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National Day of action against Bennett’s welfare reforms

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, October 5th, 2012 - 127 comments
Categories: activism, benefits, child welfare, class, class war, employment, equality, jobs, poverty, welfare - Tags: ,

Today is a national day of action against welfare reforms with protests planned around the country.

There has been  lot of opposition to Bennett’s welfare reforms from opposition parties, online journalists like Gordon Campbell, bloggers, and members of the public.  They are clearly unworkable and, by Bennett’s own admission, they will be only selectively enforced, based on who WINZ staff decide are the most troublesome at risk clients. The results will be that some of the people most in need will have their benefits cut. As a result, it is children  that will suffer the most, with it having a long term impact on their lives.

Some crucial warnings of not meeting so-called social obligations (such as beneficiaries being required to send their children to early childhood centres, or attend job interviews) will be made by phone. Not responding positively to these warnings could lead to the cutting of benefits, even if the recipient doesn’t get the message.  It is all very arbitrary and punitive, based on prejudices and misinformation.  It will do nothing to improve the economy, increase the amount of jobs paying a living wage, or to help those most in need.

[Update: Press release from Day of Action Spokesperson Joanna Wildish]

[Update:  My report from the Henderson Protest]

The protest in Henderson was good humoured and friendly, and had a good turnout for the middle of a weekday – I estimate about 80-100 people.

It began to Henderson Square, one of the entrances to the Westfield Shopping Centre.  There were speeches, and some passers-by stopped to listen.  One or two protesters stood out on the street, holding placards up to passing traffic – plenty of horns honked in support and at other places the demonstration went.

Organisers announced that Unite and the AAAP (Auckland Action Against Poverty) had helped organise the protest, and that it had the support of The Maori Party, Mana Party (Mana Party Press Release), and the Greens. They said that representatives from several unions were present (I didn’t catch all the names, but it included NZEI).  A protestor was carrying a flag for the New Zealand Nurses Organisation, and another couple of people had red placards in support of “kids”, that also said “Vote Labour”.

The protesters were a diverse group: ethnically, age (including young parents and the elderly) and, as far as I can judge, class-wise. There were beneficiaries, some who spoke of their hassles with WINZ, and union members.  Some of us were fairly scruffy in our dress, others looked smarter – though the latter included journalists.  One News was there throughout, and there was a guy from Chinese TV filming.  A police-woman kept herself busy making a home movie.  Speakers included immigrants from Europe, China and the Philippines.

Speaking through a megaphone outside Henderson WINZ,Sue Bradford said this was just the beginning of protests against Bennett’s vicious welfare reforms.  She said we need to end old divisions and unite in resisting reforms that are worse than the ones of the 1990s: paid, unpaid, various kinds of beneficiaries etc, all need to work together.

John Minto, also speaking outside Henderson WINZ, said there will be a National Day of Action on housing on November 7, with a nationwide demonstration in Wellington.

The demonstration walked to Henderson WINZ, taking a turn the police didn’t approve of.  So with some good humoured joking amongst the protesters, we turned and cut through the car park of a supermarket.  We were given a traditional Tangata Whenua welcome at Henderson WINZ by one of the protesters.

There were several speeches. The man from China called on John Key to support human rights in China, and for Tibetans.  Penny Bright, there with her dodgyjohn banner, A woman was carrying a handwritten placard that said:

Today

I’m not poor.

But I hate this WAR!

Show Paula the DOOR!

Says this Mama.

We then walked to Paula Bennett’s office where there were more speeches, while the police protected Bennett’s territory.

[UPDATE: Link added above to Mana Party Press  Release.

And Otago Daily Times on the Dunedin Protest:

Dunedin’s unemployed and workers united in their opposition of proposed benefit reforms during a protest through Dunedin streets this afternoon.

About 150 people gathered outside Work and Income New Zealand on St Andrew St at 1pm with placards and banners denouncing social development and employment minister Paula Bennett.

[Update: Photos from Henderson protest – sorry my photos aren’t that great]

Demonstration crossing intersection in Henderson 

Protest outside Paula Bennett’s office in Henderson

Sue Bradford speaking at protest outside WINZ Henderson office

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[Update: Articles on the protests on Stuff and TVNZ One News site.

The Stuff article focuses on the Henderson protest, especially what John Minto said (including a bit of a sneer about his long record of protesting). Both articles have a photo of the Henderson protest.

Article on Voxy, reporting Hone Harawira’s congratulations to the protesters.  Hone also refers to a constituent:

“The actions of one of my constituents, Sam Kuha, is highlighting the struggle beneficiaries face. Sam is now in his 21st day of his hunger strike. Frustrated by not being given a $40 food voucher from WINZ because his benefit does not go far enough, Sam has decided to go without food in order to bring attention to people who live in poverty”.

NZ Herald article on the Henderson protest, in which author Simon Collins reports on stories of some of the protesters:

Adult literacy lecturer Grant Cole, 50, carrying four-month-old baby Tama, came because the Government said it had “no money for the poor” even though it could find hundreds of millions to bail out finance and insurance companies.

“I’m sick and tired of corporates lashing out against social welfare while themselves benefiting from social welfare,” he said.

Jenny MacGibbon, a 57-year-old widow, caught a bus and a train to get there from her home in Beach Haven with her daughter Sian, 27, and grandchildren Che, 4, Rhiannon, 2, and Zahn, 9 months.

Both adults have received letters saying they will have to look for work when the new work-testing regime for sole parents starts on October 15. Jenny MacGibbon’s husband killed himself six years ago.

“I’m 57. There’s no way I’m going to find a job,” she said.

“I brought up my kids. Now I’m helping my kids with their kids.”

 Radio NZ article.

Very good TV report from the News on Dunedin TV: h/t Bill for the link.

[Update: added photos of police woman filming the protest, to highlight some of the discussion below on the issue.  She was filming for the whole of the demonstration.

Police camerawoman filming the protest outside Henderson WINZ

Police camerawoman filming protest in front of window outside Paula Bennett’s office in Henderson

127 comments on “National Day of action against Bennett’s welfare reforms”

  1. Bill 1

    Given that these changes appear to reflect the changes already made in the UK (more stringent and widespread worktesting, privatising aspects of delivery etc) – these two links offer a worrying insight on the likely effects of NZ’s reforms…

    http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/enough-is-enough-disabled-people-are-driven-to-suicide-because-of-the-governments-welfare-reform-8197640.html

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/fear-of-fitness-to-work-tests-driving-disabled-patients-to-suicide-say-6-of-gps-8197432.html

    • karol 1.1

      Thanks for the links, Bill.  Friends in the UK have been telling me about the turn against disabled people there.  Even while the TV was celebrating the Paralympics, this specialised and very nasty form of benny bashing was gathering momentum.
       
      It seems Bennett and Key don’t really have any ideas of their own.  Just following on from the neoliberal “austerity” reforms, misinformation and persecution already being started elsewhere.

      • TightyRighty 1.1.1

        I’ve got an original idea!! lets have a protest. We’ll make these original things that we’ll call placards and wave them and yell.

