wing types of a particular gender and particular demographic to start a predictable chorus of “Welfare Queens” abusing the system. Middle aged guys, this was old (and not true) even when Ronald Reagan used it to get elected in 1980. As noted in the comments below, the amount of white collar fraud that goes unprosecuted is about 30 times the estimated amount of benefit fraud, so to the white collar industries of accounting and law that seek to advise on the fine line between tax “minimisation” and tax “avoidance” : let those without sin cast the first stone.  

While all this is very interesting and will lead to the certain demise of Metiria Turei after the election, if not before as the Green’s poll numbers continue to stagnate or decline, the commentariat has missed the bigger issue which is “What Did The Law Society Know and What Did They Do About It ?”.

Ms Turei initially declined to say if the fraud was disclosed to the Law Society in her 1999 interview to determine if she was “a fit and proper person” to be admitted to the bar, but then decided immediately afterward that refusing to comment would put her on a par with Jonathan Coleman and Todd McLay, so confirmed on July 26 that she had been “upfront” to the Law Society, and there had been a “long conversation” about it.

What is fascinating about this, and an extreme concern for anyone who has had to rely on or transact with lawyers, is that the Law Society, the body tasked with determining who is a fit and proper person to become a lawyer – to uphold the law – then on Ms Turei’s version of events confirmed to Ms Turei that this dishonesty did not matter.  

Readers, I too spilt Bells all over the sofa when I read that the Law Society had known about this for nearly 20 years and been complicit in Ms Turei’s dishonesty. How could it be that the profession dedicated to upholding the law could decide that some didn’t apply to them ? Following on from this if the Law Society did not think it was relevant or significant that a prospective lawyer had engaged in several years’ worth of benefit fraud, then what is the situation regarding her first employer, Simpson Grierson (one of the largest law firms in the country). Either they were lied to about the fraud, or they also had a relaxed attitude towards employing law graduates indulging in benefit fraud.

As we have often remarked in the Delta Epic Fraud series, truth is indeed stranger than fiction, and the facts of the matter are that the Law Society have previously allowed struck-off lawyers with convictions resulting from dishonesty to be reinstated to the bar.

One such lawyer is one Chris Gilbert, upon whom the fortunes of the Christchurch City Council (and indirectly, the DCC), rest in terms of the liability for the Yaldhurst Noble subdivision debacle, in the latest litigation. In reinstating Mr Gilbert to the bar, the Law Society ignored the opposition of three lawyers and two branches of the Law Society, including the Otago branch, who said the gravity of the offending made him unsuitable for reinstatement. Mr Gilbert “misappropriated” $44,000 of client funds in 1987 and 1988. Compounding this, a few years later, Mr Gilbert appeared to think that the Society’s rules were all overrated anyway and proceeded to sign legal documents on the fiction that he was still in fact a lawyer ! Brandishing a wet bus ticket, the Law Society warned Mr Gilbert “there would be no third chances !”.

Readers, like you I regard law firms as a bunch of parasitic sharks, and yes there are plenty of law firms with lawyers you would cross the street to avoid. But Mr Gilbert is not one of those. Mr Gilbert….is the legal services manager at the Christchurch City Council and was offered a job by the CCC with full knowledge of his dishonesty. NZ Herald (2004)

Readers, two hands on the cup : The Christchurch City Council actually said that Mr Gilbert “was the best candidate for the job”. This was rather against the advice of the Waikato Law Society, where Mr Gilbert committed his first fraud: they said in an affidavit Mr Gilbert was not a “fit and proper person” to be a lawyer.

Now place the cup down – you won’t cope with this : The Law Society gave Mr Gilbert his “third chance” on the basis that he could only work for the CCC. In other words, he wasn’t allowed to act for private individuals who had the choice to take or leave his services and make complaints if warranted. Instead he could be responsible for issues involving huge amounts of ratepayer funds, because the Law Society appeared to think that position required a much lower standard of integrity.

Readers, why would the Christchurch City Council employ Mr Gilbert ? Readers, feel free to draw your own conclusions. The most incredible fact of this rather incredible tale is that Mr Gilbert was no short-term stopgap to tide the CCC over a tight staffing spot. Mr Gilbert has been the team leader of legal services at CCC for 13 years. He seems to be part of the institutional furniture, and appears to be indispensable.

