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Too many hungry kids

Written By: - Date published: 7:13 am, July 27th, 2011 - 180 comments
Categories: child welfare, national, poverty, welfare - Tags: ,

Kids are the canary in society’s coal mine. They tell us about the health of a country.  Child poverty was reducing under Labour. Now it is rising again under National.

Child poverty is rising because National’s perpetual beneficiary-bashing rhetoric has made it politically impossible to restore benefits to the liveable pre-1991 level (that is the main area where the last Labour government should have been bolder). Child poverty is rising because the economy has stagnated. It is rising because National work to keep wages down (they call it a “flexible” labour market).  It is rising because National’s tax cuts did nothing for the majority, i.e. the low and medium income earners. It is rising because the highest inflation in 21 years (in part caused by Key’s broken promise and GST increase) is punishing those same low and medium earners.  Child poverty is rising, so we’re going to keep getting bad news like this:

Our hungry kids: 40,000 NZ kids fed by charities

School principals say the number of pupils turning up for breakfast is increasing daily, despite the collapse of one of the two main breakfast programmes, a Red Cross scheme which ended this month after Countdown supermarkets withdrew their sponsorship.

A Herald investigation has found that at least 185 of New Zealand’s 256 primary and intermediate schools in the poorest 10th of the nation (decile 1) give their children breakfast or other food during the day, on top of the Government’s fruit in schools scheme.

… the total number of children being fed each week is almost certainly more than 40,000 – nearly a fifth of the 229,400 children in decile 1 to 4 schools. KidsCan is running an appeal for people to sponsor one of the 20,000 children on its waiting list for $15 a month. So far 850 sponsors have signed up.

But in a report being issued today, the Child Poverty Action Group calls on the Government to work with charities, businesses and community groups to underwrite breakfast programmes in all 463 decile 1 and 2 primary and intermediate schools. “It is time to deal directly with childhood hunger,” it says.

Manurewa Intermediate principal Iain Taylor said the problem had become so bad that children were stealing food from the school’s marae where the breakfast club was held. “It’s definitely got worse this year, without a doubt. The poverty is really obvious,” he said. …

KidsCan founder Julie Helson said demand for her programme was growing, mainly because of the rising cost of living. Food prices rose 7 per cent in the year to June, but the average hourly wage rose only 2.6 per cent in the year to March.

Making sure that children don’t go hungry is not the responsibility of charity, it is the responsibility of all of us, of society. It is the responsibility of government.  The National government is failing.

It doesn’t have to be this way.  There are cost-effective things that the government could do.  Some of that tax cut windfall for the rich would have been much better spent on children.  But point that out and you only get accused of the “politics of envy”.  Shame.

(Hat tip to No Right Turn for three great posts recently, all have been linked to above.)

180 comments on “Too many hungry kids”

  1. Craig Glen Eden 1

    The politics of greed literally taking food from the Nations children’s mouths, Keys and National know no shame.

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      Perhaps there were left overs from that $7000 a head dinner he went to in the Hawkes Bay he could have given to his dog?

      Or the hungry kids at his local school?

  2. tc 2

    Nats have never had a problem with causing or aiding this type of situation, more of those ‘life choices’ sideshow claims are the cause rather than a govt enriching it’s mates and selling the family assets off to fund it’s wealth shifting tactics.

  3. vto 3

    The politics of greed alright.

    A little like the anglican church in Christchurch, through its Christs College, selling off leasehold land in a poorer part of the city to a bunch of rich and unscrupulous Aucklanders who have proceeded to put ground rents up by up to 300% forcing some of these people out of their homes. Of course the now empty homes have greater use in other forms.

    Well done Anglican Church – don’t put the rents up yourself, just sell the whole she-bang to someone else who can do that, and you just take the capital value of that rental increase ability. You effectively shoved those people out of their homes yourself mr anglican.

    Shame on you.

    And shame on the politics of greed that these new owners exhibit.

    It is the same politics that results in hungry children. It also results in homeless people.

  4. Actually, making sure kids don’t go hungry is the responsibility of parents. Society has at best a secondary role.

    • Carol 4.1

      Ha! And if the parents don’t have enough money because there’s too few jobs and/or wages are too low?

    • Colonial Viper 4.2

      Actually I quite agree with you Psycho Milt. It is primarily the responsibility of parents.

      And if parents find that they are unable to provide for their children because society and government are cruel and uninterested, then they should rise up in a show of strength, will and numbers, and change society and government so that it has no choice but to be interested. Be so loud and forceful so that the cowards in this Government know that we will not accept mere drippings from their manor table any longer.

      It’s happened before and under this NACT govt it will happen again.

      • Cadwallader 4.2.1

        Why breed ’em if you can’t feed ’em?

        • tsmithfield 4.2.1.1

          Exactly.

        • felix 4.2.1.2

          Why hire ’em if you can’t pay ’em?

          • tsmithfield 4.2.1.2.1

            Have you been talking to Mat McCarten from UNITE?

            • felix 4.2.1.2.1.1

              Why? Does he think people should be paid enough to live on as well?

              Fuck me, we must be brothers.

              • tsmithfield

                Nah. Just that he seems to have been having some problems with wages. Well the PAYE component, anyway. Thought you would have been up with that one. 🙂

                • felix

                  Why?

                  Oh I see, you just don’t want to address what I wrote. Silly me.

                  • tsmithfield

                    Perhaps if that particular socialist was actually meeting his social obligations (i.e. paying PAYE) there might be a few less hungry children.

                    • felix

                      How do you figure that?

                      The govt would have to allocate that money to such effect, and all evidence suggests that they won’t.

                      Which brings us – inconveniently for you, I acknowledge – back to the topic at hand.

                      Kids are going hungry in NZ, and National are doing nothing about it.

                    • tsmithfield

                      Well they are doing as much as Labour has ever done.

                      Anyway, do you agree that IF parents in NZ avail themselves of all the help available (WINZ, emergency grants, foodbanks, etc) there is no need for any children to go hungry in NZ. If so, the argument for why the fault is with parents not the government runs like this:

                      1. There is sufficient resources in the system to ensure that no children go hungry.
                      2. Responsible parents would ensure they availed themselves of all available resources to ensure their children didn’t go hungry.
                      3. Children are going hungry.
                      4. Therefore, the reason that children are going hungry is that not all parents are responsible.

                    • felix

                      We should punish them all.

                      Dirty little people.

                    • felix

                      ps You included emergency grants and foodbanks in your estimation of why there is no reason for people to run out of food.

                      Since when should feeding kids be an emergency?

                      If special assistance and charity is needed to make your sums add up you’re just highlighting the problem. Oops.

                    • tsmithfield

                      “We should punish them all. Dirty little people.”

                      Nah. Just that if the problem is parents not being responsible, then simply throwing more money at the problem won’t solve it.

                      “ps You included emergency grants and foodbanks in your estimation of why there is no reason for people to run out of food. Since when should feeding kids be an emergency?”

                      It shouldn’t. But these sorts of facilities are available should the circumstance arise where for whatever reason needy people can’t afford to meet basic needs.

                      But it looks like you agree with my premises, even though you want to quibble about whether “emergency” resources should be taken into account.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      1. There is sufficient resources in the system to ensure that no children go hungry.

                      You go wrong right from the start. Nationals tax cuts for the rich ensured that there isn’t enough resources to feed the children and quite a few of the adults as well.

                    • felix

                      No ts, I don’t agree with your premise at all.

                      No-one goes to a food bank unless they’re desperate.

                      The fact that people are queueing for food parcels and emergency aid totally disproves your premise, it shows that the system isn’t coping with need.

                      If the system was adequately resourced there wouldn’t be such a thing as a food bank.

                      What you’re really saying is that having people desperate, living in a perpetual state of crisis, dependent on private charity to eat should be considered part of the normal equilibrium.

                      That’s disgraceful. You should be ashamed of that line of argument.

          • Tigger 4.2.1.2.2

            Ah, so nice to see this. Congrats right wing – your outrage about hungry children is exactly as expected – place blame but let the kids starve. Very Dickensian though.

            • mik e 4.2.1.2.2.1

              May be John Key should resign and give back all his millions go back and live in his mothers state house and any one else that has had state funding or govt funding give it all back. Only the rich and successful deserve a place on this planet thats called feudalism Tsmith

        • Ari 4.2.1.3

          Perhaps it wasn’t a problem when they first had their children. Perhaps the parents really did make decisions, but I’m not sure that’s as relevant as the fact that the kids themselves don’t deserve to suffer for their parents’ mistakes.

        • mik e 4.2.1.4

          The stats show the better educated you are the less children you have.Those who think only logically and without emotion in these situations are just abusive bullies , they can easily separate feelings from thinking not unlike Breivik!

        • pollywog 4.2.1.5

          Why breed ‘em if you can’t feed ‘em?

          …so those Maori who are killing their kids in ”record” numbers should be applauded for seeing the error of their ways in having them in the first place, considering they were to poor to feed ’em to start with.

          Why aren’t the nutjobs celebrating this fact ?

          …instead we get Cactus KKKate, the childless barreness of empty cyber wasteland crying over poor dead brown kids and championing poor live asian kids cos ‘hey… white people look after their own first eh ?

          Maori child abuse disproportionately high: Minister

          Social Development Minister Paula Bennett says although new research shows child abuse is also a Pakeha problem, nine out of the last 12 children killed by abuse were from Maori families.

          New research by Eastern Institute of Technology social work lecturer Raema Merchant found Pakeha kill as many of their children as Maori, although Maori were the “face of abuse” in the media.

          http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/5338700/Maori-child-abuse-disproportionately-high-Minister

          Seriously though, Maori do need to own that shit and let iwi rangatira exercise sovereignty and benevolence over the welfare of their own less advantaged whanau first.

          Iwi letting their whanau go hungry is an abuse that needs to be put back on them to own up to, ‘cos it wasn’t like this back in the day.

        • Ianupnorth 4.2.1.6

          Because there is always the slight chance that once they could; last time I looked people developed chronic diseases, were laid off, had industrial injuries or similar.
          People do plan families but nature has an awful habit of screwing up peoples plans!

        • Colonial Viper 4.2.1.7

          Why breed ’em if the kids are wealthy upper class dole bludgers exactly like their tax avoiding parents?

          • KJT 4.2.1.7.1

            Actually it is the rich that should be made to stop breeding.

            Their off-springs consumption of resources is much greater than that of poor kids. Their children’s contribution to society is often negative, as they consume without returning a proportionate amount of work..

            Any one who believes, in the eugenics idea, that the children of the rich are genetically superior, has not met many.

        • mik e 4.2.1.8

          Maybe we should drown all males from poor families at birth Cad. ie like the pharaohs did.Oh no the poor are already killing and abusing their kids only few rich do it so we, ll carry on blaming the poor. Abdicate any responsibility for being part of this society , stay aloof and critical.absolve your self of all participation except self indulgence!

      • Unfortunately, Viper, there have been recent examples of people who have stood their ground against this government – and got smacked down fairly hard.