        Here is an original idea, offer some solutions to welfare that don’t involve throwing more money at people. have an alternative narrative rather than just an “anti” stance.

        • BloodyOrphan 1.1.1.1

          What people decide to spend their “Pocket Money” on is their own business TR.

          • TightyRighty 1.1.1.1.1

            good work sunshine. Completely missed the point there didn’t you?

            So it’s ok for people to spend their money as they want but not ok to believe they should pay less tax if they are wealthy?

            • BloodyOrphan 1.1.1.1.1.1

              “but not ok to believe they should pay less tax if they are wealthy?”

              I only read the one comment, so words in my mouth and all.

              The real question is “If they can help , why wont they?”

              The Government has no money they tell us, a 10% hike on the poor will give them a week, a 1% hike on the rich would give them a year.
              (I didn’t do any math on that statement, it’s a concept)

              We have a tiered tax system for a reason.

            • Frank Macskasy 1.1.1.1.1.2

              Considering we’ve had SEVEN tax cuts since 1986 (inclusive); which have benefitted high incomes earners the most; and the rich can hide their wealth in trusts and other schemes; and there’s no tax on capital gains… Sorry, Tighty, what was your point?!

              Back to the real issue: jobs.

              Where are the 170,000 jobs promised by Dear Leader?

              If we had job growth, we could get unemployment down to 3.4% (from 6.8%), as we had in 2006/07.

              That’s how you solve the problem of people on welfare, Righty Tighty: jobs.

              It ain’t quantum physics, mate.

        • Dr Terry 1.1.1.2

          It is well known, TR, that “sarcasm is the lowest form of wit”. Well, while you have plenty of sarcasm, you have absolutely no wit.

        • Frank Macskasy 1.1.1.3

          Tighty Righty – Here is an original idea: instead of tinkering with welfare, let’s see some of the 170,000 jobs that your Dear Leader promised us last year.

          Instead of being “anti” the protestors – let’s be “pro” job-creation, eh?

          170,000 new jobs would put a huge dent in our employment figures.

          Good idea, eh?

        • weka 1.1.1.4

          The Standard is full of posts and comments on solutions to poverty and unemployment (welfare itself isn’t a problem that needs a solution)

          “have an alternative narrative rather than just an “anti” stance.”

          What a dick, and a hypocritical one too 🙄

           

           

  2. Tom Gould 2

    My prediction is that the biggest achievement of the ‘day of action’ will be to further alienate and marginalise the poor. It will make the old comms behind it feel good, though. Nothing like a demo and a megaphone to get their egos pumping. If they weren’t stuck in a perpetual cold war, they might be able to adopt 21st century tactics and messaging to get the middle class on side thereby putting genuine pressure on Key and Bennett. But they won’t. They will just mouth the old slogans from the 60s and the 80s, look irrelevant, and make their cause look irrelevant. And on it goes.

    • karol 2.1

      Ah yes, because politics these days has become all about winning  the vote of the comfortable middleclasses.  Which means sanitising the issues…. and it also means separating the deserving and undeserving poor.  That’s where the benny bashing really gains ground.
       
      And smearing people who stand up and protest about it is just another marginalising tactic.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1

        +1

        Well said.

        • Jokerman 2.1.1.1

          When people are free to do as they please, they usually imitate each other. Originality is deliberate and forced, and partakes of the nature of a protest.
          -Hoffer

          yet,

          The brevity of our life, the dullness of our senses, the torpor of our indifference, the futility of our occupation, suffer us to know little: and that little is soon shaken and then torn from the mind by that traitor to learning, that hostile and faithless stepmother to memory, oblivion.

          -John of Salisbury. 1115-80

          (i do know your pain Bill)

      • lulu 2.1.2

        Exactly!

    • just saying 2.2

      Yeah, poverty really isn’t a good look.
      I can understand why you don’t want to have to associate yourself with it.
      Let us know when the well-dressed, good-looking middle-class decide to march for the poor. Maybe the oppressed can trail along a few metres behind them, where they won’t be in any camera shot.

    • Bill 2.3

      Tom does have a point. The authoritarian left have an unfortunate habit of using social protest to elevate themselves at the expense of whatever the issue at hand is.

      And they do insist on running over the same old ground in regards to tactics. Step one: a March. Step two: a Rally. And don’t forget those time worn chants (2, 4, 6, 8 anybody?) alongside the inevitable testosterone laden posturing.

      And it alienates people – not just the middle classes. And generally amounts to a good way of offering up a ‘freebie’ to any msm wanting to portray protests as marginal affairs involving the same old usual suspects…same people, the same old ranting and chanting as last year. Which was just the same as the year before that. And so on back through a decade or two.

      • karol 2.3.1

        I think protests differ in their effectiveness.  A good one does more than just follow the set routine you outline, Bill.  It also aims to involve the “grass roots” (the people who are the subject of the injustices/bad policies, etc), or is initiated from the “grass roots”.  It also should be part of a wider campaign: e.g. using a range of ways of informing people of the issues, lobbying MPs etc.

        • Bill 2.3.1.1

          I agree 100%. But what should be and what is, are unfortunately and far too often, two completely different things.

          • weka 2.3.1.1.1

            I’m just relieved there is something in the media countering the bene bashing. If that’s all the protests achieve today, that’s alot.

            • karol 2.3.1.1.1.1

              weka, I think the day of action was about more than just the protests, and media coverage is an important aspect.   I agree it’s good there was some MSM coverage, even though it was limited.
               
              I recall going on some big demos in London in Thatcher’s time that got NO MSM coverage at all.  One massive demo comes to mind, by teachers.  People came from all over the UK for it, and it closed down the centre of London for an hour or two.  With no coverage, it might never have happened.
               
              Yesterday’s demos may have been small, but they got a little coverage.  Various parties and organisations put out press releases with their take on the issue.  Websites like Scoop had the day of action and the press releases/articles as its featured centre piece all day – and it’s still there as I type.
               
              This was just the first day of action – many to follow we are promised.  If we keep talking about ways to challenge the reforms, ways of protesting, and keep on its case – hopefully more people will join in.
               

      • burt 2.3.2

        1.2.3.4 – I don’t want to be expected to work any more…
        2.4.6.8 – It’s other peoples money I appreciate….
        Vote red if you want to stay in bed…..

        • Jim Nald 2.3.2.1

          If he still has yet to learn something from a certain recent incident, Shearer must take you on as his personal adviser.

        • felix 2.3.2.2

          3,4,5,6 – Where are the jobs? You fucking dicks.

          • TightyRighty 2.3.2.2.1

            http://www.trademe.co.nz/jobs

            over twelve thousand right there. Where are the applicants?

            • Te Reo Putake 2.3.2.2.1.1

              D’oh! Of the 12k ‘jobs’ on trademe, many will be part-time, many casual and many not real jobs (ie. commision based). Even if all of them were real fulltime positions and were filled, that would only drop the number of unemployed down to 150,000.
               
