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Tales from the underbelly of John Key’s NZ

Written By: - Date published: 9:59 am, June 25th, 2014 - 114 comments
Categories: democratic participation, election 2014, greens, labour, mana-party, poverty - Tags:

How has it come this?  6 years under John Key’s watch, and the underbelly of the “rockstar economy” still remains in the shadows: too far from the front and centre of media and the government’s attention.  Too many stories of homelessness are still surfacing.

homeless

From the content presented in an article from a local east Auckland newspaper this morning, it looks like the latest stories, are only the tip on the iceberg: “Auckland’s hidden homeless” by Lauren Priestley.

They’re everywhere.

People are sleeping in cars, garages or “couch surfing” at family and friends’ houses all over Auckland because they have nowhere else to go.

And the number of hidden homeless people is rising, housing providers say.

One young mother who spoke to the East & Bays Courier is living in emergency housing provided by Island Child Charitable Trust in Pt England with her two-month-old daughter.

[…]

Her landlord decided to sell her flat only a day after she moved in and the woman moved from couch to couch for about four months.

The 28-year-old has no family to support her and turned to Island Child six months ago when she ran out of options.

This is just one of many: one who decided to tell her tale.  But the numbers of homeless, hidden from the view of most of middle income New Zealanders, is continuing to grow as reported by several agencies that deal with the homeless. Island Child managing director Danielle Bergin says that she,

has helped people who’ve been sleeping in cars at Pt England Reserve and families who’ve been living in garages.

[…]

An Auckland Council report this year shows about 15,000 people in Auckland are “severely housing deprived”.

Lifewise service manager Corie Haddock says the majority of those are unseen.

The number of people coming to the organisation has increased by about 80 per cent in the past year alone, he says.

A growing trend is people sleeping in cars in parking lots with groups of 20 to 30 vehicles at a time, he says.

A spokesperson for Auckland Action Against Poverty says many homeless people are extremely “vulnerable”.  For instance, some people with serious illnesses are losing benefits because of welfare reforms.

 

There are similar stories of homelessness in Christchurch.  This Press article tries to put a positive spin on it, focusing on something positive being done for the homeless.  But within the article, is this:

Mary wakes up every hour to check on her surroundings, and sleeps with her shoes on so she can “get up and go”, should anything untoward happen.

The faces of the homeless in the city were now much younger, with runaways and others unable to afford rents, she said.

And homelessness and attempts to hide it, is not just a problem in Auckland and Christchurch.  This recent story from Hamilton shows how attempts are made to maintain a low visibility of those with nowhere safe and secure to live:

Hamilton City Council has declined the Hamilton Homeless group’s application to serve food in Garden Place.

[…]

However, the council declined this to protect the public from any nuisance, protect and maintain public health and safety, and minimise the potential for offensive behaviour in public places.

What exactly is this “offensive behaviour” that the public need to be protected against?  Surely the most offensive behaviour comes from those in power who have allowed homelessness to continuing growing, while they crow about how well New Zealand’s economy is doing?!

Vote for all the people this election!

yes-we-can-s7n0lc

I suspect this came from some rightie against Obama, but I like the meme, and it can be applied to the NZ context, and a vote for the left.

Labour’s policies for tackling the housing crisis.

Green Party housing policy summary.

Mana Party Housing Policy (scroll down to find it).

Nothing as yet from the Internet Party.

NZ First housing policy.

Good to see an upcoming event to highlight the housing crisis, supported by “influential Aucklanders”.

On the 3rd of July 2014, influential Aucklanders will take a public stand against homelessness at the annual Lifewise Big Sleepout. Stripped of their creature comforts, exposed to the elements and given first hand insight into what it means to ‘sleep rough’, they will have little more than a sleeping bag, pillow and a sheet of cardboard. It’s a no-holds barred approach to exposing what is often an invisible issue.

I will vote for an increase in the state housing supply, and measures that will stop rentiers from profiteering from the misery of others.

Vote for a fair, just, inclusive and democratic New Zealand!

114 comments on “Tales from the underbelly of John Key’s NZ”

  1. Tracey 1

    Karol

    Remember when the prime minister suggested that the salvation army needed to get out and see what he sees? Well, the media see what he sees and it is THEY who need to get out and see what the sallies see, cos john key doesnt give a shit.

  2. Ad 2

    Great writing Karol.

    A good political party would build on this kind of messaging.

  3. ianmac 3

    Quite rightly it makes me uncomfortable to see the plight of others as you describe Karol. I live in a warm dry house.
    Trying to think what the Right and the well heeled will say of those dispossessed .