        Case in point; Natasha Fuller and Jennifer Johnston. These women had their private details released to the media by a vengeful, nasty-minded little woman – Paula Bennet – and they were both crucified in the public spotlight. It gave every redneck and misogynist an excuse to spout their hate-crap.

        http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/newsdetail1.asp?storyID=160832

        It would be a brave and bold welfare beneficiary who stuck his/her head above the parapets in this climate.

        Unfortunately, this kind of demonisation is common when conservative/neo-liberal governments are in power. It gives “permission” for right-wing misfits to be more public in their vitriol (though they still usually do it anonymously).

    • Draco T Bastard 4.3

      Wrong. It’s societies responsibility to ensure that all of it’s people have a good living standard. It’s the peoples responsibility to ensure that their society can do that.

    • And dont forget the “Smoking and drinking bit ,you satisfied dick head.

  5. Lazy Susan 5

    “Let the charities deal with it” is akin to Cameron’s “Big Society” in the UK. It’s spun as handing back control yet is nothing more than abdicating responsibility.

    The trouble with this approach is that only the people that care pay and the collection cost is often high.

    We are a first world country with plenty of wealth and no-one should go hungry. Tax cuts for the wealthy while kids go hungry – what a sick little society we’ve become.

  6. battleheed 6

    Lots of envy going on there, did I miss Labour MPs taking a vow of poverty?

    • Zetetic 6.1

      big difference between being envious of someone’s wealth and wanting kids to not go hungry. Big fucken difference.

      • battleheed 6.1.1

        Oh really so while Helen had investment properties all over the show, not a single kid went hungry when she was in government did they?

        • Ari 6.1.1.1

          I’d be perfectly happy if the government spent government funds to help out hungry kids. They’re allowed to be privately wealthy, so long as they stop privileging it in their policy decisions.

        • bbfloyd 6.1.1.2

          cheers bottlehead,,, show the world what we need to remove before we can get on with being civilised humans. dross like yourself… you, and your laughing pack of curs are the impediment that is stopping us from becoming anything like a mature responsible society that actually deals with it’s problems without resorting to mindless scapegoating…

          so spew your poison far and wide… you succeed brilliantly in turning people away from the kind of politics more suited to a troupe of chimpanzees than anything remotely human. go for broke!!!

          • battleheed 6.1.1.2.1

            Nothing like a bit of hate speech from the left to show that you’re all peace loving people who just want the world to get a long aye.

    • Colonial Viper 6.2

      Yes battleheed, that hungry 5 year old you are dismissing out of hand is ‘envious’ that you managed to have breakfast this morning and she didn’t yet again.

      Either that or you are a sociopath. I wonder which?

    • Wanting our children to be properly fed and looked after – you call that “envy”?

      What a strange little person you are…

    • Draco T Bastard 6.4

      It’s not envy you psychopathic, illogical fuckwit. It’s anger and disgust about how little this government and it’s supporters care for this country and it’s people.

    • Ianupnorth 6.5

      Miss the first line did you?

      Child poverty was reducing under Labour. Now it is rising again under National.

  7. Peter 7

    I get a little sick of the “envy” smoke screen and saddened to recently hear stories of kids smoking to suppress hunger.

    Can’t help but feel that a lack of paid work for many families is a fundamental underlying issue.

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      Don’t worry mate, most people can tell the difference between the politics of envy and the politics of cruelty and greed.

      Battleheed for instance thinks that people freezing in broken houses are ‘envious’ that he can keep warm at night while they risk hypothermia.

      Reading up on the French Revolution, it seems to me that their ruling classes were equally out of touch with the sentiment of the masses. Inequality now is not as bad as then of course; but the ruling elite have also set income and material expectations much higher than then.

      It’s very interesting indeed.

    • felix 7.2

      This “envy” cry from the right is often a useful sign that they have no way to respond.

      (Or more accurately, no way to respond out loud)

    • tsmithfield 7.3

      “I get a little sick of the “envy” smoke screen and saddened to recently hear stories of kids smoking to suppress hunger.”

      Doesn’t it seem a little ironic that these kids can find money for smokes but not food?

      • felix 7.3.1

        Kids can’t buy smokes you dickhead.

        • tsmithfield 7.3.1.1

          Not officially. However there are easy ways around the rules, as I am sure even you can work out.

          • felix 7.3.1.1.1

            It’s also not irony.

            What is ironic is that you’re trolling in a thread about children not having enough to eat, and people are feeding you.

            Joking aside. I think we’ve all seen this argument from you before, so it’d save us all a bit of time if you would just cut to the part where you say that poverty exists because inferior people smoke and drink.

            Then we can all just move on without you.

      • bbfloyd 7.3.2

        displaying your ignorance again ts….not really sure why you need to advertise your abysmal lack of taste, unless you are so mentally impaired that you havn’t realised just how utterly devoid of relevant information your worldview is endowed with.
        i have to assume you just like to laugh at those less well off than you… which at least gives your comments some kind of logical rationale…

        • tsmithfield 7.3.2.1

          It would have been helpful for Peter to provide a link for the story he referred to.

          However, why shouldn’t we question the contradiction of children smoking because they don’t get food. Smokes are expensive. Where are they coming from, and why are smokes being preferred over food?

          • Puddleglum 7.3.2.1.1

            My dad said that when he was a boy (from age eight) they’d all collect the fag ends and smoke them – that was in the days before welfare but not before poverty. He didn’t mention smokes and hunger but I imagine it was a useful side effect for him. Mainly he smoked because it was in the ‘media’ (i.e., the films).

            Also, he was very resourceful at working out rackets (and jobs like two paper runs) to get money. When he left school at 14 to get a full-time job he actually took a pay cut. The money he made when, technically, he was at school went onto the things that kids thought were ‘cool’ (though the word hadn’t been invented then) – just like today. If you want to get moralistic about the purchasing habit of kids I guess that’s just your kick.

            In the real world, children don’t always make economically rational decisions – more fool them, eh? Obviously, they ‘prefer’ hunger to missing out on looking cool/fuelling an addiction. That’s their economic ‘trade-off’ I guess and we don’t need to feel any responsibility as a society at all about different people making different trade-offs, do we?

            You see, TS, people in poverty are actually very resourceful – necessity and invention and all that. Strangely, though, despite being the beneficiary of such useful lessons, my dad didn’t think the ‘inventiveness’ that emerged was justification for the degrading poverty he and his peers experienced. Don’t know why. 

      • mik e 7.3.3

        Tsmith you wouldn,t last a week in one of these impoverished homes.These children when they grow up like you haven,t are going to be the reason why we fall further down the oecd rankings.They are going to cost you in your retirement either in health, criminal justice system or their wages are going to be so low the country won,t be able to afford to look after you either in aged care or the extra healthcare elderly people require and then there is security you will probably have to live in a gated community in retirement.

      • mik e 7.3.4

        Tsmith YOU are very good at abusing the underclass .The solution your inferring is called feudalism!

        • tsmithfield 7.3.4.1

          WTF? Where have I inferred any solution? All I have asked is how kids can afford smokes to suppress their appetite for food when smokes in themselves are expensive. You still won’t actually answer my question.

      • “Doesn’t it seem a little ironic that these kids can find money for smokes but not food?” – T Smithfield

        Confirmed cases and stats, please?

        • tsmithfield 7.3.5.1

          I wasn’t the one who raised the issue in the first place. Ask Peter. As I said, it would have been helpful if he had linked to the article he was referring to. Until then, I am entitled to ask obvious questions.

    • Vicky32 7.4

      Can’t help but feel that a lack of paid work for many families is a fundamental underlying issue.

      Absolutely! You’re right…

  8. jackal 8

    Shame on the supermarkets and middle men for price gouging and making food unaffordable as well. When you hear about the peanuts a lot of suppliers are being paid, it’s pretty obvious we’re getting ripped off.

  9. Tangled up in blue 9

    the Child Poverty Action Group calls on the Government to work with charities, businesses and community groups to underwrite breakfast programmes in all 463 decile 1 and 2 primary and intermediate schools.

    I think that this would be a great investment and would result in better educated, healthier kids with more nutritious eating habits.

    Labour should scrap their feeble GST of fruit & veg. policy and propose to underwrite breakfast programmes.

    • bbfloyd 9.1

      who do you think laid the groundwork for the programs that still exist? your not going to try to tell me that national started them are you?

      are all you tories this shallow?

      • Tangled up in blue 9.1.1

        What the hell are you on about? Learn to read.

        I said quite clearly that I think these programmes are beneficial and that I would like to see them funded by the Govt.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.2

      I think that this would be a great investment…

      I don’t. Charities are far less efficient than government, ergo, the government should be ensuring that people don’t go hungry, have excellent education and raising taxes to pay for it.

  10. Bart 10

    @ Carol, if the wages are too low, then they can go and apply for WFF, can’t they?

    As well as looking at the figures and questioning Government policy, there has to be an acknowledgement of individual responsibility, and the fact that there are parents out there who are not correctly prioritising their budget. Once my wife and I are paid, the first thing we buy is food for the fortnight, the bills are paid by AP, and the Mortgage. We don’t go out very often, if at all. Our major luxury expense would be the SKY decoder!

    Now I am not, for one second, saying that there are people out there not struggling, but we all know that some people are not helping themselves!

    • Tangled up in blue 10.1

      there has to be an acknowledgement of individual responsibility, and the fact that there are parents out there who are not correctly prioritising their budget.

      Yes this needs to be addressed. Though after we endure kids aren’t going hungry.

      • mik e 10.1.1

        Tangled one why don,t you live on their income and in their situation and show everybody how its done for a year or two . I doubt if you would last a week!Smug one.

        • Tangled up in blue 10.1.1.1

          Gee you clowns with poor reading comprehension are annoying. Wtf am I being smug about? Seriously.

          I acknowledged that in some cases parents are just plain irresponsible. In no way was I suggesting that this is the case for every struggling family.

          p.s you know nothing about my life situation or my experience with poverty

    • bbfloyd 10.2

      tell me what happens to beneficiaries then bart… do you have the first clue about this issue?

      your ignorance and smug superiority sickens me… you, and your overfed, self satisfied pack of carrion eaters have reduced this country to the sort of place our children will happily walk away from the second they can.. without a backward glance…

      i suppose i should concede that being the “largest ghost town in the world” has a certain charm that might attract the sort of tourists that visit places where atrocities and disasters have taken place..

      or it can become the world headquarters for the national front.

      • bart 10.2.1

        What do I know about beneficiaries? Given that i was raised by my mother on a widows benefit, I’d say i had an adequate frame of reference.

    • Vicky32 10.3

      and the Mortgage. We don’t go out very often, if at all. Our major luxury expense would be the SKY decoder!

      It is a luxury, dimwit! 
      You say “but we all know that some people are not helping themselves!” Did you by any chance see Close Up last night, and the feature about the woman with breast cancer, on SB, who has $50.00 a week after rent, and can’t keep herself warm in Dunedin because she can’t pay her power bills. How do you suggest she “help herself”? 

      • bart 10.3.1

        Hello? I said “some” not all. And I said Sky is a luxury! Do you people actually read my posts?

  11. Irascible 11

    I have just been walking around the square in Palmerston North and, for the first time that I can recall, saw people begging on the streets. My relations inform me that there are people begging on the streets in Hamilton as well.
    Given that this is happening under the Key owned NACTional government I can only presume that this is a result of the policies and life style choices being imposed by Key and his cronies.
    A sad indictment on our country,

  12. chris73 12

    For my view I don’t believe its simply as easy as blaming the govt (surprise, surprise) however I also believe that there are a lot of parents out there making poor choices (but then I also think its too easy to blame the parents)

    I’d suggest that while the govt of the day can do things better, parents can also do better

    One thing I’d like to see though is a study done on whether NZ could do a school lunch system similar to the USA/UK system

    • bbfloyd 12.1

      don’t tell me you actually believe that this govt would pay for a program like that? what kind of fool would allow programs to develop that demonstrate how badly they have failed those children, and their families..

      especially as there are much more deserving corporate recipients needing that money to create the thousands of jobs that they would exist if only the govt would give them more money.

      how unpatriotic to want to use up valuable investment capital simply so they can eat food when there are starving ceo’s out there lining up to help their fellow man..

  13. Barnardos Chief Executive and Green Paper champion Murray Edridge told TV ONE’s Breakfast that the paper is a starting point for finding a way to give all Kiwi children the “best start in life”.

    “We have a lot of children for whatever circumstance don’t get those opportunities so they are vulnerable… they’re vulnerable to issues of neglect and abuse and just not getting the advantages that we’d like our children to have.”
    Advertisement

    Edridge said he would like New Zealanders to take the opportunity to make a difference and put forward opinions about how the government’s resources can best be used to tackle the country’s child welfare problems.

    “As Kiwis we all look at some of the issues that come on our TV screens and our news and we feel angry. We feel enormously sad for things that are happening and frustrated that we’re so far away from it and the problem seems too large, too complex for us to deal with.

    “Here’s an opportunity for New Zealanders to have a say in how we go about addressing the issues that confront our most vulnerable children.”

    http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/govt-seeks-public-opinion-plan-protect-children-4327082

  14. King Kong 14

    Benefits in NZ are enough to sustain the basics of life – shelter, food, warmth etc – as acceptable in a first world country. It is certainly not beer and skittles living on a benefit but it can be done and everyone qualifies to recieve it.
    As much as you bleeding hearts whine, there is no excuse for anyone not providing food for their kids. It is child abuse pure and simple and should be dealt with as such.
    Anyone who is making the choice of a scratch card over their kids breakfast is an animal and should be treated like one.

    • felix 14.1

      “Benefits in NZ are enough to sustain the basics of life – shelter, food, warmth etc – as acceptable in a first world country.”

      Actually no.

      Benefits were deliberately set at 20% below the level you suggest by Ruthless Richardson and nothing has been done to reverse this decision since.

      • chris73 14.1.1

        So you agree both Labour and National are to blame?

        • Ari 14.1.1.1

          I agree National are to blame and Labour has stood by and done nothing, probably to avoid political heat on the issue.

        • Bill 14.1.1.2

          A study came some months back that showed child poverty was on the increase. Some of the stats were quite frightening. Diseases wholly associated with poverty were/are becoming more commonplace.

          There was one discussion that I’m aware of (Radio NZ) and then discussion was buried.

          Soon after, Annette King came out with her fatuous rubbish about how Labour would elevate the needs of ‘the child’ etc.

          Thing is, the study was taking figures from/ up to 2008.

        • felix 14.1.1.3

          You probably think that’s hard for me to reconcile, but I’m not a Labour supporter. And even if I was, what difference would that make? We’re talking about people having food and shelter ffs.

          Of course Labour should have increased benefits to liveable levels. Only a fucking sociopath would say otherwise.

          Play your games with someone else.

        • bbfloyd 14.1.1.4

          don’t be stupid chris… oh, sorry, i forgot who i was addressing… job creation efforts took thousands off the benefits under labour.. and i should point out the felix isn’t quite right about benefit levels.. they had been raised noticeably by the time i got back to nz..(i left in 95, arrived home 2005)..(it was actually reported in oz when the benefit levels were raised) on top of that, they had introduced rental support so that nobody paid more than 30% of their income, whether from wages or benefits.. a necessary step to counter the rent increases imposed by the national govt.(which, btw, has been stalled by this govt). thousands of people are now having to use all, or nearly all their income just to pay rent and power.. food has become a luxury for them..

          surprise me chris… sat something that doesn’t revolve around soulless bigotry, and hatred for anyone who doesn’t look like you.

          • chris73 14.1.1.4.1

            You don’t get it do you, the people arn’t listening, the phones off the hook

            Even if the polls arn’t accurate (and they probably arn’t) I’d be surprised if Labour got 30% so over 2/3 of the population don’t want Labour in power, doesn’t that say something to you at all?

            However you want to cut it the only thing of interest in the next election is not whether National will win but whether National can govern alone

            • Puddleglum 14.1.1.4.1.1

              over 2/3 of the population don’t want Labour in power, doesn’t that say something to you at all?

              Let’s think – how about that 2/3 of people in New Zealand prefer to see rising childhood poverty than have Labour in power? Like Madeleine Albright’s comments over starving Iraqi children, perhaps it’s a price their willing to pay? 

              Now that I’ve stopped being facetious – I think – benefit levels are not sufficient to sustain a person or family because of the predictable regularity of supposedly irregular, ‘exceptional circumstances’ which keep cropping up in people’s lives and cost money. Those ‘irregular’ expenses mean that budgeting quickly becomes a chaotic affair being dealt with by people often stressed and with little neighbourly or family support (that’s an increasingly common characteristic of our modern, ‘mobile’ world, BTW).

              I lived with my sister and her three children for a few years, helping to pay the rent. She was on the DPB while doing an education degree and teaching qualification. The stress was unbelievable for her and it wore her out visibly. She wouldn’t/couldn’t sleep most nights, getting only a few hours, often supposedly ‘working’ on assignments (but a blank page in the morning).

              At one point she had a car that kept getting mechanical problems and punctured tyres (turned out it was the rickety wooden floor in the garage of the rental). It cost her over $1500 in one three month period (back in 1986). She needed the car for study and making sure she got her preschooler off to care and young girls off to primary. Ironically, she went without out it for another month while the partners who owned the mechanics had a business ‘split’ and simply kept her car (telling her they’d get it done ‘next week’ while it sat in their place in pieces).

              Oh, and as for those commenters (above) who claim that “don’t breed ’em if you can’t feed ’em” the problem that led to her separation from her husband was his chronic psychological disturbance. And on it goes. Life’s complicated. Fortunately all of that was before the benefit cuts.

              BTW, I genuinely appreciate your comment to the effect that “it’s too easy to blame the parents” 

              • chris73

                The problem as I see it is this: Can this country afford to pay absolutely everybody on a benefit a “decent amount” to live on?

                Can every single service in this country be given the funds needed to operate properly and efficently?

                I truly don’t believe that as a country we can afford to do this

                I don’t believe we make enough/can make enough (we are a small country) to do this

                I believe any party that says we can is lying

              • how about that 2/3 of people in New Zealand prefer to see rising childhood poverty than have Labour in power?

                That’s ridiculous and you know it.

                How about “17% of the population think Labour are able to properly manage the economy”?

                It’s all about the best way to use limited resources.

    • Campbell Larsen 14.2

      And what of the society that permits and promotes gambling? And the party (national) that cuts deals with casinos? Wake up angry ape, people and problems do not exist in isolation. Shame on you for your lack of understanding, and your thinly disguised hate. People like you make me despair for the future of humanity.

    • Tangled up in blue 14.3

      Benefits in NZ are enough to sustain the basics of life

      Says who? Your anecdotal evidence doesn’t make it so.

      And yeah some parents are irresponsible, let’s try and stop this. But that’s a side issue here as not funding breakfast programmes isn’t going to get us anywhere with the issue or poor parenting and children will still be going hungry.

      • mik e 14.3.1

        Even under National in the fifties and sixties their were school lunches, milk in schools ,cheap affordable housing,Most of this problem has happened since Rogernomics Ruthenasia .Looking at our ranking in the oecd on child poverty child deaths were virtually unheard of before then. with cheap reliable housing families were able to stay together or stay in one place to create a stable family.Like Mr KEYS MUM.HOW ever inter generational alcohol abuse has been probably the biggest Destructive force in our alcohol fueled society now including drugs. ALCOHOL alone is causing $5.5 billion worth of damage each year and is not paying its way.In fact those of us who are not using alcohol our most dangerous drug are subsidizing alcohol consumption.So I suggest we could tax alcohol user pays stop subsidizing ALCOHOLISM.And fix our abhorrent child poverty and abuse statistics SECOND only to the US with that money thats effectively being poured down the drain While wrecking our society

        • Vicky32 14.3.1.1

          ….inter generational alcohol abuse has been probably the biggest destructive force in our alcohol fueled society now including drugs. Alcohol alone is causing $5.5 billion worth of damage each year and is not paying its way.In fact those of us who are not using alcohol our most dangerous drug, are subsidising alcohol consumption.So I suggest we could tax alcohol

          Agreed!

      • King Kong 14.3.2

        Says the majority of beneficiaries who do it tough but get by without starving their children.

        • Tangled up in blue 14.3.2.1

          Again, who says that the majority of beneficiaries get by without their kids going hungry sometimes?

          Do you really think that the only reason kids are going hungry is because their caregivers are wasting money on alcohol. cigs and lotto?

          Get real. People with not enough income to build savings will struggle when unexpected bills come up.

          • King Kong 14.3.2.1.1

            My understanding is that there is an extraordinary allowance or some such thing available for beneficiaries who get unexpected and unusual bills.
            The reality is you wont be taking the kids to Disneyland on a benefit but you can feed them (like the majority are doing).

            • Vicky32 14.3.2.1.1.1

              My understanding is that there is an extraordinary allowance or some such thing available for beneficiaries who get unexpected and unusual bills.

              Well, your understanding is wrong. A beneficiary can apply for a special needs grant (which must be repaid and repayments are taken immediately, before the SNG is even received!). Special needs grant are discretionary, which means that the WINZ worker can say no, you don’t deserve it, and that’s that.
              When I was on the DPB I learned that I would have been entitled to 3 extra payments for food every year – but not knowing that these payments existed, I had never applied – then, one year (my last on benefit, I think) I applied and was given $100.00 (I can’t believe that in 2004 or whenever it was, I thought $100.00 was bloody luxury, but I did.) Then when I had a heavy power bill, I applied for another food grant, thinking that I would be able to use the food money for the power bill. The WINZ case worker said to me “this is your second in a calendar year, you’re a bad manager, so now, I don’t wanna. Get lost”.
              Given that I could have had an extra $300.00 a year for 10 years, I had saved that guy’s department a serious chunk of money over the years, had I even known such grants existed. I think that shows I was a very good manager!

        • Colonial Viper 14.3.2.2

          Says the majority of beneficiaries who do it tough but get by without starving their children.

          Starvation happens in Ethiopia.

          Malnourishmkent and under-nourishment> happens in NZ.