              But that assumes that all 12k would go to unemployed people, when in fact, the majority would go to people already in a job and there is no guarantee that the jobs they vacate will be filled.
               
              Any other half thought out ideas you want demolishing, TR?

              • TightyRighty

                You fucking arsehole. I’m commission based and I earn enough. I also worked part jobs and casual jobs while i studied. sorry my work wasn’t real enough for you. Real enough to pay tax on though. but hey, protect the rights of those who don’t get out of bed for something that isn’t perfect.

                We’ve also been advertising for a position, I’ve had two applicants offered other positions while they’ve been applying. the jobs are out there, you just have to find them.

                • Te Reo Putake

                  So I take it from the language you know I’m right and you can’t fault the logic or the math? Or ignore the reality of the economic climate? If it wasn’t for tens of thousands of people leaving for OZ, our unemployment rate would be twice what it is and its bad enough already. How that Blighted Future, NZ?
                   
                  I’ve just recalled that Thatcher’s Jobs Minister Norman Tebbit had a cycle way to employment 30 years ago; didn’t work then, either.
                   

                  • TightyRighty

                    You can take it from my language that I think you are a cum stain on society. Your very existence is an insult to intelligent life. How dare you run down any type of work. It’s not up to you to decide that part-time, casual and commission based roles are not work. I probably pay more tax than you and that’s on my commission. Think about that next time you tell me my job isn’t real. Yet you’ll happily take my money to give to beneficiaries. prick.

                    You are wrong about the other stuff to. If unemployed people tried to find a job, it might not necessarily go to someone already in employment, and if it did, there is another vacancy. That is one website advertising jobs. We use seek, not trade me, so while there may be crossover, given the job market and economic climate it is unlikely that part of the venn diagram is very large. Regardless, 12,000 jobs will take at least the active unemployed off the dole. Probably not you and your family though. Tens of thousands leaving for OZ? it’s always happened? whats your point? they’ll be back soon anyway, australia is heading for a nasty fall. thanks to another stupid labour party.

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      You really are a sad wee man, TR. Faced with your argument falling apart all you can do is hit out like a pub drunk, flailing away but failing to find the target. Beats me how you keep your job, because you wouldn’t make a cent if having a winning personality was a prerequisite.

                    • TR – defensive, angry, and unable to respond without abusing the person you’re addressing.

                      It appears that you are aware that your self-centred-based ideology is badly flawed and deep down you recognise the simple realities; there aren’t enough jobs to go around.

                      Even the 12,000 you pointed to on TM proves you wrong. Trying dividing 12,000 by 162,000. The numbers don’t add up.

                      Further still, if any of those 162,000 are fully qualified for the 12,000 TM positions, they usually shoot through to Australia. No resolution there.

                      If you want evidence as to how many people are chasing after few vacancies, have a look at this; http://fmacskasy.wordpress.com/employment-unemployment-fact-sheet-1-queues-for-vacancies/

                      When 2,700 people chase after 150 jobs, what does that suggest to you?

                • tracey

                  how big was your student loan tightrighty?

                • framu

                  “those who don’t get out of bed for something that isn’t perfect. ”

                  Is any one saying that? No – so settle down and stop being a dick

                  job numbers on seek and trade me are often pulled out as some sort of proof that being unemployed is simply a choice – it simplistic BS that doesnt go deep enough

                  1) jobs are often duplicated on job lisitng sites
                  2) jobs listed are often fishing expeditions by recruiters
                  3) how do you now those at the protest havent already taken some part time work?
                  4)taking multiple part time jobs incurs secondary tax – not much incentive there is there?
                  6) not all job listings are in the area a person might live – and they cant afford to move because theyre you know – poor

                  i could go on but the point is its a more nuanced situation than just shouting – “i can see job listings – that means your lazy!”

                  you want people to go off welfare? – the answers are simple

                  1) we focus on getting the economy moving not cutting our fiscal nose off to spite our face – we already know that people go off welfare when the economy improves
                  2) we remove barriers to coming off welfare – secondary tax, abatement rates, admitting that getting to work has a cost which is hard to meet for some and the insistence that any $$ you might earn from seasonal/temporary work has to be gone before you get welfare started up again

                • Dr Terry

                  TR. Yes, “you just have to find them” – indeed they must be very well disguised. Your filthy language convinces me, finally, that how ever much “money” you might possess personally, you are nothing but low life. Obviously somebody managed to touch on a sore point!

          • Gidget 2.3.2.2.2

            Agree!

        • Reagan Cline 2.3.2.3

          The issue is not “work” it is how we get on with each other.

        • David H 2.3.2.4

          3.5.7.9 Fucking Burt whines

      • Kotahi Tāne Huna 2.3.3

        @Bill +1 – pretty much the easiest way to convince me you’re wrong is to start chanting slogans.

      • Dr Terry 2.3.4

        Sure, Bill, it is bound to alienate people like yourself, clearly “comfortable”. But it will certainly not alienate the people who matter, that is, Key’s “underclasses”.

      • Dr Terry 2.3.5

        Sure, Bill, it is bound to alienate people like yourself, clearly “comfortable”. But it will certainly not alienate the people who matter, that is, Key’s “underclasses”.

        (This is hopelessly out of place, it belongs well up above)

        • Bill 2.3.5.1

          This is hopelessly out of place…

          Indeed.

          • Dr Terry 2.3.5.1.1

            Bill, I might have got you wrong, in which case I apologise. I find a little inconsistency in your comments, and become somewhat uncertain about what you really are driving at. I ought not to have assumed you are comfortable, therefore my comment is out of place. I shall in future try harder to follow your arguments. By the way, I am not a Labour supporter. Go well.

            • Bill 2.3.5.1.1.1

              No worries. Yup, you got the wrong end of the stick. Shit happens. And I think if you’re able to move beyond the Social Democratic horizons of permissable thought and the concommitant limitations of possible interpretations they impose on situations, you’ll see my comments are entirely consistent.

              I generally come from the same angle ie, anti-authoritarian and democratic.

      • weka 2.3.6

        “And it alienates people – not just the middle classes. ”

        I did cringe a bit when I saw the ODT reporting that the protestors were saying ‘National scum’. 

        Any ideas on how to do it differently? (protesting or making change)

        • Bill 2.3.6.1

          Depends on the circumstances and having the ability to adapt and be creative and (maybe above all) to work in a way that gets people on board.

          eg, when some of us unionist bastards got together to protest McD some years back because they had stripped searched staff and fired some for being pregnant, we didn’t cause a hulla-ba-loo. We had a presence outside the store in question but were jovial and nice…with pointed cynical placards playing on their ‘lovin’ it’ theme, of course! And we handed out balloons to the kids of parents who were going in to eat and joked around with them and said we hoped they enjoyed their meal. We didn’t hassle them. We didn’t chant shit. And we weren’t in any way antagonistic or judgemental about the fact they were about to go into McD’s.

          And when people came out they were all over us wanting to read our stuff and ask questions and to sign stuff and generally getting outraged. And McD couldn’t do a thing about it. They called the cops. The cops came and saw we weren’t causing a fuss and were so ridiculously on our side it wasn’t funny.

