What a disgusting state of affairs


Every day the news just get gets worse. Reports are coming out thick and fast about families at the end of their tether with no food and needing urgent help in this lockdown. 

Variety is tugging at the heartstrings with tales of unbelievable deprivation. Kidscan are running an urgent drive to raise money for food parcels. Social media is full of it. But how exhausting and inefficient it is to feed low-income families this way. 

If you are in that age bracket when your kids worry about you and do your shopping in lockdown, you will know how hard it is to get exactly what you want when someone else chooses. You get bananas that are too ripe or too big for example.  This might be a trivial inconvenience for us but desperate families have to take whatever the generic food parcel contains, whether or not culturally or nutritionally inappropriate.

Private charity, not collective responsibility rules in New Zealand. And so, we devolve to the American welfare model.  The time and energy involved obtaining, packing parcels, keeping records and delivering during lockdown is eye watering. Add that to the inefficiency and inadequacy of food grants from WINZ (Work and Income) with growing stories of how difficult they are to access. But worse still is the entrenchment of poverty, ensnaring of growing debt and loss of dignity. 

One thing markets do well is to enable the efficient distribution of food – providing of course people have the money. If we just gave families all the money private charities spend on advertising to cajole donations, the tax rebates on these, and the direct government grants to foodbanks it would be so much better.

Julie Chapman the CEO of KidsCan was asked how this country got to this crisis when we have enough food to feed everyone.  She correctly identified that there is a group that have been deliberately left behind.  

The already highly disadvantaged group, including far too many children in their formative years, is growing larger. How were they left behind?  

Housing is the topic for another blog but here I want to focus on Working for Families, a major redistributive programme. It is the way income gets specifically to meet the costs of children in low-income families.

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Sadly this programme was never designed for recessions let alone lockdowns and there are many features of it that make it far less effective than it should be.

The full package for those on incomes under $42,700 is $185 a week for one child, $276 for two and $89 extra for each additional child. Below $42,700, Working for Families should be a secure cushion that helps protects all children but that is often not the reality.

One fatal flaw is that a significant part of Working or Families is tied to the performance of paid work.  This means when people lose work as they are doing in this current situation their children can also lose support of at least $72.50 a week.  That money would be greatly helpful for families in our midst who can’t feed their kids right now. 

AAAP Advocate Agnes Magele know this all too well when her job disappeared, and she needed to access a benefit.   She lost $72.50 a week of Working for Families out of an already impossibly tight budget and now with lockdown has to feed teenagers at home.

We know that government is reviewing Working for Families, but the years roll by.  They should have fixed it a long time ago. We can learn from Australia on this one. Australian family tax benefits do not reduce when families have to access benefits.  They are adjusted each year for inflation – ours have not changed since 2018 while prices have increased more for beneficiaries than others. Australian Family Tax Benefits are much more generous and inclusive. For families in work, they reduce much more slowly from a higher income level ($A 56,370) that is adjusted upwards every year.

We can’t wait for the outcome of the government’s secret review of WFF. This crisis demands that we don’t further marginalise and neglect the group that was already far too far behind. 



      • “Giving away NZ pensions to overseas pensioners retiring in NZ, doesn’t help, poverty.” Write a letter to John Key, and ask him why his government allowed tens of thousands of pensioner age people to immigrate to NZ between 2009-2017.. This is the stark reality that will confront every government that exists in NZ until those “bludgers” die off.. Or would you rather they just threw them into poverty like the nats were so good at doing? Remembering, of course, that only those who don’t vote national were thrown onto that particular scrapheap…

        • I agree, it is not just labour, lazy immigration for the ‘rockstar’ economy was sky rocketed with John Key. Problem is Labour and Greens have kept it going, and the problems are coming home to roost. We have the 3% high income earners like doctors and professionals leaving NZ, while they are replaced ten fold wit people on benefits like pensions, low incomes and criminals who are NZ citizens on the back of a few years in NZ as a child.

      • Giving pensions to 7000 people who earn over $200,000 is ridiculous, as is the energy payment that everyone from 65 on gets. Of course some people should get it but not everyone.

