UNICEF on our appalling child welfare record – but apparently we don’t care

Written By: - Date published: 8:22 am, June 16th, 2017 - 199 comments
Categories: class war, national, poverty, same old national, useless - Tags: , , , ,

Here’s how the Brighter Future is working out for NZ kids:

Unicef report: New Zealand 34th out of 41 developed countries for child wellbeing

The wellbeing of New Zealand’s children places us 34th out of 41 developed countries, according to a report released by Unicef on Thursday.

The report tracks the progress on goals such as reducing child poverty, inequality and deprivation and improving things like education and health for children.

The 34th placing puts us behind Greece, Hungary and Lithuania – but ahead of the United States, Israel and Turkey.

Unicef said New Zealand’s presence in the bottom end of the rankings is proof that “high national income is no guarantee of a good record in sustaining child wellbeing.”

This ranking reflects performance in neonatal mortality, suicide, mental health, drunkenness and teen pregnancy. New Zealand has the highest rate of adolescent suicide of any country in the report.

Economic growth and work

Another area where New Zealand performed poorly with a ranking of 34, owing to the 16 per cent of children living in jobless households, only Hungary and Ireland fare worse.


New Zealand was not ranked against the goal of ending poverty as it only provided data in one of three indicators used in the report. … However, the report’s authors were critical of New Zealand’s measurement of poverty.

Saying, “multidimensional poverty” should be measured as the per cent of children being deprived of only two or more material indicators, while the New Zealand Government now defines it as being deprived of seven.

“New Zealand is clearly capable of reporting against Innocenti’s measures for multidimensional poverty, but hasn’t, and has instead broadened the definitive lines of measurement for multidimensional poverty when reporting internally to New Zealand audiences.” …

Read the full piece for commentary on plenty of other measures (not all of them disastrous), and responses from various politicians.

The full UNICEF report is here. Other coverage:

NZ’s appalling child welfare record
Must Do Better: New Zealand’s Disappointing Report Card Results
‘Awful’ suicide rate hits NZ’s child welfare rating

We’ve been here before. Following a similar report in 2012 I wrote:

Another shaming poverty report for the government to ignore

In the full knowledge that we’ve written about such reports before, and in the dreadful expectation that we’ll be writing about them again, here is yet another shaming report on poverty in NZ

Here I am writing about them again. Because apparently we don’t care enough about the welfare of NZ kids to vote for a better government.

199 comments on “UNICEF on our appalling child welfare record – but apparently we don’t care ”

  1. jcuknz 1

    It is sadly mainly a Maori problem with the elite doing little to raise the standard of living for their people. Quite disgusting in view of the hand-outs they receive from the taxpayer. Only today I hear that Waikato children return to hospital within six months, often with same problems, of being discharged. Then the woman now existing in a bus following a hip operation. Northland? so I guess Maori.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1

      It’s a pākehā prejudice problem, as you’ve just illustrated. Often I hear white bigots displaying similar levels of hatred.

      Disgust doesn’t touch my reaction to this grossly shameful spectacle.
      Get out of the gutter.

    • weka 1.2

      “It is sadly mainly a Maori problem with the elite doing little to raise the standard of living for their people.”

      I know, it’s abhorrent that National won’t look after all NZers and appear to have no compunction about letting brown babies get sick and die at higher rates.

    • Māori suffer more than most so in that sense it is a Māori problem. But to blame Māori for it is incorrect. YOU are to blame, YOU caused it. YOU jcuknz.

  2. Sanctuary 2

    So much for the Maori party making gains for all Maori by being inside the tent of the elite.

    • jcuknz 2.1

      I do not think it is the Maori Party, they are simply a couple of politicians doing their best but rather the groups holding the reins on the money.
      But without being critical of the individuals, as with the ‘London fire’, the poor often do not have the knowledge to raise themselves with a helping hand, or the inclination having been ground down by the capitalistic system since they were born.
      “why bother, I know I am doing myself harm, but what good will come to me of not harming myself, lets enjoy the moment, to hell with the result” such was a precise of one american woman’s story I read and could understand the hopelessness of the really poor which I am sure applies here and on rare occasions my attitude [rare thank God for me]

      • saveNZ 2.1.1

        “I do not think it is the Maori Party, they are simply a couple of politicians doing their best”…. so jcukzn supports the Maori party, says it all really

        Maybe read Animal farm, could be relevant to the actions to some of the minor parties these days.

      • greywarshark 2.1.2

        You seem to be trying to understand the problem. But it reminds me of some Nat female politician saying what she would do in some dire circumstances, and saying sadly why can’t everybody be like her and just do that.

        Being exhorted doesn’t really help at all and some people are hard to help. For instance I have been reading a scenario in a novel about nursing in the USA set in the 1930’s I think. The author describes the possible mindset of a very poor isolated community with holes in walls stuffed with newspapers etc, poor food, poor living conditions. The new GP attempts to understand the prevailing attitudes, and I think what has been written fits in with what I know.

        ‘They resist efforts to help them…because they can’t see ahead. They don’t believe anything will really help so they just don’t try – and they wish we wouldn’t bother them.’

        A self-help book written about moving out of an unhelpful mindset talks about
        ‘resistance’ to change that any person has to overcome.

    • saveNZ 2.2

      @Sanctuary – the Maori party got to the table, but got so hungry they ate it all themselves

    • weka 2.3

      “So much for the Maori party making gains for all Maori by being inside the tent of the elite.”

      Imagine how many more gains they would have made by being part of the opposition for 9 years.

  3. John up North 3

    Yep! it’s those hoaries/maoris can’t sort out their own backyard (well what’s left of it after 95% of it was stolen) and all those bloody “hand outs” we keep giving the useless barstards, probably spent on fags, booze and underpants. Too much of the ol’ once was warriors biffo, I reckons. Anyway those “hand outs” (compensation for theft etc) should be doing a better job cause all those “good” brown people we slid into positions of authority and power, complete with crib sheets on how to “invest” said “hand outs” so’s we could claw back the $$ by selling them their own stolen land back at today’s overpriced value??………………. sigh! , was getting on my high horse to write a spiel in reply to jcuknz in a SARC tone but found myself getting angrier and angrier and the utter bullshit, racist shit he dribbled out of his/her shite hole without engaging what little brain/intelligence he/she may have. Fuckwit is all I can say.

    Yeah!, it’s those maaooris

    • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1

      Keep calm and make racists afraid again.

    • John up North 3.2

      OK, ok, ok I was wrong and I’m here to apologise.

      Yes, I admit not all of that 95% of Maori land was stolen, there were legitimate sales of land totally straight up.

      There were also illegal confiscations, theft/sale by fraud, misappropriation by misrepresentation of boundaries and other devices to “steal” land from the rightful owners.

      I’m Sorry!

      • jcuknz 3.2.1

        My argument is not as a ‘Tory bastard’ slinging off at Maori but ‘the elite’ controlling the purse strings. Time will tell if their policy of using the money to build empires rather than immediate help for their people is right or wrong.
        If you believe in the class system, i do not but that doesn’t change its validity, the poor will always be oppressed because they permit it and sadly this happens under capitalism for coloured folk or ‘whites’. Why education is so important to enable people to fight against their self inflicted problems.