          And of course, we lined up the media with interviews and whatever. And it all worked a treat. National media coverage ran in tandem with us pursuing them through ‘the appropriate’ employmet channels.

          Contrast with the ‘traditional’ noisy chanting that can piss off parents, upset kids, get the cops ‘on your case’, give the media an excuse to run their ‘disgruntled trouble makers’ line and result in no-one coming on board no matter how right your cause is.

    • Murray Olsen 2.4

      Nothing like a closed mind, eh Tom? Thank god you’re not one of the organisers, or the whole thing would be irrelevant. As things actually are, there has been a lot of thought go into the day of action and how it can be most effective. Getting the middle class (Pagani? Mallard?) onside has not been identified as a worthwhile road to go down, but thanks for your input anyway.

    • lefty 2.5

      Yeah thats right Tom Gould.

      Criticise those trying to do something about the problem rather than blaming those causing it.

      If you know a better way to put pressure on John Key, get off your arse and show us how it should be done.

      We old comms would be very pleased to learn from you.

      Your cosy middle class friends would probably start calling you nasty names if you succeeded though.

    • Tom Gould – and your point being—?

      Where are the jobs?

      Where are the 170,000 new jobs promised by Dear Leader, last year?

      As Tighty Righty suggested above; “have an alternative narrative rather than just your “anti” stance”. Why has National failed to manage the economy to generate more jobs???

    • Phil 2.7

      Hey Tom
      Here’s a concept for ya.
      The middle class, or as you would prefer, the “Aspirational” class can kiss my backside.
      Old Comm indeed.
      Aspiro class elected good ole Banksie, mite short on the old grey matter there.
      Aspiro’s maintain the buffer between those who produce the wealth and those who profit from said production.
      Middle class…. Hmphhh, garbage may be a better description.

    • North 2.8

      So what are we meant to do Gould ? Sit here and say absolutely nothing while poacher turned gamekeeper Bennett fires Key’s ugly bullets of hate against the poorest ? The people his spin doctors say it will profit him to make pariahs, social lepers ?

      Live it baby…….and get over some bad experience you had with a bunch 60s, 70s commies.

    • Vicky32 2.9

      My prediction is that the biggest achievement of the ‘day of action’ will be to further alienate and marginalise the poor

      What a middle class statement! “The poor” can read too, mate, and some of us (not ‘them’) are here.
      My friend in Dunedin, 50 something, managing on UB, went on the Dunedin  protest.

  3. belladonna 3

    I just can never get my head around how completely morally bankrupt some people are.
    How they can further punish those who are sick and disabled is shameful along with those who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own. Equally disturbing in the links provided is the huge increase in the number of hate crimes against the disabled. I am not a religious person but sometimes think reincarnation might be a good thing.

    • Dr Terry 3.1

      belladonna. Who said that reincarnation is “religious”? Nor am I a “religious” person, I hate the very word “religion”. At the same time, I regard myself as a “spiritual” person. I too can never get my head around how completely morally bankrupt some people are. Anyway, I am interested in knowing more about your concept of (possible) “reincarnation”.

  4. King Kong 4

    You’ll never find a job on a protest march.

    If they care so much about being poor then why don’t they do something about it themselves instead of endless whinging.

    • Bill 4.1

      So you have no understanding of the potential for networking and gaining a bit of social capital then? Y’know, social capital that can lead to the right contact or knowledge that can be crucial in landing that next job? Nah. Thought not.

      • King Kong 4.1.1

        I think you might be stretching it by calling a congregation of soap dodging muppets a “networking event”.

        • Bill 4.1.1.1

          So okay, as a stop frame puppet you disapprove of muppets. Though I’m puzzled that, what with gorilla’s being right on up there on the ‘soap dodging’ stakes, you should use the term in the prejorative.

          But anyway, all that aside, what has your comment got to do with people?

      • Dr Terry 4.1.2

        Interesting, Bill. I would like you to expand upon this.

    • tracey 4.2

      you wont find a job at winz either. I am sure if there were jobs out tgere for all, mr key would be crowing about having created them…

    • Reagan Cline 4.3

      They themselves are you yourself. Wake up !!!

  5. I just hope the ‘middle class’ stand up and take notice because even they are finding
    their situations worse financialy, the nz’ers who have just lost jobs may have
    no option but to join the dole que for survival,for those that denegrate beneficiaries
    beware, these welfare changes could be comming to your doorstep.
    Qudos to those who are standing up for their rights.

  6. The Baron 6

    I look forward to the pictures of four people outside the beehive, seven people outraged at WINZ on queen street. Maybe even one in the Octagon.

    Wanna take a bet that there will be less than 100 people participating in this “day of action”?

    Looks like Joanna Wildish couldn’t run a piss up in a brewery. You lefties need to learn how to make your causes look good before launching them.

  7. captain hook 7

    listen to the whining apologists for the right.
    they cant say how a poor person can look good if they have no resources.
    that’s the thing with the key party people.
    its all about image and no substance.
    and they want to have it both ways.
    i.e. they cant be winners unless there are losers so keep bashing the losers.

  8. Chris 8

    How has this gone – can’t find any new stories about it.

    • SleepingWhileWalking 8.1

      Very little coming up online about it all day. I guess our owned by the right media want to make sure their voices aren’t heard.

  9. tracey 9

    How is it that being on a benefit removes the right to express an opinion as some seem to think?

  10. lefty 10

    The likes of Tighty Righty, King Kong and Tom Gould just love it when there is a post about beneficiaries.

    They are not allowed to discriminate on the basis of gender, race or sexuality any more.

    But they really need somebody to hate.

    If beneficiaries didn’t exist the only person left to hate would be themselves.

    • Murray Olsen 10.1

      I think that pretty much sums them up, Lefty. Little creatures full of hate, and in despair as their avenues to vent it are being cut off.

  11. sweetd 11

    Barry Soper on newstalkZB called it the national day of inaction.

    • Paul 11.1

      What would you expect to hear on ZB?
      Fair and balanced journalism?

      • Bob 11.1.1

        You could extend that to all NZ MSM Paul, almost every article/report in every paper/radio station/TV channel pushes one side of a story and leaves the other side alone. It’s starting to get beyond a joke. What ever happened to balanced journalism?

    • The Woodpecker 11.2

      Don’t tou mean newstalkNP?

  12. sweetd 12

    Yes, of course you are right Paul. Looking at the photos posted, there are clearly many thousands participating.

    • karol 12.1

      No there weren’t thousands.  About 100, according to my estimate.
       
      But I deliberately didn’t photograph the whole demo, in case some participants don’t want images of their faces posted all over the web.  I tried to just show the leaders and well known people.  These days, I think many people like a bit of control over how their image is used.

  13. Bill 13

    Dunedin.

