Tag Archives: Social justice

NZ child poverty rates “stagnating”

### dunedintv.co.nz October 30, 2014 – 5:57pm
NZ child poverty rates haven’t improved since 2008
A new report from UNICEF shows child poverty rates in New Zealand haven’t improved since 2008. That’s prompted calls from locals for more governmental action to address the issue. And it seems even kids in Dunedin are feeling the effects of poverty. Video

Unicef - Children of the Recession (cover) Oct 2014### unicef.org.nz 29 October 2014
UNICEF cautions child poverty rates are “stagnating” in New Zealand
An international report by UNICEF has found that child poverty rates in New Zealand have barely changed since 2008, despite similar sized countries significantly reducing child poverty during the recent recession. UNICEF also revealed that youth unemployment has increased and more New Zealanders admit they do not have enough money to buy food.

The report, Children of the Recession, studied the impact of the global economic crisis on child wellbeing in 41 OECD and EU countries. It highlights the fact that the current and future lives of children have been – and are being – neglected in the global response to the Great Recession.

Read the full Children of the Recession report

Deborah Morris-Travers, National Advocacy Manager for UNICEF New Zealand, said: “The report shows that child poverty rates in New Zealand have stagnated, reducing by just 0.40 per cent since 2008. At the same time, Finland and Norway, states of a similar size to New Zealand, have reduced their child poverty rates by 4.30 and 3.20 per cent respectively. This strongly suggests that the government needs to review its approach to addressing child poverty and make policies for children a priority. There are many good examples of successful policies being implemented internationally, highlighting that child poverty is not an inevitable result of the recession if governments implement appropriate policy responses.”
Read more

Related Posts and Comments:
9.12.13 UNICEF NZ statement on child poverty monitor
29.8.12 Beloved Prime Minister ‘Jonkey’ speaking #childpoverty
17.2.12 Salvation Army: The Growing Divide
23.11.11 Last night, did John Key watch Inside NZ (TV3): Inside Child Poverty
26.10.11 2011 Voices of Poverty: Research into poverty in Dunedin
9.1.11 Detroit: “Make no little plans”

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Filed under Democracy, Economics, Geography, Media, Name, New Zealand, People, Politics, What stadium

UNICEF NZ statement on child poverty monitor

“The Monitor tells us that 159,000 children (60% of those in poverty) are living in poverty for long periods of time. Living in persistent poverty will undermine a child’s physical, mental, emotional and social wellbeing with the potential for long-term damage.”

UNICEF NZ Statement on Child Poverty Monitor
Monday, 9 December 2013, 10:05 am
Press Release: UNICEF

UNICEF NZ Statement on Child Poverty Monitor, Released Today by OCC

The inaugural Child Poverty Monitor, released today (Monday, 9 December) by the Office of the Children’s Commissioner (OCC), JR McKenzie Trust and the NZ Child and Youth Epidemiology Service at Otago University, contains some deeply concerning figures. However, it is an important step forward for tracking how well New Zealand is doing in giving children the standard of living they need.
Deborah Morris-Travers, UNICEF New Zealand Advocacy Manager, said, “It’s of significant concern that 10% of Kiwi Kids – twice the rate of the New Zealand population as a whole – are living in severe poverty.
Read more at Scoop

Welcome to the First Child Poverty Monitor Technical Report
Monday, 9 December 2013, 9:44 am
Press Release: Child Poverty Monitor

