The poster kids for a living wage?

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


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.


THANK YOU for being a subscriber. Because of you Whaleoil is going from strength to strength. It is a little known fact that Whaleoil subscribers are better in bed, good looking and highly intelligent. Sometimes all at once! Please Click Here Now to subscribe to an ad-free Whaleoil.

  • Pissedoffyouth

    Do they have sky?
    Why doesn’t the 209 year old son pay some board? That would cut the rent down by 120 a week.

    • Patrick

      Pity they didn’t spend the student loan on the son’s education, one armed or not there are plenty of jobs he could do & he would be in a far better place if he was earning instead of sitting about collecting welfare at 20.

      • James Howlett

        Not just ‘at 20’ – unfortunately it is most likely ‘from 20’.

    • MarcWills

      Should have done the HipHop course instead.

      • Patrick

        Hip Hop? They would be on the ACC with busted knees.

  • Orange

    Is that their house in the background?

    • cows4me

      Probably, has big sky dish.

      • Patrick

        That dish on the top is actually a receiver for the welfare payments, direct site to site connection.

  • Honcho

    After 15 years, 15 years to realise some potential, 15 years to advance ones self, he is still on what is practically the minimum wage. Who is the bad person here? Is it spotless for paying him what the going rate is for an entry level cleaners job despite his apparent loyalty? Or is it himself for being a bad father, a bad provider and role model for his family? Instead of getting a loan to do a course which offers only ‘spiritual’ return on his investment, why did he not instead do a forklift course, wheels/tracks/rollers course? they are not expensive, they can be done in a day and I believe you can also get WINZ funding to complete them, and at the end you will be able to get a job which pays more then a low rent cleaners job, some firms involved in the Christchurch rebuild paying $27 an hour for machinery operators due to a very real skills shortage.

    • johnbronkhorst

      A minimum wage job, is a MINIMUM wage job! It is the job that does and should determine the wage not how YOU wish to spend your wages!!

      • Patrick

        Exactly, how much room for advancement is there in reality when your job is emptying the bins & vacuuming the floors in an office block at night time. Very few will make CEO of Fonterra from there.
        For me that is the issue, these low paying “dead end” jobs attract low skilled people that have few other employment options. Nothing like having skills that are in demand & being able to pick & choose in the the job market. Lesson for all those teenagers bumming about at school, if you waste your education you are doomed to a life of menial jobs on minimum wage. Or in NZ you could get pregnant, become a baby farm & let the welfare roll in.

        • James Howlett

          Not necessarily doomed. One of the great things about NZ is that at practically any age/stage of life you can up and choose to improve your circumstances via education. The system is essentially open to anyone who chooses to take the opportunity. The longer you leave it the harder it gets, and the harder you will have to work of course. And there are ‘education providers’ out there trying to fleece you and provide you with a rubbish ‘qualification’. But the opportunity is just about always there. It’s one of the reasons I find it so tough to take the left seriously these days when they talk about a ‘lack of opportunities’.

    • Mr Sackunkrak

      Too bloody right. In fact if they don’t like our employment opportunities, cheap rent, interest free student loans, free health care and other assistance they could always fuck off back to Tonga, where I’m sure they will be showered in cash and benefits. Or rotten taro.

    • cruiseyman

      I know someone here in Chch who has started her own contract cleaning business. She’s registered with Fletchers to do EQC jobs, charges $40+gst an hour and has more work than she can keep up with. Difference here though is that she is hard working and motivated.

  • johnbronkhorst

    AAAHHH they ate all the pies!!!
    So they have money for pies, they are alive, they are wearing relatively NEW cloths, they have a place to live: conclusion they ARE on a living wage!!!

    • cruiseyman

      Ah but if the living wage came into affect, as the owner of a bakery I can tell you that a pie will start costing a hell of a lot more. So silly fatties like this will be no better off. Labour just shits me, stupid wankers.

      • Patrick

        On a different note – I see the franchise Pie Face are heading to NZ, I bought one in Perth yesterday to try, cost nearly $6.00 & at first bite the whole lot squished out the back of the pie & fortunately fell on the pavement so Pie Face will not be receiving any more of my money.

  • Mr Sackunkrak

    Actually they are poster kids for not belonging to a union. If two union reps can’t negotiate a decent wage, then what chance does your garden variety chump have?

    • Phill

      yes…a poster boy for union reps…join the union and become successful like me!

  • cows4me

    You really have to wonder how much effect these stories have upon the general public. Like you WO I’m sick to fuck with this lefty dribble and I expect most Kiwis are also. The left are not gaining traction with is sort of waffle, they continually use the slow witted as pawns. These people should be inspired to do better with their lives but the left would rather be there to wipe their arses. The left treat these people like children is it any wonder they never grow up.

    • Patrick

      If they wised up they would realise what a con job socialism is & then they would never vote for Labour & the Greens. Bettering oneself is something the Clarkes, Cullens, Robertsons, Cunliffes & Normans of this world will fight tooth & nail to avoid – that is why they hate the John Key back story so much.

  • thor42

    FFS – doing a course to become an *unpaid minister!*.

    What a ridiculous article. Talk about Collins shooting himself in the foot.

  • opusx

    Here is a photo of a family who do not have a living wage. Compare with the couple who opened their yaps complaining about being poor…then cry me a river. Morons.

    • Mr_Blobby

      They didn’t look like they were starving to me.

      Given their size and how much energy is used just to move even slowly, they are being paid to much.

    • Patrick

      Clearly living well, those clothes are the height of fashion summer wear & they are obviously on the latest fad diet, Atkins high protein is my guess.

  • Steve R

    Blah blah blah I work 11 hours a day they don’t even work 10 hours . ive bettered myself over the years they’ve done fuck all . And what they have done , is put themselves into debt for a job that dosnt pay . And thats for a church that cons its members to give more than they can afford while the minister lives in the biggest house and drives the newest car .
    Fuck how dumb do the herald think we are

  • Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

    I am in tears after reading their sad story. Curryleaf has told me this morning that he will make a surprise announcement at the end to make the living wage as $20.

    • Rodger T

      Gimme a new SS ute, and Cuntlips has got my vote.

      • Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

        As per Labour’s social justice restoration policy, this will be done at the expense of rich pricks

    • Mr Sackunkrak

      I’ve heard he’s going to announce a living wage of $300 an hour. I mean if lawyers can just get by, then why not.

      • Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

        Don’t be greedy. Take what you get from Curryleaf.

    • Grizz30

      Why not just make it the average wage and be done with it.

      • Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

        That is the plan sir…

  • peterwn

    I had assumed a ‘living wage’ was based on one breadwinner supporting a family of four. Have I missed something?

    • opusx

      Nope, you didn’t. Good article much???

  • SteveWrathall

    “A “living wage”, for Ofa and Ngalu Tauerangi, would mean the chance to get a good night’s sleep.” In other words, on $18/hr people like this would choose to work less. How will that turbocharge the economy? Obviously Grant Robertson can’t work it out as he featured this sob story on his candidate’s facebook page. I note the delicate petal doesn’t allow comments, while the other two do.

    • Patrick

      You weren’t seriously expecting you would be allowed to debate any of this were you? I mean you would be at risk of being labelled homophobic, sexist, racist, elitist, capitalist, add any applicable “ist” ad infinitum.

  • cruiseyman

    This living wage shit just makes me sooooooo wild. And what’s with the random amounts? Is it either $14.10 or $18.40? Would these fattys not be better off if they got an extra $1or $2 per hour assuming they deserved a pay increase? It’s so arbitrary.

    • SJ00

      I’m still yet to see any numbers behind this living wage calculation. Its an amazing number. No matter how many kids you have, suddenly you can live if you earn this wage. Ofa and Ngalu with 1 kid will be able to live just as well as Ummpf Foofoo and her 8 kids on the same wage. Amazing.
      And this shitty number came out last year (or the year before)… when does it get raised up by inflation? If you can’t live on this living wage do you get more money? When all the prices go up cos Ofa and Ngalu get more money, does there living wage also go up because they can’t afford pies (from your shop?).

      • cruiseyman

        Exactly. The other thing that makes me wild about this is when I read comments (usually on Stuff) from drop kick thicko lefties who say that their taxes are propping up our business as WFF tops up the wages to the ‘living wage’ that we don’t pay. Utter BS. For a start, as a business owner I have no idea what subsidies or benefits my employees get, it’s not any business of mine. All we do is advertise a job, people apply, if they are suitable we employ them based on them agreeing to an appropriate rate of pay and as all of our staff are in their 20’s, no kids or mortagages, I doubt they get any top ups. The only person I have employed where I was aware of their WFF was because they deliberately only worked 30 hours a week so they didn’t have their subsidy cut. This was despite us having 40+ hours available for them and actually needing them to work more.

  • expression07

    I work part time at a supermarket in between studying at university. Most of the staff are on or just above minimum wage, but many of them also have student loans from 6 month IT courses and alike.

    I feel for adults on minimum wage jobs, particularly those who have children. I can’t help however but put it down to bad life choices. Even if your not cut out for full on study, there are other options to up-skill (driving forklifts etc) to better jobs to get a better wage. Many could even become managers if they’d put their mind to it.

    Ultimately though life is what you make it.

    • opusx

      Well said. Sums it all up nicely really.

    • Patrick

      There is a far bigger issue here, people taking out tens of thousands of dollars of debt to sign up to these tertiary institutions that peddle 6 month IT courses & “Desktop Publishing degrees” are a huge part of the problem. The reality is there is no job at the end, certainly not one that will justify the expense. They sound like glamorous jobs but in reality they are smoke & mirrors. Far better if NZ training institutions & students focussed on the core sciences like Engineering etc. At least the skills are portable, you can up sticks & travel on the back of your education. We peddle these tertiary courses, the only ones benefitting are the institutions & the students are left up to their eyeballs in debt, debt that hampers them for a lifetime, & limits their ability to obtain mortgages for houses.

      • James Howlett

        Yes, and meantime we actually have a shortage of genuine IT skills in NZ. A 6 month course in rocket science isn’t going to get you a job at NASA and a 6 month course in ‘desktop publishing’ only makes you qualified to work at the Herald. But I don’t think they’re hiring.

        • Patrick

          At the moment a lot of that IT demand is in developing apps for mobile devices, it is very targeted. System Admins are dime a dozen & the nature of that work is changing, it is moving “to the cloud” & those jobs will disappear offshore to cheaper third world locations like India & the Philippines. That is why I feel sorry for those that have been wooed by the tertiary institutes to sign up for the latest & greatest system admin courses. Maybe in a few years we will all be moving back from the cloud (because in my opinion it isn’t all it is cracked up to be) & the system admin will once again be sort after.

          • Pissedoffyouth

            Have you seen how many companies are crying out for DBA’s/BI reporting guys? I’m training up at the moment for it and it makes me wonder why more people don’t do it. Much better pay than sysadmins get and much less stress.

          • Patrick

            Yes far better to be “back of house” rather than putting up with prima donnas whinging that there is no paper in the printer. Good DBAs are worth their weight in gold, analysing & manipulating data is very sought after due to the prevalence of SQL – in all the various flavours. I do a lot of Identity Management work, very BI & business process driven, huge efficiency gains in automating the deadhead stuff.

        • deanobravo

          Sledge of the day James.

  • Patrick

    So if a menial job can attract upwards of $20 per hour what is the rest of the work force going to demand? For instance a tradie looking across at the cleaner will say “I did a four year apprenticeship & I only get $5.00 per hour more than the cleaner, I demand more.” Where does it all end up? Rampant wage & salary growth is a recipe for what?

    • cows4me

      You can milk cows ( menial work when everything is running right ) $100 two hours work. Plenty of high paying “menial” work around, you just have to get out of the city.

      • Patrick

        Yes I agree, I grew up on a dairy farm so know how it works but I bet you are not willing to let any old person into your shed to milk the cows. As always it is hard to find people that are responsible. Bet you don’t take the risk of some numbskull milking a cow with mastitis or penicillin into the vat.
        It might be menial at times but that is only because you know what you are doing & get the routine down pat. Our friends in the picture above would not get down the steps to the pit & if they did there would be no getting out.

        • Honcho

          The hard thing these days is there seems to be a lot of people who don’t want to get out of bed before the sun comes up and work their arses off every day like our proud farmers do. Its a shame.

    • Pissedoffyouth

      This is what pisses me off so much. if it was raised by $5 I’d expect my pay to rise accordingly, otherwise what was the point of me working my arse of to get better pay?

      • johnbronkhorst

        and there In lies the failing of socialism!!!

        • rockape

          I remember all the car workers in the UK striking not for wage rises for the poorest, but for pay differentials to be maintained for senior workers. Thats the cunning leftie plan. Raise the minimum then strike for differentials!

  • Mr_Blobby

    Interesting that the mother got a visa to visit at all with the health problems she has. Wont she be a burden on our health system given the family cant pay for her medical treatment.The disabled son will also be on a benefit.

    • Phill

      Shane Jones signed off on the visa…..

      • Patrick

        Is this bloke a tiler in his spare time? I mean he cannot pay Jones so maybe he has a similar understanding as Taito Philip Field had with his constituents. Perhaps he has access to a supply of top shelf videos.

  • middleagedwhiteguy

    Funny how the church campaigns for a living wage, and then doesn’t pay him…..

    • Patrick

      Once he makes Minister in the church he is on the gravy train – flying back to Tonga at the pointy end of the plane.

    • Mr Sackunkrak

      Yes, the word you’re looking for starts with an H.

  • JC

    Working 87.5 hours at $14.10 means a gross apay of $1233 per week or about $64,000 per year.. thats just a little under the median income for households in NZ, add in the son’s benefit and these people are heading for Rich Prick territory.


    • Patrick

      SCS will be around knocking on their door – if they are deemed to be Rich Pricks he wants to know them.

    • LabTested

      How the eff can a family with an income of $64,000 per year be given a State House

    • opusx

      Yep, which is why it would have to be one of the most idiotic leftist articles churned out recently. Where are the stories about the single income household that survives on a low salary, with top up assistance from WINZ or what have you, and yet the family are happy and grateful for what they do have. Haven’t seen a story like that in the MSM for …oh…let me think…ever!

  • Patrick

    Have these two looked at how much SFWU is taxing them to belong to their Union? A Union that clearly is incapable of negotiating better pay rates. Based on the earlier WOBH revelations they would be far better off if they kept that money in their pockets wouldn’t they?

  • Justsayn

    The union clearly needs to pay their reps better.

  • Col

    I work 60 hrs I m not crying.

  • Adolf Fiinkensein

    Time for Ofa to Fakaofa.

  • BJ

    I appreciate that manual labour is a hard honest way of earning an income but if you want to increase your income, realistically one has to up-skill oneself.

    Meanwhile – How to help oneself without involving the rest of us:

    1.Get a two bedroom house or the rent reviewed
    2.Get that one-armed hopeless son to go get a job or at least contribute a very large proportion of his benefit to the household
    3. If you’re filling in for the Pastor thats funded by the congregation – ask him to help pay your student loan.
    4. Stop tithing 10% of your income that keeps the Pastor in home comforts
    5. Don’t encourage elderly relatives to visit from Tonga if they don’t have travel/ health insurance
    6. Teach son not to eat all your food and waste all the power (if he is ) while you are both at work unless he is paying for it.

    • LabTested

      Trade me as 14 x 2 bedroom houses to rent in Mangere/Papatoetoe for $320 a week or less. There, I just saved them $72 a week in rent. That’s an extra $3700 a year in disposable income. .and it took 3 minutes

  • Saccharomyces

    Sure doesn’t look like they’re on a starving wage.

  • drummerboy

    i can agree that spotless cleaning are really bad employees though. I heard a great quote the other day by a financial adviser/speaker called Dave Ramsey. he said “if you want to be rich do what rich people do, if you want to be poor do what poor people do”. it’s politically incorrect but is 100% correct. if he wants extra money stop paying the union.

  • conwaycaptain

    Bet Granny was bought down with a loan from Instant Finance or whichever lender they could go to.
    With regard to a entry last week on feeding people I have just been to the supermarket and they had a soup ingredients of vegetable for $2. 3 turnips, one swede, two carrots, 2 onions and 3 sprigs of celery. Just cut all this up and $6 of chuck steak and into the crock pot on LOW for 24 hrs. Enough there for three meals for me or $3 a meal.

  • Jmac

    My wife and I, with a baby, live on a weekly budget of about $630. We eat meat every day, have two cars, and rent a house with a sea view in East Auckland.

    Budget and live to your means. $850 is plenty.

    • Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

      Thanks for announcing that you are a rich prick. Moving your name into my Curryleaf Rich Prick tax register. Expect to pay a little more levy to restore social justice bro.

      • Rodger T

        Nail those rich fuckers SCS, and while you`re at it get the well offs and the aspiring well to do`s,spread the pain widen the gain.
        I`ll have that ute in candy red.

    • mike

      Single income, two kids, mortgage, two cars and a dog… $50k a year. And we have some money for the occasional splurge.

  • rockape

    What bothers me about this living wage thing is what is the criteria. A living wage for an 18 year old living at home or flatting with mates isnt the same as a young couple with a couple of kids!

  • IntrinsicValue

    Government welfare…not in my Bible. Here’s an excellent article for Ofa to read…

  • Daniel

    Labour politicians have been criticising finance companies for enabling stupid people to buy things they can’t afford, well it seems this is a prime example of the student loan scheme doing the exact same thing. I look forward to Labour candidates calling for an end to the student loan scheme as we know it.

  • SeanLawson

    Dumb as a bag of hammers.

  • Arran Hunt

    Is nobody else worried that there is no mention of working for families or any other benefit paid, other than that paid to their son?