web analytics

Child Poverty March

Written By: - Date published: 8:32 pm, September 6th, 2014 - 14 comments
Categories: democratic participation, hone harawira, poverty - Tags: , ,

There was a great protest up Queen St today, as 1000-odd people (including me & my family!) marched against child poverty, and government and societal inaction over it.

TVOne.  Herald.

Henare O’Keefe – wow.

I’m sure the media cameras loved Lucy Lawless, and Jacinda and particularly Hone made great political speeches (Meteria didn’t seem to speak as powerfully as she normal does), but 2012 New Zealand Community Hero Henare O’Keefe stole the show.

If anyone wasn’t motivated to action after hearing him – they must have stone hearts.

So Hone’s breakfasts in schools bill seems the first target to get through (as the bill’s already on the order paper from this term) – and we need to make sure that Labour, Greens, Internet Mana, Maori Party & NZ First (who have all pledged support) have a enough seats in the house to get it through.

Then we need to raise the minimum wage, and …

So really, we just need a centre left government so we don’t have the horrific statistics of 260,000 kids in poverty in our country, but someone who will do something about it.

14 comments on “Child Poverty March ”

  1. karol 1

    Thanks for this report, Ben.

    Yes. We need a change of government & a change of direction. Good to see all the support across various parties.

  2. mickysavage 2

    “Our opponents say more children are living in poverty than when we came into office … [a]nd that’s probably right.”

    John Key


    • karol 2.1

      Yes, that comment came to my mind, too. key, keen to be PoTUS and wallow in (alleged) “celebrity” glory – and glib about the rise in child poverty under his watch. Unbelievable!

    • Hanswurst 2.2

      He’s referring to children in Australia.

      • mickysavage 2.2.1

        Is he? I wondered if the comment was one big piss take. The words I replaced with … were “Key tells me” so the meaning seems clear …

        • Hanswurst

          I was referencing his staggeringly stupid excuse a few years ago that he was referring to Australian wages when he said that he would “love to see wages drop”. If the MSM had given appropriate prominence to the number of stupid excuses and backtracks Key had made, NZ would have voted him out years ago, simply on the grounds that he’s a dick.

          This is another of those, but I doubt it’ll get much oxygen.

  3. Ad 3

    CPAG have done sterling work sustaining this onto public discourse. It will now confront any future government. As it should.

    What I expect to see emerge from the Whaleoil/Act/Collins leftovers however is populist anti-“poor-pimping” sentiment. Big sections of New Zealand area as bitter and resentful against “bennies” as they are against criminals. Whaleoil and others could easily reconstitute themselves as the Garth McVicars of beneficiaries.

    Arise, New Zealand’s version of the Tea Party.

  4. crocodill 4

    It wasn’t very fair of TVNZ to reduce Alfred Ngaro’s comment to an ambiguous soundbite. He should have had far more time to string up a rope for himself. The only way anyone in Te Atatu could stand there saying National are solving the problem would require them living with diving goggles and earmuffs permanently strapped to their head, and only ever leaving home to drive immediately down the motorway and off at Gillies Ave.

    Having said that, I find the whole protest thing, “unrealistic”. What we see now is the consequence of a range of rotten cultural attitudes and one particular perspective that also happens to be a definitive part of what it is to be “kiwi”. Money, yeah money is great, but that won’t solve poverty by itself. This mythical “gap” between rich and poor isn’t solely about money. The “gap” is caused by a deliberate attempt to distance oneself from other people – so many different motivations for that. When I was growing up, they encouraged it at school. Our whole mindset is based around who is up there, and who is down there. Ironically, at the protest we have an celebrity protesting against her way of life and an important part of her identity and those who want to stop poverty making use of her celebrity – a direct contradiction to what needs to happen culturally to reduce poverty. There is no positive use of celebrity or privilege. None. Tourism only makes things worse. (Nothing personal Lucy, love your work… lol)

    Regardless of who wins next election, no one will wake up the next morning and be free of poverty. Even if they woke up in a fantastic utopian reality they wouldn’t be free from the effects for years, maybe not even until the day they die. It will take an equally strong deliberate attempt by those who don’t want to live in inclusive “equalised” communities to begin doing the opposite to even start to address what we now think is poverty.

    There is a much simpler way to address poverty for this election:

    You don’t need to care about children or anything in particular. All you have to do is accept the causes and effects and think, ok, if we do the opposite, will that result in a positive long-term commercial/financial outcome for “us”?

    No one has yet tried to do the opposite to see what happens. The experiment is being run by people who are purposely shrinking the market. Surely the rich stand to benefit from a larger group to exploit? So increase the wealth and ability of the group = more resources to exploit= more money for you. No one can squeeze cash from a stone. God it’s so simple only a complete idiot would not try it.

