Metiria Turei
Hunger is hurting our kids and killing some

The Dominion Post this morning reports on the “hidden shame” of child poverty in New Zealand. To those of us who have been actively working on child poverty, it sadly comes as no surprise to hear that more and more schools are lining up to be part of charitable projects that provide breakfast to vulnerable kids at school. KidsCan has been doing this for several years now, with great results, but they simply can’t keep up with demand. Meanwhile the successful Red Cross Breakfast in Schools programme has been cancelled after its major sponsor, Countdown, pulled out.

We know that 1 in 5 children live in poverty in New Zealand. That’s more than 200,000 kids. They go without breakfast (and other meals), raincoats, and shoes, and they often live in crowded, cold, damp houses. They get sick, with preventable illnesses like glue ear and rheumatic fever, which hamper their educational opportunities and shorten their lifespans. In short, they lack the essentials, and thus are denied opportunity to have a good start in life. I was deeply shocked to learn recently at a hui with Whakawhetu on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome that there may be a connection between SIDS and malnourishment of mothers during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Hunger is hurting our kids before they even had a chance. And its killing some.

The idea that we could have “sponsored” children in New Zealand is unpalatable to many of us, but that is essentially what KidsCan are promoting with their new ‘In Our Own Backyard’ campaign. While I applaud the work KidsCan and others are doing, we should never have let things get this bad. These programmes will help deal with the immediate crisis, but we urgently need big picture policy changes that can permanently change the picture for our kids.

In my speech to the Green Party AGM recently, I outlined the Green Party’s plan to bring 100,000 kids out of poverty within 3 years. There are three bold but simple things we could do right now that would achieve this:

1. Extend the so-called ‘In-work Tax Credit’ to children whose parents rely on a benefit. Denying them this support is supposed to incentivise work, but it’s in breach of human rights law, and in an environment where jobs and money are painfully short, all it does is deny some of our most at-risk kids the essentials they need. Extending this support would provide an extra $60 per week to these families, which could be the difference between paying the power bill, or not, or putting fresh veges on the table, or not.

2. Reinstate and extend the Training Incentive Allowance to help sole parents, and those on the sickness and invalids’ benefits to study degree level courses. MSD’s own evidence is very clear those who used this allowance to study moved off the benefit on average 6 months earlier than those who didn’t, and moved into higher paying jobs when they did. The outcomes for their kids (and the positive impact of seeing their parents seek higher learning) are incredibly positive.

3. Raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour immediately, and eventually to 2/3 of the average wage. Many parents who do move off benefits and into work find themselves no better off financially – and sometimes worse off – on the minimum wage, once childcare, transport, and food costs are taken into account. If work is to benefit families, it must be for a decent, living wage, and sadly this is not the case for thousands of families.

With these changes, we’re confident we can bring 100,000 kids out of poverty. As this morning’s story shows, we need this urgently. Governments have choices, and this Government’s choice not to support kids out of poverty, but to actively punish them for their parents’ situation is both negligent and callous. We would choose differently.

165 thoughts on “Hunger is hurting our kids and killing some

  1. Metiria – while you fail to address a fundamental part of this problem – you will never make much difference.

    While you do nothing about those who can least afford to have children, having more than the rest of the population, child poverty will INCREASE – not decrease.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 15 (-7)

  2. phil – the rest of us plan our families and limit them to what we can afford.

    Why should those who can least afford children not do this too, like everyone else?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 8 (+2)

  3. People in low wage jobs should not be allowed to have children. Quack.

    Having children should be a privilege of the wealthy elite. Quack.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 5 (+3)

  4. That’s 200,000+ kids in poverty now photonz1. Your plan of forced sterilization does nothing to address the poverty of today. Your just blaming the victims, blind in your own ignorance. I’m sick and tired of your “poor people shouldn’t be allowed to procreate” bullshit! The solution is to get rid of poverty in New Zealand. You’ll only have yourself to hate then photonz1.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 5 (+6)

  5. It is a shame that Metiria continues to push theline that NZ has ‘poverty’ when NZ has nothing of the sort.

    NZ has some poor people, but to argue that people with (subsidised) first world housing, (subsidised) food, and taxpayerfunded comprehensive mnedical care is ‘poverty’ is absurd when one considers the millions of people living in real poverty.

    These definitions of ‘poverty’ that Metiria buys into are based on a percentage of the meadian/mean wage (depending on which study you choose to benchmark to).

    Clearly, you could ‘magic-up’ an extra $500 or $1000 week to these people and that would simply raise the meadian/mean income, and barely effect the number of people below this ficticious ‘poverty’ line. Therefore using Metiria-condoned definitions of poverty is absurd.

    These ‘poverty’ campaigners are simutaneously:
    – undermining their position and many potential supporters by using dishonest and empotive terms
    – insulsting the already marginailised people in real, starving to death, poverty.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 10 (-1)

  6. solkta has a typical childish response to their own strawman arguement.

    phil chips in with a position no one has taken.

    And Todd joins in as well by also making up a false position that no one has made.

    He even goes as far as making up false quotes that nobody has made.

    Are there any Greens who don’t make up false and extreme positions to argue against?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 11 (-6)

  7. I’m sick and tired of your “poor people shouldn’t be allowed to procreate” bullshit! The solution is to get rid of poverty in New Zealand.

    Then at that point Jackal, the rest of us would be forced into poverty because of the size of the welfare state that we would be needing to support.

    I do think though that something needs to be done about the relative poverty in New Zealand. Perhaps instead of throwing money at the problem, the better solution would be looking at expanding on those food in schools programmes, and perhaps even changing the structure of benefits so that instead of direct payments, the people on benefits get food vouchers, medical vouchers and direct payment of their bills.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 3 (+3)

  8. “…every 1 percentage point increase in the level of poverty reduction achieved by the welfare state is associated with an increase in the number of jobless families by 0.63 percentage points. Among the English-speaking countries, the correlation is even stronger (about 0.92), so that Australia and the United Kingdom reduce child poverty very significantly and have very high levels of joblessness among families; while Canada and the United States reduce poverty much less, but have much lower levels of joblessness . Whiteford, P. and W.Adema (2007), “What Works Best in Reducing Child Poverty: A Benefit or Work Strategy?”, OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers, No.51, OECD Publishing. http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/233310267230

    Green policy – more jobless homes

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 5 (-1)

  9. ” nact-policy – more poverty…”

    No. More voluntary wealth redistribution via the labour market and constructively co-dependent family members. The Green recipe for poverty reduction is the same one that has been promoted for decades and has only created more poverty – not less.

    But if more workless, one-parent families are desirable, then go ahead and pay more to get them. Ignore how the children are affected.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 9 (-5)

  10. I suppose Misanthropic Curmudgeon thinks that New Zealand is 100% Pure Clean and Green in comparison to other countries as well? You RWNJ are missing the point as usual, there is real poverty in this country that causes pain. You’re arguing in the face of many experts collating much information over many years, not to mention the increasing numbers of poverty related diseases.

    National has just cut around $50 million in overseas aid to those starving millions you’re trying to say we’re insulting Misanthropic Curmudgeon. By fixing poverty here, we can more readily help the over a billion people who are starving in this world because of capitalism.

    Lindsay, I just read that report and it’s probably helpful to read the full excerpt instead of a small part of it:

    63. “benefit”

    Notwithstanding these limitations, the following conclusions about the effectiveness of the and/or “work” strategies appear to emerge:
    Reforms to reduce levels of family joblessness to a set benchmark would have widely differing impacts on child poverty in different OECD countries.

    In some countries the effects would be small – for example, in the United States, Luxembourg, Japan and Portugal. In contrast, child poverty would fall by more significant amounts in Australia, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Ireland, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. This suggests that in these latter countries reforms designed to reduce joblessness among families with children should be a priority.

    Reforms that encouraged an increase in the number of two-earner families on average would have a stronger effect on reducing child poverty, and there could be significant falls in Greece, Italy, Mexico, Poland, Portugal and Spain. This suggests that in these six countries reforms to encourage employment among partners in single income families should be particularly encouraged.

    Reform that included both reduced household joblessness and an increase in dual-income families would be particularly effective in Italy, followed by Poland, Spain, Portugal, the United Kingdom, Australia, Germany and Greece. However, disregarding those countries where child poverty is already very low, this two-prong strategy would have a relatively limited impact in Austria, Canada, Japan, Mexico, Turkey and the United States – implying that these countries would need to increase their effectiveness in reducing poverty among those in work.

    On the surface, a pure “benefit strategy” appears more effective in reducing poverty than a “work strategy”, but this conclusion is substantially complicated by the fact that most countries would have to spend considerably more than the benchmark country (Sweden), which has a below- average level of child poverty before taxes and transfers and already spends much more than the OECD average on family payments and on other benefits to people of working age.

    These considerations point to the obvious conclusion that policy choices in this area should not be seen as choosing between either work or benefits, but require a balanced approach that encourages increased employment among parents and also increases the rewards of paid work at the same time. In this context two points are relevant: first, in virtually all countries non- employed families are the most economically disadvantaged, so increased employment will assist those who are among the most disadvantaged; and second, a policy of encouraging employment is likely to be a pre-requisite for public and political support for more effective redistribution to the poor.

    These findings are also relevant to the argument that there is an unavoidable trade-off between providing generous assistance to the poor and improving incentives for people to work and provide for themselves. On average across OECD countries, there is a fairly strong correlation between the effectiveness of tax and benefit systems in reducing poverty and the level of family joblessness. The correlation coefficient is 0.63 – implying that every 1 percentage point increase in the level of poverty reduction achieved by the welfare state is associated with an increase in the number of jobless families by 0.63 percentage points. Among the English-speaking countries, the correlation is even stronger (about 0.92), so that Australia and the United Kingdom reduce child poverty very significantly and have very high levels of joblessness among families; while Canada and the United States reduce poverty much less, but have much lower levels of joblessness (although they have much higher poverty among working families with children). That is, in the English-speaking countries the argument made by Adam, Brewer and Shepherd (2006) appears to apply – more generous support to poor families is associated with higher levels of family joblessness. However, among the Nordic countries the correlation between joblessness and redistribution is negative (-0.93). While further analysis would be required to verify this, this could reflect the pro-employment policy orientation of the Nordic welfare states.

    In some cases existing programmes and policies appear to be sufficient to substantially reduce child poverty, so that fairly incremental policy changes could be very effective in reducing poverty rates significantly. For example, lone-parent families could fairly easily escape poverty (at the 60% of median income level) through additional work in Australia and New Zealand, and Germany, after taking account of housing benefits. In other cases, it appears that countries would need to consider the introduction of new policy instruments if they wished to make an inroad into reducing child poverty.

    64. the factors associated with child poverty vary significantly across OECD countries. This means that simple policy prescriptions are not sufficient, but that policy responses need to be multi-faceted and carefully tailored to the situation in each country.

    Poverty has always increased under National btw. Time to try something else.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3 (-2)

  11. one and five children living in poverty is not ‘desirable’…

    how to end poverty…?

    increase the income of the poor…

    ..it ain’t rocket-science…

    good way to lessen crime..?

    ..end poverty..

    once again…not rocket-science..

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 5 (0)

  12. Jackal, Thanks for the rest but I can’t see how it contradicts my position. Perhaps you didn’t intend it to. NZ is unique. The OECD has long advocated that more NZ single parents need to be in work to reduce child poverty. If you read the quotes that refer specifically to NZ you will see that is the case. I can’t remember the OECD ever advocating higher benefit levels to reduce child poverty in NZ. Higher benefit levels may work in Nordic countries but those countries also have very strong work ethics and expectations that single parents return to paid work quickly after a period of state assistance. They also have very low rates of teenage birth (from which much child poverty stems from). NZ is culturally very different to Scandinavia.

    To clarify, my argument is that if you lift benefit levels (eg make all beneficiary parents eligible for the IWTC) then you will increase jobless households. A TIA (which Treasury says may have actually led to an increase in the time people spend dependent) or a higher minimum wage (which drives up the cost of labour) won’t counteract that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2 (0)

  13. one and five children living in poverty is not ‘desirable’…

    how to end poverty…?

    How to end poverty? Able bodied people work…….

    ….They see caring for their kids as no.1 priority…..

    …They commit themselves to sustainable relationships..

    ….Which as at the heart of a sustainable society…

    The desire for “things” is a desire for slavery…

    …commitment to self oppression….

    …placing their kids on the altar of selfishness….

    No hope…

    No future…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 4 (+1)

  14. There are plenty of poor people who try to look after their children shunda. It’s their low incomes that cause the problems.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3 (+1)

  15. Shunda – good recipe for ending poverty.

    When people make bad decisions about money, throwing more money at them doesn’t improve their decision making.

    All it does is shift responsibility for climbing out of poverty away from where it should be.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 7 (-4)

  16. “When people make bad decisions about money, throwing more money at them doesn’t improve their decision making.”

    Talking about these people Photo?
    Hotchins, Hart, Blue Chip Directors, former air NZ directors, SCF investors, ACT, Rugby Union, Farmers, Merril Lynch, US and UK banks, National.

    Where the responsibility for poverty should lie.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 3 (+5)

  17. so..a guaranteed minimum income for all wouldn’t end most poverty…eh..?

    silly me…for thinking it would…

    ..eh..?

    for thinking ending poverty ..and all the attendant social ills..is just a simple matter of mathematics/income redistribution..

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3 (-1)

  18. Kerry says “Where the responsibility for poverty should lie.”

    Where ever bad financial descisions are made – shifting the responsibility to someone else is a bad idea.

    With finance companies, thousands of Kiwis broke the number one rule of investing by not diversifying.

    But as a country were so financially illiterate (hell – 20% are literally illiterate) that it’s no surprise people lose their life savings in finance companies, and others make decisions that commit themselves to a life of being poor.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 5 (-1)

  19. NZEI Te Riu Roa is currently working on a special report on child poverty. For years we just dealt with issues directly related to teaching but since successive governments refuse to acknowledge the relationship between poverty and earning and keep dumping responsibility on to teachers, some action was necessary. Good teaching will always make a positive difference to struggling children but real progress will only happen if the home the children return to can support what is being provided at school. For 20% of our children inadequate clothing, poor health and empty stomachs are an all too common reality. We seriously fail many of our children and aren’t doing much better for our elderly:
    http://localbodies-bsprout.blogspot.com/2011/06/our-shameful-statistics-for-elderly.html
    If we can’t properly care for the most vulnerable members of our communities, what sort of society are we?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2 (0)

  20. Guaranteed minimum income for pensioners ended elderly poverty in NZ. Less than 3% of our elderly live in poverty. At a very low cost compared to other OECD pension schemes.
    We should extend this successful program to every one.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2 (+1)

  21. Photo. The crooks who deregulated finance, ran these companies and fronted for them have no responsibility of course.

    Most New Zealanders had no say in the decisions which made them poor. They are just expected to pay the costs while people who knew better run offshore to houses in Hawaii and Australia, with the money.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2 (+3)

  22. phil says “for thinking ending poverty ..and all the attendant social ills..is just a simple matter of mathematics/income redistribution..”

    It’s rocket science phil.

    If you work, you get paid money.

    If you work hard, you get paid more money.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 5 (-2)

  23. “If you work hard, you get paid more money”.

    No you don’t. or a cleaner would be paid more than a financial manager.

    The facts for most skilled people in NZ, is working much harder for less money. that’s why 700 000 are in OZ.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 4 (0)

  24. “There are plenty of poor people who try to look after their children shunda. It’s their low incomes that cause the problems.”

    Jackal, Are you aware of NZ research into whether the source of parental income changes childhood outcomes? Families on low income from the market have children with better outcomes than families with low income from government transfers. And low income has only a modest effect on childhood outcomes. Whereas welfare dependence is negatively associated with childhood outcomes.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 4 (+1)

  25. tho’..of course…to achieve that..

    you have to fight against that narrow-minded/thin-lipped/moralistic/smug/judgmental/punitive/provincial/i’m-all-right-so-fuck-everyone-else component/thread of the new zealand psyche…

    ..and a very strong thread that is…

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3 (-2)

  26. Where the responsibility for poverty should lie.

    Sure, but don’t forget that poor people tend to smoke more than wealthier people, poor people tend to drink more alcohol than wealthier people and poor people tend to gamble more than wealthier people – and of course don’t forget the thousands of poor people who subscribe to Sky Television. Solve those social ills, and then you are at least part of the way to solving the poverty problem.

    The crooks who deregulated finance, ran these companies and fronted for them have no responsibility of course.

    The people who ran these companies should have responsibility for what they did because they actually deceived the people (including some of those who fronted for them).

    Guaranteed minimum income for pensioners ended elderly poverty in NZ. Less than 3% of our elderly live in poverty. At a very low cost compared to other OECD pension schemes.
    We should extend this successful program to every one.

    Kerry, the only problem is that this scheme already costs 5% of GDP and is expected to hit 9% of GDP in the coming decades. While the old age pension should be able to survive for the medium to long term, an expansion of this programme would not be sustainable for much longer than the short term.

    The wealthy should not be allowed to breed.

    Except they don’t have that many children to start off with.

    If you look at who uses excessive resources, wastes or loses wealth and takes more from the economy than they give.

    I looked at that report and I saw little indication of how their model actually worked – it seemed like the figures had been taken from thin air.

    No you don’t. or a cleaner would be paid more than a financial manager.

    It doesn’t really come down to the level of physical labour involved, but instead the level of qualification which determines wages. Anyone can be a cleaner, but to be a financial manager, chances are that you need a University degree as well as several years at a firm – all that narrows the funnel of potential applicants and results in the wage going through the roof.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1 (+2)

  27. “If you work hard, you get paid more money”.

    Kerry says “No you don’t. ”

    Of course you do. If you work hard and do extra shifts or a second job, you get paid more. Or if you do training or qualifications while you do cleaning, you can get a better paid job.

    You can live well in this country on not much money.

    But you have to make sensible financial decisions.

    And working 40hrs a week as a cleaner for year after year and doing nothing to improve your situation is not a sensible financial decision.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 6 (-3)

  28. “..If you work, you get paid money…”

    most areas of deep poverty have no jobs…ie..northland…

    your simplistic rightwing moralism is a sick fucken joke..

    ..that denies the realities on the ground/in poor communities..

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1 (0)

  29. Kerry says “Most New Zealanders had no say in the decisions which made them poor.”

    And therein lies the problem. People making poor decisions and blaming everybody else for them.

    Kerry – “blame everyone else” attitudes like yours are one of the main reasons for people staying poor.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 7 (-4)

  30. (a couple of years ago i penned this in honour of the end/outcomes of/from nine years of labour…)

    http://whoar.co.nz/2009/commentwhoarthe-kids-up-north-have-still-got-rotten-teethbut-heyhelens-at-the-uneh/

    (apologies/regards/obeisances paid to the gil scott-heron magnum-opus..’whitey’s on the moon’..the concept of which i have unabashedly ‘stolen’/borrowed..)

    the kids up north have still got rotten teeth..

    but hey..!..helen’s at the u.n..eh..?

    ..our forests have disappeared at an ever increasing rate..

    ..but hey..!.helen’s at the u.n..eh..?

    ..our species are dying off..every day..for nine long years..

    ..but hey..!..helen’s at the u.n..eh..?

    ..our coastal wetlands have been polluted/developed..

    but hey..!..helen’s at the u.n..eh..?

    our rivers and streams are dirtier than ever..

    .but hey..!..helen’s at the u.n..eh..?

    ..raw sewerage pours into the harbours of our main cities/towns..for nine long years..

    ..but hey..!..helen’s at the u.n…eh..?

    ..the poor were left to rot..for nine long years..

    ..but hey..!..helen’s at the u.n…eh..?

    ..the chronically ill were also left to their miseries..for nine long years..

    ..but hey..!..helen’s at the u.n..eh..?

    ..sole parents were taught how they are ‘undeserving-families’..

    ..but hey..!..helen’s at the u.n..eh..?

    ..we are now reaping the crime/dysfunction of/from the fostering of/neglecting of..the/this underclass..for nine long years..

    ..but hey..!..helen’s at the u.n..eh..?

    ..we have lots and lots of more-prisoners/jailed/jails..

    ..but hey..!..helen’s at the u.n..eh..?

    ..we have continued to poison our/the earth air..for another nine long years..

    ..but hey..!..helen’s at the u.n..eh..?

    ..our farmed-animals still scream/suffer/suffocate..for yet another nine long years..

    ..but hey..!..helen’s at the u.n..eh..?

    ..we have had our soldiers maiming/killing peoples we have no wars with..

    ..but hey..!..helen’s at the u.n..eh..?

    ..the evils/miseries/gang-fostering of prohibition continue..unchanged..

    ..but hey..!..helen’s at the u.n..eh..?

    ..our supermarkets still peddle poisonous crap masquerading as food..to us/our families..with nary a demur..

    ..but hey..!..helen’s at the u.n..eh..?

    ..we have an epidemic of obesity/associated health-costs..

    ..but hey..!..helen’s at the u.n..eh..?

    ..we have one of the highest abortion rates on the planet..(see ‘undeserving families’..)

    ..but hey..!..helen’s at the u.n..eh..?

    ..our slavish devotion to the inequities/’evils’ of the freemarket..have lead us to this economic abyss..

    ..but hey..!..helen’s at the u.n..eh..?

    ..our wholesale ignoring of the environmental imperatives..for another nine long years..have lead us to this pollution/warming-abyss..

    but hey..!..helen’s at the u.n..eh..?

    ..i guess there was something they got/did ‘right’..

    ..’cos helen’s at the u.n..eh..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1 (+1)

  31. Photo. And how is a cleaner working two jobs just to stay afloat supposed to find the time, money or support to get more qualifications. You lot are making that harder by the week. Remember the TIA. RIP!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 (+2)

  32. Photonz1- i can give you many of example of struggling families who had their children under better circumstances, then due to the lowering value of wages, increased food and living costs and loss of employment, ended up struggling financially. Where there is extreme wealth in New Zealand, there shouldn’t be people working full time for wages where the next supermarket bill or car repair will break them. The median wage in New Zealand is less than $39,000, and a quarter of our wage earners will earn far less than that. While many may do better with good budgeting and lifestyle changes, most are just fighting against the odds.

    For some to imply that the poor in New Zealand aren’t poor in an international sense is absolutely appalling. Poverty is relative and if you are a child living in a poorly insulated, overcrowded home, suffering from rheumatic fever, poor food and having to wear shoes that are too small, that is poor. I’m sure things could be worse, but what sort of country do we want to live in?

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/diseases/news/article.cfm?c_id=149&objectid=10599634

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0 (+4)

  33. SPROUT SAYS “For some to imply that the poor in New Zealand aren’t poor in an international sense is absolutely appalling.”

    What utter nonsense.

    You need to live in a third world country for a few years, where NZ beneficiaries would be considered rich.

    Yes there are some who have have lost employment, and will struggle for a while.

    Metiria says we have 200,000 children whose parents can’t afford food for their breakfast.

    How many of their parents don’t smoke, don’t drink, don’t play pokies or spend at the tab, don’t have any have dogs, don’t do drugs, don’t have sky tv, don’t have nike shoes, don’t have a flat screen, don’t get takeaways, don’t drink coke, eat chips, biscuits, cakes etc, etc etc.

    There’s probably a few, but all the rest prioritise unnessary spending ahead of food for their children.

    And until you change people so they prioritise their children first, you’re never going to fix the problem.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 8 (-5)

  34. This issue is the great failing of left wing politics.

    The hand wringing, the blaming, the whining and the pining will do nothing to resolve these issues.

    And why? because you are out of touch. Most Green MP’s and especially Labour Mp’s live in fancy lifestyle blocks or well to do parts of town, safely away from the train wrecks of lives some of us have to deal with every day.

    Many children are hungry not because food is unaffordable, but because the parents won’t bloody well give it to them.
    I see it.
    I hate it.
    And I know who is responsible.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 6 (-2)

  35. It seems you did not read that report properly at all Lindsay.

    Thanks for the rest but I can’t see how it contradicts my position. Perhaps you didn’t intend it to.

