I’m with Larry on this: get those bloody professional beggars off the streets Auckland!

Finally, two Auckland City councillors are stepping up to the plate to deal with the scourge of beggars in the city.

George Wood and Callum Penrose have declared war on the exponential rise of beggars across the city, in particular the CBD, and they want the Auckland council to revisit the current bylaw that is not working. They have the courage to pick this mess up. Pity the liberal hand-wringers in council didn’t have the same fortitude.

There is expected to be some resistance to the complete ban on begging that Wood and Penrose are proposing.

Mayor Len Brown and his deputy Penny Hulse have been missing in action on begging and allowed this terrible look to denigrate the city. Sadly, they are not alone in ignoring the issue.

Interestingly, most of the Auckland mayoral candidates don’t seem to bothered with the beggars either. They have scoffed at Sir Bob Jones’ pertinent point on the beggars.

Jones said, “The degrading spectacle of as many as 10, obese, circa 30-year old shameless Maori slobs lying against shop windows with a paper cup on lower Queen Street is a disgrace, the first mayoral candidate to promise a ban on begging will sail into office.”

It is highly irritating to have beggars in New Zealand.  Our welfare, government assistance, City Missions and charities are all highly capable and well resourced to provide solutions for all of these people.  The thing is that begging is a want, not a need.  And it’s off-putting, embarrassing and makes a lot of people feel unsafe. 

Not so Auckland mayoral candidates Victorian Crone and John Palino. They will not ban beggars. It’s the usual politically correct waffle from them – a coordinated response with police, social agencies, central government, community groups to develop a comprehensive plan for these sorts of issues, blah blah blah. The professional beggars can’t believe their luck… for now.

Of the other mayoral candidates, Mark Thomas has the gumption to ban them, Penny Bright, well, who cares – she should just pay her rates bill, and Phil Goff didn’t return calls, so we don’t know. Maybe it’s in the ‘too hard’ basket for Goff.

Why not just ban beggars? Why not ban giving to beggars? What the hell is so hard about banning beggars?

I’d expect this stance from Labour’s Future of Work volunteer Vic Crone, but what the hell Palino?  There are voters looking for clear direction, not PC waffle and hedging.


– Larry Williams, NZME,

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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.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.