  5. Ad 5

    Crocodil, what 3 concrete policies would you want implemented by the next government to decrease financial suffering for children under 13 in New Zealand?

  6. karol 6

    Sunday Star Times has an article on Aroha of McGehan Close on page A4. It’s on Stuff but not visible on the main page:

    Once she was the poster girl of John Key’s rise to power. Now, the girl from McGehan Close says she would never vote for National and has no plans to return home from Australia.

    As a young woman in Auckland, she says, there were no houses, no jobs, no hope: “There was nothing left in New Zealand.”

    In 2007 Aroha Ireland, then aged 12, had become the face of what John Key, leader of the Opposition at the time, called New Zealand’s underclass.

    Key had labelled her community in Mt Albert’s McGehan Close a “dead end” and “the nation’s street of hopelessness” created by the Labour government.

    He has now had six years to turn things around, but Aroha is not convinced. She has no plans to come back to New Zealand, where she could find only part-time work on the minimum wage in a fast-food restaurant.
    Back in 2007, her mother Joan Nathan famously castigated Key for insulting their community.

    As an olive branch, Key took the young girl to celebrations at Waitangi that year and got Nathan a job at MP Jackie Blue’s office. Things briefly looked up for the family. But after the first term of Key’s government, Aroha moved to Australia and her mother was back on the benefit after being made redundant from her job with Blue.

    Three years later Aroha, now 20, feels she was used by Key – and the Prime Minister won’t be getting her vote.

    “The last time I spoke to him was when he took me to Waitangi Day. After that I have never heard from him again. I absolutely believe that I was used as a publicity stunt,” she says. “I wouldn’t vote for National.”
    She recently returned home to visit her mother. She couldn’t believe how expensive the price of living in New Zealand was compared to Australia.

    “Petrol has shot up – $2 for petrol, really? I also brought about seven or eight items from one of the supermarkets and it came to a total of $78. No wonder people can’t fill their fridges. I’m glad I got out of New Zealand when I did.”

    Over the past four years she has seen her mother’s financial situation worsen. “My mum works full time and she is still struggling really bad,” she says. “It is like she is worse off.”

  7. Foreign waka 7

    This is what Mr Mandela had to say about poverty:

    “Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity, it is an act of justice. Like Slavery and Apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings. Sometimes it falls on a generation to be great. YOU can be that great generation. Let your greatness blossom.”

    I guess Mr Key and Mr English disagree. As do all land gentry really. You need poor people to have control of the profits.

  8. Bannis 8

    ‘… the beginning is people just don’t have enough income .. income is so low that food becomes a discretionary item’ Auckland City Missioner Diane Robertson discussing the Family 100 Research Project on 95bFM http://www.95bfm.co.nz/default,217314.sm

    In the debates about child poverty the main issue being ignored is that of income adequacy. At the candidates’ meeting at the Otago Medical School on Friday the ‘other elephant’, the inadequacy of benefits, was completely overlooked. Since the cuts of 1991 all households on benefits have struggled, but most particularly those with children. Read the Incomes paper to be discussed next Tuesday 5.30pm at St Johns in the City, Wellington, if you’re in any doubt.

    We were swept away by the wave of good feeling at the people’s generosity for Kids Can and John Campbell’s collection. However we are worried that such events should become a normal part of solving child poverty. It is dealing with the symptoms not the cause. And incidentally, it was appalling to see how much of the huge collection of cans were baked beans and worse, spaghetti – not the most healthy foods for children!

    While we can understand the popularity of this appeal and the urgency of dealing with hungry children by doing something now, we deplore the creation of a charity that may become the established way of dealing with this problem. This is a classic capitalist ploy of entrenching charitable solutions where the state system should be taking the action. Children have the human right to adequate sustenance and should not be dependent on charity.
    At the Anti-poverty Hikoi on Saturday Papatoetoe South school principal Mark Barratt said he witnessed the effects of child poverty every day. Barratt said in his experience with poor children and parents, a low minimum wage was the root of many problems. “If you haven’t got enough money, it doesn’t matter how well you budget.” He was critical of the government outsourcing responsibility for addressing the issue to private companies like Sanitarium and Fonterra. He believed all political parties needed to work together to address child poverty and related economic issues. See link: Poverty

