National values

Written By: - Date published: 9:10 am, January 25th, 2012 - 94 comments
Categories: poverty, scoundrels - Tags: ,

National is letting children go to school hungry to try to teach their parents a lesson. Every fool knows the basic requirement for learning is food in the tummy. No decent person would turn their back on a hungry child. But Mike Sabin wants 20 children in his electorate to starve pour encourager les autres. And Paula Bennett has just cut the money that was feeding them.

An NGO up in Kaitaia, with a CYF ‘social workers in schools’ contract, worked out that the heart of their problem was 15-20 kids who were coming to school hungry and without food. It was resulting in them being unable to concentrate on learning, and turning to theft and truancy to sate their hunger. Feed the kids and you take the first step to solving their wider problems. It’s just common sense.

But Bennett didn’t see it that way. The contract with CYF was to only be an ambulance at the bottom of the cliff. How dare Te Aupouri Maori Trust Board actually try to tackle the roots of the problem? Her ministry told them to stop feeding the kids with contract funds or lose the contract (ironically, we find out about this as Bennett travels the country in a two-week roadshow about the Green Paper for Vulnerable Children.).

Eric Reid of the board’s social services arm explains:

“We would love to get into the preventive model, but we are not equipped to do it for nothing,”

 “One of the areas we definitely wanted to address was children coming to school without lunches, so we started providing children in school with lunches.

“It was reducing thefts. It was reducing truancy.”

“These are things that you can address just through school lunches.”

“We got rapped over the knuckles – we were not meant to be doing that, it was not part of our contractual responsibility.”

And these kids’ MP reckons its important that they go hungry, disrupting their own learning and others’. Sabin says:

“if schools provided lunches then mothers and fathers would never have to do it.”

“But they are not doing that anyway,” Mr Reid responded. “You can walk around every pub in Kaitaia and mums and dads are investing in the poker machines.”

Mr Sabin retorted: “We have to investigate that, otherwise we’ll have 50,000 more parents who are not feeding their children.”

What this idiot Sabin doesn’t get (or doesn’t want to acknowledge) is that a few bucks a day for a few kids is making a hell of a difference. And it’s not going to encourage every mother and father to let their kids go hungry, because most children are fortunate enough to have parents who wouldn’t dream of letting them go hungry. Does Sabin know that, already, more than 50,000 schoolkids leave home without having breakfast? Does he care?

And what’s National’s objection to school lunches in principal? Is it just that they would rather the money came to them and the rest of the elite in miniscule tax cuts than went to helping poor kids learn and grow?

Is it any wonder that the gap between rich and poor, and the expensive load of poverty are growing when we are ruled by a  government would rather save a few bucks then give kids a chance at life and learning?

94 comments on “National values ”

  1. RedLogix 1

    Funny how in many countries, even in that dead-red heart of socialism the USA, schools routinely provide school lunches.

    • Lanthanide 1.1

      I wouldn’t get too carried away with praising the US school lunch system. It’s pretty dysfunctional in a lot of ways.

      Schools that insist lunches are paid for on the day (rather than a check from the parents to pay for a whole term or years worth), leading to bullying to steal lunch money. Pizza is classed as a vegetable because it has tomato paste on it, and you can gaurantee what passes for “pizza” is going to have cheese and tomato paste and nothing else on it.

      • happynz 1.1.1

        It’s not as dire as you may assume. Yes, many schools in the US do serve dreadful food, but there are many other schools that do make an effort (yes, sometimes without success, but they’re trying).

        Five years ago I worked as a substitute teacher in one of the wealthier school districts in the Silicon Valley. This is what I saw. Some of the schools that I worked at offered free breakfast and lunch to ‘disadvantaged’ children. From what I saw they had healthy options such as fresh fruit for both breakfast and lunch. The Hispanic kids, the overwhelming majority of kids in the schools I worked at, were happy to eat the ‘healthier’ options such as apples, bananas and oranges as well as the typical crap such as hot dogs, pizza and some other processed nonsense.

        The sad part is that a family relative, mum, dad, tia or tio, would drop them off at school and they would hang around outside the cafeteria hoping to get a smuggled banana or bread roll from a kid. The school principal would have teachers rostered to stand by the door to make sure that none of the students were trying to smuggle out a banana or bread roll to hand off to Uncle Julio or Cousin Jaime. I can’t imagine the principals being too keen on the policy and teachers weren’t exactly diligent on busting a kid for having and apple in his pocket.