Welcome to the First Child Poverty Monitor Technical Report

This Technical Report marks a new step in monitoring child poverty and social health indicators in New Zealand. It began with a partnership being established between the Office of the Children’s Commissioner, the University of Otago’s New Zealand Child and Youth Epidemiology Service (NZCYES) and the J R McKenzie Trust. This partnership saw a gap in publicly-available child poverty measures, and is addressing this gap by compiling, publishing and disseminating annual measurements on child poverty in New Zealand.
Last year, the Children’s Commissioner’s Expert Advisory Group (EAG) on Solutions to Child Poverty recommended that a suite of measures capturing different aspects of child poverty be measured and reported annually. We are fulfilling this recommendation. This new Technical Report builds on the Children’s Social Health Monitor (CSHM) produced by the NZCYES since 2009. We have added additional indicators that enable us to monitor child poverty in New Zealand. Along with this full Technical Report we have produced very high level information on the key measures of child poverty, which are available at http://www.childpoverty.co.nz.
We want to promote the common use of rigorous measures of poverty, so we can stop debating about the measure and start fixing the problem.

More info\

Report: 2013_Child_Poverty_Monitor_Technical_Report_MASTER.pdf

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### stuff.co.nz Last updated 05:00 09/12/2013
One in four Kiwi children living in poverty
By Ben Heather – Dominion Post
More children living in crammed homes are ending up in hospital, as a new report shows one in four children remain mired in poverty. A new rigorous measure of child poverty released today shows that about one in six Kiwi children are going without basic necessities. This could mean not having a bed, delaying a doctor’s visit or missing out on meals. It also shows hospital admissions for children with medical conditions linked to poverty are rising. Tens of thousands of children are admitted every year for respiratory and infectious diseases associated with living in damp, overcrowded homes. “I see these poor preschool children in crowded homes that are cold and damp coming in with skin infections. They are filling our wards,” Children’s Commissioner Russell Wills, a Hawke’s Bay paediatrician, said.

Children, particularly the youngest, remain the most impoverished group of New Zealanders, three times more likely to live in poverty than those past retirement age.

And the gap between those going without and the rest is showing no signs of narrowing, with children born to solo beneficiary parents by far the most likely to get sick or injured. But child poverty is also reaching far beyond beneficiaries, with about two out of five impoverished kids living in working families. Overall 265,000 children live in poverty, which is measured by children living in households with less than 60 per cent of the median income after housing costs.
The report, called the Child Poverty Monitor, was commissioned by Dr Wills after the Government rejected calls to start a comprehensive measure of child poverty.
Read more

STATE OF CHILD POVERTY (via Dominion Post)

█ 265,000 children live in poverty, defined by income.
█ 1 in 3 Maori and Pacific children live in poverty.
█ 1 in 7 European children live in poverty.
█ 1 in 6 struggle to afford basic necessities such as healthcare and clothing.
█ 1 in 10 suffer from severe poverty, lacking basic necessities and adequate income.
█ 3 out of 5 will be living in poverty for much of their childhood.
█ 51 per cent are from sole parent families. 60 per cent are from beneficiary families.

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Radio New Zealand National
Nine to Noon with Kathryn Ryan
http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon
Monday 9 December 2013
The inaugural Child Poverty Monitor ( 11′ 30″ )
09:35 Dr Liz Craig is a Senior Clinical Epidemiologist at the University of Otago.
Audio | Download: Ogg  |  MP3

Related Posts and Comments:
29.8.12 Beloved Prime Minister ‘Jonkey’ speaking #childpoverty
17.2.12 Salvation Army: The Growing Divide
26.11.11 2011 Voices of Poverty: Research into poverty in Dunedin
23.11.11 Last night, did John Key watch Inside New Zealand (TV3): Inside Child Poverty

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Filed under Business, Democracy, Economics, Geography, Media, Name, New Zealand, People, Politics, What stadium

The End of The Golden Weather?

Received from Calvin Oaten

Are we coming to the end of the ‘Golden Weather’? I say this, not in the meteorological sense, but rather in the sense that perhaps our society and its economic construct might be on the verge of a catastrophic change. Why? Well it seems that many signposts are pointing to an approaching collapse of the present model of the economy as constructed. This requires constant growth in order to sustain an ever increasing social budget. That in turn requires full or near full employment, a buoyant consumer market and a consequent ever increasing supply of energy and raw materials. None of these are finite, neither in New Zealand nor the Planet. The current model has, in order to foster this growth, taken upon itself to ‘jazz up’ consumption by cultivating a culture of instant gratification, fueled by intensive marketing, planned obsolescence, and last but not least, very easy credit.

