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Hiding the government’s failure on poverty

Written By: - Date published: 2:00 pm, October 17th, 2014 - 81 comments
Categories: benefits, minimum wage, national, poverty, same old national, treasury - Tags: , , , ,

(Reposted from Boots Theory.)

Three weeks ago I snarked John Key’s sudden desire to take serious action on child poverty.

Now, thanks to Radio New Zealand, we know that not only has Treasury been tailoring its advice to meet National’s prejudices, and not only has National got no real intention of changing the way it’s doing things, but they also really, really don’t want to be honest about it.

Radio New Zealand made the request for copies of the officials’ advice in May last year but the documents were only released early this month after repeated complaints to the Ombudsmen’s Office.

John Key has conceded the Government often delays information releases when it is in its political interests to do so. Delaying the release of this advice appears to confirm the Government is sensitive to debate about child poverty.

Before Mr Key became Prime Minister he talked about a growing underclass in New Zealand and his determination to reverse that trend. Information in the documents suggests the Government is yet to make any real impact on the problem.

Next week the Governor-General delivers the Speech from the Throne at the opening of Parliament and this will outline the Government’s broad programme for the next three years.

Just what will it say about lifting children out of poverty?

My guess is it’ll be more of the same: the usual right-wing hand-waving about creating jobs and “incentives” to work – which in practice means sitting back and doing nothing except make it harder and harder for people to actually access vital support when there simply aren’t jobs for them to move into.

John Key’s focus groups are telling him people care about inequality, so he has to go through the motions of caring. But he’s already rejected the recommendations of the Expert Advisory Group on poverty and leads a government which is doing its damnedest to drive down wages and kick people off benefits. Expect a lot of big talk and no real action for another three years.

81 comments on “Hiding the government’s failure on poverty ”

  1. Heather 1

    Not only did the Government reject advice they ridiculed Johothen Bosten’s report in poverty in families in New Zealand.
    John Key appears to be unmoved by the shocking eveidence supplied by a number of different people. The Children’s Commissioner has had strong strong points to make on the issue.
    I am ashamed that our country has children with not enough to eat, and sadly because of the growing cheap junk food industry, what they eat is often not good for them.
    The nonsense in a recent Campbell Live programme on nutrition for school lunch boxes suggesting children be given ham, lettuce, strawberries, manderines at $4.99 a kg and other luxury food highlights how silly and sad our society is becomming.

  2. Not Kidding? 2

    When I was young, we lived in poverty.
    How do I know?
    We didn’t have any of the nice things that other people had, we lived in a really old house where the roof leaked when it rained, we didn’t get to drink soft drinks or have icecream except on really special occasions. We didn’t have lollies to chomp on, nor chips to crunch on, we had clothes which were both hand me downs and patched, our socks were darned. We ate some food that was quite different. We didn’t get to eat fish and chips or burgers or any other sort of fast food, my mum cooked.

    Did we ever go to school anything other than warm and with full tummies – No.

    Why not? We lived in poverty, surely it should have been compulsory to be cold and starving. NO.

    Why not. For one thing, no hand outs, for another we went without all those nice things and our parents went without as well so that their children would be Loved, warm and fed.

    Why is that such a difficult concept for people to grasp.

    • blue leopard 2.1

      It really doesn’t follow that structural poverty issues shouldn’t be addressed because some parents aren’t as good at parenting as others.

      I know of plenty of examples of adults from wealthy backgrounds who were neglected as children because their parents placed a higher value on gathering wealth than being with their children.

    • andrew murray 2.2

      No kidding…you really are one of life’s great tugger’s

    • Colonial Rawshark 2.3

      What kind of morality do you call yours? A full generation on, why would you consider what you went through as a kid in a poorer and less educated country, the benchmark of acceptability for a far wealthier nation today?

      Are you asking for the bottom 20% of NZ to make do with less, even as the top 1% hoard and take more out of the economy than ever before?

      I have a very simple policy answer for you to sort out poverty in NZ: a youth jobs guarantee for anyone and everyone 25 and under. If you want it, you will have a full time job at the minimum wage, and be mentored and expected to perform it to a solid standard.

      • Not Kidding? 2.3.1

        There we go, a whole bunch of erroneous conclusions you have leapt to right there.

        Enlighten yourself, I don’t intend to.

        • blue leopard 2.3.1.1

          ‘Nice’ way of saying you don’t have any intelligent response, you got there, Not Kidding.

      • Andrea 2.3.2

        ” a youth jobs guarantee for anyone and everyone 25 and under. If you want it, you will have a full time job at the minimum wage, and be mentored and expected to perform it to a solid standard.”

        You may like to think a lot more deeply about this.

        Jobs doing what?

        And who is hiring? Who is training? The same sort of incompetents and greedies who created leaky homes and Pike River and death after death in the forestry?

        And what ‘body of work’ will these, and older people be creating for themselves, for those who follow them? What ‘culture’, for want of a better word, will their work and play be creating? What’s the context?

        I find your ‘policy’ is little more than a dud plaster on a major haemorrhage. Please think.

        • We had such a policy before. Why is it so impossible now, when NZ is far healthier, wealthier, more educated and secure than at any time in the past? It’s a matter of political willpower, to invest in the future.

          NZ Rail, NZ Power, Ministry of Works, NZ software engineering?! can be (re) created; there is heaps of work to be done.

    • music4menz 2.4

      Responsible adults see that the most important people for them to fend for are themselves and their dependents. It is not for other people or the State to bring up, feed or clothe their children. They also see that they have some responsibility to help their extended family and if necessary their immediate neighbours.

      I doubt very much that many New Zealanders have ever seen a kiwi child who is malnourished because there aren’t any and as someone living in eastern Christchurch no matter how hard I look I have never seen anyone living in a tent, a car or in a park.

      I suggest a few Standard posters should go to the Pacific Islands and see just how poor many of our Island neighbours are, and then look at NZ and understand why our country is seen as such a paradise for Tongans and Samoans.

      • blue leopard 2.4.1

        @Muzak4Men

        So basically, let us bypass all the reasons why NZers have had it so good and many still do, and launch into ‘but it is worse in other places’.

        It is a complete failure of successive governments that not all people have jobs and those without capital can do jack-shit about joblessness.

      • DoublePlus Good 2.4.2

        I’ve seen malnourished children in New Zealand. I’ve seen people living in tents and cars. There’s a whole trailer park in Manurewa. You need to look more closely.

    • Once Was Tim 2.5

      THe Rosie McKlud conscience easing excuse. How do I know? @ Not Kudding – I’m considerably tuffer than you.
      Why in my day we only had one pair of shoes a year and we used to put cardboard in the soles. AND we walked five miles to school every day and five miles home again. It was a struggle our bog was in the back yard and really scary to get there – but did we complain? Did we fuck! Black mould hadn’t even been discovered then, so there was nothing to worry about. If we got cold, we just put another layer of clothing on – granma use to knit us those sleeveness jumpers and we used to help her wind up all the odds and sods scanes of wool.
      We weren’t exceptional – the entire neighbourhood did the same – there was no shame. It was normal. Even John Key did it tuff too (or so he claims). That black mould – well fuck – a bit of Janola or Jeyes Fluid … no worries.

      Maaaate – yea I’m considerably tuffer than you. These bloody benes should just toughen the fuck up eh? I mean why should I pay for their dysfunction? THey spend all their money on drugs and piss – I mean just take a drive thru Canon’s Creek.
      And those bloody feral sprogs my neighbour’s daughter keeps dropping – I mean she’s obviously just a slut eh? If I had my way, I’d have her sterilised. Her mum looks after most of them anyway – and did ya see the state of her boyfriends? (Plural)
      Pulla Bent is right eh? I mean hypocrisy and casting nasturshiums on those feral bloody wreckless neighbours of mine is normal these days eh?
      No such thing es susoighty and communety-speshhly when they’re just feral animals that just forever expect handouts.
      I work hard for my treats and trinkets – nothing wrong with doing the occasional cashy under the table – we’re all getting a good deal.
      Maaaaate – you and I should hook up sometime – we’re obviously of like mind!
      Yea – what we need is less gubbamint getting in the way of our lives eh?
      Nah …. they only got themselves to blame eh – I mean with rights cum responsibilities (unless its paying my taxes). Social responsibility FFS! I mean its the konmy stupid. Hey btw @ Not kidding… that Pulla Bent’s a looker eh? Wouldn’t mind shoving one up her eh?

      (you’re a total fuckwit maaate – of the first fucking order)

    • ianmac 2.6

      Being born at the beginning of WW11 we lived on very little. One low wage from Dad, Mum an excellent sewer and cook, petrol limited, butter, clothing, meat,sugar, rationed. Even school exercise books were made of grey recycled paper. Hand-me-downs even to shoes and pants. (Underpants were unknown then.)
      The important thing was that everyone in our small town seemed to be in the same boat. And apart from the odd movie we knew no other. Today the difference and cause for discontent is the disparity between the very rich and the very poor. And all around we see the “haves” flaunting their wealth. Tougher to be poor now.

      • Once Was Tim 2.6.1

        “Tougher to be poor now”
        Indeed Ianmac. There used to be a community spirit which is lost these days (pardon me for coming across as an old fart) – the result of 30 years of greed is good, individualism, managerialism, corporatisation, transactionalisation, user pays, trickle down, it everybody else’s fault ……..
        Even my mother (before her death at the age of 92) noticed it. I’m reminded of her observations on how communities once supported each other – such as with people growing their own veges, community gardens, sharing etc. Today, in most urban areas, there’s fuck all facility to do such, and even where there is, you often find power tripping local councils making things difficult, philanthropy through paternalistic benefactors over government (which is supposedly only there to provide the platform for the previous.
        One can find little oases however – go for a walk around Paekakariki sometime and you’ll see community gardens where people can take veges growing on berms.
        Unfortunately the community library (an old refrigerator) got damaged by smart alecs that can’t handle people getting things gratis – but the spirit remains.

        • Rawmadness Natshark 2.6.1.1

          @oncewadtim

          Well bloody said. Exactly my thinking of lately too.

          I mentioned in a couple of my other posts I had recently time travelled to Albania and ended up in the old days of community spirit just like you describe and I remember from my “Tougher than you days”, when I went to the dunny it was Turkish! Ever seen one? a hose to wash your ass. A real Turkish dunny?

          The one in the restaurant was freaking hill hairy arse!

          I also said the technology is to blame for a lot of social dysfunction that appears today. Some people think Facebook is life I suspect.

          But well said and my thoughts exactly mate, the other reply to not kidding was spot on too. Your on fire today Tim.

      • KJT 2.6.2

        Country is, supposedly, 90% richer, now.

        So why do we have hungry kids?

        By the way, I grew up in the “old” days too. We didn’t have many consumer goods, but housing, food, healthcare, education, public transport, and holidays at the beach were affordable for nearly everyone.

        Try finding the time, or money, to go walking over the hill with timber to build a bach today, if you could afford the land, with your 4 hours on call 365 days a year, guaranteed 4 hours a week casualised job, at minimum wage.

    • Chooky Shark Smile 2.7

      @Not Kidding …there were a lot of NZers lived frugally like this ….but and it is a big but…..the state provided quality state housing( after the first Labour Govt ) …and there were lots of jobs!…and if you had a job you could afford to buy a car….and if you could afford to buy a car you could sell it and put a down payment on your own house ( quarter acre pavlova paradise)

      ….also people cared about each other …there was not such a wide gap between the wealthy haves and the poor have nots…wealthy people didnt speculate and prey on poor people …education was free and high quality ( there was a nationwide school inspectorate which ensured high standards of teaching in all schools)…schools were properly funded and not socioeconomic rated and there was not competition to get into schools outside your area…university and tertiary training was free …( you just had to meet the high standards)

      taken all together a much more egalitarian and open and better society

    • Murray Rawshark 2.8

      You must be really old if there was no family benefit. Lack of luxuries is not poverty. Lack of necessities is.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 2.9

      “… no hand outs…”

      …daily free school milk, (and – in season, apples) free doctors visits and medicines, no fees paid for primary school, men returning home from war were offered rehab, low rental state houses, very low interest rates from State Advances Corp to buy their own house, assistance to get farmland, Family Benefit and other tax allowances and…

      And there it is: Not Kidding, just lying.

  3. leftie 3

    Surely no one was under the illusion that anything would change under a third term of the amoral hollow man and liar extraordinaire John key, and his inherently corrupt, dont give a stuff, National government.
    It’s just a guarantee that things are only going to get a whole lot worse.

    I hope New Zealanders are prepared for the pain that is coming.

    • Not Kidding? 3.1

      If things really have got worse over the last 6 years, I for one want more of it. The “worse” I am experiencing is much better than the “good times” I experienced in the previous nine years.

      No, I am not one of Labours much despised “Rich Pricks”, just someone who has refused to stay down when knocked down. In other words, I have got off my butt and taken responsibility for my own situation.

      • Colonial Rawshark 3.1.1

        Your lack of empathy and awareness of how most of your fellow Kiwis live, is somewhat disappointing. It appears that your sense of community responsibility and responsibility to your fellow man has been replaced along the line with nothing more complicated than “fuck youse, I’m doing fine because I deserve it.”

        By the way, as more of the lower middle and mid middle classes find themselves sliding backwards, unable to afford the quality of life that they have been promised, you are going to find your self-centred philosophical position finished.

        No, I am not one of Labours much despised “Rich Pricks”

        Quite right. You’re just a common prick.

        • Not Kidding? 3.1.1.1

          Thank you for proving one of my points for me.

          I feel sorry for you.

          • leftie 3.1.1.1.1

            @Not kidding.

            Thank you for proving Colonial Rawshark correct.

          • blue leopard 3.1.1.1.2

            @Not Kidding

            …so basically it is another ‘Claytons’ answer from you.

            The answer you have when you don’t have an answer.

          • Colonial Rawshark 3.1.1.1.3

            Did you have a moral or philosophical argument to make, mate? I mean, apart from “Fuck youse Kiwis, I’m doing plenty fine myself because I am superior.”

          • wekarawshark 3.1.1.1.4

            “Thank you for proving one of my points for me.

            I feel sorry for you.”

            Given that’s the second time in quick succession you have replied obliquely as if the rest of us are thick, without any attempt to addressed the points that CV put to you, I’m going to assume you are a trole until you prove otherwise.

            • blue leopard 3.1.1.1.4.1

              Good advice Wekarawshark – and I suspect Just Kidding had better be quick before the moderators start noticing this thread… 😆

          • KJT 3.1.1.1.5

            How to: Pick an Excuse for Not doing Anything About Poverty


            “3. “They are not as poor as they are in (Insert a third world Nation with less than half our GDP, and a 10th of our resources per capita)”.”

      • leftie 3.1.2

        @Not kidding.

        Spoken like a true arrogant, patronizing, deaf dumb and blind National supporter.

      • minarch 3.1.3

        go galt just kidding and do us all a favour !

      • KJT 3.1.4

        You really think that 25000 Northlanders suddenly became to lazy to work in the 80’s?

        When previously only a few dozen were unemployed.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1.4.1

          “…think…”

          Far too charitable if you ask me. This person has already demonstrated their ill-gratitude for the help they received.

          Burning the ladders behind them.

  4. feijoa 4

    Notkidding,a few points

    Do you have insurance? If so, when you make a claim, you are expecting other members of that insurance company to bail you out. Welfare is no different, except the government does it, as no private insurer would cover that risk. It is a safety net for people fallen on hard times, which YOU are entitled to as well. Seriously, it COULD happen to you one day.

    How can you say it is right for all those people on low pay, doing jobs that need to be done, such as cleaners, rest home workers, bus drivers, the list goes on, dont have enough money for a basic quality of life ( below the living wage) . This is a serious moral question

  5. AmaKiwi 5

    Selling 68,000 state houses for an estimated $18 billion is a massive campaign lie.

    1. It was never mentioned as part of National’s housing policy and
    2. We were told there would be no more major asset sales.

    The MSM says nothing. We should.

    • blue leopard 5.1

      +1 AmaKiwi

    • ianmac 5.2

      +1
      The cheek of continuing Asset Sales!
      “Minister of Finance Bill English says the Government plans to sell some of the country’s 68,125 state houses, currently valued at $18.7 billion. Photo / Jason Oxenham

      Finance Minister Bill English says the proceeds from selling state houses are unlikely to be spent on new state houses and may go into the Consolidated Account.

      “I mean, if we want less stock, there’s not much point in rebuilding stock with it,” he said in an interview with Herald journalists yesterday.”

      • leftie 5.2.1

        @ianmac.
        Translating what Bill English really means, is that the proceeds will become just another slush fund for National to use for themselves, just like they did the first time, when they flogged off the power companies.

        • AmaKiwi 5.2.1.1

          @ leftie 5.2.1

          and it will NOT be used to pay off the $60 Billion debt you and I and our children have been lumbered with by the Nats;

          and since the state house tenants can’t afford the rents charged by the private landlords they can leave the cities and grow vegetables on family land in a rural community where they won’t have access to costly tax payer funded medical services.

          It’s all win-win for the rich.

  6. Ad 6

    Stretching out before us now is 6 years more of National dismantling the last remnants of the Social Welfare/New Deal state in which New Zealand society had a sufficient strong public order to protect us from the worst the world had to offer.

    English’s signal today that the proceeds of the sale of public housing will not be used to build more public housing, is quite a signal. The great Michael Joseph Savage era is thus signaled for permanent eradication.

    The great public companies are gone. The great social welfare state is gone. Schools, prisons, and even new motorways are being privatized. Much of health is contracted out. The idea of economic development is gone. Both Christchurch and Auckland are now within government’s thrall. There are no major points of resistance left.

    Labour and the Greens now need to prepare a plan for a New Zealand in which the great social democratic order that sustained us for 50 years is completely gone. Their policy task is to rebuild from that landscape.

    • Once Was Tim 6.1

      “Their policy task is to rebuild from that landscape.”.
      It is Ad, but it’s also heir policy task to take back what was simply taken (from the public without mandate) – unless of course you (like Trotter et al) think that elections are held simply to empower that ‘elected dictatorship’.

      How far back should we go though – that’s the question. Undervaluing SOEs like Telecom and NZ Rail and flogging them off to provate interests for profit taking – then bailing them out again.
      NO ….. not only do things (natural monopolies) need to be arbitrarily TAKEN back or heavily regulated, but those responsible for the Big Con held to account. Otherwise …. it’ll just be cyclical.
      Can someone remind me (btw), what the legal definition of treason is/used to be?
      At one stage it was to do with bring the security (economic and otherwise) of the nation in jeopardy.
      I think there’s a Mike and Dave that could do with some time in Hautu or similar (actually no – wherever there’s a private one, and where there’s a Hopate finger not too far away)

      • Once Was Tim 6.1.1

        funnily enough (aha aha ha ha!), I’ve discussed this with one or two old school Nats (kind of McKinnon, Bolger era). I think Key and his disciples might ekshly be quite surprised: What they think —- philistine (worse than that ekshly …. Phil Stein), charlatan, used car salesman, (not ekshly that bright but as cunning as a shit house rat and a fast learner of the spin – as in he gets “learnings”), thankfully the opposition don’t have the same dirty spin meister brigade the Natzis do (innuendo, mince mince, etc),
        Btw – I hope Labour do keep it seemly. I’ve got a will to live now a couple more decades – just so I can witness the cnut go down in hustry as one of NuZull’s worstist.
        Lets have change of fleg shall we? I blek one.

        There really are some splendid opportunities should Labour wish to slum it and play the Natzi Croz Txt game. Sky city ….. citizenship granted to someone that isn’t even who he claims to be, launder launder launder

        Crazy shit these Natzis really eh?

        I shud really go away now huh? but I’m surprised the Nats haven’t come to grief before now.

        Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition

  7. Jenk 7

    I’m finding it difficult to emphathise with Not Kidding’s story of poverty when young.

    I’m not young any more either. And the rural community where I grew up in the early 1950s had lots of old wooden houses which leaked, or fibrolite-built houses which cracked, and outside loos. The families scraped a living from their piece of land, or in a local factory when work was available. People didn’t have much.

    All the children wore “hand-me-downs” – clothing was expensive, food was still being rationed because it was being sent overseas to Britain. There were NO potato crisps or burgers, and I don’t remember if there was a fish’n’chip shop in the nearby township. There WAS a dairy but the kids didn’t buy lollies there on the way to school – no-one had spare money. Ice cream was home-made with cream from the house cow if people had one. Many children just had bread-and-dripping for their school lunch. We took the bus into the local town if we needed to go there.

    That was just what life was like in those days.

    And there WERE handouts : daily free school milk, (and – in season, apples) free doctors visits and medicines, no fees paid for primary school, men returning home from war were offered rehab, low rental state houses, very low interest rates from State Advances Corp to buy their own house, assistance to get farmland, Family Benefit and other tax allowances and goodness knows what else.

    I don’t think we can compare those earlier days with the difficulties people live in these days.

  8. Ad 8

    Hey Not Kidding nostalgia just ain’t what it used to be, is it?

    You think the current generation is making comparatisove claims of one kind of poverty to another? What are you, the Four Yorkshiremen sketch reincarnated?

    Give met a break.

  9. dave 9

    its time the nz people rioted

    • Once Was Tim 9.1

      Don’t Joke @ Dave please. I mean its the logical outcome of more and more trickle up, gated communities, judgemental attitudes, I I I me me me I want I want I deserve cos I work hard but that silly bitch just keeps getting pregnant ……
      I’m hoping the masses awaken before that happens – but meantime I’m trying to sellup and move to ‘the 3rd world/Developing economy’ where despite prejudice and the remnants of a caste system, the trend is positive – whereas here …. well!

  10. Jay 10

    On the one hand my new flatmate, a French girl, had six job offers for waitressing work around ponsonby within one week of arriving in nz. On the other hand my cousin recently told me she was off to a job interview for a job she applied for for “a joke” to meet her obligations to winz. She has three kids, youngest aged 9, is a life long drinker, smoker, and has never worked despite a degree. She campaigned on facebook to change the government, and voted Internet mana. Is she one of these “poor” we are all baying about? My mother, a life-long labour voter born in a mining town, at the age of 69 party voted national out of fear they would suddenly raise the minimum wage and collapse her (small) business. She recently saw a local woman who is on the dpb cycling off to tennis at ten a.m, while my mum was driving back to work, as she has done almost every day of her adult life. Is this woman one of the “poor” also? Both these examples are the kind of thing that is irritating to wage earners (i have others). My mum coped as a single mum (after her first husband left her) prior to dpb, a further reason to make her irritable at people who have their hands out.

    You can all be sceptical or derisive of our opinions, but nevertheless this is the feeling of the middle income workers who didn’t vote for labour, and should give you some pause.

    • Atiawa 10.1

      Its like life is a total competition. We have become judge and jury without understanding who the real criminals are.
      I would be joyous to see a young mum biking to tennis. I would have equal pleasure in knowing your mum was going to enjoy four weeks paid annual leave doing whatever.
      The French woman is on an adventure, no commitments and here on a visitors visa.
      I understand the sentiment and frustration but we can all do better without the ridiculing of others
      The “grey” matters most.

      • Thomas_Hari 10.1.1

        Seriously? It’s not about competition, people just want people to do the most basic things to look after their own and not rely cravenly on everyone else to do the heavy lifting. A young mum biking off to Tennis is absolutely taking the piss and giving the finger to people doing the yards – people aren’t going to take this arbitrary poverty crap seriously when it’s always the same story – either won’t help themselves, or a stupid amount of children on a low income. My mother was one of 12 children, immigrant family, 6 kids piled into a small room etc – they were poorer then any of these bleaters who come onto the TV – the only income was from my grandfather who was a janitor, and that was back in the day before WFF and the other handouts. Yet they survived and thrived because the parents were awful in some ways, but they did the basics for their children, didn’t smoke, didn’t drink, didn’t waste and didn’t take the piss like said woman larking off to Tennis. That kind of crap absolutely deserves ridicule and disparagement and people aren’t going to put up with it from Labour any more.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 10.1.1.1

          Newsflash, Einstein: the last Labour government got the unemployment rate down to its lowest level in NZ history: there are always fewer unemployed under Labour.

          So, you’ve never had to put up with “that kind of crap” from Labour, and you’re too brainwashed to notice.

          Who creates unemployment, and “that kind of crap”? If you knew the first thing about your country’s history you wouldn’t have such a large handicap.

        • karol 10.1.1.2

          So what exactly does an unemployed mum do? Sit at home all day? Why is playing a game of tennis taking the piss? It’s cheap and healthy. It’s not sitting at home and watching telly all day, or spending the day surfing the web.

          I note she was cycling – a cheap form of transport – not paying for a bus or to run a car.

          • blue leopard 10.1.1.2.1

            I agree Karol.

            The worse thing one can do when unemployed is slump into inactivity. Tennis would help keep healthy and is a social game.

            This business of characterising this woman’s activities as ‘taking the piss’ is just the sort of social pressure that actually makes someone in bad circumstances get stuck in it, (if such social pressures are felt and heeded, that is, and you need to have a spirit of steel not to heed them).

            There is a real feeling that one shouldn’t be seen when unemployed. Paradoxically, staying active, being social (and fit) are extremely helpful activities toward getting a job. In other words the norms of ordinary folk are destructive toward those in difficult circumstances and only serve to make the situation worse.

    • Murray Rawshark 10.2

      Did the young French woman get job offers that included getting paid the proper rate in the first week, with PAYE tax being paid? I doubt it. Too many restaurants want waitresses to work a free trial week, and pay under the table. Then they join ACT because they don’t like seeing the taxes they don’t pay being wasted.

      Tell me, why should your mum be able to run a business that pays someone less than what they need to live? What’s so special about your family?

  11. Rawmadness Natshark 11

    My thought for today,

    Education.

    Does anyone here know or have had experience with a Turkish toilet?

    A Turkish Toilet is basically a small room with a hole in the floor and a hose nearby to wash your ass with afterwards.

    Usually the floor is soaking wet from all the water.

    Now the olden days the locals of regions with Turkish type toilets would pull the dress like clothes up to their knees do there business, wash their privates and lower it back as exiting.

    Unfortunately this can be a little difficult for a westerner who badly needs a dump, in the middle of nowhere, and is in jeans or pants.

    If anyone’s ever been in that circumstance they will know what I’m on about. How to get your pants off in a toilet with wet everything, crap in a hole, wash your arse with a hose, nothing to dry it, and keep yourself from looking like you pooped or pissed yourself is quite frankly something I expect in an SAS training manual.

