GUEST BLOG: Vanessa Kururangi – “A Guide To Politics: Rules on How to Survive”.


Dear Metiria,


I know this piece of advice has come a little too late for you, but I am forwarding you an excerpt from my book:

“A Guide To Politics: Rules on How to Survive”.

Perhaps in hindsight, you might see where you went wrong. Also, it might also be of use for the next bitch who steps out of line… errrr I mean, the next appointed co leader who will carry the Greens into the future.

“A Guide To Politics: How to survive”.

  1. If you’re brown, don’t dream of conquering mountains.
  2. If you’re a woman, don’t you start having an opinion.
  3. If you’re intelligent, play that shit down.
  4. If you have stretch marks, you don’t stand a chance.
  5. If you have aroha, don’t share it with others.
  6. If you extend your arms, it had better not be for a handout.
  7. If you have a voice, keep it zipped.
  8. If you have a skeleton, best you bury the whole house, not just the closet.
  9. Also, learn to lie.

This is the only way, you see? I shall extend these ideas with further explanations below. If you wanted to survive the political life, you needed to have followed the rules.

TDB Recommends

And the rules are:

  1. Must not be brown. You’ll try to do things like “improve life for yours and others whānau” or some shit. Also, we don’t like the risk of having to translate your Reo when you speak it out loud. Anywhere. Anytime. Especially inside the House. And you’ll keep reminding us that there are two Treaty partners. Thats bloody annoying.
  2. If you have a vagina, the policies you stand for will also be focussed on “leaving this Earth in a better state”. And we loathe having to think about that crap. I don’t know why, but being accountable for our actions happens with vagina people around, so we don’t want you here.
  3. It’s okay to be a little smart. But if you’re too smart for your own good and start questioning our systems, we’re gonna have a problem. And if you try to change the way we operate? No. Just no. You can benefit too. If you’re just smart enough to play the game right.
  4. Stretch marks, lactating breasts, spit up on your shoulder, pacifier in your handbag or any other sign of parenthood? That’s not conducive to this environment. Double this statement if you’re a single parent. Triple it if you needed government assistance at any point in your life. Quad-damn-druple this shit if you think you’re going to change state dependency for anyone else.
  5. Aroha is not a thing we recognise. Got it? You must not have, show, or receive any of this thing you call aroha. It must not be allowed to interfere with the introduction of a policy that doesn’t need it.
  6. Arms are only for chokeholds and punch downs. Please refrain from using said arms for affection or hand ups. This is not, I repeat NOT in your job description.
  7. Your voice is not to be used to amplify the struggles of communities – particularly those who are decent, honest and hardworking. In this space, please use your voice for approved tasks. These include but is not limited to: lying, stirring, heckling, gossip, and false accusations. Please restrict words of kindness and decency in your addresses. It only invokes hope.
  8. Skeletons are a dime a dozen. No one needs to see or hear about them. Immediate, ruthless public stoning for anyone who offers a bone to the public. If you allow them to see your skeletons they might become curious about ours. And we don’t exhume.
  9. Lie. Through your teeth. Daily. And smile. Our future depends on it. And if you can’t lie, please refer above to points 7 and 8. But for fecks sakes – never ever confess.

By now Metiria, you must surely recognise that not only did you break ALL of the above rules, you dared to rewrite them. This, as you have discovered, carries unfathomable consequences – including the vilification of not only yourself, but your entire family, friends, acquaintances, and political party. Please inform your Successor of “the rules” so they might tread more lightly, and will be discouraged from following in your footsteps.

Yours Insincerely,

Mr Rightwing.


Vanessa Kururangi is a State House Tenant Advocate


  1. They dont get to win this easily. Marama Davidson has now stepped up to reassure and pledge that they are only stronger now in their determination and desire to rid Nz of poverty. The fight doesnt die with the exit of Meteria. It gets more resolute and more determined. Don’t give up yet. Theres an election coming with a real choice for change. Make sure you vite and if you join the greens you can vote for Marama Davidson as the next co leader. Im sure Meteria Turei would be very proud to have her as her successor.

  2. Thanks for this; it is a hard time, and situation, to find many laughs. But you have succeeded in raising my spirits, and my awareness, at the same time with this post.

  3. This is a long read but a good one, and goes some way to explain the self righteous vitriol and how the moral compass has become skewed
    If we still had any idea of the common good, the collective group, humanity, our morality would have been most offended by a system that punished the vulnerable, encouraged the rest of society to distrust and despise the vulnerable,and happily stood back and watched children go cold , hungry and die in substandard landlord slums
    The fact that poverty still exists , that its on the increase, that so many of we New Zealanders are homeless and dying points to where our morality is today

  4. Vannessa, that was not only darkly funny, it was the plain, unvarnished truth. You must have a very deep perspective on life. I salute you.

    I will be voting Green this year (BOTH ticks!) but they better not pull any shit by allowing Kennedy back on the Green List. Then my vote goes to Mana. I am soooo over mainstream political parties.

  5. Jesus Vanessa. Stop. I always told my daughter girls can and will do everything. I have never cared what colour anybody is. I know it is satire, supposed to be funny BUT time to stop. Turn the clock back and check the progress meters on each point. All are in front of 20 years back.

    The fight is worth it, get back into the ring. Keep the buggers on the back foot.

    • “Jesus” and “Vanessa” in the same sentence (and side by side) made me laugh. You comment as though I DON’T tell every little girl I know that they can and SHOULD do anything in life that they want. We succeed despite “the rules” not because of them, and that is my point. Satire is an (ironically) funny thing. It’s raw, close to the bone, and not everyone gets it. Yes, this blog is dark, and gloomy… exactly the mood I found myself in after text after text came through to inform me of Metirias decision. I can’t and won’t apologise for that. Also, this blog is not just a reference to Metiria – it’s a reflection of all the shit that many people (myself included) have to clap back against everytime we venture into spaces where we are a minority. Thanks for your feedback

  6. This is way too pessimistic.

    Meteria’s problem was not colour or gender or wealth. She naively imagined that the clobbering machine would give her a pass six weeks out from an election.

    When half the people half belive that ALL welfare is a scam, do you imagine they would just shrug when someone boasts of fiddling their declarations?

    To belive that, you would have to spend your time inside an echo chamber. Like many of us do.

    The journalists, like untrained dogs, chase after anything that runs, the haters gonna hate and the ones in the middle go hey diddle diddle because they have no idea what life on a benefit is like.

    Next time, she makes her peace with WINZ quietly in advance of using the story to make her point, and does the whole thing far enough away from the election not to be consumed by election fever.

    You live and learn. And some lessons are tough. Even for the rest of the Greens who signed off on this.

  7. Nicely done.

    Very pissed off with this autocratic far right wing environment with its undemocratic news media talking heads. There is a petition against Mike Hosking hosting the electoral debates. Its currently at 5000 signatures.

    However , along with that , I would like to see a petition started to give a quiet little message to these bought and paid for little neo liberal media shills.

    Just a reminder that many of them are still employed in publicly owned media, and that we , – the voting population on both sides of the fence , – pay their wages.

    And that said , we can start with Patrick Gower. Just a reminder to exercise a small ‘ pulling in of the head’ and that it is not their job brief to influence elections in a healthy democracy…

    Their job is to report the news and be journalists,- not paid for muckrakers to sway public opinion.

  8. Don’t make fraudulent benefit applications and then tell New Zealanders what you have done and you would do it again, because the establishment will make an example of you.

    • Exactly.
      That’s why I’m a cauldron of bubbling emotions right now. Think cow with gas after an iffy curry?
      Why go so far into what had the potential to completely unbalance the ‘ establishment’ then pull back sighting pressure-on-family reasons? That doesn’t make sense. Metiria would have known of the consequences. 15 years in parliament, a lawyer… I reckon she saw a vast, unstoppable wave of dissent rising buoyed by her latent honesty and freaked out. That’s what I think happened. She lost her nerve at the last moment. She would have started painting the floor not giving a hoot which corner she ended up in. Her cause was righteous after all. She just didn’t figure on just how big the flood of paint was shaping up to be.
      Almost everyone I speak to, who still speaks to me, loathes the ‘ establishment’ . They do truly hate National and don’t trust Labour one little bit and with good reason. Think phil goff. King of Auckland and total cock. They speak about voting for one or more of the minority parties with all the resignation of someone with terminal cancer and that’s just the ones that can be arsed voting at all. She was the spark for the powder keg and she fizzled. A terrible shame really and we’re left floundering with a cadre of sociopathic scum bags yet again. And more chilling? Our lives ebb away while the parasites go at us. There’s eight of them above.

