Herald on child poverty

June 20th, 2014 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald editorial says:

Dr Boston’s mistake was to suggest that the poorest New Zealand children were now no better off than some children in the slums of India. This statement, he said, was based on observations made when he spent a month late last year in Delhi where his wife worked as a volunteer doctor.

“India has about half of the world’s poorest children, but there are children in New Zealand living in circumstances that are not that much different from those in the slums of Delhi,” he said. “They are in houses that don’t have heating, in caravans that don’t have running water, and in families that simply don’t have enough food of the right kind every day.”

It is undeniable that some New Zealand children are living in the circumstances outlined by Dr Boston. But, equally, it is drawing the longest of bows to equate their plight to that of the many, many children living in the sort of slums associated with India. Child mortality statistics from agencies like the World Bank underline this.

Then there is the matter of the social welfare net in New Zealand. Dr Boston talks of a continuum in which some New Zealand children overlap with the circumstances of children in developing countries, but few will be convinced that the comparison he is making is valid.

Here’s what taxpayers currently fund to help families with children:

  • $1.15 billion in accommodation assistance
  • $182 million in childcare assistance
  • $260 million in hardship support
  • $1.25 billion for the DPB
  • $16.9 million for out of school care
  • $267 million in child support
  • $1.93 billion in family support
  • $494 million for in work tax credits
  • $176 million for paid parental leave
  • $32 million for parental and family tax credits
  • $1.58 billion in early childhood education subsidies

We have an extremely generous welfare state.

It would be a shame if the comparison with the slums of India undermined the book’s impact. But this, unfortunately, is not an isolated example of attempted emotional manipulation by campaigners. They have also not done their cause any good by insisting that as many as one in four New Zealand children live in poverty. Such statements devalue their case and cast them as extremists. The children they aim to help would gain more from advocacy that is as sober as it is sound.

Comparisons to India help no-one, especially the authors.

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63 Responses to “Herald on child poverty”

  1. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    It dramatizes the situation, and might lead some people to look at the actual arguments in the book. That would be a good thing.

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  2. EAD (821 comments) says:

    “We have an extremely generous welfare state” – well no shit Sherlock. That is why we have a $72 billion debt and growing of which over 3/4 has been accrued by our “right-wing” national party.

    We are so fcuked

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  3. burt (8,024 comments) says:

    The Green’s have a solution to child poverty – don’t protect them and the numbers decline !

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  4. redqueen (519 comments) says:

    Well, socialist logic is really simple: North Korea is an egalitarian, freedom-loving, society and India is a leader in child poverty reduction. These are simple people; they need simple hyperbole. Back on planet Earth, we should be concentrating on actually solving problems, including helping children, not drawing silly comparisons.

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  5. DJP6-25 (1,308 comments) says:

    These people must live in a bubble if they think we are stupid enough to believe them.

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  6. burt (8,024 comments) says:

    DJP6-25

    23% of our population still think socialism works. You can lead a horse to water.

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  7. Redbaiter (8,009 comments) says:

    Here’s what taxpayers currently fund to help families with children:

    $1.15 billion in accommodation assistance
    $182 million in childcare assistance
    $260 million in hardship support
    $1.25 billion for the DPB
    $16.9 million for out of school care
    $267 million in child support
    $1.93 billion in family support
    $494 million for in work tax credits
    $176 million for paid parental leave
    $32 million for parental and family tax credits
    $1.58 billion in early childhood education subsidies

    We have an extremely generous welfare state.

    Yep, and after 6 years of John Key its getting worse.

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  8. Judith (8,425 comments) says:

    What the Government currently or has previously funded is of little relevance if it has failed to make a difference, or allowed the issue to get worse.

    To continue along the same path, pouring billions of dollars into family care – knowing that nothing as improved or changed for those that are most negatively affected, is insanity.

    Clearly what they are doing is not affecting those that need it most – or dare I say, even making the situation worse.

    They system is perpetuating the problem and until someone is brave enough to make the changes that need to made, it is only going to get worse for those that need a hand up, instead of a hand-out.

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  9. burt (8,024 comments) says:

    Judith

    Yes, lets pretend social engineering is valid and works – what’s the current talking point ? If we try the same policy that has never worked one more time it will work this time ?

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  10. Redbaiter (8,009 comments) says:

    “23% of our population still think socialism works”

    You think the people bringing National their popularity aren’t socialists?

    FFS..!

    John Key has pandered to the socialists rather than trying to break them out of their addictive entitlement mindset.

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  11. Northland Wahine (655 comments) says:

    simple test… ask a child from the slums of India to swap places from the “poorest” child in NZ and vice versa ….
    ..

    I see many small children coming in with their parent/s who are applying for additional assistance, be it food, power, inevitable eviction. Their parents are often unwilling to set up redirection orders from their for the basics because… ” then there’s not enough money for my bills to come out”… and what are these bills? car repayments, household appliances, clothing trucks, personal loans…

    These children are not poor, although they are by default, forced to live in poverty…

    By their parents. They have bugger all budgeting skills, let job skills.

    There are those that would argue that more money towards the above skills is what is needed, and there maybe some credence to that. But when there is a lack of motivation to do either, then what?

    As hard as it may be, cut benefits. Make parents responsible for their children’s welfare. Because “encouraging engagement” for too many are costing children’s lives. Not ferals… children.

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  12. Fentex (909 comments) says:

    It is undeniable that some New Zealand children are living in the circumstances outlined by Dr Boston. But, equally, it is drawing the longest of bows to equate their plight to that of the many, many children living in the sort of slums associated with India.

    As a matter of simple logic these sentences contradict each other – It is undeniable vs. it is denied. Either it’s true some children in NZ live in similar circumstances to impoverished children in India or it isn’t.

    That further implications may be discussed cannot be a question of whether or not an admitted fact is true or not – the fact is already revealed, what it implies is another topic.

    It doesn’t say much about NZ to notice our extremes reach the same limits as extremes elsewhere – this is often true of measures (there’s nearly always some outlier at an extreme no matter what is measured over a spectrum). What it may mean to people who find it of concern is a different matter and that shouldn’t be confused with unnecessary argument over an already admitted fact.

    If someone thinks NZ children are impoverished because social welfare builds traps that denies them opportunity then argue that, but don’t confuse it with a need to deny children are impoverished, conversely if someone thinks social welfare is a reasonable but inadequately organised answer to lack of opportunity, or someone thinks poverty short of starving isn’t their problem argue those points.

    But bickering incoherently over whether a testable fact is true or not by acknowledging and denying it is a waste of neurons.

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  13. burt (8,024 comments) says:

    Northland Wahine

    I agree, the unintended consequences of the welfare trap. Cradle to grave welfare policies, destroying the fabric of the family unit (and the extended family support system) for decades.

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  14. OneTrack (2,810 comments) says:

    mike – “It dramatizes the situation, and might lead some people to look at the actual arguments in the book. That would be a good thing.”

    Ah, no its doesn’t. It just indicates that the author is a partisan left-wing nut job academic, living in an ivory tower, and that there is no point reading his book because we will have heard it all before.

    It’s similar to the boy who cried wolf scenario – so many false alarms, and blatant lies, from the left, nobody is listening anymore.

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  15. wreck1080 (3,801 comments) says:

    Dr Boston is a lunatic and should be stripped of all academic credentials before lunchtime.

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  16. Elaycee (4,332 comments) says:

    …it is drawing the longest of bows to equate their plight to that of the many, many children living in the sort of slums associated with India.

    I mentioned in an earlier thread: If he has been quoted accurately, then I call bullshit. His comment can only be designed to draw attention to his book release. There should be NO comparison between kids living in Delhi slums and kiwi kids.

    Such statements devalue their case and cast them as extremists.

    Yikes… on this occasion I agree with the Hoorald!

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  17. Judith (8,425 comments) says:

    @ burt (7,577 comments) says:
    June 20th, 2014 at 11:15 am

    Exactly Burt. We continue to pour billions of dollars into welfare and family assistance which to me seems ridiculous, considering the statistics.

    The welfare trap has ruined the last two generations and will continue to do so with subsequent generations. By welfare I also mean the expectation that if one has children they will receive subsidies to assist them – subsidies which include being paid whilst on maternity leave.

    The system should be such that when a person chooses to have a child, their savings and income are sufficient to support that child and the parents through the process. If they can’t do that at the beginning of life, then how are they possibly going to maintain that through subsequent years?

    Paying for mothers to stay home is propagating the idea that the government will assist in whatever life choices we make.

    We need a system that allows people to care for their own – including the elderly and the young – and a system that encourages the concept of ‘family’ not one that makes it better if you aren’t part of one.

    welfare is needed, and I support it – but only in cases of emergency, and those very few that have a genuine need (society will always have a few of those).

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  18. burt (8,024 comments) says:

    Northland Wahine

    It can be boiled down to something like this;

    Should I go around to my aunties place to get a feed and listen to her telling me how to make a meal for 8 people for about $3 head. While there she will go on about family matters, values like looking after yourself and the need to support each other and learn how to manage as best you can with very little – or should I pop into WINZ and get a food voucher and swap it for cash with a mate to get some KFC.

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  19. Scott (1,736 comments) says:

    I would suggest that the solution to child poverty is for the government to address actual marriage rather than gay marriage and encourage people to get married before having children. In 1962 95% of New Zealand children were living with their married mother and father. In consequence we had a much smaller welfare state than today.

    The current social norms of living together and/or having casual sex means that you will get many more illegitimate births and consequently many more children in broken families that need to be propped up by the state through welfare payments. I would have thought this was obvious?

    So I would suggest bring back a culture of actual marriage and we can have the happy situation of watching child poverty decline in the years to come.

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  20. thedavincimode (6,589 comments) says:

    milky

    Bollocks. In fact it does precisely the opposite because all he has achieved is to be written off as the politicised fuckwit that he is. All he has actually achieved by what you refer to as “dramatizing” the situation is to trivialise the plight of the kids in India. This country is spending $7b on “families”. It’s time for parents to actually stand up take and do something for themselves.

    If you want to do something useful, go to your local supermarket and tell all the bush pigs loading up on fags, soft drinks and shitty crispo cancer crunches to put it back on the shelf and try buying some vegetables and a pair of shoes for their kids.

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  21. georgebolwing (681 comments) says:

    Here’s the thing. For the promoters of more state intervention, it is vital that they get the majority to accept that things are bad in New Zealand and getting worse. The “failed policies of the 1990′s” must be constantly be shown to have failed. It is fundamentally important to show that a society based on the market cannot deliver superior social outcomes.

    The problem is that things aren’t bad and aren’t getting worse.

    On all the accepted measures of social welfare, New Zealand is doing OK (and to make very clear, the Gini coefficient has serious methodological flaws that greatly reduce its ability to make comparisons across countries, as well as problems with making comparisons within countries). WE ARE NOT INDIA!

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  22. Northland Wahine (655 comments) says:

    Nicely put Judith.

    And Burt, it’s one of the pitfalls of living and working locally. I wish I could say I’ve never grabbed a takeaway and ran into a client whom I’ve issued a food grant for earlier that day, but I’d be lying. Some even had the grace to look sheepish.

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  23. dime (9,662 comments) says:

    “mike – “It dramatizes the situation, and might lead some people to look at the actual arguments in the book. That would be a good thing.”

    what a dim witted, partisan hack.

    get back to work public servant. go serve some tax payers

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  24. gryfon (14 comments) says:

    Is there an equivalent to Godwin’s Law for statements such as this?

    I couldn’t disagree more with milkenmild at 11.06am – it is such an obviously erroneous claim that uttering it taints everything else the author says. Kinda like David Cunliffe’s current problem…

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  25. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    DVM
    What happened when you tried that approach at your local supermarket?

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  26. Odakyu-sen (511 comments) says:

    Time to roll out that old chestnut:

    “The safety net should not be a hammock.”

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  27. All_on_Red (1,488 comments) says:

    Bloody hell Judith, just gave you an uptick.
    Are you seeing Johnboy on the side?

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  28. Judith (8,425 comments) says:

    The problem is that things aren’t bad and aren’t getting worse.

    I would challenge that by saying that things are ‘bad’ and have got ‘worse’ based on what used to be in New Zealand.

    (I have no concern in the India argument because this is not India – and has no relevance as to how we determine what standards are acceptable for how New Zealanders should live).

    In the 60′s and 70′s children did not go to school without breakfast – part of that was because parents had the respect of their children, and when they were told to eat god horrible porridge, they did so.

    Now, unless a child is receiving the latest and expensive fad breakfast food – they simply won’t eat the alternative thanks to the success of great advertising campaigns. Parent’s don’t even think to offer it, because their children are now two generations removed from the porridge eaters. Instead parent’s complain, they can’t afford to feed them. Which is true – they can’t afford to feed them what media and their peers tell them they should.

    Like it or not – our current perception of poverty has a lot to do with consumerism and the way in which we are told by the media what is acceptable and what is not.

    Run a media campaign that shows young sexy people eating cheap porridge for breakfast and maybe kids might start going to school less ‘impoverished’.

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  29. Cunningham (828 comments) says:

    I don’t think anyone in their right mind would think kiwi kids were as bad as children in Indian slums. The guy is deluded if he thinks he will be taken seriously after making such an outrageous statement.

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  30. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    I’m not sure why DPF provided that list of expenditure. Are we spending too much, too little, or just the right amount?

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  31. Judith (8,425 comments) says:

    @ All_on_Red (1,225 comments) says:
    June 20th, 2014 at 11:44 am

    Good lord! One of us needs prozac or whiskey!

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  32. Igotta Numbum (446 comments) says:

    This does nothing for NZ perceptions, and how we should be helping reduce poverty worldwide, when we can.

    NZ’ers will look at our situation here and assume that India isn’t that bad off after all.. so no point spending time and effort internationally.

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  33. rangitoto (221 comments) says:

    Judith made a post I agree with. Whoa! Is the moon doing something funny at the moment.

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  34. Northland Wahine (655 comments) says:

    Judith, my soon to be 8 yr old starts every morning with weetbix, side plate of marmite and toast, and a glass of orange juice. Lunch consists of marmite sammies, half a banana, mandarin, piece of cake or a cupcake, home baked. Don’t mess with his menu, he becomes agitated :)

    However, dinner is battle at the moment!

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  35. gravedodger (1,528 comments) says:

    Required reading for today.

    http://lindsaymitchell.blogspot.co.nz/

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  36. trout (919 comments) says:

    Child poverty or child neglect? Why the dance around the real problem?

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  37. David Farrar (1,871 comments) says:

    I think we’re spending too much.

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  38. Judith (8,425 comments) says:

    @ Northland Wahine (615 comments) says:
    June 20th, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    Sounds like a damn good menu to me! And I am sure many parents provide the same or similar.

    Unfortunately our negative statistics come from those families where parent’s just don’t know how to be parents. The family dynamics are not what they should be. There is no parental authority – not because the children are spoiled, but simple because their parents don’t have the skills to enforce good habits. They lack the ability to filter out the messages provided by media and their friends, and unfortunately even some older generations.

    When their children scream that they want coke instead of milk, even though they have the knowledge that the second is the better option, the fact that everyone else in their social setting is giving their children coke, the message they choose to filter is its okay. Surely a smiling child is better than a screaming one?

    Because their environment tells them they are able to receive welfare because the government has to provide – they feel they have had something stolen from them, when it is declined or removed. They don’t have, or aren’t taught the skills to deal with being self sufficient.

    We have poverty in New Zealand, and its caused by those impoverished by their environment which lacks the very basic of human instincts, and that is to survive by protecting oneself. Instead their instincts have become ‘I’ll starve if you don’t give me what I’ll need’. And they quite literally do that. They live in hovels, rather than find a way improve their situation and so on.

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  39. Judith (8,425 comments) says:

    @ I Say Look Here (20 comments) says:
    June 20th, 2014 at 12:40 pm

    Sorry if it sounded like blame shifting on to advertising etc, that wasn’t what I meant. The most relevant point of what I was trying to say is it is because these people lack the examples, and don’t have the skills to parent their children to enforce the best behaviour, they also don’t have the skills to determine the media messages either.

    The majority of us do. We know that breakfast cereals that are red and orange and squeak when you eat them might be okay for an occasional treat, but that to make our children healthy and to stick within our budget, we encourage our children to eat the things that are good for them instead.

    Good parenting enables the child to develop and be able to filter out the media messages to decide from a balanced perspective etc – bad parenting or worse still no parent allows the child (and the parents) life to be dominated by the messages of others – even if they aren’t good ones.

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  40. lastmanstanding (1,241 comments) says:

    Any so called child poverty in NZ is the direct result of the lazy moronic parents or that oxymoron term ‘caregivers”

    I and hundreds of thousands of other tax payers pay Billions of our hard earned dollars to support the lazy mindless irresponsible breeders.

    Yet all we get in return is this idiot and countless others of ingrates dissing us.

    So how about this. In return for my paying my taxes I demand the right to exercise some quality controls over those receiving my largesse and that includes direct action to kick the sorry sad arses of the parents and care givers if they don’t meet my quality control standards.

    Alternative is that I withdraw my support by utilizing some of the many legal devices to reduce my tax support of them.

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  41. polemic (427 comments) says:

    Judith at 11.33am
    Judith has just been given an uptick from me without hesitation.

    Seriously Judith,
    That is an impressive post you made and the sentiments you express in it I share.

    Yes the poor need to be provided for that is a core function of Govt.

    To quite a number of “poor”families they would not know the difference between a hand up or hand out hence the reason they will happily spend up large on pet food, booze and smokes when their own children take second, third or forth place.

    But they need to be helped up and out of their self imposed vicious cycle and that is where if able a work for the dole scheme et al and free medical care, hospitals and schools etc have to coexist.

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  42. Albert_Ross (270 comments) says:

    Judith, you challenge georgebolwing’s assertion regarding accepted measures of social welfare – ie, data – by “saying that things are bad and have got worse”, which you support with a series of general assertions about parental attitudes and children’s behavior now and forty years ago.

    What exactly is your /evidence/?

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  43. RRM (9,639 comments) says:

    Here’s what taxpayers currently fund to help families with children:

    $1.15 billion in accommodation assistance
    $182 million in childcare assistance
    $260 million in hardship support
    $1.25 billion for the DPB
    $16.9 million for out of school care
    $267 million in child support
    $1.93 billion in family support
    $494 million for in work tax credits
    $176 million for paid parental leave
    $32 million for parental and family tax credits
    $1.58 billion in early childhood education subsidies

    I just added up those numbers (hastily) on my calculator and came up with a total of $6.1 BILLION.

    Which is a lot of money for the country’s mere 4 million inhabitants to stump up each year.

    The endless bleating from the left “we must spend more” when they clearly have no appreciation of the staggering amounts of money already flowing to “the poor” is getting old.

    Can’t John Key just once and for all, spell this out in front of people?

    Fucktard, we are giving the poor 6.1 BILLION DOLLARS EVERY YEAR… is that not enough for you?

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  44. Judith (8,425 comments) says:

    @ Albert_Ross (225 comments) says:
    June 20th, 2014 at 1:00 pm

    I am a social researcher by trade, and a mother and grandmother by preference.

    As a social researcher I can make a case for virtually anything I want using data. As a mother, and a grandmother, I experience reality. I am exposed to the actual facts as they occur, not as they appear on paper.

    Data is great, and provides an indication of a problem, but never should a researcher rely simply on a quantitative methodology if he wants to understand the problem (of this kind).

    It is only by understanding the complete problem that we can find a solution to it. Selective data collection can win any argument, but it won’t assist in changing an ongoing issue

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  45. dime (9,662 comments) says:

    RRM – you obviously dont care about the poor.

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  46. flipper (3,838 comments) says:

    This needs to be kept in proper perspective.

    1. The child poverty campaign is a left wing/”progressive” narrative promoted by academics like Boston and St John (it has been her hobby horse for at least 38 years to my personal knowledge) and chardonnay “preachers” like Waldegrave, and sections of the MSM, Campbell especially. There is never any sign of the real workers in this area like Des Britten.

    2. There have always been errant parents, some more so than others. But those errant parents have assumed that Sky, the TAB, pokies, booze and tobacco, and church tithes, are life’s priorities – their children’s needs optional.

    3. The poverty campaigners have used their narrative in an attempt to dislodge National.

    4. Sadly for them, the vast majority believe that the Campbell/Waldegrave/Boston narrative is crap.

    5. Children going to school with or without an adequate breakfast is more a matter of self-choice for most rather than deprivation. I say this because in our family, we have four grandchildren, living with us. The eldest rarely eats breakfast insisting that she is “not hungry”, hence she is wraith like. The second girl eats like a horse, and that is obvious. The nine year old boy enjoys two eggs for breakfast every morning, while the three year old girl insists on her daily egg. The only variation is when the three eaters also have oatmeal – before their eggs.

