January 22, 2018
Media targeting wrong story
Green MP Marama Davidson has attacked a media obsession with former leader Metiria Turei's benefit payments.
Ms Turei stepped down as co-leader after a hostile response to her revelation she had concealed information from welfare authorities while receiving a benefit as a young solo mother.
She refused to respond to questions from the Sunday Herald as to whether she had repaid any debt, and the Ministry of Social Development said it could not comment on individual cases.
Lobby group the Taxpayers' Union accused the ministry of stonewalling the public, and Act leader David Seymour, who has been described as the country's highest paid beneficiary for the way his Epsom seat was gifted to him by the National Party, said the investigation was taking too long.
Ms Davidson says the former MP is entitled to her privacy from the media.
"They were incredibly hostile to her. She owes them nothing. The stories we need to be talking about is our welfare system needs to be reformed. It's not serving the needs it was set up to do. It is continuing to harshly penalise families, elderly, children, when we want to make sure communities and whanau are strong," she says.
The Greens will push for reform of the welfare system and the harsh and punitive rules imposed on beneficiaries.
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