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What chance is there of a bipartisan approach to child poverty?

Written By: - Date published: 9:19 am, December 9th, 2013 - 353 comments
Categories: benefits, child welfare, class war, paula bennett, poverty, welfare - Tags:


The findings of the child poverty monitoring report has now been published.  The figures are chilling.  A quarter of kiwi kids, or 265,000 children, live in poverty, 18% go without need they need, 10% live in severe poverty and three out of five who live in poverty live this way for many years.  At one level it is not surprising that the Government has refused to measure these statistics because they are embarrassing.

The next obvious question is what are we going to do about it?

Children’s Commissioner Dr Russell Wills has a refreshingly direct approach to the issue.  When refused Government funding to measure the incidence of child poverty he went out and sourced the funds privately.  And he has today called for a bipartisan political approach to the issue, mandated by legislation and with clear goals.  He speaks from some authority, he is a doctor still in practice and sees the effects of poverty every working day.

He said that although a disproportionately large section of children living in poverty were Maori and Pacifica about half of the children in poverty are New Zealand European, and 40% of these have parents who work.  Poverty has the potential of affecting everyone.

He praised current policies including early childhood education and insulation of homes.  But to meaningfully address the problem he says that the country needs a plan, with targets, set in legislation that holds people to account.

The programme will need widespread support from the public.  Only then will it have a chance of succeeding.

The reality is chilling.  Since National’s mother of all budgets in 1991 the incidence of childhood poverty has doubled.  The figures improved somewhat under Labour with decreasing unemployment and the introduction of working for families but kids with parents on a benefit still struggled.

What are the chances of a bipartisan approach being agreed to?  Very poor I am afraid.  When National cannot even agree to a decent food in schools programme then you have to wonder if they will agree to anything.  I suspect that they have far too much political capital invested in bashing beneficiaries to surrender this for the common good.  I would be delighted if they would prove me wrong but they depend too much on Paula Bennett’s diversionary beneficiary bashing proposals to even think about changing this.

Bennett pretty well wrote off the chances of a bipartisanship approach today by saying that she was incredibly proud of the current Government’s record, that it had prioritised children and was taking a “thoughtful and strategic approach to tackling complex social issues”.

Incredibly proud?  She should hang her head in shame.

353 comments on “What chance is there of a bipartisan approach to child poverty?”

  1. shorts 1

    given the make up of our parliament should it not be Multi-Partisan?

    Greens, Labour, Mana and Maori party are the logical parties to spearhead any across parliament platform, (and guilt them that don’t seem to care, National) into addressing poverty in a form that isn’t 100% soundbites…

    • mickysavage 1.1

      Agreed but this is the word that Wills used and it has a conventional meaning of agreement from both sides. Besides the Greens and Mana have very good positions on child poverty.

      • shorts 1.1.1

        its those policies and insights that made me suggest multi partisan – something we should be saying more…. in our MMP world, bi partisan is old two dimensional New Zealand 🙂

      • Rosie 1.1.2

        The Greens and Mana do indeed have good positions on child poverty but Dunne once again is in possession of the crucial vote, and refuses to support Hone Harawira’s feed the kids bill:


        This is a prime example of those with the power to do something to alleviate suffering putting their political career before those who they are meant to represent – in this case the well being of children.

        A bipartisan approach to child poverty is along way off when we have MP’s like this sitting on the fence and making feeble excuses.

        • phillip ure

          and once again labour just dodge the question..

          ..in a piece on prime news on this poverty report ardern dodges any questions/answers about raising benefits and the like..

          ..by saying/doing what labour always do..

          ..namely deflect the conversation/questions to low-paid workers also being in poverty..

          ..which of course is also a valid concern..

          ..but colour me cynical..

          ..to my eyes it seems that this has been adopted as labours’ de-facto tactic on this issue..

          ..to not answer that benefit rate question..to swerve right away from it..

          ..and to fall-back on low-paid workers as their stated concern/answer..

          (..and of course a lazy/unthinking/unquestioning corporate-media..

          ..just let labour get away with it..)

          ..phillip ure..

  2. tc 2

    there’s an election slogan right there MS, Bennett is ‘incredibly proud of …’ Insert facts.

    The nastiness and arrogance of this gov’t is personified by PB and should be used to motivate the non voters to the polls.

  3. BM 3

    NZ definition of poverty


    The problem in NZ is the definition of ‘poverty’ – currently this seems to be if you live in a household with less than 50% or 60% of median disposable income. This is how all these ‘magical’ figures of 270,000 children ‘living in poverty’ in NZ suddenly appear.

    Even those with a elementary understanding of Statistics and Mathematics must realize that by this definition we will always have 270,000 children ‘living in poverty’. We could be the richest nation in the world, with the highest living standards (oh thats right we nearly are) – and by these definitions we would still have the same number of children ‘living in poverty’.

    • mickysavage 3.1

      But BM this approach shows what the problem is. There is childhood poverty, there are far too many hungry kids at school and the incidence of third world diseases is too high. Yet the debate gets diverted into a semantic argument about the test that should be applied.

      So how about instead of saying what the problem with the definition is we have a debate about what the solution to the real problem is.

      • BM 3.1.1

        The solution is to increase the amount of money that country brings in.

        How about oil exploration?, that looks promising, just think of all that extra money going to those needy hungry children.

        • Tracey

          what makes you think that

          a. there will be lots of extra money in NZ, ie what is your definition of lots;
          b. it will go to needy children when we have the means to divert money to them now, but don’t?

        • Arfamo

          How about oil exploration?, that looks promising, just think of all that extra money going to those needy hungry children.

          But it doesn’t does it? Profits from money coming in just gets funnelled to the already wealthy and back offshore to the wealthy overseas investor set that our PM actually represents.

        • McFlock

          What good will bringing more money into the country do? We can’t even distribute our current wealth equitably.

        • vto

          BM … “The solution is to increase the amount of money that country brings in.”

          Complete and utter horseshit BM.

          New Zealand, with a GDP something like $USD29500.00 per every single person in the country is more than wealthy enough to support every single person with decent housing and provisions.

          The problem is that the current distribution system is fucked.


          Wake up BM

          • BM

            Actually I think it’s you who needs to wake up.

            As much as you want it to be NZ is not going to become some sort of communist/socialist utopia where everyone works for the state and is paid some sort of universal wage.

            The facts are the current game being played is capitalism, the vast majority of people are happy with that and live good comfortable lives because of it.
            The game ain’t going to change for a long long time.

            You want to improve the lives of people, learn to play the current game well.

            • Flip

              You’re right about the game being capitalism. It will change in a democracy if enough people wake up to how the game is rigged against them for capitalists.As long as you can fool and distract them, make them think it always their fault, hold out a false dream, trot out the odd anecdotal success story and occasionally throw them a fraction of pie you’ll fool some of the people.

              In my view capital is too greatly reward today and does not pay its way in NZ. I’d rather see greater reward go to the worker and capital contribute more to the well being of society and the sustainability of the environment rather than feed itself of the back of the environment and society.

            • Macro

              What a load of stupid tripe you spout BM you have no idea of what others on this site propose because you are far too wound up in spouting your righteous ways. Those ways have over the past 30 years been shown to be unethical, deficient in equity, and solely benefit the already well to do. They have NOTHING to offer those in the middle or lower economic strata of society. They never have, and they never will. Your support for these failed “solutions” says that either you are very well to do, and therefore are completely out of touch with the rest of society, or else you are a very slow learner – as most middle incomers are – they are only now waking up to the realisation that the wealth has left them behind.

            • adam

              I think his name was Nicolas who said something similar, George did too, and indeed Louie raved how great his system of governance was. 1917, 1775, 1789. – Just so you know the historical points I’m alluding to.

              So I will say this – you can’t predict the future, nor can you say how happy people are. People have a tendency to view the world, from there own rose coloured spectacles. And whilst the glamour of material wealth is maintained, people will play happy. But I’m not seeing to many real happy people – not many at all.

              Why, because your beloved form of capitalism has a fundamental flaw, consumer capitalism has the need for the consumers, to be paid enough to consume. At present there is a decline in the consumer power of workers and the unwaged. Most of the social democrats here want to save capitalism BM, have a close read of what they are saying. And those here who are hard core socialist – find our side boosted by the likes of you and yours.

              Indeed if you have a close look at the left; some of us don’t like the state, some of us don’t want consumer capitalism saved, some even want people to be empowered to make there own decisions and all of us what a change from a system of exploration, to a system of equability. Stop calling us utopian, when your lot seem to be living in the la la land of denial.

            • Naki Man

              BM . you are correct. well done that man

              • framu

                notice the replies to BM – notice that whether you agree or not they actually contain… you know… several sentences that together form an argument?

                Even BM himself can do it

                Now – look at yours – compare and discuss

        • Draco T Bastard

          The solution is to increase the amount of money that country brings in.

          We’ve been doing that forever – the poverty is getting worse.

          Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 3.1.2

        Because extreme poverty helps drive wages down, and that suits the National Party’s clients, so you can expect them to continue to derail and deny any relief, using lies, distractions and hate speech (lots of that).

    • McFlock 3.2

      A median is not related to income distribution. It is, however, indicative of relative purchasing power within the population.

      Yournz needs to achieve an elementary understanding of stats.

      You’re an idiot for repeating such stupidity, bm.

      • Lanthanide 3.2.1

        Yip. Pretty funny Pete George telling us we don’t know maths and stats when it’s clear he’s the one that doesn’t understand ‘median’.

        • McFlock

          And of course he ignores the other measure: “hardship”.
          Kids whose families score four or more lacks in this list:

          A good bed
          Ability to keep main rooms adequately warm
          Suitable clothes for important or special occasions
          Home contents insurance
          Presents for family and friends on special occasions
          Continued wearing worn out clothing
          Continued wearing worn out shoes
          Went without or cut back on fresh fruit and vegetables
          Bought cheaper or less meat than wanted
          Postponed visits to the doctor
          Did not pick up a prescription
          Put up with feeling cold to save on heating costs
          Went without or cut back on visits to family or friends
          Did not go to a funeral (tangi) you wanted to

          • Psycho Milt

            By that standard even I’ve suffered years of “hardship” as child and adult. Of course, back then it was called “inconvenience” rather than “hardship,” but times do change.

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead

              Another example of right-wing thinking: your personal experiences do not represent some sort of trend. They just provide your bias.

              • Right-wingers aren’t somehow more prone to the error you describe than other people. Also, I haven’t made that error. You’ve piled up quite a bit of wrong in one sentence there.

                • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                  Was my meaning unclear?

                  Try again.

                  To you, it was “inconvenience”, and what does that say about anyone else’s experiences? Nothing whatsoever.

                • @ Milt,

                  Right-wingers aren’t somehow more prone to the error you describe than other people.

                  No… you just don’t take responsibility for your failed policies.

            • McFlock

              was it your average condition over the long term, like for a sixth of NZ kids?
              Did you make the cuts out of choice or fiscal necessity?

              Are you talking about meeting the minimum definition, or being well inside both the quantity of those points met and the degree to which those points were met?
              Was your “not good bed” a little bit saggy, or were you sleeping on a sheet laid out on the floor?
              Did your shoes have a bit of wear on the heel, or did you have to glue them back together every other day?
              Did you have a persistent upper respiratory tract infection due to overcrowding in an underheated room?
              Did you have to go to school in shorts during the winter because your parents couldn’t afford to replace your school trousers?
              Were you hospitalised because your skin infection was untreated because your parents owed the doctor $200 and didn’t realise your scratching was quite so bad?
              Did you experience vitamin deficiencies because your parents couldn’t afford enough food (or, more commonly, did you watch your parents pretend to not be hungry as they gave you the last food in the house)?

              “times do change” my fucking arse.

              • So, hardship isn’t actually “kids whose families score four or more lacks in this list,” it’s “kids whose families average four or more of some specific variants of the lacks in this list over the long term.” Nowhere near as catchy…

                I did enjoy this one though:

                Did you have to go to school in shorts during the winter because your parents couldn’t afford to replace your school trousers?

                No. In the 60s and 70s we went to school in shorts during the winter because long pants were for private-school kids and those in the last years of high school.

                • Tracey

                  and you havent turned out too bad have you????

                • McFlock

                  Oh, shit, I thought you knew what you were talking about. My mistake.

                  Tell you what, how about you read the links in the post, and if you still have questions about the difference between “current poverty” and “persistent poverty” refer to the child poverty monitor’s Technical Report.

                  Then you might be able to contribute more to the discussion than this.

                  • Tracey

                    the link says it all

                  • North

                    Beautiful ! Confused, Tighty Righty, SS-Lands and BM on the right with the eyes. Pulled ’emsarlf oop bar boot strarp bar goom !

                  • Rogue Trooper

                    Luxury! I say Flockie old boy. Luxury!

                    • McFlock

                      I was pleased to find the original lineup on youtube – it always seemed a shame that people tend to think it’s MP, and forget that Feldman had a hand in it.

                    • Rogue Trooper

                      the eyes give it away.

                  • I often quote the bit about living in a shoebox in’t middle o’t road. Of course, that’s exactly the skit you embark on when you start listing hardships, so you should hardly be surprised.

                    • McFlock

                      So do you have the decency to know what you’re talking about yet?

                    • Do you? That kind of idiocy could be extended to infinity.

                    • McFlock

                      only if you decide to shift the goalposts by making up imaginary problems as you go along, rather than consistently evaluating clearly-defined, peer-reviewed criteria over a couple of decades.

                    • Meh. If the question is how we can ensure that nobody has to skip buying someone a present, or has to buy cheaper meat than they wanted to, who’s going to give a rat’s ass about answering it? A more relevant question is how can we ensure we protect people from poverty without funding an increase in family arrangements that are high-risk for poverty, neglect and abuse – so far, no good answers to that one from either main party, but unless you address both sides of the equation there’s no voter mileage in it for any mainstream party.

                    • McFlock

                      That’s why the hardship criteria is not “one in the list”.

                      But the answer is in your question – if you’re funding family arrangementsthat are higher risk for poverty you’re not giving them enough money.

                      Oh, and it’s not just the DPB – “during 2010–2012, 40% of children in poverty were in families relying on paid employment”. But you know that, because you know what you’re talking about…

                    • Rogue Trooper

                      well, PM imagines they do; always on the poverty threads as they attach their velcro straps.

                    • …if you’re funding family arrangementsthat are higher risk for poverty you’re not giving them enough money.

