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Outsourcing Compassion

Written By: - Date published: 3:41 pm, September 1st, 2017 - 58 comments
Categories: accountability, benefits, capitalism, Economy, Environment, welfare - Tags:

Last night Metiria Turei spoke to an audience at Christchurch’s Cardboard Cathedral. The event was live streamed online. She was passionate and informative.

She explained the Greens poverty policy and reaffirmed that the Greens have always had a strong commitment to Social Justice. This is reflected in their Charter and their Values.

Social Responsibility:

Unlimited material growth is impossible. Therefore the key to social responsibility is the just distribution of social and natural resources, both locally and globally.

Kawenga Papori

Kihai nga rawa o te ao e tipu haere tonu. Waihoki, ko te mea nui ke ko te kawenga papori, e whiwhi ai tena ki ona tikanga ano ki era rawa, ki te wa kainga nei, ki tawahi ranei o te ao.

She read from letters she has received outlining appalling treatment at the hands of WINZ. She told more of her own story. Some of what she spoke of mortified me.

We are past tinkering around the edges of our safety net system for the vulnerable. The nets is in tatters. All that remains are a couple of strands of rope used to lash those unfortunate enough to need help.

Suicide

Metiria Turei: How many people on a benefit have committed suicide in the last 5 years?

Hon ANNE TOLLEY: I do not believe that the MSD has ever collected those sorts of statistics.“

For more on this exchange read here   

Turei is describing a system that is beyond broken. It appears designed to wear people down, not support them to rebuild their lives.

We all make mistakes but not everyone has families who love them and who have the resources to help us through it. When the State provides for our most vulnerable they represent us, and our views toward those vulnerable. When this is passed over to outside agencies/businesses we are abdicating our responsibility to one another. We create a divide between those who have and those who do not. We put up an invisible wall so the comfortable do not have to see the suffering. We take notice when the poor rob us, beat us, or violate our comfort and then we act. With anger, derision, and revenge. That is why Law and order populist electioneering works.

There is little or no discussion of incomes during this election. English crowed that wages had increased more than inflation but ignored that housing costs are not included in the inflation measures. Until base incomes go up everything else is throwing a pebble in the pond and hoping to empty it.

When profits are down, or times hard, wages do not rise. It turns out that in some businesses in the good times you do not get a wage rise either. You need to be grateful you still have a job

Kirk Hope, chief executive of BusinessNZ, said the increase in company profits meant jobs were more secure.

360 years ago this was written about the poor of Britain

“… the sufferings of the poor are indeed less observed than their misdeeds; not indeed from any want of compassion, but because they are less known; and this is the reason why they are so often mentioned with abhorrence and so seldom with pity… They starve and freeze and rot among themselves, but they beg, steal and rob among their betters.” Hanoverian London, George

The Greens propose to attack poverty at its source.

  • Increase all core benefits by 20 percent
  • Increase the amount people can earn before their benefit is cut
  • Increase the value of Working For Families for all families
  • Create a Working For Families Children’s Credit of $72 a week
  • Remove financial penalties and excessive sanctions for people receiving benefits
  • Reduce the bottom tax rate from 10.5 percent to 9 percent on income under $14,000
  • Introduce a new top tax rate of 40 percent on income over $150,000 per year.
  • Raise the minimum wage to $17.75 in the first year and keep raising it until it’s 66 percent of the average wage.

The National Party appear to still deny the existence of poverty so do not address it in any detail. New Zealand  First lacks detail and appears aspirational in nature rather than specific. Labour has a Families Package . 

The Greens Policy is very specific. We all have the right to thrive not just survive.

So please, listen to Turei’s speech and her answers to questions from the floor, and you can no longer claim ignorance of the suffering going on in your city or town. What you choose to do with your knowledge…

58 comments on “Outsourcing Compassion”

  1. Ant 1

    Whilst we continue to be self-referencing (English: “which meatworks employee wouldn’t like $1000 extra in his pocket”?) we deny that the poverty in our midst is the poverty of all of us. Steps to levelling the playing fields not only alleviate the stricken but lift the tone of our entire country. Wealth has a myriad valid faces outside the bank balances of the few.

