4 Aug 2017

Turei's tipping point - how did we get here?

1:18 pm on 4 August 2017

Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei has ruled herself out of any post-election ministerial positions in the wake of her admissions involving historical benefit disclosures and voting addresses.

Here's how she got to this point:

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Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei says she doesn't regret telling her story, despite some of its repercussions. Photo: RNZ / Demelza Leslie

  • 16 July - Metiria Turei reveals she lied to stop her benefit being cut while struggling to raise her daughter on her own during the 1990s. While announcing her party's families' package, Mrs Turei said she hadn't told Work and Income how many flatmates were living with her.
  • Deputy Prime Minister Paula Bennett, who also received a benefit as a solo parent, said Mrs Turei's admission was disappointing and she had never found herself in a position where she had to lie to Work and Income. Labour Party leader Andrew Little said Mrs Turei was brave and honest to admit to breaking the rules, but National MP Steven Joyce said people would be disappointed.
  • 17 July - Mrs Turei acknowledges she could be charged with fraud and says, if asked, she would be willing to pay any money back.
  • 25 July - Mrs Turei says she has been made aware of another women in the same situation. She declines to reveal the other woman's identity.
  • 26 July - Mrs Turei calls for an amnesty for beneficiaries who break the law so they are not threatened with more poverty if they reveal their circumstances.
  • 26 July - Mrs Turei confirms the Ministry of Social Development is investigating her benefit history.
  • The Green Party's potential coalition partners try to distance themselves from the controversy now surrounding Mrs Turei - Labour stresses the party is separate and has its own campaign, while New Zealand First won't be drawn on whether it could work in a Cabinet with Mrs Turei.
  • 3 August - Mrs Turei is questioned about her benefit history at a meeting with investigators from the Ministry of Social Development.
  • 3 August - Mrs Turei admits enrolling at an address where she was not living, in 1993, saying she did it to vote for a friend who was running as a candidate in that electorate.
  • 4 August - Mrs Turei says she will not be resigning, but will not seek ministerial positions if Labour and the Greens win this year's election.

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