How difficult to measure poverty?

Written By: - Date published: 9:47 am, October 3rd, 2016 - 104 comments
Categories: john key, poverty, radio - Tags:

Amazing lead story on RNZ – Easier to count rodents than kids in poverty, suggests Key.

There are a number of good measures, any one of which would do, but the new Children’s Commissioner just wants to get past that debate and get onto doing stuff to reduce the numbers.

A government that is all about measurable targets for the public service so that we can know that we achieved – albeit always targets in 2030 or 2050 which they won’t be about to be held responsible for – simply doesn’t want to know how many kids are in poverty.

John Key usually only arrives at RNZ at 3 minutes to 8, to ensure there isn’t time to pursue the hard questions before they have to stop for the news.  He foolishly arrived a minute or 2 early today, and Guyon Espiner had time to skewer him.  All he could do was waffle and offer platitudes about wanting ‘less’ kids in poverty – but government inaction means that number only continues to grow.

[Update: Labour accept Child Commissioner Judge Becroft’s call to use material deprivation measure (149,000 kids) and work with National to reduce it by 10% by end of 2017. Little: “It doesn’t matter what the measure is – let’s just have one.” ]

104 comments on “How difficult to measure poverty? ”

  1. Sabine 1

    kids, rodents
    rodents, kids

    it’s all the same to that man.

    • save nz 1.1

      Exactly, what sort of person equates children to rodents?

      What’s next, extermination?

      Like low wages workers, Key probably thinks vulnerable kids is a business opportunity that his cronies can exploit like the mentally ill, charter schools and so forth.

      So much potential growth for children in poverty under his policies, he’s probably trying to make as many poor kids as possible so he can privatise it for his mates to profit from, win win!

    • save nz 1.2

      Exactly, what sort of person equates children to rodents? Espiner/Key

      Like low wages workers, Key probably thinks vulnerable kids is a business opportunity that his cronies can exploit like the mentally ill, charter schools, criminals and so forth.

      So much potential growth for children in poverty under National’s policies, he’s probably trying to make as many poor kids as possible so he can privatise it for his mates to profit from, win win!

      Less red tape for the rich.
      More red tape for the poor.

      It’s seems like consistent National policy under his reign.

    • mosa 1.3

      “Its easier to count rodents than kids in poverty” I dont care who said it first Key is the PM and should not have put it in that context.

      I bet this wont get covered in our esteemed newspapers where anybody can see it or on the news where anybody can hear it.

  2. Wayne 2

    To provide context, it was Guyon Espiner who first raised the issue of counting rodents, and the PM then responded to that point.

    The Children’s Commissioner gave an excellent interview on “The Nation.” He basically had worked out which measure is the most useful as an indication of poverty, and used that as a benchmark for progress. Seemed pretty sensible to me.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1

      Espiner certainly pushed the point.

      Key’s problem is that the National Party won’t take the measures necessary: restore the freedoms of speech and association in workplaces, raise the minimum wage, raise taxes on the wealthiest to pay for it, whatever.

      That’s why all he can do is fall back on wishful thinking and sophistry, and watch the inevitable human cost stack up.

      The free market experiment has produced precisely the results predicted all those years ago. Burn it down and salt the earth.

      • Lanthanide 2.1.1

        It’s a pity that Guyon couldn’t ask that question: is the reason you don’t want to drive this number down, because your government is ideologically opposed to taking the actual practical steps necessary?

      • Draco T Bastard 2.1.2

        The free market experiment has produced precisely the results predicted all those years ago.

        QFT

        And the thing of it is that we’d seen it all before. In the 19th century culminating in first in WWI and then the Great Depression. There’s a very good reason why we have the word Dickensian. Dickens wrote about the time he lived in and the poverty he described was what he saw all around him. That poverty is what National are working hard to bring back.

      • mosa 2.1.3

        Spot on O A B

      • Groundhog 2.1.4

        What freedoms of speech or association have been removed from workplaces?

        What has happened is that workers have the freedom to join a union or not.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1.4.1

          You will have to demonstrate that you have learned to read and do sums if you want me to explain anything more.

          Open an Imgur account under your handle and post a scan of your NCEA results when you have some so that I can be sure not to waste my time on you.

  3. UncookedSelachimorpha 3

    In fairness, I think what he meant to say was – it’s very hard to measure if you don’t try to, don’t want to know the answer, deny it exists, don’t want to do anything about it anyway, and just plain don’t care.

    Excuses about measuring Iraqi deaths were given by the USA and her allies in the Iraqi wars. Not measuring something you are trying to get everyone else to ignore, is a tried and proven strategy.

  4. One Anonymous Bloke 4

    If we really want to be predator free it’s probably a good idea to start with the National Party.

  5. Anne 5

    Who gives a stuff whether there is 70,000, 100,000, 200,000 kids in poverty. Just get off your backsides and do something about it John Key.

    The irony is: back in the day when he was a kid if it hadn’t been for the Welfare State, he may well have been living in poverty. He would never have become PM because the opportunity for a healthy upbringing and a decent education would not have stretched to him.

  6. Takere 6

    Its much too complicated to measure it! But .. a combo policy to eliminate CYF’s and Poverty & Health Programme for the Poor, Homeless is to do a Hansel & Gretel…..take them all for a walk in the “Forest” during a 1080 drop….. Then when they find the a “nice place to stop and rest” feed the kids 1080! Or they could employ a Child Catcher? WTF’s up with this Government? They’ve definitely got 3rd Termitis, time for them to go!

  7. Paul 7

    He only turns up at RNZ at 7.57 because he’s been busy with his mates Mikey and Paul.

    • Bunji 7.1

      Rumour has it that after TVNZ breakfast he is driven the 500m up to RNZ and sits in the car for quite a while before going up.

      To one extent, fair enough – he needs to be a lot better briefed for RNZ than for a Hosking huggle or a Breakfast break. On the other hand, it seems very cynical to count down the clock and so he can both turn up and appear to held to account, but also make sure there’s not really time to do that.

      • Lanthanide 7.1.1

        So they should schedule him after the 8am news slot.

        • ianmac 7.1.1.1

          My guess is that Key chooses the timeslot on RNZ. 5 to 8 or nothing. Too busy. He can then say that he has a weekly time on Nat Radio.
          It is not chance that he cannot have enough time to be really questioned. Transparency? Huh!
          Open to questioning? Huh!
          Be more available to the people? Never!

          • Lanthanide 7.1.1.1.1

            The other option is RNZ could pre-record it and air it later, like they do with many (most?) of their interviews.

            Doesn’t make any difference to the listeners.

      • Ch-ch Chiquita 7.1.2

        Oh, FFS, move the bloody news to 8.30 or 8.15 or any other time after his interview. You would think the news will be offended because it is not read at 8.00 sharp.

  8. Sabine 8

    can’t measure child poverty – obviously keeping children poor is a profit centre for some.

    can’t measure homelessness – obviously keeping people out of houses is a profit centre for some.

    can’t measure cow shit in rivers – obviously polluting rivers / lakes is a profit centre for some.

    can’t measure stuff that makes us look bad – cause that would cut into our profit centres.

  9. john 9

    Poverty:
    Take away:
    cell phones
    computers
    Microwave ovens
    cars (mostly)
    overseas holidays
    Sky TV
    TV (mostly)
    Auto washing machines
    clothes driers
    dish washers
    video games
    DVD /Downloads
    and many other things
    what’s that leave
    An extraordinarily wealthy familly in the 1960’s.
    take away these things and you get, in 2016, home ownership, well fed and cared for children.

    • Sacha 9.1

      Looxury! But young people these days, will they believe you?

    • john 9.2

      lets add
      No McDonalds
      No KFC
      No Burger King
      Georgie pie
      Wendy’s
      Subway
      etc
      Also, without these, home ownership and better cared for children.

      • Ad 9.2.1

        …and send them all off to:
        Health Camps,
        then Boot Camps,
        then Fat Camps and Nicotine Camps,
        then Work Camps,
        and Army Camps,

        then Deportation Camps, and then straight to …
        low security Prison Camps…
        sorted!

        Failing that, a plan, a job, and a home.

        • Puckish Rogue 9.2.1.1

          Whats your problem with people going into the military?

          • The Pink Postman 9.2.1.1.1

            They get killed and learn to kill!.And don’t give me that old tripe about discipline..I had two years National Service in the UK . What a terrible waste of time and money . Much better to have had a couple of months peace corp learning how how to cope with natural disasters and helping people instead of learning how to kill and destroy.

      • Macro 9.2.2

        Well when we grew up we lived in a shoe box under a bridge, got up half an hour before we went to bed, and had to sweep the road clean with our tongue. When we got home our dad would whip us with half an inch of our lives, and had soup once a week – if we were loocky.

      • mpledger 9.2.3

        It’s not the poor who visit those places. It’s the next group up – the ones with disposable income in some weeks who can have a splurge sometimes – they’ve got the basics covered but there is always some emergency that kills any savings e.g. their car fails it’s warrant and fixing costs an arm and a leg because it’s old.

      • Draco T Bastard 9.2.4

        You’re making the assumption that poor people actually eat those things. They don’t though as they can’t afford them.

        Also, when you take away your first list then people will be in poverty as they will not be able to engage in modern society. Being an outcast has always been detrimental to the health of those so outcast.

        • john 9.2.4.1

          So…what you are saying, when see the packaging from these outlets at these peoples residences…..someone else put them there???
          Same as beer bottles and cigarette packets???

          • Draco T Bastard 9.2.4.1.1

            No, I’m saying that you’re over generalising on purpose to make the poor look rich, to produce a false impression.

            In other words, you’re lying.

            • john 9.2.4.1.1.1

              Poor…there will always be poor people as there will always be rich people..it is relative term.
              But generally you will find that rich people are people who worked for it, at school then in there jobs/businesses.
              They started out relatively poor.
              Myself lived on LESS than the minimum wage for the first 6 years of my business.
              Leads to a quote I heard, that applies to everyone.
              “The best way to help the poor….not be one of them”
              For those who need the meaning
              1. Always strive to better yourself, never stand still.
              2.If you are not moving forward, you are being left behind.
              3. Don’t be a burden on society, or for as short a time as possible, so the person coming behind you gets their share.

              • Draco T Bastard

                there will always be poor people as there will always be rich people

                No there won’t as we can’t afford rich people.

                But generally you will find that rich people are people who worked for it

                No they didn’t. The majority of them simply inherited it.

            • john 9.2.4.1.1.2

              so I’m lying, really, check again. Tell those poor people they pimp so readilly on the TV to Hide the following, before we see it.
              Cases of beer
              Ashtrays and ciggie packets.
              McDonalds bags
              New cloths
              New furniture
              Large TV’s
              and large cars in the drive way.

              • TheExtremist

                Poor people in new clothes. This is a world gone crazy!

              • Draco T Bastard

                See, this is the difference between you and me. You think you see it on TV, I’ve lived it and know lots of others that have as well.

              • reason

                Keys work in parliament seems to be building tax havens ………….. where the rich can steal from poor children ……. on the low down

                John Key got rich by working tax scams for corporations and the rich in Ireland ………. ireland went bankrupt and needed a bailout from the EU during the GFC

                And then he got richer when pension funds and u.s.a taxpayers bailed out Merrill Lynch ….. who were also going bankrupt

                ““”In December 2008, Paulson and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke put a gun to the head of Bank of America’s CEO and Board of Directors in order to force through a merger with Merrill Lynch”

                ‘Merrill Lynch was sold to Bank of America for 0.8595 shares of Bank of America common stock for each Merrill Lynch common share “…..

                He was bailed out and received the forced charity from u.s.a citizens……. as they paid for his bank of america shares …………. they themselves received loss of wealth and jobs

                “Bank of America completed the acquisition of Merrill Lynch & Co on 1 January 2009.”

                watch the magic trick as keys paper wealth changes from worthless bankrupt Merrill shares ………. into Bank of America ones.

                Register of Pecuniary Interests of Members of Parliament:

                2008: 2 Interests (such as shares and bonds)in companies and business entities
                Little Nell – property investment
                MerrillLynch – investment banking
                JacksonMining – gold mining ……………………

                And after then the bailout ………….

                2009: 2 Interests (such as shares and bonds) in companies and business entities
                Little Nell – property investment
                Bank of America – banking
                Jackson Mining – gold mining

                Investors sued the bank of America for buying the toxic mess that was Merrill Lynch …….and won almost 2.5 Billion dollars in one of the first law suits stemming from the GFC ……….” Bank of America Settles Suit Over Merrill for $2.43 Billion”
                http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2012/09/28/bank-of-america-to-pay-2-43-billion-to-settle-class-action-over-merrill-deal/?_r=0

                “Bank of America will have paid well over $65 billion to resolve mortgage issues with consumers, investors and government agencies tied to its purchase of Countrywide in July 2008 and Merrill six months later.” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/21/bofasettlement_n_5697470.html

                ““Bank of America’s fraud resulted in “one of the biggest reverse transfers of wealth in history – from pensioners to financiers.”

                It must have been hard work for key accepting all that charity :0

    • Takere 9.3

      Thank Fuck for this list! I forgot what Planet we all live on!! For fucksake!! Living & mortgage costs in 1960 were about 18% to 22% of your income at the most!! People only worked 9-5 Mon to Friday (+ O/T remember that?) & weekends were overtime too! You get my drift, “Planet PinoKeyo” flat-earth thinking is non-existent in the world we live in today.

      • miravox 9.3.1

        “”Living & mortgage costs in 1960 were about 18% to 22% of your income at the most!!

        and only one income was required to provide for a family

      • john 9.3.2

        So you know nothing of mortgages in the 60’s
        Needed a very long banking history with the bank lending the money.
        20% minimum deposit, NOT negotiable
        There was an affordability test, that said if you didn’t earn enough in take home pay, I think it had to be 3 times the repayment cost (Monthly) you could NOT get a mortgage.
        Much easier now.

        • miravox 9.3.2.1

          “So you know nothing of mortgages in the 60’s”

          Sure, saving for a deposit is always difficult, but it wasn’t that onerous. Especially given working families were often living in State housing at the time.

          For my dad and many like him – Blue collar job, single income family, 4 kids – capitalise on family benefit for the deposit and with a State Advances loan you could build a new home in suburbia. And the mortgage interest rate was fixed for the life of the loan.

        • Takere 9.3.2.2

          John. Looks like you’ve got a bit of cognitive dissonance?

          Houses didn’t cost $1m then. The average house price in 1975 was NZ$24,300.

          With a 20% to 33% deposit on a 15-25 year mortgage and the 9.3% variable rate at the time meant an average wage earner had to make a mortgage payment of NZ$38 a week!! Thats $452 in today’s money!

          The average wage was about $130.00/week!

          I cant be fucked making you look more of an idiot but man ….

    • left_forward 9.4

      BS Hone!

    • mpledger 9.5

      You need to go and visit a poor family. I think you’ll be surprised at how few of those things they have. Or if they have them, they are old models, rented or gifted.

    • Sabine 9.6

      cellphones – needed in the 21st century for many people that work or don’t have a land line
      computers – needed in the 21st century for all people do simply be able to live and work in the 21st century
      microwave – never owned one, don’t see the attraction
      cars – how are people to get to work/school etc….considering that our public transport system is shite.
      overseas holidays – define overseas? Going to OZ is often times cheaper then going to Wellington. But i agree, one can have a nice holiday in NZ, which most people do. I know very few people that go on overseas holidays unless they a. have family there, or b. the company pays the ticket and expenses for at least one traveling, or they are rich.
      Sky TV – is shite – but often times the only entertainment for kids
      TV – often time the only entertainment for families with kids
      Auto Washing Machines – you mean washing machines for clothes? Well let me put it this way, our rivers are now to polluted to wash clothes in. Our rivers are wadable in gumboots only – thanks National.
      clothes driers – i tent to agree, but then somewhere you have to dry clothes and if you don’t have an outdoors that is the next best thing.
      dish washer – don’t have one, don’t see the attraction
      DVD-Downloads – again, often a DVD is the very cheap form of Movie night for a family of several

      Now, your family in the 1960’s would have had swimable river and lakes, union wages, paid overtime, childrens benefit, state houses, government guaranteed loans, washmachines, one family car, public transport that in many places was way better then what you have now, milk for children in school, healthcare and dental care for children in school, free university education, student allowances etc etc etc.