    Delighted the progress of Labour and the resurgence of the Greens (who have my vote).

    • tracey 1.1

      You and me both.

    • stever 1.2

      Interesting that in the section of Checkpoint this evening when John C was in Ngaruawahia and Horotiu, at least one person he interviewed, whose husband works for Affco at Horotiu, said that the $1000 BE is promising was tempting, though at $20 a week not that tempting, she would rather people who needed it more than her family did were helped.

      As JC said “Bad news for BE” 🙂

      In fact that was the message from EVERYONE in those communities!

      Checkpoint also rang Talley, who owns Affco….and he wouldn’t even allow the question to be put, let alone answer it.

      Brilliant 🙂

      There’s no link to that part of the programme yet, but I hope they do one…it was heart-warming stuff!

      Edit: the link is there now http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/checkpoint/audio/201857020/more-money-or-more-social-spending-kiwis-have-their-say

    • Sans Cle 1.3

      English also said Labour were taking it (the $1,000) from them. I mean what the actual ….? If they don’t have the tax cut yet, how can it be taken away? Spin defies logic.

    • Tax cuts. The Right love to go on about tax cuts.

      Yet , the fact is , on a current low wage P.A.Y.E income , HOW CAN a small percentage tax cut per the dollar beat an extra dollar or two per hour ?

      Tax cuts are only a token gesture at best.

      Oh yes , … tax cuts are good when you are a high income earner , because proportionately that money stack will see a significant difference. Same with the interest paid when that cool million is sitting in a bank , – OR , invested and gaining dividends of some sort.

      Besides the fact that the same high income earners salary is WAY ABOVE the rate of inflation.

      CONTRAST THAT , … with the low wage earner on the minimum wage and EVERY last dollar counts. Where every dollar is allocated towards bills and the basics needed for survival before the pay packet even finds its way to the workers hands. So much so , – that if anything were to happen to that more – than – a – decade old vehicle in failing to get a warrant , it creates a crisis. And if children become sick , a trip to the doctors can mean the difference between heating the home or paying the rent on time.

      THAT ,… is how critical thousands of New Zealanders lives are at present.

      THAT IS NOT A DEFINITION of a successful economy. It is , … however a graphic illustration of the grim reality’s of modern life for tens of thousands of New Zealanders currently living under a political ideology designed for the few ,- not the many.

      And while National , ACT ,… or any other far Right wing ideologically led political party or movement may crow about how successful the economy is ,- and using biased economists reports that say the same , – THERE CAN BE NO SUCCESS as long as peoples wages languish way below or even at the point of inflation.

      There can be no success as long as family’s sleep in cars because they cannot afford rents. There can be no success as long as hundreds of children are admitted to hospital each year ( and die – primarily from pneumonia – or are affected by bronchiostasis due to repeated lung infections which permanently scars lung tissue / 350 per year – and health officials describe these as ‘ Third World ‘ diseases… ) because their parents cannot afford to heat their homes. There can be no success as long as people on average wages cannot afford to buy a house because of an out of control property market and wages cant keep up.

      That is not success, – that is failure. Worse yet , it is a deliberate failure designed to create a large pool of working poor to enable an increase of profit for the few only. And that is the worst aspect of this deception. That it is deliberate.

      There is absolutely no point in quoting some economists opinion on a country’s economic health that says it is robust and growing while any of these and more chronic conditions exist year in , year out. Such opinions should lead only to the derisive mocking of the one who offered it.

      I have read both Labour , NZ First and the Greens are talking of raising the minimum wage to $20.00 per hour. And even that is now just barely enough to confidently pay for the costs of living in an economy that some boast is doing so well. Yet that is something that should have occurred at least a decade ago to stave off the extreme levels of poverty now seen in this country in the year 2017.

      Too little , too late from National.

