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The Standard

Note to John Key and David Shearer

Written By: - Date published: 7:29 am, May 28th, 2013 - 89 comments
Categories: capitalism, child welfare, david shearer, education, hone harawira, john key, labour, mana-party, maori party, national, poverty, wages - Tags:

Dear John and David,

It is ultimately the government’s responsibility to ensure parents and their families to get sufficient income (from jobs and/or benefits) so that they can afford to feed their children.

 

PS: There is already Hone Harawira’s Bill that all parties should get behind – Maori Party especially should take note.

feed-the-kids

89 comments on “Note to John Key and David Shearer”

  1. Yep.

    Key is vulnerable on the issue and I am sure that National’s polling confirms this. Why else would they announce the anti child porn law change at the same time than to show they are concerned for the kids.

    As was discussed yesterday by r0b it is time for the left to get its own narrative going on issues. Mimicking National’s is not going to cut it.

  2. Elizabeth Bourchier 2

    Labour should be unequivocal and loud in its support of the disadvantaged.
    And in support of a strong left of centre agenda.

    Labour’s poll stagnation is not because of its leftish stances. It is because it puts its case weakly and apologetically and adds in a few “but”s and”maybe”s. The public can’t stand politicians that don’t back themselves.
    Robertson’s shilly shally on the power market change proposals, by stating that we will not intervene like that again, is an example if this.
    Shearers equivocation on the food for hungry children issue was poorly advised.

    • rosy 2.1

      Shearer – 9/9/12

      ”If kids turn up to school not having eaten breakfast, without shoes, or sick because their house is cold and damp, it’s obvious they won’t get the best start,” Shearer said.

      ”I hear people argue that this is the responsibility of parents. We can debate that endlessly but it won’t change this reality: tomorrow morning kids will still turn up to school hungry. And a hungry kid is a distracted kid who can disrupt an entire classroom.

      Shearer – 17/5/13

      Labour leader David Shearer said providing breakfast to children was ultimately a parent’s responsibility and any programme must be targeted.”

      I would support anything that would enable kids to go with full stomachs,’’ as long as it was not rolled out to all schools, he said.

      It’s the tone, isn’t it? What changed between the two statements, I wonder.

      • marty mars 2.1.1

        good work rosy – how can his position change over that short period of time – there is much more going on here – perhaps he angling for Minister of Finance in the new Grand coalition between the gnats and labour after the next election

        • rosy 2.1.1.1

          I’d be interested to see a timeline of new appointees, e.g. strategists, and Labour party events over this timeframe. One of those statements is not Shearer speaking for himself.

          • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.1.1

            Uh I thought Shearer’s performance was supposed to be improving over this 6 month period.

        • Murray Olsen 2.1.1.2

          A grand coalition between Shearer’s Labour and NAct wouldn’t surprise me at all. National know Shearer’s Labour is no threat to business as usual, and I’d put money on someone like Goff or Mallard preferring to work with NAct rather than those Mana/Green radicals. It’d be the official end of the Labour Party, but overdue by 30 years anyway. We need to be building something quickly. We’ll need it sooner rather than later.

    • David H 2.2

      What’s needed is someone like Cunliffe, who can explain all the complicated shit in layman’s terms and then tell you how he’s going to fix it and with no doubletalk!

      What is lacking in Labour and is one of the reasons i will not vote for them is is the ability to lay out policy in a clear and concise way.
      They have not mentioned what they will do about these draconian and Dickinson measures that are being put in place. No mention of repealing, no mention of raising the benefit back to the pre Richardson hammering. The 800,000 still have no reason to vote, no one gives a rats arse about them, they are just pawns in a game that is being played by the rich and powerful,so why should they vote?

      Our assets are being sold, and if the Nats get in again, then you will see the fire sale of the treasures of NZ to the 1%

      • David H 2.2.1

        That should read

        What is lacking in Labour and is one of the reasons i will not vote for them is is the inability to lay out policy in a clear and concise way.

  3. Ad 3

    Why is John Key beginning to sound more like Michael Joseph Savage than David Shearer?

    And Key is of course smart enough to suck the Mana Party oxygen, squash its bill, and deliver most of its policy gains anyway without resorting to parliament at all.

    Anyone who thinks thhis election is more likely to be won by Labour than National has not heard how hard Key is fighting; he sees the campaign as already started.

    • Agreed Ad.

      And I bet in the background there are some National Ministers chewing their fingers off at the thought that they may be (in their words) helping deadbeat parents shirk their responsibilities.

      But if this is what has to be sacrificed so that National can keep selling off the state’s silver to their mates then they will no doubt live with it.

  4. BM 4

    Why is it never the parent, parents fault.
    I’d say 99% of these kids that are missing out are because of bad choices made by their parent/parents.
    Giving extra money to the parent won’t help, if a kid turns up to school hungry, filthy and riddled with parasites then there’s something not quite right at home.
    It would be better to remove the child from the situation and place the child within a foster home until the parent can demonstrate the ability to look after his/her children.