    • vto 3.1

      They don’t say anything about it ianmac, they think it is some sort of natural order and, you know, those people deserve nothing more….

      they push it out of their minds

      national party supporters should be ashamed of themselves

  4. infused 4

    So you pick an image from America.

    Good one.

    • weka 4.1

      It’s not an image from America, it’s a meme from the internet. Fuck off infused until you can make some comment that is even half way relevant to the suffering of real people.

      • infused 4.1.1

        Look below you dimwit.

        You also might want to lookup the original source of where the image came from.

        [karol: take any more discussion of the use of overseas images in this post to open mike. It’s a diversion from the very important issue of homelessness in NZ]

        • karol 4.1.1.1

          You ignore all the other images in the post, and pick on one that’s probably from the US. Many posts on blogs use images from the US. We choose from ones that are available – the one of the homeless woman is from the TS image gallery – I did not know which country it is from.

          You are diverting from the content of the post.

          Stay on topic, or such comments will be moved to open mike.

          PS: What Once Was Tim said below. On sensitive issues it’s often best to use overseas images.

        • weka 4.1.1.2

          🙄

  5. King Kong 5

    There is no excuse to live on the streets in NZ. Most of these people have mental problems and it is a terrible shame that they are in this position but it is of their own making.

    Meanwhile, in the main body of John Key’s NZ, I am off to Europe tomorrow for 5 weeks, upgraded our second car earlier in the year and also refitted our bathrooms. Our children go to a great public primary school and are doing well.

    Thanks John Key.

    • fender 5.1

      “Most of these people have mental problems and it is a terrible shame that they are in this position but it is of their own making.”

      🙄

      STAY in Europe you wanker.

      • karol 5.1.1

        It’s a bit of a QED to see how righties immediately try to divert form the main issue – lack of sufficient affordable housing and the suffering it is causing – while going into full denial mode: “I’m alright, Jack”.

        • infused 5.1.1.1

          It’s not an instant fix.

          Work is being done, but you’re not going to see any real change for 10 years imo.

          People need to get out of Auckland.

          • karol 5.1.1.1.1

            And Hamilton…. and Christchurch….?

            • infused 5.1.1.1.1.1

              Nowhere near as bad as Auckland.

              Christchurch is a different story.

              No idea about Hamilton. Didn’t know there was an issue.

              • karol

                Getting out of Auckland, or Christchurch, or Hamilton, is not an option for many. First, there has to be somewhere to go, and for many there needs to be jobs where they move to. Second, many people have various ties in the place where they are living.

                People will “get out of Auckland, when there is some significant revitalisation of the regions. Key’s government has been too focused on centralisation and making Auckland a centre of commerce.

                Revitalisation of the regions will not happen over night. Meanwhile, people need somewhere safe and secure to live.

                When there is a significant rise in people being homeless, it is not caused by the individuals and their choices. It points to a wider issue of infrastructure and governance.

              • Once was Tim

                I’d post you photos giving real examples of homeless in Wellington – sleeping under motorway bridges, in bus and railway station shelters, parked up in Alexander Road and parts of Brooklyn in cars BUT for the fact they deserve some dignity. I wouldn’t invade their privacy just to satisfy your feeble attempt at point scoring. Oh … I missed around Te Papa – just some of the places I’ve noticed whilst walking.

              • BM

                There isn’t.

                Like KK said above,the vast majority of homeless live on the street because they’re either alkies, druggies, have mental issues or just enjoy the “street life”.

                I remember a while ago talking to a few people who have lived on the street, most had a place to go to but chose the street because they like the “lifestyle” and it freed up more coin for booze and drugs.

                • bad12

                  So,in BM’s opinion those afflicted with various diseases of the mind are better housed on the street, strongly suggestive that it suffers something similar…

                  • BM

                    No I think people afflicted with various diseases of the mind should be housed by the state in a place that they feel safe.

                • Tracey

                  links please

                • Tracey

                  and kk can be relied upon for facts cos he gets them from john key

                • Once was Tim

                  I actually stop and talk to them and ask them their situation @BM. Let me assure you your feeble attempts at stereotyping don’t fit with the reality. In one case I JUST spoke to, fines for no warrant of fitness or registration was the reason. I.e. $90 per week deducted from the most minimal WINZ allowance possible. THAT is the exception.
                  There are agencies who have a true picture of their reality – WINZ is not one of them.
                  It’s easier for the likes of yourself to stereotype and simply pretend there is no real problem – it doesn’t challenge your comfort zone or conscience

              • Poission

                Christchurch is a different story.

                Indeed.

                http://www.iht.com/2014/06/06/living-like-kings/

                • karol

                  Yes, in researching this post, I noticed that there are a lot of articles focused on homelessness in Christchurch that talk up the positives as good news stories – as indicated re-the article on Christchurch that I referred to in the post, the harsh and devastating realities are somewhat buried within the articles.

                • Once was Tim

                  Don’t get me started on Chch!
                  I wonder how the likes of BM would cope – I suspect he/she’d have resorted to the most convenient form of escapism by now if he/she had to cope with that bugger’s muddle – headed up by his mate Tzar Gerry.
                  Snot Rock Soince tho’ eh @ BM and most other Ger Brownstuff/Stevie Joiiieee/Obama John apologists. Btw = done any ‘cashy’ stuff lately?

                  (I’m just one of those bleeding heart liberals though eh? …. spare me no time – it’s easier for you that way)

              • Tracey

                “didnt know rthere was an issue” in Hamilton.

                In otherwords you didnt read karol’s post. Very quick to comment though. Funny that.

              • NickS

                Actually Christchurch is far simpler, we have the capacity here to build trailerable 3 bedroom houses that can be built with semi-skilled labour and outfitted quickly and delivered to suitable sites with minimal ground required due to these buildings using surface piles.

                Build time – 2 months for the house, 1 week approx for services and minimal land work to be done + house sited

                Some sites can take 2+, most can take 1, with plenty of non redzoned sites available.

                Combine this with CERA’s powers and in 6 months you could have more than enough housing. They already did it with the linwood park village, plus the designs are easily modified and can be varied, as was done as SIT’s CHCH campus with the project houses.

                Given the human and economic costs of homelessness then, it’s a massive no brainer to do the above and fix the housing problem.

                With other centres – it’s case of building more social housing stock, with a mix of property sizes and densities to cater for the population and create nice places to live, mainly by removing current state housing stock and increasing the housing density in state housing areas. Along with acquiring land on the fringes with good public transport access and other stuff and building mixed low cost state/private housing.

                This isn’t that difficult to do and any empirical cost/benefit analysis run that bothers to include social/economic costs in it would point to it being a very good idea. the problem is the lack of political will and the wilful way the National government continues to ignore the costs of poverty etc.

          • Rosie 5.1.1.1.2

            “People need to get out of Auckland.”

            Perhaps you didn’t read karol’s article about homelessness and insecure accommodation being nationwide. It’s not just an Auckland problem.

            I also don’t how people can think it’s ok, or brush the problem aside because they are doing ok. It demonstrates they exist apart from society in their bubble of ignorance.

            Homelessness is the visible pain that represents 6 years of the Key Government. There is absolutely nothing more upsetting that seeing young men, in their early twenties wrapped in a blanket, with a sign “please can I have some money for food” sitting on the footpath on Lambton Quay. And to see so many of them. This honestly fucking breaks my heart to see. I saw a young guy with that sign that the other day. He looked at me and I had nothing to give him, I only had my bus fare home. I felt a surge of anger and sorrow that he was in this situation and that the people that run our country just couldn’t give a flying fuck about his circumstances. (Sorry for the swears, must be channelling QOT)

            At twenty odd, young men like this should be at uni or at work and going home at night to their flat and doing normal things that young guys do. This should be a promising time in a persons life, when they are getting out in the world and developing a sense of themselves.

            There are women too but I see less of them. I’m guessing some of them are able to stay at the new women’s shelter which is available day and night, or like the example in the post, are moving from couch to couch. That we needed a womens shelter says so much about the society that our govt promotes, a divided and inequitable one.

        • john 5.1.1.2

          Housing affordability skyrocketed 05-08.

          From interest.co.nz
          “It now (April 2014) takes 62.0% of one median income to pay the mortgage on a median priced house purchased in April…. The affordability index reached its highest point of 83.4% in March 2008.”

          Policies like capital gains tax create problems that exacerbate the housing problem, because –
          1/ Landlords will have to increase rents to get the same return.
          2/ It is a huge disincentive to sell, lowering the number of houses available on market.
          3/ It creates “mansion syndrome” as happened in Australia, where people modify and add to their existing houses rather than sell and upgrade, which increases prices.
          4/ It has failed totally to dampen house prices in Australia (and it has also failed to generate much tax).

          However Labour’s house building policy deserves more attention. The problem is I’ve heard little mention of it.

          Something alone those lines, along with Nationals policy to make it easier and cheaper to build houses, are the sort of policies that are needed to address the problem.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 5.1.1.2.1

            If you’re referring to Oravida’s attempt to vandalise the RMA, it is designed to attract political donations from property developers and will do precisely nothing for affordable housing.

            • john 5.1.1.2.1.1

              So you think making housing affordability better, is really all about some benefit for Oravida.

              Obviously you don’t realise how pathetically weak that argument sounds.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Oravida, National, what’s the difference?

                • john

                  So an exporter of top quality New Zealand beef, lamb, fruit, vegetables, dairy, fish and seafood to China, has got what to do with building houses?

                  Your desperation is palpable.

          • framu 5.1.1.2.2

            while those are all good points you do know that housing affordability has very little impact on helping the homeless dont you?

        • fender 5.1.1.3

          Yes it disgusts me that heartless fools can read a post such as the one you have written here then blame people with mental health and other problems for their predicament. To then boast about how “I’m alright, Jack” as if it is of any relevance really is a poor reflection on their selfish, narcissistic, and inhumane personality.

          Great post Karol, as per usual.

      • Rosie 5.1.2

        +1 fender

        • Rosie 5.1.2.1

          That +1 was actually to your suggestion to King Kong “STAY in Europe you wanker” but it is a fortuitous double up +1 response to “Great post Karol, as per usual”.

          Nice one.

          • fender 5.1.2.1.1

            You are a sweet flower Rosie, the empathy expressed in your 5.1.1.1.2 is heart warming.

            • Rosie 5.1.2.1.1.1

              Thanks fender. I wasn’t feeling particularly floral that day I saw that guy, felt more like a thunder cloud full of rain. There are lots of people, increasing numbers of them that I have seen living on our streets in Wellington, and I wonder about them and their health when I see them.

              There was just something about the youth of this person, their polite well written cardboard sign and the visual exchange between us that me made feel at first useless but then so sad and angry.

      • travellerev 5.1.3

        So what you are saying is: They brought it on themselves?

        How callous and narcissistic and lacking in empathy.

        Ever heard of the expression: There but for the grace of God go I?

        It is my sincere hope that one day you remember that saying and think why didn’t I for a moment even consider that one day I might find myself in their position.

        From my own experience I know how close I have come and how only help from family for me and my husband prevented us from ending up on the streets. Because of ourselves and making bad choices? Nope. Just shit in life that happens and damages you to the point of having no fight left.

        I am sure that most homeless suffer from Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or other sad mental injuries due to events in their lives. I am sure that some of them due to that damage sadly feel safer living on the street than with family or in homes even. I am sure some people made bad choices but all of this can happen to all of us.

        You are a disgrace for even suggesting that these people don’t deserve compassion, love, food and some warmth once in a while.

    • Skinny 5.2

      Well good for you safe travels obviously your in a position to up your tax obligations by paying more tax after the Sept 20 election. It will be important for the Left and therefore the Country to expect the raising of high income earners tax to happen swiftly. This along with the introduction of a capital gains tax needs to be done under urgency.

      Just think the likes of yourself will be able to sleep better at night knowing your no longer leeching off the rest of Kiwi society.

      • King Kong 5.2.1

        Leeching? People like me are the ones who pick up all the bills in this place.

        • karol 5.2.1.1

          “People like me are the ones who pick up all the bills profits in this place”

          FIFY

      • infused 5.2.2

        And that is the left in a nutshell. Good work Skinny.

        • You_Fool 5.2.2.1

          Yes, they care about other people and are not all self-absorbed narcissistic morons… The right on the other hand….

        • Skinny 5.2.2.2

          Hey wingnut it called a social conscience! I am on a tidy income and pay my share and donate to a decent charity 5 % of my income, so fuck off with your admonishment!

    • Derek 5.3

      So if they are schizophrenic or bipolar or whatever it is of their own making? Fuck you. Troll.

    • Tracey 5.4

      that is the top 5% covered

    • freedom 5.5

      Dear King Kong

      “Most of these people have mental problems and it is a terrible shame that they are in this position but it is of their own making.”

      Maybe you should consider writing a quick retraction for your ignorant abusive and insulting comment that is not only one of the most vile things you have ever written on these boards but whose concept is mind buggeringly wrong. I live with mental health issues and am not far off being homeless and it is only the good nature of my landlord and the generosity of good friends that I mange to survive month to month. A job would certainly help but my not insignificant skill set seems to be no longer required in this world and the more menial jobs I go for are staffed by teens on 89 day turnstile contracts.

