* Average taken from figures from 2008-2009 to 2010-2011 financial years. Source
** Child Poverty Action Group’s estimate of annual cost to provide breakfasts for the poorest 30% of primary and intermediate schools ($18.9 million) Source
While I know, like and respect some of the consultants with whom I have worked in my time in New Zealand, these figures only increase my concerns about the real costs of the culture of consultation that exists today.Acknowledging that one infographic can never tell the full story and recognising the private sector can spend money however shareholders will allow, I would guess that the true cost/benefit of, and the tangible return on, public sector consultation would be almost impossible to calculate - without employing yet more consultants.On the other hand, the cost of poverty - whether first hand for those in its grasp or the consequential impacts elsewhere in the economy - has been diligently recorded in the quarterly Vulnerability Report from The New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services (NZCCSS)  since it was first published three years ago. It makes for sobering and occasionally harrowing reading.As a former public sector social responsibility manager, I know that there are no easy answers to child poverty & the associated health implications or to addressing the cyclic issues that keep families in poverty. As a citizen who immigrated seven years ago to give his own four kids a better start in life, it troubles me that many in this country are unable to do the same and seem to have little hope of ever doing so.That the government seem to diminish, or worse, blithely ignore the issue is unconscionable. http://www.nzccss.org.nz/site/page.php?page_id=260P.S. Had to laugh at your comment on Jim M's show - consistency is the holy grail for bloggers. Been writing on the web for 10 years and am still struggling to write regularly.
Posted in haste and neglected to add my other key point: successive NZ Governments have avoided defining and agreeing a poverty line. Surely, the absence of that low water mark can only serve to blur the picture and allow wiggle room to massage statistics and fudge facts.
I expect that the product of Consultation is to find new ways of enticing voters, whilst the current Government MPs will be long gone by the time the current kids are able to vote. Expendable don't you see.
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