Can you catch Poverty?

The Herald and assorted left wing numpties are claiming that New Zealand has a shameful health record based on a report from some boffins.

Apparently the indicator diseases for poverty according to the Herald are:

Top 10 infectious diseases resulting in hospitalisations in New Zealand, 1998-2008

  1. Skin abscesses and cellulitis
  2. Pneumonia
  3. Infectious diarrhoea
  4. Appendicitis
  5. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease with respiratory infection
  6. Urinary tract infection
  7. Unspecified viral infection
  8. Unspecified acute lower respiratory infection
  9. Post-operative infection
  10. Acute upper respiratory infection

Now the Herald may have those years wrong, but it is the media so it must be right…but those were the years Labour was in government….even if other reports are correct and it start in 1989 that just makes it about even for the health stats.

Irrespective of that I was looking throught those diseases which apparently povery causes and fins that I have had 1,2,3,4,7,8 and 10…holy shit I must have been living in abject poverty to have caught all of those diseases….funny thing is I got most of them when I was earning over $200,000 per annum.

I wonder how many of my loyal reaers are just like me poverty caused disease-stricken wrecks? …put your scores in the comments.


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  • Michael

    I’ve never been hospitalised. Not even when I was at the orphanage. Mainly because then Nuns were obsessive about hygiene and cleaniness, plus had an isolation room to stop infectious disease from spreading.

  • You can’t really make an issue of who was in power during those years. It is a well known fact that every political party spends most of their time in power cleaning up the mess of the previous one – and getting blamed for it.

    On that note – i must be loaded. I have had none of those things.  

    I will add though, that prior to my landlord fixing the mould / leaky / rotting problem in my rental dump my daughters had several friends who could not stay the night here due to their asthma flaring up while in our home. I would say that a lot of low income families are living in damp, leaky homes which would cause a lot of those illnessed listed above.

  • Brian Smaller

    Geez – now I know why I had
    Skin abscesses and cellulitisInfectious diarrhoeaUrinary tract infectionUnspecified viral infectionUnspecified acute lower respiratory infectionAcute upper respiratory infection

  • In Vino Veritas

    Crikey, I’m 2,3,4,7,8, 9 and 10. 

    The one that they missed off the list was the particularly nasty one – socialism. It appears that between 2005 & 2011 there was a reduction in the incidence of this disease of 52%. Can’t imagine why that one didn’t make the list. I think that the current government should be congratulated for their efforts in reducing this disease.
    I suppose given it’s nature, there are always carriers out there who refuse treatment, so complete eradication of this third world disease will be exceedingly difficult. 

  • Gazzaw

    Since when were appendicitis and cellulitis infectious? Not too sure about pneumonia.

  • Cobolt

    It reminded me of the news I heard on the radio last night about these “poverty” diseases. They stated that 40+% were maori or PI. It made it sound like they were genetically susceptible which I suspect they are not. It’s more likely that they are just over represented int he “lower socioeconomic” group that is more susceptible to these diseases.
    It’s the same as poverty causes learning difficulties. Poverty does not cause these things. Poverty is just another symptom of the same malaise. Too lazy/don’t care enough to help educate their kids. Too lazy/don’t care enough to maintain proper hygene. Too lazy/don’t care enough to mind the money they do get.
    Poverty is not an excuse, it is a symptom.
    Which is why it is not just the poverty stricken who contract these diseases. Whale, how many of these diseases did you contract while you were so strongly afflicted with depression?

  • Hakim of phut

    Its crazy, you cant catch ‘pneumonia’ from another person ? Nor can appendicitis be ‘caught’ 
    Something is very wrong here using this terminology

    • Bunswalla

      You’re wrong, as usual. Some types of pneumonia are infectious. You should really do a little research before making a complete dick of yourself.

  • Brian Smaller

    Also, many of the respiratory diseases that the poor (especially Maori and PIs catch) probably would not happen if they opened more windows and cleanded the mould that accumulates from living in a closed up house.  Many PIs find it freezing here pretty much all the time so have windows shut and use those horrible unflued gas heaters that pump moisture into the air. Heat, moisture, mould, respiratory disease. Hardly rocket science.

  • Brian Smaller

    @hakim – just like you cannot catch obesity, but apparently there is an epidemic of it about.  A fat shiela on the train sneezed on me the other day and only a few hours later I was forced to eat a Maccas lunch.

