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Better than nothing

Written By: - Date published: 12:44 pm, May 28th, 2013 - 156 comments
Categories: capitalism, class war, national, poverty, schools - Tags: , ,

The government’s expansion of the KickStart breakfast programme run by Fonterra and Sanitarium is better than nothing. Credit where it’s due – which is mostly to those who have highlighted this issue so effectively: the Office of the Children’s Commissioner via special report (and other reports), the Child Poverty Action Group, Mana’s Feed the Kids campaign, the makers of Inside Child Poverty, Campbell Live, Labour, The Greens, and many more.

From The Herald summary:

Schools gets $9.5m breakfast funding boost

The Government will put up $9.5 million over the next five years to allow Fonterra and Sanitarium to expand school breakfast programmes to five days a week for all schools that need it – but the companies will have to fund the rest of the estimated $19 million cost of that expansion themselves.

Prime Minister John Key announced the funding as part of the Government’s response to a report on child poverty by an expert advisory group set up by the Childrens’ Commissioner.

The extra funding will cover half of the expected costs to expand the ‘KickStart’ programme which was set up in 2009 by Sanitarium and Fonterra – the companies will be expected to cover the rest.

That programme currently provides a breakfast of weetbix and milk twice a week to children at about 570 schools – half of all decile 1-4 schools.

The extra funding is expected to help increase the number of schools to receive the programme and ensure it is offered every school day.

Other initiatives include an extra $500,000 a year for the next three years for KidsCan to provide more clothes, and health and hygiene products to disadvantaged children.

Anything is better than nothing and this initiative will make a difference – but the government’s commitment to this program is fairly derisory, especially when compared to some other expenditures (as highlighted by Zet this morning). Last word to a principal:

However, the principal of Hora Hora School in Whangarei, Pat Newman, told TV ONE’s Breakfast the food will not help the underlying reasons for children going hungry.

“I’m wondering whether this is a stop gap measure,” he said.

“I have questions around how did we get to this stage in New Zealand where we’re talking about having to feed children because they are hungry.

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

Newman said it is a problem which does not just affect parents at low decile schools but there is a “new poor” developing in middle class New Zealand.

He said a targeted approach to offer parents more support at home would be a better way to ensure children were fed.

How did we get to this stage in New Zealand?

Update: from comments – $9.5 Million over 5 years to feed hungry kids – but in 2012 just 4 private schools got $10.9 Million.

156 comments on “Better than nothing ”

  1. shorts 1

    as I spied on twitter

    “9.5 Mil over 5 yrs to feed 1000’s of poor kids- but in-2012, just 4 private schools got NZ $10.9m (Cuthberts, Kings, Dioscean & Kristin)”

    How did we get to this stage indeed

    • mac1 1.1

      With such gifting from the government, private school students get to be beneficiaries and therefore can learn to empathise with their poor cousins. Noble of the Government, really.

    • Tom Gould 1.2

      $1.9m a year is a joke, an insult. Typical Key. The cheapest headline he has ever bought. Groser spend more on first class air travel. And the brain dead chooks will run it hard for him. Can’t wait to see Corin Key gushing praise on One News tonight. Maybe Key saw the stage production of Oliver when last in London staying at his Kensington pad?

      • Tim 1.2.1

        Never mind Tom – the harder they rise, the harder they fall.
        It’s an insult allright. I’m watching the dynamics in parlyarment in a certain quadrant consisting of Nafe, Pulla, the recently shaven Murr, and Krus. Guess which one is the odd man out.
        Dare I say it – YES I WILL – I suppose the legacy isn’t so important amongst bitter old queens (I’m sure there’ll be a Populuxicle coming along VERY soon to pick me up on it)
        I hope you’re watching because there is a demagogue from Dipton banging on about ‘foreign bankers’.
        Oi sincerely hope whatever cobbled together opposition takes advantage of Dipton’s apparent disdain of ‘foreign bakers’ (oops BaNkers)

    • ghostwhowalksnz 1.3

      The link and details is here

      Prime Minister increases Kings College Funding By 40%

      Tuesday, 16 April 2013, 9:25 am
      Press Release: Quality Public Education Coalition – QPEC


    • Alanz 1.4

      Better than nothing. But it remains a cynical stop gap measure with a miniscule sum that buys maximum PR coverage for Nats to shore up their political fortunes.

  2. Colonial Viper 2

    Nice one Hone. One MP from a small political party, you took on the Government on a matter of principle, and look how much you have accomplished.

    Also, Shearer should congratulate National for choosing to follow Labour advice to carefully target the schools covered, instead of rolling it out to all schools across NZ which have hungry children. What a fucking winner.

  3. ghostrider888 3

    Although (to reiterate (always have to see whether it’s an ‘e’ or ‘i’) Shearer-“compared to the 40M on Private Schools, that the government spends”). And reviewing the way the country is going, car-boot lawyers, weak in the physical sciences, graduates off overseas, financial fraud- Private School funding does not appear to be money well spent!
    Just more ‘culture of entitlement’.

  4. ak 4

    Ae, one small step for kind-of man, but a giant stride for Progression.

    Tories pushing food in schools for the poor – inconceivable back just a tick.

    Imagine the screams of “Nanny State” if poor Hels had as much as suggested anything like this…….

    Indeed, crumbs, but a welcome grope for humanity from the Natsies.

    • Jimmy 4.1

      Yes extraordinary I agree, I guess Fonterra and Sanitarium should receive a bouquet as well.

