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There is no child poverty in New Zealand

Written By: - Date published: 9:03 am, October 29th, 2014 - 64 comments
Categories: class war, national, paula bennett, Politics, same old national - Tags: ,

Banksie child poverty.jpg-largeStuff this morning is reporting on the UNICEF Report “Children of the Recession – the great leap backward” (PDF).  The report compares changes in child poverty levels and related measures throughout the developed world.  New Zealand’s overall performance was tepid, 16th best out of 41 developed nations in measuring the change of the rate of children in poverty.  It was well behind Australia which had achieved significant change by the radical notion that giving poor families more will alleviate their poverty.  The report directly addresses the relative performances of New Zealand and Australia and says this:

Australia’s increase in spending on families had a more positive impact than the ambitious tax cuts implemented in New Zealand, where poverty and inequality stagnated.”

It is not rocket science.  Increasing benefits, providing school breakfasts and increasing the minimum wage will help the poorest amongst us.  Giving the already wealthy further tax cuts will not.

The report also indicated that in three of four well being indicators New Zealand was going backwards.   The indicators for food insecurity, overall satisfaction with life, and opinions on whether children have an opportunity to learn and grow all worsened between 2007 and 2013.

Anne Tolley was interviewed this morning on Morning Report on the report.  She was asked if there was a Government target for reducing child poverty and she said there was none.  If you do not have a goal then it is likely you will not achieve anything.

She also said that the situation would be improved by getting people off benefits.  This shows the frankly stupid mindset this Government has.  It is not intent on getting people into jobs, it is intent on getting people off benefits.  Taking away someone’s benefit when they do not have a job to go to is only going to make poverty worse.

Tolley said that Australia is performing better than New Zealand because it had not gone into an economic depression in 2008.  While technically true a comparison of annual growth rates in GDP (see below) suggests that there is little difference in performance.  In fact over recent years New Zealand’s growth rate has been significantly better than Australia’s as the effects of the Dairy Boom and the Canterbury rebuild have kicked in.  The benefits have yet to trickle down and at this rate they never will.

AustraliaGDPAnnualGrowthRateNewZealandGDPAnnualGrowthRate-2 copy

And Tolley’s comment misses the point.  In 2008 during the height of the Global Financial crisis child poverty was a distressing feature.  Six years later with a rock star economy and a brighter future and things are only marginally better while the wealthiest amongst us are having a great time.  It is clear to see where this Government’s priorities are.

National’s refusal to have any meaningful targets concerning child poverty reminds me of this statement by Paula Bennett made in Parliament last year.  The Government did not have an official measurement of poverty.  It seemed clear that it did not want to measure something it did not want to acknowledge the existence of.

64 comments on “There is no child poverty in New Zealand”

  1. adam 1

    They seem to be going with – the bigger the lie, the better more people will believe it.

    I think they want to ignore it so they can lie to themselves, about how good people they are. I see that type of behaviour all the time, especially amongst people with addictions. It’s the little lies to justify bad behaviour – which build up over time. These people are not good people, they now believe the lies they tell themselves.

    • wekarawshark 1.1

      either that or they know full well it’s bullshit and they – just – don’t – care.

      Still evil.

      • adam 1.1.1

        I think they think they are good, and any person who wants a solution which may be socialist in any way, is evil. They think it’s just fine to punish children, because their parents are members of the working folk. Look at the way they hold themselves, it’s worse than nanny statism, it’s the whole arrogance of privilege.

        What the bet most of them would fail if we had a level playing ground. If they didn’t have the handouts and the hand ups they give each other. Then they have the gall, to punish the poor. What a bunch of hypocrites.

        • Once Was Tim 1.1.1.1

          “I think they think they are good, and any person who wants a solution which may be socialist in any way, is evil.” All very American.
          I think you’re correct – pure ideology in the absence of a couple of ideas to rub together. What they don’t take into account is that the natives eventually get restless. At my age, I’ve not time to watch it play out, and I’d rather move to the world’s largest democracy where (despite corruption), the trend is positive: where at least corruption is overt and easy to battle, as we’re already seeing, rather than covert (as it is here).
          The sheeple will eventually awaken. What worries me is that the longer it takes, the nastier the wakening – the greater the anger – the wider the disparities – the more violent it will become. I’d rather watch from afar. I’m not sure these neo-lib ideologues have thought about their legacy too much, other than they think a gated community behind a 4 or 5 digit pin number will protect, or whether they realise they can’t actually take it with them.