    All while at a very upmarket restaurant with respectable people, I open the doors to what looks like an sophisticated toilet to spot a hole and hose. Nooo, I still wake up with sweats.

    same between Tirana and Korce, 2 toilet stops both Turkish. Thank god family has modern western toilets.

    Sorry we got onto toughness at one stage and that came to my mind had to say it, is very funny for me.

    • Chooky Shark Smile 11.1

      lol..you should try Northern Indian border Nepal dunnies … a wooden shed with with a pole across a ravine.. maggots swimming far far below ( better not fall in!)…or a Tibetan experience up high on a platform on the high plateau …climb a rickerty ladder to get to the drop ….with the hounds of the baskervilles howling below for your blood… or China’s dunnies on a cruiser boat going up the Yangtze….disgusting trenches that you squat and straddle over with 50 other people doing the same in a line but staring indiscreetly at your white bum and their poohs floating between your legs out into the Yangtze( close yur eyes and think of England)..admittedly this was a long time ago …..but the smell remains in the memory banks and it was the worst of all !!!!

      …at least in New Zealand we have good dunnies…

    • The hole in the floor with spray hose is common throughout the Middle East, and as you noticed is disastrous for anyone whose clothes are going to end up round their ankles. Removing your pants completely is the best option, but only if you’re the kind of highly skilled motherfucker who can remove trousers and underpants and put them round your neck without letting them touch the floor (and doesn’t mind spraying your socks and shoes with a hose). It’s a toilet of absolute last resort for Whitey.

    • Murray Rawshark 11.3

      I came across toilets like that at train stations in Italy. Real fun when you’ve got a slipped disc and have to take your suitcase in with you.

    • joe90 11.4

      You ain’t lived until you encounter a pig toilet….

  12. Rawmadness Natshark 12

    It’s clear also from the National party policies on assets that the government they aspire to create, gets paid handsomely and collects taxes but does absolutely nothing at all for the people they collect the taxes from. By way of services.

    If he sells the houses, the schools, the electric companies, Air NZ, Education, Mineral rights, cuts off welfare recipients, bans homeless from cities, like Hamilton is trying too currently, etc etc what the fuck are we paying them for?

    Are they not supposed to be managing public services, not selling them off.
    Who elected these fuckers and who do they think they are working for?

    • Key and cronies are working for the 1%, not for the people of NZ, and they (Key etc.) are fully cognizant of that fact.

      Right-thinking, hard-working Kiwis voted for that nice man John Key because he drinks beer and seems like a friendly fellow.

  13. Scottie 13

    @jenk. Fair point

  14. venezia 14

    Not Kidding?… My Mother grew up in NZ during the depression, in a family with six kids, when life was really hard, jobs for breadwinners were scarce, and remembers vividly being hungry, cold and homeless as they were constantly evicted from rentals because they couldn’t pay the rent. It was her generation who championed the development of the Welfare State so no-one would ever have to go through that again. She regards with dismay the actions of the present government over the last six years, for allowing NZ to go back to the conditions of life that she grew up in for many families, and is hell bent on warning younger people to get active to stop it. She says if her health and mobility were not impaired by age, she would out on the protest marches to do her bit.
    So some people respond to the facts of poverty with an attitude “it didn’t do me any harm” like you have. Others like my Mum are fiercely protective of welfare provisions because of the damage it does to the future citizens of our whole society. Thank the goddess there are people like her still around!

  15. Key’s goofy grin belies his cold elitist cruelty toward the poor. This is where NZ is now heading:

    91-year-old war veteran Harry Smith talks about growing up poor in 1920’s England, before the NHS existed. The speech leaves UK Labour delegates in tears.

  16. Jay 16

    My mother doesn’t pay her staff minimum wage. But if minimum wage had suddenly gone up, she will have to pay her staff more. She can’t afford to, so would have laid one off and worked harder herself. When people tell her that it’s been proven raising minimum wage doesn’t effect businesses it pisses her right off. And we should be happy for the tennis playing mum? Why should we? My mum is working while she swans off when she could be working! This isn’t utopia folks. Four weeks leave for my mum and dad? They haven’t even had a full week off in ten years. Can’t afford to pay a manager.

    My mum isn’t evil. And in fact I imagine that she typifies a small business owner in nz. When you’re busting your arse at almost 70, being told you’re greedy and should give more is highly offensive. If I told her someone on here thought she should be happy for the tennis playing mother that is half her age she would hit the roof.

    She is I imagine typical of the type of person labour has lost. Until you all can understand how she feels, and accept her feeling that way is fair enough, the labour vote must continue to shrink.