      • Colonial Viper 4.1.1

        Sanitarium that lovely tax free enterprise, good to see them giving something back.

      • Dv 4.1.2

        Yes, but what took so long.
        Campbell had mostly sorted it a couple of weeks ago.

  5. Winston Smith 5

    Another good call by John Key to stymie the left…best MMP PM by daylight!

    • ghostrider888 5.1

      well, he is cunning, and that is all I shall give you, for now.

      • Anne 5.1.1

        I’ll add to that… he is a liar.

        He claimed yesterday that he had been keen on the idea of food in schools since 2007. How come then, he derided Labour’s original plan for good, healthy food in schools announced by Helen Clark in 2008? I recall him and his mates touring the country pouring ridicule on the suggestion. Nanny state, nanny state, nanny state… democracy under attack etc. etc.

    • framu 5.2

      come nightfall though, its a different story

  6. Enough is Enough 6

    Well Done Hone and Mana. You can feel proud that your efforts in opposition have twisted the arms of this corrupt government.

    Again though we must shake our heads at the main opposition party that continues to be left flat footed by the real parties of the left in leading this issue.

    • Blue 6.1

      You must have missed Hone spitting in derision at this on the news tonight. Yes he actually spat. He’s all class that boy.

      • Murray Olsen 6.1.1

        Spitting is far classier than lying. I’d rather have a leader who spat and maybe even did the odd whakapohane than one who can’t open his mouth without lying.

  7. emergency mike 7

    Crumbs grudgingly given because they were pressured into it. Weetbix and milk? In South Korea every kid in every public school in a country of 50 million gets a full, hot, varied lunch Monday to Friday. Tax rate: 7%.

  8. Winston Smith 8

    Just to let know what will be said during the run up to the election:

    “Labour ran up surpluses for 9 years and didn’t care about the hungry kids but National, while dealing with the global financial meltdown and christchurch earthquakes, still manages to find money to help the hungry kiddies”

    and the people will agree… 🙂

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 8.1

      Just to let you know what will be said in the run-up to the election.

      “Cheaper power prices”.

      And the people do agree.

    • Ad 8.2

      Sanitarium and Fonterra risking their brands deep into govt policy is impressive.

      Does labour have a positive policy response? Or will they say “no thanks” to donations from those two massive agribusiness players. Time to make a move Shearer, Key’s found another flank around you.

  9. Yes 9

    Yeah labour created the poverty trap in NZ not National

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 9.1

      Yawn. I wonder how long it would take to unpick the false-framing, ignorance and bias implicit in this remark.

    • Yes 9.2

      sorry – a bit harsh – no money was put away from a rainy day – just look at Australia – they are in dire straights – poverty didnt happen overnight and no national never created it.

      • McFlock 9.2.1

        keep telling yourself that. National created it for tens if not hundreds of thousands of new zealanders.

      • Anne 9.2.2

        When youse learn to put a sentence together proper we might start reading them.

      • Hayden 9.2.3

        no money was put away from [sic] a rainy day

        Bill English, seen here, disagreeing with you.

        “We have room to respond. This is the rainy day that Government has been saving up for.”

        Nice choice of words though.

        • Anne

          Labour finance spokesman David Cunliffe said National had revealed no plan and he assumed Mr English had one up his sleeve.

          He also said there should be a mini-Budget in the new year and Labour was prepared to take a bipartisan approach to work on it.

          “Let’s not wait until June. Let’s not see international markets and domestic markets further deteriorate until June 2009 until we see the shape of a real plan.”

          Sigh. Oh, that he was still finance spokesman.

      • Draco T Bastard 9.2.4

        National has always created poverty in this country and it’s always been Labour of the left variety (i.e. before the 1980s) that’s come along and fixed it. Since the 1980s though, both major parties have contributed to the rising poverty.

      • BLiP 9.2.5


        . . . In New Zealand we have room to respond. This is the rainy day that Government has been saving up for . . .

        Blinglish, Thursday December 18, 2008.

  10. Richard B. 10

    So, if $9.5 million is not enough, what is?
    Is it $95 million, $950 million a trillion dollars?
    And it does need to be more then $9.5million can you suggest where it comes from?
    When I went to school I was taught that money deos not grow on trees.

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      Oh I agree, Kings Diocesan Cuthberts Kristin need their $10.9M a year for rich kids of the top 5%

      The poor kids of the 95% can get $10.9M spread over 5 years

      Also Canty farmers need $100M for new dairy irrigation systems to pollute waterways with

      • irascible 10.1.1

        Key says its justified to grant private schools a benefit subsidy because they pay a large amount in GST so it must be OK. More PR spin from a PM under pressure as he watched the economy crash and burn.

    • McFlock 10.2

      The sufficient price is that which ensures no person lacks food, clothing, housing or warmth.

      And the ideal source is a progressive tax which ensures that those who profit most from our imperfect means of distributing scarce resources contribute the most to repairing the damage that the imperfection causes.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 10.3

      Yes, that’s right. Money doesn’t grow on trees. It is printed by banks out of thin air.

      • Wayne (a different one) 10.3.1

        No, it will be printed by the Greens with the support of Labour – economic knuckleheads.

        Good save this nation if we ever see a change of Govt.

        • McFlock


          inorite? At the moment the government books are balanced, unemployment’s low, wages are good, poverty’s disappearing, private debt is under control, etc. All that will change and the skies will fall under a lab/grn government.