        • Disagree, they worked, earned, hired, paid tax (mostly?)contributed to the social net over working life. it is a Citizen right.

          Answer to welfare woes is not more means testing/targeting but less. Bring back UFB, bring Universal Student Allowance as steps towards UBI. See every citizen as a Shareholder/Stakeholder in our national Economy/Society & UBI as the Citizens’ Dividend/wage.

          • Are you saying that pensioners still working and earning at least $200,000 should still get the pension because they have paid taxes and contributed to society.

            That is nuts, they are earning money way beyond what most people ever earn in a year.

  1. Would “Working for Families” be needed if the government lowered the cost of living by axing GST on all essentials? Low earners of course spend a larger fraction of their income on the basics (rent, food, power, clothing), and axing GST on all of these should lower their cost of living by close to 15%. We love to think we’re better than the Aussies, but I understand that in Oz there is not GST on most essentials.

    Any government that was serious about reducing “child poverty” would also reexamine the parameters of the DPB. It was meant to be a stop-gap measure, but has become a lifestyle, with some women having as many as 10 children with DPB support. Who wins from the government paying uneducated young women to try to raise a succession of “fatherless” kids? Fatherlessness is a strong predictor of dropping out at school, becoming welfare-dependent, and becoming delinquent.

    So-called “child poverty” in NZ isn’t solely a problem of cash. I’ve worked with refugees from poor countries, and seen how they have home-making skills that are often lacking in the NZ underclass – they can cook, sew, budget etc.

    • First, Australia have a GST of 10% and exempt basics so it is much better than NZ for low income people yet their working for families equivalent is STILL far more generous– so no, getting rid of GST is not the answer- if we did so we still have to raise the revenue from something else that will also hurt the poor.
      Second, the blatant sexism in your second paragraph belongs in the 19th century. Oh dear, demonising that mythical 10 child sole parent- come on!
      Child poverty is not just a lack of cash. What do you know of the “underclass” and how hard 3 try to manage in a world where actual money is needed to feed their children?

      • “so no, getting rid of GST is not the answer- if we did so we still have to raise the revenue from something else that will also hurt the poor.”

        I don’t follow. How about a more progressive income tax system, with top tax rates similar to those in Australia? How would that hurt the poor?

        As for the “sexism” charge:

        “According to the National Principals Association (2010), 71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes and children with fathers who are involved in their life are 70% less likely to drop out of school.”

        The quote is from this paper:
        Suh, S., Malchow, A., & Suh, J. (2014). Why Did the Black-White Dropout Gap Widen in the 2000s?. Educational Research Quarterly, 37(4), 19-40.

        and the original source is:
        National Principals Association. (2010). I need a father: A father role in child custody. Retrieved from http://www. fathersrightsdallas.com/tag/national-principals-association-report-on-the-state-of-high-schools/

        A charge of “sexism” isn’t a substitute for evidence, or a proper argument.

        • Is this the Educational Research Quarterly referred to?
          Educational Research Quarterly – Journal information | ERIH …
          https://dbh.nsd.uib.no › periodical › info.action
          International title: Educational Research Quarterly. p-ISSN: 0196-5042 Period: [1976 .. ] Language: English. Country of publication: United States.

          I note that it springs from the United States where right-wing publications abound. I think that Susan St George could give us far more apposite information.
          Note that many of the States have introduced vicious anti-female legislation aimed at denying women rights over their fertility. Certain males here, in the USA and other backward parts of the world, find great satisfaction in condemning women out of wedlock. They would like to ‘lock up’ such women, not regard them as a valued part of society carrying out an important role.

          • Grey Warbler. Equally evil, is the threat by the New Zealand Prime Minister to imprison parents who do not agree to their vulnerable children receiving chemical puberty blockers.

            The most benevolent way to view this would be as ham-fisted ignorance, but it is such an abrogation of parental legal and moral duty, and of the right of children to expect protection from their parents, that it is sinister.

