The poster kids for a living wage?

These two are the poster kids in Simon Collins latest article pimping the poor for political leverage.

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Apparently they are on the breadline because they aren’t paid a living wage. It certainly look like it…one loaf each for breakfast. And what do we find out from Simon Collins article…oh that’s right he is a SFWU union rep…hardly some random person found working, no, they put up a union rep to bleat and moan about how life is tough.

The living wage campaign, which Ofa backs as a delegate for the Service and Food Workers Union, suddenly leapt to political centre-stage this week when the two leading contenders to head the Labour Party dramatically endorsed it.

Suddenly? More like Robertson and Cunliffe needed the votes of SFWU delegates…like Ofa, who will be voting to select Labour’s next leader. Conflicted much? 

But wait there is more…like climate change which is blamed for thousands of bad things happening, not having a living wage is similarly blamed for all kinds of things…like not sleeping.

After 15 years with Spotless, both still earn $14.10 an hour, just above the legal minimum of $13.75. A “living wage”, defined by a union and church-led campaign as $18.40 an hour, has seemed just a dream.

“I can’t sleep, I can’t stay home, because if we not pay the rent, my family’s on the road,” says Ofa. “If I go to $18.40, maybe I’m working one place because there is enough for the family, and I sleep.”

Riiight, so getting $4 and hour more will mean he can sleep…cry my a river of tears. But wait…we find their financial predicament is actually because of a whole range of factors.

Even working 87.5 hours a week between them, Ofa and Ngalu Tauerangi take home only $850 a week after paying tax, KiwiSaver and repayments on student loans they took out to study part-time at Laidlaw Bible College. Ngalu will be ordained on September 22 as an unpaid minister in the Tongan Methodist Church.

Oh right, so they got a loan to study, for a job that won’t pay him a cent..that is our problem how? If brains were dynamite they wouldn’t have enough to blow their nose.

The couple have one son, aged 20, who lost the use of an arm in a car accident as a baby and still lives with them on a benefit.

Again so what…whenever they roll our these poor people they always seem to have some broken kid they are paying for too. How is this our problem?

They pay $392 a week on rent for a three-bedroom state house in Mangere. The high rent appears to be a hangover from the time when they both worked three jobs.

Great emotive reporting there from Simon Collins…makes a big fat assumption, not backed by any facts. Sloppy, very sloppy. Why hasn’t Ofa trotted down to Housing NZ to get his rent re-assessed…or are they supposed to read the minds of stupid people?

Ofa has not slept well lately because the family got behind with the rent when Ngalu’s mother, who is visiting from Tonga, became sick and Ofa had to take four weeks off to care for her and pay her medical bills.

“I rang my boss and said I want to come back to work because [of] my house,” she says.

“I don’t want my family to stay hungry. I don’t want my family to stay on the road.”

Oh boo-fucking-hoo. Don’t you just love the way they trot out the crippled son and now the infirm mother. FFS…these stories make be angry.

One thing though, it isn’t your house it is OUR house.


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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.

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