After nine long years National discovers there is child poverty in New Zealand

Written By: - Date published: 7:57 am, September 10th, 2017 - 98 comments
Categories: bill english, child welfare, Deep stuff, election 2017, Media, national, paula bennett, Politics, poverty, same old national, the praiseworthy and the pitiful - Tags:

Over the past nine long years it has been really difficult getting National to even acknowledge that there even was child poverty.  Before 2008 National talked big.  John Key gave speech after speech about the underclass and how Labour was failing.  He even took a young Maori woman Aroha Hudson to Waitangi in the Ministerial Limo in an attempt to show that he was actually a decent human being and could be compared to Norm Kirk.

History will show that he failed but his attempt had some of the greatest PR minds working overtime to make it work, at least in terms of publicity.  And Aroha and her Whanau thought after a while that he was actually a dipshit.

I must apologise for my tourettes.  As the possibility of ridding our country of this Government grows larger the frustrations of the past nine years are boiling up.

So this week we had Bill English announce a target for reducing child poverty which accepts that there are children living in poverty.

It has not always been this clear.  Not so long ago now Deputy Prime Minister Paula Bennett scoffed and joked at the idea that there should be an official measurement of poverty.  If you want a reason to make sure she never has a any political power in the future then watch this video.

Haha get that? If there is no official measurement of child poverty then we do not have to do anything about it.

And suddenly during an election campaign Bill English gets concerned about child poverty. From Newshub:

National leader Bill English committed to a target to bring 100,000 children out of poverty within the next three years, at tonight’s Newshub Leaders Debate.

Mr English said that in April next year National’s families package would bring 50,000 kids out of poverty.

“If we can get elected within two or three years we can have a crack at the next 50,000 children, getting them out of poverty,” he said.

“There’s two things you need to do, one is lift incomes the other is get inside the very toxic mix of social issues which we know are family violence, criminal offending and long-term welfare dependency. We’ve got the best tools in the world now to support rising incomes with cracking the social problems.”

When host Patrick Gower asked him if that was a commitment to a target to bring 100,000 children out of poverty, Mr English said yes.

Good on him.  No New Zealand Government should tolerate child poverty.

But why has it taken so long?

And it really feels like this Government is being kicking and screaming to finally commit to doing something a responsible Government would have addressed years ago.

Checkpoint had this program last Friday comparing the lunchboxes of rich kids and poor kids and the difference was depressing.  The programme clearly showed what was happening in our richest and poorest schools.

English’s response to the programme was as banal and as uninformed as you could ever imagine.

You would think the Prime Minister of the country would have an idea about how badly fed the country’s poorest citizens are.

Russell Brown had the perfect response.

Remember there is only two weeks to go. Make sure your family are enrolled and voting.

98 comments on “After nine long years National discovers there is child poverty in New Zealand”

  1. Ed 1

    Good on,John Campbell for returning to the story of school lunches.
    Have hunted for old Campbell Live archive and can’t find online anymore?

  2. Carolyn_nth 2

    Blinglish quoted in the post.’

    “There’s two things you need to do, one is lift incomes the other is get inside the very toxic mix of social issues which we know are family violence, criminal offending and long-term welfare dependency. We’ve got the best tools in the world now to support rising incomes with cracking the social problems.”

    My bold.

    Oh, so punitive social welfare practices, removing benefits from those who need them without notice, blaming the victims and survivors of 30 years of neoliberal inequalities, etc, …. is a major part of Bling’s plan to end poverty?

    Gonna work?!

    I don’t think so.

    • miravox 2.1

      It seems he’s struggling to make the case for “personal responsibility” these days, so now we have “social issues”. Poverty and social issues often intersect but they’re not the same thing.

      There is still no acknowledgement that poverty, by definition is lack of money, and with that being the case, raising incomes (including benefit levels) is the answer, and alongside that the root causes of social issues (and reduction of harm) that may or may not be poverty-related need also be properly addressed.

    • tracey 2.2

      Rising incomes? Not when one business rep organisation us saying that profits mean your job is secure not that you get more money.

      This poverty shit is like the funding for teachers to low decile schools. A mirage. They announce a rise in education budget but tell no one about the incentive. The Principals Ass didnt even know. So no one takes it. You use the money for your smoke and mirrors surplus. Same with setting kpi for winz workers to NOT share an allowance right that the client doesnt know. You can say x in the budget to help but you know you wont spend it. Zap it across to your surplus.

