Saturday, December 19, 2015


Already started ... the annual blitz by TV on the plight of the homeless allied with the increasing demand for food parcels from all and sundry ... of course the demand is increasing ... it's free and, like moths to the light-bulb, everyone and his dog wants a piece of the action ... like the lady who drove from Tuakau to Ak Central to pick up her parcel ... 120k round trip, $15 petrol plus parking to pick up a parcel worth?

Question ... can anyone point to a year in living memory where the demand for 'free' food parcels has decreased.

But let's put that to one side.   TV1 tonight featured those living rough in Auckland and what Xmas means for them.   My answer is simple.   We're importing casual labour from the pacific, the Philippines or wherever to work the pack-houses up here in the Far North, in the BOP, in Nelson Marlborough or wherever.    To them I say get off your sorry arse, get yourself up here, do an honest days work and then, and only then, if it all turns to custard, can you expect any sympathy from me.

Put simply, I am sick and tired of being accosted in central Auckland by people asking me to pony up $2 so as to enable them to indulge their chosen lifestyle.

And that goes for many in my part of the woods too.   You can live very well up here in the Far North on the benefit while supplementing the dole with some wacky baccy growing and 'illegal' fishing and that's a fact and only the most blind apologist for Hone or Minto or Sue B would argue otherwise. 

But nothing will change as TV scrambles to do what they always do come Xmas.


Anonymous said...

Agreed for most part. Only one flaw which also has become apparent in the UK Agriculture sector. The Nurserymen and farmers who should I say corporate farmers will not hire local people ie. UK citizens as they have no leverage over them and must play by the rules as far as working conditions and pay goes.

No such qualms about dirt poor foreigners who are in thrall for travel and/or accommodation expenses and are ripped off dreadfully by gangmasters. I have personal experience in these matters and have seen contract labour working 15hr days in ill lit sheds in the middle of winter until 2.00am.

Your packing sheds etc are uninterested in NZ born much trouble and too expensive..

Lord Egbut Nobacon

Tinman said...

L E N You are wrong.

In ChCh here anyone can find well paid work.

All you need to be qualified for is the ability to use an idiot stick (i.e. a stick with a shovel at one end and an idiot at the other).

Wages start at $18-20 per hour and increase rapidly.

Despite this there are in excess 10,000 here who do not work. ChCh is importing labour.

Noel said...

TV shot of the line waiting for parcels showed nearly all in shot on their mobile phones. Poster shot for poverty in this new century?

Anonymous said...

Tinman : Read veterans post properly. He was talking about the agricultural sector up north using foreign labour. I do not doubt there are jobs available in local areas, particularly cities and large towns. I would be very interested in you supplying the data on those in the 10,000 who could actually use an "idiot stick" for more than five minutes.

My point, which you seem to have missed by a country mile, is that given a choice an agricultural employer will take orginised foreign labour over NZ citizens. Just look at the attempts to get NZ citizens working on foreign fishing vessels.

Lord Egbut

Howie said...

Goodwill to all men (except those deemed by the far right to be undeserving scroungers).

The government allows the hort sector to import tens of thousands of workers and pays them next to nothing. Get rid of that rort and the wages will need to go up and it will make it worthwhile for people to move to where the work is. Too simple for you guys though.

pdm said...

Howie - it is well known in Hawkes Bay that orchardists prefer workers from Vanuatu and other Pacific Islands for their seasonal work. These people are there to work and value the opportunity offered to them.

Whereas locals sent by WINZ do not turn up on time, leave early and in a lot of cases deliberately damage fruit so that they are sacked and can return to the dole.

Noel said...

I'm surprised of the lack of understanding why unemployed in one area aren't moving elswhere. Afterall a simple search of the MSD research papers identify the barriers.

Ross said...

"I'm surprised of the lack of understanding why unemployed in one area aren't moving elswhere. Afterall a simple search of the MSD research papers identify the barriers."

What barriers? If the Irish can travel halfway across the world to find work, these lazy buggers can get off their chuff and move too, instead of bludging off taxpayers.

Howie said...

"it is well known in Hawkes Bay that orchardists prefer workers from Vanuatu and other Pacific Islands for their seasonal work..."

Because they're desperate, cheap and have no other options. Government policy promoting the exploitation of third world workers at the expense of New Zealanders.

