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From the "NEED TO KNOW" section


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Author Topic: From the "NEED TO KNOW" section  (Read 69 times)
reality
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« on: December 13, 2014, 01:23:43 pm »


Bruce...some excellent bedtime reading for you.....
...and....were you responsible the the action described in the last paragraph Wink

The psychology of conspiracy belief  video

MATT STEWART .

Last updated 05:00, December 13 2014





A Professor of psychology from Victoria University sheds some light on the conspiracy theories surrounding illuminati.

You don't have to be mad to create conspiracy theories, but it certainly helps, new research suggests.

Just believing in them indicates you are more likely to be paranoid or mentally ill, a Victoria University study shows.

Widely held conspiracy theories range from harmless ones, such as the belief that the Moon landings were faked, to more dangerous delusions such as the one in Nigeria that polio vaccines were a Western plot to sterilise people. That led to vaccination crews being murdered and thousands dying from disease.

Clinical psychologist Darshani Kumareswaran is delving in to the psychology of conspiracy belief, and has found some believers are likely to endorse far-fetched plots in an effort to make sense of chaotic situations beyond their control.

Kumareswaran, who graduated from Victoria with a PhD in psychology this week, wanted to find out what made people more likely to believe in, or come up with, conspiracy theories - and whether the process was linked to mental illness.

Avid conspiracy theorists can put themselves under intense psychological strain with their tendency towards paranoid thinking and delusional beliefs, causing mental strain even when a conspiracy theory turns out to be a verified plot.

She also looked behind the common public image of the conspiracy theorist as a crackpot.

Despite evidence of verified conspiracies, such as the Watergate scandal, the public viewed conspiracy theorists in as negative a light as they did convicted criminals, she said.

"For the label to be so negatively rated by the public is quite a powerful finding."

Study participants were asked to recall a situation in which they had no control, describe it in detail, and write it down. They were then put in a "psychological space" in which they felt powerlessness and were given 24 pictures that looked like snowy television screens.



Half featured obscured objects such as a chair or tent, the other half nothing.

Those who scored highly on a form of psychopathology known as schizotypy were more likely to see an object in the images where there was none, indicating they were more likely to make connections between unrelated things.

"I also found that someone who creates conspiracy theories is more likely to have some form of psychopathology, or mental illness such as paranoid thinking, compared to those who believe in conspiracy theories but do not create them, or people who do not believe in them at all," she said.

Psychology professor Marc Wilson said the research countered the common stereotype that people who believed conspiracy theories were characterised by extreme paranoia.

"The relationship between psychopathology and paranoia is quite weak. The really interesting thing is that people tend to assume that paranoia is a root cause of conspiracy when it isn't the smoking gun," he said.

Wayan Rosie is a member of the Fluoride Action Network, a lobby group whose critics accuse it of promoting the conspiracy theory that fluoridated water is an unsafe method of mass medication.

Rosie does not believe fluoride is put in the water supply as a form of mind control, or to keep the population docile, but he is suspicious about why it is used here when much of Europe's water is fluoride-free.

He said Kumareswaran's research rang true. "People can get hung up on these conspiracy theories and they can become paranoid and suspicious - I know lots of people who believe in conspiracy theories and they end up like that."

Vicki Hyde, former chair-entity of the New Zealand Skeptics, cited a catalogue of 2000 people whose belief in conspiracy theories had caused a catalogue of suffering including death, prosecution, imprisonment, disease and poverty.

"There's a correlation between fragile mental states and the cultural context of conspiracy theories - being paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you, but in most cases they really really aren't.

"Occasionally conspiracy theories may be true, so you need to be vigilant - but not so much that you put your mental health at risk. It needs balance."

FIVE CONSPIRACY THEORIES THAT JUST WON'T GO AWAY:

*9/11 was an inside job: This one claims the events of September 11, 2001, were part of a US government coverup orchestrated by George W Bush and his cronies. 9/11 "truthers" believe the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon were a smokescreen used to justify the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan, curtail civil liberties and further the interests of the military-industrial complex.