      Bill English and money to help the vulnerable is like the NRA … from his cold, dead hands

      • Banjo 2.2.1

        Agree, English’s claim to raise wages as a step to lift families out of poverty seems at odds with the Nats own ideology.

        They’ve weakened workers rights, they fought against the equal pay claim, English himself said low wages in NZ were an ‘advantage’. He also said in the recent press debate “we’re thriving without unions”. That completely ignores the state the forestry industry was in & the work of Helen Kelly & the CTU, how the aged care workers & their union had to go to the Supreme Court to get reasonable pay, the way the meatworkers are bullied & threatened, the zero hours campaign etc etc.

        None of these workers were “thriving” & it was unions that lifted their wages/conditions and continue the fight to do so. If National have any detailed policy on how they’re proposing to lift 100,000 children & their families out of poverty, while actively suppressing wages for many workers, it would be interesting to see it. Doesn’t seem to be any detail on their website.

      • miravox 2.2.2

        If people were paid for the social value of their jobs we wouldn’t have to have this conversation.

        and also:

        … increasingly it is not absolute levels of poverty alone but the differences between people that contribute to social problems such as crime, ill health, poor educational attainment and addiction. In focusing so much on improving the lot of those on very low incomes, we have ignored the differentials that underpin what has become a two-tier society.

  3. One Anonymous Bloke 3

    If there were no poor people, who would the National Party incite hatred against instead?

    • Robert Guyton 3.1

      Environmentalists.

      • Steve 3.1.1

        Some environmentalists, “in power”, sadly ,can tend to do a good enough job of creating ill feeling against themselves

        They aim high.Yet forget to cover all bases.Their plan doesn’t seem to go “as far” as to remember to also “think about” ways of helping people who may struggle.Sometimes they wont even care to listen to people who are struggling due to environmentalists imposed laws.And even when those grass root people are “staunch environmentalists at heart” themselves

      • Steve 3.1.2

        Robert Guyton ,please consider this for one instance.Forest and bird protection society seem to “totally” appose “any sale” of manuka for firewood purposes. It seem (as far as i’m aware) they figure “any use” of this resource, in this manner, should need to be deemed completely against any principle of environmentalist conservation.

        In “certain” instance this might be correct.However i suggest that in other instances, it might not be quite so clear-cut.Sometimes manuka is only one stage of regeneration bush.Because once the higher forest canopy grows higher (beech podocarp,etc) over the manuka, so that it then block out the manuka’s ability to gain enough sun light. The manuka bush then starts to die off. Once this occur, then there is also less habitat available for native fernbird’s (matata).And also less option to harvest higher value honey as well too

        We grass root folk are now paying far higher land rates.Partly due to interest of conservation-lands that’s been drummed up by conservationists (a number of who reside in cities.And might sometime even know “very little” about grass root “realities involved” in trying to retain NZ’s bush lands, for future generations)

        We all lose. A number of bush blocks, in years gone by, have ended up being sold off to dairy farmers

        • ^^^ RWNJ making up excuses for destroying the environment that supports us for his own personal gain.

          • Steve 3.1.2.1.1

            How much conservation lands are you paying the land rates for ?.This will be interesting

            Oh and let me know when you can put forth a decent counter argument ?

            • tracey 3.1.2.1.1.1

              Genuine question Steve, who is your local MP? Now is the time to go and talk to him/her and consider recording what they say.

              You earlier referred to yourself as a conservationist. A dear Uncle of mine farmed in the King Country. It is he who opened my eyes to the need to nurture the environment. He cleared alot of gorse and crap after the war. He planted natives for the next 58 years. He worked early on with local iwi, including around a waterfall wherein a chief had been buried. He loved the land and he treated it with respect and love. He died 4 years ago. He was buried in a lite biodegradable coffin and asked us all to plant a tree where we loved rather than flowers or donations.

              I understand there are farmers like him. People who revere the land rather than rape it for profit.

              • Steve

                Thanks for showing a little kindness Tracey.You wouldn’t understand how staunch ive been in regards to conservation, unless you personally knew more about my situation . Some people fear hell, sometimes i almost feel like maybe ive been there already.Not that i have any real expectation that folks like Draco T Bastard would give a f..k . I’m here to see what people ive been voting “along side” all my life.I now relize how important this is. Truth is i even let my own health suffer, preferring to strive to continue to pay high land rates. Resisting to sell my land off to stock farmers, who constantly circled like sharks. I have no worry saying these kind of things, because if “push come to shove” i can also easily supply evidence.

