Friday, March 05, 2021

A picture of govt failure


Latest housing register statistics.

As usual  Maori displaying disproportionate need:

Out of interest I made a second gragh to see how the proportions compared to when Labour came into office:

Matters have worsened for Maori. You wonder why they keep voting Labour really.

Thursday, March 04, 2021

More biased Stuff reporting

 Another case of Stuff and their biased reporting appeared today.


Teenagers receiving youth benefits say they’re being harmed by a controversial welfare policy that’s meant to help them, with some forced to choose between going hungry or paying rent.

Since 2012, 16 to 20-year-olds who receive the Youth Payment or Young Parent Payment have had access to their money strictly controlled by the state.

Rent and bills are paid directly to landlords. Most of what’s leftover is put on a payment card that can only be used at certain shops and cannot be used to buy alcohol, cigarettes or electronics.

Youth are then given up to $50 a week in cash, but some receive a lot less after their expenses are paid.

The purpose of this is to help rangatahi (young people) budget, but a just-released report, by the Ministry of Social Development (MSD), which oversees the scheme, has found the restrictions can lead to young people feeling “disempowered and stressed”.

MSD report:

Most providers (64 percent) agreed that money management is beneficial to most young people.

I guess you would expect that from the adults. But let's have the full context for the lifted phrase "disempowered and stressed":

From the two studies it is clear that Youth Service providers and young people have similar views on compulsory money management. Both providers and current and past recipients see a definite benefit in some of the components of money management. However, they believe that other components are less helpful and may at times even cause young people difficulty. From the findings it is evident that young people may feel disempowered and stressed particularly due to the universal compulsory nature of money management and the limitations of the payment card. Providers and young people call for greater flexibility in the way money management works. 

So money management for young people and young parents isn't perfect but there is no impetus for it to cease as a practice. 

On what basis do Stuff ask for your financial support?

"Stuff’s ethical reporting is built on accuracy, fairness and balance."



Wednesday, March 03, 2021

Plummeting prison population

Corrections has released December 2020 prison statistics

My question is, how do you react to this graph?

There are around 1,500 fewer people in prison than the Justice Sector forecast there would be.

Does that inspire you? Does it make you feel less safe? I mean, everything is about feelings today isn't it?

Criminal behaviour doesn't change in the space of a year. Only active policy to reduce the prison population by device (eg earlier parole) can create a deviation of this magnitude.

Update: Jim Rose helpfully provided some context for the drop, reported in Suff.

Instead of waiting for laws to change – an often slow and contentious political process – Davis has started tinkering at the edges.

"In one aspect a lot has changed, and in another aspect, little has changed…We're finding inefficiencies in the system and doing our best to eliminate them."

Davis asked Corrections to identify its top 10 initiatives for safely reducing the prison population.

The initiatives included looking at how best to utilise electronic monitoring – something recommended in the briefing papers – and bail applications.

In the case of bail applications, those who have been charged are now given extra help filling out the form and access to their full contact information.

This allowed them to submit a proper bail application, with potential bail addresses, so when they came before the court, if a judge deemed them suitable for bail, it could begin immediately.

"We haven't made any legislative changes, we've just found inefficiencies in the system and changed them; low-hanging fruit," Davis says.

"I'm just surprised that the things that we're doing hasn't happened before."

At the moment, the system was "defying the forecasts", he says.

There is still more to be squeezed from those top 10 initiatives, which also include looking at transitional housing, remand, youth, iwi initiatives, and female prisoners. Then Davis will ask Corrections for the next 10 ideas.

"There's now an environment where they're free to be creative."

And for would-be inmates, more creative to be free!

I support the aim so long as more victims is not the result. An outcome only dscovered after the fact.