    This feed the kids bollocks is just another band-aid, ambulance at the bottom of the cliff scenario.Fix the home life and then they’d be no need to “feed the kids”

    • Elizabeth Bourchier 4.1

      250,000 hungry children are a measure of the failed economic policies of Bill English and the Scrooge antics of Paula Bennett.
      Excellent parents working multiple low wage shift jobs will have no argument with the kids being fed in school.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 4.2

      Why do you think that whose “fault” it is in the slightest bit relevant, other than to stroke your sick vigilantism?

      How would you “fix” the “home life”.

      • BM 4.2.1

        Like I said, remove the child from the home and place it within state care.
        The child is not returned until the parent can demonstrate they have the skill and ability to look after and provide a healthy safe environment for the child.

        We have a very generous welfare system in NZ especially for people that have children.

        How would I fix the home life.
        By a providing courses to educate the parents, eg budgeting, parent skills, etc.

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 4.2.1.1

          Three questions:

          1. How do you plan to fund this massive expansion of Nanny State intervention?
          2. Have you heard of “The Stolen Generation”?
          3. Why are you advocating failed policies that have made the problem worse everywhere else racist trash have implemented them?

          • BM 4.2.1.1.1

            So all the hungry abused kids are Maori?
            Racist much.

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead 4.2.1.1.1.1

              I think that’s the usual dog whistle that accompanies the war on the poor in New Zealand, yes.

              So attacks on beneficiaries double as attacks on Maori, pandering to racist memes. You cry crocodile tears for the children while demonising the parents every chance you get, and of course as soon as the children grow up a bit you turn on them too.

              • Monty

                But sadly the reality is that Maori are terribly over represented in all such statistics. That is not to say that Pacific, NZ European Asian and African kids are not represented, no doubt they are.

                • tracey

                  agreed, but seperating the kids from their families as BM proposes (he hasn’t outlined his programme and criteria yet) but has said it will be for 3 months only isnt the issue no matter what ethnicity the children are. Their stomachs are empty regardless of their ethnicity.ma.

              • Murray Olsen

                +1 OAK
                When the kids grow up they hit them with the War on Drugs.

        • BLiP 4.2.1.2

          We have a very generous welfare system in NZ especially for people that have children.

          Lets define terms, shall we? It might help you understand what seems to be an issue beyond your grasp. Start with your definition of “generous” and provide a comparison of New Zealand’s welfare system with that of, say, Australia. kthxbai.

    • So BM let’s presume there are 30,000 kids in this situation. These are all back of the envelope calculations but to take them all into care you will need 300 social workers at (total cost) $30 mil a year, 30,000 new caregivers at $10k a year would be $300 mil, legal bills (Judges and lawyers) would probably be a further $100 mil so all up this exercise could cost you and me $430 million.

      That is per taxpayer about $200 bucks a year. It will cause the most intense level of misery you could imagine.

      Or we could be charitable and make sure that a hungry kid gets enough to eat so they can at least learn. This would cost a lot less.

      What do you prefer?

      • BM 4.3.1

        I disagree.
        Also if the kids are removed from the home, during that time Mum or Dad no longer receive child support for those particular children.

        Surprised a lefty would be so concerned about tax payers money especially when it involves hungry abused kids.
        Might cost a bit of money up front but within a short period of time child poverty would be fixed and the ongoing savings would be immense.
        .

        I’d like to see some sort of nation wide network of state run foster houses modeled on a similar system to the IHC setup as well as some sort of Marae based foster system.

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 4.3.1.1

          Surprised a Righty would make feeble attempts to perpetuate a false frame about that party that reduces public debt every time it comes to power? Not really; they lack the imagination to say anything new, so they parrot these lies long past their use-by date.

          But it is interesting to watch them trip over their own dicks when they do try and think for themselves. Food in schools is far and away a cheaper investment than forcing your victims families apart, and food in schools will do some good, rather than remake New Zealand as a Dickensian Hell.

          • BM 4.3.1.1.1

            I’m sure those kids would be gutted to be removed from an environment where Mum/Dads always wasted, strange people turning up at all hours to get on the piss and drugs
            No food in the house, getting told to shut up and fuck off all the time.

            Yeah, a place where kids feel safe and get looked after would be a Dickensian Hell compared to their home life.

            Out of interest are you an ex pom?

            • BLiP 4.3.1.1.1.1

              ^^^ DNFTT

            • marty mars 4.3.1.1.1.2

              Well at least you are getting to your real point bm instead of pretending to care about the kids.

              • BM

                Yeah, I’m struggling with these leftys complaining about cost, one gets the feeling it’s more about massaging ones ego than actually fixing anything.
                Facts are most of these kids are the ones that go and commit crime, spend time in prison, drop out of school and end up on the bene at huge, huge cost to NZ.

