Children of the Recession: NZ’s shame

Media release Wednesday 29 October 2014

“It is to New Zealand’s deepest shame that the latest Unicef report on children living in poverty ranks us 16th out of 41 developed countries.

“Every day groups like ours see the devastating consequences for families trying to survive in conditions to which John Key and his Cabinet colleagues appear wilfully oblivious,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty coordinator Sue Bradford.

“Children of the Recession notes that New Zealand’s situation has stagnated since the last report in 2008, indicating that for six years National-lead governments have done nothing effective to address child poverty.

“Until governments acknowledge that child poverty is actually about adult poverty, our standings in Unicef’s rankings will continue to slide.

“Wages and conditions for employed workers need to rise, backed by the ability of unions to bargain effectively – something the government is doing everything possible to undermine in the House right now.

“Our welfare system needs to offer parents sufficient income to meet the real needs of the family, rather than deliberately under resourcing those who rely on benefits for survival.

“Housing those who are homeless and in grossly substandard accommodation should be a statutory obligation. Instead, National continues to decimate state housing.

“In a news report this morning, new Social Development Minister Anne Tolley said that it “was unfair to make a comparison with Australia because that country did not go into an economic depression at that time.” (RNZ)

“Yet for years we’ve heard National boasting about our rock star economy.  New Zealand has never slipped into the depths of depression suffered by many of the other countries in this report.

“The Nats love to take kudos for any praise heaped on our supposed economic gains, while continuing to ignore the impacts of deepening poverty and inequality on adults and the children they support.

“It is a tragedy that the situation is only likely to worsen over the next three years.

“John Key does not need more reports from the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and MSD to discover how to end child poverty.

“He and his newly minted caucus colleagues should instead take heed of all the research that has been done already and commit to real solutions to ending poverty and unemployment.”

John’s Job Fairs no fix for unemployment and poverty

Media release Tuesday 21 October 2014

 

“John Key has clearly been looking to the US for his latest bright idea on dealing with employment issues,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty coordinator Sue Bradford.

“Job fairs where the desperately unemployed queue in their corporate best to compete for paid work are commonplace in America.

“They might sound new and sexy in today’s Speech from the Throne but will do nothing to create jobs for the hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders who need decent work at decent wages, now.

“If the government is concerned about reducing skills shortages, it would make far more sense to put resources into training and education here, instead of constantly reducing access to tertiary education – and staging job fairs in Brisbane and Sydney.

“In the most recent Household Labour Force Survey there were over 236,000 jobless people in New Zealand.

“This October job losses have been announced at Donaghys, Heinz-Wattie, Tasman Insulation, Wellpack and State Insurance – and that’s just so far.

“Job fairs might serve as a kind of glorified schools career day, but nothing will change for those who do not enough hours of paid work, or no paid work at all.

The welfare measures in National’s plan won’t help either.

Extending full income management for some people up to age 19 through non-State providers is part of the ever encroaching privatisation of welfare.

No jobs will be created by this extension of the government’s patronising, disempowering approach towards young adults who should be taking charge of their lives, not having the last vestiges of control removed from them.

John Key has come a long way since his Jobs Summit two terms of Parliament ago.  He is not even pretending to talk about job creation.

Instead we’re to have the superficial and meaningless fix of John’s Job Fairs, and the endless rollout of the Bennett/Rebstock vision for welfare.

Notice

Kia ora AAAP friends, whanau & those that might need our help with Work & Income issues – just to let you know we’re back in action for new beneficiary advocacy cases, after shutting our doors for a couple of weeks to catch up on all the work arising form the Mangere impact .

Phone us on (09) 634 0591, email contact@aaap.org.nz

film night poster

AAAP Film night fundraiser: ‘The Dark Horse’

 

Auckland Action Against Poverty are excited to announce we’re hosting our first fundraiser of 2014!

What: Film Night Fundraiser screening of ‘The Dark Horse’
Where: The Lido Cinema, 427 Manukau Road, Epsom, Auckland (venue is wheelchair accessible)
When: 7.45pm, Sunday 31st of August.

Ticket Price: $15 Unwaged/ Student – $25 Solidarity

“I do not say this lightly: The Dark Horse is not to be missed. It’s beautifully told, bravely executed, and truly inspiring.”- Kate Roger, TV3

This August, we worked with addressing some of the immediate needs of over 500 people in Mangere in just three-days at our annual benefit IMPACT. Our ongoing advocacy, direct action, education and campaigns could not happen without the generous support of individuals, unions and groups who believe in our kaupapa.

A group like ours is very difficult (if not impossible) to sustain out of government or philanthropic funding, so if you support our ongoing work please come along and bring your friends, whānau and workmates along and enjoy this highly recommended NZ film with us!

Seats are limited. Door sales will be available, however booking ahead strongly recommended. Please purchase your tickets through online deposit:

Auckland Action Against Poverty
38 9011 0832874 00

IMPORTANT: please reference as follows so we can allocate you your ticket/s.
Particulars: [Your First Name]
Code: [Your last Name]
Reference: Film

If you are booking multiple tickets, or have any questions please send an email to contact@aaap.org.nz

See you there!

For a full review see here.

Beneficiary ‘impact’ in Mangere next week

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Welfare activist group Auckland Action Against Poverty is holding its third beneficiary ‘impact’ next week in Mangere.

9.00am – 4.00pm Tues 5 – Wed 6 – Thurs 7 August

Mangere Work & Income, 93 Mascot Ave

“These are desperate times for people who aren’t getting the support they need and to which they are entitled,” says AAAP spokesperson and co-chair Sue Bradford.

“An ‘impact’ is an intervention in which beneficiary advocates come together from different organisations to help as many people as possible over a concentrated three day period at one Work & Income office.

“We ran two earlier impacts in Onehunga (2012) and New Lynn (2013) in each of which we assisted nearly 300 people over the three days.

“National’s welfare reforms are really bedding in now, and we are expecting to see even more people this time round.”

“Our team of volunteer advocates is bigger than ever this year, with over 40 people involved, while MSD is putting on more than 20 extra staff over the three days.

“People who need help from Work & Income should be treated with respect and get their full entitlements from the minute they walk into any office. Unfortunately, the reality is often very different.

“Paula Bennett’s welfare changes are deliberately designed to keep people off benefits as much as possible, whether they have other means of support or not.

“The downstream consequences can be devastating, and the cold winter is making things even harder for people trying to subsist without adequate income or housing.