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26 days without kai... and counting, kaumatua's hunger strike draws attention to poverty in Aotearoa New Zealand

26 days without kai… and counting, kaumatua’s hunger strike draws attention to poverty in Aotearoa New Zealand

(By Darryl Nightingale) Kaumatua Sam Kuha is 26 days without food, protesting the war on the poor in Aotearoa.

26 days without food . . . and counting

Sam Kuha’s benefit amounted to $244 a week, leaving him just $18 for food once his expenses had been paid.

I think we have this about right” – Paura Bennett, Minister for Social Development

Mr. Kuha says anyone wanting to help him should donate instead to the Feed the Whanau account (administered by the local food bank) at the any BNZ.

Koro Sam’s protest relates to having to join a two-week waiting list to see a budgeter when he requested a special needs grant because he had run out of food.

Work and Income policy says that beneficiaries must undergo budgeting activity after every three grants before they get another.

(Northern Advocate) Kaitaia GP Lance O’Sullivan, who is supporting the 59-year-old, said helping beneficiaries learn budgeting skills and financial literacy was a good idea – but budgeting services in the Far North were overworked and under-resourced, so people who had run out of food ended up having to wait as long as three weeks.

Ms Bennett, however, said the Government had already significantly boosted funding for budgeting groups to make up for increased demand. She also backed Work and Income’s policy of requiring people who kept requesting extra help to get budgeting help.

“I’m always willing to look at ways to improve policy where needed.

However, I think we have this about right – when someone frequently requires extra hardship assistance, it triggers a budgeting activity which can alleviate the situation and may or may not include seeing an adviser,” she said.

“We’ve also increased funding for community groups providing budgeting services from $4.3 million in 2008 to $13 million this year, which included a one-off funding boost of $589,000 in recognition that these services are coping with increased demand.”

A ministry spokesman told the Advocate that emergency budgeting advice was available for people in Mr Kuha’s situation, so if they had run out of food but were required to see a budgeter before getting a special needs grant they did not have to wait.

(28) Comments

  1. Pomana

    WHERE is this man's whanau? THEY are the ones who should be feeding him, clothing him and showing him compassion...NOT the Govt!!! Maori always pride themselves on "whanau" LET'S SEE HIS WHANAU STEP UP!!!!

  2. Andy

    I suppose all this so called extra funding paid for this new budgeting initiative . Have a look at low cost housing and bottom end beneficiaries like the kaumatua , do the maths now I'm sure give or take a dollar or 2 you gonna come up with what my 8 year old neice just come up with . It don't take no degree to tell a man you're not getting enough .

  3. Bell

    She is the face of evil; mean, cold and heartless. This generation of men, women and children who day after day, feel the backhand of starvation, sickness, social isolation and indignity will, in time, become the blades which shred her policies out of existence. She will be despised for her acts of cruelty and all will look 'down' on her in 'total disgust' for the rest of time. She will laugh at comments like this but deep down, within her inner darkness, she will know that all her wrong doings will return to haunt her ... Karma is a process whereby one gets back what one has given. What has she given?

  4. Kateao Nehua-Jackson

    Why is govt wasting and pouring money into paying BUDGET ADVISORS who already have money and are NOT on a benefit, only to tell benefisheries that they DONT qualify for assistance???!!!! I myself became a victim of this budget crap! I reported to WINZ EVERY FRIDAY with a spreadsheet for almost 6 months to prove the awful situation I was in - in the end a sought help elsewhere and was given food and money for the kids from an unfunded govt island organization who never admitted or sought credit to leaving a box of food and money in an envelope on my doorstep, they gave us food and money from their own bloody pockets and cupboards, specially when they seen how long and how hard I had worked to prove my situation...I am not ashamed to take for my kids, for that situation at the time was the greatest learning curve for me! I will never ask this govt to aid me or my childred! Paula B, you need to get off your pedistall and realise what you are actually doing and you better hope that you dont end up on the benefit again...cause i tell ya Karma is a Right B***H!

  5. Chris Murphy

    I wonder if it would be worth letting overseas media know. NZ has this clean green image but we have also one of the widest gaps between rich and poor in the developed nations.