      Today a family without a cellphone, 1 computer, a washmachine, a car, and tv would not be able to manage. They could not even call Winz for an appointment, they could not apply for a min or higher paid job online, they could not get to the job for lack of public transport, they could not socialise at the job with coworkers and talk about stuff that everyone talks about such as Shortland Street, the News, Donald Fucking Trump and so on.

      Is there a place where they make people like you?

      • Jenny Kirk 9.6.1

        +1000% Sabine – sock it to ’em !

      • john 9.6.2

        Cell phones…not NEEDED…get a land line and live unplugged, again NO NEED.
        Computers…try talking to real people. again not a NEEDED.
        Cars…ask the Greens and catch the bus, kids bike to school or walk
        Overseas holidays….NOT NEEDED and only the VERY wealthy in the 60’s did it.
        TV: try talking to your kids, playing and interacting with them.
        NEEDS:
        Food
        Clothes
        education
        place to live, rent or own if you can
        Then prioritise the things you WANT after the necesities are taken care of.
        Usually in order of cost.
        Kids come first, because they can’t look after themselves, thats the parent’s RESPONSIBILITY….capitalised for it’s importance not volume of delivery.
        This seems to be a word that many neither understand of wish to actually take.

    • Richard@Down South 9.7

      yes because all of those things add up to 700k amiright… tell me again, how much do you have to have in the bank for a house deposit for say a 700K house in Auckland… now how much do you need to put in the bank, to keep your deposit up with the rate that the 700k house increases in value…

      • john 9.7.1

        Lets see.
        Mum Dad 2 kids
        All with cell phones, up dated every 2 years.
        $500 per phone = $1000 per year plus plan.
        TV replaced every 5 years
        $500 per year
        Car costs $5000/Year (fuel, maintenance, insurance, Rego and WOF)
        Computers in house possibly 3.
        cost $3000
        replace every 2 years ie $1500 per year
        McDonalds per year etc
        Savings enough to put a deposit on a lesser house becaus ethey are poor so will have to buy out of Auckland

        • Naki man 9.7.1.1

          Excellent posts john.
          Couldn’t agree more.

        • UncookedSelachimorpha 9.7.1.2

          Fixated on peanuts at the bottom of town, while ignoring billions monopolised by the plutocrats.

          The poorest 40% of NZ has 3% of the wealth – forget about moralising and hand-wringing over what is done with that 3%. Think a lot more about the millions and billions controlled and extracted by John Key and above. It is a much bigger amount, and is where the main problem lies.

    • left_forward 9.8

      John, you are mistaken – the opposite of poverty isn’t material wealth as you are implying – its justice and equity!

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 9.9

      Take away extreme inequality.

      If John Key and his ilk could have just 10% less than they currently have (e.g. $90m instead of $100m), the poorest half of NZ could have double what they currently have.

    • Patricia duff 9.10

      Oh dear taking away a persons rights, there are school lunches and breakfasts supplied in many schools,
      weren’t there when we were working our backsides of on farm< 80 hours a week 70 hours work, one day of a month , time on weekends between milking cows feeding hay and silage
      How many grow garden, sew and repair clothing I will not continue so bloody boring to listen to???

  10. Nick 10

    Shonkey could have just said the commissioners plan sounded good and barring any major issue with it, he would action it…..instead he did his head of a pin dance as per usual…..he just cant help lying and blurring his words into nothingness.

    • garibaldi 10.1

      “blurring his words into nothingness”. Why didn’t he just say what he thinks…. something along the line that’ they’re just Maoris making poor choices’. Scumbag.

  11. Bill 11

    Why measure it?

    One person in poverty in NZ means poverty hasn’t been eradicated in NZ and that something has to be done about it.

    • McFlock 11.1

      Because a large chunk of the population will happily sacrifice one person they don’t know rather than skip a cup of coffee. Especially if the local sociopaths can convince folk that the one poor person “chose” poverty.

      There are other reasons as well, such as measuring the extent and variation helps identify causes and solutions (there’s a reason poverty is much lower amongst the elderly than other age groups, and that’s the pension, which suggests a UBI would be pretty effective at lowering or eliminating poverty), but the main reason to measure and publicise it’s extent is so people can’t pretend they didn’t know, IMO.

      • Bill 11.1.1

        I’m thinking it doesn’t matter if a given chunk of the population would rather throw people under buses. At present, a large chunk of the population would rather not have taxes spent on (say) weapons…or flag referendums…or fossil industry subsidies etc.

        Doesn’t stop government just going ahead and doing it though, does it?

        One way to figure out the causes and solutions is to talk to poor people, listen to poor people, empower poor people. It’s a process and should always have been on-going. I know, I know. Not a chance in hell.

        UBI. Thanks for the reminder. Post, post, post! There’s an opinion I read and saved voicing the concern that a UBI could be used to kill public welfare. Essentially a UBI guarantees equality of income (equal opportunity) instead of outcome (eg equal access to health care) .

        • Draco T Bastard 11.1.1.1

          Essentially a UBI guarantees equality of income (equal opportunity) instead of outcome (eg equal access to health care) .

          That would be wrong.

          A UBI would help ensure equal opportunity (everyone has the same start) but not necessarily equal income (those who work would have greater income).

        • McFlock 11.1.1.2

          Sadly the current government, and recent governments, have not felt the need to wave their hands and eliminate poverty. At best we had a holding action or gradual reduction until this lot came in and boosted it again. So in the absence of government desire, we need to work on popular will and general force of evidence to shame the bastards into acting.