            The same noisy advocates for the state acting in loco parentis in gender issues, are nowhere nearly as vocal about the state providing food for children, or a home; nor do they see a need, or furnish a threat, to step in with these deficiencies, but only with gender aka sex issues, and that is perplexing.

        • Perhaps you could go talk to the fathers of these ‘fatherless’ children. Or are their mothers all called Mary

        • That isn’t a NZ paper and it is you, not Susan, that mentioned 10 children families, Pope. Using a 7 year old American paper to try and justify your sexist assumptions is not smart. Still, Pope, the Catholic Church, the second hand status of women – all of a piece, n’est ce pas? Crikey, Pope, get your act together!

    • Oh yes the 10 child myth. Begun by Shipley, she knew of a woman who had k10 kids by 10 different men. Wowee, if she did it would have been one woman only in the whole of the country.

      When we are going to stop vilifying solo Mums.

      When are we going to get up in arms about the individuals and businesses that find loop holes in the IRD rules, seriously this is huge money compared with anything solo parents do.

      • Nobody is vilifying solo Mums – my beef is with our weak, short-termist politicians, and poor government policy. Neither I am concerned about the money paid to solo Mums; as I tried to my clear in my comments above, my concern is about the long-term social consequences of the DPB and of fatherlessness.

          • Even when the woman cheated, didn’t tell the father she was pregnant, decided not to have an abortion or use contraception/insist on condom, or decided to have kids with unemployed losers/gang fuckwits etc.
            please, it takes two to tango… Women need to take responsibility for their actions too

            • Are so you decide that a woman should have to insist on a condom, when the hell are men going to take responsibility.

              Women cheated…. for goodness sake, women having been paying for years for mens’ stupidity.

        • Oh yes you are
          “t was meant to be a stop-gap measure, but has become a lifestyle, with some women having as many as 10 children with DPB support’

          That is not even a realistic comment, how many women have had 10 children whilst getting DPB support – talk about gross exaggeration.

  2. The woke have worked with the right wingers to create this poverty disaster. It’s increased because the woke are more interested in identity politics and cancel culture than real policy and looking at all the facts.

    As for supporting Kids Can and Variety, they are essentially creating a business out of poverty which is disgusting with many scandals such as….

    “In his Public Address blog yesterday, media commentator Russell Brown questioned why $1.5 million of the $1.95m raised by KidsCan organisations in the year to December 2008 went in operating costs, leaving 19 cents in the dollar for its charitable programmes.”


    The money going to ‘consumer items’ like raincoats and shoes…. seriously, that’s what they spend the money on raincoats and shoes!! Plenty of raincoats and shoes in charity shop donations for nothing! The kids need food and love and security and a decent education, not consumer items from quasi charities!

    Neoliberals and woke love them though!

    • There is currently a majority Labour government. Stop making excuses and giving them a pass on this. It is their choice to continue down this current route where our most vulnerable are worse off, year on year. The social housing waiting list has more than quadrupled in the past four years, wake up!

      • I don’t give them a pass on this. I’ve been complaining that their woke led housing is making things worse – especially getting rid of landlords offering more affordable and better quality housing than emergency and social housing.

        Cancel culture has government demo-ing the housing due to not meeting the woke gold standards of ‘warm, dry’ , with no real other options to replace them or worse housing options making people worse off.

        Ask the renters do they want rentals of old for $400 p/w or do they want emergency housing or social housing estates full of drugs for $1200 p/w but apparently meeting the woke warm and dry, but also unsafe because of the other tenants. https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/i-told-you-someone-would-get-killed-christchurch-man-angry-after-complaints-about-social-housing-problems-fell-on-deaf-ears/OQEZ4OSINXDVNVJM43PEV7CK4U/

        Neoliberalism as well as the considerable social damage of children growing up in slums with dysfunctional people, is clearly not cheaper than what NZ used to do!

        “It is costing $1 million a day for emergency and transitional housing; the vast bulk – $900,000 – is spent on the former, prompting calls for much better oversight of some places described as dangerous and crime ridden. There are no contracts between the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) and those supplying the rooms, nor specific obligations tagged to the millions being paid out.”


    • The items from second hand shops are usually old and tired .New gives the wearer a good feeling that someone cares. A boy in my class years ago always had seconds and he was tormented children can be cruel

      • Maybe if the other 80% of the KidsCan charity donations went to the kids they could actually do more for the poor.

        I don’t hold much hope to solve poverty if people are brainwashed into think that poverty is solved by private charities who take 80% of their donations in profits and 20% goes towards raincoats while complaining that kids don’t have enough to eat.

        • When I first retired I worked as a volunteer with a charity organisation teaching young couples how to cook,basic meals. I was surprised at the lack of basic knowledge there was about food and budgeting there was . Unfortunately the government changed and they lost their funding and I was not allowed to carry on. These young people were let down by athe system and parents that had not equipped them for life.
          When I had my catering business I was surprised at the money some of these feel good organisations spent on food for lunches and evening functions.Not all but some .

          • I’m all for community schemes to help people. Weird how low cost schemes get cancelled and millions go to help a handful of people run by ex mobsters.

          • Trevor. I’ve said before, how recipients of a volunteer social service I was on, complained about getting flour in their food packages, because they didn’t know what it was for. Some were given cooking lessons, by volunteers.

            In the New Zealand I grew up in, all primary school girls went to weekly cooking classes. ( I don’t know about the boys, but can check that out.)
            We learnt cooking basics, and nutrition, and we enjoyed it.

            Somewhere along the way, ( possibly while I was out of the country) the politically correct people who seem to have captured the Education Dept, decided that this was sexist stereotyping, so when I had a daughter in the relevant age group here, she did metal work – decorative stuff, birds silhouetted in copper etc, nice, but a lost opportunity to learn important basics from a specialist teacher.

            Back then it was a family norm to grow and preserve vegetables and fruit, and school and church fairs featured these home made goodies. Now there are health regulations prohibiting some of these activities, and food growing is hard to do living in a car, a garage, aunty’s shed, a carport, or couch surfing and constantly on the move.Or in a tent.

            Processed food wasn’t nearly as prevalent as it is now, and as you know food is much costlier here in New Zealand than it is in the UK.

            Government refusal to plant out state houses with fruit trees is nasty; I assume that’s to protect local producers and importers, but the children of the poor should come first – especially when a third of our apple crop
            goes to waste anyway.

            • Giving pensions to 7000 people who earn over $200,000 is ridiculous, as is the energy payment that everyone from 65 on gets. Of course some people should get it but not everyone.

            • In the New Zealand I grew up in, all primary school girls went to weekly cooking classes. ( I don’t know about the boys, but can check that out.)

              They still do but it is to be frank pretty minimal, they should learn how to make a proper meal with fresh veges and pulses that is tasty and inexpensive, it can be done.

              Yes I did these classes and learn out to make junket and other silly things.

              I expect they won’t put fruit trees on properties because they might get chopped down or not look after or whateveer, nothing to do with protecting the industry.

              Nothing should be dumped, there should be somewhere people can go and get stuff for free, frankly all the op shops that are run by church organisations, Red Cross, habitat and Nurse Maude should have a ‘free table’ all the time. Some of the stuff is too expensive.

              1/3 I am told of the stuff that comes into these charities is biffed! 1/3 sold and the other 1/3 may be biffed later on.

      • I grew up wearing secondhand, no one noticed, many other kids around me too. secondhand doesn’t mean wornout rags lol …plus my mum sewed & knit. we lived simply, ate well, always had shoes, rain jacket, lunches etc. my mum looked after two kids on dpb no problems. She didn’t drink, smoke or do drugs though. Only kids who around me who went without were those whose parents preferred getting pissed etc than look after their kids.

    • One of the things I occasionally wonder about is how many of those working for various charities get paid over $100K? I had heard being a director on charity BODs was a nice little earner too. It is certainly disturbing how little of the donated money actually makes it to the people who need it. It is also disturbing that much of the fund raising is now carried out by commercial organizations that take a large slice of the donations. It is quite off putting when you donate to charities, that you get bombarded by requests from other worthy charities and if you sign up for a monthly subscription, they then bombard you with requests to increase your monthly amount. I currently donate over 1% of my earnings to various charities, but I find a lot of these tactics really turn me off.

      • Oh and the sheer volume of junk & paper that gets sent out to encourage you to give even more money! I don’t need another pen, wrapping paper, gift cards, address labels and a few reams of paper, that is just money wasted that should be going to those in need.

        • I don’t donate to any charity which mails me unsolicited goods like address labels, biros etc. I have complete confidence in the Salvation Army, think the Vincent de Paul is ok too, but am sceptical of some I perhaps shouldn’t be.

      • Cambodia was the eye opener for me. A poor country ravaged by various world powers, then itself, a bunch of people living on $2 US a day, land mines and unexploded ordnance all over the place. Basic subsistence living in the countryside often with the risk of injury or death.
        And the NGO charities driving their signwritten Lexus SUVs around Pnom Penh like thy aren’t the parasites they are.
        I only ever give direct support as a donation now.

      • Yes Richard, I stopped giving to the Anglican city mission in Christchurch because they head honcho gets a ridiculous salary. I do give to the methodist city mission and I think she is on $80,000, I can cope with that.

        Somebody was recently telling me that what happened was that corporate managers started applying for these types of jobs and the salaries went up and up and up.

      • Kia ora Richard

        “It is quite off putting when you donate to charities, that you get bombarded by requests from other worthy charities and if you sign up for a monthly subscription, they then bombard you with requests to increase your monthly amount.”

        The above has never ever happened to me.

        • Lucky you, we’ve told a couple that we’ll cancel our subscription if they didn’t stop the calls. The paper avalanche & random “gifts” general come from the big name charities I occasionally make one off donations to.

  3. No CGT causes high house prices which causes high rents which causes child poverty. Tilty frown head let the poor kids down to enrich the already rich. This party is not worthy of the name Labour. Its time to demand it calls itself something more appropriate, maybe the ‘woke empathy party’, then we can start a real Labour party who considers poor people just as important as the rich.

      • No Kevin, Labour instigated neoliberalism, this is their baby, it is National who are Labour lite.
        neoliberalism = Labour. Ardern worked for Blair.

        The “Labour” in their name certainly does not refer to their working class origin any longer, it refers to what citizens must do until they die, to struggle to pay their bills in this country with a low wage economy and one of the highest costs of living on the planet.
        Labour is thrice damned for pretending to care and even campaigning on it, but making housing much much more unaffordable on their watch, with deliberate asset inflation as a covid strategy.
        Jacinda deified herself patron saint of Child Povidy.

        The Nats never pretended to care (“what housing crisis”?)

    • I guess the team of 5 million that used to be 3.5 million 15 years ago, plus circa 1 million visitors pre Covid, doesn’t effect housing because the new people live in thin air not houses. (Sarcasm)

      Oh, and CGT doesn’t go on the family home, which is where the demand is from increasing our population artificially. Migrants generally afford NZ housing from bringing money (or people) into NZ, not earning the money from NZ wages.

      Also the statistic of building consents is fake news, You can’t live in a pending consent, you need a code of compliance measured against the prices paid (affordability) of new housing coming on board, to quantify if the new builds are helping NZ housing issues.

      And guess what, the woke/right wingers/government/developers don’t want to measure real measures, because the new builds are not affordable on NZ wages! Thus only incoming people can generally afford them which is why immigration has become a NZ Ponzi.

      Work it out, we will be worse off than 15 years ago in spite of all the new builds.

      Everything in NZ seems to be about spin, and giving more money and creating dysfunctional policy to help construction and other companies like consumer companies (power, food, etc) to keep rising while any form of wage increase has the woke and right wingers screaming for border opening and cheap workers to abound who all need, surprise, surprise, housing, health care, food, power, etc, keeping the exploiters profits going nicely without increasing productivity or any innovation in Dinosaur NZ!

