A breakfast show on TV highlighted a lady from South Auckland who had queued outside Winz from 3am for a food voucher to feed her family.
Apparently, the rent for the family home was around $600 and her benefit something like $400.
Not only was she very likely hungry but also quite possibly unable to sleep with worry.
In this country, the gap between the rich and poor continues to grow.
A country's real wealth comes through the production and trading of commodities, either manufactured or harvested.
We're told that, per capita, we have a very low production rate and there's this constant striving to start a new innovative business, and as a small isolated nation we do pretty well.
There seems to be a large sector of the workforce in what I would term non-productive activities.
All these include the health and safety compliance industry (it is an industry), local and national councillors and their inspectors, politicians, law enforcement officers, etc.
Perhaps it's time to have a significant big rethink about the value and use of the NZ workforce.
Apprenticeships, as they were 50 years ago, taught safe practices through shared experiences between the junior and senior workers.
Letters: We need to encourage people to visit the CBD
Letters: Saddened that Japan has returned to commercial whaling
Letters: New Zealand not yet geared up for electric cars
The emphasis on practical learning and mentoring produced quality tradespeople with safe work practices. That's just one idea that could shrink the "traffic cone" workforce and potentially produce more per capita. Lots of folks have others.
Regarding Japan's return to commercial whaling (Letters, July 10), why we have dealings with such a country baffles me but, as always, money wins over morals.
However, who are we to judge? New Zealand is pretty barbaric towards animals right here at home and there is yet to be a government willing to make significant changes.
So, the minister, Shane Jones has said okay to the lakefront development - what a pity.
This is a last-gasp from an outgoing council, something that should not be happening. We do not need it, and we cannot afford it - so why is it going on?
It has been suggested that the desperately urgent work on a new road from the airport to the town centre is far more important, in fact, it is almost critical. Any driver using that road will testify to the urgency.
The road itself is breaking up and has to be repaired (pothole filling, which lasts a week) every two weeks. How can we attract visitors and trade to the area without sustainable roads?
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