Friday, December 12, 2014


Now, don't get me wrong, this is not a hack at the various City Missions of all shapes and denominations who do great work in meeting genuine need.   But from now through to Xmas you can expect to be inundated with a range of media stories focusing on the numbers of food parcels being handed out and culminating on Christmas Day with the special luncheon served to the many hundreds that turn up at various venues as the lead TV news item.

Yes, there is genuine need out there and people go to the Christmas luncheon for all sorts of reasons but the reality is that as soon as you introduce 'free' you are laying yourself open to abuse by the unscrupulous.    You will recall that last year there was the case of a tour operator selling tickets to a 'free' Christmas luncheon.   One can only imagine that these kind of abuses will continue to escalate as the ugly side of human nature exerts itself.

Already this week the Herald has run an article highlighting the demand for food parcels in the central city and the fact their availability is now being advertised on the social media with people travelling from as far a Hamilton to collect them.    You see the same herd instinct as when 'Santa' throws sweets into a crowd of children and the 'big' boy pushes away the little girl to grab more than his share and the little girl misses out.

I am aware that one major player in the field holds very firm to the rule that those assessing their services should pay a nominal amount.    They take the view that this helps the person maintain their self respect.   More power to their elbow.

It was Sir Apirana Ngata who had it about right when he said 'social welfare will destroy my people' .... not in the absolute sense, there must always be a safety net for those in genuine need.   But when you give away something for nothing, no matter how good the underlying motive, that's when you can expect the system to be abused. 



Paulus said...

Did I not read that last year at the Auckland City Mission Christmas lunch that one woman was boasting that she and her whanau of 34 were all at the lunch.
Is there no control as to who gets a ticket - the information apparently comes from people in Winz

gravedodger said...

When Savage and his socialist bunch introduced universal welfare in 1935 there was a natural reluctance based on personal pride and an industrious streak that moderated the uptake but it was not long before the option to survive without working overcame any such reluctance.

Now ripping welfare off is at times disgusting in the blatant way justification is peddled.
I mean driving from Hamilton to Auckland in response to internet networking to queue for subsidised food parcels is plain nuts.
Distance Hamilton Auckland return 250 Kms, safe to say driver ability and vehicle costs would be at a minimum of 50cents per K.
125 bucks spent wisely would be a lot more than a food bank offer.

There are precious few Tangata Whenua who could hold a candle to Sir Apirama Ngata and he very accurately called Welfare for what it would do to his people.

The Veteran said...

Guess Holden. ... Never ever attribute to me something I didn't say for you do so at your peril.

If you don't want to admit that a 'free' system is ripe for systematic abuse then more fool you.

And if you don't believe that $2 is a small price to pay for your self respect then doubly fool you.

No argument from me that there should be a government funded safety net for those in genuine need supported by the private sector to plug the gaps and no issue either for community funded Xmas dinners. It's the free-loaders happy to bludge on community good will that gets fair up my nose.

Anonymous said...

Sir Apirama Ngata: A true prophet.


The Veteran said...

Apirana folks please.

Judge Holden said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Psycho Milt said...

I deleted that one. We use pseudonyms - respect that or don't comment.