      Side effect, is increasing property. Taxes will do nothing, it needs a brain to stop the Ponzi. People seem to believe NZ laws are optional for the woke, and no need put in tax returns! https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/tauranga-barrister-and-wife-convicted-for-multiple-tax-evasion-offences/VPEW5WDZQIV36LMH465GUGYRNU/

      The first thing to do, is to start to fine and recover all the missing taxes from the last 15 years from people who apparently don’t put in tax returns and when searched have millions in cash and assets from dubious means. All this cash and the moneylaundering through NZ businesses, then drives up the prices of housing in NZ!

      Lawyers’ fees restrained by police after Auckland drug bust

      “According to Inland Revenue records neither Yim nor Wu, who arrived in New Zealand in 1991 and 1994, have ever declared their income nor paid any tax.

      As part of the raids on Yim, police also seized 12 luxury sports cars valued at more than $1.3m, including a Ferrari worth more than $500,000 and a Lamborghini Gallardo. More than $1.8m in cash was seized and a further 1kg of methamphetamine found.

      Watches, jewellery, electronics, and 48 bottles of vintage French wine valued at about $42,000 were also seized.”

      It’s now not unusual for millions in cash bag in rubbish sacks to be found around apparently ‘legitimate’ fronted businesses. https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/115014183/cigarette-smuggling-case-defendants-keep-names-secret-to-protect-children-employees

      “It is understood Customs officers searched storage facilities and other addresses associated with the couple and found about 1.5 million cigarettes.

      They also found more than $4.1 million stashed mostly in black rubbish bags.”

  4. A thought provoking post from Susan. To me the problem is that in NZ any government is happy to manipulate the population to try and support itself. Salvation Army, rescue helicopter, our ambulance set up and all charities mentioned in Susan’s post. So when there’s a shortfall as is presently, our government thinks it’s it’s doing its job by giving a little support. Very little. The reasons given for not taking GST off food is the so called complicated administrative issues which makes it costly. Worse than that the tax take goes down and so the argument goes where will we get the money for infrastructure replacement etc. the answer is the Government just have to wear it. Like in Aus. Most likely there would be less hand outs needed. The CGT has a similar problem of big admin costs and not much money but all helps and like X labour I believe we need one. As it stands you’ve got more chance of that from National than this gutless Government.

  5. Isn’t it funny? We’d rather brawl in the streets because of differing opinions re getting vaccinated but when it comes to child ( And parent) poverty we’re ambivalent at best.
    Such is the power the banks hold over us.
    The banks have our trans party politic in their rapacious hands. It is they who own and manage you, me and our AO/NZ but do we see revolt against their tyranny? Nope siree you don’t. We certainly see the damage they cause as highlighted above.
    Those same banks own and control our primary industry, they own and control our trade relations and they own and control virtually all of our taxes paid for services and amenities. They will, by various tentacular* transactions control and profit from all those fantastic things we must have in order to survive that we’ve all paid for in advance. They will have tentacles in our hospitals, our rail, our mail, our doctors and dentists, in our police and military, in our public and private schools, in our universities, in our media whether it’s commercial or state funded ( Because our politics is capitalist by shameless default then banksters will be in every artery and vein of our state owned systems. )
    People? Read this? Go on ? You can do it.
    Stephen Minto.
    33 years as an IRD employee.
    In my opinion and while I’m no accountant this guy cleverly illustrates just how cunning, manipulative and dangerous the relationship the banks have with that most important infrastructure we have. The one that apportions our wealth about on our behalf and without it, we’re doomed to poverty and powerlessness; OUR IRD. It’s for us, by us. Lets never forget that!
    Our tax department which we must pay in to, to ensure our most at risk are considered before anything or anyone else as its primary objective.
    Westpac NZ is our IRD’s bank. Westpac is one of the Scum Four who take billions of dollars out of our economy in NET profits annually and we have children, and their parents consequently, living in poverty.
    That, is on us. We’re to blame for that. We allow a foreign owned bank to take food out of the mouths of our kids. The banks are merely brash, ugly buildings operated by soulless arse holes but what the fuck are we?
    Fatigued and overwhelmed? Too busy paying the mortgages on the grossly inflated home prices the banks over inflated? Are our kids not hungry enough yet? Are there not yet enough rich fucking yanks buying up our lands and our economy?
    If you’re not pacing around the lounge in a rage right now, you’re not fucking paying attention!
    YOU must insist YOUR politicians take action against the foreign banks. Effective immediately.
    The banks are an insidious and invasive force and they’ve had their way with us for far, far too long.
    Aye boys?
    * • (usu. tentacles) an insidious spread of influence and control: the Party’s tentacles reached into every nook and cranny of people’s lives.
    Great work @ SSJ.

