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Klipspringer
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  #899479 21-Sep-2013 16:25
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Fred99:
Klipspringer:
Kyanar: 

A person who is fired, with or without cause (13 week stand-down)
A person who takes "voluntary" redundancy (which usually isn't all that voluntary in this day and age - 13 week stand-down)
A person the Commissioner of Police claims is a "risk to public safety" - a simple letter from a constable to MSD and that person's benefit gets the chop
A person who has an arrest warrant (yes, even for unpaid parking fines - and sometimes people aren't aware they even have these!)
A patient in a public hospital for more than 13 weeks (benefit gets chopped down to $40/week.  Never mind that their rent and other bills aren't)
A woman who fails to take "reasonable" steps to obtain maintenance from the father of a child who disappears (and no, "reasonable" isn't defined.  Interestingly, this clause only applies to women!)
A person who fails a drug test (because let's penalise them, rather than try help them through what may actually be a real problem!)



Fully agree with all of them
Thanks for clearing them up.

None of them cause "poverty"


Not by your definition - of course not.




Not by my definition or the UN's definition.

BTW: Whats you definition on the word "poverty"?

I think we have reached the end of this one. 
Its safe to say, Poverty is not the governments fault. We don't even have real poverty in this country.

All this thread has proved is how much the government is already doing. We have a great social welfare system. Those that can't get by on it only have themselves to blame.

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MikeB4
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  #899491 21-Sep-2013 17:03
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Those wanting to know the statutory qualifications for income support can check them here....


http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1964/0136/latest/DLM359107.html

I am now out of this thread

Fred99
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  #899496 21-Sep-2013 17:12
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When the UN  rebukes NZ for "staggering" levels of child abuse and poverty your explanation for this strange enigma would be what?
That the UN doesn't understand their own definition of "poverty"?




Batman
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  #899501 21-Sep-2013 17:31
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It's all about fair chances. The richest people usually were the poorest who worked the hardest to get there. But most well off people were born rich.

If u were born into poverty ... That's where policies could help




Involuntary autocorrect in operation on mobile device. Apologies in advance.


1080p
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  #899503 21-Sep-2013 17:49
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Fred99:
When the UN  rebukes NZ for "staggering" levels of child abuse and poverty your explanation for this strange enigma would be what?
That the UN doesn't understand their own definition of "poverty"?



It has already been established that the term "child poverty" is misleading since all children are in a state of poverty because they rely entirely on their parents for every need.

If you can survive (shelter, food, education, healthcare) on 60% less than the median income then i would argue that the UN definition of poverty is flawed.

Defining poverty in NZ is difficult because it is more about lifestyle choice than true hardship. The fact of the matter is that there is no actual, objective poverty in NZ.

1080p
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  #899516 21-Sep-2013 17:52
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KiwiNZ: Those wanting to know the statutory qualifications for income support can check them here....


http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1964/0136/latest/DLM359107.html

I am now out of this thread


I already know what the qualifications for welfare support in NZ are. My point was that no one is forced to live in poverty because of this system. Unless you actively choose to disqualify yourself from this system when you need it you will receive support from the welfare system.

Fred99
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  #899531 21-Sep-2013 19:16
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1080p:
Fred99:
When the UN  rebukes NZ for "staggering" levels of child abuse and poverty your explanation for this strange enigma would be what?
That the UN doesn't understand their own definition of "poverty"?



It has already been established that the term "child poverty" is misleading since all children are in a state of poverty because they rely entirely on their parents for every need.



It hasn't been "established" at all.  NZ has shameful statistics (for a first world country) for childhood diseases of poverty.  Some debate about "definition" sounds like a cop-out by a few individuals mainly concerned about the possible cost of doing something about it.  Are we worse than Mexico?  Nope.  Are we as good as Canada, Australia, most of Europe?  Nope.  What should "we" (government) aspire to be like?  Mexico?