Your correspondent is advised that in relation to the Noble Yaldhurst litigation, Mr Gilbert is not surprising the plaintiffs with bursts of even-handedness.  

This perhaps is one reason why the pace of the Christchurch rebuild is glacial – Minister Brownlee and the Government would be fully justified in having serious reservations about the competence of the Christchurch City Council, and not just in the building control division.

Readers, tonight’s conclusion is surprising – we as Dunedin ratepayers can look with relief at Mr Gilbert and know that within the DCC itself (although NOT Delta and Aurora) this would never occur under the present management.

[ends]  

****

Welfare fraud targeted more than tax evasion
White collar criminals get a better deal than welfare fraudsters because the system is biased before they even get to the courts, a lawyer says. Research by Victoria University shows 10 times more welfare fraudsters were prosecuted than tax evaders even though tax evasion costs the economy 33 times more. The research shows tax evasion amounts to at least $1 billion a year compared with $30 million for welfare fraud, but the courts are much harsher in their treatment of welfare fraudsters. RNZ News (2016)

Disclaimer: The site owner is not responsible for the currency or accuracy of content of contributed comments; and the inclusion of the information provided does not imply endorsement by the site owner.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

 

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26 Comments

Filed under Aurora Energy, Business, Commerce Commission, Construction, DCHL, Delta, Democracy, Economics, Finance, Hot air, Housing, Infrastructure, Media, Name, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, People, Perversion, Politics, Project management, Property, Public interest, Resource management, SFO, Town planning, Transportation, Travesty

26 responses to “Delta #EpicFail and Metiria Turei : How Could This Be?

  1. Hype O'Thermia

    Error: “How could it be that the profession dedicated to upholding the law…” – no, the profession is dedicated to using specialist knowledge of law to obtain the desired result for whoever’s paying.

    • Elizabeth

      Even CD ‘uses’ for that explicit purpose, I dare say.

    • Colin Stokes

      Correct. And Council staff dictate whatever they want by getting their lawyers to tell Councillors how they MUST vote and that they must NOT meet the other side’s lawyers to hear their advice.

      That is how CCC staff and CCC lawyers Chris Gilbert and Rob Goldsbury got the Councillor numbers to vote to circumvent the Yaldhurst residents’ land covenant protection.

      The desired result being to cheat the residents of their inclusion in the subdivision to benefit the developer and cover up staff’s erroneous consenting including of inadequate stormwater and other infrastructure.

      5 CCC Councillors refused to be bullied and dictated to by CCC staff and lawyers, including what was clearly legal threats made in public excluded “advice” that did not accord with the public included advice.

      Full credit for their leadership to Councillors Johanson, Chen, Keown, East and Swiggs.

  2. Observer

    CCC lawyer Chris Gilbert sent letters to Colin Stokes who has been battling for the residents’ interests in the face of CCC staff and developer collusion to cheat them for 8 years. The advice included that staff would no longer correspond with him and he’d be charged for attempting to uncover the facts.

  3. Elizabeth

    Mixing local politics

  4. Rob Hamlin

    I find this thing makes my head go pop it is so complicated. However, it is likely to be simple compared to the legal knots that this proposal is likely to create:

    https://www.odt.co.nz/news/national/labour-launches-maori-campaign-housing-promise

    Looks like good lawyer food to me. There is probably a very good reason why nobody else will fund building on this collectively owned land, and it isn’t hard to figure it out – Who ends up owning the improvements (house) to be built on this land, which is presumably the only accessible security for the lender in the event of a default? The collective landowners and not the person/entity that is taking out the loan is my pick. Best make it loans to build trad. wooden villas on piles only – at least they can be chainsawed up and taken away if necessary!

    The key statement for the average citizen is this one:

    “It would also reform the Welcome Home loans….offered by Kiwibank…”

    ‘Reform’ would indicate here compelling Kiwibank to offer low deposit loans on a fairly large scale on dwellings (not properties) built on collectively owned land (which is the property). The fiscal and legal bath that Kiwibank might take as a consequence might be on a similarly large scale.