        • Draco T Bastard

          What’s the difference between private banks printing money and the government printing it?

          One’s democratically accountable, the other’s completely unaccountable and requires bailouts.

    • Draco T Bastard 10.4

      When I went to school I was taught that money deos not grow on trees.

      But I bet that you weren’t taught where it actually came from either which effectively means that you’re spouting slogans in ignorance while thinking that you know what you’re talking about.

      The private banks print the money whenever someone takes out a loan.

      See, it still doesn’t grow on trees but there’s still no limit to the amount of money available either.

  11. Opium Eater 11

    I would really like to see the government offer a lunch program like many other countries. That would at least ensure that all children get at least one decent hot meal a day. It wouldn’t address the underlying causes of poverty and hunger but children need to be well fed to learn -and educational achievement is a major factor in future employment/income

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 11.1

      Agreed. It’s a relatively cheap intervention too.

      Household income is the main factor in education outcomes. This can only help to level the playing field.

    • GregJ 11.2


      The State mandates compulsory education, the State should feed the children during the course of the day. Back-up programmes for breakfast for those who’s familes are in poverty/distressed circumstances. Private Schools and Charter schools don’t get either programme unless a demonstrated need is required (criteria set very high).

  12. Anne 12

    Funny that… Labour was planning to do just that if it had remained in government but National screamed so loud the peoples were frightened off and ran away from Labour.

  13. Draco T Bastard 13

    Newman said it is a problem which does not just affect parents at low decile schools but there is a “new poor” developing in middle class New Zealand.

    I do wish people would say what they mean. What he’s really saying here is that the middle class is shrinking as poverty increases.

    How did we get to this stage in New Zealand?

    Roger Douglass and the 4th Labour government free-market reforms which no party has the strength to get rid of. Well, some parties just don’t to get rid of them because the people that they represent are doing quite nicely.

  14. Bennett now admits that there are 240,000 kids living in poverty in Aotearoa. She sounded very chastised. She obviously got the hard word after her recent performance in the house …


    • Colonial Viper 14.1

      But can’t all those DPB mums pick themselves up by the bootstraps and get a $250,000 job like her?

      • Anne 14.1.1

        Now come on CV. They can’t all get to be Murray McCully’s electorate secretary and get in via the back door.

  15. Matthew Hooton 15

    I think they have got it about right here.
    On one hand, if kids arrive at school hungry the state should feed them (or arrange for them to be fed, which is even better because it doesn’t cost the taxpayer so much and engages the corporate world with the community).
    But, on the other, I am lazy enough that if there were free breakfasts and lunches at my kids’ school I sure as hell wouldn’t go through the horror of making breakfast and lunch each morning. (Actually, I do b’fast and my wife does their lunches, but you know what I mean).
    And, in general, it IS the parents’ responsibility to provide food for their kids and most do, whether billionaire, millionaire, middle-class, struggling working class family or beneficiary. But some parents can’t or don’t meet that responsibility and that’s not the kids’ fault.
    So a government-faciliatated, business-funded half-way house seems about right, even though it lacks a certain ideological fervour one way or the other.
    “Better than nothing” from the left and “I guess we have to do this” suggests quite a good approach.

    • Matthew do you know how underwhelmed I am after reading your comment?

      Even Bennett has acknowledged there are poor kids in the country, many of them. Why not do something?

      • Matthew Hooton 15.1.1

        Underwhelmed is the sensible response. It is a difficult issue. But fewer than 50% of kids in decline one primary schools (so I am told by Wellington policy analysts, so, you know, it could be wrong) show up at school not having had b’fast and without lunch, so the cause of the problem is not as obvious as some make out. And the solution is surely not 1970s UK style school canteens serving chips and pasta bakes.
        The deal Key has brokered (and it was surely him personally rather than some bureaucrat) does seem to hit a sensible middle ground quite well.

        • Rhinocrates

          Ka-ching! Goes Effluvium’s cash register.

          Hook Hoots up to a generator and let him spin, and we’d have energy forever.

          The deal Key has brokered (and it was surely him personally rather than some bureaucrat)

          Oh my, that’s really North Korean levels of hyperbole. Wait, next he’ll come up with the Unified Field Theory that eluded Einstein!

          What is “b’fast”? Is it some hip version of “breakfast”? Should one wear a baseball cap backwards while saying it, or is that too early ’90s? I’m very out of touch, you see, and need advice.

          to hit a sensible middle ground quite well.

          Yes, that’s what happens when you try to sit between two chairs.

        • McFlock

          But fewer than 50% of kids in decline one primary schools […] show up at school not having had b’fast and without lunch

          So what that means is that almost 50% of children at those schools miss out on two meals a day, and the tory response is a reluctant “I guess we have to do this”?!

          Not, for example, “as a society we will do as much as possible to end this situation”?

          • mickysavage

            Yep only an economist or an accountant would question the purpose of supplying breakfasts to a school when slightly less than half of the kids turned up to breakfast hungry.

        • karol

          hmmm, when I taught in the UK in the late 70s and 80s, I ate a few school dinners. I don’t recall chips and pasta bake. They actually weren’t all that bad. I just avoided the gravy & pouring hot custard on jelly didn’t work for me. And it actually was a very good social time with the students and various kinds of staff.

          They didn’t differentiate between those who paid full for their children’s dinners,a nd those who were subsidised. It was an inclusive thing.

