Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: New Zealand Weekend Television

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  • 3410,

    A whole pile of corporates got involved (I get the feeling some people think that is a bad thing. Why?).

    The corporates did a great deal of raising awareness of themselves. Nothing wrong with that, per se - other than the inherent tackiness - but they should be paying sufficiently for it. Anything else is exploiting the poor and needy, even if it does help them.

    I'm not claiming that this is the case; I'd just like to know the numbers in order to be reassured that it's not.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Numbers.

    KidsCan general manager Julie Helson said the event cost more than $1 million to produce, but at least 87 per cent was covered by sponsors and in-kind support.

    None of the donated cash would go towards TV3's production costs for the 23-hour broadcast, she said.

    "It's the first time ever in the history of telethon that the event has been sponsored to a level where there's going to be a significant return," Helson said.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    Numbers.

    Yeah, I got that, but it's pretty non-specific. Anyway, don't want to make a federal case out of it; it was just an observation.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Who knows, the awareness that tens of thousands of children in our country go to school every day without shoes or breakfast might linger on?

    If someone got organised around that, bigger changes might result. Gosh, political parties could even mobilise to tackle the problem.

    In the meantime, at least there will be some more shoes, raincoats and food. Sure that's not the best way and it might even send the wrong signals.

    However, those who could eliminate poverty have been sucessfully ignoring it for many years. I somehow doubt that the recipients will curse Kids Can for undermining the bigger fix.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    We shouldn't have that choice to help or not, any more than we should have the choice to provide due process or not.

    That is exceedingly well put.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Every so often it behoves us to think about this:

    What are our taxes being paid for, again?

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • ScottY,

    But why not support the people trying to do some good?

    Because the idea that child poverty should be a matter for charity is disgusting.

    Are you advocating that we stop supporting this charity? Because that's where your argument is going logically, i.e poverty is a government problem, so we mustn't support any non-government organisations or charities who try to address it. I'm sure you're not. It's okay to be angry at Key and the politicians. Let's not get angry at the people trying to help.

    But as for Key, I wanted to scream at my TV when that grinning buffoon of a PM showed up. It's funny how he managed to make sure he was near an All Black almost every time the cameras turned to him.

    It's not the Telethon that gets me exactly; it is the relentless happiness & seeming normality of the whole thing

    It's a fun event, which is why it works to raise money. If it were a depressing event almost nobody would watch, and few would donate.

    The corporates did a great deal of raising awareness of themselves. Nothing wrong with that, per se - other than the inherent tackiness - but they should be paying sufficiently for it. Anything else is exploiting the poor and needy, even if it does help them.

    Who was exploited? And isn't this the model of capitalism that we all want? If being a good corporate citizen is good for business, won't it mean more companies start getting involved in charities and helping communities?

    What are our taxes being paid for, again?

    Bill English's mortgage?

    West • Since Feb 2009 • 794 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    But as for Key, I wanted to scream at my TV when that grinning buffoon of a PM showed up. It's funny how he managed to make sure he was near an All Black almost every time the cameras turned to him.

    Of course, Scotty, it would have been infinitely preferable if he'd had a pressing engagement elsewhere so you could complain about what a heartless Tory cunt he is. Damned if you do, damned if you don't...

    I am disappointed in the low total raised so far but is this because in our current beneficiary bashing resentment society poor kids are not seen as a worthy cause?

    Perhaps they should have focused the promos on montages of pox-ridden, wheezy Dickensian waifs in the rain, over a mournful theme tune by Dave Dobbyn or Don MacGlashan, with a fade to this:

    WILL SOMEBODY PLEASE THINK ABOUT THE CHILDREN?

    Meanwhile, Hillary, if I don't receive evidence that you've cut a cheque to your local hospice by the end of the day, I presume its because you're part of a society that don't give a damn if terminally-ill people die in the gutter like unwanted animals. If you find that an offensive cheap shot (and you should), you might want to think twice about taking it yourself.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    It's a fun event, which is why it works to raise money. If it were a depressing event almost nobody would watch, and few would donate.

    So we need to be entertained in order to give a damn? That I think some up why some of us may have a problem with the concept.

    It's not that I don't think it can have some value - using the medium for a civic purpose, reminding us of what it could be doing a lot more of - but charity without criticism speaks exactly to Keir's argument. It normalises the lunacy of us needing charity in the first place.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    some up = sums up, possibly.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Meanwhile, Hillary, if I don't receive evidence that you've cut a cheque to your local hospice by the end of the day, I presume its because you're part of a society that don't give a damn if terminally-ill people die in the gutter like unwanted animals. If you find that an offensive cheap shot (and you should), you might want to think twice about taking it yourself.

    Way to completely miss the point and make a gigantic douche of yourself in the bargain, Craig.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • ScottY,

    Of course, Scotty, it would have been infinitely preferable if he'd had a pressing engagement elsewhere so you could complain about what a heartless Tory cunt he is. Damned if you do, damned if you don't...

    Craig, I just don't hate Key enough to describe him in that manner. In fact I don't really hate him at all. And, however misguided some of his policies are, I'd never describe him as heartless.

    Given that child poverty is a symptom of Governmental failure. I'd have preferred no politicians to have been involved with the event. And that goes for Phil Goff (who was also filmed grinning like a buffoon, next to an All Black). After all, it's not as if child poverty only became a problem from election night.

    So we need to be entertained in order to give a damn?

    If the end result is that poor kids get food and clothes, then who cares how it's done?

    West • Since Feb 2009 • 794 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    I agree with both sides of this argument and I think my brain is going to implode.