      I live with PTSD and chronic depression. I do not collect a sickness benefit by the way, but after my redundancy last year and seven months of somehow getting through week to week, I had to sign on for assistance. I am registered as a normal everyday jobseeker because the policies of this government would have meant even more pressure would be put upon me by having numerous repetitive criteria lumped upon me that would have exasperated the already difficult day to day thing called life. Not to mention the enormous personal financial costs these criteria dump on the ill.

      My depression is a life long condition that was not diagnosed when I was a child so unfortunately was not treated and by the time life got to a point where it was diagnosed, in my early thirties, the damage had been done and behaviour was learned, despite issues with alcohol (now gone) I did my best to cope. I deal with it. I did not come from a wealthy family and regardless, back then in kiwiland, people like you were even more common and mental health was looked on as if the person had the plague.

      The PTSD however is a whole other story and occurred after an illiterate dangerous violent recidivist drink driver who the state repeatedly failed to imprison because his info was too useful decided one night that I was useful in his plan to kill a woman and her children.

      I was working at a school teaching art to primary kids
      and heading towards being a qualified teacher at the time.

      He assaulted me late one night in my studio, when he turned up drunk and uninvited. He forced me to drive twenty km whilst holding a knife to my throat. After I had considered driving off the rural road a number of times to stop the potential homicides, we arrived at his stated destination. I then had to witness him get attacked with a machete because it transpired that the father was home, and this was not in this guy’s plan. I then had to take my kidnapper, who was needless to say no longer in a good state, off this guys property before he did the same to me. I had no choice but to rescue my kidnapper or be hacked up with a machete.

      What happened after all that involves more bs than you could imagine but let’s just say meeting the prosecution lawyer only minutes before the first of two trials began (both hung and the judge stated as no one died the costs of a third trial would be excessive) and being refused anything resembling adequate trauma treatment by every agency that exists was only surpassed when my attacker got off scot free only to kill someone else a year later.

      So please King Kong, you obsequious pile of faeces,
      tell me how my mental health problems are my fault?

    • framu 5.6

      “Most of these people have mental problems and it is a terrible shame that they are in this position but it is of their own making.”

      excuse me?! – its their own fault they have mental health issues that have lead to them being homeless? – is that what your saying?

      • King Kong 5.6.1

        Of course not. I am saying that it is the mental health issues that make these people shun the assistance that is available.

        I am including junkies and piss heads as those with mental health issues.

        • Tracey 5.6.1.1

          as opposed to the junkies and pissheads on your plane. Such a better class of degenerates

        • framu 5.6.1.2

          ” the mental health issues that make these people shun the assistance that is available.”

          so their mental health issues lead them to shun assistance aye? – Never mind that your so wrong its not funny but damn offensive – you actually ARE blaming this on their mental illness!

          If ever a godwin made sense its here

          • King Kong 5.6.1.2.1

            Why? Because it doesn’t fit with the lefty “poor pimping” rhetoric that you have swallowed hook, line and sinker?

            So much languishing in misery. Cheer up things are on the bounce.

            • framu 5.6.1.2.1.1

              if you cant see it theres no point really

              you just keep showing your disgusting attitude to the mentally ill champ

          • King Kong 5.6.1.2.2

            Of course I am blaming it on their mental illness. Just like I would blame the mental illness when someone starts shouting incoherent profanities in the middle of the street.

            • NickS 5.6.1.2.2.1

              🙄

              Because low wages, lack of fulltime work and cheap rents so totes have nothing to do with it. Nope, them homeless must surely be crazy.

              Instead of all the current evidence pointing towards them not being.

              Oh and frankly, shut the fuck up on mental health issues, you’ve shown here you have absolutely no understanding of what it’s like to live with mental health issues, nor any clue on on the fun with treating and managing long term mental illness.

            • framu 5.6.1.2.2.2

              you, you disgusting little creep are doing the following

              you are blaming the fact they are homeless on the fact they are mentally ill

              didnt realise people chose to be mentally ill – fuck off and come back when youve learnt some basic humanity and logic

        • Draco T Bastard 5.6.1.3

          I am saying that it is the mental health issues that make these people shun the assistance that is available.

          What assistance?

          From what I can make out, NZ’s mental health services aren’t even close to being adequate.

    • NickS 5.7

      Most of these people have mental problems and it is a terrible shame that they are in this position but it is of their own making.

      Fuck you.

      Dealing with mental health is not fucking simple, it’s not straight forward, often we who live with mental health issues have to navigate multiple pitfalls that wont be seen until they’re run into and all to often end up paying a high price. For fuck’s sake, we often have to fight ourselves just to stay semi-functional, sometimes even with medication and therapy.

