There is some comment about on an "Inside New Zealand" doco screened on TV3 at 07 30 last night so I went to their Website and had a peek. Actually I watched the whole disingenuous load of rubbish. Yes there are too many children being short changed in NZ.
In the rather exercised environment being pursued by Campbell, Garner and Gower during the closing stages of the election campaign, one thing is becoming very obvious. TV3 is in no way being directed by it's parent company Media Works following them having been bought by Nationals "time Payment" for current access to the airwaves.
The Documentary, term used advisedly, was little more than an unauthorized one hour promotion of the NZ Labour Party.
It started with a run down on how the 1950s the frontman, Bryan Bruce, grew up in, had moved from a socialist utopia to a capitalist oligarchy reminiscent of the 19th century.
He received a "free" bottle of milk when he arrived at school and the poor of the 50s relied on various forms of charity in addition to welfare.
BB then moved to Russel St School in East Porirua where the Principal was "forced" to feed her classes , the pupils had to go 2 Kms to access School Dental service, ( Jesus wept I biked two miles to catch a freekin bus), A district nurse could only visit ONCE A BLOODY WEEK, we had a health check once a bloody year.
He then moved to a very dilapidated State Housing Estate where surprise surprise, he found instances of damp, run down, over crowded housing and whole families moved into one bedroom for warmth. My first 10 years were spent in a 70 yo villa with a gap under the back door mice coud traverse, no heating apart from a coal range in the kitchen but it was all Freekin Clean.
We then traversed the "downhill slide" from utopia ( I didn't realise it then) of the fifties when we owned our State owned assets, through the dislocation of the UK joining Europe, The 1973 Oil Shock, Think Big, Muldoonism, Rogernomics and a swift kick for Ruth Richardson to where we are now with such "widespread child poverty".
Not a mention of any socialists apart from that bastard Douglas.
He, the Frontman, wheeled out a procession of activists and 'professionals' who all lamented the terrible state of child health, Susan St John from the Auckland Poverty Action Group and various others calling for more action to deal with "the increasing number of declining child health indicators.
We were then whisked off to Scandinavia where large numbers of healthy children froliced around their classroom in robust pink of good health. No coughing snotty kids with suppurating sores there, a veritable Utopia, yes another one.
Mr Bruce then wrapped up by going back beyond those utopian 50s to where that champion of socialism, Micheal Joseph Savage, rescued the country from the capitalist induced mire of Poverty with "free" school milk, State housing, and the welfare state.
We then had the benefit of the superior intellect of a professor whose name I missed, wearing a suitable dark blue frock, who boldly informed us that Labour always built and upgraded the State Housing stock and National always sold them and let them run down. The prof even managed a kick for poor old Maggie Thatcher to reinforce her point.
Never once did this charade posing as investigating journalism, traverse the destructive elements of welfare, removal of personal responsibility, poor parental choices, why there were double digit people crammed into a small state house, the total amount of welfare being collected on the total occupants, the absence of any men at the house ( in contrast the Swedish group was well represented by FATHERS) or any other of the pertinent facts as to where the carer might be failing.
A very illustrative image near the end for me, was a plastic play house at a play center or similar in Porirua with a large jagged hole in it's wall with a little face framed in it. was there any connection there with that "toy" house and the very decrepit houses portrayed.