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Celebrating the Entry Into Force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
    [Opening comments, welcome and thank you to Auckland University etc] It is a great pleasure to be here this afternoon to celebrate such an historic occasion - the entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. This is a moment many feared would never come, but ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Supporting disabled people to stay connected
    The Government is providing $3 million in one-off seed funding to help disabled people around New Zealand stay connected and access support in their communities, Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni announced today. The funding will allow disability service providers to develop digital and community-based solutions over the next two ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Voluntary saliva testing offered to quarantine workers from Monday
    Border workers in quarantine facilities will be offered voluntary daily COVID-19 saliva tests in addition to their regular weekly testing, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. This additional option will be rolled out at the Jet Park Quarantine facility in Auckland starting on Monday 25 January, and then to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Next steps in firearms buy-back
    The next steps in the Government’s ambitious firearms reform programme to include a three-month buy-back have been announced by Police Minister Poto Williams today.  “The last buy-back and amnesty was unprecedented for New Zealand and was successful in collecting 60,297 firearms, modifying a further 5,630 firearms, and collecting 299,837 prohibited ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Jobs for Nature projects target iconic ecosystems
    Upscaling work already underway to restore two iconic ecosystems will deliver jobs and a lasting legacy, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says.  “The Jobs for Nature programme provides $1.25 billion over four years to offer employment opportunities for people whose livelihoods have been impacted by the COVID-19 recession. “Two new projects ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Public Housing Plan announced
    The Government has released its Public Housing Plan 2021-2024 which outlines the intention of where 8,000 additional public and transitional housing places announced in Budget 2020, will go. “The Government is committed to continuing its public house build programme at pace and scale. The extra 8,000 homes – 6000 public ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Prime Minister congratulates President Joe Biden on his inauguration
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated President Joe Biden on his inauguration as the 46th President of the United States of America. “I look forward to building a close relationship with President Biden and working with him on issues that matter to both our countries,” Jacinda Ardern said. “New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Jobs for Nature funding will create training and employment opportunities
    A major investment to tackle wilding pines in Mt Richmond will create jobs and help protect the area’s unique ecosystems, Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor says. The Mt Richmond Forest Park has unique ecosystems developed on mineral-rich geology, including taonga plant species found nowhere else in the country. “These special plant ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Pre-departure testing extended to all passengers to New Zealand
    To further protect New Zealand from COVID-19, the Government is extending pre-departure testing to all passengers to New Zealand except from Australia, Antarctica and most Pacific Islands, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The change will come into force for all flights arriving in New Zealand after 11:59pm (NZT) on Monday ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Bay Cadets learn skills to protect environment
    Bay Conservation Cadets launched with first intake Supported with $3.5 million grant Part of $1.245b Jobs for Nature programme to accelerate recover from Covid Cadets will learn skills to protect and enhance environment Environment Minister David Parker today welcomed the first intake of cadets at the launch of the Bay ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Cook Islanders to resume travel to New Zealand
    The Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern and the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Mark Brown have announced passengers from the Cook Islands can resume quarantine-free travel into New Zealand from 21 January, enabling access to essential services such as health. “Following confirmation of the Cook Islands’ COVID ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supporting communities and landowners to grow employment opportunities
    Jobs for Nature funding is being made available to conservation groups and landowners to employ staff and contractors in a move aimed at boosting local biodiversity-focused projects, Conservation Minister Kiritapu Allan has announced. It is estimated some 400-plus jobs will be created with employment opportunities in ecology, restoration, trapping, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Border exception for some returning international tertiary students
    The Government has approved an exception class for 1000 international tertiary students, degree level and above, who began their study in New Zealand but were caught offshore when border restrictions began. The exception will allow students to return to New Zealand in stages from April 2021. “Our top priority continues ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Tiwai deal gives time for managed transition
    Today’s deal between Meridian and Rio Tinto for the Tiwai smelter to remain open another four years provides time for a managed transition for Southland. “The deal provides welcome certainty to the Southland community by protecting jobs and incomes as the region plans for the future. The Government is committed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New member for APEC Business Advisory Council
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has appointed Anna Curzon to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC). The leader of each APEC economy appoints three private sector representatives to ABAC. ABAC provides advice to leaders annually on business priorities. “ABAC helps ensure that APEC’s work programme is informed by business community perspectives ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt’s careful economic management recognised
    The Government’s prudent fiscal management and strong policy programme in the face of the COVID-19 global pandemic have been acknowledged by the credit rating agency Fitch. Fitch has today affirmed New Zealand’s local currency rating at AA+ with a stable outlook and foreign currency rating at AA with a positive ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Additional actions to keep COVID-19 out of NZ
    The Government is putting in place a suite of additional actions to protect New Zealand from COVID-19, including new emerging variants, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Given the high rates of infection in many countries and evidence of the global spread of more transmissible variants, it’s clear that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • 19 projects will clean up and protect waterways
    $36 million of Government funding alongside councils and others for 19 projects Investment will clean up and protect waterways and create local jobs Boots on the ground expected in Q2 of 2021 Funding part of the Jobs for Nature policy package A package of 19 projects will help clean up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand Government acknowledges 175th anniversary of Battle of Ruapekapeka
    The commemoration of the 175th anniversary of the Battle of Ruapekapeka represents an opportunity for all New Zealanders to reflect on the role these conflicts have had in creating our modern nation, says Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Kiri Allan. “The Battle at Te Ruapekapeka Pā, which took ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago