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Labour leader Ardern seeks to keep Greens' troubles at arm's length as Kennedy Graham and David Clendon withdraw from Greens' caucus; English seeks to heap pressure on the Left, but ends up putting more on himself

Labour leader Ardern seeks to keep Greens' troubles at arm's length as Kennedy Graham and David Clendon withdraw from Greens' caucus; English seeks to heap pressure on the Left, but ends up putting more on himself

By Alex Tarrant

Labour Party leader Jacinda Ardern spent Tuesday morning trying to keep the Green Party’s troubles at an arm’s length as the memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the two parties was thrown about as why she should be wading further into her potential coalition partner’s affairs.

Meanwhile, The Greens spent most of the morning – and into the afternoon – in a caucus meeting discussing the future of rebel MPs Kennedy Graham and David Clendon. The two on Monday night said they would withdraw from the party’s Election 2017 list if co-leader Metiria Turei did not stand down, which she has said she won’t do.

Update: Just after writing, the Greens issued a statement that Graham and Clendon would withdraw from the caucus, but remain as Green MPs until the election. The remainder of the caucus was 100% behind Turei, the party said.

You can watch Clendon and Graham answering media questions on Tuesday afternoon in the video above. Graham said he and "others" had raised concerns with Turei's comments about welfare fraud after the party's July AGM. He had sought an exemption to be able to not have to condone such actions publicly, which had been agreed on. Graham said he then became more concerned with Turei's leadership due to more recent events.

Co-leader number two James Shaw said Monday night he would seek to have Graham and Clendon expelled not just from the caucus, but from the party as well. (Update: He's not anymore, having slept on it). That would have helped though if the two decide they want to stay in politics - TOP's Gareth Morgan on Tuesday morning issued a statement in support of Graham and Clendon.

Prime Minister Bill English sought to increase the pressure on the Left, saying Labour and the Greens were tied at the hip by their MoU and that Ardern would have to take a stronger position on the situation at some point.

However, he did little to shift the media attention that way as he then told media he had no record of 450 text messages between himself and his former Clutha-Southland office manager in the lead up to her quitting from the office of English’s successor in the seat, Todd Barclay, last year.

English had portrayed himself as a bystander to the situation before Winston Peters revealed in Parliament last week that the 450 messages had been sent by English to Glenys Dickson over a 12 month period. The PM had sought on Monday to clarify that he was a bystander to the employment dispute settlement between Dickson and Parliamentary Services over the Barclay Affair – that he wasn’t aware of the settlement’s contents.

Either way, English maintained he wasn’t too concerned about what was in the messages, if it turned out New Zealand First leader Winston Peters had the actual content. All eyes on Parliament’s Question Time at 2pm, then.

Ardern not eating her Greens

Labour’s Ardern had her lines practiced and ready by the time she arrived at her pre-caucus media stand-up Tuesday morning. The only thing green-related she would talk about was an environment report released yesterday which hadn’t received the attention it deserved.

That didn’t stop the questions from flowing though. Yes, Ardern accepted she had ruled Turei out from a Cabinet position in any Labour-led government after the election. But that was because this is a question she’d have to answer as potential Prime Minister, in charge of the Cabinet. Any other issues were purely the Greens’ to attend to, she said. After all, Labour handled its own leadership crisis last week without input from other parties.

But, Labour has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Greens and promised the first of any post-Election phone calls will be to them, media pressed. Surely voters deserve to know what Ardern’s thoughts are on the whole situation?

Not at all, the Labour leader shot back. The MoU was to give transparency to voters that if the election results allowed for a Labour-Greens government to form, then this is what would happen. There would possibly be phone calls to “other parties” as well (note plural), Ardern said. That the first call will be to the Greens shouldn’t be surprising – the two are trying to change the government.

Meanwhile, Labour is set to announce its own climate change policy on Wednesday. Ardern has already said she wants New Zealand to position itself as a leader on climate change mitigation, giving the impression that a block-buster package is in the wings.

Bill English on Monday said National was largely comfortable with its current climate change policy, and that any tweaks between now and 23 September would be on the minor side.

Watch Ardern addressing the Greens issue on Tuesday morning in the video below.

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She is wiser than I had credited her ............

She is still in bed (MoU) with the Fraud Party. The Greens condone benefit fraud and electoral fraud. There is nothing one can say to change this truth. Unless of course they decide to fire Ms Turei.
Ms Adern can stay quiet, but she needs to state her position or she implicitly condones the fraud too.

You're making up your own news. Metiria Turei has never condoned benefit fraud - what she actually said is this:

"I will never condemn a beneficiary for working as hard as they can to put food on the table and a roof over their head."

While Turei said she could not condemn those who lied to Winz to protect their children, she did not go as far as saying she would encourage beneficiaries to cheat the system.

