Thank you Children’s Commissioner Francis Eivers!


It’s so refreshing to see a public official speaking truth to power as Children’s Commissioner Francis Eivers has done by saying a spike in young people behind the wheel in ram raids is being created by families living in a “total state of hopelessness”. 

Ms Eivers says child welfare and criminality are social issues and increasing poverty cannot go ignored. And who is responsible for the poverty? The Prime Minister is also the Minister for Child Poverty reduction.

And Ms Eivers is giving some positive advice on ways forward which can be summed up as building community solidarity together with children and their families.

Thanks heaven for sane voices such as the Children’s Commissioner amongst the vitriolic voices which have vengeance as their solution.


  1. Child poverdy should not be ignored.
    Sadly it can be. The current policy setting of the government is “Fuck the Poor” and the future seems less bright than the present.

  2. “Truth to power” os such a cringe saying imported from the woke circles of the US of A

    But I digress

    People had it tougher in the depression years of the 1930’s but society did not unravel like it is now. Kids were not out of control then and smashing in shop fronts even though their families were dead broke,

    Something is going on but it is not all about “increasing poverty”

    This is more about social degeneration and when you look at where our society is at and the people we look up to and the themes being spread through social media and entertainment etc it ill come as no surprise that (some) kids are getting wilder and more out of control

    Reap what you sow

    IMO of course.

    • ‘Truth to power’ has its origins in the USA – correct – but well before any ‘woke circles’ or somesuch, were ever heard of. It is believed to be credited to Baynard Ruskin a black Quaker, back in 1942.
      Though not nearly as ancient in origin as your ‘reap what you sow’ – or do you blame ‘woke’ (whatever is meant by that word – I haven’t heard/read a definition yet of ‘woke’ that has not been contradicted or cringe-making itself in some way!) for that saying too?

      • VV I can see that you are one of those who would fiddle while Rome burned. This blog is therapy for people who have to keep their minds active and useful somehow or way, only some have caught a complaint leading to suffering from a bout of verbal diarrhoea. We have to watch that we don’t get caught up in prolix and circuitous presentations that end up as serpentine pronouncements that do not enlighten and twist back on themselves to greater darkness.

      • what I really meant to say is a quote from The Joker

        “You get what you fucking deserve”

        full stop.

    • I guess in the 1930’s it was pretty hard to convince the horse you were on to go through the shop window 🙂

      In all seriousness it might be a bit of stretch to say society is unravelling. Statistically youth crime rates don’t suggest that the majority of minors are out there driving vehicles through shop fronts. That said the ones caught the other day in Auckland were a 20 year old and three teens (is that minor or 18, 19?) so we don’t actually know its all kids.

      I guess there has always been haves, and have nots but in the 1930’s depression possibly there were a lot more nots and they didn’t feel like they were being left for dead or have social media, MSM (bordering on click bait) and instant recognition to egg them on. Or its a case of “glorifying the past when the future dries up” and there were in fact other forms of theft in 1930’s, just not necessarily iPhones, clothing and other mall contents.

      • wheel: the opposite of unravelling (to come apart) is coming together, being joined.

        which way do you think our society is going? Especially since social media came on the scene…

      • Gargarin My Grandparents lived through it and I heard all their stories, Kids going to school without any shoes, stepping in cow pats to warm their feet up in winter. None of them turned to whatever the 1920’s and 30’s equivalent of ram raiding. They just got on with their lives.

        When I was a kid people didn’t dump their old mattress’s out on the side of the road, alleyways didn’t reek of fresh piss and tagging was pretty much non existent. Streets weren’t full of litter either. These are all signs of a Society that is in a state of degeneration. Ran raids for booze and cggies are just another part of the downfall

        • and did they tell you about the rise in crime during the period straight…no different crimes different times…smash n grab and when did you last hear of a safe job?

          remind me why flick knives are illegal in NZ* because in the 50’s there were no juvinile delinquents is that it?

          ‘eeehhhhh when I were a lad’ are 10 a penny and trust me I’m the past master at em.

          *yes I know ‘moral panic’ not unlike our current ram raid moral panic though

          • because it is all about context. sure crime might have gone up but that’s because it was starting at a low base line so any increase was going to be noticeable

            here’s an interesting article

            “Is somebody who’s never pulled a strong-armed stickup in their life likely to go start doing that because they lost their job?” he says. “Not so much. Is a household that’s already been troubled and has a history of domestic violence going to be even further strained, and is it likely to escalate? Much more likely.”


            So the its the break down of the family unit, the degeneration of society in general that is the major player imo

            • your last para could be a quote from the C19th….see the point I’m making.

              there’s a probably apocryphal story that graffito where found in Pompeii along the lines of-
              the current generation are lazy good for nothings what they need is 10yrs in the legions.

  3. Yes agree we need to do something to help these people living in a state of hopelessness rather than hollow promises which is all they have received.

  4. the ram raid trend is a social media fueled frenzy. I had an eldest child who was a total petrol head. He had done a defensive driving course organised by the school he attended by the time he was 15 years. As a result of that he was able to pass his driver’s license at that age.
    I believe that is the reason he survived the madness of the hormone rush that is teenage hood. Lowered vehicles high performance engines drifting etc etc etc.
    He has always been occupied/employed in the engineering mechanical world. And agreed with me at age 20 that no one should have a license to drive under the age of 18 years.
    These kids honestly believe they have nothing to lose.
    Constantly condemning them is a waste of time.
    They need old vehicles and a paddock or three to drive around in.
    Or a community race track with safe driving courses.
    An aware community would provide these things.
    They are bored and they do not give a fuck.

    • You mean they can go to war but not have a drivers licence. Young males and yes I have some sons like to play with the devil frankly. And I know many of them don’t give a fuck but the idea of them not getting their licence until they are older is ridiculous. Many of them will be working and short of getting several buses to work there is know way there, sure I biked to work 50 years ago but that is not a reason for 16 year olds not to be able to have their drivers licence. My four brothers I know all drank and drove, but there wasn’t the awareness that there is now and I know that none of my six did. Didn’t stop them from having other kids in the car when they were on their restricted or coming home later than they were meant to. I often think people write on this who must have had saints for children (I am not meaning you Shona), my children weren’t saints and neither was I.

  5. The latest ram raid in Auckland was a bottle store. Poor kids must have wanted a beer to wash down their ram raid food while playing on their ram raid phone, you think Francis?

    • Ethan Woke. Thing is Jenny Shipley insisted on lowering the drinking age to make our young people more civilised, like their Mediterranean countries’ counterparts. It panned out okay for the booze barons who flog the stuff, but stealing it is a bit counter-productive to the supposed vision of the woman from Ashburton and it affects the profits of the vendors. They may have to close shop, go back to where they came from. Oh dear.

      • Did Francis just smear all of those on struggle street (i.e. half the country) as selfish ugly ram raiders? I think she will find that although they are not the privileged elite that they are nevertheless good law abiding people.

        • Jody, Nope, she didn’t smear struggle street, she gave government a reminder that there are major social problems – I would say inequities – which underlie much of the unsettling behaviour of some of the young, you know, things like homelessness and child povidy. Luxon was the smearer, designating have-nots
          ‘ bottom feeders’, and showing what a hopeless hick he is.

      • The drinking age is a conscience vote. Probably more National members voted against the age reduction than for it. The reverse in Labour. I think just about all Alliance and Green members were for it. NZF mostly against. ACT all for it. It was a quite a close vote.

        • Wayne, thank you; I had the idea it was largely Shipley, and that particular pie-in-the -sky premise for lowering the drinking age never ever washed at all.

  6. Cause – no permanent home (rather than poverty) – rental to rental and school to school. Thus high levels of truancy. The peer groups forming becoming raiding bands.

  7. More hand wringing at the PMs house during self-imposed covid lockdown with Clarke watching msm tv news in their nice warm dry $2m house with the baby what’s her name.

    Maybe she could invite these kids over for a kai and have a talk with them about their behaviour and ask them why are they doing ram raids?
    Ask them where they’re living and if they have a home and if they have any parents?
    What did they have for breakfast this morning? When was the last time we’re that at a school? Who are they living with now?

    She could put her lockdown time to good use and pretend to care as the Minister of fuckn Poverty!

    • All the neediest people of this country are getting from our PM is political theatre which is her specialty at which she is very good.

  8. That’s Frances John. The Francis spelling usually indicates a male as in St Francis. Judge Frances is following the caring aspect of St Francis’ service though at the Office of the Children’s Commissioner – noted on google as a non-profit organisation in Wellington. I wonder if our government would have the same simple description?

    St Francis of Assissi –
    Francis is one of the most venerated religious figures in Roman Catholic history. He founded the Franciscan orders, including the Poor Clares and the lay Third Order. He and St. Catherine of Siena are the patron saints of Italy, and he is also the patron saint of ecology and of animals.
    Born: 1181 or 1182 Assisi Italy
    Died: October 3, 1226 Assisi Italy

    They don’t make ’em like that these days! Or are they hiding their light under a bushel?
    (The parable of the lamp under a bushel is one of the parables of Jesus. It appears in Matthew 5:14–15, Mark 4:21–25 and Luke 8:16–18.) Christianity has lots of good in it, as well as unsatisfactory reports – note, may be needed yet, along with other religions preaching goodness in the main.)

    • ONG what is all this warbling about, so he spelt it the male way instead of the female, and as he was raised as a Catholic I think you will find he knows all the stuff about St Francis of Assisi too.

  9. Is this what she is for? Is this what all our government departments do? Make statements about what we already know but do nothing?
    How much does it cost us to be told the blindingly obvious, that entrenched poverty leads to crime.
    Slow clap.
    Who is fixing the poverty? The government is just making rich people and the civil service richer and everyone else poorer.

    Where are the extra police, the smashing of gangs, the legalizing of weed, the holding accountable of parents with truant kids, the extra homes, the re nationalized basics like electricity? The teaching of responsibility for actions instead of victimhood?
    Every dollar this opinion cost us could have been feeding a hungry kid.

    • Yes don’t let us keep calm and do the same year after year ignoring what people want when they have presented a case for a policy that will change things. Going through long involved processes so some ignorant overpaid geezers can decide they are not convinced or…, or…. etc. and not do what could easily be trialled and monitored. All that has to be done is say what can we lose, compared to what we have already lost and probably will continue to suffer – give this a go and those who want it to succeed guide it, and dare not muff the results to appear satisfactory or be taken to Court. They should have a suitable budget paid out in agreed stages as needed.

      That of course requires us to care that things are done right but lately people have lied and fraudulently said they had certification and not much happens to themj because the lack of regulation in NZ is a disgrace. And our crowing how good we are is a lie. And that limitation and lack of firm resolve to keep to standards supporting an honest country and society of working people not speculators, is at the basis of all our failures.

  10. Stunning and brave of her. What we are seeing is a direct result of COVID response policies and it’s only going to get much worse. Time for all in the media to get in some truth to power.

  11. Stop making this a big deal, stop making it the number one item on the news, stop reporting it. The kids will stop then.

  12. I have been involved with kids one way or another for fifty years. Coaching rugby, soccer and cricket or as a mentor through Graeme Dingle Foundation and Rotary.
    I regularly meet extraordinary kids who go on to be community heroes.
    In the main our kids are wonderful people having to put up with pressures I never had to face yet still coming up positive.
    The ‘troubled teens’ I mentored or knew of through Project K were all decent people, many with anxiety issues and in some cases had made a cry for help that had thankfully been picked up by a caring teacher. The one common factor in by far the majority of cases was a Missing Dad.
    Let’s not overhype the issue.
    Kids today are the same as the kids I grew up with in the sixties and if anything they know more and care more about the planet and the people in it than I or my mates ever did.
    Social media, well all media for that fact, thrive on fear and sensationalism.

    • A Missing Dad. So help blokes sort their lives, their partners too and half the problems would go away. But don’t think of blaming it on the women for not being able to hold a man, to have a stable relationship. The government and society in general has made life difficult for families.

      My sister a grandmother, is looking after a grandchild who has to be on a train at very early morning hours 5am or something in Auckland to get to some sport practice. Everyone expects so much from themselves, with high requirements – society is off its head. Care more about people and enjoyment of life, and participation and support I say. The kids are under pressure to perform and excel and tv doesn’t help.

  13. you can’t address child poverty without addressing their families poverty

    you can’t address the families poverty without addressing poverty

    LINO refuses to address poverty.


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