Home > Social Issues, The Body Politic > The fuse is lit…

The fuse is lit…

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The social bomb of poverty is lit

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One of the inescapable consequences of poverty;  over-crowding and damp housing; poor nutrition; and unaffordable healthcare,

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It is interesting that Dr Baker says,

“Maybe we should be using the same approach to deal with all infectious diseases in children.”

A basic thing would be a housing warrant of fitness that covers health, safety and sustainability issues, a bit like the five-star approach with appliances.” He believes that could be run by the Auckland Council.”

A “warrant of fitness” for rental housing is precisely what Jazmine Heka is calling for in one of her petitions. Good, decent, housing would go a long way to preventing the spread of some infectious disease. Bryan Bruce pointed this out to us last year, in his excellent documentary, last year.

Taxpayers and landlords of good housing might care to note that they are subsidising bad landlords with sub-standard accomodation. Bad landlords collect the rent – but we taxpayers foot the medical bill for their tenants who become sick.

If middle-class New Zealanders believe that this issue does not affect them -let me dis-abuse them of that delusion.

Disease bacteria and virii make no distinction between social classes.

Disease bacteria and virii do not care if you live in Epsom or South Auckland.

Disease bacteria and virii care not one jot what your income or bank balance is.

If Mr Smith from North Shore walks past Ms Jones from Otara; and one is carrying an infectious disease and coughs as you walk past each other – congratulations. You’ve just been infected.

Or, pushing a trolley through a supermarket. You’d be surprised at the grime and micro-organisms on supermarket trolley handles. So the previous handler sneezed, and gripped the trolley? Now you have the same trolley?

Congratulations. You’ve just been infected.

Your child goes to the same school as someone from an over-crowded house, where measles, rheumatic fever,  or meningitis is rampant? Congratulations – you and/or your children are  going to be sick.

Poverty related disease do not respect socio-economic divisions or suburban boundaries.

If the middle classes believe they are immune, simply because they live in a “nice street”; drive the latest model Holden; and have a very generous income – think again.

The time bomb fuse is lit. The first major outbreak of measles has already happened. The next disease may be lethal and result in many grieving families.

Unfortunately, that seems to be the way of our country. We wait for a few fatalities and rising death toll before we are spurred to action. Until then… *shrug*

This is simply not good enough.

If we aspire to be a developed, civilised society – a First World nation – then standing idly by while disease like rheumatic fever continue to spread through our community is simply unacceptable.  As a society, we are not doing enough to prevent these diseases from spreading – and we will pay dearly for our inaction.

For one thing, we need to take firm responsibility for ensuring the availability of good, decent housing,

  • Private rentals need to be maintained at a standard that is healthy for tenants. Having (some) private landlords pass-the-buck, and shove the cost of their inaction onto the public heathcare system (ie; the taxpayer) is unacceptable.
  • Government must build more State housing. Many low income families simply cannot afford private rents – the “market” has failed those at the bottom of the socio-economic heap. The State must step in and pay for new housing – or it will pay for increased health costs. One way or another, society will pay.
  • Government must implement a cross-Party action-plan to address this quietly, simmering crisis. Playing politics whilst Aotearoa burns (through rheumatic fever) is nothing less than criminal negligence. These people were elected to Parliament to work for the good of this country, and it’s time they sat down around a table and got down to some serious, constructive planning,

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John Key

David Shearer

Winston Peters

Metiria Turei – Russell Norman

Pita Sharples – Tariana Turia

Hone Harawira

John Banks

Peter Dunne

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John Key is paid $411,510 per annum. Cabinet Ministers are paid $257,800.  It’s time they started earning those very nice salaries, instead of  sitting on their hands and playing silly-buggers across the Debating Chamber.

I refuse to believe that we do not have the collective wit to address poverty in this country.

Because make no mistake; every time a child dies in New Zealand through preventable poverty-related disease, those who I hold  accountable are those who make grand pledges at  election time and promise all manner of good things to us, to win our votes.

I hold these people to account!!!

If, like me, you are feeling enough is enough, leave your thoughts on John Key’s Facebook page. (Don’t worry, the SIS won’t come after you.)

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  1. Tom Sawyer
    14 February 2012 at 12:34 am

    Don’t hold your breath Frank. Key doesn’t give a shit about poverty in this country. All he care about is his free market and the rest can go to hell. There are gonna be a lot more sick and dying babies out there before things start to happen. And your right in that we did this to ourselves. Voters put that prick back and now kids are going to die.

    I can’t wait to get the fuck out of this country.

  2. ALH84001
    29 February 2012 at 1:23 pm

    Child poverty in a country of so much plenty. Obscene.

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