Home > Social Issues, The Body Politic > If this doesn’t make your stomach turn…

If this doesn’t make your stomach turn…


… you are made of sterner stuff than I.

This, evidently is a priority;


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This, evidently, is not a priority;


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Bill English said, about the loan to the IMF,

As a small, open economy, we benefit significantly from a stable and prosperous global economy. “

This blogger wonders if Mr English would also agree with this,

As a small, open economy, we benefit significantly from healthy, well-fed, well-clothed, well-educated children, irrespective of what kind of parents or families they might come from?

Once upon a time, National made a big deal out of supporting children from low-income families,


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In 2007, John Key voiced his concern at child poverty,

I am told Wesley Primary, like so many schools in New Zealand, has too many kids turning up hungry.

“We’re putting Tasti and Wesley Primary together. This is a fantastic first step. In addition to this, Tasti has indicated they may wish to expand their generous donation of food to other schools in need, and we’ll be looking to facilitate that.

“We all instinctively know that hungry kids aren’t happy and healthy kids.”

“I want this to be the first of many schools and businesses that we put together. I’m interested in what works and I am humbled by the support this idea has received already. We are going to put together the package while in Opposition. We are not waiting to be in Government, because all our kids deserve better.”

Unfortunately, there was a hitch,


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It appears that Key’s food-in-schools plan was more of a publicity-stunt than a carefully-researched policy. As Phil  Goff (whose electorate it was), said.

“”If he had visited the area first he might have been better aware of the situation.

“To suggest this school needed a food programme before consulting them in the first instance really only suggests this is part of a political stunt.”

And Key’s response was perhaps the first  indication that he was not above ‘bending the truth’ to extricate himself from a tricky situation,

Mr Key said Ms Parkin’s attitude had changed since he spoke to her on Friday.

“I think what you can assume is that there’s been influence from the ministry, from the Labour Party,” he said. “

Yeah, right, Dear Leader. Everyone tells fibs except you?

Needless to say, once National took office a year later, the issue of hungry children in our schools disappeared from John Key’s consciousness. In fact, his attitude seemed to change 180 degrees,


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Unfortunately, as countless media stories; government reports; international reports; NGO reports, etc, state – child poverty is still growing in New Zealand.

Calls for governmental  funding for school meals have fallen on deaf ears.

See:  Principal wants taxpayers to fund breakfast scheme

But National has the resources to offer $1.26 billion to the International Monetary Fund for bail-outs. And make no mistake – such bail-outs don’t go to ordinary Greek or Spanish citizens. They go to propping up failing banks. Or loans to governments.

Imagine – just for a moment – what we could achieve with $1.26 billion. Imagine, every child fed and well-clothed and with good healthcare. Imagine every child from a low-income family given the best education money could buy.

Imagine eliminating an entire under-class in one generation.

As John Lennon sang, “Imagine... ”

Can you imagine it?





NZ rich-poor gap widens faster than rest of world

Government policy impacting child poverty levels

Low income households less likely to move up scale – study

Hunger pains



= fs =

  1. 19 June 2012 at 4:27 pm

    And still no money can be afforded Pompe patients who are going to die without govt intervention? Yep, it’s a stomach churner Frank, that’s for sure.

  2. Possum
    19 June 2012 at 4:35 pm

    jst went down the link 2 find “nationals food in schools project”, there was a big effort some yrs ago by my son and l 2 help wbhs 2 get cooking classes 4 the boy’s. national in and still nothing is done, the school say they dont have the room 2 teach cooking as a subject, yet most in industry of chef’s are male. they dont learn at WBHS.

  3. Kay
    19 June 2012 at 4:54 pm

    Depending on what interest IMF would pay Bill English could see this as just another investment decision. Governments pledge money all the time without actually paying it over. A significant proportion of countries are late or absent in paying their UN fees, and in committing the agreed amount to international development funding and to Kyoto environmental schemes … Bill’s promises to lend money aren’t worth much.

  4. Possum
    19 June 2012 at 4:55 pm

    lm an aussie and we did it wkly from form 1/yr 7 > form 5/yr 11 with boys and girls with well over 200 days of learning a basic skill. my son and l wrk’d out 2day is the kids wld be lucky 2 do 30>40 days 4 there whole school life. my son put his cookbook on cd 4 sale so the ppl cld purchase and 2 learn from a kid at 14yrs old 2 kids his own age, if he cldnt do it, it didnt go in it. btw we still have them 4 sale. when my son was 14 he was told by tech that what he had done was more and above what they do 4 city guilds and by them was classed as a unpapered qualified chef. 2day a papered qualified chef and the tech’s top student, so much the tutor’s want more like and getting it up and running is like pulling teeth without numbing 1st. lm woffling now although so ppfftt, l have ppl wanting it up and running so they can go and learn BASIC SKILLS.

  5. Kay
    19 June 2012 at 4:56 pm

    I agree that it’s not a good look. And yes my stomach is tougher than Frank Macskasy’s 😉

  6. overitsobad
    19 June 2012 at 8:27 pm

    OMG. I just puked.
    And I’m just wondering where exactly will the 1.26b come from? I thought NZ was broke? How does that even work?

  7. 19 June 2012 at 9:00 pm

    overitsobad :

    OMG. I just puked.
    And I’m just wondering where exactly will the 1.26b come from? I thought NZ was broke? How does that even work?

    Damned if I know, Overit’. Would we have to borrow it to on-lend it to the IMF?! Time to poke around and ask some questions…

  8. overitsobad
    20 June 2012 at 8:48 pm

    Yes, that’s what I was wondering (re borrow to on-lend)….I might send some emails and see if I get any replies…if you ‘poke around’ and find out anything, I’d love to see a re-post.
    Thanks 🙂

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