A quick question (again)

Written By: - Date published: 8:45 am, March 29th, 2016 - 231 comments
Categories: benefits, human rights, national, welfare - Tags: ,

No doubt the Nats and their devoted fans will regard this as a measure of success:

More than 2400 benefits suspended since 2013

A tough new policy that chops off welfare benefits for people with outstanding arrest warrants has netted more than 2400 cases since it came into force in July 2013.

The Ministry of Social Development says it suspended 22 NZ superannuation and veterans’ pensions, and 2411 other benefits, in the first two and a half years of the new policy up to the end of last December.

Suspensions have jumped from 75 a month in the first year of the new policy to 95 a month in the latest half-year. …

My question for the Nats (and for anyone who supports this policy) is this – what happens to people who have their benefit terminated? How do they live? Do we know? Do we care?


This is Part 3 of an occasional series. Still waiting for an answer.

231 comments on “A quick question (again)”

  1. Jenny Kirk 1

    Yeah – I’ve been wondering that too. Maybe the increase in burglaries helps provide the answer !

  2. Lanthanide 2

    I’d be interested in knowing how many of those people who had their benefits cut off, were then successfully apprehended by police, and of them, how many voluntarily turned themselves in to the cops.

    • dv 2.1

      I misread your comment
      and of them, how many voluntarily turned themselves in to the cops.

      as
      and of them, how many voluntarily turned themselves in to cops.

      I thought it was a subtle comment on the 50 odd cops that have been prosecuted over the last year or 3

  3. Jcuknz 3

    One of my neighbors had her sickness benefit stopped, her own carelessness in not following the rules …. BUT since she lives hand to mouth anyway it was grossly wrong IMO. Fortunately it was re-instated for the next pay but for two weeks she had nothing .. disgusting.

  4. Kay 4

    “My question for the Nats (and for anyone who supports this policy) is this – what happens to people who have their benefit terminated? How do they live? Do we know? Do we care?”

    These are people who are clearly criminals, aka scum of the earth, and as we are good solid upstanding citizens of a highly punitive society, so long as said criminals are punished to the full extent of the law and it in no way crosses into our reality, then no. Of course we don’t fucking care.

    • lprent 4.1

      So to take an example – you’re advocating that people who have parking fines should starve? Arrest warrants are issued for old parking fines.

      I have a better idea. I should levy fines on this site for morans, and take them to court when they don’t pay them for theft of my bandwidth. That seems just as rational an idea as your position.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1

        I believe Kay was being sarcastic.

        • Rosie 4.1.1.1

          Oops. Really? I haven’t been around for awhile so don’t know Kay. Usually you get to know when some one is being sarcastic.

          I have seriously seen people write stuff like that on stuffed.co.nz so that’s why I asked. In fact a few weeks ago their comments section they opened up in response an article about Syrian refugee’s arriving in Wellington after their initial time up in Mangere was so incredibly vicious and racist I made a complaint and got them to close the comments page down. They then deleted the comments I referred to that were in breach of their policy, eg, no hate speech. T^hat happened within two hours of the original complaint.

          Problem is, it had to be pointed out to them. I think they intentionally start up anti social commentary as they put comments sections on articles which attract rednecks and crazies. They foster a culture of hate.

          Kay’s comment, apart from the swears would not be out of place on any article about beneficiaries.

          • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1.1.1

            I haven’t been around for awhile so don’t know Kay.

            She doesn’t seem to say much but, IIRC, she usually is more humane.

            That piece, to me, came across as purposefully antagonistic, to overboard. It was the last sentence really. Someone who actually held those views would have said that they care but…

        • Kay 4.1.1.2

          I was being very sarcastic. I’m on a benefit myself. No arrest warrant out me me personally but the attitude toward all of us is pretty much the same. I sometimes get pretty pissed when this stuff comes up in the media and it’s seldom I swear either, just having one of those days. Apologies if anyone thought I was trying just to be one of those nasty Stuff commenters, I’m not, honestly.

          • Rosie 4.1.1.2.1

            Apologies back at ya Kay. Give yourself full rein to swear as much as you like.

            I have a friend who is on a benefit. She is unwell but has times where she is better. Her, what sounds like, over frequent appointments with WINZ leave her feeling exhausted and under fire. The only saving grace is that she seems unaware of the unreasonable attitude some of the public and media have towards her difficult circumstances, and the increase in mean spiritedness of NZer’s in general.

            It sounds like for you though, you not only have the WINZ experience going on but also have the attitudes of others to deal with. In a more compassionate society with more compassionate governance you would be better supported.

            • Kay 4.1.1.2.1.1

              Thanks Rosie, appreciate it.

              I’m almost jealous of your friend, not being aware of the general attitude towards all beneficiaries that’s been successfully cultivated by successive governments with the eager assistance of the media over the last 30 years. Having been on Invalids benefit almost that long I’ve been in a front row position to see the changes.

              Something has gone terribly wrong with society when the majority of non-beneficiaries turn on beneficiaries and cheer on any attempts to penalise them, no matter the circumstances, and bugger the consequences.

              I used to be very grateful and proud I lived in a country that had a safety net, ie not the USA. But when you read and hear the vile, nasty things being said by your politicians and fellow countrymen and know they despise you just for existing, well there’s days I don’t want to be a Kiwi anymore.

              • Rosie

                Sorry you’ve had to witness first hand the deterioration of caring and inclusive societal attitudes over these years. These bad attitudes can be destructive to the well being of those they’re aimed at – I hope you can keep psychologically safe, some how.

                I’m unwell and unemployed and don’t have access to any winz entitlements, but I’ve found that isn’t enough to keep me free from nasty off colour remarks from strangers and even those who know me, who should know better – and it’s getting worse as the years go on, to the point where I have to defend myself against my own family members.

                I get the feeling that anyone who isn’t seen as a “contributing member of society” (that’s only in the monetary sense) is ripe for a trampling. I see that no one is more trampled than beneficiaries. A kick em when they’re down mindset has developed. It’s become an ugly group mentality that I find alarming, like a blood sport. We are so far away from who we used to be, and I also, find it difficult to see myself as any part of this new NZ. It’s an odd feeling, like a psychosocial disassociation.

                This sense of WTF- is -wrong -with -people really hit home a few weeks ago when my husband told me he helped an elderly woman who had tripped and fallen in the street. Her head was bleeding badly, all over the both of them. He had her head his both his hands so couldn’t get to his phone. He was on a packed street and people were standing around watching. No one would phone for an ambulance. He had to shout three times for some one to call an ambulance before anyone did. I’ve already blathered on about this incident on TS before but it really has stayed with me.

                Although this isn’t an example of people being on the attack against someone less privileged than themselves, the indifference and inaction of the group of people really highlights that there is something really wrong with our moral compass. It has gone completely haywire.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Although this isn’t an example of people being on the attack against someone less privileged than themselves, the indifference and inaction of the group of people really highlights that there is something really wrong with our moral compass.

                  People don’t often see such events and so when they’re confronted with them they quite simply don’t know what to do. Basically, we need to teach people how to react when they see an accident and other incidents as well.

              • UncookedSelachimorpha

                As a society we are all encouraged to keep bashing downward on the unfortunate and the poor…keeps us occupied while we are being robbed by the real 1% bludgers. It’s pretty disgraceful.

          • McFlock 4.1.1.2.2

            bloody good impersonation, though 🙂

    • Rosie 4.2

      You’ll care if they burgle your house because they’ve got nothing to eat, and steal the clothes from your washing line because they have no clothes to wear. Might have a rummage through your medicine kit because they can’t get any medicine. Oh, but then they might die if they don’t get the right medication. That might be an upside mightn’t it?