      Case in point – I didn’t expect to become severely depressed this year, instead I’m having to deal with near constant suicidal ideation, low mood, crap motivation and high-ish levels of fatigue that are fucking everything up. And unlike every other time I have no firm idea what the hell is causing it and so it’s much more difficult to deal with.

      If I were in a similar situation to the people in the articles I would probably have to commit myself to avoid killing myself due to the shear stress of it.

      Also – the current surge in homelessness isn’t from the mentally ill you contemptible idiot, for most of them it’s a case of not enough work and rents that are too damn high combined with the failure of successive governments to provide adequate social housing. Which you would have picked up if you’d bothered reading the fucking links.

      • BM 5.7.1

        Have you looked into Adrenal fatigue?

        • NickS 5.7.1.1

          It’s not that, as in 2012 the fatigue disappeared once I was put on nortriptyline. Went from just being able to do a 8k bike ride and struggling to do an easy walk up the Pot Hills to being much more capable (20k+ round trips + short swims in waimak). Did a 40K tramp in March with no issues either and could have kept up with mid-pack but was on tail end duty keeping an eye on the lone straggler.

          Now? Can’t do a 5k bike ride without feeling crap and faint afterwords, no matter how much caffeine, simple/complex sugars I’ve had before hand.

      • Tracey 5.7.2

        Plus one to your last sentence.

        Keep up the struggle

        • NickS 5.7.2.1

          Cheers 😀

          I’ve got an appointment with mental health services in July so just need to keep myself sane till then.

          • freedom 5.7.2.1.1

            keep comedy in your life, Nick, lots and lots of comedy,
            and let friends know the truth when the black dog is biting

            • NickS 5.7.2.1.1.1

              Well I do have every single discworld novel on my kobo and all of Warren Ellis’s Transmetropolitan sitting on one of my hard drives 😈

      • NickS 5.7.3

        And of course KK is ignoring this post, because how dare one of those mentally ill people show up and call him out on his bullshit…

        • freedom 5.7.3.1

          I’m not expecting the coward to respond to mine either 😎

          • NickS 5.7.3.1.1

            He got banhammered: http://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-25062014/#comment-838409

            Hehehehehe. Gone till august.

            • weka 5.7.3.1.1.1

              Gone til Sept! And given it was a 3 month ban, and today is the 25th…. 😉

          • Rosie 5.7.3.1.2

            To NickS and freedom, not surprising the ignorant coward known as King Kong didn’t repsond to either of you. It would be just too much shocking “real” for him. His radar only swivels towards a source of comfort seeking pleasure. You have shown to him the tenuous and frightening side of life, and both spoken from your experiences .Kia Ora

            If he stepped into the shoes of some one experiencing suicidal ideation, depression and fatigue day in day out and the kind of grief that comes from a sense of a loss of self, then he’s most likely piss his pants in five seconds.

            You, comrades not only show incredible strength and resilience you show humour, intelligence and sharp insight. and I’m sure I can speak for other standardista’s, I really appreciate reading your thoughtful, knowledgeable and wise contributions.

    • Vicky32 5.8

      That’s nice for you, but what makes you think that your situation is representative?
      Vicky

    • Mike the Savage One 5.9

      So they homeless with “mental problems” are simply born “inferior”, I suppose?

      Sadly this view by a “named kind of monkey” – believing to be a human – is not so isolated these days, and society is divided along many lines, the result of decades of social dismantling, asset sales, privatisation, undermining of labour laws, and pressuring all individuals to rather see each other as competitors, even as likely “burdens”, and as not to be trusted, unless being of the same “trusted”, ideologically loyal right-leaning background.

      The flown in prodigal son type bankster and his mates have a lot to answer for, to produce mindsets like that of this commenter. But the material “perks” and gains of such persons (as KK) seem to give them a sense of justification, that they belong to the “worthy” lot, who can conveniently detach themselves from any responsibility, as the “untouchable” poor are by “natural order” meant to be where they are (i.e. can only blame themselves for their fate).

      Society has been befallen by propaganda on a large scale, and the affected do not see the evil they are caught up in.

  6. Russell Belding 6

    First time here. Thought I would find some intelligent comment from a left leaning perspective. I found some. Also found KAROL to whinge excessively because state agencies have not paid all persons a living wage to lift them out of poverty. Repeating stories about persons in poverty does little to change their circumstances. There are problems. “Diagnose before operating” is preferable to whinging away for the left.

  7. GeeStream 7

    Are you seriously suggesting that the homeless number are a direct result of the John Key Govt ? All of sudden after Helen conceded defeat, a bunch of people decided, “bugger trying to look after myself I’, going to live on the streets”? Really ?

    • Tracey 7.1

      are you seriously saying that if a party from the left didnt solve a problem then

      A. Parties from the right are excused and
      B. Different parties from the left cant work to change stuff

      The mindset of some who post here is frightening

    • One Anonymous Bloke 7.2

      GeeStream is determined to preserve the reputation of right wingers as delusional, amoral, callous and profoundly ignorant.

      Also seems unable to distinguish between Fairfax Media and Karol.

    • framu 7.3

      does the ideology of john key and the nats exist in a vacum devoid of history?

      its the continum of the anti social ideas that key prescribes to, (and the labour party to certain extents) not the existance of the key govt all by itself

      what general political ideology have we been following the last 30 years? – especially in regards to social policy and economics

  8. ianmac 8

    Thinking onwards I am trying to think precisely what cause people to vote for this or that Party. I am sympathetic to so many issues around poverty, welfare, health, justice, environment, income, jobs and so on. But just what would cause me or my neighbour to vote accordingly.
    I suspect that for most people it would be that which directly affects me and mine rather than all the issues above.
    Which leads me to think that those big issues like for instance global warming, or poverty will not garner votes. Sad but a job, money, my house would be more relevant for voting. Wouldn’t it? And then away from an election address those big issues.

    • karol 8.1

      Is it inevitable that people think first about and vote for “what’s in it for me?”

      Or is it because that’s the way it’s been framed by politicians and the media for way too long?

      What about people voting for the kind of society they want to live in?

      • Russell Belding 8.1.1

        I too would like to live in a just and caring nation. As you would “karol”. How can such a goal be achieved? We need more “people action” than relying on politicians and state agencies. “What’s in it for us?” is good to think about. “What can we all do?” is good to think about.

        • Colonial Viper 8.1.1.1

          small detail – no need to put ” ” marks around peoples pseudonyms as we all know that they are pseudonyms.

          Otherwise I agree with your points entirely – until mass movements re-organise and put pressure on politicians and the state machinery to do the right things, we’re going to keep being disappointed on the policies churned out for us.

      • ianmac 8.1.2

        I totally agree that we should be voting for the kind of society that we want and that which we want for our kids and our grand-kids. We should but the harsh reality is I fear the “what’s in it for me. Or vote for that funny man with the big grin.
        For example what would the homeless person in your picture vote for? Save the Maui? Mining? Three Strikes? How about those people who are on minimum wages and both parents work and cannot afford a house and can just scrape through on rent and basic food?
        ((I think I am a social democrat but a pragmatic approach to what will influence voters, especially disenchanted voters, matters.)

      • Tracey 8.1.3

        i think alot of people vote on the basis of a better society.

        • ianmac 8.1.3.1

          Yes Tracey. I do you do. We do. But there are many who vote for more immediate concerns. What can we do to resonate with those potential voters. Idealism is not enough.

          • Tracey 8.1.3.1.1

            for some reason politicians have come to believe that showing compassion and caring loses them voters x. Sadder still, the voters prove them right.

            • ianmac 8.1.3.1.1.1

              There are not any issues that bring the passionate population out in their thousands. The Government knows this and banks on no big uniting issue will appear.Think back to the masses who had beliefs about the right/wrongs of apartheid. (Except J Key.) There are no uniting issues that will cause huge numbers to feel compelled to act. Mauis won’t do it. Mr Liu won’t do it. I am afraid that compassion will not make it.
              So what will?

              • karol

                I do think inequality and poverty have been gaining momentum in the public arena. Witness Mapp’s attempt to defuel the debate on Pundit yesterday.

                The MSM are doing their best to keep a lid on it. But there is disquiet in my part of Auckland among many middle income people I talk to.

                Part of the problem as a focus on broad ideals have been undermined by the “neoliberal” revolution. It’s time we stood up and said these are important value – ones we will make a stand for.

                It’s time for an end to neoliberal appeasement.

  9. Colonial Viper 9

    Norway about to ban begging

    http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2014-06-20/give-the-beggars-a-break

    What the wealthy and powerful are embarrassed about, and what is a moral stain on their rule, they will try and hide away. Treating the poor on the streets like stray dogs to be moved on.

    • King Kong 9.1

      So this is a problem in state owned, wealthy and very socialist Norway? Maybe you utopian disillusionist’s might take notice of the fact that “bums gonna bum”

      • framu 9.1.1

        Norway, one of the world’s richest nations, is about to ban begging in a move some see as a sign of rising anti-immigrant sentiment. Whatever the motivation, it’s the work of misguided people who want to hide what they can’t understand.

