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Postcards from the “brighter” future

Written By: - Date published: 12:26 pm, June 5th, 2012 - 18 comments
Categories: budget2012, health, housing, poverty, Privatisation - Tags: ,

Nurses forced to supply own thermometers

Nurses are bringing their own thermometers and pens to work as Auckland District Health Board cracks down on a multimillion-dollar overspend.

And a baby stopped breathing and almost died at Starship hospital because there were no nurses on its ward, according to a nurse who says chronic staff shortages are putting lives at risk.

Nurses and union representatives say they are frustrated at drastic board efforts to slash up to $9 million from the budget before the end of the financial year. …

More homeowners losing homes

High numbers of “mum and dad” homeowners are losing family homes to mortgagee sales and the numbers are only getting worse. … “More Mum and Dad property owners are losing their homes. It’s hard to claim things are getting better for ordinary Kiwis while this trend continues.”

This year’s figures were also looking grim, with preliminary figures for January and February showing mortgagee sales significantly higher than for the same period last year. …

Taxpayers to foot $100 millon asset sale bill

Hiring private firms to partially sell four state-owned energy companies is going to put a $100 million hole in the Government’s books, the Greens say. … “This ideologically-driven policy will put a $100 million hole in the Crown’s books, according to the Government’s own numbers – it’s selling selling state-owned assets out from under us and making the taxpayer pay for the privilege.” …

Poverty-stricken kids resort to scavenging

Children living in poverty are taking desperate measures to feed and clothe themselves at Waikato schools as families struggle to provide for their most basic needs.

In one case, a young boy without a winter jersey was told to steal one from the lost property by his mum because she couldn’t afford to buy one, and another principal caught a child scavenging through rubbish bins for food.

Experts warn that, with winter approaching, the problem will only get worse. …

Robbing the paper boys to pay the Bills

… But it’s the removal of the tax rebate for the paper boys and girls that looks particularly nasty. Bill English saves about $16 million from cutting the rebate from the 68,000 paper boys and girls around the country. It’s a pittance. It’s mean-spirited. We need to teach our kids the value of work and the value of money. …

So Budget 2012 is over – a mean little document that takes a bit from all of us – without hurting any of us in a terminal way. No one will need medication and thank god for that because don’t forget the trip to the chemist will cost more too.
And that’s symbolic of this budget. A zero.

Don’t blame me – I voted Labour.

[Bunji: At least John Key’s underclass poster-girl Aroha Ireland will be able to send us postcards from her better future. She and a quarter of the multi-million-dollar “I have a dream” mentored students are now enjoying Australia….]

18 comments on “Postcards from the “brighter” future”

  1. ad 1

    Not sure what others are tracking but I have this sneaky feeling we are in for another solid decade of recession, possibly harder this time than the last four years. EU slowdown. US slowdown. China less growth.

    Not even sure Green-Labour coalition would be able to change it that much. Hope I’m wrong.

  2. RedLogix 2

    And a baby stopped breathing and almost died at Starship hospital because there were no nurses on its ward, according to a nurse who says chronic staff shortages are putting lives at risk.

    And very nearly killed my father last year. He’s alive only because we happened to turn up for a visit at just the right time. Another 30min… different story. One ending in a lot more paperwork.

    • tc 2.1

      Ryall has been quietly gutting the Health system for 4 years now and lying his arse off about new doctors and nurses numbers that simply do not exist.

      They’ve merged the back offices which is an obvious cost cutting and efficeincy move but in usual dodgy and hasty NACT fashion that’s a freakin shambles also as they now argue over who should create the final model for the rest of the DHB’s going forward.

      Health alliance has 40% of nz population via the merge of the akl DHB’s back office and is struglling but will get there (many more $$$$ to go though) but welly wants to do it all again when HA has a working model done the hard way…..watch the natocracy makes a pig ear of this.

    • joe90 2.2

      And very nearly killed my father last year

      My mother was in a provincial ICU following surgery in 2010 and because of staffing issues the abnormal blood gasses which left her brain dead went undetected for around forty minutes.

      Seventy two hours later life support was withdrawn and she lingered in the most dreadful way for six days before she died.

