web analytics

Poverty Watch 45

Written By: - Date published: 8:14 am, August 24th, 2013 - 20 comments
Categories: national, poverty - Tags:

Just a quick Poverty Watch this week, on Auckland’s beggar ban. Here’s the short version:

Auckland’s begging ban bylaw passes

Beggars who are deemed intimidating or causing a nuisance will be banished from Auckland’s streets under a bylaw, passed today by Auckland Council.

There has been very little public debate on the issue. This Brian Rudman column stands out:

Beggars need help, not a kicking

Five years ago, right-wing Auckland City councillor Paul Goldsmith – now a National list MP – was “gravely concerned with the prevalence of rough sleepers in Auckland City” and called for new laws that allowed police “to do their job – picking people up and moving them somewhere else”.

This week, left-wing Auckland Councillor Mike Lee is chairing a bylaw committee contemplating outlawing beggars causing “a nuisance”.

The conundrum, both five years ago and now, is, “and then what?” Under the Local Government Act, defiers of city bylaws can be fined up to $20,000. But chances are, a beggar doesn’t have the money for a hamburger, let alone a fine. Which leaves the lock-up. But history suggests that doesn’t work either. …

The beggars are not necessarily homeless, or addicts or criminals. But sitting out on the cold pavement in mid-winter, with a handwritten sign and a cap, is surely a hint to a caring community to offer the person a helping hand, not a kick in the backside.

Unfortunately Rudman’s compassion is not shared by the majority of The Herald’s selfish readership:

At 1.30pm, a poll on nzherald.co.nz found 69 per cent were in favour of a ban, with 22 per cent against and 9 per cent unsure.

So now the ban is in place. What sort of country are we, that when seeing a social problem we want to sweep it under the carpet instead of understanding and fixing the cause? Auckland is going to “move” the beggars on, but Rudman’s question remains. Then what?


Here’s the standard footnote. Poverty (and inequality) were falling (albeit too slowly) under the last Labour government.   Now they are on the rise again, in fact a Waikato University professor says that poverty is our biggest growth industry.

Before the last election Labour called for a cross party working group on poverty. Key turned the offer down.  Report after report after report has condemned the rate of poverty in this country, and called on the government to act. Meanwhile 40,000 kids are fed by charities and up to 80,000 are going to school hungry. National has responded with complete denial of the issues, saying that the government is already doing enough to help families feed their kids. Organisations working with the poor say that Key is in poverty ‘la la land’.

The Nats refuse to even measure the problem (though they certainly believe in measurement and goals when it suits them to bash beneficiaries). In a 2012 summary of the government’s targets and goals John Armstrong wrote: “Glaringly absent is a target for reducing child poverty”…

The costs of child poverty are in the range of $6-8 Billion per year, but the Nats refuse to spend the $2 Billion that would be needed to really make a difference. Even in purely economic terms National’s attitude makes no sense.

20 comments on “Poverty Watch 45 ”

  1. rosy 1

    Where is the “somewhere else” that Goldsmith speaks of?

  2. tracey 2

    rosy

    i propose epsom.

  3. srylands 3

    We should at the very least discourage begging.

    Give everyone a guaranteed minimum income of $15,000 per year. No WINZ, work tests, no abatement.

  4. beGone Craven SpyBill leopard 4

    It would be altogether better for our society to have the destitution that is created by the craven economic policies we vote for in our faces. This might encourage us to see that there is something seriously wrong. Keeping those eyes tight shut makes for not much chance of improvement.

    This really is a disgusting move.

  5. tracey 5

    do we actually encouragr begging?

    i just dont get how seemingly intelligent people prose a ban and to move them on without the obvious next bit… to where.

    it smacks of ” get them out of my line of vision, it really wrecks things to be reminded and makes the house look messy.

    its not a solution except to some peoples desire to delude themselves about the world they live in and allow them to continue believing tgat poverty doesnr exist in nz.

    • srylands 5.1

      “i just dont get how seemingly intelligent people prose a ban and to move them on without the obvious next bit… to where.”

      Is there any evidence that most of them are homeless? If not, the answer is “go home”

  6. AsleepWhileWalking 6

    Shouldn’t we be banning poverty?