    Surprised the ODT got the numbers about right (higher range of 100 – 150)

    Speech from David Clark that….well, let me put it this way…there were quite a few mutters along the line of ‘Short fucking memory’. And it was only the general and quietly negative reaction to his effort that stopped me stepping up to the open mic and introducing myself as Bill – the sickness beneficiary who can lift a paintbrush and who is still awaiting a response from his leader and/or deputy leader…and would he care to comment.

    Metiria Turei gave a far better speech that focussed on the humanity/inhumanity of the reforms.

    But the best speech of all came from a woman on the DPB whose delivery was a barely controlled passion that threatened to disintegrate into tears. And I don’t think I was the only one listening to be quite genuinely moved by parts of what she said.

    • karol 13.1

      Thanks, Bill.   Some good comments.  I realise I should have taken more of a note of the more impassioned speakers, talking about their experiences.  (Note to self if I do such a report again.)

      • Bill 13.1.1

        If the reaction of the ODT to the Dunedin protest is indicative of how the msm are going to respond/report in other centers, then I’d say the government should be worried. Normally the msm underestimates numbers and is not averse to putting a negative or dismissive spin on things. In this instance, the ODT haven’t. (Well, use of the phrase ‘mob’ and claiming there was a chant about ‘National scum’ aside) Which is, perhaps, suggestive of widespread and deep seated antagonism to these reforms.

        Meanwhile, Labour are effectively ‘dead in the water’ because they simply aren’t opposing the reforms per se. Every report I read from Labour is deeply qualified (their focus on ‘legitimate’ beneficiaries that essentially buys into the line and peddles the line that there are bludgers or dubious bastards…as in ‘roof painters’). But mostly they spin on the jobs line, which while legitimate, avoids the issue at hand and strongly suggests they believe the reforms would be acceptable in a healthy job environment.

        • karol 13.1.1.1

          Well, I always think of the ODT as being a little less conservative than the NZH and Stuff. TVNZ have a brief news item with clips from Wellington, Christchurch and Auckland.  Some had little containers of urine as a protest against drug testing.  TV3 seems to have ignored the protests.
           
          One News seemed to take it seriously.  They were present at Henderson and filming throughout the 3 hours.  The NZ Herald guy seems quite supportive of the people he quoted.  He may also have been there throughout the demo – possibly the smartly dressed guy with a note pad.  I saw him outside Bennett’s office, near the end of the 3 hours, squatting down, talking to a seated protester and taking notes.
           
          Both One News and NZH probably slightly underestimated the crowd size in Henderson.  But as the demo visited 3 different sites, some people came and left and each stop – so hard to estimate the total.
           
          Labour was noticeably missing from the parties that supported the Henderson demo, although there were a couple of young people carrying Labour placards.

    • Dr Terry 13.2

      Great Bill! Now I think I truly am with you! I am rather old, and do not always get things straight. I am moved by these words of yours. Also, I think highly indeed of Metiria Turei.

  14. qualifiedpoor 14

    New Zealand has become a very sad place, reading the comments here is quite depressing, when did people become so morally bankrupt? I am currently a beneficiary, and guess what, I have a bachelors degree and a 15 year work history, I can tell you Tighty Righty, King Kong and Tom Gould it aint a picnic to rely on welfare and its highly unlikely to me that many would choose this option, you try surviving on approximately $300, and constantly having to beg for that, whilst people who’ve clearly never had to struggle in their life sit back and call you lazy.

    • Jen 14.1

      I feel for you in your current situation. What i would like to know is what are the specific things that have been introduced that you think are unfair to you personally in your current situation.

  15. Tim 15

    I console myself through all this ideological shite using a couple of trite old sayings:
    “the harder they rise the harder they fall”; and that one ’bout history repeating itself.
    …..oh – and another one which is along the lines of pushing shit uphill. THAT is an exercise in futility – eventually it becomes so hard that gravity overtakes and the pushers’ legacy never looks that pretty. (Shades of Koi enn DotKom atm). [cowardly little man scurries around pleading with underlings to just fix it for me will ya!! – awww PLEASE pretty ploise Jer (mattyproi); Ger (brahhloise); Bull (good-ole Bull lingish) – ET AL! Oh – and let’s not forget the Hoot whose got eksess to the Nayshun’s ears in is in spert in spin.

    Those responsible for the GFC (for example) are going to pay, and its not as if they can take their wealth with them to the grave. They’d be better off researching old footage of the “old 1%” dangling from lamp posts after ideologically driven austerity caused social unrest; or trying to understand why 40 plus years of oppression in various Middle Eastern states led to an “A-rab Spring – but push the boundaries they continue to do – even to the extent that that state agencies of enforcement begin to see their own families struggling and eventually jump ship. They eventually realise they’re shooting their compatriots.
    The only thing that amazes me is why the likes of some semi-intelligent Neshnool MPs don’t see it [or RATHER, try to bury their heads and pretend/hope].

    Even IF the shonky escapes personal accountability for his utter dishonesty and lies – he does have kids (poor bastards!), and a rather pathetic woify. They probably ALL are convinced they’ll take it to the grave and live the hoi loif on the other soid. Obviously there are problems with that on a number of levels.
    There’s this expectation that superficiality is going to see them through – inventing words and spin like “mis-selling” , or “de-construction” (instead of DEMOLITION of historic places where salvageale items are utterly destroyed) are actually going to work.
    All bullshit and no substance leads to what? – you tell me! but it certainly isn’t the outcome shonky’s et al expected.
    Nik Leeson had to learn that the hard way.
    Btw……..has anyone ever asked the guy what he thought of Key or his reputation? I bet not.

    Key’s busy licking Ira Goldstein’s anal warts in the hope that execs will want to come over here and do a remake of the BLOCKBUSTER “Fiddler on a Roof” – hopefully starring………… [drum roll please] the roit onribble Sjon Koi.

    I perdict – it won’t actually work in the long run – basic NCoi methmetuks

    Yep – it’s easier to just KNOW (history proves toim in toim gen) that the harder they roise, the harder they fall – sometimes utterly, often they get death……….sometimes by leaving their poor bloody offspring with a legacy they hadn’t intended.

  16. xtasy 16

    The truths is: The march in Henderson was a huge disappointment to me. I sas only two to three dozen of people there, who were largely the usual hard core activists. I was committed and stayed, but in the end, I realised, NZ is a LOST country, there is no commitment by the majority to social justices, there is NO unity at all, it is everyone to themselves. They do mostly not give a shit about beneficiaries.

    NZ is a huge disappointment for me, and I am desparartely trying to find a way to ge t out of this “dump”, and I am sorry, that is just what this country has become to me. It is run luke a dictatorship, it is commercialies to the extreme, there is little information, education or else. I HAD ENOUGH OF THIS SHIT PLACE, to be honest, I just want OUT OF HERE!

    There is no hope I have, i spent twenty years here, all being the same shit all over again and again. Any intelligent, educated and sensible person, born here or coming here to foolishly live here, can only have the sensible realisation I have just had. This place is Junk, dump, crap and full of brainwashed, manipulated idiots, who fall for dumb policies and put up with shit. If you do not agree, why the fuck have you guys done nothing the last 5 to 10 years and had a revolution. A revolution will NEVER happen here, the populace in large are SHEEP, not revolutionaries. There was miniscule mention of the protests on MSM. that tells you, it is A FUCKING LOST BATTLE IN THE DUMBEST COUNTRY IN THE OECD!

