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Metiria Turei and WINZ Overpayments

It took Tau Henare 48 hours to pay back the money he was overpaid by WINZ. Will Metiria Turei take as long?


17 JULY 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

It’s not good enough for Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei to weasel word an offer to repay her benefit fraud proceeds only ‘if WINZ asks her’, says the Taxpayers’ Union. The Union is comparing Ms Turei’s case to that of former Minister of Maori Affairs and Mauri Pacific leader, Tau Henare, who in 2000 admitted an over payment of $47 from WINZ. According to NZ Herald reporting at the time, Mr Henare received a “call that night from an irate Jenny Shipley” (see http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=5839 ).

Jordan Williams, a spokesperson for the Taxpayers’ Union, asks “Why wait for WINZ? Doesn't she know right from wrong?”

"This is putting the Ministry, and its CEO, Brendan Boyle, in an impossible position. They know very well that Ms Turei has a real chance of being their Minister in a few months time. Her putting this on them is a disgrace. If she was a Minister this would surely be a sackable offense."

“Ms Turei is now a member of the top 1% of income earners. If she doesn’t pay the money back now, it suggests a serious entitlement complex.”

“The Taxpayers’ Union supported Ms Turei’s demands in relation to Todd Barclay, that Members of Parliament not be afforded special treatment by the Police. We expect the same approach to be taken in relation to this new admission of criminal misdoing by an MP.”

Notes:

Section 228 of the Crimes Act 1961, Dishonestly taking or using document, has a maximum penalty of imprisonment up to 7 years. Under the Criminal Procedure Act 2011, there is no limitation on a charging document being filed because the penalty is a category 2 offence and carries a term of imprisonment exceeding 3 years (refer to section 25(2)(a)).

ENDS


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