  6. Moera

    Kia Kaha Sam Kuha!! Without courageous people like you the rest of NZ wouldn't really know the plight of the poor. It really enrages me how people like Paula Bennett can do what they do without any remorse and have no guilt. It's obvious that she has forgotten her roots and what it was like when she was raising her daughter on the DPB. J.Key's govt couldn't give a f@#k about poor NZ. Actually J.Key couldn't give a f@#k about anything other than his own gain, it's not as if he has to budget or worry about where his next meal comes from or even where he's going to lay his head every night. It's shameful to know that these people, who are suppose to be for the country and it's people, will either bully the minority (or poor) group rather than relieve the situation that these people are experiencing. These beneficiaries are not in their positions by choice. It's horrifing and humiliating to have to go into a WINZ branch or a budgeter knowing all too well that 1. You have to 'bare all' your financial situation 2. That once done, you'll be asked stupid questions 3. The odds that you'll be entitled to any assistance will equal either nothing or $80 for food. After doing this several times it becomes harder and harder for assistance and the odds that a beneficiary will leave the building with nothing is pretty good. (Irrelevant of what some may WINZ case managers may say) Sam Kuha attitude towards WINZ is a telling sign that the pressure to survive is getting harder and harder. If J.Key doesn't want another repeat offenders smashing WINZ windows nationwide then he needs to muzzle Bennett and start coming up with some decent solutions.

  7. Dpb

    You fucks want more money on the doll? Hahaha what a fucking joke! I see you fucks drinking piss six days a week while your kids run round with no shoes. Get the fuck outta here you retards if you didn't have so many criminal convictions maybe you could get a fucken job you stupid fucks. Stop drinking piss all the time and smoking weed and budget you fucken money fahgots

    1. DPB recipient

      The benefit is there for a reason to assist people and yes I am on a benefit looking for work as I was made redundant from a Government job due to Government restructuring. To state that all beneficiaries drink, are criminals, smoke weed and don't put shoes on their kids really demonstrates what a dick head you are! I have always worked. Having to go on a benefit that leaves me $60 a fortnight to feed and clothe my family, put petrol in the car so I can look for work is not a choice, it's a necessity! Leaves me fuck all to budget!! Up yours dick head!!

  8. WILLIAM BATES

    JUST LIKE THE WAGES IN NZ HAVE HARDLY RISEN SINCE THE 70'S,8O'S,YET EVERYTHING ELSE HAS. CORPORATE GREED AT THE EXPENSE OF THE TAXPAYER GREED AND NEED FOR POWER BY PLAYERS AT A HIGH LEVEL BRIBING AND INFLUENCING GOVERNMENT POLICY,CRIMINALS THE LOT. THOSE PARASITIC MAGGOTS IN POWER LIVE IN BUBBLEWORLD,BUBBLE PEOPLE ,IN THEIR OWN INSULATED COCOON,TOTALLY OUT OF TOUCH WITH REALITY,SUBHUMANS WHO EARN MORE IN A DAY THAN MOST DO IN A FORTNIGHT OR A MONTH. BY THE TIME MOST PEOPLE PAY RENT ,TWO THIRDS OF THEIR WAGE IS GONE,THEN POWER, YOU ARE NOW IN DEBT,HAVEN'T EVEN GOT TO ,GAS, PHONE,YET.OH SHIT THEN THERE IS ONE LUXURY WE MISSED FOOD, THAT'S WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU SELL YOUR SOUL AND ASSETS TO PRIVATE CORPORATIONS WHO HAVE MANOUVERED YOU TO THE POINT OF SALE ( A SALE OF ASSETS THAT YOU,YOU THE GOVERNMENT NEVER EVER OWNED IN THE FIRST PLACE, YOU THIEVING SCHEMING BASTARDS. ILLEGAL TAXES,CRIMINAL BEHAVIOUR,AND YOU TALK ABOUT BUDGETING,LETS OPEN YOUR BOOKS AND SEE EXACTLY WHERE AND HOW YOU BUDGETED THE TAXPAYERS MONEY,LETS HAVE A TRANSPARENT AUDIT OF ALL YOUR BOOKS. IMMORAL,DECEITFUL,SCHEMING,LIEING,SELF SERVING BUNCH OF NARCISSISTIC FRAUDSTERS. TRY LIVING ON THE AVERAGE WAGE WHICH IN REAL TERMS IS STILL AROUND $450 PW,THE REAL AVERAGE WAGE ,NOT SOME STATISTICAL LOAD OF CRAP. TRY IT OR SHUT T F U YOU ARE SO QUICK TO DENY THE AVERAGE WORKER A MEAGRE WAGE INCREASE WHILST IN THE SAME BREATH INCREASE YOUR OWN TENFOLD WITHOUT ANY UTTERANCE. SHAMEFUL BUNCH OF TROGLODYTES