          So if you think the first is not acceptable for NZ kids, but the last two are, its quite clear what kind of person you are.

          Maybe John Key could have kept some left overs from his $7000 dinner for his dog.

          Or for hungry NZ kids around the corner from him

    • “Benefits in NZ are enough to sustain the basics of life – shelter, food, warmth etc – as acceptable in a first world country.”

      Rubbish. You obviously have never tried to survive on a benefit.

      The facts are;

      Unemployment benefit for 25+ single person: $201.40 p/w (nett). http://www.workandincome.govt.nz/manuals-and-procedures/deskfile/main_benefits_rates/unemployment_benefit_tables.htm

      There is no way you can live off that amount.

      “Anyone who is making the choice of a scratch card over their kids breakfast is an animal and should be treated like one.”

      Really? And you know this – how?

      As much as you bleeding hearts whine, there is no excuse for anyone not providing food for their kids. It is child abuse pure and simple and should be dealt with as such.

      “Bleeding hearts whine”?! As opposed to your fatuous, narrow-minded attitude of victim-blaming? You know very little.

    • King Kong, I also missed this rubbish you wrote; It is certainly not beer and skittles living on a benefit but it can be done and everyone qualifies to recieve it.

      Again, you’ve made an error.

      Not everyone qualifies for an unemployment benefit.

      Case A: two people flat together. Sally and John both work. John is made redundant. He qualifies for a single person’s unemployment benefit.

      Case B: two people are married and live together. Sandra and James both work. James is made redundant. Because they are married and Sandra is still employed, James does not qualify for unemployment benefits.

      That is the reality which you seem blissfully unaware of.

  15. Helen Kelly 15

    I think this clip captures the situation well. Campbell live is doing some really good work in this area.

    http://www.3news.co.nz/Low-income-families-hit-hardest-by-rising-food-petrol/tabid/817/articleID/220142/Default.aspx

  16. Afewknowthetruth 16

    Malnutrition and starvation were the norm in all but hunter-gatherer societies until industrial farming commenced in the late 1800s.

    The Green Revolution generated massive increases in agricultural production, largely based on the use of cheap oil, cheap fertilisers and irrigation. None of those will be available for much longer.

    The implications are obvious to anyone who cares use their brain. Industrial farming has no long term future.

    However, all politicans prefer to promote ridiculous delusions based on the present system continuing (or even expanding). And people actually believe what politicians say. The culture of denial is extraordinarily powerful.

    In practice we are leaving the Age of Entitlement and entering the Age of Consequences. That is not what people want to hear.

    • Colonial Viper 16.1

      Malnutrition and starvation were the norm in all but hunter-gatherer societies until industrial farming commenced in the late 1800s.

      In well organised feudal societies through the 14th-17th centuries sufficient food was usually available (barring massive crop failures and war).

      • Afewknowthetruth 16.1.1

        CV

        That is superficially true. But in practice a large proportion of the food consumed in those feudal societies was obtained from ‘the commons’, not from tilled land. Every winter was a period of semi-starvation, largely dependent on stored/preserved food.

        The enclosure of the commons (by the wealthy and greedy) led to a rapid rise in deaths from malnutrition. By the mid-1800s the theft of the commons by the wealthy was near complete. Most ordinary people were then forced to become cogs in the industrial system or starve.

        Another very pertinent fact, usually overlooked, is that Europeans became increasingly dependent on imported calories from the late 1600s onwards. As the population rose, more and more food was imported.

        England had a population of around 2-3 million for centuries, and that population did not significantly increase until industrialism commenced.

        Perhaps, more importantly as far as NZ is concerned, the Maori population hit the wall when the last moa were eaten, at well below 1 million.

        • Mac1 16.1.1.1

          Moa, according to two sources which I have just googled, were basically extinct within a hundred years of Maori colonisation. By 1400, they were gone.

          The golden age of pre-European Maori civilisation came later than this, and was obviously fueled by other food sources than Moa- fish, birds, imported animals and plants such as kumera, indigenous flora. Of course food availability affected population growth, but so did disease, warfare and land losses have their effects, especially after the advent of the European.

  17. Eric 17

    It is noticeable that some commentators are very abusive especially when challenging or rebutting comments that could be construed as right wing. I see it as the ugly 26%. Since when was it someone else’s problem and obligation for people having children and not feeding them. My wife and I went thought a very very tough time but always made sure our children were fed and clothed. I must admit it does take some effort to buy raw food and prepare and cook it. You can go into any supermarket and buy raw food in abundance and if you stick to the basics and specials the kids get fed. But no it seems every one else should pay according tho a lot of these comments.

    [lprent: I’m aware that this “abusive” is a theme of yours from your last handle as well. That is a question for the moderators and not for you. Read the policy to see what we are likely to tolerate. You can point out instances you think we should look at.

    However you’ll cope a ban pretty fast from trying to run a debate on what you consider is “abusive” – which usually seems to consist of trying to stifle debate on topics you’d prefer not to read.

    While you are there refresh your memory on privacy sections and consider that if I see you trying to do your habit of trying to attach IRL names to psuedonyms again, then you’re going to get a permanent ban.

    You’re pretty much on probation here because of your previous behaviors. ]

    • “You can go into any supermarket and buy raw food in abundance and if you stick to the basics and specials the kids get fed. But no it seems every one else should pay according tho a lot of these comments.”

      Eric, that is a highly simplistic view of life. It may be easy for you to “buy raw food in abundance” – but the same situation may not apply to others. Not when rent/mortgages, rates, insurance, electricity, phone, medical bills, car and fuel, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc, are all factored in. And of course, with kids you get school “donations”, uniforms, course fees, transport…

      Need I really go on?

      I really doubt if you’ve been in the situation you describe. It seems to me that you are pontificating from on high – that you’ve NEVER been in such a dire situation at all.I am reminded of Herman Melville’s quote;

      “Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.” (Acknowledgement to Bomber Bradbury, who put it on Tumeke.)

  18. There is a basic problem with the post, in that Anthony’s making some valid points about National increasing child poverty, but then presenting unrelated numbers as evidence.

    It appears plausible on the surface: yes, National is keeping benefits low, it’s driving down wages, it’s dramatically increased inflation, all of which are likely to increase child poverty. And here are some figures showing increasing numbers of children turning up to school without breakfast, so that proves it. Only it doesn’t.

    Sending your children to school without breakfast isn’t an indicator of poverty, it’s an indicator of either drug addiction or moral failure. There are parents in Somalia right now who are simply unable to feed their children, but there aren’t any in NZ. If the number not feeding their children is increasing, it’s a sign only of an increase in the waster and munter population.

    Now, you could make a case about an increase in the waster and munter population being tied to increasing poverty, but that’s a whole nother argument, also in need of some evidence. You could also make a case that children have to be fed regardless of whether their parents are wasters and munters or not, so just provide the damn food in the schools. That’s tempting, but you’d really want some kind of anti-waster and munter parents campaign going on at the same time, otherwise you’re just providing an incentive for all the other parents to stop giving their kids breakfast. What you can’t do is use increasing numbers of kids turning up without breakfast as evidence of a government failure. It’s prima facie evidence only of parental failure.

    • What you can’t do is use increasing numbers of kids turning up without breakfast as evidence of a government failure. It’s prima facie evidence only of parental failure.

      Parents are potential voters, and governments are opponents?

      But you’re right – this isn’t a government caused problem that the “right” government can wave a wand at and fix. It is a societal problem that society needs to work together on.

      The last thing we need for this is a one size fixes all (except it won’t) decree from Wellington that all benefits and all incomes should be set to a new minimum. It will leave is with much the same problems and another problem – more expenses.

    • Tangled up in blue 18.2

      So much fail here I’m not sure where to start.

      Sending your children to school without breakfast isn’t an indicator of poverty . . . it’s a sign only of an increase in the waster and munter population. . .Now, you could make a case about an increase in the waster and munter population being tied to increasing poverty

      Basically you have a severe lack of understanding regarding the dynamics of poverty and it’s interrelation with the variables associated with an increased risk of negative societal outcomes.
      The strong correlation between low socioeconomic status and sending your children to school without breakfast shows that it is in fact an indicator of poverty. Further, it’s also true that the increasing rate of poverty is correlated with as increase of people without access to the right skills and resources necessary for their role to be a positive one (or “munters and wasters” as you so eloquently labelled them).

      You could also make a case that children have to be fed regardless of whether their parents are wasters and munters or not, so just provide the damn food in the schools. That’s tempting, but you’d really want some kind of anti-waster and munter parents campaign going on at the same time, otherwise you’re just providing an incentive for all the other parents to stop giving their kids breakfast.

      Concluding that “anti-waster and munter “parents would react by themselves acting like “munters and wasters” is unconvincing to say the least.

      What you can’t do is use increasing numbers of kids turning up without breakfast as evidence of a government failure. It’s prima facie evidence only of parental failure.

      Again you don’t seem to comprehend that people don’t exist in a vacuum uninfluenced from economic and societal influences. Deprived families are more likely to be exposed to risk factors associated with poverty (being uneducated, poor role models, lack of income/resources etc). Peoples level of depravity are influenced by Govt. policy. For example if services cost more and people’s real incomes are not increasing, then parents are more likely to fail

      • Puddleglum 18.2.1

        Good comment.

      • Psycho Milt 18.2.2

        So much fail here I’m not sure where to start.

        Ironic, given that you then decide to start with an egregious correlation=causation error. Sending children to school without breakfast is very strongly correlated with poverty, absolutely – but then, skirt-wearing is very strongly correlated with breast cancer. The one isn’t necessarily the result of the other. In this instance, it’s worth bearing in mind that being addicted to alcohol or other recreational drugs, or being the kind of complete waster who can’t even manage the first item on the parenting job profile, is unlikely to result in living a well-off middle-class existence. Being poor doesn’t necessarily make you the kind of person who won’t look after your children, but being the kind of person who won’t look after your children will definitely make you poor. The causal factors here aren’t clear-cut by any means.

        Concluding that “anti-waster and munter “parents would react by themselves acting like “munters and wasters” is unconvincing to say the least.

        In what way? If you’re lacking the money to make ends meet, and you see the school dishing up hearty breakfasts for the kids of people who are too drug-addicted or too just-plain-no-good to feed them, why wouldn’t you put your own kids on the breakfast list? Desperate times call for desperate measures. Schools giving out breakfasts will find demand increasing merely by virtue of the existence of the programme.

        Again you don’t seem to comprehend that people don’t exist in a vacuum uninfluenced from economic and societal influences.

        Again, ironic given that you’ve just declared yourself unconvinced by the idea that handing out free food might encourage increasing numbers of people to sign up for free food.

        All the above is entertaining but really pretty much beside the point, which remains: making sure kids don’t go hungry is their parents’ responsibility, not the government’s. There’s nobody in NZ so poor they can’t feed their children. Whatever needs doing about the fact that some aren’t feeding their children, having the govt feed them instead is a recipe only for increasing the number of parents not feeding their children.

        • Tangled up in blue 18.2.2.1

          Ironic, given that you then decide to start with an egregious correlation=causation error.

