UNICEF call for action on NZ poverty

Written By: - Date published: 7:08 am, August 18th, 2016 - 165 comments
Categories: class war, john key, national, poverty, useless - Tags: , , , ,

Yesterday in The Herald: Desperate Saitu family share story of child poverty in South Auckland. The situation is so bad that The Guardian has continued its coverage for a second day:

Unicef and charities urge New Zealand to act on child poverty

Unicef and children’s charities are urging the New Zealand government to do more to help the most vulnerable in society after a Guardian report highlighted the extent of child poverty in the country.

More than 300,000 children live in poverty in New Zealand – an increase of 45,000 since a year ago and double the number since 1984.

“An increase of 45,000 since a year ago”.

The Unicef country executive director was quoted as saying New Zealanders’ empathy had hardened towards its most vulnerable citizens, and child poverty was becoming “normalised” in the island nation of 4.5 million.

Have we become a country without empathy?

Labour’s spokesperson for children, Jacinda Ardern, had asked the minister: “What recent publicity does she think led to the Guardian writing an article titled “New Zealand’s most shameful secret: we have normalised child poverty”?”

Tolley replied: “I have no responsibility for articles published in the Guardian, a leftwing English newspaper that supports [the leader of the opposition] Jeremy Corbyn.

Untrue, irrelevant, and pathetic to boot.

Vivien Maidaborn, the executive director of Unicef New Zealand, said since the article had been published visits to the charity’s website and donations had increased by 30%. “We have had emails and phone calls from colleagues around the world expressing shock at this level of child poverty in New Zealand,” she said. “They had no idea that the myth New Zealand told about itself as the ideal place for children to live and grow up is only true for some of our children.”

Think how shocked they’ll be to discover that our “100% pure” image is nonsense too.

The prime minister, John Key, and Tolley were contacted for comment but did not respond.

Of course not. Key used to talk a big game about poverty and “the underclass”. But just like with housing, it was all talk and no action, and the crises are getting worse under his watch.

165 comments on “UNICEF call for action on NZ poverty”

  1. Garibaldi 1

    Does this sound like the National Party?…..
    How to control what people think ( lifted from zerohedge )…..
    1) Create or buy out major news agencies and TV channels.
    2) Only publish stories that promote your agenda.
    3) Maintain debate within a strictly limited range of views and subject.
    4) Focus on traumatic events to keep the people traumatised in fear.
    5) Label anyone who exposes your system and manipulation as a conspiracy theorist.

    This makes me feel better for often being accused of being a conspiracy theorist by all the sheeple out there !
    Interesting watching the govt trying to squirm out of this one (child poverty) and how they are using the above 5 rules.
    These five rules confirm my contention that the media are perhaps the biggest hurdle we face.

  2. Ad 2

    The Fabians are precisely on point, with this speaker coming up in Auckland on September 1st:

    “When Did We Become So Mean Spirit And Violent Towards The Poor?”

    You can register for the event here:

    http://www.fabians.org.nz/index.php?option=com_civicrm&task=civicrm/event/info&reset=1&id=203

    I’m definitely going to this one.

  3. THIS is an essential issue that the opposition can keep the pressure on about.

    The numbers mean this cannot be pretended away and most citizens will have a tiny degree of separation from. The election starts now.l

  4. johnm 4

    God Market says: Poverty is a signal that you must do better in the market, a stimulus to get off one’s chuff and do a bit of struggle!

    This Government doesn’t have a clue and what’s worse they’re happy that way! 🙁

    What can you expect from a money trader party that can’t build but only sell off as in the market!?

    The whole market neoliberal BS has been exposed as rubbish but both the Nats and Labour still buy it.

  5. Anne 5

    Go Jacinda!
    I doubt the Guardian will take too kindly to Tolley’s contemptuous response to their exposé. Expect to see further revelations from them in the future.

    Such a damming indictment on this government!

  6. Colonial Viper 6

    Forget all the political posturing, confabs and talkfests. An extra $750M p.a. income needs to be distributed to NZ’s poorest families starting immediately. How to do that, who will do that?

    • BM 6.1

      Free vasectomies or tubal litigation would do a hell of a lot more.

      • Colonial Viper 6.1.1

        Hi BM, please use your logic, how does a vasectomy, tubal ligation or even an abortion move any one of NZ’s 300,000 children currently living in poverty, out of poverty?

        • BM 6.1.1.1

          The majority of these people find themselves in these positions because of poor decisions, bringing more children into this environment is the height of stupidity yet many do.

          The 300,000 children number is bollocks

          • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.1.1

            OK let’s say the number is only 150,000 Kiwi kids in poverty.

            How does a vasectomy, tubal ligation or even an abortion help any one of those kiwi kids out of poverty?

            Or is 150,000 Kiwi kids a tolerable level of child poverty (as it was during Helen Clark’s term)

            • BM 6.1.1.1.1.1

              The definition they use to define poverty is so bad it could only a 1000 or so that are truly living in poverty.

              • Your ugly viewpoint is why there is a problem.

                • Chuck

                  BM is correct.

                  The BS definition of relative poverty does more damage to the people who really are in poverty and need help than anything else.

                  Everyone knows the Guardian is a left leaning newspaper, so of course they hunt for articles that fit the readership.

                  • Yes and we all know the tired old right-wing attack lines ho hum. Got anything original to say there chuck?

                  • Colonial Viper

                    All I hear are right wing trolls arguing that the problem is minor and claims of child poverty in NZ greatly exaggerated. That’s wishful thinking on your part of course.

                    All the while billions in unearned wealth keep accumulating to the richest 5% in the country.

                    Face up to it. The poorest families in NZ need an extra $750M or so of income per year. Give them jobs, give them benefits, whatever, but we shall no longer let the wealthy and powerful ignore poverty in NZ.

                    • BM

                      It is greatly exaggerated.

                      The definition of ‘poverty’ is a household with less than 60% of median disposable income.

                      According to this site the average median NZ income is $81271 US Dollars or $111,853.28 NZ dollars

                      http://www.oecdbetterlifeindex.org/topics/income/

                      Which means poverty is any household with a combined income of

                      $67,111 NZ dollars

                      For many $67111 would be a shit load of money and they could live a very good life style and go without pretty much nothing yet according to the poverty industry they’re on the bones of their arse and living on the streets eating from rubbish bins.

                    • Macro

                      “According to this site the average median NZ income is $81271 US Dollars or $111,853.28 NZ dollars”

                      bullshit
                      If you are going to quote something – at least get it right!

                      In New Zealand, the average household net-adjusted disposable income per capita is lower than the OECD average of USD 29 016.

                      The figure you quote – is the average financial wealth! That is NOT INCOME! That is the value of all the things they own including a house less their indebtedness.

                    • Chuck

                      “Face up to it. The poorest families in NZ need an extra $750M or so of income per year. Give them jobs, give them benefits, whatever, but we shall no longer let the wealthy and powerful ignore poverty in NZ.”

                      Sure that can be done CV…however all you are doing is moving the number a little higher in the medium income measurement. It won’t reduce the number of households below 60% of the medium income and thus the “relative poverty numbers”.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      What does it matter to you Chuck? We’re not asking you for the money mate, stop taking other peoples poverty so personally you scrooge.

                    • Chuck

                      You are missing my point CV.

                      Using the current measurement of 60% of household median income to define “relative poverty” = no end to “relative poverty” no matter how much median household income increases (even from the low end). Its rigged!!

                      $750M will help for sure if its allocated wisely…but it will not reduce the “relative poverty” numbers by much (reason why above).

