Chose a brighter future?

Written By: - Date published: 7:27 am, April 4th, 2011 - 100 comments
Categories: election 2008, election 2011, john key, poverty - Tags: , ,

Back before the 2008 election John Key pretended to be interested in the “underclass” for a while. With news now that a starving boy was found eating cockroaches, and that impoverished elderly are eating catfood, the plight of the underclass is getting nothing but worse under National.

Come the election later this year, I think a lot of people are going to look back and ask themselves if we really chose a “brighter future” after all…

100 comments on “Chose a brighter future? ”

  1. tc 1

    Isn’t this all down to ‘choices’ according to our man of the people, in touch PM ? Love the plane background as the migration of skilled workers has accelerated under the bus rountab… err I mean NACT policies.

    • A choice between cockroaches or cat food for poor people …
       
      And 3 year old or brand new BMWers for the Cabinet …
       

      • Colonial Viper 1.1.1

        Cockroaches and cat food are a lifestyle choice, don’t you know.

        PS I cannot bear to look at the front page of The Std while that cockroach is there. It’s just NASTY.

        • lprent 1.1.1.1

          Blame r0b…

          • r0b 1.1.1.1.1

            Hey – I didn’t headline it!  But yes, it’s nasty, that’s the point.  What’s going on in this country when a kid is eating cockroaches for food?  The words are shocking enough, but the image needs to be visceral.

        • Armchair Critic 1.1.1.2

          Kids are eating cockroaches, CV, and not for fun – because they are f**king hungry.
          Cockroaches are revolting, but living in a country where hungry kids eat them is so much worse.  Look at the picture and remember that.

  2. Bunji 2

    The cockroach is shocking, the cat food is shocking, but I don’t think the shockingness that is the complete lack of accountability by Paula Bennett has had enough air.
    Refusing any interviews or comments on media articles about the poverty she’s causing.  Refusing or constantly rescheduling meetings with the budget advisors she’s insisting people (wait a month to) see before getting any hardship grant – until shamed into it on TV.  Looking forward to that meeting on Friday…

    • Which meeting is that Bunji?

      • kriswgtn 2.1.1

        http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10716810

        MEETING OF MINDS

        It’s the most telegraphed ambush in town – but Social Development Minister Paula Bennett is wandering into it. Next Friday, she will meet Mangere Budgeting Services Trust boss Daryl Evans in Auckland.

        Another 22 budgeting services from the upper North Island have also grabbed the chance to put their concerns to Bennett.

        The meeting comes after repeated calls to Bennett’s office, and one television broadcast in which Evans complained meetings were shifted and cancelled.

        After the broadcast a firm date was set.

        Bet she will wiggle her way out of this or com complete with more bodyguards than Smirky

        • mickysavage 2.1.1.1

          Ha
           
          Coincidentally I met Darryl yesterday.  He will let the Minister know exactly, precisely what he thinks of the current situation.
           
          Can you buy tickets?

        • felix 2.1.1.2

          Bunji or kriswgtn, will this meeting be filmed?
           
          Gosh I hope so.

    • Treetop 2.2

      I do not like being treated as if I am stupid by the SD minister.  About 18 months ago the SNG supplement was doubled for food.  Now the SD minister is saying that people need to go to budgeting before recieving a SNG for food.  This may be considered reasonable if 90 % of the SNG for food has been used up in a 12 month period. 

      I would like the SD minister to tell me why the SNG for food was doubled?  It would have only taken a directive for this to have occurred.
      The starving boy was obviously neglected and the reason for why his parent/s were not coping matters. 
       

  3. dave 3

    “Come the election next year, I think a lot of people are going to look  back and ask themselves if we really chose a “brighter future” after  all”…

    They are also going to be asking if it is ” a better way with Labour, way better,”, and conclude that it it isn’t.

    (BTW the election is going to be held this year. Next year we will have another National government..)

    • r0b 3.1

      ooops – fixed – ta

    • millsy 3.2

      Hope you enjoy seeing single mothers and their families living in the street.