        • Lanthanide

          Yeah, I realise when it comes to America that generalisations will always fall down simply because the country and culture is so diverse.

  2. Colonial Viper 2

    Bonuses, share options and incentive payments for us; austerity and hunger for you.

    • The Baron 2.1

      Oh our own resident of the 1% tells us all what it’s like in Remmers eh CV. Oh you noble soul you – must be hard huh.

      • Colonial Viper 2.1.1

        I respect people who have made their wealth and enjoy a great lifestyle through hard work and graft Baron, I don’t envy them like some.

        • The Baron

          Don’t we all, CV – don’t we all. Its just that I don’t keep going on about the Great Class War when I’m one of those with, what was it again, “Bonuses, share options and incentive payments” to keep me in milk and honey.

          Or are you telling me that you’re one of the noble, hard working rich? What exactly is the criteria for nobility then CV – married into it and spend all day lamenting the state of the world on The Standard while drinking your 5th latte for the day? What do you actually DO to help the causes you mouth on about all the time – lend them some boot space in the Cayman?

          You’re a prize hypocrite, pal.

          • Rob

            well, well…. Baron thats gold and a keeper. CV your just kind of sad really.

          • McFlock

            Hey, if Warren Buffet can acknowledge the facts that there’s a class war, the rich are winning, the middle class are retreating, and the poor are getting fucked, then anyone can.
            If they’re not morons or narcissists, that is.

  3. Carol 3

    So the trust was providing lunches to children who needed it? What evidence was/is there that this encouraged other parents not to feed their children?

  4. King Kong 4

    Another brilliant example of mong headed lefty thinking.

    Straight in with boot to the long suffering tax payers without a single thought for the child abusing scum who are not feeding their kids.

    If a kid turns up hungry to School the parents should be jailed.

    • Dylan 4.1

      You don’t seem to have thought of the “long suffering tax payers” either—and your solution would cost far, far more than the humane one.

      You’re either an idiot or a troll.

    • Tiger Mountain 4.2

      Oh that prize idiocy and wilful boofheadism were a basis for banning. KK your statement is right up there with the old “both the rich and poor are entitled to sleep under bridges” crap. “if this, then that” statements mean little unless related to specific situations.

      Feed the kids, simple as that. Mana party reckons it could be done for the cost of the brown nosing NZ Afghan deployment. Bring the troops home and feed the kids.

      • King Kong 4.2.1

        Feed the kids, then clothe the kids, then raise the kids in state sanctioned education and welfare units producing perfectly programmed future comrades.

        Pinkos have been singing this tune for ever.

        Heaven forbid we insist on a bit of personal responsibility.

        • Dylan

          OK—someone has no personal responsibility—what then?

          Make tax payers pay lots of money, and let the kids suffer—starting off another cycle of “no responsibility”.


          • Colonial Viper

            Kids born into poor families deserve to suffer more, the punishment is fair

            Kids born into rich families deserve more advantages, their reward is just

            • Dylan

              I think KK’s attitude is actually a manifestation of right-wing envy—

              doesn’t have the guts to live off social security but really wants to because he/she is lazy, feels hard done by, feels society owes him/her a living etc, and so is envious of those who do.

              • King Kong

                You may like to think that…but you’d be wrong.

                • We’ve tried it your way, KK. But the Right Wing “Nirvana” hasn’t happened yet – much like The Rapture.

                  Time to go back to social democratic basics, and any libertarian who doesn’t want to live in a social democracy can be invited to emigrate to any Libertarian society they desire.

                  Somalia beckons. Have fun.

                  • King Kong

                    And by the same token those desperate to live in a Socialist utopia could fuck off to Nth Korea or Venezuela.

                    • KJT

                      Authoritarian dictatorships bearing only a passing resemblance to democratic socialist States.

                      Same as the German State in the 1940’s. Which also had socialist in its name.

                      Wearas Somalia is a perfect example of the effects of unbridled capitalism.

                      Happy to fuck off to socialist democracies like Norway, Switzerland or Belgium.

                    • muzza

                      I have trouble understanding the mindset of those who feel that the suffering of people, in this case referring to hungry children, is a by product of lack of personal effort.

                      I’m all for adults taking responsibility for their families, but when that is not happening, then society has a duty to those children. Use of the moral hazar card is trite, and inhumane!

      • Lanthanide 4.2.2

        The mana party figures are way way lower than what it would really cost in reality. I don’t even know how they came up with them.