                      “What does it matter to you Chuck? We’re not asking you for the money mate”

                      Yes you are…along with any other NZ tax payer.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Using the current measurement of 60% of household median income to define “relative poverty” = no end to “relative poverty” no matter how much median household income increases (even from the low end). Its rigged!!

                      Uh, you’re wrong. If NZ were to lift minimum household income to $40,000 there would be zero relative poverty remaining, using the standard of no less than 60% of the 2013 median household income of $63,600 p.a.

                      Yes you are…along with any other NZ tax payer.

                      What does it matter to you? If you are on a high income most of your monies just sit around uselessly in the form of electronic numbers doing fuck all good in the world.

                  • Macro

                    “The BS definition of relative poverty does more damage to the people who really are in poverty and need help than anything else.”

                    🙄

                    Please explain the above statement for this obviously confused person. How does a universally accepted definition of relative poverty exacerbate the problem?

                    I live two doors away from a family who are obviously living in poor conditions there has been very little state help for this family. Please tell me how they could improve their lot – noting that there is very little work available for the main provider, and the the g’mother is caring for the mokopuna.

                    • Chuck

                      “Please explain the above statement for this obviously confused person. How does a universally accepted definition of relative poverty exacerbate the problem?”

                      Definitions of relative poverty vary considerably, and as BM points out above one of the accepted measures is any household on less than 60% of median income.

                      Thus even if the median income level is $500k pa in theory we still have “relative poverty” on any household @ 60% or less of the $500k median.

                      Another is The Human Poverty Index (HPI), which was introduced in 1997, it states any household below 50% of the medium income level is in poverty.

                      Most people see these measurements as inflating the numbers, as by the very way its measured we will always have so called “relative poverty”.

                      This is why I say it does a disservice to households who really need assistance (be it $, addition support or education) that can’t be meet by the standard means of delivery.

                    • Macro

                      “Definitions of relative poverty vary considerably, and as BM points out above one of the accepted measures is any household on less than 60% of median income.”

                      Yes! That is the universally accepted definition of relative poverty .

                      “Thus even if the median income level is $500k pa in theory we still have “relative poverty” on any household @ 60% or less of the $500k median.”

                      What fucken planet are you on!!!

                      To quote the link from BM again
                      “In New Zealand, the average household net-adjusted disposable income per capita is lower than the OECD average of USD 29 016.”

                      Its actually around 23,000 USD. OK so that is the average and not the Median – which is actually around 28,000 NZD Gross.
                      http://thestandard.org.nz/left-side-story-what-do-new-zealanders-actually-earn/
                      “It tells us that based on the hard numbers that IRD collects, about half of all income earners in New Zealand earn less than $28,000 a year.”

                      “This is why I say it does a disservice to households who really need assistance (be it $, addition support or education) that can’t be meet by the standard means of delivery.” That is just flim flam
                      House holds on 60% of $28,000 ($18,000) and including the 300,000 children are obviously struggling! I challenge you to provide a roof and clothing and food for a family on $18,000 a year.

                    • Chuck

                      Macro you are mixing up household income with individual income.

                      Relative poverty measurement = on any household @ 60% or less of the median household income.”

                      A quick look in 2013 shows the medium NZ household income was $68,600 pa. NOT the $28,000 you quoted.

                    • Macro

                      I’m not sure what mediums earn…maybe you could ask Sue…
                      But the median household income is not $68,000.
                      The AVERAGE or MEAN household income – the figure the govt likes to use because it makes the picture look good – is around $68,000 GROSS – that is before tax. That figure is an inflated figure boosted by the CEO’s and upper incomes of a few NZers earning obscene amounts, that is not a true picture of the actual incomes of ordinary NZers. That figure is more sensibly given by the MEDIAN (note the spelling) That is the figure around which, 50% of incomes lie above, and obviously 50% lie below. The figure I gave above, of $28,000 GROSS is the figure obtained from the IRD. You can read that in the link. Now some poor families may have 2 parents working – many do not. But the OECD figures given by BM above show that In New Zealand, the average household net-adjusted disposable income per capita is around $23,000 dollars. For solo parents (and there are quite a few of them) the figure is obviously less.

                    • Chuck

                      Median household income is what is used for the “relative poverty” measurement. Which was for NZ $68,600 pa (2013).

                      “That figure is an inflated figure boosted by the CEO’s and upper incomes of a few NZers earning obscene amounts, that is not a true picture of the actual incomes of ordinary NZers.”

                      Macro you have just proved my point that using something like “median household income” for “poverty” is BS.

                      Again I point out that no matter how high the median household income increases…using it to measure poverty at say 60% cutoff point will mean we always have poverty as defined currently.

                      Yes my example of median household income of $500k pa was extreme…it was on purpose. As explained above.

                      And by the way Per capita = per person (not household).

                    • Colonial Viper

                      $68.6K is the median NZ household income as of 2013

                      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11164406

                      In a status of poverty at 60% under that household income level, you will probably be trying to raise a family on somewhere between $10K pa and $27K pa household income.

                      As for you Chuck…

                      Keep ignoring the fact that trying to raise a family at these poverty levels is not something we should allow in NZ, and keep arguing for your silly inhumane mathematical reasons.

                      The fact of the matter is that you can eliminate poverty in NZ under this 60% definition by ensuring that every household in the country has a minimum $35,000 p.a. income.

                    • Macro

                      Chuck – please stop chucking around figures for which you have no idea what they mean.

                      Median household income is what is used for the “relative poverty” measurement. Which was for NZ $68,600 pa (2013).

                      NO IT IS NOT! That is the MEAN. Not the median. Please take a 4th form statistics course to find out the difference.
                      Provide a link or shut up!
                      Yes I am aware of the difference between household income and individual incomes. I have quoted several times evidence from reputable sources NZ IRD and OECD that shows the MEDIAN household income for NZ is in the order of 23,000 USD or 28,000 NZD.

                      Relative poverty is taken at 60% of that figure and that gives a figure of 300,000 children living in households with incomes less than that.

                    • Macro

                      CV The Household Economic survey as carried out by the Dept of Stats is a phone in of households that:
                      a have a phone
                      b can be bothered to answer
                      c are not living in cars boarding houses motels and tents.
                      http://www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/people_and_communities/Households/HouseholdEconomicSurvey_HOTPYeJun15/Data%20Quality.aspx
                      The statistics provided by the IRD include all earners providing PAYE data.

                    • Chuck

                      CV you are confused…

                      “In a status of poverty at 60% under that household income level, you will probably be trying to raise a family on somewhere between $10K pa and $27K pa household income.”

                      The line in the sand for “relative poverty” is 60% of the median household income level or under. Hence the starting point @ 60% of $68,600 pa is $41,160 pa.

                      So just how many households are between $41,160 and the $35,000 (which you say is the minimum acceptable level)?

                      Does your $35k pa include any current top ups like WFF, accommodation supplement, state house etc.?

                      Thanks for posting the link re NZ household median income 2013. I trust Macro will have a look.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Someone trying to raise a family and run a household on $20K to $40K is fucked financially day to day. I couldn’t rent a house or pay a mortgage and support just myself that’s just one adult on that money, let alone a partner and 2 or 3 kids.

                      That’s what poverty means.

                      Chuck why are you being such a prick about this? You get thrills out of making sure poor powerless Kiwis are further marginalised? That qualifies you as a fuck wit.

                      The answer is simple. Ensure all families have a household income of no less than $45K = no more child poverty in NZ. Piece of cake.

                    • So, there’s two things going on here.
                      One is that Chuck stubbornly refuses to realise that Median is the MIDDLE figure, not the MEAN figure. (what’s commonly referred to as an average)

                      The other is the appropriateness of a relative definition of poverty.