        A recent government-commissioned report says there are between 500 and 1,000 foreign beggars on the streets of Oslo. The city estimates it will spend 5 million kronor ($824,000) this year just cleaning up after them. Locals believe most of them are Roma, a group commonly known as Gypsies who arrived from Romania and other east European countries in search of free food and clothes in the oil-rich country, which was largely unscathed by the global financial crisis and boasts one of the world’s highest incomes per capita. Local charity organizations are relatively generous, but no one will rent housing to the beggars, so they are forced to squat or live rough, which in Norway often means sleeping on the ground in sub-zero temperatures.

        you didnt even read it did you?

        • King Kong 9.1.1.1

          Why would you travel to a country with a reputation for being fucking freezing, with no money and no where to stay.

          Sounds quite Darwinian to me.

        • grumpy 9.1.1.2

          I have travelled to Norway many times and the reaction to unchecked immigration is very severe. Anders Breivik was an extreme example of that.
          For “beggars” read “immigrants”.
          Also, for a feel of the underbelly of Norway, read anything by Jo Nesbo.

  10. freedom 10

    Thank you karol for a well written piece of work that highlights some of the crucial factors facing far too many in new Zealand.

    Only as a nation working together can we overcome the numerous complex issues that divide us.
    The rich just need to take a little less and care a lot more.

    It really is that simple.

    • Weepu's beard 10.1

      Well said but as is evidenced by the now banned King Kong, the far right (and the near right to a certain extent) believe that every person is built the same way and only factors fully within each person’s control lead to where they find themselves in life. People like King Kong and Mike Hosking believe that everyone should be able to achieve what they have and there is no excuse for poverty and if the poor don’t like it well, that’s just Darwinism.

      That sort of thinking does not contribute to a healthy society imo.

      • greywarbler 10.1.1

        Darwinism – As I understand it, it describes how the individual and small group adapt to the environment around them. I think it is not the strong over the weak as a simple example. It could mean that poor people subsist in conditions that wealthier people would die from, making nutritious food out of herbs and potato peelings, and learning how to store heat in stones to keep warm at night and not freeze etc. So if I am right then the attempt of the well-off to indicate that they are a better example of the species and imply that the poor are suffering an inevitable fate and that is natural selection is indefensible.

        • Skinny 10.1.1.1

          Yes Grey Warbler, As things stand this current evolution of mankind is set to fall over just like many other empires have previously. Our generation maybe ok however the same can not be said with certainy for the next.

  11. karol 11

    Question 1 from Cunliffe in Qu Time today:

    Does he accept inequality, including asset inequality, is increasing in New Zealand?

    Will be interesting to see how Cunliffe (and Key) handles this. Housing is the leading element of asset inequality in NZ.

  12. Michael 12

    Labour has no credible plan to address homelessness. It’s fiscal policy rules out the necessary expenditure in order to appease the markets. Homeless people will continue to pay the price of neoliberal dogma.

  13. dimebag russell 13

    like the national mp who closesly resembles the female bloodsucker in DEATH RACE the gnats think the underclass are there pure and simply for them to amuse themselves.

  14. SPC 14

    The proposed changes to MP allowances includes an extra $80 a week for accommodation.

    An increase from 24 to $28,000.

    How does that compare to any increase off the accommodation supplement?

  15. Populuxe1 15

    It would seem that National is oblivious to the fact their dream of a low wage casualised workforce is not what landlords are looking for in tenants. Much of the drama in Christchurch sould also be aleviated if the government came down on the artificial rent bubble created by loss of housing stock, temporary EQC relocations of people who are insured and can afford ridiculous rents, and a mass influx of highly paid foreign workers pricing low income people out. There needs to be a rent cap and a crack down on shonky rent gouging landlords.

    • freedom 15.1

      “National is oblivious to the fact their dream of a low wage casualised workforce is not what landlords are looking for in tenants. ”

      Well said Populuxe1,
      sums up National’s inability to fathom the basic realities of the society they are meant to serve.

  16. Sable 16

    One projection from the UK states that the middle class in that country will effectively cease to exist in the next 30 or so years if the current economic and social trends continue.

    May sound far fetched but given the focus of wealth in the hands of a small group of people I suspect it might be closer to the truth than anyone knows. Homeless is spreading here in the UK and USA (and elsewhere).

    Its happening not only to the uneducated but to capable people who find the work is longer there as big business looks to outsource to the cheapest locations whilst at the same time stifling innovation and bottom up business growth though monopolistic practices, aided and abetted by sell out governments.

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