          Snot rock soince, enda story! :p

  2. wekarawshark 2

    “there are no sheep on our farms”

  3. hoom 3

    ‘Aspirational’

  4. Manuka - Ancient Order of Rawsharks 4

    And the one party that had reduction of child poverty in NZ as its priority is being pummeled into the ground.

  5. My whānau and I are at the poor end of the spectrum and things are tighter and tougher – trading muscle for food, stretching each week to get by.

    But we are lucky living in the country rather than the city – here the support networks (that is community by another name) do actually work and people do care – here when someone has surplus they share knowing that others will do the same for them when the time comes.

    The ridiculous mantra of get them off the benefit and that will alleviate poverty is so much bullshit (but we all know that) and it is obvious that there are so many agendas here from the gnats, agendas which have little to do with helping people and more to do with making their books look better.

    I hope the ‘feed the kids’ bill makes it through.

    • mickysavage 5.1

      I hope the ‘feed the kids’ bill makes it through.

      Yep and I hope we can convert urban areas so they have the same community feeling that the more rural areas have.

      • vto 5.1.1

        Difficult to do when the tweet carries the sway and is growing. But, yeah, hope …

        … when all you have is hope you have nothing.. to be brutal and bitter about it …

  6. greywarshark 6

    Listening to NACTs can lead to becoming incandescent. Hearing Ann Tolley this morning proclaiming that NACTs didn’t have any specific policies for relieving child poverty, but were committed to getting parents working which would largely eliminate it, had that effect on me.

    What deceitful, lying garbage. NACTs don’t know how to feel shame because they are so warped and evil they can spout out misinformation and propaganda like this without a drop of sweat or one piece of dandruff on their costly suite of garments.

    We could turn this incandescent reaction to good use in lighting emergencies. We would just run a non-stop radio program of NACT comments on policies, of their successes, of how much better they are than the opposition, that the opposition did it too only worse, etc. The streets would be lit by sudden flashes of light sporadically going on and off as people who still had minds reacted.

    But what if it could be time co-ordinated, so if you were stuck in a dark spot of the city, in another five minutes there would be another broadcast giving another blinding bit of shtick from the pinokeyos to light our way.

    Is there a patent office for ideas that are patently crazy? Robert Rankin or Terry Pratchett might have invented one perhaps. They are the authors for their times.
    edited

    • greywarshark 6.1

      Further, (I put this separately because I am not allowed to put further on my comment with 3 minutes to go.)
      I hadn’t read the other comments here but now I do I notice that word evil cropping up in most. The reaction has been remarkably similar from us all who are really concerned about the state of the group called the strugglers in the class strata table I’ve read.

      [lprent: I suggest doing a shift-F5 to force a full reload of the page including the javascript. That is usually the issue ]

  7. Ovaries Muddy 7

    Is it a case that National don’t want to measure poverty in different ways due to the fact it will make them look worse? How about including Debt or freedom from debt.

    Are they ignoring the tenant, “you cannot manage what you cannot measure”

    A recent article by the Guardian on UK Plans to change child poverty measures hit impasse

    http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/feb/14/plans-change-child-poverty-measures-impasse

    “It is widely accepted, but not officially acknowledged, that the government has no chance of meeting its primary target of abolishing child poverty by 2020. The goal was enshrined in law by the Blair government. The primary target is to have no child living in a household in which net income is 60% below the median income.

    The Treasury has been nervous about the politics of changing the measure and has expressed doubts ………………………….. It is also concerned that setting a wider range of measures could lead to more perceived failure to meet targets and consequently more demands for cash”

    Funny how the Nats trumpet measures when it backs them up, then suddenly run for the hills when it does not suit. The rule of thumb is to ask an economist from one of those god awful Aussie banks on RNZ just how the economy is going (apparently they just make it up, roll a die). FX traders do the same.

    How is it we can “measure” the performance of students at school (oh, maybe we could link that to mental poverty?). How could we possible tell NOVA pay is a dog and that dairy prices may or may not go up!

    So, for a moment, lets be generous, look at a counter article, take Forbes magazine:

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/lizryan/2014/02/10/if-you-cant-measure-it-you-cant-manage-it-is-bs/

    ‘If You Can’t Measure It, You Can’t Manage It’: Not True

    “Every grade-school teacher is forced to ‘manage’ their kids’ test scores rather than managing the kids’ actual learning. Teachers are expected to ‘manage’ test scores, without respect or concern on the part of the measurers what else might be going on in the classroom.”

