Pimping the Poor, Ctd – The Issue

So now you have read what I discovered from bothering to drive out to rural South Auckland and have a chat with Tania Wysocki.

We have discovered that this woman is not a bludger. Sure she has made mistakes, sure she isn’t a brain surgeon….but she does have pride and drive and ambition.

We have discovered that Jacinda Ardern couldn’t even be bothered driving out to see Tania, instead preferring to shop the story to Simon Collins.

We have found out that new Green MP is actually doing the job an MP should be doing, and though she is struggling a bit by thinking that asking questions in the house will deliver results, she is at least trying, which is a whole lot more than Jacinda Ardern

We have found that Simon Collins would rather focus on the sensational than the detail as he seeks to manufacture stories of misery as he pimps out the lives of the poor. He is more concerned with the number of views on his article than solutions and outcomes for the people he writes about.

But what we haven’t explored is the real issue that Tania Wysocki is experiencing difficulty. This is the reason why she contacted all the agencies, and politicians in the first place. the agencies were intent on covering their butts and the politicians intent on scoring points. the “journalist” was intent on something else altogether. Not a single one of them was intent on actually understanding the real issue.

The Issue

The essence of Tania Wysocki’s problem is that she is aiming too high. She is attempting to complete a NCEA Level 6 course in Veterinarian Nursing at UNITEC.  For some bizarre reason child care extended hours are only available for people attending NCEA Level 3 and below courses.

We are expending millions of dollars on child care for basic courses that are supposedly going to qualify people to be work ready when the reality is that any course at NCEA Level 3 or below is basic stuff and mostly remedial.

What we aren’t doing is encouraging more people like Tania Wysocki to enter and complete training. They are left feeling rightly or wrongly that they are having additional barriers put in their way whereas less able students, and frankly unemployable students are enjoying a largesse that will probably never be repaid to society.

When I spoke with the Ministers office they told me that the childcare changes were brought about in the 2009 budget when the economy was severely constrained. The thought was that those most vulnerable needed help and should be prioritised and that it perhaps wasn’t fair that in more advanced courses it wasn’t fair that people were attending the courses and sitting next to highly subsidised beneficiaries.

I suggested to the Ministers Office that perhaps we were encouraging the wrong people into training, that I witnessed on a daily basis in Manukau what these wrong kinds of incentives deliver and suggested that they might like to use this case as a good reason to review the policy. Who knows, perhaps they will.

Of course when making policy that affects large numbers of people there are always those at the crossover points that prove the exception to the rule. The unwieldy beast that is MSD is neither willing nor able to consider every little exception and sometimes intervention is called for.

This is issue that Tania Wysocki was trying to explain, but it got missed in the shameless point scoring and headline grabbing of politicians.

It took an unpaid blogger to do what highly paid politicians either couldn’t or wouldn’t do…drive out to see the person concerned and actually listen to the issues.

It astounds me that a politician as lazy and self-centred as Jacinda Ardern is touted as a future leader.

I don’t know what the solution is to our burgeoning and mis-directed welfare system is. But I know it isn’t listening to anything Jacinda Ardern or Labour has to say…or Simon Collins for that matter.

In their haste to get into print they ignored a constituent and a larger problem that seriously needs addressing and instead Pimped out the Poor in multiple stories of manufactured misery.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

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