          In pre-industrial times, the responsibility for feeding children was more with the extended family and whole community.

          • Bill

            Yup. School dinners were bloody good. If they hadn’t been, then us secondary school kids would have been using the dinner money down the local chippie – which we did do on occasion ‘just for a change’ and not because the school meals were shit.

        • GregJ

          Not a difficult issue at all.

          Lunch provided by the State in State schools (Private schools & Charter Schools only in exceptional circumstances – well until Charter schools are absorbed back into the State system). Families to provide breakfast but support breakfast programmes for those in distressed circumstances as a back-up.

          Carried out in many countries in the world as anyone who has spent anytime overseas knows – not rocket science just requires common sense, compassion and a political will.

        • Ad

          Key’s co-option of corporates is a significant invitation to others to do the same in other policy areas, like DoC. Everyone knows the state is weakening daily, so making the whole country pull together is what any government in the middle ground should do. If only Clarks Labour government didn’t have such corporate distaste and hygene-control. Who is co-opting whom in the end is meaningless when the policy is so basic, so agreeable.

          • Colonial Viper

            Only if you don’t give a damn who you are associating with, or if you believe that corporates and governments should have closer economic and political ties with each other.

            • Ad

              I absolutely do. All in the same direction. Starting with Fonterra.

              • Colonial Viper

                I absolutely disagree. That’s the road to fascism and government in the form of a corporatocracy. You are naive with your “same direction” call. The state and private enterprise have absolutely different constituents that they serve.

                The state must serve the citizens first and foremost while corporates only act to serve their shareholders first and foremost.

                In addition, the melding of state and corporate activities forms a single powerful elite class which must never be allowed.

                • karol


                • Rhinocrates


                • Ad

                  Oh what overblown arse. If you keep on with “the answer to everything is the state”, and flail on about the fascists, all you get is a typical standoff that has sunk Labour governments many a time. This will never again be a country run largely by the state. Get over yourself.

                  Nothing will happen that is progressive if the state tries to do it by itself. Corporates are huge and not getting smaller, and Fonterra is one of the very very few who sees it has national interests with New Zealand, as well as corporate and cooperative interests.

                  Co-option of corporate interests into an intersection with the state is where people find common interest. Don’t ever think you will get that from the state alone.

                  • karol

                    Co-option of corporate interests into an intersection with the state is where people find common interest.

                    That’s where there’s a common interest? Surely you jest? The corporate interest is not the interest of a fair proportion of Kiwis.

                    • Coronial Typer

                      Really? Do you work?

                      [lprent: Do you actually work – or is it all just bullshit?

                      And incidentally what kind of dumbass question is that? I’ve never noticed too many people not working out of choice. The pay is too damn low and there are all these dipshits looking enviously at people having so much fun whilst trying to not to starve as they fight off the bailiffs.

                      Usually they’re not working because there are governments more interested in corporate welfare rather than helping actual people from becoming long-term unemployable. ]

                    • karol

                      I have worked all my adult life. What’s that got to do with it? But, really, do you think people who work for corporations, in relatively powerless jobs, think the corporate bosses are there to serve their interests? Especially their interests away from work or the interests of the collective good, like education, infrastructure etc.

                      If the corporates were their for all the people, we wouldn’t see them trying all the time to drive wages down, so now we have people struggling to pay the bills.

                  • Rhinocrates

                    Corporates are huge and not getting smaller

                    Indeed, and that is why they must be resisted, not embraced, and that is while democratic institutions should stand against them or curb them. NGOs I hope will do the same, but while some are powerful, only a few are.

                    The danger is when the state becomes undemocratic and allied with the corporates, disconnected from the citizenry. Its shills (like Hooton) will go on about “pragmatism” and “being reasonable” and whisper, “it’s what you really want…”

                    “It’s soooooo big” does not strike me as a compelling political argument, but apparently it appeals to some.

                    Fascism in the 21st century won’t arise through revolution, it will arise through seduction. As it did in the 20th.

                    • Coronial Typer

                      No government that has failed to learn the art of corporate seduction – or indeed NGO seduction – will get anywhere in this country. That could of course amount to a whole lot of seduction, but Key’s move today is yet another deal done. He’s racking the results up. Maybe there’s an alternative – I dunno, the state just intervenes and wipes out poverty all by itself. Maybe Mana will win the next election. Sponsorship is – barring the unethical – good.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Yes, I agree that corporate sponsorship is good.

                      It’s called paying their fucking fair share of taxes so that they don’t lose their societal license to operate. Like the IRD made the big banks do a couple of years ago.

                      but Key’s move today is yet another deal done. He’s racking the results up.

                      $100M in irrigation for dairy cows
                      $9.5M for poor kids

                      Yeah you must like those results he’s racking up.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      “Corporate seduction”? fuck off, what ugly self serving, two faced biyarches. Labour might be able to talk them around for one term by compromising their principles, but pretty soon they’ll stick a stiletto between the shoulder blades as their one and only true love is the big blue party of big business.

                    • Wow interesting discussion and I am not sure if you guys are disagreeing …

                      Corporates are a way of life for all western democracies. Piss them off and they throw huge resources at you.

                      Helen chose to have a charm offensive early on in the 5th Labour Government’s term and got them onside for a while. After a few years they started to rebel and demand tax cuts and spread frankly defamatory rumours about some people and eventually Helen’s and the Government’s will was sapped and they lost.

                      Historians in years to come will actually say that hers was a damn good government. Although history is written by the victors so right now there is a bit of spin going on for a while.

                      But yeah we have to sort things out. Of course the state should step up. We need to win the argument that soft corporate money doing things that the state should do no matter what is wrong.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Hey ad I see you are downplaying the threat of governmental and corporate power to a citizenry.

                    Why don’t you just see what the military industrial complex has become in the USA, and the banking-governmental complex has become in the EU.

                    corporates are huge and not getting smaller, and Fonterra is one of the very very few who sees it has national interests with New Zealand

                    Concentration of economic and corporate power is one thing.

                    I’m very concerned that you are willing to let that interfere with our democracy and our government.

                    Government is for looking after citizens, corporations are for looking after shareholders. Government is the only entity that can check, regulate and balance the markets and strike down private sector monopolies.

                    A unitary corporatocracy and their elite as government is just one small step away from fascism. Not the pretend kind mind you, the real kind.

        • felix

          “And the solution is surely not 1970s UK style school canteens serving chips and pasta bakes.”

          Matthew, do you really have that much trouble imaging a school canteen that isn’t a 1970s one serving chips and pasta bakes?

          • McFlock

            funnily enough, the facebook page “Inside Child Poverty New Zealand” has been posting regular pictures of school lunches from around the world. Some of them look damned nice, too.

          • Colonial Viper

            Funny the food served daily to the partners at some of the top law firms around NZ seems just fine to me.

          • mickysavage

            That is so unfair. If Matthew cannot link the proposal to 70s cuisine or North Korea then he loses the moral force of his argument …

    • Rhinocrates 15.2

      Waffle waffle blah, gosh the Nacts are so reasonable and middle of the road rhubarb blah.

      a certain ideological fervour

      Not like those other nasty chaps!

      But some parents can’t or don’t meet that responsibility and that’s not the kids’ fault.

      Ooh look, he knows all about the struggles of the poor! What an empathic fellow he is! Nat is a liberal progressive party, it cares about the poor, Muldoon’s father had syphilis and that proves it!

      (Actually, I do b’fast and my wife does their lunches, but you know what I mean).

      Gosh, Hoots, I find your bourgeoise JAFA “lifestyle” (other people can’t afford lifestyles, so they just have lives) so very, very interesting.

      Akshully, no I don’t. Most of us akshully don’t live that ideal life that appears in so many flatly-lit cereal ads.

    • rosy 15.3

      ” I am lazy enough that if there were free breakfasts and lunches at my kids’ school I sure as hell wouldn’t go through the horror of making breakfast and lunch each morning.”

      Actually, no I don’t know what you mean. The horror of having time in the morning to provide physical and emotional sustenance for your kids through preparation of food for them and possibly even sitting there and eating with them? In the next breath I imagine you complaining about the attitudes of the poor who have fewer options that you.

      I’m sure there are many parents with early work starts in low pay jobs getting the kids up so the partner just coming home from the night shift of another low pay job can get them to school in the morning (another reason for kids missing breakfast, btw) would love your middle class horror.

    • Paul 15.4

      Look forward to a contribution from you that isn’t spinning the party line.
      How do you get paid for writing what they tell you to?

  16. ak 16

    “I guess we have to do this” from the right suggests their only ever approach, akshilly….

    • McFlock 16.1

      but but but Key has been planning to do this since 2007? He is always there for poverty-stricken children…

  17. pollywog 17

    Beats a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.

  18. home help 18

    If all the kids just got Weetbix and milk they would have dysentery in about a week but if they had real oats they would survive quite well
    Any body with a clue about survival wouldnt touch Weetbix its for obesity building

    • Rhinocrates 18.1

      Anybody with a clue about the overwhelming importance of image and marketing instead of nutrition and the real world wouldn’t give a shit.

      • Colonial Viper 18.1.1

        Funny you used that phrase, after home help’s pertinent observation

  19. karol 19

    Watched John Key on Campbell Live. Can’t see why anyone trusts him. Diversion by boringly reeling of a load of stats and business-sounding jargon.

  20. North 20

    Haven’t read the above comments so this may have been covered, sorry.

    WTF is ShonKey Python’s stooge girl Boss Hogg Bennett up to when she announces that many school principals will not countenance their schools’ participation in this “scheme” because they are morally troubled (poor dears), their conviction being that feeding kids who don’t get breakfast on account of poverty or dysfunction is not the problem of the community. Let them eat cake sort of thing.

    Tell you what, if I was a school trustee I’d go for the throat of the principal who decided to indulge his/her precious morality over kids’ needs. In fact I’d probably want to give him/her a good crack.

    Actually, I think Boss Hogg is strawman-ing here. Ain’t it funny how ShonKey always relies on that Judas Sheep to smooth the way for him ? Why otherwise why would she pour cold water on the scheme from the very beginning ? Names of the principals and names of the schools please Boss Hogg.

    The words of “caring” from ShonKey Python last night really did stick in his throat, the detestable bastard. Makes me laugh when he says “We don’t spend alot of time listening to what Hone Harawira says”.

    Oh yeah ? Shithead. There’s no heartfelt stuff here – it’s all a cynical response to what Hone’s been saying and Hone’s bill. Top marks Hone !

    • Murray Olsen 20.1

      “Names of the principals and names of the schools please Boss Hogg.”

      Wanganui Collegiate, Diocesan, Auckland Grammar, King’s College, Kristin, and Avondale College, if it still has the same head as 13 years ago. Avondale College expelled boys who played Rugby League but would not play union for the school. I can see a prick of a headmaster who did that having moral problems with feeding people.