No men on the Moon: The claim that a series of manned Moon landings in the late '60s and early '70s were an elaborately staged hoax orchestrated by Nasa and other shadowy figures. Up to 20 per cent of Americans still believe the Moon landings were faked.

Paul McCartney has been dead for years: Some Beatles fans insist the Macca we know is actually a lookalike, brought into the band after the real Paul died in 1966. The clues apparently are hidden on album covers or in lyrics. The Beatles denied it. But then, they would, wouldn't they?

Pop puppets: The belief that the Illuminati - a secret elite order - uses CIA mind control methods to turn pop stars into robotic slaves. This theory holds that the likes of Lady Gaga and Beyonce are controlled by handlers and that their music videos are full of Illuminati cult imagery that primes the masses for a takeover by a Satanic New World Order.

Reptile reign: Reptilian shapeshifters control the universe from a parallel plane of universal consciousness - and they include Prime Minister John Key. Earlier this year Key's office received an Official Information Act request asking it to disprove the theory that Key was a "shapeshifting reptilian alien ushering humanity towards enslavement". It couldn't.

 - The Dominion Post
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« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2014, 06:12:22 am »


Defence housing sell-off nets $150m


Shannon Gillies, Defence Reporter

Updated 38 minutes ago
 
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shannon.gillies@radionz.co.nz
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« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2014, 11:29:18 am »

Bruce...some excellent bedtime reading for you.....
...and....


Here's a bedtime lullaby for you....


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If you aren't living life on the edge, you're taking up too much space! 
reality
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« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2014, 12:30:40 pm »

Sorry..aint  got that amount of time to spare..I am a very busy man.... Wink

..but feel free to describe the contents in 1-2 paragraphs ..and I promise I will read it... Roll Eyes
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« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2014, 03:14:52 pm »

Rodney Hide: Pou to be admired ... not discussed

5:00 AM Sunday Dec 14, 201492 comments


I am quite taken by the striking Maori totems on the new Kopu and Waikato Expressway bridges. I figured the taxpayer was milked for them. There would be outrage if they were Christian crosses but somehow they are okay because they're Maori.

I decided to find out more. A Google search turned up nothing. I emailed the New Zealand Transport Agency. I thought it would have a brochure to explain the history and spiritualism behind what are I now know to be called pou. Nope. Nothing.

There followed six months of emailing back and forth. Finding out about pou was harder than pulling state secrets.

The best the Transport Agency could produce was that the eight pou whenua at the Kopu Bridge were part of the "Tangata Whenua Mitigation Plan", which, in turn, was a condition of the bridge's resource consent. Taxpayers funded the pou for Ngati Maru because they are kaitiaki (guardians) of the Waihou River.


The four pou erected on the new Waikato River bridge on the Ngaruawahia section of the Expressway, it was explained, tell the stories of Tainui's involvement with the river.

There are to be similar pou to mark the Expressway's Huntly section. That's because the highway goes near sacred sites such as the Taupiri urupa and because it traverses several different marae areas.

The Transport Agency told me the stories behind the pou are culturally sensitive and hence the delay and difficulty in providing what little information it could garner.

How strange is that? We all pass them. We all paid for them. But the responsible public servants can't tell us what they signify or are for. Other than that the council made them do it.

The Transport Agency did provide contact details for an iwi representative who, it said, was happy to help. I fired off an email.

The very polite and kind reply left me not much the wiser. My iwi contact explained the pou "symbolise and represent ancestors hapu [subtribes]".

And that protection of histories can sometimes be confused with "secrecy".

"It is common knowledge and practice for hapu to keep safe their histories. However, what is displayed along the Ngaruawahia section are carvings that Tangata Whenua are happy to share with the country, with the world."

I still don't know what the pou mean or represent or the story they tell.

I know only that they somehow symbolise and represent hapu ancestors.

And that they are there as "cultural mitigation", whatever that is, and as a condition of the resource consent.

So when you see the pou, remember you paid for them.

And that what they are about is not secret but next to impossible to find out. And know this: we no longer keep church and state separate.

It's not Christianity the Government backs, but refloated Paganism.

