GUEST BLOG: Lizzie Cook – Christine Rankin’s Shameful ‘Legacy’



At the time that Metiria Turei was dealing with trying to obtain a ‘living’ benefit, Christine Rankin was head of what we know as WINZ and her and her Deputy threw lavish parties and spent loads of money on doing up their offices. Allegations were that Rankin was incredibly lazy and did very little in the way of work.

Meanwhile, the troops (employees) at the ‘coalface’ were told under no circumstances to let any ‘clients’ know what they were entitled to! They were to stonewall any attempts by clients to get any help that was actually available for them.

Quite obviously, there are thousands of people out there who have suffered this treatment and it is reasonable to suppose that a fair percentage of those people would have been driven to commit some form of dishonesty, in order to live!

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Investigative journalism is interested in the ‘why’. An investigator must ask, why did something happen, or this case, not happen? And so I ask (again), why were Jacinda Ardern and Kelvin Davis not standing strong in solidarity with Metiria Turei in relation to the National Party’s terrible record with people at the bottom end of society. It is shameful what any of us have had to endure going to those WINZ offices to beg for help at any time during National’s stints in Parliament.


Lizzie Cook is descended from White English, Irish and Welsh Settlers to Aotearoa in the time of Queen Victoria and the British Empire. She is a PhD candidate at Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha/University of Canterbury. Her thesis working title is: White Settler Bliss of Cruelty.


  1. I’ve also heard something about Rankin from a person who knew Rankin’s partner which I won’t go into. Needless to say it wouldn’t put her in a good light.

    To do so would make me as bad as David Seymour who is casting wild rumours about Metiria Turei.

    The irony is that Seymour is part of the New Right who are responsible from our broken social welfare system. He’s part of the problem.

    • It’s bloody hard keeping quiet at times though eh @Frank. Rspecially when faced with rankin hypocrisy preaching a moral code! Kudos to you for keeping it in check in one or two other posts.
      There’d be one or two johnalists in the know of rankin ilk too preaching the moral high ground.

      • +1

        (Though I think I may’ve heard the same rumour being discussed about Rankin at a dinner party in UPPER HUTT.)

  2. I think we (the Greens) are being taken for a ride with the MOU. Labour has a “brave” new face for neoliberalism with Ardern and Davis, so the Greens will be unceremoniously dumped on 23/9

    • Dumped for who? Who is Labour going to form a govt with (assuming they can at all)? Whether it is is your choice, Garibaldi, (Greens) or mine (NZ First) — or both — neither of those “support parties” is committed to neoliberal policies and outlook. I do wish all of you in the Greens (and any in Labour as well) who want NZ to stop its 30+ year infatuation with neoliberal economic policy, would remember that NZ First is also committed to ending this! Yes, we may have policy disagreements on HOW to do this — but agreeing that an economic policy that sees any govt interference and regulation as evil must end — is a key point where we can all agree and work together.

  3. I just sent an email to Andrew Kirton saying Labour need to remember who many of their constituents are Maori, PI and many of our poor pakeha whanau many will have either been on a benefit or their whanau on one at sometime.
    If they want all of the Maori seats they need to zip the lip if they cant say anything positive don’t say anything at all.

  4. Lizzie Cook

    You seem to be inviting everybody to defraud Winz. I don’t think even Metiria has done that.

    It is only human of you to be jealous of Jacinda. But your small mindedness will ensure that rotten old National will stay in power and make the very wealthy even more wealthy.

    Metiria wants an end to Poverty. You want and end to Jacinda. I am going with Metiria.

    Do you understand Lizzie?

    • To suggest that Lizzie is jealous of Jacinda is just so much nonsense. Jacinda was an adviser to Blair the war crminal and his hangers on. Lizzie Cook would never ever sell herself like that I can assure you. She is a principled woman of very long standing who has a history of standing up for things that truly matter in our society!