                      So, if we’re funding something that turns out to be demonstrably harmful, what we should do is fund it even more? It’s an… interesting approach, but hopefully not one that governments would apply as a general principle.

                      Oh, and it’s not just the DPB – “during 2010–2012, 40% of children in poverty were in families relying on paid employment”.

                      Well, you’re the one referring to long-term, rather than temporary, poverty. The bulk of children in that are in beneficiary households, and the majority of those in sole-parent beneficiary households. So, we have being raised by a sole-parent beneficiary as a guarantee of being raised in poverty, we have a large increase in the proportion of children being raised by sole parents since the mid-70s, and we have – uh, duh-uh, increasing child poverty. There isn’t any great mystery here for Russell Wills to get to the bottom of.

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      “demonstrably harmful”

                      [citation needed]

                      It’s your victim-blaming misogyny that is demonstrably harmful.

                    • McFlock

                      So, if we’re funding something that turns out to be demonstrably harmful, what we should do is fund it even more?

                      So if we only fund chemo for a quarter of cancer patients and 75% die of cancer, should we cease funding chemo because it’s “demonstrably harmful”? Or should we increase the funding so that it actually addresses the problem?

                      You’re welcome to provide evidence for any of the assertions you just made, by the way. Especially the one where a sole parent beneficiary is a “guarantee” of child poverty.

                    • If benefit levels are high enough that recipients don’t have to live in poverty, there’s been a huge amount of wasted posting effort at the Standard over the last five years. Still, good to know it was all a false alarm.

                      So if we only fund chemo for a quarter of cancer patients and 75% die of cancer, should we cease funding chemo because it’s “demonstrably harmful”?

                      Er, no. More like, so if we fund people to adopt a lifestyle that’s proven high risk for child poverty, neglect and abuse, and we find increasing levels of child poverty, neglect and abuse, should we increase the funding provided for that lifestyle? I’m no fancy, big-city policy analyst, but I’m thinking the answer is “No.” In fact the answer could even be more like “Hey, maybe we could start discouraging that lifestyle and see if that helps.”

                    • McFlock

                      I merely offered you an opportunity to actually demonstrate that you now know what you’re talking about.

                      I’m not a fancy-pants big city policy advisor either, but it seems to me that the cause of poverty isn’t lifestyle, it’s lack of money. Give em more money, and no matter what lifestyle they have, no matter what other problems they have, they won’t be poor.

                    • Rogue Trooper

                      However, you may be a small city number cruncher / analyst

                    • McFlock

                      shhhh 🙂

                    • Rogue Trooper


                    • …it seems to me that the cause of poverty isn’t lifestyle, it’s lack of money.

                      I thought you knew what you were talking about? Child poverty isn’t caused just by a lack of money, it’s caused by having insufficient money to cover all those kids you’ve been busy producing without a thought for how you’re going to raise them. Funding that extremely ill-advised approach to the production of children has led to a dramatic increase in that approach, as evidenced by the rise in the proportion of children in single-parent families.

                      So there are actually two sides to it: size of income, and number of children. Likewise, there are two approaches to improving it: provide sufficient money to cover open-ended production of children by people without the means, ability or inclination to raise them, or address the production side of the equation. Given that this approach to the production of children is also known to be high-risk for neglect and abuse, addressing the production side is a no-brainer. Putting money into encouraging more of the same would be something only for mega-rich nihilists, of which there are few among NZ taxpayers.

                    • However, you may be a small city number cruncher / analyst

                      The pseudonym’s just for Google-results convenience – before you congratulate yourself on your detective skills, note that even Dad4Justice didn’t find it hard to identify me. You’ve made it up to D4J league…

                    • Rogue Trooper

                      wotteva, not by your estimates at all; not even close PM, you been caught ‘slippin’ ; I was addressing Flockie. I’d gloat if I was a libertarian, carry on.

                      factually, to reference The Ali1en, you are not even in the same fucking class. (moment of immodesty , I apologise).

                    • McFlock

                      Personally I would have thought that the people who refer to procreation like it’s a factory process would be the nihilists, but whatever.

                      Given your desire to address the “production side of the equation”, yet complete lack of any evidence to support your assertions about the extent and causes of the so-called “problem” (how fucked up is your worldview that raising kids is a cost to society) I’ll simply repeat my question to unsol: Let’s say someone knows what their income will be for the next 18 years and is still in the category of “choosing to get pregnant when you cannot afford it”. What would you do about it?

                    • KJT

                      Pm seems to have missed the bit where increasing the status, power, education and wealth of young women, including simply giving young women more money to live on, actually cuts the number of pregnancies they have.

                      Researchers have noticed this effect is the strongest predictor of how many kids a woman will have, worldwide..

                      If Milton was really interested in reducing the number of children born in poverty, he would be advocating a reduction in the number of people in poverty. Raising minimum wages and welfare.

                    • Rogue Trooper

                      PM displays ‘selective attention’

                    • how fucked up is your worldview that raising kids is a cost to society

                      That certainly is a fucked up worldview your straw man has there.

                      …complete lack of any evidence to support your assertions about the extent and causes of the so-called “problem”…

                      I’m not your teacher. MSD’s put out figures showing how the proportion of households in poverty hasn’t changed much since the early 90s while the proportion of the nation’s children in those households has shot up. The report that’s the subject of this post covers the rise in single-parent households, the fact that 60% of kids living in poverty are in beneficiary households, the fact that 51% are in sole parent households, there’s basically no shortage of evidence pointing to the fact that rising child poverty is to a significant extent due to rising numbers of kids in sole-parent beneficiary households, you just prefer to pretend it doesn’t exist.

                      Pm seems to have missed the bit where increasing the status, power, education and wealth of young women, including simply giving young women more money to live on, actually cuts the number of pregnancies they have.

                      And you seem to have missed the bit where we already introduced a public education system, a public health system, pay equality legislation, a social welfare system and a shitload of other things to do exactly that, which had that exact effect. Unfortunately, we also implemented a system of paying people not to give a shit about creating unwanted children.

                    • I’ll simply repeat my question to unsol: Let’s say someone knows what their income will be for the next 18 years and is still in the category of “choosing to get pregnant when you cannot afford it”. What would you do about it?

                      It’s an irrelevant question. There’s a big difference between having children because two of you want to start a family, and having children because you consider causing or experiencing pregnancy to be just shit that happens. At the moment, we’re discouraging the first and financing the second. The results are as expected.

                    • McFlock

                      what’s your alternative to financing the second?

                    • McFlock

                      MSD’s put out figures showing how the proportion of households in poverty hasn’t changed much since the early 90s while the proportion of the nation’s children in those households has shot up.

                      I think you might be referring to Perry, but if you are then you’re comprehension is way off.

                      But didn’t you start off by talking about the last 40 years, i.e. when the DPB and other benefits were introduced or extended? If we’re talking the last 20-odd years, then cutting benefits and increasing unemployment seems to increase child poverty, rather than it being a result of the very the existence of a benefit.

                      But even if you were completely correct in all your wild assertions:

                      There’s a big difference between having children because two of you want to start a family, and having children because you consider causing or experiencing pregnancy to be just shit that happens. At the moment, we’re discouraging the first and financing the second.

                      what’s your alternative to financing the second?

                    • Rogue Trooper

                      You Rock McFlock : nite

                    • I think you might be referring to Perry, but if you are then you’re comprehension is way off.

                      My comprehension is fine. We’ve been through this on other threads and I’m not relitigating it here.

                      If we’re talking the last 20-odd years, then cutting benefits and increasing unemployment seems to increase child poverty…

                      Well, duh – of course it fucking does. Believe it or not, there can be more things than one going on at once in a society. The fact that Richardson’s benefit cuts increased child poverty 20 years ago doesn’t alter the fact that financing an increase in single-parent families has been a consistent and long-term increaser of child poverty that is still operating today. Unless you haven’t been paying attention, you’ll know that the point of all this blather from CPAG et al is that child poverty is still increasing. Benefit cuts nearly a quarter-century ago are not causing that.

                      what’s your alternative to financing the second?

                      It’s not an “alternative,” it’s an “as well as.” The only way we’re going to improve things for the waster children who’ve already been created is by providing additional money for their upbringing. However, that’s suicidal unless we also take steps to lower the production of children by wasters. It’s “both…and”, not “either…or.”

                      There’s plenty we could do to discourage people from regarding creating babies as just shit that happens that they don’t need to be too concerned about.
                      1. Governments love finger-wagging ad campaigns – how about one pointing out that not using contraception is a recipe for a long sentence of poverty and stress, with high risk of other unpleasant shit like ill health, becoming a victim of violence etc. Maybe another one pointing out that children aren’t a blessing from God, they’re an imposer of obligations the state won’t hesitate to enforce compliance with.
                      2. Use the benefit system to discourage sole parenting as a career. Cap the amount of time you can spend on it, penalise the addition of children while on a sole-parent benefit, etc. There is no human right to be paid to produce children.
                      3. Chase down the sperm donors and make them suffer consequences comparable with having to spend 18 years being a father to a child.

                      There are no doubt plenty of other options – as I said, I’m no big-city policy analyst.

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      “Benefit cuts nearly a quarter-century ago are not causing that.”

                      You really need to think about that brave assertion.

                      Cuts were reversed, were they?

                      As for your solutions, they aren’t solutions, they’re incoherent, but just ignore that for a second. When you get finished deterring biology please could you fix world peace too?

                    • You really need to think about that brave assertion.

                      Oh, please do think about it. I’d be interested to hear your proposed mechanism by which benefit cuts in 1991 are causing an increase in child poverty more than 20 years later. Of course, it must be a mechanism that doesn’t involve increasing numbers of children being raised on those benefits, otherwise you’re actually reinforcing my point.

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      No, Milt, you are the one making the assertions. Assertions which have been roundly refuted by, for example, Frank Mackasy’s “facty things”.

                      I don’t have to propose anything. Your opinions are not facts. Deal with it.

                    • Refuted assertions? I’m saying that benefit cuts applied over 20 years ago increased child poverty at the time but there’s no obvious way for them to be causing increasing child poverty now. You seem to regard that as a “bold assertion” and that if I think about it I’ll see it’s wrong. How you could come to that conclusion isn’t clear to me, but I have thought about it, and I still don’t see a way for benefit cuts applied more than 20 years ago to be causing increasing child poverty today. Please assist.

                    • McFlock

                      The reason I asked whether you were looking at Perry (the chap who does the annual HES reports for the MSD) was because your comment: “MSD’s put out figures showing how the proportion of households in poverty hasn’t changed much since the early 90s while the proportion of the nation’s children in those households has shot up. ”
                      If you look at Perry, specifically charts F.2 and F.4, you would have seen that your comment is complete bullshit.

                      As for your solutions to child poverty, it seems to be typical NACT playbook stuff: a few million on advertising, huge resources spent chasing down men who are probably in almost as bad a financial position as the women, and punishing the children by cutting their caregiver’s benefit. And it would still fail to do anything for the 40% of kids in poverty who are children of the working poor.

                      My personal inclination is to increase benefits, increase post-school remedial education for parents in a flexible format to suit the needs of the parent, lower unemployment, and introduce a living wage.

                      Oh, and just to clarify for the cheap seats, child poverty was static or decreased (depending on the measure) under lab4, but seems to be picking up again or relatively static over the last few years. This is after trebling under the bolger govt, of course.

                    • Apologies – was working from memory and indeed didn’t have it quite right. Perry’s figures show the proportion in poverty has been pretty much static or falling since the mid-90s, not the early 90s.

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      It’s simple. The benefit cuts reduced benefits to below adequate, and they have not been reversed. Therefore they are still inadequate.

                    • McFlock

                      Apologies – was working from memory and indeed didn’t have it quite right. Perry’s figures show the proportion in poverty has been pretty much static or falling since the mid-90s, not the early 90s.

                      … for a certain margin of error in proportion to the massive increase in poverty for all sectors in 1991. And we are at still double the rate before benefits were cut and unemployment increased in 1991. And for which 40% involve children of employed people, not just beneficiaries.

                      Which to anyone with half a brain suggests that maybe if we boosted incomes for workers and cut unemployment and maybe even paid benefits at a level of dignity, the rate of poverty and the rate of children reliant on a beneficiary would probably decrease.

                    • No argument from me on the contribution of low wages to the problem and the need to do something to raise them. That’s a minority of the cohort though, and one that tends to be in temporary rather than long-term poverty. The majority of the cohort is children of beneficiaries, the majority of that is children of sole-parent beneficiaries, and the proportion of children with single parents has been on a steady increase since we started paying people to be single parents. Paying people more to be single parents is unlikely to reverse that trend.

                    • McFlock

                      If you nest “most” a couple of times you’re in danger of talking about a minority.

                      I want to address the problem of all children living in poverty, not “most of most of” them. You’re first step to addressing child poverty is to ignore 40% of poor children.

                      Get your knickers in a twist about single parents on the DPB (most of whom are on it for only a short period, anyway – median duration is 7 years, only 10% on it for >10years – fuck it, just learn what you’re talking about) all you want, but don’t pretend you’re trying to solve child poverty.

                    • If you nest “most” a couple of times you’re in danger of talking about a minority.

                      Sure. But according to this report, children of sole parents make up 51% of those in poverty, so we are still (just) talking about more than half.

                      I want to address the problem of all children living in poverty, not “most of most of” them.

                      It’s not a monolith. When you’re figuring out how to address a large, complex problem, a good approach is to look at which individual factors are causing the most mess – in this case, here’s one simple factor that’s involved with fully half the instances we’re seeing. In that situation, if someone’s trying to tell me that there’s no point in looking too closely at that factor, I smell bullshit.

                      fuck it, just learn what you’re talking about

                      I did. And what I learned was that CPAG’s “myths and facts” propaganda is just that. Their clever misuse of statistics to try and pretend there is no problem of long-term DPB dependency deserves to become a classic of the genre.

                    • Rogue Trooper

                      and you Sir, may be classically misguided. (persistent at spin though).

                    • Further to the specific CPAG propaganda you’re quoting, Lindsay Mitchell skewered them nicely:

                      “These percentages relate only to ‘current’ spell. Many leave welfare and return and the clock starts afresh. When MSD researchers looked at sole parents on welfare at the end of 2005

                      · just over half had spent at least 80% of the history period observed (the previous 10 years in most cases) supported by main benefits.”

                      The MSD report quoted is at http://www.msd.govt.nz/documents/about-msd-and-our-work/publications-resources/research/sole-parenting/understanding-sub-groups-of-sole-parents-receiving-main-benefits.doc.

                    • McFlock

                      you complain about propaganda and then quote lm?
                      You do realise that her “skewering” (skewing) of the dpb slides it to main benefits, so anyone who is unemployed and then goes on the dpb is used to support your paranood fantasy of lifestyle dpb recipients?

                      Sure, examining different parts of a complex problem can be useful, but that’s not what You’re doing. You’re looking at an extremely doubtful 50% of aat worst 60% of the problem, when we know that child poverty trebled when benfits were cut and govt policy skyrocketed unemployment.

                      It seems to me that it would be more productive to examine paying benefits at dignified levels and helping single parents into employment or advance their careers, rather than obsessing over “solutions” that mimic the 1991 poverty-causing budget and can only ever address half the problem.

                    • You think the fact many DPB recipients arrive on it from other main benefits disproves the view that many of them are career beneficiaries?

                      Your view that this is all Ruth Richardson’s fault is supported by the fact that there was a sharp increase in the number of children in poverty after her benefit cuts. However, that was 23 years ago and the proportion of children in poverty has been largely static or falling since the mid-1990s. That makes 1991 benefit cuts a poor exlanation for the main point of this and various other propaganda pieces from CPAG and the Children’s Commissioner, which is that the effects of child poverty are increasing. Proportion of children in poverty is no worse now than it was in the late 90s – what has gone up since then is the proportion of children in sole-parent families.

                    • Should add re this bit:

                      You do realise that her “skewering” (skewing) of the dpb slides it to main benefits, so anyone who is unemployed and then goes on the dpb is used to support your paranood fantasy of lifestyle dpb recipients?

                      Her point is that CPAG use only the current “session” to create their myth, carefully ignoring the fact that the same people can be on the DPB multiple times over a 20-year-period. You may only be on it 6 or 7 years, but do it twice over 20 years and you’ve spent most of that time on it.

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      Still in denial I see Milt.

                      “1991 benefit cuts a poor explanation for the main point of this and various other propaganda pieces from CPAG and the Children’s Commissioner, which is that the effects of child poverty are increasing.”

                      No, as previously explained, and ignored by you, the cuts reduced the benefits to below adequate and they have not been reversed.

                      Now here’s a simple question for you: which is worse, ten years of inadequate funding for the poorest of our community, or thirty years?

                      Just quit with the pseudo-theory and statistical games and think.

                    • Still waiting for you to explain how benefit cuts that happened over 20 years ago are causing an increase in the effects of child poverty now.

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      I’ve explained it to you several times. Answer the question: which is worse? Ten years or thirty?

                    • McFlock

                      You think the fact many DPB recipients arrive on it from other main benefits disproves the view that many of them are career beneficiaries?

                      No, I think that half of 60% means that you are now hoping to address child poverty but obsessing over maybe 30% of the problem. So “many” is a pretty relative term.

                      That makes 1991 benefit cuts a poor exlanation for the main point of this and various other propaganda pieces from CPAG and the Children’s Commissioner, which is that the effects of child poverty are increasing. Proportion of children in poverty is no worse now than it was in the late 90s – what has gone up since then is the proportion of children in sole-parent families.

                      See, now you’re conflating “effects” (aka “depth”) of poverty with “prevalence”.
                      And you seem to be arguing that the proportion of sole-parent children has gone up without increasing poverty, which seems to fuck your main point quite thoroughly.

                    • I’ve explained it to you several times.

                      The sad part is, you probably really do think you have.

                      No, I think that half of 60% means that you are now hoping to address child poverty but obsessing over maybe 30% of the problem.

                      Clever – take a figure quoted to rebut your claim about relatively few people on the DPB long-term, conflate it with the point about number of sole-parent children in poverty, and suddenly we’re down from 51% to 30%. The figure remains 51% however smart you are.

                      …you seem to be arguing that the proportion of sole-parent children has gone up without increasing poverty, which seems to fuck your main point quite thoroughly.

                      I’m not arguing that, the numbers are. Proportion of children in poverty has been static or falling for over 10 years now, but CPAG and the Children’s Commissioner are complaining that the effects of child poverty are increasing. Well, the proportion doesn’t seem to be increasing so maybe we should look at environmental considerations, and what has been increasing in terms of children’s environments is the proportion of them being raised by sole parents. If CPAG members’ academic qualifications were worth a damn, they’d be investigating that.

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      The sad fact is you’re ignoring the question, which would help you understand the explanation, but perhaps you really can’t figure out how thirty years of inadequate funding might somehow just possibly create a worse situation than ten years of underfunding. That seems quite likely on current form.

                    • McFlock

                      Clever – take a figure quoted to rebut your claim about relatively few people on the DPB long-term, conflate it with the point about number of sole-parent children in poverty, and suddenly we’re down from 51% to 30%. The figure remains 51% however smart you are.

                      Stupid – I was taking the point that 60% of poor kids are kids of beneficiaries, and only half of those are DPB long term (“lifestyle” or otherwise). How many of your 51% are on a benefit, as opposed to being working poor?

                      Basically, your “solution” of cutting benefits to sole parent households won’t do anything to those poor sole-parent households who aren’t receiving a benefit (lucky for them). Extending the eligibility of a dignified level of benefits to include them would solve their poverty and kids’ hardship, as well as helping those who are already on a benefit, and indeed those couples with kids who are in poverty (regardless of whether they currently receive a benefit).

                      What’s your solution: government-run singles’ balls for sole parents?

                      I suppose it’s nice that you’ve gone from belittling child poverty in NZ to simply blaming solo parents for it, though.

                    • There’s “blaming” sole parents for child poverty, and then there’s noticing that being raised for a long period on a benefit makes a kid high-risk for poverty, neglect and abuse (in the case of abuse, a whopping 13x more likely to experience it than kids not raised on a benefit), and realising that maybe having more and more kids raised on a benefit isn’t such a great idea after all. No great intellect or high-level social science qualifications are needed to be able to follow those premises to a conclusion, and a lot of voters have done so. There’s plenty of room for argument about what might be done to reduce the number of kids being raised on a benefit, but proposals likely to increase the number (of which, “just give beneficiaries more money” is definitely one) can be weeded out pretty quickly.

                    • McFlock

                      […]noticing that being raised for a long period on a benefit makes a kid high-risk for poverty, neglect and abuse (in the case of abuse, a whopping 13x more likely to experience it than kids not raised on a benefit), and realising that maybe having more and more kids raised on a benefit isn’t such a great idea after all. No great intellect or high-level social science qualifications are needed to be able to follow those premises to a conclusion, and a lot of voters have done so.

                      Indeed. In fact it requires an absence of intellect or training in order to look at factors with a clear inverse economic relationship and then attributing the cause to the only thing that mitigates the economic factor of poverty.

                      There’s plenty of room for argument about what might be done to reduce the number of kids being raised on a benefit, but proposals likely to increase the number (of which, “just give beneficiaries more money” is definitely one) can be weeded out pretty quickly.

                      Only if you maintain that the cause is the benefit, which only a moron or a deranged obsessive would do.

                      But hang on, is the main causal factor of child poverty in your view “being a child of beneficiaries”, or simply “being a child of a solo parent”?

                      Oh, and you’re back to talking about the likelihood of experiencing (aka “rate“) negative effects (poverty, neglect etc), rather than simply the depth of poverty. Make up your mind.

                • @ Psycho Milt…

                  You do trealise that if we allow 25% of children to remain in poverty, that will be 265,000 less potential tax-payers; 265,000 less people to pay yours (and mine) super; 265,000 more unemployed; and x-billions spent on welfare, prisons, uneccessary healthcare, etc.

                  Whereas if we pull 265,000 out of poverty; feed them; educate them; house them; etc, their chances are much better that we’ll have fewer unemployed; less spent on picking up the pieces; and they’ll be taxpaying citizens.

                  Now call me hopelessly naive – but doesn’t Option #2 sound much better than #1?

                  And please don’t refer to your ideology of Rugged Individualism and free market – ‘cos that obviously hasn’t worked out terribly well, has it?

                  If you want a clear example how State support can turn a welfare recipient into a highly trained tax-payer, this is a true story of a close friend of mine, “Sally”*; http://fmacskasy.wordpress.com/2012/03/06/once-upon-a-time-there-was-a-solo-mum/

                  She used almost the same opportunities that Minister Paula Bennett got – the Training Incentive Allowance. (Except she didn’t get the same financial assistance to buy a house as Bennett did.)

                  If it weren’t for the Training Incentive Allowance, “Sally” would still be on the DPB.

                  That’s the same TIA that Bennett used. And canned when she became Minister for Social Welfare.

                  * Name changed to protect her privacy.

            • Tracey

              full employment?
              ration books?

              where did you live?

      • Puddleglum 3.2.2

        Thank goodness someone made this point – I was reading the thread and waiting for the obvious point to be made.

        You can have a median, X, with no-one in the population receiving less than 60% of it because all incomes below the median are above 60% of it.

        Now, in a system which exaggerates and leverages off inequality it may well be that ‘the poor will always be with us’ – but it’s not a law of nature, and certainly not a law of statistics.

        Where were National Standards when we needed them 🙂

    • Tracey 3.3

      John Key refers to many of those not in kiwisaver as not being in it because they live below the breadline. Seems like he has managed to measure it in some way BM>

      The Farming Show

    • framu 3.4

      your seriously linking to pete george? really?

      • BM 3.4.1

        I typed into google, “definition of poverty in NZ”.

        He was at the top.

        • framu

          well – whats the lesson here then?

          perhaps google is just a search engine and not a credibility index?

        • Macro

          Well that google search reveals more about you than a definition of poverty BM. “Surprisingly” Google doesn’t offer the same results for every one – it takes account of your past browsing and filters, its results according to what it “thinks” will be the most relevant to you.

          • Rogue Trooper

            now, that is an accurate Macro observation regarding search results; when I was a formal student I stumbled across Vivisimo ; there is always google scholar…

            RW and Conservative auto-complete searches are likely to return
            ‘pov’ porn.

    • Fisiani 3.5

      Give everyone $10,000 and guess what, the level of “poverty” remains the same using this crazy definition. Garbage in -garbage out.
      What about childhood wealth? Are there any wealthy children other than a few budding entrepreneurs. Children are not poor or wealthy. They live in families with greater or lesser disposable wealth. A sad indictment of years of socialism are the intergenerational families on welfare. Thank goodness this is being turned around and thousands of families have managed to get off benefits and with the 90 day right to prove yourself law have managed to find employment. The economy is already booming and will lessen the scourge of life on a benefit. Access to affordable ECE is available and kids are finally getting a measurable better education. Onwards and upwards.

      • KJT 3.5.1

        You missed the bit where NZ is dropping in education scores, in the last 3 years, did you!

        • Fisiani

          Not at all. The drop was predicted in 2008 and the improvement has already begun. National standards are for primary students and show improvement after just two years. PISA drop for 15 year olds reflects the years of socialism under which mediocrity was acceptable, Sadly the National government has not yet brought in performance pay.

          • KJT

            Keep believing that. Watch as National fucks up, even more, what was once a good education system.

            Though the start of the downhill slide was “Tomorrows Schools”. Picot’s misguided attempt to make schools “run like a business”.

            Labour was, at least, introducing a new curriculum which adopted researched best practice, and offered solutions to many of the faults obvious in the system.
            Before it even got of the ground National dumped it for an idea which has signally failed in both the UK and the USA.

            “National standards show improvement”. You are obviously too thick to understand that a set of assessments where they cannot even get the moderation and consistency right, show nothing!

            Even industry has abandoned performance pay. Because it doesn’t fucking work, for anything but a few very simple and well defined jobs..

            Remember Enron, Air NZ before it had to be bailed out, and Solid energy.
            Triumphs of performance pay.

            No wonder why you are unhappy about our education system. It failed to educate You!

          • Frank Macskasy

            Fisiani, the previous PISA report was released in 2009 (See: http://www.oecd.org/pisa/pisaproducts/). That period covers part of the 2000-08 Labour-led administration.

            The current report is for the following period 2009-12. That covers the National-led administration.

            You can’t claim that the recent PISA report covers the Labour-led period because that was covered by the 2009 report.

            I point out,

            “The OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) aims to answer these questions through three-yearly surveys that examine 15-year-old students’ performance in reading, mathematics and science. The first three surveys addressed these subjects in 2000, 2003 and 2006, respectively. PISA 2009 focuses on reading and thus begins a second full cycle of the survey. (see: http://www.oecd.org/newsroom/asian-countries-top-oecd-s-latest-pisa-survey-on-state-of-global-education.htm)”

            Question: do you National supporters/apparatchiks ever take responsibility for your Party’s f**k ups?!

      • Rogue Trooper 3.5.2

        spinning the thread out late Fisiani

      • Give everyone $10,000 and guess what, the level of “poverty” remains the same using this crazy definition. Garbage in -garbage out.

        Does the same standard apply to the 2009 and 2010 tax cuts which gave thousands to the top 10% of this countries earners?

        If “throwing money” at a group doesn’t solve anything, what was the point of the tax cuts?

        We might as well have canned them, and the Nats wouldn’t have had to borrow $380 million a week to make up for the revenue shortfall.

  4. just saying 4

    Still waiting to hear Labour’s policies for ending child poverty. Wouldn’t they have to actually have something to bring to a bipartisan “table”?

    Still at least the poor won’t have to renew their passports so often under a Labour government.

    “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss………………………..We won’t be fooled again”

    • miravox 4.1

      “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss”

      Yes, by that reckoning, js, we already have a consensus – have had one since the ’80s.

      What is needed is a break the current consensus for a new approach that brings the neo-libs (albeit kicking and screaming) agreeing to share fairly economic gains. Is Labour going to step-up and do it? That is the question I’d like to see answered.

      It might be a little too early in the election cycle to make a call on this, although tax changes have been signalled, however word on reducing the income/wealth (not just wages) gap will be welcome.

    • Tracey 4.2

      What about Hone, he has some ideas on this, practical ones too.

      But you may have a point, I mean if Labour havent got a policy why should the government bother.

      However, they do have one, and not hard to find either.


      The Agenda for Change for children
      has six main spending elements:

      Poverty alleviation:
      putting another $70 – 80 a week into the pockets of the poorest
      families by introducing a tax free zone and progressively extending full Working for
      Families eligibility to those currently excluded from the In Work Tax Credit

      Free 24/7 Access to Health Care for Under Sixes:
      extending free access for under sixes to after
      hours medical services.

      Paid Parental Leave
      extending the duration from 14 to 26 weeks, and the reviewing
      the whole area with a view to establishing a more radical

      Early intervention:
      intensive support for the first 18 months for the most vulnerable 5%
      of children , and universal enrolment of children with Well Child

      ECE based support:
      free high quality Early Childhood Education
      and parent support from 18 months to three years for the most vulnerable 5% of children

      Early childhood education
      restoring the funding cut from centres with high numbers of qualified staff

      Minimum wage to $15 per hour and move toward living wage.


      • just saying 4.2.1

        Do you really believe that:
        Labour, if elected, will implement all of this as written?,
        That will do so promptly?
        That they will extend working for families to beneficiary families within their first term
        That even if they did all this immediately, it would constitute an adequate response to the crisis of child poverty?
        That ending child poverty without significantly changing the status quo of neoliberalism is possible?

        • Tracey

          Hang on, you’ve jumped quickly, you said they didnt have a policy. I was helping you because you obviously couldnt find it. What i believe is irrelevant, you believed they didnt have a policy, they do.

          National was elected in 2008 with no policy but that wasnt your point, was it?

          • phillip ure

            i think tracey..

            ..that what most want to see from labour..

            ..is a ‘what we will do in first 100 days’ list of promises..

            ..anything less is just waffle…

            ..who can forget labours bold promise last time out..?

            ..to bring the poorest families into w.f.f. incrementally..?

            ..to have them getting the same amount as current recipients..

            ..by..hold onto yr seats..!..by 2018..

            ..this was labours’ solution to our one in four children in poverty ‘solution’ last election..

            ..so..tracey..you can understand why we would like that forst 100 days promises list..


            ..’cos labour just asking us to just ‘trust’ them..

            ..does make many of us very uneasy..


            ..phillip ure..

            • Tracey

              I have no problem with that but Just Saying wrote that labour had no policy. It does. Ok, he doesn’t like it or believe it but contrary to his post they do have one. That’s been all I was trying to contribute. I am not a LP sympathiser.

              • just saying

                It’s worth mentioning that the policy you provided is not Labour’s child-poverty policy, it’s their child policy. ( which may help explain why the middle class will probably benefit from it as much, or more than the poor). Labour doesn’t have a specific policy section regarding any kind of poverty.

                Further, it is the policy manifesto from the 2011 election. The party has already ruled out some of the content (such as GST off fruit and veg). It has not stated which of these policies will be offered at the next election.

                But I’m looking forward to learning of their poverty elimination policies for the 2014 election (and I’m a ‘she’ not a ‘he’).

      • just saying 4.2.2

        I should have commented on these policies one by one like this:

        Policy one – at some future unspecified date Labour will “phase-in” an extra $70-$80pw into the pockets of the poorest families in NZ…oooh.

        Policy two -great to have a committment to free health care for children under six yo – a positive step. What about kids over six, or their parents…?

        Policy three – paid parental leave does not benefit most of the poorest parents. The middle class on the other hand…..

        Policy four – sounds like something Bennet would advocate

        Policy five – ditto and as for alleviating poverty – show us the jobs

        Policy six – good, but hard to see more than a tenuous link with alleviating child poverty, but again, the middle class will be pleased.

        Policy seven – what a fucking disgrace

        • KJT

          Maybe Labour should pay Wayne Mapp to write their child policy.

          Child Poverty in New Zealand

          “Build 20,000 state houses over the next 3 years – the current numbers , either owned or rented by Housing NZ, would seem to be too low. One of the key issues is where they are built, since I suspect a lot of disadvantage is in places like rural Northland. But the goal is to look after the children, so I guess the houses need to be built where the people live.
          Free breakfasts/lunches in all Decile 1 to 5 schools.
          Free doctors visits up for all children up to age 12 (I realize this is not targeted, but some things should not be).
          Expand nurses in schools. I know this programme already exists but it is clearly not enough.
          I am sure there are other things that could be done like WOF for all rental properties, but those are my 4 big things. “

      • Flip 4.2.3

        My concern with party policies is that it often fails to explain how the policy would be achieved and what effect it would have. Eg Raising the minimum wage may just increase rents and not make people better off. I would like a comprehensive plan for the 3 years of government not just policy.

        • Sacha

          How could raising the minimum wage increase rents specifically?

        • Frank Macskasy

          @ Flip – “Eg Raising the minimum wage may just increase rents and not make people better off. ”

          Fair ’nuff.

          This can be addressed by your suggestion that we need “a comprehensive plan for the 3 years of government not just policy”.

          1. Build more state houses. A couple of thousand (minimum) per year.

          2. Build housing for low-income families who want to own their own, with a rent-to-buy option. Add in re-purchase safeguards for the State.

          3. Entrench in law so that National can’t screw around with these programmes whenever the middle-classes get spiteful and vote National in a hissy-fitr againt the poor.

          It is unbelievable that Rightwingers don’t realise that the “marketplace” has failed to deliver on this problem – and are still advocating that the “Market” is better than the State.

          The “Market” has had 30 years to sort this sh*t out, and is still failing.

          Enough’s enough.

          There are those on the right who bleat on “but where’s the money coming from”?!

          Oh, that’s easy. The same place the Nats find the cash to throw at Rio Tinto, Warner Bros, MediaWorks, Chorus, etc.

          Secondly, a implement a Capital Gains Tax.And I’m starting to lean toward Gareth Morgan’s suggestion of including the family home in this, if it’s sold within “X” years of purchase.

          Thirdly, reverse the 2009 and 2010 tax cuts for those earning over $90,000 (or thereabouts).

          The money is there. It’s only when the Right fritter it away in pointless tax-cuts (ie; election bribes) that governments find themselves short of revenue.(We’ve had six tax cuts since 1986 and we are not better off for it. In fact, we still earn less than our Aussie cuzzies; our standard of living is declining; and we have less and less State services – or pay more for what we do get.)

          Typical of this country that we have not learnt a single goddamn thing from the last 30 years…

    • Just Saying – you have a point. Labour needs to lift it’s game on this problem.

      The very first thing that Cunliffe should do – and which will cost nothing is to announce that as the newly elected Prime Minister, he will take on the portfolio of Minister for Children. (Which is better than the current useless bugger who is Minister for Tourism and spwends his holidays on a Hawaiian beach).

      The symbolism of the PM being Minister for children will be strong and from there a new government can look at,

      1. a full breakfast and lunch schools programme,

      2. a programme to build more State houses and a rent-to-buy for newly constructed homes for low-income earners,

      3.A buy-local government procurement policy to boost local manufacturing and create more jobs,

      4. Re-nationalise the powerco’s and implement Geoff Bertram’s programme to offer cheap electricity for New Zealanders (with an opt-out option for National/ACT supporters who don’t want cheap electricity)

      These steps are the beginning of the end of the failed neo-liberal experiment. We’ve tried Rogernomics fior thirty-plus years and it has failed to deliver (except for the top 10%).

      It’s time to return to a mixed-economy which looks after everyone, not just the rich.

  5. Chris 5

    For a bi-partisan approach to work you need both parties working to a common goal.

    It is not in a National Govt best interest to reduce poverty or in fact even attempt some kind of equality among the people.

  6. BM 6

    I’ve posted this link before, but I’ll post it again


    Fact: We as a country, do well out of oil exploration.

    • BM 6.1

      This comment was directed at Framu but he deleted his comment and this one ended up down here.

      [lprent: Drat. I forgot to put in the auto-cleanup routine for orphaned comments during the weekend. Runs on a cron every 15 minutes to correct this kind of issue. I’ll see if I can fetch the code from home next break to do that manually. ]

    • McFlock 6.2

      fact: we, as a country, can’t deal with a relatively small oil spill

    • Tracey 6.3


      The companies with the current exploration permits say IF they find viable oil (viable means they can make oodles of profit) it will be a minimum of ten years before they are producing. What age will the current children in poverty be by then, and what will they be doing to get food and shelter?

      You can consider oil a panacea all you like, but better to view it as a “bonus” if it ever happens, than rely on it as you seem to want to do.

      What happened to all that sold asset money that was going to pay down debt, go to schools and hospitals. can you fnd me the link for that distribution cos I can’t find it despite looking hard.

    • framu 6.4

      1) thats from the industry trying to do more drilling isnt it – so maybe take what they say with some very large grains of salt

      2) we could do a hell of a lot better – our royalties are some of the lowest in the world. A company can structure its subsidiaries to reduce its tax and royalty obligations. We carry most of the risk. etc etc etc. If something goes wrong – it going to be wrong in a big way, for us and not for the drilling co

      cmon BM – the downsides to this are very well documented and discussed – why do the very valid points about why its not that flash, what the risks are and what could be done to improve it have to keep being repeated?

      • Tracey 6.4.1

        and the blinkered view being sold and bought to the nation about mineral weath is holding us back from other areas we excel, including new techonology, medical research, advancement, inventiveness, creativity (design etc). It’s near sighted and what we need is far-sightedness.

        remember this Government in early 2009 seriously slashed R & D incentives to companies. Lunacy indeed.

      • BM 6.4.2

        So if we managed to get a better rate of return you’d be all in favor of oil drilling?

        Maybe that’s something Cunliffe can push at the next election, propose creating another state run enterprise for oil exploration with a snappy name such as Kiwi Oil.

        “Our oil,Our profits” would be a could catchphrase.

        Voter gold there.

        • framu

          not quite

          if we were persuing a plan similar to norway where we were building a local industry then i would favour SOME mineral exploration (ie: it depends on the type of mineral, the site, the plans we have to deal with disasters, how the money side stacks up and type of extraction methods)

          a case by case situation

          but at the moment we have a “come in and just take the shit” model driven by voodoo economics that sees zero value in building anything that benefits the country or its people. Notice how the current model looks only at a very narrow set of criteria for defining its worth?

          ““Our oil,Our profits” would be a could catchphrase. Voter gold there.”

          well yes – on that i can agree. Considering that sounds like a really good idea, and really really good PR – have you ever asked yourself just why the nats didnt do this in the first place? What does that tell you about their attitude and motivations?

          • framu

            edit didnt let me add “snarky communist dig aside” before discussing building local industry

            doesnt have to be state run – just needs to be NZ run

            • BM

              There are a few large hurdles to overcome though.

              1. Lack of expertise and equipment

              2 .Would the country be willing to spend quite a few billion at least just looking for oil, that big boat off the Naki coast looks really expensive.

              3 Have to be bi-partisan

              Unfortunately I don’t think it’s achievable within our current political setup

              • framu

                you do realise that step 1 is – “get companies with experience to come in and upskill and develop the industry” dont you ?

                all it takes is the legislation to have developing local industry as the goal and for the rules to steer things in this direction

                sure finding the oil is expensive – maybe the deal is anadarko does this bit for a % of profit down the line?

                its a business deal – theres nothing but ideology stopping the deal being structured differently

        • Tracey

          You are deliberately avoiding the question asked of you following your assertion that drilling for oil will divert money to needy children. Where is your proof?

          How are you feeling about the PM’s lates lie on drilling? Happy to let it slide (pun intended)? Cos every time he lies, people like oyu believe it, and regurgitate it, then the lie is discovered, and you let it slide, and moveon to regurgitate his next lie. This makes you a dupe BM.

          DUPE = one that is easily deceived or cheated : fool

          Fool BM once shame on John Key. Fool BM twice shame on BM.

          • Tracey

            dupe (dp, dyp)
            1. An easily deceived person.
            2. A person who functions as the tool of another person or power.

          • BM

            It’s not particularly difficult Tracey.

            If NZ.ltd make more money,

            1. we either pay less tax(more money in every ones pocket)
            2. Money raised is diverted into areas where it’s needed which could be more money for poor kids.

            • McFlock

              Here’s how National will do it (based on recent form):
              1: tax cuts for the rich (more money in their own pocket)
              2: send poor kids to gaol where they can be slave labour

            • Tracey

              Then how do explain the rise of child poverty since 1970, and yet NZ has become wealthier? You can’t because it threatens the meme you cling too which is, as usual, based on myths and lies from the right’s spin machine.

              No luck finding that link to how the asset sales has been spent between debt reduction, hospitals and schools?

        • Flip


          I’m not against oil exploration. However the cost of spill should be more than completely covered by the exploratory company. No excuses. Even if they go broke paying to restore the environment to better than before by way of apology. Even if it the only thing they can do for the next 50 years. They should not be drilling unless they’ve got a cast iron guarantee.

          2. The profits must be used to create a sustainable future. Not dig for more oil. The link BM provided mentioned a decrease in oil and gas production as it was being tapped out. How has the resources gained from this production been used to develop a sustainable future?

          3. It mentions the benefit provided to the construction of oil and gas facilities going to NZ companies. Great until the construction runs out. Same with Movies. Fantastic until they finish. Then what. Those are temporary benefits. Why are they not building long term benefits?

          Exploiting natural resources may provide some jobs temporarily and alleviate some poverty if they can get some of the jobs. I doubt the people in poverty are the ones who’ll get the jobs though. We need long term job creation. THink beyond the horizon of the next election.

    • @ BM – Fact: as a country we cannot handle a deep water oil spill/blow-out.

      Anadarko’s own spokesperson, Alan Seay was honest enough to admit that on Radio NZ on 23 October when he said,

      “Well, you know, there are so many what-ifs involved in that, but you’ll have seen estimates of up to 14 days, or, yes, two weeks to bring say a capping stack into New Zealand and get that into place. So there’s a great deal of equipment that’s available in specialised locations…” (See: http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2013/12/08/key-will-he-put-his-55m-where-his-oily-mouth-is/)

      And don’t talk to me about “risks”. There is a big difference between drilling and being able to handle a problem- and drilling deeper and ending up with an unmanageable crisis. If you want to play Russian Roulette with your own head, that’s your call. But not with our country and what remains of our much-sullied “clean and green” image.

      Because I’ll betcha anything that if something goes wrong with Anadarko or some other deep water drilling site – not one National MP or National Party supporter will take responsibility for it.

      As Murray Smith commented after my blogpost on ‘The Daily Blog’,

      “It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong.” – Thomas Sowell

  7. Woodpecker 7

    Goff put this to Key during the (sit-down ?) debates. Key thumbed his nose at the idea.

  8. bad12 8

    Thanks Tracey at comment (4.2), for the revelation of Labour’s policy surrounding ‘child poverty’, this blows a refreshing gust of fresh air into the debate,

    Depending upon the urgency with which Labour view and implement the policy as out-lined the ‘fix’, or a major part of such a ‘fix’ lies within such a policy agenda,

    Obviously, as a Green Party member i will be urging the Party to support and ‘push’ Labour if necessary on the full implementation of the policy as outlined with urgency,

    Housing is of course the other paramount issue to consider in the poverty equation and HOW a situation of those at the adjudged level of ‘poverty’ can be best moved into a position where they ALL pay as rent no more than 25% of household income per week is in conjunction with the Labour policy as quoted in comment (4.2), the real question,

    The Christchurch East Green Party candidate advocating from among the ruins of that City with a severe housing shortage suggests ‘pre-built’ studio accomodation sited in a ‘holiday park’ type situation as an answer and to a certain extent i agree,

    If sited upon land already owned by the Crown such accommodation,(i would suggest 1 bedroom units as apposed to ‘studio’s),is extremely cost effective when built in factories and trucked to pre-prepared sites,

    Such ‘holiday park’ type accommodation i would suggest need be restricted to single people or those without children thus the States housing stock,(a 2 bedroom one of which i occupy as a single person), can be freed up for those with children…

    • Tracey 8.1

      Maori Party, Mana Party, Greens, Labour and even UF and Conservatives, if eithe rin parliament, and NZFirst, would surely find enough common ground to go a long way to formulating an action plan, with timeline targets for implementation. Even national if in Opposition would surely be prepared to be involved?

      • bad12 8.1.1

        From memory the cost to include beneficiary reliant families in the Working for Families tax scheme,(which might need a new name), was said to be 500 million dollars annually,

        In the great scheme of Government revenue and spending,(60 odd billion a year), this isn’t a huge amount of money which would go a long way to eliminating child poverty among beneficiaries,

        Addressing such when considering the situation of the ‘working poor’ tho becomes a harder ask and much of the answer i would suggest lies within ‘cost’ especially for those who have employment and are thus in the main shut out of qualifying for State Housing by that very fact alone,

        The most efficient use of resources surrounding housing is for the State to build ‘single accommodation’ of such a mass that the current State housing stock becomes the sole preserve of those who have children,

        Having warmed to the Green Party Christchurch East candidates idea of building ‘holiday park’ type accommodation for single people i can see how such cost effective home provision over a 5 year period could alter the housing ‘outcomes’ for any number of those reliant upon low wages who are currently not even afforded a position on the waiting list for State Housing…

        • Colonial Viper

          The RBNZ jut noted that household wealth increased by $5B in the last quarter alone; my bet is most of that went to the top 20% of households.

          In this context, struggling to get $500M is a joke and shows a lack of priority, focus or methodology.

          Income tax free zone for the first $7500K is an easy way ahead.

          • Tracey

            BM seems to think it would have gone to needy children, if we made more money as a nation, yet John Key has kept VERY quiet about it.

            • fender

              Heard Key on RNZ news bulletin at 3pm saying that continuing with home insulation and WFF programs were helping eradicate poverty. He forgot to mention many children suffering from poverty came from families who don’t even qualify for WFF because their parents are unemployed.

              • Tracey

                he also forgets that insulation was Green policy and WFF was labour’s. Or in his words “communism by stealth.” To summarise his two successes are green/labour policies

                • Rogue Trooper

                  That’s very good Tracey. 😀

                • Sacha

                  Russell Wills is right to point out that tackling child povery has to be a cross-party effort. Doesn’t really matter who comes up with the good ideas so long as they are carried through long enough to make a difference.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Child poverty is a direct result of the neoliberalisation of society. The political economics related to it are not going away. And expect poverty in general to spread, not decline, while the top 5% do ever better.

                    • Yes I agree and I worry also that the middle tacitly accept it as part of the society we have created.

                    • Rogue Trooper

                      they are bending over till the expansion pains them marty

                    • Colonial Viper


                      look at the US…professional middle managers and even mid level bankers are being spat out and shat on. Their type ignored the plight of the blue collar working class in the 80’s and 90’s. Now the top 2% is quite willing to sacrifice the top 20% to stay ahead. Capitalism without constraints knows only one word: MORE.

                      Kamma is a bitch.

                  • @ Sacha – “Russell Wills is right to point out that tackling child povery has to be a cross-party effort. ”

                    That would be nice.

                    But for National to intervene (as it has done for Warner Bros, Rio Tinto, China Southern Airlines, SkyCity, et al) would be an admission that their free market ideology has failed and State intervention is required. They would be out of government for the next ten years minimum.

                    They can’t afford that. So they’ll fight this tooth and nail.

    • Tracey 8.2

      Similar to those ones they set up after the earthquake? As long as they are weathertight and well insulated .


      • bad12 8.2.1

        Exactly Tracey, thanks for the link, these are modern pre-fabbed homes and hardly ‘mean hovels’, i am not sure if these are the particular units but some put in place down in Christchurch were being put ‘on site’ for a cost of around 100,000 dollars and if sited on land the government already owns would make ‘housing’ ridiculously cheap in comparison with ‘market prices’…

          • bad12

            Excellent link thanks KJT, this points out that even at the level of the family sized 3 bedroom home such a provision can be produced for just over 100 grand per house,

            There are 1000’s of HousingNZ properties if not 10’s of 1000’s,(including the one i occupy), where the land area is far greater than the tenants ‘need’,(even with an extensive garden mine still has a no-man’s zone which i simply cannot manage),

            The next Labour/ Green government need identify all such areas of housing, the beauty of which is that the State already owns the land and the ‘services’ to the sections are already in place, and simply trans-plant housing of the type shown in the link provided by KJT onto these sections,

            Thus the ‘real’ cost of housing a family in a State House is truly and provably not more than 100,000 dollars…

            • KJT

              Of course it is up to 40 odd thousand more to put it on a section, but these are basically one off houses. They can be made cheaper, or better for the same price.

              Then there is the “village green” style of land use, rather than separate sections.

  9. Michael Gibson 9

    Labour’s hands are far from clean on this issue. It deliberately excluded people unable to obtain paid employment, including those too sick and disabled to do so, from its Working For Families policy. It spent huge $$$ trying to stop CPAG’s challenge to the human rights violations of WFF. It enacted the first of several repressive changes to our welfare legislation (under the Orwellian “Future Focus” label). It refused to restore core welfare benefits to the level before the Nats’ “temporary” cuts in 1991. It condoned WINZ’s unlawful applications of the law regarding special benefit and domestic violence. Now, in opposition, it cries a few crocodile tears and expects people to forget its duplicity, while waffling vaguely about reforms. Many of us will never forget; neither will we forgive, until we see real action from Labour on child poverty.

  10. Rogue Trooper 10

    One Quarter of all children in New Zealand living in relative poverty. Many of these children are from families where the income is from low, employment , wages. Up North, the figure of children in relative poverty is closer to 60% (Midday Report).

    Key’s solution? – work, yep, work! The general consensus across the longitudinal research into the ‘poverty cycle’ / developmental trap is that education is the most effective long-term remedy, with more immediate symptoms managed by income transfers.

    Absolutely disgusting, and very sad!

  11. What are the chances of a bipartisan approach being agreed to?

    Well, you’d think it would be a doddle. After all, the main reason there’ve been more poor kids under National than under Labour was the GFC, which wasn’t down to either party, so they’re both running poverty at similar rates. Both of them favour tweaking things around the edges instead of doing anything to address the actual problems (those being first, policies that promote low wages, and second, the funding of a waster breeding programme), so there ought to be no difficulty involved in them working together on the tweaking. Russell Wills would probably be greatly disappointed by the results, but it would be a bipartisan approach.

    Realistically speaking though, this is about as likely as different religious sects agreeing to a bipartisan approach – the fact there’s little difference between them just isn’t apparent to them.

    • KJT 11.1

      Yes, we should stop rich parents from breeding, their kids grow up to use far to much resources, without doing anything to earn them..

  12. Matthew 12

    The only poverty in New Zealand is self-induced poverty

    Next debate please

    • ghostrider888 12.1

      and I had just been thinking Judith Collins tweets were the most ignorant thoughts I’d read lately.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 12.2

      That’s right, children choose to live in damp houses, and the poor caused the GFC.

      And there we have it: an example of the low-life narrow diseased hatred that passes for Conservatism these days.

      Churchill would have declared war on this lot.

      • adam 12.2.1

        What drugs are you on Matthew? I ask, because I hope the delusion is not of your making. Because if it is – please never vote and don’t operate heavy machinery, nor drive a car. Your a danger to yourself and those around – get help. Try citizens advice, try a doctor, try anything – I know being human and an adult is hard – but with a bit of effort you may just succeed.

    • framu 12.3

      what debate – first you need to have an argument

      you havent debated shit

    • mickysavage 12.4

      Yep there are literally thousands of five year olds who are under financial stress because they will not get off their lazy arses and get jobs as chimney sweeps or shoe shine kids …

    • Colonial Viper 12.5

      The only poverty in New Zealand is self-induced poverty

      The only right wing arseholes in NZ are self induced right wing arseholes.

    • @ Matthew – “The only poverty in New Zealand is self-induced poverty”

      Yes, of course, Matthew. Because 95,000 New Zealanders voluntarily chucked in their jobs after 2008, to live the Life of Reilly on the dole ($196 a week, net)…

      Thank you for reaffirming the reason why I changed my politics as I grew up.

  13. Bill 13

    The evidence, quite clear from the past 30 years, is that there has been and continues to be a ‘bi-partisan’ approach taken towards the living and life conditions of children. Both main parties have exulted the market and forced us and our children down on increasingly threadbare knees to scramble for tawdry temple trinkets cast aside by the ‘masters of the universe’ and the economic priesthood…(cheap imported goods, second rate and deteriorating health care, ever restricting access to ‘common’ material expectations – ie,housing, healthy food etc)

    What we actually need is for consensus to be broken.

  14. Rogue Trooper 14


  15. greywarbler 15

    Right on Bill.

  16. unsol 16

    Let’s be clear here: no one political ideology has the monopoly on caring for our children as we all want the same thing; we all want our children to be loved, fed, clothed, properly housed & kept safe. The problem is that left vs right cannot agree on how to do this. In the meantime and regardless of how much welfare is spent more children are going hungry; we spend more in welfare than we ever have yet the number of children in poverty has increased so clearly more welfare is not working. The research is quite clear – most people are not poor in NZ by accident, it is by choice & some very bad ones at that. Starting with having children that they simply cannot afford to buying a house based on 2 parent incomes/best case scenario then screaming poverty when one person loses their job. Welfare is meant to be a safety net, not a way of life. That said we do have some serious social ills that are being ignored.

    So the only way we will ever see a bipartisan approach to a systemic problem that has been exacerbated over many decades of poor social policy is if everyone agrees on the major issues which would include the following:

    1)We have a serious child poverty problem which is NOT always a family poverty problem.

    2) Money does not solve all money problems

    3) 51% of children in poverty come from single parent families

    4) Just because you are poor it does not mean you can’t keep a clean house or can make your children sleep on a urine stained mattress on the floor

    5) Just because you are poor it does not mean you can only afford to give your children red soup……that is, the leftover boiled water from saveloys.

    6) Maori teens are 5 times more likely to get pregnant & subsequently go on the DPB than non Maori

    7) Pacific Island families struggle to marry financial practicalities with extremely strong cultural & religious beliefs – tithing, sending money overseas to family etc…all of which can land them in serious financial hardship & make them easy prey for loan sharks

    8) Maori are more likely to go on the benefit than non Maori

    9) Maori & Pacific Island are more likely to have drug & alcohol problems

    10) The government can only set policy, it cannot make people do the right thing because it is the right thing to do; personal responsibility in terms of choosing to get pregnant when you cannot afford it must come into discussions.

    11) Wages are not always fair – if you are a cleaner or working on a conveyor belt in a factory then yes you deserve minimum wage as it requires minimal skills & IQ so if you are on the minimum wage then it is reasonable to expect that you accept you can only do the minimum things; this precludes having multiple children. However, if you are a rest home caregiver then you deserve to be paid the salary of the average nurse & should be able to have the lifestyle that wage affords. Again still cutting your cloth to suit.

    12) We have a serious issue with small towns/factories closing & people left stranded with no jobs, no prospects. This isn’t the current government’s fault, it has been happening for decades & nothing has been done. Now cities have become hugely unaffordable to live in so even if the people from small towns could get jobs in the city, they couldn’t afford to live there. Hell, 99% of New Zealanders can’t afford to live in Auckland.

    13) Being poor does not mean you can abuse your child. It does not mean you can send your child to school with no breakfast, it does not mean you can leave your child to their own devices in the school holidays or leave your child in the care of minor while you supposedly work long hours & allow that minor to torture your child including putting them in a drier. There is enough welfare paid for the bare basics. Show me a person who supposedly can’t put food on their table & I will show you a fat person who does not know what good food is & who does not know how to budget. The children might be malnourished but the adults rarely are.

    The problem is we all know no one will ever agree on anything & in the meantime the number of children being abused, neglected & maltreated will continue to grow

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 16.1

      Another self-serving plagiarised list full of meaningless drivel, bias and thinly veiled racist hatred. The only response the right ever has. Personally I think you’ve realised that saying “I’m alright Jack” doesn’t win votes.

      But I have a question: do you believe that shite because you sucked it up from some right wing liar like a cretinous sponge, or do you know it’s all bullshit and continue to dribble it anyway?

      Newsflash, Einstein, we don’t agree with you because you can’t abide facts.

      • unsol 16.1.1

        I am clearly Einstein because I can discern racism from facts.

        I suggest you learn to do the same & familiarise yourself with OECD, Stats NZ, MSD Social Reports & all the other many many many research documents that quantify the above statements.

        Burying your head in the sand makes you part of the problem not the solution so the question is, do you really care about the wellbeing of NZ children, enough to make the tough decisions, or is it that you just want to score political points & have the ignorant masses who wouldn’t know common stats if they bit them on the backside, pat you on your back so you feel right?

        If the former I suggest you re-read my comment carefully & go & dig up the research for yourself. I have given you tips, the rest is up to you & your willingness to truly understand this problem.

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead

          I suggest you get it into your little head that I reject every single one of your bullshit assertions, Unsol. You’re parroting lies you believe, which is all you wingnuts ever do, repetitive, vacuous fact-free drivel, and that makes you a credulous idiot, and the person who lied to you a scumbag.

          You’ve got nothing to support your crap but cherries picked from research that says the opposite of the lies you chant.

          Lower down the thread, you demonstrate your illiteracy by confusing understanding with excuses. Get some English lessons, fool.

          I don’t respect your ignorance and stupidity, they’re cancers on this country. You want a Tea-Party? Fuck off to the USA.

          • Murray Olsen

            Well said, OAK. I think unsol should move to Texas, where murders are never solved because all genetic material is identical and there are no dental records. It’d fit right in.

        • Frank Macskasy

          Unsol, did 95,000 fellow New Zealanders chuck in their jobs in one vast bout of mass hysteria to exist on $196 a week (net)?!

          Of course not. That is an insane proposition and right wingers won’t come out and stay it straight out. Instead they dishonestly and deceptively refer to “making bad lifestyle choices”.

          Because the 2008 GFC was a “bad lifestyle choice”.

    • Rogue Trooper 16.2

      hmmm, seems to say more about you prejudices than the structural issues achshully identified by the research that is quite clear – .
      Was the Trademe site or WOBH down?

      • unsol 16.2.1

        Nice one. Ironically I would get the same response from many commentators on Whale Oil as many believe in a hard line/it is ALL about choice with no heart to offer any help. Some have plenty to say regarding cooking up a good feed on low income including recipes which no one seems interested in say, getting sponsorship for & hanging out with a bunch of seeds & basic gardening tools so people can start their own vege gardens. Everyone seems to pass the buck to the other side & in the meantime more children are being maltreated.

        There is no silver bullet for this very complex issue, but in order to move forward everyone has to accept that it is a combination of many things including first & foremost people assuming a sense of entitlement that this country cannot afford – 10% of New Zealanders (which does not include the rich I might add) pay over 76% of the taxes collected & benefits paid. The nett taxpayer – that is those who pay enough in taxes in their working life to cover their cost on society & pay the taxes that benefit the masses whilst getting nothing back, already pays more than their fair share.

        Who says you or anyone can have a child that is then supported by the State? Who told you it is OK to bring a child into this world & not expect to bring them up on your own merit – whether benefit or working for families? Who said it was OK for you to then go & have more children when you clearly couldn’t afford the first one?

        There is a difference between having a Welfare State that is a safety net rather than a way of life. For many, it is the latter – including all you middle income people on Working for Families.

        But before you come back frothing at the mouth this is where the other issues come into play – the average person simply cannot afford to do the average things – get married, buy a house have 2.5 kids, support a spouse at home for say the first 5 years. This is so WRONG on so many levels. It is simply not fair. The cost of living skyrocketed between 1999-2008 yet ALL taxes remained far too high & the cost of housing went through the roof. It was criminal to be paying 33c on every dollar earned over a mere $38k. Absolute daylight robbery & it set us up for the crisis we are in now – real wages have not kept up with the real cost of living & no one can afford the average house on the average wage.

        Our country is broken from decades of poor policy – lack of foresight as each governments seeks to establish their own mark rather than look at what is best for the entire country in the long term.

        DPB is fantastic – it was introduced as a way out for women who had no means of supporting themselves as at the time women were not allowed to get divorced, let alone work outside the home.

        But for many young people it is just something you do – get pregnant, leave school & go on the Sickness Benefit then the DPB.

        We need to not only look at what is a fair wage for a fair days work, but look at what should the average person be able to afford as well as look at how we can inspire our young people to want more than a benefit with 5 kids…..along with housing affordability (remember the boom happened during Labour’s tenure).

        This is where the government has made some steps in the right direction from the payment card to expecting mothers of children who are 5 & older to go & look for work.

        • Rogue Trooper

          unsol : I appreciate you returning with a more moderate contention.
          Please research a little regarding entitlement theory if you are inclined to do so.
          Yes, middle -income families receiving WFF is a distortion.
          Yes, our country is broken; I have been observing it deteriorate, closely, for nearly two years. One does not have to be ‘fashionable’ to observe trends. Welcome to The Standard.

        • lprent

          10% of New Zealanders (which does not include the rich I might add) pay over 76% of the taxes collected & benefits paid. The nett taxpayer – that is those who pay enough in taxes in their working life to cover their cost on society & pay the taxes that benefit the masses whilst getting nothing back, already pays more than their fair share.

          Hey stupid. Those are just income taxes. You are missing out most of the tax burden.

          For instance in October 2013, the total nett tax take from PAYE and fringe benefit tax was a tad over 2.07 billion dollars. The total tax take from indirect taxes which are largely carried by consumers was 2.36 billion dollars.

          Now I suspect that even a numerically challenged munter like yourself can figure out that 2.3 billion dollars is more than 2 billion dollars.

          Since the poorer families pay far more as a percentage of their income for fixed costs like food, petrol, cars, etc and there are a more than 90% of the households earning less than 150k. Then they are also paying most of the indirect taxes. They can also least afford this kind of tax burden.

          And I haven’t even gotten on to the local taxes which also fall almost entirely on the poorer households through ownership or rent

          Basically you are a fool who is too stupid to think things through.

        • framu

          you identifing the problem but looking in the wrong direction for the causes

          Its not poor people who are the problem, they are the syptom

    • McFlock 16.3

      My, what a long (though itemised) rant that was. Please, allow me to retort:

      1) but it almost always is
      2) it’s a heck of a treatment, though
      3) because we treat single-parent families like shit, but it’s still better than a two-parent dysfunctional relationship
      4) it does if you can’t afford a new mattress and the kid wet the bed
      5) it can do, if your kids ate the saveloys yesterday.
      6) good for them. They also tend to have wider whanau support.
      7) they also have lower incomes than europeans, even if they earn more than their relatives in the islands.
      8) could that be because non-maori are less likely to be born in areas of >50% unemployment?
      9) see 8, include non-Pacific
      10) so should we punish the children by refusing to give mothers money, or should we just take the children away from the mothers at birth, or should we legislate forced abortions?
      11) what if you lose your secure job and end up in a minimum wage position – should the state remove your kids to suit your income?
      12) this is the current paradigm’s fault – the thought that we need to let work-shops fail is shared by both main camps, but is wrong.

      13) no, but it means you are under more stress. It might mean that you have to, it might mean you have to, or it might mean you really do (not “supposedly”) have to, you might not have seen any other option. No there isn’t. The only thing you can show us is bullshit that miraculously came out of your own arse. That’s utter crap but congratulations for looking up the word “rarely” in a dictionary.

      The problem is that people like you are morons who obviously have no idea about the poverty that exists in this country and therefore demonstrate that we do not live in a meritocracy. Because if we did live in a meritocracy, fuckwits like you would be the ones whose kids were without food.

      • Rogue Trooper 16.3.1

        he he 😀

      • marty mars 16.3.2

        + 1 and to OAK and RT too. Fuckwits like soiled undies above must be washed with the heavy cycle imo. They don’t get it and won’t get it simply because their dim brain’s refuse to get it – it’s too hard to think, much easier to spout rubbish and pretend to care – meanwhile poverty continues, just like it’s supposed to under the ethos of the society we live in.

      • unsol 16.3.3

        In other words you have no solutions, only excuses & just expect the 10% who pay for 90% of everything to pay even more?

        Passing the buck as produced nothing other than more children not being cared for.


        • karol

          just expect the 10% who pay for 90% of everything

          Citation needed.

          • unsol

            It was an exaggerated response to the silly replies to me.

            See http://www.treasury.govt.nz/publications/research-policy/wp/2013/13-13/13.htm where earlier this year Treasury (based on the Household Economic Survey or HES) estimated households earning $150,000 + p/a (so roughly the top 11 or maybe 12% of households) would pay something like 45% of the income tax & that this translated into about 75% when you take into account welfare including benefits, WFF, PPL etc (NZ Super excluded).

            True contributions is income tax paid LESS any benefits & assistance received from the State & based on the most recent stats published by Treasury (don’t have link, but I am sure if you go to their website you will see it) this means only 12% are actually nett taxpayers.

            • KJT

              Like most right wingers you, deliberately or stupidly, forgot to include GST, petrol and other taxes in your calculations. Taxes which are paid disproportionately by those who have to spend all their income. The poor.

              Incidentally 70% of the tax is paid by the middle/ upper middle cohort of income earners. So even your income tax stats are misleading.

              • framu

                they also havent bothered to include % of earnings when mentioning % of tax

                I mean if the top 10% earn 90% of the income but pay 75% of the tax whats the problem aye?

            • lprent

              Unsol. You do realise that income tax is only something like 40% of the taxes raised by the government? That taxes like GST and the other sales and excise taxes, plus rates fall disproportionally on poorer households. Then we come into the other costs like taxes levied by schools, health, etc etc. It isn’t uncommon for a household on a below median household income to pay more than 40% of the total income in taxes and still not to be entitled for any significant welfare because they earn too much?

              Whereas if we take the people in the income brackets you’re talking of are unlikely to be paying anywhere near that percentage in tax.

              In other words, you are talking compete crap. Probably because you lack the intelligence to look up and read the figures that don’t suit your particular brand of simple-minded stupidity.

        • McFlock

          In other words that bear no relationship to anything that was actually written you have[…]

          Fixed it for you. Because in a community, we help each other even if the misfortune they suffer are mistakes caused by their own stupidity.

          • unsol

            Fixing a minor grammatical error is hardly indicative of an intelligent response; sidestepping the issues to focus on being petty merely undermines the plight of the children you claim to care about.

            • McFlock


              The fact is that money, by definition, solves poverty. Lowering inequality involves more people in society and lowers the alienated few who are on benefits in the long term.

              In your 13 points that were supposed to somehow be relevant to children living in poverty, you focussed on ethnicity rather than the economic deprivation of the parents. That is why you will never see a “bipartisan approach” if you are one of the parties.

              Let’s say someone knows what their income will be for the next 18 years and is still in the category of “choosing to get pregnant when you cannot afford it”. What would you do about it?

        • Puddleglum

          Hi unsol, what is your theory of what determines the choices of individual persons? Also, what is your theory (or ‘definition’) of when a choice can be said to have been made?

          I hope you don’t believe that choices arise magically out of moral fibre that, presumably, one also chooses to have?

          Without a theory of what constitutes having made a choice and a theory of what determines the particular choice made, your prescription to solve the problem of child poverty is vacuous and will be entirely ineffective. Though it will generate yet more suffering, I imagine.

          • Rogue Trooper

            These folk have no interest in social construction, just self construction. What else can be said, that has not already been written. Yet, contributions such as yours bring many other folk to peruse The Standard. Regardless, every contribution this dying aspect of the the race offers, shall not be burnt on the altar of time, it will remain and our descendants shall chuckle and despair as we do presently.

            Edit: I shall only say this ONE TIME ; for you RW eejits, there are people contributing to The Standard who would piss all over you in RL, if not for their humility and moderation. Yet, you carry on, sh*tting in your descendants nest. And you suggest the ‘hard left’ are fools? We’ll see.

        • Frank Macskasy

          Unsol – “In other words you have no solutions, only excuses & just expect the 10% who pay for 90% of everything to pay even more?”

          If they pay for “90% of everything “, that implies they earn/own “90% of everything “.

          Would you care to re-phrase that mind-numbingly stupid assertion?

    • adam 16.4

      I love ideological types who call for us to set aside ideology. That is called a failure of logic and reason, indeed a little bit of self reflection will clear that up. And your racism unsol, my goodness because Nelson died, doesn’t mean you can come out with any old racist shit – personally I’m tired of the same old lies spun, upon spun, upon spun. Indeed your hate speech has got out of hand – you hate P.I’s, you hate Maori, you hate fat people and most of all you hate anyone who ends up on a benefit.

      Your really in la la land to think the left want a dolist society. What do most people ask for here – have you read what they have said or are you blinded by self-righteousness? They want jobs, they want the right to work for an honest days pay. But no – you come in and have a f&^king go because you can’t read, don’t want to read, or on a buzz of vainglorious righteous. Guess what, were in trouble because of people like you – people like you! Get it, you forgot to grow up, your so self absorbed you can’t feel empathy – well guess what? If you don’t want to live in a society that cares, you can leave. Go to North Korea (they love bigots and self absorbed types there) , go to the USA, or even bugger off to Iraq, you have choices. Take your racist hateful shit elsewhere, I’m sure I hear some banjos playing your tune.

      • unsol 16.4.1

        Stating facts is not racist; burying your head in the sand makes you part of the problem, not the solutions.

        And ranting just isn’t helpful.

        Refusing to address different points of views isn’t helpful either.

        Have a think about what it is you find so objectionable in my comment then go back & look our political history & the statistics pertaining to the above for the past 15 years then see if you can make the same comment with a straight face.

        • adam

          What the… You do know what being called a racist means ah? Hiding behind so called facts don’t stop you from being a racist. Indeed ,the most wax lyrical defenders of communism I have ever read, were the plantation owners of the deep south – a set of track supplied by my old lecture Professor Spoonly at Massey University. To argue facts and supply no evidence except self evidence is at best self delusional and at worst arrogance of KKK proportions.

          So your happy to go back 15 years, how about 45, how about 155. Zero Maori unemployment, Maori own their own land, Maori control their own communities. OK, we got the “hell hole in the south pacific” but that up north and it’s only one town. Oh wait that is a town for the entertainment of Europeans. (Try reading Anne Salmond she is a great place to start)

          45 years ago, Maori begin a renaissance – the realisation that colonialism has not be the best for there people it has been destructive, demeaning and has undermined the culture. Maori in full employment, most manual jobs, more women than men.

          15 years ago, after lip service being paid to Maori and a so called Bi-cultural society. Maori are caring the brunt of the so called economic liberalisation – many traditional jobs with large Maori workforce have been destroyed, or the work out sourced. The economy is geared for consumption – individualism becomes paramount. Both things which run against the grain, of Maori culture. ( Ranginui Walker – read any of his books try starting with http://www.penguin.co.nz/products/9780143019459/struggle-without-end ) Along side this is the need for higher education to secure even mundane jobs, fear of student loans mean Maori fall behind again. (Here read anything by Mason Durie – he good on the education stuff)

          Hell when red necks like you replace truth with propaganda I stand between the candle and the light.

    • @ Unsol “Money does not solve all money problems”


      So you won’t mind a new Labour led government reversing the 2009 and 2010 for the top 10%? After all more money through tax cuts “does not solve all money problems”.


      And by the way, I’ll give you my bank account, Unsol. Feel free to deposit half your income into it, each week.

      Evidently, you won’t be needing it.

  17. tricledrown 17

    unsol should be in gaol with titford.

  18. Macro 18

    ” no one political ideology has the monopoly on caring for our children”

    And that’s your error right there…..

    Let’s be clear about this: the outcomes of the neo-liberal ideology pursued by both Labour and National and urged on to extreme by Act, over the past 3 decades have resulted in a Nation that once had a proud tradition of a fair deal for all, now with a society of at least 3 classes.
    When I grew up in the 40’s and 50’s my father was a factory worker, earning enough to support a family on a 40 hour week. My best friends were the sons of what would now be the CEO of the Wellington DHB, and the local doctor. I was the only one of the 3 to attend university, with my fees paid and an allowance to boot. Today I challenge you to find a similar group of young friends, The child of the CEO will be at some private school with the son of the Doctor, while the child of the factory worker (if there are any left as we have exported all of these jobs to China and India) would be be at a struggling state school in the poorer suburbs.

    In NZ now we have:

    a. those who have – and want more,

    b. those who had – and are now beginning to wonder where it all went

    c. those who have not – and have no hope of ever having.

    This is the clear result of a particular political ideology that has been the unfortunate NZ experiment over the past 3 decades. Regrettably there are many in our society who know no other way either because they are young and have never experienced NZ as it was, or have been brainwashed into thinking that this insanity we call an economy is “the way, the truth, and the life”.
    It is not, and it has lead to the exportation of jobs, the loss of economic capacity within the country, a degradation of the environment, and a devastating decrease in equality.

  19. Colonial Viper 19

    So this is a problem. What are the concrete proposals that us on the Left are going to raise public support for, in order to pressure the politicians to put them through?

    • Ian 19.1

      I employ people from overseas because I have had a bad run with Kiwis over the years,and don’t employ any now. .I was talking to a young guy about his childhood,upbringing,expectations and his dreams last week as we worked side by side. His background IS poverty on a scale that doesn’t exist in NZ. He does not drink alcohol,does not do drugs,has no car,or Sky TV. His salary supports his parents ,3 younger siblings ,and probably half the village. No free health care or more than the most basic education. You guys can crucify me but,in my opinion welfare in NZ has created a monster that has destroyed any sense of self reliance and a lifestyle choice for the ignorant. Poverty is relative and in NZ apart from the abused and mentally ill ,is often a life style choice.

      • McFlock 19.1.1

        yep, people would be better off if a third of them died before the age of 7. /sarc

      • karol 19.1.2

        Sounds like the NZ I grew up in, during the 50s.

        Maybe we should just get rid of Sky, personal cars and loads of other unnecessary consumer items, and then the whole population could get involved in working to produce, maintain and distribute all that’s necessary for everyone to live a decent life?

        His salary supports his parents ,3 younger siblings ,and probably half the village. No free health care or more than the most basic education.

        You sure he supports half the village? I’d be interested to know how the rest of the impoverished population is getting on back where he comes from?

      • Colonial Viper 19.1.3

        Hey Ian. You run your business easier with desperately poor people, is that right? And you make bigger profits using foreign labour than NZ workers, so I understand you correctly?

        That’s quite some “lifestyle choice” that you’re working with yourself.

        • Ian

          They are not desperately poor. They are great people with no major vices . I pay them the same as I would pay a similar Kiwi if I could find them.

          • Colonial Viper

            Sad that you’ve given up on your fellow countrymen. And you’ve given up on paying wages that a NZer would bother with. A few more business “leaders” like you and we can give up on the country.

            BTW do you arrange immigration affairs for these workers and their families, just asking.

            • Ian

              I’m sorry but you have missed something. I pay our guys very well,provide very good accommodation and they are part of our family. We go to church together,party together,play sport together. We don’t like angry dogs noisy fast cars,drugs,violence or dishonesty. We don’t like communists because they kill people.We assist our guys with their dealings with immigration NZ.

              • Arfamo

                I don’t like republicans and democrats because they kill people. Usually in other countries. I don’t like religious people because they kill people, often in their own countries. And I don’t like dishonesty from people who say ignorant things like “communists kill people”. Get back to the 17th Century where you belong.

              • Colonial Viper

                250,000 unemployed or under employed Kiwis in NZ and you can’t find any to work for you, despite paying “very well.”

                Go fuck off.

                • Ian

                  Thats not very nice. I would not employ you because your attitude sucks ,to be honest . you sound like the standard dropkick,lowlife we were forced to endure before being saved by our brothers from overseas.

              • KJT

                If you really do all that, and I suspect you don’t or you would have found good New Zealand employees, I can find you a dozen hard working and keen Kiwi kids.

                I have them ringing me up every few weeks. Often offering to work for nothing, just to get an apprenticeship, and a foot in the door.

              • Rogue Trooper

                Capitalists kill people FTFY (in far greater numbers than even Stalin did). Carry on…

              • Molly

                Perhaps your issue really is intolerance. You seem to require workers that live the same lifestyle as you “… church together, party together, play sport together….”

                I suggest that you are find NZ workers that you have a “bad run with”, because along with your role as employer you envision fulfilling a paternalistic mentor role. One that many self-determined people would have a problem with.

                An overseas worker – however – would find it very reassuring.

              • KJT

                You must find it sticks in the craw that the New Zealand economy is recovering, in part, due to “communists” buying our milk.

                I’ve heard this before, often from a couple of relatives with farms.
                When you break down the hours they expect, the accommodation they offer (At a high price) and the subservience and butt licking they want from their workers and the fact that workers are expected to work 7 days a week, something like 0400 to 1800, in the boondocks, the, generous pay, turns out to be less than minimum hourly wage.
                I’ve seen young people come back after months on one of these jobs with no money at all to show for it, despite having no shops within miles for the whole time.

                Farmers compare, what they pay their workers, to their own taxable income, forgetting that they have a standard of living comparable to a PAYE tax payer on a couple of hundred thou a year. Not to mention the multi-million untaxed retirement fund when they sell the farm.

                I am the first to admit that some farmers are excellent employers, but a great many are not.

                Not surprising any Kiwi’s with good work skills and attitude are looking for a job elsewhere.

                • bad12

                  What these farmers are so enamored of as far as ‘foreign labour’ is concerned is that they get to ‘use’ the workers for the ‘season’ and then give them the heave ho,

                  This is the reason they do not ‘like’ kiwi workers who want steady full time work, how the hell do such farmers expect to attract a decent work-force from inside New Zealand when the expectation is that they will work part of the year and then move themselves and any family elsewhere at the end of the season,

                  The beauty of ‘foreign workers’ to these people is that they are simply ‘gone’ once their use for any particular year has been exhausted…

        • greywarbler

          This employer is just saying it how he finds it. His workers are in that situation when you have come from very little every move upwards is 100% better.

          In NZ the path from childhood, school and training into work has been lost. And hope and direction with it. Can you afford anything, a house? The bar is higher here to achieve to an accepted level. The system just does not accept extreme poverty has become structural.

          • Arfamo

            Yeah but he only employs people who go to church with him. I’d steer well clear and suspect that may be why other kiwis do. Comes across like a Southern Baptist pastor.

          • RedLogix

            Read this with interest. I’d agree with gw; Ian is being straight-up – and I’ve a pretty shrewd idea of the exact context he’s talking about, and runs your typical provincial agricultural business like bee-keeping, dairying or maybe horticultural. I’ve bumped into a few of his types over the years – some are really good sorts.

            Ian’s problem is fair enough – most provincial towns are full of marginal or unemployable kids. It’s hard to blame him for reaching out to a solution that is accessible to him. Of course what is good for the individual is not necessarily good for society as a whole. If every employer in NZ decided that they could get cheaper and better staff overseas ….

            The days when a young kiwi lad could hope to work his way from a bit of a dropkick, through a few starter jobs with a decent employer, into share-milking, a young wife and family and ultimately to owning the farm – are long gone. I’ve a damned good idea what farm owners pay their workers these days, and often enough they don’t even include accommodation. Farm work these days is a dead-end job for most and is it any wonder that lots of people aren’t all that interested.

            Ian’s knows this – but somehow concludes that his potential kiwi workers are not quite hungry enough to work for him. Which you have to admit is a finely Biblical induction.

            Of course Ian is looking at the situation through a particular lens; selectively choosing what he sees and diagnoses the problem according a special manual. The tools he uses to evaluate the world are entirely different and the conversation between us is unlikely to converge on any common understanding.

            What I suspect Ian has forgotten is that while he is judging his fellow young New Zealanders from high up on what he imagines is his own comfortable wee perch; his ultimate Judge sees no distance between them – at all.

            • Rogue Trooper

              wonderful words as usual Red; that rarefied air must be good for the soul.

            • greywarbler

              Thinking about what Red Logix and CV have said.
              If farm workers aren’t being paid well when the whole economy has been slanted to benefit farmers particularly dairy farmers, that’s a disgrace. We have put farmers first, and last by sacrificing our opportunities to run a our own self-supportive economy as we cut protective tariffs and so allowed businesses to starve.

              It’s a wicked shame and a poisonous terminal illness that should be sheeted home at those responsible such as the one-eyed business people and the politicians who were in a position to bring about something better.

              I read the Tolpuddle Martyrs’ story. They tried to help farm workers in south England who earned little and lived in tied cottages that they could be thrown out of once there was no work on that farmers property. They got sent to Oz as convicts. Only the huge turmoil this aroused in peoples’ minds saved them from a permanent place there. They were such fine men the Oz asked them to stay on as free men. The British public revolted against the bad treatment of these good Methodist folk by the landed gentry and Anglican-church class. Huge funds were raised, pressure mounted to bring them back, and enough to help them find futures, some gained a farm enabling them to be tenant farmers. But still in the end one family found they had to shift to Canada.

              To hear of a repeat of this situation in NZ after 150 years of trying to break from this financial oppression is stunning. Like a hit on the head.

      • Psycho Milt 19.1.4

        I employ people from overseas because I have had a bad run with Kiwis over the years,and don’t employ any now.

        Well, of course you won’t employ NZers if you can employ third worlders who have no choice but to regard you as their patron because their ability to stay here is dependent on you. This might be a great thing for you, but it’s not a great thing for the country or for human decency.

        • Colonial Viper

          Goddam it mate you just made me fall over.

        • Ian

          We brought our first overseas migrant into NZ on a 2 year working visa 5 years ago. He is now managing my business and has recently gained NZ residency. He still can’t get his head around a Government that gives people money to do nothing.

          • Colonial Viper

            Are you an advocate of having people old and young rot on the street?

            The reason people are doing “nothing” is because of disloyal NZers like you, and a neoliberal economic system which sees importing foreign labour as the easy way out of not investing in Kiwis.

            • Ian

              sorry mate. I am investing in future kiwis. most of these guys will get permanent residency. The local crew just don’t cut the mustard unfortunately. Very little unemployment in this area,and winz realise their labour pool is not for us.Basically unemployable s. Very sad really,but the show must go on.

              • Colonial Viper

                Go away.

              • Rogue Trooper

                interesting, and relevant, nonetheless. Kinda like the ‘Islamasization’ of The West I was reading about on the overseas press today 😀

              • greywarbler

                Ian you don’t understand the society you have helped make. You just see the results and find them woeful. So it’s good for you that you can dip into a different society and get people who have been able to avoid the degrading effects of poverty, and keep their personal integrity. And often people who are poor have been saved from degradation by strong family ties, and being involved with a movement that considers them important providing stability and rules to live by. That apparently is where your workers have gained their self-belief and standards.

                Unfortunately many people in NZ have been affected by events which have taken them from such a background, but they have become lost and their position and life view has degraded. A name has been given to this situation ‘anomie’.
                Anomie – Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster …
                social instability resulting from a breakdown of standards and values; also : personal unrest, alienation, and uncertainty that comes from a lack of purpose or..

                The new background for these Kiwis has not been stable, supportive, with wise rules. These people haven’t learned to respect themselves and have standards and self-belief and self-reliance. They need to reach out to a Church or to tikanga or some movement that will give shape and help them to control their lives. They tend to live for the day, are unreliable and immature which remains their mind state for a large part of their lives. They are slipshod employees, and I would think they rely on drink or other drugs to boost their lives and self-perception, rather than their own attainments.

                • Flip

                  People need some values in their lives. To do that they need to achieve something of value to them and also to have others value them. That can come from evil as well as good people. Instability of environment also results in instability of people and can be used to keep people compliant. See constant work restructuring or the unpredictability of violence or rewards used by some people.

                  People from overseas like our ancestors are those that are seeking a better life. If they believe they can achieve it and have no better alternative they will work for it, pretty much do whatever it takes. That can be positive or exploitative depending on the goodness of the people involved.

                  Creating stable valuing just environment for people who do not know one is challenging and I have the greatest of respect for those that try too.

        • Ake ake ake

          Psycho Milt at 19.1.4


          I have been trying to convey that all week to a ex-NZ work colleague here and it has been taking me about a dozen sentences. You have summed it up succinctly.

        • Rogue Trooper

          now we’re all Psycho (may as well read The Standard, cos’ that’s where it’s at; bows to Lyn)

        • Frank Macskasy

          @ Milt, 19.1.4: Jeez, that gobsmacked me, Milt! Ummm, well said.

      • Colonial Viper 19.1.5

        You guys can crucify me but,in my opinion welfare in NZ has created a monster that has destroyed any sense of self reliance and a lifestyle choice for the ignorant.

        Which is ignorant right wing BS. How do you explain the far more generous welfare levels in the 1960’s yet unemployment was almost zero?

        • Ian

          please explain. Are you talking about “working ” on the railways.

          • Colonial Viper

            Yep, railways, post office, manufacturing. Work doesn’t have to be about enriching capitalist pricks, you know. It can be for the public good.

            These are all things that the neoliberal consensus did away with in order to enrich the 1% and leave large numbers of NZers rotting in low paid jobs or unemployed.

            And then fuckwits like you have the gall to make high ground moral judgements on those Kiwis, while bragging about hiring foreigners like a true capitalist.

            • Arfamo

              What about rounding up the Ians and putting them to work in our mines? Why is no party advocating that sort of thing?

              • Rogue Trooper

                so naughty Arfamo (or pruning and lacing grapes). 😉

              • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                That sort of thing?

                The National Party is floating the idea of warrantless searches of citizens homes. This same group of citizens is required to attend meetings and seminars that even a parole officer would be ashamed of, and have severely limited rights of association. They are routinely vilified by this same National Party and its sycophants in the media, in a frenzy of victim blaming and bile.

                And just when you thought they couldn’t sink any lower, a vocal subset of this National Party focuses solely on the ethnicity of low-income citizens.

                Was that the sort of thing you meant?

                • Arfamo

                  Nope. I was thinking more along the lines of rounding up rich people eating at fancy restaurants and deporting them to Northland with paint buckets and hedge clippers to spruce the place up a bit.

                  • greywarbler

                    Snap. Someone else thought that before you. Mao went at it big time, and put the city types, especially intellectuals, out in the fields learning what it’s all about with the peasants. He tried to break the connection of medicine and money so that medical help was available to the peasants and not costing an arm and a leg as before. He was over zealous and tyrranical with it.

                    But when it comes to medicine, there are a number of books by med professionals who once felt invulnerable, but have become part of the vulnerable community when they became sick and experienced life at that level. And found that actual experience is worth a thousand words.

                    So perhaps we should set up sort of peace corp groups in young NZ to get some experience of others lives especially on the physical plane. Let them walk or take the bus! Greener.

                    They would be local Kiwi woofers helping in the outdoors, helping agriculture, horticulture, clearing vines and incomers from the bush. Go to be dairy workers for a while as that is the main industry in NZ.

                    Now we have retreated from the Industrial Age and only have the deep divide with farming on one side putting us in the Second and a half World (because we consider we do it so technically efficiently blah blah, actually owing most now to water stealing and factory farming). And on the other, the esoteric delights of being imprisoned in semi-comfortable chairs in a poorly ventilated room with artificial light, and stare at a screen and create arcane symbols about things that may never be applied to anything physical.

                    And our main interest and physical activity for the techno types will be skimming fast over our land because there will be nothing of beauty to look at, it all being mined or spoiled, and eating. Because that is the most satisfying physical thing to do because conditions have decreased our libidos to eunuch levels. So we will live a monastic existence in virtual prisons eventually. Great, what a piece of work is man, How noble his reason…
                    Let’s get out into the fields and woods now!
                    End of stream of…. unconsciousness.

                    • Flip

                      Something like a work experience scheme. Useful for all people who want to have leadership, management and responsibility for others. They should for a period have to work in the area they want to control and earn the same income with no expectation of leaving until they perform as they expect others to perform for a period of time. Too many managers get to positions of power ignorant of what it is like for the worker day after day.

                      Not everyone wants to be a slave to technology. Some people want to work in a physical capacity. It is just that physical work is undervalued compared to intellectual work. The industrial revolution resulted in the enhancement of physical capacity. The information revolution is enhancing intellectual capacity. Both reduce the dependency on humans. This would be a good thing if all were able to enjoy the benefits of these enhancements justly. There is nothing just about the competitive forces at work.

      • Rogue Trooper 19.1.6

        so, are you exploiting his obvious needs Ian

      • framu 19.1.7

        “He does not drink alcohol,does not do drugs,has no car,or Sky TV. His salary supports his parents ,3 younger siblings”

        the fact that you cant see that the majority of poor in NZ fit exactly his description means you opinion isnt based on fact – its based on stereotype. So everything from that point on is somewhat irrelevant.

        All your doing is using it as a means to justify – not as any kind of attempt to understand

      • @ Ian…

        “I employ people from overseas because I have had a bad run with Kiwis over the years,and don’t employ any now”

        And yet, strangely enough, the rest of the country seems to do very well.

        Plus, Kiwi workers have a good rep overseas.

        Could it be, Ian, that the problem lies closer to ‘home’ – ie, yourself?

        “Poverty is relative and in NZ apart from the abused and mentally ill ,is often a life style choice.”

        Obviously your experience of poverty is nil.

        And as for “lifestyle choice”, Ian, can you confirm that 95,000 New Zealanders voluntarily gave up their jobs after 2008, to go on the dole where they could receive the princely sum of $196 a week (net).

        Or, as like most of your rightwing mates, you’re simply repeating the garbage you hear/read, with absolutely no critical though involved whatsoever?

        Life must be very simple for someone who can avoid critical thinking before repeating such inane cliches.

      • Murray Olsen 19.1.9

        Ian, there is a grain of truth to what you say, but you should always remember one thing: the poor did not invent welfare. It was imposed on them as part of a Faustian bargain, years after they were removed from their vestiges of land and any chance of self support. They built the industrial and corporate empires we see now; the same ones who want corporate welfare and moan that poverty is a word that only belongs in the 3rd world. If you idolise a society without health care or education, please go and live in one. And not as the rich guy in his estate with his armed guards. You are right about lifestyle choices for the ignorant – in your ignorance you have chosen yours.

  20. Colonial Viper 20

    So before Ian turned up with his nonsense, I asked a simple question: what concrete proposals is the Left going to advocate support for, to deal with this malignant issue of child poverty?

    (No Ian, hiring more foreign workers to replace NZ ones is not the answer).

    • McFlock 20.1

      I dunno. What were the policy remits at the respective conferences?

    • karol 20.2

      It’s not just child poverty, it’s poverty of their parents that is the problem.

      Solutions: more inclusive society (good services, education, health etc available to all); share jobs about more equally (why are some people working all the hours that they can, while others have no jobs?); living wage for all (UBI); tax free for the first $10, 000 of personal income; … etc – hasn’t it all been said before here?

      • Colonial Viper 20.2.1

        You can’t build a popular movement on a complex pot pourri of policy prescriptions. People won’t understand.

        The $15 living wage campaign was a concrete campaign that people understood.

        Perhaps tax free $10,000 should be where the focus is.

        • karol

          But poverty covers more than one specific issue and is the result of a mix of factors.

          You want a key concrete policy to hang anti-poverty campaigns on?

          • Colonial Viper

            Yes, poverty certainly does cover a multitude of issues. Exactly like the civil rights movement was about much more than choosing your own seat on the bus.

            But it was symbolic, and people grasped the meaning of what Rosa Parks did straight away.

            The Left will never again be a movement of the people if the solutions being proposed are creatable and understandable only by Wellington-style policy wonks and people with the wherewithal to thumb through a policy conference remit book.

        • KJT

          Except it is now over $18.

    • KJT 20.3

      As the rate of child poverty started going up rapidly after 1991 it is obvious that “welfare reforms” code for deliberately reducing welfare below survival levels, was the proximate cause.

      The dropping of welfare payments also made room for employers to drop lower wages to minimal levels.

      First. Restore the “family benefit” a UI for children. Starting with welfare children

      Second. Raise the minimum wage to liveable levels. Enough so that wage earners can bring up their kids with a decent quality of life.

      Third. What Wayne Mapp said about state housing, health care and food..
      Restoring the social wages/infrastructure that we once had, before, “user pays”.

      And raising taxes at the top a few percent to pay for looking after our children..

    • Bill 20.4

      An end to work as we know it and the establishment of the UBI. ( Dovetails nicely with what we need to do given the realities of AGW anyway) end

  21. chris73 21

    I think the first thing to do is to define what poverty is, saying its 60% of the median won’t work because most people have an idea of what poverty means so when they hear its based around a % of pay most people will then disregard the rest

    If you want the people of NZ to get behind this it has to be done in way that most people will inherently understand

    • Colonial Viper 21.1

      Interestingly none of the steps suggested above need ‘poverty to be defined’.

      • Arfamo 21.1.1

        The problem with defining poverty is it enables those insulated from it to say all of those things defining it simply mean people need to live more simply on low to no wages, have no children, and learn to enjoy their misery more.

      • chris73 21.1.2

        I just don’t think that defining poverty as a percentage of the median wage is a good idea, it opens itself to all kind of arguments against

        • McFlock

          only because of the four yorkshiremen syndrome.

          Basically 50/60% of median seems to be the threshhold for long term disengagement from society, escalating crime, escalating hardship, and skyrocketing morbidity/mortality from risky behaviours and non-congenital medical conditions for subgroups within any particular society. This shit wasn’t dragged out of thin air, it’s pretty solidly evidence-based. Footnotes and everything.

          • One Anonymous Knucklehead

            *Puts fingers in ears.*

            “Lah lah lah lah lah lah I can’t hear you lah lah lah lah lah…”

            That was a political message from the National Party.

            • greywarbler

              That’s why NZ could be used as a facsimile of Lake Wobegon in Garrison Keilor’s radio program, “where all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average”.

              We know that, (is not the truth) so RW don’t want to measure the obvious (because they might be expected to care and do something about it).

    • KJT 21.2

      Where I am, in Northland, it means families living 12 to a garage, emaciated teenagers with absolutely no money after a merry go round of WINZ and dodgy employers, children with illnesses you once saw in countries we used to send aid to, children who fall asleep in class because they have not eaten, parents who have to chose between taking a child to the doctor or having breakfast, parents who lose their benefit because they haven’t got the bus fare to get to the office, if there is a bus.

      You really have no idea, do you?

      It is a disgrace we have people, especially children, forced to live with no hope, in third world conditions, in a country which has more than ample supplies of everything they need.

      • chris73 21.2.1

        I’ve got more of an idea then you’d ever know thank you very much and I know that to win over people to your side you have to have rock-steady arguments

        What you’re saying is certainly more effective then stating a mere percentage because thats what most people consider to be poverty

        • KJT

          You are right in that most of us relate much better to the experiences of real people, rather than numbers.

          When the plight of individual people on welfare or low wage jobs is highlighted in the news, for example, I am sure that many of the people who come forward to help are National voters. Maybe some even voted for ACT.

          We need to get the message across that they are only the tip of the iceberg.

    • Rogue Trooper 21.3

      ahhhh, measuring the problem, rather than the causal factors.

  22. Flip 22

    OK. Fundamentally there are not enough quality jobs to give to a growing population due to automation and capital taking a larger share of the wealth.

    Here is a different thought that does not throw money at a social problem. I’ll put it out there for feedback.

    People should be able to allocate income to whoever they wish. This would reduce the taxation on the income they retain. A person who allocated income to a large number of people or distributed a large amount of their income would be taxed at a lower rate than one who retained all their income for themselves. A person would only be taxed on the money they received for themselves. If someone was fully supported by others then they would not need state support. This would help with social cohesion and counteract the divisive nature of consumerism.

    Effectively income splitting to minimise taxation and redistribute income. Does not need to go via the government but the government must regulate the distribution. Goes further than Dunne’s idea of doing between just married couples as today relationships are more complex.

    Clearly there would be people receiving no support who may be matched with someone who would like to support them to reduce their tax liability.

    Obviously details and tax rates would need to be worked out. I think it is done in Singapore so it is not a completely unknown concept.

    Hope that gives the gist of the policy.
    I’d be interested in peoples views. Both right and left.

    • Colonial Viper 22.1

      There’s plenty of work to do in society – a shortage of work is not the issue. Just because our current economic system cannot structure that work into paying jobs is quite the separate matter.

      Whether it’s being a writer, artist or a musician, to help care for the young or the elderly, to teach, coach, invent, build communal apartments or to create other value in the commons, there is shit loads of work to be done.

      A shortage of work is not the problem.

      • Flip 22.1.1

        Yes. I was thinking of paid quality work again. But I do think there is an issue of the quality of paid work degrading or concentrating into high paid roles for a minority.

    • Rogue Trooper 22.2

      Very interesting Flip; I shall forward my bank account details forthwith 😀

  23. tricledrown 23

    Ian dairy farming has a 2 year window then their will be a glut of production from countries with lower land and labour costs.
    Sheep farmers suffering from poverty.
    Bill Gates foundation is looking a making cheaper vegetable based alternatives to animal proteins as animal protiens use up to many resources and require animals to be mistreated in factory farms.
    ;Times running out Ian better make the most of your privilaged position while it lasts.

    • greywarbler 23.1

      That’s an interesting comment. Thanks for sticking at it at 12.08 in the morning. Bill Gates and his vegetable proteins? I presume, sound useful. As long as they are not tied up with costly patents, have terminator genes, and are not fashioned to be impervious to Monsanto or other chemical gargantua companies’ killer sprays.
      Then we will have something to be hopeful about.

      And by the way that mention of pre civiliation and only the strongest survive being the way that ruled with a narcissistic view to life being the main driver. I think it has been established that though life was still short and sort of brutish, it was often community minded and group-oriented. So not necessarily the stark primitive bad and civilised so much better. Often civilisation just means more advanced ways of decreasing the power to support each other in the community while enhancing the individual desires that go with narcissism I think.

  24. tricledrown 24

    BM(british movement)
    Ian Mathew.
    Leaving so many children in poverty means you will be paying more taxes in the future
    Healthy children mean healthy adults less money spent 10× more spent on poor children.
    Education failings mean the income potential of children kept in poverty means they will be paying less tax .
    Meaning you will be making up the shortfall in future years.
    Diseases are becoming more resistant to Antibiotics.
    Having a pool of people who can’t afford healthcare means diseases will spread quickly and widely through communities.
    SupetBugs are becoming more widespread its only a matter of time before these become unmanagable.
    Collaboration of all people is needed to rid NZ of poverty.
    Being a superior Narciissit selfish individual is going backwards to the rule of the jungle pre civilzation thinking.
    Of only the strongest survive
    naive shortsighted bottom of the cliff doesn’t work.
    2 examples
    John Key beneficiery of a state house widows and children benefit free healthcare primary secondary and tertiary education.
    Paula Benefit basher.
    Dpb benefit tertiary education.
    Govt emloyee’s
    Ladder pullars

  25. greywarbler 25

    Quote of Frank – Milt, the numbers of teenager single mums (which I’m guessing is the cliche you’re referring to) is actually falling,

    “I’m not referring to it, I know the number’s falling, and your point is irrelevant. Single-parent families have increased consistently for 40 years”

    If the rate of DPBs to population remained the same, and the population rises, then that would show as a rise in the number of single parent families wouldn’t it. So that particular argument is not sound.. Society is possibly not unravelling because of DPBs and their numbers in poverty.
    Perhaps it is poverty itself and the lack of any job that can become a means of funding the life that everyone expects to have. You know a warm, safe house, that you don’t have to travel for hours to get to, etc.

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