Pimping the Poor

February 23rd, 2012 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

Readers may recall the publicity over a Tania Wysocki who was considering prostitution as a way to cover childcare costs so she could study to get off the benefit.

has actually met with and interviewed her, and done a three part series on her situation, which is a fascinating read. His blog posts are:

  1. Part 1
  2. Part 2
  3. Part 3

 

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41 Responses to “Pimping the Poor”

  1. dime (9,980 comments) says:

    It was a good read.

    Im starting to think Whale doesnt like Jacinda.

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  2. James Stephenson (2,191 comments) says:

    We don’t often see it in this country, but that is what we call “journalism”, folks.

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  3. Keeping Stock (10,342 comments) says:

    It’s actually a four-part series DPF, the last of which is this one:

    http://www.whaleoil.co.nz/2012/02/pimping-the-poor-ctd-the-issue/

    He has well and truly harpooned the lazy Ms Ardern and her reported “friends in the media”. So called “journalists” could learn from the way he has gone about this.

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  4. David Garrett (7,318 comments) says:

    Whale has done a fantastic job here….told us the full story (which clearly completely changed his own mind); exposed the shallow sensationalist media in this country for what it is…and last but not least, exposed the Labour Party for the exploiters of the poor they are, who actually dont give a damn, but rather NEED the poor to stay that way….Excellent work Cameron..

    lets see what New Zealand’s “journal of record” does next…..probably absolutely nothing…moved on to the next “story”…

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  5. Pete George (23,597 comments) says:

    So called “journalists” could learn from the way he has gone about this.

    I don’t think they want to learn, those of whom are repeatists and agendaists. So they need to be exposed and held to account.

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  6. Nigel (516 comments) says:

    Credit to WhaleOil, a very well written and handled series of articles.

    I knew the NZHerald had sunk in standards, but that is pretty low & Arden comes out very badly to.

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  7. Ryan Sproull (7,205 comments) says:

    Pretty high praise for new Greens MP Jan Logie at the same time as condemning Ardern.

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  8. immigant (950 comments) says:

    Good job from Whale, still no sympathy for Tania woman tho.

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  9. dime (9,980 comments) says:

    immigant – neither. if shes worked all her life, surely she can get a job that pays the same as the DPB.

    im not convinced the DPB should be an excuse to upskill people who already have enough skills to get by.

    if she cant get a job – study a different course that winz will help her with.

    shes taking a hand out so stick by the rules.

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  10. Weihana (4,557 comments) says:

    From Whale,


    “The essence of Tania Wysocki’s problem is that she is aiming too high. She is attempting to complete a NCEA Level 6 course in Veterinarian Nursing at UNITEC. For some bizarre reason child care extended hours are only available for people attending NCEA Level 3 and below courses.

    We are expending millions of dollars on child care for basic courses that are supposedly going to qualify people to be work ready when the reality is that any course at NCEA Level 3 or below is basic stuff and mostly remedial.”

    This is pretty much exactly what I said the other day.

    However, for her personally, my question is simply why doesn’t she move closer to her place of study? Why study on a train when you can study in your bedroom? I suppose if she moved closer to Unitec we’d be paying extra in accomodation anyway but surely the principle of the matter requires that those receiving a benefit adjust their situation to suit rather than expecting to live wherever they want. Or is this not possible?

    Also, I’m not sure why this woman would be surprised that the media would focus on the prostitution angle. It does seem unfair though that they didn’t stress her efforts to get off the benefit and to readjust her life but the issue of funding for NCEA level 3 and below was mentioned in the NZ Herald and they did highlight the fact that the wrong incentives seem to be in place.

    Moreover, whether or not Ardern could have assisted more, the fact is this wouldn’t be an issue if it wasn’t in the media. She offered contacts in the media and that is what she provided. If the woman didn’t want to be in the media then she was free to turn them away.

    I think a lot of this woman’s anger stems from the fact that people make assumptions about people on a benefit. While the NZ herald article may have left much to be desired, the fact is for many people a person on a benefit is immediately deemed a parasitic bludger unless shown otherwise. Perhaps this sort of prejudice needs to be reassessed just as much as the Herald’s journalistic standards.