                I can see Marae with houses on site where the kids are placed, the elders can then look after and teach the young ones how to behave, the kids can also help out around the Marae giving them structure and purpose.

                What I am thinking would end the generational welfare cycle and cut crime to practically zero.

                • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                  I can see a concentration camp. There’s a guy who opens and closes the gate. It’s BM.

                  • BM

                    Fuck,you’re silly old git
                    You’re in NZ now bud, we don’t do things they way they used to in ol’ Blighty.
                    I realize it may be tough for you to understand especially with the level of colonialist superiority you tend to display, but not everything is like or should be like England.

            • rosy 4.3.1.1.1.3

              “I’m sure those kids would be gutted to be removed from an environment where Mum/Dads always wasted, strange people turning up at all hours to get on the piss and drugs. No food in the house, getting told to shut up and fuck off all the time.”

              You would be surprised then bm, to find that kids will fight with all they’ve got to remain with the only people they’ve ever bonded with no matter how neglected they are. Especially if siblings are involved. Best to try and sort the environment they know that take them away.

              • BM

                Once the environment is sorted, then they can go back.
                For the majority I’d say 3 months max would be how long the kids would stay within the foster home setup.
                I think for the system to work, it has to be a combination of carrot and stick, most of the approaches I see tend to be all carrot, people getting rewarded for being crap parents is no good.
                People have to realize the consequences of their actions otherwise they never learn.

                • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                  You’ve been advised of the consequences of your actions and it hasn’t taught you jack shit: you’re still pushing failed policies that not only fail, they exacerbate.

                  On the other hand, show one real world example where family separation policies have produced a good result. One. Put up or shut up.

                  • BM

                    IHC, which is why I mentioned them.

                    Go back to England, pal.
                    I’m sure you’d be a lot more happier.

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      Bzzt. IHC is a false analogy.

                      And drop the facile conceit that you have a clue about my whakapapa.

                    • tracey

                      IHC???

                      hardly comparing carrots with carrots. Do you mean like Parklands and similar have been very sucessful?

                • tracey

                  What is your three months based on? Gosh 3 months to resolve drug and alcohol dependency and become fabulous parents. This programme of yours MB, should be rolled out immediately. Can you post the research and outline of how the programme works for us?

        • tracey 4.3.1.2

          You disagree but you cannot even as gusesswork contradict the figures put to you. You also have no evidence to back your assertion that “within a short period of time child poverty would be fixed.”

          WHAT do you base it on. What is your experience with IHC that you propose it as a model.

          Wouldn’t it be better to feed the kids at school to enhance their learning (education is power) and work with the parents (with your parenting/budgetting programmes – which are in place already btw) and then provide 100% employment and a living wage?

    • tracey 4.4

      You probably have your statistic the wrong way round and only about 1% of parents are making bad choices. Do you know how many children are actually going to school without breakfast each day, and why BM? or are you guessing?

      Yes, foster homes for the 99%, that you claim, that will be a simple fix. More over simplistic thinking will not solve this problem short or long term.

    • tracey 4.5

      Someone who works with and around families in this situation seems to disagree with you BM, at least in part.

      “The root of this problem is when people get power bills or things like that which are higher than expected and they need to choose, food, or pay the bills.” principal of Hora Hora School in Whangarei, Pat Newman.

      I suppose if we put the kids in a foster home the power bill would be lower aye BM?

    • BM – so you think that $350 a week in wages has nothing to do with it?

      Take out rent…

      Take out electricity…

      Hmmm, not much left, is there?

      “Fix the home life and then they’d be no need to “feed the kids””

      Or, fix wages in this country?

  5. just saying 5

    http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/dont-be-fooled-iain-duncan-smiths-attack-on-pensioners-is–really-an-attack-on-all-of-us-8591518.html

    A dangerous trap for the left imo. Owen Jones (above) shows why it is essential for the provision of any kind of decent welfare and public services for the poorest, that all such provision be universally available.
    The Bristish Tories are talking about cutting the pensions of wealthy pensioners. To the hardest-pressed, this may seem reasonable and fair. But as the elites increasingly use their growing share of the pie on private healthcare, private education, private income insurance, private protection services, and private pensions, etc. they are barely engaged in the world that most of us occupy, and less and less affected by its disintegration.

    The universal basis of social security is this: “Everyone pays in, everyone gets something back.” It should be seen as inextricably linked with citizenship: that all of us have access to certain rights, whoever we are. On technical grounds, universalism works: it is the most efficient, cheap, easily understandable and simple way of administering the welfare state. Take a look at a Scandinavian country like Sweden. The wealthiest pay one of the highest tax rates in the world – nearly 57 per cent – and get the same excellent cradle-to-grave benefits as everybody else. Sweden, of course, is one of the most equal, best-functioning societies on earth, as nations with universal welfare states tend to be.