                I wont give information (not right at this present moment anyway) of who my local labor party candidate is (no good sense in giving ammo to certain other nz party’s who might seize on it gleefully). Iva been to this person before about a problem.Trouble was the mp then passed me back to the very same people involved in the problem.Then never even “followed up” to ask me if i’d been able to get the problem solved. What can i say. When people are really struggling a root levels it become overwhelming. Besides in situation like this, you can sometimes end up making matters even worse for yourself.

                Draco T Bastard seem to possibly know very little about the concept of harvest for sustained yield. His knee jerk reaction is that all i’m intent on doing , is to be destroying the environment

                When i get feedback from people like this. And also very little feed back from other co labor/green party supporters too. I begin to wonder if i might be wasting my time. I come here with grass root experience in trying to strive to conserve a private conservation block.And few seem to care. So far (as far as im aware) no green party member has even spoken up

                I “possibly” could even have the kind of ammo to help swing this election back toward National

                • tracey

                  Sorry to hear of your situation. MPs are NEVER more likely to listen than prior to an election.

                  Not knowing your situation but sensing your angst I hesitate to suggest you contact Forest and Bird?

                  You appear to be trying to do the right thing on your land and it woukd be wrong if you were hounded off

                  • Steve

                    We need a labor/green party that can think to consider the situation from all angles.That’s what ive come here to try to discuss .Come here to find out how likely this might be able to happen in future.Because it hasn’t been happening.

                    Possibly not much real use me talking to forest and bird.By this stage i feel doubtful they’ll even care to listen , to me. However i might try to at some stage. But i know of (deceased now sadly) fairly well known forestry consultants who had tried their best, to talk sense to them in times past

                    By the way Tracey. I meant to also say your Uncle sounds choice

                • KJT

                  I too have had farming relatives who look after the land. My son is a dairy farmer also.

                  It seems the ones who pay decent wages are also the ones who look after their stock and the land, well.

                  I am a Green party member, and will always support farmers who want to continue farming in the future, instead of making maximum capital gains, and selling out.

                  Farming depends on the environment even more than most.

                • Eco maori

                  Yea right steve

            • Draco T Bastard 3.1.2.1.1.2

              Forest and bird protection society seem to “totally” appose “any sale” of manuka for firewood purposes.

              Seems reasonable because, as you point out in your second paragraph:

              Sometimes manuka is only one stage of regeneration bush

              Of course, it’s not sometime – it’s all the time. You followed that with either a lie or ignorance:

              The manuka bush then starts to die off. Once this occur, then there is also less habitat available for native fernbird’s (matata).

              The habitat may have changed but there will actually be more of it due to that second growth forest. meanwhile the Manuka would have expanded out increasing the area regenerating. That increases the foraging area for bees as well.

              We grass root folk are now paying far higher land rates.

              So?
              Are they high enough yet to counter the damage that is being done to the environment?

              A number of bush blocks, in years gone by, have ended up being sold off to dairy farmers

              I think you’ll find that has nothing to do with conservationists but the financial sector who like to make lots of money by doing nothing at all.

              How much conservation lands are you paying the land rates for ?

              I’m a tax payer so, all of it.

              • Steve

                “you followed that with either a lie or ignorance:”

                Go and do some more homework . Bloody i…t . Why else do you suppose there is so much native bush, rather than vast tracts of manuka everywhere

                Manuka doesnt generally get to expand that far outside of lands owned by conservationists.As that’s often land owned by stock farmers.You didnt stop to consider that did you?.

                Meanwhile we are the ones footing the bill for high rates.The large tree’s wont be able to produce any real income for us conservationist, until very many years have passed by.Not that someone like you would care. You sit there, paying no high land rates for conservation lands.Possibly because your too useless to put your money behind your mouthpiece .Once again, how much high rates are you paying to help reserve private conservation lands. F..k all ?

                How many fern birds do you see,when passing through tall native trees

                People like you,make me want “consider” ditching labor/green party.If its you folk im mainly aligning myself along side

                “So?
                Are they high enough yet to counter the damage that is being done to the environment?”

                Again whats your part in private conservation lands? . Mouthing off at other people who are actually involved ?

                “I think you’ll find that has nothing to do with conservationists”

                I wont bother to argue with you.It’ll only go right over your head?

                “I’m a tax payer so, all of it.”