      I suppose at least youll still be able to beat your kids, Mr Crampton

    • Steve Withers 3.3

      We’ll have to see how the election goes. 

      If the Maori Party seats decline in number (they already have) and ACT disappears and Peter Dunne loses his last bastion….National will be short of some backup. They may be the largest party, but may find themselves unable to form a majority.

      …and democracy is all about majorities.

      If they *do* win a one-party majority, by 2013 Aotea Square might look like Tahrir Square

  4. ianmac 4

    Having a concise image such as cockroaches is worth 10,000 words in persuading the electorate. Design more!

  5. Afewknowthetruth 5

    These are the ‘good’ times. The worldwide ‘triple tsunami’ -declining energy supply due to peak oil, collapsing environment due to overexploitation and pollution, and disappearing money due to fractional reserve banking and leveraging- has only just begun thundering up the beach. A year from now everything will be worse: that is guaranteed. 

    Of course, we can be quite confident that none of the issues that will actually determine the future will even get a mention in the forthcoming election campaigns  -no mention of peak oil, no mention of environmental collapse, no mention of the money scams; it will be all the usual drivel about the need for economic growth and tax cuts. That’s the system: keep the masses uninformed or misinformed and sell delusions. Presumably the masses keep buying into the delusion for a while longer. 

    These are both interesting times and frightening times; interesting becasue we will witness the collapse of the present system over the next few years; frightening because no preparation whatsoever has been made and the culture of denial of reality remains firmly in place amongst the majority.

    • Drakula 5.1

      Very well said if not many of us know the truth you obviously do, but will elections solve all these social problems or strikes and progressive revolutions for a real democracy?

    • uke 5.2

      As far as New Zealanders are concerned, there is an interesting precedent with the 1930s Depression.

      NZers lot had to sink really low for Labour to be voted in, finally, in 1935. On the whole I think NZers really have to experience suffering firsthand on a mass scale to ever vote for fundamental change. Otherwise they’re a pretty conservative lot.

      Of course, the “tsunami” looming over the next few years is greater than the Depression.

  6. Marjorie Dawe 6

    And it goes on.  There is no real help for the poor because so many agencies have had funding pulled and those who are left are under pressure to deal with many times needy people than they used to.  How can you cut government services when there is such an abject need of them in our communities.  Tapu Misa hit the nail on the head in her article today.  http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10716883

    I am not looking forward to seeing more homeless on our streets or hungry and underweight kids.  When are we going to see that they are actually our most valuable resource.  Kids need to be nurtured because after all, who else is going to look after us in our dotage.

  7. JJ 7

    This is terrible of course, but the media is reporting this without any context. I mean if kids are eating cockroaches because they are so hungry then what the hell are the parents and the wider family up to, you can’t blame everything on the government no matter whether its red or blue. And old people eating dog food is a similar thing as well, what else is happening in this picture?
    Having said all that this country seems to be sleepwalking into an economic nightmare, things are incredibly tough at the moment. In my experience, its the worse its ever been.

    • todd 7.1

      JJ I think you can blame the Government for this. It is because the parents are not receiving a proper living benefit that we have so many children being brought up in poverty. The argument from the right that beneficiaries are spending all the money on sky, smokes and booze is just rubbish! Children have poor diets because their parents cannot afford to purchase food. The cockroach diet just typifies the dynamic that is happening to many poor families. It’s not just the fact that they have resorted to catfood etc… There are serious implications to mental health and other developmental and social issues that have far worse consequences and costs associated. The Government creating an underclass so deprived of what New Zealand should stand for makes me ashamed to call myself a Kiwi.

  8. prism 8

    Why did NZ vote more for National than Labour?   Thinking people knew to expect from NACT the present observable downgrading of living standards.  Their failure to grasp the nettle of change was predicted.  Those nettles might bring up welts on the hands but be less damaging than the future unprepared for.  But no NACTs hope to continue life as in a rosy past.
    If Helen had done the rare thing in our country of stepping back, and bringing forward a new star with suitable experience and the right stuff I doubt that NACT would have won.  Clark was winning by slim margins, which did not indicate overwhelming popularity in the general population.   And Labour did not seem to be tackling chronic problems affecting people in the short term, and without a long term plan sufficient to fire people’s imaginations. Same applies to Goff and co.