      Good luck with stopping society crossing over “into your reality”. Or maybe like Maggie Thatcher you believe there is no society. Maybe you live on Planet Key. Who knows.

      (Have you just popped over from the stuff comments section by any chance Kay?)

      • D'Esterre 4.2.1

        Rosie: “Good luck with stopping society crossing over “into your reality”. Or maybe like Maggie Thatcher you believe there is no society. Maybe you live on Planet Key. Who knows.o your reality”

        Kay was being sarcastic. Read her comment again: she shares your viewpoint.

        • Rosie 4.2.1.1

          Thanks Draco and D’Esterre. I see the reasoning in both your points. Perhaps, because I often feel I am surrounded by idiots I’ve lost faith in humans and their capacity for compassion, and because people actually speak like that I took the comment at face value.

          One of the reasons I visit this site is because the content of the voices here are a rare oasis of sensitivity, intelligence, knowledge and compassion in a increasingly dumbed down, increasingly heartless, fragmenting NZ.

          It keeps me sane. (ish)

          • Kay 4.2.1.1.1

            @Rosie- as I’ve just posted above- that;s probably the most sarcastic post I’ve ever made in my life. I’m one of the good guys here. I read this site daily (but not confident enough to post very often) and am getting to know the regular commentators here and you are one that I frequently agree with.

            Friends?

            • Rosie 4.2.1.1.1.1

              Oops again! I’ve just replied to you at Draco’s response. All good 🙂

              Don’t let a perceived lack of confidence hold you back from posting.
              I think it’s important we hear voices from a broader range of people. A lot of knowledge can come from life experience – we can learn from one another. More voices, more flavour I say.

              Yes, friends 😀

      • The Chairman 4.2.2

        Indeed, Rosie.

        Moreover, Kay doesn’t seem to comprehend it costs us far more to police and incarcerate those put into this predicament.

        Sarcasm for your sarcasm, Kay.

    • katipo 4.3

      Yup if fines are meant to be a deterrent , it’s very unfair that paying the same value of fine could mean one person is not afford to pay rent while another may only have to forego buying a second bottle of wine for dinner to cover it.
      Having fines based on ones income could be an idea worth considering …
      http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2015/03/finland-home-of-the-103000-speeding-ticket/387484/

  5. adam 5

    Can I point out that it is far worse!

    In Auckland, there is now a section of people who will not even apply for support. And far to many of those cut off, or suspended, do not reapply.

    These Tory scum, take delight in hurting the poorest of the poor.

    If you are a Christian, and voted for this national government. Then you need to go back and read the Gospels. Because you have lost your way. The wealth theology you have fallen for, makes you at the very least – a tacit supporter of the deceiver.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      These Tory scum, take delight in hurting the poorest of the poor.

      If it saves money so that they can cut taxes on the rich then they’re all for it. Of course, they’ll cut taxes anyway whether we can afford it or not as their whole purpose in life is to bankrupt the country so that the government is forced sell us off. Been doing it for thirty years now.

    • Macro 5.2

      “f you are a Christian, and voted for this national government. Then you need to go back and read the Gospels. Because you have lost your way. The wealth theology you have fallen for, makes you at the very least – a tacit supporter of the deceiver.”
      QFT

  6. Lucy 6

    “One of my neighbors had her sickness benefit stopped, her own carelessness in not following the rules”
    If you have every been on a benefit the rules change randomly depending on the day, the weather and your case worker. BTW the last time I was on a benefit was 30 years ago and talking to people who are on a benefit now, the system has not improved in all that time!

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      If you have every been on a benefit the rules change randomly depending on the day, the weather and your case worker.

      Yep. I got mine cut off a couple of years ago because I had the wrong ‘attitude’. I’d said no to going on another course because I was already on one and I’d been told that even just going to the meeting was purely ‘voluntary’ (Yeah, I figured that voluntary in that case meant that if I didn’t go then I’d volunteered to be cut off).

      The culture in WINZ is so toxic now that I’m sure that the case workers look for excuses to cut people off.

      BTW the last time I was on a benefit was 30 years ago and talking to people who are on a benefit now, the system has not improved in all that time!

      Oh, it’s got significantly worse. 30 years ago the people at WINZ still treated you as a person now they treat you as scum.

      • Macro 6.1.1

        +1

      • Rosie 6.1.2

        Sorry for your troubles with WINZ a few years back Draco. It’s important to hear these stories, directly from people as they experience them.

      • weka 6.1.3

        One thing that the left needs to be discussing is how funding for advocacy services for beneficiaries could happen. So much of what WINZ do is because they can get away with it and the individual either doesn’t know their rights or doesn’t have the fight in them or doesn’t have the skills to navigate the system to their advantage.

        Paula Bennett has also brought in specific legislation and policy that makes it much harder to fight. Political parties need to be asked which new ones they will roll back. At the moment no political party is willing to look at beneficiary rights unless it is in the context of child poverty or housing or jobs. Those things in and of themselves don’t change the toxic culture of WINZ.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 6.1.3.1

          I don’t believe we should leave the prosecution of human rights abuses up to the victims: the perpetrators have the entire force of the MSD behind them.

          • weka 6.1.3.1.1

            That’s a nice fantasy but it’s not going to do much about people beng affected now. I’m not talking about prosecution, I’m talking about beneficiaries having support to get their entitlements.

            • Augustus 6.1.3.1.1.1

              Some of the crux at WINZ is that there are no “entitlements”. The rules are set up deliberately to allow maximum discretion to the case worker at the expense of certainty. The purpose, I presume, is to “encourage” good and compliant behaviour. (It also helps to not be a man in the branch I’m forced to attend). Writing WINZ help down as entitlements would be a huge improvement in itself.

              We have a system where, for instance, a GP certificate stating that a person should get an Invalid’s benefit can be overruled by a hired hand, with the only appeal available to attend a meeting with a whole group of hired hands. When (not if) they find against you, there is nothing left a normal person can afford to do.

              • weka

                WINZ themselves use the term entitlement. I think that still means something, but too often individual staff exercise discretion against the beneficiary because they can get away with it. With a better funded advocacy service that would turn more towards the favour of the beneficiary. I agree it’s very hard for most beneficiaries to go through appeal processes on their one. It’s different when you have someone on your side.

            • Bill 6.1.3.1.1.2

              Probably the biggest single thing that would help would be if the law around payment for advocates and advocates claiming expenses for cases taken was changed. At the moment it is a jailable offence for an advocate to accept any payment from a person they’ve advocated for , and cases taken cannot include a claim for costs.

              I believe that nice wee restriction is a part of the Social Securities Act.

              • weka

                Or we could fund advocacy services adequately. Hard to imagine beneficiaries being able to afford to pay for advocacy services themselves (although I agree the law should probably change, I’d like the see the rationale for its existence).

                • Bill

                  In both ACC and employment cases, it’s commonplace for payment to be taken from that part of any settlement that is costs. That includes for extremely hard up people on minimum wage. As such they can get advocacy and the core component of any successful remains theirs – it’s untouched. But in WINZ advocacy, since costs cannot be claimed for and anyway, it would be illegal for an advocate to take payment from costs….

                  WINZ advocacy could easily be self funding if costs could be claimed alongside (say) a voluntary $1 a week membership to an unemployed workers union.

            • sabine 6.1.3.1.1.3

              i never quite understood why the amount of what one receives is not puplic knowledge.

              i.e. Germany, if you are unemployed you can expect 60% of your net wage as an unemployment benefits for up to 12 month, after that it will decrease to Unemployment aid, and after that to what is called Hartz4 and could be compared to social welfare (i.e. enough to be just above the official poverty threshold).