This easy credit has been promoted heavily by governments, local bodies, banks, retailers and all manner of financial institutions. This has brought about a dynamic shift in society’s attitude to debt. It has encouraged folk to spend beyond their immediate ability, to the point where their indebtedness is assuming dangerous proportions. This is manifested by ‘economic bubbles’ forming, none more so than our own housing market. The people in the industry, real estate companies, banks, financial institutions all rev up the market by convincing people that property is a great investment which will always hold its value. But we only have to look at Ireland, the UK, the USA, and lately Australia to see the lie of this claim. Property can always go down just as it can go up. Take a look at Japan. Its property bubble burst in 1989 and has never recovered. Off by as much as 70-80%.

The result of all this is a hugely indebted developed world, including NZ. What caused this to happen? It seems to date back to around 1971, when then President Nixon was experiencing difficulty in financing the Vietnam war. At that time printing of money was constricted with the dollar being pegged to what is known as the gold standard. This meant that the amount of currency in circulation was limited by how much gold was held by the federal government. By leaving the gold standard the federal treasury was free to set its own parameters and to print accordingly. That resulted in a vast increase in all paper currencies around the world with a burst of inflation throughout the 1970s and 1980s.

Historically, all monies eventually revert to the mean, and this has always been to a standard unit of value, GOLD. Throughout history, even before Roman times this has always prevailed. Trust in paper currencies sooner or later fail and there is a collapse.

We’ve seen it in modern times with Germany (in the 1920-30s), Argentina (several times), Greece, and very recently Iceland. The USA federal government has just breached its self-imposed debt ceiling of $16 trillion. If anyone wonders what $1 trillion represents, look at it as a time equivalent. Let’s say one was to repay $1 trillion at the rate of $1 per second. Working 24/7, 360 days per year it would take “32,000 YEARS”. So multiply that by 16 and it is easy to see that this debt will never be repaid. Worse, it is growing as we speak.

Those with the power are unbalancing the fairness factor.

This reckless attitude has permeated into the human psyche and we see evidence of it here in little old Dunedin. Our society has degenerated into a selfish me world. Those with the power are unbalancing the fairness factor.

Take remuneration for example, fewer and fewer people are taking a greater share of the economic cake, and are quite blatant about it. Wealth is flaunted while many are moving into poverty. Financial rewards are all out of line with production balance.

It is noticeable that many of the highest remunerated are drawing their rewards from the public’s purse, without so much as a blush. Here in Dunedin we have a local MP tabling a bill in Parliament seeking a minimum wage of $15 per hour. This, on a 40-hour week equates to $600 per week. It would be up from $13.50 per hour or $540 per week. This is being vigorously opposed by many. But on the other hand we see public servants and others receiving enormously higher rewards. We have seen several instances in the last few weeks.

The retiring CEO of the Otago Museum with a salary of $310,00 per annum (pa) or $5,961 per week (pw). The DVML CEO receives $250,000 pa or $4,807 pw. The council owned company Delta, where the CEO is paid $380,000 to $390,000 pa or $7,500 pw. 41 additional staff paid over $100,000 pa or $1923 pw. Our own DCC CEO is rewarded with between $340,000 and $360,000 pa or $6,730 pw. The Vice-chancellor of our University of Otago receiving over $500,000 pa or $10,000 pw. Our DCHL group of companies last year paid its 7 directors $725,444 for what would optimistically involve about four weeks equivalent work each. This is repeated up and down the country and if anyone thinks this is sustainable they have to be in “cloud cuckoo land”.