      • r0b 2.2.1

        I’m very sorry Joe90. And also RedLogix. Both horrible experiences.

        I have an elderly family member who has been very unwell since injury in the Feb 2011 quake. In and out of hospital a lot. Hats off to the brilliant professionals who work in our hospital system. But resource constraints always have her sent back home too soon (in my opinion), and there isn’t enough support for care in the home, so she struggles.

      • tc 2.2.2

        I watched a nurse misfeed a tube which spilt urine all over the floor next to my mothers bed. The nurse had little idea what she’d done or how, as I had to point out urine was leaking, and I ended up cleaning it up after no cleaners attended with appropriate kit so I did with what I could find.

        This was a major post op recovery ward after cancer surgery in akl hospital, one of the biggest and allegedly best staffed outfits……be afraid people, Ryall’s hardly got going in Health and it takes decades to fix the short sighted meddling of a career beaurocrat looking to score political points with dodgy numbers.

    • joe90 2.3

      Thanks r0b. Mums care and health issues right up until her death were pretty straight forward but I could write a book about the shenanigans surrounding my Dads downward spiral into vascular dementia.

      He was everything to his family, a clever man, successful businessman, builder, pilot, traveller, amateur mathematician and wannabe Ubuntu newbie who at 75 was still working as a QS, project/site manager and able to do a days work on a building site as well regularly hold court as ‘the oracle’.

      But the disease quietly and almost unnoticed advanced until over time he was gradually being subjected to all manner of indignities.

      Supercilious yappie GPs, delirium, police, violence, arrests, police cells, snubs, giggles, assorted arsehole professionals (same DHB as above), illegal detention in a psychiatric ward, medication, no medication, over medication and finally with no help at all and becoming more and more desperate and fearful Mum chucked him out. And then my father became my problem.

      Remembering that this all took place prior to this mob being on the benches and that the SO and I have a clue or two between us, we’re well connected in our community, have a supportive extended family and had the help of some bloody marvellous professionals (different DHB), navigating our way around the age care obstacle course was an absolute fucking nightmare.

      It took us three years and three institutions to finally settle on an outcome that has turned out better than what we ever really hoped for but it was still a nightmare.

      And now I’m incredibly fearful of what lies in wait not only for other family members and those of my friends but for everyone else and their families who will inevitably encounter the age care system.

      • Carol 2.3.1

        Sorry, joe & RL to hear of your family’s lack of proper care in hospital.

        My experience of being in hospital after my accident last year was mostly good.

        The only problem with equipment that I was aware of was with the blood machines.

        I had a blood transfusion over several hours from a dodgy machine. To do this, they took me off the morphine drip & gave me oral pain killers. Every time I moved my receiving arm slightly, the machine stopped giving me blood and started beeping. Have you ever tried lying very still for several hours (especially after a significant accident), without twitching or moving your arm?! It ain’t possible. In the end I got the full transfusion but it was a real trial, and not a very pleasant experience.

        There were also questions about the accuracy of a piece of blood pressure reading equipment. There seemed to be a sudden outbreak of low blood pressure in my ward, though, ultimately it seemed to be confined to one machine.

        • starlight

          Having spent some time in hospital lately too i noticed that hygene,cleanliness was not
          a priorty.
          You mention the blood pressure reading being low, the machine that was used for my
          reading also recorded a definate low blood pressure reading of 126/64 or so when mine
          is usually about 145/90, i asked if the machine was from some far flung land,she told me
          they were from germany, very expensive machines,state of the art she told me,
          shame about the readings.
          I assume that these machine are all throughout the DHB’s.
          Also to add that all the patients in the ward
          also had high/low readings depending how tight the cuff was put on.

    • Vicky32 2.4

      And very nearly killed my father last year.

