Beggars can’t be choosers, but they can be fraudsters

I bet this ratbag isn’t the only fraud supposedly begging on the streets.

A Hastings beggar was convicted of fraud yesterday after he claimed to be homeless when he was not.

Police confirmed Frank Lovich’s case was heard in the Hastings District Court yesterday.   Read more »


Photo of the Day

Punch, July 3, 1858, via Wikimedia Commons.

Punch, July 3, 1858, via Wikimedia Commons.

Tosher’s, and Cesspool-Sewermen

If you wake up on a Monday morning cursing your job and moaning about your boss, spare a thought for the East Enders of Victorian times – and thank your lucky stars you don’t have to scrape a living as a tosher, a mudlark, a scavenger or a riverman.
There is no place in any era more evocative of soot, steam, gruel, and misery than Victorian London. It is one of the great landscapes of the imagination. This is probably because the mid-century London we know best is the literary London of Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins, a teeming metropolis plagued by poverty and grime and peopled by the likes of Tiny Tim and Laura Fairlie. This vision of the city—all squalor and desperation—seems almost melodramatic, as if ripped from the pages of a penny dreadful.

The alarming tone isn’t particularly surprising, given the actual state of London at the time. For Dickens’s fictions were very much rooted in reality: beggars, orphans, and scatter-rats crowded its filthy streets by day, eking out miserable livings (that is, when there were ekings to be had) to take back to mean quarters. Immigrants fleeing the potato famine in Ireland or the lack of work in rural counties came in great number hoping to find jobs, only to add further surplus to a labour pool that already outstripped demand. They came and they never left—there was nowhere else to go. People made do, but there is a reason that the time is remembered as the Hungry Forties. The streets were not a fertile soil.

Read more »

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. Read more »


According to Garner, banning beggars won’t work

Let’s ban begging from city streets and punish those well-meaning citizens who also want to help the poor.

It sounds like a dirty little secret of a police state, but no it’s just cheap and desperate local body antics from Wellington mayoral candidate Nicola Young and Auckland candidate Mark Thomas.

Never mind both their National Party links – this is their uninspiring handy work.

So I have a message for them: Good luck. It won’t work.Name one place where begging bans are effective? No-one can.

Even the latest $50,000 Wellington council report into begging says it’s hard to point to where any bans have been successful.

They looked seriously at this in Norway and most towns didn’t bother and the government ended up getting cold feet anyway. Imagine punishing someone for giving $10 to a beggar? Some activists would gladly go to jail to make a point.

Most cities I have been to around the world have beggars. I have seen more of them in Wellington, Auckland and Washington DC than anywhere else I have been. And it’s true Wellington has a growing issue.

But if you ban begging in the cities the beggars just move to the next road or corner. I have seen this in Auckland with the rise and rise of suburban beggars.

I now see them at my local shops. Last year I gave a guy called Michael $50, but I also encouraged him to go to Work and Income, sign up for the dole and get some help seeking a job.

It was part of the deal when I flicked him the cash. He was a polite bullshitter. Read more »


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.  Read more »

More stupidity in Hamilton

So let me get this straight…the Hamilton Council wants to make the street more comfortable  for the drugged up, drunken, abusive, dirty, smelly and non rate-paying ratbags currently infesting the streets? Fuck off!

A high pressure firehose would be more effective.

Wellington had celebrity vagrants Blanket Man and Bucket Man, now Hamilton needs to capitalise on its rag tag collection of “streeties”, and embrace them to create a more vibrant city.

That’s the suggestion of a leading urban spaces expert, and it’s getting the support of Hamilton City Council and city retailers, who once wanted the scruffy misfits banished.    Read more »

Random Impertinent Question

Why do we have a beggar problem at all?

Palmerston North is moving to rid the city of beggars before the Rugby World Cup.

Its police are supporting calls from angry business owners to rid the city centre of beggars including a potential bylaw that could empower police to prosecute any beggars who do not leave the CBD.

But a local beggar says the plan could force beggars to shift to Whanganui or Wellington, or switch to crime.

The city council will discuss the best way to move beggars from outside shops on Broadway Ave and The Square at a committee meeting on Monday. Options include introducing a bylaw allowing police to “move people on” if found begging and prosecute them if they do not comply. Current rules only allow them to take action against beggars who demand money with menace.

Similar plans are not on the cards in other New Zealand centres, though some do acknowledge they will “move along” beggars who become a problem during the World Cup.

Auckland Council has given city agencies an extra $20,000 funding to be used for “the security and support of the homeless” during the cup.

If people are living on the street and begging, then it is through choice. We have a welfare system that apparently, according to the whiny left is the envy of the world.

There is no excuse other than indolence, substance abuse or choice for there to be beggars.