If you begrudge your taxes being redistributed to the poor - then fair enough, join the Libertarainz, start preaching from the bible/novels of Ayn Rand, call yourself John Galt in forums, blame "the moochers" for stifling your dreams, whatever.  But please don't try to tell me that there ain't child poverty in NZ.

Bye.



1080p
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  #899534 21-Sep-2013 19:42
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Fred99:
1080p:
Fred99:
When the UN  rebukes NZ for "staggering" levels of child abuse and poverty your explanation for this strange enigma would be what?
That the UN doesn't understand their own definition of "poverty"?



It has already been established that the term "child poverty" is misleading since all children are in a state of poverty because they rely entirely on their parents for every need.



It hasn't been "established" at all.  NZ has shameful statistics (for a first world country) for childhood diseases of poverty.  Some debate about "definition" sounds like a cop-out by a few individuals mainly concerned about the possible cost of doing something about it.  Are we worse than Mexico?  Nope.  Are we as good as Canada, Australia, most of Europe?  Nope.  What should "we" (government) aspire to be like?  Mexico?

If you begrudge your taxes being redistributed to the poor - then fair enough, join the Libertarainz, start preaching from the bible/novels of Ayn Rand, call yourself John Galt in forums, blame "the moochers" for stifling your dreams, whatever.  But please don't try to tell me that there ain't child poverty in NZ.

Bye.


Every child in NZ fits a strict definition of poverty. They have no income and are completely unable to support themselves without relying on their parents for their basic needs. Without parental or governmental support they would likely be forced to live on the streets and beg or steal to stay alive.

There is no reason any adult in NZ should be living in poverty (unable to meet basic needs like shelter, food, etc...) due to this country having a comprehensive welfare system and not perfect but certainly decent levels of employment.

For "child poverty" to exist in NZ there must be adult poverty. This is not the case. Therefore, somewhere between an adult receiving their paycheck/welfare and their child's needs being met is a fault.

Is that the government's fault?

Are you seriously trying to blame the government of NZ for the personal choices made by private citizens?

There is no doubt that the situation some children are in is unacceptable and awful but the cause of this problem and ultimately its solution is not in a government program or new legislation.

If parents are unable to care for their children they should be removed from their custody under existing legislation. I am fine with parents also being forced to pay for their care rather than the taxpayer footing the entire bill.

Arguments over the solution to "child poverty" are an attempt to fix a symptom rather than an identification and solution to the issue that is causing the symptom(s).

Fred99
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  #899546 21-Sep-2013 21:53
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It's a pretty grim indictment of the attitudes by some that "poverty doesn't exist in NZ" because of a lame (and fallacious) attempt to redefine the word.
If the cause of the problem - and solution is not in the hands of government - then let's get rid of the minimum wage, all welfare, state subsidised education and heathcare, as the pair of you are arguing that those were brought in completely unnecessarily - to solve a "problem which doesn't exist".
http://www.dpmc.govt.nz/sites/all/files/publications/2397303-mcop-tr-data-on-poverty-in-nz.pdf


1080p
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  #899560 21-Sep-2013 22:38
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Fred99: It's a pretty grim indictment of the attitudes by some that "poverty doesn't exist in NZ" because of a lame (and fallacious) attempt to redefine the word.
If the cause of the problem - and solution is not in the hands of government - then let's get rid of the minimum wage, all welfare, state subsidised education and heathcare, as the pair of you are arguing that those were brought in completely unnecessarily - to solve a "problem which doesn't exist".
http://www.dpmc.govt.nz/sites/all/files/publications/2397303-mcop-tr-data-on-poverty-in-nz.pdf



I think the larger indictment is the fact that until now there has been no formal tracking of poverty in NZ despite it being common in almost all other developed nations. If it was a problem surely it would have been identified before now and at least looked into.

My argument is not that the government should stop offering the services it does but rather that the services already offered are more than adequate to prevent poverty in NZ entirely. To do any more than it already does will require massive intervention into and control of people's personal lives and decisions.

A simple example, the job seeking income support provides a perfectly adequate income to meet an individual's basic needs while searching for a job. It may not support the lifestyle that the job you had previously enabled so either your savings would need to supplement or lifestyle adjustments need to be made. However, if that person chooses to spend said income on marijuana instead of food one cannot blame the government for that person's starvation and call it poverty. By all measures the income support is enough to prevent poverty (assuming lifestyle is appropriate) so what more can be done to solve this issue of 'poverty'? (hint: the issue is not poverty but poor decision making and utterly out of the hands of anyone but the individual)

The same is true for a family on a minimum wage income. Life will not be the same as families on higher incomes but a minimum wage pay check still provides adequate funds to cover basic human requirements. If the adults choose to spend that money on beer and Sky television each week then blaming the government for the resulting child poverty teachers observe when these kids turn up in school without shoes or lunch is plain retarded. If the government somehow made the economics work and raised the minimum wage by 100% there is zero guarantee that those kids would turn up to school with shoes and a nutritious lunch. There might be a new car in the driveway though.

The only way the government can attempt to provide a solution in those cases is to raise the income levels (massive economic repercussions and essentially enabling poor decision making in many cases) or enforce some form of a budget on people below a certain income level. The idea that people would accept government intervention like that is both absurd and disappointing because there are number of people who would apparently be fine with that.

My point that those witnessing the symptoms of poverty (especially child poverty) should report it to the appropriate authorities and allow them to handle it within current legislation. If a teacher sees a child turning up to school with no lunch regularly then an investigation by government services is the appropriate course of action because it is obviously a problem with an individual and their decision making, not a systemic problem requiring government action.

matisyahu
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  #899574 22-Sep-2013 05:06
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I've read the many pages and just to add some subtlety to the discussion:

1) There are those who have done the right thing, lived within their means, bought a modest sized house, went without, saved money for a rainy day rather than clocking up debt then suddenly one of them loses their job combined with cost of living increases which pushes them over the edge. They did all the right things but found themselves in their financial situation. Short term a family might be able to cut some corners, give up some 'luxuries' and maybe even downsize but at some point all the corner cuttings will run out and more income will be needed or else the cycle of poverty begins. Assistance could come in the form of maybe free public transport which would help many on low incomes to reduce the cost of getting to and from work each day without having to go through the maze of government departments to get assistance whilst ensuring that the welfare dependency cycle doesn't begin.

2) There are those who are clueless, dumb as a bag of hammers and twice as ugly - they have kids but don't know why they have kids in the first place let alone ensuring that they have the means to support not only themselves but also their children as well. They then go out and buy big screen television, xbox/playstation, name brand clothing all on hire purchase/personal loans then wonder why they're so indebted. Such people are beyond help because any change must require accepting that they made some bad decisions and willing to make lifestyle changes which simply won't happen for such people.

As for whether the government is to blame, I would argue that the government does set the agenda when it comes to the the economic direction of the country but with that being said it isn't the sole cause or the solution to the problem. If we as a society (aka government) provide good health, education and economic opportunities it still requires citizens to pull themselves up by the bootstraps. If there isn't that willingness to pull oneself up by the bootstraps then to blame the 'government' is trying to find a simple solution to a multifaceted problem.




"When the people are being beaten with a stick, they are not much happier if it is called 'the People's Stick'"

 


Klipspringer
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  #899583 22-Sep-2013 07:48
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I think we going off track here. There is a big difference between being poor and living in poverty.

What is poverty? Start here:

http://www.child-sponsorship.com/south_africa_poverty.html
http://www.unicef.org.nz/global-parents/become-a-global-parent

Why is there nothing on NZ?
Can I sponsor a child in New Zealand?
Are there any worldwide sites where people from overseas can help with our problem? 

If we have such a problem in NZ why are we not doing something about it? Why am I forever receiving flyers in my mailbox to sponsor kids in Africa or Asia? Why are we not doing the same for the children in NZ who live in "poverty" in our own back yard?

A picture paints a thousands words. 

This is what child poverty looks like in Africa

Interesting the results returned for New Zealand

What does NZ's poverty look like?
A picture paints a thousand words. Anybody got some pictures to show me your definition? I challenge all of you on this thread to come up with something. If we can't define it, maybe we can describe it in an image?

driller2000
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  #899597 22-Sep-2013 09:27
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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?

alasta
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  #899689 22-Sep-2013 13:13
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1080p: A simple example, the job seeking income support provides a perfectly adequate income to meet an individual's basic needs while searching for a job. It may not support the lifestyle that the job you had previously enabled so either your savings would need to supplement or lifestyle adjustments need to be made. However, if that person chooses to spend said income on marijuana instead of food one cannot blame the government for that person's starvation and call it poverty. By all measures the income support is enough to prevent poverty (assuming lifestyle is appropriate) so what more can be done to solve this issue of 'poverty'? (hint: the issue is not poverty but poor decision making and utterly out of the hands of anyone but the individual)


I just had a look on the WINZ web site out of curiosity and the Job Seeker Benefit for a solo parent is $300 a week. Here in Wellington you'd be lucky to get very basic accommodation suitable for a parent and child for less than $250 a week, and the balance of $50 a week wouldn't cover the rest of your expenses.

I'm not advocating that this should be increased, but some targeted assistance to directly provide the kids with school lunches or shoes or whatever would seem appropriate if the parents are stuck on that sort of income long term.

I am a social conservative so I'm very uncomfortable with people having children at the taxpayers expense, but the reality is:
 - You can't use brute force to stop people having children even where they clearly shouldn't be.
 - You can't punish the children for the bad choices of the parents.
 - If you let the kids go off the rails due to them being under-provided for then it perpetuates the inter-generational cycle of financial struggle.

1080p
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  #899716 22-Sep-2013 14:02
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alasta:
1080p: A simple example, the job seeking income support provides a perfectly adequate income to meet an individual's basic needs while searching for a job. It may not support the lifestyle that the job you had previously enabled so either your savings would need to supplement or lifestyle adjustments need to be made. However, if that person chooses to spend said income on marijuana instead of food one cannot blame the government for that person's starvation and call it poverty. By all measures the income support is enough to prevent poverty (assuming lifestyle is appropriate) so what more can be done to solve this issue of 'poverty'? (hint: the issue is not poverty but poor decision making and utterly out of the hands of anyone but the individual)


I just had a look on the WINZ web site out of curiosity and the Job Seeker Benefit for a solo parent is $300 a week. Here in Wellington you'd be lucky to get very basic accommodation suitable for a parent and child for less than $250 a week, and the balance of $50 a week wouldn't cover the rest of your expenses.

I'm not advocating that this should be increased, but some targeted assistance to directly provide the kids with school lunches or shoes or whatever would seem appropriate if the parents are stuck on that sort of income long term.

I am a social conservative so I'm very uncomfortable with people having children at the taxpayers expense, but the reality is:
 - You can't use brute force to stop people having children even where they clearly shouldn't be.
 - You can't punish the children for the bad choices of the parents.
 - If you let the kids go off the rails due to them being under-provided for then it perpetuates the inter-generational cycle of financial struggle.


As a solo parent looking after a child (say between 0-4) you'd be after the Solo Parent Support which is roughly $300 a week but you would also be eligible for $108 accommodation supplement and in the case of living in central Wellington probably additional support due to the central city being more expensive.

It is definitely possible to rent a room in Wellington city for much less than $250 a week. You might not be able to get a studio apartment but it can be done. I would probably budget $250 for rent + utilities (power, basic telecommunications)

In fact, the income support provided is very similar to that of a minimum wage full time employment. Certainly not flash but well above any definition of poverty in my (and hopefully most others') minds.

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