    • Drakula 8.1

      “Why did NZ vote more for Nat than Labour?

      Well my question here is how many people failed to vote in the last election?

      Apathy is our biggest enemy!!!!

      We need to recognize the real left and thet I believe is a coalition between alliences and the greens, something Anderton wanted years ago.

      But the golden opportunity still exists we just need to see it!!!

      • Afewknowthetruth 8.1.1

        A lot of people conscientiously choose not to vote because they can see the system for what it is -a media manipulated sham in which they are offered a choice between criminals/clowns wearing different colours. 

        • Tangled up in blue 8.1.1.1

          If you didn’t vote last election, then you effectively voted for National.

          • Afewknowthetruth 8.1.1.1.1

            Not voting means none of the clowns/criminals deserves your vote.

            If you vote for Labour you get the same basic policies as when you vote for National  -two faces of the same coin.

        • weka 8.1.1.2

          “A lot of people conscientiously choose not to vote”
          Screw them. We might not get to vote for the govt we want, but we can at least vote against the govt we don’t want, slow down the tides of destruction, and allow more space for preparation. People who think they are exercising conscience by not voting at all are exercising an intellectual privilege that is itself in denial of what is really going on. Especially ironic if you put that in a peak everything context. You really think we’d be as bad off with a Labour/Greens govt? At least peak oil would get on the table then.

          • Afewknowthetruth 8.1.1.2.1

            ‘with a Labour/Greens govt? At least peak oil would get on the table then.”

            Rubbish, I’m afraid.

            The last time Labour was in power the the issue of Peak Oil was raised constantly by dozens of people and organisations, including ASPO- NZ.  One Labour minister of energy after another completely ignored the whole issue from 2000 onwards.  They got on with building motorways and new subdivisions, and promoting all sorts of drivel about globalisation, and tourism being the salvation of NZ.  It was the same with the ‘idiot’ Greens who described tourism as a ‘sustainable growth industry’.  The ‘idiot’ Greens were also promoting non-existent biofuels.  What a bunch of clowns! 

            It would be exactly the same if a Labour-Green government were returned to power at the next election. Peak Oil is a taboo subject because it means the end of the present system. 

            Anyway, it’s too late now. The time for mitigating strategies was 5-10 years ago, when Labour was ignoring Peak Oil.  Today’s oil prices NYMEX $108.32, Brent $118.89.  The next round of collapse will soon be underway. 

            • wtl 8.1.1.2.1.1

              Presumably making comments on blogs saying that we are all doomed is more effective than voting, isn’t it?

              • Afewknowthetruth

                Who said anything about being doomed? Peak Oil is about to release us from a corrupt and inefficitent system which is detroying the very habitability of the planet we live on. We are doomed if Peak Oil doesn’t take down civilisation. 

                ‘is more effective than voting, ‘

                Probably anything is more effectivce than voting. After all, if voting made any difference the powers that be would ban it.

                I spent 30 years voting and only ever saw everything getting rapidly worse. It was only when I stood for election I discovered how totally corrupt the system is.   

                • Draco T Bastard

                  The corrupt and inefficient system existed a long time before we used oil – Ancient Egypt, Ancient Rome etc. As far as the system goes, it hasn’t changed in 7000 years.

            • weka 8.1.1.2.1.2

              You’ve completely missed my point afktt. Like I said, we don’t get to vote for the government we want. We get to vote for the govt that will do the least damage, and will slow down the destruction. It’s much harder to prepare for peak oil etc under a right wing govt than a centre left one. Activist communities that draw from the lower classes shrink under right wing govts as people have to prioritise their time to their personal survival. That leaves the preparation in the hands of the middle classes which is not such a great idea.
              So yeah, Labour are crap, and the Greens are fiddling while Rome burns. But of course if the Greens presented policy that you feel good about they wouldn’t get elected because they’d scare the shit out of everyone. So in the meantime, vote strategically on the left and monkey wrench the system as much as we can.
              Not voting may seem like an act of conscience, but it’s not one we can currently afford.
              btw, we’ve not had a Labour/Green govt to date, so we don’t really know what would happen under one. The Greens currently have peak oil and climate change at the top of their energy policy. We don’t need them to present the perfect response to peak oil (I wouldn’t trust that to politicians anyway, prefering it to come from the ground), we need them to bring the issues to the table in ways that middle NZ can tolerate and so increase awareness and bring the harder stuff into the mainstream.

  9. prism 9

    Drakula   I agree!!!!!  (It has occurred to me that NZ people regard political interest as a sort of hobby like having a favourite sport.   The democracy and human rights we have obtained are taken for granted.)  That popsong line comes to mind –
    Don’t it always seem to go,
    You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone,
    The Pay Paradise put up a parking lot.
    I have never given great amounts to political parties and I wonder whether they are treated as charities and the donor can get a tax deduction.  Should, after all parties are the basis of our NZ democratic system.  (Having numerous independents leaves too much room for fanatical oddballs to dominate the discussion.)   Could someone kindly tell me if political donations are tax deductible please.

    • uke 9.1

      Pedantic I know, but isn’t it “They paved paradise to put up a parking lot”?

      • prism 9.1.1

        uke  Could be, could be.    All this time I have heard it my way but maybe I’m wrong.  But then it still has a good message either way.
         
        captcha – comparison  –  these sneaky computer programs – always butting in.

        DTB – 😀

    • Draco T Bastard 9.2

      (It has occurred to me that NZ people regard political interest as a sort of hobby like having a favourite sport.   The democracy and human rights we have obtained are taken for granted.)

      Agreed, I tried to have a political discussion with my sister-in-law and her response was that politics was boring and so she’d just keep ignoring it.

  10. Steve Withers 10

    People who vote for National agree with (some or all of) the views and values National articulates. There are LOADS of voters who think Climate Change is a scam and Peak Oil a pack of twaddle. They are plugged into media and information systems and personal networks that reinforce these views. Their reality is as real in their minds as “ours” may be in ours.

    The only real difference is that one day we may get to say “I told you so…” if we are more faithful to verifiably correct reality than they are.

    You don’t have to talk to National supporter for very long before you find out they are absolutely certain the things we see as serious civilisation threatening problems are – in their view – crap. So they vote for people who also think its crap.

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      There are LOADS of voters who think Climate Change is a scam and Peak Oil a pack of twaddle

      Sure, who can even count the difference between 350ppm and 700ppm? Seriously what is a ppm anyways?

      But everyone can count $120 to fill a tank. People no longer have to believe in peak oil. They are living it.

    • Draco T Bastard 10.2

      Their reality is as real in their minds…

      Yes, but there’s a difference between what’s in their minds and what’s actually happening. They are, quite simply, disbelieving reality which is insane.
       

      • weizguy 10.2.1

        “The [cognitive dissonance] is strong in this one, hmmm”

      • Colonial Viper 10.2.2

        They are, quite simply, disbelieving reality which is insane.

        They’ve actually stuffed themselves in US politics now. I’m pretty sure none of their “leaders” can tell the difference any more between what the truth is and what their own PR spin is.
        Its this kind of “reality is what we say it is” post modernism which suits the Right perfectly.

  11. tsmithfield 11

    What over-dramatised, ill-informed nonsense. With the plethora of food-banks etc out there there is absolutely no reason for people to be eating cockroaches in this country, even if the unemployment benefit is insufficient in itself. There are plenty of social agencies and NGO’s able to help. The care-givers of this child are to blame for not accessing the necessities of life. No-one else.

    • The Voice of Reason 11.1

      “What over-dramatised, ill-informed nonsense.”

      Phew, for a second I thought you were outing your own contributions in a moment of sincerity, Tim.

      You are right to say that there is absolutely no reason for people to be eating cockroaches in this country and yet they are. Cat food and cockroaches. It’s such a shame that you can’t blame Labour, eh? So lets blame the caregivers instead.

      Don’t bother asking whether we as a society failed this kid and these people, just blame the victim. Don’t ask what the Minister for Social Destruction is doing about it, blame the child. Don’t point the finger at capitalism, which requires poverty to encourage the others, blame the poor. Don’t ask our PM when he last went to bed hungry, because he wouldn’t fucken remember, if ever.

      • PeteG 11.1.1

        Don’t point the finger at capitalism, which requires poverty to encourage the others

        Capitalism needs markets with money to spend, poverty isn’t good for business.

        The cockroach story may be an inditement on a sad society, or it could be many other things. When my oldest daughter was two she fed garden snails to her younger brother. They weren’t hungry.

        Most parents would never let their kids eat cockroaches, even due to hunger. In this case did the parents supply the coackroaches? Or knowingly allow their kids to eat cockroaches? Or were the kids eating cockroaches because the parents were not there and not looking after them.

        But don’t let the lack of facts get in the way of a good political beat-up story.
         

        • lprent 11.1.1.1

          Capitalism needs markets with money to spend, poverty isn’t good for business.

          That is the theory. However it requires that capitalists think past their own short-term profit and look at the larger aspects of society that do not immediately and directly benefit themselves.

          In practice, this appears to virtually never happen without the capitalists being coerced to do things for the greater good. This coercion is usually either by the state putting in laws and regulations or by the rise of unions extracting better pay and conditions.

          There are the odd instances where capitalists do it without much coercion, but it appears to be a rare trait amongst that group.

        • The Voice of Reason 11.1.1.2

          “But don’t let the lack of facts get in the way of a good political beat-up story.”

          You haven’t actually read the news story, have you? There’s a link to it in the post. The answers to all your questions and bizarro scenarios are there.

          You really aren’t up to this, are you?
           
           
           

      • tsmithfield 11.1.2

        “You are right to say that there is absolutely no reason for people to be eating cockroaches in this countryand yet they are.”

        The government could be making free 7 course banquettes available to everyone and there would still be children missing out because their parents are too fucked in the head to go out an provide for their children. Once you get your head around the fact that the government can’t solve every social ill, and start to understand that successive socialist governments have killed off social responsibility and motivation by fostering the expectation that the government will do it all for them, then you might be getting somewhere.

        • Bored 11.1.2.1

          TS you certainly state your case with gay abandon. Yes there are fucked in the head parents who are a total result of successive misanthropic right wing governments taking everything possible from them, denuding their futures, setting the expectation that “if you are hungry, well fuck you, go eat a cockroach”. Thats called social responsibility  RWNJ style, “take care of yourself because our money (which we took from you) is sacrosanct”. You may not agree but I have only used your own “logic” in reverse.

          PS I dont believe either version.

        • mickysavage 11.1.2.2

          How is this for overdramatised ill informed rubbish …

          The Salvation Army says the number of people relying on food parcels in Whangarei has jumped by 90% since the start of this year.
          Statistics New Zealand figures show the cost of food has risen 35% in Whangarei in the last decade – the sharpest increase in New Zealand.
          The Salvation Army\’s director in Whangarei says food prices are just one part of the picture.
          Pete Mullenger says rent, power and fuel price rises are wrecking the budgets of beneficiaries and low-income earners.
          Mr Mullenger says the organisation\’s budgeting service is seeing many people starting the week with no money once they have paid for essentials.
          Demand for the service has also gone up by nearly 90% because Work and Income now requires beneficiaries who have had three food grants to get financial advice, he says.
          Despite generous support from the community for its food bank, the Whangarei Salvation Army has been forced to ration food parcels to one per family per month.

          It looks like the incidence of bludgerism has gone up 90 % since the start of the year. Unless of course the economy is tanking and poor people are being adversely affected.

        • Colonial Viper 11.1.2.3

          Once you get your head around the fact that the government can’t solve every social ill, and start to understand that successive socialist governments have killed off social responsibility and motivation by fostering the expectation that the government will do it all for them, then you might be getting somewhere.

          Actually your RWNJ fairytale is not what has actually happened in this country.

          Successive NZ Governments since 1984 have actually acted to abandon individuals and to abandon families and children.

          Yes, these Governments have killed off social responsibility, generally their own to the citizens of this country and to the children of this country.

          We need to foster the expectation that Government will support, encourage and facilitate individuals and families to do their best. Not to do it for them but to make it easier to do it right.

          PS New Zealand has not had a socialist government for multiple decades who knows what the frak you’re on about.

    • prism 11.2

      Good old tsmithfield who brings the practical man’s view to all the high-falutin’ ideas here.   Sounds sort of like Peter Dunne who makes sense – occasionally.

  12. Blue 12

    Begs the questions:  What were his parents doing?  What do his parents eat?  If the answer to these is “nothing” and “real food” there’s the culprits.  For fucks sake no good parent would ever let this happen.  A good parent would go hungry, stop smoking, stop drinking, to put food on the table.  This is an example of appalling parenting.  If these parents are looking for someone to blame,  look in the mirror.

    • Draco T Bastard 12.1

      Another RWNJ blaming the victims of a system designed to steal from the majority.

      • Blue 12.1.1

        Still defending poor parenting, Bastard?  Obviously no answers to the questions I posed, instead it is, as usual, ‘someone else’s fault’. What will happen when Labour lose the election – who will they blame then?

        • Armchair Critic 12.1.1.1

          That’s it, Blue, as long as we can find an individual to hold responsible we don’t need to ask any questions of the government. Problem solved.
          /sarcasm.

  13. PeteG 13

    Homes of Hope director blames the parents.
     

    A Western Bay mother’s appalling neglect of her family reduced her 6-year-old son to eating cockroaches to survive.

    This admission was made to Homes of Hope director Hilary Price.

    The boy told how hungry he used to get before he and his siblings were removed from their mother by Child Youth and Family (CYF) and put into the care of Homes of Hope.

    One day they got so hungry they went to look for food and found cockroaches. He then described eating the cockroaches: “Yeah, they were crunchy and juicy.”

    Mrs Price did not doubt the boy was telling the truth because of his age and the manner in which he confided to her.

    “I was appalled to hear that. There is no excuse when the person was receiving enough support to access the basics for her children.”

    [lprent: Link failure – you have to actually put it in 😈 ]

    • r0b 13.1

      Anyone can blame the parents in an individual case like this. Fact is, according to a study released today:

      Food insecurity appears to be a growing problem in New Zealand and according to latest research from the University of Otago, Wellington is associated with elevated levels of psychological distress amongst thousands of adults. Food insecurity or the lack of access to safe, nutritious, affordable food, not only affects nutrition and physical health, but also the mental health of New Zealanders.

      • PeteG 13.1.1

        I don’t doubt that study.
         
        Anyone can blame the government, and some don’t care about misrepresenting and oversensationalising one individual case to try and do that.

        And some called me evil for wondering if there was more to the story than what was being portrayed, including the following poster.

        • r0b 13.1.1.1

          And the elderly eating cat food – can we blame their parents too?

          I don’t doubt that study.

          So why is it, do you think, that more and more people suffering from food insecurity in NZ? Why is food bank use ever increasing?

          • lprent 13.1.1.1.1

            Why is food bank use ever increasing?

            Same underlying reason as in the 1990’s – a National led government.

          • PeteG 13.1.1.1.2

            Various reasons.
             
            National hasn’t thrown more money at the problem.
            Increasing prices (yet again).
            Increasing levels of personal debt.
            Recession since 2008.
            Continuing insufficient jobs (as per the last few decades).
            Labour didn’t throw enough money at the problem.
            Price of housing doubling over the last decade.
            Etc etc.

    • So everything is shining and light PeteG and there is no depression in New Zealand?  From the same article:

      Mrs Price said children often arrived [at the Homes of Home] in poor health, underweight and even suffering malnutrition. Skin diseases were common.

       
      What happened to Godzone? Where has it gone?