      There may be others.

  21. Bill 21

    81 comments on a left wing forum and only two people (?) [CV and Rhinocrates] have touched on the bloody obvious – which is that Fontera and Sanitarium are getting handed a heavily subsidised advertising campaign on a plate. What are people meant to percieve? That Cozy Cuddly Corporates are riding to the rescue? It’s such fucking ridiculous bullshit on so many levels that I’m honestly astounded those who speak from the left have accepted it on any level.

    To be clear – hungry school-children turning up to school hungry and with no lunch are a fcking bye-line in this whole affair.

    Lay a school kids meal tax on the fuckers and have their names removed from anything and everything to with school meals. I mean, that would just be fine by these benevolent corporations, right? The end would be the same from the children’s perspective and the same money would be coming from the same sources.

    And for any sop out there who is thinking “but at least the kids are getting fed”… well, means shape ends. And corporates raiding the public purse to boost their profile and sales off the back of real need is not fucking okay.

    edit – and just possibly ‘worse then nothing’ in the long run.

    • Colonial Viper 21.1


      people conditioned to be thankful for drippings from the manor table.

    • prism 21.2

      I realise that principles and ideology don’t blend with milk for a nourishing breakfast Bill. It is a waste of time to suggest you could be pragmatic on this.

      • Colonial Viper 21.2.1

        The lord of the manor has chosen to be generous to us commoners today, be thankful for the drippings that you get too

      • Bill 21.2.2

        But there is ideology being ‘blended with the milk’ on this. That’s my whole point. And that it should be resisted.

        A tax is pragmatic. So are price caps on basic food needs that those two companies make vast profits on.

    • xtasy 21.3

      Right, Bill, and for those that missed it on Campbell Live, Sanitarium are not even considered a profit making “business” under valid NZ law. They are tax exempt, as they get away calling themselves a “charity”, believe it or not!

      Yes, that is true, they earn in total nearly 200 million a year, and what they spend, which was quoted, for some aid and other projects added up to barely 20 million, as I vaguely remember. Then of course they will have operational costs, but they claim they use all the rest for “support causes” and projects, which according to Campbell Live seem to rather be for their own members, the 7th Day Adventists.

      Promoting religion is accepted as “charitable” activity, the law apparently says. So free brand exposure, excellent marketing, early “bonding” of future customers by starting with the young, and then they have their future markets and incomes cut like a nicely cut cake.

      Welfare and “charity” selling food like all other food producers, all possible under NZ’s great tax laws.

      • prism 21.3.1

        xtas This thing about churches being automatically tax exempt because they are doing good (for God) is a pernicious moral hazard.

        A firm like Sanitarium grow large and don’t contribute to the country in which it operates, yet will sue using that country’s expensive legal processes, when they are not pleased with matters that do not meet with the laws supporting business of that country. Confusing.

        That they are putting some money into providing weetbix means that we are getting something from them, they just aren’t soaking up all the money they can and spending it on their own chosen interests.

        But Destiny Church and others can grow up and receive the same favourable treatment and behave less benignly than the Seventh Days.

        In the USA there used to be a church of people called the Moonies. I think it was led by a Korean preacher Rev Moon who was a cult starter. He ended up taking over a small town where he ran church businesses staffed by accolytes who worked for their board and little else, and probably gave him all their earthly possessions. The rest of the town suffered because there was no money circulating and businesses could be undercut by the Moonies. It hasn’t been in the news lately.

        Tax exemptions need to be limited for all religious and church entities. The same type of limit that applies to paying GST or did, should apply. That is that if you had a revenue of say $24,000 NZ then no GST. The same could apply to churches on their cash producing events or initiatives.

        • xtasy

          Those charities being church and similar organisations certainly need a thorough look at, re what they are doing.

          At the moment the government appears to have tightened the criteria to qualify for a charitable organisation to try and hit organisations like Greenpeace, as I understand it.

          I would consider them to be more worthy of being considered “charitable”, as they do actually dedicate a lot of hard work to protect the environment and endangered species, which is for the good of society as a whole, in practical terms, also for the future.

          Churches do their good deeds, yes, but some seem to be looking after their members before anyone else, or the “leaders” of the membership, so how “charitable” is that?

    • xtasy 21.4

      Sanitarium belonging to the 7th Day Adventists Church is legally a “charity”:

      See the last part of Campbell Live on TV3 from tonight, which is downloadable via their On Demand site, try the following link:


      It is the third part, after the interview with John Key, where they show what Sanitarium is all about, and that it is owned by the Seventh Day Adventists Church, basically and legally as a “charity”!

      Tax exempted business, run for a “good cause”, all legal in NZ!

    • xtasy 21.5

      Sanitarium, a brand name, legally administered as part of a “charity” operation by the Seventh Day Adventist Church, and registered with the Charities Register under the name ” Seventh Day Adventist Church in New Zealand 1″! See this link to take you to the particular registration in the register:


      Their annual return from last year is to be found here:


      If there are problems with the links, do your own search on:


      The first two are long links, regrettably, but it is revealing information, about a close knit, strong religious organisation – with also some questionable records re how members can be “tied in” and have struggled to leave the organisation. At least the church has a name for being a bit like a sect in overseas countries.

      But in gullible New Zealand, the public love “good deeds”, no matter who is behind it, right?