  7. tracey 7

    Is there evidence they have homes to go to or why they consider they need to beg

  8. Mary 8

    It’s going to be interesting how the bylaw will be enforced. Will a person who’s merely sitting on the pavement with a sign and bucket but well out of everybody’s way be regarded as “intimidating” or a “nuisance”? I suspect that this intimidation/nuisance threshold has been put in place merely as an attempt to protect against NZBORA claims but that the intention is to use the bylaw to move everyone along who some Queen St shopkeeper doesn’t like the look of. My prediction is that the courts will very quickly put the brakes on the bylaw being used to do this. The test is very close to disorderly behaviour (begging the question why it’s needed in the first place) which requires a little bit more than sitting quietly in a corner with your cap out. But then Auckland Council knew that if they banned all begging outright the courts would knock it straight out as preventing freedom of expression under NZRORA, and probably a handful of other sections of that Act, too. The upshot is that after a court case or two the bylaw will be useless.

    • xtasy 8.1

      Mary – I would not put it past this government, to make a rushed move, to amend the Bora, to basically take out those parts that they dislike, and that may hinder them bringing in more laws that are discriminatory and take away people’s rights. With only just over a year to the next elections, they may push it through under urgency, before we may have time to even send in submissions.

      What is happening to this constitution debate and review by the way? Or has that been put into the too difficult drawer as well?

      • Mary 8.1.1

        You may be right, xtasy. The response to the carers’ case was abysmal. Showed the true level of contempt this government has to human rights and NZBORA concerns. Legislating the remedy was bad enough although not surprising. What was definitely telling was preventing Part 1A challenges to that new legislation when the only thing at stake when it’s legislation is a declaration of inconsistency with NZBORA, that’s it. Locking the remedy up in legislation protected government against having to do anything further, but then went further to stop even a declaration. Unbelievable. Utter contempt towards human rights and Bill of Rights protections.

  9. beGone Craven Spy Bill leopard 9

    Gee, I hope you leave ‘Ramonds’ spam up. What a brilliant example of the mechanisms of how we all are rattling down the road of bankruptcy.

    “This is to help you meet your financial obligations especially with the ongoing global financial crisis

    How could taking out more debt help “meet financial obligations”? What about the “financial obligation” of paying back that debt?

    What a load of bloody nonsense we are living under just now.

  10. xtasy 10

    Liquor ban area, beggar ban area, smoker ban area, poor person ban area, beneficiary ban area, poorly dressed ban area, wrong coloured ban area, free speech ban area, public eating ban area, and so the list is likely to be continued over coming years, in Auckland City, and possibly other urban centres as well.

    I smell a hint of fascism spreading, intolerance growing, divisions increasing, frictions increasing and a society being created, where the few “better off” will live in gated communities, and many others in ghettos, separated by fences, walls, barriers, and kept apart by private security personnel and police.

    Welcome to the future of Aoteaoroa NZ that is in losing it’s heart and soul.

    Certainly the “Heart of the City” in Auckland has got a totally new meaning now. Shame on those in Council who voted this in.

  11. Craig Y 11

    Next stop, Brazilian paramilitary style social cleansing? Incidentally, is this any different from the similar bigots who want to ban street sex work from Papatoetoe and Manukau? No, it isn’t. I oppose beggar bans, beneficiary bashing and the sinister street sex work ban promoted by New Zealand First MP Asenati Lole-Taylor, which will be highly destructive to transgender street sex workers health and perhaps lives. Which is also one reason why I’d not vote for Len Brown if I lived in Auckland.

    • xtasy 11.1

      Craig Y – while I am highly critical of Asenati LOL Taylor, and those supporting her, I think there is an issue with street prostitution and some minors getting involved. I do therefore not share your “libertarian” view on this, as I would rather see NO prostitution, as males and females should responsibly and voluntarily engage in sexual activities as mature persons, not treat this as a commodity, which is symptomatic of a capitalist society, where whatever activity is considered a “service delivery” and “service purchasing” arrangement.

      Would you want to turn other physical functions into commercial activities, to allow people to make profit from it, or a living for that sake, while it should just be part of mature, material living, also involving emotional and other aspects?

      I think that prostitution is degrading, and people should not even be forced into situations to engage in such. Any work should be free and dignified, and not involve compromises on emotional or other parts of human being. Prostitution is generally done by people who also suffer from addiction and various forms of exploitation, and that is not at all to be encouraged.

      As for transgender persons, why do they need to make a living to sell their bodies and whatever, should they not be allowed same rights and treatment, so they would be respected and accepted as ordinary fellow citizens, to participate in any more dignified and sound work or whatever other activities. This is a subject often abused, also by those thinking it is a “right” to be free to choose to do whatever, for gender equality. Why is there less male prostitution? Maybe because social norms favour males and give them more acceptable means and ways to earn an income?

      A rethink of your arguments is suggested, but that is up to you to look at and follow through.

  12. Ed 12

    Related to poverty, but not begging bans, I came across this site which has some interesting material
    http://povertyactionwaikato.org/archives.html

    The interface appears to be trying to make it as hard as possible to print out teh reports and read them, but it is worth persevering.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Put our most vulnerable first
    Don’t forget whānau and communities most at risk, says the Green Party, as the Government lays out its three-phase plan for Omicron. ...
    1 day ago
  • Boosting our immunity against Omicron
    With Omicron in the community, it’s vital we all do our bit to help to slow the spread, keep each other safe and protect our health system. One of the most important ways we can reduce the risk of Omicron is to get a booster dose as soon as we’re ...
    2 days ago
  • Equitable response to Omicron vital
    The Green Party supports the Government’s decision to move Aotearoa New Zealand to traffic light level Red at 11.59pm tonight, but says its success will depend on the support that is made available to the most vulnerable. ...
    5 days ago
  • How we’re preparing for Omicron
    As countries around the world experience Omicron outbreaks, we’re taking steps now to ensure we’re as prepared as possible and our communities are protected. ...
    1 week ago
  • What’s Labour achieved so far?
    Quite a bit! This Government was elected to take on the toughest issues facing Aotearoa – and that’s what we’re doing. Since the start of the pandemic, protecting lives and livelihoods has been a priority, but we’ve also made progress on long-term challenges, to deliver a future the next generation ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Tackling the big issues in 2022
    This year, keeping Kiwis safe from COVID will remain a key priority of the Government – but we’re also pushing ahead on some of New Zealand’s biggest long-term challenges. In 2022, we’re working to get more Kiwis into homes, reduce emissions, lift children out of poverty, and ensure people get ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Penguin rehab and native forest restoration get helping hand
    A long-running penguin rehab facility which has been hard hit by the tourism downturn, and work to restore native forest habitats in the Catlins are being supported through Jobs for Nature funding, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. Otago’s Penguin Place and The Hokonui Rūnanga Catlins Biodiversity Project will receive combined ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Resilient economy reflected in Crown accounts
    The Government’s financial accounts continue to reflect a resilient economy that has performed better than expected and puts the country in a strong position to respond to Omicron, Grant Robertson said. The Crown Accounts for the five months to the end of November were more favourable than forecast in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Government announces three phase public health response to Omicron
    Reducing isolation period for cases and close contacts at Phase Two and Three to 10 and seven days Definition of close contact required to isolate changes to household or household like contacts at Phase Three Increased use of rapid antigen tests with test to return policy put in place for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Ambassador to Thailand announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced the appointment of Jonathan Kings as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to Thailand. “Aotearoa New Zealand has a long-standing relationship with Thailand, celebrating the 65th anniversary of diplomatic representation between our countries in 2021. We also share much in common at regional and multilateral levels ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government’s Family Package continues to deliver for New Zealanders
    The Families Package helped around 330,000 families in its first year - more than half of all families with children in NZ These families received an estimated $55 per week more from Families Package payments in 2018/19 than in 2017/18, on average Families Package increases to the maximum possible Accommodation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand retains top spot in global anti-corruption rankings
    Justice Minister Kris Faafoi has welcomed news of New Zealand’s ongoing position as top in the world anti-corruption rankings. The 2021 Corruption Perceptions Index released by global anti-corruption organisation, Transparency International, ranks New Zealand first equal with Denmark and Finland, with a score of 88 out of 100. “This is an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Testing improvements see New Zealand well prepared for Omicron
    New Zealand’s PCR testing capacity can be increased by nearly 20,000 tests per day to deal with a surge in cases as part of our wider COVID-19 testing strategy, Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall said. “We have continued to adapt our public health response to safeguard the health ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • 5,000 portable air cleaners for schools on their way
    As schools are preparing to return, Education Minister Chris Hipkins has announced 5,000 air cleaners have been ordered for New Zealand schools. “As we know, along with vaccination, testing, good hygiene and physical distancing, good ventilation is important in minimising the risk of airborne transmission of the virus that causes ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand to move to Red from 11.59pm today