              In NZ benefits seem to be hinging on the mood of a Case Manager or the ‘earning ability’ of an applicant. Non of this is fair, nor does it make sense.
              And of course administering these benefits is costly as apparently everyone has a different amount they are ‘entitled’ too.

              I called on a “job broker’ with WINZ last year to fill a vacancy with us. I have yet to hear back from her. She did call in (after meeting with me for serveral hours to discuss my needs, constantly repeating that they are not looking to get people into jobs, but into careers, and that there are plenty of jobs out there, so people are choosers and not beggars, and that wages have to be so high that people can get of the benefits……i did ask how that went, but well….) after over 4 weeks to tell me that she was on leave and somehow managed to misplace the notes that she took, and would i be bothered to came back in the office to discuss my needs. I told her that she was 4 weeks to late, and that i had found someone already.

              Fuck, WINZ is useless, WINZ drones are useless, and they probably hope that unemployment stays high, lest they loose their jobs and have then to survive in the open private market at market rate to boot.

              • weka

                WINZ have been monkey wrenched by every government since the 80s. National are worse, because they want to privatise so it’s in their interests to have WINZ as dysfunctional as possible. Labour are somewhat better, and things do improve a bit culturally, but there is only so much people can do when working in a system that is badly designed.

                I see this across many govt jobs and social services now, people are overworked and struggling to do their jobs well because of it.

        • Mike S 6.1.3.2

          ” So much of what WINZ do is because they can get away with it and the individual either doesn’t know their rights or doesn’t have the fight in them or doesn’t have the skills to navigate the system to their advantage. ”

          Yep. When I was on the unemployment benefit, a case manager once tried to cut money from my benefit because they said that the rent money I received from my flatmate (which went straight to the landlord because my name was on the lease) was classed as income so would have to be taken into account to adjust my benefit level.

          I remember asking her that does that mean i have to pay income tax on my flatmates rent money if it was classed as income as she says? Of course that would mean I would have to pay part of my flatmates rent myself to make up for that part deducted as income tax!

          She simply wouldn’t budge so I ended up taking a copy of the relevant part of the actual legislation (I think it was the social security act but can’t remember) in order to show her the written legislation which shows that she was completely incorrect.

          After threatening to go to my local mp I got her to change her actions but I wondered how many other people she had done this to and how many had actually just accepted the cut in their benefit.

          I had all sorts of problems with that particular winz office, I won’t say which one, but honestly, they are scumbags, they really are.

          • weka 6.1.3.2.1

            One of the salient features of WINZ is how much service varies from area to area and depending on which staff you get. Most beneficiaries would have a story of unfair treatment, and most of those would say they couldn’t do anything about it. Someone should write about this, I think many NZers would be appalled.

  7. John 7

    It would be interesting to also see how many “gang” members have they targeted during the same period.

  8. TC 8

    how accurate are numbers this shonky govt produce around actual recipients as opposed to the actual numbers in need of assistance.

    Easy to ignore many folk who lack resdential/email addresses as such cant register for anything.

  9. sabine 9

    What has an outstanding warrant to do with living costs.
    If Winz and the Police work together, nothing easier of WINZ to provide the police with the details as to where they can find the person, and arrest them. Once incarcerated they can then stop the ‘benefit’ or entitlement. But not before.

    • maui 9.1

      So they’ve cut off food and shelter to a person to be apprehended by police. Cannot see how this escalates the situation.. or might put police in more danger.. nope..

    • Descendant Of Sssmith 9.2

      Nah the police should have to execute a warrant from any other government department to get information just like they would with a bank.

      Separation of power and authority please.

  10. Smilin 10

    This govt is following the international rules on Austerity which have been allowed to go quiet all part of the great TPPA distraction .
    The international right wing policy of extreme austerity is and should be of great concern to us all it can wipe anything to do with this TPPA BS if we allow this govt to continually get us into debt .That’s why the beneficiaries are copping it for starters
    Next will be the large numbers who are receiving govt assisted wages .Or the tax hold on their wages by the use of the FTC which is just like PAYE enslaving workers to another form of control by the rich who run this govt This has always been the biggest crime by employers of the workers
    And the IRD tax corporation will be the next arm of austerity mopping up all advantages going to the middle and lower income earners that are seen to be disadvantaging the rich
    This as always is only my opinion but you’d have to be a fool to think that Key and his lot think we don’t know, we could be the Greece of the South Seas very shortly if we allow this BS by Keys govt to continue borrowing
    The biggest enemy of democracy is Austerity

  11. International Rescue 11

    Receiving a benefit is a privilege. That privilege comes with conditions. Meet the conditions, and there is no loss of privilege.

    • maui 11.1

      Oh so its a privilege for people to receive food and housing? When you talk about it in those terms things start to get really twisted. Almost like some people dont exist and that communities and a society never existed.

      • International Rescue 11.1.1

        “Oh so its a privilege for people to receive food and housing? ”

        When someone else is paying for it, yes.

        • Colonial Viper 11.1.1.1

          We’re all paying dearly for the elite rich, dick head. I don’t see them respecting the rest of us any for that privilege.

          Further, if you want people off the bread line, why do you keep exporting their jobs overseas and then treating the resulting unemployed Kiwis like blood sucking vermin?

          It’s some kind of elitist sadism, right?

    • red-blooded 11.2

      Actually, the benefits system was created to ensure that all NZers had the right to at least a basic standard of living, regardless of their circumstances. That’s been significantly eroded over time, but it’s still the basic idea. All NZers (including beneficiaries) pay both income tax and GST and all have the right to receive a benefit if unable to work for some reason. It’s part of the give and take of living in a social democracy; people shouldn’t have to resort to crime, begging or prostitution in order to support themselves. Some still do, of course, but in theory at least they shouldn’t be forced into it.

      Checking it out, I see that even if a person has children, their benefit will still be cut in half under this scheme. What idiotic ideologue thinks that it’s possible to support a child on half of a benefit? Does the parent in this situation pay just half of their rent? Half the power bill? (Cos, of course, the child doesn’t use ALL of the house, or ALL of the energy…)

      Even the tough-on-crime crowd must surely see that the children in thee households haven’t done anything to be punished for.

      • International Rescue 11.2.1

        “Actually, the benefits system was created to ensure that all NZers had the right to at least a basic standard of living, regardless of their circumstances. ”

        Actually that is both untrue and irrelevant.

        The very first welfare payments in NZ were pensions, and they were only paid to ‘persons of good character’, and they were both means and income tested. (http://www.treasury.govt.nz/government/longterm/externalpanel/pdfs/ltfep-s2-03.pdf).

        Please at least do some cursory fact checking before spouting your left wing drivel.

        • Colonial Viper 11.2.1.1

          Oh fuck off. The first pension laws in NZ also explicitly excluded the Chinese.

          Maybe we as a country have grown up a bit since then. Well, except for the likes of you, that is.

          • International Rescue 11.2.1.1.1

            “The first pension laws in NZ also explicitly excluded the Chinese.”

            If so, that further proves my point.

            “Maybe we as a country have grown up a bit since then. ”

            Oh indeed. All benefits are conditional now.

            Didn’t you like my fact checking?

      • Jcuknz 11.2.2

        +1
        In the old days it was ‘child benefit’ for the sake of the children.

    • Stuart Munro 11.3

      So is running the country – and Key is making a complete cock of it. But he loses no priveleges – the airforce even flies his family to Oz on us.

      Winz must above all be functional – under the Gnats it is deliberately dysfunctional to drive people away so that they can lie that their policies are working.

      0.3% real growth shows that their policies are not working at all. Punishing the poor and the sick is only a distraction – the Gnats beat the beneficiaries like a violent alcoholic who’s drunk the rent money and won’t take back talk.

