Christchurch’s innovative idea to rid itself of beggars: classify them as buskers

If they represent the face of poverty in New Zealand then poverty has a very fat lazy face. New Zealand has the fattest beggars in the world.


A Christchurch City Councillor wants a group of homeless people who have set up camp in the central city to be moved on like buskers.

The homeless people have set up a campsite next to department store Ballantynes, and between 30 to 40 people a day are begging in the central city.

Christchurch City Councillor Paul Lonsdale said although a review of the Public Places Bylaw was needed, a ban on begging was not the answer.

“There is a potential that we treat this issue of people sitting in the same spot all day, every day as the issue… if we treat it like busking, in which you’re only allowed to be in any given spot for up to an hour and then you have to move along.”

Mr Lonsdale said treating the homeless in the same way as buskers would probably “just shift the problem”.

“But at least they’re not actually continuing at one particular site and creating an issue for one particular area.”

Brilliant.  So in Christchurch being asked for money by someone just sitting there asking for it will be considered an extreme form of art.   The beggar problem will disappear overnight!




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  • cows4me

    Thank God another law, yes that will fix it, we just need another law. Seems to me one of the biggest problems with so called beggars are the rights and laws, human rights laws etc and liberal nonsense , that empowers those that pray off others without any fear they will be challenged. Society now has to bend over backwards to accommodate those that really want nothing to do with society except to bled it dry.

    • Think of the potential of this method. Next time something doesn’t pass the RMA, or Health and Safety laws, just declare it a work of art instead.

      • cows4me

        Don’t give them ideas Pete and of course declaring something a work of art would clearly be something that only an organ of the state could do.

    • Nyla

      its never been any different … crims even have to be respected and given their rights … thats why no other country can rid themselves of beggars, its become an earner … just like car window cleaners, if you dont pay them they bash you up… its their lifestyle choice to beg, not because they need anything as they get paid the same as the rest of nz, infact some get more money than the lower paid workers (by the time the addon payments are added up)

  • andrewo

    Those in the photo appear not to be starving…

    • It has long been a source of wonderment to me that those who beg along with those that bludge on the dole and receive WFF can afford better jeans, jackets and sneakers than me, to say nothing of their cell phones.

      But I suppose someone has to pay for all those to receive eh?

  • Anthony

    I’ve said before that beggars do their own performance in trying to look deserving so why should they not need a buskers license? I saw one in Wellington the other day whip out his reasonable size smart phone and check it.