On our local public scene we have seen the city’s debt burgeon from $212.486 million as at 30 June 2005 to $602.008 million at 31 December 2011. We now know that this has considerably changed for the worse, since. The stadium is a financial disaster, in serious damage control, the Otago Settlers Museum is over $40 million, the Town Hall/Conference Centre is over $50 million, and we are looking at somewhere near $100 million for the Tahuna upgrade. No-one in office seems to either understand, or simply passes it off as someone else’s problem.

We elect these people to conserve and look after our treasure, and what happens? It just goes from bad to worse, with all manner of rascals leaching off us in different ways. If only someone in office had the intestinal fortitude to stand up and say, “enough, this has got to stop”. But sadly, it gets back to that culture I mentioned. “I’m OK Jack”, never mind anyone else.

Is all this sustainable? Ask yourself. We don’t know when the situation will break, but it is certain that it will. The whole developed world is awash with debt and frantically creating more by the day, in a desperate move to save the situation. But it is pretty simple, how can more debt solve a chronic debt malady? It is pretty much synonymous with supplying a chronic alcoholic with more whisky. We are in for very interesting times.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Filed under Business, DCC, DCHL, DVML, Economics, Geography, Name, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Stadiums, Urban design

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.
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• 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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Related posts:
23.11.11 Last night, did John Key watch… (TV3): Inside Child Poverty
26.10.11 2011 Voices of Poverty: Research into poverty in Dunedin

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

17 Comments

Filed under Economics, Events, People, Politics

interest.co heats NZ housing debate – listen up

This is not just about the Accommodation Supplement that 320,000 New Zealanders received last year. Alex Tarrant’s full post prompts a sharp, sometimes shonky blogging debate. It raises critical issues that dog the consultation and drafting of Dunedin’s spatial plan but which never got a look in, and never will. Read the comments.

Our ‘first’ spatial plan should not have been rushed, given the time scale it must address. For ‘rushed’ substitute ‘superheated’, where respect and consideration are much diminished for existing patterns of living (good and bad), underlying and surrounding issues, Southern practices and philosophies, utilisation of natural and people-made resources, regional and global influences, and cumulative effects – and the real economics of PLACE-SHAPING that hinge on the recent actions of a badly-managed, far-from-smart city council that has manufactured a mountain of unsustainable debt.

### interest.co.nz December 7, 2011 – 04:12pm
Property
Accommodation Supplement: Landlord subsidy punching a big hole in govt books due to unaffordable housing, or an essential benefit?
By Alex Tarrant
The government is being urged to boost the supply of affordable housing to help wean people off a state rent subsidy which could cost NZ$2.2 billion a year – almost twice as much as official predictions – by 2016. But any fix could require a large up-front investment in state house building, and/or require action from the private and community sectors to help increase housing supply, and therefore affordability, at the lower end of the price spectrum.

The Green Party has called on the government to see whether spending on the Accommodation Supplement could be more effectively spent elsewhere, with the party touting construction of more state houses as one solution to problems of housing and rent affordability. Co-leader Meteria Turei has attacked the Accommodation Supplement in Parliament as a subsidy for landlords. Turei told interest.co.nz high house prices, with constrained supply, meant higher rents and therefore costs to the government through the rent subsidy.

Meanwhile, the government’s Productivity Commission, which is currently investigating issues of housing affordability in New Zealand, has had the issue of the Accommodation Supplement, and the possible hit to the government’s books, raised with it by the Salvation Army.
Read more

One (sample) blogger, right or wrong…

by PhilBest | 08 Dec 11, 11:08am (at Tarrant’s thread)

The fact, observable everywhere in the world where there are urban growth containment policies, is that the escalation of urban land prices under this racket, is always greater than the ability of people to “trade off” space to keep within what they can afford.

The few remaining undistorted markets in the world, have a LOWER median multiple house price AND a far larger average amount of space per person. A one-eighth of an acre section in NZ or Britain, costs literally several times as much as a 1 acre section in many US cities (regardless of pre-or-post-crash conditions. The US cities without urban land rackets had no price bubble).