        IIRC the documentary on child poverty estimated it would cost something like $300m to feed breakfast to all children in schools across the country per year. Mana’s number is something like $87m to do the same.

        • Tiger Mountain

          Yes different figures have appeared from Mana on this, but the principle as outlined by Hone resonates with Mana supporters at least. To paraphrase Bomber Bradbury “why be America’s bitch” when we could at least partially fund feeding our kids by ending the SAS deployment.

          • Colonial Viper

            $300M? $87M?

            The big four Oz banks make a profit of at least $1500M p.a. Feeding the children of a country is chump change in comparison.

            • Hami Shearlie

              But CV, why worry about feeding children? Jonathan Coleman can’t be bothered with that rubbish – he’s too worried about the fact the Remmers has no weeds and Northcote has – in our local paper – I wonder what planet he’s from? We think he’s Nick Smith’s half-brother(half-wit too – nickname “Maestro”) from an illicit affair – he’s the ” good looking brother”? – God help us all!!!

    • Draco T Bastard 4.3

      It’s the capitalists who aren’t feeding the kids by not paying enough. Or, putting it another way, taking too much of what’s not theirs.

      If a kid turns up hungry to School the parents should be jailed.

      And who will feed the kids then? If we go by the illogic that you’ve already shown they’ll just be thrown out on the street with nowhere to go.

    • Blighty 4.4

      Cost of feeding a child lunch each day: let’s be generous and say 5 dollars.

      Cost of locking up parents who don’t supply their kids with lunch: 300 dollars per day prison costs, tens of thousands for prosecution and trial, plus costs to CYFs for looking after children of the parent(s).

      What was that about the long-suffering taxpayer, KK? Look at the bill you would hand us

      • Blighty 4.4.1

        Hell, just the cost of writing and passing the law change you’re proposing would be hundreds of thousands, if not millions. Thank god you’re just an angry nobody and don’t actually have the power to waste public money on your harebrained reactionary notions

    • Verity 4.5

      In this case there were no parents. Only a solo mum with five children from babies to one adult – therein lies the answer to much of the children’s poverty in New Zealand. If you can’t feed them, don’t breed them especially to fathers who are as equally irresponsible. Unless she is a widow I do not see why she should expect the taxpayer to finance her, one mistake, yes but so many more? Surely she cannot be that thick!

      • Populuxe1 4.5.1

        Oh tosh! Most of the solos mothers I know on the DPB either left abusive relationships or were dumped by their bastard husbands for a younger model. Certainly there are women out there who need empowering so they can take control of their lives and fertility, but the whole “If you can’t feed them, don’t breed them” just makes you sound like a mean-spirited RWNJ trout.

        • Frank Macskasy

          Ditto, Populuxe1…

          We have solo-mums as friends. One, with three children; youngest at 18 months; when Mum came home unexpectedly to find Hubby walking out the door with packed suitcases. When questioned, he said he was leaving her.

          It seems he’d been in a “meaningful relationship” with a younger, blonde co-worker at his office, for some time. And now he was off, to live with Miss Young Blonde.

          Another friend of us, is an incredible woman; solo-mum; left hubby after violent abuse; he ended up in prison; she raised two young boys – one extremely ADHD/Aspergers, and very High Needs. She used the Training Incentive Allowance (the same one Paula Bennet recently canned) to get a teaching degree, and is now in a full time time as a teacher, paying tax and off the DPB.

          But we don’t hear stories like that in the media as it conflicts with the easy-to-hate stereotypes.

  5. Dylan 5

    You don’t seem to have thought of the “long suffering tax payers” either—your solution would cost far, far more money than the humane one. It would also cause the children to suffer more. All for the sake of punishing people. Are you a sadist???

    You’re certainly either an idiot or a troll, or both,

  6. Jono 6

    Didnt Sabin get pinged for misappropriation of public funds a few years ago? BPersonal expenses paid with Methcon drug education funding or something?

    • Tiger Mountain 6.1

      Sabin is one national MP with uglyness in the cupboard and out of it. A ticking scandal in waiting.
      Source-local contributors to a small Far North community newsletter that I edit, Wellington insiders and personal observation. Desperately poor small communities had to cough up a minimum $1000 to get a Methcon seminar on ‘P’ run by Sabin. He regularly breached privacy when BOT chair at Taipa area school, sharing alleged police intel about the parents of certain kids. BOT members have only spoken of this off the record so far.