- Herald on Sunday

By Rodney Hide
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« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2014, 03:59:14 pm »

That Rodney Hide is a retard and it looks like he has exposed his neck a bit too long in the sun. It's turned red.
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reality
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« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2014, 10:33:43 pm »


Flag needs to 'scream NZ': John Key
JOHN EDENS
Last updated 16:49, December 17 2014


What should be on New Zealand's flag?
.
Prime Minister John Key wants a revamped national flag that screams New Zealand to be emblazoned with a silver fern, the symbol on the country's war graves.

Speaking in Queenstown today, Key's wide-ranging speech touched on the flag change debate, housing affordability, economic stability and tourism.

Key said there was continued confusion on the world stage regarding the New Zealand flag.


CONTINUED CONFUSION: "When people say they want to keep the flag, it's not our first flag, it's New Zealand's third flag," John Key said.

"When people say they want to keep the flag, it's not our first flag, it's New Zealand's third flag.

"It's just sheer confusion with Australia. Even at APEC [in China last month] they tried to take me to [Australian Prime Minister Tony] Abbott's seat.

"The most serious reason is because they say our guys fought and died under that flag. But when you go to the Western front and go and look at the war graves our guys are buried not with the New Zealand flag, it's the silver fern. Lots of countries change their flags, it's a representation of who we are and about building national patriotism.

"If you want to look like a Kiwi you don't put on a t-shirt with our flag on it. I reckon we should change to the fern ... without hearing the anthem, without anybody saying anything that just screams New Zealand to you. The current flag does not do that."

READ MORE: NZ flag referendum outlined by John Key

On the economy, he said the books were open but whether the country was in deficit and by how much was not clear until the figures were tallied in eight months.

"We are doing pretty well, you can see that relative to Australia. Our unemployment rate is 5.4 [per cent], Australia is 6.3 per cent and rising.

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"On expenditure, we have been pretty tight, $5 billion a year less than what the Treasury thought we would spend. By 2020 the amount of debt at Government level will be $100b less than what the Treasury said it would be. It all adds up to a debt bill we don't have to fund."

More Kiwis were choosing to stay in New Zealand instead of migrating to Australia and, last month, more Aussies moved to New Zealand than vice versa.

On tourism, Key said high-spending European travellers and American tourists were back.

Post-recession American businesses had learned to live with fewer employees and economic growth indicators from the United States were positive.

"Air New Zealand is printing money with the Los Angeles leg. The US is back and it's going to stay strong," he said.

China was deliberately slowing in an effort to move away from an industrialised economy, with its high energy quotient and pollution, to development in intellectual property.

The economy of China boasted a growing middle-income population of around 300 million people and the Chinese embarked on 80 million overseas trips each year.

"In five years' time you are going to have a hell of a lot of Chinese tourists. You're going to get massive numbers in Queenstown over the next decade."

Key was the main speaker at a Destination Queenstown pre-Christmas function in the resort.

 - The Southland Times

...I agree ...recognition overseas with NZ flag is usually as Ozzie...with the silver fern it is usually NZ Wink
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reality
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« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2014, 01:08:37 pm »

..Great to see NZ doing better than OZ....excellent work by John Key , Bill English and Co Grin


Brian Gaynor: Kiwi economy set to beat Aussie ... again

5:00 AM Saturday Dec 20, 2014Add a comment

New Zealand’s biggest risk is that next year ends up being too good, driven by rising house prices.


Tumbling iron ore prices are having a serious effect on Australia's export income and its government's tax revenue.
Next year's outlook for the New Zealand and Australian economies is the same as this year's - we are expected to outperform our Tasman neighbours once again.

The downturn in dairy prices is a concern in New Zealand, but it doesn't match the gloom in Australia over plunging resource prices, a huge government deficit and shrinking consumer confidence.

This year has been a good one for New Zealand with economic growth of 3.2 per cent compared with 2.7 per cent in Australia.

But the real progress in New Zealand has been in people terms. Our unemployment rate has fallen from 6.2 per cent to 5.4 per cent, while Australia's unemployment rate has risen from 5.8 per cent to 6.3 per cent.

New Zealand has one of the lowest unemployment levels in the OECD, against the average of 7.2 per cent.


Australasian unemployment rates have had a big effect on migration flows across the Tasman.

There was a net migration outflow from New Zealand to Australia of only 4542 in the year to last month, compared with a net outflow of 22,081 a year earlier and 38,846 in the November 2012 year.

This has been a major contributor to the surge in New Zealand's migration inflow to 49,836 in the latest year compared with 19,478 in the November 2013 year and a net outflow of 1567 a year earlier.

New Zealand's unemployment rate is expected to fall further next year - and Australia's to rise - so the net migration outflow from New Zealand to Australia will continue to fall and should turn into a net inflow.

This should give the New Zealand economy a boost over the next twelve months.

The big issue in Australia is the sharp decline in prices for iron ore and other resources.

Iron ore prices, which have fallen from US$136 a tonne a year ago to US$68 a tonne, have a major effect on the Australian economy for several reasons including:

Iron ore is Australia's largest export, totalling 25.5 per cent of the country's exports.

Iron ore producers are significant taxpayers and Government forecasts estimate the slump in prices will reduce the Australian government's tax revenue by A$18 billion ($18.9 billion) over the next four years.

The slump in prices will lead to a significant reduction in resource sector capital expenditure which has been a major driving force behind the Australian economy.

As well, there has been a major slump in the prices of coal, which is 13.8 per cent of Australia's total exports, and oil and natural gas, which are just over 11 per cent of exports.

The decline in oil prices, which is an effective tax cut in New Zealand, will lead to a reduction in Australia's export revenue.

The sharp decline in resource prices has had a major effect on Australia's export revenue and its government's tax revenue.

The Commonwealth Government's Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook 2014-15 (MYEFO), out this week, shows the Budget deficit is expected to blow out to A$40.4 billion (2.5 per cent of GDP) in the June 2015 year, up from a Budget night deficit forecast of A$29.8 billion (1.8 per cent of GDP).

The report says: "Iron ore prices have unexpectedly fallen by over 30 per cent since the Budget. MYEFO assumes a free-on-board iron ore price of US$60 per tonne over the next two years, which compares with a spot price of US$95 at Budget. The fall in iron ore prices has led to company tax receipts being revised down by A$2.3 billion in 2014-15 and A$14.4 billion over the following [three] years."

The report was greeted with gloom and doom across the Tasman. One commentator lamented that 23 years of solid Australian economic growth had come to an end.

The Australian Government is now expected to have a large Budget deficit for several years. This is a significant deterioration in the deficit outlook since the May 13 Budget announcement.

The mid-year outlook report keeps the June 2015 year GDP growth forecast steady at 2.5 per cent but has increased its unemployment rate forecast from 6.25 per cent to 6.5 per cent. It is also forecasting a significant deterioration in the country's terms of trade.

In New Zealand, the Treasury issued its Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update this week. This is a much more upbeat document than its Australian equivalent.

The Treasury wrote: "Economic activity expanded at a solid pace in the year to June 2014, growing 3.5 per cent, and is expected to grow at a similar pace in the next two years underpinned by domestic demand. The key drivers are residential construction, business investment and population growth."

New Zealand's unemployment rate is forecast to decline from 5.4 per cent to 5.1 per cent and the Government is expected to have a Budget surplus equal to 0.2 per cent of GDP in the June 2016 year.

This compares with a projected Australian Government Budget deficit equal to 1.9 per cent of GDP for the same period.

The downturn in dairy prices will have a huge impact on farmer income but there are two important differences between iron ore in Australia and dairy in New Zealand.

First, dairy farmers are not big tax payers, particularly compared with Australian mining companies, and the NZ government is not expecting a large decline in tax revenue because of the dairy industry slump.

Second, economic activity (real GDP) is largely unaffected as milk production will continue to grow.

So the slump in dairy prices is expected to have less of an effect on the NZ economy than lower iron ore prices will in Australia. This is mainly because of our expected strong net migration inflow due to falling unemployment here and rising unemployment in Australia.

Comparison of the figures shows the New Zealand economy is performing better than Australia in most areas. It has higher GDP growth, lower unemployment, lower inflation and a much better Government Budget situation.

The strong performance of the NZ dollar against the Australian dollar shows overseas investors take a similar view, although our higher interest rates are another attraction.

ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence figures reflect the different moods on either side of the Tasman.

New Zealand consumer confidence went up from 121.8 in November to 126.5 in December, prompting ANZ chief economist Cameron Bagrie to note that "we're happy little campers heading into the holiday season". The report said our confidence was widespread.

But the same index in Australia fell 0.2 points to 110.2, mainly because consumers there believe the outlook for Australia as a whole is negative.

Unsurprisingly the NZX had been a far better performer this year than its Australian equivalent with a gross return of 16.5 per cent this year against a gross return for the ASX benchmark index of 1.5 per cent this year.

The biggest threat to the New Zealand economy is that 2015 will be too good, mainly because residential prices keep going higher and higher at an accelerating rate.

The clear lesson from the 1980s sharemarket boom is that asset price bubbles can leave a dreadful and long lasting hangover.

Brian Gaynor is an executive director of Milford Asset Management.

- NZ Herald
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« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2014, 01:16:46 am »

Another country joins the democracy club Wink

21 December 2014
Tunisians choose president in run-off elections


Voters in Tunisia are choosing their first freely elected president in a run-off election seen as a landmark in the country's move to democracy.

Beji Caid Essebsi, who won the first round with 39% of the vote, is challenging interim leader Moncef Marzouki.

Mr Essebsi represents the secular-leaning Nidaa Tounes party.

Tunisia was the first country to depose its leader in the Arab Spring and inspired other uprisings in the region.

Mr Essebsi, who turned 88 this week, held office under both deposed President Zine el-Abedine Ben Ali and Tunisia's first post-independence leader, Habib Bourguiba.

He is popular in the wealthy, coastal regions, and has based his appeal to voters on stability and experience.

Beji Caid Essebsi, a candidate in the Tunisian presidential election
Beji Caid Essebsi, who leads a secularist party, has support in the wealthy, coastal regions
Moncef Marzouki at a presidential rally in Tunisia
Rival Moncef Marzouki is more popular in the south and interior of Tunisia
His opponent, Moncef Marzouki, is a 67-year-old human rights activists forced into exile by the Ben Ali government.

He has been interim president since 2011 and is more popular in the conservative, poorer south.

After casting his ballot, Mr Marzouki said Tusinians "should be proud" of themselves "because the interim period has come to a peaceful end".

line
A Tunisian votes in the presidential election, 21 December 2014
At the scene: Naveena Kottoor, BBC Tunis
Voting is well under way at a school-turned-polling station in the Tunis suburb of Kram, not too far from the presidential palace in Carthage.

At least 10 members of the Tunisian security forces are deployed here, checking bags and ID before people are allowed to enter.

Many voters have brought their children, who are playing in the courtyard while the parents are queuing. Slightly more than two hours after voting started turnout here was under 20%.

The process is being scrutinised not just by international election observers, but also by thousands of Tunisian observers, who are walking around in blue vests and filling in forms.

"I am not just proud, I am very, very proud," said a 65-year-old man who has just arrived. "I never voted under dictatorship, this is the first time for me."

line
Presidential powers
Mr Marzouki is likely to attract support from the moderate Islamist Ennahda party, which has played a key role in Tunisian politics since the Arab Spring but has not fielded a candidate.

Whoever wins faces restricted powers under a constitution passed earlier this year.

The president will be commander-in-chief of the armed forces but can appoint or sack senior officers only in consultation with the prime minister.

The president will also set foreign policy in consultation with the prime minister, represent the state and ratify treaties.

2011 anti-government protests in Tunisia
Mass protests saw the overthrow of President Zine el-Abedine Ben Ali in 2011
Tunisia has boosted security for the elections and closed border posts with Libya, which has been plagued by unrest.

In the build-up to the vote, a video emerged of Islamic State militants claiming responsibility for the 2013 killings of two Tunisian politicians.