                But your tax, doesn’t even help to pay a brass razoo toward private conservation blocks,. I..ot

                The reason why there isn’t far “more private land owners” getting involved. Is partly due to your kind of ignorance

                • But your tax, doesn’t even help to pay a brass razoo toward private conservation blocks,.

                  Your problem is that you can’t communicate, as you said. When you say ‘conservation land’ amazingly enough most people are going to assume you mean government conservation land because private land isn’t part of the conservation estate and no amount of you saying private conservation blocks is going to make it so.

                  Is partly due to your kind of ignorance

                  Which is likely brought about by your inability to communicate clearly what you mean.

                • KJT

                  You will be pleased to hear, then, Steve., that Green policy is to help farmers to plant, and keep, tree blocks.

                  And they may use them to offset future carbon charges.

        • greywarshark 3.1.2.2

          Robert G I hope you have time to reply to this Steve. Perhaps there is a way round this to allow for his desires, and not cut down anything that is needed for matata etc. I don’t know if he is just talking the talk, you will know if he can walk the walk.

        • Robert Guyton 3.1.2.3

          Steve – why your heavy use of “quotation marks” in your comment – if you mean totally, say totally – hedging about means we don’t know whether you mean it or not.
          Are you saying that some environmentalists make decisions that seem to you, wrong? Are you also saying that the views of environmentalists who live in cities should be discounted…because of where they live? And conservation lands “drummed-up” by conservationists? Do you mean petitioned for? Or do you apply “drummed-up” to the benefits farmers have secured as well? Yours is a confusing position, poorly presented, if you don’t mind my saying so.

          • greywarshark 3.1.2.3.1

            Hi Robert G
            My comment requesting your input will come in late as I haven’t got my ducks in line yet for getting past the protocol barriers I strike when putting in comments. I lack the patience to sit and foment and ferment (should have a beer to assist) while I get through the process which I have found is lengthy like watching paint dry. Must grit my teeth and just do it. But I’d rather be out on the harbour yachting! (Actually don’t have a yacht, that’s for National Party superiors.)

            • Robert Guyton 3.1.2.3.1.1

              Hi, Grey. Are you logging in (just below The Standard banner, top, right) before commenting? I have to, or my comments go into moderation and have to be released by a long-suffering moderator.

          • Steve 3.1.2.3.2

            Mainly due to my level of schooling i suppose Robert.No, i don’t think city folks views should be discounted,because of where they live. I don’t think they should be discounted full stop. My point is that the ideas need to be sure to also take into account grass root realities of situations involved in trying to participate in conservation.

            How do you suggest that i should need to go about emphasizing, grass root realities ? .I do it my own way, because i never had chance to learn how

            What can i say. Feel free to knock me for presenting it poorly, if it help you feel superior. I have reasonably thick skin

            • Pat 3.1.2.3.2.1

              a valid point well presented….the reality is that there is going to have to be a finding of common ground….the alternative isn’t

            • Robert Guyton 3.1.2.3.2.2

              Steve – I’m an advocate for sustainable harvest of trees, especially using a coppicing system. I’m also a fan of mixing native and exotic trees for many reasons. Harvesting manuka for firewood has been a big factor in the destruction of forested areas in NZ and I can understand Forest&Bird’s hard line over that. What’s your proposal? How do you plan to harvest sustainably? Have you presented your proposal to anyone? I’d very much like to hear your ideas.

              • Steve

                Hey thanks heaps Robert.Perhaps we have some common ground (sustainable harvest) to work from?.So far my place remains totally native tree focused.Yes its been a mighty hard road, But i never looked to take an easier road for fear of dealing with hardship.My focus is that somehow perhaps we need to make the hard road, more easier, by having some qualified “educated” folks on hand, who can then offer grass roots folk like myself some more “guidance” (excuse my own way of emphasizing) .I readily admit my biggest downfall (lack of education).

                “I can understand Forest&Bird’s hard line over that.”

                Me too . I understand it. I just don’t feel , that “in every instance”, it’s been so helpful.Why cannot forest and bird take a little more pragmatic approach ? (hopefully ive chosen the right word to use) . Surely its not necessarily a situation where one way will “suit every single” situation ?.

                Understandably to use a more pragmatic approach, its also going to entail the need for more people to become involved (as overseer ). So as to make sure people are not misusing the system. However the “pay-off” could be that there may also be far more people whom will then be quite “happily prepared” to want to enter into environmental conservation .

