Pimping the Poor again

David Farrar takes apart the “decent journalists, trained and skilled” at the Herald on Sunday for their rehashing of a Jacinda Ardern snow job.

But also, once again we have media pimping the poor to prove their story.

Steph Gray firmly believes there is no job to fit her circumstances.

The Wainuiomata mum of one has applied for 20 jobs in the past two months and has had no luck. She’s registered with Winz but no opportunities have come from there either.

Gray has been solo with her son Malachi since her marriage collapsed three years ago.

“My son was 5 at the time and the marriage broke up just as my son started school.”

Malachi was diagnosed with epilepsy two years ago.

“I get $530 a week and that covers rent, power, phone, food, doctors, insurance, school fees – and petrol. When you have a child with epilepsy, a car is not a luxury, it is a necessity.” 

It costs $36 every time her boy goes to the doctor and medication costs about $6 a day.

Gray gets her benefit each week and has weekly costs of $440. She budgets for $90 to cover food and petrol.

“There have been weeks I haven’t been able to eat. I go without and my son eats.”

She said she would prefer work hours around school times.

“John Key says there are jobs out there but I want to know where they are.”

She doesn’t look like she has dodged very many meals…in the words of Scribe…not many, if any. Why does the media insist on publishing photos of fatties who claim they are starving on the benefit.?


But her attitude to work is astonishing…she doesn’t want any job, just ones that suit her circumstances and she appears to not want to compromise…it is her way or the highway…and her way is the bludgers way.


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  • unsol

    “She doesn’t look like she has dodged very many meals…in the words of Scribe…not many, if any. Why does the media insist on publishing photos of fatties who claim they are starving on the benefit.?”

    I KNOW!!!!! She has missed meals? What complete & utter crap.

    • Mr_Blobby

      Yes indead she looks like she could miss a more meals.

  • Agent BallSack

    Of course its Paula Bennets fault that welfare indoctrinated people (under Labour) are at an all time high. Of course the first people to scream about any policies designed to decrease these statistics are wait for it…THE LEFT.

    • The same paper will run two kinds of stories that are diametrically opposed:

      1) Bad Paula Bennett for being so hard on bennies!

      2) Bad Paula Bennett for letting the bennie numbers blow out!

      Conclusion: Bad Paula Bennett, no matter what she does.

  • Many working people are struggling to support and raise their own families, let alone simultaneously pay for the support of Ms Gray and her family.

    She should be damn grateful for what she gets.

    • Yay! We agree on something! :)

    • Jonathan P

      You want to live in this society, you pay your taxes knowing where they go, you don’t like it, I’m sure there are other countries that will suit your needs.
      Yeah beneficiaries should be pleased that they are getting assistance but they shouldn’t have to sit in the mud or keep their traps shut because they are receiving that assistance. Again, no one actually knows her story but because shes a “BENEFICIARY” shes as good as the devil and is treated so. Its a great sign of how a society is by how it looks after its poor, if many people had their way we’d have shit society like india where a few pricks are rich as sin and everyone else can go to hell. Theres a country for ya.

      • unsol

        I agree with your first statement & of course benes should be able to express an opinion.

        But the problem with this lady is that she is quite clearly very fat yet claims she has gone without food. Making such a claim when you are clearly not lacking in calories will always result in scorn.

        And 3 years on & still no job – absolute horseshit. She is taking the piss out of those who work their asses off to pay the taxes that allow her to sit on her laurels.

        I know many people who have been made redundant over the past few years – some skilled, some not but all are great people with fantastic work ethics & character references. The most any of them were out of work was 6 weeks….which is the WINZ stand-down for many people earning a decent wage.

        • She is talking the piss because she states that none of the jobs suit HER!

          • cruiseyman

            In fact the point of the story seems to be not that she wants a job, she just really wants more money. Nowhere in the story does she state that she is really wanting to work.

      • Goldie

        But Jonathan – why should people who work hard and pay taxes support a woman who has only spent two months looking for work and who has a deadbeat Dad who won’t do his job as a father and provide for his children?
        Read the article – the appalling thing about this story is that there is Deadbeat Dad who is failing to support a disabled son – of course, that would require journalism from someone “decent, trained and skilled”, and you won’t see any of those in the Herald on Sunday.

        • Jonathan P

          Why should people work hard and pay taxes that then get used to bail out bad businesses and failed or mislead investors? Because its a part of our society and price we pay to live in it. Instead of slamming the mother (she may or may not deserve it, again no real background from “decent trained and skilled” reporters) look at why the father has jumped ship and isn’t living up to his obligations.

          • Pissedoffyouth

            They shouldn’t – bailing out badly run companies is a retarded idea really, nobody should be too big to fail.