      • International Rescue 11.3.1

        John Key is paid for the work he does, and a damn god job he does too. We have record low interest rates, growing real wages, GDP growth amongst the highest in the OECD, and unemployment amongst the lowest.

        • McFlock 11.3.1.1

          … and an entrenched homelessness problem

          • DoublePlusGood 11.3.1.1.1

            And $120 billion in debt…

          • International Rescue 11.3.1.1.2

            No.

            • McFlock 11.3.1.1.2.1

              “no”, homelessness doesn’t exist, or “no” it’s not entrenched, or simply “no”, its entrenched existence is not a problem for you?

              • International Rescue

                Homelessness in NZ is not entrenched.

                There is no reason for anyone in NZ to be homeless. None.

                • McFlock

                  I agree.

                  And yet it exists to the degree that businesses will install water sprays to get rid of them. And exists in many locations, and exists in many of our cities. In many individual cases for years or decades. It is a systemic problem that is socially and commercially acceptable to turn a blind eye against. So I call that “entrenched”.

                  • International Rescue

                    It is not ‘systemic’. It is not ‘entrenched’. It exists because either people are not accessing the services available or they are then not applying those services adequately.

                    • McFlock

                      lol

                      See, if I see a service that fails to support people who are obviously in dire need of its assistance, I would expect that organisation to improve its engagement with the target population and/or ensure that its services adequately fill the need in a manner that the people can utilise.

                      I can imagine you in the Dick Smith boardroom: “we don’t have a systemic problem, it’s just that most customers are no longer buying things from us. Nothing to see here, it’s the customers’ fault”

                    • International Rescue

                      ” if I see a service that fails to support people who are obviously in dire need of its assistance, I would expect that organisation to improve its engagement with the target population and/or ensure that its services adequately fill the need in a manner that the people can utilise.”

                      You’ve clearly never worked with the homeless. There are many organisations who do, and most experience the immense frustration of trying to help people who won’t help themselves.

                    • McFlock

                      There are many organisations who do, and most experience the immense frustration of trying to help people who won’t help themselves.

                      🙄

                      There are many organisations that help the homeless, but homelessness is not entrenched, right…

                      Anyway, I have been involved with trying to make services accessible to people who are often unable to “apply” through conventional means, or are in the depths of depression or other illnesses. Saying “won’t help themselves” is a simplistic and ignorant summary of a failure to address complex needs.

                      But it is obviously just enough for you to wash your hands of concern for another human being.

        • Stuart Munro 11.3.1.2

          John Key is a scoundrel who rips off much more than he is paid every year. He has presided over 8 years of record low growth, record debt, and declining prospects for New Zealanders. His unemployment figures are, like his promise of 170 000 jobs, arrant fantasy. In any well-ordered republic he’d be facing life imprisonment if not execution.

          • International Rescue 11.3.1.2.1

            NZ has:

            > record low interest rates.
            > record low inflation rates.
            > real wages increasing.
            > record levels of employment.
            > record net migration.
            > one of the highest growth rates in the OECD.

            You’re claims are utter bs.

            • Stuart Munro 11.3.1.2.1.1

              Record low interest rates – but still 1-1.5% higher than world averages – Key fails NZ as usual.

              Record low inflation – reflects absence of growth under Key failconomy.

              Real wages decreasing – our productivity is growing slower than other countries too. http://www.hivenews.co.nz/articles/807-real-wages-and-purchasing-power-lagging-productivity

              Record levels of employment – a monstrous and blatant lie. I remember 1980 when we had 0.5% unemployment. Current lie is 5.3% which excludes persons no longer registered with the WINZ personal abuse apparatus but still wanting full time employment – enough to push UE figures out to 7 or 8% even on the grossly fraudulent “1 hour a week is employed” fiction used by Bill English to lie about his economic performance. Real figure is 10-15% – make real jobs and people will show up.

              Record levels of net migration – a combination of Kiwis fleeing the Joe Hockey initiated implosion of the Ozzie economy and Chinese property speculators – neither are anything for Key to boast about.

              One of the highest growth rates in the OECD – 0.3% – excluding migration and Christchurch makes it one of the lowest growth rates in the OECD.

              You are simply too lazy to have a discussion with anyone who does more than uncritically swallow the Key government’s kool-aid.

              • International Rescue

                NZ interest rates have always been above world averages.

                “our productivity is growing slower than other countries too.”

                That has nothing to do with real wages, which are increasing.

                “a monstrous and blatant lie. ”

                Your confused. The level of unemployment and employment are two different things.

                The rest is just ‘explaining is losing’. The NZ economy is obviously too complicated for you.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Let’s be charitable and assume you are confused by your ignorance. English et al really do define one hour per week as “employed”. Why do you think they’re so keen on zero hours contracts?

                  The alternative to our charity is that you are a mendacious piece of dogshit.

                  Which is it?

                  • International Rescue

                    No confusion, just stating facts. You’re sliding into abuse is a sign of a total lack of argument.

        • gnomic 11.3.1.3

          Laugh, I nearly split my sides. Presumably you are a poorly designed drivelbot?

    • Owning property is also a “privilege” if we’re being that generous with the extent of its meaning. Would you be so sanguine about governments messing with the conditions you have to meet to avoid loss of the “privilege” of owning property?

      • International Rescue 11.4.1

        Property ownership is a right because we pay for the property, and al associated levies (rates etc). If I failed to pay those rates, then I should lose the rights to my property. I have to assume you didn;t think that silly example out.

        • McFlock 11.4.1.1

          so paying money entitles people to rights?

          Well, everyone on a benefit pays GST, so they must have a right to income support

          • International Rescue 11.4.1.1.1

            No, that isn’t what I said. Paying money for property assigns rights to that property. Paying taxes does not assign a right to receive a benefit without satisfying the conditions of that benefit.

            • McFlock 11.4.1.1.1.1

              lol

              “oh yes it does”. See how that works? When you claim something “assigns rights” without justifying it, an equally catechismic response is equally as strong.

              I believe that people have an unconditional right to life. Do you disagree with that ideal?

              People who are in poverty or homeless die preventable deaths. Their right to life is not protected.

              The only 100% certain way to end poverty is to give people money, by definition.

              So it follows that benefits are an unconditional moral right. Just because sociopaths in government are happy to let people die through legal loopholes and conditions on benefits doesn’t mean that the moral right doesn’t exist.

              • International Rescue

                “I believe that people have an unconditional right to life. Do you disagree with that ideal?”

                Yes, including unborn people. (That’ll keep you up at night).

                “People who are in poverty or homeless die preventable deaths. Their right to life is not protected.”

                Not in NZ. There is ample protection for such people, from both Govt and non-Govt sources.

                “So it follows that benefits are an unconditional moral right. ”

                This is one of the more absurd assertions I’ve seen in a while. Poverty in NZ is thoroughly avoidable. People that are in difficulty have ample sources of help, and ample taxpayer funded benefits available. If they abide by certain thoroughly reasonable conditions.

                • McFlock

                  I italicised “people”, not “human tissue”.

                  My finger does not have an unconditional right to exist.

                  There is ample protection for such people, from both Govt and non-Govt sources.

                  If there is ample protection, why do many causes of mortality have a clear economic deprivation relationship that is much stronger than regional, cultural or gender variations? This has been well documented in NZ over the last ten years or so.

                  Poverty in NZ is thoroughly avoidable. People that are in difficulty have ample sources of help, and ample taxpayer funded benefits available. If they abide by certain thoroughly reasonable conditions.

                  So Sudi, general infant mortality, infectious diseases, diseases relating to overcrowding, and anything else with clear economic relationships are “thoroughly avoidable” by abiding by “thoroughly reasonable conditions”, and yet people died when their power was disconnected and a baby’s housing contributed to its death.