    If Labour wish to subsidise this activity for political profit, then that’s fine, just as long as they do so by directly using money raised from those who voted them into power if they ever get there. However, Kiwibank is a supposedly stand-alone commercial company that stays in business by issuing loans and taking deposits from private citizens and companies based on their commercial merits. This proposal could put its fiscal viability in jeopardy. It would without doubt instantly destroy its fiscal credibility.

    Red or green socio-meddling always was a risk with this particular pot of money, as it is with Kiwisaver – so it’s probably not a good idea to have too much on deposit with good ol’ Kiwibank if this scheme ever comes to pass. Not that that’s too likely given tonight’s poll with Labour at 24%.

  5. pb

    Look carefully at Labour / Green / National contenders. Who really represents the productive worker. Whom would sit comfortably with working men, representing them, talking with them. Benefit fraud Turei? Circular Cull? Angry Little? Second-in-line Bill? Some rare souls, maybe, but few, in my opinion. All seem to talk for themselves, out of the side of their mouths.

    There is a distinction between common law, as inherited from before Magna Carta, and legislative law. One comes from people and is self evident, one comes from special interest, is corrupted and lessened. Modern politics is self interested, lawyers of the legislative era. Not for society, for us. They are self interested, projecting their petty world view on us.

  6. Elizabeth

    At Twitter:

    ****

    • Hype O'Thermia

      I don’t know why ACT got so much flack for that. Is it because adults “deserve” to have whatever They want – and if they want to have children, well, that’s that. I want, I get. Entitled.
      But who wants a child to be hungry half the time, to live in a car, or in a cold damp building – a garage, perhaps? So isn’t it exceedingly selfish to give birth to children when one has no prospects of immediately being able to offer them what a baby needs materially? Love is NOT enough.
      There are people whose circumstances change for the worse when they already have children, or are pregnant. Jobs are so shockingly precarious, suddenly your multi-national employer decides to shut the profitable factory where you work (Mondelez) or government capriciously takes funding away from the suicide prevention program you work in, giving it to another, nothing AT ALL to do with anyone important’s wife being involved in the successful beneficiary of funding.
      Those people must be adequately supported, adequately, not minimally so that they don’t quite die, though childen’s futures may be compromised through poor health and patchy education.
      Where I agree with ACT is that I seem to see a disproportionate number of the shock homeless stories where people who were, even when working more than 1 job each, unable to afford a roof over their heads. Never been in a position where getting to the end of the week without running out of money was not a struggle. Yet they “bred more than they can feed” and then, clearly since they had to resort to moving in with relatives or in emergency housing, another child was conceived.
      This is crazy! Why the appalled reaction to ACT’s suggestion that adults’ desire to be parents, some people’s wish for a big family, is more important than the welfare of children?
      It’s like those people who love animals so much they become “animal hoarders” with 40 dogs and puppies, 60 cats and kittens, crammed into a stinking house, skinny, diseased, because although the owner cannot afford food and veterinary care, and maintaining reasonable cleanliness is a herculean task too great for one human, it’s about “loving” them – about having (owning) them actually.

  7. Elizabeth

    NZ Herald on Metiria Turei

    6.8.17 – Metiria Turei: I’d made the call before Jacinda got in touch
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11899436

    5.8.17 – Weekend Herald editorial: Second dishonest act makes Turei a liability
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11898947

    4.8.17 – Greens co-leader Metiria Turei’s decision to rule out Cabinet role follows warning from Jacinda Ardern
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11898840

    4.8.17 – Mike Hosking: Metiria Turei must resign – NZ Herald
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11898716

    4.8.17 – Metiria Turei enrolled at false address to vote for friend – NZ Herald
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11898661

    4.8.17 – Labour to assess whether Metiria Turei’s electoral revelations could damage party
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11898744

    4.8.17 – Green Party co-founder Jeanette Fitzsimons defends Metiria Turei, calling her ‘courageous’
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11899076

    4.8.17 – Ardern says Turei cannot be a Cabinet leader and Greens/Labour relationship unchanged
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11898865