      OT to suggest that people should ‘back Labour and Jacinda’ and not say anything critical because we need a change of government is absolutely ridiculous. People need to understand where Jacinda comes from she isn’t the wonderful woman she has been painted as – she has never really done anything, pushed through any bill or stood up for anything that I can find.

      I think Labour will be as it has been for a long time, National lite. They want to appeal to everyone across the spectrum which means now they are centre to centre right.

      The Greens of course are where we should all be at if we want a better environment, education, health an end to poverty.

    • You seem to be inviting everybody to defraud Winz

      It is WINZ that is inviting beneficiaries to defraud, by deliberately setting benefit levels below those required for people to be able to access adequate nutrition.

    • We have to get out of thinking that Labour is necessary. Forget Labour. Make alliances between Green, Māori, Mana, Top. We have to use MMP not a 2-party mentality. Labour are centrist. They are not left. Is there a Left, left anyway? Is the argument now more about policies that will fight Poverty which is where I agree with you totally. I am anti personality politics where a lame party will get in. I think Metiria is the charisma we ought to follow because she is not selfish ambitious. What I have tried to point out is the lameness of voting for ‘fresh blood’ when the party record is rotten for Māori (Labour is not post-colonial) and now we can quite clearly say rotten also for ‘the poor’.

  5. Think we should add a new meaning to pedophilia – Rankin-phil.

    Harmed more kids with her ergonomic pens than any human.

    Glad she got fired.

  6. Who’s was/is in charge between 2005-2009. I was subject to WINZ fraud, and many others too. Atleast in the Auckland area.

    I want an inquiry into WINZ itself not following proper procedures and trying to use that to push anyone off the benefit they can, no matter how sick they were. It actually went on for 2 years atleast as I found out later.

  7. Who was/is in charge of WINZ in the years 2004-2009?

    I want an inquiry into WINZ itself not following proper procedures and trying to use that to push anyone off the benefit they can, no matter how sick they were. It actually went on for 2 years atleast as I found out later.

    • So it wasn’t my imagination.

      The ‘designated doctors’ were a bit of a giveaway. The switch from hard yet fair, to people with a malicious delight in insisting that a chronic and worsening condition ‘just needed a bit of work. You’re not your illness you know.’

      Thanks, Peter.

  8. “At the time that Metiria Turei was dealing with trying to obtain a ‘living’ benefit, Christine Rankin was head of what we know as WINZ…”

    To be fair to Rankin, she wasn’t appointed until 1998, whereas Turei herself has said the following:

    “Turei says she was on the domestic purposes benefit – set up for single mums – at various times from 1993 to 1998.”

    By the time Rankin was appointed, it looks as if Turei was winding down her time on the dpb.

    Please don’t read this as support for Rankin as CEO of WINZ; that’s certainly not the case! Those were terrible times for beneficiaries on Rankin’s watch.

    I fully support advocacy for beneficiaries and others in poverty – I vividly remember what it was like being on a benefit during the 1990s – and advocacy includes hoisting up wages out of poverty territory, and raising benefits to live-on-able levels. It is to the great shame of the Clark administration that it failed to raise benefits when it had the opportunity. That was pusillanimous on its part.

    However, I consider Turei to have done the wrong thing, both by lying to WINZ about her living arrangements in the 90s, and her electoral fraud. That other people have done such things in no way justifies Turei’s own actions.

    In my view, she ought to step down as co-leader of the Greens. Two MPs from her own party have shown her what acting honourably and with principle looks like. I’d think better of her, had she done what they’ve done.

    I’m well aware of pollies in the current government – not least the PM – who should also resign over their behaviour. But it by no means follows that, because they haven’t done so, it’s ok for Turei to dig her heels in and refuse to go. It isn’t.

  9. Rankin is now like some other has-beens – an ‘expert.’ Like some of those who were also hopeless when they were actually in their prime. Rodney Hide.

    Saw a vomit-making appearance on tv last week. They should get her back on to question her about claims made on here. She is definitely interested in talking about that period. She is probably brazen enough to appear and defend the profligacy of her regime and the appalling attitude to the humanitarian aspects of what she should have been about.

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