The Number One Driver That Keeps People Trapped In “Poverty”

The Auckland City Mission has put out a report in election year (surprise surprise) titled “Speaking for Ourselves”.  They have asked 100 high users of their services about what keeps people in poverty.

I have read the report and if it wasn’t for deep breathing and that I have a pilates class for relaxation tomorrow I would require medical attention from the rise in blood pressure.

The problem with the report is that even those of you less prone to outbursts against this sort of narrative will read it and face palm.

Apparently the eight key drivers that keep people trapped in poverty are:

1. Debt

2. Justice

3. Housing

4. Employment

5. Health

6. Food insecurity

7. Services

8. Education

However reading the report I will add a ninth that is I believe the most important driver keeping these people trapped in poverty (whatever that actually is).   

9. Family size
page 9 – Amy is a mother of four children; two are at primary and two at high school. Amy lives in a HNZ home and has been on a benefit since her oldest child was young.

page 14 – Solomon and his wife are both in their mid- thirties and live in South Auckland with their eight children.

page 17 – I have a rental property, it’s a two-bedroom unit located in Mangere…We have a size of six children plus myself and my wife, a total of eight persons in a two-bedroom unit in south Auckland……it gets worse….I’ve got me and six of the babies, but I always have Sarah, Jamie and Robert [children from another relationship] comes back to me every other night. So that’s just like 10 (well actually it is 11 with your wife but who can blame you for losing count?)

page 35 – Shelley has six children, four currently live with her while the two oldest boys live with her mother and visit her on weekends. Shelley interacts with a large number of government agencies and NGOs. She receives sole parent support and lives in a HNZ home. 

page 39 – Peta and her husband live in a rented home in Helensville with their eight children…..Both Peta and her husband are currently unemployed.

The Herald yesterday – “Ms Daniell-Wiig and her boys, 7 and 5” …..but hold the phone…. “Ms Daniell-Wigg, who was declared bankrupt last year” …..and wait for it, as she says life is looking up “She has a new baby due on November 1”.

The report misses its mark entirely in raising the middle classes to be outraged at the situation because of this simple question I will now ask you all to consider.

Could you make ends meet with your middle class incomes if you had as many children per family used as examples in this report?

And if you think you can, what would your life be like?

The left like to wallow in the claims of poverty in New Zealand and how solving it is not simple.  They then justify their existence spending millions having University academic analyse it and write reports.  No one however addresses the rampant irresponsibility of people who are so poorly educated and never going to be earning large incomes, having multiple children.  Many even when they are still on welfare and to multiple partners.

Until someone stands up and addresses the sensitive topic of just how many children the welfare system should encourage people to have that they can never afford, the poorest of the poor will never be anything other.

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