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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  • Guestosterone

    nice work cam

    has been an eye-opener on this issue and no mistake

  • Great stuff Cam; if your numbers go through the ceiling today, it is well and truly deserved. Leighton Smith has already quoted you.

    The bigger issue is, of course, Jacinda Ardern’s politicising of this story. She’s not a politician I had much time for before now, but now, any respect I may have had for her is gone. She is going to find it a real struggle to have any credibility against Paula Bennett, and David Shearer might be faced with his first reshuffle after two weeks of the Parliamentary year.

    • Paddles83

      Who is David Shearer :)  you mean the leader of the opposition that is  MIA

    • Pete George

      There’s a bigger bigger issue – from what I saw the whole Labour approach was to highlight and promote problems and negatives. Have you heard the one about the snotty nosed kid in a clod house? I heard it at every election meeting.

      But I think the most important issue is the lack of an effective means of communication between people and parliament. Some MPs manage it well, but on a limited scale. Some don’t do it so well.

      But we can’t rely on politicians to give us what we want. We have to make it happen ourselves. Non-politicised people power. It’s starting to happen in Dunedin, but it takes time and effort. Effort from people like Tania Wysocki (and Whale) who are prepared to do what they can to make things happen, despite being pimped by media and MP.

  • Cobolt

    I can’t wait for Adern to ask Bennett another question in parliament. I hope Paula’s memory is very good and very long.

    • Hakim of phut

      Fact . This women got extra assistance once it was highlighted in the Herald. Not her local MP nor a green MP. The Herald story meant people got of their bums and did something to help her.
      Now she still wants her hand held.  The reporter hasnt called her  back …much !!

      • Euan Rt

        Looking bad for Labour eh Phut? Doesn’t matter how you tryto spin it, it is going to bite you.

  • Steve (North Shore)

    This seems to reflect how most Labour MPs are. Greedy and self centered. Look at me look at me. And they will do anything or use anyone to climb up the ladder.

    I am sure there will be a lot of blamestorming very soon.

    Never ever let them back in power

    • jay cee

      yep should have taken a tip from “mr smile and wave” when it comes to grandstanding eh?
      where is he now? oh thats right i heard some one was opening an envelope.

  • Sarrs

    Great work WO – the main issue here is the inflexibility of the MSD in situations like this. 

    I think a great policy would be to subsidise child care for parents who are studying (at any level) but make the following years subsidy contingent on the parent passing the course. I would even advocate a one off payment to the family when the course is passed and employment is gained in the relevant area. This would hopefully expand the options of people wanting to improve themselves through study without benefiting those who just sign up for courses for the sake of it. 

    • Euan Rt

      Good idea, and I would add that for such a course prior approval for a 12 month say 50% subsidy to an employer might get her underway, and decrease the chances of future possible dependence. Well done Whale. I don’t remember if I commented on past posts about Tania, but if I did I was ill informed and out of line.

    • Hakim of phut

      Its not  MSD ‘inflexibility’ it was a deliberate choice by Paula Bennett who received  such assistance herself when on the DPB ( she studied social work).
      As is usual under National , the ladder was pulled up behind  her !

      • Guestosterone

        we must urgently audit all MPs for changing laws/policies that affected them before they came into office

        you really are a fucking numpty sometimes

        “As is usual under National , the ladder was pulled up behind her!”

        any pending qualification for that comment..?

      • Sarrs

        Hakim – the article clearly states that the policy was changed during times of economic duress. If people haven’t raised the issue publicly since then there has been no need to change it. Now that the issue has been highlighted and clarified changes and improvements can be made. Don’t forget that policy is an organic thing – it must constantly change and adapt to changing circumstances. This is an example of when change should be made. Criticise all you like if they refuse to change the policy but wait until then to do so. 

      • Hakim of phut

        Oh you have a voice instead of a ‘vent’
        The point was that it wasnt a ‘bizarre’ reason as Whale said  but a deliberate choice  made by someone who had ‘benett-fited’ from it previously.

        All this womens  problems  can be laid at nationals door.- they may have reasons- but somehow making it labours fault and a reporter who ran a story that ended up helping  this  ( ungrateful) women).

        It looks like any man who drops by is suddenly her friend- apart from all the ponies that is.
        I personally think vet nurse is above her abilities, she should try something easier first

      • Sarrs

        Hakim – what a nasty thing to say!
        There is quite an open implication of domestic violence in her story – is that also National’s fault? 
        I seriously doubt that Paula Bennett got into parliament, rubbed her hands together with an evil glint in her eyes and said ‘Ha! At last! I shall remove the policy that enabled me to better myself while on the DPB’ – again I point out, the policy was changed in times of economic duress. It was a cut that was made in reaction to lower government income available for distribution. 

  • Quintin Hogg


    Good work.

    Unlike the Herald or Ms Ardern.  I am seriously considering terminating my subscription to that Tabloid because of the sad decline in reporting standards and general competence.

    • Hakim of phut

      O RLY

      • Sarrs

        Squawk Squawk

      • In Vino Veritas

        Sarrs – those pictures have made me laugh out bloody loud again!

      • Hakim of phut

        Gee , he looked on Wikipedia. HW CLVR

      • Sarrs

        Hakim – who looked on wikipedia? My name is Sarah and I’m a girl so if you’re talking about me you should say ‘SHE looked on wikipedia’

        Also, I didn’t find that on wikipedia…the O RLY owl has been an internet meme for a couple of years now. You post ‘O RLY’ and that’s all I can think of so I can’t help but post the pictures…I think it’s funny and obviously a few other people do too. Catch yourself up on meme based humour 

    • ConwayCaptain


      The Herald is nowadays filled with more adverfts than a local giveaway, byline stories from the Daily Telegraph, Guardian, Independent etc and stories like this.

      They proudly say that they are The Newspaper of the Year.  CRAP The competition are the other examples of dunny suppy, The Dom Post, ODT, The Press and the Waikato DT.

      I get my news from Nat Radio, and the UK and Aus papers on the net

      • Quintin Hogg

        As it happens so do I.

    • The Gantt Guy

      You subscribe to Pravda? I always wondered who their One was! :)

      • Quintin Hogg

        Actually my wife does.
        I just pay the bill.

  • Buzzlightyear2

    Well done Cam. Very insightful series of articles. Keep it up

  • Rob F

    Excellent exposé Cam! It’ll be fun watching them wiggle out of this one. It would be interesting to know Paula Bennet’s thoughts on this issue. 

    • Hakim of phut

      Bennett would have all the ‘series’ before it was published. 
      Dont be any doubt this has been taken up because  National has had a  slump in the polls and is  pushing back.

      • Guestosterone

        thanks winston

      • Auto_immune

        That does go on the presumption that Paula Bennett will announce extensions to childcare for qualifications higher than NCEA L3 (which would be a good thing).  If nothing changes it’s not a great look for the minister either.

      • Dion

        And yet The Standard are just good, honest people who have an opinion.

    • Guestosterone

      which we might have got to sooner if simon and sea biscuit hadn’t been more worried about their own publicity


      • Hakim of phut

        Did you  sleep all last week. Her story  in the Herald  made things happen.

        How did it get there ?  Labour put her in contact with a journalist. Shock horror.

        Other MPs  wrote letters , the Herald  actually got something done about it.

        Now she feels ‘used’ . Honey  we all know  you wanted to prostitute yourself  so its only about ‘how much’ will it cost to make you feel better

      • Guestosterone

        are you going to comment at all on how you think sea biscuit ardern handled this issue..?

      • Euan Rt

        Phut I am amazed how much effort you are putting in to try and fight this fire. The flames are all around you and you are going to get burned. Bbq anyone?

      • Pete George

        It has got this far despite The Herald and Adern. If they hadn’t publicised it (for their own purposes) Wysocki would have tried something else which may have avoided getting used and abused by them.

        They were happy with the momentary publicity, Wysocki then found how she would actually get (sympathetic) action. Despite them.

      • In Vino Veritas

        Hakim, on what basis did “the story in the Herald make things happen”? The story was about cheap point scoring for (1) Collins and (2) Ardern in equal measures – both desperate to climb, wisteria like.

        You would make a good socialist politician – deflection, blame, denial.

        If Ardern had any substance, she would have looked into this situation behind the scenes and done whatever she could. Instead, she gave grandstanding.

        It would appear that Cactus Kate’s bio description of her is hitting the mark: the Kim Kardashian of the Labour party, a bundle of bimbo cheerleading fluff. It’s hard to disagree with this assessment at the moment.

      • Hakim of phut

        VV , look at what the letters from other Mps got for her ! Nothing
        Once it was in the herald – with her own prostitution angle which she dreamt up herself ( silly woman) then they found  winz werent applying the restricted rules they had.
        How it got into the Herald may make another story but doesnt help her one bit.

        Funny how she now complains that the reporter doesnt call her back ..much. Its a bit sad really wants male company  and is a bit lonely

      • BD

        Hakim your keyboard must be taking a pounding with all that angry frustrated typing.

      • Guest

        Ardern is no Sea Biscuit – he actually was a champion with an inspirational story

      • Bafacu

        What a nasty, deluded view you have on this story and the woman involved. Maybe you are the sad and lonely one – you certainly wouldn’t be much fun to be around!

        Quite frankly I’m getting heartily sick of your vindictive diatribes.

  • Greg M

    Very good work dude, What an eye opener.

  • Haven’t seen Greg Presland around here for a while. Has mickysavage changed his name to Hakim?

  • Petal

    Jacinda the Show Pony.  
    Talking shit that you don’t back up isn’t going to get you there, even with Auntie’s protection.

    Your true colours are starting to bleed through the thin veil. 

  • Nigel

    Awesome work Whale Oil :).

  • nasska

    Whale has given an interesting contrast of the professional reporter writing for a headline while dreaming of a Pulitizer Prize & a blogger who gets off his arse & follows the truth.  The former sees his efforts lining the catbox while Whale will see his blog rating rise.

    Must be a lesson there somewhere.

  • Only comment I can make as a non Herald reader – thanks for posting this stuff Cameron. Can’t believe how easy it is to make this a Labour problem though, when they are not the ones in power? Doesn’t the government of the day have to deal with this whoever the hell they are?

  • kehua

    Nice work Cam, sad part is this Lady is probably more than competent to do the job, unfortunately the “Education Gravy Train“ which survives and relies on the funding providers are also part of the problem . I deal with quite a few young women who have been through the whole Unitec /Vet nurse programme and quite frankly the Tania`s of this world are far better equipped to do the job. How much training does it actually take to clean up dog/cat shit etc  and pass instruments to a Vet  or change a dressing. Reality is these women invariably spend most of their time serving behind the counter and writing appointment notices to cats and dogs.

  • Dion

    I think a complaint to the Press Council might be in order.

  • Sam F

    Hi Whale – not a frequent commenter but you may remember me from a while back. I don’t think I would give Labour’s behaviour quite the same prominence in this series as you have, it seems like a side show to me – but apart from that I was quite impressed with this series of posts and with your final conclusions about the way that MSD child care support works. Definitely not quite the kind of thing some of your detractors might have assumed you would write. Hope to see more of this kind of stuff in future.