      He is a bully boy ex copper who is very down on beneficiaries and “Maaries” -source-his regular fortnightly column in the Northland Age newspaper. Yet was happy to be a beneficiary himself prior to the election, collecting a good whack from ACC on behalf of his sports injured son, no problem with that but why benny bash others.

  7. Dylan 7

    What does someone like Sabin say to someone like Sir Richard Branson:


    One the one hand (whatever you may think of him personally) a clear business star, on the other, wants to decriminalise drugs.

    Hm!—tough decision??

  8. Bunji 8

    Also from the that same meeting: the Mum who only earned $40 more for working than being on benefit (after adding in childcare costs).
    $40 isn’t enough justification to be putting your 13-month-old into (5 babies to one adult) care, losing that bonding time and getting strangers to raise your kids. For the additional stress of trying to get all those household things done around your job. It probably doesn’t even cover all those hidden work costs, like the needed nicer clothes, the occasional bought meals because you’ve run out of time to get everything organised after bathing the kids and doing the washing and …

    We need a $15 minimum wage, or we won’t just lose this mum to Australia (and she doesn’t even want to go…).

    • Lanthanide 8.1

      Labour extending WFF to beneficiaries would have made it even less worth her while to be working. Minimum wage going up to $15 probably still would have only put her at most $100 or so ahead per week compared to being on a benefit under that scenario.

    • Colonial Viper 8.2

      $15 minimum wage and dollar an hour childcare please.

      • Lanthanide 8.2.1

        Are you saying a $15/minimum wage but only charging $1/hour for childcare?

        Who pays the other $14+ to the people doing the childcare?

  9. ianmac 9

    Most kids put high on the list of why they go to school, that it is to play with friends and eat their lunch. Without the lunch why go to school?

  10. tsmithfield 10

    I don’t think responsible taxpayers should be taking responsibility for delinquent parents. There is a fairly powerful moral hazard argument here.

    On the other hand, I agree that the children shouldn’t be going hungry.

    It is probably appropriate that the trust gets funding from the likes of Lotto. At least then, money that is in part wasted by delinquent parents gets funneled back to the children in need.

    • Dylan 10.1

      I *do* think taxpayers should take responsibility for children, otherwise they are as “delinquent” as the parents concerned. More so, actually—since they probably know better.

      The “moral hazard” slogan is often trotted out to give a grand-sounding name to, basically, the argument which says “if we say we’re not going to do this (right, decent) thing for moral reasons, people won’t look too hard at our motives”.

      • Colonial Viper 10.1.1

        I *do* think society should take responsibility for children

        Forgive the slight edit, this is I believe more to the point.

        • tsmithfield

          Society already takes responsibility for needy families and by implication, the children.
          The moral hazard argument is those who get equivalent amounts from the government and use it responsibly are going to wonder why they should do so if others can effectively get more from the state by behaving irresponsibly (i.e. having more to spend irresponsibly because they don’t need to spend the money on feeding their kids).

          At least if taxpayers could see the funding for the trust was coming from Lotto, they would feel more comfortable that the irresponsible are contributing to their own problems, hence less moral hazard.

          • Zorr

            I prefer the moral hazard of feeding starving children of poor parents to the moral hazard of bailing out big business…

            • tsmithfield

              So do I actually…

              However, if there is a way of funding the trust that avoids the moral hazard problem and achieves the goal of ensuring the children are fed, then why not?

          • Draco T Bastard

            Perfectly responsible people turn up at the food banks because they, quite simply, don’t have enough. You’re saying that the kids need to be punished for the policies of the government that have rewarded the rich and created even more poverty.

            • tsmithfield

              “Perfectly responsible people turn up at the food banks because they, quite simply, don’t have enough.”

              Yes they do. So at least they care enough to do something about feeding their kids.

              The irresponsible parents could go to the food-banks as well. But they apparently don’t, otherwise their kids wouldn’t be hungry. Which is even more reason that taxpayers shouldn’t be dipping further into their pockets when there are NGO’s out there that can easily be accessed for food.

              “You’re saying that the kids need to be punished for the policies of the government that have rewarded the rich and created even more poverty.”

              There is no reason at all that they should be punished under the system as it is.

              • Bored

                So TS what happens when demand outstrips supply for food banks that rely upon charity?

                • tsmithfield

                  Goody goody. We’re playing the “what happens when…” game are we?

                  Like, what happens when there’s a tax-payer revolt and there’s suddenly not enough money to fund the burgeoning welfare state?

