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Speaker: Doing the right thing on retirement

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  • Stewart,

    I think that John Key's "Show me the money" quote just indicates how far out of touch with 'ordinary' NZers he is. As if those sort of beliefs and (lack of) principles are relevant - he might as well have jabbered on about "Greed is good".

    Te Ika A Maui - Whakatane… • Since Oct 2008 • 577 posts Report

  • Hilary Stace,

    Joe, I'm sorry I didn't mean to be patronising. This is still raw history for many and that is one reason why the Donald Beasley study exploring the stories of various players (staff, families, residents) is so fascinating and important. But what I am saying is that the policy makers (and the 1953 Aitken report specifically recommended extending the Levin facility that the earlier Fraser govt had developed on a much more community scale) into the huge institutions it and others became - which was not what many of the families wanted, and it also increased the clinical and societal pressure for parents to send their children there and forget about them.

    It has parallels now in the policy recommendations that the Welfare Working Group, for example, proposes and what the disability advocates themselves want - worlds apart, but the more powerful lobby inevitably gets its way.

    Of course what humanises any policy is that there are good people in the system who make the best of the situation for the people concerned as much as they can, like your mother. Brian Easton is another who challenges me on my research as his perspective is as the child of a father who was a concerned and caring staff member at Templeton.

    My point is that there is much history still to uncover in disability policy generally and it is painful, particular for those with first hand experience. My perspective is from that of parenting a child, who in an earlier era may have had to live away from home in state care and I would have been pressured to do that. I have also been influenced by the stories of those who once lived in such state care and had absolutely no choice in the matter, and they are the most powerful stories.
    Gerard Smythe's 'Out of sight out of mind' lets those people tell their own stories. He also found their medical files for them to help them understand (now as old people) why they went to - in this case Templeton - in the first place. One woman arrived with a bus load of 3 year olds and another was a 6 year old who was a bit of a handful. This is the sort of policy stuff that we need to have ongoing vigilance about.

    Meanwhile families with older disabled children are today looking for part time appropriate residential support and finding very little available - which is another policy challenge.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3229 posts Report

  • merc,

    ...now he's a monkey's shonky uncle who uses a Greek calculator, or something, http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/policies/5908629/Labour-releases-spending-plans
    Dear John, you're not funny anymore.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    Thanks Hilary, sorry I was unduly harsh, especially as I've enjoyed your kindness and generosity here in the past.

    The Levin centre, by whatever name, was being slowly expanded when I left all those decades ago. I'd assumed it was simply an upgrade and replacement of the run-down and recycled former borstal and air force base. When I checked the Google Earth map a couple of years back I confess that I was shocked. What were those huge structures in what had been open fields? What on earth had they been thinking of back in the (presumably) 1970s? So yes, I understand and share your revulsion.

    While I try to be conscious that my views may be subject to a certain fuzzy nostalgia, I believe that it's not a matter of whether or not my parents were good people, but that a genuinely caring culture once existed in a place with such a blighted history.

    I don't know if the empire building element was there at the time the place was established. It certainly didn't appear to be a driving force in the years I recall. There was a sense of progress, of improving the lot of people in care. Part of this would have come from medical advances. For example cretinism and hydrocephaly, of which there were a number of sufferers among the original inmates, were either eliminated or brought under control.

    If social attitudes to disability had been viewed as similar evils to be overcome then presumably people would have been provided with the care they needed as the place devolved. Was this ever the guiding belief under which the place operated? I really don't know, but I believe there was certainly an element of progressive thinking back then. I have a few ideas about who the genuine progressives were, and I believe that some real achievements were made in terms of patient welfare, often in the face of an intransigent bureaucracy.

    The last time I drove through the grounds at Levin was in the early 80s. I was shocked at how run down the place had become, with residents appearing to wander aimlessly. It was probably the first time that I realised that progress isn't a given, that it's something that we have to strive for.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report

  • Hilary Stace, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    Apparently there were 800 residents at its height in the early 1970s, so from the 50s-70s was the big growth era. Since then run down as de-inst started, but took another 30 years. I think, like any large organisation, the culture varied with the leadership, and each new new director seemed to want to take it in new directions, probably with the best of progressive intentions. All I know is that Tony Attwood, who spent a short time there as a young psychologist in the early 1980s, did not like what he found, and he didn't stay long.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3229 posts Report

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Archimedes says 'we're screwed'...

    You mean like history as a valuable science :).

    Hell yes, it is reducible to pure truths
    and burns with a steady clear light
    when exposed to air...

    and even when it is pure bullshit
    it can be gathered in pats to burn and
    fuel the shadows on the cave wall...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report

  • Islander, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    In black fatty smoke
    the drawings grow-
    add red ochre? O yes!
    The yellow too?
    And dogshit white
    (there is nothing new
    about cooking piments
    or other pig stuff
    -bristles/shaved bone
    a tusk as scriber
    a dog tooth sharpering a line- and

    35000 years on
    we see our betters
    and are defined anew-

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

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Stewart,

    The Scion of Elders…
    Champagne lifestyles on XXXX (ForEx) budgets
    the young Key in his natural environment
    Note to National Radio even then he was inferred to be an’addict’!
    …and I love the Hockneyesque goggles.

    I think that John Key’s “Show me the money” quote just indicates how far out of touch with ‘ordinary’ NZers he is.

    You could see the lightbulb go off in Key’s head when he said that
    and then he repeated it, like he was mining comedy gold
    - or is he perhaps a secret scientologist?

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report

  • Richard Aston,

    and fuel the shadows on the cave wall...

    Nice line Ian .
    Beautiful image of history in all its ragged glory feeding our imaginations for more to come.

    Northland • Since Nov 2006 • 510 posts Report

  • Sacha, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    You could see the lightbulb go off in Key’s head when he said that

    You'll probably find the lightbulb was in Joyce's head many days earlier. Hence the annoyance from Gordon Campbell and others about the lack of any effective response.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Richard Aston,


    Nice line Ian .

    Thanks, but I confess I was channelling Plato

    The teardrop explodes...

    You'll probably find the lightbulb was in Joyce's
    head many days earlier.

    How long till Key tries to take the credit for Coronation Street
    returning to prime time... I reckon 48 hrs max...

    well I'll be daubed in woad...

    In black fatty smoke
    the drawings grow...

    a richly shamanic offering
    from a wordsmith extraordinaire
    impressive neolithography

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report

  • Kyle Matthews,

    (I'm catching up on this thread, so haven't read it all the way through, hopefully my points still make sense).

    Maori and Mana dislike it because of Maori’s poor mortality rates. They believe a raise in the age would be unfair to Maori, and they have a valid point.

    I feel like that's only a valid point if the unemployment benefit is unfair to white people and the DPB is unfair to males. It's demographically unfair across the population, but we don't apply that filter to other benefits do we?

    What's really disappointing is that I've seen heaps of people raise this point, and their solution is "keep the retirement age where it is" rather than "lets help Maori live longer".

    For the first time the number of people in the workforce is shrinking relative to those retiring, and the Ponzi-like nature of the scheme is becoming apparent. We either make it affordable, or it will collapse.

    The very fact that we have a massive bill on the horizon is the indication that the soon to be retired haven't paid for their retirement. If compulsory super had gone through years ago they would have, we're now talking about how people that are working over the next twenty years are going to fund their own future retirement, while paying for people that are retired now. People who have been paying taxes for the past forty years may not have funded their own retirement, but they're going to get to retire at 65 anyway. There's a bit of getting your cake and eating it too involved.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Kyle Matthews,

    I put this on the wrong thread earlier ooops silly me but looks like Allen Peachey doesn’t make it to retirement.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Yes I am aware of those projections – but they partially are based on assumptions that retired people will make no contribution to the economy ie they will be a burden.

    I believe those that keep on working into national super age group are included in that 2:1 ratio.

    But won’t the people paid this pension be spending it back into the economy?It’s not like they are getting it and going out the back and burning it in the incinerator or in some other way taking it out of circulation…

    I'm not sure how that helps. The government could throw billions of dollars out the window at various people and they'd spend it and it would stimulate the economy. The money still needs to come from somewhere however.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report

  • Sacha,

    The ultimate answer is increasing the value each business and worker produces. This country's record on productivity (and sharing it fairly) is not good.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report

  • Richard Aston, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Ian thanks for the Plato cave reference - Allegory of the Cave - isn't it amazing how we interpret - Your channeled Plato sees the shadows on the cave wall as illusory - a dim reflection of reality but not reality. Plato's reality seems to be an objective external one.

    I was attracted not to the shadows but the process of watching them.

    I saw our cave shadow watching ancestors slipping into the imaginary sphere , that liminal space where we humans start to create our reality, our story , our world view ... our internal reality.

    Lost in fire caved shadows dance
    All that was, returns to Haunt
    Indifferent walls of rock

    Imagination flames & flickers up
    To see what could be or not
    Smoke shadows showing

    Slumber in the liminal place when
    Cave Fire explodes a snapping crack
    A vision comes, startling clear

    The world is born again
    In here

    Northland • Since Nov 2006 • 510 posts Report

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