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Postcard from the “brighter” future

Written By: - Date published: 11:27 am, March 30th, 2016 - 31 comments
Categories: child welfare, class war, national, poverty, schools - Tags: , ,

In the news today:

Hunger hits middle-class students too

School staff are dipping into their own pockets to feed teenagers at a middle-class Auckland college, as growing numbers of students turn up hungry. The situation echoes survey findings from last year pointing to growing poverty in mid-decile schools.

Rutherford College principal Gary Moore … spends an average of $10 a week at the 1300-pupil decile 5 secondary school. Total contributions from teachers and other staff amount to about $8000 a year.

The public perception that only kids at low-decile schools went without food was wrong, he said. As house prices crept up, so did poverty.

Last year, a Principals’ Federation survey found some schools have up to 80 per cent of students arriving without food each week.

This postcard from the “brighter” future is part of an occasional series.

31 comments on “Postcard from the “brighter” future”

  1. Draco T Bastard 1

    But it’s all good as some rich prick got richer.

  2. Sabine 2

    I have been saying it for a long time now, what goes around comes around. And the feeling of being asset rich but money poor is everywhere, and so is the realization that selling ones property for a lot of money fixes nothing, as one is still to poor to buy another one.
    Paying mortgages/rent, electricity, water, rates, and food is almost now a luxury.

    Its not ‘them’ it’s all of us that is being squeezed until bloodless.

    • RedLogix 2.1

      So when Gareth Morgan designs a tax system that in the long run discourages people from becoming ‘asset rich, cash poor’ …. this isn’t such a bad thing maybe?

  3. TC 3

    Teachers are also funding class materials out of their own pockets.

  4. Aught3 4

    Don’t worry we are getting rid of the decile system. I believe that will solve all of your problems 😉

  5. shorts 5

    terrible article – like all schools in the country, the demographic make up of a schools roll is not exclusively from one “class” or income bracket thus the average school (regardless of decile rating) will be house those from upper, middle and lower middle class homes plus those from struggling homes too. So some students at most schools will come from families struggling to put food on the table and into lunch boxes

    Our kids go to a level 5 decile school, its hardly middle class

    Not sure where the writer got the perception of lower decile schools from either, but hey

    Glad the article manages to promote some charities… as opposed to suggest/demand the govt could step in

    • One Anonymous Bloke 5.1

      Since you hate government so much, fuck off and let someone ethical and competent do the job instead.

      • shorts 5.1.1


        I don’t hate the govt… I think this is a nationwide problem (inequality, poverty and hungry people)… and demands a nationwide solution, one not left to charities.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          My bad. Thought the remark about charities was sincere.

          • shorts

            it was but I also don’t see their work as any real long term solution, its a bandage only hence my belief that this is a problem that needs a central govt solution that will address the root of the problem 🙂

  6. Colonial Viper 6

    So, what’s the plan to help out families on $75K per annum? (Two full time working parents earning $18/hr. Hardly middle class).

    Working for families subsidy not enough now?

  7. Bearded Git 7

    I loved Hoskin’s rant on the decile system. He said something like “the decile system means that Decile 1 kids get $1000 more per year than Decile 10 kids. The system is clearly unfair/not working…”

    How it must stick in his and his Gnat mates craw that the system redistribute some income to poorer people (albeit not perfectly).

    This is the real reason the Gnats are changing it, with cost cutting a close second of course. Meanwhile private schools still retain their tax advantages.

  8. Bill 8

    I’ve said often enough that the dynamics of austerity and privatisation are geared to exclude an ever widening pool of people from that comfortable space where citizens of a society ‘get what they need’ from the market. Ever more people are going to be finding themselves struggling to get up that down escalator of attainment.

    If the ‘largely middle class free’ lead weights of yesteryear were racism, sexism and poverty, you can rest assured that huge swathes of the middle class are going to be wondering what’s hitting them when those lead weights of debt are fully in place.

    There are many reasons for people to get off that down escalator – and besides habit, maybe only one reason – fear, offering any incentive to work that body and soul ever harder against that indefatigable downward motion.

  9. Kelly-Ned 9

    Have a read of Jane Kelsey’s book: “The FIRE Economy”
    Rather ironic that it is actually the middle classes that are being hammered by an economy the focuses upon Finance, Insurance and Real Estate, and most aren’t even conscious of it!

  10. Rosie 10

    Totally not surprised to hear this. Wages have been stagnant for years. Costs have gone up, helped by that GST increase in 2009, and above all house prices and rentals have become almost unaffordable in cities. (Our mortgage sucks ups 50% of our income). Don’t forget those that have scrape enough together have to cover increasing insurance costs and some, because even roles in professional organisations are becoming more tenuous, feel compelled to take out income protection insurance (A racket that is no doubt covered in Jane Kelseys book FIRE, about the Finance, Insurance and Real Estate industries that we are burdened by).

    We’ve been on shakey ground for some time and this middle class/once were middle class debt n’ struggle buzz has been strangely absent from Te News.

    In wonder if in part it has something to do with this: (From the Principle of Rutherford College)

    “As house prices crept up, so did poverty.

    “Because Te Atatu is becoming more affluent the instinct is to think that the problem is not there. And I think that makes it even harder for the kids to put their hands up for help.”

    Perhaps there is a sense of shame in drawing attention to financial difficulty in the so called middle classes because we know there is far more hardship being suffered by the poor and working poor. A rare case of NZer’s showing some graciousness out of respect for those that end up dying of respiratory illness in their state house perhaps? I don’t know.

    So hard on these hungry teens (who by nature have huge appetites) whose did nothing to end up finding themselves in this situation.

  11. saveNZ 11

    If the left wants to get enough votes they need to care about the middle class and (even the so called rich who are not actually that rich with the cost of living so high in NZ). The left need to change the record on rich are bad and middle class are bad and the poor are deserving. Get away from the class and wealth system!!! One person’s idea of wealth is different from another. Someone living in Southland has a different life to someone is Auckland, but to win support the left has to offer something to them all.

    Life has moved on from Marxism and now for example 65% of Kiwis are land owners i.e. the Bourgeouisie and many people have Kiwi saver i.e. shares. So the left has to understand Marxism has worked and there has been a redistribution of wealth and assets. The problem is, under neoliberalism the opposite is happening and the redistribution of wealth is going in the opposite direction. Wealth is being appropriated not to the 1% but to the 0.001% and they do not have to pay tax on it due to complicated tax arrangements and schemes like trusts and corporations. And it is that redistribution the left need to target.

    • Rosie 11.1

      +1 saveNZ

    • AsleepWhileWalking 11.2

      Everything goes back to unaffordable rents.

    • Brendon Harre -Left wing Liberal 11.3

      SaveNZ I don’t want to criticise the general thrust of your argument. But 65% of kiwis are not property owners. This is a common misconception. 65% of houses are owner occupied but only 50% of adults (over the age of 15) live in a owner occupied home. This is because rentals are much more crowded than owner occupied homes. Of course even home owners may be struggling with mortgage slavery if they have bought recently -so as you say there is not many kiwis winning in this asset rich, income poor economy.

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