The Irish are mainly drunken working holiday makers who will also work for next to nothing. The thing is though, they're driving down wages and displacing New Zealanders. Apparently this is how we get rich as a nation, however. Best to take it out on the "scroungers" though eh guys?

The Veteran said...

Howie ... your 'pimping' for 'them' doesn't make it right. Should you ever descend from your ivory tower and come up here I will introduce you to a friend of mine, owner of a major forestry development in the Mid North. He has been short of 35 workers for the past 18 months. Pays good wages for 8 hours admittedly hard work. 90% of those referred to him by WINZ either fail the drugs test or are gone within 48 hours. Apparently getting to work at 8.00am doesn't resonate overly well with their preferred lifestyle.

There is tones of seasonal work available up here but clearly you prefer to advocate for those who for whatever reason see living rough on the streets as an acceptable lifestyle. Well, it may be acceptable to them and they are welcome to it but don't expect me to get worked up about it as a taxpayer.

BTW .. Wot have you got against the 'Orish' ... apart from the fact that Helen Clark, Clayton Cosgrove, Damien O'Connor and Matt McCarten (along with Jim Bolger) all have Irish ancestry.

Paulus said...

Coming from the BOP where we had an Orchard a few years ago, the local problem of workers is simple - the overseas workers are reliable, conscientious and have mouths to feed waiting for the income overseas. Many are Asian students augmenting their income - they are very good. The Pacificas are respectful to the employers (and are respected by them in return) - do not drink or stay permanently on drugs, start when expected in the mornings, and do a fair day's work.
Of course we have high unemployment largely of former aboriginal families. I have worked in my time in a packhouse and have watched how it is possible in a very short time to really stuff the production line deliberately, so that the persons involved can go back to Winz showing they tried. I have seen theft of fruit on a grand scale from the packhouses from within a particular production line by staff technically rejecting good fruit - which is picked up by a truck at the shift end, and disappears into the ether - for the pigs we were told !

Howie said...

"the overseas workers...have mouths to feed waiting for the income overseas."

Yep, they're desperate and have no other options as they have their work visas cancelled if they dare speak out against the low wages and appalling conditions in the hort sector. It's all right though, as long as you have homeless people to abuse, eh guys?

The Veteran said...

Howie ... tell me, acknowledging your total belief that those in the 'right' side of the political divide eat babies, enjoy exploiting the so called 'workers' as much as they do pulling wings off fly's, just how do you interact face to face with these monsters. Are you polite, arrogant, nasty or both nasty and arrogant. I mean I would enjoy a beer with Chris Trotter and my colleague blogger PM; I could engage with our resident member of the aristocracy, but interacting with you would require a set of social skills and a degree of tolerance that I don't possess.

You see I come from a Labour background. Very difficult for me to see your mob as sub-human.

Noel said...

"What barriers?"
Don't be lazy. Go fish.
But ask yourself why hasn't any Government forced unemployed to move to those areas where there is employment.

The barriers aren't all with the beneficiaries.

Anonymous said...

So all the Kiwi who turned up all went home again. Give me a break. There are no statistics to prove a point one way or the other. All the stories about lazy Kiwis damaging fruit etc are generated by employers who want to use indentured labour for obvious purposes.

Exactly the same in the UK where at least there is view from the other side showing that farms actively discourage UK employment by treating everyone badly.

It took 100 years of fighting (mainly by Labour) to gain decent working conditions and now we have all this faux outrage about dole bludgers and call to return to Dickensian work practises.

I do know that the few Kiwis who went aboard Korean fishing vessels found that they were a different prospect than NZ boats. The working practises ensured they never went back.

Cheap unskilled labour is exactly that, cheap, and cheaper the better and unless there is a law change and better supervision things will not change. If you going to quote example of kind hearted Forestry managers/owners at least show the wage scale and costs involved like accommodation, food and travel expenses. Sending a $100 a week to a family in Vanautu is a different prospect than sending $100 to a family in Dunedin.

Lord Egbut Nobacon

The Veteran said...

Egbut ... re forestry owner. No provision for accn or food but free tpt from the town where the majority live. Wages, a minimum of $10/hr over and above the miniumum wage (and in some cases $20). And still they don't come. Drugs the main reason.

The Realist said...

The last time I was in Auckland one of these creeps came up to me and asked for money. When I emphatically refused he told me I was nothing but an arsehole. My missus had to hold me back.