  9. anne

    it is insulting to be handed a budgeting sheet when there is nothing left to budget with - the onus is put on you as the one who can't handle your money - the onus is put on you - you must be doing something wrong - its never acknowledged that the price to exist the cost of living is going up and up - rents, power food, petrol ....but hey budget - there is no accountability within the MSD - once i was left with only $7 !! no one cared, until i sent a email to MSD - within hours they had it all sorted its like the power companies sending me a golly ge gosh letter, your power bill is quite hi is there a problem - meaning i must learn how to save power - never once acknowledging that there prices have trebled - its all blame you .. sad that sam has to do this - but good on you mate - those insulated by their wealth have little idea and even less compassion

  10. ora pihema

    what a sensational mihi from Chanz Mikaere! that is talent right there-mean as! and i totally agree with you.

  11. Chanz Mikaere

    From the Bosom of Paula Benefit Come more policies and bullshit The humiliation of asking for a food grant Is met by....”you should have budget-ed, now you just can’t!” A big mihi to Sam Kuha on his hunger strike! Oh Paula, Paula, you’re now JK’s bike! As a fellow Maori Woman, I am disgusted in you Under your “care” all broke whanau are screwed I have no respect for you, or your stock Or your lips wrapped around JK’s cock Since acquiring your salary, as a JK Groupie staunch I see you’ve grown a Nationalite puku paunch, A bit rounder now, from all that rich kai Coz when JK says “jump”, you say “HOW HIGH?” In your bid for fame and perceived power You have plummeted from the ivory tower Well, I’m not here to cushion your fall Kiss my arse if you think I’ll crawl And beg to jump through your ridiculous hoops Look in the mirror, how low you’ve stooped! Compassionate- NO, Empathetic- NEVER This will be your undoing, so fuck your social measures! My right as a woman to mother my daughter A middle class pipe dream put to slaughter Sold any mana you had to the highest bidder As an ex beneficiary, you’re a bit of a kidder You and the Ol’ Premier Knob Want me to go out and find these “Ghost Jobs” Demanding 15 hours of early childhood care The money to pay for this Paula comes from WHERE? Your salary Paula? Or a slice from John’s? You would feel persecuted and “that’s just not on!” They’ve taken your experience of being a DPB mother To win themselves votes and get you shit smothered Your status is shortened Paula Paula, The mountain of lies just gets taller They made you the DPB prostitute To take hits for the Institute Meaningful employment Paula, is what we want Not another hit by you taking a punt “Fuck their well-being, we’ll just do this...” And if they get high, we’ll take their money AND their piss! That you think we are not a “thinking” population Without any real education Highlights your ignorance and attempts to back paddle Stop riding that Dick you so eagerly straddled! You so easily beat my kid’s future dead, Coz you’re colonised, a capitalist and John Key Led Your Welfare Reforms satisfy the rich Your new title starts with “B” and ends with itch That itch is us, biting, scratching you raw Here to scream for equality, you cannot ignore! We are human too, despite what you think Thing about shit, it doesn’t just stick, it stinks! For any other rich wanker trying to “Champion the Poor” You can piss off too, don’t use us to score Especially if you’ve never been here before! A last special mihi to JK’s whore... You have joined the 1%, we’re the 99, Come next election, you’ll join the breadline! Fuck you Paula Benefit and the Dick you rode in on Come to my whenua, you will be spit on.

  12. Dianne

    As for budgeting advice, my daughter was instructed to do the same. Even though it was totally illogical, she did it and came in with a MINUS $165.00 per week (based on their questions about how much do you budget for alchohol, hairdressers etc when she had to wait three weeks to have the spare cash to get a presciption filled!!) When she handed the budget back to them she asked if they would offer assistance to meet the budget shortfall... o no, they said we have no plan to do that!!

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