  6. Normalising child poverty… That has been the status quo for at least two decades now.. Why is it only now we stert to apportion blame for this situation… I agree that much more can be done to alleviate the situation, but most real solutions are not short term fixes.. If this issue is going to be addressed on a more permanent basis, then the first thing that needs doing is building homes that don’t cost the bulk of peoples income to stay in… And a return to rental housing that has cooking facilities that amount to more than just a microwave oven as the only method… just like it used to be before John Key and the greedy, and selfish rabble that propped up the blatant exploitation of public infrastructure, education, housing and health… Not to mention the destruction of NZ’s manufacturing, and industrial capacity, which has reduced us all to having to import basic necessities instead of being able to make our own stuff.. Property is the only growth industry left in NZ.. It’s really that simple… Is there anyone out there that understands just how much NZ’s ability to look after it’s own people has been destroyed? I’m starting to have my doubts..

    • stefan
      Ok, I have a semi-meaningful opinion here, I think. Your last para is the key. This country needs to make a lot of money to look after its own people – and get rid of poverty. But we have closed and are still closing more and more avenues to make serious money. Starting with basic stuff like commodity exploration for example. And industry. It’s all taboo now, ‘no can do’, mostly because of NIMBYism I suspect. We hang our hat on tourism. Well, hello Covid…where are the tourists? ‘No can do’ has become a political disease. eg. Other countries can make those cars that we want, but we don’t want big factories…they pollute. But hey, we want the cars. We want it all, but don’t want to get dirty ourselves. We used to, but not any more. I keep quoting Norway and countries like that – they have no problem supporting their people. How? Oil. We need to stop that ‘no can do’ shit.

  7. Denounce Capitalism and Wokery. We’d be half way to resolving the massive poverty, housing, Homelessness issues as well as the health and education Crisis.

  8. Housing Crisis = All subsidies end up with the land gentry.
    Answer: Cancel All Subsidies; especially Accommodation Supplements and Working-for-Families. Stop allocating building resources to communist endeavors (social housing) immediately.

    Socialist’s Answer: “How will we bribe voters”?

  9. stefan
    Ok, I have a semi-meaningful opinion here, I think. Your last para is the key. This country needs to make a lot of money to look after its own people – and get rid of poverty. But we have closed and are still closing more and more avenues to make serious money. Starting with basic stuff like commodity exploration for example. And industry. It’s all taboo now, ‘no can do’, mostly because of NIMBYism I suspect. We hang our hat on tourism. Well, hello Covid…where are the tourists? ‘No can do’ has become a political disease. eg. Other countries can make those cars that we want, but we don’t want big factories…they pollute. But hey, we want the cars. We want it all, but don’t want to get dirty ourselves. We used to, but not any more. I keep quoting Norway and countries like that – they have no problem supporting their people. How? Oil. We need to stop that ‘no can do’ shit.

    • The Kraut
      You miss the point. We used to do things for ourselves as much as possible but were convinced under I think Ricardo’s theorem that it is more efficient for countries to specialise where they have comparative advantage. So we milk our way to prosperity, don’t even make our own soap like we used to. Countries with large populations or clever robots do everything for us while we sit abjectly in our imported cars as we can’t have paying jobs to afford a house. The system works for some people, but can’t be explained at any intelligent human level.