The result of fringe homes being $150,000 houses on $250,000 sections instead of $150,000 houses on $50,000 sections; is that a decent apartment near the CBD is $1,000,000 (almost all of which represents gold-plated land value) instead of under $200,000 as it is in the undistorted market.

The biggest irony in all this, is that FAR LESS people have the “choice” of living near the CBD, under the “inflated land price” model. Economist Jan Brueckner says in a paper entitled “Urban Growth Boundaries: An Effective Second-Best Remedy For Unpriced Traffic Congestion?”:

“…failure of the Urban Growth Boundary to appreciably raise densities near employment centres is the main reason for its poor performance, and this failure will persist regardless of whether the city has one or many such centres…”

There are numerous other similar academic findings from economists listed HERE: http://www.performanceurbanplanning.org/academics.html

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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INSANE, Dave! Occupy Dunedin STAYS in the Octagon.

DON’T MOVE. DON’T ACCEPT THE MARKET RESERVE. KEEP THE PROTEST CENTRAL AND HIGHLY VISIBLE . . . WHILE DUNEDIN CITY COUNCILLORS CONTINUE TO SELL OUR FUTURE DOWN THE TUBES.

### ODT Online Fri, 21 Oct 2011
Occupy protesters offered other site
By David Loughrey
Protesters in the Octagon have been offered an alternative site at the Market Reserve in Dunedin, a move Mayor Dave Cull said was designed to return the Octagon to all city residents. Mr Cull last night said council chief executive Paul Orders had organised a staff member to pass on the message to the group yesterday afternoon. The protesters had been invited to the council today to speak to Mr Orders, and give their response.
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Images ©2011 Elizabeth Kerr

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Octagon protest occupies minds!

Images ©2011 Elizabeth Kerr

### ODT Online Wed, 19 Oct 2011
Opinion
Campers strike a common chord
By Simon Cunliffe
Brrrrr! Not great weather for camping. It’ll soon be a bog up there in the Octagon – where the good folk of the “Occupy Dunedin” movement have parked their tents. Can’t imagine they’ll want to stay long in this sort of weather but one or two of them seem determined to remain. There’s been a bit of a squabble over statutes governing occupation of the site. It’s been said a 19th-century bylaw allowing immigrants en route to the Central Otago goldfields to squat temporarily in the city centre is still in force. A neat irony that: it’s a gold rush of a different kind this mob have set up shop to condemn. Their focus is corporate greed, social inequality, free-market economics and environmental issues, much of which they would undoubtedly argue arises from the unfettered accumulation of the aforementioned “gold”. And, interestingly, it’s an echo that has been witnessed in large-scale demonstrations across the world.
Read more

• Simon Cunliffe is deputy editor (news) at the Otago Daily Times.

### ODT Online Wed, 19 Oct 2011
Spirit of protest not dampened by rain
By John Lewis
Anti-capitalism protesters are yet to decide how long they intend to stay in the Octagon, but the Dunedin City Council is going out of its way not to put pressure on the group to respond to its request for a timeline.
Read more

### ODT Online Wed, 19 Oct 2011
Opinion
Importance of sharing our common wealth forgotten
By Alison MacTavish
The Rugby World Cup has predictably given rise to plenty of discussions about whether rugby is our national religion, or about its importance to our national identity. Election proposals that run counter to the more fundamental values of being a New Zealander, however, have attracted far less discussion.

John Key and his Government have said they will take re-election as a mandate for selling our assets. With most New Zealanders reportedly against asset sales, but with the National Party odds on to form the next government, the danger is that a vote for the National Party will be a vote for asset sales. And, of course, the National Government prefers to focus on how we can divvy up the spoils, rather than discussing the fundamental social justice issue.

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• Alison MacTavish lives near Moeraki.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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