Salvation Army: The Growing Divide

Like a number of other religious and non-religious organisations, [the Salvation Army] are the embodiment of Martin Luther King’s observation that, while we are called to be Good Samaritans, after we lift so many people out of the ditch we start to wonder whether the whole road to Jericho needs to be repaved.

### ODT Online Fri, 17 Feb 2012
Opinion: Straight talking on social justice
By Andrew Bradstock
Religious commitment is a powerful inspiration to act for social justice, writes Andrew Bradstock, of Dunedin. Today, the Salvation Army releases its 2012 “state of the nation” report. Called The Growing Divide, the report will be launched in four locations, with the Dunedin event hosted by the University of Otago Centre for Theology and Public Issues. Last year, the university signed a “memorandum of understanding” with the Salvation Army, and today’s event demonstrates the developing relationship between the two bodies. Now in their fifth year, these Salvation Army reports present an overview of New Zealand society, focusing on children’s health and wellbeing; work and income; housing; crime and punishment; and “social hazards” like alcohol, drug use and gambling. This year’s report examines the key indicators of the growing inequality in our nation.
Read more

• Andrew Bradstock is Howard Paterson professor of theology and public issues at the University of Otago and director of the University’s Centre for Theology and Public Issues.

Download:

> The Growing Divide (PDF, 924KB)

The Growing Divide and previous State of the Nation reports are available to view at: The Social Policy & Parliamentary Unit

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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

17 Comments

Filed under Economics, Events, People, Politics

17 responses to “Salvation Army: The Growing Divide

  1. Elizabeth

    What’s more, Dunedin City Council has made every effort to sink our children and grandchildren on the dire concept (now in practice) of intergenerational debt, lightly referred to by Councillors as “intergenerational equity”. SHAME

  2. amanda kennedy

    It’s intersting how this works. The article rightly suggests that the social services ought to speak up in the political arena and challenge politicians and policy that support increasing income inequality. All very well on a national level, but what about locally? One of the fascinating things about the stadium con is how little the ‘moral gatekeepers’ (social services like the salvation army) have said about the ‘intergenerational debt’ from the stadium. This intergenerational debt will result in income inequality. Seems the gatekeepers are toothless at the local level.

    • Elizabeth

      I agree – there is some considerable gloss attached to how the boards and chief executives of Dunedin social services position themselves or avoid having “clear loud” comment on council business… oh dear, political circles, friends of friends, salaries and such at stake! The looking after own tails is endemic.

      The other thing is social services are stretched to the max, their time and resources are mostly spent on helping the vulnerable directly and reactively… there’s little if any fat in the system to be proactive in beating politicians and local authorities around the head, that always has to come later.

  3. amanda kennedy

    I think poltical activism at the local level is the new zietgist; if change is going to happen it can only happen ‘bottom up’. This old timey way of national ‘political crticism’ is not enough. Though I realise this would put the social services at the mercy of the stakeholders in this town, and they don’t play nice.

  4. amanda kennedy

    Yes, I went to the Greenpaper talk thing at the museum the other day. A man representing some social service said that he thought government funds should be given to local community groups to decide where these funds should be allocated, and not left up to distant and indifferent people in Wellington to decide. My heart was in my throat! Can you imagine what would happen to those funds? Syphoned off to pay for stakeholders pet charities and the great white elephant by the sea!

  5. amanda kennedy

    And it is all very well the social services talking and wringing its hands about income inequality. If they cannot show courage and challenge it locally, what is the point? Who was it that said the most important quality is courage, for without it ‘love’ is meaningless.

    • Elizabeth

      Well said, Amanda. Dunedin has so much apathy – to be replaced with courage and by fairness…

      • Elizabeth

        Good progress is not possible without greater equality, Dunedin North MP Dr David Clark said in his maiden speech in Parliament yesterday.

        ### ODT Online Wed, 15 Feb 2012
        Opinion: In search of a more equal society
        By David Clark – Dunedin North
        Government will always be with us. And as citizens, we must decide what kind of government we want. […] I will describe the better society to which I aspire. It has similarities with what founding members of the New Zealand Labour Party described as an “applied Christianity”. It is a society where accident of birth does not dictate one’s station and prospects. It is a society where every citizen can get ahead by dint of hard work that builds on their natural endowments. It is one where all have free and equal access to high quality education: a society where all have the ability to develop their talents sufficient to ensure fulfilling and enriching lives. It is one in which choices are not driven by fear, but are afforded by opportunity.
        Read more

  6. amanda kennedy

    Yeah. That’s the killer. We do nothing and the councillors will also do nothing in the safe knowledge that Dunedin people will sit back and let their city be dismantled for a few rich manipulators, just as we have in the past (we have the stadium as proof of this). So I cannot blame social service CEO’s, they are covering themselves like most of us are. Cull and Greater Dunedin will not stand up to the stakeholders if they think the community is not bothered enough to stand up for itself. Cull and co have too much to lose, Cr Hudson and his mates will see to it.

  7. amanda kennedy

    God, don’t get me started on politicians and their convenient blindness to local inequality!

  8. Russell Garbutt

    It is however, great that someone like Andrew Bradstock is so active in raising these issues locally – he is very active in bringing many people together to identify and discuss these issues and it will only be when wider groups get stirred up that action will occur.

    The average Dunedin citizen is apathetic and generally not particularly well informed. These two qualities are exploited by those that can do so. Do we really believe for a moment that City governance people like Brown, Hudson and co are more concerned at the plight of the poor and needy than those of the already haves and want mores? Hopefully people like Andrew Bradstock can start to make a difference. All power to his elbow.

  9. amanda kennedy

    Absolutely. He has arranged the talk at St Paul’s on asset sales at the national level. A start for sure. The local threat of asset sales is on the table too, of course.

  10. Mike

    Since I’m indirectly plugged in to the social work community I know that people doing social work feel like they’re in a tight place – they feel squeezed by the current National government and fear speaking up as they don’t want the Minister’s spotlight (or is it the eye of sauron ?) to turn towards them. They worry for their jobs but would like to speak out for their clients – if they do they might not get that next govt contract.

    Because almost all social work is govt. funded they’re almost like public servants another reason to feel they can’t speak out – CYFs is totally stretched standing at the bottom of the cliff running from emergency to emergency often burning out the people who work there – many of the rest are largely non-profits working for peanuts.

    • Elizabeth

      The Growing Divide
      Download now available at Post, top of thread.

      • Elizabeth

        ### ch9.co.nz February 17, 2012 – 6:10pm
        The Growing Divide
        The Salvation Army’s fifth State of the Nation report, entitled ‘The Growing Divide’, has been released around the country. At the University today, Auxiliary Captain Gerry Walker spoke about the widening gap between the ‘haves versus the have nots’ in New Zealand.
        Video

        • Elizabeth

          ### ODT Online Sat, 18 Feb 2012
          Many in Second World conditions: Capt
          By Ellie Constantine
          New Zealand may be a First World country, but a growing division between rich and poor is leaving many citizens living in Second World conditions, Salvation Army Auxiliary Captain Gerry Walker says.
          Read more

          The growing divide
          Source: The Salvation Army (via ODT)

          The bad
          • As many as 10% of children may face violence and material hardship in their daily lives.There were more than 20,000 confirmed cases of child abuse or neglect in 2010-11.
          • New Zealand’s teen pregnancy rate is twice that of Australia.
          • 30% of all 12 to 24-year-olds binge drink.
          • The average prison population was 8715 in 2010-11, a 3.6% increase on the previous year.
          • 97,000 jobs were created in the five years to December 2011, but the number of working-age people grew by 242,000.
          • 150,700 people were unemployed at the end of December 2011, 3% less than the previous year, but 91% more than five years earlier.
          • 12 million more litres of alcohol were available in New Zealand in the year to September, than the previous year.
          • 20 million extra RTDs were consumed in 2010-11.
          • $2 billion was spent on legal forms of gambling in 2010-11.

          The good
          • The infant mortality was 4.77 deaths per 1000 live births in 2010-11, an 8% drop from 2009-10.
          • Live birth and abortions for teenage mothers fell 20% and 12% respectively between 2009 and 2010.
          • The NCEA achievement gap between high and low decile schools is closing.
          • 416,324 offences were reported to police in 2010-11, a 5.8% drop from the previous year.
          • Adults identifying themselves as non-drinkers rose from 13% in 2008-09 to 16% in 2009-10.
          • Average household debt fell 4% in 2011.

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