    • PeteG 13.3

      I tried the link a couple of ways, I’ll have another go:
      Eating cockroaches

      [lprent: That got it. ]

    • weka 13.4

      There’s nothing in that link PeteG that describes the mother’s situation. It’s possible that she wasn’t capable of looking after her children, or even of making a decision to give her children to someone else to look after. She may be a ‘bad’ parent (not sure what that is exactly), but she may be someone who is so far beyond coping that she can’t actually cope. Why do some people assume that this is a moral issue?

      • Colonial Viper 13.4.1

        Why do some people assume that this is a moral issue?

        Because it lets National off the hook.

  14. Marjorie Dawe 14

    Do you know that many are living under the poverty line.  Asking for help is becoming almost impossible because of the criteria.  Budgeting help is only useful if you misspend money.  Food banks are suffering along with everyone else and having to make hard decisions.  Maybe you righties could make a donation to a food bank sometime if your conscience is getting to you when you get your accountant to reduce your taxes to just about zilch.  Maybe this you are the reasons why the poor get a little above zilch which is definitely not enough.  Who is to blame then.

    • PeteG 14.1

      Marjorie, do you have a breakdown of sources of donations to agencies working with poverty? How much comes from righties, lefties and middlies?
       
      Do you have a breakdown of how many donations come from the different income groups?
       
      I’m neither a richie nor a rightie. I direct credit donations each month, I have done for years, and I also make various one off donations each year. And the only reduction I get in standard PAYE I pay is for those donations.

      • Colonial Viper 14.1.1

        Sorry mate, only Government can co-ordinate the massive resources and certainty of funding required to do the kind of work which is needed.
        Your question on whether Righties donate more or lefties do is bullshit. What we do know is that Righties prefer to gip the Government out of every dollar of tax that they can, so that the Government ends up having to put the squeeze on social services at every level.

  15. Marjorie Dawe 15

    It may surprise you that many of the poor feel ashamed to ask for help when they are reduced to poverty due to a deliberate strategy by a government to marginalise them even more.  The rich are never ashamed when they avoid taxes or ask for hand outs or business or wage subsidies.  Corporate welfare is on the rise and those in genuine need are increasing as a result but there is less available.  This is the result of that. 

  16. Idiot Savant reports that he has discovered a tax payer funded dinner party hosted by Murray McCully where there was served $185 per bottle Pinot Noir.
    Oh the irony …
     
     

    • The Voice of Reason 16.1

      I urge Standard readers attending National Party election meetings not to take bags of creepy crawlies with them to throw them at the candidates. Showering a Tory in roaches would be offensive, upsetting and potentially quite sick making. And that’s just the effect on the cockroaches.

  17. Marjorie Dawe 17

    No I dont sorry Pete.  I would assume though that you are one of the honest people who genuinely want to help rather than make a donation merely as another tax deduction.  I am talking about the many I found as a bank worker, who actually pay none, or very little tax, get WFF but are sitting on a great deal of profit via companies and family trusts.  Their incomes are minimised as a result.  Working people are unable to do this and often work long hours for very little.

    • PeteG 17.1

      I agree that legal tax avoidance is major problem that was allowed become established widespread practice under previous governments and is still happening under the current government.

  18. burt 18

    I’m just pleased that now in opposition Labour supporters acknowledge that we have an underclass. Perhaps now somebody hasn’t engaged their mouth before considering the consequences to state we don’t have an underclass both sides can work toward addressing the issue rather than just playing politics and pretending all is dandy cause an election is near.

    • Colonial Viper 18.1

      Uh, Labour supporters have always known that there was a burgeoning underclass, despite protestations from others that we are “closing the gap” with Australia.

    • felix 18.2

      ??
       
      When has the existence of an underclass gone unacknowledged and by whom?

      • burt 18.2.1

        Here is one felix; Scoop: Labour says child hunger is about ‘dieting’

        This one even has that famous quote ‘Tory charity’ in it.

        • felix 18.2.1.1

          That’s a National Party press release so it’s a bit hard to know what the context is, but if it’s at all accurate then I’d say Horomia is quite wrong about that, wouldn’t you?
           