          Stop with the strawman crap please. I didn’t at all say that correlation=causation. Of course “being poor doesn’t necessarily make you the kind of person who won’t look after your children”. You seem to pretty much agree with what I’m saying but again you go wrong with “being the kind of person who won’t look after your children will definitely make you poor”. You don’t acknowledge HOW someone becomes this type of person. There are a range of adverse early-life social and environmental factors that contribute to someone being the kind of person who won’t look after their children. These multiple risk factors are more likely to be present in deprived families and is the context in which “munters and wasters” come about.

          In what way? If you’re lacking the money to make ends meet, and you see the school dishing up hearty breakfasts for the kids of people who are too drug-addicted or too just-plain-no-good to feed them, why wouldn’t you put your own kids on the breakfast list? Desperate times call for desperate measures. Schools giving out breakfasts will find demand increasing merely by virtue of the existence of the programme.

          Because there’s a difference between sending your kids to school without breakfast and sending your kids to school without breakfast because you know they will be getting breakfast. And yes handing out free food will encourage increasing numbers of people to sign up for free food, though if this becomes a problem then having a CSC could be a condition like many other services. Or, it could be argued that making it free for everyone is a worthwhile Govt investment, like free doctors’ visits for kids.

          All the above is entertaining but really pretty much beside the point, which remains: making sure kids don’t go hungry is their parents’ responsibility, not the government’s. There’s nobody in NZ so poor they can’t feed their children.

          Again it seems to come down to your misconception about people struggling to get by. Ask front-line workers at social service agencies and food banks etc if people are genuinely in need. Look at the research done by UNICEF and others regarding the increase of poverty in these tough times. Your opinion is simply out of touch with the reality of being a low income family.

          • Psycho Milt 18.2.2.1.1

            Stop with the strawman crap please. I didn’t at all say that correlation=causation.

            Well, if you’re not saying kids are going to school hungry because of poverty, I’m not sure what your point is meant to be.

            You don’t acknowledge HOW someone becomes this type of person. There are a range of adverse early-life social and environmental factors that contribute to someone being the kind of person who won’t look after their children. These multiple risk factors are more likely to be present in deprived families…

            Or, if we translate that from the original Obfuscan: people raise their children the way they know, to become people much like themselves. See, you don’t address HOW someone becomes this type of person either, you just offer a bit of blather about the influences of social and environmental factors. Those of us who actually are parents understand just how powerful the biological and social imperative to look after your children is, and realise just how difficult that imperative would be to overcome. Addiction will do it, having been raised by people who mistreated you may do it, but struggling to make ends meet isn’t even in the running as an explanation. Your argument needs to take into account the fact that parents aren’t merely automatons responding to the various inputs they receive – social and environmental factors may count, but so do the individual parent’s choices.

            • Colonial Viper 18.2.2.1.1.1

              social and environmental factors may count, but so do the individual parent’s choices.

              Parents who want to do the best for their children need easy free access to the support, advice, and resources needed to do so.

              In other words, parents need a good range of solid, quality choices to choose from, presented to them by the community and by society, which they can realistically access.

              If parents continue to ignore those good choices but insist on making injurious choices, then sanctions might be considered. Even then however the child’s best interests must be first and foremost.

            • Tangled up in blue 18.2.2.1.1.2

              Well, if you’re not saying kids are going to school hungry because of poverty, I’m not sure what your point is meant to be.

              *sigh* You’re still resorting to purposely misinterpreting what I’m saying, and then arguing from this distorted position.

              Kids are going to school hungry because of their parents poor choices. Their parents poor choices are made in the context of poverty. Positively change the risk factors to poverty and parents will be able to make better choices.

              If you’d had any sort of educational background or experience in this area you’d know that ‘associations between food security, income, and accessibility to material resources within households’ is very much the established academic view.

              • Kids are going to school hungry because of their parents poor choices. Their parents poor choices are made in the context of poverty. Positively change the risk factors to poverty and parents will be able to make better choices.

                Well, that’s the dispute over then. No argument – except that I’d say people sending kids to school without breakfast are “able to make better choices” right now, but aren’t, so your last sentence strikes me as wishful thinking rather than anything else.

                Parents who want to do the best for their children need easy free access to the support, advice, and resources needed to do so.

                I don’t think stirring yourself to feed your kids comes under the heading of “best” – it barely makes “adequate.” As well as that, parents already have easy, free access to support, advice and resources – there’s a shitload of govt agencies and charities providing it. At issue is whether or not it is literally impossible to feed your children on a benefit, and thousands of parents on benefits demonstrate that it’s not impossible.

          • Psycho Milt 18.2.2.1.2

            Oh, and this one:

            Ask front-line workers at social service agencies and food banks etc if people are genuinely in need.

            That much is obvious – the question doesn’t need asking. At issue is whether poverty is at such a level that it’s now physically impossible for some parents to feed their children – which is way, way beyond “genuinely in need.”

            • Tangled up in blue 18.2.2.1.2.1

              Ask front-line workers at social service agencies and food banks etc if people genuinely can’t feed their children.

              You can tell yourself that all people who can’t are “wasters and munters” but good luck finding anyone with authority on the matter to back you up.

  19. Eric 19

    Whoever lprent is: Your attachment to my comment is interesting. I have made maybe 2 comments on this site and each time I used decent language and expressed my thoughts on the opinions and aggressive language of some. For that I see you have decided that I am a threat to free speech and trying to stifle debate. So an opposing view to yours in you opinion ‘stifling debate’ A good example of what George Orwell was meaning by newspeak.

    As I am new to this comment on website business and did not realise that you had to think a certain way to be a part of the comments I will give your site a wide steer, however what the hell does ”

    if I see you trying to do your habit of trying to attach IRL names to psuedonyms again, then you’re going to get a permanent ban.”

    mean? Maybe 2 comments and I have a habit? Of what?

    [lprent: I am the sites sysop. This is your second comment using that e-mail address.

    But I read IP numbers as well as e-mails, handles, and the type of comments. In your case I looked at the IP which was static for a particular commentator for many months. I also looked at your comment which covered many of the same themes that commentator used – as does this comment.

    I always look at the first comment on a new handle to see if they are people who are previously banned. In this case the previous handle wasn’t banned – but it’d had a series of warnings and was about to get banned if it didn’t have a behavioral change.

    I’m pretty confident that the probability of my being wrong is pretty low. I’m pretty confident I know who you were. You are welcome to try this approach if you want to to the usual inevitable result on this privately held site – but I’m sure that our property rights outweigh yours.

    And even if I’m wrong. It simply means that as a newbie you got my usual warning for people trying to say how we should run this site earlier than usual. Also that you don’t get the toleration period I’d normally extend for newbies learning the required behavioral limits for the site. But that shouldn’t be a problem if you confine yourself to the behavior expected here.

    I really don’t care – it is your problem (and my toleration level has just been exceeded) ]

    • Interesting how neoliberals/right wingers don’t seem to get the concept of private property when it comes to websites, messageboards, chatrooms, etc. I’ve seen the same resentment on Trademe messageboards when moderators remove offensive posts.

      Fact is, we’re all guests here. No blog – whether it is The Standard, Whaleoil, Tumeke, Kiwiblog, etc, is compelled to tolerate anyone. Blogs can set whatever rules they fancy. If someone doesn’t like the rules – move on to the next blog.

      Isn’t that the “power of the consumer”, that is so beloved of free marketeers?

  20. The Green Paper for Vulnerable Children website is up now.

    http://www.childrensactionplan.govt.nz/home

  21. randal 21

    this government is busy redistributing the wealth to the BRT and their cronies and buying a pie for a hungry kid just doesnt cut it. It doesn’t add to anyones net wealth and unless the restof the world can see what a wonderful person you are by giving a kid a pie then it doesn’t count.

  22. Treetop 22

    Life skills which problem solve need to be taught more. There is a disconnect with basic food items and how to stretch the preparation of the item. An example of this is to make oatmeal, 1/2 a cup of oatmeal, 1/2 a cup of water and 1/2 a cup of milk will make a breakfast for a child. A few chopped up sultanas in the mix will add to the taste.

    I do realise that some families go without meat altogether and that dairy is a luxury item and that it should not be and that iron and dairy are essential for growing children.

    During the war people became creative and this sort of problem solving has to return due to the cost of food, unlike during the war the rationing was due to the item being unavailable.

    No child should go without breakfast in this country because a hungry child is unable to perform to their academic potential. The state needs to step in here as providing breakfast is a good way to put iron and roughage in the diet as well as some calcium.

    Sad that rationing of food has become a reality in far too many households in NZ.

  23. Plunket welcomes Green Paper on vulnerable children

    Plunket CEO Jenny Prince was among the key people who were consulted during the development of the paper, which has a special focus on under five year-olds.

    “The health and wellbeing of our under five’s is an issue for all of society. It truly does take a village to raise a child,” she said.

    “While New Zealand has a strong foundation of services and support for children and families, there is more that needs to be done to help our children grow, develop and achieve.

    “We welcome debate and attention directed at ways to reduce child abuse and other harm to children. This paper is a great opportunity for all New Zealanders to discuss what we, as a society, can do to improve life for our most vulnerable citizens.

    “Evidence tells us there are no quick fixes. There are a complex range of contributing factors to the state of our children’s health and wellbeing. We need to concentrate effort on ensuring that families have the support they need to safely care for and raise New Zealand’s future generations.

    “Focusing on giving our children the best start in life is vital in helping us create a better society.

    “This Green Paper is a very tangible way we can all be involved in making real change for our children. We encourage all New Zealanders to have their say and make a submission.”

    This deserves a non-political community orientated approach. The wellbeing of our kids is far more important than ideological intransigence.

    • r0b 23.1

      This deserves a non-political community orientated approach

      That sort of comment usually translates as “oh please don’t ask the government to lead or take action”.

      But I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt, and ask what an effective “non-political community orientated approach” would look like. NB – “effective”.

      • Pete George 23.1.1

        I think this is how government should work on important social issues like this – get expert opinion into a report, make it available to everyone, and ask for comment and ideas.

        Don’t you think that’s a good approach?

        We’ll have to wait and see if they deal with it properly from here ie take note of what people say and develop policy from that, but the more involvment there is from community groups and individuals the better the chance of improving things for kids.

        You’ve posted on hungry kids so you must know a bit about it, you could see what you can contribute on this paper.

        • r0b 23.1.1.1

          Don’t you think that’s a good approach?

          It’s a good approach in many situations.  Not in this one.  We know what the problem is.  There have been any number of learned academic papers and expert reports on it.  And the cost of delay is too large.

          In this situation what we need is leadership.  Compassion. Action.  Now.

          We won’t get it from this government. 

          • Pete George 23.1.1.1.1

            We know what the problem is.

            Who’s “we”? What is “the problem”?

            There are a number of complex inter-related problems. Solutions are much more difficult.

            Jenny Prince: ““Evidence tells us there are no quick fixes. There are a complex range of contributing factors to the state of our children’s health and wellbeing.”

            • r0b 23.1.1.1.1.1

              Who’s “we”? What is “the problem”?