        To Sanctuary who follows this I would point out that it would have affected, and did, white people as much as coloured. I believe it was the ‘cup of tea’ which cut Roger Douglas off before he could organise the helping hand which can be blamed for the problems facing Maori.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          the poor will always be oppressed because they permit it…
          self-inflicted problems

          Oh, right. So nothing to do with the centrist scum who exploit them? I note that you are parroting disgusting victim-blaming lies.

          Who spoon-fed them to you?

        • marty mars

          jc there is no Māori elite in the simple way you mean. For you money is all, the measuring stick, the comparison tool, have you got it or are you fake. Mana isnt measured by money – so simple but still your mind will refuse to get it.

  4. Sanctuary 4

    I read somewhere Maori child abuse statistics were more or the same as Pakeha ones until the “reforms” of 1980s, which threw massive numbers of urban Maori onto a scrap heap they were never allowed to get off. Since then, they’ve soared.

    Our child abuse stats have been thirty years in the making. They are going to take sixty years and a lot of money to fully turn around.

    • RedLogix 4.1

      Same time-frame in which our male youth suicide rate quadrupled.

      Yes we have bigots and we have institutional racism … but honestly I still think the underlying truth is about class and economics.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1.1

        The bigotry goes hand-in-hand with the economic outcome: without the former, who would countenance the latter?

        • RedLogix

          I’m not immune to that logic either OAB. I think bigots will be bigots regardless of whether they’re looking through the lens of race or class.

          Getting all twisted as to which came first probably isn’t all that progressive; which interpretation we personally favour likely comes down to our own experiences and social contexts.

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            I’m not arguing that one is more or less prominent than the other, rather that they feed off one another: the economic policies create more victims, which in turn generates more bigotry via such mechanisms as the Just World fallacy.

            Obviously the first priority in tackling the problem is compensating for the harm, which means changing economic policies. The Lab5 experience with Closing the Gaps, not to mention the hate speech employed by the likes of John Phillip Key and jcuknz suggests that bigotry will be a significant hurdle, however.

      • McFlock 4.1.2

        that tends to be the direction I lean towards, as well.

  5. greywarshark 5

    I think that people concerned should keep hammering this point home in the media and anywhere public. It is my contention that this country started concentrating on welfare and treatment of children because they can’t be ignored as easily as the adult citizens. So there is talk about children and concern shown.

    But as the post says, there has been little practical help and services for children and we are going down in the rankings – to ‘horror’ a third-world country level. Surprise, shock and awe when we look in the mirror and see the real Dorian Gray, not the smiling assassin who made the pact with the Devil.

    The fact is that the country has lost its integrity, pride in ourselves and our living standards and opportunities, and the comfortable and ‘getting by’ are sunk in base complacency planning new decor, updating vehicles, planning trips overseas or to events, talking and running fast to keep up with the latest technology, methods and thinking, so that they keep their jobs, are up with the play, match the requirements of the employers, fit with their colleagues, beat down any other contenders or whistleblowers, keep up with the latest news, conformist opinions, and diversions. There is little time for reflection, individual or original thinking, enquiring reading or listening.

    • RedLogix 5.1

      + 1

      What the neo-libs stole from us more than money, they stole our communities. We became so time poor, so locked into just surviving that fewer and fewer of us had the energy left over to look after the people around us.

      • saveNZ 5.1.1


      • The New Student 5.1.2


      • greywarshark 5.1.3

        Time poor, it’s true of many, and not true of who are really time poor because that’s how they arrange their hectic schedules. Got to spend all Saturday in mountain biking or playing sport, and the Sundays something else, not because they are working all weekend for a pittance. There is a very large black hole where the heart of many NZs would have been in the 1970s. There was more of an emphasis on weekends, and having time for recreation, for personal projects, people belonged to clubs and helped out at community building projects.

        Now many people are too busy riding bikes, running, endless activity, and of course studying to pass exams to ensure they will be match the intern level required to finally get a good job.

        Others are collecting food from around supermarkets and spare from home gardeners, and dropping bread and vege boxes off to families and charitable enterprises.

        And old people are having their lives extended all the time so they get into the alzheimer zone and who has the time and energy for anything else when one has to look after people who have lost all their marbles, and have to be restrained from wandering and touching things like little children.

        Things are pretty messed up out here and there are just too many screens put up so we remain wilfully ignorant because the times of plenty are not for all, and that is uncomfortable to face.

  6. saveNZ 6

    Child Poverty is only going to get worse in NZ, and it’s not the opposition that can do anything about it while they are not in power, it’s the people who have to do something about it – by telling the National party in 100 days time, to fuck off.

    I’m not sure if it’s Natz trolls, but I’ve noticed that various posters are talking about waiting to 2020 to vote….. apparently this is to pay back the Labour party – anyway if this is the attitude to child poverty from the far lefties, then rather than blaming the middle class, rich and corporations, it’s about time the far lefties actually shouldered some of the blame themselves for growing child poverty.

    By doing nothing to vote National party out, they are actually condoning it.

  7. Tony Veitch (not etc) 7

    I just posted this on Weka’s Grenfell Tower posting, but it is even more relevant here:

    Draco posted this the other day on Daily Review:


    Is it just co-incidence that the three countries which have most whole-heartedly embraced the neoliberalism cancer have the highest rates of child poverty?

  8. Gosman 8

    The report is a good example of lies, damn lies and statistics. The position of NZ seems to be based mainly on a few areas where the comparison of data between countries is flawed. The idea that 16 percent of NZ children are being brought up in households where no one is working when the unemployment rate is only 5% is nonsensical.

    • saveNZ 8.1

      Child who has lived in van has message for PM

      An 11-year-old girl whose family had been living in their van for months has a message for Prime Minister John Key: “try walking in my shoes, it’s not actually that easy”.


      • tuppence shrewsbury 8.1.1

        one example doesn’t negate the truth of what gosman has pointed out? Lauding a study for lambasting the government on a subject, then resorting to emotion when it’s pointed out that it’s bullshit, shows the paucity of intellectual capacity.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          The “truth” of what Gosman has said?

          Gosman asserted some stuff and provided no evidence whatsoever to support his spin.

          Anything he does produce in rebuttal should be treated with extreme scepticism, given his track record.

        • Incognito

          Let’s examine, ever so briefly so not to waste more valuable time than strictly necessary, the truth of what Gosman has pointed out @ 8.

          The report is a good example of lies, damn lies and statistics.

          No specific argument(s), only vague accusations.

          The position of NZ seems to be based mainly on a few areas where the comparison of data between countries is flawed. [my bold]

          Again, vague innuendo without any compelling counter-argument(s).

          The idea that 16 percent of NZ children are being brought up in households where no one is working when the unemployment rate is only 5% is nonsensical.

          Expression of belief without any facts or proper data analysis other than 16>5. Perhaps the following statement rings more true to Gosman:

          84% of NZ children are being brought up in households where at least one is working when the employment rate is 95%.

          In summary, Gosman did not point out any truth but only spouted negative opinion @ 8.

    • weka 8.2

      “Another area where New Zealand performed poorly with a ranking of 34, owing to the 16 per cent of children living in jobless households, only Hungary and Ireland fare worse.”

      Multiple children per household, adults on dole, DPB, Sickness and Invalid’s Benefits. or been kicked off a benefit. It’s not hard to imagine, so you’ll have to do better than that casual slur Gosman.

      • Gosman 8.2.1

        Greece has an Unemployment rate of 22.5 % (As of March 2017) yet the number of children in households where no one works is only 11.6%. Care to explain how NZ has a much lower rate of unemployment than Greece yet more children in households with no one working. If this is true we are somehow incentivising unemployed people to have children.

        • McFlock

          Greece and NZ are different countries, with different causes of their respective economic ills.

          Maybe in Greece they’re culturally more likely to fire the single person with no dependants, or hire a parent? Who knows. Perhaps this is something we can learn from Greece: how not to punish our children for our own economic misfirtune.

          Why something might be is not an argument against what has been observed.

          • Gosman

            Or (more likely) the statistics are nonsense.

            • McFlock

              Yes dear. The problem must be with the data, not your personal catechism.

              I’m off for a few hours. That’ll give your mentors time to come up with better talking points than WTF? Different countries might have different statistics? HOW CAN THAT BEEEEEEEE?!

        • KJT

          Greece does not count one hour a week as employed.

          • Gosman

            Evidence please

            • KJT

              “n Greece, the unemployment rate measures the number of people actively looking for a job as a percentage of the labour force”.

              “Unemployment rate is the number of unemployed people as a percentage of the labour force, where the latter consists of the unemployed plus those in paid or self-employment. Unemployed people are those who report that they are without work, that they are available for work and that they have taken active steps to find work in the last four weeks. When unemployment is high, some people become discouraged and stop looking for work; they are then excluded from the labour force. This implies that the unemployment rate may fall, or stop rising, even though there has been no underlying improvement in the labour market”.

              Where does it say one hour per week is employed?

              Note also. National only count registered “job seekers”. Unlike other countries. Simple observation in Northland shows the underemployment rate and the number of people who have had to simply give up due to the unrealistic expectations of WINZ, are many times higher than the official numbers.

              • Gosman

                First off, this doesn’t mean Greece uses these figures.

                Second off, this doesn’t mean the OECD does not classify working 1 hour per week as employed.

                I have provided a link detailing what the EU (including Greece) uses for Unemployment. Now where is your evidence for your claim?

              • Gosman

                What is especially laughable is that even from your own link the rate of unemployment for Greece is shown as over 23% whereas the rate for NZ is 5.2%. I call that a spectacularly amazing own goal. Thanks for supporting my point KJT.

          • Gosman


            “Employed persons are persons aged 15 years and over who, during the reference week performed work, even for just one hour a week, for pay, profit or family gain or who were not at work but had a job or business from which they were temporarily absent because of something like, illness, holiday, industrial dispute or education and training.”

            Looks like they do.

            • KJT

              One organisation does.
              Note in the Greek figures people such as spouses looking for work are counted.

              My wife wants to work. Because I have a job, she cannot register on the jobseekers benefit. Which means she is not counted with the unemployed. One of the many sneaky tricks, which National in New Zealand, use to hide real unemployment.

              • Gosman

                The link you provided shows NZ as having 5% and Greece as having 23% unemployment. You are embarrassing yourself now.

                • KJT

                  I have proved that New Zealand uses a different measure from Greece.

                  The numbers, are, of course, provided by the respective Governments.

                  Greece measures all those without work, looking for work.
                  New Zealand only measures those on a jobseekers! benefit. A change since National were in power.

                  Greeces OECD figures do not use one hour per week as a definition of employed.

                  • Gosman

                    No, you argued the link you provided somehow show Greece uses a different measure than 1 hour per week meaning you are employed(it doesn’t). Then from the same link (which supposedly all uses the same criteria you were trying to argue Greece uses) the rates between NZ and Greece is 5 and 23 %

              • RedLogix

                Yes that’s another hugely mis-understood aspect of the whole unemployment thing … the extremely low level of ‘partner income’ that disqualifies someone from any kind of assistance in this country.

                I forget the exact numbers but I know for a fact that in Australia it’s much higher than NZ.

                Another reason for a UI … just eliminates all this shit.

    • Stuart Munro 8.3

      Except of course that the real unemployment rate is considerably higher but the Gnats have fiddled the numbers to suppress dissent.

      • Gosman 8.3.1

        Provide stats or I accuse you of making that up.

        Heck, produce a couple of families that have been kicked of welfare completely and I would be satisfied that you are correct.

        • Stuart Munro

          Accuse all you like Gosman – take the working age population, subtract those in full time work, and you have the unemployed.

          The Gnats have done nothing to change those numbers except by creative use of twink. The real economy hasn’t improved at all. And you approve and endorse these cherry-picked statistical lies. For shame! Your scholastic conscience weeps!

        • McFlock

          here you go. The unemployment measure got changed and the rate dropped half a percent.

          These days the “unemployment rate” is so nonsensical that “underemployment” is a better measure – one hour a week is not “in employment” by any human interpretation. Unemployment used to be a rough proxy of who could provide largely for themselves and their families – now it’s often a meaningless technicality that we observe out of habit.

          • Gosman

            One hour a week is the internationally recognised measure MOST countries use. You want to change it then convince ALL nations to do so. If only NZ does then you will be comparing Apples to Oranges.

            BTW the decision around changes to measurements are not driven by Politicians in NZ. These are usually done by Public servants involved in various data collection agencies driven by the desire to keep the quality of data consistent with various standards. I note no out cry from opposition parties on these changes which you would expect if this was done for political reasons.

            • McFlock

              Yes indeed. It’s just largely meaningless.

              But when coupled with the other international measure of “children living in a jobless household”, it produces some almost useful information, and some very pertinent questions about who’s been missing out on the “brighter future”, doesn’t it.

              edit: “I note no out cry from opposition parties on these changes which you would expect if this was done for political reasons.”. whatevs. My point still stands. In NZ the unemployment rate used to be more than a technicality.

            • KJT

              It is not the measure the OECD uses. As i have just shown you in a link. Other organisations use different measures. As usual Nationals cherry picks whatever suits them.

              • Gosman

                National doesn’t do this. The Stats department does. Are you claiming they have been infiltrated by National party sympathisers?

                • KJT

                  Of course. State servants get sacked or their life made a misery if they annoy the Minister. NGO’s get their funding cut.
                  Typical of the right wing misuse of power.

                  A close relation of mine, showed Nick Smith up for the lying prick he is. She no longer works in that job.

                  The best proof of how useless NACT is, is the amount of covering up they have to do.

                  An honest Government is fine with transparency.

              • Gosman

                Where have you shown me this?

        • KJT

          Two kids and three families i know personally kicked off welfare when they could not meet the onerous requirements of WINZ.
          One family for missing an appointment because they had to rush a child to hospital.
          Both kids because mental health problems make the WINZ staff consider them unsafe. Catch 22. WINZ will not allow them a benefit unless they see them and they attend WINZ’s bullshit courses. Which they can’t do because, “unsafe for staff”.

          Then, of course, there is the problem that welfare, and minimum wages are not enough to live on. A level which was set by Shipley, which no Government since has been principled enough to reverse.

          • Gosman

            How do these people survive then if they no longer receive welfare and why has their case not been made public? Something doesn’t add up there.

            • KJT

              The young people survived for many years living in my basement.

              One is now in jail. An outcome which was totally avoidable if he had the help he needed in the past.
              The other is surviving by couch surfing and the help of various kind people. His sanity cannot stand any more rounds with WINZ.

              The families fell off my radar for various reasons. Moving or getting part time work.

              There are many more.

              • Gosman

                So the families got jobs then?

                If you want more traction in the media you need to have better PR than just you posting about them in a left wing blog.

              • McFlock

                yeah, I knew one or two youths who had to couchsurf for six months, one made ends meet dealing dope small-time, another just hustled anything and everywhere for a few crumbs.

                These days there are one or two sole parents I help out when my budget and impulse control allow, even though they’re theoretically getting enough assistance from the state.

                It’s fucking disgusting. And then some sanctimonious piece of shit says “something doesn’t add up”. What doesn’t add up is society’s soul these days.

            • RedLogix

              Family, friends, flatmates cover for them. Or they go black/grey market, or they sell shit, or just go without until something turns up.

              Maybe you need to get out more Gosman.

          • RedLogix

            That kind of thing makes my blood boil. My younger brother who is deaf/blind is deliberately assessed by WINZ as “79%” blind in order to keep him below the arbitrary 80% threshold to be legally blind.

            And then they obdurately refuse to link his blindness to the fact he also severely deaf which has a massive compounding effect.

            It is his good fortune his family is willing to fill the gaps, because he simply avoids going anywhere near the bastards if he can help it. As he put’s it, after a lifetime of dealing with welfare in one shape or another, he can tell whether it’s a Labour or National govt in power, on the basis of whether WINZ are being merely unpleasant or soul crushingly vile.

            It’s one of the reasons why I’m such a passionate advocate of a Universal Income.

            • Gosman

              Wouldn’t that mean your brother would be regarded as unemployed?

              • RedLogix

                No … amazingly enough he does work part time. (I’m not going to invade his privacy with a detailed explanation).

                But always they look for ways to make it harder for him, never easier, never actually helpful. My partner has accompanied him to WINZ several times over the years and her reports of the experience are comical/tragic. For his own mental health he just has as little to do with WINZ as possible; he’s certainly not claiming all he is entitled to.

                • Gosman

                  Then he can work and he’s not unemployed.

                  • RedLogix

                    As I said I’m not going into the details of it with you, but absolutely it’s not and never will be anything like full-time employment as you or I would understand it. He will always be dependent.

                    That I have to spell this out to you really underscores how unqualified you are to be participating in this debate. As I said elsewhere, you need to get out more.

    • Dv 8.4

      Employment means 1hr work per week.

      • Gosman 8.4.1

        Yes, it is the international standard that MOST countries use in the OECD.

        • McFlock

          So you believe the international unemployment stat, but you don’t believe the number of kids in jobless households stat that is also used by many OECD countries.

          Slippery little eel, aintcha…

          • Gosman

            Correct. The UNICEF figures are seriously suspect. It makes little sense NZ has three times the percentage number of children living in households with no one working than the percentage of unemployed people. If correct that NZ has a different societal set up than countries with higher unemployment rates.

            • McFlock

              Yeah, it’s a bugger when the observed evidence doesn’t match your personal religion, ain’t it.

              You do realise that different countries have, well, differences? Different histories, different demographics, different cultural norms, different economies.

              Whereas all you have is faith in your corrupt and rotting economic religion.

            • KJT

              Well. We do.

              Geeks tend to move in with the Grandparents of the farm.
              New Zealand has a very high number of single parent households.

            • KJT

              Well. We do.

              Geeks tend to move in with the Grandparents on the farm. Greeks have a high proportion of people who still own small holdings. Some Moari take that option also.
              New Zealand has a very high number of single parent households.
              And land is aggregated by a few owners.

            • KJT

              Well. We do.

              Greeks tend to move in with the Grandparents on the farm. Greeks have a high proportion of people who still own small holdings. Some Māori take that option also.
              New Zealand has a very high number of single parent households.
              And land is aggregated by a few owners.

            • Gosman

              Then these figures are meaningless

              • McFlock

                No, as you have pointed out the differences between countries are aptly illustrated by viewing these figures in tandem. When Greece has a higher unemployment rate and yet a lower proportion of its children live in jobless households than NZ, that does lead to interesting questions about why we seem to shit on our kids.

                You’ve done NZ a great service, Gosman, by pointing out how Greece seems to hold onto its soul and compassion even in times of great hardship, whereas in NZ we just write off one in six children from the start.

                I look forward to more stirring socialist commentary from you in the future…

            • jcuknz

              Sorry Gosman but it is perfectly logical. When the unemployment figures are tailored to present the minimum it is obvious that other surveys could and apparently do show the falseness of the first figures. As a ‘Tory ACT bastard’ I should be on your side of this argument but I’m not when I can see you are so obviously wrong in your interpretation of the data.

        • Dv

          Source Please. Re the international std

      • Gosman 8.4.2

        Yes, it is the internationally recognised measure of work.

      • Craig H 8.4.3

        In at least 1 week in the past 4 at that…

    • McFlock 8.5

      And that, children, is what we call “confirmation bias”…

    • Incognito 8.6

      Huh? Because 16>5?

  9. jcuknz 9

    Well it was only 150 <200 years ago that child abuse was rampant in the UK so we 'whites' are not that pure but we changed and that is the crux of the situation.

    • weka 9.1

      And at that same time, when Brits came to Aotearoa, the absence of child abuse amongst Māori was so obvious that it was recorded. That’s the crux of the situation.

    • left_forward 9.2

      You think inequality is only a matter of race and is not related to any other social / environmental circumstance?
      Your racist crap is really pissing me off. What a load of self-aggrandising shit.

  10. David Mac 10

    When the situation prompts us to set off on a search for someone or something to blame the very best we can hope for at the end of that path is justification for victims to feel victimised, nothing gets fixed.

    To find solutions we must first clearly define the problem. I think we get off to a bad start with the term ‘Child Poverty.’ It’s unnecessary sensationalism. Kids don’t work, of course they’re poor. If I don’t feed my dog for a week is that ‘Pet Poverty?’ It’s ‘Family Poverty’. Call it what it is.

    As Marty has pointed out today, solutions come from each of us asking ourselves ‘What can I do about it?’ I think that is the modus operandi of a flourishing Socialist Democratic nation. I don’t feel money is the answer. Love is always the answer. It might take a few $ but by itself money is just printed plastic.

    When we’re motivated by love we don’t buy 10 Corollas and throw money at a proposal written by an opportunistic pseudo care provider. We start asking questions of ourselves like ‘How can I lift this person’s sense of self worth?’. How can I help this kid get a handle on his alphabet before he is 5?’ ‘How can I plant a seed of hope and help these guys working towards a tangible realistic goal?’

    The lady recuperating in a bus. Asleep While Walking said ‘That could be anyone’s Aunty.’ I’d like to suggest that it wouldn’t be your Aunty AWW. I think you’d give up your bed for a few months while your Aunt’s hip came right and rug up in the bus. Such is love.

    • Stuart Munro 10.1

      You’re right that community action is required, to feed the hungry children and house those displaced by the incontinent greed of developers and their political accomplices.

      But community action is also needed to sheet home responsibility to the culpably negligent politicians, who, entrusted with resources and delegated power specifically to resolve these issues instead feather their own nests. Brownlee is the outstanding example – Napier was rebuilt in two years, Christchurch still lies in ruins after seven.

      No active community would tolerate this combination of incompetence and corruption for so long.

      • David Mac 10.1.1

        Sheeting home responsibility upon the heads of politicians is playing the blame game. It’s neither aspirational or inspirational. It’s a pursuit with a crappy first prize.

        Politicians are just there to mind our wallet. We pointed our collective finger and said ‘You do it.’ Yes, point at the short-comings, but don’t dwell there. People don’t vote for ‘See that’s wrong, that’s wrong and that’s wrong.’ They don’t build monuments to critics.

        Our current state of affairs is well known by everyone, intimately. The Silver Fox that just had his outboard stolen off the back of his auxiliary dinghy knows that more easily accessed paths for aimless youth to set off on satisfying careers would go a long way to him still having his new Mercury.

        But I’m not going to get much support from that joker if I’m hard out pointing my finger at him and saying “Ha, good job, you get what you deserve.” I need to be motivated by love and saying “Bummer mate, this is what I’m doing to try and turn the situation around”.

        When equipped with inspirational and aspirational solutions, swapping the people over that look after our purse is the easy bit, just the beginning.

        • Draco T Bastard

          But I’m not going to get much support from that joker if I’m hard out pointing my finger at him and saying “Ha, good job, you get what you deserve.”

          Nobody’s doing that.

          What we’re doing is pointing to policies that cause poverty and the people who support such policies even when the evidence of those policies causing the poverty is clear.

          • David Mac

            “What we’re doing is pointing to policies that cause poverty and the people who support such policies even when the evidence of those policies causing the poverty is clear”.

            Why do you do that? What are you trying to achieve?

            I’m tired of hearing an election cliché and we’ve still got 99 days to go. “I vote National because they’re the best of a bad bunch.”

            That to me says that the winner of the election doesn’t even need to be all that good. But it won’t be done with slagging, it will be done by offering a viable, fairer way forward.

            If we’re going to walk the talk, that’s you and me Draco…..and “No, you’re not getting the keys to my shed”.

            • Draco T Bastard

              What are you trying to achieve?

              Trying to get people to take the personal responsibility that they’re always going on about for their actions while also trying to educate people about the cause of poverty and deprivation.

              That to me says that the winner of the election doesn’t even need to be all that good. But it won’t be done with slagging, it will be done by offering a viable, fairer way forward.

              We have to get rid of capitalism and replace it with something better to get a viable, fairer way forward.

              Even your suggestion here:

              I think you’d give up your bed for a few months while your Aunt’s hip came right and rug up in the bus. Such is love.

              are just more of the same that caused the problem in the first place.

              You don’t offer solutions – only ways to paper over the problems that your adherence to capitalism creates.

            • Gosman

              What evidence is there that any policies have cause poverty in the past 20 years?

              • McFlock

                The existence of poverty.

                • Gosman

                  Poverty could well have existed before (In fact we all know it did). The claim being made is that the policies have made it worse. What evidence do you have for that over the past 20 years?

                  • KJT

                    All the consistent indicators, not Nationals constantly changing criteria, show that extreme poverty appeared after the “Mother of all budgets” in the 90’s, after being largely eliminated in the 50’s.
                    Eliminated by an effective UBI for children, family support, and the old age pension. Policies of full employment, not one hour per week, kept wages fair. All reversed by the bunch of criminals in power, so the wealthy could pay a bit less tax.

                    • Gosman

                      Possibly but that wasn’t my question. Go back and read what I asked and then come back with the answer.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      And Gosman, faced with the evidence of the failure of his preferred policies, shifts the goalposts.

                    • KJT

                      I haven’t answered your question because you dishonestly phrased it to get the answer you wanted.

                      And yes. Current poverty is a result of deliberate policy by all Governing parties, since 1984.

                    • Gosman

                      Good that you acknowledge the poverty rate hasn’t really changed in the past 20 years

                    • Macro

                      “Good that you acknowledge the poverty rate hasn’t really changed in the past 20 years”

                      FFS! Any reader with more than one brain cell can see that nowhere does KJT concede that.

                      On the contrary I’m sure that any one with more than one brain cell, who has actually stepped outside their front door, would know that in recent years (ie the past 8) the increased numbers begging on streets, the increased numbers living in cars, and the number of food parcels being issued, and with the numbers accessing emergency housing and night shelters more than doubling over the past year, (to list but a few indicators of poverty), show without a doubt that poverty is on the increase in this country – and your mates sit on their fat bums and twiddle their thumbs.

                  • Ed

                    Do you actually want us to reduce the rates?

                  • McFlock

                    1: you seem to have dragged “20 years” out of your arsehole

                    2: who said “made it worse” rather than “caused it”? Oh, you did.

                    3: even back into the middle ages, it’s the same damned policies that cause poverty: the rich manipulating the system so most people don’t get a fucking break. The policies that reduce poverty are equally obvious: redistributing wealth, providing housing and education and income support, and calling weasels like you out on your lies.

                    The same policies are constantly causing poverty. Every child born into poverty, every person who loses their job (real job, not “1 hr in the past month”).

                    • Gosman

                      The experiences of Venezuela, Cuba, North Korea, and Zimbabwe would tend to disagree with you.

                    • RedLogix

                      You’re like a patient who when told by his doctor “You are morbidly obese, we have to find ways for you to eat less and get this under control”, answers “No way!! I have a cousin who died of anorexia!”

                    • adam

                      Geeze Gossy can you you even lie straight? Seriously you want other examples; Chile under Pinochet, Spain under Franco, Greece under it’s collection of far right nut bags. Actually most of the South American nations when they had right wing junta’s in control were bad. In most cases they killed priest because they dared to talk about poverty, and all you can bring up four examples.

                      Plus two of your choices no one on this site defended at all. North Korea, and Zimbabwe are run by nut bars who have no ideology, except to make themselves as rich as possible, with as much power as possible.

                      By the way I will defend Venezuela any day of the week from people like you. Your side has got back to lynching, so any moral high ground you wanna push goes out the window on that one. Leaving aside the fact you have lied about Venezuela on this site a number of times, beginning with the whole toilet paper lie. Your full of lies Gossy your forgot what truth even looks like.

                    • McFlock

                      No, gossy, you disagree with me. You just can’t seem to articulate a rational argument to support your position.

        • Stuart Munro

          There is a minimum performance standard for politicians that they are not remotely meeting. Bill the worthless economic pretender English pays himself more than Theresa May or Donald Trump. This absurd – they don’t need their outboards stolen, they need to be locked up and audited.

          I’m pretty sure an audit of John Key would expose large scale misuse of office.

          It’s true that there are many things that can be achieved by a positively motivated community. These things never occur for countries in the grip of kleptocracies however.

          We need to clean house. The Gnats and their cling-ons are fundamentally incapable of good governance – nothing good will come of NZ parliament until corruption is reduced by several orders of magnitude.

          And, pardon me, but a robber capitalist preaching aspiration? You’re in sales not delivery – we’ve seen plenty of your kind.

          • David Mac

            The gnats and their cling-ons are half of our country.

            We don’t need to remind them that their kids are still living in the rental that used to bring them 300 a week, they know.

            Spitting in that guy’s face is not the way to get his X. He is looking for a reason to vote left. Kiwis are that way inclined.

            I live in NZ’s most impoverished region. I’m as selfish as the next person, I do lots to try and assist, it makes me feel good. Yes I built a small business up from nothing. I don’t need to work 40 hours a week, I have time to do other things. Some would have me feel guilt for having done this. I’m just not feeling it, it helps me help others. Meets my meagre needs. Commerce doesn’t need to be ugly.

            • Stuart Munro

              I’m not after their voters David – I want the crooks punished.

              We have laws on our books right now quite adequate to audit and punish Brownlee. And English. And Key. And Collins.

              Fuck your pretend love for National voters – they like law and order, and they have no sympathy for incompetence.

              Without massive MSM life support the Gnats would’ve lost last election.

              Those suicides have families and friends – these were NZ’s future that our traitor government is pissing away. I’m not down with cozying up to that.

              • David Mac

                Chasing John Key’s imprisonment is another chase with a crappy trophy.

                Why? Revenge? Punishment for all his wrongs?

                Shouldn’t our goals be something like cutting the accident and emergency admission rate at Starship by 20%?

                • Stuart Munro

                  If that were being achieved I wouldn’t be after him.

                  There is both important symbolism and deterrence in punishing the worst offenders. Why have a justice system at all if the people who stole SCF’s assets, ultimately causing Hubbard’s death, go free?

                  A dog starved at his master’s gate.
                  Predicts the ruin of the state.
                  A horse misused upon the road.
                  Calls to heaven for human blood.

                  None of these goals of reducing negative indicators are being achieved except by selective use of data. What the government is actually doing is concentrating their efforts on self-enrichment and neglecting their responsibilities.

                  I simply wish to remind them of their responsibilities. Best practice were the reforms of Lucius Cornellius Sulla – who wiped out corruption for three generations in under three years – and not by executing his opponents either. He confiscated their stolen property and let them live out their lives in poverty. This was considered a masterpiece of cruelty, and justice.

                  • Stunned Mullet

                    I think you need to read Plutarch more thoroughly – your review of Sulla is with somewhat rose tinted glasses.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      Sulla’s is not an ideal administration – except for stamping out corruption. We have a corruption problem, Sulla had a solution.

                      If the Gnats were working to reduce corruption, or adopted an effective modern model like Korea’s it might be a different story.

                      But, we have a government of brazen and unrepentant thieves, without even the dubious mitigation of otherwise doing their jobs plausibly.

                      I understand, being a thief, you find the concept of accountability a ghastly phantom, but the majority of honest and law-abiding New Zealanders rather like it.

                    • Stunned Mullet

                      The corruption problem in NZ is relatively minor, whilst your ravings are suggestive of of tertiary syphillis, have you warned your goat that you may have infected the poor dear.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      I’ve given some thought to your goat problem, Mullet, and while I cannot compete with your close personal understanding of tertiary syphilis, you may find this therapeutic:


                      It will enable to exercise your fantasies of the neoliberal destruction of society, as well as your unresolved goat issues, without embarrassing zoonoses or SPCA prosecutions.

                    • Stunned Mullet

                      Goat porn now is it Stuart ?

                      Perhaps the tertiary syphillis is the least of your problems.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      Dude – spare us your denials!

                      T’ain’t me whining about the ‘Nanny State’ & trying pimp a PM called Billy.

                    • stunned mullet

                      Now that you mention it your knowledge of goats and goat webporn suggests you do have a Billy fixation – perhaps an unspoken love for the current PM is your secret shame and the ongoing calls for violent revolution are an attempt to put the punters off the scent.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      It’s only porn to you, Mullet.

                      This probably isn’t the best forum for your goat issues – though of course your expertise in this field presents a refreshing contrast to your usual standard of uninformed babble.

                    • Stunned mullet

                      Now now Stuart, everyone can plainly see when it comes to goat fucking and uniformed babble there’s no one to match your fine self.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      You know what Mullet, you’re boring.

                      I know you’re not up to discussing substantive issues, and I saw better sledging in highschool.

                      Run along to kiwiblog or failwhale where your dubious maunderings will raise the standard of debate instead of lowering it here.

                    • Stunned mullet

                      The only substantive issue you attempted to discuss was the situation with pharmaceutical manufacture in NZ where you were found to be woefully misinformed and resorted to making things up.

                      The remainder of your discourse on this blog is amorous musings regarding you goat devotion and rather boring repetitive calls to violence and such like against the current government, although why they concern you so much when you spend so little time in this country is odd.

                      If you find me boring i suggest you use the scroll function and pass on by.

                    • McFlock

                      well, this subthread seems to have gone remarkably downhill….

                    • Lol yep funny – goat porn??? – good tussle by the two sm’s

                    • The New Student

                      Goat Simulator is a great game! I bought it for myself for Xmas, $1.99 or something on the App Store.

                  • Gosman

                    And the Romans were so worried about the possibility and implications of someone doing something similar after that that a group of them killed Julius Caesar.

                  • Stuart Munro

                    Actually Mullet, you pathetic pretender, it was your expertise that was found to be at fault.

                    An expert is someone who can do things, not a LAMF who, like you, invents spurious reasons why they can’t be done.

                    There is nothing amusing about your goat insults – they merely demonstrate your inability to produce cogent arguments, and I am frankly surprised that the moderators permitted them.

                    I will cheerfully scroll by your comments when they are truthful and relevant.

                  • David Mac

                    Yes I hear you Stuart. I see twisting the rules, creating new rules, manipulating the rules. But outright ‘Judge declares Guilty’ corruption? They’re too smart for that.

                    I think looking for ways to get them out of the Hotseats in the Hive makes more sense that trying to get them to come good. Cut our losses.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      It wasn’t so very long ago that we actually had MPs who were not lousy corrupt traitors, and it was possible to respect them.

                      It may be mostly true that they have technical defences or escape clauses, but simply going through the process, and familiarizing the public with the depths of their self-serving depravity would suffice to end their political careers.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Punishment for all his wrongs?

                  The policies that this government have passed have likely caused an increase in suicides. They knew this was going to happen as it was pointed out to them before they passed the policies.

                  IMO, this makes the government all guilty of pre-meditated mass-murder and terrorism.

              • Gosman

                There are no laws on the book to punish politicians for doing their job.

                • Stuart Munro

                  That’s right Gosman – but misdirecting public funds, not so much, and acquiring heavily discounted public properties they are administering is well covered by commercial law – and they know it.

                  • Gosman

                    Evidence please. Making the claims you have made may even be legally suspect if you haven’t got such evidence

                    • Stuart Munro

                      Make the case Gosman, for pissing away $103 million on a tent in Dubai.

                      The evidence is everywhere.

                    • Gosman

                      I disagree with it but it isn’t illegal.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      If audited officially – and it hasn’t been – it can be shown to be illegal. The same level of scrutiny applied to numerous actions of this government would show them well short of the standards of integrity that are applied to, for example, directors disposing of company property.

                      They are counting on avoiding such audits, rather than meeting the standards of integrity to the public interest they are sworn to uphold. So there is no difficulty in supporting claims of dishonesty and impropriety, and for that matter, improper influence in persuading responsible public watchdogs not to investigate, thus far.

                    • Gosman

                      The Opposition is doing their job holding them to account then are they. Why haven’t they taken this case to independent watchdogs like the Ombudsman?

                    • Stuart Munro

                      Sure, blame the opposition for the government’s dishonesty. And the police for crime, and the unemployed for the comprehensive failure of your nutty far-right economic policies.

                      Anything, anything but accountability.

              • greg

                iam with you i want revenge on the nats and there voters i want to see them reap what they have sowed but i would settle for sticking the tax man on to them.

                • Stuart Munro

                  There’s something to be said for tax, but sometimes I feel we’re just not doing our bit for endangered species. Like the Siberian Tiger for instance, and the Great White Shark.

            • Draco T Bastard

              I’m as selfish as the next person,

              No you’re not. Going on what you’ve said here you’re far more selfish.

              The majority of people lean towards altruism:

              The evidence for altruism as a critical part of human nature isn’t limited to anthropology. Studies of 18-month-old toddlers show that they will almost always try to help an adult who is visibly struggling with a task, without being asked to do so: if the adult is reaching for something, the toddler will try to hand it to them, or if they see an adult drop something accidentally, they will pick it up.

              Note the fact that altruism is critical to a functioning society and functioning societies get rid of the selfish:

              At an impromptu trial, Cephu defended himself with arguments for individual initiative and personal responsibility. “He felt he deserved a better place in the line of nets,” [the anthropologist Colin] Turnbull wrote. “After all, was he not an important man, a chief, in fact, of his own band?” But if that were the case, replied a respected member of the camp, Cephu should leave and never return. The Mbuti have no chiefs, they are a society of equals in which redistribution governs everyone’s livelihood. The rest of the camp sat in silent agreement.

              Faced with banishment, a punishment nearly equivalent to a death sentence, Cephu relented.

              • David Mac

                Draco, what did you do for our society last month?

                • Draco T Bastard

                  So, given evidence of how people should deal with capitalists you come up with a non sequitur.

                  • David Mac

                    Non Sequitur Huh?

                    You’ve described me as far more selfish with regard our society than I think I am.

                    I’d like to improve.

                    What do you do? Help me out here. What did you do for our society last month?

        • Carolyn_nth

          Politicians are just there to mind our wallet.

          Nope. they are there for much more than that. But it requires an in depth understanding of democracy to understand that.

    • Brigid 10.2

      Why are you assuming AWW has a spare rug? If he/she loves their aunty enough, one will materialise? Like fish do?

      • David Mac 10.2.1

        I know AWW has a spare rug.

        If they only have one they need only ask me for one. I think you’d have a rug for AWW too.

    • left_forward 10.3

      So lets clearly define the situation and call it what it is – child poverty.
      It’s not unnecessary sensationalism – it is a necessary wake up call – our neo-liberal Government has got its policy setting entirely wrong.
      Love applied in a public setting would support a welfare focused, compassionate society. Instead we have a selfish, let’s make some of us very rich at the expense of others agenda dominating our political environment.

      • David Mac 10.3.1

        The kids aren’t poor, their parents are. When it’s called ‘Child Poverty’ it induces us to look for poorly targeted solutions.

        It it’s ‘Parental Poverty’ it doesn’t pluck at the heartstrings as strongly but it’s getting closer to the truth. Then we start looking for solutions in raising incomes and improving money management rather than delivering milk to schools.

        Raising incomes needs to be just part of any solution, the beginning. If we leave it at that, inflation and lifestyles will fast gobble up any improvement.

        We need to be providing Mum and Dad with a milking cow, not delivering the stuff to schools. Breakfasts in schools is a Band-Aid, the problem festers beneath. Our feelgood factor is high ‘Oh the little luvvies are starting their school days on full stomachs.’ Fonterra have based a ‘Feelgood Everyone’ advertising campaign around it. Yes, it does address child poverty….that’s not the problem.

  11. David Mac 11

    I’ve dragged this thread off topic, my apologies. we make a difference and inspire others by saying “This is what I’m doing about it.” Not “What are you doing about it?”

    • Stuart Munro 11.1

      Who’s talking about inspiring others?

      We’re talking about lazy dishonest shirking drug-addled employees who aren’t doing their jobs. The government aren’t doing their jobs – jobs they are massively overpaid for, that plenty of other people would cheerfully do.

  12. left_forward 12

    An apology – and then you start off again!

    Look – it isn’t just about us as individuals, you are missing the point. Governments are also about us, but as the collective – and together we can choose (or not) to set inspiring policy which has significantly greater influence than any one of us can achieve alone.
    You are going off topic because this surely is about our collective responsibility expressed through our elected representatives who have the choice to create a more caring and supportive environment.

    • David Mac 12.1

      If I was to draw pencil sketches of my personal perfect world a government wouldn’t do much more than mark out the pitch and blow the whistle. But when I consider all of us, I want much more. I need the guy with one leg to be able to play too. I don’t have 6 hours a day to provide a near free fabulous education for my kid. That’s why I’m a lefty. That’s why I think those that can should open their wallets a bit wider.

      Poverty of any description will not be fixed by raising all benefits by $300. That needs to be step one. Then as with any policies we come up with, it comes down to individuals, you and me, our thoughts and how we fill our days. How we choose to interact with others, engage with our society.

  13. Michael 13

    You are absolutely correct – a lot of New Zealanders don’t care about the lives of anyone else but themselves – as long as they are doing OK, fuck everyone else. That explains why Labour is not doing anything about issues of social justice – such as substandard housing for so many people – apart from crying crocodile tears and making ineffectual statements about what they may do, possibly, one day, in the long term, over time, as circumstances allow. I’ve heard plenty of that bullshit before (and even uttered myself while campaigning for Labour in previous elections). I’m not swallowing it any more and am, literally, no longer a Party to it. I’m not voting Labour in 2017 and I encourage other people not to vote for it either.

    • Draco T Bastard 13.1

      I’m not voting Labour in 2017 and I encourage other people not to vote for it either.

      Fair enough, I’m sick of the rhetoric and no action as well, but are you going to vote?

      • KJT 13.1.1

        I am voting Green. For the simple reason that they have stated policies to do something about poverty. Though don’t see how it is possible with the BRR agreement with Labour.
        Labour have made it clear they are not interested in rocking the boat.
        TOP just wants to swap around youth poverty and elder poverty.

    • left_forward 13.2

      Urh – don’t you now its the Gnatz that are in Government?!

      • Michael 13.2.1

        And ticking the box next to National-lite would change everything as soon as our lot got their snouts into the taxpayer-funded troughs in the Beehive? I’ve been caught out that way before. Unless or until Labour repudiates neoliberalism and provides a credible alternative, I’m not voting for it and will actively campaign for people to withhold their vote from a rotten system. Deny the neoliberals legitimacy by withdrawing consent for their cardboard-cutout version of “democracy”.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          change everything

          This is your criteria for coming down from your high horse? That voting must “change everything”?

          [RL: Deleted unwanted personal abuse. Ask yourself, if a conservative commenter regularly engaged like this, how long do you think they would last?]

      • The Fairy Godmother 13.2.2

        Yes ignorance at how the political system works is a real problem in our country. When you are in opposition you can’t do anything. its the government who rules the country. National is the government they are doing it to us and have done the past eight and a half years. Sigh!!!!!

  14. KJT 14

    The fact is. We already know how to practically eliminate child poverty in New Zealand. We did it in the past with the unconditional family benefit.
    We are doing it now with the elderly, with unconditional superannuation. Less than 3% of elderly live in poverty.

    It was deliberate policy that reversed the UBI for children. Because people like Wayne Mapp believed we have “Too much equality”.
    Bringing back child poverty was a deliberate policy choice, so Wayne’s mates could get richer.

    One that can be reversed.

    We did it when the country was supposedly much poorer. There is no excuse for not doing it again.

    The deliberate choice to allow children to continue in poverty is simply serial child abuse. Those in power who allow it to continue, are criminals.

    • RedLogix 14.1

      + several Internets!

      The Policy

      The first 2 groups to enter the UBI regime will be:

      All families with very young children (under 3, or under 6 if adopted or fostered) – $200 per family per week. This replaces paid parental leave

      Elders – all those citizens over 65 years of age – $200 each per week. In addition elders who satisfy a means test will be able to top up to the current NZ Superannuation level by a further $7,500 pa. We will index the top-up to elders’ costs not to average incomes.

      The UBI for families with young children provides a substantial (up to $10,000 pa) lift to those families and is the most potent boost to their ability to nurture their children in their most vulnerable years. This change starts to honour the millions of hours of unpaid work associated with child rearing, without which our economy would collapse. For low-income families we intend to make additional changes to step them back from the arduous work-testing that is proving so debilitating for these vulnerable families.

      Low-income families with children (under 17) – an additional $72 pw ($3,744 pa) instead of in-work tax credit, no hours test required. Of course they remain eligible for the other current welfare payments (unemployment, disability, sole parent, illness etc).

      Low income families will get free full-time childcare (for children between 1 and 3) if they are in paid work. The work test will have no minimum hours.

      The changes will be fiscally neutral, with funding of the family investment initiatives above plus the free universal early childhood education initiative of Policy Priority #5 coming from reform of the State pension scheme.

      Over time we will continue to align the tax and welfare regime with the needs of a society confronting increasing inequality, the casualization of paid work, and the escalating health costs of an ageing population. This will be achieved by extending the UBI across the whole population and rolling back but not eradicating the need for targeted support.


      Just an entry point. And in writing, in the policy statement. At least someone is saying it out loud.

      • KJT 14.1.1

        As i said before. TOP want to exchange child poverty for elder poverty. If funds/resources were truly that limited i would agree.

        However. Taxes in New Zealand are too low for a functioning society. And more equitable income redistribution is essential.

        We lack the resources to address both together simply because taxes on the well off have been reduced too much.

        • RedLogix

          As i said before. TOP want to exchange child poverty for elder poverty

          Not on the face of what is written above. ” In addition elders who satisfy a means test will be able to top up to the current NZ Superannuation level by a further $7,500 pa. ”

          In other words no elders would fall under the current levels of Super; only those with other income (such as myself) would receive less cash from the govt. And I’m in no position to complain about that.

          I truly do not see how this policy creates ‘elder poverty’ as you put it.

          On your second point I totally agree. Here is the guts of the problem. Total taxation including provision for retirement income is absolutely the one of the lowest in the developed world. IIRC only Chile ranks lower.

          And again the core problem here is our tax system does not correctly tax all income forms equitably.

          • jcuknz

            Thanks Red Logic for those explanations
            Except as one who by sweat equity has made himself reasonably well off, for my needs, I will be made poor again at a time in my life when I am not capable of doing much about it. Current super is not far removed from poverty IMO.

            • RedLogix

              Yes. It is a challenge.

              It’s not unusual nowadays for a healthy person to be retired almost as long, or even longer, than the years they worked. And while Super is a very good thing, and way better than nothing … 30 or more years living on nothing else is not an attractive prospect especially if you are still paying rent.

      • Foreign waka 14.1.2

        Red Logix, your thinking is in line with the neo lib government of the last decades. Essentially, you just use the same parameter just shifting some poles within.
        And THAT is the reason for poverty in NZ.
        It does not matter whether Maori, European or Martians, if the hierarchical financial structure stays the same, the people representing the bottom 30% of the poorest will just shift around the artificial ring fenced confine’s.
        The idea however, is to have a just and equitable distribution of wealth and not a fight for the bread crumbs. The money elite is laughing all the way to the bank by having that idea perpetrated and taken seriously.

        • RedLogix

          I’m very conscious of a very real tension between idealism and pragmatism when we’re talking politics. My contribution here cover a fairly broad range of themes so I’m amused you think you can pigeon-hole me on the basis of one comment.

          But let’s step back and look at TOP’s broader tax policy:

          The current tax regime favours owners of capital and unjustly burdens wage earners. This is not only inequitable, it results in poor utilisation of capital and lower than necessary income and employment.

          Nowhere is this more obvious than in the property sector, where speculators and home-owners benefit while those that are renting are punished. It is unfair, pushes up house prices and drives even greater inequality. Ultimately, it is in everyone’s interest that we address the loophole in the tax regime.


          Firmly on their agenda is a tax on capital assets, and tackling overseas companies cheating the NZ govt via thin capitalisation and rigged transfer pricing. Australia has already moved on this so this is a very achievable goal.

          Neoliberalism has been all about concentrating wealth at the top, while I am here talking about policies that do the exact opposite. Policies that NO other political party standing in this upcoming election is front-footing, indeed are the very reason for the party’s existence.

          I’m happy for you to argue for even more ambitious ideals, for an even more radical re-shaping of wealth and income distribution, but some things are more immediately achievable than others.

          • Foreign waka

            Red Logix, I am not pigeon hole you but respond to your comment.
            What I am saying is essentially, no matter what any political party tries, the 1% on top of the food chain will not allow you to go outside the boundary oft the assigned cut of the circulating wealth. So the question is what amount of the % left goes to the well to do, the lower middle class and the poor. In a nut shell that is what is on the table no matter who is in power.
            The aim ought to be to look for possibilities to increase the % of the portion that the 99% can work with.
            To squabble about the well to do have to give up more to make sure that the poor have one more slice of bread will in the long term not cut the mustard. It will take away any incentive to increase productivity (are we there yet?) and will just create the lower middle class and the poor. So if pursued even further along these lines you will be left with the poor only. And we are in a third world country predicament then.
            By what I see around me, we are actually well on the way as everybody is running to get more of the ever decreasing “cut” that is left for those who do not belong to the 1%.
            What I am saying is that trying to do the same and expecting a different outcome is a mark of a fool.
            No affront to you, please don’t take this personally. I’m expressing my impressions of my observations – perhaps a bit too generalized.

            • RedLogix

              And the idealist in me absolutely agrees with you. But nothing of what we are wishing for here is on offer in the next 100 days up to the NZ election.

              Yet here is the thing … if right now I was President of the World (UnLimited Powers TM) and I absolutely removed from the 1% all the wealth a distorted political system has allowed them to accrue; and then implemented draconian taxation measures consistent with this … within a generation or less we would be right back to where we started. Or quite possibly worse. The people are not ready for it.

              This age old contest between those who give and those who take, between the honourable and the cheaters, between the faithful and the feckless is not something I have a glib or easy answer for. Certainly I do NOT … unlike many people … think human nature is a fixed thing, and the contest is forever rigged in favour of the mean-spirited and ill-intentioned.

              Quite the contrary, I have witnessed in my life people behaving with extraordinary faith, humility and rectitude, with a warm sense of duty to their community and an open tolerance of diversity. But the world we live in right now is deeply oppressive of such virtue. The political transformation we dream of, is only sustainable if the collective human heart desires it.

              Getting from here to there FW … I wish I knew.

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