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Speaker: Banning begging will be about as effective as banning breathing

18 Responses

  • Russell Brown,

    9000138936 - Homeless Budget - Customer Response.p.pdf

    The council document relating to Six’s adjunct.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __,

    Thank you Six. Couldn't agree more. And hell, you'd be in a position to know.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3891 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    Begging has also become a Wellington City Council election issue with clear differences between the left and the right.

    http://wellington.scoop.co.nz/?p=87762

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3214 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    But give the central city rough community a hub, a marae-style centre where anyone can go to learn artisan skills such as knitting, weaving, pottery and music. Second, find a vacant warehouse and enlist some of our skilled graduates as mentors, tutors and admin.

    There is a place in Wellington Vincent's art workshop, that started up after the Mason reports Impact on mental health institutions and the subsequent increase of people recovering from mental illness living in the community. The art workshop is a shadow of it former self now. It's probably because it's premise is smaller and it's no longer on a ground floor. What makes it awesome is that everyone goes there. It's a place that homeless people can drink cups of tea with art students.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4414 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to steven crawford,

    It's a place that homeless people can drink cups of tea with art students.

    Kind of like a cat cafe?
    Those art students are awfully cuddly...
    ;- )

    Chchch used to have a similar set up called Floyds, which was struggling to get back on its feet and the earthquakes finished off - a pale remnant exists....
    http://ngoupdater.org.nz/community-organisations/friends-of-floyds/?PHPSESSID=6917c688f0d38f622eaeca1eecc9d6ab

    There is a mental health foundation drop in centre in Phillipstown, and a youth drop in centre - but they're not quite the same set up.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7944 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen R,

    I had a brief discussion with Cr Sarah Free in Wellington about the whole "text this number to donate money to the council instead of giving to beggars" campaign WCC was running, and my position was that a lot of the people begging on the street are doing so because for whatever reason they can't manage the bureaucracy required to get a benefit and that a WCC fund would just be more of the same kind of hoops to jump through.

    Since they folded the pilot scheme shortly afterward, I don't think I was the only person giving them feedback that the idea was a bit wrongheaded.

    It was with somewhat mixed feelings that I read that Wellington was seen as a soft-touch by street beggars. (Quote from memory: "You don't go hungry in Wellington"). I'd prefer to live in a country that didn't have people who needed to beg to get by, but if we don't have a system that will look after those people, I'm glad that some of the people with means have some compassion towards them.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2009 • 259 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    There is a mental health foundation drop in centre in Phillipstown, and a youth drop in centre – but they’re not quite the same set up.

    That’s it, it’s the segregation problem. What made Vincent’s work was that it’s a community drop in and hang out place. I remember one day in the mid 199os when Martan was running some weather boards thru the table saw, someone in the other room was making screeching noises to possibly reduce anxiety. The trick with these places is to have good staff who creat an atmosphere of shared ownership. That shared ownership is why I was there with a sense of responsibility to care.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4414 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to steven crawford,

    I remember one day in the mid 199os when Martan was running some weather boards thru the table saw, someone in the other room was making screeching noises to possibly reduce anxiety.

    One very still evening I was sharpening an axe before cutting firewood. After each stroke of the stone I noticed a curious delayed echo. Wondering if it was due to some rare atmospheric condition I looked around for a cause, but all I could see was two young guinea pigs, who'd emerged from their nest and were watching me intently.

    Surely it couldn't be them I thought, wandering over for a closer look. Leaning in close I idly attempted to imitate the sound by grinding my teeth. Instantly the pigs did it right back, loudly and rapidly chattering their teeth as if to say "You got it!" Anxiety, empathy, it's a deep animal thing.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Young,

    Shades of Elizabethan England. What next? I know, let's bring back the pillory, whipping and the poorhouse!

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 571 posts Report Reply

  • william blake,

    Toi Ora live art in Putiki St along Gt Nth Rd from Karangahape Rd.

    Since Mar 2010 • 380 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    Banning begging is basically an admission of being too embarrassed to confront the root of the problem. What then if there were thousands of homeless, instead of just dozens?

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5430 posts Report Reply

  • Sistar Six, in reply to Lilith __,

    Thank you Lilith,

    You can't keeping just taking things away from people, without some sort of reciprocal action.

    It is basic physics.

    Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.

    If you ban begging, then pan-handlers start doing what?

    ; ) Six

    Auckland • Since Mar 2016 • 11 posts Report Reply

  • Sistar Six, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    All indicators imply an increase in homelessness.

    Auckland City Mission and Lifewise are overwhelmed and unmotivated.

    We are seeing older people, younger people, more women, educated people and even employed people sleeping rough.

    It is a sub culture. Almost invisible.

    There is an economy.

    Their is a power system, enforcers, tax men and boogeymen too.

    A society, which operates in plain view yet remains predominantly invisible.

    X Six

    Auckland • Since Mar 2016 • 11 posts Report Reply

  • Sistar Six, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    That's an amazing story Joe.

    X Six

    Auckland • Since Mar 2016 • 11 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    Anxiety, empathy, it’s a deep animal thing.

    This may be tangential, but an interesting read and insight...
    http://mosaicscience.com/story/australia-traditional-bush-healers-ngangkari

    Treating social and mental health issues is a cultural activity as much as a medical one. For tens of thousands of years, the ngangkari have played a significant role in their communities, and they still do today.
    ...
    Rubbing, massage and touch – pampuni – are all important in ngangkari practice, along with singing and dancing – inma – and a blowing technique that is a bit like soothing a child by blowing on a graze. But plants are a vital component. The desert fuchsia is also known as ‘medicine number one’ and, like many of the plants used by ngangkari, it contains active compounds with medicinal potential.
    Plants from all over the world have provided treatments for mainstream medicine, not least Australia’s native eucalyptus tree, which has decongestant properties. In recent years, scientists have identified antibacterial compounds in the desert fuchsia, and the World Health Organization has reported on the antiviral potential of the Casuarina tree, native to Australia and other countries. An Aboriginal ‘pharmacopoeia’ documenting indigenous medicines, their active compounds and their traditional uses was published in 1988, and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) is currently working with indigenous people on a new atlas of medicinal plants to preserve more of this knowledge in print.
    Medicinal activity and 60,000 years of practice are not enough for ngangkari treatments to be recognised and regulated as part of mainstream healthcare, however, and some campaigners feel this is a big problem for the health of indigenous people.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7944 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Hooton,

    I'm struggling to think what possible new regulation a so-called centre-right candidate thinks begging needs beyond the current restraints under the Crimes Act and common law. Sounds like nanny state to me.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2007 • 194 posts Report Reply

  • Euan Mason,

    They are trying to treat the symptom rather than the disease. We didn’t have begging, or at least not so pervasively, before Douglas & Richardson did their dirty work.

    It’s the same in London; I was shocked at the level of deprivation I witnessed during the 90s after having seen a prosperous, democratic socialist London during the 1960s. Thatcher has a lot to answer for.

    Canterbury • Since Jul 2008 • 259 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Matthew Hooton,

    I'm struggling to think what possible new regulation a so-called centre-right candidate thinks begging needs beyond the current restraints under the Crimes Act and common law. Sounds like nanny state to me.

    Or paternalism, to put it another way. The desperate need to be seen to be doing something, otherwise known as attacking the symptom.

    Sistar Six: "If you ban begging, then pan-handlers start doing what?"
    At best, the begging won't stop, it'll just happen elsewhere. At worst, anything could happen - maybe beggars are forced to turn to mugging, maybe they'll start getting ideas from Che Guevara. The ban-the-homeless crowd better hope that doesn't happen.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5430 posts Report Reply

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