    Good night and good bye for good.

    • infused 16.1

      Goodbye.

    • Draco T Bastard 16.2

      …NZ is a LOST country, there is no commitment by the majority to social justices, there is NO unity at all, it is everyone to themselves.

      That’s generally what happens when people see their livelihood going down the drain and feel powerless to stop it. Running away won’t help but showing people that they do have power if they stand together will.

  17. xtasy 17

    I HATE NEW ZEALAND, I HATE THIS PLACE, IT IS CRAP, SHIT AND USELESS, A FARMER AND NAT PARTY DICTATORSHIP ALLOWING NO INTELLIGENCE, EDUCATION AND ELSE, ALL EUROPEAN MIGRANTS OF RECENT: HEED MY ADVICE, DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME IN THIS PLACE, IT IS CRAP, NOT WORTH YOUR EFFORT, PATIENCE AND TIME, I WASTED 20 YEARS AND MOST OF MY LIFE HERE. EUROPE WILL NEVER DIE, IT IS TALKED BAD, IT HAS A FUTURE, AND THE FUTURE ARE IT’S PEOPLE, WAKE UP, TELL THE BANKERS AND CORRUPT POLLIES TO GO TO HELL, TAKE OVER, HAVE A REVOLUTION, AND EUROPE ALWAYS HAD THEM, AND THAT IS ALSO SOCIAL REVOLUTION AND DEVELOPMENT, YOU ARE DECADES AHEAD OF THIS BACKWARD PLACE HERE. NZ IS A NO HOPER PLACE, IT IS A LOST PLACE, DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME IS THIS HIDEOUS IDIOT PLACE AND GO BACK HOME TO GROW YOUR OWN CULTURE AND COUNTRIES. BEST OF LUCK!

    • infused 17.1

      We need more people like you to leave.

      • xtasy 17.1.1

        infused: thank you for your honest response, which is that of many. I tell you right now and into your bloody face, get f-ing lost, get a life, stop hating and dividing people., as you will be the first out of here, once the Chinese take over and bring in their regime. You are sadly one of the too many ignorant people here, not realising what the hell is at stake. I am NOT pro Labour, I had my run with them, but also I am NOT pro National, and I want this country to maintain a degree of independece and alternative economic plannig. We had your crap for three decades, it has not delivered, destroyed jobs andscreed us all up, go to hell with that shit, thanks.

    • Bill 17.2

      xtasy. Yes, things are shit. And yes, things are probably going to get shittier. And that’s the case for a lot of places in the world right now. And it even seems that most people are apathetic. But tomorrow there will be one more person who isn’t. And the next day there will be another…

      And I can’t remember the quote or even exactly who said it, but it went along the lines of ‘If we haven’t won today it isn’t because we’ve been defeated. It’s only that our victory didn’t come today.’

    • karol 17.3

      My apologies, xtasy.  I’m not used to these author’s buttons.  I was going to post a note to ask you to go easy on the capitals.  I understand you’re angry, but it’s a bit hard on the eyes and hard to read.
       
      Unfortunately I seemed to have deleted your post.  I’ll have a look around, and see if there’s a deleted or trash section i can recover it from.

      PS: It’s not amongst the Trash – so where did it go?

      [B] – Still there at 9:16. So either you found it or it wasn’t deleted as you thought?

      From karol: B- there was a second post from xtasy that was all caps – or did I imagine it? I can’t see it there now.

      [B] No. You didn’t imagine it. It’s still there. Unless it’s me that’s doing the hallucinating

      [karol] Fine. If it’s still there and everyone but me can see it. No problem. I only see one @8.43pm.

      [B] Okay, I confess this is doing my head in…in an amusing way. The 8:43 comment (no 17) is in caps. There is another comment at 8:26 (no16) that has some caps but is mostly lower case.

    • karol 17.4

      xtasy, I’m a born and bred Kiwi, and left this place in anger for England in my younger days.  So I understand how someone can get extremely angry with NZ. 
       
      But, a long came Thatcher, and after living in London for nearly 2 decades, I learned, that each place has many things that can make a person angry. I decided, I wanted to be back here, as England wasn’t any better politically than NZ.  I decided, that I can’t keep running from the reactionary stuff, and there comes a point where  I just decided I stay put, and try to do what I can to resist the bad stuff, and contribute positively to a better direction for the country.
       
      If anything, it sounds to me like Cameron’s “austerity” measures have got every bit as nasty as here, if not nastier in England. 
       
      I got used to very big demonstrations in London, and have had to adjust to the small size of the ones here. It still disappoints me that more people turn out for protests about environmental issues, and not so many for protests against things like welfare reforms and asset sales. I think a lot of Kiwis don’t like to be publicly very critical, and they tend to keep their heads down and avoid the difficult issues.
       
      But also, a couple of decades of benny bashing neoliberal propaganda has done its work.

      • ak 17.4.1

        Spot on Karol. We’re at the point with beneficiaries that a call for a march for Maori rights would have achieved in 1962. Percentages not too different, and lots of hemixtacies gave up then too.

        Different now though xtacy. The streets are for the elite Mandela-types such as yourself, but did you see the people on Campbell last week? Campbell himself? It’s nearly won, son. Stand up brother, nearly there.

    • The Woodpecker 17.5

      Hang in there xtasy. Think of kiwis like getting a bad meal at a restaurant. They smile at the waitress and pay the bill and as they walk out the door pledge never to go back. They are just not vocal.

    • xtasy 17.6

      Re my post last night: I must explain that I am suffering from health issues not easily understood, and I also had devastating experiences with WiNZ and their staff, same also a designated doctor who was biased as. I was forced to appeal decisions which were so bizarre and nonsensical, to defend myself. WINZ pushed me close to suicide.

      I came back to NZ 7 years ago, after having struggled here before. It was due to the then positive economic climate (at least perceived as such), that I decided to return here to find work and hopefully improve my life again, which involved many set backs.

      To my shock and horror my plans never worked out, ill health struck me, so I could not work, and even then I was treated as bludger rather than a person needing WINZ support. I had disgusting case managers, making wrong decision, and I then started going through hell, to be honest.

      They put me through the “wringer”, and my health only got worse, the more they harassed me and made my life on a benefit over-controlled, financially unsustainable and the living hell, so to say.

      Came the global financial crisis, a change in government here, and things went from bad to worse.

      So I have life experiences that go beyond of what most WINZ clients ever experienced. I learned how rotten and two faced the system here is, and I gathere huge amounts of info, which I even presented to journalists like Simon Collins. When speaking to him at the end of the march he said, he did not remember my previous correspondence with him. I understand he may be very busy, but I was disappointed. Otherwise I still believe he is one of very few journalists who take the fate of welfare recipients seriously and has compassion. Never expect that from most of the younger journalism grad students!

