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200,000 children abandoned so already rich can get richer

Written By: - Date published: 7:31 am, November 10th, 2011 - 52 comments
Categories: accountability, child welfare, families, john key, leadership, national, Social issues, tax, welfare - Tags:

How many children is 200,000 in the context of New Zealand’s population? Statistics New Zealand says between June 2008-2011 around 62-64,000 children were born each year. So 200,000 amounts to every single child born in this country since National came to power three years ago, plus another 10,000 or so.

That’s how many children have been written off, consigned to lives of poverty to pay for John Key’s tax cuts for the already rich. Isn’t that disgraceful?

You’d really have to lie like a flat fish to say that’s a recipe for a brighter future.

hattip William Joyce


52 comments on “200,000 children abandoned so already rich can get richer”

  1. Colonial Viper 1

    As long as those children were born in other poorer suburbs, and won’t affect the house values in my neighbourhood, why should I care.

  2. madagascar 2

    So remind me why labour is proposing to borrow billions to put into the Super fund when we have such a problem with children in NZ ?

    • lame, even by your issue avoidant standards

      • madagascar 2.1.1

        The future for the left in NZ is the Greens.

        • Colonial Viper

          Vote Greens or Labour to get 200,000 children out of poverty; vote National to add to the toll.

          • madagascar

            From where I sit Labour and National are different sides of the two coins – the more green MPs I can help get into parliament to keep both those scummy parties honest the better.

            • The Voice of Reason

              ” … different sides of the two coins …”
              Step away from the hash pipe, hippy, it’s messing with your mind.

              • madagascar

                I rest my case.

              • alex

                And that right there TVOR is why you don’t deserve your handle. In fact, you should be awarding TVOR as a name to the Greens, who have consistently stood up for ordinary people when it counts, ie recent example on the Search and Surveillance bill.

                • The Voice of Reason

                  Ha! My handle is nicked from the title of an Ayn Rand book. I use it as a joke, because it annoys righties. And, now, apparently, humourless hippies. Mind you, its position as the most pompous name on the interwebs has been totally destroyed by the arrival of Afewknowthetruth, so maybe it’s time for a change.
                  The real problem with madagascar’s comment is its immaturity. It may have been a cheap shot to point out his or her’s muddle headed butchering of the coin cliche, but it was reflective of the lack of intelligent analysis of the differences between National and Labour. If madagascar doesn’t understand politics, then posting here is going to invite derision.

      • queenstfarmer 2.1.2

        Don’t forget that even the Greens are slamming Labour’s borrowing-is-saving policy.

        The Green Party is also critical of Labour’s plans to borrow to feed the Super Fund, also known as the Cullen Fund. Co-leader Russel Norman believes such a move is economically irrational.

        • mickysavage

          How do you feel about National’s policy of welfare for Canterbury farmers?

        • Dan hansen

          Love the irony of the Green’s calling others economic policies “economically irrational”…

          • KJT

            You think it is economically rational to have a constantly expanding supply of money in a world of finite resources. OR every country is going to export their way out of debt. OR to keep a system which gives more and more of our wealth to fewer and fewer people.

            Greens are the only party who are rational about the future.

    • thejackal 2.2

      A problem with children? Children aren’t the problem buddy! National’s low wage economy coupled with high inflation is. They have no plan to fix inequality in New Zealand.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.2.1

        They have no plan to fix inequality in New Zealand.

        That’s incorrect, they plan to fix inequality in place and increase it.

  3. John Dalley 3

    Long term Madagascar, you have just answered your own question.

    • madagascar 3.1

      Borrowing billions to throw at an investment fund seems a very poor choice compared to spending it on our children and struggling families here and now.

      • Ianupnorth 3.1.1

        You haven’t quite figured out that the biggest expenditure within society is on the young and the old; if you do not invest in kids you end up with a badly educated, unfit, socially inept future work force. If you do not make provision for the elderly to have a reasonable standard of living 9e.g. give them enough to eat, travel, keep warm, have safety and a quality of life), it ends up being more expensive in the long term.
        Each balances the other; having fit and active elderly reduces the demands of the health service and social support agencies, returns money back to treasury via GST, and also allows the elderly to be a visible and important part of society.

  4. Bruce S 4

    …silly me; I thought parents had the responsibility to raise, nurture and provide for their kids? When did the government usurp this role; I missed a headline in the NZ Herald somewhere? Can someone tell me where I can find these abandoned kids? Is there a scrapheap somewhere?

    • Carol 4.1

      Children are the future of the country. Children don’t choose their parents. We support parents bringing them up because it saves a lot of money that’d go to crime and health services down the track. But children are the responsibility of of all of us. “abandoned” refers to the lack of support that children require to grow into healthy and capable citizens.

      Herald headlines are no measure of the reality of our world.

    • lefty 4.2

      “Is there a scrapheap somewhere?”

      Yes a big one. Their parents are on it too.

      It was built by John Key and the banksters and is proving very profitable for them and all who travel with them in the good ship Greed and Ignorance.

      • Ianupnorth 4.2.1

        Well said!
        There are many small towns around NZ where Bruce can visit (if he would care to leave Remuera)
        Kaingaroa Village
        I am sure others could add to the list

        • McFlock


          AFAIK it’s not particularly disadvantaged deprivation-wise, but it’s still a shit-hole 🙂

    • Lanthanide 4.3

      What are you going to do when in 20-30 years time these children make up the majority of the workforce and you’re wanting to get superannuation? Who’s going to pay the tax to support you?

    • Scotty 4.4

      If you rely on the Herald for your info, It wont be the only thing you’ve missed.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.5

      Society has the responsibility to provide a good living standard for everybody. This has always been true because no individual can live without society.

  5. Terry 5

    I think Colonial Viper (viper indeed!) is a kind of spokeman for the nation with those three pitiful words,'”Why should I care?” (Once it was “I’m all right Jack”)

  6. Roy 6

    Kudos to Carol and lefty for their great replies to Bruce S.

  7. Bruce S 7

    Hi Carol; yes indeed, some children are the future of the country. Presumably those same children that grew up to become the parents that look to the tax payer to support their lifestyle choices at the expense of parental responsibility? Just a self perpetuating treadmill of dependence, there conveniently for the exploitation of political aspirants at 3 yearly intervals. I think I’ll look after my own future thanks.

    • Ianupnorth 7.1

      Until such times as you need the public sector to resolve your problems…. you’ll be calling on your personal fire brigade, personal ambulance, visiting your personal library to get books for your kids for their personal school.
      Your myth of ‘lifestyle of choice’ has a small number of adherents, but I would suggest that if more resources were put towards catching out the masses who tax avoid your actual tax bill would be far less than if you doubled or even quadrupled that ‘lifestyle choice’ group.

      • TighyRighty 7.1.1

        The fire service is funded from insurance levies, or at least started out that way and got socialized to provide us with another union. Ambulances are to my knowledge only free in Wellington, the option of private school usually offers a superior education and libraries are becoming obsolete with the advent of the Internet where you can download most of the English language classics for nix.

        • NickS

          The fire service is funded from insurance levies, or at least started out that way and got socialized to provide us with another union.

          Because fires so don’t spread from property to property in typical urban densities…

          Ambulances are to my knowledge only free in Wellington,

          Which ignores the fact St Johns relies on some state and private funding to keep the costs down, plus feeds people into the healthcare system, where treatment is generally free. They’re also very, very nice on letting you pay the ambulance fee over time if you’re poor.

          the option of private school usually offers a superior education

          Only if you’re rich that is, and amusingly enough there’s plenty of parents who could afford private schooling, but send their kids off to public schools on the basis of the education quality they provide. Then there’s also the fact these businesses have required state funding due their own failures, you know, instead of raising fees or facing up to reality and folding.

          And further more, once you control for various factors (socio-economics mostly), you’ll not likely see much difference between state and private schools in achievement rates. Not you’ve ever shown any ability to think statistically, so this is likely well beyond your ability to comprehend…

          libraries are becoming obsolete with the advent of the Internet where you can download most of the English language classics for nix.

          Funnily enough though, library membership rates are still high, perhaps it’s because there’s still plenty of books that haven’t been digitised, or maybe it’s just down to liking hard copies. Then there’s also economic factors, as e-readers still cost money, as do e-books, whilst libraries are rather cheap, if not free and carry rather large selections, and offer access to various other online reference materials that are otherwise behind very expensive paywalls (hell Nature journals /grumble).

        • NickS

          Here Tighty Tighty….

          Because you really are providing nice archive troll fodder by running away.

  8. infused 8

    This is why no one takes you lot seriously.

    • Ianupnorth 8.1

      Three monkeys; which one are you the one with the eyes covered, the one with your ears covered, cos you sure as hell aren’t the one with the covered mouth!
      If you have something meaningful to contribute (e.g. actually answering the question rather than trolling for a bite) then please do so, otherwise go stroke Blubber Boys ego.

  9. TighyRighty 9

    This is such a capitulation! Its like mrs love joy on the Simpsons screaming won’t somebody think of the children. The problem here is that the electorate have heard it all before from labour and have seen the vast amounts of money spent to no avail. It also defies belief that the left think they have a monopoly on caring. There are lots of great quotes about people believing they do much better at one thing than someone else because, “they care”. My favourite is “pull your head out of your ass”

  10. One Anonymous Bloke 10

    TR, I don’t think the left have a monopoly on caring, I think they have a monopoly on policies that work as advertised.

    • TighyRighty 10.1

      You may think that and good on you for having your beliefs. I think you are wrong, and the evidence would tend to back me up over you. Extra billions spent on “lifting children out poverty” :2.6 (that’s approximately $650 for every person in this country by the way) , number of children that may be lifted out of poverty, 10’000? Dollars per child? $260000. Appalling really. That you would dump $260000 on families who don’t do anything to deserve that kind of cash flow into their bank account at the expense of hard working mums and dads for scrimp and save to provide.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 10.1.1

        As a supporter of the “law and order” party, I expected you to have a better idea what constitutes “evidence”. Get a clue, it isn’t the mixture of advocacy and anecdote you just served up.
        Frankly, since you are describing what you imagine will happen in the future the idea that this is “evidence” is laughable.
        No, I’m talking about real measures of success, like not getting a credit rating downgrade. Like running a government surplus, like getting unemployment down to record levels, etc etc.

        Yet another clueless wingnut. When, oh when are we going to see a resurgence of intelligence on the right?

        • Draco T Bastard

          When, oh when are we going to see a resurgence of intelligence on the right?

          Never, research has shown that the average IQ on the political right is less than the human norm.

          • NickS

            No it’s not, if you go a googling it’s rather easy to find critiques which destroy that bit of stupidity mascaraeding as research from people all over the political spectrum.

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              I should bloody well hope so too. I’m quite prepared to accept the notion that my adherence to left wing politics is more a function of my own bias than any innate merit, but when legion after legion of wingnuts fail to produce a scrap of evidence against it, you have to wonder.

              I could care less who advocates it, I’m only interested in policy that works.

  11. Treetop 11

    I’d really like to see a pie graph from National to show me what piece of the pie children in poverty are going to get. All children are important but the most needy cannot be abandoned.

    The following areas concern me
    Medical care (in particular children over age 6)
    Education (including children with disabilities being main streamed to save money)
    Food security
    Childcare (in particular children with single parents)
    Employment and job training
    Personal development (after school hobbies/interests)

    • Ianupnorth 11.1

      I can’t really answer all of those Treetop but I can offer some insight into some policy change.
      Prior to 2008 there was a thing called the HEHA nutrition fund; this was a bulk funding scheme that allowed education providers (mainly schools and the ECE sector) to apply for funding towards schemes that promoted healthy eating and healthy action. These required an application, demonstrating a clear action plan and how the project could be sustainable, with full evaluation data to be provided to the Ministry of health. All applications were scrutinised by an independent committee comprising people from the local councils, DHB’s, PHO’s, etc. Examples included community gardens to educate families how to grow their own food, to supply communities with vegetables. Others included developing community kitchens so that parents could actually learn how to prepare fresh food rather than buying processed (expensive) junk.
      Whilst not perfect, it had safety nets – schools had to demonstrate a need, they had to evaluate, they were accountable for the spending – and it was targeted at schools under decile four, e.g. those in most need. This tackled number three and four on your list (possibly the last three too).
      Tony Ryall scrapped this, replacing it with Kiwisport, a $13.50 per pupil grant towards promoting sport. Now this was flawed for several reasons. Many schools simply use the money to buy tracksuits for the elite, others, especially rural schools with small rolls, can’t actually achieve much with a couple of hundred dollars.
      A prime example of increasing the gap between the haves and have nots

      • Treetop 11.1.1

        A pie graph showing the decline in funding which children in poverty no longer recieve could also be done.

        I found your comments interesting.

        Recently Hone made a comment similar to, bring the SAS home (cost is 40 million to deploy them) and use this money to feed all decile 1 – 5 schools breakfast and lunch, (cost PA 38 million).

        • Ianupnorth

          There was a speech done by one of the maori Party MP’s about two or three years ago – they pointed out that it wasn’t the free fruit from the Fruit in Schools scheme that made the difference, it was that it actually started getting communities to work towards health initiatives; shame they removed all the support roles from school support services, farmed it out to a private business and slashed funding!

          There is a need for some form of nutrition intervention; in countries like Finland every child (regardless of income/affluence) gets morning tea and lunch provided by the state. Their view is that there is so much to be gained from the formal act of sitting down and sharing a meal – it equates with a more inclusive society.

          • Treetop

            About a year ago I heard a nurse being interviewed on the radio who visits schools. Nurse made the comment that the fruit in school programme made a big difference in children with school sores and that there was an increase in school sores after the long summer holiday break. I do not know if warm weather is a variable.

            11.1.2 At least a track suit will keep a child warm and some children due to lack of food may not have the energy to participate in sport. Wouldn’t it be nice if they could have the track suit, sport and nutrition as then a child would get the most benefit. Sport is essential for fitness, not gaining weight and group dynamic interaction.

            My goal for children is for them to look back at their childhood and to have many happy and special memories.

      • One of the Masses 11.1.2

        Are the schools not accountable for the Kiwisport monies they receive & where they spend them? If the tracksuit example is true, then that is shocking.

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