Poor people – let them eat cake; grow veges; not breed; and other parroted right wing cliches…



child poverty graph 1982-2012


One of the most constant cliches spouted by the naive; the well-meaning; and down-right simple-minded Right, is that the poor should be able to supplement their income by growing their own food.

This tenants in this house, located  in one of Wellington’s inner suburbs, grew their own vegetables and raised chickens. The planter-boxes were well-tended, and were well-filled with a variety of vegetables.

TDB Recommends NewzEngine.com

One day, a couple of months ago, I noticed that the furniture in the house was gone and the sound of the chooks was no longer evident.

This is what the once well-tended vege-garden looks like now;


poverty - untended vegetable garden


Weeds have become the dominant plants in the garden;


empty house and gardens (2)


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well- warmed, and well-fed.”

So said Herman Melville, author of ‘Moby Dick‘.

Lecturing the poor to grow their own food becomes a fatuous  exercise when the poor generally do not own their own homes, and are subject to eviction at whatever whim  takes the landlord. The tenants move on; the food is left behind; and goes to seed and rots.

When confronted with the problem (I refuse to call it an “issue”) of poverty, the response from the well-meaning or politically deluded for the poor to produce their own food is little more than buck-passing. It is a barely-concealed attempt to salve their consciences by pointing the finger back at the poorest in our society, and blame them for their lot.

After all, if the poor are poor by their own lack of determination, then the rest of us don’t have to consider the problem at all. It’s their fault, not ours.

After all, why shouldn’t they be able to grow their own food?

They just need to buck their ideas up. And buy a house.





J R McKenzie Trust:  Child Poverty Monitor

NZ Council of Christian Social Services: Facts about poverty in New Zealand





give the rich tax cuts



= fs =


  1. Concisely summed up Frank. Thank you.

    The problem of child poverty in NZ is a disgrace. As a food growing nation, no child should be denied the benefits of nutritional meals.

    A solution might be to have fresh food supply outlets in communities, to supplement foodbanks, where those of us who have vegetable gardens and fruit trees can distribute excess produce to be utilized by impoverished families with young children, say at a very low cost. We certainly wouldn’t want any payment for it and I’m sure there are many out there of the same mind. The small payment could go back into the community to keep the outlet running. Our payment would be the satisfaction of knowing poor Kiwi children are receiving the benefits of good fresh food.

    Of course it would have to be monitored, to prevent greedies taking advantage of the source!

    Just a thought to help struggling Kiwi families.

    • I like your charitise spirit Mary but why call it child poverty? are there poor children in wealthy homes. Its just a MSM buzz word to divide and conqure
      an argument. Sure the earth provides all our needs we the poor dont need hand outs we need and want the land to live on without the financial burden
      that comes with a for profit system. Land bankers, Land lords, hobby farmers, speculators and other parasitic carpet baggers who own more land than they need for living turning us all into debt slaves for what should be birthright Land. consecutive Govts sell there souls and allow corrupt land ownership laws of central and local level Govt to enslave us to foreign banks and money manipulators. We need a true NZ owned central bank issuing our money not borrowing from keys mates.
      Until that happens we get nothing but window dressing and socialist communism.

      • Thanks for your response Muribuba.

        I don’t think of assisting my community as charity, through the provision of excess garden produce. More community spirit than anything else. Sharing something we don’t need.

        That’s what communities used to do and should still be doing, supporting their own in anyway they can. Distributing the wealth equally in the community. But sadly that has disappeared, along with realizing and respecting the value of each citizen, regardless of status.

        I learnt that from my staunchly Socialist grandmother, who was reviled by many in her day, for her commitment to working with society’s disadvantaged.

    • Mary, have you heard of OOOBY (Out Of Our Own Backyards)? https://www.ooooby.org/

      I think our country would be a better place if everyone was raising at least a few salad greens in and around their own homes, if not a full-on vege garden. Food cannot be fresher, more local, or more transparent about growing conditions (chemicals used etc), and less fossil fuels are required for transportation (ie none!) than even the veges from the local area at the Farmers’ Market.

      But Frank is bang on that backyard gardening is not the solution to systemic inequality. You need a patch of soil which gets a minimum amount of sun, which a lot of tenants don’t have (those in apartment buildings, townhouses with concrete pads for yards etc). Even if you’re lucky enough to have that patch of soil, and to able to scrape together the minimum tools needed, it takes a few growing seasons to build up a productive backyard garden. If people don’t have certainty they can stay in their current home for that long, it’s hard to blame them for thinking it’s not worth the effort, and putting that time into looking for paid work, or even just spending more time with their families instead.

      • Interesting site, OOOBY.

        Found it when it was fairly new, and the owner was talking about his “conversion” to local food after working in the food industry in public forums.

        Attended a Gen Zero meeting a few years later, and actually heard him speak, and it was a surprise to hear his take on things. He considered the eventual culmination of OOOBY to be a business that would give him an asset to sell or an income.

        The attraction to members might be a connection to community or social participation, but the end result of their efforts and active membership would be a higher value for the owner.

        A bit disappointing to say the least, but in itself a good start in getting people connected and thinking about wider communities than their own social and working circles.

        • You can learn more about OOOBY from the TEDx Talk ‘Hacking the Supply Chain’ by Pete Russell:

          In the talk, Pete mentions that OOOBY uses the ‘Food Commons’ model, where growers, hubs, and customers all share ownership in a specially designed cooperative structure:

          The ‘food commons’ model is an example of a growing approach to business called a ‘social enterprise’. This isn’t just corporations grafting “social responsibility” onto a standard, for-profit structure. The legally enshrined prime directive of a social enterprise is to service a social need, in this case healthy, local food delivered to your door. It is more like a business though in that its income comes from providing goods or services, unlike a charity or not-for-profit which gets income from grants or donations. Once external costs are covered, the remaining income is shared fairly around the people doing the work, not hoovered up by upper management or shareholders.

          As Pete mentions is his talk, growers who supply OOOBY receive around 50% of what the customer pays for what they grew, which as most of us know is a much higher share than what supermarkets pay, so it’s sort of ‘fair trade’ for local fresh food. The remaining 50% covers costs (fuel etc), and the wages of the people who run the hubs; collecting, boxing up, and delivering the food, coordinating with the growers, maintaining the web platform, communications with customers etc. As with any organisation, money can be put aside for “capital costs” like replacing equipment or expanding the business, and this also comes out of the hubs 50% share.

          Activists have spent centuries fighting back and forth skirmishes with corporations, their pet politicians, and their growing propaganda machines. The only way to avoid doing the same for centuries to come is to replace the corporation with a better model. Social enterprises are an attempt at doing that.

  2. Thanks for raising this issue Frank. A couple of points on it:

    Half of New Zealanders not being able to own their own home means a huge waste of potential improvement of properties, even in just the simple case of having a garden. What’s the point of planting fruit trees, for example, when they cost around $50 and you won’t be at a property long enough to reap the benefits.

    Having your own garden doesn’t make any significant on the cost of living. You are still stuck with having to buy most of your food which you can’t grow at home whereas you can actually buy vegetables cheap in season at probably a cheaper price.

    Tending a garden is time consuming and a lot of people on low incomes and with families don’t have that time available. Often both parents are working. Having a garden makes more sense when you are retired, but that is for pleasure.

    • What’s the point of planting fruit trees, for example, when they cost around $50 and you won’t be at a property long enough to reap the benefits.

      Indeed, EP. I’ve planted fruit trees on my property. It took two years for some to produce a couple of kilos of fruit, and only this year past was there anything remotely decent in terms of produce.

      I own my property. If I rented, I probably wouldn’t see any benefit for my labours if a landlord decided to cash up and sell.

      Meanwhile, one of our neighbours, who rents her home, grows many of her vegetables – but is constantly fearful that her landlord will (a) up and sell or (b) raise her rent to a level she cannot meet.

  3. I recommend it, growing a garden that is, they, gardens that is do not need to be permanent, the first one i grew here at the Mansion was a twenty bucket one,

    I got a full range of herbs and veges out of that garden and as i settled in here have built a substantial series of raised gardens, much like the one in your pics, down the side of the hill the Mansion sits on having first removed ‘the jungle’,

    Most people think of a garden as something that has to be dug as a mass, myself i see digging the garden as a series of daily exercises which are beneficial physically, psychologically and financially,

    Today’s exercise will involve digging a trench 800 wide with a fork and burying some garden waste in the bottom and this weeks kitchen waste in the top, tomorrows exercise will be in a similar vein,

    Economics say that if your a tobacco addict then veges are best bought from a weekend market,(if your lucky enough to be able to), and, such an addiction is best served, if it cannot be overcome, by legally growing enough of the stuff each year to simply cancel the cost of the addiction,

    The difference is stark, no garden= poverty, a garden= no poverty…

      • Enlighten me Frank, exactly which point have i missed, people in danger of becoming transient don’t want to dig permanent gardens perhaps???,

        Answered: gardens need not be permanent, anyone wanting a garden but worried about the transient nature of their current tenancy can grow a great crop of Anything in buckets,

        Buckets being transportable and all that, i recommend anyone doing so look to have two lots of soil which can then be rotated, one lot in the buckets growing whatever the crop is, the other in plastic bags being fed composting vegetation and kitchen scraps,

        The pics Frank???, as you say, someone moved house, did you know the circumstances of their moving???,

        The previous garden went to weeds, nothing unusual there, the Mansion where i reside had the same occurrence except the time scale between the previous gardener who had gardened the hill mentioned in my previous comment at a guess did so some 20 odd years befor my recent efforts,(hence ‘the jungle’),

        Your point: people are naive or right wing dip-shits to suggest ‘the poor’ have a vege gardens???

        IF that is your point then i simply disagree with it, i don’t garden because some right wing dip-shit tells me i should, i do so because as i pointed out in my previous comment it is physically, psychologically, and, economically beneficial to me to do so,

        I also encourage others to garden as well, for instance: i had a couple of fellow Mana people round a while back discussing Nationals ransacking of HousingNZ,

        Both of them are fellow tobacco addicts who cannot kick the addiction and one of them is reduced to prowling shopping malls and the airport, picking up butts to support the addiction,

        Obviously i showed them my garden and offered them support if they, like me, decided to free themselves from the yoke of excessive taxation of an addiction,which, like me, they are unable to overcome,

        The plumber HousingNZ sent round to clear a blocked drain a couple of weeks ago, already a sometimes gardener, a tobacco addict to boot, is now switched on to what he now sees as the best use of the time he spends gardening,

        For those who are, by inclination or design not of their making,transient, i recommend building a bucket garden and simply treating it as part of the furniture if they are forced to
        move, and, bucket gardens which can be sited in multiple areas of choice have in a lot of cases more to recommend them to those inclined to garden than the actual digging of a static in ground garden,

        No actual digging required for starters….

        • Buckets, eh? And where did you get those? Used paint pails you had to find some way of putting drainage holes into? Or those $10 a pop 30-40L recycle plastic thingies from the big box store?

          Did you make your own compost to fill them?

          Or did you scamper down to the big box store and buy 40L baggies at $7.00+ each?

          Pushed them home and up the steps in a ‘borrowed’ trolley, did you? Or did you have the use of a vehicle? Or (I’m not that credulous) you brought it home on the bus or train…

          And you had a sunny-enough and large enough backyard. Lucky you.

          Belonged to a seed swap collective, eh? And had enough warm window sills to start and maintain seedlings. Know enough so they don’t damp off? Must do.

          Know other gardeners and can get surplus seedlings? Reliable seeds? Slips and cuttings? Lucky you.

          Know how to use a fork, spade, shears well enough so you don’t end up on ACC? Good-o. Lots of people don’t know and haven’t been taught. Nor can they afford the usually useless rusty offerings with rotted handles available at the op shop.

          Got ten days to wait for your first crop of mustard and cress? And up to 120 days for some other staples? Know how to preserve them and have the fuel, jars, lids, deep freeze and other ancient devices for preserving? Got room at your place for all those sacks of spuds you got from your certified seed spuds? Lots of people haven’t.

          And do you get the point? It’s not for urban beginners in desperate need of immediate food.

          • “Buckets”?!

            Good lord… *facepalm*

            Bucket’s, eh? Do you mean the 95 cent ‘jobbies’ from The Warehouse or Pak N Save, that will perish within twelve months of exposure to UV radiation when kept outside?

            Or black plastic planter buckets, at $25 a pop, from Mitre10 Mega?

            Let’s do the math, shall we, Bad12? How many black planter buckets, at $25 each, would be required for a household of three? Four ($100)? Six? ($150) Ten? ($250).

            When families at the bottom of the socio-economic ladder have trouble paying for electricity to warm their homes, your suggestion of buckets becomes a sick, mocking joke.

            Otherwise, Andrea has answered your post more concisely than I could have.

            And you’ve still missed the point of what I’ve written.

            As I mentioned to Grant: poverty and transience are not conducive to long-term planning. What part of that escapes you?

            • PS Frank, you have to be ‘smart’, dark green plastic buckets do not break down with exposure to UV light,(talking of the $1 ones from the Ware Whare), yellow ones tho do….

              • Bad12 – you are not the only one who does outdoor gardening. UV radiation affects nearly all plastics with ongoing exposure exposure and they break down. The cheap plastic buckets you refer too would not last long outdoors. Been there, done that, cleaned up the mess. (That is why they are only $1.)

          • None of the above Andrea, i luuurve the way you disregard the exact points i was making about the specific crop i grow, and, give advice on growing to others crippled financially by the same addiction i have,

            Now that you mention it tho, i do now buy bags of compost, as well as make my own,

            $7.00 a bag Andrea, your being ripped off i get mine for $4.50 and guess what, the plastic bags the stuff comes in can be filled with soil and used as planters just the same as buckets can,

            My point is this, those suffering the excessive taxation of an addiction they cannot quit, including me, would best serve themselves by growing all or part of the yearly total of that addiction,

            Those of us that do so find that the difference is simple, to grow all or part of the addiction leaves us as the ‘coping poor’,

            Those that continue to pay the full monetary cost of that over taxed addiction remain impoverished,

            Despite your elongated list of reasons why transient people cannot garden the fact remains that ‘a garden’ can be made portable,

            Gardening in itself in MY opinion, having had years of experience, is physically, psychologically and financially(to a greater or lesser degree),beneficial for those who indulge…

            • Bad12; I ‘luurve’ the way you’ve disregarded my points, that suggesting that the poor and transient grow crops in buckets is a joke (and a rather tasteless one at that) when so many cannot afford to switch on electric heaters in winter – and yet you’re asking of them to spend $20-$25 on planter-buckets?!

              How many $25 buckets for a family of three or four, Bad12? What would be the costs involved – especially when that money is not available for them (unless they forego groceries one week?).

              By the way, I use those planter buckets myself. Once filled with soil, and growing plants, and wet, they take several people to move them. Do you expect families to be lugging around a dozen planter buckets every time they’re evicted from their homes? Hell, we might as well teach them to be itinerant gypsies, while we’re at it.

              This is how ridiculous your suggestions are. Poverty and transience are not conducive to long-term planning. They affect families from the education of their children, to the community-connectedness of them all. We are talking about stability here – not planter boxes.

              Even something as simple as planting a vege garden becomes a mission in itself – as the debate on this page shows.

              Your solutions are band-aid solutions, because they do not address the root problems (I refuse to call them “issues”) of those at the bottom of the socio-economic heap.

              You did well for yourself? Good on you. But not everyone is fortunate enough to be in your shoes.

        • I also encourage others to garden as well, for instance: i had a couple of fellow Mana people round a while back discussing Nationals ransacking of HousingNZ,

          Both of them are fellow tobacco addicts who cannot kick the addiction and one of them is reduced to prowling shopping malls and the airport, picking up butts to support the addiction…

          Ahhh, here we go again; the self-righteousness of the Right to pass judgement on the Poor for the moral weaknesses (in this case smoking).

          The obvious point you’re making, Bad12, is that your anecdote “proves” that the Poor are lesser beings; sub-human; lacking good moral fibre – and therefore not your concern.

          Why else would you mention it?

          Because it justifies, in your own mind, turning your back on them.

          That is how the Right view the world around them.

          • Frank, thanks for the label, those who disagree with you are now ”the self righteous right” are they???,

            If i were to paint you with the same accusatory labels that you have leveled at me in your comment i would surely be banned,

            No Frank, the OBVIOUS point i was making was that those of us FURTHER trapped in poverty, including ME, by an addiction to tobacco which is excessively taxed can Garden our way out of much of what keeps us in that poverty by legally growing the stuff,
            tobacco that is,

            That is not just some idea i pulled out of my anus Frank, it is an idea born of the past 5 years of gardening experience,

            Wheres ”the judgement” Frank, i make no judgement in my previous comment about my fellow Mana members being addicted to tobacco products and having an inability to quit the addiction,

            The FACT is Frank that any such ‘judgement’ if such were made would be a self portrait because the 3 of us have the exact same circumstances and if i were not gardening to nullify the cost of my addiction i would be competing with one of my fellow travelers for cigarette butts outside the airport terminal,

            ”The self righteousness of the right to pass judgement on the poor”,

            ”Because it justifies in your mind turning your back on them”,

            These little ‘gems’ probably deserve an answer in a forum other than this one,(for obvious reasons),

            i will tho say this Frank, i see no self righteousness in my comment, i do tho see plenty in yours,

            i see no ‘turning of my back on them’, as my comment points out, i offer ‘them’ a means of escaping the excessive cost of an addiction ‘they’ cannot quit,

            i, in fact, am ‘them’…

            • If you were “them”, Bad12, you would not be indulging in conflating your personal experience with those of others who are in different/worse position than you.

              Simply because you have had/have circumstances benefitting you that enable you to live a certain lifestyle, does not mean every other person in dire circumstances (ie, the poor) can do the same.

              It is your lack of understanding that is the very essence of the point I made in my blogpost. And your comments here (plus others) illustrate my point perfectly.

              The only thing missing is offering those at the bottom of the socio-economic heap recipes for cake. (You know, because they can’t afford bread.)

              • No Frank, the 2 fellow Mana members i mention in my comments are in the exact same circumstances i am,

                The 3 of us are long term beneficiaries, the 3 of us are HousingNZ tenants, the 3 of us are addicted to tobacco which the 3 of us have been unable despite repeated attempts to quit,

                Nowhere do I suggest that my comments are a panacea for ‘everyone in poverty’ it is you that makes the false jump of logic conflating my comment surrounding 3 of us with the same circumstances to mean ‘everyone’,

                Last time i looked bread was 95 cents a loaf, and, free down at the local community hall if a body can’t afford that,

                i chose not ‘eating cake’, Irish flat bread is my thing, i make it myself every day…

                • Good try bad12, I get your point even if Mr Macskasy doesn’t. There is a lot of petty negativity, envy and resentment at this blog, always a reason why it can’t be done, never a question of what it will take to make it work.

                  When I started out on my own with boundless energy, youthful enthusiasm and a blushing bride at my side, my grandfather gave me a gem of useful advice that I still carry with me. He told me “never wait ’till all the lights are green, otherwise you will spend your life sitting at the first intersection. Instead, on the first green light, proceed with caution and be prepared to learn as you go.”

                  Nobody’s talking about a full on garden here. Just a couple of buckets can make a world of difference, as well as building self confidence.

                  The important thing is just to start. Don’t wait until all the lights are green.

            • And did you get permission from the Land lord for digging in the ground? Some parasitic land lords dont allow you to alter a blade of grass least you give em an excuse to keep your bond.

        • BAD12, if you expect me to be lugging around buckets of soil and assorted plants, from flat to flat, as well as my furniture, when I don’t even have a bloody van, you’ve got to be out of your gourd.

          There’s no point in digging up a landlord’s garden, even if they do give consent, and your idea of living from buckets is, how can I put it, just potty.

          We need security of tenure for housing as well as livable wages. Anything else is a bandaid solution.

    • Excellent advice BAD12!

      However it has fallen on deaf ears.

      Frank doesn’t actually want helpful tips on how beneficiaries can easily feed themselves. Instead he wants endless excuses for their failure to help themselves. His political agenda is to blame all imagined problems on the current government.

      The truth is that the Left doesn’t want to see the poor uplift themselves because that would mean their ideology is redundant.

      • AndrewO – another one who hasn’t bothered to read or consider the point I made. Do the over-grown, weed-ridden planter boxes mean nothing to you? Or do you simply ignore what is in front of your eyes?

        Interesting that you haven’t addressed the points I raised – you’ve simply shifted into bash-the-beneficiaries mode. It’s your default setting, it seems.

        Now, go back; read; and look at the images I posted. What do they tell you?

      • Actually it is the right who don’t want the poor to uplift themselves. If they did that people like you wouldn’t be able to sit in your million dollar North Shore mansions and look down your nose at the peons who don’t share your luxury lifestyle. Feeling superior to the masses must make you feel good, eh?

      • i do not thank you for the support Andrewo, ‘the poor’ definitely cannot feed themselves in any context you are trying to allude to,

        The points i make are more surrounding a financially crippling addiction the costs of which can be negated by growing the stuff which it is legal to do…

        • The rate of taxation on tobacco is unrelated to the cost to society of smokers, particularly in comparison to alcohol costs vs taxation. Personal and familial cost are huge – costs to the health system are not comparatively as there is a high early death rate associated (ie the health cost of a smoker dying in there 40’s -50’s is cheaper than someone dying of Alzheimer and multiple conditions in their 80’s – 90’s). It is disproportionately carried by the poor and poorly paid (as smokes are the poor mans’ prozac). As my friend – who had a stroke before his 50’s birthday said – “I love my job but it’s hard, I don’t know how long I’ll have it. (he’s a electricity meter reader). My smoke is what I look forward to at the end of the day”.

  4. For anyone who still listens to Newstalk ZB which is really a radio station of the National Party, (I gave up years ago)

    Their bedrock foundation mantra:
    These people just need to……….

    Get an education
    Work Harder
    Grow your own vegetables (if you are changing address every 5 minutes especially in Auckland as investors move on and or crank rents up, good luck to you on that one!)

    Its simple! (a very important line to finish off with as it’s just that simple!)

    Optional patronising advice often includes; stop having children, stop eating junk food, stop drinking alcohol and smoking. All of the above said with a snaring dismissive tone!

  5. Yes I agree. Also as well as taking time they also require money to get them going. Fresh herbs are $3 and so forth.

    A bucket garden though is a good idea for renters.

    Although hardly going to get the poor out of poverty, there is something satisfying about growing your own food.

    Maybe lobby councils to have ‘free’ edible gardens. Also allow edible gardens on verges.

    Maybe even schemes where chickens and livestock are run with the produce sold at cost.

    This is where I would like to see government and council money going rather than on $500,000 barristers to defend Ports of Auckland stealing our harbour and 11 million for an apartment in New York to sell our country and way of life off.

    It also does not address people with social and mental health issues who probably don’t have the skills to maintain a veggie garden. I’m just so pleased we can add to the banks 1.69 m 3 month profit so taxpayers can pay them more profit for ‘social bonds’. NOT.

    Any way the neoliberal war is being won skilfully by discourses like the grow your own food for the poor.

    It is time the anti-neoliberal start putting out counter discourses like

    End Corporate Welfare.

    I also think the court action is where this country needs to go as the scams and scandals are relentless.

    As with ports of Auckland the Mayor just blindly believed the discourses he was told by his council officers so the only way to disprove is to take legal action to preserve out country.

    Likewise Greenpeace taking Japan to court over Whaling.

    Some discourses need to go to court to be disproved.

    There seem to be plenty of barristers in parliament and in these blogs, can’t they form groups and alliances to start to fight back.

  6. Agree about govt’s myopia regarding poor and struggling …. agree about grossly unfair/unbalanced rental practices. However am totally for community gardening. Community gardening is the future … whatever the govt. We are shortly to enter the era of food shortage and rising food prices. I’m all for community … and growing healthy food.

  7. What do right-wingers and parrots have in common? They repeat what they have heard from their masters. What is the difference between right-wingers and parrots? Parrots have no idea what it means.

    • Does it make you feel better to dehumanise your political opponents? You must at least get a kick out of thinking you are so intellectually superior to them.

  8. The talkback whining about the poor being too lazy to grow their own food has been going on for many years. Unfortunately, even if they did grow all their own veges (and even those of us that try, can’t) they still need to buy other food items. And until someone invents the tampon tree and the housecleaner hedge there’s plenty of other items that are a drain on often inadequate household budgets.

    • LOL, I had a mental image of a tampon tree. I could also do with one of those housecleaner hedges.

      • Mooncups and bicarbonate of soda for cleaning.

        Free mooncups from Family Planning or pharmacists for people with community cards or other evidence beyond the reach of FP clinics would be a plus.

        Less chance of toxic shock and less junk in the sewage system. Win-win.

        • OMG Mooncups.

          No. Not everyone can use those.

          They will work wonderfully for some people, but some of us just can’t use them. Been there, tried that for a few months.

          I do like the baking soda and vinegar for cleaning though. Many things can be done more cheaply for sure.

    • Ah….yes ….good old Thomas Malthus, and his mates Charles Darwin with his theory of evolution that led to the study of eugenics …

      They had the right idea….with Malthus and his his detailed strategy’s to encourage the poor to die off and Darwin advocating the human species to only let the most pure of DNA pools survive creating a super race of humans….by Joves , eh what ?

      Mind you , a little chap in Germany with a funny mustache tried that a while back…didn’t go too well , dont’cha you know…

      Looks like all those disgusting poor people got quite angry and tarred and feathered him.

      Well chin up , old fruit…we’ve got it more organised now with our global economic plan…this time we’ll finish the business and should be able to get rid of about 5/6’s to 7/8’s of the blighters !!!

      Tally Ho !!!

  9. The other thing I hear the right whine about the poor is if they don’t like their landlord / house they’re renting, they should just move.

    Moving is horribly expensive, and stressful. Rent in advance + bond + one weeks letting fee + GST easily totals over $2,000. For someone on minimum wage or even a bit above that, it’s a lot of money.

    And the letting fee is a cost the tenant never gets back.

    It seems the poor aren’t allowed stability in this dog eat dog society NZ has become.

  10. This is a story that is on msn today.

    It shows that the right only live to blame other people. As evident as it always is.

    “Earlier this week Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy said exporters were complying with the rules and the export enhanced New Zealand’s image.

    However, on Thursday he told 3News: “We could potentially end up with some rule or regulation changes as a result of my officials having a good look.”

    That was despite earlier this week his ministry saying it wasn’t responsible for monitoring what swamp kauri was removed and it fell at the feet of the Northland Regional Council.”

    This quote shows how Nathan Guy just tries to blame other people, firstly dismissing the problem entirely… Now he has to answer some questions.

  11. I agree that there should be no expectation that the poor should grow a vegetable garden because, as you point out , there can be any of a number reasons why that is not feasible. However there is a solution for at least some of the problems. In England after the war most smallish towns had their own allotments, so lack of adequate space was not a problem. However, moving elsewhere remained a problem because you left your allotment behind.
    In Dunedin there is a growing movement to share communal gardens on spare common ground. The participants share in cultivating the whole garden and the produce is shared by all. Although it is possible to see room for dissent in theory, in practice it seems to be working well so far.