                      Chuck is, in the long term, correct that a relative definition of poverty might need to be adjusted if the median wage rises significantly, because then it would capture people as being in poverty when they might have reasonable access to the essentials of life. Eventually it would make more sense to define poverty as being unable to live in a city with employment prospects and afford basic necessities. (such as adequate clothing, food, shelter, hygeine, and amenities required to get a job)

                      But the thing is, the current poverty line, which is just under $16k annually, (because instead of trying to do the maths myself, I was clever and simply looked up the actual poverty line) is a relatively fair definition of poverty, and I bet a lot of right-wingers wouldn’t be able to get by on even the easy version of the poverty challenge where you can only spend up to the povrty line. So there’s nothing wrong with the metric as we’re applying it today, that’s why it’s internationally accepted still. You think we wouldn’t have been adjusting the metric if a raise in median wages had made it invalid?

                  • adam

                    So says Chucky the conspiracy theorist.

                    • Chuck

                      adam you have just hit on Garibaldi post #1

                      “5) Label anyone who exposes your system and manipulation as a conspiracy theorist.”

                      So I must of exposed your manipulation adam, hence calling me a conspiracy theorist. 🙂

                    • In Vino

                      Chuck – there is no such thing as ‘must of’. Either must have , or must’ve. Your English is as appalling as your pathetic attempt to divert from your failure to explain how come you did not know the difference between mean and median. You just keep on chucking the same stuff, don’t you?

              • righty right

                bm is right the poor should not be allowed to breed there to many poor they all made poor life choices poor are destroying new Zealand’s reputation and are a major threat to our way of life. breeding should be regulated according to income and economic demand for labor units ,

                • BM

                  No, I’m not saying that.

                  I do think having 5+ kids on minimum wage and expecting to be subsidize by your fellow country man/woman is the height of stupidity and selfishness.

                  • Halfcrown

                    “I do think having 5+ kids on minimum wage and expecting to be subsidize by your fellow country man/woman is the height of stupidity and selfishness.”

                    You mustn’t talk about The Double Dipping Dickhead from Dipton like that.

            • AB 6.1.1.1.1.2

              BM is a eugenicist prepared to sacrifice the existing generation of poor children while he waits for his selective breeding programme to kick in. That sacrifice is worth it because he then gets to hang on to as much of his cash as possible. This is called “neoliberal ethics”.

              • Colonial Viper

                The funny thing is that NZ will fall apart demographically over the next 40 years unless we take much better care of the children. BM is going to find himself in a nursing home in his old age looked after by foreign imports who can’t speak English and who don’t give a shit about his heritage.

            • Lloyd 6.1.1.1.1.3

              As it costs too much to go to a doctor on the sort of income our government thinks is acceptable for employed people, how are you going to afford a tubal ligation or a vasectomy?

          • vto 6.1.1.1.2

            BM “The majority of these people find themselves in these positions because of poor decisions”

            How would you know that? On what do you base that assumption?

            • Stuart Munro 6.1.1.1.2.1

              Perhaps he means they failed to throttle Roger Douglas at birth – if so it was a grievous error, and grievously have they answered for it.

          • vto 6.1.1.1.3

            “The majority of these people find themselves in these positions because of poor decisions”

            Even if people did make the occasional poor decision, why should that be a reason to condemn them to a life of poverty?

            • Pat 6.1.1.1.3.1

              Perhaps he means they failed to throttle Roger Douglas at birth – if so it was a grievous error, and grievously have they answered for it.

              .lmao…enjoyed that

          • vto 6.1.1.1.4

            “The majority of these people find themselves in these positions because of poor decisions”

            I would suggest the majority of these people find themselves in these positions because of the nasty policy settings of the last 30 years…

            … after all, these problems never used to exist to this extent…

            … so what has changed BM?

            … I tell you what has changed – the nasty policy settings of the last 30 years

          • vto 6.1.1.1.5

            “The majority of these people find themselves in these positions because of poor decisions”

            The responsibility of the entire village is to ensure that all villagers have a roof and food.

            The village chief is failing BM, failing wholesale

            Leaving a villager to sleep on the dirt is inhuman BM, inhuman

          • vto 6.1.1.1.6

            “The majority of these people find themselves in these positions because of poor decisions”

            I call complete and total bullshit on that and you.

            Get out more. From my too-long experience you are wholly incorrect 100% pure bullshit

          • vto 6.1.1.1.7

            “The majority of these people find themselves in these positions because of poor decisions”

            You have never had life kick the legs out from under you have you BM. You have never known real suffering and misfortune.

            If you had you would never write something like that

            • George Hendry 6.1.1.1.7.1

              greetings vto 🙂

              At heart I think you’re right. As long as such people continue to seem to be doing ok (at least in their own eyes) and get the feeling that not all are doing as well as they are, they need to be ready to justify doing nothing to help those worse off than themselves.

              Although the very wealthy are clearly benefiting far more from current policy settings and I would claim are the true parasites and bludgers (multiple dippers) of our system, they escape the criticism aimed at the poor because there is no apparent prospect of their needing help any time soon.

              BM, Chuck and others need to attack the poor. If they didn’t, people might start asking them to help, when they have barely enough for themselves.

              • Chuck

                George you do yourself a disservice by attempting to make sh#t up. “Chuck and others need to attack the poor”.

                Your fringe rants on imprisoning MP’s for manslaughter (for example) have a negative result on what you are trying to achieve. Mum and Dad NZ looks at that and dismisses you straight away as a nutter.

                • George Hendry

                  Hi Chuck 🙂

                  Thanks again for your response. This encourages me to set out my reasoning further in case you read it.

                  As vto has stated, the rich are rich and the poor are poor due to current policy settings. Income tax cuts (seven since 1984) and spending tax raises (four) ensures that the poorer people already are, the poorer they will go on getting. In this case the ‘bad decision’ they made was not to be rich initially.

                  ‘Mum and Dad NZ looks at that and dismisses you straight away as a nutter.’

                  As it happens, Chuck, this ad hominem attack from you is most welcome. ‘Mum and Dad NZ’ also include some who understand that you attack the person when their viewpoint is too difficult to counter.

                  That I have managed to reduce you to attacking me personally does not, as you know, in itself make my argument irrefutable. It just gets to look better than it might be. So more personal attacks please, if you have time.

                  My ‘rant’, while somewhat fringe at present, needs to become a part of general discussion. What should be done with MPs who callously legislate in a way that must inexorably impoverish kids who’ve done nothing to deserve it? Maybe not trial for manslaughter, but what about ‘accessory after the fact’?

                  • Chuck

                    Where do I start George?

                    “As vto has stated, the rich are rich and the poor are poor due to current policy settings. Income tax cuts (seven since 1984) and spending tax raises (four)”

                    Prior to 1984 New Zealand had the worst performing economy in the OECD, due to a range of reasons with one being the taxation system.

                    1984 personal tax rates 20% / 32% / 41% / 45% / 56% / 66%
                    2016 personal tax rates are 10.5% / 17.5% / 30% / 33%

                    “That I have managed to reduce you to attacking me personally does not, as you know, in itself make my argument irrefutable. It just gets to look better than it might be. So more personal attacks please, if you have time.”

                    George you do understand this is what (copied below) you wrote? So pot calling kettle black type of thing mate??

                    “BM, Chuck and others need to attack the poor. If they didn’t, people might start asking them to help, when they have barely enough for themselves.”

                    I hope you focus as much if not more attention on the “irresponsible parents” as you do MP’s who in your mind need to be charged with something.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      The economy was hungry and homeless, was it? Poor wickle economy. It must have had such a terrible struggle. We should feel sorry for it.