    3.8.17 – Metiria Turei on benefit fraud: ‘I don’t regret a minute’
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11898337

    30.7.17 – Labour leader Andrew Little to Green co-leader Metiria Turei: ‘It’s not about one person.’
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11896977

    27.7.17 – Political Roundup: The Consequences of Metiria Turei’s benefit confession
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11895959

    26.7.17 – Metiria Turei explains silence on flatmates in fraud case
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11895482

    26.7.17 – Mike Hosking: Metiria Turei should know – knowledge of a crime is a crime itself
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11895130

    26.7.17 – Did Metiria Turei admit her fraud to Law Society?
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11895231

    26.7.17 – Metiria Turei to pay back what she owes
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11895318

    25.7.17 – Metiria Turei vs Barry Soper: Listen to heated debate
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11895020

    23.7.17 – Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei’s daughter: ‘I would’ve gone hungry’
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11893562

    16.7.17 – Comment: Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei’s benefit fraud confession risky but effective
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11891410

    16.7.17 – Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei admits she lied to WINZ, as party announces radical welfare reforms
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11891306

  8. Elizabeth

    Received from Hilary Calvert
    Mon, 7 August 2017 at 1:52:42 p.m.

    Where do men fit in the Greens’ narrative?

    Metiria Turei has raised some disturbing issues in her and the Greens’ proposals concerning beneficiaries.
    With the avowed intention of lifting beneficiaries from poverty, the Greens have managed to send a message that the State is the first port of call for the children of solo parents looking for support for their families.
    Apparently the plan is to marginalise men by writing them out of the script and not expecting the mothers to look for any support in that direction, as it would seem from the idea that mothers should not be expected to name the fathers on welfare forms.
    There are no obvious plans for the Greens to leave men out of the support system if mothers are working and supporting themselves: it appears that the fathers are expected to provide financial support for families where mothers are not relying on the DPB.
    Are we to assume the State is rich enough to be a financial ‘baby daddy’ when the mother has no income of her own, but when she does have one the father comes into play?
    As social engineering ideas go this one is a bad idea for the children who are then fatherless in a way, and the fathers who have been written out of the script.
    Unless of course either the father provides extra support since he has not had to pay child support to the State, taking the taxpayer for a ride, or there really is a genuine danger for the family to name the father.
    It would be interesting to know, since Metiria has brought her private life into play on this topic, whether her child’s father provided any support to her or the child while she was on a benefit. And also whether he suddenly emerged when Metiria began working, and provided support then.
    Or maybe, despite his address being used by Metiria (if the media statements about who he is are true), he is one of those fathers who would have put his family at risk if he were to be looked for, for support from the State.
    The idea that the State is first port of call is the absolute opposite to the State being a safety net.
    The idea that a father should not be responsible and take part in the raising of his child is daft, and that the State should encourage writing fathers out of the script is beyond respectful of the role all fathers deserve to have in the lives of their children.

    [ends]

    ****

    The HATERS

    At Twitter:

    “As long as Metiria remains co-leader of the Party, we are unable to support the Greens campaign for the 2017 election, and will be obliged to withdraw as candidates, from the list and from our electorates.”

    ### radionz.co.nz 1 minute ago
    RNZ News : New Zealand Politics
    Two Green MPs call for Turei to step down
    By Jane Patterson, RNZ Political Editor
    Two Green Party MPs are threatening to resign if Metiria Turei does not quit as co-leader. Kennedy Graham and Dave Clendon, the party’s whip, said Mrs Turei’s stand on benefit fraud means she is no longer fit to be co-leader, and are calling for her to stand down immediately. “We do not believe that lying to a public agency … can ever be condoned.” […] The two MPs said they cannot stay on under her leadership. “The timing by Metiria of her admissions, and her continuing justification of her actions, we see as incompatible with the standards of leadership of the Green Party.” They said they were calling for a new co-leader to take the party into the campaign alongside James Shaw.
    Read more

    █ █ █ BREAKING: Kennedy Graham and Dave Clendon resign !!