                Perhaps we now have technology to develop fires that can burn wood fuels cleanly?.The benefit (i feel) of this is that the birds and the bee’s (and so forth) can then all also benefit more as well too

                Even the green party,along with labor would also stand to benefit ?.As this situation could perhaps help to “really prove”, how an environmental outlook ,need not necessarily mean loss of an income?.

                So therefore i feel the pay-off is possibly three-fold, in the very least

                And in the long term.Perhaps environmental conservationist landowner, like myself, could start to also pay some sort of “dividend” to therefore help “offset the cost” of the overseer that will be needed to help regulate the situation

                This is my ideas that i have considered,so far

                I’m interested to hear what do you folk feel about it ?

                Cheers

                Steve

                • Robert Guyton

                  Steve – how will you manage your manuka resource sustainably?
                  Do you think a “rule” allowing you to do that might be exploited/misused by others who don’t share your sensitivity to the environment?

                  • Steve

                    Robert, yes some will try.That’s why i said we would need overseer.However, do you understand, that right now at this present moment, I’m able to cut down trees for firewood already anyway?.In fact there is very little to stop me from “slowly” progressively cutting down nearly “every single tree” growing on my property (any tree that exist on a slope no more that 10 or 15 degree.Not exactly sure exactly which figure it is) right now. The powers that be had to leave this “option open to us” private land owners, so that the powers that be, also then wouldn’t have need to “compensate” us for any kind of loss . This is how “utterly stupid” this un-thoughtful situation is

                    Beside, do you think. there in not folk who are “already exploiting/misusing” the situation as it stands now?

                    Cheers

                    Steve

                • Why cannot forest and bird take a little more pragmatic approach ?

                  The more pragmatic approach would be to ban fire places and ensure that every home had well installed heat-pumps. Far better, cheaper and good for the environment.

                  • Steve

                    Waste of time me even talking to you

                    However.Who else do you think owns my “private” conservation land? . Who’s paying the rates?

                    • Steve

                      As it stands. Likely i help “pay the way for people like you”, Through the most un-thoughtful ignorant way, that the government presently claims all carbon credits for trees regenerating on “my land”, which i am forced to now pay really high land rates for as well too

                      So pr..ks like you.Can sit there at home.Feeling smug

                      If i cut those regenerating tree’s all down.Turned them into firewood (which is still my right) and sold it off. I could then set about planting young native trees, which i might then also become eligible to be claiming carbon credits for myself

                      This is how stupid the situation is

                    • Who else do you think owns my “private” conservation land?

                      The land is yours the same way that a leased building is yours. You can do with it a great deal but it doesn’t belong to you, it belongs to the state and there are rules.

                      Now, you’re doing conservation upon your land. This is great but it’s now running up against the laws of the country that are better than 200 years old (some of them go all the way back to Roman times) and are no longer fit for purpose. Now, you’re more likely to get better rules going with the Greens than pretty much anyone else as they’re actually willing to address the fact that the rules we have now aren’t fit for purpose.

                    • Eco maori []

                      Draco I would not even talk with this fool let him talk to him self he is just bating
                      You DON’T give him that satisfaction

                  • KJT

                    DTB. Coppicing for firewood, to take just one example, is sound so long as the new growth exceeds the wood burnt.

                    Just like using wood waste from forestry, for drying kilns, is better than using coal or oil.

                    More than one way of getting a zero carbon balance.

                    • Coppicing for firewood, to take just one example, is sound so long as the new growth exceeds the wood burnt.

                      And is viable just so long as the number of people demanding to be able to inefficiently burn wood for heating doesn’t exceed a very small number.

                      Just like using wood waste from forestry, for drying kilns, is better than using coal or oil.

                      Heat pumps are probably better there to. Leave the ‘waste wood’ on the ground in the forest as food for the regeneration.

                    • KJT

                      DTB. It costs more in fuel to take it back to the forest than you save.

    • tracey 3.2

      Women? Pregnant women? Gays?

  4. garibaldi 4

    His policy made on the hoof is disingenuous.
    He blurted it out on the spur of the moment and then, the next day, mumbles that “it seemed an appropriate time”.
    I believe he simply thinks that his tax package will lift the plebs out of poverty. He hasn’t got a fucking clue.

  5. Ad 5

    +100 Mickey

    Should Labour gain power, hope those same measures don’t haunt them. It’s a really tough task even after English’s micro-managed family mentor and wrap-around schemes.

