Pimping the Poor, Ctd

the tipline

When it isn’t Simon Collins pimping the poor for the NZ Herald it is others, like Wilma McCorkindale from Fairfax.

In Dunedin The Fairfax media weekly, the D Scene has paraded a telling image to accompany a heart-rendering solo mum story.

However an astute reader will note the general slovenliness and the telling reflection in the mirror above the fireplace.

Yes it looks like a large collection of beer bottles, and cans in the bookshelf.

I wonder if the repeater bothered to ask how she can afford all that beer…if she spent just a fraction of the cost of her beer on an oil column heater at the very least she might be a it warmer.


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  • JBS

    oh no! I was just about to feel sorry for them too

  • Harry

    That’s a bit of a spurious one there WO, they could be and probably are momentos or a collection – maybe she should put them up for sale on Trademe? The other question is couldn’t the children’s father (s) help out with buying a heater for their child/children and/or contributing $20 a week towards the power bill?

  • Euan Rt

    But the original story as I read it is not about low income, but the promise of a new fire that has not materialised before the cold winter begins to set in. Seems a bit harsh to me to make it into an ‘undeserving poor’ story. She may be (and probably is) legitimately in a state house while things are tough for her, and she just wants her promised (months ago) fire working. Give her a break. I’m sure there are genuine tosser stories that could substitute for this one, but I see no reason here to tar her. So what if she drinks beer and keeps a bottle collection?

  • jay cee

    how do you know its her bottle collection or that she “emptied” them to start with. as for the general “slovenliness”, ever tried keeping a tidy house with a pre schooler shut inside all day?
    being a tad judgmental aren’t we?

    • Mark C

      I think that if I had arranged to have a reporter turn up to my home, I could at least tidy up one bloody room, in spite of having a toddler to organise. Children aren’t an excuse for living in a pig sty.

  • Dave

    Having been involved in the heating industry and having a branch in Dunedin, I can say it Is bloody cold in winter. But a prudent person uses any sun to their advantage, closes curtains as soon as the sun disappears, and having family on one room also helps, as does a blanket to keep warm. Simple measures can make almost any home warmer, and almost every state house in Otago and Southland has been insulated.

    With a bit I thought, she could stay warm and heat her home economically.

    • Pete George

      I can vouch for it getting cold in Dunedin, not just in the winter. But it’s not always simple or cheap.

      Last year I used the subsidy to get insulation installed – they topped up some skinny batts in the ceiling, and put batts underfloor, but they could only do about 2/3 due to height limits (Health and Safety, 450mm). It improved things a bit but not a lot, and the house still tool quite a bit to keep warm (with a modern wood fire and new heat pump). That’s all that could officially be done.

      Last weekend I crawled through half of the remaining underfloor installing polyester (holds in place better than batts). Hard work, but it has substantially improved the heat retention, much better result than the major work last year.

      I’ll try and scrape dirt channels to do some of the remaining, but it wouldn’t normally be done for a state house.

      Curtains are a major – in winter it’s easier to hold the heat at night with curtains closed than during the day with them open. And decent curtains can be expensive.

      • Euan Rt

        I know it is getting a bit off the thread Pete, but you are right about curtains. I replaced my lounge curtains last week with a better colour match for my room. But I put the old ones (Sandersons) back up 3 days later as the new ones were no where near as well insulated and you could feel the cold draught coming through them. The new ones were lined as seem just as heavy, but obviously not thermal curtains. I was surprised at the difference.

      • Dave

        Pete.    My reply is about what she can do to keep it warm.   There is a lot can be done, but it is cost and practicality that makes full intervention difficult.   450mm is the safe working limit for installing insulation under house, and drains, ducts often get in the way.   Items such as complete underfloor and ceiling insulation, draught stops under doors, and checking all windows for air leaks.  Best to also remove any Downlights, re insulate and patch the gib then put fixed lights in their place as they drain ALL heat through them, an cannot be covered with insulation (fire risk).   Halogen down lights are designed to funnel the cool air in a room over them, as they can get up to 600 deg c, so your warm air acts as a coolant for them.   check this by getting in your ceiling one cool night and hold your hand over them, quite a warm draught.

        Add a vapour barrier underfloor also works wonders, it stops the damp rising.Euan and Pete.   Suggest you put NEW curtain tracks up just inside the old ones, and put the new curtains over the old ones, doubling the curtain area is a fantastic way to improve insulation values, and very cheap.   Tack the edges together for better open close.      On south facing walls, put curtains the entire length of the wall, it helps stop heat loss. 

    • GUest

       Housing Corp do not supply curtains for state houses.

  • Kthxbai

    It’s always worth having a careful look at the photographs accompanying sob stories – it’s the photographer’s way of saying the story is full of rubbish.

  • Jakjakrabbitzyaknow

    Quite often you see bogans getting take out food, smoking cigs, drinking piss and sitting there in a  frozen house with a beanie on and a hoodie. lol, just bogans with munted priorities

  • Gazzaw

    Oops posted in wrong place

  • guest

    for goodness sake can’t she buy a heater like the rest of us or get a relative to buy one for her, why does her landlord have to buy her one? this pity me stuff has got to stop and seriously going to the press because youre landlord took away your only option for heating this winter. you can go to to the warehouse also and buy one.

    • Euan Rt

      Did you read the story link? She has borrowed heaters while she waits for the promised new fire to be fitted. The old one has been removed and she was left with a hole in the wall and all her warmed air going up the chimney. I am absolutely sure you would not tolerate a tradesman removing your old burner and then not replace it for over a month leaving a hole in your wall losing your heat. It is not about her feelings of entitlement for something she doesn’t deserve. The story is about treating state house tenants worse than you would expect to be fair for yourself. She doesn’t need a heater, she needs the bloody cold draught plugged and some consideration as to when she can expect to be back to normal. As I explained above, this is not the story to use to bash the undeserving. As a landlord, I will never treat my tenants like this. It is not on.

      • Dave

        Euan.   I was involved in the trade and had a branch in Dunedin.  I made a call to my ex branch manager in Dunedin.   There is more then meets the eye to this story.   I am informed, they did fit a chimney plug, and the hold up is for adaptor parts, beyond anyones control.    I also understand she has been offered temporary heaters and assistance, but finds it easier to make the news.

        Besides, a few newspapers and an old towel stuffed up the chimney duct (its only 150 ~ 200mm dia) would fix the draught if they indeed left one.

        Housing NZ is normally pretty good with maintenance, and very hard on their contractors to perform.   All of their work requires quality certification from the contractor, and they have a high percentage of jobs independently audited as well.

      • Euan Rt

        Let’s take what you have been told at face value. Was she then kept in the loop as to expected time lines to completion? As it seems to me that she acted out of frustration. Who was responsible for relating to her and keeping her up to date with progress? It seems that she has been the one who has been making all the attempts at communication. I can only go on what is before me having no inside knowledge. But I am concerned that we are sometimes too quick to judge in a situation, where their may be very legitimate reasons for her situation. e.g. She may have lost a husband, the familys’ breadwinner last year, bank foreclosed on house and kicked her out with baby – just saying; who knows. Maybe the bottle collection (which look like empties to me) was her dead husbands? Again who knows. Too easy to be judge, jury and executioner from the comfort of my warm house in Auckland.

      • guest

        Euan I did indeed read the story link and think its crap. My aunty who has been living in a state house for lets see 20 years in Meadowbank and is a schoolteacher (studies funded by taxpayer because she was a solo mum 20 years ago) always had the maintenance men around fixing things, housing NZ are very good at looking after their tenants even when they have been on the piss take for so long, still from my experience these types are never happy and are always looking for handouts even when you hand them everything they need on a silver platter.

      • Guest

         IN winter you could spend easily $100 a month more for electric heating for just one person in one room.

      • Guest

        Housing corp is a bunch of jumped up bureacrats who can be horrible to deal with.

  • ConwayCaptain

    In the NZH this week was a sob story about a family.  Dad from Tuvalu on a work permit.  Mum from Samoa or Tonga and SIX kids.

    Going on about their problems.

    Solution to these families is either go on the pill or close yr legs and shove a bung in it.

    • Gazzaw

      …..or go home.

      Strange we never get any whingeing from our immigrants from the Phillipines, Vietnam, China etc.

    • guest

      or go home

  • AnonWgtn

    Another solo mother for whom we have to feel sorry – aah
    Got a state house though.

  • Johnbronkhorst

    So, she can’t afford heating huh??? How about she puts a few of those bottles of booze (that you can see in the mirror above the fire place) on trade me. I count about 43.

  • Why people court publicity to have a go at a third party for purely their own benefit is beyond me. Other than that I can’t draw many other conclusions about the subject’s character. That particular brand of Crazy stares back at me from the mirror some days. 
    However the reporter/repeater is a cock, if not purely for using the condescending phrase “little family”, then for the comments re bronchitis and bronchiolitis. They are unrelated illnesses.Bronchitis affects the bronchi and bronchiolitis affects the bronchioles and is purely caused by the RSV virus not, “Santa Fucked Off With My Chimney”, Syndrome.

    • Guest

      Pretty sure bronchiolitis is exacerbated by cold air.  At least it was when I did my rotation through paediatrics.

    • Cadwallader

      Agree! I was wondering whether she was paid for standing there looking abjectly hard-done-by! If she was paid, where’s the money?  At the local bottle-shop?


    Media=60% truth(if lucky)+20% or thereabouts bullshit + 20% staging photos =sad boohoo story regards hard done by people.Sorry but if you can bet,smoke,and drink booze,and cant find money for your family/heating/food there is something wrong,and its not anyone else’s fault.this is a general rant,and not directly aimed at her.

  • Guest

    “Cold”, buy a fucking heater then you silly bint.  Or shall I come round and provide more helpful advice – like priorities more important than an impressive collection of empty dooze bottles.  Jesus wept, where does the media find these fucking stupid people?

  • Stupid poor people.  She should get a job rather than whinging about broken promises.

    • Gazzaw

      You’re great at generalisations JC. What broken promises?

  • FoodTechie

    I second Kthxbai’s comment., I sometimes wonder if the journalists are taking the piss (sorry, couldn’t resist the pun) out of the subjects of their stories, so often there are clues in the story and photographs that suggest a significant amount of misdirection.