  12. Just f-ing hypocrites. Let’s try this track.

    For every garden that produces the veggies for a meal for a poor family successfully and we’ll tax the rich another 1%. 1% of $4 million (CEO salary) is $40,000, then that $40,000 could go towards insulating a poor person’s house, or subsidizing school fees for a poor family.

    1 meal of veggies per week, tax rich 1%. Great trade. Should include this in the upcoming TPPA?? What say you Tim Grosser? Or Murray McCully? Or John Key.

  13. Ignoring the cliches about the simple minded right. I am struggling to work out where this article is going – I see the graph which depicts the increase in child poverty but have difficulty linking it back to the article.

    Is the thrust of this article saying that people renting should not grow their own food because the could be evicted? If so this could link back to the graph – the photos only show a garden that has not been looked after, but no mention in the article as to why the tenants left or were evicted.

    Like Bad12 I seem to have missed the point.

    • Grant – clue: transience and poverty are not conducive to long-term planning such as growing gardens. Any suggestion to the contrary usually comes from people with little Real Life experience with poverty and all the limiting factors involved that reduce choice to matters of day-to-day survival. The pronouncements of the “simple minded Right” are issued from the comforts of stable homes; full bellies; regular disposable income, etc.

      So far, the comments from certain individuals posted here support my contention that judgementalism and simplistic “answers” are all that the Right have to offer. After all, if the Right can sheet home blame to the poor for being poor, because they’ve not (for example) grown their own food, then it absolves you of any further responsibility.

      So far, the comments I’m reading here from certain right-wingers support my criticisms.

      When I read of “solutions” offered like buckets’ – I’m reminded of a certain French aristocrat who suggested cake instead of bread. That did not end well for her, either.

      • Frank – I have spent the past decade working in the not for profit sector and have witnessed many of the instances you raise.
        However, to suggest you are right and anyone with a different view is wrong is offensive at best.

        Much of what you say is absolutely correct but my comments were more about whether this article illustrated that the narrative, graph and the photos proved that the ” The Poor People – Let them eat cake” headline was proven by the article.

        Gardens should not be dismissed by tenants on the basis of transience and poverty as you suggest. This is only one small step (perhaps the smallest) of the many steps needed to deal with poverty.

  14. This is one of those debates which requires a nuanced approach. I’m a member and former Council member of Permaculture in NZ, and decreasing food miles is a very important goal for us. It contributes to fresher food, reduced fossil fuel use, reduced agri-chemical use, and greater food security (not to mention that organically grown veges are often much more nutrient dense than their long travelling, industrial counterparts). Encouraging and supporting more backyard gardens, and more planting of fruit and nut trees, is part of the picture, as is support for more community gardens and orchards, and stopping existing ones from being unnecessarily destroyed.

    But as others have expressed already in the comments above, there are a myriad of challenges to overcome, before a person can start living off the land. In all my years of visiting permaculturists and their communities, I only ever met one couple who were 100% self-sufficient in food. They owned the 1 acre property they lived on, had no children, and spent most of their time gardening, about which they were very passionate.

    If there’s anything we can do to increase the collective food security in our communities, by all means, let’s do that. Yes, people who are able to harvest at least some of their fruit and vege needs from their own yard, or a community supply, are eating healthier, and do have more cash left in their pocket than those who aren’t. But let’s also remember that people who win lotto are also better off than those who don’t. That’s no excuse for a victim-blaming approach which claims that non-winners of Lotto should have bought a Lotto ticket, and have only themselves to blame for their situation.

  15. Long before Helen Clark, an agenda was put into place and most are not aware of it. We keep assuming that governments are in control. That our lame PM and other leaders are other than puppets to a world wide agenda meant to depopulate and turn things over to a new order.






Comments are closed.