Andrew Berwick said...

When I emphatically refused he told me I was nothing but an arsehole

Goes to show why you need to live in an open carrying, stand your ground, castle doctrine, jurisdiction. Then you just don't have these problems.

Anonymous said...

Righto Veteran, I can't argue about a firm I know nothing about. This is worth a read as it is what is happening in the UK and NZ.

Quite simply native born citizens are discouraged from employment and are just not hired. Not because migrants work harder, that is a myth, it because poor migrants are cheap, easily intimidated and do not have support network to fall back on.

The Veteran said...

Egbut ... clearly one of the many 'advantages' of being part of the EU then. A tad different here where it's a classic case of supply and demand skewered by a social welfare system that provides an out for 'Kiwis' who, for whatever reason, won't (or can't) go to where the work is.

I accept there will be some unemployed who can't relocate. But there are others, single, who choose a way of life where the 'benefit' supplemented by 'other' earnings provides a lifestyle that suits them.

Noel said...

"..who choose a way of life where the 'benefit' supplemented by 'other' earnings provides a lifestyle that suits them."

Yup.... from unemployment benefit with all its restrictions to "substance abuse" as a reason for sickness benefit.

Gezz my wife's small three days a week income made me ineligible for that benefit when I had to cease work because of cancer. Lesson learnt.

Anonymous said...

Going back to our post Veteran we were not talking about employment in general but unskilled work in the horticultural sector. You do not apply on line or by letter for these jobs. Nor do you "relocate" on spec. I stand by my comments that employers in these fields prefer immigrant labour for all the wrong reasons.

Lord Egbut

Anonymous said...

I rest my case. CHCH Press

In another article by Michel A'court putting the boot into Key is worth reading. The figures released last year showed that out 8000 beneficiaries drug tested for jobs only 22 failed or refused.

There are a lot of assumptions being made in this thread, most of them unfounded and stereotypical. People work hard and are contentious if their pay reflects their commitment. The Freezing works of the 60's were hard and unpleasant places to work but there was a waiting list that went on for years because of the pay.

Just walk a mile in their shoes.

Lord Egbut

Lord Egbut

The Veteran said...

Egbut ... your article refers to a case where the accused were found not guilty. I accept there may be some cowboys in the business (as there are in all businesses) but the RSE Scheme is, by any measure, a success. Put simply, there are insufficient people in NZL willing to undertake this work for whatever reason. Take the trouble to read the RSE Monitoring Survey for 2015 at which is instructive.

As to the drug testing. 285,000 beneficiaries and 8,000 tests = only 2.8%. Your 22 reported failures were for the first 12 weeks of the scheme. In 2014 there were 134 failures. Many might argue that drug testing should be mandatory for beneficiaries ... why should the taxpayer subsidize a drug habit ... but that's another story.

Anonymous said...

Obviously stopped at the first paragraph.

The main way exploitation happened in New Zealand was through the outsourcing of labour to contractors and recruitment agencies, Mihaere said.

"This was common for seasonal work in vineyards and orchards.
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Mihaere said there were cases of contractors targeting vulnerable people - migrant workers, international students - and paying them at a reduced rate while charging the vineyard or orchard owner the standard amount. The contractor would pocket the difference.

Mihaere said orchard owners in New Zealand had told him that what contractors or recruitment agencies did was not their problem."

Mihaere is right so read all and if you are still in denial then you are a part of the problem.

Lord Egbut

The Veteran said...

Egbut ... Mikaere is of course coming from an entrenched position and nothing wrong with that but it would be wrong to tarnish all employers with the excesses of the few who, when uncovered, should be dealt to by the full extent of the law. But my post was not about immigrant workers.

The RSE is there simply because of supply and demand and, when I see a young apparently fit young adult sleeping rough on the Auckland streets and begging for $2, it is legitimate to ask why they can't/won't make the effort to break from their self imposed lifestyle.

The reality is that any Kiwi can turn up at any number of pack-houses the length and breadth of NZL and walk straight into a job. No need to go thru a recruitment agency.

Noel said...

" Many might argue that drug testing should be mandatory for beneficiaries ... why should the taxpayer subsidize a drug habit"

But they do

"As of June 2011, 1956 Aucklanders were on a Sickness or Invalid's Benefit ''with the primary reason for incapacity'' being substance abuse"