Kumara growers report this is the worst season ever for getting workers to harvest the crop.

There are about 100,000 16 to 24 year-olds in New Zealand who have nothing to do. They are not in work, education or training.

My guess is the kumara-growing area of Northland has more than its fair share of such people.

While some will have genuine reasons for choosing to lie in each morning, I suspect that many just have no inclination to work. How do they survive? Crime, cash jobs and benefits may be part of the story, but I suggest we need to take a very hard look at the generosity of our welfare system.

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Unless we do soon the situation is only going to get worse.

MURRAY REID
Tuakau