Beggar’s belief

Bob Jones has created controversy again, this time with comments criticising beggars on Newstalk ZB.

NZ Herald has more details: Sir Bob Jones labels homeless people a ‘disgrace to society’

“They’re a bloody disgrace, they’re an eyesore, it’s a disgrace in a modern society that fat people – that fat Maoris as they mostly are – are lying on our streets of our city begging.” he told Chris Lynch  on NewstalkZB.

He said begging should be made illegal.

“I was in the city yesterday, in Wellington, and one bugger was standing there, he had a message, this Maori bloke, ‘I’m not on welfare’ – and this apparently was an achievement – ‘so give me money.”

“It baffles me when people say, ‘Oh leave them alone’.  They should be ashamed of people begging on the streets… I’m ashamed of these people. They’re a disgrace to the human race.”

“If they want to degrade themselves, let them do it in private. We shouldn’t be subject to that.”

He said New Zealand has a welfare system and there’s a shortage in the country’s workforce so there’s no need for people to beg.

“We’re having to import labour for manual work ’cause that’s all these people could do, they’re obviously not lawyers and things, and doctors.”

Not surprisingly there has been quite a reaction to that, especially “it’s a disgrace in a modern society that fat people – that fat Maoris as they mostly are – are lying on our streets of our city begging.”

Coincidentally today, from Stuff: West Auckland beggar says his gig is up:

West Auckland beggar Conrad has learnt his first lesson in personal finance – never share your income.

Stuff published a story on Conrad on January 16 where he claimed he was making up to $150 a day from begging at Henderson’s Lincoln North Plaza. He also said that he was not homeless, and used the money for drugs.


He says the publicity has cost him dearly and says now “no-one is being nice to me”.

That’s not surprising.

Conrad claimed there was a begging “syndicate” operating in the area. A retailer also says a syndicate operates in the area and there is “a leader of the ring”.

I can guess that some of his fellow beggars are not very happy.

Henderson Community Constable Martyn Spear says the man has been issued with a trespass notice from Lincoln North Plaza for begging.

The community constable says drugs and alcohol addiction are the reason behind begging “without exception”.

All the beggars he has dealt with at the plaza are not homeless, have social support and are on the benefit, he says.

Spear recommends not giving money to beggars.

The poor people problem is not an easy one to fix.

Neither is Bob Jones’ propensity to say things as he sees them.