      Many in Europe would shudder with the thought of such a religious organsiation being involved so heavily in feeding needy school kids.

      Sorry to spoil your fun, once again. I am nasty, aye?

  22. the central scutinizer 22

    weetbix and milk yuk. I hope chelsea are going to jump on the band wagon.

    • peterlepaysan 22.1

      Chelsea is already there. What do people sprinkle on weetbix?

      Fruit is served with weetbix, fruit is essentially sugar and water.

      Apart from milk (arguably), butter and cheese the remainder of Fonterras products are dubious.

      Sugar is hardly a desirable healthy food.

      What Fonterra and Sanitarium offer are extremely high glucose inducing orally introduced substances into empty stomachs.

      There is precious little else the empty stomachs will contribute to young growing bodies other than glucose after being fed Sanitarium and/or Fonterra products

      We have a Wall Street trader encouraging children to accept sweets from strangers?


  23. vto 23

    They think they’ve got a winner and nullified the cry….
    silly fools
    give away
    being John Key and his
    non-believing eye…

  24. Yes 24

    Why didn’t labour put this in place when they were power…poverty was the same then if not worse

    • Colonial Viper 24.1

      Don’t ignore the extra 100,000 unemployed under National

      • Yes 24.1.1

        So which part of the great recession and chch earthquake was under national watch or in nationals policies.

        • Colonial Viper

          irrelevant excuses. Get with it.

          National should have massively ramped up trade training within 90 days of the Christchurch earthquake, taking up thousands of unemployed youth. They didn’t.

          They should also have spent monies directly into the economy on conservation, transport and energy infrastructure, employing large numbers of highly skilled staff. They didn’t. Not only did they do the opposite, they couldn’t even deliver on the promise of a measley cycle way.

          Lastly they let manufacturing wither on the vine by doing things like giving away manufacturing contracts to the Chinese and refusing to control the exchange rate.

          • Yes

            Tell me regardless if poverty levels at say 100,000 when labour was in power why didn’t they do anything then?

            • vto

              you’re useless yes

              • Yes

                Useless…like what? … Poverty in NZ is about useless parents who don give a dam..we have a great social security system. The root of this so called poverty is based on perception. I have see poverty in India like no other…war torn middle east a different type of poverty..the only poverty I see in NZ is bad choices by bad parents.

                I have male friends who have up to 11 kids to multiply mothers…why is the government taking the blame to lax social systems over many years.

                • vto

                  ” Poverty in NZ is about useless parents who don give a dam..”
                  No that is only rarely the case. Certainly no more than the human norm.

                  “..the only poverty I see in NZ is bad choices by bad parents.”
                  Really? Throw an example,,, with specifics.

                  “I have male friends who have up to 11 kids to multiply mothers…why is the government taking the blame to lax social systems over many years.”
                  What? Slack Fathers need to get their shit together but meantime we don’t need to have the beautiful children suffer.

                  split the issues

                  then re place

                • prism

                  Yes – No
                  Rave rant blame condemn criticise. You haven’t got an idea in what passes for your brain. And you don’t know much except the little group that you mix with. There are many poor parents who don’t fit your friends’ pattern. Old saying – birds of a feather fly together. If you have friends that downtrou and then move on with no concern about what they are doing you can see the problem clearly. It is as hard to change loose habits as it is to change your friends. Start on yourself.

                  • Yes

                    Lol..tree hugger

                    • Colonial Viper

                      yeah, that’s real mature buddy.

                    • vto

                      Lol. paper money hugger

                    • Murray Olsen

                      It’s not the kids’ fault that all your girlfriends preferred sleeping with your mates to being with you. After it happened 11 times with only one of your best mates, you might have considered that you were the problem.

                    • prism

                      Lol Tramper shooter.

                  • Yes

                    I have represented my country … Don’t ever tell me to start with myself..start with yourself

                    • vto

                      So what do you think we should all do Yes?

                    • prism

                      What at? Being a bully boy somewhere – in simple sports contests (beating others – striving to break a time limit or achieve a high placing in a numbers list) or in a ‘peace-making zone’? The government doesn’t always do the right thing, just representing your country, patriotism, doesn’t make you an honourable, intelligent citizen. You have to work at doing and thinking ethical things.

                • North

                  You’re illiterate Yes. Don’t waste our time.

                  • Yes

                    What shall we all do. Take a deep breath. Poverty is the responsibility of all..not just the government of today.

                    Let’s get some social structures back into NZ. Benefit bashing isn’t good but how do you stop the ever continous cycle. Let’s take away some of safety nets for people who just keep on being lazy in their decision making. I read once 75% of the people in poverty could have been in a better situation is they made better decisions.

                    I back supporting the 25% ..that is good social welfare and important.

                    First we have to accept we have a lost generation and will support this current group. Sad but we will need to do that. Now there is a whole lot of kids that aren’t born or conceived so let’s put some dam hard social policies to prevent these kids into a life of poverty.

                    So make people work for their social security payment and for me work is as simple as getting up in the morning and going to a place of work even if it government funded.

                    Poverty is extrapolated through out of wedlock pregnancy or in wedlock pregnancy without great family planning thinking. Stop church taking 10% ..huge and massive issue in south Auckland. Close down liquor stores in deprived areas.

                    Crucify criminals get so tough they disappear..look no further than what was done in new York…no comparison to 9/11 please.