      • I don’t think I missed the point entirely. I said we used to do things, now we don’t…as you say. So we agree there. Take Marsden Point – read the post from Chris Leitch? Brilliant example of business case how we could still do things better here. But we won’t. Woke politics! What about the dirty coal we import? We have coal here. Woke politics. Oil
        ..we have plenty oil off the Naki. Woke politics. Tiwai could be rubbish burner that makes energy and useful by-product….I could go on. We can’t feed the nation off three guys inventing an app and then selling it to Microsoft. It only feeds three.

      • This is all dumb stuff and in it all there are miles and miles of carbon pollution. My husband only wears shoe made in NZ – McKinleys a small family business in Otepoti.

        Of course we should make our own soap and so many other things, but it would upset the many many ‘free trade’ agreements this country has foolishly signed up to.

        • Ok, it’s all dumb stuff. My ideas had 1000s of jobs in them, your shoes have 5 jobs in them. As for free trade…trade what? A few pairs of shoes, when we could sell millions of tonnes of oil. As for miles and miles of carbon pollution? Other smart countries get around it. Anyhow…You win. I’m dumb.

  10. This is so true. “Private charity, not collective responsibility rules in New Zealand. And so, we devolve to the American welfare model.”

    What a shame to us – the proud forgers ahead of welfare in last century. Couldn’t hold onto practical means to maintain pride in ourselves as citizens and be a small country with nous. Sneering and derisive approach from those who ‘made it’ – who can’t see the twisted approach – can’t embrace NZ and see all our citizens contribute and participate too and live well and happy.

  11. Meanwhile TV1’s 7 o’clock “news” show ran a fund raiser for a couple who didn’t bother with house insurance but managed to rescue their ponies during the Auckland rainstorm.

  12. Child poverty is really about poverty. We forgot our heart. Unless it was via a sweet face.

    Long live the neediest despite their faces.

  13. A friend said to me in the 1970’s “It should be a crime for any NZ government to allow anyone to be homeless or hungry”. The problem existed then and was just as real for those confronted with it.
    Since then we have had endless governments promise to fix it; huge sums of money poured into social welfare; endless (new) charities tackling the problem all asking for more and more money – and the problem has continued to increase, exponentially fueled by the Covid crisis.
    Seems to me that if we keep trying to solve this problem doing the same things we will just get the same results IE ever increasing dependency.
    Inequality has grown over the last 5 decades with companies making ever increasing profits at the cost of lower wages; foreign ownership has increased with the profits flowing off-shore; the property market has become an investment paradise. I see these factors as major contributors to the poverty we are now seeing.
    We need to urgently rebuild the fence at the top of the cliff and stop expecting the ambulance at the bottom to be able to pick up the pieces.

  14. In the last couple of years we have donated about $11,000. We give it to the Salvation Army, I think these are streets ahead of many of the others. They for years have been putting out a highly critical report of successive governments and their care or lack of care of the poor and dispossessed.

    At a local level we give toe the Methodist Mission.

    For overseas aid we give to CWS, all we contribute goes specifically to aid programmes, most recently Haiti and Afghanistan. The head honcho does not earn bundles.

  15. Basically NZers are greedy. Most, especially the right-wingers wouldn’t know or visit those anyone in need and couldn’t give a shit about child poverty, homelessness, unemployment, Maori and Pacifica, immigrants or other deprived populations. People are really hurting now.
    On the contrary, my wife and I have a nice house and apartment in Auckland Central, investments, shares and well paying jobs until our recent retirements. We are also superannuation beneficiaries which we put towards cruising every year. With no cruising we give to charities and help our pohara whanau. What I am saying is that we don’t need the super payment and there are thousands of other super beneficiaries who don’t need it. Superannuation is the biggest burden on the social welfare budget and should be MEANS TESTED and only go to those who need it.

  16. Nikorima Be careful what you wish for. Superannuation is a form of distribution of government receipts to the people. Cut it off and there will be big O in its place. As you state, if those with money especially receiving super, put it into job producing wage paying housing trusts – form of social investment NZ would be better off. But we have been taught that it is right to keep what you have legitimately gained, and a token generosity suffices most comfortably off.

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