'Beggars in New Zealand', when did we redefine con artists with this new descriptive title.
My earliest memories have romantic tales of "Swaggers" short for swagmen who having abandonded settled life by bundling up their worldly possessions into a package they could carry, travelling the highways and byways in search of food and shelter in exchange for itinerent work. They had equally romantic, almost "pirate" identities. Cactus Jack, Swagger Bill, Matagouri, Flax Jack.
Often down on their luck but still proud, living in a world without "welfare" they followed the seasons camping in shearers huts and eating at kitchen doors of farms, if fortunate might get a longer term stay through the winter, poisoning rabbits, cutting scrub, picking up stones from paddocks.
Today Kiwiblog has a post on the modern beggar but of course they are double, even triple dipping bludgers who offer nothing in return for tax exempt money. They are very low grade confidence tricksters who would have been locked up on charges of "idle and disorderly without visible mans of support once apon a time..
Of course some, may like the "Blanket Man", be needing secure care in a Psyche ward, alas such treatment options are socially unacceptable so they and the crafty manipulators become Beggars.
In reciept of a sickness benefit as a step up from mere unemployment, now Job seeker benefit, and elegible for other payments from the State these often overweight specimens aparently now have instituted a roster system to rotate them around the prized sites for their tax exempt income creation. That said I have encountered some extremely poor specimins who make an unholy noise on a tin whistle or similar with a hat on the pavement who are very little better than the fatty sat on a suitable wall in a high pedestrian traffic area.
Sorry people it is beyond the pale and if locking them up while an investigation of their apparent need to beg for a living is examined and exposed as the fraud it actually is, then so be it.
If vagrancy is no longer a criminal act then Minister, lets hve a law change, as last I heard demanding money with menaces was still available but might be a bit harsh for the snowflakes.