    At Twitter:

    ****

    Green Party | Social Policies
    https://www.greens.org.nz/policy/social-policies

    ● Mending the Safety Net
    https://www.greens.org.nz/policy/social-policies/mending-safety-net

    ● Budget for All Mothers
    https://www.greens.org.nz/policy/fairer-society/budget-all-mothers

    Mending the Safety Net – Metiria Turei’s speech to the Green Party 2017 AGM
    Metiria Turei MP on Sunday, July 16, 2017 – 13:55

    ****

    [policy excerpt]

    Mending The Safety Net

    ****

    ### newshub.co.nz 4 hrs ago
    Lloyd Burr: The Greens have lost their way
    OPINION: Thanks to Metiria Turei, the Green Party is in the midst of an identity crisis.
    It’s a crisis that cuts to the heart of what the party stands for, and what its priorities are. 
    Just as importantly, it cuts to the heart of its name: The Greens.
    The party doesn’t look like the strong, unwavering voice for the environment anymore.
    Read more

    At Twitter:

    • Peter

      I think Hilary Calvert has made a valid point concerning a father’s role in seeding a child and being involved in its upbringing. Not naming the father is wrong. The father is equally responsible for bringing the child into the world and should take responsibility. Never should he be allowed to disappear. Bad for the child involved. What is the child meant to infer from ‘father unknown’. Mum was such a slut at the time of conception she didn’t know who was the dad?
      Nice.
      A child deserves to know who his or her parents are and that both are capable of love for that child.

      • Elizabeth

        Knowing the father, or the mother, or the stepdad, the stepmum, stepbrother, step sister, so-called ‘family’ – in New Zealand – can be harmful, hurtful, detrimental, injurious and lethal.

        That is who We are. In numbers.
        So if you’re a parent in a bad place why would you name a dangerous or derelict partner and cause you and your child to be ‘in contact’, threatened, beaten, sexually interfered with, maimed or murdered.

        It is who We are. In numbers.

        Fuzz 90 Published on Mar 31, 2017
        Christina Aguilera – I’m Ok (LIVE) [05/05/2010] HDTV 1080p
        Clip from VH1 Storytellers.

        ****

        24.8.16 NZH: Families with children now 53% of NZ’s homeless
        More than half of New Zealand’s 41,000 homeless people are now families with children, according to new University of Otago research. The new analysis shows that 21,797 children and their parents were in “severe housing deprivation” on Census day in 2013, up dramatically from 15,085 in the previous 2006 Census.

        11.4.17 RNZ: Homeless families: ‘We’ve got nowhere to send them’
        Emergency housing providers are warning more homeless families will be sleeping in cars, parks and garages in Auckland this winter because of a desperate shortage of cheap accommodation. They say the crisis is worse this year because emergency motel units are already full, and at least one marae which helped people last winter won’t be reopening its doors. Among the many homeless families who have already asked for help this year is a great grandmother caring for young children. The manager of De Paul House on Auckland’s North Shore Jan Rutledge said that was a new trend. “We are seeing in our accommodation a grandmother and a great grandmother taking care of their grandchildren and great grandchildren. There seems to be a missing generation. “The parents are completely out of the loop.”

        ****

        Off the track. State of the nation report 2017
        This is the 10th State of the Nation report from The Salvation Army’s Social Policy and Parliamentary Unit. The report is produced each year to provide a marker of how New Zealand is doing as a nation. It is intended to stand alongside other oft-referenced indicators that serve to identify how our nation is doing economically. Economic reports are important in identifying one measure of how well we are doing as a country, but they cannot fully capture what is happening in the lives of ordinary New Zealanders at a social and personal level.
        In publishing this report, The Salvation Army wishes to particularly highlight the following areas:
        • seemingly entrenched rates of child poverty and child abuse
        • the burgeoning incarceration rates of prisoners, along with high recidivism rates
        • an alarming lack of safe, affordable housing that has resulted in a level of homelessness not seen in New Zealand in the lifetime of most Kiwis.
        http://www.knowledgeauckland.org.nz/assets/publications/Off-the-track-Sal-Army-State-of-Nation-2017.pdf

        ****

        Sofia Karlberg Published on Apr 5, 2017
        Heavy (Live Acoustic Version) – Mike and Chester of Linkin Park feat. Sofia Karlberg
        An acoustic version of Linkin Park’s new song “Heavy” that I recorded live with Mike and Chester at the YouTube Space in London. Linkin Park – One More Light (the new album).