                      Are you for real Chuck? Did you just attempt to excuse the disgusting neglect of actual human beings by comparing them to the state of the economy?

                      It’s a good thing you rote-learn most of your lies if this is an example of you attempting something original.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      As for your attack on irresponsible parents, I’ll give you the same challenge you wretches always run and hide from.

                      Why has the amount of poor parenting (“choosing” to be homeless etc.) increased so much since 1984? Why has it increased so much since 2007?

                      Can “your” “theory” (and let’s face it, it isn’t a theory and it isn’t yours) explain these phenomena? Nope.

                      Meanwhile, on Earth, inequality, poor housing, infectious diseases, homelessness, poverty are all choices the government makes, and your lip service to personal responsibility is belied by your hate speech.

                    • Chuck

                      “The economy was hungry and homeless, was it? Poor wickle economy. It must have had such a terrible struggle. We should feel sorry for it.”

                      OAB you show a complete lack of knowledge…in simple terms; poor performing economy = bad for country and people. Good performing economy = good for country and people.

                      “Are you for real Chuck? Did you just attempt to excuse the disgusting neglect of actual human beings by comparing them to the state of the economy?”

                      That comment just confirms to me how your mind works OAB. Basically making stuff up.

                      And on personal responsibility…I suggest you look up the meaning.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      I looked it up: it’s a slogan right wingers pay lip service to while doing the exact opposite.

                      In “simple” terms. your measure of the economy (whether it’s good for people) is fine by me. I note that by your measure, the economy was better in 1984 than it is now. I further note that this directly contradicts your previous flailing.

                      You see. I’m not in the least bit confused: people are more important than abstract financial concepts.

                      If what you say is true, and the economy is stronger now, that’s even less excuse for the way your leaders treat New Zealanders like shit. The people who invented the lies you parrot have a lot to answer for.

                    • George Hendry

                      Thanks yet again for your response, Chuck. 🙂

                      And, as per above, for accusing me of hypocrisy. Not, however, a full – on personal attack, as it relates to allegations I made about you and BM in the course of this discussion.

                      ‘I hope you focus as much if not more attention on the “irresponsible parents” as you do MP’s who in your mind need to be charged with something.’

                      I’m grateful for your making this point. It may be that you, BM and others are mainly focusing on ‘forcing irresponsible parents to get their act together’ (or at least strongly encouraging them to) and I readily admit that that approach while somewhat merciless is definitely arguable.

                      I’m grateful, because your point leaves their defenceless kids right out of consideration, whereas the kids are central to what I’m saying. This may clarify a misunderstanding.

                      If I’ve offended you in any way during this discourse, please accept my apology. When we meet in a future thread, I will hope to elicit your considered response without saying anything provocative.

                      My final point would be that MPs definitely need to be held to a far higher level of behaviour than ‘irresponsible parents’, because what MPs do can help or harm far more people.

      • TheExtremist 6.1.2

        Yeah, castrate the poor. Great idea, douchebag

        • Leftie 6.1.2.1

          Right wingers “solution” has always been to determine who they think should not bear children. Its always been part of their ideology. Remember Tolly’s suggestion of sterilization of the poor and vulnerable and those they consider to be “undesirables”? This concept is not new with elitist right wingers with their born to rule attitude, it’s a fundamental view that they hold. Take a look at America’s shocking history. The Wealthy and powerful supported Eugenics, (well before Hitler/Nazis), and forced sterilization.
          It has often angered me when I have read National supporters commenting, particularity after National has launched a msm demonizing bene bashing episode, that people should be “put down” or that they shouldn’t be “allowed’ to have children if they have no money. These abusers never consider circumstance, like losing a job etc. That doesn’t factor into their way of thinking, despite the fact that some of these abusers are on benefits themselves!!!! The hypocrisy is astounding, and the lack of humanity is not only so difficult to comprehend, it’s profoundly tragic as well.

          <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eugenics_in_the_United_States

          <a href="http://mic.com/articles/53723/8-shocking-facts-about-sterilization-in-u-s-history#.VTCpNn94U

      • Leftie 6.1.3

        Would that be for yourself and all of your family members BM?

      • Anno1701 6.1.4

        “Free vasectomies or tubal litigation would do a hell of a lot more.”

        maybe your mother should have just kept her legs closed…

  7. TheExtremist 7

    I am frankly staggered by the fact the international media is making headlines of this.
    shame
    Shame
    FUCKING SHAME!

    Thanks for this fucking “brighter future”

    • BM 7.1

      It’s a NZ based free lance reporter writing articles for the Guardian, they pay her to write articles about NZ.

      Obviously been from Dunedin she’s a raving leftie working for a leftie newspaper so these are the sort of articles she will write about and these are the sort of articles the guardian wants.

      • Anne 7.1.1

        DNFTT!

        BM @ 7.1 is trying to distract from the subject “Child poverty in NZ.”

      • TheExtremist 7.1.2

        Oh dear, a leftwing person writing from a left wing perspective!???!!!!

        We must put a halt on this practice! All we need is more Rio news. Never mind the poverty behind the curtain.

        Grow a pair BM and be honest.

        • Gangnam Style 7.1.2.1

          “All we need is more Rio news.” – heh, Sky is having a cry coz they bought a lemon, no one is watching the Olympics, not paying for it anyway.

  8. Siobhan 8

    We forget that in the very short term, self defeating, forward thinking of the Market worshipers, Poor People are a market.
    Look at America, some poor sap working at a gas station is worth x amount to the economy, but push him over the edge, have him steal a TV, smoke some pot, hit his wife, and you can throw him into the Prison system…and ta-da he’s now worth up to $60,000* a year to their friends ‘in the prison business. With the added bonus of keeping the unemployment figures down.

    But the real money to be made from the Poor is in Debt. Debt from fines, debt from Medical care, local council charges, calling the fire brigade, because, you know, your house is on fire**, debt from lost library books (even that can get you a prison sentence) debt from pretty much everything imaginable.. Payday loans, loan sharks, debt collectors…there are many many articles about this, but I must say that Last Week Tonight with John Oliver has done a number of excellent investigative reports on issue.

    *New York State
    **http://abcnews.go.com/Business/fire-department-bills-basic-services-horrify-residents-insurance/story?id=9736696

  9. whispering kate 9

    Whoever this journalist is who is writing articles for the Guardian she’d better watch her back, this Government stamps down hard on people who embarrass them. I say good for her and hopefully more journalists may follow her, if its the only way to expose this Government then shame on us for the lame duck MSM we have, they are a disgrace to their profession.

    • BM 9.1

      Have you being living in a cave for the last couple of years?

      Seriously for a while there, every day there was some hardship, poor pimping story of woe in the herald.

      It become overdone and so obvious that it was more about bashing National then any thing else that people have just switched off.

      • Colonial Viper 9.1.1

        People like you have become well adjusted to Kiwis homeless and living in poverty?

        Why have you let your humanity die like that, BM?

        • Garibaldi 9.1.1.1

          CV I don’t think BM ever had any humanity.

          • Anno1701 9.1.1.1.1

            “CV I don’t think BM ever had any humanity.”

            i suspect hes not actually even human…

            • Colonial Viper 9.1.1.1.1.1

              BM is actually better than this but he does like to habitually wail on the weakest and poorest on society because he can.

              • BM

                but he does like to habitually wail on the weakest and poorest on society because he can.

                No I don’t.

                Seriously, I’ve been on the bones of my arse, I know what it’s like to be broke.

                There is really only one way out and that’s through working hard and making a few sacrifices.

