Sunday, April 14, 2013

5000 Phillipinos doing the work on farms in the South Island alone.

Firstly, this is not an attack on the wonderful Philippine workers who are working so hard on our farms. It is an indictment on New Zealanders who won't move their buts from the cities. They would rather collect a benefit than move house and take up a new challenge. I come from a farming background, way back in my distant past, and I know that conditions have improved a great deal since those days. For a hard working person, there is still a possibility to improve their lot by going the way of starting at the bottom. Sure, they may not get to own outright their farm, but they will make money. It takes true grit and determination. Their kids can have a lifestyle that has so many plusses.
A word of caution though. I hope that our Philippine friends are being looked after. I would hate to think that NZ would exploit these very welcome workers, as there have been reports that this has happened. We regularly hear about in other countries. I hope that there is a regular check to see that everything is above board. It is too easy to exploit workers when they work in isolation, well away from the 'eyes ' of the bodies responsible for their welfare.
In the meantime, we need to harden up as NZers and be prepared to move in order to find employment. I know that in my field, education, that teachers have to do this. Hell, we most definitely do not want everyone working ion Auckland with its debt traps and crazy traffic!

Day 13 post- surgery.

 Each day seems better. I feel like walking more and I have not lost my love for food at all; it's just the type of food and the amounts that have changed. I know, some people say that I should have been like that before. Crap to that, as I accepted that I needed a 'tool' and now that's how it feels. I am in control and know that I have helped myself by doing this and I won't be a drain on the tax payer. Hell, I hope I go out with a bang, not a long drawn out decline, afflicted by all of those things that I would have had.  Bye bye pills. OK, no one knows what hides around the corner, but at least I have avoided a few 'ambushes' that were laying in wait for me.
I had some energy today, big time (well for at least half the day) so I oven dried a few kilos of beautiful tomatoes and concentrated another lot in a pan. I will freeze the dried ones and make concentrated ice block of the others. The house smells divine, like a Mediterranean kitchen.
I will do the same again next week. I am quickly running out of freezer place. For once my adage, 'less is more' just doesn't work for me. Time for a nana nap!

Move to the country and be a farm worker--isn't that better than living on a benefit in the cities?

You have a choice---live on a benefit in the cities and get further and further into debt or go and become a farm worker; an occupation where there are many vacancies and one that apparently pays more then the average wage and has some damn good 'fringe benefits.' No one is suggesting that such a move to the country to fill these jobs will make a huge dent in the number of those receiving a benefit. The suggestion is not a panacea for the country.
How many of those on benefits would either want or be able to make such a move. If one has been brought up in the city then there are quite massive adjustments to be made and the day to day grind of 'life on the farm' is not for everybody. Those early morning starts, in all weathers is something that takes grit and determination. The physicality is not for everyone either, although technological changes have made inroads in that area. Working with just one boss can be 'telling' on a workplace relationship and the isolation from the 'draws' of the towns and cities can be quite daunting for some.
If you can get over these challenges and you have a desire to make some massive changes for you and your family (or as a single person) then maybe a move to the country is worth considering.
The bonuses? You could look forward to a better income, one that certainly exceeds even a combination of benefits, a healthier lifestyle, a school that is smaller, being part of a rural community that if you take full advantage of, can lead to a fulfilling lifestyle. Then there are the added benefits. Some farms offer cheaper accommodation with the addition of some free produce, ranging from food, firewood to state just two. You could have your own garden (keep the kids busy?) and further enhance your economic position. Is this lifestyle for you and could you make you change and take up the huge new learning experience. Let's face it, not too many of those on benefits would even consider such a move, but for those who would, every step should be taken to 'enhance' their chances to make this massive move. They should not do so thinking that everything is rosy in the rural garden. Think of the lack of 'fast internet access, the early morning starts and the grumpy bosses, (not all of them are 'nice,' or even fair) the bad weather and the relocating ramifications.
You should also consider where you are now. Is life that good at the  moment and do you have the 'drive' to start a new life. Look back in history and know that all NZers are either from another land or the descendants of those who have made the move.
Is this your chance. Think carefully!