“Smugly standing idle, with our hands out…NZ not part of real civilisation”


“In the space of just one generation, we have descended from developed to deadbeat.”

Continuing in our series of blogs on the topic of what Kiwis say about New Zealand.

A reader sent us a link to this article, it was written by *Michael Laws. It’s about his views on the forthcoming budget and how that will impact on New Zealand.

Within it is a litany of issues that afflict New Zealand and the struggle it faces to maintain its first world aspirations as the rest of the world leaves it further and further behind. A quarter of the population of New Zealand is standing idle with their hands out. Emphasis ours

ON THURSDAY, Finance Minister Bill English will deliver a Budget that will confirm New Zealand as a national Kaitoke. Not part of real civilisation but not quite Third World. Somewhere in-between.

In the space of just one generation, we have descended from developed to deadbeat. And we are borrowing $380 million a week to sustain such relative disgrace. If we stopped borrowing, the banana boat would already be here. This is because we are a smug people. We think that we live in the greatest country on the planet and that should be enough. It is the most infinite of mysteries to Kiwis as to why the world does not owe us a living. So we borrow…

..the other two great drags on current and future taxpayers: 350,000 adult welfare beneficiaries and 550,000 superannuants. Add the children of welfare, and more than one million New Zealanders are standing idle, but with their hands out

… (Australia has) net government debt reduced to around 6% and anticipate a budget surplus next year. Plus they offer wages, tax benefits and health care beyond the capacity of New Zealand to deliver. In other words, they pretty much have it all.

Which is why so many New Zealanders – and not just young New Zealanders but anyone a decade or two off retirement – are seriously thinking of leaving. In Kiwi terms, Australia is Auckland and New Zealand is Kaitoke or Temuka or Woodville. Those with gumption go, those who are aged or indolent stay.

…Already there are enough New Zealanders in Australia to have their own Super 15 rugby franchise. Queensland is the favourite because they are more relaxed and not really Australian. They are Queenslanders and that mentality suits ours.

They are neither PC nor bound up in the guilty angst that is the non-Maori response to race relations in this country. They still smack their kids but send their crims to jail much longer. There are jobs aplenty for the skilled and the willing. And the sun shines. It is an intoxicating combination

We pretend we can save the planet by willingly embracing poverty. Although not just yet. We can always borrow from those same nations that got rich because they don’t follow our path. Until our credit founders against the reality. And until the greenies get their way with the cows as well. Environmental menaces that they are…

Read the full article here on the Sunday Star Times.

*Michael Laws is a New Zealand politician, broadcaster and writer/columnist. He served two terms as a Member of the New Zealand Parliament, representing the National Party (1990–96) and New Zealand First (1996). He was elected as Mayor of Wanganui in 2004, was re-elected in 2007 but announced his retirement from the mayoralty for the October 2010 elections. He is currently an elected district councillor and district health board member. He is a Radio Live morning talkback host and a longstanding Sunday Star-Times columnist. source

2 thoughts on ““Smugly standing idle, with our hands out…NZ not part of real civilisation”

  1. I’m not sure where they got the 25% figure from. I did research for an article many years ago that was going to be about why unemployment could be good for society (based on jobs being displaced by advancing technology), and was shocked to discover that 50% of New Zealand’s entire workforce was on some kind of government assistance.

    And nothing has changed since then.

    As well as a large amount of the workforce being on full time welfare a large percentage of the full time workforce are STILL receiving government assistance due to the crap wages and high cost of living. Those with children receive the most substantial payments; from family tax credits, to childcare subsidies, to accommodation supplements, the amounts are in the hundreds of dollars each week, and easily add up to an entire secondary part-time income. This means that although many people not technically unemployed they are still receiving welfare payments that match or in many cases exceed that of people on full time benefits.

    So although the rate of people on full time benefits might be 25% as is claimed, the real rate of people receiving government assistance is probably much, much higher.

  2. Though he means “pretty and isolated patch of land without much else going for it”, readers should be aware that Kaitoke is Maori for “edible earth worms” 🙂

    Borrowing $380 million a week is surely contributing to the external debt that resulted in the recent NZ ratings downgrade.

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