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  11. Nigel (516 comments) says:

    The level 6 funding reminds me of the stupidity of having a Polytech in Rawene, but no buses from Kaikohe to Rawene for students to get there.

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  12. Monique Watson (1,062 comments) says:

    Snort in this ere living room: Dime @11.02 “Im starting to think Whale doesn’t like Jacinda.

    Housewife’s perspective. http://nowoccupy.blogspot.com/2012/02/big-ups-for-tania-wysocki.html

    @Weihana. You can’t criticize someone for talking to the press. If they aren’t savvy, they usually do so in good faith and I doubt she would have known that the prostitution angle would be the one the media would latch onto.

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  13. bereal (3,137 comments) says:

    And yet again the hapless Jacinda Ardern proves the veracity of the ‘Peter Principle’

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Principle

    The Labour Party consider Jacinda to be the fourth best they have in their whole parliamentary lineup. Jeez.

    Silent ‘T’ Cunliffe must be loving this.

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  14. toad (3,674 comments) says:

    @Weihana 11:59 am

    However, for her personally, my question is simply why doesn’t she move closer to her place of study?

    I suspect she lives in Paerata because it is cheap – $280 a week rent. If she were to move to Mt Albert so she could walk to Unitec, she would save $72.20 a week in train fares, but her rent would almost certainly go up by more than that, so she would actually be in a worse situation.

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  15. Cactus Kate (551 comments) says:

    Dime, “like” has nothing to do with it. Basic competency here is the issue. Flogging stories off to your reporter mates as a front bench senior spokesperson instead of doing your job as an MP or even delegating staff to handle the matter is just plain ineptness and laziness.

    A Green MP barely weeks into the job showed Labour and Ardern up. That’s how bad it’s got for Labour.

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  16. Pete George (23,597 comments) says:

    toad, I expect you’ll check back here – Green copped an unfair heap of criticism over this. It was unfortunate to be closely associated to Labour and The Herald on this story when more extensive facts indicate the Logie/Green involvement was quite different and positive.

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  17. nasska (11,580 comments) says:

    Toad

    From the original Herald article. Ref: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10785857

    …”They live at Paerata to be near Catherine’s father, who helps with some childcare,”….

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  18. RRM (9,933 comments) says:

    Worth reading; compliments to Whale Oil for clarifying all this.

    (And obviously, good on Jan Logie too… )

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  19. Weihana (4,557 comments) says:

    Monique,

    I would have thought it common sense that a mum proposing to prostitute herself for her studies and her family would be newsworthy. But putting that aside, the bottom line is Ardern offered publicity and she took it. If you don’t want publicity don’t take it, if you do then be prepared for the whole world to have an opinion and for much of it to be negative.

    If she was just looking for some practical assistance then why go to the media? Obviously the aim here was to get a political discussion going and Ardern facilitated that and I presume that she thought she was helping. It seems pretty logical that in a discussion about incentives it would be relevant to consider the fact that the woman had considered prostitution as for most women that would be a disincentive to study if prostitution was necessary.

    Granted I think she was hard done by in the lack of reporting on her efforts to get off the benefit as well as the publishing of her children’s names and her location (if she requested they be kept private). But the prostitution angle was politically relevant. Pretending it is a trivial sidenote because prostitution is legal belies reality and ignores what would be considered an incentive for most women.

    I consider Whale has given us a better picture of this woman and her attitude, but I do not see that the political discussion has changed significantly. Ultimately this woman’s efforts to prevent further pregnancy are tangential to the central issue of creating the right incentives and I think the Herald article adequately shed light on the fact that the government only provides funding for NCEA level 3 or below.

    From what I know my conclusion is that the TIA should be removed altogether and that this woman is already entitled to sufficient child care and can move closer to her place of study to avoid extra transportation costs.

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  20. Weihana (4,557 comments) says:

    Toad,


    I suspect she lives in Paerata because it is cheap – $280 a week rent. If she were to move to Mt Albert so she could walk to Unitec, she would save $72.20 a week in train fares, but her rent would almost certainly go up by more than that, so she would actually be in a worse situation.

    Does income she receives for accomodation not take account of where she lives?

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  21. Weihana (4,557 comments) says:

    Cactus Kate,


    Flogging stories off to your reporter mates as a front bench senior spokesperson instead of doing your job as an MP or even delegating staff to handle the matter is just plain ineptness and laziness.

    I agree direct contact with the Minister should have been undertaken. But lets be realistic. Plenty of people contact Ministers all the time, even with support letters from MPs. Much of the time bugger all happens. When it’s in the media suddenly there’s a change of tune. We see this all the time.

    Just the other day a couple was on Campbell talking about how the father was to be deported for not declaring convictions or some such. Prior to Campbell taking on the story Kate Wilkinson couldn’t have given a toss. But after the mother goes on TV and draws public sympathy suddenly she agrees to review the matter.

    The media matters and having a politician get your story in the news is not something which has no value and I presume Ardern looked at it in much the same way.

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  22. Pete George (23,597 comments) says:

    Weihana – at best it was lazy of Ardern, she didn’t follow up and see what she could do with the publicity once the story was out there. This gives the appearance she just used the publicity for her own interests – it’s certainly how it looks to me, in the absence of any alternative explanation from Ardern. And Wysocki was obviously unimpressed.

    It also seems like a very questionable practice for an MP to make the media their first option to try and resolve a constituent’s problem.

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  23. Cactus Kate (551 comments) says:

    Nice spin there for Ardern Weihana, problem is Jan Logie actually showed her how it is done. A first term MP barely a few weeks into the job still coming to terms with being an MP. And she called her back to see how she was. It’s not Whale who showed up Ardern, it was Logie and Ardern’s own laziness.

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  24. bereal (3,137 comments) says:

    Wow.
    Jacinda is getting a well earned flogging from all and sundry on this thread.
    Lazy, incompetant, inept.
    Did anyone mention thick. As in, as a brick.

    Jacinda…”Mr Speaker, point of order, I made a valid statement……………”
    Speaker…”Order, the member should understand she needs to ask a question, not make a statement”
    Jacinda…”Duh…”

    Jacinda reached her pinnacle as delegate to the Socialist Youth Movement where she was at home with other,”Comrades.”

    And she is someone who Labour consider to be a potential future leader ?
    Jeez O’dear.

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  25. nasska (11,580 comments) says:

    bereal

    You left out the time she spent while living in New York, making meatballs at a soup kitchen.

    She may have peaked too early.

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  26. Weihana (4,557 comments) says:

    What has Jan Logie achieved other than having Wysocki feel that she cares? Does she want the issue addressed or does she want happy happy joy joy feelings because Jan Logie keeps ringing her and pays for a trip to Wellington? Phone calls and a trip to Wellington mean nothing without media attention.

    It is hilarious how only a few days ago everyone on the right was falling over themselves to denounce this woman as an evil parasite and only when the criticism can be turned around on Ardern does she suddenly become a rallying cry for the exploitation of the poor.

    Mind you, no sympathy for Ardern. I agree with Pete that she did it for her own political objectives. Indeed when will a politician do anything if it doesn’t accord with their political goals? But so what. I think this woman knew what she was doing and is simply upset that it didn’t go down well in the media because the government had the easy comeback of “You get 43k a year”. I agree there is some legitimate criticism of the Herald article but I don’t agree it is hugely unfair.

    Nothing Whale has detailed has altered my appraisal of this woman’s situation. I think she has enough and can move closer to her place of study.

    It may be in Ardern’s interests to make sure her constituents are happy but from my point of view Ardern is not employed to be Wysocki’s personal assistant and the assistance she did provide is a valuable service (albeit not without risk). That Wysocki is unhappy with such assistance is all ho hum in my opinion.

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  27. Weihana (4,557 comments) says:

    Pete George,


    It also seems like a very questionable practice for an MP to make the media their first option to try and resolve a constituent’s problem.

    When did politicians become social workers? Their function is to raise the profile of a situation, which Ardern did. Contacting the Minister would have been a good idea but given that Wysocki had already attempted to make a fuss, to no avail, it is not unreasonable to complain to the media to pressure the government.