          • Jonathan P

            But when it happens no one is out in the streets up in arms, it just happens silently often at the instigation of the government, yet when the government bring out a new policy for beneficiaries that raises their income people are ready to riot and when they take away from them people go into fits of joy, they almost seem to get great enjoyment from the further downfall of beneficiaries.

          • Pissedoffyouth

            That’s because most businesses are taxpayers, while bene’s are tax leechers.

          • Jonathan P

            And for those working (obviously not this womans situation) who are tax payers who then go on to receive assistance, do they get a break or are they just labeled as bums and thrown in with the lot. And I wouldn’t say all businesses are out and out tax payers, they do everything they legally can to pay as little tax as possible leaching back what they can where they can. But yes they do pay (yes I am pedantic about the details-or at least try to be)

          • They shouldn’t, take South Canterbury Finance…that should have been allowed to fail

          • Macca

            South Canterbury WOULD have been allowed to fail had Liebour not come up with yet another of their ‘Buy a Vote Policies’ which National had to honor yet the left conveniently forget! Thanks again Cullen!

      • Mostly_Harmless

        So if you want to live in this country, you’re not allowed to question taxation and government spending here … interesting argument.

        • Jonathan P

          Ofcourse your allowed to question it but we all kow we have to pay it, its been this way for how long.

          • Mostly_Harmless

            It’s been this way for a long time, so it should continue – is that really your argument?

    • Agent BallSack


    • unsol

      “Many working people are struggling to support and raise their own families, let alone simultaneously pay for the support of Ms Gray and her family”

      A complete misnomer: those who are paying the taxes that support Ms Gray are not struggling. They are nett taxpayers earning more than $120k…..and no that does not include public servants.

      Struggling families are feeding off the taxpayer’s tit via WFF & where many are concerned, if they had planned for their children & saw them as a privilege, not a right and/or held off on having the latest, smartest, shiniest of everything then they wouldnt be struggling.

      Anyone who finds the cost of one child a shock and then goes on to have more is an idiot. Just like those who buy a house or accumulate debt (such as interest free deals where they dont actually have the savings to begin with) based on best case scenario income are fools.

      Gareth Morgan – before he went all weird used to call such people turkeys. And he was right.

      • I am a net taxpayer and I’m not earning anywhere near that much; it is a struggle and I have very little sympathy for people who get benefits and moan about it!

        • unsol

          Fair enough & no one can stand an uncommitted complainer!

          By net taxpayer I am meaning the top 13% of taxpayers (which also excludes the rich pricks that hide their money in family trusts etc) that fund over 70% of all taxes collected & benefits paid. Up to 90% if you include Super. If you are not in the top tier I am not sure you would be paying enough in taxes to fund your $15k per year for 20 years (average life span of someone post retirement).

  • Jonathan P

    So we look at the bludgers and the left but don’t ask any questions of the actual people in charge of these departments why the figures are so high? Seems like pretty sound logic to me right?

    And while its not ideal why can’t she seek hours during school work so that she can work without having to worry or fork over the exorbitant rates for childcare?
    Of course some will say “don’t have the bloody kid in the first place” but do they know her story? For all we know she could be a divorcee placed in this position to raise a child on her own, but hey lets not let that stop us from feeling better about ourselves and slagging her off and flinging shit at her.
    And then people crack out with the fat jokes. Oh how righteous of you all.lol

    • When people allow themselves to be put in the media up as a case study of a certain problem, then they become subject to scrutiny. Someone who claims to find it difficult to put food on the table but is morbidly obese (a medical term, not a sledge), is fair game to have her weight pointed out to her.

      • Jonathan P

        Ill give you that (appreciate the way you worded it, yes pedantic on my part). But as is always the case with the media (ALL FACETS) they sensationalize the story, they highlight her plight as a beneficiary but do they provide much background to how she got there, why she is still here etc? No they leave that up to the reader and all to often readers jump to the conclusion that ALL beneficiaries are lazy sods (some are which is blaringly obvious).
        Its emotional media, made to either make people feel sorry for her plight or angry at her, never mind facts and the like. Ive just turned this into a slam against media, sorry.

        • Salacious T Crumb

          JP, the issue that most readers of this site have is that the media always portrays the most negative slant possible. Recently it was headlines around the “50% of boot camp kids reoffend” in relation to the military style training for repeat youth offenders. What about the 50% of these messed up kids who didn’t reoffend and may have found a bit of direction? The media in this country really do a piss poor job.

          • Jonathan P

            The media do, NZ seems to be geared towards apathy for failures as opposed to championing and congratulating the positives. Sadly people seem to get more active over negative news. Beneficiaries is a prime example.

      • Rockfield

        Well said Petal.

      • Jack The Ladd

        I Agee entirely as its somewhat obvious there are not too many salads gone into that shit locker.

    • Pissedoffyouth

      The media didn’t just stumble across her while at Pak n Save, Jon.

      • Dave

        Probably the local takeaway, but possibly at the scone table at a local Liebour party meeting.

        • Mr_Blobby

          Would you believe the smorgasbord.

  • J.M

    What gets me is the sense of entitlement. Taxpayers generously fund her entire life, and rather than say thanks she decides to have a moan about it all.

    • Jonathan P

      Sit down and shut up peasant right?

      • Cadwallader

        What right do you have to label J.M. a peasant and to order he/she to sit down? Are you a leftie school teacher? I noted earlier today how the left descend to ad-hominem assaults in preference to debating. Here we go again!

        • Jonathan P

          No you misunderstood me, I was suggesting that to please him the peasants (beneficiaries) should sit down. I was not labelling him a peasant. So You misunderstand me and try and insult me by suggesting I’m a “leftie school teacher” When you defend someone who you feel is being insulted is it really a good thing to then try and insult the other person?

          • J.M

            What she is effectively saying is give me more when we as taxpayers already give her plenty. I’m sure she has a shit life, but that’s not really anyone else’s problem.

          • Cadwallader

            I posed a question te leftie school teacher. Even at your most strident you’d concede the directive to :Sit Down is resonant of a school teacher’s utterances.

          • Mostly_Harmless

            Jonathan wasn’t telling J.M. to sit down and shut up – he was trying to make J.M. look bad by attributing those words to J.M. In other words, he was using the good old straw man argument – a favourite of those who don’t have a reasoned argument.

          • Mostly_Harmless

            She has every right to say what she likes – but by the same token, we have every right to criticise what she says.

  • Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

    Jacaranda Garden is so kind and wants to help beneficiaries who are being fleeced under the dictatorship of Naked Emperor and Paula Benefit Bennet. What is wrong with you guys? Where is your sense of social justice?

    • She’s not helping beneficiaries. She’s helping the Herald on Sunday write hit pieces.

      • Mr Sackunkrak

        These items are not newsworthy let alone “hit pieces”, they are electioneering. I don’t regard some fat girl’s pharmacy costs as news. Sorry.

  • Auto_Immune

    To be sure, she is using a High Use Health Card/Pharm Subsidy card/Special Authority subsidy and the medication costs are still $6 a day? I appreciate some good medications are not subsided by the government, but this leaves me incredulous.

  • GregM

    Take home pay of $530 per week? I know a lot of single working people ( no WFF etc ) earning less than that. She’s looking for a job ? Tui billboard.

  • cruiseyman

    This seems far too obvious to have to even point out but don’t employers have the right to employ the person that is best suited to the job? Without wanting to cast aspersions, of the 20 jobs Ms Gray has applied for, perhaps she didn’t interview well or her she seemed reluctant to show some flexibility around work hours. I’ve seen it plenty of times, people saying they’re keen to work and that they’ve been looking for ages and don’t know why they aren’t getting hired and it’s entirley their own doing by how they present themselves or come across in an interview. Just because we’re looking for staff and they’re looking for a job it doesn’t mean it’s a match made in heaven. There’s far more to it than that.

  • Dave

    This kind of post pisses me off. 1) the state is not responsible for supporting her, what would happen if there was NO benefit. 2) a brief check on trade me reveals 147 jobs under 40K in the Lower Hutt region, and if she was prepared to do anything, I can guarantee there are many more. 3) Where are her family to support her and her child.

    I ran our Lower Hutt branch for 11 months in 2010 commuting there for 4 days a week, and we struggled to get staff to do the basic work, to run the call centre (10 staff) and to clean. I find it hard to believe there is nothing she can get, if she is prepared to roll her sleeves up and WORK there are jobs out there. I know there are MANY admin & call centre jobs in the evening / night perhaps she should try one of those and get friends / relatives or her childs father to look after the child while she works. Another option would be cleaning, hospitals, schools, banks etc is mostly done at NIGHT.

    Note to Kirsty Wynn: Perhaps you can make a few calls and get her a job with your employer, or one of your contacts, no doubt you believe she is a skilled and talented individual prepared to work hard since you wrote a nice story about her. Come on Kirsty, put your reputation on the line for her. Suggest you also call your mate Jacinda to see if some of her contacts have any openings (employment that is).

  • When a certain insurance company shafted us I was running my online business full time. It was not at the stage where it could support our family financially so I had to find a full time job and FAST. There were no jobs for High School teachers and when I inquired online about taking a re training course as I had been out of it for 14 years they didn’t even bother to reply to my e-mails. I realised that a well paid position with great holidays was no longer an option for me. My first step was to invest a couple of hundred dollars to have my C.V professionally put together.I had been out of the work force so long that I needed my transferable skills to be highlighted and the woman who wrote it for me did a fantastic job. I then made a goal to apply for at least 5 jobs a week. I wasn’t fussy. I applied for jobs as a Dental assistant, a parking ticket warden, phone operator/ assistant pretty much anything that I had the skills for that paid more than 30K. ( I would be earning 70K if I was back teaching at a High School ) I got only one interview after 3 weeks of looking. I researched the company and also rang up to ask as many questions as I could before the interview. They had 40 applicants and I was one of 4 on the short list. I was interviewed by two people. Three years later I am still working in Alternative Education. It is not my dream job. In fact the first year was more like a nightmare. However I did what I had to do to put food on the table while my husband was still unwell. Funnily enough I now get quite a bit of satisfaction from my job. I will never teach at a High School again. These kids have changed me. I cannot go back to mainstream. I am no longer a mainstream person.

  • Michael

    Amazing, she gets $530 for doing nothing. My wife has a bachelor’s in business, post grade in accounting and is a CA, she is bringing home a bit over $600 per week.

    Fuck off with your “poor me” bollocks. We should used a piece of 4×2 to meet every hand that flops out like this.

    • Cadwallader

      Yes, you do bring perspective to this entitilitis bludging. The only hesitation I have here is why isn’t her sperm donor chipping in either in time or $$$$?

    • Callum

      How many hours does she work for that? That is bloody low.

      • Michael

        40 per week, yes it’s low, but it’s a CA firm. You don’t get the $$ until you are a partner. Accountants are tight ;) Long term view.

        Which is something the left doesn’t have, long term views. The left “solve” the now with non-sustainable solutions (taxing middle class and borrowing) rather than thinking long term.

        • Callum

          Grads get paid more than that, That just does not add up for a CA. I got more than that 10 years ago (in a very regional area) so she is doing something wrong.

          • Michael

            Pitty there is no private message function since this is getting off topic, she isn’t doing anything wrong. We also don’t live in Auckland. Senior BAS don’t get paid squat. Most other BAS peeps in her company (one of those top 6.. BDO/KPMG/PWC etc) are on much less than her. Grads at this company are paid a smell above min wage.

          • Callum

            I don’t live in Auckland or even anywhere close. We are below other locals for grad pay as we have better training but still better than what you are claiming is the rate for qualified staff. I wouldn’t get out of bed for that, unless it was 20 hours a week.

  • Everyone talks about leaving a better planet for our kids. Let’s try leaving better kids for our planet

  • Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

    Read this list – courtesy Labour party servant Mathew Hooten. I am already feeling very sick.

    1. David Shearer: Prime Minister, SIS, Science

    2. Russel Norman (Green): Deputy Prime Minister, Economic Development, Environment

    3. Grant Robertson: Tertiary Education, Employment, Arts, Leader of the House

    4. David Parker: Finance, Attorney-General, Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations

    5. Jacinda Ardern: Social Development, Children, Early Childhood Education

    6. Metiria Turei (Green): Maori Development, Women’s Affairs, Conservation

    7. Clayton Cosgrove: Canterbury Earthquake Authority, Police, Corrections

    8. Annette King: Health

    9. Shane Jones: Regional Development, Local Government, Forestry, Fisheries, Racing

    10. Phil Twyford: Housing, Transport, Auckland Issues

    11. Kevin Hague (Green): ACC

    12. Chris Hipkins: Education

    13. David Clark: SOEs, Commerce, Revenue, Small Business, Inter-Faith Dialogue

    14. Phil Goff: Foreign Affairs, Defence, State Services, Pacific Island Affairs

    15. Darien Fenton: Labour, Immigration, Internal Affairs

    16. Gareth Hughes (Green): Climate Change, Youth Affairs, Sport, Civil Defence

    17. Damien O’Connor: Primary Industries, Energy & Resources

    18. Clare Curran: Communications, Broadcasting

    19. Andrew Little: Justice, Tourism, Building & Construction

    20. Mojo Mathers (Green): Disability Issues, Disarmament, Food Safety, Customs

    • Cadwallader

      Norman and Economic Development? THAT’s an oxymoron!

      • fozzie2

        Probably do way better that this crowd -still waiting for Johnny’s cycleways to bring thousands of jobs promised and save the nation !!

        • Cadwallader

          THe NZ economy is just fine. I assure you and those who can’t be bothered.

  • Gone without food?

    What a bunch of Malachi