I have just finished reading a news report about a kid so hungry that he ate a cockroach. Believe that and you will probably believe anything or there is something seriously wrong with his family. I should even go a step further and say that the reporter who posted that story should be fired, and possible legal action taken against him/her for reporting nonsense In an election year, It reeks of politicking of the worst kind. However it didn’t bother the Labour Party one whit. They immediately leapt onto attack, without pausing to investigate the background, or even seeking out the facts relating to this story Failure to do this and for sure, you will end up with egg on your face. Whenever I read such an expose’, I look for the facts, I’m too long in the tooth now to accept a lot of the garbage that these untrained oafs, dress up and call news.

What was missing was was the actual amount of benefit being paid to this family. Why were they in such dire straights? I would also want to know some details about their spending. Any excesses in Booze, cigarettes, gambling in their budget? Also, were they getting all the entitlements that they were entitled too, regarding rent etc. And, where were all the welfare folk? Or even the kids teachers? Did they not realise that they had a starving kid in their midst? There are always people thick on the ground these days who get their highs through giving, I’m sure someone out there would have been delighted to help.

As for the pension not being sufficient to live on. They were never meant to provide for luxuries. All these benefits were set by Labour when they were in power back some nine years ago, and the cost of living increases have been granted, and added on every year since. So why is the pension suddenly insufficient to live on? So if the Labour Party who have been carping in parliament about the Benefits adequacy. They seem to have forgotten that It was their party that set the amount and entitlements.

The Bay of Plenty times have done a much better job of reporting. Yes the kid was hungry, and reduced to eating cockroaches. But as it turns out it was a case of appalling neglect by the mother, and since this matter has focused attention on this family. Her children have since been taken from her, and placed into care. A lot of nonsense could have been avoided if the reporter in the first place done his/her job properly. And if the Labour Party hadn’t been so keen, to blow the story out of all proportion. Politics is a grubby business, which many times is lacking, what we all look for, and that’s the truth.

There are many agencies here involved in the game of helping lame dogs over styles. For some folk, they can’t believe their good fortune as they make their rounds, double, and even, triple dipping from the various sources,There appears that there is no liaising between the various groups, all competing with one another to give out help. In fact the systems receiving all the earthquake monies are loaded. Right now with money pouring in, they all have plenty to give away.

There is so much money and kind yet to be given out. To give you an idea of what’s available I have listed below what information that I can access with ease.

Red Cross To date $50 million raised

Christchurch Council Earthquake Appeal To Date $18 million raised (Nothing to date has been given out)

Salvation Army To date $13 million raised

Canterbury University Students. They have supplied free labour that has involved several hundred students to labour in the hardest hit suburbs. Indirectly they have raised $30,000. too. As well, Oxford University UK has given forty places to Doctorate, and Honour students, to attend their summer school.

Caritas To date $650,000 raised

As well as the above there has been some 80,000 clothing and 50,000 grocery vouchers given out. The Press reports too that to date, it would be impossible to quantify the amount of volunteer aid and labour that has been freely given. This is by wonderful folk who freelance their help and don’t belong to any organised group.

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