Living Standards and Equity: Understanding the Issues and Debunking the Myths

November 16th, 2012 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

The Social Service Providers Aotearoa Inc have got Treasury Secretary Gabriel Makhlouf speaking on Living Standards and Equity: Understanding the Issues and Debunking the Myths in Auckland on Thursday 22 November at midday.

He is speaking at the Waipuna Hotel, 58 Waipuna Road, Mt Wellington and attendance is free for SSPA members and a gold coin donation for anyone else.

If you want to attend, e-mail SSPA.

I’ve heard Gabriel speak before and he is an engaging and interesting speaker. The topic sounds interesting.

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6 Responses to “Living Standards and Equity: Understanding the Issues and Debunking the Myths”

  1. Pete George (23,795 comments) says:

    It was interesting to hear Helen Clark’s lecture in Dunedin on Wednesday night – the Inaugural Dame Dorothy Fraser Lecture. The proposed topic was “Poverty and Inequality: South Dunedin as a window to the world”.

    The lecture was mostly about a view of poverty in the world from Helen Clark’s window.

    Significantly Clark used New Zealand examples of how to do things right, for example our welfare system. And all her references on poverty were offshore, in Africa and Asia. She clearly differentiated between us and them – for example describing a 2 year old in Niger looked no bigger than a 6 month old in New Zealand.

    So Clark’s worldview did not include seeing poverty in New Zealand.

    It would be interesting to hear what Makhlouf has to say, I hope a transcript and/or video of the speech is made available.

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  2. mikenmild (12,346 comments) says:

    Do you think there are any issues with poverty in NZ, Pete?

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  3. Pete George (23,795 comments) says:

    It depends on how you define poverty.

    There are problems with some parts of society for sure (lack of income is just one part of it), but it is nothing like the generally accepted perception of poverty.

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  4. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    Pete, your perception of poverty is that of humanitarian disaster. These are separate concepts that shouldn’t be conflated. A more general definition of poverty is something like exclusion from full participation in the society in which one lives.

    You can measure it in a variety of ways, including income, health outcomes, educational success or failure, access to housing and so forth.

    By any and all these measures, our society comprises significant number who are a severe disadvantage compared, especially, to the privileged Europeans who have long misappropriated New Zealand’s natural resources to enrich themselves as an elite.

    But to avoid promotion of such a mistaken view we, as a country, need to define poverty as it relates to our society.

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  5. Pete George (23,795 comments) says:

    A more general definition of poverty is something like exclusion from full participation in the society in which one lives.

    What the hell is “full participation” in society? If you strip the bullshit aside this sounds more like a promotion for socialism. Which is what the New Zealand poverty campaign seems to be a euphimism for.

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  6. Harriet (5,200 comments) says:

    “….But to avoid promotion of such a mistaken view we, as a country, need to define poverty as it relates to our society….”

    We see this all around – for example, in the argument that the poor should receive benefits regardless of their behaviour because the only thing that matters is that they are poor.

    Drug addiction, alcohol addiction, gambling addiction etc are mainstay statistics for those who are poor. Giving them more money is irresponsable.

    To devide the addicts from the genuine so-called ‘poor’, the ‘addicts’ first need to admit that they have a problem, then they can be helped by health programmes. And as we know, health programmes do not distribute money, alcohol or drugs to those they seek to help. Money will never solve these peoples problems.

    The ‘left’ should do the same, first admit that they have a problem with being ‘addicted’ to the poor for votes, then once they have solved that condition, they can then help the poor over come their problems with programmes that actually work!

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