    • No , – only the National party attack dog media will make any ‘ example’.

      And by establishment I presume you mean all of us – as we are the ‘establishment’. And last time I looked ? – there was a ton of us backing Metiria.

      And more to the point – her courage in taking on the neo liberal narrative about treating unemployed , the poor and the chronically ill on benefits as if they were shit on the end of their shoes.

      And that narrative is now out of the box and will never ever be able to be put back in. Its out there. And it is a damning indictment not only on National but the paid and bought for embedded media shills they’ve used for the last few years in their Dirty Politics tactics.

      And those tribal voters who keep voting them back in.

    • Well Dave, disagree again.

      Parliament is the highest court in the land that is controled by the majority once every 3 years. And in parliament it is possible to retrospectively okay fraudulent behaviour the most commen seems to be around GCSB spying on NZ citizens during a time when it was ileagal. But it’s now okay to spy on every one. Amazing.

      Further. WINZ investigators do not have powers of arrest. They just collect evidence. Mets won’t even step inside a court if she pays any arrears back in full. She dosnt even have a criminal record over this. So news of Mets legal problems have been serverly over hyped by illiterates and I’m not even gana link or sight shit because I think your a real cunt right now,

      • Sorry can’t agree either, Nationals share of the vote was 47.2 % of votes cast not a majority and considering how many people who really needed to vote and did not, make National a minority government.
        You make the mistake in thinking that Mets even matters anymore,she’s gone and possibly the desperately needed change of government,which may have gone with her self disclosures.
        I couldn’t care less what Mets received as a beneficiary, what I lament is the damage done to ,what could have been a Labour/Greens coalition government.
        Changing the government was and is much bigger than Mets an her historical transgressions.

        • Are you illiterate. I’m a Hone Harawira fan boy. James Shaw is some one I respect because his values are staunch in a different more financially literate what than Hone but they are of the same coin.

          The future is not set in stone. EQC has billions in unfunded repairs to complete and no way of funding that infrastructure deficit. Not to mention Auckland.

          According to Check-Point today all 16 DHB’s are running a deficit north of $100 mil and Suzan St John says it’s even worse than that, 2 billion got ripped from the health budget.

          My point is personality and poll watching is weakening your mind. New Zealand is in the shit and on the right side of the isles, they can’t even mention it, not because it is false. Because it is true. So they will continue to deny so when they are on the cross benches they can blame labour for there fuck ups and you are falling into the right wing conspiracy trap.

          I really can’t figure out if you are dumb or trained really, really, really well.

  9. Does any of this classism and racism apply to John Banks (later cleared) , Aaron Gilmour, or Todd Barclay?
    When you switch from questions of fact to the alleged motivations of your opponents, it’s a sure admission of guilt, and concession of defeat.

    Btw, you are aware we have had multiple female ministers, PMs, Governor Generals, etc?

    • John Banks

      * Long history of allegiance with Don Brash , ACT and by association ,… far right wing neo liberalism, divisive politics , used Dotcom as a stooge then was found out resulting in several high profile court appearances and convictions. Possibly some redeeming quality’s with regard to knowledge of the Littlewood treaty , but compromised due to selling out various party’s and individuals for political expediency / in order to achieve his own goals using that as a base. Not generally regarded publicly as a particularity savory character but rather as duplicitous . Therefore generally regarded as currently unfit for pubic office despite a long political career spanning several decades.

      Aaron Gilmour

      Pretentious junior politician who desired recognition for social position before any significant contributions were made to that society. Caught out by an undeveloped mastery of legal substance abuse. Displayed a latent aggressive streak towards members of the public born primarily out of a sense of entitlement that was unwarranted. Therefore unfit for office.

      Todd Barclay

      Another ‘ junior’ aspiring MP of the incumbent political party who displayed a fundamental ignorance of the very laws that his govt was charged to draft up in order to protect the privacy of the New Zealand public. Displayed contempt for those laws regarding privacy and the NZ Bill of Rights in pursuit of his own personal political ambitions. Also a certain personal ‘ vindictiveness’ / ‘ paranoia’ ,- born out of a sense of insecurity/ inexperience and possibly reinforced by feelings of misguided loyalty / deference to his immediate superiors. Has been instrumental in jeopardizing the collective whole despite attempts at diversion and an uncooperative attitude towards law enforcement.

      General public appraisal : Unfit for office.

Comments are closed.