          Tolley said “Child hunger is a very real problem for tens of thousands of Kiwi families”
           
          That was 2008. What is she saying now? I mean there are far. far more people unemployed now. Far more people living in poverty. Food banks stretched beyond their limits.
           
          So where is she now? Now that she’s actually in a position to follow up on her concerns?
           
          This (from your link) is interesting: Tolley- “When National’s leader John Key raised issues about the growing underclass in this country, Labour denied it existed and labelled Mr Key ‘out of touch’.”
           
          Is that what you’re referring to? If so, did someone from Labour actually deny the existence of an underclass or did the whole meme spring from this very press release?

        • burt 18.2.1.2

          felix

          I think you will find that press release is a response to the general denial of there being an underclass by Labour, do a google – plenty of references to Clark’s denial of there being an underclass but no strong quotes.

          • felix 18.2.1.2.1

            So lots of people reckon she said something but no-one was there to write it down? Yeah right burt.
             
            What you found was a whole lot of people referring to each other referring to each other. It’s a circle-jerk of bloggers quoting Nat spokespeople, journos quoting bloggers, and people like yourself getting confused and not realising that the only person not being quoted in this little PR game is Helen Clark. There’s no quote at the end of the rainbow mate, you’ve been had. Again.
             
            Just like “Helen said west coasters are feral inbreds, I remember it clearly”
             
            Just like “Cullen said rich people are pricks, he definitely said it”
             
            Just like “Key gives his salary to charity, everyone knows that”
             
            etc etc.

            • burt 18.2.1.2.1.1

              Just like “Key said he wanted to see wages drop”

              • Draco T Bastard

                Ah, no, John Key really did say the he wanted to see wages drop. The reporter got it on tape.

              • felix

                As Draco says, that one’s a direct quote.
                 
                But that’s exactly the sort of thing you should be looking for, yep.

  19. chris73 19

    I call bullshit on the cockroache eating, the kid was probably making it up

    • Colonial Viper 19.1

      Well you can be sure of one thing, cockroaches are undeniably fond of shit, and other kinds of excrement.

      And your thoughts on the pensioners with the petfood sandwiches?

  20. Much as it pains me, as someone who both loves and is proud of his country, but this really needs to hit the international newswires – hard.

    I think the only thing that might make Paula Bennett give a damn on her next overseas trip (coming soon, no doubt) is if the people she’s hob nobbing with look down their noses at her as being the Minister from a First World country whose government is happy for its children to live in Third World conditions.

    Still, on the bright side, now that Paul Henry has an outlet – thanks to Brent Impey – at Radio Live and TV3, he won’t need to trot out ignorant racism for a giggle, he can just point to parts of New Zealand where it’d be totally amazing to find a fat person, given how starved and smelly most of the populace are.

    • Colonial Viper 20.1

      The Rupert Murdoch types over there wont be able to resist giving this maximum airtime. It will feed their sense of Australian superiority and their need for sensationalist hype.

  21. Chris 21

    Hi. Sorry reading the replies here my belief is that I do think the parents / caregivers / Whanau should be held more responsible and accountable for the wellbeing of their children. I don’t care if its the Nats. or Labour in power – parents need to take primary responsibility for their offspring. Kiwi kids do not have to starve in NZ as there are multiple social agencies to help out and maybe some better monetary choices have to be made by the parents for their children. The full facts need to be disclosed before making final judgment and we should not just ‘blame the Gov.T’ as that removes abdicates parental responsibility. Just my thoughts.

    • Colonial Viper 21.1

      Sorry reading the replies here my belief is that I do think the parents / caregivers / Whanau should be held more responsible and accountable for the wellbeing of their children.

      This is true.
       
      It is also true that the Government needs to be responsible for providing decent jobs to every New Zealander. A responsibility that it appears to have happily abrogated.
       
      The idea of a social bargain in society is pretty simple.
       
      Parents/caregivers/whanau definitely need to be responsible and accountable for the wellbeing of the specific children that they are looking after. Legally, and morally. And the Government needs to be responsible and accountable for the social and economic conditions that large numbers of children are growing up in. Legally, and morally.

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