    “Your kids come from low-income, desperate homes, you’ve got kids in peril and trauma, even? Sorry to hear about it. You’ve got your mark and you’d better hit it, or we’ll throw you on a list of Failing Schools and tsk-tsk everyone in the building until your marks improve or you quit teaching in frustration.”

    It seems to me National are 2 faced not only from the book dirty politics but in the measurement of outcomes as well. They want your cake, and they are going to eat it.

    No doubt, objective and subjective measures should and are in place, however, National + Act don’t seem to want to improve either.

    Bad robot

  8. Manuka - Ancient Order of Rawsharks 8

    “UNICEF research shows that the strength of social protection policies was a decisive factor in poverty prevention. All countries need strong social safety nets to protect children in bad times and in good – and wealthy countries should lead by example, explicitly committing to eradicate child poverty, developing policies to offset economic downturns, and making child well-being a top priority,” O’Malley said. Jeffrey O’Malley, UNICEF’s Head of Global Policy and Strategy. http://www.unicef.org/media/media_76447.html

    We should be “explicitly committing to eradicate child poverty” — Yet this govt has no specific target even for reducing child poverty, let alone eradicating it.

  9. BM 9

    The majority of people in NZ believe that the issue is with the parents/parent and therefore there’s a lot of resentment about giving more money.

    Real hot button topic “child poverty”.

    • Ovaries Muddy 9.1

      That was useful BM…. you could go work for JK & Act. No circularity there my friend.

      Working for C&T or just freelancing.

    • DoublePlus Good 9.2

      The majority of people in New Zealand need to do more research before they buy into that trope. Research into how things way outside of a parent’s control influence poverty – like unemployment rates, low wages, GST, high food prices.

      Also, child poverty is such a stupid term. Just call it what it is – poverty. Poverty can affect people of all ages, and it affects children because their parents don’t have enough stable income to support them. Address the causes of poverty as a whole and you will address child poverty.
      Referring only to child poverty sets up this assumption that somehow children being in poverty is bad yet their parents being in poverty is not. Which is foolishly short-sighted.

      • BM 9.2.1

        “Child poverty” is used as it’s supposed to pull at the heart strings of other kiwi parents and hopefully provoke empathy.

        Most importantly though, It’s gives the left something they can beat National over the head with.

        • blue leopard 9.2.1.1

          @ BM

          Why did you ignore this part of DoublePlus Good’s comment:

          The majority of people in New Zealand need to do more research before they buy into that trope. Research into how things way outside of a parent’s control influence poverty – like unemployment rates, low wages, GST, high food prices.

        • McFlock 9.2.1.2

          “Child poverty” is used as it’s a clear example of suffering experienced by people who have not been in a position to create their situation and cannot defend against it, and therefore is obviously wrong.

          Additionally, addressing child poverty would serve to address much of the poverty and hardship in older agegroups as those children grow into adulthood.

          Fixed it for you. Stop trying to pretend you know what normal, empathising, socially-connected people think, BM. You do well guessing about the behaviours of cynics and sociopaths, but for some reason empathy and the moral dimension are beyond your analytical grasp.

    • wekarawshark 9.3

      “The majority of people in NZ believe that the issue is with the parents/parent and therefore there’s a lot of resentment about giving more money.”

      Do you have any evidence to back that up?

      • BM 9.3.1

        Numerous opinions online and in person all sort of saying the same sort of thing.

        People don’t like to see kids going hungry , but aren’t enthusiastic about just handing out more coin because it seems like a reward for poor parenting.

        Most seem to be more enthusiastic about more targeted assistance in conjunction with a thorough look into the home life of these kids to find out what’s going wrong and what can be done to get it sorted.

        Also National got 50% of the vote.

        • minarch 9.3.1.1

          ” in conjunction with a thorough look into the home”

          this is what its really all about !

          surely a libtard/randroid like yourself must object to this strongly BM ?

        • blue leopard 9.3.1.2

          @BM

          It is time to address the important point DoublePlus Good made:

          The majority of people in New Zealand need to do more research before they buy into that trope. Research into how things way outside of a parent’s control influence poverty – like unemployment rates, low wages, GST, high food prices.

          +1 DoublePlus Good
          +1 Minarch

          • BM 9.3.1.2.1

            Yes, poor people don’t have enough money, that’s fairly obvious

            What needs to be looked at is how people are spending their money and are there better ways or options where people can get more bang for their buck.