    Honestly she has always hated national. She has supported labour for far longer than most of you have. And she somehow brought herself to vote national last election.

    Finally, can someone tell me where we got the idea that the world somehow owes us a living?

    • Why is your Mum working herself like a slave in that business? Sounds like it’s barely worth it if she can’t afford to pay her staff, or take a holiday. Life is too short. Don’t judge others by your crazy workaholic Mum.

    • Draco T Bastard 16.2

      If your mother’s business can’t afford to pay people enough to live on then it shouldn’t be in business as it’s obviously a failure.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 16.3

      So, your Mum managed to read/hear the National Party’s lies about the MW and yet somehow managed to miss all of the evidence. If she had been in business between 1999 and 2008 she’d remember how the MW went up every year and unemployment went down.

      Your Mum’s ignorance is a shame. The National Party’s lies are despicable.

    • Ad 16.4

      The world and New Zealand will not be redeemed by work.

      Kiwis by hours worked are already some of the hardest working people in the world.
      They also have some of the fewest public holidays.
      They also have very, very low productivity for an OECD country.
      They also have declining home ownership, declining savings, increasing overall debt (whether they own assets or not).
      They have quickly declining social mobility.
      They have declining social networks overall.

      I am very certain your mother should be part of Labour’s election review team.

      But one anecdote does not make an analysis.

  17. Jay 17

    She has to work at it, because if she doesn’t the business will collapse and she will lose her investment and source of income. If raising minimum wage is such an easy fix why won’t national do it? It would increase the tax take to begin with. By that logic let’s just increase it to $100 an hour, we could print money to pay for it.

    You guys clearly can’t grasp my mother’s situation and attitude. She comes from an era where you work hard for what you have. Where you stand on your own two feet and don’t expect others to pay for your mistakes. Once upon a time this was am example of an ordinary new Zealander.

    The great Labour Party of forty years ago would not only have understood my mum, they would have admired her. From you lot we only see. And that’s why you’ll never get her vote back. How many others like her have you lost forever i wonder?

    • Ad 17.1

      What kind of business is she in?

      Have conditions improved for it over the last 20 years, stayed the same, or gotten worse?

      What policies would make a difference to her business, or is the primary problem with Labour as she sees it one of communications and competence?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 17.2

      Your mother raised a fool: she isn’t standing on her own two feet: our taxes subsidise her business directly with income assistance and working for families tax credits, while her cretinous offspring talks shit on the internet.

      Your “logic” isn’t logic. Cullen increased the MW from 1999 – 2008: the raises outpaced inflation. Unemployment fell.

      Do you have any ambitions: how about you strive to let reality influence the shit you believe for a change?

      PS: before you start jerking off about how the Labour Party was rude to you on the Interwebz, I vote Green.

  18. Jay 18

    Wow, you can call me insulting things like “fool”, and “cretin”. You must be a very clever man. Were you bullied at school by any chance? Sadly despite my stupidity my vote is worth every bit as much as yours. Maybe more, since the party I voted for has been in government for 6 years now. Does that drive you crazy? Maybe Bob Jones was right after all when said the extreme left ‘hate everyone’.

    You’re dead wrong about my dear old mum though. While your taxes do subsidise my lazy cousin, they don’t subsidise her in any way at all. None of her staff get any income assistance, they’re all 40+ with grown up kids. She does now pay 3% of their gross income to kiwisaver though.

    You actually proved my point on the minimum wage. Cullen raised it slowly over a period of 9 years, just like National aredoing. He didn’t raise it by 2 or 3 bucks all of a sudden, and I wonder why not? I suppose though the Green Party can advocate crazy policies, they know their theories will never actually be tested since, as much as it must drive you up the wall, Russell Norman and co. will never be in power.

    Finally, it’s disappointing the moderator on this blog allows people to be so vitriolic. “Cretins” and “Fools” are people too!

    • One Anonymous Bloke 18.1

      Minimum wage employees get (or are at least eligible for) community service cards, a subsidy to your Mother’s business paid from our taxes. Elizabeth Warren had the last word, although she was talking about a successful business, as opposed to one that only pays minimum wage and will go out of business if it goes up to $15 ph (which was your original assertion lie).

      And yeah, coming in here parroting long-debunked right wing lies about economics will cause people to observe that you are either a dupe or a liar.

      Any sorrow I feel about your cretinocracy is reserved for the extra children who will die of poverty related diseases as a result of your callous disregard, or, if you prefer less emotive academic terms, “Hospitalisations and Mortality with a Social Gradient”.

      You’ll deny they exist.

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