          Actually talking to people is a much needed and often forgotten method of identifying problems and their solutions. For example I saw one presentation about food scarcity in single-parent homes, based on hours of interviews with half a dozen or so solo mothers. But then the problem there is that it can be difficult (at best) to extrapolate out and find common threads across the country, and first hand experience of the problem doesn’t always mean expertise in identifying the solution.

          My opinion on the UBI waivers with the wind, what with the costs and also the problem you outline. There are still pensioners living in poverty, even with the pension.

          • Draco T Bastard 11.1.1.2.1

            My opinion on the UBI waivers with the wind, what with the costs and also the problem you outline.

            There are no costs to a UBI if it’s used as the monetary input into the economy and the problem he outlined doesn’t exist either.

            • McFlock 11.1.1.2.1.1

              yeah nah, every time we discuss this the ubi camp end up waving their hands too much for my taste, and the policy discussion cascades into an all-or-nothing, make-or-break societal pivot.

              • Draco T Bastard

                You do understand that’s pretty much where we’re at don’t you? We cannot continue with capitalism unless you really do want to bring about the first and last Anthropogenic Extinction Event.

                And I’ve explained before that if you use the government as the monetary input to the economy then the UBI becomes the driver of the economy. It’s not “waving their hands”. It’s a different direction of flow of money through the economy from what we have now where the money starts off as debt to the private banks but still essentially the same.

                • McFlock

                  It’s not the path of the money I have an issue with, it’s the handwaving over the quantity that will be required. If it’s several times the limited reserve banking rate, then inflation might be a risk if it was funded by just printing money.

                  As for capitalism in general, you might be right. You might also be wrong. It could just end up being acultura revolution sort of thing, when better options might still emerge.

                  You don’t eat your crewmates until you’ve run out of hard tack.

  12. One Anonymous Bloke 12

    Poverty: take away the right to collective bargaining and worker solidarity, attack human rights and the rule of law, and voila!

    With a side-order of vile victim-blaming right wing trash like John.

  13. Draco T Bastard 13

    All he could do was waffle and offer platitudes about wanting ‘less’ kids in poverty – but government inaction means that number only continues to grow.

    Not doing enough to get a job? Solo Parents Benefit cut
    Working three jobs and still don’t have enough income? That’s you choice, work harder. BTW, we can import Third World labour cheaper and cuts to WFF

    Yeah, it’s not government inaction that’s causing the rise in poverty. They’re putting in place policies that purposefully increase poverty.

    • Takere 13.1

      Maybe his cunning plan is to further privatisation? Grow the problem to the point where CYF’s, MSD Services are “deemed” to be so incompetent that he’ll just have to hand over a $6.5bn contract to the private sector?
      Watch all the data fall out of the sky to prove this!!
      PinoKeyo & his Government have to go this time!

  14. Hanswurst 14

    If I hear Key saying that there are “a range of different” whatever once more, I think I’m going to throw up. There were “a range of different reasons” for having a foreign trust in New Zealand, there are “a range of houses” being built at “a range of different prices” in New Zealand. There seems to be a range of everything he doesn’t want to be nailed down on, and now there are “a range of different measures” for poverty. I’m sure that there are a range of all of those things, but I’m disgusted with his constant, “Yeah, well… that thing you’re asking about, well, there are actually a range of different things. I don’t have that information. There’s a range of different information, and I don’t have any of it. It’s complicated, and I don’t understand it, and neither would you. I’m John Key, your Prime Minister.”

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 14.1

      Good observation. Yeah, it’s a range of complicated bollocks from Key.

  15. NZJester 15

    but government inaction means that number only continues to grow.

    Actually, I disagree with that statement. that should read “but government action means that numbers only continue to grow.”
    Government actions such as increasing GST to move the burden of tax from the rich to the poor.
    Government action in changing laws to let employers exploit workers for lower wages. Government action allowing employers to keep wages low by importing cheap labour so they do not have to pay a decent wage to attract Kiwi workers.
    Government action letting business employ skilled workers from overseas instead of offering apprenticeships to train New Zealanders.
    Government action like making higher education debt look so daunting as to make younger people from lower income backgrounds decide not to go into higher education.
    I could go on but I don’t feel like typing a small novel to list all of the actions they have done that have lead to the increasing gap between the rich and the poor.

    • Draco T Bastard 15.1

      +111

    • Jenny Kirk 15.2

      Totally agree NZJester – and the list should also include Govt Action to sell off state housing, remove people from their state housing and replace it with expensive homes for those with sufficient funds to buy.

      As you say, the list is endless.

  16. ianmac 16

    Stuff has a go as well.
    “But Key says getting rid of rats, stoats and possums is a lot simpler than targeting children in need.”
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/84893766/government-wont-commit-to-a-poverty-target-because-its-too-difficult–john-key

  17. One Anonymous Bloke 17

    One reason there are many different measures of poverty is that the right acts in callous bad faith and denies all of them. Dogshit doesn’t care about data: the appropriate response is a hose and water.

  18. seeker 18

    In my opinion anyone who votes Nact. next election shows no humanity or concern for those precious children and their families who are homeless or living in cars, tents etc. as this government has done next to nothing to alleviate the situation.
    In fact this appalling government has actually exacerbated the wretchedness of fellow humans with draconian and cruel welfare laws, workers laws, asset sales of energy companies and state houses and the allowance of foreign speculators to voraciously suck up our smallish housing supply.
    Shame on any Nact voter……. greed, selfishness and ,to my mind, willful blindness to the situation has hardened your hearts and your soul is dying, because by supporting Nact you are condoning this dread ful state of affairs in New Zealand

  19. xanthe 19

    no one has the faintest idea how many rodents there are in NZ
    reasonably confident that no one knows how many kids there are either

  20. Macro 20

    reasonably confident that no one knows how many kids there are either

    🙄
    I guess you have never completed a census form.

    At 31 March 2012: Children (aged 0–14 years) accounted for 20 percent (892,900) of the New Zealand population, down from 22 percent in 2002.

    Then there is this thing we have in NZ called the register of births deaths and marriages . Every Birth and death is Recorded. Then there is such a thing as Immigration, where every person coming to NZ and leaving has to fill in a form giving their name age and sex etc.
    So if you take all those factors and add and subtract them accordingly I think someone would have a very good idea of just how many children there are in NZ and how old they were at any one time.
    Governments need this sort of demographic data to plan for schools, teachers, doctors, etc. They don’t just build schools on a whim – although the current Minister of Education does tend to give that impression.

  21. Richard Rawshark 21

    The low income threshold is too low, it’s simple, everyone else is doing ok, they keep telling us what a rockstar time they are having.

    Benefits and minimum wages need to rise.

    Stop yakking and do it ..Mr government.

  22. mauī 22

    If we started a Cuddle a Māori child campaign, we could give back their historical habitat and pa sites. Ensure they have all the resources to thrive. Build them healthy new homes to live in. Get millions of $ in sponsorship from the corporate sector for them. Thousands of volunteers from across the country will feel so passionate as to give their free time to ensure healthy and educated Māori children.

    Oh that’s right, we don’t do this for people, we do it for cuddly special animals like the kakapo instead.

    • Richard Rawshark 22.1

      Are you telling me Maori kids don’t get cuddles?

      Maori don’t need patrionizing, they just need the same fair go as anyone else, less racist attitudes, stereotyping and pointing at and singled out all the time for political point scoring or media headlines.

      IMHO

      • mauī 22.1.1

        I was trying to make a point that if you’re indigenous with hands and feet you’re disadvantaged (just look at the health, crime, poverty stats) and society isn’t going to care about you. But if you’re indigenous with feathers and wings you’re treated like gods.

  23. Richard Rawshark 23

    Websites responding, then nothing responds then nothing, for a minute it would not even come up front page FYI.. maybe your working on the server..

    As for John Keys comments, I’ve lost any hope that even commenting on his outrageous attitudes to things will have any effect whatsoever.

    So why bother, we know what a cock he is and how they are behaving and they are allowed to by a culture of racism and anti PC rhetoric where being the wrong thing has somehow become the right thing to do.

    why do you think no one hardly even bothered with the local elections, nothing we say matters they just do what the fuck they like.

    so if they do that why bother with our time even voting, the only people who vote these days actually think they live in a democracy and their vote actually means something.

  24. RedBaronCV 24

    Coming from a government who did this:

    -piled a great chunk of taxpayer data into the one database

    -used it to try to substantiate it’s so called “investment approach” to taxpayer spending – basically belting beneficiaries around the head for their so called “lifetime cost” to the community

    -failed completely to include in this investment approach such costly community behaviour as tax dodging (20 to 1 or even more expensive than poor welfare behaviour)

    And then NACT have turned around to say THEY can’t benchmark child hood poverty or measure the investment effect of it? Spare me.

    So either this investment approach is a load of rubbish (almost certainly) or they can measure the effects of the childhood poverty(almost certainly) but of course choose not too.

    You can’t have it both ways NACT but of course the MSM can’t really be bothered asking that question.

  25. Richard@Down South 25

    This talks about measuring how often US Police are bad… and explains that they FBI cant measure it because noone collects the data… (seems relevant to Nationals Policy on Poverty)

    https://youtu.be/zaD84DTGULo?t=4m6s

  26. Richard Rawshark 26

    Ok we’ve all poo pooed his statement but hang on lets give him the benefit of the doubt and ask ourselves how do you measure child poverty accurately, without setting it up to score political points.

    An actual measure.

    My idea would be..

    hmmmm

    IDNK thinking about it, it isn’t actually as easy as it seems.

    Any index you might make, would be open to criticism by the opposition, if we tied it to income records and winz and cyfs records we might get a fairly rough picture.

    Ok to target them, how can we find these poor kids in poverty, Teachers with an 0800 line to report concerns for cyfs or winz to follow up?

    I would not like to be in charge of the nation with this coming up in MSM it’s tricky for anyone.

    BUT, something has to be done, we can ALL agree on that, but what DO you do to make a change in these peoples lives.

    Don’t give me the increase wages, jobs balony, lets talk real effects for some of these people.

    Drug dependency treatment, needs a major investment approach and so does the de-criminalization of drugs. Treatment must be free, and available over and above everything else, there must be no societal punishments for seeking treatment, your kids won’t be taken away,. your job should be secure until you return well.

    More investment in plunket, i’d like to see more of them visiting more often and for longer.

    Winz approach support from a new angle, they work with the above and give them what they need financially, budgeted support as well, not what some GV idiot has worked out he can minimally give them. Targeted assistance.

    When a persons, feeling good, has self esteem, is confident, you don’t have to push them to better themselves. end of.

    all I got.., but it is hard to measure and harder to target. and i’m no genius you guys know that lol. How do you really solve the problem without using political points. actually measure and solve it?

    anyone?