If you can stop salivating over your own importance and indignation long enough and have even an ounce of humanity left in you, check out what our real people who are put into this invidious position have to say about Metiria's confession;

Ms Turei was hardly a typical struggling beneficiary. The father of her child reportedly was the son of a well known Labour politician, although Ms Turei chose not to name him. If she had, he, rather than the taxpayer, would have had the obligation of feeding his child. The biggest problem in all of this is Ms Turei's lack of political nous. And the fact that she may well be prosecuted. We desperately need the Greens, but we need a more astute leader. And BTW I do think that benefits should reflect real living costs, especially in Auckland.

Turei was just stupid doing this , if she felt contrition , she should have simply owned up privately and repaid the money

Sorry for you Kate - you can't hide from facts. Meteria committed benefit fraud by her own admission. Her party has not censured her since this was revealed and therefore implicitly condones it.
Fact and fact. putting weasel words around this creates fake news.

Kate: The little lie was the benefit fraud. But the big lie was that it was a carefully edited 'revelation' that when investigated showed the situation was not about 'feeding her child'. The whole thing was an engineered political manoeuvre designed to pull the heart strings. And disrespect was shown to people in real need. My objection is to the 'big lie' and the motivation and cynicism shown there demand Turei resigns.

LOL at "keep positive" adding a negative post.

Its a bit like Paula Bennet's epic quote - "I feel like she's stolen my relentless positivity"


Well we now have the measure of the remaining Green MPs. And they come up short. Never mind, there will be few remaining after the election day. With luck, none.


Yes , hopefully they fall below 5% and we get rid of them forever, which is very likely if they dont rid themselves of Ms Turei .

They are no longer even interested in the Environment compared to say Labour who at least have a clear understanding of environmental issues and how the issues interact with a modern economy

I am sick and tired of their dictatorial Communistic opposition to absolutely everything , and their lack of understanding of how a modern economy actually works is astonishing.

They are opposed to absolutely everything , from cows to Diesel engines , to us taking a shower after work .

This is not the 15th Century for goodness sake

They want some kind of Socialist utopian state where everyone is the same ( poor) , where innovation and development are zero and we all ride donkeys or walk to work ( for the State )

I wonder who they think pays for those on welfare ?

Or where the money even comes from ?

We don't need money in the "Greens" view of the world. We just use trade and barter, but only with people who live down the road as we can't drive or fly anywhere.

Progressing us back into the dark ages.

Actually the trouble with the Greens is that they dont think this. They think we can still live at industrial civilisation standards without plundering resources.
The two don't go hand in hand.

Either way, once debt falls over, barter and the dark ages is on the comeback.


The events that have unfolded with the Green Party are deeply saddening.
I think that most New Zealanders have concern for the environment and, although not necessarily Green Party voters, they have been supportive of the Greens as providing an environmental balance (such as related to climate change, Auckland transport etc) to MMP debate in parliament.
The sad thing is that in the current debacle they have lost their focus, their principles and integrity, and consequently their credibility.
The only two credible members have resigned on principle.
It is not only Turei who has lost credibility, but in the following events, both Shaw and Helm have now also both lost credibility by not only backing Turei but also the vicious personality attacks on Graham and Clendon.
The party seems to have lost its way in a very ugly quagmire and unless there is considerable change in all leadership positions, I do not see it being a credible political force not only in these elections but the foreseeable future.
A very sad turn of events of self-destruction.

I have probably voted Green more often than anything else in these latter years, but I cannot now.
Turei's benefit fraud, if that is all it was, was surmountable, it truly fell into a "people in glass houses" category in many ways, but
She then had to fess up that she registered to vote at her child's father's address so she could vote for a friend in a electorate different to where she should have registered. I think it is fair enough for people to question her living arrangement here as the father of her child was down as "unknown" when clearly he was not. She may well have been telling the truth and if this was all that she had done, it would have elicited little more than a shoulder shrug, but then
She went on to admit that one of the uncounted flatmates was her mother. Again, if that was in isolation it really would have meant little, it was not her mother's responsibility to pay for her child.
All up it adds up to the logical suspicion that this may not be all, rightly or wrongly.
I think she now has nowhere to stand if she wants to question the government in what few sessions of the house we have left before the election and all she will elicit will be barbs about this, as will any other Green asking any question.
She is not doing the right thing for the Greens and the Greens are demonstrating hopeless strategic ability.
I cannot support their treatment of Graham and Clendon either, so I'm out

Not sure if I heard this correctly but did not Ms Turei herself stand in this same election but in another electorate again? If so it is then incredible and almost unheard of that she did not avail herself of her own vote, like just about every politician in recorded history, but chose instead to vote elsewhere for a friend. If that is correct then it just does not stack up in terms of credibility let alone the truth of the matter. Can anybody confirm one way or the other? And if the father was registered as unknown, does this mean that he escaped paying maintenance even though Ms Turei knew who and where he was. Again who can clarify please!?