    Here’s another part that contradicts your argument further:

    Countries that have relatively high levels of child poverty appear mainly to have very high levels of poverty among working families, and tax and benefit systems that are not effective in reducing it.

    The OECD has long advocated that more NZ single parents need to be in work to reduce child poverty.

    You’re correct in so far that the OECD has advocated this as one area where NZ can make improvements. I do not believe this extends to making solo mums work when there newborns are a few months old. National are planning to cut ECE further, so that’s not a viable solution anymore to reduce poverty under the current administrations policies.

    I can’t remember the OECD ever advocating higher benefit levels to reduce child poverty in NZ.

    That’s exactly what they advocate for… Higher benefit rates and higher wages.

    A reform that combined both effects would have stronger impacts overall, and child poverty on average would fall to 7%, or by around 30%.

    How effective is the strategy of redistribution in reducing child poverty? If tax and benefit systems could be made as effective as the third best performing country in terms of the proportional reduction in child poverty (Sweden, with a reduction of around 78%), it is estimated that child poverty in OECD countries would be more than halved from 10.2 to 4.3 %, and no OECD country would have a child poverty rate above 7%

    To clarify, my argument is that if you lift benefit levels (eg make all beneficiary parents eligible for the IWTC) then you will increase jobless households. A TIA (which Treasury says may have actually led to an increase in the time people spend dependent) or a higher minimum wage (which drives up the cost of labour) won’t counteract that.

    I totally disagree. There is no reduction in jobs by giving the unemployed enough money to survive on. Jobs are not dependant on a low wage economy; they are dependant on viable businesses. More businesses are negatively affected through a low wage economy because people spend less. This can be seen in the thousands of small businesses that have closed over the last few years because they’re not turning over enough to keep afloat, thus reducing the ability of people to work themselves out of poverty.

    Poor people spend pretty much everything they earn or receive on a benefit on necessities. Raising the minimum wage and benefits stimulates the economy and creates jobs. A business that has a good turnover can afford to pay their employees more. This in turn increases the tax take. Increasing payments to the low waged and beneficiaries reduces many negative factors associated with poverty… crime, hospitalization, drug and alcohol abuse, malnutrition, and the ability of our young to learn. These things cost this country billions of dollars each year.

    You can only reduce poverty through employment if there are jobs. Because National has not created any jobs and removed many redistribution functions our poverty levels are increasing dramatically. No person chooses to be poor btw.

    Photonz1

    And therein lies the problem. People making poor decisions and blaming everybody else for them.

    Impoverishment leads to impoverishment. It’s the Government’s job to break that cycle through positive policies that reduce poverty. Increasing the minimum wage and ensuring beneficiaries have enough to survive on is key to starting New Zealand on the path to recovery. Otherwise that 20% of child living in poverty is only going to get worse and cost the country dearly.

    And until you change people so they prioritise their children first, you’re never going to fix the problem.

    Until we change the system so it prioritizes people and puts children first, we’re never going to fix the problem. People cannot prioritize their children if they don’t have enough money to do so. Most parents care for their children whether they are rich or poor. There is little distinction between the effort of the classes. There is a large distinction between the ability of the poor to look after their children. Stop blaming the victims!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2 (+2)

  36. Todd says ” People cannot prioritize their children if they don’t have enough money to do so.”

    You couldn’t be more wrong.

    It doesn’t matter how much you have or haven’t got. If you don’t ALWAYS prioritise your children first – you shouldn’t have them.

    It is not the state, but the parents who decide to prioritise spending on smokes, alcohol, drugs, pokies, TAB, sky tv, playstation, nike shoes, takaways, coke, red bull, flat screen tv etc. above food for their children.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 4 (0)

  37. Until we change the system so it prioritizes people and puts children first, we’re never going to fix the problem. People cannot prioritize their children if they don’t have enough money to do so. Most parents care for their children whether they are rich or poor. There is little distinction between the effort of the classes. There is a large distinction between the ability of the poor to look after their children. Stop blaming the victims!

    Jackal, ask yourself the question – how many poor parents actually truly put their children first? How many poor parents ensure that they do not smoke, ensure that they do not drink, ensure that they do not do drugs, ensure that they do not gamble, ensure that the Sky Television subscription is cancelled, ensure that they are spending each and every last dollar of theirs on their basic needs in life. Unfortunately, I suspect that there are too few poor parents who actually make the effort to put their children first and instead fritter the meager money that they do have on things that aren’t going to help their children.

    As I said earlier, fix these social ills and then you will solve at least half the problem – at that point, then throwing money at the solution will work, as it will no longer become the taxpayer funding the tobacco and booze companies via the beneficiary, but will instead become the taxpayer funding poor children.

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  38. photonz1, our local national troll, just moans about human nature with no clue on how to improve things ………… in fact just like national he seems to think that harming the child via punitive actions against the parent is a good thing …….he’s a bad man.

    I believe the worst driver for child abuse in this country is the drug alcohol ……….. something the Nats have shown they are worse than spineless about ……….. they walk hand in hand with producers of the drug booze and get a lot of money and perks for it .

    The booze probably also has a lot to do with unwanted pregnancys.

    To me the rich consistantly prove they are more likely to steal, loot and plunder.

    The sterotype smear against solo parents and unemployed which the Nats and photonz1 use are just distractions from the real theifs and bandits.

    Those people who wear suits and vote for or belong to natianal

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  39. It is a fact that we had child poverty in working families prior to WFF and the increases to the minimum wage.

    This was partly because of the minimum wage was $9 an hour as recently as 2005/2006.

    So increases in the minimum wage (to $12 by 2008) and WFF tax credits show that increases in income do reduce child poverty.

    Many of those on benefits are ex jobs or ex relationships onto the DPB, so the aspercion that child poverty amongst beneficiary families is a social issue rather than an economic one is invalid. In fact it is often those adjusting to a life on the lower level beneficiary income who are the ones in need of food bank help. This shows the extent to which there is a need to economise effectively to cope on low levels of benefit income.

    To quote the AB of Canterbury over the weekend there is an attempt to divide the poor into deserving and undeserving groups and this is not helpful.

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  40. nznative says “photonz1, our local national troll, just moans about human nature with no clue on how to improve things”

    Actually in the past I’ve gone on and on about financial education in schools, but how many here have joined in on trying to find those solutions?……none.

    They just keep their head in the sand like an ostrich, and parrot that more money from the govt is the golden goose.

    Then they blame the rich for everything.

    You can moan and winge about that you whole life but it won’t make any difference.

    Or you can give some finsnacial education at secondary school, and let kids know a pack a day cigarette habit will cost them a quarter million dollars over their life, half a million for a couple.

    And that if they don’t plan their family how much harder it will be for their whole life, and the financial differences between a stable partnership and solo parents.

    And how to live really well on a single average wage. So that if you have a second average or part time wage, you can save the whole lot.

    And if you do that and invest sensibly, in ten years time you have a third wage coming in from earnings from your investment.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2 (+1)

  41. “How many of their parents don’t smoke, don’t drink, don’t play pokies or spend at the tab, don’t have any have dogs, don’t do drugs, don’t have sky tv, don’t have nike shoes, don’t have a flat screen, don’t get takeaways, don’t drink coke, eat chips, biscuits, cakes etc, etc etc.”

    Just for clarity, could you name both the chipless non-biscuit indulging Quaker puritan parents that manage to get the photonz1 seal of approval as ‘deserving poor’?

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  42. Jackal says “I suppose Misanthropic Curmudgeon thinks that New Zealand is 100% Pure Clean and Green in comparison to other countries as well?” and is doing so makes conjecture that is completely wrong. Indeed, my extensive first hand experince of NZs wilderness confirms the mythology of that slogan, so Jackal’s attempt to divert from the point I make fails miserably.

    By further misrepresenting the NZs aid programe, Jackal fails to consider how and what aid is for: the proverbial feeding with fish or teaching how to fish and giving fishing rods.

    The rreality us that under the old aid regeime, aid was used to eduacte the cheifs son in Auckland schools. Now all the people are being eduacted on the island. Big difference.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2 (0)

  43. Phil’s simplistic claim to end ‘poverty’ by “increas[ing] the income of the poor” is just the point Iwas making: it will do nowt to address ‘poverty’ when you define ‘poverty’ as a proportion of the median/mean income. All Phils idea would do is raise the median/mean income, and a similar percantage of peope are still below it and therefore stillin ‘poverty’ (and the handwringing will continue).

    With a flawed metric for povery like the one Phil condones, the only way to eradiicate this ‘poverty’ is by utter income limits and weathe redictribution in a marxist sense. If that is what is desired, then at least be open about and not frill it up by talk of ‘poverty’ because somebody cant afford a playstation.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1 (+1)

  44. Kerrys commenst on ‘a pension for all’ fail to consider who or how it would be paid for: currently the average taxpayer pays about $6000pa in pensions: Kerry would have them pay more?

    Or would Kerry handwave it all away by ‘oscking it to the rich’ (because there aren’t enoughof them to pay for Kerrysfancy, no matter how much Kerry might like to think there is.

    Do the numbers, Kerry. I challenge you to.

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  45. Phils claim that “most areas of deep poverty have no jobs” is patently false, when NZ imports vast amounts of agricultural labour into these very areas.

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  46. Sam says”Just for clarity, could you name both the chipless non-biscuit indulging Quaker puritan parents that manage to get the photonz1 seal of approval as ‘deserving poor’?”

    I don’t excuse ANYONE who prioritises ANY of those things over their own children going hungry.

    It’s shameful that you do.

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  47. “…in ten years time you have a third wage coming in from earnings from your investment…”

    and then the finance company crashes…

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  48. Photo. I totally agree with you about financial, business and workers rights and responsibilities education in schools. As I have said before.
    BUT! Where are we supposed to find time to teach this, along with the total emphasis on the rote 3 R’s, that NACT standards supporters require.

    If Teachers even tell kids that Unions exist, for instance, you will hear the screams from the right.

    Unfortunately in the past, when the CTU’s predecessor and the EMF put together a study package for schools, in the past, it was opposed by, some, employers and banks. They do not want the people they rip off to be too knowledgeable.

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  49. curmudgeon is talking about/playing with numbers/statistics…

    ..i am talking about people being able to feed/clothe/shelter/warm/see doctor/see dentist..

    the very basics of any life..surely..?

    one in five of our children don’t have those basic choices…

    ..many adults don’t have those basic needs met..

    ..could those basic-life-requirements be deemed a ‘human right’..?

    ..much like internet access for the non-poor is deemed/called for…?

    ..i recently earned my badge/stigma of the new-poor…

    ..the gap-toothed smile…(haven’t you noticed..?..there are a lot of us about now..)

    ..and dental-care/dentists’-visits being a shimmering mirage on the horizon for many in this country..(sole-parents/the unemployed/the physically unwell/the mentally unwell/the low-waged..to name a few..)

    ..so that was not an option..

    ..i extracted them myself…using a pair of pliers…

    ..(as have done many others..)

    ..this is life in new zealand in 2011…after 35 years of ‘free-market’..

    ..and there is nothing to be done about that gap…

    ..work and income will not even lend you money for dental care..

    ..so i..like many others…am fucked/stuck with not smiling/and now talking funny…

    .with my badge/stigma..

    …let me tell you…

    …it sucks…

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  50. It is very unlikely that any investment which depends on continual exponential growth is going to have compounding returns long term.

    Unless there is investment in education, energy use reduction, renewables and sustainable local production within New Zealand it will not matter what the dollar value of you overseas invested super is.

    With to many dollars chasing too little productivity the whole system will collapse.

    The USA dollar debt now exceeds any foreseeable future US production.

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  51. phil says “and then the finance company crashes”

    A great example of NZs problem with financial illiteracy.

    You’d have to be totally stupid to put all your money into a single finance company.

    If you only learn a single paragraph of investment rules, it would be include things like
    - diversify
    - don’t put more than 10% in any one company,
    - spread across different sectors.