            Just giving more money to people without looking at the background issues isn’t the best option.

            • marty mars 9.3.1.2.1.1

              Yes poor people don’t have enough money as you state – so your answer is to help them get more bang from their inadequate bucks – do you see why that is idiotic.

              • BM

                Why haven’t they got enough money?

                The majority of beneficiaries or low wage workers seem to be able to put enough food on the table so the kids don’t starve.

                Whats the problem with the ones that can’t.

                Is Mum an alkie or a P head
                Is “Dad” coming around and taking money off Mum
                Is the Church taking too much money
                Is there a high interest loan/loans
                etc.

                or are they just really bad at budgeting.

                That’s why there needs to be a look behind the scenes to see what else is going on.

                • blue leopard

                  No, the best approach is to ensure there are decent jobs that cover costs, first. Then if there is still a problem perhaps you can start doing your Big Bro thing.

                • McFlock

                  The majority of beneficiaries or low wage workers seem to be able to put enough food on the table so the kids don’t starve.

                  citation needed

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  No. The best option, as study after study shows, is to give people money, so that they can make genuinely empowering changes in their lives.

                  We can keep on listening to the evidence -free gibberish, or we can learn the lessons of history.

                  The vicious stupidity fatuously known as the “Mother of all budgets” cut benefit levels. Children died and are dying as a result. Policy as infanticide.

                  The right thing to do is to prosecute those involved, and since we’re not going to make hate-policy illegal, the very least we can do is reverse it.

            • blue leopard 9.3.1.2.1.2

              Nor is the best option what you suggest.

              Address the structural problems that are causing poverty.

              What is occurring is that those who are being most disadvantaged by poor government policies are being expected to have increasingly more of the government in their private lives. Those in better circumstances need to work out what is occurring and why this isn’t a good thing for anyone.

              When everyone has the opportunity of having a job and everyone has truly viable access to education then you can start looking into why people aren’t taking these opportunities up, and not before. To do this analysis prior to addressing these issues, is simply an exercise in time-wasting prevarication.

              As it stands, this country provides more support to people who are unemployed than they do in supporting people to get educated. Whilst education is no guarantee of leading to a job, these days, due to those with capital not using their capital to create jobs, I know which form of support provides the most likelihood for people to get out of poverty traps.

            • Andrea 9.3.1.2.1.3

              Which people will be looking at how which people spend their money?

              The CAB and other budget service providers have been mentioning for a while that ‘respectable people’ have been turning up in dire indebtedness and need.

              And ‘looking at the background issues’ is great, fine, and truly wonderful if it also covers the futility of allowing people who have no training or experience to make policies, laws and ideologies that affect millions of people. Politicians. Them.

              The ‘government’ can allocate more in budgets to public service departments to pay for services and products. Money escapes into the wider community.

              This government actually/acshully cut their budgets and laid off people.

              A government can provide advice and advocacy for its exporters and enterprise developers.
              I don’t think Steven Joyce has presided over a flowering of job-generating private enterprises so far.

              For a so-called biz-savvy party they don’t even do the basics: measuring the results of their legislation and policies.

              A vanishingly small number of ‘families’ don’t fit in the generally accepted picture. Some of them do, indeed, rip off the system. Just like people further up the ladder eg ‘accountant jailed for three years for defrauding elderly clients of a million or so.’

              If you have ever read ‘Oliver Twist’ you will see that nothing has changed in that respect since the nineteenth century.

              Just because you believe people ‘should’ behave as you do and must be punished if they don’t – doesn’t make you ‘right’. That’s your opinion. You’re entitled to it – and you have no right whatsoever to insist that it be acted upon.

              And please note – that even if those few families are spending ‘your tax dollars on booze, fags, poppin’ ’em in – and out’ – they are also paying taxes, and providing work for many, and putting money into their communities.

              May you do as well.

            • tricle up 9.3.1.2.1.4

              Whatever symbols you use to define the problem do not hid the fact that regional rates are hungry on budgets a pulse in Auckland may well reveal this pulse is beating louder.Bad parents there are, poor parents do not have means or coin each rung has room for what it can provide.

        • Naki man 9.3.1.3

          That’s right BM, extra coin for many of these people means another box of cody’s not breakfast for the kids. You hit the nail on the head. Poverty often is the result of many other problems. Anyone who watched Nigel Latta’s programme on poverty knows this.

        • Foreign waka 9.3.1.4

          BM, you are firstly not well informed, secondly socially ill adjusted and thirdly one of the worst kind of people I have experienced overseas and here in NZ given your statements to this article.
          How you can justify that children need to suffer to put your and your kind political point across is beyond me. There are examples in Europe for people like you but no one wants to emanate them anymore, lessen learned a few decades ago. By the way, fear will not be a good adviser on your journeys.

        • tricle up 9.3.1.5

          What ever symbols you use to define the problem do not hid the fact that regional rates are hungry on budgets a pulse in Auckland may well reveal this pulse is beating louder.Bad parents there are, poor parents do not have means or coin each rung has room for what it can provide.

    • cogito 9.4

      I have a lot resentment about Key spending $26M of taxpayer money on his flag changing ego trip.

  10. Tautoko Mangō Mata 10

    Are there any situations in which you feel empathy towards those less fortunate than you, BM?

  11. Sabine 11

    National does not need to measure Child Poverty. Their kids clearly are not poor.

    Surely Mrs. Bennett – she who recieved all the welfare as a single mother (having a child she could not afford by herself tsk tsk tsk) she needed – can attest to that.

    Surely Mr. John Key, maybe maybe not Prime Minister of NZ, or just representative of the Prime Ministers Office, or maybe just John Key, can attest to that – after all his mother did receive the dry nice house she could not afford on her meager wages as a cleaner.

    It must have been that Mrs. Bennett’s child was as close to an immaculate conception as one virgin could get and thusly it was not the single teen aged mothers fault that the child was poor and needed welfare and that is why Mrs. Bennett should/could and did receive all the Tax Payers assistance to not only raise her child, but go to university on an allowance and bought her first house with governmental help. – She must have been one National Party approved poor Lady 🙂

    And surely BM will agree that Mr. Key’s Mother needed the State House to provide her son with a stable home that would allow him to finish school and go on to become sometimes Prime Minister, sometimes representative of the Prime Ministerial Office and sometimes just John Key a man who will put the wife out and kiss the cat if he can remember that he has a cat or a wife. Because if John Key would have had to grow up a poor child to a poor widow who makes a living cleaning houses he might end up in a trailer park with a constant bronchitis, constant hunger, constant concentration problems in a low income school and risk dropping out at fifteen.

    But maybe we are all fooled by BM and the guy is just secretly promoting the idea of a living wage of $ 20 before tax.

  12. Sue 12

    I couldn’t help noticing Anne Tolley’s use of what is doubtless the latest government ‘let’s repeat it so often it becomes the new normal’ speak: she strenuously avoided using the word poverty and spoke euphemistically instead of “children experiencing hardship”. When will they stop playing their silly word-games and take some meaningful action?

    • Sabine 12.1

      it would be fun if someone would simply us: Minsiter, please define “hardship’ for our listeners/readers. 🙂 Watch her sputter….

  13. Stanley Pointen 13

    On RNZ today Tolley blamed child poverty on “the darkest and deepest recession we have seen in this country since the 1930s”. The gift that keeps giving.

  14. Once Was Tim 14

    “she strenuously avoided using the word poverty and spoke euphemistically instead of “children experiencing hardship”. ”
    Which is but one example of where our MSM is journalistically defunct. That sort of shit goes uncontested. A simple ” Munsta, you mean IN POVERTY?” would suffice.

    • karol 14.1

      “hardship” is one of the clarifying, and measurable, categories used to explain the realities of poverty by NZ anti-poverty campaigners.

  15. Jay 15

    Wasn’t the fact that “child poverty” is increasing exponentially a soapbox for left wing parties during the election. Now we find out it hasn’t increased at all. In fact, it’s slightly better now than it was at the end of labours last term.

    I know this will make most of you apoplectic with rage, but these statistics erode even further the credibility of the left among middle nz.

    • greywarshark 15.1

      Jay
      Why do you bother to write in here? And to gloat and sneer. I despise you and many others here would do so. I despise you because we know what the effects of child poverty are, and that figures can be rigged, that stats can measure only those parts that stand scrutiny. Go and patronise somewhere else where you can cluck together in a tight group of worthies like yourself.
      edited

    • mickysavage 15.2

      So a quarter of a million kids living in poverty is a good thing because the situation has existed for a while? Is that what you intended to say?