    But what the assault on universalism really means is the further destruction of Britain’s already-collapsing social cohesion. The Tory strategy since coming to power has involved the most shameless attempt to turn large sections of the electorate against each other since the Second World War. If you’re a low-paid worker suffering cuts to your pay packet and tax credits then you are encouraged to be enraged that the less deserving unemployed “scrounger” is not being mugged sufficiently. Stripping the welfare state of its universalism will breed a middle-class that is furious about paying large chunks of tax, getting nothing back and subsidising the supposedly less deserving. It will accelerate the demonisation of the British poor.

    • A very good point, just saying.

      Universal provision is the cornerstone of a collectivist approach. Without that, it’s all divide and conquer.

      Too many people see social security as a ‘handout’ rather than as the right and privilege of citizenship. In the former case, it becomes seen as nothing more than state charity and, hence, its recipients become seen as ‘bludgers’, ‘skivers’, etc. (who, therefore, can be said to ‘suffer’ from ‘dependency’) rather than as equal citizens.

      In terms of feeding schoolchildren, the state compulsorily institutionalises children for the best part of ten years or more of their waking lives and yet provides absolutely no nutrition during the hours that it requires children be compulsorily detained. Instead, it expects parents to provide that nutrition and then blames those who don’t. It’s hypocrisy given that, during the school day, the school has a duty of care (though, technically, teachers are no longer in loco parentis) yet is not feeding the children at all.

      By BM’s analysis, the children should be taken out of the care of the state because of its neglect of them.

      School lunches, at a minimum, should be universally provided for all detained children as a matter of basic decency and responsibility.

      The state should not have the right to detain children without also the responsibility to provide for them. It is morally deficient to demand one (the ‘right’) without accepting the other (the ‘responsibility’).

      • tracey 5.1.1

        I don’t get the apparent indignation of many who live nice comfortable lives at helping (with others and not alone) the vulnerable amongst us. This group never get as hot under the collar or as vengeful against those who use their wealth to avoid that which they can afford to pay; know they should pay. Why so much dislike for a group of which about 96% (I am guessing) are genuinely living within or at their means, not drinking, not smoking, going without for their kids, and still struggling?

        When did we decide as a nation that the poorest amongst us have to be like the slums of India before we feel any compassion for them?

        • McFlock 5.1.1.1

          It seems to me to be an issue of “finding reasons to not do” rather than any genuine limit of compassion. Themselves, their friends and family members they like will always be “deserving poor”, but anyone they don’t know or like is “undeserving poor”.

          I’ve never been the most sensitive guy in the world, but it’s always seemed to me that saying “the parents should do it” or “they’re homeless because of their own life choices” is merely assigning blame in order to avoid discussing how to solve the problem. However, it also seems to me that some people think that assigning blame brings the discussion to an end.

      • just saying 5.1.2

        Thanks for making explicit, the link between my comment and the subject at hand. Sometimes what’s obvious in your own head…
        Anyway, there is nothing stopping the state from providing tasty, healthy meals to every school pupil. In the process, some hassle, anxiety, and expense would be lifted from the shoulders of every parent or caregiver.
        And new jobs would be created -win-win-win.

  6. HG 6

    “It is ultimately the government’s responsibility to ensure parents and their families to get sufficient income (from jobs and/or benefits) so that they can afford to feed their children.”

    No its not. Responsibility ultimately lies with parents.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 6.1

      No, HG, responsibility lies with you, and me, and everyone else who is in a position to help, for we will bear the costs of not doing so.

      Why is blame such a huge part of your response to this? What use is it? Do you honestly believe that people will respond positively to your disdain?

    • bad12 6.2

      Yes we can all sit here in comfort effetely tapping out our small snippets of chagrin, blaming either the Government or parents for the fact that there are far too many malnourished children turning up at our schools,

      On this i agree with the Slippery little Shyster we have as Prime Minister of this country, while we debate ”responsibility” those kids will still be turning up at school having had no breakfast and having brought with them no lunch either,

      It then becomes mere stupidity to continue such a circular argument surrounding ”responsibility”, the imperative in any sane society would be to first ensure that ALL children have access to both breakfast and lunch at school and fools wishing to debate ”responsibility” can then chatter away to their hearts content,

      There are good parents and bad parents who for whatever reasons struggle to provide the necessary diet to their children, identifying on an individual basis the causes of why this continues to occur would ultimately cost the State more in dollar terms than it would to simply provide a comprehensive food in schools program,

      In a country where one supermarket chain admits to dumping 30,000 tonnes of perfectly edible food to landfills annually it is an obscenity to think that daily 100,000 kids are going to school without breakfast or lunch…

      • tracey 6.2.1

        Agree. Those choosing to make the discussion about whose fault it is are merely refusing to aid suffering children. They can disguise it however they like but it comes from a place of judgment and revenge. We must punish these bad people before we consider anything else, or at least alongside anything else, because punishment is known to produce huge and immediate change for the good!

