An indictment on society

NZ Herald

Our society is ill…and unfortunately there is no one to administer some medicine.

A growing minority of women who go on the DPB keep on having more children and receiving more money while on the benefit. The numbers of babies born to women already on the DPB have trended upwards from 3300 in 1997 to 4800 in 2010, when they made up 7.5 per cent of all babies born in New Zealand that year.

The Government says 29 per cent of women on the DPB last November had included new babies in their existing benefits at least once since 1993. Three-fifths (59 per cent) of the women who had new babies on the DPB last year were Maori, although Maori made up only 22 per cent of all women who gave birth in the year to March.

Melanie Hoto, 33, worked in a lunch bar on the North Shore and then at a fish market in Tauranga but eventually ended up on the DPB.

“I came back to Auckland and lost interest [in work]. It was so hard trying to find work. I even applied to work here at McDonald’s,” she says over a hot chocolate at McDonald’s in Glen Innes.

“In the end I fell pregnant with my daughter and I thought, ‘I get a good amount of money on the benefit, why bother working?”‘

Her partner “was never in the picture”.

“It was a one-night stand,” she says. “He’s in jail now for robbing a shop. He was into drugs – a lot of people are into it, it’s easy cash.”

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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.  And 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 that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

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