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  • ROBERT MacCULLOCH: Fletcher Building – it is time to break up NZ’s most useless company.
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  • Mortgage rates seen high for even longer
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  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, the first of the new Parliament. And to start the Parliament off, there's a bunch of first readings. A bunch of other bills have been postponed, so first up is Duncan Webb's District Court (Protecting Judgment Debtors on Main Benefit) Amendment Bill, followed by Katie ...
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    7 days ago
  • Three Waters go down the legislative gurgler – but what should we make of Local Water Done Well?
    Buzz from the Beehive Local Government Minister Simeon Brown – it seems fair to suppose – was flushed with success after the repeal of Labour’s divisive and unpopular Three Waters legislation. As he explained, repealing this legislation is a necessary first step in implementing his government’s Local Water Done Well ...
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  • Gordon Campbell on five of Luxon’s Gaza absurdities
    Earlier this week, PM Christopher Luxon met with 48 public service CEOs to make sure they were on board with his plans to cut spending on public services so that National can proceed to give the revenue away to those New Zealanders least in need. This wasn’t the only absurdity ...
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  • Love and the Fairer Sex.
    This morning I woke early with many thoughts in my head of things said, events of the week, things that matter. I’m afraid none of them involved Seymour, Willis, or Luxon so if you’re looking for something political maybe take the day off and come back tomorrow. You won’t find ...
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  • He stood up to Muldoon and Lange and the Fji army
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    1 week ago
  • At a glance – Has Arctic sea ice returned to normal?
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  • The PM wants a turnaround
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    1 week ago