      Bill English’s ambitious dream of the South Pacific low waged economy with its pool of compliant peasant workers to generate huge profits for the oligarchs is over.

      We will not miss him or National.

      • Ant 1.4.1

        Stirring, accurate, compelling. +1000

      • The Other Mike 1.4.2

        What you said! Nice summation. What is it about these wingers banging on abour a Rock Star Economy – when so many are not being lifted by this rising tide of wealth? Others wasnt to see a rise in productivity to ‘justify’ a living wage. No empath, intelllectuall dishonest… the list goes on.

        We MUST have progressive policies to deal with the wreckage of the last 9 years. Now.

      • Janet 1.4.3

        “That is not success, – that is failure. Worse yet , it is a deliberate failure designed to create a large pool of working poor to enable an increase of profit for the few only. And that is the worst aspect of this deception. That it is deliberate.”

        My thoughts exactly too!

    • NZJester 1.5

      That money will not stay in their pockets long anyway as he will have some way to claw it back from the working man with only the high wage earners coming off better off.
      Remember that time when he was finance minister and gave everyone a tax cut and then clawed it all back and more by increasing G.S.T.
      That tax swap left the average wage earner worse off at the end of the month as the extra money in their wage packets did not cover the increase in the basic cost of living brought about by the G.S.T rise.

  2. Carolyn_nth 2

    Thanks, Tracey.

    Good quote showing some haven’t progressed in attitudes to the poor over centuries.

    Onya Turei, Davidson, and the GP.

  3. Siobhan 3

    As of 2015 the lowest 20 percent of earners spent 54 percent of their income on housing. I suspect that figure is growing.
    All the increases in the world are not going to help if they are channeled directly into the landlords pockets.
    Leaving life time renters at the mercy of the market is a ticking time bomb for our social cohesion. Even for those missing the compassion gene..its a massive cost to the tax payer in accommodation subsidies.
    We either accept this as a reality…or we engage in mass building of State Owned housing allocated to those on lowish incomes who clearly cannot call $500,000 affordable, and who wish to apply for ‘life time’ (5/10/20 year) negotiable leases.
    I’ll be voting this year, but in the future I’ll be voting with some enthusiasm for the Party that deals with this issue.

    • tracey 3.1

      Green Party olans large state owned “for life” housing projects

      • Siobhan 3.1.1

        Thats a great policy Tracy, and I’m all for it.
        But rent-to-buy agreements that last 30 years are a difficult thing to agree to for many ‘families’ who are hardly guaranteed to be working in the same job, same neighborhood, for any length of time. I mean how many home owners these days can commit to owning the same house for 30 years?
        I’m talking about the security of 5/10/15 year rentals that are needed at different stages in an individual/families life.

    • Macro 3.2

      State rentals need to return to income based rental. That was the original way that rent was calculated for state tenants. National (as they always do) stuffed that up and introduced Market based rents. Labour should have (when they had the power) overturned that and returned them to income based. However they propped up the now iniquitous system with subsidies. These however, are never enough, and of course with the run down of state housing numbers by National, private landlords “take up the slack” and skim the cream off – funded in large part by subsidies from the tax payer.
      By firstly building up our social housing stock and returning rentals to levels determined by the tenants ability to pay, this would alleviate pressure on household incomes and bring about a much needed reduction of overall housing costs both in the state provided sector and in the private rental sector. As private landlords would see their profit margins erode, they would move out of this sector releasing more housing rather than investment, and a reduction of prices in an over inflated housing market.

  4. Sans Cle 4

    Nice post Tracey. The country needs investment in people, not roads.
    ….and serious funding given to mental health.

    • tracey 4.1

      Thanks. The Greens policies, are, on the whole, very specific about what and how. I realise how few people who criticise them, have read them. I have read Labour’s. Gritted my teeth through National’s and chuckled yesterday at NZF desire to return to the mythically halcyon days of 1950.

  5. UncookedSelachimorpha 5

    This post is bang on. Happy to see those good Green policies.