    • tracey 6.3

      Which is why some steal, to get the income to assist their families. But that is, of course, wrong too. If some people here do not see a connection between wages and work opportunities and lack of food and hygiene in homes then I feel for them. Of course there are bad parents receiving welfare. Just as there are bad parents earning over $100,000 a year. Both result in consequences, mostly in the criminal area which costs us all money but only one gets focused on for berating.

      I’d like to see ante natal classes as focused on parenting skills as on caring for the baby as such, and freely available even if run at a “loss”. getting children off to a good start begins in the womb. parents don’t magically know how to be parents, they know most of what they do from a book or their own experiences. If your own experience is awful and you are semi literate….

  7. It is interesting to watch National squirm on this issue.

    Make no mistake the tories would rather gnaw their hands off than hand out charity to poor people’s kids but they face this terrible dilemma. The pressure on the Maori Party to support Hone’s feed the kids bill must be huge. If the MP vote against it then I think they can kiss their future goodbye. But if they buckle then National could lose a vote opposing a measure designed to give hungry kids a feed.

    Crosby Textor could not fix the adverse PR up and the nats would be shown to be the penny pinching mean spirited bunch of doofuses we know that they are.

    So this is why through gritted teeth they are trying to get a package together.

    This afternoon’s announcement should be interesting.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 7.1

      I hope someone asks whether the “private” part of the funding will be tax deductible.

      Not that it shouldn’t be, just that it effectively means the government is funding the whole package.

      • DavidW 7.1.1

        If you think that having something as “tax deductable” means that the Government is paying for it all then a) I have a bridge in central Auckland for sale, are you interested? and b) great choice of nickname!

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 7.1.1.1

          Um, yes, on reflection I may have been suffering from a caffeine deficit when I made that comment.

      • tracey 7.1.2

        33% of any charitable donation is rebated, so it is a “loss” by a revenue collecting government. However the corollary is that without that carrot the other 66% would never have been donated.

    • DavidW 7.2

      Count a few “tories” among your close confidants do you Micky? Aware of how miserable and uncharitable they are? God you come across as a bitter and disillusioned sad person with comments like the one above.

      While we all know you practice at the low end of town, why do you feel you have to take it out on the clients you wish you had but who instead choose someone with talent and optimism to be their legal advisor. A glance in the mirror some time wouldn’t go astray.

      [lprent: 4 educational week ban for going well over the bounds of pointless abuse. FFS your abuse didn’t even reference the content of the comment you were replying to.

      Incidentally, if you want to start down that path then eventually you will find out that I tend (metaphorically) to rip your bloody scrotum from your quaking body before I stuff up your nose so you can find out how much of a complete noisome fuckwit you appear to be to others. It is an artform perfected over decades… Oh and then ban you permanently. ]

      • prism 7.2.1

        DavidW
        Personal attacks on commenters denigrating them and not just discussing their arguments is not what commenters here want to read. And what you write is diminished in value when accompanying that approach.

        [lprent: Yeah that was what I noticed as well. I couldn’t see from the comment what in the hell he was referring to in MS’s comment nor why. When I went back to see what he was responding to, it became clear that there appeared to be no relationship between the two comments. I tolerate abuse when it is related to a point, where a conversation spins off into silliness (basically if I landed on each instance of those, then people would never learn to simply walk away and would start using moderation as a weapon of argument), or simply someone having bad comment day. But this was just a straight personal attack for no obvious reason. ]

        • DavidW 7.2.1.1

          Apologies if you are offended prism. Savage’s bile had to be mopped up somehow but obviously my methods are contrary to your delicate sensibilities. I will try and do better next time.

          • Colonial Viper 7.2.1.1.1

            You expert at fighting bile with bile. In fact, I can hear it seething away in your gall bladder from here.

          • mickysavage 7.2.1.1.2

            Wow don’t hold back DavidW. You mean this Government cares deeply about people on benefits and they would never ever think of implementing policies that would make beneficiaries lives harder just for political advantage?

            And for your information I actually practice in the better part of town. You tend to get a way better class of people out west.

          • Murray Olsen 7.2.1.1.3

            Tories may sometimes be charitable, but they’re miserable with it. The fact that they see one part of society helping another as charity and think they have a god given right to decide who’s worthy of that charity is one of the most nauseatingly miserable behaviours I’ve ever come across. The fact that you think any of us might want to be like you at your “better end of town” possibly beats it, but is at least a close second.