    (I would like to note, however, that the tackiness or otherwise of the whole telethon operation shouldn't really come into the approval/disapproval equation. *Of course* it's tacky. 95% of everything in the world is tacky.)

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    If the end result is that poor kids get food and clothes, then who cares how it's done?

    But long term, suggesting that Telethons (& charitable giving in general) are an appropriate way to deal with child poverty is just wrong. They aren't at all.

    There are some things that charity is suited for. The provision of basic rights is not one of them. The idea of begging for one's rights is just repellent.

    (`Who cares how it's done' also applies to the Poor Law, and I'll be damned if I'll like that, even if it was better than nothing.)

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

  • ScottY,

    (`Who cares how it's done' also applies to the Poor Law, and I'll be damned if I'll like that, even if it was better than nothing.)

    Am I right that you've just compared a bunch of celebrities acting like fools for charity to the evils of the Victorian workhouse system? Or have I misunderstood something?

    West • Since Feb 2009 • 794 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Way to completely miss the point and make a gigantic douche of yourself in the bargain, Craig.

    No, Gio, I object to the kind of drive by guilt trip where if you don't donate to someone's favoured charity its assumed you're hateful and callous. The hospice movement is enormously important to me -- and sustained by the remarkable generosity of a lot of people, not only financially but in the form of volunteers who donate their time and skills. I'd love it if I never had to cut another cheque, or attend another fundraiser, because hospices were fully (and generously) funded by the Government -- but until then, I'm not going to piss on people whose priorities are elsewhere.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    Am I right that you've just compared a bunch of celebrities acting like fools for charity to the evils of the Victorian workhouse system? Or have I misunderstood something?

    Well, there's something Victorian about this particular Telethon so it was generally in the mind & the Poor Law was better than nothing. Not much, but it was & yet it was still undeniably awful.

    Not the same, but the justifying reasoning could be the same.

    (I would like to note, however, that the tackiness or otherwise of the whole telethon operation shouldn't really come into the approval/disapproval equation. *Of course* it's tacky. 95% of everything in the world is tacky.)

    I think the tackiness is important in terms of legitimising it as part of NZ pop culture though, as well as saying `this is for charity' etc. Semiotics etc, etc.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    If the end result is that poor kids get food and clothes, then who cares how it's done?

    I would have responded by Keir did it much better.

    No, Gio, I object to the kind of drive by guilt trip where if you don't donate to someone's favoured charity its assumed you're hateful and callous.

    If only that was even remotely what Hilary was driving at, ay?

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    Craig, I don't quite see why I have angered you so much. But I apologise if I have.

    I do feel distinctly uneasy that fundraising like this can objectify poor children as objects of pity. And giving those like Michael Laws yet another chance to have ago at their parents as less than human. Because there is a strong theme in NZ at the moment that if people are poor it is their own fault.

    But on the other hand I have had a long involvement in fundraising for various charities - all which involve children who are sick or disabled (Craig, ever stood on a cold footpath for hours trying to get the odd coins from the passersby?) There isn't enough money - or any money for some causes - from the public purse, so you have to get the attention of the public however you can - and if it takes guilt, so what.

    So good on all those who gave their time or resources for Telethon.

    However, being a recipient of this chairty can be a bit more uncomfortable. Many years ago when one of my children was recovering from a serious illness she got a trip to Queensland with one of those fundraising groups. It was great, but there was still an element of shame and guilt that I couldn't provide it for her. And I imagine some of the parents of kids who get Kids Can help, feel similar.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3227 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    I think the tackiness is important in terms of legitimising it as part of NZ pop culture though, as well as saying `this is for charity' etc.

    That is a legitimate point which I hadn't thought of. (I'm not sure if everyone snarking at the tackiness has the same attitude, though.)

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    Craig, thanks for supporting hospices. I've had good experiences with hospices. Nothing wrong with having our specialist charities. I support anyone doing this stuff - so will usually always donate to any volunteers collecting on the street or selling raffle tickets - even vote in Dancing with the Stars. Just off to buy some school fundraising chocolate from a colleague. She bought my last fundraising booklet.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3227 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Craig:

    No, Gio, I object to the kind of drive by guilt trip where if you don't donate to someone's favoured charity its assumed you're hateful and callous.

    Perhaps you could find a better way of conveying your objection. Nothing Hilary said warranted the tone of your response. Please apologise to Hilary and/or take a break and calm down.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Are you advocating that we stop supporting this charity? Because that's where your argument is going logically, i.e poverty is a government problem, so we mustn't support any non-government organisations or charities who try to address it. I'm sure you're not.

    I think you can construct a reasoned argument that charities and NGOs stepping into the void left by the state makes it easier for the state not to be in that void.

    It's really a question of whether or not the void is valid in the first place. Is this something that families should be relying on charity for, or should it be guaranteed to them by the state?

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • ScottY,

    Kyle, I agree the State should be doing the job of the charities.

    But since charities have been around in one form or another since the earliest days of the Church, I'm not holding my breath for that to occur.

    West • Since Feb 2009 • 794 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    I think you can construct a reasoned argument that charities and NGOs stepping into the void left by the state makes it easier for the state not to be in that void.

    It's an old problem, and it isn't going away - we do what we do because we see needs in society that aren't being met, and we can't stomach the idea of letting them go to complete rot so to the point that somebody from an institution HAS to provide. It's a way of redistributing wealth, to the poor from the slightly less poor, and we simply couldn't function without it. Which is why I agree with those who've said that politicians from either of our major parties shouldn't be allowed to take part and look good.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

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