Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Metiria's Problem

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  • kiwiwolf, in reply to Simon Sjorn,

    National party so he must be squeaky clean in most peoples eyes. That's the problem in this country people prepared to pull some politicians to pieces while turning a blind eye to far worse crimes in others.

    Whangaparaoa • Since Sep 2014 • 27 posts Report Reply

  • kiwiwolf, in reply to Grant McDougall,

    Or Mrs English

    Whangaparaoa • Since Sep 2014 • 27 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to Lilith __,

    The Attorney-General just had to resign, and the public still isn’t allowed to know why.

    We know why, just not in great detail, yet. And that's becouse the Auditor-General has responded to the report, which means the full report along with the Auditor-Generals are basically still in draft form.

    What Metiria has done is completely unrelated. What I'm seeing is some people getting hung up on what she did in the 1990s without expressing much interest in what she just did. It's glass half empty or full sort of stuff.

    My opinion is that what the leader of the Green Party did well over twenty years ago is less important, and emotionally stimulating than what she just did as part of an election campaign. Thats becouse what she did before was sworn to the bench and later becoming a member of parliament aren't particularly onerous, as Russell pointed out. The extra levels integrity we rightly expect, began when she became a lawyer, then a member of our parliament.

    We have clean slate legislation in New Zealand. It's in legislation becouse we recognise how it doesn't serve our society well to set people's personalities in stone. Young people grow to become old people. And if everything goes well they will develop different values and behaviours. It's actually illegal as an employer or a who host of other outfits, to pry into someone's criminal history if there convictions are over seven years old, and not to serious.

    One of a myriad of ways to look at what's going on with the Green Party, is that this is how they show leadership. They lead by example. Metiria came out and said "I dun this, I bullshit you not" None of what she did as a twenty three year old, takes away the fact that she is now a person of high integrity, in regard to what we of people in her profession.

    But I just don't warm to her as someone I would vote for. And I'm not going to over think that.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3845 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    Not only clean slate legislation, but a 10 year statute of limitations on such electoral issues

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2550 posts Report Reply

  • dave stewart,

    Just because a whole lot of well-to-do types are putting the boot into MT over her "criminality" doesn't mean that the consequences at the polling booth won't be positive for the Greens. Heck, there was an immediate boost in support after her initial revelations. So the spiteful nonsense that's been hurled in her general direction lately might actually rake up even more support from sympathetic quarters.

    Since Aug 2014 • 35 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to kiwiwolf,

    Or Mrs English

    Who?

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12359 posts Report Reply

  • Henry Barnard, in reply to izogi,

    Earlier, section 72 has a heap of rules about determining a person’s place of residence. I’ll submit to legal expertise and may have mis-read, but I cannot see where the flexibility is. 72 says your place of residence is where you make your home for family or personal relations, or for domestic or personal reasons. Section 83 then says you have to provide that place of residence when you register.

    I’m not a legal expert so would also be grafeful for a little clarity here: Doesn’t the fact that the rules say that you can declare your place of residence as the place where you make your home for “personal” reasons pretty well provide for the kind of “flexibility” referred to? What counts and doesn’t count as a “personal” reason for declaring a particular place your home? Could it be as simple as it’s the place where you wish to call your home? Wouldn’t the fact that you wanted to support a friend count as a “personal” reason?

    And if this is the case, then isn't all this talk of electoral fraud almost defamatory and the only people who are guilty are those making such an allegation?

    Palmerston North • Since Aug 2013 • 64 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to Henry Barnard,

    I assumed the 'personal reasons' clause was more for making legally-required enrolment possible for those whose situation is something like "I'm homeless and transient and have to say I live somewhere even though it's impossible to place", but you might be right. My opinion's worthless in comparison with someone familiar with how this actually gets legally interpreted, though.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1093 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to izogi,

    Andrew Geddis, said it was electoral fraud, but at the lowest end of serious. A real kick in the kidneys for the McGillys.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3845 posts Report Reply

  • Henry Barnard, in reply to steven crawford,

    Yes, I saw that on Pundit. I have asked him for clarification because, to my untutored reading of the relevant section ("A person resides at the place where that person chooses to make his or her home by reason of family or personal relations, or for other domestic or personal reasons") it seems to me that there is profound ambiguity in this clause. It seems to read as saying that one can call a place The-place-of-one's-residence if one chooses to regard it as one's home for "personal reasons". In other words, `home is where the heart is' and not where one actually resides in the ordinary sense of the word. And if Turei's heart was in the last place she lived where her friend was standing for election, then surely she perfectly free to choose to call that her home, and therefore her residence for electoral purposes.

    I wonder, too, if the folk who drafted this clause didn't have precisely these sorts of issues in mind but/and, more particularly, to allow people who might never have resided (in the ordinary sense of the word) in a place but whose turangawaewae might be elsewhere to declare that place as their home and, hence, their place of residence.

    I await Andrew's response with bated breath.

    Palmerston North • Since Aug 2013 • 64 posts Report Reply

  • martinb, in reply to Matthew Hooton,

    Double Dipton, Oravida, signing a painting for charity...my gosh when did they annoint St. Matthew?

    Auckland • Since Jul 2010 • 196 posts Report Reply

  • martinb, in reply to steven crawford,

    There was a great quote at the end of that interview which basically said- it's a basically a non-event.

    The tragedy around this is that while a lot of Labour voters obviously got the point (and not all obviously) not all did. There has been a long overdue move away from stigmatising the poor and there needs to be more.

    See the reaction that she dared to be political while on a benefit! A poor person!

    Auckland • Since Jul 2010 • 196 posts Report Reply

  • Sam Bradford,

    I've gained a lot of respect for Metiria from this. I think she probably knew it would be a shitstorm and a personal trial -- maybe she underestimated how much of one, I don't know. But she wanted to change the conversation, and maybe she has, a little bit. I was really impressed by her attitude in interviews -- not caving to the 'but you broke the law!!' and sticking to her broader point. It's made me much more likely to vote Green because it shows real guts and integrity (ironically, in a way...). After reading their online policy page I thought 'what the hell do they actually wanna do?', but I'm forced to give them credit for a bit more spine now. I'm also impressed that her co-leader, who's struck me as a bit of a glib corporate type, has publicly and immediately backed her up.

    On the broader question of whether anyone's changed their mind about welfare and the stigmatisation of beneficiaries, I suspect not. It'd be interesting to see a poll on this broken down into 'respondents who have ever had to visit a WINZ office to ask for something' and 'respondents who have never had to deal with WINZ'. I can't imagine anyone who's had to deal with their chronic bad faith and incompetence would judge someone harshly for not giving every detail.

    New Zealand • Since Jul 2014 • 28 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to dave stewart,

    might actually rake up even more support from sympathetic quarters

    The electoral problem for their MOU partner is it's most likely to come from Labour's own left flanks, not increasing the overall left bloc vote beyond some previous non-voters whose current motivation levels have to last another 7 weeks.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19413 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to Henry Barnard,

    I wonder, too, if the folk who drafted this clause didn't have precisely these sorts of issues in mind but/and, more particularly, to allow people who might never have resided (in the ordinary sense of the word) in a place but whose turangawaewae might be elsewhere to declare that place as their home and, hence, their place of residence.

    The thing about the underlying ethos of the Electoral Commission is that they want to make it as easy as possible for people to vote. They have zero interest in making life difficult for people whose living situations are fluid or difficult or unusual, and if that means also not bothering chasing up a handful of people who've maybe registered in the electorate next door because it's marginal and their isn't, or the thousands of students still registered in their parents' electorates, they don't care.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4618 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Young,

    I think I've worked out why most of the parliamentary centre-right is keeping schtum on this issue- it probably has to do with the cumulative total of centre-right MPs donged for dodgy dealings, which wouldn't look good in an election year, so they've delegated the task to centre-right bloggers and media hacks.

    Perhaps we should provide a corrective memory jog for this occassion? Incidentally, I'd certainly defend Metiria on the so-called 'benefit fraud' issue, as she was only trying to provide for her child, but enrolling elsewhere seems to be electoral fraud. She's probably wise in not expecting a ministerial portfolio.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 456 posts Report Reply

  • Alastair Thompson, in reply to Emma Hart,

    Yes. The electoral address issue is a non-issue, and yet it seems its being made into the primary one. Looking back from overseas at this tempest in a teacup I just feel a sense of despair. There is something terribly wrong with our political discourse. Sanctimony on steroids.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 220 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Young,

    Here's a little list of disgraced National and ACT MPs during the tenure of the Key and English administrations:

    Richard Worth
    David Garrett
    Aaron Gilmore
    Claudette Hauiti
    Mark Sabin
    Pansy Wong
    Nick Smith

    Note that the latter is still there and hasn't even been dumped from Cabinet despite repeated mishaps.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 456 posts Report Reply

  • Dennis Frank, in reply to Alastair Thompson,

    something terribly wrong with our political discourse. Sanctimony on steroids.

    The Shakespearean frame applies, plus the old christian morality plays. Character is destiny (folk wisdom) so the emergence of a character flaw switching a political trajectory of a leader from one pathway to the future to another quite different one fascinates the audience. Remember we have several generations now who were constantly brainwashed by tv melodramas as they grew up. I suspect around half of them still watch that crap too.

    Democracy is a lowest common-denominator design. Then there's the nature part of human nature: emotional intelligence. Intellect has no part to play when folks are trying to figure out who to trust.

    New Zealand • Since Jun 2016 • 147 posts Report Reply

  • Shaun Lott, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    But voter fraud? Even fraud to cast a throwaway vote? Unless you actually were trying to make some political statement in which case you'd have made a thing about it back then.

    Yes, exactly this. It turned the narrative of youthful need into one of political game-playing.

    Waitakere • Since Aug 2009 • 99 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Young,

    An annotated version of the above, with reasons for their departures- or nondepartures, as the case may be:

    Here’s a list of centre-right National and ACT MPs who have resigned over the last nine years- and two who haven’t- and why they have done so:

    1.Richard Worth- allegations of sexual harrassment
    2.David Garrett- past identity theft of dead infant
    3. Aaron Gilmore- harrassment and intimidation of others
    4. Claudette Hauiti- misuse of parliamentary charge card, claimed expenses after announcing departure from Parliament
    5. Mike Sabin- alleged assault complaint
    6. Pansy Wong- misused parliamentary travel perk after her husband conducted private business on a visit to China

    *7. Nick Smith- contempt of court (March 2004); defamation cases (1999,2005); ACC conflict of interest (2012)
    **8. Todd Barclay- employment dispute, clandestine recordings

    *Note that the latter is still there and hasn’t even been dumped from Cabinet despite repeated mishaps. **Yes, why is he still in Parliament? …Prime Minister??

    Adds up after a while, doesn’t it?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 456 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Todd, in reply to steven crawford,

    Becouse it’s the McGillicuddy Serious Party she was voting for. That was basically a vote of no confidence.

    She appears to have been living in the Eden electorate, was registered in Mt Albert, and stood as a candidate in New Lynn, so could not have voted for herself, in any event.

    I know she was young and silly, and having a bit of fun, in 1993; she basically accepted that last evening when she had no answer to John Campbell as to why she didn’t register in New Lynn so she could at least vote for herself, rather than for her friend in a third electorate. As the item “faded to black”, her voice indicated that she was as bemused about that as John was.

    Regardless, I now agree with Alistair Thompson upthread – “the electoral address issue is a non-issue”. Where she was living, and with whom, while claiming the DPB, is what is relevant.

    Also, it should be noted that the relevant Act in force on polling day, Saturday 6 November 1993, was the Electoral Act 1956, as amended.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2013 • 125 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to Hebe,

    however the way has been done will inflict massive damage on the Green Party’s prospects in this election.

    Do you see their numbers dropping back below 2014 levels? Since Tuesday Winston appears all but forgotten by the left. The assumption seems to be that Labour will now waltz in to gain discretionary control of the next Government. However If we end up with a relatively balanced 3 way negotiation (as would be the case according to current polling) will blocking Metiria from cabinet remain a Labour bottom line. As someone just said elsewhere:

    Labour bringing an FPP knife to an MMP gunfight. Hoping nobody notices.

    Which is not to say that Jacinda's announcement doesn't make sense as a campaign position.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2117 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    Let's not forget that Todd Barclay is a "very, very young man" (to quote Judith Collins), and this was Exhibit A in his defence, from Collins, Bill English, Paula Bennett and others.

    He is, of course, so young that he is older than Metiria Turei was at the time of her sins. A point ignored by approximately everybody who condemns her and asks us to leave poor little Todd alone.

    (I wouldn't usually bother to state the obvious - there are sundry other glaring differences between their cases, none favouring Barclay - but when the Herald is publishing deranged editorials like today's, the obvious may have to be restated).

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1202 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to Dennis Frank,

    Intellect has no part to play when folks are trying to figure out who to trust.

    I wouldn't say it has no part to play. But not using much more than intellect to work out who's trustworthy isn't my gig.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3845 posts Report Reply

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