Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search

 


A sensible solution to street begging

A sensible solution to street begging

by Don Franks
June 18, 2013

Wellington just got more diverse - central city retailers speaking to The Dominion Post report an increase in begging.

Figures from the Downtown Community Ministry show that on any fine day, 10 to 20 people are begging in Wellington. Of these, authorities estimate about half are homeless, many are feeding an addiction and a few are simply opportunists.

Some retailers claimed groups of younger beggars were using aggressive tactics, including singling out older women as soft targets and waving signs in people's faces.

As a regular Wellington pedestrian I often see beggars, but have not encountered aggressive ones. Most of the poor buggers just look dejected and feeble.

However way you look at it though, help is at hand.

The Dominion Post today reported:

The hounding of pedestrians by beggars for spare change has led to Wellington City Council deciding to install charity boxes around the city.

The boxes will be rolled out at begging hot spots later this year as part of the city council's bid to stamp out a rise in "opportunist" begging.

The boxes provide donors an immediate physical alternative to handing out change.

"The idea is instead of putting two dollars in their hand, you put it in the box."

If I was a nasty cynical person I might suspect that all the council have in mind is cleaning up their CBD so tourists don't get offended. A bit like the authorities are said to do in Pyongyang.

I have what I consider a much more humane and sensible idea.

The council's recently appointed CEO Ken Lavery gets paid $420,000.00 each year. Half of that is more than sufficient to keep any yuppie in lattes. Lavery is scarcely worth that anyway, his only contribution to date being a suggestion that the historic townhall building be razed.

To take the edge off street begging all the council need do is contact the twenty homeless Wellington folk and divey up half of Lavery's bloated pay, which would come to $10,500 apiece. Each recipient agrees not to panhandle for the rest of the year.

I bet if my alternative was put to a vote of the homeless I'd get a majority.

In the meantime, those donation boxes and their neighbouring shop windows better be strong enough to withstand the attention of desperate homeless people. The options of homeless unemployed are begging or theft. Close one avenue and the other must surely grow.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Daphne Lawless: The Whale Oil Leaks: Anti-Politics From Above

As we go to press, the election campaign has been turned upside down by a new book by investigative journalist Nicky Hager. Dirty Politics is based mainly on a leak of 2 gigabytes of emails and Facebook messages from “Whale Oil”, the vicious ... More>>

ALSO:

Branko Marcetic: When John Key Was Concerned About Dirty Politics

If Nicky Hager needs some support in the midst of a whirlwind of government criticism for his allegations of “dirty tricks” by the National Party, he may find one unlikely ally – John Key, six years ago. More>>

Jim Miles: Israeli War Crimes In Gaza

Israel reveals its true colours and true aspirations every time it attacks Gaza (or any other self-perceived enemy) as being the ethnic cleansing of Palestine, even to the degree - as the references above indicate - to the act of genocide. More>>

David Swanson: Top 9 Reasons To Stop Bombing Iraq

1. It's not a rescue mission. The U.S. personnel could be evacuated without the 500-pound bombs. The persecuted minorities could be supplied, moved, or their enemy dissuaded, or all three, without the 500-pound bombs or the hundreds of 'advisors' (trained ... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Comedian’s Death: Robin Williams And The Virtues Of Suicide

The Grim Reaper never runs out of converts. Put another way, death never gets his full due. Comedians do not figure well in this – they are particularly attractive targets in the business of death. More>>

Suzan Mazur: "Oomph" & Origin Of Life At Hydrothermal Vents

The notion that life originated in hydrothermal vents was for a long time a sleepy area of scientific inquiry because the vents first found, known as 'black smokers,' were way too hot and acidic. But in 1989, Michael Russell, a British geochemist who ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The US Rescue Mission In Iraq

It isn’t often that unilateral US bombing raids within a foreign country can be supported, but the current US bombing campaign in northern Iraq is one such case. The fighters of the Islamic State (IS) appear to be intent on committing genocide against the Yezidis, Christians, Turkmen, Kurds and every other non-Sunni community in the region… More>>

ALSO:

Stuart Littlewood: What More Horrors Are In Store For Gaza?

I wonder what Hamas and Israeli leaders are thinking as they survey the devastation in Gaza and review the death-toll and casualty figures? Or course, neither has to live among the ruins and clamber over the devastation. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
TEDxAuckland
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news