    All of New Zealand will move to the Red setting of the Covid Protection Framework (CPF) at 11:59pm today as Omicron is potentially now transmitting in the community, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says. “Nine COVID-19 cases reported yesterday in the Nelson/Marlborough region are now confirmed as Omicron, and a further ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Mandatory boosters for key workforces progressing well
    More than 5,785 (82%) border workers eligible for a booster vaccination at 6 months have received it so far, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. “That’s a really strong uptake considering we announced the requirement the week before Christmas, but we need to continue this momentum,” Chris Hipkins said. “We ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • NZ to move to Red
    Nine COVID-19 cases reported yesterday in the Nelson/Marlborough region have now been confirmed as the Omicron variant, and a further case from the same household was confirmed late yesterday. These cases are in a single family that flew to Auckland on 13 January to attend a wedding and other events ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand to provide further help for Tonga
    Aotearoa New Zealand is giving an additional $2 million in humanitarian funding for Tonga as the country recovers from a volcanic eruption and tsunami last weekend, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Defence Minister Peeni Henare said today. This brings Aotearoa New Zealand’s contribution to $3 million. “This support will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Quarterly benefit numbers show highest number of exits into work
    The Government’s strong focus on supporting more people into work is reflected in benefit figures released today which show a year-on-year fall of around 21,300 people receiving a main benefit in the December 2021 quarter, Minister for Social Development and Employment Carmel Sepuloni said. “Our response to COVID has helped ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Northland to move to Orange, NZ prepared for Omicron 
    Northland to move to Orange Rest of New Zealand stays at Orange in preparedness for Omicron All of New Zealand to move into Red in the event of Omicron community outbreak – no use of lockdowns Govt planning well advanced – new case management, close contact definition and testing rules ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • RNZAF C-130 Hercules flight departs for Tonga as Navy vessels draw nearer to Tongatapu
    A Royal New Zealand Air Force C-130 Hercules has departed Base Auckland Whenuapai for Tonga carrying aid supplies, as the New Zealand aid effort ramps up, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Defence Minister Peeni Henare said today. “The aircraft is carrying humanitarian aid and disaster relief supplies, including water ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand prepared to send support to Tonga
    New Zealand is ready to assist Tonga in its recovery from Saturday night’s undersea eruption and tsunami, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Defence Minister Peeni Henare said today. “Following the successful surveillance and reconnaissance flight of a New Zealand P-3K2 Orion on Monday, imagery and details have been sent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Aotearoa New Zealand stands ready to assist people of Tonga
    The thoughts of New Zealanders are with the people of Tonga following yesterday’s undersea volcanic eruption and subsequent tsunami waves, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta says. “Damage assessments are under way and New Zealand has formally offered to provide assistance to Tonga,” said Nanaia Mahuta. New Zealand has made an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Record high of new homes consented continues
    In the year ended November 2021, 48,522 new homes were consented, up 26 per cent from the November 2020 year. In November 2021, 4,688 new dwellings were consented. Auckland’s new homes consented numbers rose 25 per cent in the last year. Annual figures for the last nine months show more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Report trumpets scope for ice cream exports
    Latest research into our premium ice cream industry suggests exporters could find new buyers in valuable overseas markets as consumers increasingly look for tip top quality in food. Economic Development Minister Stuart Nash has released a new report for the Food and Beverage Information Project. The project is run by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Honouring the legacy of legendary kaumātua Muriwai Ihakara
    Associate Minister for Arts, Culture, and Heritage Kiri Allan expressed her great sadness and deepest condolences at the passing of esteemed kaumātua, Muriwai Ihakara. “Muriwai’s passing is not only a loss for the wider creative sector but for all of Aotearoa New Zealand. The country has lost a much beloved ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Have your say on proposed changes to make drinking water safer
    Associate Minister for the Environment Kiri Allan is urging all New Zealanders to give feedback on proposed changes aimed at making drinking water safer. “The current regulations are not fit for purpose and don’t offer enough protection, particularly for those whose water comes from smaller supplies,” Kiri Allan said. “This ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Planting the seeds for rewarding careers
    A boost in funding for a number of Jobs for Nature initiatives across Canterbury will provide sustainable employment opportunities for more than 70 people, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. “The six projects are diverse, ranging from establishing coastline trapping in Kaikōura, to setting up a native plant nursery, restoration planting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago