Other than a nuclear war threat to the US and the escalation made by Trumpet-man, the worst thing to happen today was the resignation made by Metiria Turei. I understand her reasoning behind handing it in, but I resent the reasoning for why she had to even do such a thing.
When she came out with the truth, I honestly thought “finally! Someone is finally saying the flaws with the beneficiary system!” It seems the majority of New Zealand didn’t feel the same way. They wanted her resignation from the day she spoke, but she knew she had to fight – it wasn’t her life anymore but it was still thousands upon thousands of New Zealanders lives. It’s not just the beneficiary system either – the way New Zealand citizens view poor people, single mothers, and disabled people is inhumane. They are treated like a plague we don’t want to catch, but who’s own fault it is that they caught it themselves.
As a member of the New Zealand community, I want my tax paying money to be spent appropriately. I don’t want it to contribute to spending millions on police forces that are refusing to allow those on antidepressants work, or millions on a stall in a foreign show in hopes to attract international produce buyers. I want my tax dollars to pay for the mothers scared they won’t be able to put food on the table each night, I want my tax dollars to ensure that these people on a benefit are treated like humans – not like the underground of society; the uncle we don’t mention at family gatherings. As members of NZ, it is our job to keep each other above water. We aren’t meant to watch rich end on dry land, and poor tread water for too long they drown – but we do.
The media focused on the wrong thing and now beneficiaries that are struggling have no light shed on their situation via news media. There was a whole hashtag on twitter “IAmMetiria” and “#IStandWithMetiria” and yet did you see a news report on the thousands of New Zealanders telling their stories of being on the benefit and struggling to get by, or being treated like nothing but an annoyance? Did they bring in other beneficiaries to say “you know what, the system IS flawed and it DOES need fixing”? No. They just played with fire to create a reality show fit for TV and computer screens.
The main point of the story wasn’t that a young mother lied many years back, but that she had to – that a system was so flawed that to survive she had to rig the system. What would you have rather happened? Her and her daughter die from starvation or from health issues? Then you would be complaining that she should’ve tried harder to get more money…at some point you have to stop fighting it and realise that our perfect country isn’t so perfect. That we may treat our people like kings and queens- as long as they’re rich and look the part.
What about Todd Barclay and Bill English? Why did that only last three days in the media? That was far worse than anything Metiria did. Bill English even claimed more than $900 per week (twice what is eligible for an MP), and now owes $32,000…and that was for a house. Metiria owed $7800, for trying to put food on her table for her kid…New Zealand has the wrong priorities and I am so mad that we are willing to let a rich man slide for something done while in parliament for nothing but a luxury, but punish someone who couldn’t get by and couldn’t survive before entering parliament. It is a sad day for my faith in New Zealand today. I have never felt more alone and in this fight on my own than now.