    One could go on and on…. But real poverty is not and never has been the issue in New Zealand.

    So what is the problem? It seems clear that PIs are the major socio-economic problem
    The solution? Eliminate, upon pain of imprisonment, church tithes…and money telegrams to the islands. Those two matters keep PIs poor, and will do so until they are reduced….. preferably all but eliminated.

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  47. kowtow (7,932 comments) says:

    This Indian slum business is bollox. In a country where “untouchable” girls who are forced to shit in the fields due to a lack of basic infrastructure ,are raped and hanged from a tree ,either by local bullies or by their own family (who knows) and the local cops don’t give a damn………

    I was going to post a photo,but you all know of the case……

    Prof , “fuck off back to your marxist nirvana”

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  48. kowtow (7,932 comments) says:

    ps

    They spend billions on nuclear weapons, tanks and a huge blue water fleet!And they still shit in the fields there.

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  49. thedavincimode (6,589 comments) says:

    milky

    I’m not the diet or parenting police. I was simply pointing out that this idiot’s report has been counter-productive and that we need to stop bleating about poverty and focus on parental responsibility; a concept that seems foreign to a proportion of the community which explains why we see bush pigs loading up with booze, smokes and processed crap surrounded by bare-foot kids, lard-arse kids swigging 2 litre fizzy drinks on the way to and from school, a spiral of inter-generational violence and a baby put into washing machine, and parents voting your dodgy crew in for the sake of a WFF bludge that could subsidise their rental investments or a nice little plastic boat on the front lawn.

    Shipley, for all her faults, actually tried to do something about parental responsibility and float what was the unremarkable concept that state assistance was not a unilateral obligation but was a reciprocal arrangement that involved the perfectly reasonable expectation that parents do the best that they could, however limited the outcome. Predictably, klerkula pilloried her for it and once elected embarked upon what is the most damaging period in our social history in my memory. In attacking Shipley, she utterly repudiated the notion that parents and beneficiaries generally, held an obligation to at least make an effort, and reinforced the notion that dependence upon the state was entirely acceptable.

    That’s what we are paying for now in our crab-like crawl from under klerkula’s rock and that’s what are kids are paying for – the kids that this fuckwit thought he was acting as an advocate for.

    You ask if we are spending the right amount. Is $7b a year not enough for you?

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  50. Brian Smaller (4,026 comments) says:

    Here’s what taxpayers currently fund to help families with children:

    $1.15 billion in accommodation assistance
    $182 million in childcare assistance
    $260 million in hardship support
    $1.25 billion for the DPB
    $16.9 million for out of school care
    $267 million in child support
    $1.93 billion in family support
    $494 million for in work tax credits
    $176 million for paid parental leave
    $32 million for parental and family tax credits
    $1.58 billion in early childhood education subsidies

    We have an extremely generous welfare state.

    And the share of that my family uses is…. practically ZERO. Remind me again why this is such a good deal for me?

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  51. Fossil (8 comments) says:

    The length of the list of benefits shows what’s wrong with it. It’s too long. It’s too complicated. It costs way too much in administration. It’s wide open to gaming and abuse. Talk of ‘wrap around’ social services aimed at getting individual families out of misery and brutality by showering them with the help of multiple agencies is a sure sign of social engineering at its worst.

    People have to help themselves. The only way a government can usefully assist is through generous universal services – education, health, child benefit, housing, pension, and unemployment benefit.

    The right can’t complain about our messy, expensive and failed social security system. It’s the way it is because of the right’s belief in targeting. Anyone who says that he can afford to pay for social services so shouldn’t get them is misguided. Targeted systems like ours are doing more harm than good and the cost to all taxpayers is not worth it.

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  52. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    If $7 billion is far too much, how would you reduce it?
    $7 billion is probably a bit of an understatement actually. I suppose a few here will say $24 billion for social security, $15 billion for health and $13 billion for education is all too much. But what would you cut?

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  53. Albert_Ross (270 comments) says:

    Data is great, and provides an indication of a problem, but never should a researcher rely simply on a quantitative methodology if he wants to understand the problem (of this kind).

    It is only by understanding the complete problem that we can find a solution to it. Selective data collection can win any argument, but it won’t assist in changing an ongoing issue

    So you’d rather rely on selective anecdote?

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  54. Unity (406 comments) says:

    In my view, in all too many cases it is not child poverty but child neglect. They pay children to have children – it’s become a lifestyle choice for those who didn’t do well at school and whose job prospects are not good – or they can’t be bothered trying to work and aim to live off the State. The benefit should not be paid to anyone under a certain age – say 21. The baby should either be brought up with the assistance of the grandparents or put up for adoption. There are many excellent potential parents unable to have their own children.

    Anyone having a child whilst on a benefit should not receive any extra and that should put paid to those who have endless children to different fathers.

    Parenting classes should be run at schools for both boys and girls so they have more knowledge as to what is involved.

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  55. hj (6,720 comments) says:

    RRM (9,266 comments) says:
    June 20th, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    Here’s what taxpayers currently fund to help families with children:

    $1.15 billion in accommodation assistance

    you mean propping up the beneficiaries of house price inflation?

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  56. hj (6,720 comments) says:

    I know a couple of Japanese living in NZ who, after seeing Slum-dog Millionaire said it reminded them of their childhoods. I was incredulous to say the least. We seem to be moving in that direction with an economy being increasingly managed for a landlord class.
    Last Sunday on Sunday (Dr Bagshaws Charity Hospital) Tony Ryall told the program “you can’t expect that if you need an operation you will get it”.

    Come on Bill, Tax the Rich
    By Gareth Morgan*
    http://garethsworld.com/blog/economics/come-bill-tax-rich

    * we hates nasty Morgan Precious!

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  57. Unity (406 comments) says:

    Obviously I didn’t proof-read my post properly. The middle paragraph should read -

    Anyone having a child whilst on a benefit should not receive any extra and also nothing should be paid to those who have endless children to different fathers whilst on a benefit.

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  58. Unity (406 comments) says:

    I saw that article on the Charity hospital, hj. I found it staggering that our Health system couldn’t do a 20 minute hernia operation when if it had strangulated or something else, the cost to the system would have been so much more. It is false economy surely.

    Perhaps if the Government stopped all the other wacky initiatives and put that money into the Health system we would have better outcomes which would benefit everyone.

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  59. Tautaioleua (291 comments) says:

    flipper, here in South Auckland most of the Pacific Island children are eating more than our fair share. We don’t have a problem with children being underfed, believe me. Your typical island family will buy rice and chicken in bulk for things like chicken soup, curry, and chop suey (signature dinner dishes). For breakfast, a gigantic pot of porridge or a mixture of rice and coconut cream is not unusual. And for lunch, usually an endless supply of sandwiches.

    I think you’ll find that undernourished children are more likely in Maori and Asian circles where they are usually underweight, under height, and sickly even. I went to school with a South East Asian boy who fainted at least once a week (the school nurse said he wasn’t getting enough nutrition).

    Originally, humans were hunters & gatherers. Who do you think is more natural? an islander or an undersized Maori or Asian boy? the human body is designed for physicality, and in this regard, the Polynesian is superior.

    :-)

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  60. Bob R (1,357 comments) says:

    ***Here’s what taxpayers currently fund to help families with children:***

    Only going to increase until they do more to encourage contraceptive use.

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  61. Left Right and Centre (2,882 comments) says:

    If $7 billion is far too much, how would you reduce it?

    hey boss – how is it ? Well – if you could shove a big cork up the 25% of DPB bush pigs breeding more meal tickets . . . that might save a few bucks.

    the human body is designed for physicality, and in this regard, the Polynesian is superior.

    So they’re not just tying to take on the shape of a 180kg Fijian taro ?

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  62. goldnkiwi (1,163 comments) says:

    Unity (172 comments) says:

    June 20th, 2014 at 3:36 pm

    Just a maximum benefit amount would help, not per child and no not all the same either.

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  63. Aussie Aussie Aussie (22 comments) says:

    Anyone who sees this in pure economic terms is a retard

    How much you spend or do not spend is irrelevant

    You actually have to stop murdering them

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