                  I am sure you get my drift. The “what happens when…” game can be applied to lots of different scenarios.

                  Anyway, in answer to your question, I expect the NGO’s concerned would appeal for donations and concerned citizens and businesses would probably step up to the mark. At least they would be doing this because they want to, not because they are compelled to.

                  • Bored

                    NGO’s concerned would appeal for donations and concerned citizens and businesses would probably step up to the mark.

                    In your mindless little world TS supply is always possible somehow. Out here in real world (take it from me I do some charity work) supply can get very limited despite the best wishes of everybody (left right centre etc).

                    And to answer your nasty little libertarian idea of “wanting” to as opposed to “compunction” you may wish to consider the idea that the individual whether he / she likes it or not belongs to our society and that comes with costs and responsibilities. Randian super shruggers like yourself attempting to avoid costs and responsibilities tend to get treated as the parasites they really are.

                  • McFlock

                    Anyway, in answer to your question, I expect the NGO’s concerned would appeal for donations and concerned citizens and businesses would probably step up to the mark. At least they would be doing this because they want to, not because they are compelled to.

                    Ah, the Dickensian approach to feeding the poor. Unfortunately for you, it wasn’t a hypothetical. It happens regularly – food banks put out an appeal, and some concerned citizens and businesses step up to the mark, but not enough.
                    Private charity does not work. It is too small, poorly targetted, and frequently bottom-of-the-cliff. It is an insufficient response to a problem that gets worse if the response is inefficient.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Like, what happens when there’s a tax-payer revolt and there’s suddenly not enough money to fund the burgeoning welfare state?

                    You mean the minority tax-payer revolt and, personally, I’m quite happy for them to leave. Once they’ve done so we can more easily rationalise the economy so that we don’t have poverty any more.

                    • Populuxe1

                      Yeah, sort of like a short story I always wanted to write set after “The Rapture” in which a paradise on earth is established because all the self-rightous bigots seeking to impose their worldview through legislation and foreign policy, had disapeared and left the rest of us to get on with building a just society.

              • Colonial Viper

                Which is even more reason that taxpayers shouldn’t be dipping further into their pockets when there are NGO’s out there that can easily be accessed for food.

                I reckon we should offload the Government’s responsibility to society to the volunteer sector and the church, and pass the resulting fiscal savings on to the most wealthy in the form of additional tax cuts.

                • tsmithfield

                  So, why do you have a problem with NGO’s, Lotto etc meeting helping meet the needs of the poor? Why do lefties always seem to see that the only viable option is to steal progressively more from taxpayers?

                  • Bored

                    Steal…if your view is that living in our society, using all the benefits whilst paying none of the costs (tax) then you really are a parasite.

                    • felix

                      He certainly is.

                      He usually manages to phrase his comments “politely” but every now and then the mask comes off and he reveals what he really is; the embodiment of naked greed, selfishness and vulgarity. One of the the ugliest born-to-rule cretins ever represented on these pages.

              • Draco T Bastard

                There is no reason at all that they should be punished under the system as it is.

                But that’s what’s happening. Kids are being punished to try and sate the greed of a few. A few more percent taxes on the rich and all the kids could have breakfast and lunch at school and it would probably be cheaper than what it costs each individual home to buy.

                • tsmithfield

                  Yes. But even as things are they don’t need to be punished. There is plenty of help available in this country through both government and NGO organisations. There is absolutely no reason for kids to be hungry. How about looking at the responsibility of the parents who should be making the effort to access the help that is available.

                  • felix

                    “Yes. But even as things are they don’t need to be punished.”

                    As usual you’d rather talk about your fantasies than address the reality, which you just acknowledged exists.

                    You think your Randian daydreams are more important than actually feeding hungry kids.

                    What a piece of scum.

                    • tsmithfield

                      “What a piece of scum.”

                      My, my, you sure know how to dish it out, Felix. Not so sure you can take it so well, though.

                      Anyway, it seems to me that lefty contributors here aren’t correctly defining the problem. Here is a logical definition of the problem:

                      1. There are sufficient resources in the system for parents to ensure their children are fed and clothed.
                      2. Responsible parents who are aware of those resources will access whatever resources they need to ensure their children are fed and clothed.
                      3. Parents that are not accessing those resources are either not responsible, or are unaware of the resources that are available.

                      The solution therefore is to make parents aware of the resources that are available and ensure they behave responsibly with respect to the needs of their children.