        • prism 7.2.1.2

          DavidW
          I actually don’t have very fine sensibilities and are known to use some ‘robust’ language. But you were making snide comments about Mickey’s real life and that’s a dangerous drop in standards. I have just dipped my toe in greasyfish’s blog today and have had to put strong antibacterial ointment on it and wrap it in bandages. Far too much vicious attack on people, that’s what I was moaning about to you, really it is more piranha than whale.

          And don’t get irritated with Mickey if you think he is “a bitter and disillusioned ” person. I think many of us here feel like that, we just keep writing hopefully about a good democracy and how it could be brought about and what it might develop into, despite constant depradations by neo lib talebans (which would include knocking down a statue to Michael Savage).

          So here is an interesting comment to amuse you and which you can sneer at, smartarse.

  8. amirite 8

    Just maybe – not all children turning to school hungry have parents who are deadbeats or can’t manage their money. Because by the time the rent, the power bill, the petrol bill, any unexpected medical and/or school expense has been paid, and the food bank can’t help for lack of donations – there’s not much left, if anything at all?

    • tracey 8.1

      and how many of those parents go for full days without food to ensure the kids get two or three meals? It’s too easy to bag the vulnerable and lump them all together.

  9. Molly 9

    “If you think that having something as “tax deductable” means that the Government is paying for it all then…”

    No. But doesn’t it depend on whether they are allowed to claim for the full retail value, as opposed to cost? You would assume that a company providing a service to the government to allow them to get out of a tough political spot, would be negotiating hard on this.

    Then the tax rebate for that “retail priced donation” – along with the actual cost of providing the goods, drops the private layout considerably.

    A win in terms of “public good” advertising for the company at a relatively low price.

  10. prism 10

    And More! A last minute attempt to stop charter schools passing through the legal system like a turd is being made. It will not be heeded. The government has all the facts already about its lack of efficacy not to mention the moral hazard pitfalls that go with the charter schools like cats have fleas.

    I was quite surprised at the Principal of Horahora primary school, Pat Newman, saying on Radionz this morning that he was in two minds about extending food help across low decile schools, and that the real problem was understanding how NZ had ended up in this bad situation. This I am sure has already been researched or stats provided with background by the Child Poverty Action Group but he didn’t mention them.

    Also he talked about targeting children and quietly giving them food assistance, lunch boxes etc. Sounds very hit and miss and charity-driven. I would think there would be less stigma for all to have some good stuff provided. But it must be better than rice bubbles, corn flakes, cocopops sugar loops or some other quickly processed sugar rush muck with the milk giving it a semblance of real nourishing brain food.

    Child Poverty Action Group http://www.cpag.org.nz/about-us/
    CPAG works to produce evidence about the causes and effects of poverty on children and their families. It looks carefully at how Government policies affect children. CPAG publishes reports, makes submissions and conducts small-scale research projects to achieve its goals.

    CPAG is an independent, registered charity. It is funded entirely by grants from charitable trusts and donations from the public. CPAG does not accept funding from the proceeds of gambling.

    I had a quick look at Google under Pat Newman’s name and teacher unions and got showered with spit from greasyfish. What an ugly site, driven by a sick, hating mind gloating at finding an outlet and standing amongst people of a similar destructive persuasion. Spewing out provocative and inflammatory and degrading criticisms. With lots of active character assassination opportunities.

    If anyone wants a taste of this tainted thinking and blogging here’s some examples. I used a phrase from the site – for ‘A new low for obnoxious Northland principal Pat Newman’
    there were six mentions on google under greasyfish from October 2011 to April 2012.
    and
    http://www.whaleoil.co.nz/2011/09/nothing-less-than-a-scandal/
    contains the expression –
    ‘Northland bully principal Pat Newman’ (who was also a Labour candidate in the 2011 election.)

  11. Colonial Viper 11

    It’s Government’s responsbility that anyone who wants permanent full time employment on a living wage be given the chance to prove themselves in that employment.

    You agree with that don’t you Righties? Get the bludgers off the dole working full time?

    • BM 11.1

      Working for the bene, yep I’m big on that, couple of days a week of work would be good start.

      More public service jobs, big no to that one.

      • tracey 11.1.1

        Bm, when did NZ last have 100% employment, and what do you think about the high level of unemployment over the last few eyars, given you see people working as the solution (and it is) but not enough jobs. AAnd don’t preach “seek” website to me. Most beneficiaires are not accountants or engineers.

      • Colonial Viper 11.1.2

        Working for the bene, yep I’m big on that

        If it’s real work then it’s gotta pay a real living wage. No cheap slave labour here for you mate.

  12. And the announcement is out and it is pretty small. $9.5 million over 5 years to expand Kickstart and a further sum to Kids Can.

    The main announcement is less than $2 million a year and will not threaten the surplus. This is the same amount as the Government is spending on saving Wanganui Collegiate this year.

    Pitiful really.