    • tracey 5.1

      A good start is not continuing to use our money to subsidise those farmers who pollute. Sadly Labour says this will continue. Hopefully they are just saying that to calm the natives and after they win will renege… that will free up about 450m to life benefits to liveable… but that might make them a 3 term govt.

      Courage is needed but who has it?

  6. Keith 6

    We know from their track record that National reducing child poverty will only be an unintended consequence of some other phenomenon not of their making.

    So 100,000 eliminated from the statistics will only be achieved by National by juking the stats or its just another lie.

    English is only giving the appearance of caring because focus groups and polling says he should and only because there’s an election in a couple of weeks. Otherwise should they win it will be forgotten quick smart!

    • Ed 6.1

      Like the way National Standards has seen a decline in our educational world rating despite Oarata, Tolley and now Kaye being able to claim increase level 2 standards.

      From the Wire.
      Duking the stats.
      What National do.

      • tracey 6.1.1

        And Joyces elimination of academic integrity in Tertiary and a cannabilistic system of funding…

        • KJT 6.1.1.1

          Joyce. Failed economics!

          Wasted the tax payer money spent on his tertiary education.

          Now failed arithmetic. By 11 billion!

          The “party of financial responsibility”. LOL.

    • tc 6.2

      Mileage needs to be made about their outright denial and refusal to do anything till 2 weeks out from the GE as it’s another desperate Hail Mary sound bite attempt to look concerned.

      Nact have been hypocritical, disingenuous and effectively pretended it didn’t exist when questioned in or outside of parliament many times over their tenure, voted down school lunches etc and now this faux concern.

      Blinglish needs to be held accountable for his achievements in growing poverty here, not allowed some moral bs throw away promise he will not keep.

    • reason 6.3

      “We know from their track record” ….Nationals subliminal message …….

      “Race to the bottom”

      New Zealands blue team …….. leading an inequality crisis that is out of control ….

      Deliberately going the wrong way …… “the wealthy are able to pursue a segregationist agenda, by opting out of the public provision of education, health, policing, social welfare….

      A brighter future Oxfam describes as :……..“This global system of tax avoidance is sucking the life out of welfare states in the rich world. It also denies poor countries the resources they need to tackle poverty, put children in school and prevent their citizens dying from easily curable diseases.”

      Such is our performance in the worlds inequality crisis …… That the Panama papers whistle blower only named John Key from New Zealand ……..

      The resulting lack of revenue from the structures and ‘vehicles’ blue teams build …. is then used as an excuse for further exploitation of workers and citizens

      It’s been a world wide race to the bottom……. thats picked up pace with Blue conservative Governments dominating since the Global Financial Crisis …..

      Cameron in England ……
      Abbot then Turnball in Australia …….
      Harper in Canada ……..
      And Obama with his “to big to jail” …..

      All with consistent destructive results …..”They undermine democratic debates and community needs. Family and community life is being eroded”……

      It’s Time to stop running towards a toxic future …. ….. https://greens.org.au/tax-avoidance

      https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2014/08/new-zealand-companies-offices-612mn-money-laundering-snooze.html

      A couple more terms of the Nacts and we will have kids living in rubbish dumps ….

  7. greywarshark 7

    I was wondering how people can claim to be informed and watch the news and still not see clearly how things are. And then I thought of the talking models that give us the news on tv and how many turn to television for everything.

    Do all people have a radio in their house? Of course having one doesn’t mean that the listener will hear nearly unbiased news and opinion, but it concentrates the mind in a different part of the brain not to have coloured pictures and fashionistas displaying someone’s designs coming through to the brain and vying for attention with what the viewer should be taking note of.

    It could be said that tv news and much of commercial radio’s is sugar-laden with too many unhealthy additives, and as bad for you as sugar is bad for the body, except in small amounts.

    So then to keep the brain healthy, sparking on all cylinders, reduce the gunge fed into it and look for the unadulterated news, wherever it can be found. And importantly listen to Radio New Zealand which ‘tries to be good, because it knows that it should’ and keep the management of it under scrutiny. And keep the links for good stuff coming through to TS so we are not limited by our USA-biased and Five Eye, English-speaking lens.

    The announcers have some agency but ultimately it is top-down. We haven’t been able to get a better left commenter against Hooten’s right for instance.
    But I thought Maggie Barry was a pleasant human with interest and understanding of all NZs but she was just a pleasant voice and a professional actor. So finding the real thing is a personal search it seems, so please advise when someone reliable is found, or who admits their bias even and will acknowledge that they may be wrong, which makes it worthwhile to hear the opposition thinking. And then oneself, can also consider where one’s own thinking may be wrong. Which would have good practical outcomes for better results of programs and projects initiated.