                  Maybe conditions you call “thoroughly reasonable” actually appear “unsurmountable” to the people who actually need the assistance.

                  • International Rescue

                    An unborn child is ‘people’. It has all of its fingers, indeed it has the capability to hold the hand of it’s dieing sibling. Amazing eh.

                    “If there is ample protection, why do many causes of mortality have a clear economic deprivation relationship that is much stronger than regional, cultural or gender variations?”

                    If this is so, and frankly I doubt it, then the issue is people not accessing the protection.

                    “and yet people died when their power was disconnected”

                    And there you have it. Have you asked yourself why their power was disconnected?

                    • McFlock

                      Well, you only think that a foetus is a person because that would create a “person” other than yourself who has less than five braincells to bang together.

                      See, “people not accessing the protection” means that the “protection” is not there in a way they can access. We are literally talking about dead babies here: even if the parents were incompetent lowlifes whom you regard as economic untermenchen, the system of “protection” is not protecting the babies who die before their first birthday.

                      And your implication that people deserve to die if they can’t pay their bills is frankly disgusting.

                    • International Rescue

                      No, a foetus is a person because that is what the scientific evidence tells us. I’m not arguing people should suffer the consequences of other persons decisions, only their own.

                      “And your implication that people deserve to die if they can’t pay their bills is frankly disgusting.”

                      And I resent you suggesting I did imply that. I simply pointed out the stupidity and contradiction in your own example.

                    • McFlock

                      Your delusions about what constitutes scientific evidence do not advance a metaphysical theory. There is no single “scientific” definition of the word “person”. There isn’t even a single philosophical one.

                      “and yet people died when their power was disconnected”

                      And there you have it. Have you asked yourself why their power was disconnected?

                      Why is the why in any way relevant to the issue?

                      The disconnection causing the death was wrong. Balancing the property rights of a few kilowatts of power against the inalienable right to life can tip the scales only in favour of life.
                      Reason not the need, and reason not the cause.

                    • International Rescue

                      When I speak of ‘person’ I speak physically, not meta-physically. By 11 weeks, an unborn person is fully formed, with functioning vital organs, arms, legs, even toenails!

                      The ‘why’ is totally relevant. You just need to give it more thought.

                    • McFlock

                      lol

                      In that case, 11-week old fetuses would be born without complication, because they are fully formed and all their vital organs functioning. The truth is quite the opposite. Just looking at the images, is this an embryonic person, elephant, or rabbit? what about this?

                      Similarly, the reason why life-essential power was disconnected is unimportant. Unless you care to explain it, rather than hiding behind bullshit.

        • sabine 11.4.1.2

          The unemployed Fonterra workers, have paid for the privilege to receive an unemployment benefits. So will the soon to be unemployed Postal and IRD worker, and so have the unemployed in general. The pensioneers have worked and paid their taxes and are thus entitled to their pension.

          Everyone in this country that buys anything will spend 15% of their hard earned cash on GST, a tax that goes straight to the government.

          So no, unemployment benefits, social welfare benefits, sickness and disability benefits are not paid by you, or me or anyone in particular, they are paid by all of us that consume and pay taxes.
          And we do so, that we may live in a decent, humane situation, unless of course you think that Somalia is a good example of pure libertarianism where the one with the biggest gun gets the best cut of meat.

          How would you and your family survive such a society? Or do you think a bullet to your head would be the appropriate answer when you outlive your usefulness and you just get too old and sick and broken to work? Is that your solution, that these people – that you consider ‘undeserving of their paid entitlements’ should just go and quietly die in a ditch, lest a penny of your taxes is spent on them?

          • International Rescue 11.4.1.2.1

            “The unemployed Fonterra workers, have paid for the privilege to receive an unemployment benefits. ”

            They have not purchased the right to receive benefits unconditionally.

            • Stuart Munro 11.4.1.2.1.1

              The problem is that this wicked and inhuman government has changed the conditions unilaterally.

              • International Rescue

                Conditions have always been a part of welfare payments. If you did even the most cursory of research you would know that.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Conditional on being unemployed and filling in an application form, for example.

                  Trash like you deserve to be unemployed, because your stupid incompetent beliefs drag everyone else down.

                  • International Rescue

                    Conditional on not having outstanding warrants.

                    My not being unemployed pays the taxes for people who are!

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      The taxes you pay will never be enough to compensate for the harm your hateful opinions do.

                    • International Rescue

                      Oh this hateful thing again. Well done. Your sidestepping should get you into the AB’s.

    • Draco T Bastard 11.5

      No, it’s not a privilege, it’s a right.

      • Gangnam Style 11.5.1

        I think he means ‘privilege’ as in beneficiaries should be touching their forelock & bowing their heads when us workers walk past. What a sad little bastard to get off on crap like that.

        & brilliant comment Psycho Milt, spot on!

    • weka 11.6

      “Receiving a benefit is a privilege.”

      WINZ itself uses the word ‘entitlement’. People have a right to a benefit.

      • International Rescue 11.6.1

        “WINZ itself uses the word ‘entitlement’. People have a right to a benefit.”

        No, they don’t. And all benefits are ‘conditional’. As they damn well should be,.

    • sabine 11.7

      nope my fried,

      receiving a benefit is an entitlement for which you pay taxes.
      i.e. every wage cycle x amount of dollar is send to the treasure to pay for the social well being of this country. This includes Health Care, Education, Infrastructure, and Social Welfare.

      So when you loose your job, through no fault of your own, you are entitled to Unemployment benefits to help you continue your life and pay your bills until you find a new job.
      If you get in an accident cause a drunken driver plows in your car/or bike and you loose both legs, you are entitled to a disability benefit/entitlement as this is what you have been paying taxes for.
      Should your child not find a job, or be made permanently ill or disabled, he/she would have access to health services, education services, and other benefits to survive and within their limitations to live a meaning full live.

      Unless you think of course you are paying taxes just for the sake of it, and expect no return.

      • International Rescue 11.7.1

        “receiving a benefit is an entitlement for which you pay taxes.”

        Not unconditionally. Or if you submit that it is, show me the contract.

        • Colonial Viper 11.7.1.1

          you’re a social sadist fuck off.

          • International Rescue 11.7.1.1.1

            CV I am simply arguing the facts. And holding people who live off the taxpayer accountable. That is not an unreasonable position, nor is it a novel one.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 11.7.1.1.1.1

              Your desire to separate the poor into “deserving” and “undeserving” categories marks you as a sadistic moron who knows nothing of history let alone economics or ethics.

              No wonder people tell you to fuck off: Sabinists are the lowest form of human life in New Zealand

              • International Rescue

                There is no separating, and I make no judgements about whether people are deserving or not. A benefit is a payment made out of someone elses money. It is ludicrous to suggest this should be unconditional, unless of course it isn’t your money!

    • Rodel 11.8

      I’m reminded of the American Eagle in the Muppet Show. Probably too subtle..sorry.

      • International Rescue 11.8.1

        I’m reminded of the two old men in the royal box!

        • Colonial Viper 11.8.1.1

          The 0.1% will never thank you for your cruel efforts against fellow Kiwis. Fuck off.

          • International Rescue 11.8.1.1.1

            I don;t want their ‘thanks’. I want accountability for those who receive money from the taxpayer.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 11.8.1.1.1.1

              You first. You received a free primary education and yet you spit in the faces of your betters. Trash like you belong at The Hague.

              • International Rescue

                My free primary education was not unconditional. It required myself and my parents to meet certain criteria, comply with certain conditions. Getting it yet?