                    Tax rates need to go up 5%

                    There is a start

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Oh fuck off you fantasist. I laughed when you said you want to return structure to NZ communities but let’s stop people contributing to their churches. What are you, an idiot?

                      The people who are lazy in this country are the ones earning billions in unearned income, draining our communities dry, ticket clipping and sending NZ funds off overseas.

                      Yes, let’s give everyone a full time job, but a real job with a real purpose and real value to the community, at a living wage.

                      Not your slave wages job.

                      I read once 75% of the people in poverty could have been in a better situation is they made better decisions.

                      I back supporting the 25% ..that is good social welfare and important.

                      Don’t you want people to take risks in life? Don’t you think people make mistakes and need to be given a second and sometimes third chance? Don’t you understand that life is a learning process and sometimes it’s a school of hard knocks?

                      Fucking asshole.

                    • prism

                      Definitely some thinking starting there. Keep on thinking around the problem, using your understanding of present-day pitfalls that young people can get into. Also the fact that there aren’t the jobs that a nation should have if it was using all its resources to look after itself with imports assisting that process. You could apply your mind to how we keep work in NZ for NZs so that young people can work and plan for a future, a house and some prosperity instead of getting on day by day.

                    • prism

                      Do you belong to ACT? It sounds like your sort of place. Full of complacency and criticism and superiority. And half informed – knowing about things but not understanding them.

  25. Yes 25


  26. Yes 26

    Colonel viper..do you work. Yes or no?


    a. Using the reply button would help identify who you are talking to. There is no such handle in use.

    b. The question itself isn’t something that we allow, which is why I was having go at Typer.

    c. If people offer information about themselves unprompted then that is one thing. However demanding it of others often involves me appearing in a irritated moderation reflective mode shining back a exaggerated version of the askers question on them as a warning (and frequently just banning outright).

    d. That is because it violates both the intent of the privacy part of our policy and is a classic starter for a particularly irritating to read style of flame-war.

    e. So come on – who wants to be the first person to receive a involuntary holiday from the site?… I’m knee-deep in recalcitrant code and have some frustration to offload. ]

    • Yes 26.1

      Accepted..can I rephrase. If he can call me a f… Asshole…when not once have I sworn or even used tough words..I was asked my views which I gave with sincerity.

      So my rephrase of the question is;

      Colonel viper…in your statement how many chances should we give people?

      • Colonial Viper 26.1.1

        Lots and lots. Until they cross a red line, you don’t stop helping them turn things around. If they don’t want to be helped, then you help their kids, or their spouses. There are no disposable people in this country.

        Accepted..can I rephrase. If he can call me a f… Asshole…when not once have I sworn or even used tough words..I was asked my views which I gave with sincerity.

        I don’t overly value sincerity. The man bludgeoning your kids to death with a pry bar is very sincere and indeed heartfelt in what he is doing. As is the man pushing poor New Zealanders off the edge of a cliff one by one.

  27. xtasy 27

    “There is NO extreme poverty in New Zealand”, so says Paula Bennett, to be heard in this iterview on Checkpoint tonight (28 May 2013):


    To be found directly via that link, otherwise search the clip to be found via Radio NZ’s website under audios:


    It is the one 7 minutes and about 50 seconds long!

    At about 6 minutes and 40 seconds she seems to contradict herself, re something she said earlier, but she insists that there is no extreme poverty in New Zealand.

    • Colonial Viper 27.1

      Since Bennett classifies “extreme poverty” as the poor end of Haiti, she’s probably quite right.

  28. Is this better than nothing? The point is that there was and is not nothing as lots of schools are already feeding their needy kids. So exactly what quantity and quality is Key’s little stunt going to deliver?
    The ;political parties that are promising to feed the kids should be doing it via the existing setups in school and promoting it where it is lacking. Not waiting for the election. What better way to activate the 800,000 non-voters turned off by Labour’s patronising of the poor last time.
    Key has cut Kids Can from out of feeding to give Santarium and Fonterra a duopoly.
    So the kids are getting hooked on servility to corporate charity rather than community self-reliance.
    When interviewed on TV3, lots of the kids parroted the NACT line, no food in the house.
    The big example on TV3 was a Mt Roskill School which has already been feeding kids breakfast for 6 years. Nothing to do with Key.
    Campbell Live gave Key an easy ride and let him evade the question about funding exclusive private schools for 10 times what he is paying to drip feed breakfast to the poor kids.
    Hone had the right reply to Key’s stunt, he spat on the floor.

    • Dv 28.1

      >>Campbell Live gave Key an easy ride and let him evade the question about funding exclusive private schools for 10 times what he is paying to drip feed breakfast to the poor kids.

      Keys answer was that the schools pay at least the amount the get in GST

      That sounds odd, and wrong.

      Can any one shine any light on that?

      Any way does that can i get a hand out equivalent to the GST i pay?

      • red rattler 28.1.1

        Its a total bullshit answer. Campbell had him live but failed to expose him. Campbell is like all liberals, hot air when it comes to nailing the hypocrisy of the ruling class.
        The standard NACT argument about state funding of private education is that the parents pay twice, taxes which provide “free” state education (which they ‘choose’ to opt out of), and school fees to buy their children’s education. He’s saying they are getting their GST on fees back to compensate. It’s OK because its less than it would cost the state to provide state education for children in private schools.
        There is really only one serious left response – abolish GST on everything and whack a 100% capital gains tax on all unimproved land since none of that value results from economic activity and arises solely out of demand for the finite supply of land.

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