  • Greater support for social workers
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    17 hours ago
  • Government delivers greater freedom and choice for sick New Zealanders
    The coalition government is delivering on its commitment to making principled decisions by getting rid of red tape that doesn’t make sense and allowing sick New Zealanders greater freedom and choice to purchase effective cold and flu medicines. A bill amending the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 is being introduced, and changes to the Medicines ...
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    24 hours ago
  • Government begins reset of welfare system
    The Coalition Government is taking early action to curb the surge in welfare dependency that occurred under the previous government by setting out its expectations around employment and the use of benefit sanctions, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. In 2017, 60,588 sanctions were applied to beneficiaries who ...
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    2 days ago
  • State of the Nation
    Ka nui te mihi kia koutou. Kia ora, good morning, talofa, malo e lelei, bula vinaka, da jia hao, namaste, sat sri akal, assalamu alaikum. Thank you for coming to my first State of the Nation as Prime Minister. Thank you for coming to a speech where I don’t just ...
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    3 days ago
  • West Coast tourism attractions officially open
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones will attend the official opening of two highly anticipated tourism projects on the West Coast today – Pike29 Memorial Track, dedicated to the memory of the Pike River miners, and Pounamu Pathway. “The Pike29 Memorial Track is a way to remember and honour the men ...
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    5 days ago
  • Independent ferry service advisory group in place
    Appointments to the Ministerial Advisory Group tasked with providing independent advice and assurance on the future of KiwiRail’s inter-island ferry service have been made, State Owned Enterprises Minister Paul Goldsmith says. “It’s important for New Zealand that KiwiRail is focused on ensuring safe, resilient, and reliable ferry services over the ...
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    6 days ago
  • Joint statement from the Prime Ministers of Australia, Canada, and New Zealand
    The Prime Ministers of Australia, Canada and New Zealand today issued the following statement on reports of Israel’s planned military operation in Rafah. We are gravely concerned by indications that Israel is planning a ground offensive into Rafah.   A military operation into Rafah would be catastrophic. About 1.5 million Palestinians ...
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    6 days ago
  • Govt will deliver on expanded breast screening
    The coalition Government has made the first steps in delivering on its promise to  extend free breast screening to women aged 70-74, Health Minister Shane Reti says. “As part of the 100 day plan, the Government has now met with officials and discussed what is needed in order for the ...
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    6 days ago
  • Government announces woolshed roadshows in support of sheep farmers
    The Government celebrates National Lamb Day (15 February 24) and congratulates sheep farmers on the high-quality products they continue to produce. Agriculture Minister McClay hosted bipartisan celebrations of National Lamb Day with industry representatives at Parliament this week to mark the anniversary of the first frozen lamb exports that left ...
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    6 days ago
  • Speech: Address to the NZ Economics Forum
    It’s great to be back at the New Zealand Economics Forum. I would like to acknowledge everyone here today for your expertise and contribution, especially the Pro Vice-Chancellor, Head of the Waikato Management School, economists, students and experts alike. A year has passed since I was last before you, and ...
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  • Government tackling high construction costs
    The Government is focused on reducing sky-high construction costs to make it more affordable to build a home, Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk says.  Stats NZ data shows the cost of building a house has increased by 41 per cent since 2019, making housing even more unaffordable for Kiwi ...
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  • Labour’s Three Waters legislation repealed
    The Coalition Government’s legislative plan to address longstanding issues with local water infrastructure and service delivery took an important step today, with the repeal of Labour’s divisive and unpopular Three Waters legislation, Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says. “Repealing this legislation is a necessary first step in implementing our Local ...
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    7 days ago
  • Cost of living support for beneficiary households
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    1 week ago
  • Government announces agriculture delegations to better support Primary sector
    The coalition Government has announced ministerial delegations to support key areas across the Primary sector to deliver for New Zealand’s food and fibre sector, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay announced today. “I will be supported in my roles as Minister of Agriculture, Trade, Forestry and Hunting and Fishing, by three Associate ...
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    1 week ago
  • Waikato MoU reinforces Govt’s commitment to increase NZ doctors
    The Government has taken an important step forward in addressing a critical shortage of New Zealand-trained doctors, with today’s signing of a Memorandum of Understanding for a third medical school, Minister of Health Dr Shane Reti has announced.  “Today’s signing by the Ministry of Health and the University of Waikato ...
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  • Speech – Lunar New Year 2024
    Annyeonghaseyo, greetings and welcome all. It is my pleasure as the Minister for Ethnic Communities to welcome you to the first Lunar New Year Event in Parliament. Thank you to our emcees for greeting us in the different languages that represent the many cultures that celebrate the Lunar New Year. ...
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  • More funding to Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti
    Urgent work to clean-up cyclone-affected regions will continue, thanks to a $63 million boost from the Government for sediment and debris removal in Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti.                                                                                                   The funding will help local councils continue urgent work removing and disposing of sediment and debris left from Cyclone Gabrielle.   “This additional ...
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    1 week ago
  • Budget will be delivered on 30 May
    Plans to deliver tax relief to hard-working New Zealanders, rebuild business confidence and restore the Crown’s finances to order will be unveiled on 30 May, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says. The plans will be announced in the Budget which is currently being developed by Ministers.  “The last government’s mismanagement of ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government advances Local Water Done Well
    The Coalition Government is continuing work to restore council ownership and control of water assets by repealing Three Waters and appointing a Technical Advisory Group to provide expert advice on the implementation of Local Water Done Well, Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says. “The Government will pass a bill to ...
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    1 week ago
  • New diplomatic appointments
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has today announced five new diplomatic appointments.  "Strong and effective diplomacy to protect and advance our interests in the world is needed now more than ever," Mr Peters says.  “We are delighted to appoint senior diplomats from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to these ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to the Committee for Auckland
    It is great to be here today at this event as Minister for Auckland and Minister ofTransport. Let me start by acknowledging each one of you and thanking the Committee forAuckland for hosting this event and inviting me to speak here today. The Committee for Auckland has been a symbol ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Getting Transport Back on Track in Auckland
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    2 weeks ago
  • Government to axe Auckland Regional Fuel Tax
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has confirmed that the Auckland Regional Fuel Tax will end on 30 June 2024. “Today, I can confirm that the Government has agreed to remove the Auckland Regional Fuel Tax in line with our coalition commitments, and legislation will be introduced to parliament to repeal the ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Minister Calls for Work to Tackle Kina Barrens
    Changes to fishing rules and a significant science programme are being undertaken to address kina barrens, says Minister for Oceans and Fisheries Shane Jones. “There has been tremendous interest from iwi, communities and recreational fishers who had raised concerns about such kina infestations being a major threat to Northland’s marine ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Government law and order crackdown begins
    The coalition Government is making good on its promise to restore law and order by removing government funding for Section 27 reports and abolishing the previous Labour Government’s prison reduction target, Justice Minister Paul Goldsmith and Corrections Minister Mark Mitchell say.  “In recent years, the development of Section 27 reports ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Greater focus on getting people into work
    The coalition government will refocus employment efforts and the welfare system so that supporting people who can work into jobs is the number one priority, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. “Of concern in the labour market statistics released by Stats NZ today was the number of youth not ...
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  • One year on, NZ appeals for release of Phillip Mehrtens
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has appealed to those holding New Zealand pilot Phillip Mehrtens in remote Papua, Indonesia, to release him immediately.  Phillip Mehrtens was taken hostage a year ago on 7 February in Paro, Papua, while providing vital air links and supplies to remote communities. “We strongly urge those holding ...
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  • Ministers reaffirm Pacific connections this week
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters and Health Minister and Minister for Pacific Peoples Dr Shane Reti are reaffirming the importance of New Zealand’s connections to the Pacific by visiting Tonga, Cook Islands and Samoa this week.  “New Zealand enjoys strong and long-standing relationships with our Pacific partners - especially in Polynesia, where we ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Rt Hon Christopher Luxon – Waitangi speech
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā iwi, rau rangatira ma. Tēnā koutou katoa. He tino mihi ki te mana whenua o tēnei rohe.  Mihi mai, mihi mai, mihi mai. Te whare e tū nei, tēnā koe.                               He-wāhi whakahirahira tēnei mō Aotearoa. Ka huri nga whakaaro, ki nga mate. ...
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  • Government awards primary sector scholarships to students
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    2 weeks ago
  • High Court Judge appointed
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  • New Zealand provides further humanitarian support to Gaza and the West Bank
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced that New Zealand is providing a further $5 million to respond to the extreme humanitarian need in Gaza and the West Bank.  “The impact of the Israel-Hamas conflict on civilians is absolutely appalling,” Mr Peters says.  “That is why New Zealand has contributed $15 ...
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    3 weeks ago
  • Government consults on expanding COVID-19 Inquiry terms of reference
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    3 weeks ago
  • Tai Tokerau Water Boost
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    3 weeks ago
  • Fast track consenting in the fast lane
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    3 weeks ago
  • JOINT STATEMENT ON AUSTRALIA-NEW ZEALAND MINISTERIAL CONSULTATIONS (ANZMIN) 2024
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    3 weeks ago
  • Minimum wage set for cautious increase
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    3 weeks ago
  • Increased security improves ED safety over summer
    Increasing the number of security staff in emergency departments (EDs) over the busy Christmas and New Year period improved the safety of both staff and patients, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says. 200 additional security staff (93 FTEs) were provided to 32 EDs in response to concerns raised by ED ...
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    3 weeks ago

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