        I’m holding on
        Why is everything so heavy?
        Holding on
        So much more than I can carry
        I keep dragging around what’s bringing me down
        If I just let go, I’d be set free
        Holding on
        Why is everything so heavy?

        • Peter

          I am referring to people not so dysfunctional. That is mums AND dads who may be separated because of their own problems, but still capable of having a proper, non abusive, relationship with their children.
          I wonder whether we have become so use to the existence of societal dysfunction we have often forgotten how to teach our children skills for resilience instead of leaving them to fall back on constant victimisation.
          We need to provide people tools to break cycles, psychologically, as well as providing practical support, where needed, as a community.
          I recently attended a political meeting, outside of Dunedin, where two of the candidates spoke of their own earlier childhood traumas. At length. Maybe they felt this was a means of people getting to know their street cred. Maybe they were influenced by Metiria’s story and felt that this was the way to go.
          To their credit these people had picked themselves up somewhat, but I felt I didn’t need to know details of their past personal lives. We were strangers. I would have preferred to hear more about policy which helps create community resilience. For example, party policy for increasing community mental health, in the face of trying personal circumstances many people face through family breakdown.

          Government policy that creates, or allows, poverty and homelessness to continue is another matter. That is evil in its effect on people.

      • Hype O'Thermia

        This happened in my extended family, an adopted child given up when there was no support for single mothers. The father had bolted, that’s why the birth certificate said Father Unknown. The adopted parents were kind but of a very different temperament to birth family. That plus the horrible “truth” that mother was a slag who hadn’t even known who she’d got pregnant to and had dumped the kid at birth without a qualm, led to a troubled and angry young person who had, with the information available, every right to be pissed off.
        When at last the child and mother made contact the worst of the rebellious behaviour was over but hurt remained. Then at last the full story was revealed, the “child” is a wise and funny person who found in the birth family a bunch of kindred spirits.
        Contact with father was made eventually, a “meh” experience but good for completing the true story of this “unwanted, discarded” person’s existence.

        • Hype O'Thermia

          When the child has resulted from rape, or when the parents’ relationship ended because the father was abusive, this does not absolve the man from financial responsibility for the life he created, though it may make him unfit to have contact with the child.
          Naming him should not automatically give him rights to contact with the child in those circumstances. His fitness to spend time with the child is the point here, if he’s unfit he pays and stays away, or there could be supervised visits at a place away from the child’s home.
          The mother and father created a person. Both have duties and responsibilities. Their own issues are something else and there are procedures for adults to sort them, through the court if necessary.
          Not naming is not right. The child deserves to know. The man has no right to breed without contributing anything more than sperm.
          For some couples it works out better financially for the man to be “unknown” and make direct payments to the mother. When he’s named, the payments go to WINZ to offset some of the benefit payments. There is a good reason for this – although he may have been ordered to pay a certain amount there was a long delay for mothers when the money didn’t turn up. Now WINZ gives her a secure if small regular income and it’s the government’s business to chase up non-paying fathers.
          Where the “unknown” father gives her the money directly, as long as she doesn’t declare it she can claim the whole WINZ benefit too, so she’s better off. Of course if he stops paying up this scheme falls down somewhat but she’s still getting the whole benefit, thanks taxpayers.

  9. Elizabeth

    At Twitter:

  10. Elizabeth

    At Twitter:

    On Whited Sepulchres
    Posted by BE on August 4th, 2017

  11. Elizabeth

    Speaking to media tonight, Green Party co-leader James Shaw said he and Mrs Turei felt betrayed by the actions of the two MPs [Kennedy Graham and Dave Clendon] and would vote to suspend them both at a caucus meeting tomorrow. Mr Shaw described the situation as “messy” and apologised to party members, but dismissed it as just a “blip”. —RNZ News