    It’s very simple phil. Commit to a sustainable relationship, work hard, live on one wage, invest one wage sensibly, and in ten years you get an additional wage coming in.

    If you keep investing one wage, plus the additional one, in another ten years you get two more additional wages (so then you have three extra wages + the one you save).

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  52. Kerry says “BUT! Where are we supposed to find time to teach this, along with the total emphasis on the rote 3 R’s, that NACT standards supporters require.”

    Standards are for primary school Kerry. That just sounds like poor excuses for doing nothing.

    Any school course needs to be put together by educationalists, economists, financial advisors, budget planners and maybe unions as well – not just from lobby groups.

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  53. phil says “..work and income will not even lend you money for dental care..”

    Have you ever thought of taking responsibility yourself, to earn a living, rather than relying on someone else to work and pay for you?

    If you sit on your butt for year after year and expect everybody else to work to pay for you – then there is only one person to blame for your circumstances.

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  54. could we promote universal dental care under the moniker ‘closing the gap’…?

    ..and i was cheered to read of george bernaard shaw…later in life..

    …being flattered by an admirer on his ‘nice teeth’..

    ..his respone was…he pulled them out..and proffered them to her…

    phil9whoar.co.nz)

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  55. but gee photonz..

    who would there then be to record this/to tell you of these realities of poverty/life in new zealand..in 2011..?

    you might even end up believing your own bullshit…

    ..and just putting me to one side..

    ..universal health/dental care a ‘bad’ idea..eh..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  56. btw photonz..why don’t you return to where you belong..?

    ..to kiwiblog..

    ..you will find so many there in total agreement with you/your prescriptions..

    ..you can all sit and nod in unison..as they do..

    ..and you can really let rip there on the ‘undeserving-poor’..eh..?

    or do you just enjoy trolling…?

    (is it true as some say..that you are paid for your trolling-work..?..)

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  57. why the outburst phil?

    Oh that’s right.

    I asked why you don’t bother to earn your own living instead of expecting other people to provide for you.

    No answer on that?

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  58. On dental care: Hokianga Health Trust as part of its community health initiatives offers free basic dental care to Hokianga people, with priority going to 16-24 year olds and pregnant women. It also has a marae-based community group called Ringa Atawhai that teaches nutrition and basic health promotion in the rural areas. Our little local school has a garden and fruit trees that the children work in (and eat from) as well as a worm bin for food scraps. This is an area of very high unemployment, but there are some great community initiatives – I think rather than put all the pressure on struggling individuals and families to deal with low incomes, this kind of community support is very necessary.
    On government funding priorities: our health trust, which runs much more cheaply on a per capita basis than anywhere else in the country (doctors on salaries, generic pharmaceuticals, district nurses to do most of the basics etc) has had some of its funding cut. Our early childhood education initiative (which would have included parental education in the things Photonz talks about and which are sensible) cannot go ahead because that funding has been removed. Of course schools have had cuts to enviroschool funding and so on – it is not just about ensuring that families have enough to cover the basics, but that there is investment in community organisations too. Oh, that’s right, COGS has had cuts too.

    So, no, it is not just about money being “thrown” at these things, but about investment in community and education as well as families.

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  59. Phil falsely claims “curmudgeon is talking about/playing with numbers/statistics” and in doing so (willingly?) misses my point: he suppert a definition of ‘poverty’ which is not poverty but is simply poor.

    In Phils attempt to justify his position, he later says “i am talking about people being able to feed/clothe/shelter/warm/see doctor/see dentist..” It is course worth noting that for the poor(or ‘poverty as some like to call them) in NZ benefits are enough that food, clothing and shelter are provide and often further subsidises, emergency and serious medical treatmenst is free and GPS are heavily subsidised.

    To claim that such first world situations like that is ‘poverty’ is patently absurd.

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  60. Kerry says “It is very unlikely that any investment which depends on continual exponential growth is going to have compounding returns long term”

    Why do you need exponential growth from one company?

    Some great companies stay the same size but consistently give good returns.

    It is taking those returns and investing them that gives the conpounding return.

    Kerry says “Unless there is investment in education, energy use reduction, renewables and sustainable local production within New Zealand it will not matter what the dollar value of you overseas invested super is.”

    Ooooh – doomsday. Considering we’re investing $12 billion a year in education (in the order of $5000 – $7000 per child at pre, primary and secondary school), there’s a number f energy reduction programmes in place, and there’s piles of renewable energy being planned – then you can problable not worry so much about doomsday.

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  61. PhotoNZ1 your dribble about financial education is just a distraction from the increase in hardship and misery that the pro-drug Nats ( as long as the drugs booze) will cause for some unfortunate children.

    The Nats and photonz1 use sterotype smears to justify punative action which will solve …………… nothing.

    I think I understand human nature quite well and the nats are just plain evil …..

    Which makes me ask how much are they paying ……… or how much are they helping photonz1 to be the local troll around here????

    And if the nats are plain evil what is photonz1 ?

    He does not seem to care about or like children, I think of him as our local Graham Capill.

    He was punative wanker and had all the ‘right answers’ too.

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  62. have you ever lived on a benefit there..curmee..

    you seem such an expert on the subject..

    (and you left out the low-waged..they can’t afford dental-care..)

    and photonz..plse be clear you are laid bare..

    “..“…A troll is someone “who constructs the identity of sincerely wishing to be part of the group in question – including professing or conveying pseudo-sincere intentions –

    - but whose real intention(s) is/are to cause disruption and/or to trigger or exacerbate conflict for the purposes of their own amusement”…”

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  63. so curmee..all those local/international stats that record/detail our world-beating poverty-rates…

    all a bunch of lies..eh..?

    ..compiled by idiots…eh..?

    (and nothing to do with the outcomes from the damage done by shipley/richardson..eh..?..)

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  64. nznative – if you understand human nature, as you assert, what do you make of people who post rantings of personal abuse, liken people to paedophiles etc.

    That says a lot about your human nature.

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  65. phils says “who constructs the identity of sincerely wishing to be part of the group in question ”

    I’ve never tried to create an identity to try to be part of this group – I would have thought that was blatantly obvious.

    And if it makes you feel better to give little names to those who you disagree with, then go ahead.

    And again you resort to name calling when hard questions are asked of yourself.

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  66. When Phuil says “have you ever lived on a benefit there..curmee..” I am assuming he is referring to me.

    All I’ll say on that is:
    1) Claims to authority or experince are flawed and show a paucity of position
    2) Anybody who knows me and has read your post/comment is laughing at you right now.

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  67. Phil. Photo is not a troll.
    The total lack of original thought and the support of a society fit for white collar criminals shows one of Altermayers “Authoritarian followers”.
    A paid or unpaid Astro Turfer. Obviously not very effective as they have now had to re-introduce another, MC.

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  68. “..Anybody who knows me..”

    so who the fuck are you…?

    why don’t you just post under yr own name..

    instead of cowering behind a false (pretentious) blog de plume…

    ..flinging shit…

    ..like some sorta gutless creep…

    why can’t you stand beside/behind yr words..?

    ..(you seem so assured..bordering on arrogant..in yr other mannerisms..)

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  69. “I don’t excuse ANYONE who prioritises ANY of those things over their own children going hungry.”

    Exactly – thus you can blame every parent on a benefit who’s ever eaten a biscuit for failing their children. People would have to be saints before you’d accept that they’ve done their best and deserve support from the rest of the community.

    “The rreality us that under the old aid regeime, aid was used to eduacte the cheifs son in Auckland schools. Now all the people are being eduacted on the island. Big difference.”

    Actually, the government has just boosted the scholarship programme to bring people to NZ for education.

    http://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/100-new-pacific-scholarships-next-year

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  70. Exactly – thus you can blame every parent on a benefit who’s ever eaten a biscuit for failing their children. People would have to be saints before you’d accept that they’ve done their best and deserve support from the rest of the community.

    You see, this is the problem with left wing social ‘justice’, the left see the ‘poor’ as political capital, nothing else.

    The ‘poor’ in question, and more importantly their children, are seen as the victims of rampant capitalist greed and deprivation is never seen as the parents fault.

    What we see in this country is a social crisis brought on by the left and their failed social engineering spanning near on a decade.

    It is sick, it is destructive, and the left are absolutely the biggest part of the problem.

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  71. Left wing people do not genuinely care about poor people but only see them as political capital. Quack.

    Most poor people were made poor through a decade of sick and destructive left wing social engineering. Quack.

    Life is always more fun with two ducks on the lake. Quack.

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  72. Labour failed the “poor” in NZ in spectacular fashion, And it doesn’t look like the Greens have learnt a damned thing.

    Like I said, I live amongst them, and technically my family has been under the poverty line more often than not.

    You are all just a pack of pontificating Chardonnay socialists that are just so out of touch with reality.

    Welfare is absolutely necessary.

    Welfare abuse and child abuse is absolutely evil.

    You guys are advocating for the latter.

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  73. photonz : “You need to live in a third world country for a few years, where NZ beneficiaries would be considered rich.”

    Why do you think those third world countries are so poor – do they also have too many children and spend their money unwisely?

    Or is it possible that they are also trapped in this global monetary system that rips off their resources and gives them bugger all in return

    And perhaps you could address the points that janine made above (12:06)

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  74. Whereas i see the REAL problem as being our balance of payments. For 40 odd years now more money has been flowing out the door than in. The result? Er..um…less money around.
    Result? We are all poorer.
    Metiria, you are barking up the wrong tree, as usual.

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  75. The Greens can’t make up their minds, give beneficiaries more money so they can participate in a consumer society, and then condemn said consumer society as unsustainable!!

    Which is it?

    It can’t be both.

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  76. Frog, I know your a very moderate moderator… But I don’t think it’s right that Shunda and photonz1 are blatantly trolling here.

    [frog: Shunda often posts insightful comments, particularly on environmental issues. I don't consider him a troll. photonz1 frequently posts poorly researched or unresearched assertions. But, again, I don't consider him a troll, even though his objective is to promote an anti-Green agenda. It would be a boring blog if I banned everyone who challenges Green policy. I do come down hard on threadjacking though, because that pisses everyone off regardless of their political perspective.]

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  77. Jackal says “Frog, I know your a very moderate moderator… But I don’t think it’s right that Shunda and photonz1 are blatantly trolling here.”

    So personal abuse is ok, as long as it’s from the left.

    Lies are ok, as long as it’s Todd.

    Spam is ok.

    But opposing voices must be banned.

    Stamp out and silence those opinions who don’t follow the doctrine.

    I’m pretty sure the Greens believe in the opposite of that.

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  78. Yeah Jackal, can’t let people ‘on the coal face’ upset your delusions can we.

    You can’t condemn a consumer driven unsustainable economy and then advocate more money for beneficiaries to ‘buy stuff’, it is totally illogical.

    Come on silence me!! the Chardonnay isn’t going down quite so well I take it?

    [frog: End of story please, or it does become a threadjack. I moderate this blog. Jackal/Todd doesn't, and as far as I am concerned, you still contribute appropriately - an aberration a couple of months ago that you yourself acknowledged as inappropriate aside.]

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  79. frog says “even though his objective is to promote an anti-Green agenda.”

    Wrong. I’ll support Green ideas I agree with. I’ve often stongly supported Gareths compulsory insulation for rental property.

    I often agree with Green aims but disagree with methods.

    And far from blind loyalty to National, while I agree with much of what the current govt is doing, I was staunchly against the last National Govt, and will be again in the future if I think they’re stuffing up.

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  80. OK Frog. But you will note that the right wing blogs don’t allow dissent. Photonz1 and Shunda’s reaction above is enough proof that they’re trolling.

    I think what a lot of people are missing here is that fixing poverty fixes a lot of other social issues, is good for the economy and of most importance reduces suffering. With 20% of children living in poverty in New Zealand, there are far ranging health implications and costs that can’t be brushed under the carpet by a few personal attacks from RWNJs. We’re spending more time arguing about the facts than coming up with solutions. I would have thought frogblog would be all about developing solutions instead of allowing the conflict photonz1 and shunda are fomenting to continue.

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  81. @Jackal 9:11 PM

    I think it is good that photonz1 comes here and challenges our position on issues like national standards and the minimum wage. Although I think his arguments are often bullshit, they do challenge us to do more research to refute them.

    [frog: Agreed, Toad. But that is enough on this. Back on topic please.]

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  82. keefe asks “Why do you think those third world countries are so poor – do they also have too many children and spend their money unwisely?”

    No investment, no infrastructure, little education, no training, corruption etc. They do have large families but that’s because a/ 20% of children die before 5, 2/ they are used as labour 3/ they are the only form of social security in old age.

    Keene “Or is it possible that they are also trapped in this global monetary system that rips off their resources and gives them bugger all in return”

    Yes – this also happens, though many don’t have much in the way of resources. And it’s not so much the monetary system as corrupt locals and bribes from foreign companies/countries.

    Keefe “And perhaps you could address the points that janine made above (12:06)”

    Janines complains of funding cuts. But total spending on early childhood spending has gone up. It’s just been shifted so it’s not all going to some centres while other poorer centres get little.

    And total spending on education has gone up. Some adult learning now has to be paid for if you want to do it. The govt stopped funding spanish classes for adults at our local schools, as this is something people should pay for themselves if they want to do it (and they’re probablv learning it to go overseas, which means they can probably afford to pay).

    Do you not aggree that there are higher priorities for education spending than spanish for adults?

    Personally I’d support more spending on adult education courses for useful subjects like english, maths, and budgeting.

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  83. Ok Todd, this is why I feel passionately about this issue.

    As I have told you, I live in a low socio economic area, 3 of my immediate neighbours are beneficiaries.

    My kids play with their kids, my wife and I interact with them as best we can and generally get along ok.
    But there are times when things start to get very difficult to stomach.
    These people own horses, often 5-7 cats, dogs, and two of the families race stock cars at the speedway. Their kids have more stuff than my kids, bigger tv’s and the latest gaming consoles etc, much of it on hoc from places like DTR.
    They smoke cigarettes, weed, and party frequently.
    All in all, they have plenty of money.

    But their kids? they just don’t care a stuff about them a lot of the time.
    They think a suitable lunch is an uncooked 2 min noodle cake, that’s right, a solid block of raw 2 min noodles.
    One kid has dog shit all through his bedroom and even on his bed, the parents smoke inside, and their children frequently smell terrible and are often extremely grubby.
    Periodically one wee boy begs us to let him stay the night (which we often do) especially when his parents are on the piss.

    These people are not unique, they are typical.
    Giving them more money will do nothing to help their kids, not a bloody thing.
    They are able bodied but won’t work, it is a lifestyle choice and they are enabled by well meaning but out of touch left wing politicians.

    Welfare abuse is abhorrent, it is evil, it is destroying people and children are suffering.
    No responsible welfare policy should leave individuals like this unchallenged, but to me, it seems that the Greens don’t care.

    Is this really what you guys want?

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  84. photonz1

    It doesn’t matter how much you have or haven’t got. If you don’t ALWAYS prioritise your children first – you shouldn’t have them.

    It is not the state, but the parents who decide to prioritise spending on smokes, alcohol, drugs, pokies, TAB, sky tv, playstation, nike shoes, takaways, coke, red bull, flat screen tv etc. above food for their children.

    That’s not correct. If somebody doesn’t have enough food to feed one person, how are they expected to feed a family? Again we see a total misconception that all poor people are bad people. Such bigotry is offensive and does not help resolve the issue of poverty in New Zealand. It entrenches the dysfunction and allows it to continue to be acceptable because of a blame the victim mentality that is actively promoted. It’s the ability of poor people to look after their children that is the issue.

    The bigoted fall back position is weak in comparison to the argument it was trying to answer:

    I do not believe this extends to making solo mums work when there newborns are a few months old. National are planning to cut ECE further, so that’s not a viable solution anymore to reduce poverty under the current administrations policies.

    How effective is the strategy of redistribution in reducing child poverty? If tax and benefit systems could be made as effective as the third best performing country in terms of the proportional reduction in child poverty (Sweden, with a reduction of around 78%), it is estimated that child poverty in OECD countries would be more than halved from 10.2 to 4.3 %, and no OECD country would have a child poverty rate above 7%.

    You can only reduce poverty through employment if there are jobs. Because National has not created any jobs and removed many redistribution functions our poverty levels are increasing dramatically. No person chooses to be poor btw.

    Until we change the system so it prioritizes people and puts children first, we’re never going to fix the problem. People cannot prioritize their children if they don’t have enough money to do so. Most parents care for their children whether they are rich or poor. There is little distinction between the effort of the classes. There is a large distinction between the ability of the poor to look after their children. Stop blaming the victims!

    Everybody I know who was going to adult classes has stopped. So let’s just write off all the benefits such things have on society while we are at it.

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  85. Shunda

    But their kids? they just don’t care a stuff about them a lot of the time.

    You’re confusing neglect with poverty.

    They are able bodied but won’t work, it is a lifestyle choice and they are enabled by well meaning but out of touch left wing politicians.

    I very much doubt that any left wing politician supports neglect. Nor do they promote poverty, unlike National’s prehistoric policies.

    Welfare abuse is abhorrent, it is evil, it is destroying people and children are suffering.

    Welfare abuse? I thought we were talking about child neglect, not welfare abuse. I’m sure there are beneficiaries who abuse the system that look after their children just fine. In fact the vast majority of welfare dependent families look after their children just fine.

    I could hold up a few white collar criminals and say that every rich businessman was a crook… I would probably be more correct in that misconception than your bigotry about beneficiaries is.

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  86. Todd says “That’s not correct. If somebody doesn’t have enough food to feed one person, how are they expected to feed a family?”

    Off course it’s correct. You think it’s ok to spend money on cigarettes, booze, drugs, dogs, playstation, sky tv, nike shoes – to the point that you don’t have enough to feed your children?

    My wife dealt with some children last week who were left hungry in the park while their mum was at the pub. They were 2 and 3 years old.

    You are the one who keeps saying I am referring to all beneficiaries, even though I’ve never done that. I wouldn’t even go as far as Shunda and say it’s typical. But it is common – very comon.

    So common, that apparently we’ve got 200,000 children whose parents can’t afford a $2 loaf of bread each week to give them breakfast.

    I can’t beleive that of these hundred thousand parents, none smoke, drink, do drugs etc instead of buying food for their children.

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  87. You’re confusing neglect with poverty.

    Ha! no I am not you and the greens are!!

    Don’t you get it Todd? Met is talking about kids going without breakfast, I am telling you it is not poverty that is doing it, it is neglect!!

    “In fact the vast majority of welfare dependent families look after their children just fine.”

    Ummmm, apparently not if they are going hungry!!.

    “I could hold up a few white collar criminals and say that every rich businessman was a crook… I would probably be more correct in that misconception than your bigotry about beneficiaries is.”

    You are just behaving like an insulting ignoramus, I am extremely tolerant of beneficiaries, I couldn’t survive here if I wasn’t.

    You just played the ‘bigot’ card in typical fashion when reality destroys your argument.

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  88. Perhaps you’re right phil u. However…

    According to the OECD report linked to above: Countries that have relatively high levels of child poverty (New Zealand 20%) appear mainly to have very high levels of poverty among working families, and tax and benefit systems that are not effective in reducing it.

    You just played the ‘bigot’ card in typical fashion when reality destroys your argument.

    Your reality shunda does not destroy the argument I have presented, which is based on factual information.

    Photonz1 says he doesn’t call all beneficiaries abusers while doing just that on numerous occasions.

    Define the percentages then shunda/photonz1? Or forever be known as a couple of bigots!

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  89. So in response to concern about child poverty in families dependent on benefits, shunda directly links any poverty to child neglect by their parents and claims the typical beneficiary is someone able bodied and unwilling to work, someone abusing welfare and thus explains why he opposes any increase in help to those on welfare and implying his preference for virtually any right wing attack on beneficiaries instead.

    Even photonz is reduced to admitting that this makes him a moderate by comparison. He at least sees the need for ensuring the poor live in insulated housing and accepts targeting help to children to reduce poverty bypasses concerns about poor parenting.

    The question for shunda is, what would he support being done

    TIA?
    anything at all?

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  90. I have to come to the conclusion that Todd has no idea of what a bigot really is.
    I have heard it said that people are often most guilty of what they accuse of in others…..

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  91. SPC, don’t try and reduce the validity of my testimony by playing an extremely disingenuous ‘bigot game’ all of your own.

    You can’t help it can you, you just can’t help but scream “extremist” because I give a real world example, you also clearly didn’t read any of my posts fully.

    Don’t pretend you care about the poor (of which I am one apparently) you simply have no idea what you are talking about.

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  92. More lies from Todd
    “Photonz1 says he doesn’t call all beneficiaries abusers while doing just that on numerous occasions.”

    Prove you are not a habitual liar Todd – and show where I have said all beneficiaries are abusers.

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  93. shunda, most people welcome being asked what they support being done but you seem to limit yourself to base attacks on beneficiaries, and only extend yourself to personal attacks on those who call you on them and general attacks on anyone proposing to do anything for those on benefits. Talk about a failure to be constructive.

    Just another case of your contempt for the beneficiary poor and the left and liberals as people.

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  94. Talk about a failure to be constructive.

    Even if that were true, it would be nothing compared to the utter failure of the left to help our most vulnerable.

    It is just not believable that the situation we are currently in is due to a couple of years under John Key vs 10 years under the left.

    SPC, you have proven more than once that you have no idea of who I really am or what motivates me, it is convenient for you and some others here to see me as some evil fundamentalist Christian right wing bigot, and quite frankly, I don’t care any more.

    The left are fundamentally intolerant people, ideology will not be compromised and rigid inflexible concepts will be steadfastly adhered to.

    You are offering no solutions whatsoever, so my wife and I will continue to help the kids around here as much as we can while you and your mates play them as a political football.

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  95. The number of children raised in poverty declined under Labour led governments largely because of the increase in minimum wage (proposed by Greens and NZF not Labour) and the WFF tax credits. There was the TIA and income related rent in state housing, but Labour reduced access to emergency benefits and left the amount that could be earned before abatement unchanged despite rising costs and wage increases per hour.

    Poverty was lower when they left office and than when they came into office – this cannot be said of the past term of this government.

    My own views on what could be done was shared with the WWG – and unfortunately as has been noted here already the ability to debate policy options is limited when threads get jacked by those hostile to beneficiaroes and help to them especially by those bigoted against the left and liberals – a person can leave the pentecostals but the hate they learn there against the godless atheist liberal left requires some evolutionary development over years afterwards. First there is kindness to their own partner and children, then animals, then the environment – we can only patiently wait for further signs of progress …

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  96. SPC says “…the ability to debate policy options is limited when threads get jacked by those hostile to beneficiaroes..

    No – the ability to debate policy is limited when people stick their head in the sand and refuse to see the elephant in the room – a large number of dysfunctional families that cost the country a fortune.

    There is a blinkered refusal to see that there is a large group of people causing the a significant amount of our countries problems with child neglect and abuse, drug abuse, crime – and perpertuating the cycle with their offspring.

    Do you know what it costs the taxpayer to keep a teenager of these families in a secure residential home? $500,000 per year – it makes the cost of prison look cheap.

    And your continual solution – get the people who work to give more money to those who don’t.

    Not a thing about getting them to feed their children before they spend money at the pub – not a single word.

    You couldn’t possibly bring yourself to say anything, let alone do anything – about the hundred thousand parents who send their kids to school hungry.

    Because if they decide to spend their benefit at the pub instead of on feeding their children, that’s not their fault – it’s the governments fault for not giving them enough beer money.

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  97. photonz

    Your last post perfectly exemplifies my criticism, you would rather bring up dysfunctional families as an excuse for doing nothing rather than proposing options that take them out of the policy equation as to reducing child poverty.

    But given you oppose WFF – … because you say people should be able to afford children before having any … and you also oppose people in working families giving help/any more help to families on benefits I suppose your first opinion to express is the reasons not to do anything constructive.

    However what I find interesting is that a few days ago we agreed we both supported a requirement for all rental property to be insulated and for direct help to children and yet now you post here that my “continual solution – get the people who work to give more money to those who don’t.” When in fact for some years and again on that thread a few days ago I have said that I prefer other options (including those) to passing the WFF tax credits to those on benefits.

    “Not a thing about getting them to feed their children before they spend money at the pub – not a single word. couldn’t possibly bring yourself to say anything, let alone do anything – about the hundred thousand parents who send their kids to school hungry. Because if they decide to spend their benefit at the pub instead of on feeding their children, that’s not their fault – it’s the governments fault for not giving them enough beer money.”

    Those must be your astro turf bull-points you repeat the same post over and over.

    You make up the number of a 100,000 parents as causing child poverty by their spending choices – over half the number of parents on benefits.

    As I posted earlier, I don’t buy into the deserving poor undeserving poor game. The AB of Canterbury was right to condemn that tactic to legitimise continuing poverty.

    Did we not agree only a few days ago on another thread on this very topic that direct help to children including such as healthy food vouchers and the like would deal with some aspects of child poverty by bypassing the benefit payment system?

    PS The TIA is of course a great way to educate a DPB parent (if course costs are not unavailable for part-time study and those on the DPB are being part-time work tested meaning they can only study part-time – then restoration of a TIA including course costs is vital). A well educated working parent whose income takes the family out of poverty is vital.

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  98. Todd says “Poverty has always increased under National btw”

    Actually child poverty went
    - up 1988-1992 under Labour then National,
    - declined steeply 1994-1998 under National,
    - went up 1998-2004 under some measurments (not because they were worse off, but because there was a rise in median incomes so a larger number of people were deemed to be in poverty), but under other measuremnts they went down.
    - they went down 2004-2007 under Labour.
    - and they went up 2007-2009 under Labour and National.

    My family can live quite nicely on $47,000 per year, but as this is less than 60% of the median houshold income it’s considered that my children would be living in poverty.

    Whereas if I lived in Africa I would have to earn less than $1 a day before I was considered living in poverty.

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  99. The 1988-92 and 94-98 changes can be explained by a rise and then a fall in unemployment.

    The rise 1998-2004 occurred because the child benefit payments were not indexed to inflation (2005-2008 WFF was a belated catch-up and mroe effectively targeted).

    Of course since 2008 unemployment has increased.

    PS Income does not define poverty- some on Super own their own homes and have low housing costs. It’s about the affordablity of necessities – housing, power, clothing, food, access to transport, childcare if both parents work etc

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  100. SPC – sorry – the accusation of your “continual solution” should not have been aimed at you.

    However I think we need to take more direct action to make dysfunctional families take more responsibility.

    And stopping more becoming dysfunctional in the first place by financial and life education in schools.

    We teach days / months / years of all sorts of subjects, but we don’t even teach them an hour on some of the most important things they’ll need to know for their whole life.

    If people planned their lives / families better, we’d have billions more to spend (or save or invest) .

    The 100,000 figure is simply a rough figure for the number of parents of the 200,000 children Metiria says live in poverty. With two parents per family, though not neccessarily together, the figure is probably a little closer to 200,000.

    And I didn’t say they are all causing child poverty. But I was saying there would be quite a lot of parents in that number who prioritise things like smokes and alcohol over feeding their children.

    That must stop.

    But we’re doing nothing to stop it. I can’t hear a single voice saying it’s not acceptable to buy smokes and alcohol with the money that should be feeding your hungry kids.

    All we hear is a call for more money.

    And I’m all for any adult education courses that will improve job chances. But I don’t think the taxpayer gets a good return on their hard earned money by paying for hobby courses, spanish etc

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  101. The government should be funding school meals in decile 1 schools and using charities to deliver it, (allowing retailers to compete for the nationwide contracts/be a co-sponsor), this can be extended into all sorts of areas (basic clothing needs, activity programmes etc).

    That and a requirement for keeping children part of the Well Child B4 School programme and access to a decile 1 school area/decile 10 economic area pre school by government subsidy and extra health services in decile 1 primary schools would go some way to ending a lot of child poverty (as long as all rental homes are insulated and power costs reduced).

    As to poor parenting – management of the benefit payment system to mitigate this by budget control is something that should only occur when this is required (it can be indirectly managed by addiction treatment where necessary as part of work capability testing). The problem is access to homes is based on trust and this can be lost if intervening agencies are seen as seeking a reason to takeover the family budget from parents (it’s the welfare equivalent of cops carrying a gun).

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  102. From first link in post:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/education/5134158/Hidden-shame-of-child-poverty
    KidsCan … chief executive Julie Helson said.

    There are a lot of judgmental people in New Zealand who have this perception that people on low incomes are all down the pub or putting their money in gaming machines … the majority of parents that we see actually do want the best for their children and they are very, very embarrassed when they can’t provide for them.

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  103. I asked a very specific question regarding the percentage of children of beneficiaries that are neglected. Neither shunda or photonz1 has been able to answer that, so I must conclude that their reasoning is formulated from their own prejudices and bigotries.

    The proportion of children living in poverty rose during the 1990s, from aprox 5.5 per cent in 1990 to around 14 per cent in 2005, reflecting the 1991 benefit cuts and a freeze in family support rates from 1998 to 2005. Please link to the data you’re using to get your figures photonz1?

    Adult education is a separate issue. However I would say that there were many worthwhile courses that have had to close because National gutted them all. Holding up a few that do not seem relevant is the same as holding up a few beneficiaries who neglect their children and trying to say all beneficiaries are abusive.

    It’s a defunct mindset used by bigots!

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  104. SPC – the problem is your solutions are mainly one bandaid after another.

    They are all “give a man a fish” instead of “teach a aman to fish”.

    So they won’t fix the problem – they are at best a temporary bandaid, and only while truckloads of money are poured in.

    If we can’t change people living and budgeting habits then the problem will go on and we’ll be talkiong about the same thing in 10 or 20 or 30 years.

    solka – if KidsCan CE can’t see the proliferation of pubs, booze outlets, pokies and takaways and smoking – in poor areas – she should open her eyes. It’s no coincidence that there is a far higher concentration of these businesses in these areas – poor areas spend more on these things.

    Going to the pub just once a month and spending just $30 could pay for a months breakfast for one or two kids. A single pack of cigarettes pays for a weeks breeakfast for two kids.

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  105. Life skills and budgeting should be taught in schools and also to young parents and those who want to learn them. There were some night classes in making over clothes and thrifty cooking – canned along with all the other ACE courses.

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  106. “I can’t hear a single voice saying it’s not acceptable to buy smokes and alcohol with the money that should be feeding your hungry kids.”

    That’s funny – I can hear an awful lot of them, including some on this blog. But then, listening was never your strong point.

    I’d agree with that myself, it’s just when you make yourself ridiculous by attacking people for eating a biscuit that I disagree.

    And when you rail against ‘the left’ when NZ has been run on a neo-liberal model for the last 25 years.

    And when you rail against ‘spending other people’s money’ then advocate more education – who’s going to pay for that?

    And doesn’t teaching people ‘life skills’ sound like leftist ‘social engineering’?

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  107. a person can leave the pentecostals but the hate they learn there against the godless atheist liberal left requires some evolutionary development over years afterwards. First there is kindness to their own partner and children, then animals, then the environment – we can only patiently wait for further signs of progress …

    And that little tirade SPC, makes you a grade ‘a’ bigot.

    What arrogant, ignorant drivel.

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  108. Kerry says “Not to mention over 15 billion annually in tax evasion/avoidance. No soaking required just make them pay their share” and in doing so overlooks some uncomfortable (for Kerry’s position) facts.

    Firstly, a discriminotory taxation regime like Kerry advocates, of course theis tax avoidnace. Trying to make taxation even more discrimintory as kerry suggest will only increase tax avoidance and hurt wage/salary PAYE payers. the question therefore begs to be asked why Kerry hates wage/salary PAYE payers so much.

    Secondly, the ‘wealthy’ already pay more than their fair share of tax: about 10% of the population pay about 50% of the tax. You’d have them pay more?!?! How is that ‘fair’?

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  109. Photonz, notice how they are so determined to label me a hateful extremist because I have offered real world examples that they don’t want to acknowledge.

    This is typical of people determined to maintain a political football instead of dealing with reality.

    Met has made some serious errors and assumptions in her post here, it is just not possible to debate reality with these people when they don’t even understand the reality of the situation.

    It is also not possible to create solutions when they can’t even differentiate between ‘poverty’ and ‘deprivation’.

    The issue is, you see, deprivation requires criticism of individuals, and they are reluctant to do so for obvious reasons.

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  110. Todd says “I asked a very specific question regarding the percentage of children of beneficiaries that are neglected. Neither shunda or photonz1 has been able to answer that, so I must conclude that their reasoning is formulated from their own prejudices and bigotries”

    Which would be just as stupid as saying – Tell me what percentage are not neglected, and if you can’t tell me the answer it shows your own prejudices.

    Todd says “The proportion of children living in poverty rose during the 1990s, from aprox 5.5 per cent in 1990 to around 14 per cent in 2005,

    The 1990 rate of child poverty was 30% using the 60% threshold, and 15% using the 50% threshold.

    The 1994 rate of child poverty was 45% using the 60% threshold, and 35% using the 50% threshold.

    It fell sharply from 1994, apart from a small increase in 1998-2004 due to median wages going UP. This meant more people we’re under the 60%/50% thresholds of the median household income.

    Todd – you have still failed to show you’re not a habitual liar – show where I have said all beneficiaries are abusers.

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  111. shunda

    Photonz, notice how they are so determined to label me a hateful extremist because I have offered real world examples that they don’t want to acknowledge.

    So what percentage is it shunda? Or are you relying on one persons experience to base your bigotry on?

    Met has made some serious errors and assumptions in her post here, it is just not possible to debate reality with these people when they don’t even understand the reality of the situation.

    Do you accept that 20% of children in this country are living in poverty?

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  112. photonz1. Please link to the data you’re using? Otherwise your figures are meaningless! Your beneficiary bashing is plain to see for anybody who has read your comments here.

    It’s probably better to use the handle Jackal to avoid confusion for new readers btw.

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  113. Sam says “And doesn’t teaching people ‘life skills’ sound like leftist ‘social engineering’?”

    I’m not all up tight and anal about what’s left and what’s right.

    I’m more interested in what works.

    And if courses like this can improve people lives, for the rest of their lives, then they are well worth it.

    They are also likely to save a lot of taxpayers money which is then available to be spent on more worthwhile other things.

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  114. “..which is then available to be spent on more worthwhile other things…”

    more tax cuts for the rich..?

    more subsidies for polluting farmers/industries..?

    ..what did you have in mind…as being ‘worthy’..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  115. “..about 10% of the population pay about 50% of the tax…”

    and what percentage of the wealth/income do they ‘own’…?

    (and..pssttt!!..yr strawmen are showing..!..eh..?..)

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  116. Shunda says “Photonz, notice how they are so determined to label me a hateful extremist because I have offered real world examples that they don’t want to acknowledge.”

    I agree. They only come up with bandaid fixes – throw more money at the problem, without any solutions to stop the cause. Some don’t even acknowledge that NZ has a serious issue with disfunctional families.

    Fighting / abusing / hating anything on the right seems to be top priority to many here.

    Even Metiria ignores all the well known and researched danger factors causing cot death, and comes up with a possible nutritional link for mothers, which she admits “may be” connected, then sensationalises her tenuos link to give her headline that it killing children.

    Could it be that mothers who smoke during pregnancy (50% in some demographics), or drink, or take drugs, are not big on the best nutrition for expectant mothers?

    It’s even weaker than the rediculous link she made last week that Claire Curren was thrown out of parliament because she was a woman.

    Using such tenuous and weak arguements undermines your case – it doesn’t strengthen it.

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  117. (and..pssttt!!..yr strawmen are showing..!..eh..?..)

    Could I borrow your lighter?

    Ignoring the question still eh photonz1/shunda… What percentage of children of beneficiaries are neglected? Your basing your entire arguments on this saying that it is lots and very common, but how much is it exactly? Ignorance is blissfully bigoted I suppose.

    PS I acknowledge that NZ has a serious issue with dysfunctional families. I certainly don’t think that all families are dysfunctional though. There’s plenty of dysfunction in families with working parents btw.

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  118. phil – for someone who hasn’t paid income tax for years and years, you are in a very weak position to tell others they aren’t pulling their weight.

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  119. Jackal, I think your question is the wrong way round. What I’d like to know is what percentage of these neglected kid’s parents are NOT beneficiaries. I’m including both parents here too, not just the mum. I’ll declare my uneducated bias here… I’d suspect the answer is close to zero.
    I really liked Paula Bennett’s recent call for ideas on how to deal with this. I’d really like to see my tax money that is handed out in benefits be in such a form that it cannot be spent on booze, gambling etc. Also I’d make the attendance of the kids at school a requirement of receiving any benefit.

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  120. Todd says “Ignoring the question still eh photonz1/shunda…”

    And what about you Todd.

    Prove you are not a habitual liar and show where I have said all beneficiaries are abusers.

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  121. The question is not the wrong way around. Answering either of the neglect ratio gives the answer for both. As photonz1 and shunda have no idea, they are basing their arguments on ignorance.

    Beneficiaries pay tax btw photonz1… But don’t let that triviality get in the way of your bigotry!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2 (-1)

  122. Prove you are not a habitual liar and show where I have said all beneficiaries are abusers.

    I’m debating a five year old.

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  123. Prove you are not a habitual liar and show where I have said all beneficiaries are abusers.

    Todd says “I’m debating a five year old.”

    Point proven then – you are a habitual liar who can’t back up their claims.

    Poverty is so bad in NZ, that of those families judged to be in “severe hardship”, 37% say they cannot even afford a playstation for their children.

    From New Zealand Living Standards 2004. 2006, Ministry of Social Development: Wellington. p. 99-122.

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  124. There you go again photonz1… Using one factor of the research to try and stump up your failing argument. Anybody who actually bother’s to read the paper can see you’re talking shit again.

    [frog: Tone it down a bit, Jackal and photonz1. Personal attacks and name calling doesn't enhance either of your arguments. Please try to debate the issue.]

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  125. Just to qualify my previous post, those in “severe hardship” are those in the bottom six percent.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1 (0)

  126. photonz1

    Poverty is so bad in NZ, that of those families judged to be in “severe hardship”, 37% say they cannot even afford a playstation for their children.

    Being able to afford a playstaion was a question that was asked in the research. However it was not a defining factor of the level of poverty in New Zealand. What is far more indicative…

    An examination of the hardship experiences of young parents and their children further confirms the socioeconomic disadvantages and challenges faced by this vulnerable group. Although a proportion of young parents were living relatively free of material hardship (29% reported no hardships), many reported being forced to make sacrifices in one or more areas of their family’s life, with 18% reporting a high level of material hardship (six-plus hardship items). Overall, one in five families judged their income to be inadequate for meeting their family’s needs, and between 10 and 30% were unable to pay basic bills (rent, phone, electricity), had moved to cheaper accommodation, sought assistance from Work and Income or social welfare agencies, and postponed visits to the doctor or dentist.

    purchase second-hand clothing
    Young Parents %40.0 National Estimates %31.0
    judge income as inadequate for meeting family needs
    Young Parents %21.9 National Estimates %19.8
    unable to pay electricity bill
    Young Parents %18.7 National Estimates %10.0
    sought help from food bank or similar social service agency
    Young Parents %14.8 National Estimates %5.0
    unable to pay rent
    Young Parents %12.3 National Estimates %7.0
    selling or pawning belongings to meet needs
    Young Parents %12.3 National Estimates %7.0
    postponing or putting off visits to the dentist
    Young Parents %32.9 National Estimates %38.0
    postponing or putting off visits to the doctor
    Young Parents %22.6 National Estimates %25.0

    http://on.fb.me/mfpi13

    … to show poverty levels. I’m sorry frog but photonz1 is talking Shit with a capital S and I will say so! 37% of parents not being able to afford a Playstation is not indicative of the 20% of children living in poverty. Not being able to afford food and pay bills etc is.

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  127. “”Sure, but don’t forget that poor people tend to smoke more than wealthier people, poor people tend to drink more alcohol than wealthier people and poor people tend to gamble more than wealthier people – and of course don’t forget the thousands of poor people who subscribe to Sky Television. Solve those social ills, and then you are at least part of the way to solving the poverty problem””.

    If I was stuck in a poverty trap like many of these people are, with no forseeable way out I would fly to the cork also. To forget about my miserable life compared to the richer people I see around me.

    The crooks who deregulated finance, ran these companies and fronted for them have no responsibility of course.

    What about those who deregulated finance so the crooks had free reign, And those who voted for them.. Don’t they have a responsibility.

    Guaranteed minimum income for pensioners ended elderly poverty in NZ. Less than 3% of our elderly live in poverty. At a very low cost compared to other OECD pension schemes.
    We should extend this successful program to every one.

    “”Kerry, the only problem is that this scheme already costs 5% of GDP and is expected to hit 9% of GDP in the coming decades. While the old age pension should be able to survive for the medium to long term, an expansion of this programme would not be sustainable for much longer
    than the short term””.

    Given that. It is still a cheap scheme compared with most OECD countries.
    You have to offset that against the costs of a large number of the population not reaching their potential and the benefits of the money and stimulus from the lower paid and beneficiaries to the economy. Payments of benefits are spent locally, not on houses in Hawaii or the US derivatives market.

    “”The wealthy should not be allowed to breed.

    Except they don’t have that many children to start off with.””

    But each one uses 100′s of times the resources than a poor child.

    “”If you look at who uses excessive resources, wastes or loses wealth and takes more from the economy than they give.

    I looked at that report and I saw little indication of how their model actually worked – it seemed like the figures had been taken from thin air.””

    Do you really believe a Teacher, Builder, cleaner or rubbish collector contributes less to the economy than a currency trader.

    No you don’t. or a cleaner would be paid more than a financial manager.

    “It doesn’t really come down to the level of physical labour involved, but instead the level of qualification which determines wages. Anyone can be a cleaner, but to be a financial manager, chances are that you need a University degree as well as several years at a firm – all that narrows the funnel of potential applicants and results in the wage going through the roof.””””

    If that was really the case then I should be earning more than John Key.

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  128. Todd says “37% of parents not being able to afford a Playstation is not indicative of the 20% of children living in poverty”

    I agree – that’s indicative of the worst 6% – not the worst 20%.

    The whole definition of poverty here is a farce. You can earn $47000 per year and be labelled as living in poverty cause you earn less than 60% of the median houshold income.

    And poverty rates went up in the early 2000s, not because more people were suffering, but others people got a pay increase.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1 (+1)

  129. This is going to get me a few thumbs down, but i’ll say it anyway…
    Why does the Green party prioritse the poor in an election year. As a political party in the election lottery your job is to put forward policy ideas that will lure folk to vote for you.
    The poor just aren’t your target market.
    Firstly, and most importantly the poor don’t vote, they just don’t vote at all. They should, but they don’t.
    Secondly, they just don’t care for the environment. Drive through a ‘poor’ suburb, it’s a mess. So those that do vote aren’t likely to give you guys a tick.
    Thirdly, it’s middle class and above folk that have the environmental awareness sufficient to maybe think about voting for you. If they do it’s because they care about clean rivers and retaining power companies in NZ hands. They find the thought of handing out (their hard earned tax) money willy-nilly to beneficiaries to breed more unloved kids a real turn off.
    Leave this fight for a red party, not a green party.
    It’s a campaign looser.

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  130. Photonz is quite right (in principle: I have not checked the numbers as such) in saying “You can earn $47000 per year and be labelled as living in poverty cause you earn less than 60% of the median houshold income”.

    And (running with photonz’s numbers) once could ‘give’ such a person another $1000 a year and allit would do would be raise the median income, thereby meansing (many of) these people who just been given $10,000 are still in poverty.

    With aflawed metric like thise for establishing ‘povery’, the only way to eradicate it is to have a complet and utter marxist resdistribution of wealth to ensure we all ‘earn’ the same and therefore ther is no variance. If that is the goal of ‘poverty’ promoters, they shoudl at least be honest enough to say it upfront

    These ‘poverty’ promotors need to reconsider their incorrect and emotive rhetoric. What other hearts-stings can they had to ‘children’ and ‘poverty’? ‘paraplegic’, ‘lesibaian’, and ‘whale’, to go for five-from-five?

    Poor? Yes.
    Disadvantaged? Maybe.
    Poverty? No.

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  131. Note to moderator.

    I notice for the first time in my nigh-on two weeks here that some moderation is being done. Fair enough. Are posts only partly moderated asI can see, or and some ‘yanked’ too? Are ‘yanked’ posts flagged at such to any/every-body and how does that occur?

    [frog: If a comment is grossly offensive I'll delete the offensive part of it, flag that I have done that, issue a warning, and leave the rest of the comment, if any, extant. Persistent offenders and trolls get put into auto-moderation or banned from commenting. If the comment is spam that somehow gets past the spam filter I will delete it completely.]

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  132. Kerry continues with the line “Guaranteed minimum income for pensioners ended elderly poverty in NZ … We should extend this successful program to every one.” but still refuses to say how it would be paid for other than advocating ‘soaking the rich’ (amongst whome the PAYE earners already pay a disproportionally large amount of income tax)

    What Kerry continues to refuse to engage with his the huge burden this penions schem places on the average PAYE taxpayer: currently about $6000 a year. To extend this to everyone, the poor average PAYE taxpayer is gong to to be bled white. Simply handwavingit off by saying ‘soak the rich’ is an arguemenst devoid of reason, fairness, or equity.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1 (0)

  133. Bullshit.
    I am most definitely middle class. Some would say upper as I am in the top 10%, but I still vote Green because I want to live in a functioning society where we look after the young, sick and elderly. Where we have functioning infrastructure and a quality education system. Where we leave an ecologically and economically functioning world for our kids.

    People are not just “work units”

    You cannot separate environmental sustainability from social sustainability.

    My own self interest would lead me to vote for a party which wants decent wages and benefits and an inclusive society.

    If you look around the world the most successful economies, funnily enough, are the socialist democracies who have high levels of regulation, taxation and social welfare.

    I don’t want slums and people who have to turn to crime to survive, next door.

    Most beneficiaries are us with only a bit of bad luck or serious illness.

    http://werewolf.co.nz/2011/02/ten-myths-about-welfare/

    I believe my position is similar to the majority of Green voters. There is no way we would support a so called Blue/Green party.
    Looking after the environment will never happen with the self interested and criminal new right in Government.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2 (+2)

  134. photonz

    You say that child poverty increased 1998-2004 “because the median wage went up” (care to reference that to some statistics) when in fact the cause was the failure to index support payments to families (poverty was increasing in working families).

    As you opposed WFF (that solved the problem of child poverty in workimg families) and also oppose increasing money paid to beneficiary parents with children then dismissing such things as

    - government funding of school meals in decile 1 schools and using charities to deliver it, (allowing retailers to compete for the nationwide contracts/be a co-sponsor), and extension of this into all sorts of areas (basic clothing needs, activity programmes etc).

    - a requirement for keeping children part of the Well Child B4 School programme and access to a decile 1 school area/decile 10 economic area pre school by government subsidy and extra health services in decile 1 primary schools

    - required insulation in all rental homes are insulated so power costs reduced).

    as band-aid solutions, means you don’t actually support anything on the spending side being done to improve child poverty …

    “If we can’t change people living and budgeting habits then the problem will go on and we’ll be talkiong about the same thing in 10 or 20 or 30 years.”

    Training everyone to live on a budget is hardly a vote of confidence that we will catch up to Oz in wage levels, or that living on a benefit is easy because the amount is enough to live on. But your faith in social engineering in schools to change the way people live does nothing for those children supported by parents on benefits now.

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  135. Photonz says “I’m not all up tight and anal about what’s left and what’s right. I’m more interested in what works.”

    and “Fighting / abusing / hating anything on the right seems to be top priority to many here.”

    and :”So personal abuse is ok, as long as it’s from the left.”