  13. ghostrider888 13

    Heres the Food In Schools Announcement.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10886696

    Shearer- “millions (9.5) on food in schools, while government expends 40M on Private Schools”. Yep.

  14. tracey 14

    More money to kickstart is a good start (even though many here will not agree because they don’t believe that more money is the answer). It’s just sad to see a government that campaigned beside a “poor” family in 2008 and highlighted the importance of kids actually rates them so low.

    Where would Mr Key be without state housing and widow’s pensions… probably not PM… DAMN WELFARE!!!!

  15. xtasy 15

    Sanitarium Weet Bix and Fonterra milk subsidised by Key’s government at shoe string budget expenditure, wow!

    Kids, the breakfast will be ready, but bring your own plates, bowls and spoons, please, if you can afford it.

    Parents, spend a bit more on Sanitarium and Fonterra products (price increases to be announced shortly), as the money will need to come from somewhere. Your kids will learn what is a “good brand” too, “free” education about corporate identity, market brand value and good-will – at schools to be served.

    Leave those from better circles alone, as they surely deserve their past tax cuts.

    That is the message. Thank you Johnny, you are mighty “smart”, and so “kind”.

    • prism 15.1

      Don’t knock it xtasy – it mightn’t be bacon and eggs and there might be some brand loyalty hoped for but hey it’s a start. Some firms might like to provide muesli bars too. The rolledoats in them would provide a strong tummy lining, and with a drink of milk, and even a quarter apple now that might be achievable.

      • xtasy 15.1.1

        What about vege gardens to be established as part of school grounds, to be used and maintained as part of biology and associated subjects that are taught, encouraging schools and kids to grow own food for real meals and so forth? It could be used also to prepare meals at school, like proper lunches, by volunteer parents or others.

        Many do not even know how to prepare proper meals, let along grow things, these days. Just another idea, I thought.

        Yeah, it is a start, what the government has offered today, but Hone’s bill appeals a bit more, I’d think.

    • Don't worry be happy 15.2

      What about Sanatorium paying tax if anyone is going to talk about ‘bludgers’? And let’s back date that, say, since they started operating an industry and turning a handsome profit?

      And how about Fonterra’s busy little corporate ‘farmers’ with their clever tax lawyers that mean that the tax take from dairy ‘farmers’ was the same as that paid by old age pensioners….Let’s sort out those ‘bludgers’ too!

      Then how about we ring-fence this new, shiny, much improved tax revenue (fair go we all pay tax why should they get away with paying zip?) and spend it on those kids so often labelled the ‘education tail’ the one that so elegantly matches the % of children living in poverty…without enough food or enough money to live in a warm home or be taken to a GP for the common childhood illnesses that rob children of their ability to perform in school (glue ear, strep throat)

      Tell Sanitarium and Fonterra where to put their ‘charity’ and make them cough up what they owe.

  16. tracey 16

    “School Principal of Lincoln Heights Auckland, Debbie Waikato says:

    “The KickStart Breakfast Programme has made a big difference at our school. Staff have noticed those children who attend breakfast club regularly are absent less, happier, more settled in class and switched on to their learning”

    As long as the milk is delivered and distributed with no messages or free guest spots for the supplier then it ought to be, on its face, regarded as at least partially altruistic. IF it’s about brand awareness for them and not charity, then let them live with their own consciences and keep them and their spokespeople out of the school.

  17. karol 17

    Reading through the comments above – I did ponder on whether to locate ultimate responsibility for feeding children with the government, or with the whole of society.

    The government certainly needs to make it possible for everyone to get a “living wage”/income But in a democracy, we all have a role to play to work together and put pressure on the government when necessary.

    For those who say the ultimate responsibility for feeding children is with their parents. Actually, I think that’s an attitude that developed with industrial capitalism. Before that, the extended family and community in European countries and most other places, took more responsibility for the children in their community. Many cultures still do.

  18. peterlepaysan 18

    Industrialisation wrecked familial, neighbourly and kinship groupings based on pastoral, nomadic, agricultural and hunting relationships.

    We are reduced to “consumers” “suppliers” “data” by politicians and economists, and assorted spin doctors.

    Governments and economists do not have “poverty” “hunger” “need” on their radar.

    It is extremely doubtful whether either labour or national care about people, they only care about economic maundering to justify their despicable actions or inactions.

    After all we voters are not people, we are merely data to be manipulated.

    Shonkey is in a hard place.

    He does not give a toss about the poor and struggling (how many tax breaks did he give them?)

    Ignoring hungry brats is not a good look.

    This a cynical (and unhealthy) ploy by the nats to block Mana and other parties from pursuing this policy.

  19. AmaKiwi 19

    “Be good to your children. They will choose your retirement home.”

    Conservatives have many names for their philosophy: individualism, individual rights, etc. They all boil down to one flaw: denial that we are all part of one community, one family. Any child who grows up malnourished, undereducated, using drugs, a criminal . . . is MY child. My life, my family, my community, my country, are the poorer for it. Eventually I will pay the price.