                    • McFlock

                      1: evidence?
                      2: rests entirely on a bureaucratic ability to get what you need from social warfare.
                      3: is very black and white for a grayscale world.

                      Conclusion: God forbid you should every write social policy.

                    • tsmithfield

                      “1. Evidence.”

                      If you want to challenge the premise, then it is up to you to disprove it. Examples of people being turned away from foodbanks because they had run out of food would be a good start.

                      “2: rests entirely on a bureaucratic ability to get what you need from social warfare.”

                      I have already said that people might need education on what help is available.

                      “3: is very black and white for a grayscale world.”

                      Read back over what I have said. I haven’t said that children shouldn’t be fed, for example. Rather, that there are other options for meeting those needs that don’t require further persecution of tax payers..

                    • felix


                      I think you mean “Paying your way in the society that’s provided you with everything you have.”

                      Scum is too kind a word for what you are.

                    • McFlock

                      If you want to challenge the premise, then it is up to you to disprove it. Examples of people being turned away from foodbanks because they had run out of food would be a good start.

                      No, in response to the fact that some people feel the need to feed kids at school you presented the premise that there is already sufficient help.
                      The fact that kids are being fed in schools suggests you are wrong. Kindly present evidence to support your assertion.

                      “2: rests entirely on a bureaucratic ability to get what you need from social warfare.”
                      I have already said that people might need education on what help is available.

                      That doesn’t help you when case managers deliberately do everything they can to avoid giving you your legal entitlements, sparse as those are. It’s not just “education” people need, it’s also advocates to deal with people who have incentives to kick you off a benefit.

                      “3: is very black and white for a grayscale world.”
                      Read back over what I have said. I haven’t said that children shouldn’t be fed, for example. Rather, that there are other options for meeting those needs that don’t require further persecution of tax payers..

                      Let’s see: “3. Parents that are not accessing those resources are either not responsible, or are unaware of the resources that are available.”
                      Nope, that’s incredibly simplistic. They might know what assistance is available, but have been denied it inappropriately. Or their paperwork might have been lost. Or the online browser in the office wasn’t compatible with the winz website. Or their case manager might be a moron. Or their case manager might not care. Or they lack the communication skills to adequately describe their need to a case manager who only got the job in order to get them off the local branch’s books of long-term unemployed. Or the food bank doesn’t have nappies, so some of the food budget goes on them. Or they foodbank is 10 miles away and the car is out of fuel and the parents have no change for busses. or. or. or.
                      Like I said, you have a black and white perspective for a grayscale world. The individual lives of an entire population can’t be determined by a slide rule or a flow chart.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    How about looking at the responsibility of the parents who should be making the effort to access the help that is available.

                    How do you know that they aren’t? Oh, that’s right, you don’t. You’re just making excuses to salve whatever conscience you’ve got left.

                    Our society punishes people for being poor when it’s not their fault but the fault of those like John Key and the policies that they champion that gives all the resources and control to a few.

                    Here is a logical definition of the problem:

                    No it not. It’s a definition that you’ve invented so as to justify your denial of your responsibility to others in our society.

                    • tsmithfield

                      “No it not. It’s a definition that you’ve invented so as to justify your denial of your responsibility to others in our society.”

                      No, that is an argument in a logically valid form. If the premises are correct, the solution logically follows. If you wish to refute the argument you must refute one of the premises.

                      “How do you know that they aren’t? Oh, that’s right, you don’t. You’re just making excuses to salve whatever conscience you’ve got left.”

                      Show how the argument is refuted, and I will discuss with you.

                      Felix: “Scum is too kind a word for what you are.”

                      Is “scum” a word you like to use because it is four letters and easy for you to spell?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      No, that is an argument in a logically valid form.

                      So? The premises aren’t correct and so the form doesn’t matter – GIGO.

                      Show how the argument is refuted…

                      Interestingly enough but you’re the one putting the argument forward and so you’re the one who has to prove the argument. Suffice to say that the argument requires research which hasn’t been done and so you’re just talking out of your arse inventing shit to justify your position.

                      My belief is that the majority of parents are responsible but don’t have the resources needed to feed their children despite what the government and NGOs makes available.

          • McFlock

            Society already takes responsibility for needy families and by implication, the children.