      Oh how horrible! I hope he’s feeling a bit better now, or if that’s not possible, that at least he’s coping…

  3. aerobubble 3

    I’m not niave, I accept that cooperation is required for a functioning society.
    So when I switch on to USA tv care of TV7 and hear the boisterous rightwing
    claim that liberalism at its worse is both preposterous and sinister I have to
    wonder how far right is the US. Clearly this commentator, crushed by the NY mayor
    decision to outright ban extra large sized sodas, was as sinister as it was
    preposterous – liberalism at its worst he cried. I could not help but think that
    taken to the extreme, the neo-liberal ideal that the best government is no
    government (preposterous) – that some how markets are perfect and government
    gets only gets in the way, and so the deregulate and be damned approach
    should suddenly see society magical transformed into a paradise. You know
    the basic idea is to test the statement of the offerer upon their own
    position to see if the offerer is on strong ideological ground or not.
    Let’s call it conceited conservatism, the ideal that tinkering with sodas
    is not worth doing because nothing is worth doing when government is involved.
    That only the perfect market will produce, if only we all stood back, buildings,
    schools, broadband would all just appear as by magic. So what purpose is
    the conceited approach, the dishonest approach if you will, that if only
    we leave things as they are, and take away the scaffolds (government), that
    the society we all want to live in will suddenly appears thanks to market forces.
    The direct opposite of the case since democracy is about directing wealth appropriately.
    That no nothing government as a creed creates something is abusive to logic, absurd,
    preposterous and sinister since we all know who rushes in, the fascists
    and communists, the extremists. What could be more desperately disappointing
    that someone attacking liberalism when neo-liberalism (uber-liberalism) is
    far more preposterous and sinister than any restrictions on soda sales in NY,
    is left untarnished.
    When will America wake up to the fact that bankers aren’t saints, that absolute
    big money corrupts money absolutely. That co-operation is always going to be
    onerous at some point and can always be described by some group as both
    preposterous and sinister ‘compulsion’.

    NZ still is told by mainstream media that hands off government will save the economy,
    despite NZ dysfunctional tax system that rewards the non-productive private sector.

  4. fabregas4 4

    I was in Auckland last weekend and shocked to see the large number of lost souls there. Folk asleep in the walk to Downtown mall, all elderly, all unkempt. Waited outside Max for a while whilst my wife and daughter shopped and observed three people stop to scavenge in the bin. Once we were fair, once we were a land of plenty, egalitarian utopia – what the hell happened?

    • Murray Olsen 4.1

      Roger Douglas and the first NAct government happened, all while David Lange was happy to accept adulation for being able to put lovely words together at the Oxford Union. No government has seriously tried to roll much of it back since, and it looks like Shearer has no intention of doing so.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1


        The dismantling of the social state in the 1980s and the implementation of the Greed is Good paradigm is what happened. Throw in the fact that it all came from Washington DC, the Leader of the Free World, and yeah, no government has even thought about rolling it back despite it obviously being bad for society.

  5. Dr Terry 5

    Unfortunately this does appear to be what the Nat’s voted for – “a dull future” for their “underlings”, need one say. The National voters turn a blind eye to those who suffer most, as they hurry back to warmth, food, and Rugby. “I’m alright Jack” – heard that before? Nowhere near sufficient have been hurt by the Nat’s dreadful doings since November last, in order to make much difference. Key is happy with the polls, as one might expect with nearly half the country still behind him (the “Saviour figure for those who “have”). Even now, he could form a government!
    Clearly many people are paying lip-service as they “protest” the sale of the country, otherwise the polls would not be reading this way. I know it is hard to explain, but Key devotees are smugly sure that, given time, we (they) will return to a glorious past. The question is how much time? Well, the poorer among us will pay off all the debt given a bit more punishment. When that debt-free moment arrives, do not suppose that the Tories will do a sudden change, and become “all heart”. They will have to work like hell to maintain the status quo! No humanitarianism, fear not!
    Asset sales? Oh, what the hell, “she’ll be right” (this, I think, might be a prevailing attitude with large numbers of the populace) who “talk the talk” rather than “walk the walk”.

  6. Sad to say, well written, Anthony…

  7. jack 7

    And National will soak 12 billion into roads. Something that will be obsolete when petrol prices go up even higher. The money is there and yes there needs to be some cuts but National is using the recession as a way to sell their ideology. They know what they are doing won’t stop the bleeding. Let’s hope they are out by 2014.

  8. tracey 8

    … but we don’t want to be like Greece (cheesy grin)

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