                Sitting there on your date with your hand out waiting for people to give you money or a house or food is bull shit, you’ve got to make the effort yourself to improve your own situation, even if that involves going backwards for a bit.

                I prefer the teach a man to fish approach then just giving him fish.

                • Chuck

                  “I prefer the teach a man to fish approach then just giving him fish.”

                  I fear that will go over the heads of most on this site…

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Speaking of teaching, you’re a hypocritical wingnut who pays lip service to education, and your “fears” are complete gobshite.

                    So there’s that.

                    PS: your drivel about the measure being “rigged” (above) demonstrates that you’re innumerate too. You don’t understand what a median is: everything you say is moot 😆

                    • Chuck

                      It didn’t take long to be proven right…thanks once again OAB.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      My contempt for your drivel proves that I have contempt for your drivel, you innumerate tosser.

                      Go and learn about Maths.

                    • Chuck

                      Unlike you OAB, I have no contempt for you.

                      Rather I see at least some good in most people, if you take your passion and tone it down a little (ok…a lot!!) I am sure the Greens or Mana would welcome you into the fold come 2017 to help with campaigning.

                      Put all that anger to good use mate…

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      I have contempt for your drivel. Your drivel is not you. Basic English lacking too.

                      As for anger, I’m not the one rehearsing rote-learned lies, smear-boy.

                  • BM

                    Becoming self reliant is the only real way out of a bad situation, it surprises me how anti, lefties are to that concept.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      You’re incapable of summarising left wing thought: even your smears are unoriginal rote-learned crap.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      That is the point OAB – BM is aimed at barely educated rightwingers who might skim this site. His job is to confirm their prejudices.

                  • Sacha

                    we’re all heathens.

                  • ankerawshark

                    How does this apply to people living in cars Chuck????

                • McFlock

                  The interesting thing about the fishing analogy is that it also requires luck as well as skill to become a good fish-catcher. And it also relies on the premise that some bastard corporation hasn’t obliterated the local fishery or set up the subsistance fishers for failure in some other way.

                  Working hard and sacrifices help, but it’s largely down to luck. Always has been, always will be.

                • Stuart Munro

                  “I prefer the teach a man to fish approach then just giving him fish.”

                  Doesn’t work nowadays mate – there’s quota. The fishermen make just about enough to starve to death – all the profits go to chair-polishing assholes.

                • Anno1701

                  “I prefer the teach a man to fish approach then just giving him fish”

                  what he cant even afford bait let alone a fishing rod ?

                • The New Student

                  lots of people work harder than you. But why do only some manage to get $$ while the majority are told to go fuck themselves? I don’t understand why this even exists. I was told effort brings reward, but it seems that one’s effort only brings reward for someone else. Why is this? Why isn’t all hard work rewarded fairly?

      • Siobhan 9.1.2

        And how many stories every day on the glorious upside of the housing market??

        The Herald on-line is all about ‘clicks’ so you get the token piece on Poverty to help assuage peoples vague sense of guilt, but the Herald knows that all people seem to really care about is their house prices and investment in ‘the housing market’ and rentals.

        Because as we all know that can never be overdone in NZ.

        No one, other than you it would seem, would describe the Herald as being anything other than very supportive of the National Party. Infact It’s a miracle that they still employ Bernard Hickey.

  10. dv 10

    From BM
    According to this site the average median NZ income i

    So what does average median mean?

    • Andre 10.1

      An “average median” would reasonably be interpreted as an average of a group of medians.

      But if you go and look at BM’s link and compare to the comment, you will see that “average median” is the least of BM’s reading comprehension fails.

    • Macro 10.2

      “So what does average median mean?”

      hmmmm I’m suspicious of the mode of questioning here dv.

      Are you trying to deviate from the topic .. I’m sure BM means no harm. 😉

  11. Tony Veitch (not the partner-bashing 3rd rate broadcaster) 11

    No doubt I shall be criticised for this breakdown of income, but . . .

    “Self-made billionaire and packaging tycoon Graeme Hart, worth an estimated $9b, is still our richest New Zealander – a title he has held for the past decade.

    According to past NBR rich lists Hart has increased his wealth by $6.25b since 2006.”

    That means he has ‘made’ over $446,500,000 a year!

    Or, over $32,200,000 per month.

    Or, over $1,000,000 a day.

    Or $11.50 for every second!!

    Therein lies the problem. This country cannot afford the rich!

    • Puckish Rogue 11.1

      He makes all that from NZ? That’s pretty impressive…

      • Tony Veitch (not the partner-bashing 3rd rate broadcaster) 11.1.1

        A typically fatuous comment from you, Puerile Right-winger, and just what one would expect.

        Which doesn’t disguise the fact that some people are obscenely rich in this country, and a great many others are struggling to make end meet.

  12. weka 12

    BM in one of his more vicious modes today. Must have touched a sore point.

    Re measures of poverty and procreation, a single child free person unable to work long term is allowed a state income of $210/wk. They can also get up to $62/wk but that has to be spent on the disability needs the money was approved for (you can’t use the money to pay rent or buy food etc or you will lose it at next review).

    They are also eligible for accommodation costs and a temporary hardship grant both of which are part payments of costs not full.

    If the person is on that rate long term how is that not poverty? That’s $14,144 per year net.

    • Puckish Rogue 12.1

      I actually do agree with you, there is poverty in NZ of that theres no doubt but where the issue gets muddied is when you start using percentages

      Is there a better way of defining poverty, that doesn’t rely on a percentage of?

      • weka 12.1.1

        Why not go look up the figures of people on benefits? That’ll give you a starting point.

        The whole rw argument about measurement is one of the most heinous, self serving and bullshit things I see from neoliberals. In order to do something about poverty in NZ we don’t need better maths. We need a government who gives enough of a shit to act from compassion rather than ideology. Raise benefits, legislate a living wage, put tenancy rights in place, build more houses, revert HNZ to a social housing dept. None of those things are radical, and any govt could do them now. Everything else is greed and selfishness.

        • Puckish Rogue 12.1.1.1

          and to pay for it all let me guess…we’ll raise taxes on the middle class?

          • Garibaldi 12.1.1.1.1

            No need to raise their tax much but there is a big need to hit the high earners and all the self-employed tax dodgers.

            • Colonial Viper 12.1.1.1.1.1

              Billion dollar revenue CORPORATIONS are the ones which need to be hit.

          • Paul 12.1.1.1.2

            No tax the rich and the multinational corporations.
            Simple.

            • UncookedSelachimorpha 12.1.1.1.2.1

              Yep, transferring 10% of the wealth of the richest 10% in New Zealand would be enough to double the wealth of the poorest half of NZer’s.

              Simple. And I imagine John Key will cope if he only had $45m instead of $50m.

      • Sacha 12.1.2

        “Is there a better way of defining poverty, that doesn’t rely on a percentage of?”

        It’s a worldwide standard, so I suspect the answer is No. NZ used to have a more granular measure of hardship based on factors like lack of shoes. https://www.msd.govt.nz/about-msd-and-our-work/publications-resources/monitoring/living-standards/

      • Stuart Munro 12.1.3

        There are numerous robust poverty measures like food insecurity, whether children have a second pair of shoes, or adequate clothing for bad weather.

        Were you not a vicious and unrepentant far-right provocateur you might look here: http://www.childpoverty.co.nz/

        Income poverty cannot be ignored however – it is the acid test of the so-called rockstar economy. There are no poor children without poor parents, and this government can proudly tell the world “We made our country much poorer.”