  6. The Real Matthew 6

    Green Party policy would entrap people in the benefits and create massive division in our society between those who work and those who don’t.

    By removing obligations the Green Party would create a benefit for life with no requirement to attend job interviews or do anything to contribute to society. Whilst this will be celebrated by the ferals in our society it is not to their long-term interests. This type of approach traps people on a benefit lifestyle, taking away their ability to contribute to society.

    Why would anyone work in such a society?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 6.1

      would entrap people in the benefits and create massive division

      Would it? You can articulate the rhetoric and I doubt you can support it with evidence.

      cockroaches“…ferals…”

      Thanks for displaying your character.

    • DSpare 6.2

      The Real Matthew
      Are you serious, or is this a comedy portrayal of how an total greedhead would react to poverty? I really can’t tell.

      Green Party policy would… create massive division in our society between those who work and those who don’t.

      Did the Greens also invent a time machine, and is their policy to travel into the past to enact these policies retrospectively? Because; and I realise this may be a shock to you given how clueless you (or your comic persona) appear to be, these massive divisions in our society already exist. Though it is more between; those who have job security (our lucrative executive status), and; those who can be fired on a whim from their one hour a week jobs, as well as the sick, and unemployed. But hey; they are all just “ferals” to you, not real people at all.

      Did you even read the OP and watch Turei’s talk before commenting?

    • Too many generalizations and assumptions .

      That is just a typical far right wing broad term scaremongering tactic to justify keeping people poor and children of those people dying in our hospitals.

      What would we rather have?

      However, by offering benefits that kept people from third world conditions, AND raising the minimum wage to something realistic , then we might have something.

      Its called a truly ,… PROSPEROUS SOCIETY .

      And we could stand tall and say that proudly without guile.

    • Macro 6.4

      Oh! we can’t have poor people leaving a life now can we Matthew! Good heavens! What is the world coming to. They would only waste it. They don’t know how to handle money such as people like you. And as for the kids… well it’s their fault for having such poor parent(s). They need to grow and get a job. (if they can find one.)

    • AB 6.5

      “Why would anyone work in such a society?”
      You have a very poor opinion of people. People naturally want to work, provided:
      a.) work is under their own control, particularly in terms of when and how they work
      b.) they are not subject to random, irrational and usually counter-productive orders from an unaccountable hierarchy
      c.) a reasonable proportion of the work is enjoyable. People who enjoy their work actually work the hardest of all
      d.) they believe something useful is produced, they get to collaborate with others in producing it and their contribution is acknowledged

      This is why the UBI is such a potentially interesting idea – it opens up the possibility of work as something other than exploitative domination.

    • lloyd 6.6

      The ‘real’ Matthew – Guess you are a feral – living on the run, uncontrolled and a hazard to society in general. I assume you live by theft.
      I guess also that you haven’t realised that superannuation is the exact benefit you are describing. Are all the old members of New Zealand society feral? I would suggest not. Is superannuation not in the interest of the oldies? Do you know something about National cutting superannuation if they are re-elected? Do old people not continue contributing to society? Why is anyone over 65 working for a wage? Surely the superannuation is enough for anyone to put up their feet instead of going to work?

    • tracey 6.7

      Your argument assumes there are not currently huge divisions. There are. Most people on unemployment are looking for work. The disabled cannot work again. Those on assistance are, like the employed, largely loving parents without enough money so they do desperate things like take shift work… leaving their children alone.

      The current system traps and punishes them. You need to try being unemployed, moving to otago for a few months of fruit picking and when it ends trying to get back on support.

      Thanks for your “feral” post though. It proves my point

    • AsleepWhileWalking 6.8

      We actually have benefit entrapment now because you can’t get ahead without either significant assets or high income.

      Middle class are now beneficiaries due to high accommodation costs, a look of bewilderment on their face as they realise despite working FT they need to apply to Work and Income for assistance.

      “Market rate” rents mean market rate + 2 billion in subsidies.

