Herald on $3k to Christchurch

May 8th, 2014 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald editorial:

It is almost 35 years since Norman Tebbit infamously told the unemployed of Britain to get “on yer bike”. The Employment Secretary was frustrated that, unlike his father in an earlier time, people out of work were not prepared to take to the road to find work. His plea for a less static workforce fell on deaf ears, however, not least because jobs were thin on the ground in the early years of the Thatcher Government.

No such problem exists these days in , however. The rebuilding of the city has created plenty of opportunities. Any initiative that makes it easier for beneficiaries to move to this work is, therefore, welcome. …

As well as helping the beneficiaries, the scheme will, obviously, aid the rebuilding of the city. The need for more workers is evident in Canterbury’s 3.4 per cent unemployment rate, which is much lower than the 6 per cent national rate. According to the Social Development Minister, Paula Bennett, work is available not only in the construction sector, which has increased its workforce by 90 per cent since the earthquakes, but in hospitality, retail and many other industries. If the pressure on housing in Christchurch could cause a problem or two, that is hardly a reason to scrap the scheme, given its potential value.

All up, the initiative will cost, at most, $3.5 million. That is an insignificant sum for something that could be a life-changing experience for those who seize the opportunity during its 12-month span.

There should be no shortage of applicants. About 19,000 beneficiaries are required to be available for part-time or fulltime work in the 18-to-24 age bracket alone. Some of that number may be loath to leave the relative comforts of home and family. But rather than being disinclined, they should heed the “need work, will travel” mindset that has become common worldwide. Take, for example, the Poles, Czechs, Hungarians and others from central Europe who have moved thousands of kilometres to become part of the British workforce. …

Most beneficiaries also want to be doing meaningful work. Helping to rebuild a shattered city surely fits that bill. Nor are beneficiaries being asked to travel to another country and culture like the Poles and Czechs in Britain, or, indeed, the many people from overseas who have come to work in Christchurch. There is every reason for them to grasp the opportunity.

Hopefully they will.

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10 Responses to “Herald on $3k to Christchurch”

  1. Zebulon (68 comments) says:

    I think it’s a great idea. Innovative and hopefully a win/win

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  2. rouppe (919 comments) says:

    I think it’s a great idea too. It’s a gilt edged opportunity to be trained in a trade, and then continue on to be self sufficient and pretty well off.

    But the response from ‘eligible’ people lat night was largely, “it’s too hard, that $3000 would be eaten up by bond (ie I can’t spend it on booze and drugs), where would I live…”

    In other words, even this incentive isn’t enough to encourage layabouts to even try

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  3. Sir Cullen's Sidekick (791 comments) says:

    Labour is shocked by this plan….So their response is – “where will these people live?”

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  4. Bob R (1,340 comments) says:

    ***That is an insignificant sum for something that could be a life-changing experience for those who seize the opportunity during its 12-month span.***

    It’s probably a good plan, but I can’t help but think of how Detroit got transformed by an underclass moving in during the 1960′s, driving out the middle class.

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  5. slijmbal (1,216 comments) says:

    They could try and get their history right

    “It is almost 35 years since Norman Tebbit infamously told the unemployed of Britain to get “on yer bike”. The Employment Secretary was frustrated that, unlike his father in an earlier time, people out of work were not prepared to take to the road to find work. His plea for a less static workforce fell on deaf ears, however, not least because jobs were thin on the ground in the early years of the Thatcher Government.”

    There was major migration in the UK precisely for economic reasons. Liverpool, for instance, lost hundreds of thousands in population starting in the 60s and 70s. Obvious consequences. Boarded up shops, depressed house prices etc

    The problem was that many of those that were left were unwilling or unable to work or move to work.

    Luckily, we are talking about going the other way in this initiative.

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  6. wreck1080 (3,736 comments) says:

    “There should be no shortage of applicants. About 19,000 beneficiaries are required to be available for part-time or fulltime work in the 18-to-24 age bracket alone. ”

    And, I reckon about 18,000 don’t want work.

    Generally speaking, if you want work in NZ you can get it.It might not be what you want, but the work is there. This is why we have to fly people in from overseas to do some work.

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  7. duggledog (1,362 comments) says:

    That’s right wreck. The Welfare State so beloved of so many has bred what Michael Laws correctly labeled the ‘hard rump’ of unemployed, unemployable persons and there are many tens of thousands of them, maybe a hundred thousand or so.

    I wonder what will become of them because no matter how you look at it, we owe 76 bn + council debt + personal debt and when the shit eventually hits the fan, people look around to make savings and those deadbeats might find themselves with no income from the taxpayer in any shape form or description. Not talking about those who have become blind, lame, wheelchair bound – I’m talking about able bodied people who just can’t be bothered.

    They used to attract farming folk from the UK and other places with dirt cheap state advances loans to lure good keen men and their women over here to develop the land and get the economy blazing so incentives are good. Anybody know much about those days of state advances loans?

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  8. David Garrett (6,468 comments) says:

    I am with Wreck…out here in the country – at least in summer – work is very easy to come by…but Helensville is at its busiest on bene day…funnily enough they all have what seem to be high end cellphones, almost all smoke, and almost as many are covered in tatts…tattoos on the neck and hands are quite helpful for putting off prospective employers I am told…

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  9. goldnkiwi (1,001 comments) says:

    I didn’t think there was such a thing as benefit day anymore. Weren’t they staggered at some stage? That would seem more sensible, if not already the case.

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  10. GJM (58 comments) says:

    One problem is that so many are unemployable at any price. Why would an employer risk a grievance claim, damage to machinery, OH&S problems because they are to dumb or lazy to follow rules, can’t rely on the ex bene bludger to get out of bed and turn up at all, let alone on time and then work as slow as molasses anyway.
    Better getting an import who comes here to work and will turn up on time everyday.
    Had staff before – never again. I keep more of my money now than when I had staff and there is so much less stress.

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