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Meanwhile, on Earth, your primary education was compulsory. The conditions you had to meet were that you were alive and young enough.

    • Mike S 11.9

      “Receiving a benefit is a privilege. That privilege comes with conditions. Meet the conditions, and there is no loss of privilege.”

      woop woop!…woop woop!…woop woop!

      *** Fuckwit alert !! ***

  12. shorts 12

    Oh for some good telling and insightful media reports on how people are struggling on a benefit – and what and how those who are cut of survive (I assume family, but what of those without)

    I had my last experience of WINZ under the Clark government and it was truely horrific… I can’t even begin to imagine the way people are treated now, nor how more people don’t see these stories carry a very heavy burden to the individuals, their families and communities those numbers represent

    • TC 12.1

      Its being driven into the dust at a people, process and systems level over the last 7+ years under blinglush, pullya benefit etc.

      Know someone thats trying to sort out years of underpaymen, pointed out by winz, to be told that systems are being updated so nothing can be done till its complete….ffs !

    • joe90 12.2

      Oh for some good telling and insightful media reports on how people are struggling on a benefit

      Seems to me every time someone dare stick their head above the parapet taxpayer funded research units set about doxing them.

  13. What baffles me is the fact that despite this Tory governments hatred of working people and their families .Despite having destroyed unions and real jobs they still top the (so called ) gallop polls. I’m afraid the average NZ is either stupid or completely brain washed I’m sorry to say Rosie and Kay that I have been fighting Tory injustice for for years and they are still in charge ,In fact I believe they are worse. They are a slimy unprincipled greedy gang of thieves , and I see no way they will ever be defeated.

  14. Chuck 14

    If you were to ask 100 people walking down any street in NZ, the question posed in this post by A Robins, the majority would say the answer is pretty simple…

    Sort out (clear) your arrest warrant and have your benefit reinstated.

    From the CAB website

    Arrest warrants
    “If you have an arrest warrant it must be cleared within 28 days after its issue. If it hasn’t been cleared within this time you’ll receive a letter from WINZ giving you a further ten days. If it hasn’t been cleared after this time your benefit will be affected”.

    W&I website
    Clearing an arrest warrant

    “The Ministry of Justice is responsible for issuing and clearing warrants.

    Arrest warrants can be cleared at the criminal counter at a courthouse (this is called a voluntary appearance). It’s best done at the court where the warrant was issued, but can be done at any courthouse. Those needing to clear a warrant should arrive early in the day. If it’s left too late it may not be possible to clear the warrant that day.

    The court will advise whether the warrant can be cleared straight away or if a Judge needs to make the decision.

    If a beneficiary or their partner has an uncleared warrant for criminal matters they’ll be told that unless it’s cleared, or they have taken reasonable steps to try and clear the warrant, their benefit will stop (if they have no dependent children) or reduce by up to half (if they have dependent children).

    Benefit payments can’t be restarted until the warrant is cleared and any missed payments won’t be backdated. Other payments from Work and Income may also be affected.”

    • One Anonymous Bloke 14.1

      Yeah the answer is real simple. To simpletons.

      1. You don’t represent the views of two people, let alone one hundred. Speak for yourself.

      2. If you can find one hundred kindred spirits, who gives a fuck what wannabe human rights abusers think? So far as I’m concerned you’re lower than common criminals.

      3. An appropriate sentence would be to double your taxes and give your money directly to the homeless.

      • International Rescue 14.1.1

        Or, you could address what Chuck posted from CAB. It’s simple, resolve your warrants and regain your benefit.

        • Colonial Viper 14.1.1.1

          How about the Government properly fund the public defenders service?

          Authoritarians like you should go fuck off instead of letting Kiwis starve and calling the practice just.

          • International Rescue 14.1.1.1.1

            Ah, yes, the Govt should fix it. And the ‘kiwis are starving’ meme. Gee you’re predictable.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 14.1.1.1.1.1

              You haven’t even reached CV’s level of understanding of the situation. Paging Dr. Dunning-Kruger.

              • International Rescue

                Oh I get it, I really do. CV wants the Govt to fix everything. That’s quaint, but very last century.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 14.1.1.2

          Or, you could stop inflicting your sadistic fantasy life upon other people.

          • International Rescue 14.1.1.2.1

            It isn’t sadistic. There is only so much of other peoples money you can spend.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 14.1.1.2.1.1

              I understand that you think your sophistry masks your sadism. It doesn’t.

              • International Rescue

                I understand that you are studiously avoiding debating the actual issue.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  The actual issue is that your authoritarian responses to economic circumstances are the result of intellectual sloth. If that were the only consequence we could simply note that you are a simpleton and move on.

                  Meanwhile, on Earth, the policies you promote foster inhumanity, morbidity, and violence.

                  • International Rescue

                    My responses are not authoritarian, they are intelligent and practical. You seem to suggest that putting conditions of the receipt of welfare turns people to violence, I have ore faith in the human spirit, frankly.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Poverty is violence. I know that you believe it’s a lifestyle choice. That’s another example of your disgusting hateful dogma.

                    • International Rescue

                      Violence – behaviour involving physical force intended to hurt, damage, or kill someone or something.

                      Poverty is not violence. That the left continues to redefine words just shows it has run out of sensible arguments.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Poverty hurts, damages, and kills, and is deliberately inflicted upon people: the level of poverty in any given society is a choice made by its government. Right wingers refuse to accept their personal responsibility for this.

                    • International Rescue

                      “…and is deliberately inflicted upon people: the level of poverty in any given society is a choice made by its government.”

                      Rubbish. People’s choices and actions are significantly to blame for their own poverty. The NZ Government spends billions attempting to prevent and alleviate it.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      …significantly to blame…

                      [citation needed]

                      Yes, I know you believe that very very hard indeed. Your assertions count for nothing: they are self-serving worthless drivel. If that were their only failing no-one would care. However, in fact they do significant harm.

                      Stop denying your personal responsibility for the ways your filthy theology blights peoples’ lives, trash.

                    • International Rescue

                      My assertions do no-one any harm. I realise this is your go-to position, but it is weak and intellectually dishonest.

                      BTW, I have no idea what the study of God has to do with this.

    • weka 14.2

      How about you ask 100 people walking down the street if they feel that having their pay cut for month is an appropriate response to outstanding parking fines.

      • Stuart Munro 14.2.1

        Especially as there’s a sporting chance they don’t know about the fines, or that the fines are in error.

      • International Rescue 14.2.2

        Welfare isn’t ‘pay’.

        • weka 14.2.2.1

          So? I made a specific point, see if you can respond to it before putting up something irrelevant.

          • International Rescue 14.2.2.1.1

            No, my point was entirely irrelevant, if perhaps too subtle for you. So I’ll make it simpler. Welfare is a conditional payment for doing essentially nothing. Pay is a legal obligation for services rendered. That makes your analogy meaningless.

            • weka 14.2.2.1.1.1

              I agree, your point was entirely irrelevant. Try again.

              • International Rescue

                Do you have a response, or are you avoiding giving one?

                • weka

                  I’m just winding down the conversation because it’s so stupid. You clearly aren’t going to engage meaningfully, and your view of the world is pretty fucked up and I can’t be bothered arguing with such a person if they can’t even get their arguments straight.

                  • International Rescue

                    I am engaging meaningfully. You might not agree with me, but your accusation that I can;t get my story straight is simply another excuse to run. I’m calling you on that.

    • Puddleglum 14.3

      Hi Chuck,

      You might want to read the post again.

      The question wasn’t ‘How do people get their benefit reinstated if it’s been terminated?’

      The question was “what happens to people who have their benefit terminated? How do they live? Do we know? Do we care?”

      What’s your ‘simple answer’ to those questions?