    • Ed 7.1

      I never watch TV news.
      I never buy the newspaper.

      Online today the Herald didn’t even have Irma in its top 10 stories.
      There are many good sites online now to access the news; not the fake, sensational, celebrity, sports click bait fed on the msm.

      Some excellent sources.

      From the UK
      The Canary

      From NZ
      The Standard
      The Daily Blog

      The following NZ journalists
      Rod Oram
      Bryan Bruce
      Kirsty Johnston
      Rachel Stewart
      Paula Penfold
      Jon Stephenson

      The following worldwide journalists
      John Pilger
      Robert Fisk
      George Monbiot
      Patrick Cockburn

      There is a start

      • greywarshark 7.1.1

        Ok Ed
        You’re talking about you. I am similar. I also read Yannis Varoufakis, am branching into Commonfare in Scotland, read Chris Trotter, TDB the Scoop Werewolf stuff sometimes etc.

        But the majority so far of people, seem to get along just fine feeling well informed enough when polled to say that NZ is going in the right direction etc. WTF. How can they say that? That is what I am wondering. How Joe Blow and Josephine listen narrowly to the brightly coloured parrots on the nEWS which doesn’t even come from all round the compass.

        Not till there is some notable disaster. And in NZ the view is myopic. We as a country are making a spectacle of ourselves and if we only could look, focus and see!! Optometrists R’Us should be the new money-making industry in this country.

        Perhaps some of the fog will clear, after our political opposition emerges from the hazing.

        Great piece of writing don’t you think? Hah. I got carried away on the eyesight subject on this site. But with a serious intent!

  8. Incognito 8

    Those big well-rounded numbers are best-guesses at best and often just aspirational goals or simply meaningless (and thus disingenuous) numbers. You can tell by the ‘supporting’ arguments when these are merely hand waving or figurative speak, political grandstanding, propaganda, or one of all those other forms of mass manipulation and spreading of disinformation. Together, they speak volumes about the real intentions and views of the advocate/proponent.

    The question should be asked whether it fits into the existing picture, whether it is consistent with other words & deeds, and what the (real) motives are. The answers – often just assumptive and speculative – need to be scrutinised and repeated till the truth becomes clearer. Whose job is it to ask those questions and do the scrutinising? Hint: it is not (just) the MSM and opposition …

    BTW, this is not an issue of only RW politicians …

  9. gsays 9

    I think that the PM’s sudden concern about child poverty is down to one thing.
    The most popular MP in the country has ending child poverty as her main aim.

    The fact that polling shows the populace agrees would help too.

    • ianmac 9.1

      Yes gsays and you would have thought that National would have thought about it sooner having had 9 long years to ponder.

      • Alan 9.1.1

        yes, same as labour has had 9 long years to sort out a detailed “transparent” tax policy.

        • Ed 9.1.1.1

          Still here?
          Though you’d be educating yourself on the working poor in New Zealand.
          Watch Nigel Latta’s ‘The new haves and have nots.’
          Go on try being open minded.

        • tracey 9.1.1.2

          What do you think of the sudden move from it doesnt exist and cannot be measured to 50000 out of poverty by April 2018?

        • adam 9.1.1.3

          Add alan to dildo baggins and pill english as a believer. You an economist alan, you could save bill and come out publicly.

        • gsays 9.1.1.4

          Typical Tory, on a post about child poverty, you blah blah about tax.
          Despicably selfish and greedy.

    • Stuart Munro 9.2

      It’s worse than that – it was Gower’s policy. Gower put Bill on the spot, and Bill made some policy on the hoof.

      It shows quite clearly that Bill hasn’t been governing at all.

  10. Pat 10

    not available on demand yet, but a very good interview of Dame Judith Potter on RNZ that touches on poverty and the role of hope……well worth a listen.

  11. cleangreen 11

    ‘Haha get that? If there is no official measurement of child poverty then we do not have to do anything about it.;

    Yes Micky like all the neocon world when they don’t conduct a study they can easily say “there is no evidence of………..

    Clever deception National are using now for nine long years now about to end in 13 days time. ‘Haha get that National?

