Hungry kids 'isolated examples' - Key
Wed, 30 Jan 2013 10:35a.m.
By Dan Satherley
The launch of a programme to sponsor Kiwi kids is being seen by some as a sign that the Government is failing to address the issue of child poverty.
Children's charity Variety says the sponsorship programme is a way to help local children directly. For $35 a month, Kiwis can sponsor individual Kiwi kids to help pay for things like school fees, uniforms and visits to the doctor.
"The beauty of the programme is that it can be really tailored towards the individual child's needs, so a family who may well be struggling to provide winter clothing for their child, or warm bedding, they can make application for those funds," Variety CEO Lorraine Taylor told Firstline this morning.
Last year the Children's Commission released a report which said 25 percent of all children in New Zealand are living in poverty, and Labour MP Nanaia Mahuta claimed 40,000 kids turned up to school without lunch every day.
In contrast, Prime Minister John Key says reports of children going hungry are "isolated examples".
"There are 270,000 children living in poverty in our country, and that number is just so overwhelming," says Ms Taylor. "This, for us, is one way that an individual family, an organisation or an individual donor can make a difference to one child at a time."
Mr Key disputes poverty is so widespread, and claims his Government has put more money into welfare.
"We've extended fruit in schools, we have put more money into things like KidsCan and we've extended a number of different programmes," he told Firstline.
"Obviously we don't want kids to go hungry, and there will be – and there are – isolated examples that are reported of a child being hungry and then the school generally steps in there."
Ms Taylor says there are greater pressures on family finances than there used to be.
"Needs have changed over time, and I think maybe times were simpler back then – there's a greater pull on people's finances now, and I think there is a lot of talk about the cost of housing and so on, in our country, and we see people's budgets, we see how much they bring in each week and what their expenses are, and for many families there's not a lot of money left over."
Money donated to Variety won't be given to kids or their families, instead being spent directly on the services and goods required.
"For instance, for a school uniform we'll go directly to the school and make payment to the school, and similarly with service providers. That's a way of ensuring for us, and for the donor, that the money is going directly to benefit the individual child."
Mr Key defended the Government's efforts on helping the worse-off, saying it spends $8 billion on welfare every year,
"It's a very, very large spend and basically our third-biggest I think behind health and education. We put billions into the accommodation supplements. We've put billions into things like Working for Families and other support payments, so it isn't like the Government's not putting enormous amount of money into the support of those that are least well-off."
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5/02/2013 7:54:35 p.m.
Can we get past the stereotyping of the poverty stricken as overbreeding alcoholics who must all have the personalities of desperate junkies...its pathetic that its all the right can say about the poor so they can then summarily dismiss any issues as their own fault. That's a mountain of BS and shows how out of touch they are with the reality at ground level and their lack of humanity. The majority of less well off in NZ have an income that gives them less than what they need to get by in the mainstream life of NZ. Its hard work bringing kids up with enough income and twice as hard when money is in short supply. Just trying to take it for granted that those parents are in some way automatically dysfunctional is moronic. Making it through life, living day to day, week in,week out is, to say the least challenging and in most cases about as stressful as it can get. Before the right explodes into a fireball of self indignation and outrage, this is about starving kids in New Zealand not a struggling third world nation. It should strike our PM as a concern to be addressed in earnest, but all he can come up with is his disinterested bored face as he says something absolutely bland and meaningless. Trot out a couple of cliches and let's move on shall we...(pathetic). You can hear them now, blahhing on about the evil left and its socialists path to economic destruction..whatever!! If you are cool with kiwi kids going hungry cos you're comfortable with blaming their parents, you've lost the plot. I'm not saying bad parenting isn't a problem. What I am saying is, it isn't the only factor for the poverty stricken and it certainly isn't the predominant factor like the right like to think it is...that will send them into orbit just reading what I've said.Bottom line is, its about the starving kids.Like Tip Top, kiwis should initially be focused on getting the problem solved. You can play you're brainless blame game later and take all the time you want about it.
5/02/2013 5:46:30 p.m.
Ana Brown wrote:
Money going into charities that are not specific to a child or family are not worth putting money into Mr Key. I know kids at low decile schools that got al the kids can shoes and bags etc and their parents are earning in 6 figures. You cant target a school you have to focus on where the need is. Fruit in schools is great but there is so much more need.
30/01/2013 8:27:42 p.m.
moral outrage wrote:
S... even the MSD admit that MSD benefits are not enough to provide childrens primary needs. And no the Sallies cannot feed and seat everybody. Most recipients of food parcels are working people. That is starting to get scary ...
30/01/2013 7:01:44 p.m.
FFS Floral, pull your head in..you must be at least 60 and see 'pedoes' around every corner...muppet!
30/01/2013 5:51:32 p.m.
I think the Prime Minister should spend some time volunteering at a food bank and then see if he has the same impression.
30/01/2013 5:37:44 p.m.
So where is all the Govt money going which pays for the many children dependant on welfare in NZ? Is the millions given out for childrens welfare misspent by the Adults receiving it? I do agree that the Charity only donates by way of goods but they should be for the childrens needs as the parents can get furniture and food parcels etc from the Salvation Army etc
30/01/2013 4:49:51 p.m.
Floral Paisley wrote:
The uglier side to this Variety charity scheme is that it gives donators access to the child recipients. Overseas this strategy has led to tragedy. It has had to discontinued as it was predominantly used by pedophiles to exploit young children for sexual abuse. Access to the children, their siblings and friends was used as opportunity to target and sexually assault these children with the added factor of emotional and psychological abuse of threat to remove the financial assistance from the family and community if children did not acquiesce to the abuse or if they spoke out.
30/01/2013 4:02:59 p.m.
KIDS ARE SUFFERING - that's the point. Blame the parents for not using a condom or for getting high if you like but that does not change the fact that CHILDREN are suffering. Either we help them, or we suffer the consequences down the track when they repeat their parents mistakes. Helping kids is an investment in all our futures. Unfortunately that is a message that John Kretin will never understand - he prefers to throw taxpayer money to the rich kids at Wanganui Collegiate.
30/01/2013 1:17:28 p.m.
once again john key opens his trap and more dribble flows,kids and familys are doing it hard with everything let alone trying to keep your kids feed,its hard without kids,easy for key to say that when you have a bank bal of over million,he is so out of touch with what goes on in average nz home and hes the one making it hard for nz familys.time to go back to noddy land key
30/01/2013 1:14:22 p.m.
What the heck would Key know, he's so disconnected from the real NZ in his own little fantasy world
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