    • popexplosion 6.9

      Indeed, why would anyone work, why do they now, buy luxuries, give their kids a bigger birthday party, start a business cheaper since borrowing and pay rent keepers a private enforced tax care of the neolibs. UBI now, sack WINZ staff, cheaper more efficient tax benefit system. As we have 50% are already on some kind of govt welfare, working for families, pensions… …somehow if poor have more money it’s bad for the economy, but tax cuts for wealthy people is good. It’s like a blinding faith in stupid has taken hold of those who think they are economic savants. real Matthew, real moron.

  7. One Anonymous Bloke 7

    Either human rights are universal, or they’re conditional.

    Can I get some support for the Conditional Declaration of Human Rights? Anyone?

  8. Incognito 8

    We are past tinkering around the edges of our safety net system for the vulnerable. The nets is in tatters.[sic]

    Agreed!

    Our society is, by design and consequence, an enormous and complex tightly-regulated ‘bean machine’. From conception till death people move through various stages of life collecting carefully designed but often insidious labels and ending up in certain carefully categorised boxes.

    The so-called ‘safety net’ is more like a trapping net because labels stick and boxes are hard to escape. Some (too many) people fall outside boxes altogether and are more or less given up on and thus ‘lost’; their offspring will find the rules of the game stacked against them from the outset.

    This is what we refer to as “the system” or status quo. It is engrained in all our social, economic, and political structures and it literally is institutionalised.

    It is reflected in our attitudes (compassion), perceptions and our so-called ‘values’.

    Metiria Turei is one of the few people who not only realise the sheer scale of the problem but who also speak out and really try to change it.

  9. Ian 9

    Turei should ask the question ” How many farmers have committed suicide over the last 5 years,and how many does she think will kill themselves over the next 5 years ?
    The discrimination and hatred against farmers the left is using in this election campaign to garner votes from the ignorant masses is vial and disgusting. Farmers are human beings too ,beleive it or not.

    • weka 9.2

      The problem you have there is that farmers still support Federated Farmers, either actively or passively, and Federated Farmers are working against the interests of NZers. Until that changes, farmers are going to get caught up in the crossfire. Better to pick a side.

      Having a go at Turei, who belongs to a party that is pro-farmers doing the right things, is both churlish in the context of a discussion about poverty and welfare, and also another example of picking the wrong side. There are plenty of us that value farming and ending poverty, so why not ally with us instead?

      • Ian 9.2.1

        So it doesn’t worry you that your open warfare against farmers is getting into farmers heads and some are killing themselves as a consequence ?
        I know a lot of farmers and all of them despise turei because she is a hippocrit.
        It’s been a few years since I had to deal with messy suicide attempts and worse ,and you priks need to back off farmers. You have the votes now,just back off.

        [link to 3 examples of where I am in open warfare against farmers or retract your claim about me or cop a ban. It’s not acceptable here to make shit up about authors or their views.

        Read the site Policy and take note of the bits about not making shit up generally that you can’t back up (this applies to your claim below about Russell Norman as well).

        Many people here will have had people close to them either kill themselves or attempt suicide, myself included. Some will have attempted themselves. Using suicide as a tool to attack your perceived political opponents is stepping over the line as far as this moderator is concerned. Please take more care in how you comment.

        People can say a lot of things here, but there are limits. The discussion here tends to be robust debate, so I suggest you figure out soon how to present your thoughts in ways that aren’t just about throwing lots of nasty and frankly stupid accusations around. At the moment you look like an outright troll. Up your game. – weka]

        • Muttonbird 9.2.1.1

          What a complete arsehole you are to suggest that Green policy is responsible for farmers suicide stats.

          • Ian 9.2.1.1.1

            Calling me an arsehole won’t get you off the hook. I listened to russel norman and gary moore on radio live last week and gary to his credit was relatively sane,but norman wants to destroy 11000 rural businesses . The venom and hatred towards farmers on that “show ” would have pushed a few more over the top if they were listening.
            Labour hates farmers too , so it is interesting times.

        • Incognito 9.2.1.2

          Paul Verhaeghe, a professor of clinical psychology and psychoanalysis, regards neoliberalism as a major cause of psychological disorders and mental illness. Farmers are as vulnerable as beneficiaries and it is about time that we realise that we are in this together and need to work together to help each other; no us vs. them anymore.

        • tracey 9.2.1.3

          Fatmers cannot be killing themselves cos of Labour. Nats have been in govt for 9 years.

        • Ian 9.2.1.4

          The comments were not directed at you personally but more as a commentary of what is happening right now in this election campaign.The green party and Greenpeace have repeated ad nauseum through a well organised anti dairying campaign ,via all forms of media that They want to see dairy farming drastically reduced. The water tax and now a tax on nitrate leaching will result in business failure for many.Those 2 taxes alone would wipe out any profit I am likely to make over the next 3 years.
          Just saying that many dairy farmers are feeling a bit glum about all the negativity and down right nastyness being shown on many forums at the moment.
          There have been massive improvements made on the vast majority of farms over the last 10 years and we get virtually no recognition .
          On our farm we have all the riparians well planted,have highly efficient irrigation systems monitoring soil moisture status so we don’t waste water,use GPS proof of placement for all fertiliser applications,Use minimum tillage,stand off stock in heavy rain , have a 100 % compliant effluent disposal system,are fully compliant with all groundwater concents and so on.
          We have 2 nutrient budgets done annually ,have a comprehensive environment plan and will be subject to an environmental audit in a few months.
          We are also subject to Ecan plan change 2 ,which will require drastic changes to the way we farm.
          Just saying that it is not easy to farm ,let alone having politicians trying to put you out of business to whip up the current animosity being shown to dairy farmers so they can keep their cosy jobs in Wellington.

          [the authors on this blog aren’t Greenpeace nor the Green Party and the blog itself clearly isn’t. Whatever politics you want to argue about farming, you started this subthread attacking people here and saying they were causing farmers to commit suicide. My original moderation stands, I’d suggest rereading it carefully and take it as a warning to substantially up your game on a number of levels.

          Tracey, the author of this post, has now also asked you to take your comments on farming to Open Mike. – weka]

          • Graeme 9.2.1.4.1

            Ian, read this, and the links in it, it’s reporting OECD data produced by Simon Upton. It explains why user charges for water are the best solution to the problem.

            https://www.newsroom.co.nz/2017/09/02/45811/rod-oram-a-trickle-of-problems-for-a-big-problem

            It’s not just a few politicians. By most polls, especially one from Water NZ, it’s about 70% of the population who have had enough of our environment being trashed for the profit of a few. And I don’t think those few are farmers like yourself, farmers are just the poor suckers they have got to carry the financial risk for their profit. And everyone carries the environmental risk. It is this frustration that is getting represented by politicians.

            Unfortunately for New Zealand the answer isn’t, and never really was, more cows, especially in Canterbury.

            • Ian 9.2.1.4.1.1

              I farm in Canterbury and the issue we are currently dealing with is high nitrates in groundwater.The local rivers are swimmable but most are glacier fed and are too cold.
              There is a trial going on south of Ashburton called managed aquifer recharge.With the old inefficient flood irrigation systems runoff effectively seeped into the groundwater diluting nitrates as a consequence.
              Precision agriculture now deliverswater where it is needed and there is very little seepage to groundwater.
              Science will deliver solutions to lots of these issues ,but it has taken 150 years to get where we are today ,so don’t expect miracles overnight.
              The MAR trial early results are showing massive falls in nitrate levels and a large lift in static water levels. A similar trial is being undertaken on the Poverty Bay flats ,using Waipoa water to recharge the Makauri aquifer.
              Unfortunately the anti irrigation /dairy lobby has been very good with their propoganda. If the facts were presented to the 70 %,that figure would be closer to 20 %.
              Farmers don’t sell what we are doing that well. Most are very busy people. Over the last 6 weeks calving has been in full swing and most are too tired and buggered to get involved on a blog like this to counter the constant propoganda. It does your head in !

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment is out to get you.

                The only propaganda I see around here is yours: unsupported allegations of hatred that you back down from the instant you’re challenged with facts. Maybe grow a spine.

                • Ian

                  Take a look at comments on stuff on any of their anti farming hit jobs.If you havnt noticedhave you thought about getting someone to take youto spec savers.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Oh right, so first it was Weka – you backed down from that pretty quick – then Russel Norman, and you still haven’t produced one damn thing to support that defamatory, cowardly allegation, now it’s Fairfax Media employees and anonymous Stuff commenters.

                    You want to see who’s got a nasty little smear campaign going on? Take a look in the mirror.

                  • tracey

                    You have taken a thread about systematic punishment of the vulnerable and moved it to a discussion of farmer hardship. You did this with a beligerent attitude that suggested we cannot care for both and a seeming disregard of the direct and indirect ways taxpayers assist farmers. The numbers who deride and devalue farmers is a far smaller group than those who treat beneficiaries with disdain. Farmers are part of the community too and indeed by your reasoning some whose businesses collapse may end up as beneficiaries. How will you treat them?

                    If you wish to continue your assertion that Farmers are worse off in NZ than beneficiaries please take it to Open Mike.

              • tracey

                Which part of Canterbury and what are you farming?

                Do you agree that converting to Dairy in drought prone areas such as North Canterbury is foolhardy given that Dairy requires water to keep the cows in grass? Do you think that those farmers ought to have factored in the consequence when costing their conversion and not just have thought they can take excesses from waterways already prone to hardship cos of drought?

          • One Anonymous Bloke 9.2.1.4.2

            The water tax and now a tax on nitrate leaching will result in business failure…

            That’s what you people said about Lab5’s tax increases. It didn’t happen.

            Do we need to read The Little Boy Who Cried “Wolf!”, or perhaps Chicken Little is more appropriate.

            In short, the “hatred” you assert does not exist (still nothing to back up that assertion, I note), the consequences you imagine are fanciful at best, and farming will not become suddenly unviable if we reduce the dairy herd.

            Oh, and by the way, the misogynist vitriol directed at Helen Clark when Parliament passed the ETS leaves you no moral high ground to whinge from. Just sayin’.

          • weka 9.2.1.4.3

            see moderation note above.

    • tracey 9.3

      Because we cannot care about about more than one group at a time?. Farmers are being and have been well supported.

  10. Descendant Of Sssmith 10

    I would suggest many farmers are under pressure because they are farming marginal land that has higher cost inputs – such as expensive irrigation, because borrowing is too high due to farm land values being too high, and because some have put their long term viable farms at risk by investing in the dairy boom – in some cases out of their district into the expansions in Canterbury.

    The dairying boom that many have jumped on is a typical boom / bust scenario.

    There’s risk of over production and threats from artificial milk and the Chinese stock-piling milk powder then reducing demand.

    The National government has pumped up dairy farming and milk powder production as New Zealand’s big saviour which isn’t helping. It’s all to easy to believe that propaganda and get sucked into believing everyone is agin you.

    Social media means all of us are more visible and vulnerable. Anyone with a phone can post pictures of cows in rivers or me drunk at a party. Some employers won’t employ me cause of their trolling of social media to find that pic and the public will think less of farmers cause their cattle are shitting in the river. Information such as nitrate levels are ever more publicly available that might have previously only been known by a few boffins.

    The world has changed and farmers aren’t immune from that any more
    than city folk are.

    None of those aspects are the responsibility of the greens in anyway shape or form.

    As people have noted its not just farmers committing suicide – I’ve had four family / friends/ acquaintances do this in the last two weeks and seven this year alone.

    We are all seeing increases and it ain’t gonna be fixed by continuing down the path we are going.

    • tracey 10.1

      Yes. In some instances we are asking those who chased the money by converting to dairy to pay back the damages.

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