The men in the video also condemned the election and threatened more killings.

An interior ministry spokesman dismissed the video, saying the group "mean nothing to us".

About 5.2 million Tunisians are eligible to vote in the run-off poll. At least 88,000 observers are overseeing the election, according to Tunisian state media.
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« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2015, 12:31:04 am »

Paul Little: Before you die, have a life

7:00 AM Sunday Jan 11, 201517 comments

Health Health & Wellbeing Paul Little at large

The most important thing you can do to prepare for death is to make sure you have had a life.
With the beginning of the year have come reminders of our endings - as a species and as individuals. The former was in a leaked clip of the brief film CNN prepared some time around 1980, to be played if the apocalypse took place.

The network thought the demise of humanity would be best accompanied by a medium-sized brass band playing a turgid version of Nearer My God to Thee.

Technology has made this redundant. If the end of the world were to be announced for Tuesday, the media for the next 48 hours would be occupied with a flurry of selfies showing the asteroid in the background, bloggers racing to share their final thoughts and Mike Hosking wondering if people are really interested in this sort of thing.

The CNN clip was widely mocked, but it had at least one merit - if you were unhappy at the imminent demise of civilisation when you started watching, you'd be gagging for it by the end.

The apocalypse is still probably a generation or two away; our own ends are almost certainly much closer, and the question of how we deal with that was raised by British doctor Richard Smith on his British Medical Journal blog.


It's worth reading his humane, thoughtful piece in full, but to summarise, he lists the four ways we die: "Sudden death; the long, slow death of dementia; the up and down death of organ failure, where it's hard to identify the final going down, tempting doctors to go on treating too long; and death from cancer, where you may bang along for a long time but go down usually in weeks".

Smith argues that, provided pain relief is available, cancer is the best option. It is the only death that leaves us in a position to make our peace with those we love and to tidy up loose ends.

The alternative he proposes is to live each day as though it's your last. To too many people that means cramming as much self-indulgent bucket-list trivia into every waking moment as they can, as though your biggest regret might be that you didn't take that balloon flight over the Grand Canyon rather than that you hadn't reconciled with that estranged parent or child.

One of the saddest things I've seen was a documentary about people with terminal cancer. The person who was fighting hardest was the one who should have been most accepting because she was a devout Catholic who believed death would take her to Paradise. But she had never had a partner, children or a career and had no friends except the people she knew through church. She was going to die never having lived. And she wasn't happy.

So to Smith's advice I would add the most important thing you can do to prepare for death is to make sure you have had a life.

- Herald on Sunday
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« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2017, 01:48:13 pm »

...even the "educated" left want her gone😳

A left-wing, Green loving, Barrister explains why Metiria Turei must resign

Steve Keall is a barrister, he is also somewhat feeble minded in that he has previously been in love with Labour and is currently dating the Greens.
 
But, he explains why it is that Metiria Turei must go:

Some time ago the Labour Party and I fell out of love.

The rift is now so deep that not even Jacinda’s winning smile lifts my spirits.


The party and I were once spooning on the couch; chilling and watching Netflix. Now I leave business-like voicemails once a week. So it was with great interest that I attended a recent “Meet the Greens” event in central Auckland. Co-leader James Shaw convened this event for Green-curious city types like myself. Shaw was impressive: educated, articulate, thoughtful. A leader. I came away from the event feeling quite positive about the possibility that if the Labour Party were to fade away as the left-leaning party of choice, then there seem to was a well-qualified alternative waiting, very politely, in the wings. My calls to the Labour Party felt like they were heading for once a month. Maybe just a letter, and then just a Christmas card.


James Shaw was impressive…until he tolerated, and then excused Metiria Turei’s criminal activities.

Reading about recent events involving the other co-leader (there are only two– for now) Metiria Turei was, therefore, greatly disheartening. Turei has admitted that while receiving benefit she did not disclose the full details of her living situation. At the time of writing, more facts are emerging but it seems that she did not disclose that she was in a flatting situation that either involved traditional flatmates or potentially family members. The practical significance of this, in very simple terms, is that the net rent she would have been required to pay was, I assume, less than she said it was. It was probably quite a lot less than it was.

