Friday, November 06, 2015

State housing - it's about choice, not need

The government is reducing the number of times a prospective tenant can turn down a property from 3 to 1.

It's also increasing stated location preferences from a minimum of one to three.

That it even has to do this proves state housing is frequently not about need. It's about choice.

Nearly 10,000 social housing offers were made last year and of those 3,453 were declined, with 414 for unacceptable reasons such as wanting a garage or a bigger back yard.

Primarily people want a state house because they are cheaper than private rentals. Social agencies and budgeting organisations know this and work with the client to facilitate acquisition of state rentals.

There is an old adage "beggars can't be choosers" which means people with no other options must be content with what is offered.

They are not content because they have other options.

Yet this compromising centrist government still gets the jelly wobbles:
Under the changes people who refuse a property without a good reason may be removed from the social housing register for 13 weeks.
Why not much longer or permanently? The door is always left open to those who would play the system.

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Herald hyping 'poverty' again

The Herald is running a series on educational under-achievement which starts today. Here's the opening gambit:

Disadvantage remains a major dictator of underachievement in schools. Poor children pass at rates well and a clear gulf in opportunities afforded to students at either end of the decile spectrum, educators say it’s below their wealthy peers, despite efforts to address the disparity. With poverty affecting one in four children, time to act, before another generation are consigned to the cycle.
Obviously there is a glaring omission in the second sentence (update: now fixed) but what struck me, after reading the entire piece, is that the media is the main party guilty of creating the stereotypes the students hate and talk about to the journalist.

It's the media, egged on by left-wing ideologues, that keeps telling children from low income homes that they are living in poverty; that poverty means deprivation, hardship, struggle and under-achievement. That poverty marks and excuses you.

Yet the 'one in four' statistic relates purely and only to relative low income.

Measuring material deprivation looks slightly different.

8 percent of children live in families that lacked seven or more of the above. 18 percent lacked 5 or more.

When will the media stop hyping 'poverty'? Young people clearly don't want or appreciate being stereotyped. 

Being a moderate type I sometimes cringe at Whale Oil's description of media, "Pimping the Poor".

But that's exactly what this series is. Using South Auckland school children to sell newspapers under the guise of social advocacy.

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Aussies not unusually claiming undue kudos

I notice that Michelle Payne has a ride in the Melbourne Cup today. Good for her. Often there is no female presence. NZ is far more progressive in using and elevating women riders in our racing industry. It is entirely possible (and happens)  for NZ females riders to win the jockey premiership. Some say women have more affinity with their mounts. Michelle Payne's own trainer father though notes an old horsemanship saying; “Men fall like boiled eggs. Women fall like raw eggs.”

Anyway in checking out my facts I came across this from the Melbourne Cup Betting Directory:

 In 2003 the first female jockey to take part in the Melbourne Cup was Claire Lindop where she finished 19th out of twenty-three on Debben
Bull. The first female rider in the Melbourne Cup was NZ jockey, Maree Lyndon in 1987. Lindop was the first Aussie female rider.

Any way, I think I'll back Preferment today - not Payne's ride. NZ trainer based in Flemington. Any other picks out there?

Chance to be part of OIA survey

As part of the Ombudsman review, it's now the public's turn to voice their dissatisfaction with the OIA process.

User experiences of the OIA
The Chief Ombudsman now wants to hear from users of the OIA, including members of the public, journalists, Members of Parliament and their staff, people working for interest groups, and academics. We also want to hear from current and former employees and contractors in government departments and agencies.
To do this we have created three different surveys to learn about your experiences and perceptions of how the OIA is working in practice.  This will help us determine where improvements are most needed.

The only question now is can you find the time/ be bothered?

Apparently each survey takes between 20 and 45 minutes.