Ae Marika! – Hone Harawira

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I was talking to a whanau a few weeks back about some problems they were having with Work and Income (WINZ), and this kuia started talking to me about how sad she was for the young people of today because there didnt seem to be much hope for them.

She talked about how when she first got married things were tough, but her husband had a job at the Freezing Works, and that was enough to keep the family going. They didnt have a lot, but she was able to stay home and raise the kids and never felt any pressure to go out and get a job to help pay the bills.

She told me how shed watched her son-in-law struggling to pay the bills when he had a job and how her girl had had to stay on the DPB because there just wasnt enough money in the house (yes – not right but you do what you have to, to get by), and that even when both of them were working for a little while, there just never seemed to be enough money to go around.

So her son-in-law had gone to Aussie to get a job and the family had gone over after him, but she said they missed home and had come back after about a year, even though shed told them to stay there. He got a job back here but it hadnt lasted and although he hadnt wanted to go on the dole, hed had to, and now theyd fallen back into the same rut they were in before theyd gone away, and she just didnt see things getting any better for them.

She said they were trying hard to be good parents but they always seemed to be struggling and the problems at WINZ were just making things harder.

Theyd cut this guys dole for failing to turn up to a work seminar or something and didnt even tell him. They just cut it off. No phone call, no letter, no nothing. Just cut it off. Never mind that the guy has a young family to feed; never mind that the dole doesnt pay bugger all anyway; just cut it off.

So I talked to some of my staff about it because theyre dealing with WINZ issues and CYF issues more and more these days, and apparently up north at least, WINZ is like GOD. WINZ can give you life, and WINZ can take it away, and when they take it away they dont even tell you about it.

And this young guy was at his wits end trying to get some money to pay for food and rent. Thankfully, a quiet chat from one of my staff got things sorted and he got his dole back.

But the whole incident made me think some more, and so heres a little suggestion to all my relations working at WINZ (and CYFS and Housing NZ for that matter).

People are people, and life sometimes treats them bad. Our job is to help them improve their situation. Never mind the paperwork, never mind the quotas. Help them. And when they get upset at you, think of this saying. It just might help

He aha te mea nui o tenei ao? He tangata, he tangata, he tangata.

What is the greatest thing in the world? It is people, it is people, it is people,

8 COMMENTS

  1. I absolutely Tautoko pterodactyls comments with regards to some solutions; 1 to 5 especially number 5: Increase trade training and education levels and numbers

  2. Maori know the truth that we have a land full of resources enough for everyone and therefore there is no need for the mean spirited, tough white man approach. If Maori governed our country based on true tikanga no one would starve, people would have time to be creative and enjoy life. Starvation and deprivation in so not Aotearoa but thats what 30 years of mean spirited policies has delivered to Aotearoa. If the system creates disparity then the system must support those who are most vulnerable to it. To fix it – Mana policies are the paradigm shift we need.

  3. Tonite Their Was A Topic From Mana Spoken That The Prison Up Their Should Not Have Been Built; Fact.
    But Ok It Has. So It Can’t Be Changed And Yip Theirs A New Pirihimana Police Station And Not To Forget To Mention The New Road Up Their And That’s The Reason Why Their Are New Upgrades.
    Was That Wise.

    We Don’t Want Maori To Be Unhappy Up Their Or Here In Tamaki Makaurau Or Further Down Tha Line.

    So Did Iwi Line That The New Road Up To Whangarei All Agree The Ok;
    Fact; Its Been Built.
    So Did Iwi Land Up Tha North Whangarei Give Permission Not Forgetting The Communities Ne Really In Mind.

  4. Ae Mana Arohanui Maori Whanau Kia ora.;

    Finally 2011 Has Brought Us Maori New Zealanders Out Of The Great Depression In Respect .

    Its Nice To See And Hear More Maori Out Their 2011.

    Kia ora.

  5. Kia ora whanau; I reckon the reason for this happening is because people have been turned into numbers. Ever since we were first colonised,& had our land stolen; the most important thing to the “Kawanatanga” is, he moni he moni he moni.

    You hear it all the time on the news; every child is worth this much, every unemployed person costs the tax payer that much. like the old colonialist saying goes “MONEY MAKES THE WORLD GO AROUND”.

    As for the paper work; the reason we have “paper work” is so when the system fails, they can find a human escape goat, to cover up the inhumanity of a inhumain system, which I like to call “Te Puru” (The Beast). this is why WINZ doesn’t have a complaints page on their website, so you just sit there dumbfounded & frustrated.

    • Really? Thats all we ever hear, blame, blame, blame. I suggest Maoridom gets a true leader of it’s people who can come up with positive solutions not this negative dividing small town claptrap, things are tough in the working man’s pakeha world as well you know.

      • Carl what is there not to complain about when backed up by Treaty compensation an admittence that we have been robbed by you small town thinkers or should I say benefactors of stolen goods and worse legislating us out of our identity trying to turn us into little pakeha,,,,and why would we want to be pakeha they dont even care about their own…not a human culture I tink.

        True leader…we have been putting up with teh westminster system and the democratically voted govts who have systemically violated te tiriti o waitangi driving Maori into poberty then blambing Maori for not being satisfied.

    • Kia Ora: I don’t want to sound nostalgic but I’m of the generation who experienced “full employment”. As a lecturer at a Teachers College my favourite story to students is as follows;

      ” I got off the bus at Greenlane Auckland. I walked all the way to Penrose and without crossing the street got six jobs. Only the Glass works turned me down. I went back to Butland Industries the Crest people and got a job. They asked me my age. I said 17. The foreman said “put your age up to 21.” I asked; “why?” he said “So that you can get a full man’s wage, Maori.” That was the difference between 9 and 14 pounds per week. For the first 8 years as a student and teacher i worked every holidays which was 12 -14 weeks per year. Teachers couldn’t afford that many holidays. As for needing education and skills to get a job; rubbish. My Samoan mate at Butland couldn’t speak English. ”

      Back then only 6 percent of Maori who sat School C got it. But I never knew anyone unemployed including Maori. I know the world’s changed, e hoa ma and I’m a pteradactyle, but what’s really happening? The rich are getting richer at everyone else’s expense. The income gap is only one problem. The economic reforms happened too quickly. That’s another problem. Jobs are being exported (eg Fisher & Paykel to Thailand.) and we have no tarrif barriers against cheap imports. Trade is not free as long as rich and powerful countries lock us out. If Trade was “free” there’s no need for “trade agreements.”

      The following are some solutions;

      1. Increase taxes for those who can afford more (max. 40 percent)and make the first $20,000 tax free.
      2. Impose a tarrif of 5% on all imports and a landed tax of 20% on all luxury items.
      3. Put GST down to 10% and take it off fresh greens and fruit.
      4. Leave benefits where they are for now.
      5. Increase trade training and education levels and numbers.

      I could go on. Us pteradactlyes have heaps of ideas and we make no apologies for being just a little socialist.

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