driller2000: had typed a response and deleted it cos it got long and a little preachy :p
so in summary - imho:
1. govt responsible? - no - but they can help those in need, it's actually part of their job
2. relative vs. absolute vs. no poverty in nz? - don't give a sh#t about definitions and arguments around these - what i know and have seen throughout my life is there are MANY in NZ (and elsewhere) who have a desperate need - and we as a society can do better
3. do i care how they got there? - sort of - but i care more about them not staying there
4. does all of this talking (this thread included) change anything ? - nope
5. what does? - action
6. so what do i do? - counsel whanau towards education, support friends and family in times of need, donate time and cash to causes I deem worthy - KidsCan, Fred Hollows Foundation, Habitat for Humanity, SPCA (don't forget the puppies!) etc and yes one little girl in Africa
7. what are YOU gonna do about it?
very admirable of you. Well what do I do, I'm one many that pay taxes of which a large propitiation goes to those that qualify for the many benefits, should I do more, I don't believe so I work hard enough as it is to survive so I don't believe I need to do more unless its my own family or friends because thats what we do.
I certainly have no issue with people that are in need of help getting it, what i do take issue with is the ones that have chosen it as a lifestyle/career.
I also take issue with pumping money into something that doesn't fix the issue in fact compounds it. We teach children all their rights but not responsibilities as part of society. We say its ok to be mediocre and that the State (tax payer) is responsible for looking after their children they only need to keep having them.
I take issue with those that try and make me feel guilty because of the colour of my skin or the fact I've managed to not rely on benefits.
So you only "sort of"care about how they get there, maybe that is the problem because if you don't care then you can't fix it just fund and assist it.