An Appalling Reality: Children in Poverty at Home

A sponsorship programme used to feed starving children in Third World countries is now being used to help poor Kiwi kids.

Children’s charity Variety has launched a scheme that allows people to sponsor an individual Kiwi child living below the poverty line for $35 a month, or about $1.15 a day.

The money will pay for things such as school trips, stationery, doctor’s visits, books and prescriptions.

Jo Moir and Michael Forbes, The Dominion Post

poverty_q42Jq_17844How much worse does this situation have to get before the government steps in and actually does it’s job?  This is a huge violation of the social contract that we are all bound to.  We, the people, pay taxes, in return the government is there to protect us.  That is how First World countries maintain their status as a First World country.

The fact that there are 270,000 children living in poverty right now shows the gravity of the problem.  According to the last census in 2006, the total population in New Zealand was 4,027,947.  That was projected to have risen to 4,405,200 by 2011.  Children under 15 years of age were projected to total 893,700.  So that’s a staggering 30%.  Almost a third of this country’s children.  I’m embarrassed.  That’s far too many to just be put down to parents not doing a good enough job looking after their children.

And the fact that this isn’t even the first charity program to be launched to attempt to cover this need.  KidsCan has had one running for nearly a decade, to ensure that at least some children have access to the necessities that some of us take for granted.  Even Fonterra got involved by starting their Milk for Schools program.

The government shouldn’t just be standing back, letting charities and businesses fill in the gaps that they continue to ignore.  The lack of effective response to the current housing crisis, particularly in Christchurch and Auckland, certainly isn’t helping the whole situation.  They need to get their shit together.  At least try to develop a more effective way to combat the increasing unemployment that isn’t just finding ways to exclude people from being eligible (it’s now at 7.3%).    Change policies so that the minimum wage is raised to something that is actually a living wage, so people can start to actually support themselves and their families, as well as providing extra support for those still in need.  It’s disgusting.

H/T Holly Walker, frogblogBomber, TUMEKE!; Idiot/Savant, No Right Turn, one and two


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Change is Good Right?

Once again I’ve given the ol’ blog a makeover. After all, a change is as good as a holiday, and Jetstar took away my Auckland holiday *pout*

J and I were supposed to travel up to Auckland on 30 June 2011, coming back to Christchurch the following Tuesday. But no, Jetstar had to get all ultra cautious about flying due to an ash cloud caused by the eruption of a volcano in Chile. We all know though that they really cancelled flights because it’s more economical for them not to fly, rather than fly at a lower altitude (allegedly).

We ended up having to spend $64 (the cancellation fee for the motel) for a holiday that never happened. We were going to meet all these awesome people that we had gotten to know and love through Twitter, including Amie and Dee. There was going to be a play party and everything! But now we have to wait until the next uni holidays in September. All I wanted was a couple of days break, some time away from Christchurch and the seemingly never-ending aftershocks (that’s the second time I’ve used that phrase in two posts…), meet some new people, have some fun nights out. That’s not too much to ask is it?

What seemed to annoy J the most about the whole situation was that they had earlier cancelled the morning flights only, taking three more hours to decide that they would actually cancel the flights for the whole day. It was going to be our very first holiday away together as a couple (because going down south to visit his parents does not count).

And then I get this automated email from Jetstar:
I wasn’t impressed. Such is the joy of the automated email process. All the system knew was that I had been booked to go on a flight the previous day, it either didn’t care, or was unaware that that flight never took place.

I’m pretty sure that this anti-holiday contributed to my struggles earlier this week. J has said that we will try to get a weekend away somewhere soon, we just have to wait for the cost of our cancelled flights to be refunded from Jetstar first. Unless, of course, any of you out there would like to donate to our cause?

Speaking of donating to causes, anyone out there have a spare laptop floating around with a decent processor? This HP Mini Notebook that I’m using at the moment is going to make my head explode with frustration I’m sure!!