Children in poverty
Two hundred and forty-five thousand New Zealand children live in relative poverty.
That is one in eight of all New Zealand children. To put that in context, if these children lived together in their own city, it would be New Zealand's third largest.
That is a national disgrace. Labour came to power in 2017. At the time, the party promised transformation. It hasn't happened and until transformation of the current economic paradigm occurs, the 245,000 children and their parents in poverty will continue to suffer.
As I see it, Labour's role is to generate support for such transformation. I challenge Jacinda Ardern to use her excellent communication skills to educate people around why addressing poverty is the humane thing to do.
I challenge her to inform the public about the facts that show that eliminating poverty is great for our entire society.
For example, more equitable societies have greater social cohesion, higher levels of trust, better economies and higher overall levels of wellbeing. Better overall wellbeing of a society reduces costs on the health system. These are just some of the benefits research illustrates.
Ardern publicly stated three years ago she came into politics to eliminate child poverty. Yet, the actions of her last government and the early days of the new one lacks commitment and will.
Compassion should compel them to do the right thing and lift benefits markedly, lift these children out of such dire circumstances.
I urge this government to put their money where their mouth is and invest in these young people and their families, and build consensus and understanding from our team of five million by sharing the facts around why lifting our most vulnerable out of poverty benefits them, and us all. Will they do that?
Got my shovel, now where's the job?
Whanganui residents will recall not so long ago the front page in the Whanganui Chronicle headlining "Shovel Ready Projects" which saw the Whanganui District Council patting itself on the back in anticipation of getting funding from the then Provincial Growth Fund.
However, the same cannot be said in the small article tucked away on page 3 of the October 14 edition headed "Funds hopes dashed".
Council chief executive Kym Fell advised that no funding for these "shovel ready projects" will be provided by the PGF, however other funding will be sought.
Other funding? From where?
Show us the money
Members of the Whanganui Ratepayers Association want to know what is planned to fund these key infrastructure projects.
It is time for the council to be open, transparent and forthcoming with information. The ratepayers need to know.
Chairman, Whanganui Ratepayers Association