    So, why spend so much time demanding people adopt your (right-wing) analysis of the problem and slagging ‘the left’? Especially when your solutions are vaguely left (government intervention in education) rather than right? This seems to be something where we can more easily agree on solutions rather than insisting on agreement on where blame lies.

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  136. Having said that, I’m not sure that teaching life skills in schools will be effective given the limited effects of education on a society where dysfunction, addiction and consumerism is normalised. But I’m happy to give it a go.

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  137. Given shunda claims that child poverty is the result of parental neglect and photonz says 100,000 parents on welfare neglect their children one would have thought that one or both would have proposed some way of dealing with this problem – yet neither has.

    No, nothing but education in schools about how to live proper like, yet this will have no impact on existing child poverty.

    What happens when the issue is discussed, is not only opposition to more money to beneficiary parents but even of money targeted to the children themselves. And placing blame for child poverty on the parents is simply a rationalisation for opposing any support to these parents – as often the same people also oppose WFF and say children should be afforded out of work income without support from other taxpayers. The ideological opposition to any kind of transfer payment also explains the attacks on the measure of poverty.

    This country has had transfer payments since tax paid super and so ultimately the attacks on welfare and WFF will end up there with an attack on universal super.

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  138. spc ASKS “(care to reference that to some statistics)”

    From Household Incomes in New Zealand: Trends in Indicators of Inequality and Hardship 1982 to 2009. 2010, Ministry of Social Development: Wellington. p. 1 – 147.

    “During 1992-1998, relative child poverty rates then declined, a trend which Perry attributes to falling unemployment, occurring in a context where incomes for those around the poverty line rose more quickly than the median. After 1998 however, as economic conditions improved, median incomes again rose, while incomes for many low-income households with children did not, resulting in a rise in relative child poverty up until 2004. ”

    SPC says “as band-aid solutions, means you don’t actually support anything on the spending side being done to improve child poverty … ”

    No – you’re jumping to conclusions as I didn’t say they were ALL bandaid solutions. As I said, there are “give a man a fish” solutions” and “teach a man to fish” solutions.

    Any spending on the later will obviously have far greater long term benefits than the former.

    We can spend hundreds of millions more on the former and the benefits are largely gone by next week.

    So teaching people to live sustainably on their income can last a lifetime, and insulation lasts decades.

    The B4 school checks have a massive range of benefits, from educating parents, picking up hearing and seeing problems that affect learning, finding neglected and abused kids, vaccinations, teaching about healthy eating, identifying unfit living conditions – the list is endless. So that has huge long term benefits.

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  139. Are there not countless reports that show the benefits of having children raised in poverty in pre school programmes – this is the guarantee that the Well Child B4 School programme will work for these children.

    And are there not countless reports that show that children who are fed
    a healthy breakfast etc will do better at primary school – so feeding children in decile one school areas is important to therebeing given a chance to get an education … an investment in their future that will pay off …

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  140. Photonz says “I’m not all up tight and anal about what’s left and what’s right. I’m more interested in what works.”

    Sam says “So, why spend so much time demanding people adopt your (right-wing) analysis of the problem and slagging ‘the left’? Especially when your solutions are vaguely left (government intervention in education) rather than right?”

    I’m not slagging the left. I’m slagging “throw more money at them” as a solution that doesn’t fix the problem

    Sam says “This seems to be something where we can more easily agree on solutions rather than insisting on agreement on where blame lies.”

    I’m sure that would lead to a more positive discussion.

    Perhaps we should all agree that there is a significant proportion of beneficiaries who are struggling to cope but are doing the best they can for their kids
    and
    a significant proportion of beneficiaries who are struggling to cope but are not prioritising their kids ahead of their own wasteful spending.

    The problem is some charities / churches criticise those who acknowledge this, so they will never even acknowledge the problem let alone do anything about it.

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  141. “After 1998 however, as economic conditions improved, median incomes again rose, while incomes for many low-income households with children did not, resulting in a rise in relative child poverty up until 2004.”

    I was taught at school to comprehend what I read – given the way poverty is assessed by relative measure, so median incomes rising did not cause an increase in poverty but the “low income households with children” not having an “income rise” did.

    This was because a component of their income, the child payments to poor families, was not indexed to inflation and was left unchanged. Another was that the minimum wage was going up by less than the median wage. Both were addressed 2005-2008 by increases in the minimum wage and WFF.

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  142. SPC – you’re wrong. My point was using a relative poverty measure (against 60% of the current median income), poverty went up over this period because median income went up faster.

    But if you use a straight line measure (against 60% of the median 2007 wage, adjusted for inflation), then poverty went DOWN over this period.

    In other words, poor people were better off, but not to the same extent of middle income people.

    The relative poverty measure of 60% of median wage, went up so much it brought in many more more people below the “poverty line”.

    Even though they were less poor than before.

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  143. Hmmmm… I suggest we agree on solutions rather than who’s to blame, and you immediately agree with that, then propose we agree on who is to blame…

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  144. Sam says “Hmmmm… I suggest we agree on solutions rather than who’s to blame, and you immediately agree with that, then propose we agree on who is to blame…”

    The point being people will never solve a problem if they refuse to ackowledge that it exists.

    I was just suggesting we acknowledge both genuine poverty and poverty because of dysfunctional families, and try to solve both of those problems.

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  145. photonz – how can the median wage in 2007 be relevant to the 1998-2004 circumstances some of the WFF increase had been introduced and there had been an increase in the minimum wage from $9 to $11 an hour.

    “I was just suggesting we acknowledge both genuine poverty and poverty because of dysfunctional families, and try to solve both of those problems.”

    You rejected valid ways of dealing with genuine poverty as band-aid and have offered no ways of dealing with dysfunctional families (education does nothing for existing families – and continuing child poverty reduces the likelihood of educational success for them).

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  146. Maybe the Greens position should be no confidence and supply to any government unless there is a programme for

    1. a requirement for all rental properties to be insulated within 3-5 years (job creation at no cost to government).
    2. a programme to increase the minimum wage to $15 within the first term.
    3. restoration of the TIA
    4. either a transfer of the WFF tax credits to beneficiaries or equivalent funding of

    - school meals in decile 1 schools and using charities to deliver it, (allowing retailers to compete for the nationwide contracts/be a co-sponsor), and extension of this into all sorts of areas (basic clothing needs, activity programmes etc).

    - a requirement for keeping children part of the Well Child B4 School programme and access to a decile 1 school area/decile 10 economic area pre school by government subsidy and extra health services in decile 1 primary schools.

    The media is more likely to provide coverage of Green policy if it is couched in terms of conditions for confidence and supply to a government.

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  147. “…I was just suggesting we acknowledge both genuine poverty and poverty because of dysfunctional families, and try to solve both of those problems..”

    ok…’genuine poverty’ first…solutions..

    off ya go…

    ..tell us what you prescribe for ‘genuine poverty’…

    (we can do poor dysfunctional-families next…and after that non-poor dysfunctional-families…eh..?..

    ..less conflation…more definition…)

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 (+1)

  148. SPC says “how can the median wage in 2007 be relevant to the 1998-2004 circumstances ”

    It’s used as an inflation adjusted baseline, rather than the current mdedian. Using a current median means that as it moves up and down, poverty levels move down and up, which may have little to do with actual poverty.

    SPC says “have offered no ways of dealing with dysfunctional families (education does nothing for existing families”

    nonsense – on both counts. If you beleive education does nothing, then there’s no hope for any of them.

    As I’ve mentioned previously, there’s plenty of scope for adult education courses that could cover this. And if a system is set up there could be a level of compultion to complete a course – perhaps if you complete a course successfully, you get a cost of living increase.

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  149. SPC says
    “1. a requirement for all rental properties to be insulated within 3-5 years (job creation at no cost to government).
    2. a programme to increase the minimum wage to $15 within the first term.
    3. restoration of the TIA
    4. either a transfer of the WFF tax credits to beneficiaries or equivalent funding of ”

    1/ agree
    2/ agree
    3/ agree, or at least some system of free training /education that leads to work (need to be monitored to make sure it works and courses are suitable).
    4/ disagree – we need to incentivise going to work, not provide disincentives

    5/ kids need breakfasts. But we need to work towards parents providing these – not the govt becomeing more and more responsible for feeding the countries children.

    6/ B$ school programme should be for ALL kids – not just decile 1

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  150. Samiam

    Firstly, and most importantly the poor don’t vote, they just don’t vote at all. They should, but they don’t.

    They are underrepresented in all areas including in this debate. Perhaps that is one of the reasons why child poverty has become so endemic in this country.

    It was good to see Metiria representing the impoverished in Parliament today. On behalf of the 20% of silent children living in poverty in New Zealand I thank you.

    The point being people will never solve a problem if they refuse to ackowledge that it exists.

    You should heed your own advice there photonz1.

    Solution #1. Ensure families are receiving enough to cover their basic requirements.

    Soution #2. Raise the minimum wage so that people can work themselves out of poverty.

    Solution #3. Pay for this by ensuring businesses pay their share of tax and reduce corporate subsidies.

    Solution #4. Retain SOEs so that cost effective services can be delivered to New Zealander’s.

    Solution #5. Reduce price fixing so that commodities are affordable. Many things cost half as much in Australia now because of price gauging.

    Solution #6. Remove GST on fruit and vegetables so that healthy foods cost less than fast foods.

    Solution #7. Create jobs and implement planning to ensure training is job specific.

    Solution #8. Undertake measures to make housing more affordable.

    Solution #9. Develop a plan to combat our terrible oral health.

    Solution #10. Ensure that doctors are affordable for the most deprived.

    Solution #11. Develop specific policies targeted at poor areas.

    Solution #12. Investigate areas where knowledge based jobs can be created.

    Solution #13. Ensure CYF’s is looking after the most at risk impoverished children.

    Solution #14. Stop beneficiary bashing and start helping the poorest in society.

    Just off the top of my head.

    I was wondering what all the poor are going to do when TV goes completely digital? They can’t afford to go out and buy a decoder and satellite dish… So does that mean they are going to be further ostracized and uninformed making it even more unlikely that they will vote? What’s your solution to that photonz1?

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  151. I notice our full time troll photonz1 did not deny getting money or help from the Nats ………

    So come clean photonz1 ………. Lets hear where your realy coming from.

    And I compared you to Graham Capill because child abuse takes many forms.

    [frog: Too far. Comparing commenters with paedophiles is not acceptable. Be warned.]

    The nats and yourself seem very happy to increase some of the drivers of child abuse.

    You mentioned “drug abuse” in one of your spiels …….. were you including the drug alcohol which is the biggest driver of family violence and abuse?????.

    Or are you just like your puppet masters ( the Nats ) and talk tough on drugs and druggies while ignoring, no, actually encourageing the number one drug in this contry…….

    Your an absolute “swirler” photonz1

    ….. and I wouldn’t trust a national party bullshitter like you around my kids

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  152. Issues like this are why the Greens are stuck under 10%, most people can see the extreme inconsistency and irrationality of the position held and simply can’t accept it.

    Deprivation is a far more pressing issue in NZ than the “income index” that you keep calling poverty.

    But like I said earlier, addressing deprivation requires criticising individuals and their poor behaviour, forcing people to take responsibility for their children and themselves is just sooooo un PC.

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  153. nznative – when you start comparing people to paedophiles, as far as I’m concerned you are in the gutter covered and you’ve covered yourself in sh!t, so your comment will be treated as such.

    frog – we may disagree, but I’m surprised you allow such highly offensive personal abuse on your blog.

    It belittles young victims of sexual abuse.

    [frog: Agreed. The "Graham Capill" reference was a step too far]

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 (+1)

  154. SPC – why to you campaign for the govt to have B4 school checks for decile 1 kids, when this programme already covers ALL children.

    Are you asking for a 90% reduction in the current programme?

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  155. “..I’m surprised you allow such highly offensive personal abuse on your blog…”

    um..!..don’t you usually hang out at kiwiblog…?

    a ‘force for good’ there..are ya…?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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