    • One reason I don’t take public transport…I don;t want to catch poverty.

      •  Thank goodness I thought it might be snobbery…..!!  You need to try and deal with Wellington’s Public Transport at the moment – would drive anyone out onto the roads…..

      • In Vino Veritas

        Neil, yep, it must be a bitch with rush hour at 9.00 and 3.30. All those public servants on glide time…… and plus the influx of Greenies.

  • MilanoMatt

    1, 2 & 3 while making more than $NZ 300k

    • Boss Hogg

      Hey Matt, you sound a bit like Mr Nui – is that you?  If so, I am sure you are not living in poverty in Milano !!!

      Get back to West Africa where you belong.

  • Kthxbai

    These diseases are definitely associated with poverty in New Zealand, and the usual story is that your risk of catching them is enhanced by poor, damp housing, and by overcrowding. 

    However, association doesn’t equal causality.  The fact is that the huge majority of New Zealanders live in similarly poor housing, but they keep their houses clean and free of damp and mould by opening windows, scrubbing mould off with a Janola solution, and by airing bedding and clothes outside on fine days.  It’s a lot of work, but most of us do it as part of our routine. 

    Advocates for the poor insist that the regular routine of keeping houses clean and dry is the owner’s job, and portray the tenants as helpless victims, whereas it should be part of lease conditions for able-bodied tenants to air houses and keep them free of mould.

    As for overcrowding, most leases have a limit on the number of occupants of a rental property, but this doesn’t seem to be enforceable.  Overcrowding contribues to damp and proximity enhances disease transmission.  Again, there are elements of a behavioural cause here.

    Unfortunately the newspapers seem to be unable to distinguish symptom from cause.  In vino veritas points out that socialism is associated with poverty too – maybe we should eradicate that as a starting point.

    • Sarrs

      I agree totally – the first step needs to be stop blaming other people! Take some responsibility for the fact that if you don’t clean and air your house properly, your child might get sick. That’s not your landlord’s fault. 

  • Sarrs

    I grew up poor, not dirty, so have never had any of these things. There are different types of ‘poor’ – some people have the best intentions but are just bad with money, some people are good with money but just don’t have enough, some people are lazy and wasteful etc
    Why can’t WINZ work a bit harder to establish which families need help in which areas – i.e. budgeting advice, cleaning advice, health advice. They should be able to somehow reward the families that make an effort to get themselves and their kids out of poverty. That probably requires a level of monitoring that would make some people scream ‘nanny state’ but how on earth are people supposed to change the habits of a lifetime without continued and on-going support? 

  • Peter Jenkins

    1,3,6, 7,10 and I live in a gated community…..

    • Cobolt

       I don’t know, are prisons classed as poverty stricken? :)


    Im off to the doctor,cause I am poor this week,and will need to get protection from all those nasty bugs etc mentioned,because the media said it was so.and they are ALWAYS right.

  • Gosman

    Some members of the Standardnista movement (AKA Lewftist dribble online) have taken this a step further and are claiming that National party policies are actually killing little children. I would so love it if one of them was actually in any position of authority in a left wing party and tried pushing this as a campaign slogan.

  • Gazzaw

    Where’s Phil? He can’t be out of bed yet.

    • Guestosterone





  • @BoJangles

    Scarlet fever, gal bladder crap-out, baldness but I’m a $millionaire  ??

  • ConwayCaptain

    THey said that these so called diseases have inc by 50%.  Well the bloody population has increased by that much in the same period.

    Another cause is all these mono clad houses rotting on the inside and people get respiritory disorders from these as well.

    Look at the crapnthey build houses with and all the plastic and crap that gives off fumes.

    Now the old NZ wooden houses actually breathe because there are small gaps etc in the wood.  Also you keep your windows ajar and let air in.  Also clean the mould.

  • It’s nice to see so many taking the oportunity to brag about their income – would be great to be able to “brag” about my own – but never earned over $60,000 and currently only able to get part time employment (don’t go there) but hasten to add I am happily able to say cannot count any of the above in my health issues.

    • Sarrs

      You should move to Invercargill…jobs galore! Although you do have to watch out for penguins on the main street but houses are cheap so it all balances out in the end :)

      Would you even believe the sun has shone for 5 days in a row! The council is currently debating whether to create a public holiday in honour of the big yellow thing that has suddenly appeared in the sky. We’re learning it’s ways and hope not to anger it :)