How About We Deal with a Real Emergency?

I felt I had to write about this. In the midst of Jacinda wanting to virtue signal us all to death by declaring a climate emergency for the whole of New Zealand, we get a glimpse of some of the real problems facing our country… and they are not pretty. Take a look at this:

Beneficiary advocates say families in South Auckland are being forced to endure 'inhumane' conditions to access emergency grants to feed and clothe their families. Photo / RNZ

Families are being forced to endure inhumane conditions while queuing for emergency grants to feed and clothe their families, beneficiary advocates say.
Parents lined up in the torrential rain for hours this morning outside Manurewa’s Work and Income office to meet with advocates who help them with their claims.
Without them, they say their desperate pleas for cash are almost always denied.

The first person was outside the Manurewa office just after 2am today – he said he was there to get a grant to pay for warm clothes for his three children.
“I need to buy long pants, jumpers, jerseys and that, and then I need to get food, because I stay in a three bedroom house – I pay $610 a week.”
Toni had travelled from Pukekohe and arrived about 4.30am – she was there to get food and winter essentials for her whanau.
“I’m working about 20 hours a week on top of the benefit and it’s just not enough.
“That comes a lot down to the rent market, I’m paying $500 a week for a three-bedroom, which is just one unit with three tiny bedrooms that come off that,” she said.

Okay… so here you have it. The government that was “bringing kindness back”, who were determined to fix the “nine years of neglect” from the previous government, have people so desperate for additional help that they queue at the Manurewa WINZ office at 2 am in order to get help from a poverty advocate to lodge a claim for additional assistance, because otherwise, they are simply dismissed by staff at the WINZ office.

Let’s not be too unfair on the WINZ staff. They have probably adopted a bunker mentality with the enormous overload of claims that they simply cannot keep up with it all.

Yes, it is easy to blame poor food choices, alcohol, cigarettes or dope for the lack of money management, but they are all citing the same issue. They are all paying far too much in rent.

This is the government that has driven private landlords out of the market in droves; that insists on unnecessary high levels of insulation, forcing landlords to give tenants eviction notices or face a $4000 fine. As a result, private rentals are now few and far between and are now solely the domain of wealthy renters. They have embarked on a programme of social housing, but it will take years before there is any real progress on the number of places available. In the meantime, these people are completely stuck; they have to live somewhere, rents are sky high, and they cannot afford the basics of life. How much do you want to bet that many of these people will end up homeless before too long?

It is clear that New Zealand is not a country to live in if you are not fairly well off these days, but who would have ever expected that with a Labour-led government?

Everyone in the line spoke of the difference it made having advocates from Auckland Action Against Poverty (AAAP) with them when they met with Work and Income staff.
The advocates are at the Manurewa office every Thursday, and are allocated 65 appointments. They are typically handed out to those first in line.

Even those filthy Nats never did this. Without poverty advocates, these people would not be considered for hardship grants. This is what kindness looks like under Jacinda’s government. It is a disgrace.

Let us assume that most of the residents of the area are on relatively low incomes. $20 an hour for a normal 40-hour week gives you $800, and with Working for Families, you may end up paying no tax at all. But if the rent is $610 per week, as quoted above, that leaves $190 to pay for power, phone, food, travel… it is not hard to see how so many people are really struggling.

“They’re not neglecting their children they just can’t afford it, but WINZ seems to think if you can’t afford your food you’re neglecting your children,” Ms Paraha said.
“That’s rubbish. They just can’t afford it – the rent is too high.”

“We only get this many people because they get turned away so often and they can’t do that when AAAP is here.”
Ms Paraha challenged Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to come and see the situation herself to get an idea of what they were up against.
“The government needs to get off their bums and come down and have a look for themselves.  
“Come see the reality for yourself because it is really, really bad.”

A Newspaper.

I also issue a challenge to our prime minister. Instead of fluffing around trying to decide whether or not to declare a climate emergency (and we all know you will, because you never saw a virtue signal you didn’t like), do something about housing. You promised you would solve the housing crisis. People believed in you. Now do it.

Nothing will happen, of course. She has to do all the important things, such as visit schools, and put Neve to bed every night. She can’t let being prime minister and running the country get in the way of all that.

This government is a disgrace. They are rapidly turning us into a third world country. Ask the people of Manurewa.