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Thread: An article on NZ Herald that terrified me

  1. #1
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    Default An article on NZ Herald that terrified me

    Hello Everyone,

    I check out NZ Herald regularly these days and yesterday I found something that stunned me.
    Below is the link of "Divided auckland: Mind the widening gap ... a tale of two cities".
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/ar...ectid=10783636

    I was terrified when I read the second story (Craig and Carla Bradley).
    I was just wondering- Is the condition that bad in NZ.

    It says they earned like 42,000 last year (20/hr wage for husband + some other part time), and still they
    - "Sometimes Carla and I go without," says Craig. - FOOD.
    -They buy meat and fresh vegetables sparingly.
    -They buy mainly second-hand clothing and use the same shoes "until they wear a hole in them".
    -Their laptop computer hasn't worked for four months because they can't afford to repair it.
    - (worst of all) "The boys haven't been out to a beach yet," Craig says. "We are only 20 minutes from the beach at Maraetai but we never go.


    I was shivered when I read this. I guessed 42,000 was an OK income in NZ, and people can live on it.
    Please pass your comments on it. Is it that bad?

    Terrified
    MK
    Last edited by MK33; 7th February 2012 at 03:37 PM.

  2. #2
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    I wouldn't find this that hard to believe depending on where they live and how much they spend on housing. I've found housing to be the most considerable expense and there was also a NZ Herald article outlining that Auckland was one of the more expensive cities to buy a house compared to income (I think it was an average of 6.8 times the yearly income for a median house). I have a job where I make $62k/yr and my wife stays home with our son. I wouldn't say we don't worry about eating but we're definitely not in a saving or excess position but we have bought a home (less than the Auckland median) and I spend about 50% of my income on this... renting would be cheaper but not by much especially in the location we're in.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MK33 View Post
    Please pass your comments on it. Is it that bad?
    I have found this to be a reasonably common comment from returning Kiwis: that they feel the gap between rich and poor has become bigger. I can't comment on any divide getting bigger or not, but there is most certainly a divide.

    Especially in areas where the deprivation difference is big, like the area that I live in, I find it striking. And I don't see it getting any better soon, as long as what kind of school you go to and what kind of outlook on life you have depends on your parents' income and the area you grow up in.

    Although I do find the poor here poorer than in some European countries, every country has that divide to some extent. I think what scares me the most is that even with decent job you may not be able to make a living here.

    Daniela

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    Manks is offline Serial procrastinator and general busybody
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    It's probably much harder for people on low wages in Auckland as housing is that much more expensive. Supply and demand. I think Wellington is more reasonable. My friends live in St Heliers, Auckland, we're in Island Bay, Wellington. Both desirable suburbs. We are paying in rent what our friends paid for their old place. They had a 2-bed flat, shared garden, but did have a garage. We've got a 3-bed detached house with double garage and private garden. They have since moved into a 3-bed detached house in the same suburb, no garage but a garden and they pay $200 a week more than we do.

    So it's easy to see how it might be harder for lower-paid families to struggle if they live in Auckland and have to pay Auckland prices for housing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Manks View Post
    So it's easy to see how it might be harder for lower-paid families to struggle if they live in Auckland and have to pay Auckland prices for housing.
    I too think it is not so much a problem of NZ (or other countries) as a whole but much more of living in (large) cities where either housing prices are high and/or commuting prices. There are many towns and township where such an income (and lower) is sufficient.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ralf-nz View Post
    I too think it is not so much a problem of NZ (or other countries) as a whole but much more of living in (large) cities where either housing prices are high and/or commuting prices. There are many towns and township where such an income (and lower) is sufficient.
    True, however, one has to live where the jobs are and most usually are in the big cities. I believe that this is also the reason why big cities are more expensive than smaller towns. A catch-22 for most people.

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    Thanks everyone for the inputs.
    Yeh! it's a catch 22 situation as Alia has said.

    Also, I get an impression that life should be relatively easy in other places with 42,000 or similar sort of income.
    It also looks like if you want to stay in big cities and look for further opportunities, both husband and wife need to work.

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    What I find baffling is over 1/4 of NZ's population like to live in Auckland. Maybe there's not so many in Auckland that make low income to begin with?

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    One thing that may just be my perspective: I know more people here who rent a home than I ever did in the UK. I don't know whether this is a British "king of my own castle" type attitude that I've brought with me, and I *do* know that when you're renting it can be very hard to save a deposit, but the sheer cost of paying $350+ per week in rent has to make a dent in what's left for necessities like food, let alone money for "fun", especially on one salary. Some also make decisions that might seem good at the time, but long term many should have taken the "harder" route earlier.

    e.g. BiL and co pay $380/week in rent, we pay $220/week towards our mortgage - similar areas, similar houses. They both have high-paying jobs right now, particularly BiL due to night shift & overtime allowances, but he wants to get away from the shift work. Years ago they said they would save a deposit by putting all the money above their standard salaries into savings, but it never got off the ground (their choice to spend elsewhere), so now they're facing some tough decisions: cut hours to be with family more, or stay where the money is? It shouldn't get to the stage of eating baked beans every night, but I know there are regrets floating around.

    Financial education should be in every school, no matter what the country. That lessons could have been learnt from the recession back when I was at school, but no. Now we're doing it all again, bigger and better *sigh*

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    Quote Originally Posted by Super_BQ View Post
    What I find baffling is over 1/4 of NZ's population like to live in Auckland. Maybe there's not so many in Auckland that make low income to begin with?
    Make that more than 1/3. AKL just clicked over 1.5 million. Auckland is a nice place to visit, I supppose, but I wouldn't want to deal daily with the traffic and all the rest that comes with that many people. I'll take right-sized Christchurch with it's easy access to the mountains any time.

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