      I will be in touch with him again, to present some information he should take seriously and hopefully report on.

      On the Henderson march I met a few people with similar experiences and from similar backgrounds. They were though the committed ones. Sadly most NZers are apathetic, pre-occupied with their indivual agendas and ignorant of what these new proposed welfare reforms are all about. While the protest gathered and went on, there were hundreds inside the Westfield Mall stuffing their faces and shopping. No interest in the suffering of the worse of, really! There were also others busy with their other activities, and the most effort made by “some” was to toot their horns in cars going past.

      I am yet to see the society to change by those clicking their mouses. I am afraid you guys do not get it. The mouse, computer you use consists of hardware also, made likely by cheap labour overseas. So chat rooms, social media is good in a way, it is though living in a sense of false realities or delusion. There is still a material reality out there, physical bodies, persons, faces, minds and so forth, and if you think things can be changed without involving those physical beings, you are bloody well dreaming.

      Oh, don’t get your hands and faces dirty, I presume, as mixing with the poor and unwashed will necessiate that. I am afraid you have to go and meet the less fortunate to get a real grasp of what is going on. I also missed some pollies at these activities, although some were there in Dunedin and Wellington, I hear.

      What about David Shearer? He does not look like a real working man to me anyway, and I cannot imagine him with a paint brush in his hands. Maybe it is this hidden envy he has, of a sickness beneficary (albeit fictional) being able to do something he would be useless doing?

      As for the ‘middle class’ I am honest when saying that I was born and bred “middle class”, but later in life had to learn that my own family did not want much to do with me, due to being unable to meet their expectations. There is sadly no more discriminating and mean spirited lot as the “middle class”. The rich do not need to worry about what they think and do, and the poor have no choice what to think about themselves, as fate and social stigma dicatates what they can do and are able to be.

      The middle class in NZ should take a bloody hard look at themselves in NZ! Stand in front of the mirror and ask yourselves, what would you do if you lose job and income and have no means to cope? Maybe we need these mean spirited welfare reforms to be put into law and implemented by WINZ, as that may finally wake the passive, apathetic lot up, when they face the tunes of hardship themselves?

      I remain to be disgusted by what goes on in NZ. It is not so much criticism of what commenters here stand for and fight for, it is the state of affairs in general. We also have a rotten media, which (with some exceptions) is totally commercialised, focused on reporting only on what does not challenge the system, what may “entertain” the majority of ill-informed and dumbed down people. I heard tonight that Radio Live is also getting rid of Keith Stewart, one of the few talkback hosts left who are sincere and also socially minded.

      It seems that is not wanted in NZ. What role has Joyce played in this, I ask (favourable donor and previous manager of Mediaworks who own Radio Live)? We get told more crap by Key, Bennett and other Natzies.

      Now, at last, tell me please, why does the NZ Police see a “need” to film a peaceful, smallish protest outside Henderson WINZ and Bennett’s office from start to finish? What may the SIS be up to, if GCSB are breaking the laws? I have a sense of worry, I smell a huge stench, and to me, this country is run like a “soft” type dictatorship, nothing else. Hence I will consider doing all to get out of here, before things get even worse. Suicide has been on my mind daily for too long by the way. Sad this is, but that is NZ to me!

      Sorry for the abuse of capital letters. I was very distressed last night and forgot the rules!

      • karol 17.6.1

        xtasy, I’m sorry to hear about your situation, and agree the current system is not helping people like you as it should. 
         
        I also get concerned about the way such protests are filmed by the police.  It seems like an infringement of civil liberties and a deterrent against protesting – which is why I mentioned it in my post above.  It undermines democracy.

      • Bill 17.6.2

        xtasy. There will probably be a peak in the suicide rate when these reforms get into full swing. Don’t be one of them, aye? And as for the info you have gathered on WINZ (and I’ve gone through to some of the links you’ve supplied before), why not put it together as a post for here on ts? At least that way it’s getting some coverage.

      • just saying 17.6.3

        Now, at last, tell me please, why does the NZ Police see a “need” to film a peaceful, smallish protest outside Henderson WINZ and Bennett’s office from start to finish?

        As one who was involved in a ten-year battle with a public agency, I really understand why this kind of thing is so intimidating, and humiliating, and infuriating. ‘Big Brother’ plays really dirty, and information can be and is used against dissenters, sometimes in pretty shocking ways. It’s left me with a seemingly permanent kind of battle-fatigue, and far from being empowered, I usually feel exposed and literally dis-couraged when involved in resistance activities.

        But things don’t need to feel good to have value and meaning. While we continue to stand up, we aren’t beaten. And we stand together.

        • KJT 17.6.3.1

          Especially given the police reaction to me filming their arrest of a teenager on a public street. May have had something to do with them kicking him on the ground and inviting a civilian to have a kick as well.

          • Colonial Viper 17.6.3.1.1

            Always important to film the police back. And to have an early discussion with the senior officer in charge on the scene, caught on tape.

            • karol 17.6.3.1.1.1

              I did take a few photos that included views of the police camera woman.  I didn’t have a recorded conversation with her about it.  I just added a couple of photos of the police camerawoman to the bottom of my post above. 
               
              [NB: I was trying to position the photos side-by-side, but couldn’t manage it]

      • Xtasy…

        Simon Collins is indeed a good man, and with a strong, abiding empathy for others. I’ve met him and would trust him when he sez something.

        He digs into stories about the true face of our society, when other journos either aren’t interested; or are too lazy; or prefer the to cover more ‘sexy’ stories…

        As for your fight with WINZ, I’ve struck similar problems when advocating for others. (On one occassion taking it to the Minister’s office and suggesting that if a matter wasn’t resolved, I’d have the TV cameras at a beneficiary’s flat, as she was evicted (middle of winter). It was resolved, though I’m still quite not sure how it happened. (Applicatiomns were declined, approved, declined, approved…)

        WINZ and MSD don’t seem to follow their own rules.

        All I can say is don’t give up and keep kicking up a fuss. With 162,000 unemployed and thousands more solo-parents, widows, etc, all it takes is for more and more people every day to voice their dissatisfaction.

        New Zealanders are slowly starting to get peeved with Key and his incompetance administration. National’s slow drop in polls shows that Kiwis’ “love affair” with Dear Leader is fading.

        I’m often asked, “what can I do?” to resist this government.

        My reply is; do what you’re doing now – but do more of it.

        Trust me, politicians are not immune to public pressure and odium. Our collective voice does get to them (eventually). http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/politics/6891837/You-can-have-my-job-John-Key-tells-kids

        Just remember, you’re not alone.

        • xtasy 17.6.4.1

          Frank and others, for your appreciated advice and support. I get quite distressed at times, and I do not like to brag on about it, who does. But you are so right, there are so many others affected by wrong decisions and bias by WINZ staff and some of their designated doctors.

          You write: “WINZ and MSD don’t seem to follow their own rules.”