              Sadly, I was right the first time. You’re just an excuse for more delay and inaction.

              You’ll now more about “we” and “the problem” if you read a few of the many “reports” on child poverty in NZ.
              From the Children’s Commissioner.
              From the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child.
              From Unicef.
              From the OECD.
              From the Ministry of Social Development, and here.
              From Children’s Social Health Monitor.
              From the Child Poverty Action Group.
              From the Public Health Advisory Committee.
              And so on.

              Yeah – we really need another report don’t we. No need to actually DO anything.

              • Is consultation with the people a bit hard for you?

                Organisations like Plunket and Barnados seem to see this as potentially a worthwhile way to look for solutions from communities and organisations involved in dealing with children. They might know a bit about it.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Now ask them if they want to see Govt funding and Govt initiatives leave the scene PG.

                  In the UK David Cameron has has to backpeddle hard on his Big Society concept and restore a lot of funding which was to have been cut.

                • r0b

                  Is consultation with the people a bit hard for you?

                  Is that the best you can do?  The people have been consulted ad nauseam, see above.  

                  As a result of such consultation Labour instituted Working for Families which lifted a substantial number of children out of poverty.  Now the Nats are letting the problem get worse again.

                  We know what’s wrong, we know how to fix it.  Or we could just defend inaction while kids go hungry… 

                  • Most people know what’s “wrong” – many things are wrong.

                    If you think you can “fix it” you’re more out of touch with the real world than I thought.

                    • r0b

                      If you think you can “fix it”

                      Of course I can’t fix it – what a bizarre remark.  

                      Of course the government can.  Labour was (slowly) getting there.

                    • felix

                      I’m seriously thinking of voting for Pete George on the basis that he thinks no-one can do anything and isn’t interested in trying.

                      It’s a “new way of doing politics.”

                      It’s “common sense.”

                      It’s “Your NZ.”

                    • Of course I can’t fix it – what a bizarre remark.

                      I thought “we know how to fix it” was a bizarre remark – and I thought you were a part of “we”.

                      There is no “fix”. It needs to be a continuous process of trying to do better.

                      There will always be kids that go hungry, kids that get beaten, kids that aren’t loved, kids that don’t get adequate health care, kids that don’t get adequate education.

                      And there will always be a proportion of people who can’t be “fixed”, and there will probably always be insufficient money to do enough.

                      We can and should work on reducing these problems as best we can. Improvement will always be slow, many of the problems are intergenerational.

                  • rosy

                    +1 r0b. This is like the welfare working group – bringing in opinion instead of evidence. It’s also a stalling tactic – wait for the line ‘we’re doing something, look at all these esteemed people on the this working group, we need to wait until after the election when they’ve reported back to move on this, we want to get it right’ .

                    And Labour has only 2 choices – to go with it, which gives it legitimacy, or appear sour losers by agitating against it. Good political move by NAct, but it’s not helping anyone, it’s playing with kids health, education and life chances.

                    • bringing in opinion instead of evidence.

                      It is combining evidence with communities who are working directly with the problems and have to deal with any new policies.

                      Experts imposing theories doesn’t work, it has to be a combined approach to work properly – the community has to do the hard yards so they need to be an integral part of the solutions.

                • Pete George, these organisations will encourage anything that looks like it might possibly, eventually, result in something of use. They grasp at these straws as they pass by in the constant flow of policy releases, reports and the like. They find it hard to get any traction so they respond to any signs of hope.

                  But, ask them what they’d really like to see … 

            • Ianupnorth 23.1.1.1.1.2

              See below Pete – they (Key et al) employed an expert (Prof. peter Gluckman) but refuse to listen. Consultation will only bring out the voices of the Sensible Sentancing Trust and Families First who refuse to acknowledge credible research.

          • Treetop 23.1.1.1.2

            “We won’t get it from this government.” I agree with you because this government does nothing about providing stability to those with the greatest need.

            A massive housing programme is required or a big increase in the accommodation supplement so that private rent is only 25% of income.

            When you go to WINZ for food assistance the criteria is an immediate need and an unforseen circumstance, (the unforseen circumstance is low benefit levels which do not meet basic costs, so each week a person has an immediate need).

            Affordable after hours health care and affordable access to education.

            All of the above will give stability and then stress levels will decline and the vicious cycle of the main stressors (housing, health care, food and education) will decrease. Then a person is in a better space and they then have the energy to become more productive.

            People are angry because of emotional discomfort and the most vulnerable with the least cognitive resources (children) are the ones who are targeted or the ones who are the most affected.

            Other solutions (as well as the above) are required for those with addiction, health issues and poor life skills.

            Main organisations who assist those in poverty have the answers, but the government is not listening. The government is not listening to many in Christchurch either.

            What is going to get the government to just listen?

            • Pete George 23.1.1.1.2.1

              What is going to get the government to just listen?

              They are doing something.

              What can you do?
              Have your say and let us know what you think by making a submission before 28 February 2012. You can make a submission online, on the Facebook page, in person at hui or fono, by email to yourresponse@childrensactionplan.govt.nz, or posting your submission to:

              Green Paper for Vulnerable Children
              PO Box 1556
              Wellington

              Read the report first, they may already know something about your suggestions. It’s not very long.

              Click to access green-paper-for-vulnerable-children.pdf

              • Treetop

                I intend to make a submission. I intend to write to the Commissioner for Children.

                I left employment off the list because a person is either work ready or not work ready, full or part time when they have the care of children. Being productive, there for your children, doing unpaid work, study or money saving hobbies is just as important when it comes to self esteem/self worth.

              • Ianupnorth

                A waste of time, effort and money Pete, IMHO (and I do know what I am talking about as I have worked in that field for 25 years!)
                A few facts – internationally what works and what doesn’t is well known. Internationally there are volumes of research on these thing called social determinants of health – Thatcher’s government refused to admit these existed and attempted to hide the Black Report in the 1980’s
                Have a look here http://www.rwjf.org/vulnerablepopulations/ – it is American, but the same groups suffer the same issues

                low or no wages
                poor quality housing
                poor access to services
                poorer educational attainment
                more chronic illness
                an earlier death

                Conversely other groups have better health, related to where they live, the colour of their skin, the school they attended, etc.
                If, and that is serious question, New Zealanders want a thriving, productive economy, then people need to bite the bullet and consider others. We need to adequately invest in people, especially the young – Professor Peter Gluckman has already told the government this!
                If on the other hand you are happy to have disenfranchised people, long term unemployed, people with skill sets that will do not match the reality of the 21st century keep going as you are. I don’t mean throwing money at the kids to buy weetbix, but legislate against all the fast food joints, put a tax on them, they are contributing heavily to this issue.
                The reality is that by keeping one group hungry you are already sowing the seeds of damage.

                • Colonial Viper

                  can we please have more bootcamps? Heard they were a roaring succes.

                  • Treetop

                    The best thing which came out of boot camp is that they were provided with three meals a day.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      That might explain the high re-offending rate with such high youth unemployment. You get three squares in prison too.

                • Don’t accuse me of being “happy” to do anything of the sort. I am simply promoting discusion and involvement in the consultation process.

                  For solutions to work it needs whole community involvement in finding workable solutions. Having ideology imposed from Wellington without consulation has not worked well up until now, we need to find different ways of getting at the root causes. All of us, not just a few party professionals

                  • Ianupnorth

                    A scenario – a group of internationally recognised experts on a subject (it could be jet propulsion, it could be cancer treatment, it could be education) do a meta-analysis of their subject; they come up with a set of guidelines that set the standard for best practice in jet propulsion/cancer treatment/education – by best standard you look at efficacy, cost, effectiveness.
                    So, do you follow the guidelines as set by the experts or do you consult lay people or groups and use their solution?
                    Does Bob McCroskie know more than say a Cochrane Review of factors influencing child health?

                    • So, do you follow the guidelines as set by the experts or do you consult lay people or groups and use their solution?

                      Both of course. That’s the process that’s under way now.

                    • So McCroskie has a valid and informed opinion? Like hell he has! The research is the evidence, you do NOT need consultation, you are asking people to offer opinion on a set of circumstances that they do not have a detailed picture of.

                  • felix

                    Who accused you of being happy, Pete? Exact quote please.

                  • felix

                    Pete, did you even read r0b’s list of links?

                    From the Children’s Commissioner.
                    From the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child.
                    From Unicef.
                    From the OECD.
                    From the Ministry of Social Development, and here.
                    From Children’s Social Health Monitor.
                    From the Child Poverty Action Group.
                    From the Public Health Advisory Committee.

                    These are the people you characterise as “party professionals.”

                    Which is just weird, considering your role in the party.

  24. randal 24

    Boot camps are just sinecures for loudmouth kiwi knowalls to get a job bossing kids around, government funding and a van.

  25. Colonial Viper 25

    I think we are pretty clear now that the RWNJ’s have no interest in building a stronger more inclusive society for all, and they are not going to change their minds no matter what.

  26. oligarkey 26

    t-smithfeild. Childhood hunger IS related to childhood poverty. Childhood poverty is related to the zero percent wage growth in the bottom quarter of the labour market over the lst 25 years (Employment Contracts Act and Labour’s retention of zero union bargaining power), and the huge family benefit cuts that National introduced in 1991 (and Labour, to their shame, retained).

    To change these things, the left needs to hit back at the right with a return to universal union contract coverage, like we used to have for 60 years before 1991, and like Australia still has. This is particularly needed in industries that are impossible to organise on an individual shop basis (i.e. the service industries). Labour needs to prioritise the reintroduction of decent family support, and prioritise employment for parents. The free market just isn’t delivering us an inclusive, cohesive and peaceful society. The time for playing supply and demand with the lives of hundreds of thousands of young people is over. The right wing experiment has failed, and the left, as a collective, need to be shouting this over and over again in a clear voice, taking none of this “politics of envy” nonsense from Oligarkey and his greedy, sociopath mates.

  27. Annette King is prepared to put the kids first (well, after making a few political points):

    …the paper includes many of our policy’s components, including information-sharing, child centred practices, agency collaboration and legislation changes.

    We are again offering to work across parties on this.

    This is a hugely important issue. The country as a whole needs to work together on it.

    Good. If all parties co-operate and work on this then kids get the attention and co-operation they deserve.

    • felix 27.1

      “well, after making a few political points”

      Err, she is a politician, Pete, just as you are.

      Please note that your first sentence is also a “political point” btw.

  28. Marjorie Dawe 28

    I wonder how many in our society take notice of the families and kids living without. I have been doorknocking lately and find that the chill of some of the dwellings I visit meets me at the door. I think the Nats need to visit a state housing area or an area with a high percentage of rental accommodation and randomly knock on a few doors and I dont mean the ones with nicely mown lawns.
    It’s winter and so many houses have no floor coverings, heat retaining curtains and are bare of furniture or any comfort in life. The landlords seem to care little about the wellbeing of their tenants. Few have picked up the insulation g
    or

  29. Marjorie Dawe 29

    I wonder how many in our society take notice of the families and kids living without. I have been doorknocking lately and find that the chill of some of the dwellings I visit meets me at the door. I think the Nats need to visit a state housing area or an area with a high percentage of rental accommodation and randomly knock on a few doors and I dont mean the ones with nicely mown lawns.
    It’s winter and so many houses have no floor coverings, heat retaining curtains and are bare of furniture or any comfort in life. The landlords seem to care little about the wellbeing of their tenants. Few have picked up the insulation grants or thought about making their rentals affordable so that the poor can buy decent food.
    Happiness is measured by so many as wealth and capital accumulation and it seems that too many have stopped caring.
    Our kids shouldnt go hungry.
    It’s time for a change and not the kind of change which our government has made.

  30. reid 30

    Key to getting kids out of poverty is educating them so as to ensure that when they have kids their kids will also be educated. That’s how it works in life, isn’t it. Education begats education. Doesn’t it. Can’t deny it. Look around you. Think of your own experience. Anyone who comes to a political blog is educated, aren’t they. That’s how it works with you and all your friends and associates, isn’t it. All of you have educated parents, don’t you. Occasionally you get the odd miracle but 99% of the time, that IS how it works, isn’t it.

    Kids in poverty who grow up to have kids who also live in poverty almost invariably had parents who didn’t encourage indeed sometimes disrupted their own education and that’s because their parents weren’t educated. Both in general and in how to be a proper parent. Break that cycle. That’s the key and that’s the only key. And that means, targeting parental behaviour in this generation of kids in poverty and making damn sure those kids currently in poverty know how life works, as in, what they need to do, to get educated so as to have a higher income than their parents.

    If Labour focused on policies which dealt with those dynamics, I might even vote for it.

    But it probably won’t, for Labour has a vested interest in perpetuating poverty as without a ready and large pool of economic “victims” Labour is no more and if their base become educated, well where would Labour be, in thirty or forty years?

    • Ianupnorth 30.1

      Two things relate to this; first is this http://www.healthpromotingschools.health.nz/hps_home – this is a WHO programme that seeks to develop children by developing their skills to maintain and promote their own health, thus it is sustainable (unlike breakfast clubs) – but regrettably it was the first thing to receive funding cuts from Ryall – the premise behind the programme is that healthy kids learn better, hence attain more, therefore are more employable later in life. But according to Ryall this isn’t front line work, it is better to fix hips and do bypasses than it is to prepare your young for their productive lives.
       
      The second is this – Fruit in Schools – was kept, as Labour had already budgeted for that; but remember, it wasn’t set up as a hunger initiative, it was a part of the Labour Gpvernment’s NZ cancer strategy.
       
      National has done very little – Simon Bridges wanted a ‘fishes and loaves’ programme in low decile schools in Tauranga and wanted to fund this via the Catholic church, but his bosses didn’t back him.

      • reid 30.1.1

        Kind of, but very peripheral, Ian.

        Agree good physical health is the basis for success in life therefore critical but this arises over time from moderation in everything and knowing that comes from wisdom and wisdom comes from education.

        From what you say I would probably support both those programs as part of the whole package but they’d be low priority.

        Higher priority would be giving them education on why fruit is better than beer and smokes and if they wanted fruit, beer and smokes altogether, telling them what they need to do in order to have that as well. But to realise, in their current circumstances, they have to make the choice. It’s either/or, not both.

        • Ianupnorth 30.1.1.1

          Hi reid, HPS works by addressing the issues that the school community identifies as their priority. For far too long there have been ‘groups’ going into schools telling them the biggest issue is ‘X’.
          For many teachers having a group come in and ‘deliver’ a programme in the class provides respite and time to do their admin.
          HPS addresses the schools issue by considering it in what are called the three bubbles

          Curriculum teaching and learning
          School organisation and ethos
          Community links and partnerships

          You can tackle any issue, but unless you address the three bubbles you will not affect change, e.g.
          Nutrition – you can teach forever and a day about healthy eating, but if the local dairy only sells crap and there is no policy preventing junk being brought to school, it fails. Now, if you change the school policies, ensure they are achievable and have the backing of the parents and then also approach local businesses, tell them what and why you are doing this, you really do get sustainable change.
          My main concern re. breakfast programmes is that they are unsustainable. As much as I see the need, they need to be part of a bigger picture.

          • reid 30.1.1.1.1

            Ian mate not talking about telling children how healthy fruit is. Am talking about identifying poorly educated parents who don’t get it for one reason or another, and using all sorts of tactics to get them to get it, so their kids and and as an incidental benefit they themselves, don’t die at 55 like their parents did or will. This means no fucking around, not tippy toeing around sensitivities, some of these parents have never even seen a good role model in anything their whole lives.

            That’s reality Ian. That’s the raw human being material we are talking about and it’s a question of in order to be effective, how do you best realistically get that raw human being material to change its behaviour and make that change stick for their whole lives.

            Not easy is it but that’s the task.

            • Pete George 30.1.1.1.1.1

              Very difficult, but it’s aiming at the cause of the problem rather than trying to patch up the aftermath.

              It’s also at best a long slow process – certainly not a quick vote catcher. That’s why it needs to be a cross-party commitment with a long term plan with realistic goals. The plan will need to be tweaked over time depending on what works and what doesn’t, but the overall plan needs to be continued, not chopped with political axes.

  31. grumpy czeching in 31

    Notice to beneficiaries

    “Feed your kids before you buy booze and smokes”

    • Ianupnorth 31.1

      Grumpy, it isn’t just beneficiaries in NZ struggling to feed kids, it is everyone!

    • Campbell Larsen 31.2

      Notice to National – get some policies that create jobs and address the causes of poverty and inequality in our society

      • Afewknowthetruth 31.2.1

        ‘address the causes of poverty and inequality in our society’

        That would mean exposing the money-lender scam. There is no way that National (or Labour) would do that.

        • reid 31.2.1.1

          Poverty is caused by attitude, not circumstance. The right attitudes are developed by education. If every person living in a Phillipine rubbish dump got the right education in no time only seagulls would live there.

          The money-lender scam is real, very real, but it’s not why some people are poor and others very rich. It’s not about money, it’s about power, as no doubt you already know, Afktt.

          • Colonial Viper 31.2.1.1.1

            Education guarantees you a burger flipping job since that is the economy we have left for the next generation.

            Oh, a burger flipping job to pay off a shit tonne of student debt.

            If every person living in a Phillipine rubbish dump got the right education in no time only seagulls would live there.

            Can we provide them with that education in NZ? What would that education consist of?

            Or are you distracting with an un-implementable fantasy?

            Common US scenario: finish law school with a $100K student debt, go to work in a $7/hr job (if lucky) because that is all their economy has.

          • Vicky32 31.2.1.1.2

            If every person living in a Phillipine rubbish dump got the right education in no time only seagulls would live there.

            Complete cobblers! Even educated people in the Phillipines can’t get jobs. When I was a single mother, I knew a few Filipina “Mail order brides”, one of them very well. She explained to me that she was here because despite her skills and her education, she couldn’t get a job in her home country. She was actually very lucky, she loved the husband who’d brought her here.
            Amongst those killed in the Christchurch earthquake were a number of Filipina nurses who had come to New Zealand, and were attending a languange school in order to get the IELTS of 7.5 required to work in a hospital here. They probably would rather have stayed home and worked there, as is the case with other Filipinas (some of whom I have taught), who despite their skills, can’t get work in their own country.

            • Colonial Viper 31.2.1.1.2.1

              reid doesn’t understand the economic realities facing the burgeoning underclass of the world.

              NZ graduates can’t even get jobs in NZ. It doesn’t seem to occur to him to put two and two together. Education gets young people into debt, starting them off on the backfoot compared to someone who has already been working for 3-4 years, has no debt and actually has savings (net worth).