      • Bob 15.2.1

        I completely agree with Jay, and this follows on from fisiani’s ‘Labour Cries Wolf’ rant the other day (/save-our-tea-breaks-2/#comment-917074). We have heard for the past couple of years that child poverty is increasing under National and they are a disgrace, now it turns out they have lowered child poverty from when Labour was last in power and there has been a major global recession during this time!
        I don’t think anyone is saying ‘poverty is a good thing’ as you are cleverly trying to spin this, this is report is just more proof that the ‘Left’ will try to paint a picture of this country going down the drain while reality does not match.

        “It is not rocket science. Increasing benefits, providing school breakfasts and increasing the minimum wage will help the poorest amongst us. Giving the already wealthy further tax cuts will not”
        Let’s run through this. Increasing benefits, I have tried to bring up stats on this but the shear range of benefits means this is near impossible to show either way.
        Providing school breakfasts, um, National along with Fonterra and Sanatarium have done this! https://kickstartbreakfast.co.nz/about
        Increasing the minimum wage, um, National have done this also! Minimum wage was $12/hour when Nation took power, it is now $14.25/hour, that is a 3.5% increase per year while inflation has averaged lass than 2% the whole time! http://www.dol.govt.nz/er/pay/minimumwage/previousminimum.asp

        So basically what you are saying is, National is bad, they should be doing…..what National has been doing???

        I also notice that you compared us directly to Australia, who never went into recession during this period, can you point to any specific policies they put in place to combat child poverty that we should replicate, or should we just dig up all of our natural resouces like they, Sweden and Norway have done?

        Otherwise, basically what I read is you want a National Government that does more mining and drilling for oil while raising benefit rates…..glad to see you have finally seen the light Mickeysavage.

    • Foreign waka 15.3

      @ Jay -Hurray, there are as many hungry kids as there were in 2008. Rejoice, the policies are working. Especially since the tax cut whilst in recession to make sure that something is trickle down. All those measures work very well for parents working 3 jobs and sleeping for 4 hours. Jeppee, it must be the new era of the Dickinson age. Just what everybody has been waiting for and is absolutely over the moon that we are almost there. All that needs to be done to reach the utopia of mass deprivation is a/ denying that there is a problem, b/ making statements that work is the only way to salvation (“work will make you free’ cannot be used as it has been in use before). Last but not least, these people should just suck it up and work with what they have got instead of smoking and drinking and eating and living… oops.

  16. The problem is an increasingly low paid society – one in which, for complex reasons, people are responding to the widening gap between rich and poor and the concentration of wealth in the hands of fewer people by becoming more anomic and alienated.

    The anomie is mostly expressed as horizontal violence and the alienation is from the political process – from the level of community upwards.

    People should be organising, protesting, refusing to pay taxes – especially the iniquitous taxes on taxes – but instead they internalise the anger and frustration which leads to a range of what are deemed to be pathological behaviours; they take it out on those closest to hand, they get depressed and lose heart, they turn on each other.

    My mother loves John Key and she loves listening to squawk back radio – definite cause and effect thing going on there – and she was telling me the other day that if she could cope with 5 kids, a disabled, unemployed husband and very little money, why can’t people today?

    She forgets that basic food staples were cheap; power was cheap; public transport was extensive and cheap; education was free through to tertiary level; rents were low, wages were reasonable and jobs were plentiful. After renting for a while, they got a brand new 4 bedroom state house. It was on the other side of town from where John Key’s family was later to be housed but that was probably to do with where my parents had been able to afford to rent privately and the schools we’d been enrolled in.

    Living in what later became one of NZ’s most notorious housing estates and going to a low decile school did not define our lives to the extent that it would today. In part that was because of who we were are as a family but it was more because we had the benefit of much more substantial safety nets than exist today – both in the form of state provision and in the fact of healthier more cohesive and viable communities.

    The fact is that poverty is soul destroying, and poverty in the midst of plenty even more so. Those who manage to rise above it should be hailed at heroes but instead, the mean spirited and the sanctimonious focus on and scapegoat those who cannot rise above it. That says a great deal about us as a nation.

    I have said elsewhere that the ‘demands’ of the poor are remarkable only for their modesty – and all the more so when they are stacked up alongside the obscenities of wealth.

    As a case in point – the Aged Care sector is wringing its miserly hands over the prospect of having to pay care giver’s a decent wage. Top All Blacks – National supporters to a man it seems – are advised to invest in the sector because over the past 10 years it has yielded returns of up to 35%. But more of that later – I am striving to calm my amygdala so I can write something coherent on the subject.