        • maninthemiddle 12.1.3.1

          “There are numerous robust poverty measures like food insecurity, whether children have a second pair of shoes, or adequate clothing for bad weather.”
          And therein lies your problem. Using these measures may be well intentioned, but utterly useless. Having one pair of shoes is not ‘poverty’. Growing up 1960’s Auckland I had one pair of shoes. Was I in poverty? Never. And what is ‘adequate clothing for bad weather’?

          Genuine poverty is when people die of starvation. When people live on the streets because they have no alternative. When people die of third world diseases (and not because they choose to not have their kids immunised).

          NZ has little or no poverty. We have ‘first world problems’, and we are the envy of much of the world.

          • Stuart Munro 12.1.3.1.1

            Gosh – suddenly you’re an ‘expert’ on poverty.

            The second pair of shoes comes into play when the others fail. A single pair fails quickly. Adequate clothing for bad weather in Auckland would be something that keeps the rain off, and in southern places would include a warm coat or jacket and probably gloves in winter. Without these children will become ill significantly more often.

            These are the measures that the poverty experts came up with.

            Sure, life in NZ in the 1960s was good – unlike now, under John Key’s cruel and stupid neoliberal nightmare.

            Poverty is everywhere in NZ now, with half the population unlikely ever to own a home, and the parents of the 300 000 themselves in poverty.

            Certainly many people want to come to NZ – from the Philipines, where there is 70% unemployment for example, or from Syria, where one can be bombed by ISIS, the Russians, The US, various militia, and one’s own government. This was always so – the measure of good governance is whether life is improving or getting worse. For most NZers, life is immeasurably worse under this stupid, backward government.

            NZ has horrendous poverty – but it’s greatest poverty is the poverty of spirit of people like you, who had a good childhood but mean to deny that to others. For shame Man-in-the-Middle, you cheap bastard.

            • maninthemiddle 12.1.3.1.1.1

              “The second pair of shoes comes into play when the others fail.”
              Duh…why is that any differnent to the ’60’s? Buy another pair. Shoes are cheaper today by comparison than they were 50 years ago.

              “Adequate clothing for bad weather in Auckland would be something that keeps the rain off, and in southern places would include a warm coat or jacket and probably gloves in winter. ”
              And their is no excuse for any parent in nz to not provide such inexpensive items to their children.

              “Sure, life in NZ in the 1960s was good – unlike now, under John Key’s cruel and stupid neoliberal nightmare.”
              Nope, life in nz is far better today. More choice, we no longer bludge off mother england, we have far more economic freedom and independence.

              “Poverty is everywhere in NZ now, with half the population unlikely ever to own a home, and the parents of the 300 000 themselves in poverty.”
              The only poverty in nz is poverty of parenting and poverty of initiative. The latter is the result of a welfare dependent mentality that has enslaved generations of good people.

              “Certainly many people want to come to NZ …”
              Your claims about Syria, Russia and the Phillipines are utter bs.
              Net migration is so high because NZ’ers are a> not leaving and b> returning home in numbers far higher than under Labour. There has also been a huge turnaround in net migration from/to Australia.
              http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/78098876/net-migration-to-nz-hits-another-record-high-and-could-hit-70000
              I’ve come to the conclusion you’ll write anything to justify you’re warped view of the world.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Back to lying about the causes of poverty, fucko. You still can’t even acknowledge the question: according to your hate speech, the number of bad parents has doubled since 1984. That’s what your hate speech (masquerading as a political and economic theory) has done.

                Even the number of unemployed has doubled since 2007, and your hate speech simply can’t explain that.

                Choke on it. Sincerely.

                • George Hendry

                  Greetings OAB 🙂

                  I salute your constant battling over the years on behalf of those less able to fend for themselves.

                  I think we’re winning, in this way…

                  Our local apologists for the recent vindictively unjust government policy settings have a hard job arguing their case here, which has to be that innocent kids need and deserve to suffer through the inadequacy of their parents, while the rest of us must wash our hands of them and pass by on the other side.

                  Isn’t that rather like having to argue that kids must be punished for crimes they clearly didn’t commit?

                  I don’t envy them that job, especially if it isn’t salaried at well above the minimum wage.

                  As a bonus, they encourage us to present our points more coherently, thereby raising the general awareness needed to resolve this problem.

                  Cheers.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Thanks George. I always look out for the things you have to say; invariably well argued and insightful.

                    • George Hendry

                      Cheers OAB. 🙂

                      A little way upthread, you might care to note that we seem to have been able to separate out ‘arguing for defenceless kids’ from ‘arguing for their “irresponsible” parents’.

                      A clear example of where this debate comes up is the matter of name suppression, ostensibly for the victim but just happens to be ever so beneficial to the perpetrator as well. Having to protect such perpetrators, ‘prominent NZers ‘ or otherwise, might so grate on those forced to do it that they pounce with alacrity on a chance to vent anger on caregivers they may legally and publicly attack.

                      For further reading, might I suggest typing in ‘Stefan Molyneux’ (freedomain radio) , on a fine day with nothing stressful to do. He seems to argue as some here do only with infinitely more scholarship and references, so much so that I find him hard to disagree with even though I’d prefer to. Others here may have read him and be coming from his standpoint (somewhat rightwing if you hadn’t guessed).

                  • maninthemiddle

                    “Our local apologists for the recent vindictively unjust government policy settings have a hard job arguing their case here, which has to be that innocent kids need and deserve to suffer through the inadequacy of their parents, while the rest of us must wash our hands of them and pass by on the other side.”

                    So you can’t understand the argument, and then you misrepresent it. Mmmmm.

                    I don’t advocate any child suffering in any way, but the cycle of dependency that has developed in NZ over decades HAS to be broken. It is a poison on our society that destroys initiative, enterprise and personal worth. If children are collateral in this, remove them from the parents. Intergenerational bludging has to stop. Now.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      The lies you have rote-learned do not explain either the doubling (according to UNICEF, IMF, World Bank et al) of child poverty since 1984. Nor the increase in unemployment since 2007.

                      Meanwhile, you judge people by their bank balance, and abuse the less fortunate.

                      What a lowlife.

                    • George Hendry

                      ‘So you can’t understand the argument, and then you misrepresent it. Mmmmm.’

                      So, if I ‘can’t understand “the” (actually there are more than one ) argument’, and then misrepresent it, my ‘misrepresentation’ cannot be deliberate. I don’t think you can validly accuse me of incompetence AND deviousness.

                      However,I’m pleased you don’t advocate any child suffering. Now to look for how to stop it.

                      For comparative example, the campaign to stop smoking recognises that the roots of the habit go deep, are often intergenerational, and are more effectively addressed through offering an alternative (with funding help to access it) that the person being offered it accepts as leading to a better outcome.

                      Were there instead a campaign that included demonising smokers, we could expect it to be counterproductive, with greatly increased resentment and low buy-in.

                      If, you are sincere about wanting intergenerational benefit dependency to stop, you’ll be looking at ways to encourage families off it, not force them off it.

                      And, frankly, come out from behind your alias, so i can see who I’m debating with. I don’t ask this lightly, as these days there are risks in doing so.

                    • maninthemiddle

                      “So, if I ‘can’t understand “the” (actually there are more than one ) argument’, and then misrepresent it, my ‘misrepresentation’ cannot be deliberate. I don’t think you can validly accuse me of incompetence AND deviousness.”
                      Indeed. So which is it?

                      “Were there instead a campaign that included demonising smokers, we could expect it to be counterproductive, with greatly increased resentment and low buy-in.”
                      Ah, no. We have been demonising smokers for years.

                      “If, you are sincere about wanting intergenerational benefit dependency to stop, you’ll be looking at ways to encourage families off it, not force them off it.”
                      For some people that will work. For others, it won’t.