When I initially heard the story, my initial impression was of a hard-working mother scratching a living together; collecting a benefit and also doing some undisclosed work. Operating from this assumption, when the topic arose in discussion, I defended her, taking the broader view that her motivation was not so much financial gain but trying to do the right thing by her offspring. As a matter of philosophical/political viewpoint, like a lot of people, I’m not too troubled by the idea of people doing a bit of work while receiving a benefit. I tend to think that the sense of independence the work brings tends to encourage people to do more of it, which may motivate them, in appropriate circumstances, to move off the benefit altogether. If the law does not make this possible then, politically speaking, this is an area where it needs to catch up. That being the case, I am not too troubled by people not adhering to it strictly.

This moral defence became impossible to sustain when I learnt the actual story: It’s not about work; it’s about rent.

That’s a completely different ball game, morally speaking.

He’s right. When the story was first told it sounded like struggle street. But the reality is far from struggle street. The reality shows a deliberate and calculated, and arguably successful attempt to defraud the state of that which she was not entitled to. It isn’t just about rent now, it is about whether or not she was actually entitled to the DPB at all.

In my opinion, there is a qualitative difference between failing to disclose carrying out work – which by definition is providing service to someone that they need and are willing to pay for, gaining skills, and potentially putting oneself on a path that leads away from a benefit altogether – and not disclosing expenses which carries with it none of these positive elements.

All said and done, it is just dishonesty. At least as of the time of writing – and I wonder seriously whether the position will change by the time this is published — Turei is staunchly defending she had done.

No, it is not “just dishonesty”. This fool is a barrister and so he should know the difference. This is a calculated and planned fraud performed over a number of years, possibly as many as five. Dishonesty is five finger discounting some lollies from the local dairy.

Now, I hasten to add that even that situation, if it fell to me to decide what should be done with an ordinary person who had been caught engaging in this kind of activity, then I would take probably take a pretty benign attitude. I would probably seek an assurance that the conduct would stop and then examine the possibility that the money would be refunded. Punishing people who are already down on their luck the full force of the criminal justice system is not something I would particularly want to see.

So, the barrister thinks welfare fraud is just fine, and benign to use his words. She wasn’t down on her luck, she was an anarchist sticking it to the man. She made choices, luck had nothing to do with it.

This brings us to the pointy part of the argument. Turei is not an ordinary person. She is the leader of a political party, running for national office.

Under what I understand to be the Green party’s constitutional rules, were it to become the dominant party in a coalition government, then it is Turei, and not Shaw, who would become Prime Minister. This possibility seems improbable but it is not completely out of the question given the Labour Party’s dismal recent polling.

A more realistic scenario is that the Green Party may form part of a governing coalition where Green Party parliamentary members, including Turei, are naturally considered for ministerial positions. How would Turei, in good conscience, occupy any role which involved considering the propriety of others? She could not. This counts her out of a number of portfolios including but not limited to  justice, police and internal affairs. In fact, it probably counts her out of any role because all of the positions involve this kind of decision-making at some stage, at least to some extent.

Oh the lolz…good conscience…Turei…in the same sentence.

So what we are faced with is the leader of a political party who has admitted dishonesty which is, in legal terms, a criminal offence who could not seriously accept either the position of prime minister or most (or probably any) ministerial posts. This makes her position as leader is untenable.

At the “Meet the Greens” event I had the opportunity to put to Shaw some questions about the utility of the co-leadership model. He offered an articulate defence to which there were a number of aspects one of which, as I recall it, was that you get two for the price of one, or something to that effect. Actually, I now realise that this argument has some force because of something happens to one, the remaining leader can bravely carry on without an unseemly leadership contest.

The scene is set for Turei to the right thing. She should resign.

And if I may be so bold as to speak on behalf of my urban liberal cohort this is what needs to happen for it to get the broader support it seeks. They would almost certainly get my vote.

She won’t and hasn’t resigned. She should have.

 NBC
Cam slater
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