            No it doesn’t. Otherwise the kids would already be fed.
            The moral hazard argument is simply an excuse to do nothing – it assumes no attempt at targetting food assistance, no pride or principle in any parents to avoid it if not needed, and no social pressures within the school. Food assistance can be run in exactly the same way some schools currently grant waivers for “voluntary” fees to poor families – and it would probably be to the same families.
            What’s your next reason as to why children should be left hungry?

            • tsmithfield

              “No it doesn’t. Otherwise the kids would already be fed.”

              Doesn’t logically follow. Just because society makes the resources available doesn’t mean that those who need them will necessarily access those resources.

              • McFlock

                Firstly, your assumption that society currently makes sufficient resources available to all needy families is quite endearing.
                Secondly, “taking responsibility” does not mean “making resources available”. It means using the resources. It means ensuring everyone knows what is available. It means ensuring everyone has the skills to exist on what is available. But most of all, “taking responsibility” means doing it yourself if nobody else does. It doesn’t mean dropping the ball at someone’s feet and blaming them when the thing that you took responsibility for fails.

                • Bored

                  TS is a “moral hazard”. Were we to take his approach we would actively steal everything for ourselves including our own children’s meal. Saint Ayn would approve of course so long as it made TS “happy”.

                  • tsmithfield

                    “Firstly, your assumption that society currently makes sufficient resources available to all needy families is quite endearing.”

                    Show me that it isn’t. Last time I looked, we are not Bangladesh.

                    “Secondly, “taking responsibility” does not mean “making resources available”.”

                    This is the sort of mentality that locks people in their poverty. If people have everything done for them, and are continually rescued from the consequences of their own behaviour, then they never learn or grow, but stay precisely where they are.

                    • McFlock

                      We are not Bangladesh. We are New Zealand. This is irrelevant to the fact that we still have hardship in NZ. Maybe not as bad in quantity as Bangladesh (a dead kid is a dead kid, anywhere in the world), but we still have it.
                      So what are we, as a society, going to do about it? Because just saying “help was accessible, pity they didn’t take it” is not taking responsibility, it’s dodging responsibility.

                      This is the sort of mentality that locks people in their poverty. If people have everything done for them, and are continually rescued from the consequences of their own behaviour, then they never learn or grow, but stay precisely where they are.

                      Like John Key?
                      This is the myth of welfare dependency. Most people only need to receive assistance for a short period of time, and those that need it for longer have welfare dependency as the least of their problems. 
                      Find another excuse to ignore a hungry child, TS.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Show me that it isn’t.


                      This is the sort of mentality that locks people in their poverty.

                      Quoting out of context I see – normal RWNJ trick. You really need to put in this part as well:

                      It means ensuring everyone knows what is available.

                      The stupid complexity of our welfare system means that a lot of people don’t know what’s available to them and don’t know how to find out. Of course, it’s probably been designed that way so as to keep the bill down.

                    • Bored

                      TS, you can feed a man for a day or you can teach him to fish and feed him for life. If he cant afford a fishing rod….and you Ebeneezer TS are just the man to deny him that.

                      On the note of resources, there are plenty but selfish bastards like yourself try always to seize ownership, extract rental and deny access even though you cant use it all yourself. Moral rectitude you roll out to cover a multitude of sins and antisocial behavior. You use these as a whip, a rod for the backs of the less fortunate.

                      You are truly scum.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      What wrong with a single man owning enough to feed and house both him and his family for 250 years? While other families in the neighbourhood go hungry daily?

                      Seems entirely reasonable.

    • Blighty 10.2

      Moral hazard arguments are such bullshit. Our morality is a product of our social and economic context. While you have families living in poverty, you will always have parents who don’t devote enough of their income to feeding their kids – just as richer parents can neglect children in other ways.
      Besides your punishing the son for the sins of the father.
      Don’t want kids going hungry? Eliminate the conditions that lead to that or accept it is a consequence of the unequal society you desire and feed them

    • McFlock 10.3

      List of weak excuses from TSithfield so far:

      Moral hazard.
      Welfare dependency.
      Not our responsibility.
      Private charity will solve the problem.
      There are already more than enough resources available.

      One would  almost imagine that he didn’t care that kids were going to school hungry, and was therefore trying to find every reason possible not to help them.

      • felix 10.3.1

        Don’t know why he bothers, he’s already on record saying he doesn’t give a shit about poor people.

      • just saying 10.3.2

        While tsmithfield smiles into his mirror….

        …A hungry child waits.