                      “And, frankly, come out from behind your alias, so i can see who I’m debating with. I don’t ask this lightly, as these days there are risks in doing so.”
                      You mean like every other poster here who uses an alias?

                • maninthemiddle

                  When did I mention any single cause of poverty? Poverty has many causes, but if you think it is solely neo-liberalism, you’ll need to tell that to the nearly 5 million soviets who lived below the poverty line in 1989(http://www.nytimes.com/1989/01/29/world/soviet-openness-brings-poverty-out-of-the-shadows.html), or to the Chinese, for whom market economics have all but elmintaed urban poverty.(https://www.theguardian.com/business/economics-blog/2015/aug/19/china-poverty-inequality-development-goals)

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Absolutely: the National Party is so unbelievably shit you can only excuse it by reference to failed communist economies, whereas I can point to many many successful social democracies, including New Zealand in more competent less corrupt times.

                    I note you failed (like an abject failure) to answer the question, which refers to New Zealand, not China, not the USSR, not even your neo-liberal utopia, Somalia.

                    • maninthemiddle

                      “…whereas I can point to many many successful social democracies…”

                      NZ is a social democracy. Unlike Venezuela, which is yet another failed socialist experiment.

                      “I note you failed (like an abject failure) to answer the question, which refers to New Zealand,”

                      What question. You made two statements.

                      1. “according to your hate speech, the number of bad parents has doubled since 1984.” and
                      2. “Even the number of unemployed has doubled since 2007”

                      The first is demonstrably false. The second is a total distortion of the truth. You’ve excelled even yur own level of dishonesty.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      1. Child poverty has certainly doubled since 1984 according to UNICEF. You attack the parents, whereas the problem is a failed neo-liberal experiment. The question is: what’s your excuse, fucko? Is there a reason people shouldn’t simply spit on you in the street?

                      2. The right fought social democracy every step of the way: slavery, universal suffrage, the welfare state, workers’ rights, free universal healthcare and education: you’re on the wrong side of every issue.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      Yep – Man-in-a-Muddle couldn’t make a coherent argument to save its scrofulous neck.

                      You’d expect it to point out rising standards of living, rising levels on the HDI, greater social and workforce participation – but of course under the Gnats all these indicators are rolling like a rockslide down a hill.

                • Chuck

                  The only hate speech I see OAB is contained in pretty much every post you make.

                  However please don’t change mate 🙂

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    You’re the one advocating violence against the unfortunate, sweety.

                    There is no question that you don’t understand the truth of that statement. Pay more attention to the things the Treasury Department and the International Monetary Fund, and The World Bank, and yes, UNICEF, have to say, and you’ll still have no chance of understanding it.

                    Since you don’t understand it, you’ll reject it out of hand. Your violence won’t go away though, Chuckie. It defines you.

                  • maninthemiddle

                    Don’t be too harsh. OAB struggles to understand even the simplest of arguments that are put forward, so perhaps rather than dialogue with him, we should pity him, and leave him to his imaginary world.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Indeed. I’m a really imaginative dummy. On the other hand, at least I know what a median is 😆

                    • maninthemiddle

                      “On the other hand, at least I know what a median is 😆”

                      Who wouldn’t? Yet there are so many things you don’t know.

                    • Paul

                      You really are a very dull troll.
                      Please desist.

                  • George Hendry

                    The ‘usual’ place to look for highly successful social democracies is Scandinavia, a place notable for its absence of CIA destabilising activity, which is widely known to be all through Latin America and understood to include Venezuela, especially as were that social democracy to succeed others might draw inspiration from it.

                    Given a chance, social democracies certainly work. Please be wary of aligning yourself with coup by CIA.

                    • maninthemiddle

                      Your comments about Venezuela are laughable. NZ is a social democracy, and has been for years.

              • Paul

                Please stop trolling on this site.

            • George Hendry 12.1.3.1.1.2

              Greetings Stuart 🙂

              Further up among his many statements, BM at last lets slip what drives him, He has had a hard early life and worked hard to get where he is, but where he is is not yet perfectly easy to maintain.

              As he was never helped (let’s ignore government policy settings for the purpose of this point) nor should anyone else ever be, or it wouldn’t be fair.

              I agree entirely, poverty of spirit is enough to account on its own for the view of those who would damn the poor. All their specious arguing about definitions and selecting of statistics stems from it.

              • Stuart Munro

                Hi George – I know plenty of folk who’ve had it hard – but not so very many that use it as an excuse.

                I feel that here is a moral or spiritual character to the neo-liberal decline which previous generations, in part due to the descriptive concepts they encountered in religious contexts , were better equipped to identify and and prevent. Religion is declining in NZ, but some of the vices that were its perennial enemies are increasing.

                We have gone so far backward. It is shameful.

      • ankerawshark 12.1.4

        Pr a better approach is this govt getting off their arse and doing something about poverty.

        Growing up in NZ in the 60’s lots of poor choices, lots of big families, but no homelessness, no beggers, kids clothed fed an educated. Surely it’s not that hard!

    • nzsage 12.2

      “BM in one of his more vicious modes today.”

      Doing a great job BM, your presence here is a constant reminder of why I despise selfish, righteous and callous right wing dip shits.

  13. Gangnam Style 13

    Here we go, people renting driveways to sleep in their cars. Nope, no poverty here in NZ (or only a few 1000 so that’s OK?), maybe should have kept the runway at Whenuapai for cars & vans? (sarc).

    Interesting it was picked up by the paper here in the South, when even conservatives are getting the shakes.

    https://www.odt.co.nz/news/national/driveway-living-forced-rent-crisis

  14. stigie 14

    BM maybe right, hit a nerve i reckon, everyone is talking about BM.

  15. AmaKiwi 15

    “everyone is talking about BM.”

    Anyone who still reads him is a very, very, very slow learner.

    I read The Standard for thoughtful and intelligent ideas. From some comments it is clear the writer is a highly informed expert on the subject at hand.

    I want insights, not insults.

  16. SWINGVOTE 16

    “Have we become a country without empathy?”

    I believe so and If I am brutally honest with myself I believe that I am one of those people. I completely disengage when political narrative switches to the subject of poverty. My eyes sort of glaze over and one question rolls around in my head.

    How much is this going to cost me?

    The scary thing is there are a lot of us out there who just don’t care what befalls the poor and the vulnerable in society anymore. And what is worse I don’t even feel bad about it.

    Next year my vote will go to any party that lines my wallet or at the very least doesn’t put there hand in any deeper.

    • r0b 16.1

      Refreshing to see someone so honest about it.

      It’s lots of other things too, but I’ll stop at “refreshing”.

    • Philj 16.2

      Wow. That will be for JK. Brutally honest. I vote for the party that would benefit all of society and the uncommon good. Quite a different ethic. I appreciate your honesty but I could never think like you. Maybe if I was in a concentration camp?

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    Labour would strongly oppose the sell-off of the Ports of Auckland to fix a short term cash crisis caused by the Government blocking the city’s requests for new ways to fund infrastructure, says Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford. “National ...
    7 days ago
  • Workers pay the price of Silver Fern’s Fairton closure
    The threatened closure of Silver Fern Farms’ Fairton Plant in Ashburton raises serious questions about the Government’s support of the sale of half of the company to a foreign company, when it appears this outcome may have been inevitable, says ...
    7 days ago
  • National’s answer to the housing crisis: One new affordable house per 100 new Aucklanders
    National’s fudge of a housing plan will make Auckland even more of a speculators’ paradise, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    7 days ago
  • Government can’t be trusted with private data
    The independent review of the Ministry of Social Development’s data breach in April has shown, once again, that the Ministry cannot be trusted with private client information, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. “The investigation by former Deloitte chairman ...
    7 days ago
  • Another crisis, another half-baked National plan
    The National Party may have finally woken up to the teacher supply crisis facing our schools but their latest half-baked, rushed announcement falls well short of the mark in terms of what’s required, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. ...
    7 days ago
  • Nats: Don’t bite the hand that feeds you
    Alfred Ngaro’s recent comments have exposed the Government’s ‘don’t bite the hand that feeds you’ approach, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. ...
    1 week ago
  • Breaking news – National admits there’s a housing crisis
    National finally admits there’s a housing crisis, but today’s belated announcement is simply not a credible response to the problem it’s been in denial about for so long, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “National can’t now credibly claim ...
    1 week ago
  • Nats lay the ground for housing bust
    Goldman Sachs’ warning that New Zealand has the developed world’s most over-priced housing market, with a 40 per cent chance of a bust within two years, shows the consequences of National’s nine years of housing neglect, says Labour Housing spokesperson ...
    1 week ago
  • Well they would say that, wouldn’t they?
    Property investors’ lobby groups have been up in arms this week about Labour and Green parties’ plans to close tax loopholes and fix the housing market. That’s probably a good thing. Like an investor in any other sector, they expect ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    1 week ago
  • Alfred Ngaro reflects National’s culture of silencing debate
    Image from Getty Images Community groups must be free to advocate for the people they serve. It’s these people who see first-hand if ideas dreamt up in Wellington actually work on the ground. It’s essential that they can speak freely ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Bill English must reassure community organisations
    The Prime Minister must do more to reassure community organisations after Cabinet Minister Alfred Ngaro's apparent threats to their funding if they criticise government policy which has left a born-to-rule perception amongst many, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “Alfred Ngaro ...
    1 week ago
  • Extremism and its discontents
    Another scar on global democracy appeared recently, this time in Germany.It seems that the number of soldiers on duty with extremist political leanings has become a concern to the military leadership in that country. Soldiers were found openly possessing ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham
    1 week ago
  • Government’s suicide approach disappoints
    Mike King’s sudden departure from the Government’s suicide prevention panel, amid claims the Government’s approach is ‘deeply flawed’, is further evidence National is failing on mental health, says Labour’s Deputy Leader Jacinda Ardern. “Mental health is reaching crisis point in ...
    1 week ago
  • National backs speculators, fails first home buyers
    National is showing its true colours and backing speculators who are driving first home buyers out of the market, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “By defending a $150m a year hand-out to property speculators, Bill English is turning his back ...
    1 week ago
  • More oversight by Children’s Commissioner needed
    More funding and more independence is required for the Children’s Commissioner to function more effectively in the best interests of Kiwi kids in State care, says Labour’s spokesperson for children Jacinda Ardern. ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour to end tax breaks for speculators; invest in warm, healthy homes
    Labour will shut down tax breaks for speculators and use the savings to help make 600,000 homes warmer and healthier over the next ten years, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “It’s time for fresh thinking to tackle the ...
    1 week ago
  • Health of young people a priority for Labour
    Labour will ensure all young people have access to a range of health care services on-site at their local secondary school, says Labour’s deputy leader Jacinda Ardern. “Our policy will see School Based Health Services extended to all public secondary ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ratifying the TPPA makes no sense
    The recent high-fiving between the government and agricultural exporters over ratification of the TPPA (Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement) is empty gesture politics in an election year. Ratification by New Zealand means nothing. New Zealand law changes are not implemented unless the ...
    GreensBy Barry Coates
    2 weeks ago
  • NIWA report proves National’s trickery re swimmable rivers
    National have a slacker standard for swimmable rivers than was the case prior to their recent so-called Clean Water amendment to the National Policy Statement (NPS), says Labour’s Water spokesperson David Parker. “The table 11 on page 25 of the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • MPS shows new approach needed on housing
    The Reserve Bank’s latest Monetary Policy Statement provides further evidence that only a change in government will start to fix the housing crisis, says Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “It is more evident than ever that only a Labour-led government ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Fresh approach on mental health
    Labour will introduce a pilot scheme of specialist mental health teams across the country in government to ensure swifter and more effective treatment for those who need urgent help, says Labour’s Leader Andrew Little. “Mental health is in crisis. It ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Sallies back Labour’s plan for affordable homes
    The country’s most respected social agency has endorsed Labour’s KiwiBuild plan to build homes that families can afford to buy, and delivered a withering assessment of the National Government’s housing record, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Education is for everyone, not just the elite
    Proposals by the National Party to ration access to higher education will once again make it a privilege only available to the elite, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Speaking at the Education Select Committee, Maurice Williamson let the National ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Cancer support changes far too little, certainly late
    Anne Tolley’s belated backtrack to finally allow Jobseeker clients suffering from cancer to submit only one medical certificate to prove their illness fails to adequately provide temporary support for people too sick to work, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kids must come first in enrolment debate
    The best interests of children should be the major driver of any change to policies around initial school enrolments, not cost cutting or administrative simplicity, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.   “The introduction of school cohort entry is ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Feed the Kids
    While in Whangarei last week, I had the pleasure of meeting Buddhi Manta from the Hare Krishna movement whose cafe is making lunch for some schools in Whangarei. His group have been feeding up to 1,000 primary school kids at local ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • DHBs’ big budget blowout
    New Zealand’s District Health Boards are now facing a budget deficit of nearly $90 million dollars, a significant blowout on what was forecast, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark.   Labour believes health funding must grow to avoid further cuts ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt plays catch up on drug funding
    The Government's backdown on Pharmac is welcomed because previous rhetoric around the agency being adequately funded was just nonsense, says Labour's Health spokesperson David Clark. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour to build affordable homes in Hamilton
    Labour will build 200 affordable KiwiBuild houses and state houses on unused government-owned land as the first steps in our plan to fix Hamilton’s housing crisis, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “We will build new houses to replace ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Mental Health waiting times a growing concern
    There is new evidence that the Mental Health system is under increasing strain with waiting times for young people to be seen by mental health and addiction services lengthening says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark.   “Following yesterday’s seat of ...
    3 weeks ago
  • More beneficiaries heading to jail, fewer to study
    The latest quarterly benefit figures show a rising number of beneficiaries have left the benefit because they have gone to prison, while fewer are going into study, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. “According to recent figures, in the ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Analyst charts failure of National’s housing policy
    Respected analyst Rodney Dickens has published a devastating critique of National’s housing policy, and says Labour’s policies give more hope, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Mr Dickens shows since the signing of the Auckland Housing Accord in 2013 the ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Cost of Living increases hit those with least the hardest
    Beneficiaries, superannuitants and people on the lowest incomes continue to bear the brunt of higher inflation, according to the latest data from Statistics NZ, says Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Since National came to office (December 2008) inflation for those ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Pike River Mine families deserve more
    The Government must be more open and honest about the Pike River Mine says Dunedin South’s  Labour MP Clare Curran.   “It’s just wrong that the Commerce Select Committee has refused a Labour Party request to re-open its investigation ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Government goalposts taken off the field
    The Government’s decision to dump the Better Public Service (BPS) Target to Reduce Reoffending by 25 per cent by 2017 shows when it comes to measuring their progress the National Government hasn’t just shifted the goalposts, but has taken the ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Last call of the kea?
    Last weekend, I attended the first ever Kea Konvention jointly organised by the Kea Conservation Trust and Federated Mountain Clubs of New Zealand. It was a power-packed weekend full of presentations by scientists, volunteers and NGOS working to raise awareness of this ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    3 weeks ago