Don't know if that is the case or not, but if it is, yes it creates yet another question.

I think the address change helped her ability to perpetuate the benefit fraud; the idea that you would change addresses does to vote for a friend is very implausible; the fact that she's saying it is means she is still mendacious.

How would an address change enable you to perpetuate the fraud?


It's all becoming a bit of a circus. We are a small remote nation but in their own imaginative way, our politicians can effortlessly mimic the shenanigans which you come to observe in much larger and important seats of power. Actually if you should put it to the test of size to scale, we are undoubtedly a damn sight worse.

With any luck we'll get a brawl inside parliament onto YouTube and push the Taiwanese off their perch.

Think of the match ups !

Well GOT's has "The Mountain," so at least National could put up a small hill!

@foxglove , yes , Circus is the correct word to use , and the clowns are trying to take over

Here's the statement from the Greens on Graham and Clendon:

David Clendon and Kennedy Graham have today withdrawn from the Green Party caucus, following on from their decision yesterday to withdraw from the Party’s 2017 election list.

They will stay on as Green MPs for the remainder of this Parliamentary term, but will not participate in caucus and strategy meetings, or campaigning.

“David and Kennedy withdrew from caucus today. That decision was supported by the other 12 Green Party MPs,” said Green Party Co-leader James Shaw.

“They have made the right decision today. We wish David and Kennedy the best.

“The remainder of the Green Party caucus is 100 percent behind our co-leader, Metiria.

“There are six-and-a-half weeks until the election. The Green Party will be campaigning to stop climate change, protect our rivers and lakes, and end poverty in New Zealand.

“We know New Zealanders care deeply about these issues, and they want us to be the champions for them in Parliament and during the election campaign.

“We are united, we’re determined, and we’re ready to change the government,” said Mr Shaw.


Excellent , with this statement they have , like lemmings jumping over the cliff in unison , decided to commit the Greens to the dustbin of history .......... and good riddance .

They were never proper environmentalists , but rather Communists in disguise


Again you use the pejorative Communists, I'll ask you again, in case you missed it last time - which of their policies are Communist?

Another question, have you read the Communist Manifesto? Whichever political persuasion you are it is an essential read, a groundbreaking treatise on the failings of the Victorian industrial era. Hugely historically important, as Dickens did fictionally, it captured the zeitgeist of the time. It's a very short text as well, well worth a read.

Straw men are easier to destroy.

I don't think people even know what communist is. The main thing I know about it is that it works fine, in communes, and that where whole countries go, anything extreme only works well for a short while or with force. Extreme can apply to left or right, authoritarianism or libertarianism. There is a reason why the middle seems to be the place to aim for.


What should we take from the fact it is the two older white guys who think lying with intent to defraud is wrong?

Evidently that's not something that can be extended to the National party, unfortunately:

However, he did little to shift the media attention that way as he then told media he had no record of 450 text messages between himself and his former Clutha-Southland office manager in the lead up to her quitting from the office of English’s successor in the seat, Todd Barclay, last year.

Bill English still maintaining that honesty and integrity is something to be demanded of the Greens but not of himself or his own party.

I'd like to see Turei and Barclay both resign, at a minimum...and if we had such a concept as honour and integrity in our politicians, English would himself resign at having been caught in an obvious lie to the public.


Honest Bill, can't remember 450 texts?. Deleted every single one?. This is our prime minister, carrying on the behavior of his predeccessor and getting away with it .

Actually who , apart from Winston Peters cares how many texts he sends, some would just be "yes" or "no" , I am a baby boomer and I have over 2000 texts in and out on my phone over the past year. Its no big deal , some of us text a lot

The matter under discussion here is the Green Party condoning benefit fraud committed by their leader.

Rubbish. Highlighting, admititing and fronting up for something you did many years ago (without prompting) deserves credit. Contrast wilth Billy Boy rorting housing allowances at $900 per week when he had no need but greed ......sasy something about charatcer I'd say. Pot keetle black.

The matter under discussion here is the Green Party condoning benefit fraud committed by their leader.

I've said before and I say it again: Labour/Greens cannot organise their own parties but they want to run the country?
How can Ms. Turei be the co-leader of a party but never be a cabinet minister if they happen to win the election? Is NZ First really the nature coalition partner for Labour/Greens? I want this questions answered.

And you think National has done any better?

Who said anything about National? I am interested in the truth not cheering on a political party like a sports team.

Exactly why both Turei and English should resign. A bit of moral consistency.

In all honesty, are you referring to the PM's housing issue a few years ago or the Tod Barclay issue more recently? Either way I perhaps agree. A bit ore honesty in politics wouldn't hurt.

Well said, I think that is what we should all be aspiring to.

Yes National have done quite well actually :-

Constant growth in GDP
Highest growth in OECD
Lowest unemployment in our lifetime
Lowest cost of interest in my lifetime
Lowest inflation in my lifetime
Lowest tax rates in 20 years
Strongest currency in ages

She's way smarter than an average politician...
And where is Clint? He could have sort this mess out long long time ago.

hehe...That just made my day.

GIven all the wonderful chaos, so too could have the Ingham twins!

What Circus , what a bunch of clowns I agree with boatman hopefully the Greens will go away but it probably wont happen.
All we need is for Boring Bill to fire a few shots at the left parties and maybe there will be some action.
Looks like the Jacinda Effect is the old boring labour policies repeating themselves , there is lights going outside of Auckland.

... it must be spring ... 'cos there's Green shoots everywhere ....

BANG ! .... there's goes the Graham Goose ... tumbling from the sky ....

BANG ! .... the Clendon Cuckoo is down & out ....

... heeee heeee heeee ... you gotta love Green shoots ...

Ooooooooooh .... the Turei Turkey .... quick ... where's the frigging ammo , Alex !

If she had any iron she'd pull out of the agreement with the Greens. Clearly Ardern doesn't have it in her. A real lack of courage.


Dont worry about Adern Property King. You've got more serious personal issues to address...Perhaps if you as an individual had any courage, you'd stop supporting a party that is fostering inequality and poverty? (and views it as a sign of success)...just saying...

Think there's a quote in an old religious text that goes along the lines of...:
And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.

Labour need to give me a reason to vote for them. Not 1970s Values Party policies. The World has moved on, Labour have not. Gone are their good ideas of a few years back. There is a sound reason why the public keep rejecting them in every election for the past few years. No new invigorating ideas just Socialist policies of the past that didn't work then and won't work now.

Indeed , well put


But remember that National have just been pleasing the people instead of making the tough decisions for the long term benefit of the country.

So you have to ask yourself and your National voting mates - do we see the world through the right paradigm? If fostering inequality and poverty is 'success' then the morality of these 'new invigorating ideas' the National party have been using would appear to be ethically flawed....but for clarity, do you want to list them for the readers of this site?

National foster a bit of self reliance, more so than the socialists to the left.
The arrogance of the extreme left - they think they can make better decisions with your money than you can

Hardly - National expects young Kiwis to pay for old folks regardless of need...capitalists on tax day, socialists on pension day. Self reliance seems to be only when it suits.

Not to mention that they've kept all of the transfers (WFF and Accom Supp + interest free student loans) that Helen Clark brought in.


Actually, NZ is rapidly moving backward to Victorian times. It's all about pushing wages down and personal capital of the few up.

And those who benefited from earlier policies now seem unable to connect the dots between their wealth now and what supports and head start society provided to them. Seems it's just about pure selfishness now...up until pension day, at which point they're magically socialist all over again.

Minimum wages have risen from $13.50 to $15.75 in 5 years, a 16.7% increase. Wages are NOT going down as you claim

I never referred to just the minimum wage. Importing as many workers as possible from the Third World depresses wages for Kiwis.

Also note the declining real wages in the years after 2007:

Focusing on the minimum wage is pulling a single data point that suits, while ignoring the wider picture.

It is not just *any* old data point, it the poorest earner in society, who deserve a picture of their own.

Wrong again Rick, pushing out false claims is the exact immorality that you guys are claiming... ALL wages have gone up and there has been no suppression of wages ... What you and your mates at the left mean is that they are not earning enough pay rises to catch up with Housing prices ..That's All ... everything else is more affordable than ever including all the capital items, food, cars, furniture and appliances ....
Now ,,, the industries where imported labour are servicing are the exact ones which kiwis do not want to bother working in like Agri, Cleaning, Hospitality, elderly care, and even hospitals and health care jobs ... when we cannot be bothered getting out of bed for $16-$17 per hour for a non qualified worker then guess what?, someone else Can and ready to compete and ready to save and live withing their means and get ahead ..

The average wage has gone up very very little over the last few years. 1-2% per annum? Is there really any dispute on that? And those wage increases have been at or very slightly over CPI increases, so it doesn't sound like a bonanza?

Unskilled migrants have suppressed the growth of lower paid workers from that which it would otherwise have been. Again, is there really any dispute on that?

English says he wants real wages to rise but is happy to import wage-depressing labour. Property is in free fall now that Chinese cash has dried up, so the wealth-inducing effect of increasing equity will soon end. Wages will go nowhere and neither will interest rates. I hope the Nats win the election so they have to take responsibility for the mess.


How is the minimum/breadline wage a good indicator of wages generally ? How is it the middle class is disappearing rapidly to the bottom of the pile ? Surely not Immigration and cheap (cheaper than kiwis) labour driving down the average take home ? Its a debacle, and defenseless.


Unfortunately, National asks young Kiwis to compete with the poor of the Third World for wage scraps, and the millionaires of the Third World for houses.

It's this economic ponzi they've set up that only benefits those further up the pyramid.

By all means I think wages are going down relative to house price inflation. It is hard for the FHB's as their wages have not been increasing at the same rate as house prices.

16.7% sounds like a lot, but it's not so significant when the starting point is so low.
Increases in rents in the last 5 years would have cancelled those gains out.

@ property King, very true, and I couldn't but notice that she was nervous and tense... she has this body language ( head movement thing) that is a bit strange - there is a lot of difference between he relaxed interviews last week and her press conferences on hot issues ... I wonder how will she cope under pressure ...
Attention every one the circus is about to begin ....

As long as she doesn't start every lie with 'at the end of the day' I think we'll be okay....

"Well, look, at the end of the day it is what it is, and I'm pretty relaxed about it."

The saying that soothed many a votary for years and led to satisfied "harrumphs" and "too right"s.


Or from my perspective I was left thinking, god how gullible and stupid can the average kiwi be to listen to this crap....and not just for for a couple of years but eight or nine or whatever it was...

Haha, good that you are getting used to it, ... cheer up mate, get over it, there will be 3 more coming soon :)

I know , I know - you are the only smart one , with a sparkling personality to boot . Must be lonely it this world. Hearts bleed etc.etc.

Why does the MOU remind me of the Nazi-Soviet Pact?
Two parties agreeing to make a fake peace ,carve up an entity, each having the intent of attacking each other in self destructive fight to the death??


What a mess, as everyone knows, a vote for Labour is a vote for the Greens

lol, someone said the other day : What can a new Jockey do to a dead Horse !!...

Mr Observer so Labour Greens NZ first are going fix our problems , do we a have a suplus? oh thats boring Bill who mastered that.Where was Labour then, same old polices.

Lol, dont bring up surpluses and Govt debt. National doesn't have a good track record there. They just talk like they do.

LOL - and the Cullen Fund (NZSF) is of course, the countries biggest single taxpayer.

Not only has the nzsf been deprived of new capital but then taxed as well, ridiculous


Jacinda & Kelvin need to tear up the MOU with the Greens : it was a stupid idea when Andrew Little signed it .... and it's many times worse , now that the Greens are toxic ...

... the only two guys of impeccable principle in the Greens , Graham & Clendon , have been vilified and abused for their stand ... and are on the way out ....

After the election , there's every possibility that we'll sober up to a simple Labour / NZ Winston coalition ... no need for the Greens ...

... and it is a pity , that having struggled so hard for 20 years , the Greens were undone , cut down to the edge of political oblivion by Metiria Turei's double fraud , and her arrogance ... and by the party's blind allegiance to her , and their refusal to kick her to the curb ...

Lock Her Up!!

Yes incredible arrogance - I think her biggest crime might be "lack of contrition"...

I suspect that a lot of the derision focussed on the Green Party by commenters herein, is coming from sections of our population that know very little about the struggles for survival of far too many in NZ. Sadly not enough of them know whom to vote for.


Sorry, but I can have empathy and help the poor without condoning fraud and deceit as worthy credentials for leadership.

And by the way, being materially poor isn't the only form of struggle out there my friend.

You are so wrong. I have known many people that have struggled to survive whilst raising children. They have been on a benefit, been in the unfortunate position of having to accept food parcels and charity, but through sheer hard work, determination and educating themselves have lifted themselves to become very successful and contributing members of society. Not one of these people have demeaned themselves by committing theft and/or fraud. I can only say that I think they would be appalled by MT's behavior and would not vote for her. In fact she has stolen off the very people she says she represents.

Not one of these people have demeaned themselves by committing theft and/or fraud.

And you know that for certain how?

So are you saying the people you know are somehow better people than these folks interviewed?

From my perspective, these are good parents doing what they had/have to to feed, house and cloth their children.

As far as I can deduce, Metiria Turei through sheer hard work, determination and educating [herself] lifted [herself] to become a very successful and contributing members of society.

It's what you were/are looking for from those struggling, isn't it?

What I am saying is that there is only one pie. If someone by deception takes a greater piece of that pie they deprive the rest who are doing their best to play by the rules. That is wrong.

You need to study up on Harvard negotiation technique - as the key to success is to grow the pie - that's just what Metiria did when she qualified as a lawyer and started paying taxes.

Do you mean, grow dependency on the state, how is that going to help anyone?

No, I mean grow the state's ability/capacity to provide health, education, infrastructure, justice and welfare such that everyone within the state lives with dignity and opportunity.

That can only be accomplished if there is a level playing field, and above all as you say, justice and the rule of law applies to everyone equally, not just the smart lawyers able to take advantage of the system.

Yes, it's why I favour land value tax (as opposed to income tax) as the main 'ingredient' of the pie. Trust lawyers and small business accountants wouldn't agree, that's for sure - hence it must be a good thing.

I have a huge dislike of trust lawyers, and feel we are getting closer however I am not sure about land value tax over income tax and all that that encompasses. I need to educate myself further in this regard which is why I am here.

I think I will vomit if I hear anymore middle class moral outrage. Yes,what she did was wrong and I think she should have resigned as co-leader. Now,she has forfeited any moral leverage.
However, i would be more impressed if I heard the same outrage over English's rorting the system and he didn't out himself-the press did it. As others have pointed out,many of the trusts set up are,at least in part,tax dodges.
Tax fraud costs the country much much more than benefit fraud. There would have been no move on foreign trusts by this government,had it not been for the Panama Papers and Key tried to brush that off initially.

A wiser campaign manager would have had her go into WINZ and report herself before the initial Party announcement on their poverty policy.

Then at that announcement, she would tell everyone that she was standing down from the leadership position until such time as the WINZ investigation was completed and so on and so forth with the admission and the policy announcement.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing - but really, their campaign managers/PR advisers failed in respect of the orchestration of the whole thing.

The conversation about poverty needed to be had, that's for sure. I only learned about the cruelty of the benefit abatement regime on reading the Big Kahuna. Additionally, before that, I had no idea that the level of the unemployment/sickness/jobseeker (whatever the name) benefit was lower than the superannuation benefit. And I thought - how can that be? Surely a growing adult looking for work needs more (or at the least, as much) money to get on with their life as an elderly person who is retired?

"Additionally, before that, I had no idea that the level of the unemployment/sickness/jobseeker (whatever the name) benefit was lower than the superannuation benefit" - your ignorance does not excuse her fraud.

No, but what I'm saying is that my guess is that there are lots of folks who are ignorant in this way - and hence, I think her admission did open up a conversation that was needed.

There is an underground grapevine - I suspect there is / are a lot of people who right at this moment are wishing she had kept her trap shut and this will all go away - her $170,000 annual income altruism may give her comfort but there are a lot of people who can't afford her altruism

Wonder how she'll go on the unemployment benefit if she gets tipped out

That pretty much sums it up for me. The bottom line is that she has torpedoed the Greens and should stand aside until she is 'cleared'. The Greens would be better off with a fidget spinner than their current communications muppets. They should have seen this train wreck coming a light year away.

You are sooooo wrong !!... we have known poverty and struggled under benefit - even to the verge of bankruptcy ... so we know what and how it is , but if we have picked ourselves up and ran so can everyone ... so be careful what you sling around mate ... not everyone was born with a golden spoon in his mouth...

So now you take money from the less fortunate in the form of rent? I thought you'd be able to sympathise with them and help them avoid such suffering?

Or is it a case of I suffered, so to make me feel better I'll inflict suffering on others?

I've known many children of wealthy folk who also received benefits they weren't morally entitled to, because their parents hid their wealth in trusts and hid income in the right sort of tax arrangements. Fewer people judged them as harshly. Neither those who hide their means in trusts to avoid means testing for (for example) aged care, so they can suck on the socialist teat when it suits them.

I'd like to see a little more consistency.

Yep, as I think I've said before, many years ago when we purchased a house for our son to live in while at Polytech - the conveyancing lawyer tried to up-sell us on a family trust. Why would I need that, I asked. One of the "structural" rorts he was so excited to tell us about was how our son could claim the student allowance - that because of our income, he wasn't entitled to!!!!!!

I was aghast. First time I'd ever met a lawyer who was so open and excited about telling me how to cheat the system. And the funny thing was, when I expressed my disgust with the intentions - he promptly told me I was foolish - as everyone else in my position was doing it.

Oh so your son couldn't possibly rough with the plebs and rent like everyone else, so even years ago we had a snowflake.

No student accommodation available at the polytech. Hence, it was just easier for us to buy than to try and find someone who would sign a three-year lease with a 17 yo.

Lawyer's name wasn't Turei by any chance??

@Independent_Observer, you are living in koo-koo land MATE, and NO, I shall not offer my property for rent at a discount or for free just to sympathise and help the unfortunate to avoid such suffering you for real? ... Do you really believe what you are writing?? or just trolling as you go ....?? may that is some sort of attention seeking !!

the use of words like Suffering, Unfortunate, and Sympathy indicate that you are fully disconnected from this world - happy landing !!

But you said before that you've struggled and experienced poverty but now you take advantage of the less fortunate for your own financial gain?

Shouldn't you want to help them, not exploit them because you know from first hand experience how tough it can be?

Under that tough exterior, I'm sure there's a good human being...

..gotta laugh. This will wash along, a few enviro purists might leave the greens and find a new home (TOP). National and supporters will delude themslves that this little earthquake will save them from the wrath of jo kiwi.

I see a simalarity with those that deny property is all over rover with those that seem to think its all over rover for Lab/Grns. A desperation of comments one might say. Great stuuf to observe.......all is goona be A okay! The rockstar has another hit!

Video of Clendon and Graham in there now too.

Ardern is a very strong clear to the point person, very impressive, I'll be keeping a close eye on her over the coming weeks and I'm guessing I will only be happier

Poor Ardern, trying so hard to say Labour has nothing to do with the Greens... well Labour can't govern on their own can they, so despite everything Ardern says, if she wants to be PM (which she said she didn't want) she needs to get into bed with the Greens and make policy decisions with and concessions to the Greens

Green Party = Fraud Party


All these moaning National supporters should stop whinging and Adern up....

Poor Ardern now has to front up with the mess her poor cousin Turei has created. It will take a mammoth effort to sweep everything under the carpet now.

Sweeping under the carpet is a National trick....why not address the issue openly and move on? (kind of like what she is doing..?)

450 texts are front and centre this morning. At 1am Bill ? What was your god fearing Catholic self really up too....

Fact or fiction: Do Green co-leader Metiria Turei's sins compare with Bill English and John Key? OMG!

How short peoples memories are! Bill English among others in National caught double-dipping.
How is this different from Metiria Turei?

But he represents National so no need to make an issue of it...

Exactly Framan. It's not different. And yet the top 3 parties with all the liars and fakers still get enough votes to be the top 3 parties. It's pretty telling how little the majority of kiwis value honesty, integrity, and thinking of others. The largest parties in the polls right now should be TOP, Act, Maori party, Conservatives, and Mana. But this is democracy, and we get exactly what we deserve (and vote for). Who is your pick so far Framan? I'm genuinely curious

I'll tell you what is different between English and Turei. The little lie was the benefit fraud. I don't care much about that. But the bigger lie was that it was a carefully edited revelation - which left out much. She was not in a situation of 'feeding her child'. She deliberately set out to deceive the public and disrespected the real strugglers. Devious, manipulative, and sleazy.

Another way to explain the English / Turei difference is that Turei did a double fraud. A revelation for her own benefit - which revelation was fraudulent in itself.

No haven't forgotten and have no trouble rejecting him for hypocrisy. Doesn't improve Turia however just means 2 bad eggs off the vote list

"How short peoples memories are! Bill English among others in National caught double-dipping."

It is much much worse.

That probably happened the wrong way around didn't it. Turei should have quietly faded into the background, at least until after the election, and Kennedy Graham should have stepped up. They were probably worried about losing the young and maori vote. The fake news is like a dog and they just threw them the biggest bone. Probably not too late to fix but requires some radical action. I really like James Shaw, he and Ardern would make a powerful team.

James Shaw is nothing but a meek apologist in chief for the fraudster. Whatever right to be respected he had he forfeited in a space of a few days. Sad.

I guess that the Greens will be known more as a party for poor and miserables than for its environmental stances ... Bad move!!

The friends that I have who vote for the Greens base their decisions on the moral high ground, but with MT where does that leave them? I struggle to understand their rationale, even though I love them, what is that called? cognitive dissonance?

Good question. Same applies to some of my friends as well. I have to admit I do not fully understand.

Assume you didn't hear Shaw being interviewed tonight by a sympathetic John Campbell but even he couldn't stop Shaw from dropping himself in it . So Shaw is offended that the 2 departing Green MPs didn't follow procedure !!!! Measure that against Turia's behaviour - what a joke.

The real fun will start when the socialists come to power. Ardern and Shaw have shown their true colours and contempt for honesty and integrity. They stand for all the socialist ideology that has failed repeatedly throughout history, and there are plenty of people backing this morally bankrupt philosophy, as long as they can get something for nothing and to hell with the best interests of the country.

Well the National party has shown their contempt for the majority of the New Zealanders with their neoliberal agenda, degrading social welfare while propping up corporate welfare, distractions with the flag referendum, TPPA agreement, blatant corruption, endless lies about the extent of foreigners buying our houses, regressive taxation . Brighter future indeed, brighter future for some.

Fat Pat, that is exactly what is wrong with this debate -- tit for tats, comparison of ideologies mixed with BS slinging all over it to make No point at all ... no different from kindergarten bullying theater in parliament.

Everyone in NZ is looking for fresh ideas and a Helping HAND from Right or Left to move the country forward as there is no such thing as smooth steady run at any given time !! ... however, using these issues as political football by the Left is sickening really ... and is just a clear indication of their political bankruptcy.

The Left is seeking control, not reform or change! .. they smell money and want to spend it ( or waste it !) to make THEM look good!! - It is essential for their own survival... specially the Greens..the modern Robin Hood party!! with green caps

They know quite well that they cannot do much more than what practically could be done at this point in time other than shuffling few billions around and TAXing those who have done well through hard work and hard saving in the name of INEQUALITY, Ban this and Ban that !! ... All to make it look that they have done something which appeals to their supporters, while stuffing up an economy that has just turned the corner.

They also know that if they stay away from holding office too long people will abandon them and start realising that they are old, outdated and useless losers ...

But, all that aside, until Sept 23rd we will witness this Circus of the Left scraping every last vote they can (jumping up and down in the streets and FB) end up spreading the 35% or so of the NZ votes between them....Then comes the day after!, ... Where we might (will) witness the Glory of Mr. WP ( still celebrating with a good single malt) .. waiting patiently for that congratulation Call ... begging him ( red and green caps in hand) to join the coalition to put together a flimsy Gov !!...

How humiliating is that for the mighty LABOUR party ?? negotiating a position with slim vote majority ??

But, only then ... all the fun begins in the darkest comedy ever! --- watching all three tearing each other apart and fighting for the sweet spot in the Kill. while sending the country into a whirlpool !

Wow, What a change !!

You think NZers will let that happen this September ? ... Doubt it really.

Get a grip of yourself Eco.- its called democracy.
A contest of policy - National have had a fair go and unfortunately the reality of their policies are now glaringly obvious throughout our society.
John key was right - we are on the cusp of something special - A Labour led government .

I expect you will have chewed your fingernails down to the elbow by the time election results are in.

You both have missed the point !! as ... forget National for a minute,
its not about democracy's about the circus that will be created as the result of this election status ... the Left will only be able to scrape few new votes out of thin air the rest is incestous between red and green, then suffer the humiliation at the feet of WP ...!
That is the POINT gents !!

My fridge is full and have stocked on some good wine and Single malt to enjoy the night and the Day After ...

Update: the more taxes Labour puts out the less extra votes it will be able to get - lol , already two new taxes in 3 days - well done! keep up the good work !! :)

Hopefully that was just a typo but tip don't keep single malt in the fridge. Going back to an earlier exchange we have had. Here it goes as predicted. Petrol tax, water tax, why doesn't Labour simply make a fresh start under a new name "The New Taxation Party" of something similar

Haha, no... Single Malt is in the Bar mate to the wine....

Yep, we just need to wait and count the number of new taxes ....

I bet my bottom dollar that they will slip in CGT and neg gearing removal once In office without daring to touch on that in the campaign - these cost them the last election !!

They will definitely hit the high income brackets again, but this time they will not have Anderton to hide behind . Bed tax, sugar tax, travel tax, emmissions (as in fart) tax, the front end loader is only just warming up. Oh and for a really fresh approach, reincarnate Maggie, how about a poll tax.

Absolutely brilliant! Tax you investors till your pips 'squeak!' I can't wait to hear your collective whinge about how 'unjust' life is... am going to smirk at your whines, as your third world rentals are required to be up to a first world standard for the tenants you bludge every hard working cent from. Am already chuckling at the fact your capital gains are slipping daily... oh, and am feeling positively elated by the fact you have already conceded your crooked crony overlords are on their way out...

It's National's election to loose now, all they have to do is hold a steady course and its theirs. Labour will gain votes from the Greens but National could also pickup a few, and it only needs a few to go it alone. It will be very interesting to see how this election pans out, do you go with the status quo or risk a 3 way Circus ? my pick is another term for National.

Reality check carlos67.
The status quo is a 4 way circus.

So you are picking National NZF alliance / Gov then ?

Its possible

So we have a long haired poodle sitting in the corner of the yard forgotten by the owners and sly cat that comes around every now and again for nibbles., and a couple of strange animals nobody can identify. At least we have a sheep farmer to control his animals

2Carlos 67 , National could make a mess of this election , many older folk see immigration as a threat, to our way of life, our superannuation and our health system .

National have screwed this up completely and they need to be clearer about immigration in the future

People seem to be getting hot under the collar over the election.

It may help to remember your vote (and opinion) will be as important as the one you cast in front of the TV watching a rerun of Master Chef from 2003.