  12. Antoine 12

    English always knew about and acknowledged child poverty. If you want to know what he said about it prior to the election campaign (as opposed to just sneering at him), see e.g. https://yournz.org/2016/12/14/little-v-pm-english-on-child-poverty/.

    (Sorry about the yournz link but it has a transcript)

    I don’t expect English to win the election and I won’t be voting NACT but I do think he is a decent bloke.

    A.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 12.1

      English always knew about and worsened child poverty. FIFY.

      Decent blokes don’t tell so many lies.

    • tracey 12.2

      He controlled the purse strings for 8.5 years. I guess he just decently didnt find the room to help the poor

      • UncookedSelachimorpha 12.2.1

        So long as National hold the fundamental belief that a very small number of people must maintain the right to have unlimited wealth, they will never solve any of these social issues.

        The Nats believe the importance of having super rich people, outweighs the value of tackling poverty, free education, better health care etc etc.

    • Ad 12.3

      Agree; a decent and thoughtful guy. Just like Andrew Little. And English would have won a fourth term easily against Little for an historic fourth term. I’m not a Labour supporter who is cocky about the last 6 weeks of changing fortunes.

      But NZ needs his government to go because New Zealands National government under Key – our laziest ever Prime Minister – has deeply corroded us as a people.

      English had neither the time or collective Cabinet capacity to do what was needed.

      • Pat 12.3.1

        “…a decent and thoughtful guy.”
        would have agreed with that statement a couple of years ago but consider he has been a integral member of the Key regime (and all that entailed) and most recently his actions re Todd Barclay and his support of Joyces lie strategy….so maybe someone who was once a decent and thoughtful guy who has been corrupted by power.

    • KJT 12.4

      Waits until election year to do anything.

      We always know it is election time. When National pretends to be socialist.

  13. Janet 13

    “15 of 26 children in a decile 1 classroom came to school w/ no lunch ”

    Maybe they were able to buy from a shop close by to the school. Did anyone check to see if they had money in their pockets to buy their lunch?
    Sometimes children arriving with no lunch from homes is an indication of a lazy parent not a parent with no money.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 13.1

      Sometimes, sure, but mostly, it’s a direct consequence of people enabling the National Party.

      • tracey 13.1.1

        Like when a rich persons child bashes a cop repeatedly on the ground but cos they go yachting and can afford a barrister they get off? That kind of parental responsibility?

    • Ap 13.2

      You keep blaming individual responsibility and do not see the responsibility of the state and education system. It is not the skin color, the individual rwaponsibility…it is an increading inequal society. So some people are disadvantages and make poorer choices too. Great job National now making NZ another inequal place in the world. Soon gated communities and rich boys clubs…

    • tracey 13.3

      Janet, life might be that black and white for you, but for low incone earners, many working 2 jobs, it is not. And do not roll out the “dont have children if you cannot afford them” . I do not want to live in a country where the only people breeding are the smugly sanctimonious. Imagine the children they are foisting on us!

    • “Sometimes children arriving with no lunch from homes is an indication of a lazy parent not a parent with no money.”

      in rich areas that may be true – in poor areas it is false.

  14. Ap 14

    You keep blaming individual responsibility and do not see the responsibility of the state and education system. It is not the skin color, the individual rresponsibility…it is an increasing unequal society. So some people are disadvantages and make poorer choices too. Great job National now making NZ another unequal place in the world. Soon gated communities and rich boys clubs…

  15. tracey 15

    Another uncosted promise from English

    https://i.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/96687322/national-to-double-home-start-grant-for-existing-houses

    Even though Key urged young people to become apartment dwellers still no home start for them. When you consider BC fees mean long term maintenance is taken care of as opposed to stand alone homes where most owners do not put money aside regularly for maintenance….

    • AsleepWhileWalking 15.1

      Surely he is mocking the public…that wouldn’t cover the price increase of the last month where I live, in lower to middle class suburbia.

  16. Eco maori 16

    National DON’T even no why they brush there teeth every day .
    Now the shame of what’s happening to our poor children is unacceptable the idiots DON’T have a clue how to manage a country they think it’s a circus.
    The reason we brush our teeth every day and dress tidy is .
    To protect one’s image as what other people around the world think of us matters and national don’t even get that WTF

  17. invisiphilia 17

    Personally I think Paula Bennett should become Leader of the Opposition. David Cunliffe said that it’s the worst job in the country. She should be sentenced to at least three terms of public purgatory for the damage she has done to Aotearoa/NZ.

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