Welfare debate already ugly

Written By: - Date published: 6:15 am, June 10th, 2010 - 74 comments
Categories: benefits, class war, welfare - Tags: ,

It’s hard to know whether to laugh or cry sometimes. Apparently, the “welfare debate” could get “ugly”:

The welfare system is set for a shake-up. A working group is looking at radical changes like putting time limits on how long a benefit can be paid out or even a “user-pays” set-up. The Government says all options are on the table, and it is prepared for the debate to get controversial and ugly.

According to Bennet:

“This debate could spark prejudices; we may even see an ugly side of New Zealand”

Well here’s a newsflash. The welfare debate is already ugly. The Nats have worked hard to make it ugly. Paula Bennett the ugly side of New Zealand is you.

In opposition the Nats relentlessly attacked beneficiaries. In Government they’re just the same, openly beneficiary bashing, sticking it to the “underclass” with unseemly haste, and spouting their attack lines:

“The dream is over,” said Paula. There’d be “a kick in the pants” for those beneficiaries who needed it, said John.”

The Nat’s reforms breach human rights, but that’s OK because according to Paula:

“I think that is a discrimination that most New Zealanders will see as being fair and reasonable”

Infamously, John Key thinks that parents on the DPB are “breeding for a business”. Paula Bennett herself, of course, initiated a witch hunt against two solo mothers, breaching their privacy and unleashing a tide of red neck / talkback / Kiwiblog bile on the women involved (“Beneficiaries debate gets ugly “, “Bennett: debate got ‘ugly'”).

So yeah, the next round of this debate is going to be ugly. That’s exactly the way the Nats have worked hard to make it, and exactly the way they want it, because they think it wins them more votes than it loses. And they might even be right, which makes me ashamed to be a New Zealander. What will people do when time limited benefits expire – starve on the streets? What a shining legacy for “state house boy made good” John Key to proud of.

74 comments on “Welfare debate already ugly ”

  1. Bored 1

    Spin the whole thing on its head, what we have is the rich trying to justify their cornering of the wealth by making up and spreading myths about entitlement.

    It reads like this ” We the rich do everything so we should get everything, the poor do nothing so they deserve to be poor”. All rather sickening, but that is really the core Nat philosophy.

    • prism 1.1

      Add to that the wealthy NACT’s complacent, materialistic approach to philosophy summed up as “If you’re so smart, why aren’t you rich?”

  2. Peter 2

    I challenge anybody who has worked at Work and Income to honestly say that the current system is working. From my experience 6 years ago I saw a system that was simply processing people/paper and generally failing to provide any real assistance to lift people out of the cycle of poverty.

    We’ve tried the current system for how many years (30?) and it hasn’t made a significant difference perhaps its time to try a new approach.

    • Kirsten 2.1

      It may feel like what we’re doing hasn’t made a significant difference but when you do the international comparisons – which were pretty clearly presented at yesterday’s Welfare Working Group Forum by the policy director of the OECD – then actully our approach is doing MUCH better than most of the rest of the world. The truth is, “welfare” is a tricky issue and you can’t separate what you do with it from what you do with the rest of the economy and in particular jobs. Why has it been so hard to get people off benefits? Because policy decisions taken by successive governments have reduced the reletive number and quality of jobs available for people to do. Simple as that.

  3. Zorr 3

    So…

    John Keys mum was breeding for business?
    Paula Bennett was breeding for business?

    How about we apply those same standards to their own familys and lives – oh wait, no. That wasn’t the case for them at all!

  4. Jenny 4

    Hone Harawira in opposing this bill, makes a call to anyone prepared to work with him to “address these issues in a positive manner” :

    Mr Speaker, I know heaps of folks who have gone hungry looking for work rather than go on the dole, because they know what a demeaning experience it can be, they know the shame that comes with not being able to provide for your kids. They’re already feeling worthless, and then some minister comes out with a line like “the dream is over!’
    Mr Speaker I know heaps of people on the benefit and for them it’s no dream.

    We are passionately opposed to any move which will penalise families living in poverty, we will oppose any legislation that will hurt children who have no way of defending themselves, and we will work with anyone who wants to address those issues in a positive manner, rather than through bills which are already sending signals, that those in need are a burden on society, rather than a reality in a world still struggling to cope with the biggest economic downturn since the Great Depression.

    Will other politicians answer his call?

    • Graham 4.1

      Sorry, Hone Harawira is a thug, and I have no respect for him at all. Any time Hone Harawira gets involved, things will definitely turn ugly.

      If you want to have a sensible debate on the welfare issues, you need to leave Hone Harawira out of it, because you will open up an ugly festering wound with many people who have no respect for him or anything he says or gets involved in.

      • Tiger Mountain 4.1.1

        A cursory check will show that Hone is well respected by many in the Far North, he has organised people politically, who were previously ignored for decades, and supports many practical on the ground projects including a kura that has turned out some great kids. He needs to be involved in the current working group discussion as he has a real world rather than just a theoretical understanding of the “welfare debate’ and some influence in parliament.

        Welfare change should not be left to right wing academics and politicians or it is going to get ugly alright, just like some of the comments here today.

        • Graham 4.1.1.1

          He may well be well-respected in the Far North. But, I am sorry to say, many of those people who respect him are also thugs.

          Yes, he has achieved some good things. He does well in his own environment, among his own people. But when he starts talking to non-Maori, his seething hatred of the white man comes to the fore and he ends up doing and saying things that just end up getting people’s backs up, and they reject what he says because he has not learned how to say what he thinks in a way that people will listen to and respect.

          He is a thug, and that puts many people off him.

          • Tiger Mountain 4.1.1.1.1

            I have known Hone for over 30 years and dispute that he is a ‘thug’. As you seem determined to use the label, “if’ he displays thuggish behaviour he has had some damn effective instructorscolonisers, land grabbers, residual racists and red necks, Red Squad, Auck engineers students, NZ Police and security forces, and now a National led government. There is definitely a thug or two amongst that lot to provide a bad example.

            My point is that like him or loathe him, Hone has something to offer the welfare talk shop.

            • Graham 4.1.1.1.1.1

              All he will offer will be the usual stuff Hone comes up with – Maori are disadvantaged because of the white man, Maori are put upon, Maori are suffering today because of the colonisation 170 years ago, Maori deserve special treatment, etc. He may be long on ideas for Maori, but will offer nothing to benefit other members of society unless it happens to coincide with Maori interests.

              And I’m not the only white mo-fo who considers him a thug, by the way. The Waikato University student that Hone swore at thought so. Phil Goff probably had too much class to say it when Hone said he “should be lined up against a wall and shot” for passing the Foreshore and Seabed Act, but I’ll bet thought it.

              Hell, even Willie Jackson agrees with me. “I’ve known Hone Harawira for many years … He can be an arrogant, foul-mouthed, swaggering, bullying bugger who’ll walk all over you, if you give him a chance … he puts the boot into anyone who’s in his way, whatever their colour or whakapapa”.

              Captcha: “wonders” … that he hasn’t ended up in prison

    • What’s more important is whether the Maori Party will cut their ties with National? Or have Sharples and Turia still not seen the light.Is Turia so obsessed with Smiling Key that she does not realise she is being done over.
      the more I see of her smooching up the Key the sicker I feel.

  5. big bruv 5

    “The Nats have worked hard to make it ugly.”

    What utter crap.

    The only people who have had a hand in making the welfare debate ugly are Labour and its coalition partners.

    For nine years the average working bloke (the same bloke you people pretend to represent) was fleeced by Labour, given that Kiwis are an apathetic bunch at the best of times Labour got away with it because the economy was going well.

    During those boom years (only made possible because of the reforms of Sir Roger Douglas and Ruth Richardson) Labour let welfare dependency get out of hand, we now have intergenerational welfare bludgers and DPB slappers who see child farming as a way of making a living.

    When times get tough the average bloke says “hang on a moment”, he looks at his pay packet and sees how much is stolen by the government, he sees how much these long term dole and DPB bludgers get for doing SFA all day and is rightly annoyed.

    Yes it is going to get ugly and I am happy about that, the angrier the working man gets the better off we will be in the long run, we simply cannot afford to keep paying parasites for doing nothing, it is time that we went back to a culture of personal responsibility.

    Bring it on!

    • millsy 5.1

      Big Bruv (aka horrible person),

      If you want to dismantle the welfare system, then fine. Just accept that there will be homelessness and hardship on a huge scale in this country.

      But it is obvious that you think that women living in unhappy marriages or on the streets and in their cars is acceptable.

      I hope one day you lose everything and find yourself in that postion

      • Marty G 5.1.1

        and don’t forget crime, millsy. people have to support themselves somehow. Look at societies around the world and in history where there’s high unemployment and little welfare, you get high crime inevitably.

        Sensible righties would at least realise that welfare is the price you pay to keep crime down and give their future workforce a decent chance at getting an education and staying healthy.

        • uke 5.1.1.1

          Ah hah! But perhaps the ultimate aim is to create a new form of slavery (the most convenient kind of labour force for capitalist purposes) through a vast penal labour system.

      • Sideoiler 5.1.2

        So millsy do you think its acceptable for a woman on the DPB to produce another child while living off the taxpayer?
        ” women living in unhappy marriages or on the streets and in their cars is acceptable.”

        There are a large number of women on the DPB have never been married, why do you think that someones poor relationship choices should be paid for by the taxpayer?

        • Bunji 5.1.2.1

          Breeding for a business is an urban myth. There may have been some misguided teenage girl out there once who decided to get up the duff for the benefit, but anyone who’s had a child, or knows the pittance you get from the DPB, is going to see it doesn’t make economic sense: having children does not make you richer.

          So they’re not doing it for the money. Which is good, because the DPB isn’t for them, it’s for the children. Or would you rather ensure the child was raised as a street urchin, stealing to make their way in the world, receiving no education and guaranteed to be a drag on society? The DPB is to give _the_child_ a fair chance in life, it’s no reward for the mother.

          Sideoiler, An awful lot of those women didn’t choose to be single and unsupported. Are you going to go after the men who got them in that situation, or just the women as easy targets?

          If you follow your line of reasoning you should soon have enforced vasectomies for men who get a woman pregnant and don’t hang around to support them.

          captcha: consequence

          • Sideoiler 5.1.2.1.1

            So Bunji, do you also think its acceptable to produce another child while living on the taxpayer?
            Not certain how your reasoning has arrived at enforced vasectomies, all I would like is an answer to my question.

            Do any of you think its acceptable to produce another child while living on the Taxpayer?

            @ Marty G “and don’t forget crime, millsy”,
            “welfare is the price you pay to keep crime down and” ,then clearly welfare is not working, based on the welfare spend crime should be nearly non-existent.

            If lower crime is the outcome required for the welfare expenditure then it is surely time that we stop housing gang members in state housing, maybe those who fail to send their children to school should no longer be entitled to a benefit

    • Akldnut 5.2

      What utter crap

      For nine years blah blah blah ……….
      During those boom years blah blah blah ……..

      Tired old tory lines wearing thin.

      Captcha – “acquiring” the wealth

    • Marty G 5.3

      For nine years the number of people on benefits fell by over 15,000 per year

    • rainman 5.4

      @BB:those boom years (only made possible because of the reforms of Sir Roger Douglas and Ruth Richardson)

      Prove it. I wasn’t here at the time but from what I can see Ruth and Rog have delivered us a place with greater inequality, fewer prospects for those at the bottom of the heap, less ownership of NZ by NZers, and less resilience globally.

      As one of those “parasites” you decry so vehemently, I have a slightly different perspective to you. I worked hard for many years, earning good money, and paying the full amount of tax due – I don’t think taxes here are high (certainly much lower than where I came from), and am happy to pay my fair share of maintaining society. Having arrived in the country fairly skint, I built myself back up to a modest standard of living: bought a small house in a nice suburb, established some modest savings, that sort of thing. Didn’t buy all the toys, or upgrade to a bigger shinier house just because the bank said I could. Then some (quite a few) circumstances outside of my control intervened; redundancy, injury, unavoidable family expenses overseas, insurance company ripoff, vehicle and house maintenance, partners contract ended. Such is the stuff of life, which is often discounted by commenters like you.

      I have applied for probably 180 jobs since I was made redundant. I’m flexible about contract, permanent, casual, whatever. I’ve applied for management roles, operator roles, call centre roles, in my industry, out of my industry, the lot. I’ll go contract in other towns if required (providing the costs stack up, of course). I have worked my network to the point where I’m sure I have pissed many people off. I’ve tried to find options to retrain, so I can be more useful – but there are none that fix things short-term. Result: no success yet.
      And it’s not just me: several of my close friends are in a similar position.

      Not only do I want to work, but I have to. I am (after many months; perm/contract flexibility is misunderstood by WINZ as self-employment, which confuses them terribly) finally on an unemployment benefit, but that barely covers food for the family and the mortgage. Petrol, school costs, insurances, medical costs, etc have been pared back, but have to be paid from savings, which are running out: it won’t be too long before I can’t hit my mortgage payment. I have no living family to support me.

      WINZ is a nightmare. Their systems are prehistoric, and their focus is not on getting people back to work. If either my partner or I have the temerity to earn even a modest amount any support we are given is slashed or removed entirely. We can’t live where we are on just my partners earnings, yet if she gets two days temporary work our entire benefit eligibility is removed. If this happens for a few weeks running we have to completely reapply. So much for “living the dream”.

      So, boo fucking hoo, right? Life is tough. Maybe I have to sell the house, live off the modest amount of equity that would raise, move the family every time the landlord changes their mind. But then what? My mortgage payment is not much different to a typical rental payment, so my income would be largely unaffected – I’d just carry on drawing down on my assets. All I would be doing is becoming less resilient; dependent on the state for more things, in my later years. If this is what people like you want, fine – just be honest about it.

      Had I brought this on myself, perhaps there would be a case to see this as just. I’m a firm believer in personal responsibility (the buddhist karma version, though, not the RWNJ version). But this was not my doing. Greedy bankers and insurance co’s, short-sighted politicians, and low quality NZ execs have far more to do with this set of circumstances than I do.

      Anyway must dash, have to get back to “doing nothing” and being a good member of the “parasite” class.

      • Bill 5.4.1

        Wonder how far away the day is where people in your situation join with others in similar circumstances, pool resources and get out from under the indefatigable grinding down of the contemporary state/market/individual relationship?

        I know intentional communities are not at all common here. Yet.

        As a not completely unconnected aside, I’ve often wondered why retired people who wind up needing a bit of care give up all their assets to a private carer running these old folk’s homes, rather than pool all their resources, buy the necessary facilities and hire the necessary staff.

        Meanwhile, an intentional community, set up properly, leads to massive reductions in financial need and substantial increases in personal well being and life possibilities…effectively sidestepping or largely ameliorating many of the effects of the state/market/individual relationship.

        Or we can continue to be ground down one by one by one. Our choice I guess. Oh. Hang on. Our only choices are consumer choices. My bad.

      • Tiger Mountain 5.4.2

        Don’t let the whimp BB get you down Rainman, there has obviously been a plumbing fault again and he has snuck in from his usual malodorous hangout. The Nats actually prefer a good level of unemployment to help keep wages down and won’t consider things like..

        • Separation of partners income for tax and benefit purposes
        • Universal basic income for all citizens of say $10,000 pa, useful abatement rates,
        • Sustainable new jobs in public works etc.

        • rainman 5.4.2.1

          @TM. Not to worry, it would take a lot to get me down. I’m just fascinated by the lack of coherent (or any) response from the right when their model of reality is exposed for the cartoon it usually is.

          Oh, and Bill – intentional communities are a great plan, if you can afford to buy into them, and if they are located anywhere near a place where there is work to do.

          • Bill 5.4.2.1.1

            If you have to buy your way in, you can almost guarantee that whatever has been created is a heap of shite.

            A couple of ‘musts’ for any intentional community. The land and the structures on the land must be under common ownership. And income generating activity must take place within collective structures.

            Otherwise, what’s the point?

            You wind up with a hopeless little ‘alternative’ suburbia recreating the bullshit market dynamics that fuck us all over in the first place with individuals entering into the market place all over again trying to pay off the loan on ‘their’ building and so on.

            • rainman 5.4.2.1.1.1

              @Bill: This is a getting way off topic, so apologies to all, but I can’t let this pass.

              The land and structures must be under common ownership
              OK sure, but for this to happen someone (or more than one) must initially purchase the land from whoever owns it at the moment, the very real costs of which need to be split among those subsequently benefiting from occupation of said land. Also, it likely needs to be developed to suit multiple occupation, etc. More $$$.

              Closest I’ve seen is the bloke up Wellsford way who split a bunch of sections off of his farm and sold them, each along with a share in the collective operation (both costs and profits) of the rest of the farm. Problem is the smallest section was about $280k, and you still had to put a house on that, subject to specific covenants. Great if you have just won Lotto, but the rest of us need mortgages to spend that kind of money. And banks want to see income before they lend mortgages. And steady income is hard to come by in many rural areas.

              How possibly could you gain access and use of a piece of land without having to pay for your share? I mean in the real world, not some ideal fantasy.

              And still no response from Big Bruv, I see. Perhaps he can’t justify the value of those reforms after all.

    • A Nonny Moose 5.5

      Bruv, your gendered language is very telling.

      “the average working bloke” – how about the average working woman? Or do only “blokes”contribute honest tax money?

      “intergenerational welfare bludgers and DPB slappers” – all them bloody wimmenz fault isn’t? How about those men taking responsibility for dipping their wick?

      “When times get tough the average bloke” – again, “bloke”? The average working woman deals with tough times too.

      “the angrier the working man gets” – really, this is just too easy.

      Methinks you don’t like women asserting their rights too much, even if that is to get what they’re entitled too under a male run welfare institution.

      Because yes, even with a women at the helm of Social Welfare, there is no possible way she can be an ally of NZ women. Anyone who tries to erase the voice of female concern like she does is trying to erase her past under a man’s rules.

      • joe90 5.5.1

        relevant?….snort….

        “Yes but David Farrar’s readers appear to be rather angry, low status men with unreasonably high opinions of themselves who go to that blog for reassurance that they are important. It’s not exactly the audience we were looking for but as I said we are happy for him to drive it up.’

  6. Adrian 6

    BB…DPB Slapper, who’s pseudenom is that… John Key’s mother or all of Paula Bennets family including her.? Well called, Zorr.

    • Craig Glen Eden 6.1

      According to Bennett’s own standards Bennett is the biggest Bludger I know of.
      She is the one living the dream. Off she goes to America to net work with her fellow right wing buddies all in the disguise of a developing Leaders and all the while receiving a wage she is meant to get for representing the locals in Waitakere.

      If you want to go and get some personal development Bludger Bennett ( which clearly you do need) do it with your own money not ours, after all we are in some of the hardest financial times that the world has seen in modern times ( show some leadership ).
      Mean while back in Waitakere we have many Kiwis who have lost their job through no fault of their own who need a hand making ends meet for a bit.

  7. kriswgtn 7

    Well if these guys that tapped these women put something on the end of it and used protection and then stood up to being a man and PAY for these kids,there would not be the problem

    How many millions are owed in child support thanks to these losers?

    Maybe if Bennett had of closed her legs or used protection she wouldnt have been on the dpb herself

    but you want a scrap tories by hell youll get one

    John May Lives

    • Tiger Mountain 8.1

      “Greens shut out of Wefare forum at last minute’ may be more helpful Freedom to get people to follow the link
      http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1006/S00138.htm

      • Bill 8.1.1

        So, another 2×4 taken to the head of meaningful debate and, by extension, democracy.

        And so it crosses my mind that between regional issues such as the Christchurch water fiasco, the Auckland Super City fiasco etc alongside national issues such as GST hikes, benefit cuts, whaling, leaky homes, an AWOL opposition, mining, foreshore and seabed and so on, that the opportunity exists to bring many diverse people out on the streets in multi faceted expressions of democracy with the glue perhaps being disgust towards the arrogance and heartlessness that presides over the damage being inflicted on us all in its various forms by this government.

        No point in doing single issue protests. Roll them into one and make Johnny Boy’s rolling maul a reality he never intended.

  8. just saying 9

    I’m waiting to see how the Labour opposition deals with this as it builds.

    If it continues to pander to the bigots I’m going to be really really angry, and I wont be the only one.

    We could see a new Alliance type-party (or the Alliance itself) emerge and take ten percent out of Labour’s ever-diminishing core. Many previously non-voters, could be rallied with the right call.

    Which side are you on Labour?

  9. Olwyn 10

    Firstly, this looks like the same old game the NACTs have played all along: float something very draconian, do something less draconian, unless of course, draconian measure 1 gets a lot of support. I agree with Tiger Mountain – Hone Harawira definitely has a place in this debate – he is one person who is able to cut to the chase, and does not dissociate himself from the people he claims to represent. People like Big Bruv should reflect on the fact that if we did not have a lot of dispossessed people, both white and brown, we would scarcely need a welfare system. In the seventies, in Chistchurch, I remember reading that there were nine people on the dole. When people have security of housing and employment, they do not turn to the welfare system.

    • Graham 10.1

      Hone only has a place in this debate if you want (a) a bunch of name-calling and swearing, and (b) special treatment for Maori. Because that’s what he specialises in.

  10. Bill 11

    Here’s a wee fact which might surprise people.

    If I need help deal with an employment situation or an ACC issue or whatever, then I can pay an advocate or a lawyer to go bat for me.

    But guess what? If I pay a lawyer or an advocate to bat for me over a WINZ issue, they (from memory) get slapped with an up to $10 000 fine and jail time. Nice, eh?

    Meanwhile, how’s about we put this Labour/National employment record crap aside?

    Fact. People were unemployed under Labour and National.

    Fact. Labour put through the biggest benefit cuts since the early 90s when they brought in TAS.

    Fact. Us on the dole don’t need any fucking debate. We need well meaning left leaning liberals to get down off the fucking fence and help us first of all torpedo and then reverse all these deliberate attempts at increasing poverty.

    • felix 11.1

      What’s the $10 000 fine and jail time about?

      • Bill 11.1.1

        It’s illegal ( or should that correctly be termed as unlawful?) to charge a fee to a beneficiary if you advocate on their behalf.

        Don’t go quoting me on the exact level of punishment. As I say, it’s from memory. It’s in the Social Securities Act…somewhere.

        • Descendant Of Smith 11.1.1.1

          Putting my old advocacy hat back on you’re probalby referring to this:

          Section 84
          Benefits to be inalienable
          (1) Subject to the provisions of the Family Benefits (Home Ownership) Act 1964, or the Child Support Act 1991 or the Student Loan Scheme Act 1992 and of section 82, no benefit shall be capable of being assigned or charged or of passing to any other person by operation of law.
          (2) Every person commits an offence, and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding $100, who demands or accepts from any beneficiary any benefit order or any acknowledgement or undertaking where that demand, acceptance, acknowledgement, or undertaking would constitute a legal or an equitable assignment of or a charge upon any benefit if the benefit were capable of being legally assigned or charged.

          This ensures as best it can that people cannot take peoples benefit money off them through compulsion or contractural means. There are many people who want to do this e.g. doctors for medical treatment, landlords for rent.

          Lawyers in this country can’t go woolgathering like they can in the US and take on cases for a percentage of the outcome so have to charge flat fees. which is probably more the issue for them.

          Hence they can take a case on if you can afford to pay them out of your own pocket – they can’t take a case on if they wish you to pay for it out of your meagre benefit.

          Seems pretty fair to me. I’ve seen plenty of unscrupulous people trying to set themselves up as US style advocates and take a cut or take $20-00 a week.

  11. eye saw 12

    graham,I voted for Hone and I live up north.Try calling me a thug.

    • Tiger Mountain 12.1

      Yes, Graham, in the politest possible way,-pull your head in-, or show you are not another BB by coming to the Kaitaia market one Saturday morning and meeting the man.

    • Graham 12.2

      I’m not calling you a thug, eye saw, just Hone and *some* of his supporters. I don’t know you, but we can all judge from the various reports over the years of Hone and *some* of his supporters.

      Look, I’m going to back off this one, because it’s detracting from the main point of this conversation. But for years, I – as a white New Zealander – have, by implication and association, been called every name under the sun by Hone. I’ve been blamed – as a white man, and a British descendant – for EVERY SINGLE BLOODY WRONG that has ever been done to the Maori people by Hone. According to Hone, it’s MY fault that Maori are over-represented in crime statistics, it’s MY fault Maori are over-represented in unemployment statistics, it’s MY fault many of them don’t have good jobs, it’s MY fault they are poor, it’s MY fault for EVERYTHING bad that has ever happened to Maori, starting back 120 years or so before I was even born. And, according to Hone, it’s MY responsibility to fix it all. And if I don’t fall in line and meekly agree with him, why, I’m a racist who wants to keep Maori in their place at the bottom of the pile.

      You want to vote for him? Fine. Want to support him when he blasts out his hatred against me? Go for it. But don’t expect me to apologise for calling a spade a spade. He is a hate-filled thug, and the majority of that hate is directed against ME as a white British descendant. So don’t be surprised that I get pissed off at any mention of this weasel.

      • pollywog 12.2.1

        It’s not your fault personally Graham, but it is your culture’s fault.

        man up bro and take some responsibility for it !!!

        • Brett 12.2.1.1

          Go back to the islands and take your racist shit with you.
          It’s people like you causing all the division in NZ

          • pollywog 12.2.1.1.1

            righto, i’m off then…

            haha…not fucking likely you dipshit

            on the contrary, it’s people like you who caused all the division. You had your chance to make things right and you failed. Now sit down, shut up and let us fix things up properly !

            • Brett 12.2.1.1.1.1

              People like me?
              I’m a hell of a lot more indigenous than you will ever be Arsehole.
              You’re just a sad wee boy with a log sized chip on your shoulder seeking to blame others for your failure.
              Just face it pal you suck.

              • pollywog

                yeah people like you… jealous and judgmental, dipshit, wannabe know it all pricks who think they belong here, but in reality whose gene pool should have been drained generations ago.

                …face it bro, you’re an evolutionary dead end. You may as well crawl back to the primordial swamp and start all over again.

                good luck !

      • Bill 12.2.2

        Various colonial projects were executed and orchestrated by white Europeans.

        I’m a white European. From a European colony.

        Is Hone referring to me and holding me responsible for the dynamics of colonisation? No.

        Truth is that Hone and I are both results of the ‘same’ colonial bullshit. And have much more in common with one another than either of us have with the thieving bastards who managed the institutions and systems that stole basically everything and whose political and economic legacy is kept on course by their political and economic descendants.

        Are you really telling me that you identify with them…the architects of colonisation or their institutional descendants? If so, then don’t go blaming victims of colonisation for your choice of bed fellow.

  12. PK 13

    ***welfare is the price you pay to keep crime down and give their future workforce a decent chance at getting an education and staying healthy.***

    On the other hand you get an increase in out-of-wedlock/de-facto relationship births. Children from single-parent families are more likely to become involved in crime.

    That said, as technology improves and jobs are outsourced overseas more people will be unable to find work so some welfare support/retraining is necessary. It is unsustainable though if people don’t use contraception. A birth control shot to protect against pregnancy should be a condition of ongoing welfare. Once the technology improves it should be available for guys too.

    http://kidshealth.org/teen/sexual_health/contraception/contraception_depo.html

    • “increase in out-of-wedlock/de-facto relationship births.”
      And what’s so wrong about that? People don’t have to get married if they don’t want to.

      “Children from single-parent families are more likely to become involved in crime.”
      Why don’t we look at bit more closely at the statistics, since you’ve only taken one part of the equation. How about looking at poverty, the community, the media and the schools? Crime isn’t as simple as single-parent families.

      Eugenics. What about rich peopel who commit crimes? Should we sterlise them? Bankers finance wars how about we sterilise bankers. No more bankers = No more wars by your logic woohoo.

    • walter 13.2

      oooooh yuck……………. de-facto relationship children. Grubby little urchins, no doubt.

      I didn’t realise how wrong I’d been – thanks. I’ll drag my partner off to a church now to perform the appropriate rites and rituals to save my bastard offspring from damnation and the inescapable transition to crime.

      Listen mate, my children are the smartest, best citizens you’ll ever meet – much more tolerant and empathetic than you appear. Our marital status has absolutely no bearing on the ‘quality’ of the offspring. Your insinuation that they should not have been born is utterly offensive.

      Awaiting an apology………..

      • NickS 13.2.1

        I blame the patriarchy for this “marriage good, anything else bad” bullshit.

        And for this moronic idea of trampling an individuals human rights just because they’re unemployed.

  13. kriswgtn 14

    After being bashed by my father over a course of 15 years,my mother walked away and took us kids with her.all 6 of us
    She did spend time on the dpb after she left but she didnt spend more than 4 years on it
    .i am proud she did leave and that there was a benefit for her to care for us and support us.
    She ended up getting full time work in the defense force and us older ones looked after the younger ones after school.

    I am all for society taking care of those in need.

    This Govt’s action is socially and morally wrong.

    Its always upsetting for me to see people on the dpb get bashed by this govt and the right wing sock puppets on this blog.

    My worry is if they bring in this time tested benefits,how are these people going to live if there are no jobs??

    whats going to happen to those on benefits who have mental health problems? or too severely handicapped to work?.Those people dying of aids,cancer etc etc???

    • ianmac 14.1

      Like the Sensible Sentencing Trust Bennett focusses on the extreme cases to justify the extreme changes for the bulk of deserving cases. She needs to be challenged on this. Most on the DPB are on for about 6 months as a safety belt for example.
      I do hear many well off on the Right endlessly repeating the “cures” for the “bludgers”. Sickening!

  14. dave brown 15

    The biggest bludgers are the bosses who live off the surplus value of workers.
    Why should workers apologise for welfare when they provide it in the first place?
    Because the bosses do a good job of scapegoating the underclass and making us fight one another.
    Wake up thickos.

    • uke 15.1

      Too true, but its worse. The capitalist can also be thought of as a vampire. Feeds off meaningless human toil and wasted lives. The Goldman-Sachs types are the super-vampires, swaddled in layers of blind trusts, shell companies, and bundled debt, well-insulated from their victims.

  15. Brian Drury 16

    ive always been a beneficiary basher myself

  16. Brian Drury 17

    I’ve always been a beneficiary basher myself, there’s some real bludging scum out there .Who deserve no support themselves, but hell with what I’ve seen in Hawkes Bay this year. I’ve definately changed my mind.
    There are literally hundreds of experienced hard working fruit pickers and packers unable to find work this season because of imported labour. It’s a disgrace these scandalously unashamed orchardists and packhouse owners are allowed to treat people this way.
    These people have always cried hard done by with labour shortages whilst being unwilling to pay any more than the minimum wage.
    Now they are allowed to import islanders to do the work , they demand all worker sign on for 12 hours a day ,7 days a week if required with nothing extra, refuse to hire mothers who may need a day off if their kids get sick.
    Give these imported is;lander a garanteed 7 months solid work that if they were prepared to garantee nzers there would never have been a labour shortage in the first place as the picking season has big gaps in it that mean no matter how hard you work when its there ,there is so much down time you are unlikely to average the minimum wage over the entire season.
    these people have invested heavily knowing there would be labour shortages at the expenses of developing real jobs that would benefit the local reconomy, in short they are bludging their cheap labour at the exprense of the tax payer.
    As if thats not bad enough they charge these islanders $140 a week to share a caravan or converted container with up to 4 others.
    And of course all the displaced workers are treated as scavengers when they cant get a job.

  17. I walked past the dole office today and there were 3 young maori girls outside goofing around and thought…good luck ladies, i hope you get pregnant to a man that can and will support you cos your prospects are looking pretty grim otherwise.

    🙁

  18. Realist 19

    Consider the scenario where about half the beneficiaries became ineligible…

    So you realise that’s 200,000 squatters – right?

    200,000 overdue rents, every week ad infinitum (most beneficiaries don’t have HNZ access)
    Landlords go under, banks have to recall mortgages for landlords at high risk
    An oversupply of properties, property prices plummet
    Banks have to raise rates to cover losses and cover higher wholesale rates
    OCR up due to increased risk premium
    Currency plummets, fuel increases -> inflation -> still higher interest rates -> more mortgage defaults -> government debt servicing becomes a BIG problem -> IMF bailout???

    Then there’s the crime issue, higher home and contents insurance premiums etc

    As for taxpayers…they will then have to compete with downward pressure on wages, desperate people don’t work for minimum wage, they’d be happy at $8 an hour, under the table of course. IRD would be irrate at that. The question becomes, how long can you remain a tax payer (i.e. in employment)

    Personally I’d prefer the tax, rather than:

    Higher interest rates
    Higher insurance premiums
    Personal risk due to crime
    Energy/import price inflation
    Wages lowering and job insecurity
    Paying for supermax prisons ($91,000 each you know)

    Put it this way, NZ wouldn’t be a pretty place, you’d want plane ticket, not a job. Hmmm and as for the Tourist/Immigrant Student/Immigrant Retirement industry? Overseas retirees did wonders for Tauranga’s real estate prices by the way.

    Insurance is duplicious and doesn’t work all too efficiently, Americans are learning this slowly with their health system. Besides, if you had to pay insurance to guard against unemployment – then even the 17.5% tax is a rip off. What with the increased mortgage on a depreciated property, the crime effect, the lower wages, the increased import prices etc…

    A good economy always has spare capacity in the workforce
    A good economy always has population growth

    Tax is the price you pay for job security, it keeps other bidders at bay
    And finally, children raised on DPB become tax payers too someday, assuming there are jobs…in other words, they’re supposed to be an INVESTMENT – dur.

    Welfare is not a poverty trap, a poverty trap is when you are homeless and don’t have the resources to present yourself for a job…I cannot believe we are taking advice from an American. In America, the good old USA, many people are so desperate that prison accomodation and food is a welcome gift if all else fails.

    Benefits keep you alive, they are not a life. Enjoy trying to hold down your job if these dreamers get their way. Asides aside, it’s just electioneering BS

    And yes, I am currently a ‘beneficiary’ maybe you’re just lucky I’m still sick, that is if you’re in a job that requires an IQ above 135 – have a nice day 😉

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    7 days ago
  • Fresh thinkers
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    7 days ago
  • It is not about age, it is about team.
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    7 days ago
  • ROBERT MacCULLOCH: Fletcher Building – it is time to break up NZ’s most useless company.
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    7 days ago
  • Mortgage rates seen high for even longer
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  • Member’s Day
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  • Three Waters go down the legislative gurgler – but what should we make of Local Water Done Well?
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  • Gordon Campbell on five of Luxon’s Gaza absurdities
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    7 days ago
  • Love and the Fairer Sex.
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  • At a glance – Has Arctic sea ice returned to normal?
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    1 week ago
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    1 week ago
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    More than a fieldingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • ELE LUDEMANN: Trusting locals
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    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    1 week ago

  • Greater support for social workers
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  • Government delivers greater freedom and choice for sick New Zealanders
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    22 hours ago
  • Government begins reset of welfare system
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  • State of the Nation
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    3 days ago
  • West Coast tourism attractions officially open
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    5 days ago
  • Independent ferry service advisory group in place
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    6 days ago
  • Joint statement from the Prime Ministers of Australia, Canada, and New Zealand
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    6 days ago
  • Govt will deliver on expanded breast screening
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  • Government announces woolshed roadshows in support of sheep farmers
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  • Speech: Address to the NZ Economics Forum
    It’s great to be back at the New Zealand Economics Forum. I would like to acknowledge everyone here today for your expertise and contribution, especially the Pro Vice-Chancellor, Head of the Waikato Management School, economists, students and experts alike. A year has passed since I was last before you, and ...
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  • Government tackling high construction costs
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  • Labour’s Three Waters legislation repealed
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    7 days ago
  • Cost of living support for beneficiary households
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  • Government announces agriculture delegations to better support Primary sector
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    1 week ago
  • Waikato MoU reinforces Govt’s commitment to increase NZ doctors
    The Government has taken an important step forward in addressing a critical shortage of New Zealand-trained doctors, with today’s signing of a Memorandum of Understanding for a third medical school, Minister of Health Dr Shane Reti has announced.  “Today’s signing by the Ministry of Health and the University of Waikato ...
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    1 week ago
  • Speech – Lunar New Year 2024
    Annyeonghaseyo, greetings and welcome all. It is my pleasure as the Minister for Ethnic Communities to welcome you to the first Lunar New Year Event in Parliament. Thank you to our emcees for greeting us in the different languages that represent the many cultures that celebrate the Lunar New Year. ...
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    1 week ago
  • More funding to Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti
    Urgent work to clean-up cyclone-affected regions will continue, thanks to a $63 million boost from the Government for sediment and debris removal in Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti.                                                                                                   The funding will help local councils continue urgent work removing and disposing of sediment and debris left from Cyclone Gabrielle.   “This additional ...
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    1 week ago
  • Budget will be delivered on 30 May
    Plans to deliver tax relief to hard-working New Zealanders, rebuild business confidence and restore the Crown’s finances to order will be unveiled on 30 May, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says. The plans will be announced in the Budget which is currently being developed by Ministers.  “The last government’s mismanagement of ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government advances Local Water Done Well
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    1 week ago
  • New diplomatic appointments
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has today announced five new diplomatic appointments.  "Strong and effective diplomacy to protect and advance our interests in the world is needed now more than ever," Mr Peters says.  “We are delighted to appoint senior diplomats from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to these ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to the Committee for Auckland
    It is great to be here today at this event as Minister for Auckland and Minister ofTransport. Let me start by acknowledging each one of you and thanking the Committee forAuckland for hosting this event and inviting me to speak here today. The Committee for Auckland has been a symbol ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Getting Transport Back on Track in Auckland
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government to axe Auckland Regional Fuel Tax
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has confirmed that the Auckland Regional Fuel Tax will end on 30 June 2024. “Today, I can confirm that the Government has agreed to remove the Auckland Regional Fuel Tax in line with our coalition commitments, and legislation will be introduced to parliament to repeal the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister Calls for Work to Tackle Kina Barrens
    Changes to fishing rules and a significant science programme are being undertaken to address kina barrens, says Minister for Oceans and Fisheries Shane Jones. “There has been tremendous interest from iwi, communities and recreational fishers who had raised concerns about such kina infestations being a major threat to Northland’s marine ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Government law and order crackdown begins
    The coalition Government is making good on its promise to restore law and order by removing government funding for Section 27 reports and abolishing the previous Labour Government’s prison reduction target, Justice Minister Paul Goldsmith and Corrections Minister Mark Mitchell say.  “In recent years, the development of Section 27 reports ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Greater focus on getting people into work
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    2 weeks ago
  • One year on, NZ appeals for release of Phillip Mehrtens
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    2 weeks ago
  • Ministers reaffirm Pacific connections this week
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters and Health Minister and Minister for Pacific Peoples Dr Shane Reti are reaffirming the importance of New Zealand’s connections to the Pacific by visiting Tonga, Cook Islands and Samoa this week.  “New Zealand enjoys strong and long-standing relationships with our Pacific partners - especially in Polynesia, where we ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Rt Hon Christopher Luxon – Waitangi speech
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā iwi, rau rangatira ma. Tēnā koutou katoa. He tino mihi ki te mana whenua o tēnei rohe.  Mihi mai, mihi mai, mihi mai. Te whare e tū nei, tēnā koe.                               He-wāhi whakahirahira tēnei mō Aotearoa. Ka huri nga whakaaro, ki nga mate. ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Government awards primary sector scholarships to students
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    2 weeks ago
  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Wellington Barrister Jason Scott McHerron as a High Court Judge. Justice McHerron graduated from the University of Otago with a BA in English literature in 1994 and an LLB in 1996. From 1996 to 1999 he worked as a solicitor in the ...
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    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand provides further humanitarian support to Gaza and the West Bank
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced that New Zealand is providing a further $5 million to respond to the extreme humanitarian need in Gaza and the West Bank.  “The impact of the Israel-Hamas conflict on civilians is absolutely appalling,” Mr Peters says.  “That is why New Zealand has contributed $15 ...
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    3 weeks ago
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    3 weeks ago
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    3 weeks ago
  • Fast track consenting in the fast lane
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    3 weeks ago
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    3 weeks ago
  • Minimum wage set for cautious increase
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    3 weeks ago
  • Increased security improves ED safety over summer
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    3 weeks ago

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