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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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.  And 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 that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him.  But you can’t ignore him.