It is all the fault of the meter

Simon Collins has continued to pimp the poor in the Herald today. This time it is a bludger with 12 children complaining that the reason his kids are sick is because he uses a particular power meter:

A survey of 324 households on prepaid meters by Otago University public health researchers has found that 51 per cent of those with children allowed their power to go off at least once in the past year because they could not afford to top up the meters.

Almost three-quarters (70.5 per cent) said they shivered inside at least once last winter as a result.

Papakura solo dad Abraham Tangiwai, a father of 12 who has six living with him, said his youngest, Doris, 8 and Troy, 4, had had more colds each winter since he went on to Mercury Energy’s Glo-bug prepaid meter system after receiving a shock $900 power bill four years ago.

“We run out of power just about every week. Sometimes we spend a whole day or two days without power if it cuts out on a Friday or Saturday because you have to pay $5 to reconnect at the weekend.”

He said the family never used heaters, to save costs, and he usually cooked outside on the barbecue rather than use electricity. The children “find it hard”.

“Doris has had four colds this winter. She’s been off school for three or four days, sometimes all week,” he said. “She doesn’t like being outside in the winter having a feed.”

An older daughter, aged 16, has had rheumatic fever.

Perhaps if he stopped fathering children without the ability to pay for them his problem would go away. Don;t you just love these people who blame everyone but themselves for their impoverished state.


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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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