A guest post by Radvad:
So Metiria, you want to have a conversation about social justice. Ok then, I will bite and outline a couple of things your one dimensional view of welfare overlooks.
Firstly, for social justice to be just it must be a two way street, otherwise it is not just. Beneficiaries are not the only ones with skin in the game, benefactors are just as involved, perhaps more so. Of course the former want to know they can expect a steady income for a period of time but the latter also have expectations. They need to know their money is being used to help only those in genuine need, that it is used responsibly and that it is considered a hand up and not a hand out. Most importantly benefactors need assurance all measures are taken to prevent the system being ripped off. Accordingly it is socially just that there is an expectation that beneficiaries be as work ready as possible, that they be honest about their circumstances and that both parents contribute to the welfare of their child(ren) whether or not they live together.
There is another angle I doubt you have considered. The giving and receiving of gratitude is a significant thread in the fabric of a functioning society. Unfortunately the state has put itself in between benefactors and beneficiaries so gratitude does not get a look in. The result is both parties become resentful, one because they do not have enough and the other because they consider the system is being abused.
Meteria, I invite you to consider a totally different scenario to the one you find yourself in now. Just imagine if, when you announced your historical fraud, you also announced you had approached social welfare to assess what you should repay, that you were deeply sorry you had abused the trust that benefactors had in the system and that you are extremely GRATEFUL for the assistance you and Piu Piu received.
If you had taken this course I confidently suggest we would really be having that conversation you keep talking about and Green party support would now be north of 20%. Such a lost opportunity.
Radvad makes a very good point that the issue is not what was done 25 years ago but how Turei has spoken about it.