  12. Elizabeth

    Turei staying on as co-leader
    Metiria Turei was standing firm on Tuesday, saying she had no plans to step down as co-leader. Speaking to reporters she said: “I talked to my caucus last night. All of them but those two have asked me to stay on. So that’s what I’ll do.”
    https://www.odt.co.nz/news/politics/turei-staystwo-mps-quit-caucus

  13. russandbev

    We seem to have been inundated by “alternative facts” in the Turei fiasco. Firstly, Turei made a calculated POLITICAL decision to release the fact that she committed fraud by lying to WINZ to gain benefits that she wasn’t entitled to. The way she painted it in the media was that her baby would have starved to death if she hadn’t done that. Bullshit. Turei knew what she was doing and she released this information AFTER discussing it with the Green caucus. It was a political stunt. Poverty is a valid subject for discussion in NZ but by encouraging by example others to commit fraud is not acceptable.

    But then she compounded the problem by admitting to electoral fraud.

    Jacinda Adern has every right to be really pissed off with the Greens and must be really regretting this MoU with the Greens. Adern acted swiftly to tell her via Grant Robertson that she would not get any Cabinet position and she was right to do so. Turei acted like a possum in the headlights with that news and blinked her way through that inevitable position, but now Turei has forced the rest of the Green caucus to back her as the alternative was too tough to face. Turei now looks like she is bigger than the law and bigger than her own party. The last sign before a fall.

    • Peter

      I think the Greens need to recognise they are essentially a niche party for the environment. They brought up, for example, the issue of NZ’s foul rivers and waterways, thus exposing the fraud behind ‘100% New Zealand Pure’. Now Labour and, even National to a limited extent, have climbed on board with this issue, which the Greens to their credit have highlighted.
      The Greens, on a good day are probably unlikely to get above 15% support. It is galling for a political party to have their ideas pinched by other parties, but if the end is a good result, that’s politics.
      Social justice issues sit more comfortably with the Labour Left…..usually…. even if the Fourth Labour Government abandoned this principle under Rogernomics. Now, hopefully, a new Labour led government will show real leadership and bring greater social and economic equality to NZ society. I don’t mind, if in the meantime, they get in on a PR based, smiley Jacinda Adern, but hopefully under her leadership they mean business and we don’t have a repeat of John Key/ National lite.

      • Hype O'Thermia

        Labour betrayed us with Rogernomics and a thorough move to the middle ground. Without a strong cattle-prod such as the Greens social concerns they will drift from centre (trying not to frighten any horses) to ever so mildly left of National, who are playing the same game with ACT as their nudge-force. Roger’n’Ruth, Ruth’n’Roger, they took on board that doing much the same thing means avoiding losing the voters who avoid strong action.
        Many of them in all parties DO care about the poor, the sick, the thoroughly disadvantaged – but it’s easy to rationalise not rocking the boat “so that in future they can achieve more of the good results for NZ”. It’s the parliamentary Soma, (https://www.huxley.net/soma/meaning.html), dreams of achievement through keeping the peace within the party, and being promoted to Minister.
        ACT has some radical practical ideas for prisons and people at risk. They can afford to say these things out loud.
        Greens took a much bigger risk because of having so much more to lose – no guaranteed protection of their seats by the Labour Party – and pushed other issues out to where it could be rather embarrassing in future for Labour to try to forget and carry on “solving” the problems slowly enough to ensure no horses are frightened in the process.

  14. Simon

    Asked whether she had ruled out a ministerial portfolio outside Cabinet. Ms Ardern said: “That’s not something I’m focused on right now.” Swift answer ? Or will she bow down to the tail wagging the dog, if the Greens have sufficient seats after the election to get Jacinda home as PM.

  15. Rob Hamlin

    My attitude to Labour changed abruptly a couple of weeks ago when I was informed by a law professor that New Zealand labour law made it impossible two or more employees to to ‘work to rule’ without being sued by the very employer that made those rules.

    My interest was in the issue as to whether the imposition of an unworkable shared services concept could be ‘worked to rule’, thus revealing its deficiencies, or if you had to make it work by putting in extra (unpaid) time as part of a ‘reasonable’ employer expectation.

    My inquires confirmed the existence of this law, and also the identity of the National/neo-lib prime minster who had supervised its passage.

    It was Helen Clark.

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