      • International Rescue 14.3.1

        Don’t have an outstanding warrant.

        Next question.

        • Puddleglum 14.3.1.1

          The next question remains the original question:

          what happens to people who have their benefit terminated? How do they live? Do we know? Do we care?

          You see, this is the bit that we are responsible for since we voted in the government that is pursuing these policies. We need to be responsible for the consequences of our actions, don’t we? (Otherwise we risk moral hypocrisy.)

          How, then, do we answer these questions about the consequences of our actions?

          • McFlock 14.3.1.1.1

            It seems to me that International Rescue’s objective is to find an excuse so they don’t have to care or think about people in that position.

            Not a lot of rescuing going on…

          • Draco T Bastard 14.3.1.1.2

            Hang on, you’re asking a RWNJ to take personal responsibility for their actions?

            Yeah, not going to happen.

          • International Rescue 14.3.1.1.3

            Don’t have an outstanding warrant.
            Clear the warrant.
            Get your benefit.

            Simple enough for you?

        • Draco T Bastard 14.3.1.2

          So, tell me, when speed cameras were introduced and you got caught speeding did you simply pay the fine or did you whinge about it being nothing more than a revenue gathering operation by the government?

          • International Rescue 14.3.1.2.1

            I paid my fine.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 14.3.1.2.1.1

              Not yet you haven’t. You must take personal responsibility for your hate speech first.

              • International Rescue

                Hate speech? Ah the last bastion of the illiberal left.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Imposing additional penalties beyond arrest on citizens is a hateful practice. Your political opinion of the welfare state is manifesting itself as discrimination against beneficiaries.

                  That you confuse accusation with guilt goes without saying.

                  • International Rescue

                    Hateful? Are you serious? Placing conditions on people being given other peoples money is responsible and equitable. Again, the only people I know who resort to calling ‘hate speech’ have one aim only, to silence opinion.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Other people’s money? You have precisely zero knowledge of the prior taxes they will have paid. Another manifestation of your hate.

                    • International Rescue

                      Nor do you. And any taxes they ‘may’ have paid go towards all sorts of other Govt services, including healthcare, education, etc etc. No welfare should be unconditional. None.

                    • McFlock

                      what’s the point of healthcare if you’re just putting them back on the street with no food and no shelter?

                    • International Rescue

                      No-ones doing that. There are many organisations devoted to helping people in need, most receiving government funds in one form or another. But the individuals concerned can access Government assistance directly. With certain reasonable conditions.

        • Stuart Munro 14.3.1.3

          It’s all about you isn’t it?

          Actually it’s not – you have nothing to contribute. Now run along and play with the other RWNJs on whaleoil where you belong.

          • International Rescue 14.3.1.3.1

            No, its all about getting people off dependency and taking personal repsonsibility.

            • Draco T Bastard 14.3.1.3.1.1

              No, really, it isn’t. It’s all about cutting taxes for the rich.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 14.3.1.3.1.2

              And there it is: the lie at the heart of all your false beliefs: personal responsibility; you intone it like a mantra, comforting, repetitive, ad nauseam.

              Get a clue.

              • International Rescue

                Personal Responsibility is not a lie, it is an essential element of a civilised society.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  No, it’s a lie that exists for the sole purpose of promoting right wing false beliefs. Get a clue.

                  • International Rescue

                    So you don’t believe there is any place for personal responsibility in a modern society? Welcome to nanny state folks.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      No. Please try and keep up: the phrase has no useful meaning beyond providing fools like you with an excuse for discrimination against people less fortunate than you are.

                    • International Rescue

                      Really. Try googling “Personal Responsibility”. You’ll find over 14 million hits, including definitions and research papers. The phrase is a well known and well used one. Here’s one definition you might find useful:

                      “Personal responsibility is the idea that human beings choose, instigate, or otherwise cause their own actions. A corollary idea is that because we cause our actions, we can be held morally accountable or legally liable.”

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      “The idea”

                      “Notion” would be a better description.

                      “Our actions”.

                      Remind me when the rise in homelessness was caused by homeless people. Rheumatic fever caused by children breathing in. The vile “idea” you rote-learned has been thoroughly discredited so many times it’s not funny, and yet you persist.

                      Poverty is caused by greedy incompetent fools who mistake good fortune for good character.

                    • International Rescue

                      Not in NZ. In NZ poverty is:

                      a> largely overstated.
                      b> significantly the result of poor choices.
                      c> the target of many billions of dollars of taxpayers money.

      • Chuck 14.3.2

        Puddleglum, my answer to the question was / is to sort out the arrest warrant…that is how to reinstate ones benefit and keep the $ coming in. 28 days + 10 days gives ample opportunity to do so, personal reasonably is sadly lacking these days.

        So to be clear…

        “what happens to people who have their benefit terminated? How do they live? Do we know? Do we care?”

        Nothing happens to them, all they need to do is sort out the arrest warrant, and live goes on.

        • weka 14.3.2.1

          Yeah, but what happens to them in the weeks that they have no income while the other thing is being sorted out? When you say nothing happens to them, do you mean they eat nothing, don’t pay rent etc?

          • Chuck 14.3.2.1.1

            For an arrest warrant to be issued means a lot of time has already gone under the bridge for the “person” to have sorted out the fine/s. By sorting out the fine I mean either pay it / have an agreement to drip feed payment / or if its disputed have their day in court.

            Now if the “person” does nothing (turns into an arrest warrant), then they face a time line of 38 days (as above) to sort it out. If they still do nothing or leave it until the last possible day then yes…it could turn to shit for the “person”. So who’s fault is it?

            Thousands of other beneficiaries and low / middle income people pay their fines off, so why should a small % think they do not have to?

            • weka 14.3.2.1.1.1

              You are still avoiding the question. We’re talking about existing situations, not future ones. What happens to the people who lose their benefit this week? How do they eat? Feed their kids? Pay rent? Recover from the weeks of no income?

              And because you seem to be lacking in experience or imagination, consider someone who lives in the suburbs, has a physical disability, has a pre-pay cell phone with no credit on it, and now has no money. What happens to them?

        • One Anonymous Bloke 14.3.2.2

          …and later, when sanity prevails, prosecute the perpetrators for human rights abuses.

  15. Chuck 15

    Weka, its called personal responsibility. If for example you had a outstanding parking fine/s and one day you took the Weka family to the airport for a nice holiday, guess what? you will be arrested after you go though customs (given the chance to pay in full or its no holiday for the Weka family). I bet that you would make sure any and all fines you have are paid before…

    • Stuart Munro 15.1

      Wasn’t so long ago parking fines were minor – rather than a desperate funding grab by a morally bankrupt and fiscally incompetent government. It’s called facism Chuck – and we don’t want a bar of it.

      What’s more, quite a few of us aren’t going to put up with much more of this – our ancestors fought for this country – pretty soon some of us might fight for it again.

      • Psycho Milt 15.1.1

        I for one look forward to hearing on the news about your armed uprising to overthrow the “facists” who are imposing such draconian parking fines enforcement on the nation. Should be a laff riot.

        • Stuart Munro 15.1.1.1

          Parking fines used to be about enforcement – they changed in the 90s into revenue collection – charges went sky high and any excuse, like wof lapses became revenue sources for the pernicious government of the day.

          I sold my car after that – fuck ’em.

          Responsible governments don’t pull that shit.