    No, John Key, your wealth cannot protect you, your children, your grandchildren from a dysfunctional society in a devastated environment.

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    2 days ago
  • Final nail in coffin for Solid Energy workers
    Today’s confirmation of job losses at Solid Energy’s Stockton and Spring Creek mines shows the urgent need for new economic opportunities on the West Coast, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. ...
    3 days ago
  • Comments sought on Takapūneke Reserve
    Comments sought on Takapūneke Reserve Christchurch City Council wants public input into a plan that could help make Banks Peninsula's Takapūneke Reserve a National Reserve. The Council is currently seeking written suggestions to help draft a Reserve ...
    3 days ago
  • What the Dickens is going on at SDHB?
    What the Dickens is going on at SDHB? Problems at the financially-strapped Southern District Health Board appear to stretch to its HR department with information obtained by Labour showing it still records staff leave entitlements using manual book-keeping ...
    3 days ago
  • Maori Party Labels One Man, One Vote Supporters as Racist
    The Maori Party’s approach of bullying and intimidation against those who have stood up for one person, one vote, in Rotorua, is a dishonourable act by Members of Parliament that should know better. Democracy Action, a pressure group which champions… ...
    3 days ago
  • Government proses weakening the Health and Safety law
    “The Government’s suggestion that the new workplace health and safety laws will be weakened is very disappointing”, says Hazel Armstrong health and safety lawyer and member of the Independent Forestry Safety Review Panel. ...
    3 days ago
  • Giving faces to the faceless
    Powerful films and unforgettable documentaries can highlight human rights in ways speeches and documents never will says Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy. ...
    3 days ago
  • Deaf Aotearoa applaud NZ On Air funding announcement
    Deaf Aotearoa are thrilled with the announcement that NZ On Air will be providing additional funding for captioning on TV One, TV2, TV3 and FOUR. Independent captioning and audio description service Able will receive $400,000 more in the coming year,… ...
    3 days ago
  • Scott Technology lays off Christchurch workers
    Thirteen workers at Scott Technology, which manufactures, services and installs equipment for the appliance industry, were informed last week that they have been made redundant. This announcement, which came as a shock to the workers, comes after ...
    3 days ago
  • Smaller Convention Centre Should Mean Less Pokies
    Family First NZ says that with the downsizing of the SkyCity Convention Centre, the legislative concession for allowing an increased number of pokie machines should be significantly reduced, if not scrapped. “As we said from the outset, this deal ...
    3 days ago
  • Parliament missing in action on RMA reform
    Chief Executive Phil O’Reilly said recent indications of ‘no change’ to sections 6 and 7 of the Act means it is now clear that after six years Parliament is incapable of delivering anything more than the lowest common denominator –… ...
    3 days ago
  • Government wants safer workplaces… or does it?
    Government wants safer workplaces… or does it? Today a widow and a mother sit together in the High Court in Wellington fighting for justice for the men that were killed at work in the Pike River Mine disaster of 2010,… ...
    3 days ago
  • New Zealanders reckon they’re doing pretty well
    The majority of New Zealanders say they’re highly satisfied with their lives, and slightly more rate their sense of purpose highly, Statistics New Zealand said today. These are the first results from Statistics New Zealand’s survey of nearly 9,000 ...
    3 days ago
  • Rural hospitals’ services vulnerable
    “The Southern District Health Board’s efforts to tighten its financial belt are clearly going to have very serious consequences for rural hospitals,” says Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists ...
    3 days ago
  • Settlement and iwi unity overwhelmingly important to Ngāpuhi
    The settlement of historical Te Tiriti Waitangi grievances and iwi unity are growing in importance to Ngāpuhi, says a Horizon Research survey report released on 24 May. ...
    3 days ago
  • Protecting workers’ lives is not “onerous”
    26 May 2015 Media Release Protecting workers’ lives is not “onerous” The government must not water down changes to health and safety legislation which are vital for New Zealand workers, says the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union. “The ...
    3 days ago
  • Taxpayers Short-Changed by Skycity Deal
    The Taxpayers’ Union is outraged over the latest details of the SkyCity convention centre released today, specifically that the number of delegates the centre will be able to hold has been reduced for a second time. Taxpayers’ Union Executive ...
    3 days ago
  • Parental Notification Supported by Parents & Teens
    Family First NZ is calling on politicians to reflect the concerns and wishes of parents and also teenagers, and ensure that young pregnant girls in a crisis situation receive the family support they deserve and need. ...
    3 days ago
  • Integrated approach needed for Māori economic development
    Business and asset development, employment opportunities and wealth creation must contribute to Māori well-being, according to iwi at the launch of a Māori economic development research report in Whakatāne. ...
    3 days ago

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