  17. Increasing benefits, providing school breakfasts and increasing the minimum wage will help the poorest amongst us.

    It will help some of them, while exacerbating the problem of way too many kids being raised on benefits – nett effect unpredictable but possibly worse than doing nothing.

    What will help the poorest among us is seeing that everyone able-bodied has work, that work covers the cost of living, and that people with kids are obliged to fund their upbringing themselves to the extent possible. National are vehemently opposed to the first two, but they’re prerequisites for the third.

  18. Jay 18

    Greywarshark – Why am I being despised for making a valid point? I am merely making the point that left wing parties will have lost credibility by trumpeting about an increase in child poverty, when all along it was rubbish.

    It’s sad really since it will also erode people’s interest in the issue, all thanks to exaggeration.

    Yes we all know that there are lies, damned lies and statistics, but if the report said child poverty had doubled would you be dismissing it?

    Statistics are often the best information and science we have about a given subject. Like ’em or not you shouldn’t only accept the ones you agree with, again it’s just not very credible.

    • Foreign waka 18.1

      So what you are saying is that the United nations branch Unicef is lying? Are you sure that this is so? I suspect, given the reputation of the current ministers in charge of solving the issue vs the people working at Unicef most people would know who to belief – hands down. I can reassure you of that, 100% statistically.

  19. Goodsweat 19

    ‘Child Poverty’ is an oxymoron. Of course 2 year olds are broke, they can never hold down a job.
    If ‘Child Poverty’ was legitimate jargon we would describe not feeding the cat as ‘Pet Poverty’.
    Kiwi parents with hungry kids have problems beyond an extra $50 a week. It would be great to make headway with these issues, more money is one tool, it is far from a fix-all remedy.

  20. North 20

    That I am non-plussed understates it……..Stephen Franks on Mora’s Panel RNZ just now:

    Child poverty is “relative”. He finds the question of child poverty “dreary”. He “can’t be bothered…….”. So there he sits, sulking, saying nothing until Mora remarks that he’s “gone quiet”. At which point he unleashes his disdain on the ‘have-nots’ of this nation.

    I suspect there are many, many, many inmates of our prisons whose level of anti-social entitlement is well trumped by the beastly sociopathy of Franks.

    Big can of karmic kick-arse headed his way I hope. Let him wear some mocassins.

  21. Goodsweat 21

    The term ‘Child Poverty ‘ makes me feel sad and helpless. I guess that’s what it’s designed to do.
    The term ‘Adult Poverty’ makes me want to throw the Masport in the boot and door-knock long lawns.

  22. coaster 22

    From my perspective, beneficiarys are the only one who should be in poverty, as a benefit is a stop gap measure to help people through a rough patch. There kids should have hope and full bellys in this country though.

    my concern are the working poor how can an employer in all honesty expect his/her staff to not have enough food for there kids. How could you expect someone whos hungry to be productive?.

    What bm said above about most kiwis not wanting more money to got to beneficiarys is correct, the message about dole bludgers drinking and smoking instead of feeding there kids is a standard statement out there in real nz.

    but imagine this, noone under a certain imcome is allowed to buy booze or smokes, and according to right wingers this is why they cant afford to feed there kids because
    they all do it, will the alchohol fast food and cigarette loby groups suddenly side with the left due to all the money they would loose.
    n

  23. Foreign waka 23

    Once more beneficiary bashing is en vogue. What so easily gets forgotten is the fact that many are women whose partner has left them to get out of the responsibility to raise a child.
    It is the same gender that say’s that it is OK that women earn 30% less then man, that there is no evidence of rape with the Roast Busters, that women don’t need shelter and support because their partner is bashing them and their kid.
    The majority of the prison population is males. There are female offenders, so lets see about the numbers from 2012:
    Total prison population 10160, of those are 750 female. Most common offense: Sexual assault and related offenses followed by acts intended to cause injury. Enough said.

    This webpage will provide some valuable information, web page nzcpr.com/the-politics-of-child-poverty
    It also shows that the number of 270 000 kids is actually quite a valid figure and it does not include all children in beneficiary homes.

  24. dave 24

    we march up queen St whoopee on issues no no protests need to go where there are not wanted right in front of there faces into the nact communities right smack on the door steps of the hoskins of this world occupy remuera or parnell get right in there faces and smash there plastic world

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