          Darwin describes what NZ has become in his notes on Montevideo:

          If a man who is poor commits murder and is taken, he will be imprisoned, and perhaps even shot; but if he is rich and has friends, he may rely on it no very severe consequence will ensue. It is curious that the most respectable inhabitants of the country invariably assist a murderer to escape: they seem to think that the individual sins against the government, and not against the people. A traveller has no protection besides his fire-arms; and the constant habit of carrying them is the main check to more frequent robberies. The character of the higher and more educated classes who reside in the towns, partakes, but perhaps in a lesser degree, of the good parts of the Gaucho, but is, I fear, stained by many vices of which he is free. Sensuality, mockery of all religion, and the grossest corruption, are far from uncommon. Nearly every public officer can be bribed. The head man in the post-office sold forged government franks. The governor and prime minister openly combined to plunder the state.
          – Voyage of the Beagle p71 C. E. Darwin

          The last line describes Key perfectly. Corruption is nothing new, exciting, professional or businesslike – it is shockingly backward even by 19th century standards.

      • Chuck 15.1.2

        I have an intense dislike for parking fines (assume 99% people are the same). If I receive a parking fine? I pay it and move on, as I know one day it will catch up with me if I don’t.

        Its not fascism, while I dislike parking fines, I do understand the logical behind them, as a tool to free up parking spaces for others (as a consequence for parking in excess of the time limit etc).

        • Jcuknz 15.1.2.1

          I have always disliked paying parking fines so I avoid causing them and in 60+years of driving I have had five, last one around 35 years ago. But some consider it their right to break the rules ignoring the fact that 20c in the meter is better than $20 to the court etc.

    • weka 15.2

      Weka, its called personal responsibility. If for example you had a outstanding parking fine/s and one day you took the Weka family to the airport for a nice holiday, guess what? you will be arrested after you go though customs (given the chance to pay in full or its no holiday for the Weka family). I bet that you would make sure any and all fines you have are paid before…

      Chuck, the people we are talking about don’t get to go on overseas holidays. I don’t either. Your example speaks volumes. Of course people who are doing relatively ok can attend to all the things that matter in their lives. The whole point about being on a benefit is that you can’t and that the state punishes you.

      Needless to say there is a huge difference between not being able to go on holiday and not being able to feed oneself and then falling into a financial hole that one may never get out of. Your comment suggests to me that you have no idea about the reality of the lives of many people. I’d suggest reading Linda Tirado in order to be more informed and hopefully develop some compassion,

      http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/sep/21/linda-tirado-poverty-hand-to-mouth-extract

      • One Anonymous Bloke 15.2.1

        Chuck is from the Sabinist wing of the National Party. They’re too busy looking for victims to bother with empathy.

      • Chuck 15.2.2

        I have seen both sides of life Weka, and agree its a struggle at some point in time for most of us.

        The point that I am making; it is 100% in the control of a beneficiary to sort it out with no loss of any benefit if they decide to.

        Parking fines have been used as an example here, however I doubt they would be anywhere near the main reason for the warrants.

        Regardless, the courts take into account the situation of the person and if they can’t pay in full a suitable payment arrangement is made. This I know personally as I have struggled in the past, not been able to pay rent etc. Had the court chase me for fines that I paid off over the course of about 12 months.

        • weka 15.2.2.1

          “The point that I am making; it is 100% in the control of a beneficiary to sort it out with no loss of any benefit if they decide to.”

          This is not true and it tells me that you have seen two sides of life, but not the third or fourth or fifth. Read Tirado’s article. There are many reasons why some people do not have the degree of personal agency that you claim. That you have been able to manage your life personally on your own just tells us that your life was manageable not unmanageable.

          • Chuck 15.2.2.1.1

            I have just read the Tirado article. Yes life can be bloody hard, I do feel for anyone that has to drag them self off the floor time and time again.

            If I am correct in your line of reasoning Weka; basically you are saying that people trapped in poverty do not make and/or are incapable of making the correct decisions in life?

            The quoted numbers since 2013 say about 2,400 people have had benefits stopped via failing to clear arrest warrants. I don’t have the numbers at hand, but without a shadow of doubt tens of thousands of people (on benefits of some type or low paying jobs) have managed to sort out various fines they may of had since 2013.

            So we are left with a % who we should not expect to show any personal responsibility (which is not there fault according to the Tirado article).

            My question to you is this; what do you suggest is done with a person on a benefit who has failed to pay or enter into a drip feed payment for a fine (be it parking, speeding, dangerous driving, court ordered civil or criminal payment etc)?

            • One Anonymous Bloke 15.2.2.1.1.1

              No, you are incorrect.

              Choice – “the right decisions” – nothing to do with it: your witless self-serving argument has no foundation.

              You’re weak-minded, so you need to believe that you can “better yourself” – become wealthy – by hard work. I’d feel sorry for you were it not for the fact that your fantasies foster so much misery, and your vile victim-blaming.

              What should be done with you?

              • Chuck

                OAB you are correct on one matter – hard work…something I suspect you do not practice.

                However seriously… what is your answer to beneficiary’s who for what ever reason refuse to deal with sorting out an arrest warrant? other than throwing some abuse and name calling my way!! (but if you do so be it 🙂 ).

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Yes, I am correct: if hard work fostered wealth, miners and nurses would be wealthy.

                  Wealth is delivered by chance: either an accident of birth, or a lucky economic break. Your amygdala will reject this, and if that were the only consequence, you’d deserve it. However, you insist that your fantasies be regarded as facts, so it’s better to defend children – and your other victims – against you.

                  • Chuck

                    I am glad you have such an understanding of my temporal lobe!

                    Why not answer my question?

                    Hard work does not need to = wealth in the way you think it does (millions of dollars in an account). Being proud of the job you do, being the best in your profession, helping others are all perfectly good outcomes of hard work.

                    You are defending no one OAB…just trying to make your self feel better for reason only you will know.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Of course wealth is defined by more than cash. As I said: you are ill-equipped to grasp the argument.

  16. Colonial Viper 16

    The fact of the matter is that the Left is weak in both political and moral arguments at the moment. So dickheads like International Rescue will continue to get a thrill dressing up their fascism as pragmatism.

    And treating the poor like dogs to be kicked.

    • Stuart Munro 16.1

      The Left is likely to find themselves outflanked by ordinary practical people who didn’t sign up to be shat upon in their own country if they don’t get moving. The TPPA protests caught most of the Wellington set by surprise – they are insulated from the hardship that is rampant in NZ right now. I know many professional families that are struggling – God only knows how the intergenerational poor are doing. But I can guess – and the No. 8 mentality’s solution to a vicious, crooked and irresponsible government is bound to be… practical.

    • weka 16.2

      “The fact of the matter is that the Left is weak in both political and moral arguments at the moment.”

      So either you’re not left, or you are weak in political and moral arguments. Which is it?

      I’m left. I have strong political and moral arguments, as do many, many others on the left.

    • Sabine 16.3

      no dickheads like international rescue get thrills dressing up their fascism as pragmatism because many like are you are too busy beating the left up simply because ‘whatever the left is to you’ is not living up to your standards. An/d why would they be any better then you? They don’t like the left any more then you seem to do.

      The rest of us on the left have strong convictions and the moral arguments to support their convictions.

      You however remind me more and more of the angry lover who laments…”.we could have been so good together if you would have just been more i would want you to be instead of how you are” . Guess what, that is not how life goes.

      • Stuart Munro 16.3.1

        Forgive me, but back when I gave what pretended to be the Left the benefit of the doubt it turned out to be first dishonest neo-liberals in sheep’s clothing (sounds like some rightwing Aussie fantasy), and after that a version of personality politics that endeavoured to blame all the problems of the world on me for being a white male. Screw that.

        I am tired of waiting on epiphenominal pretenders – our country is being looted and ruined, our children are going hungry and our people are not being housed.
        I am absolutely furious, and I want better government – in fact I demand it. The Left can be that, or not as they choose – but if they don’t choose, I’m done with them.

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