What on earth is welfare for, If not for feeding kids?

Once again the parties of the left, aided by their plants in the civil service are calling for poor kids to be fed at school.

Every day thousands of Kiwi kids go to school hungry or without lunch.

They are more likely to fail in school, to have poor health and to feel ashamed. Some of our considerable additional investment in children in low- decile schools is wasted because they can’t concentrate on learning. We are all affected by the additional costs of future low productivity and welfare dependency.

The expert advisory group on solutions to child poverty report I released in December last year recommended implementing a targeted food in schools programme to support children to learn and succeed. 

Since publishing the report we’ve been talking to schools and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) providing food in schools programmes and we have learnt more about how they work and what effective programmes look like. There are many reasons why children go to school hungry, all of which paediatricians, teachers and social workers see regularly.

Poverty, high rental costs, acute and chronic debt, parental mental and physical illness, intellectual disability, domestic violence, lack of shopping and cooking skills, and lack of support all play a role.

All very well, but he misses the point that welfare was supposed to alleviate all of that. The state is already providing money to parents, ostensibly to care for their children, including feeding them. Now all of a sudden it seems to the role of the state to feed children.

Will there be a corresponding drop in welfare payments for the value of the food the state will now be feeding their children with? There should be.

We have a welfare state for a reason…to provide for those in need. Unfortunately what the welfare state has created is a nation of bludgers unable to even feed their own children. And so welfare extends and the pool of contributors who are taxed gets smaller and smaller.

The real problem is that too many Kiwis think the government is their defacto parent and are happy to give up responsibility for their own lives in exchange for a bribe.

The problem isn’t that kids need feeding, the problem is that some parents are just plain shit at their job and no amount of food in schools or extra welfare is going to address the issue that they are shit parents.

 


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  • rockape

    Agree in general but if we clearly see the need for kids to be fed, the benefits of that, long and short term, then surely failing to feed your kids is Child Abuse. If I didnt feed my dogs the spca would be all over me, so why are parents of kids ,identified as going hungry not being reported. I suppose confidentiality and their feelings are more important than the kids.

    • Davidw

      I threw up the challenge a couple of weeks ago for the proponents of this scheme to supply evidence that feeding kids will improve education outcomes – so far I have seen nothing to support the thesis.

      Certainly the performance of the English education system where school feeding has been going on since 1907 or thereabouts offers no solid evidence.

      By all means deal with “children not getting fed” but don’t try and hide it behind mealy mouth platitudes that appeal to the emotions but don’t have anything other than anecdotes to support them. How do we know that it is purely a teacher driven ploy to make children more meekly compliant and better behaved?

      • You threw up? So did I, a little, when I figured ‘but parents must feed kids’. Although I spose that sort of thing only happens in rightyland, as opposed to leftyland.

      • Gazzaw

        Yeah right David – just what teachers need is to supervise their pupils eating to make sure that they become meekly compliant and better behaved. How’s that supposed to work?
        Dickens-style maybe.
        “Please sir can I have some more?”.

        “No,fuck off and do some more NZEI protest placards first”.

        School lunches have been a well established tradition in the UK for the simple cultural reason that lunch was and to some extent still is the main meal of the day for many families and in order to provide sufficiently for that main meal in the UK climate you can’t get away with handing out a couple of sandwiches and a an apple.

        By the way I’m no bleeding heart socialist. If this was to be legislated then I would expect the costs to be deducted from their benefit or WFF.

        • Davidw

          Gazzaw, you actually prove my point which was that we have no evidence of the efficacy of feeding kids in schools and nor do we have any evidence of the motives behind the proponents of the proposal. I freely admit that I don’t know and threw in the compliant kids option purely as an example of the lack of hard information around the whole subject. Thanks for biting the baited hook.

          • Gazzaw

            Pleased that you responded in kind David. Of course there will be specialist staff required – parents will demand that food for their kids is prepared and served by fully qualified staff. Not only will the food have to be nutritionally planned and approved by the food police, it will have to be consumed in a fully hygienic area ie cafeteria and all allergy concerns taken care of. This scheme will cost tens of millions alone in terms of infrastructure, staff and administration – never mind the tucker.

          • Dave

            Hmmm Gazzaw, just as we have nationalized food preparation in Hospitals, perhaps they can tack on the contract to feed every school child in NZ and CANCEL all domestic benefits at the same point. Think of all the jobs that would create. Whilst there, the Schools could also house the kids, relieving their parents of that arduous responsibility as well. I wonder which sector of the community would BENEFIT the most ??

        • Davidw

          BTW how long do you think it would be before we have dedicated staff to prepare and supervise school meals thus releiving teachers of this non-curricular and burdensome activity?

        • Dave

          Yes Gazzaw, next the leftie unions will want teachers paid more to add “Catering Manager” to their credentials. Teachers Teach, parents need to learn to parent. Simple.

          • Gazzaw

            More likely to be parental demands re food preparation etc than the leftie unions. Total professionalism with food handling is a prerequisite given hygiene and allergy concerns.

        • Davidw
    • unsol

      I wonder why they are not being charged with child abuse & neglect too – the way I see it the parent (loose term – I really mean egg & sperm donors as they are not parents as fail to acknowledge it is more than a title, it is a verb) every child who sleeps on a urine stained mattress (often shared with others) & has no shoes or a good coat & goes to school hungry should be charged & prosecuted to the full extend of the law & unless can demonstrate they accept full responsibility for their own children, de-sexed so that they can’t bring any more into the world.

      Children are a privilege not a given right.

      • Agent BallSack

        No Unsol, children are a way to pay for shit that you wouldnt get money for any other way. Drugs, Piss, Sky, Gambling, V8 cars for the parents, and smack in the mouth for the children if they stick their head above the firing line.

        • unsol

          By default not necessarily always through active choice – young girls (predominately maori who are 5 times more likely to get pregnant than non maori) seem to have romantic notions about being young mums. And this is exacerbated by the likes of Tariana Turia who seems to think that all young mums have the support of loving supportive extended whanau which in reality seems to only be true when the child is dead & they are at its tangi (think Nia Glassie & the loving family that came out & put toys on her grave).

          I saw a thing on Hollyfield house on Sunday a few weeks back & one 19 year old Maori girl had had several miscarriages before finally carrying a baby to full term. She was there because she had been abused & was a mental case. She seemed to think that the baby would help overcome this stuff, but of course it didn’t as motherhood can be very stressful – something young people are rarely equipped to handle. So the baby got taken off her in the end.

          In terms of the v8 – those old big cars are really cheap to buy so I would imagine that would be part of the reason why some low income families have gas guzzling cars. That and the fact that they think it makes them look cool (like having a pitbull etc).

          • Dave

            I agree, but to fix this, the answer is PARENTING, and teaching responsibility. Something that is so sadly lacking in that cultural group you mention. We can provide handouts, welfare etc to try and put patches over the situation today, but the real art is fixing it for the next generation. The constant handouts and welfare mentality of the majority of that that culture (and more of a minority in other cultures is staggering.

      • Hazards001

        “Children are a privilege not a given right.”

        Well as a supporter of gay marriage and the ability for gay couples to adopt I’d have to say I find this statement a bit rich coming from you?

        • unsol

          Is that a wind up? An irrelevant & ridiculous comment.

          Infertile couples – whether straight or gay – understand this more than anyone – they have to jump through hoops & often go through many heartbreaks to have children.

          Further, as was well established in the ME debate, children have nothing to do with marriage; not all married couples or couples wanting to get married want to have children.

          So best to stick with the topic at hand aye!

          • Hazards001

            You can’t have it both ways. As with student loans. Like many on here you’re a conservative until something affects you. I’m a conservative even when the reality is most conservative and National if you like policies actually have a negative impact on me and people like me…and it’s EH not aye!

          • Hazards001

            You can’t have it both ways. As with student loans. Like many on here you’re a conservative until something affects you. I’m a conservative even when the reality is most conservative and National if you like policies actually have a negative impact on me and people like me…and it’s EH not aye!

  • In Vino Veritas

    I’m more of a fan of the opinion of the Press on this subject:

    “But the main difficulty with Harawira’s idea is that it tackles the issue from the wrong end. Hungry children in school are a just symptom of a root cause – inadequate, negligent parenting and decision-making.”

    Yep, that’d be right – the Dominion is proposing that the NZ taxpayer be responsible for negligent parenting.

    “The more dud parents become aware that their children will be fed if they fail to do so, the more they will be inclined to abdicate the responsibility.”

    “Given the level of State support for those with low incomes, or no income at all, there can be no valid excuse for any parent sending a child to school without breakfast and proper food for lunch.”
    And as Whale rightly says, these people are receiving enough already to pay for breakfast for their kids. How much does a couple of pieces of toast and vegemarmite cost for crying out loud?

    • Harroputza

      The cost is not the issue; the issue is the stupid parenting. WINZ/WFF should not give money. It should pay power, water and rent directly and send food boxes of vegetables and pasta and eggs to doorsteps.

      Want cigarettes? Want a pet? Want a TV? Want Sky? Want a beer? Want an iPhone? Go get a job. There’s plenty of entertainment that’s free: libraries, parks, beaches, playgrounds. You can have the luxuries that wealthy people have when you get a job and become a wealthy person.

      • SnapElection

        You can have the luxuries that wealthy people have

        No, you can’t. Because bludgers never ever deserve such things!

  • SnapElection

    We have a welfare state for a reason…to provide for those in need

    no we don’t. we have a welfare state for one simple reason – we have universal suffrage, so the 80-90% of Kiwis who don’t pay for anything can live off the back of the productive 10%.

    if the whole welfare system – which includes the dole, but is much much bigger: student loans. ACC, EQC, DPB, DHBs, gold cards, doctor subsidies, super, primary secondary tertiary education, and on and on – if that whole mess was abolished tomorrow, would NZ’s productivity or competitiveness be in any way lessened, now or in the future? of course not.

    which is why the only sensible course is to chop the lot now.

    • unsol

      Hmmm 2nd amendment or stupiddisqus back under another alias?

      I completely agree. Except for student loans. I don’t believe only rich people should become doctors, dentists etc yet if there was no student loan – banks would never lend at the same rates as it is unsecured – then that is what would happen. Tertiary courses – if you were to take away the govt subsidy (which I assume you are advocating) – cost anywhere between $18k-$54k p/a. Plus books & student fees etc.

      Further we live in a democracy not a dictatorship so the primary goal is to change the mindset of entitlement that most NZers – which would include many readers on here – so that they can see the benefit of adopting another system. Thus your comment is a whinge rather than a solution.

      Interesting you bring up ACC though. Are you an employee, employer or self-employed?

      • Muffin

        I get what you are saying re SL’s but the interest free status should only apply to coursess the country lacks skills in…… Not law or tribal star navigation.

      • SnapElection

        the primary goal is to change the mindset of entitlement

        No, it’s not. The primary goal is to end entitlements. Changing mindsets may be one way to that goal, but a government that just decided to do the right f**king thing and damn the consequences is much much more likely and equally effective.

        I mean: how do you persuade 80% of Kiwis to vote against their own interests?

        So: imagine if Ruth had known from the start she really had only one budget, not three! – and then imagine if say Stephen Joyce got cojones from somewhere. I dunno, perhaps a very precarious majority that meant they weren’t likely to be back (1 seat say) plus a global financial meltdown and a massive “natural disaster”.

        Hell if circumstances like that ever came together, they’d be simply incompetent not finally do the right thing!

        • Hazards001

          Imagine if your 80% of bludgers wanted revenge? You ever heard of revolution? I wonder if you dare spout your egotistical shit in front of your factory floor workers?

          • unsol

            :-)

          • Hazards001

            ^5’s & I see my troll has taken a day off…sigh…now I’m worried again…hope he’s OK…lmao oh and (^5) is a way of saying high five.

  • unsol

    “The real problem is that too many Kiwis think the government is their defacto parent and are happy to give up responsibility for their own lives in exchange for a bribe.

    The problem isn’t that kids need feeding, the problem is that some parents are just plain shit at their job and no amount of food in schools or extra welfare is going to address the issue that they are shit parents.”

    You won’t get a bigger “hear hear” than what you will get from me.

    The problem of course is that making such a statement changes nothing & in the meantime children are being made to suffer.

    So what should we do? The way some people talk it is like they would be happy to see children malnourished & go hungry just to make a point. But hungry kids don’t learn & they do grow up & cost us a lot more in the long term.

    If the welfare is not being directed to the children it is meant for then my solution is what it has always been:

    1)Scrap WFF cold turkey – family tax credit, in work tax credit, child care subsidy, accom supplement, parental tax credit etc

    2)Scrap any child portion from the main benefits

    3)Put remaining benefit – including sufficient income to cover average rent that the average person in NZ can be expected to pay – onto a payment card with direct debits set up for power, rent the bus card thing (smart something?) & phone line & one that bans cash withdrawals (except for emergencies signed off by the WINZ regional manager) & the purchase of ciggys, alcohol & gambling (including lotto)

    4)Extend & combine programs like Alan Duffy’s books in schools & kidscan whereby every parent who needs welfare for their child/ren will be guaranteed that their child/ren gets a new book, new pair of shoes, jackets, hat, sunscreen (per annum or per term depending on the need) & their meals (breakfast, lunch, early dinner plus small snacks) via their schools – this can be administered by the now out of work WFF case managers & child care co-ordinators (who work with the child care centres that are eligible for the child care subsidy most families get)

    5)Buy all benefit families a bed & bedding for each child, a bread maker so they can make their own bread (these pay for themselves in less than 2 months) & the plants to start a vege plot.

    6) as there will be money left over, build more statehousing flats – not super cheap rents, but realistic in market times (but not inner city prices)

    7)limit number of residents in each flat – if HNZ or landlords don’t follow this fine them $10k personally

    8) Continue to subsidise insulation & maybe also ventilation systems in every home – so as to reduce medical costs for all NZ children.

    Try something like this & I bet in less than 1 years time there will be no hungry kids or any kids with third world skin conditions.

    Also by removing all responsibility but basic rights of parents who choose to accept welfare it will sort the meat from the bones (e.g. you will find middle to high income families disappear of the welfare grid as they will see this stuff as beneath them).

    • Dave

      Unsol. Agree with most, but NOT ventilation, the insulation scheme has been a huge success since National revitalized it in 2009, but repeated tests have found dubious benefits in proprietary type ventilation systems. The best way to fix damp homes is with user ventilation and living habits, opening appropriate doors and windows, ensuring cooking fumes/steam is VENTED, heaters etc are flued, and importantly, a moisture barrier is installed under the home if damp. Lifestyle is one of the biggest contributor to damp homes, and Kiwis are not helping themselves.

      • unsol

        No I disagree. We live in cheap but high income area outside of Auckland – which is where you are from I suspect, that can be subject to a lot of moisture due to the way the housing is situated. We have always had ventilation systems on top of opening windows regularly & keeping the house clean. My we I mean me – I clean & air the house out! If we did not have our ventilation system the house would be dripping -insulation (we are fully insulated) actually contributes to moisture as it fills up all the gaps & holes. And this is despite being in a house that literally gets all day sun.

        So it is a bit of a damned if you do, damned if you don’t. In drier areas sure (Auckland region & Northland – which is where the bulk of welfare/abusive parents live in terms of starving kids), but most of the west coast, wellington (esp wainui, south karori, ngaio, wades town & wilton etc), parts of chch & further down south need something more than opening windows. Especially since many older houses are facing the wrong way & dont get the full benefit of the sun at the right times.

        Also, it is impractical to keep windows open if you are working (and we want people to work) as an open window is an invitation to opportunists.

        • Dave

          Sorry Unsol, that is one area i have a fair bit of expertise. Whilst there are poorly designed/sighted homes in NZ, the majority can be vastly improved by “user adjusted” Ventilation. A window opened SLIGHTLY before going to work, and closed just prior to dusk is ideal. Closing it is also possible with COMMUNITY, a neighbor etc. (the further south you go, the more common this is). Most proprietary ventilation systems cost over $3k for a 100 Sq/m home, and the benefits are not there. Far better to put in a vapour barrier under the house (approx $350) and USE extractor fans (vented to the outside) in the kitchen/bathroom and laundry. Smaller rooms are also easier to heat. The West coast does not suffer from damp as much as the Waikato and other low lying areas, sure its COLD on the Coast, but the wind ensures homes are ventillated. You have also highlighted the problem yourself, the closing of every gap in modern or renovated homes, sure they are less draughty, but this TRAPS the moisture in as well. We built our Auckland home to be reasonably ECO friendly, windows to catch the sun, heavily insulated cladding and walls, and LOW level vents in the windows that could be slightly opened to keep the home naturally ventilated. But no forced ventilation. As we had daughters who liked a long shower, i installed a door switch meaning as soon as the shower door was closed the fan went on for 15 minutes. This solve the bathroom ventilation. I also had a less than desirable basement area, so installed a fan to force air through to stop the area becoming to damp (only cost about $100). This is why the Government does NOT provide subsidies for forced ventilation systems. Far better ways to fix poor house design/orientation and user lifestyle.

          PS Unsol: I was in Auckland for the last few years, but now live in Aussie. The ventilation problems here are reversed, getting enough natural airflow to keep the house cool!

          • unsol

            No need to apologise!!

            My expertise lies in living in said homes – I have lived in insulated houses with no ventilation systems in area where the sun was average & the condensation was horrendous. I have been at home for 9 years, 7 in our current house & always open our house up yet it was only when we upgraded our ventilation system that the condensation disappeared.

            Same can be said for friends around my are who don’t get the lovely sun we get.

            So we shall have to agree to disagree – and boo you live in Aussie! Can’t imagine living anywhere but my beloved in NZ :-)

          • Dave

            Love NZ Unsol, still have some interests there, but couldnt take the risk of Liebour, and the countries huge and ongoing drain on resources, i’m talking about the unbelievable welfare state, and the entitlement state, the minority group that owns everything of value.

            PS: I have seen a vapour barrier installed with as little as 250mm clearance by crews using poles. The crying windows are a result of MOISTURE, vapor….. Try opening a window SLIGHTLY just prior to going to bed. 80% of the problem will dissapear.

          • unsol

            No need to apologise!!

            My expertise lies in living in said homes – I have lived in insulated houses with no ventilation systems in area where the sun was average & the condensation was horrendous. I have been at home for 9 years, 7 in our current house & always open our house up yet it was only when we upgraded our ventilation system that the condensation disappeared.

            Same can be said for friends around my are who don’t get the lovely sun we get.

            So we shall have to agree to disagree – and boo you live in Aussie! Can’t imagine living anywhere but my beloved in NZ :-)

    • Dr Wang

      Unsol: All homes already have ventilation systems – you just have to open a window (or is that even too complicated for some?)

  • Dave

    Perhaps it’s time our socialist teachers started doing the students they care so much for and dobbed in poor parents. A quick visit be the welfare office would probably reveal the obligatory empty beer cans sky TV decoder, empty pizza boxes and perhaps the odd needle or two. If the above are found, simply remove the kid from that environment and cease paying the parent any benefits.

    I am not in favour of feeding kids at school, it fixes the symptom and not the problem. Perhaps Hone could spend some of his time addressing the problem of parenting in the far north and other minority communities instead of advocating the state take over parental responsibility.

    Perhaps another idea is for welfare to be delivered differently Every family on a benefit receives 50% of their Bennie in healthy food delivered by the local supermarket, bread, milk, weetbix, fruit & veges!

    • Jonathan Pull

      Finally someone who can step aside from the bene bashing and offer a solution.
      The benefit isn’t so much a problem as is the way its administered.
      As you say, and as they are partially doing now making it only spendable on certain items forgoing the age old, feed the kids fuck all and the rest on piss, pokies and pot/smokes.

      • Dave

        That is only to fix the existing situation called ENTITLEMENT Jonathan, the real issue is removing the sense some have that the state is there to provide everything they need throughout their life.

        An example, Maori housing, a news article yesterday stating they wanted the STATE and local councils to help fix the disrepair of Maori housing in Northland. My answer, NO. As long as some bleeding heart socialist is there to say you poor thing and dish out more of us taxpayers earnings, they will always be bludgers. I suggest those wanting their houses fixed, start saving, grow their own food in their massive sections and learn to budget. If there is no work there, create it, or MOVE just like I had to.

        So, to fix the rest, we need to break the mould by educating every young person in NZ that the Government and welfare is a term of last century, from this point on you need to look after yourself. THe best example of that is our own PM, state house boy to multi millionaire, very impressive, if only a few could follow and at least earn their own living.

      • Agent BallSack

        You call it bene bashing but in reality its opening your eyes to whats actually happening in NZ. No one would call John Keys mother a useless solo mother and plenty out there have done it harder and succeeded. The people who are the problem have an entitlement mentality and you can call them any name you want but the core issue is that they are bad parents, mostly on benefits and with no motivation to change for the betterment of their kids. As soon as my daughter was born you can bet I cleaned my fucking act up and am trying to do my damn hardest to provide what she needs – a stable loving home, food on the table everynight and a larder you can look in and eat out of, and not find a ‘tick list’. Don’t make excuses for those who WILL NOT try.

    • Gotta say, at $4.90, pizza has become one of the cheapest extravagences you can have.

  • Apolonia

    This issue has been around for a while. It’s not the role of government to provide lunch,dinner or breakfast.

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1210/S00373/delinquent-parents-shouldnt-get-lunch.htm

  • Macca

    One of my best mates reckons when he was young, the 5 or 6 kids (all Maori and under 10), had to try and feed themselves with whatever they could find. Dinner would normally consist of bread – with maybe some jam on it if they were lucky. There was rarely enough money to feed the kids, but in his own words ‘Mum and Dad always had enough for piss and smokes!’
    I don’t know how you can go about starting to change this mindset of trying to get parents (of whatever race or creed), to actually LOVE their children enough to take care of them – but I know one thing for sure, having the state (taxpayers), feed their kids for them sure as fuck aint’ the answer!!!!!!!

    • Dave

      I’m sure they do love them Maccas, but between them either having the kids to get that welfare cash or just having that huge Kauri tree of ENTITLEMENT chip on their shoulder, the only way is Personal Responsibility, take the kids away and cancel all benefits! That alone should fix the northland economy as the drug dealers go broke.

  • cows4me

    So at what stage in this countries history will personal responsibility be back in vogue. The people calling for feeding children in schools are fucking apologists for a system that continues to cripple this joint. This scheme offers no end point and simply makes the problem self perpetuating. So we start feeding the unprivileged children, I wonder how many we shall have the following year. And why once again should those that feed and care for their children have to carry those that couldn’t give a flying fuck. Want to fix the problem?

    1) unemployment/ DPB/sickness benefit for one child only.

    2) Long term contraceptives for those on the benefit

    3) Food coupons that can only be used for food, no alcohol, no cigs.

    4) Regular drug testing for those on benefit, fail, no benefit

    Sure I understand there are some working that struggle but if we rein in the abuses maybe we can redirect resources to those really needing help.

    • unsol

      “Sure I understand there are some working that struggle”

      And why are they struggling? They have made choices to do things they simply cannot afford. Same sense of entitlement, just seems to be more accepted.

      But it is still wrong & needs to be addressed.

      Working families are very much part of the problem in NZ, not the solution as they are not living within their means.

      The average wage is enough for the average person to live on….not the average family!

      • cows4me

        Perhaps if so much wealth wasn’t taking from the system to prop up the system the average wage could be a great deal higher. We are like a dog trying to catch it’s tail.

        • unsol

          Yep real wages not matching the real cost of living are the next part of this debate for sure. But until this happens people need to accept they can’t always do & have what they want when they want it, if at all. It’s called budgeting & accepting your limitations rather than expecting others to pick up the tab

        • unsol

          Yep real wages not matching the real cost of living are the next part of this debate for sure. But until this happens people need to accept they can’t always do & have what they want when they want it, if at all. It’s called budgeting & accepting your limitations rather than expecting others to pick up the tab

    • Jonathan Pull

      While I agree with you in idea enacting those punishes the child more than it does the parents.
      Shit parents are going to be shit parents and I agree that throwing money at the situation won’t fix it but do we punish and condemn innocent children for being born to shit parents?

      • cows4me

        What choice do we have, if we continue to do what we do then why should we expect a different result?

        • Jonathan Pull

          I agree that there needs to be change but the lefty in me would happily see the parents do it hard but not the kids.
          I know its an oxymoron and not ideal but its just how I view it.
          Hell even if it could be done with a less detrimental effect on the kids.

          If the parents lose money and go off the rails who do children have as role models. And then if the kids get removed where do they go, who looks after them. Its a vicious cycle. Not all cases will end this way but its fair to assume some would.

          I just hate seeing innocent people in general suffer because of those who are greedy or criminal (a bit more of greed than criminal in these cases).

          • Agent BallSack

            Neglecting an animal is a criminal offense. How is neglecting a child not?

          • Jonathan Pull

            I agree and parents should be dealt with accordingly.
            The government of the day doesn’t seem to be doing all to much about it sadly.

        • Hazards001

          “What choice do we have, if we continue to do what we do then why should we expect a different result?”

          LMAO…the definition of insanity..well done!

      • Agent BallSack

        Those children are already condemned Jonathan. To a life of poverty and poor health, low education, next to no job prospects – by their own parents. If throwing money at it helped I could bet you 99% of the people who comment here would say throw more money at it. We need to move away from the thought that money is a universal panacea.

        • Jonathan Pull

          So we just let them go by the way side because they have no perceived value anymore.

          Germans had a good word for what you seem to be describing “Lebensunwertes Leben” is that really how you see them?

          Key was “down in the dumps” at one stage but through state help and obviously his own hard work he succeeded. Its possible for others surely.

          Lets not do a Paula Bennett and throw away everything after she used it all herself.

  • Davidw

    It is probably misguided to assume that all shit parents are beneficiaries. We should not conflate the causes for therein lies only confusion and sidetracks.

    Having said that, the provision of food in schools would probably have the unintended consequence of encouraging more and more parents to allow the state to act in loco parentis (if I understand this term correctly).

    Certainly the state has potentially greater leverage over beneficiaries but it would be a mistake to make beneficiaries the focus rather than “children-in-need-of food”

  • Davidw

    It would be equally dangerous to assume that all beneficiaries are shit parents. These broad brush approaches of classifying people and then creating universal solutions have got us to where we are.

    • cows4me

      It has to be broad brush Dave, how do you administer help to thousands, weekly, on an individual basis? Would cost many times more then the mess now.

      • Davidw

        How do you treat the herd C4M? If you get an elevated cell count which means a few cows have mastitis, do you insert the penicillin into every teat of every udder in the herd?

        • cows4me

          I wish you luck with herding people David, you’ll need it. We are way pass time for individual treatments, sorry it will have to be the whole herd.

          • Davidw

            Then I’m afraid that there is no lasting solution!

  • thor42

    “Every day thousands of Kiwi kids go to school hungry or without lunch.

    The expert advisory group on solutions to child poverty report I released in December last year recommended implementing a targeted food in schools programme to support children to learn and succeed.”
    Well … every day I go to work with a penis shorter than I would like.
    The experts should convene and recommend that a 17-inch whanger be provided for me, courtesy of the taxpayer.

  • sarah

    What they should do is give every beneficiary a card which can only be used to pay for food (and possibly discounted) all power and rent is paid directly and whats left over goes on that card. If they want booze and what not get a fricken job!!! The biggest problem I see is that the money given isnt being used for what it was intended for

    • cows4me

      Don’t be silly sarah, way to sensible.

    • Saccharomyces

      The only problem then is that ol’ Billy Bludger will be doing deals with his mates to swap groceries for smokes/booze…..

      • Agent BallSack

        Good way for us with jobs to get cheap groceries however. 50 bucks worth of smokes and booze for a hundred worth of food down at pak n save every Wednesday through Friday.

      • David

        I have seen this happen with the cards they have for youths; they buy up bulk meat and sell it for cheap in the car park of the super market! They don’t even try to hide it! As long as they get at least enough for a tinnie and a box of beers.

    • Sarrs

      Isn’t this what they’ve done with beneficiaries under 20? If the scheme is a success in the demographic, I can see no problem with rolling it out across the board.

    • tarkwin

      Major problem alert! If we give them a card they will be stigmatised and feel like second class citizens! Heaven forbid we should heap stress on these delicate souls! Easy fixed though, the benefit is not compulsory.

    • SnapElection

      What they should do is give every beneficiary a card which can only be used to pay for food

      pretty much already do this for under 18s; and Basher is rolling it out all the way up (but not to codger-bludgers)

      This is what food stamps are in the US. Result? Bludgers buy food or other and then barter it away for booze, fags & drugs

  • Goldie

    That idiot Russell Wills writes: “Blaming parents is unhelpful and simplistic.”

    My kids go to a high decile school. In one class is a Pacific Island boy, who does not get breakfast and his lunch is a packet of chips. The poor boy begs for food from the other kids. Yet the boy’s mother has a 4WD and smokes.

    The issue is not poverty. The issue is BAD PARENTING. Blaming parents is not unhelpful or simplistic – it is the entire problem.

  • David

    Feed the kids and deduct the money from their parents WFF/DPB! At the same time investigate why the parents aren’t feeding their kids and take punitive action if necessary!

  • Sarrs

    I come from one of these families – no breakfast, no lunch, 2 minute noodles for tea etc. Growing up was hell. My Dad died and my Mum was left with 3 kids under 7. I won’t pull any punches – she was a terrible Mum. Pretty much the stereotype you’re all thinking of – plenty of money for her smokes and booze but nothing left over for decent shoes, food, school trips etc. I have some seriously conflicted emotions about my mother but after about 20 years I realised one thing – she is just selfish. Plain and simple. She isn’t even aware that’s she’s selfish. In her mind her behaviour was/is acceptable. I don’t think any amount of education or training or information can make someone that inherently self centred change for the better. Certainly nothing would have changed my mother.

    I would be happy for all needy kids to get fed breakfast and lunch – on the proviso that the kids must be registered to receive the food and the parents’ benefits are reduced based on the number of meals the kids have to have at home.

    • BJ

      Thankyou Sarrs for giving such a qualified opinion on the merits of deprived children receiving sustenance beyond their sorry family circumstances.

      • Sarrs

        I realised a long time ago that if your parent doesn’t care much for your well being by the time you’re already at school, no amount of intervention will change that. I just know that if we had been fed by someone else Mum would have gone from making a token effort to making no effort at all. I wasn’t a dumb kid – I knew the cost of things and I knew how much Mum got a fortnight from the widows benefit. She just preferred smokes and booze to bread and milk.

        I’m certainly not saying that all beneficiaries neglect their children, all I’m saying is the ones who have already demonstrated seriously not giving a shit about their kids will probably never change. Those are the kids that we need to be looking after.

  • GMMNZ

    The state is already picking up the tab for crappy parents via Crime, Health, generational cycles of dependance on welfare. Sure we may end up paying twice to feed these kids but maybe it’ll help break them out of the cycle and lessen the problem in the long term? It’s all well and good complaining that the parents aren’t doing their job and that the welfare payments are gong to waste. You’re 100% percent right yet kids are still going hungry because of their crappy parents and being right about the purpose of benefits doesn’t change anything. Let’s fill some belly’s give these kids a better chance of succeeding.

  • My bitch is, why should the Tax payer be paying more. The parents need to be taken to task, not the Tax payer, always want fucking want, take the money from the parents, a bag of rice or some bread goes along way?

  • LabTested

    Last year my kid went to primary school one day without his lunch. The school phoned me & I had to go drop it off

  • Ian

    Kids are a salary for many of the left. They don’t want them, just the benefits they attract. It would be a tough call, but take these unfed kids away and charge them with wilful neglect or child abuse. They are bludging losing arseholes and it is not the taxpayers’ place to pay for their breeding habits.

  • Lion_ess

    When the Government commences checking up on the parents of these underfed children, I’ll be paying attention. Good parents feed their children first – the parents are meant to get hungry – not the kids, this has a knock-on effect of making them think and act a bit smarter about how they’ll feed themselves.

  • Shazzadude

    Yes, it is the parent’s responsibility to feed their children. Absolutely, and parents who don’t feed their children are scum. However, that shouldn’t mean we simply shrug our shoulders, move on and let our education expenditure on these unfed child go to waste for the next 10 years.

    I see others are advocating for more bureaucracy (which is what would happen if every single parent was reported and processed if they didn’t give their children breakfast/lunch). I would consider feeding the children to be a much better investment than more bureaucracy.

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