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  28. Weihana (4,557 comments) says:

    Also, on Whale’s journalistic standards I am puzzled as to his remarks:


    “…she also explained to me the details of why it ended but asked to not go into detail on that. Suffice to say I bet she wears a white ribbon every year.”

    This appears like classic Whale: that if you say something in code you didn’t really say it. We all know what a white ribbon means so what she asked him not to detail… he just detailed. I wonder what her feelings are about Whale reporting on her being a victim of domestic violence.

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  29. Pete George (23,597 comments) says:

    When did politicians become social workers?

    Ask a few electorate MPs. Or Cactus:

    New MP Nikki Kaye is Auckland Central’s busiest social worker, seeing 1,500 people in six months. Which is rather ridiculous.

    She’s been contacted by more than 1500 locals in the last six months, asking for help with anything from funding for a particular drug or help with a government agency.

    Trying to fit in as many people as possible means working six-and-a-half days a week and she says it’s frustrating not to be able to help everyone.

    http://asianinvasion2006.blogspot.co.nz/2009/07/nikki-kaye-auckland-central-social.html

    If Ardern had won the Auckland Central seat Simon Collins would have been busy, wouldn’t he.

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  30. lastmanstanding (1,297 comments) says:

    Jacinda Ahern like most of the young wimmin in the House are a con Full of their own self importance lacking real life skills and experience and wet behind the ears. Ole Keith Jacka H used to tell newbies to breath thru their mouth for the first term and these wimmin need to same advice.

    And this story is evidence # 67284 that pollies and civil servant have all had a common sense bypass when it comes to the rules they impose.

    In almost every case we find the bloody rules are dumbarse and stupid and add to the problem instead of assisting it.

    Its obvious none of the pollies and civil servants every ask the question/ Will this rule get the consquences that are best for the individual and society?

    BTW for young Jacinda and other the gentlemen I was referring to was Keith Holyoake.

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  31. Weihana (4,557 comments) says:

    Pete George,

    Seems to me that funding for a drug and help with a government agency is more along the lines of what I said: i.e. raising the profile of a situation.

    But to complain because a politician didn’t ring you back enough to see how you feel? Oh boy that’s a sad story if ever I heard one.

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  32. bereal (3,137 comments) says:

    And of course, the PC gorilla sitting unseen in the corner in all this bullshit about Ms Wysocki is that
    just looking at her SHE would have to pay blokes to slip her a length. (and it would cost her plenty)

    She would go broke real quick cracking it.

    Even Dime would baulk if she turned up on his doorstep and he would want his money back.

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  33. Cactus Kate (551 comments) says:

    “It is hilarious how only a few days ago everyone on the right was falling over themselves to denounce this woman as an evil parasite and only when the criticism can be turned around on Ardern does she suddenly become a rallying cry for the exploitation of the poor”.

    Bullshit

    I never posted on the woman as I knew something was amiss http://asianinvasion2006.blogspot.com/2012/02/pimping-poor-investigative-series.html

    We all bagged Carla and Craig. Collins exploited them and used a Labour Party stooge as a comparison to them. Second time around everyone was far more careful.

    It appears the left are the ones bagging this lady trying to get ahead. Get your facts right,

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  34. big bruv (13,929 comments) says:

    Great work by Whale. He sure has exposed Ardern as being nothing more than another corrupt Labour MP who will use anybody to further their own goals, it also shows that Labour do not really care about the ‘poor’.

    Having said that, it still does not change my opinion about this shelia, nothing that I have read about her suggests that she has a right to any more of my money. As others have said, if she wants more money then she should go and get a bloody job and get off the DPB.

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  35. graham (2,335 comments) says:

    Toad wrote, “I suspect she lives in Paerata because it is cheap – $280 a week rent. If she were to move to Mt Albert so she could walk to Unitec, she would save $72.20 a week in train fares, but her rent would almost certainly go up by more than that, so she would actually be in a worse situation.”