  11. johnm 11

    I grew up in the UK. At my primary School there was a long building which was a canteen and us kids 6-11 received free school lunches, a cooked meal and dessert plus we got a free bottle of milk per day! A lot of us were brats even at that age! Some of us used to chant “All school dins dins fit for pig bins!” We’d knock down on a spoon’s bowl and send it flying across the room ! Like something out of St Trinians! However though the food was basic it was balanced and nutritious and none of my fellow brats ever complained of hunger-it worked.

    I think we should follow the example of Sweden and Finland who believe their children are their future. Sweden has law that any child must not be subject to degrading treatment: like going hungry amongst their peers who are well fed.
    I believe we should follow Sweden’s example and bring in free lunches for all school children plus free health care up to say 6. All children at school must be equal in opportunity whatever social background. This could be paid for by not selling off our income producing Power Stations and a small increase of progressive taxation on the richer members of New Zealand! (I can hear the howls of protest now: Why should the productive achievers reduce their overseas holiday spending power to assist the underclass!!!) Short answer, we are a mutual society not isolated island units .

    Good on Te Aupouri Maori trust Board they are on the right path. The Nat Government follow the selfish socially destructive ideology of neo-liberalism which considers free anything a form of socialism which is not the brave new world they foolishly think humans should live in.This poison ideolgy comes from the U$. Where has it got them? Why I do declare: 46,000,000 adult Americans, not children, exist on food handouts once they negotiate all the paperwork BS to qualify! Neoliberalism which is profit before people has done a great job there!

    A real New Zealander not a money grubber is doing something real against child poverty:

    “A 16-year-old is taking action against child poverty and hopes others will join her to create change.

    While most people her age are relaxing at the beach, Jazmine Heka from Whangarei Girls’ High School has created her own cause, Children Against Poverty.

    She has started petitions calling for free healthy school lunches, free healthcare for all children including prescription costs and warrants of fitness on all rental houses.

    Jazmine has also written a children’s charter based on the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child. ”

    Refer link:

    This young women should be doing Paula Bennett’s job relating to Child Poverty.

    Pokies should be banned they have been proven to be socially (that word again we’ve been brainwashed to believe equates to communism) destructive as is smoking.

  12. johnm 12

    Re comment above when using link look to the right under leader headlines and select “girl with a mission”

  13. Craig Glen Eden 13

    True Dylan, personally I am sick of the so called Moral excuses for not doing what is moral. What is immoral is when a society has the ability to feed its kids but dosnt. Obviously we all have both personal and civic responsibilities. So what should the moral do when the minority dont meet their responsibility to feed their kids either through not having the ability to or through personal addiction?

    We must feed the kids IMO, Paula Bennett and National you are a disgrace.

    For those who say” OH but it will encourage others not to feed their kids” really thats your answer, you moral response for letting children go hungry?Is that what you are going to say when you face your moral Saviour?

  14. randal 14

    Nashnil dont have any values.
    only naked venal desires and they will do anything for more money so they can externally reference themselves against any ‘other’ by the quantity of goods they have amassed and the expensive resorts they have been to and the hotels they have stayed in.
    crummy I know but that is the way of the world at the moment and the tories love it because they control it.

  15. Hateatea 15

    Once upon a time there was a programme called Maatua Whangai. It was based on community people, facilitated by a core group of social workers, who  went to families with an issue / issues and worked alongside them to make changes. For example, arriving at 7.30am to help a parent struggling to juggle the needs of 5 young children, getting them dressed, fed, school lunches and books in bags and off to school, helping with budgeting, basic cooking from scratch or whatever.

    The programme kept the children and their families from becoming negative statistics and that didn’t necessarily sit well with those whose employment depended on negative statistics rather than positive outcomes. It also became victims of charges of ‘separatism’ etc, at least that is my memory of that time.

    There are things that properly resourced flaxroots organisations could do well but it doesn’t fit with some bureaucrats idea of how to ‘fix’ things.

    Hats off to Te Aupouri Trust. Your Social Worker in Schools workers identified the issues, saw a solution that would make a difference and implemented it. Bah humbug to the Grinch who came along and threatened them with contract cancellation. That is an ubuse of power (no matter how legitimate). A better solution would have been to help Te Aupouri to source the funding from an alternative source and give them an award for  actually making a difference 

  16. foreign waka 16

    The reaction from Mike Sabin leaves me gobsmacked. What a small vindictive mind. Is he trying to tell the constituency that budget surpluses (which are still on target) are more important than the health of the very people in his electorate? Is NZ still a democracy where people have a go for a fair dinktum?

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