Rt Hon JOHN KEY : As the member knows, that policy, which was introduced by Labour—and I think, in this instance, was correctly positioned that way—ensured that there was always a gap between welfare and work. And if there are not those incentives, all of the academic evidence shows you, actually, that there will be less incentive for people to move off welfare into work. I think that if you have a welfare system in New Zealand, it is a sign of a decent society that looks after people. But it is also a system based on obligation, and, actually, we owe it to the millions of New Zealand taxpayers who work hard to pay their taxes that people who are on welfare feel the obligation that they should go out and work if they possibly can.
Historically, when people did feel an obligation to work if they possibly could, very few were on benefits. That was the case for a number of decades post 1938.
Turei would surely appreciate that during those decades NZ was a more equal society. She can't have it both ways.
(BTW the petition seeking 100,000 signatures to back Metiria Turei is stalled at under 17,000. They couldn't even motivate 93 percent of their own voters.)