          Well, to be honest, they always interpret the law and rules as it pleases them, nothing new, really. And that is exactly the problem. They never admit wrongdoing, if a case gets “out of hand” (appeal, complaint or worse), they swiftly come and try to cover up by offering a ‘solution”. But that is usually never good enough, yet most accept it, because most Kiwis are too scared or complacent to stand their grounds and take things further.

          This is an “easy’ country for any government, as most Kiwis will rather try to find ways to bend the rules than to address real issues and take a stand. So they do not understand that they are not doing themselves any favour, because bending the rules exposes you to legal prosecution, if sought. Not that smart really, but I have sadly only met ‘so many’ smart NZers.

  18. ak 18

    Sincere congratulations and thanks to all who marched today. Know with the utmost certainty that you rank with the very cream of humanity and join a select band: the fruits of whose selfless sacrifice and courage is enjoyed by billions.

    Power never, ever, yeilded an inch without demand: and with your actions today your rare and precious gift of genuine empathy for your fellows will most definitely bear fruit. For you have won so much already: apartheid, mysogeny, homophobia -all kicked and pummelled to the fetid corners of sewerblogs for all time.

    It’s not the academics nor politicians that change the world. It’s you fine and glorious specimens who graced our streets today. Cherish your rare ability. Relish the reward it will most certainly bring. And celebrate, with the hunreds of thousands of your kindred souls right now in Spain and France and every corner of the globe, the final victory over greed that is but a hair away.

    Take a bow, all of you, especially xtacy. To fight against the odds is the most noble gift of all. Patience, brother, and accept the heartfelt thanks of progressive history, and lesser mortals.

  19. muzza 19

    I genuinely think that the biggest problem that the poor have (outside of the attacks from govt, and their fellow human beings) , is that the same faces who appear at the front of these events.

    While it is great that someone does, but the people I refer have long histories of being involved, which has now just become a major disadvantage. It simply makes people tune out, even if they might have been empathetic to the plight of the vulnerable, because of those same old faces.

    Its time for some new blood, some fresh faces that with the background, understandings and life experiences who can appeal to people at all levels.

    I just can’t see it turning around, or traction being gained while its the same people at the front. Fait play to them, but do they not have a plan to blood new people, are there not any new people capable of fronting this type of thing, or do they not want to step aside?

    Despite what some think, it is very important that the “comfortable middle class”, are at the very least aware that they are on the block too, contrary to what they might think. That message needs to get through, but its a very difficult thing to pull off, and given some of the meetings ive been to with these old war horses, until they move out the way, they have no chance.

    From comments here, there are many more capable people who could front for the vulnerable, than those who have been at it for decades now. Get along to some of the meetings in AKL, and you will understand what I mean.

    No changes = No change!

    • McFlock 19.1

      so are you putting yourself forward, muzz?

    • karol 19.2

      muzza, take a look at my photo in the post, of Sue Bradford talking.  The 3 guys standing around her seemed to play a major role in organising the Henderson demo.  They spoke at each of the places the demo stopped and were interesting and ehnthusiastic speakers.  
       
      The guy immediately on Sue Bradford’s left, in front of the Unite banner, had talked about doing a lot of leafleting in PaknSave car-park that week. He said everyone he talked to were anti the government’s reforms.  Plenty also made some disparaging and publicly unrepeatable comments about John Key.  I saw that guy a week ago, out leafleting in another area of the west.
       
      There were several Unite and AAAP people taking a leading role in chants and songs – actually we sang as many songs as chants – some fun ones to well known tunes e.g. one about Paula Bennett being on the benefit then cutting them when she got in government. They had a light touch, making the demo seem quite friendly.
       
      I guess there is a tendency for the media (and me) to focus on the “names” when reporting to a wider audience.  A cool looking youngish guy in a great coat with an AAAP placard, was interviewed by One News as he walked on the march.  Didn’t make the news.  Pity.
       
      I guess an individual has to stand out in some way to get mainstream attention, even when they have been working hard and successfully.

      • xtasy 19.2.1

        Karol: I know Keith, Janet and others of the Waitemata branch of Unite, which has always been a bit of a more “radical” branch of the larger Unite Union. They are nevertheless highly integre, solid and honest people, whom I support.

        Naturally some will look for their “leftist” leanings and try to discredit them.

        Most of these people live a very meagre life themselves, and you can see so by just looking at them. Sadly NZers have in majority fallen for the consumerist, commercially driven and shallow lifestyles, where principles come second to self serving agendas.

        NZ is divided, very seriously divided, not only by rich, better off, middle class and poor, but also along race, political leanings and so forth.

        This division is wanted. People are also living in a truly “corporatised” society now, where even most government departments are run like free enterprise “corporates”. So information is only offered to serve the purpose of corporate intent, services are offered along the same lines, and people are not even listened to anymore, unless they belong to some “official” corporate body, an enterprise, an organisation widely acknowledged and the likes. Hence poor are not counted, listened to and ignored as “riff raff” on “the fringes” that cannot be put into some kind of “corporate” or similar category or “drawer”.

        The media work along the same lines. If you are an idividual raising issues, they do not give you credit. If you come from any organisation or corparate body, then they may listen and take you serious.

        All this just increases the marginalisation of human beings, who are no longer taken seriously on their own.

  20. Bill 20

    Here’s a link to the local TV station’s coverage of the Dunedin protest for those interested. Have to say, I think Olive McRae does a very good job of sticking to message.

    http://www.ch9.co.nz/node/46831

    • karol 20.1

      Excellent TV coverage, thanks, Bill.  Much better than what showed on One News.  I’ll add it to the links in my post, if that’s OK?  I see Anthony has linked to my post for its summary of media coverage.

  21. aerobubble 21

    The purpose of extending work obligations to sickness beneficiaries is to create
    a new gap. Too sick to be on unemployment benefit but not sick enough to be on
    living payment. Just watch while thousands disappear. Sure sickness beneficiaries have
    a right to help into part-time work, but when its likely they will be worse off financially
    due to costs from entering the workforce, and given that the nuance necessary by
    WINZ to deal with matching the conditions of the sickness created restrictions, it will
    inevitably turn into more compulsion oppression than active assistance (which usually
    means paying a employer money, an employer whose desperate for the corporate
    welfare payment – for profit not necessary compassion).

    Take the autistic young light bulb lover from ChCh, only a few light bulb companies
    would be suitable employment, now imagine a WINZ staffer negotiating from that
    position of weakness and taking the soft option and just pushing them into any work
    in order to tick the box.

  22. xtasy 22

    The true face of WINZ and the Ministry of Social Development:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/sunday-star-times/latest-edition/7779516/Jobless-battler-takes-on-Winz-for-a-3-cause

    So much for helping people get what they are entitled to.

    Yes, Paula Bennett, and you are the very person in charge!!! Have you anything to say to this case? And your lawyers are fighting the Human Rights Tribunal decision! How “humane” and “caring”?! And thanks for letting the tax payer foot the bill for the expensive lawyers your department and Ministry employ to “shut up” such clients demanding their rights are met.

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