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    2 weeks ago
  • Whakatāne gets a $2.5m ‘turbo boost’
    Whakatāne has been given a $2.5 million boost to speed up previously funded projects and create more than 450 jobs in the next decade. Of those, the equivalent of 160 full-time jobs could be delivered in the next six weeks. Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters is in town to make ...
    2 weeks ago
  • $2.5m PGF funding to speed up economic recovery in Whakatāne
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $2.5 million to accelerate three infrastructure projects in Whakatāne, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. “This package is about ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Shane Jones calls out those holding drought-stricken Auckland ‘to ransom’ over water
    Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones is throwing his weight behind a bid by the Auckland Council to fast-track the more than doubling of the city's water allowance from the Waikato River. And he's coming out strongly against anyone who plans on getting in the way of this campaign. "It is my ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Another Green win as climate change considerations inserted into the RMA
    The Green Party is thrilled to see changes to the Resource Management Act (RMA) that mean consents for large projects can be declined if they will have significant climate change implications that are inconsistent with the Zero Carbon Act and Aotearoa New Zealand’s Paris Agreement obligations.  ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Navy vessel Aotearoa to arrive in New Zealand
    Hon Ron Mark, Minister of Defence The Royal New Zealand Navy’s new ship, Aotearoa, set sail for New Zealand on 10 June from the Republic of Korea, and is due to arrive in Auckland tomorrow, announced Minister of Defence Ron Mark. “Aotearoa is the Royal New Zealand Navy’s new fleet ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Racing Industry Bill passes third reading
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Racing Racing Minister Winston Peters has today welcomed the Racing Industry Bill passing its third reading, creating the legislative framework for revitalising the racing industry while limiting the need for future government intervention. “For too long our domestic racing industry has ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Green Party seek amendment to ensure all prisoners can vote
    The Green Party has today put forward an amendment to the Electoral (Registration of Sentenced Prisoners) Amendment Bill to ensure all people in prisons can vote in general elections. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Green Party welcomes new approach to delivering light rail
    The Green Party welcomes the decision to not proceed with Public Public Investment (PPI) delivery of Auckland’s light rail project and to instead run the process through the public service. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand First welcomes PGF investment in Wairarapa Water
    Hon Ron Mark, New Zealand First List MP based in the Wairarapa New Zealand First List MP Hon Ron Mark welcomes the announcement of Provincial Growth Funding investment of $1.4 million to help secure the Wairarapa’s water supply. The funding boost will allow the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC), and ...
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand First MP Mark Patterson selected as candidate for Taieri
    New Zealand First list MP Mark Patterson has been selected to represent the party in the newly formed Taieri electorate at the upcoming election. Mr Patterson, his wife Jude and two daughters farm sheep and beef at Lawrence and Waitahuna. He previously stood in the Clutha-Southland electorate however boundary changes ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Inaugural launch of Kiribati Language Week
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio is pleased to announce the inaugural launch of Kiribati Language Week as part of the 2020 Pacific language Weeks programme. “I am so pleased that this year we are able to provide resourcing support to the Kiribati community in Aotearoa which will ...
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    1 day ago
  • New support package for wildlife institutions
    Wildlife institutions affected by a loss of visitor revenue during the COVID-19 lockdown are set to receive government support with nearly $15 million of funding available announced Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage.  “Eco-sanctuaries, zoos, aquariums, wildlife parks, and wildlife rescue, hospital and rehabilitation facilities provide crucial support for the recovery ...
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    1 day ago
  • 300,000 students to benefit from free mental health services
    The Government is expanding and accelerating frontline mental health and wellbeing services at tertiary education institutes (TEI) to help students manage ongoing stresses related to COVID-19. “The lockdown has been hugely disruptive for students. Many of them have had to relocate and move to online learning, isolating them from their ...
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    1 day ago
  • Gang crime, meth harm targeted in Waikato
    The Minister of Police says a major operation against the Mongrel Mob in Waikato will make a big dent in drug harm and violent offending linked to organised crime networks. “Senior leadership of the Waikato Mongrel Mob has been taken out as a result of Operation Kingsville, which resulted in ...
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    2 days ago
  • Supporting victims and families to attend mosque attack sentencing
    The Government is extending the border exception criteria to enable some offshore victims and support people of the Christchurch mosque attacks to attend the sentencing of the accused beginning on 24 August2020, says Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway. “We want to support our valued Muslim brothers and sisters who were directly ...
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    2 days ago
  • Boost for community freshwater restoration projects
    A project to support volunteer efforts to look after streams and rivers is getting a boost thanks to support from DOC’s Community Conservation Fund announced Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage today.  “The government is backing efforts to look after waterways with $199,400 for the Mountains to Sea Conservation Trust from ...
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    2 days ago
  • More support for women and girls
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter today announced that funding for the COVID-19 Community Fund for women and girls will be doubled, as the first successful funding applications for the initial $1million were revealed. “Women and girls across the country have suffered because of the effects of COVID-19, and I ...
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    2 days ago
  • Crown accounts stronger than forecast with higher consumer spending
    The Government’s books were better than forecast with a higher GST take as the economy got moving again after lockdown, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Crown Accounts for the 11 months to the end of May indicate the year end results for tax revenue will be stronger than forecast. ...
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    2 days ago
  • Govt releases plan to revitalise wool sector
    A plan to revitalise New Zealand’s strong wool sector and set it on a new, more sustainable and profitable path was unveiled today by Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. The newly-released report - Vision and Action for New Zealand’s Wool Sector - was developed by the Wool Industry Project Action Group ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Funding for Predator Free Whangārei
    Community efforts to create a Predator Free Whangārei will receive a $6 million boost, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage announced today. The new funding, through Government company Predator Free 2050 Ltd, will create around 12 jobs while enabling the complete removal of possums over ...
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    2 days ago
  • New Zealand to review relationship settings with Hong Kong
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced that the New Zealand Government is reviewing the settings of its relationship with Hong Kong. “China’s decision to pass a new national security law for Hong Kong has fundamentally changed the environment for international engagement there,” Mr Peters said. “New Zealand remains deeply ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Funding for Whangārei’s infrastructure projects revealed
    Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced details of a multimillion-dollar investment in Whangārei for infrastructure projects that will help it recover from the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 200 jobs are expected to be created through the $26 million investment from the Government’s rejuvenation package ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Managed isolation and quarantine update
    Following a second incident in which a person escaped from a managed isolation facility, security is being enhanced, including more police presence onsite, Minister Megan Woods said. “The actions of some individuals who choose to break the very clear rules to stay within the facilities means that more resourcing is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Funding for Kaipara district community waste programmes
    Waste reduction and recycling programmes in Kaipara are set to get a boost with Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage today announcing a $361,447 grant from the Ministry for the Environment’s Waste Minimisation Fund (WMF) Sustainable Kaipara. “The new funding will allow Sustainable Kaipara to partner with local schools, kura, community ...
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    3 days ago
  • Government will support the people and economy of Southland
    The Government will support the Southland economy in the wake of multinational mining company Rio Tinto’s decision to follow through with its long signalled closure of the Tiwai Point aluminium smelter. “This day has unfortunately been on the cards for some time now, but nevertheless the final decision is a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New transformational tools for the Predator Free 2050 effort
    New tools being developed to help boost Aotearoa’s Predator Free 2050 effort were unveiled today by Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage and Under Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau. A new rat poison, a camera with predator recognition software to detect and report predators, a new predator lure and a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Armoured vehicles for New Zealand Army
    The Coalition Government has approved the purchase of a fleet of Bushmaster vehicles to replace the New Zealand Army’s armoured Pinzgauers, Defence Minister Ron Mark has announced today. The new fleet of 43 Australian-designed and built Bushmaster NZ5.5 will provide better protection for personnel and improved carrying capacity. “The age ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Community-led solutions to prevent family violence
    The Government’s three prevention frameworks to reduce family violence in Aotearoa were launched this week by Associate Minister for Social Development Poto Williams.   The frameworks were developed in partnership with communities around New Zealand, and build on the work the Government has already begun with its new family violence prevention ...
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    4 days ago
  • Govt confirms investment in better radiology and surgical services for Hawke’s Bay
    The Government is pleased to confirm funding for improvements to radiology and surgical services at Hawke's Bay DHB, Health Minister Chris Hipkins says.     "The Minister of Finance the Hon Grant Robertson and former Health Minister Dr David Clark approved funding for Hawke's Bay DHB’s redevelopment of their radiology facilities ...
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    4 days ago
  • Specialist alcohol and drug addiction services strengthened across New Zealand
    •    New funding for four beds at Napier’s Springhill Residential Addiction Centre •    A new managed withdrawal home and community service, and peer support before and after residential care at Tairāwhiti DHB  •    A co-ordinated network of withdrawal management services throughout the South Island •    Peer support in Rotorua and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Coastal Shipping Webinar
    Introduction, seafarers and POAL Good morning everyone, I am delighted to be online with you all today. Before I begin, I have to acknowledge that COVID-19 has disrupted the maritime sector on an unprecedented scale. The work of seafarers and the maritime industry is keeping many economies around the world ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Support for resilient rail connection to the West Coast
    A $13 million investment from Government will create jobs and improve the resilience of the rail connection between Christchurch and the West Coast, Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones and Regional Economic Development Under-Secretary Fletcher Tabuteau say. The funding comes from the tagged contingency set aside in Budget 2020 for infrastructure projects ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Major investment in safe drinking water
    The Government is investing $761 million to assist local government upgrade under-pressure water services across the country, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today.  The announcement was made at the site of the water bore that was found to be the source of the fatal ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Supporting stranded seasonal workers to keep working with more flexible options
    Recognised Seasonal Employers and migrant seasonal workers stranded in New Zealand will be able to continue working and supporting themselves with more flexible hours and roles, says Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway. The time-limited visa changes are: Stranded RSE workers will be able to work part-time (a minimum of 15 hours ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Relief for temporary migrants, employers and New Zealanders who need work
    The Government is making immediate short-term changes to visa settings to support temporary migrants already onshore in New Zealand and their employers, while also ensuring New Zealanders needing work are prioritised, Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. We are: Extending temporary work visas due to expire by the end of 2020 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Freshwater commissioners and fast-track consenting convenor appointed
    Professor Peter Skelton CNZM has been appointed as Chief Freshwater Commissioner and Alternate Environment Court Judge Craig James Thompson as Deputy Chief Freshwater Commissioner for the newly established Freshwater Planning Process (FPP). Environment Minister David Parker today also announced the appointment of Chief Environment Court Judge Laurie Newhook as the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Appointment of Judge of the High Court
    Auckland Queen’s Counsel Neil Campbell has been appointed a Judge of the High Court, Attorney‑General David Parker announced today. Justice Campbell graduated with a BCom and LLB (Hons) from the University of Auckland in 1992. He spent two years with Bell Gully Buddle Weir in Auckland before travelling to the United ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Feedback sought – Commercial Film and Video Production Facilities
    The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal to better enable the development and operation of commercial film and video facilities in Christchurch. The Proposal, developed by Regenerate Christchurch in response to a request from Christchurch City Council, asks that powers under section ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt launches bold primary sector plan to boost economic recovery
    The Government has launched a bold plan to boost primary sector export earnings by $44 billion over the next decade, while protecting the environment and growing jobs. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today released Fit for a Better World – Accelerating our Economic Potential, a 10-year roadmap to unlock greater value ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Wellbeing of whanau at heart of new hub
    A new approach to prevent family harm that encourages greater collaboration across government and community groups is being celebrated at the opening of a new facility in Auckland. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today opened the Multi-Disciplinary Family Harm Prevention Hub Te Taanga Manawa in Lambie Road in Manukau. The facility ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Report on Auckland Port Relocation
    The Government has released a major new report on the options for relocating the Port of Auckland’s freight operations while deferring any decision on the issue. “That decision needs to be informed by policy analysis that is still to be completed. As a result it will be up to a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Dual place names for Te Pātaka-o-Rākaihautū / Banks Peninsula features
    The history of Rāpaki is being restored through the inclusion of te reo in thirteen official place names on Te Pātaka-o-Rākaihautū / Banks Peninsula and around Lyttelton Harbour/Whakaraupō, the Minister for Land Information, Eugenie Sage, announced today.   “I am pleased to approve the proposals from Te Hapū o Ngāti ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government and Air New Zealand agree to manage incoming bookings
    Bookings for seats on Air New Zealand flights into New Zealand will be managed in the short term to ensure the Government is able to safely place New Zealanders arriving home into a managed isolation or quarantine facility, says Housing Minister Megan Woods.  “Last week Air Commodore Darryn Webb and I ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • $80 million for sport recovery at all levels
    Grant Robertson has today announced the first major release of funding from the $265 million Sport Recovery Package announced at Budget 2020.  “Today we’re setting out how $80 million will be invested, with $54 million of that over the 2020/2021 financial year for organisations from community level through to elite ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Keeping ACC levies steady until 2022
    The Government is maintaining current levy rates for the next 2 years, as part of a set of changes to help ease the financial pressures of COVID-19 providing certainty for businesses and New Zealanders, ACC Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. “New Zealanders and businesses are facing unprecedented financial pressures as a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Extended loan scheme keeps business afloat
    Small businesses are getting greater certainty about access to finance with an extension to the interest-free cashflow loan scheme to the end of the year. The Small Business Cashflow Loan Scheme has already been extended once, to 24 July. Revenue and Small Business Minister Stuart Nash says it will be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New investment creates over 2000 jobs to clean up waterways
    A package of 23 projects across the country will clean up waterways and deliver over 2000 jobs Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Environment Minister David Parker announced today. The $162 million dollar package will see 22 water clean-up projects put forward by local councils receiving $62 million and the Kaipara ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Speech to Labour Party Congress 2020
    Tena koutou katoa  Nga tangata whenua o tenei rohe o Pōneke, tena koutou Nau mai, haere mai ki te hui a tau mo te roopu reipa Ko tatou!  Ko to tatou mana!  Ko to tatou kaupapa kei te kokiri whakamua  Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena tatou katoa   Welcome. I ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • PGF top-up for QE Health in Rotorua
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $1.5 million to ensure QE Health in Rotorua can proceed with its world class health service and save 75 existing jobs, Under Secretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. The PGF funding announced today is in addition to the $8 million ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Building a more sustainable construction sector
    A new programme, which sets a firm course for the Building and Construction sector to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, has been announced by the Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa. “A significant amount of New Zealand’s carbon emissions come from the building and construction sector.  If we’re serious ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago