Don’t listen to the cops on begging



Stop giving money to beggars – Auckland police
Police are urging the public to stop giving money to beggars in Queen St after warnings were issued to two men dressed as Buddhist monks over begging in the inner city.

Living on Queen street, I’ve seen these monks wandering around asking for money, they’ve asked me a couple of times, but I didn’t have any cash on me and they were very polite.

I say don’t listen to the cops on this issue, the beggars of Queen Street have enough pain and damage and hurt in their lives to remove the tiny amount of autonomy they glean from people dropping a few coins into their cups. I always give to them if I have cash on me and have dropped off food, clothes and even a mattress once.

The desire to continuously sweep them and their needs under the carpet and the ongoing hassling they get from the Council’s hired goons and cops is meant to erase them from our view so we can walk without guilt at the collapse of our egalitarian country.

I say screw that because we actively need our conscience pricked on poverty. If you see them on Queen street, drop off a coin. It’s nothing to us, it’s a world to them.


  1. This statement by the Police seems to be deliberately trying to mislead the public. The “monks” who were asking for donations were a problem not because they were begging, but because they were fraudsters. They do not belong to any temple that they purported to be gathering donations for.

    The Police seem to have leapt to the conclusion from the actions of these two people that the public shouldn’t give money to any people who may need to beg to get by. That’s both a colossal failing of logic and a travesty of natural justice. We should help our fellows in society when they are less fortunate and need assistance. That the Police state we should refer them to agencies such as Lifewise or the City Mission ignores the fact that these people have probably already seen these agencies and gained as much assistance as they can and still need more.

    In an age when social agencies for the betterment of the least able to look after themselves are having their funding cut, when the government is removing representatives for the disabled and ethnic minorities from the Human Rights Commission it behoves us all to do something practical on a daily basis.

    To hell with the Police ‘advice’. Give the cops the figurative finger, don’t just give somebody who needs it a few coins, give them $10 or more. Show you actually care. Ask how they’re doing, talk to them, see if there are other ways you can assist other than just money.

  2. **The desire to continuously sweep them and their needs under the carpet and the ongoing hassling they get from the Council’s hired goons and cops is meant to erase them from our view so we can walk without guilt at the collapse of our egalitarian country.**

    Bingo Martyn, you summed up this awful situation well in that paragraph. Out of sight, out of mind philosophy! Ignorance is bliss!

    I drop a coin or two off for street people. Have never been hassled by them and they always give me a smile and say thank you. They are our fellow Kiwis in need, deserving of respect and if I can relieve their plight in any way, then I will attempt to do so. Could be any one of us in the same sad situation anytime.

    What does offend me more than anything, is the fact begging has got much worse over the past six years, due to the breakdown of a decent and fair economic and social structure. Can’t remember seeing street people in the past!

    This shame has become government’s fastest growing industry!

  3. I agree with you, except the monks are part of an international scam. They beg using the good reputation of buddhist monks. But they are scam artists known worldwide for tricking people. I prefer to give to someone who is more honest, not a saint but definitely not someone pretending to be a practising devotee.

    I encourage everyone to give a few coins when they can. It creates some happiness in those with often very bleak lives.

    But an internet search of ‘the monk scam’ should convince anyone, not to give anything to these con-artists.

  4. Do you ever see Len and The Epsom Mafia helping out in the soup kitchens ? ( Are there soup kitchens ? )
    I remember pudgy bennett doing a photo op in a soup kitchen on tv once . The irony was she pulled up outside the kitchen in our ministerial BMW . You could hear her massaging seat working overtime on her gristly buttocks .
    Maybe all them beggars need is some gumption and a can-do attitude ?

    I think of this Chris Hedges quote when I read of bullies bullying the harmless and the luckless .

    Chris Hedges . Another loser Pulitzer prize winning journalist and no doubt henchman to the Left .

    “Those who fail to exhibit positive attitudes, no matter the external reality, are seen as maladjusted and in need of assistance. Their attitudes need correction. Once we adopt an upbeat vision of reality, positive things will happen. This belief encourages us to flee from reality when reality does not elicit positive feelings. These specialists in “happiness” have formulated something they call the “Law of Attraction.” It argues that we attract those things in life, whether it is money, relationships or employment, which we focus on. Suddenly, abused and battered wives or children, the unemployed, the depressed and mentally ill, the illiterate, the lonely, those grieving for lost loved ones, those crushed by poverty, the terminally ill, those fighting with addictions, those suffering from trauma, those trapped in menial and poorly paid jobs, those whose homes are in foreclosure or who are filing for bankruptcy because they cannot pay their medical bills, are to blame for their negativity. The ideology justifies the cruelty of unfettered capitalism, shifting the blame from the power elite to those they oppress. And many of us have internalised this pernicious message, which in times of difficulty leads to personal despair, passivity and disillusionment.”

    ― Chris Hedges

    • I remember a fanatic believer of such thinking once praising the book ‘Think and Grow Rich’ to me. It is all stuff from the same kind of source of philosophy. While it is of course true that positive thoughts and actions, and nice appearance tends to “appeal” to people more, it is too easy to fall into the trap of believing that this will solve all problems of society.

      It is actually the very reason for the successful and “elite” ones, living in environments of “beauty”, of “pleasure” and like-minded friends” to become so alienated from the rest of society.

      Some people may find it easier to lift their spirit, others struggle. Human beings are diverse, and we must accept all variations that are within a reasonable, natural scope of human existence, and not pressure all to be like the most successful and so “blessed”.

      “Go and eat cake” is their “advice” to those that cannot even afford cheap bread.

      I always treated all this kind of “philosophy” with extreme caution, and every rational person would anyway ask, if it was just so easy to become rich through being positive, why are then not all positive thinkers millionaires?

      Sadly many people fall for BS, just like the many hopefully buying a lotto ticket each week. It seems one of the weaknesses of human nature, to hope, to keep hoping, no matter how dismal things are. Some though drown in their sorrow and misery, not being able to hope any more.

  5. By giving money to beggars you are not helping them. If anything you are excerbating their problems. It’s akin to giving an alcoholic a beer because you feel sorry for them.

    It’s moral weakness dressed up as kindness.

    • @ TANE – I disagree with your statement.

      Many of these street people are unable to access state assistance because they don’t have a residential address or a bank account for the money to be paid into. Other than the few charities left to help, there are no other options open to them. So what are they supposed to do? Disappear down some dark alleyway, curl up and die? Oh yes I have no doubt there are some heartless people out there who would love to see that happen. For them the problem would be solved!

      With many of NZ’s charities having to shut their doors through lack of official funding, these poor souls have nothing else available to them, other than to live on the streets and beg!

      If kindness and a caring attitude towards the less fortunate is interpreted by some as moral weakness, then so be it. I don’t give a big rat’s backside what others think if I decide to share something, albeit small, with a beggar! A smile and a friendly chat with them costs nothing.

      Most street people have goodness and quality of heart in bucket loads. It’s a pity many Kiwis choose not to recognize it!

  6. Alerting to fraudsters is fine but it is way out of order for police to further presume to advise us as to where or how to direct our charity.

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