    I posted on frogblog about this. It’s been about 20 years since I last rented, so I’m not exactly used to looking for rental accommodation. But 5 minutes on Trademe two days ago turned up a 2 bedroom unit in Onehunga for $285. Catch the bus to Mt Albert and cut travel expenses, spend less time travelling = more time with the children. Sell the car because you’re not in such a remote location. Saving $139.20 p/w (as quoted $67.00 p/w on petrol, car repairs etc., and $72.20 p/w on a train pass). Minus whatever it costs to travel on the bus from Onehunga to Unitec.

    Sorted.

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  36. graham (2,335 comments) says:

    I also posted this on frogblog – a bit off-topic, but it does relate to what I believe to be the root cause of many stories like this (although possibly not this particular one, having read Whale’s posts).

    For many women (and men), the problems start when the relationship breaks down. And right there is the root cause of SO MANY of New Zealand’s problems.

    These days, people seem to think the only solution for their unhappiness in a relationship, is to end the relationship. They don’t stop and think of the consequences. They don’t think about what it was that first attracted them to their partner. They don’t think, “Hey, maybe we should try and work things out”. They don’t think, “Maybe this is just a speed hump, and things will get better”. They don’t think, “What about the children?”. They go into relationships far too casually, with the view “Well if it doesn’t work out we’ll just separate. No harm done”.

    No, I’m not advocating that people put up with anything to keep the relationship going, such as physical abuse. But far too many people seem to have a shockingly casual attitude towards relationships. If you’re thinking about starting a serious relationship (and if you’re going to have children, that’s about as serious as you can get), then think about whether you are really prepared to stick with that person for better or worse, richer or poorer, through the good times and the bad. And if tough times come along – as they inevitably will – work through them. Don’t just give up.

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  37. toad (3,674 comments) says:

    @graham 8:03 am

    The bus from Onehunga to Unitec costs $4.50, so assuming she travels 5 days a week, that’s $45 – not a huge saving on her $72 train fare from Pukekohe. And as someone else mentioned, she lives at Paerata because it is close to her children’s father and he assists with childcare. So she would probably have added childcare costs if she moved to Onehunga, and would still need her car to get her children to visit their fathers.

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  38. Weihana (4,557 comments) says:

    Cactus Kate,


    Bullshit

    I never…

    Ok, not everyone. I’m simply stating my impression based on comments I read here. A sweeping generalization if you like. :)

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  39. Weihana (4,557 comments) says:

    toad,


    And as someone else mentioned, she lives at Paerata because it is close to her children’s father and he assists with childcare. So she would probably have added childcare costs if she moved to Onehunga, and would still need her car to get her children to visit their fathers.

    My understanding is that she is entitled to more than enough childcare assistance regardless of the father. And if he is worth anything HE will travel the not unreasonable distance to pick up HIS children. If he can’t be bothered lifting a finger then the children are better off without him and in any case his relationship with his children is not our problem.

    There are plenty of separated parents that don’t live in the same suburb and many of them are just as financially strained as this woman. Seems to me it’s just easier for this woman to stay where she is. She wants to be where SHE wants to be and wants the government to make allowances for that. That is not the way it should be in my view.

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  40. graham (2,335 comments) says:

    @ toad:

    The father assists with childcare, and she still pays $196.60 PER WEEK for childcare??? (According to frogblog). I’d be interested to see some more detail on that.

    And I’m sorry, but I still stand by what I said earlier. If more New Zealanders got over their shockingly casual attitude towards relationships, and started thinking seriously – REALLY seriously – about whether they are really prepared to stick with their potential partner for better or worse, richer or poorer, through the good times and the bad, BEFORE they got into a relationship, we would have a damn sight fewer problems in this country.

    And if you’re going to have children, wind up the amount of serious thinking tenfold. Why do people (in general, not this woman specifically) have children without thinking through the consequences? You know, like you’re going to have these children completely dependant on you for the next 15 years or more. Your life WILL change. And if you don’t think that your partner is going to make a good parent and stick with you for those 15 years – don’t have children. Seriously. Why would you put children through that?

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  41. Maggie (672 comments) says:

    I’ve no time for Fat Slug Slater but dips my lid for his work here. Some journalists could learn from it….well done!

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