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I want to start the show with tributes to 3 people.
The first is Brooke Graham. My neighbour and friend from the Coromandel who died recently at the age of just 42 from brain cancer. A fast death inside 9 weeks but slow enough for her to make plans for her 10 year old daughter and her husband. Hers was a death of great grace and I am immensely sad. So to Carrick and MacKenzie, here's to your amazing wife and mother.
Then there's Simon Barnett and his support of his wife, Jodi over the past 6 years in her fight against brain cancer as well. This was featured in the Weekend Herald on Saturday. Of course all of us here have on the afternoon show have known what Simon and his family have been going through. His strength, courage and love while still working this demanding job is amazing. It's good that you now know.
And finally I want to acknowledge Richie Poulton, the director of the Dunedin study who passed away yesterday at the age of 61, again of cancer.
Richie and I were at Auckland Grammar together. In the same cohort were people like Martin Crowe and Grant Fox and business people Ian Narev and Simon Herbert. But Richie is the best of all of us. At school he was smart and sporty. I knew him as a nice bloke and a very good cricketer. I had no idea of the greatness within him. He was featured last night on the Sunday programme. It was a heart-breaking watch.
Now, if you don't know, the Dunedin Study is a research programme that has followed the progress of 1,000 children born in Dunedin, New Zealand in 1972-73, from birth to midlife.
Over 1300 papers have been published about how your environment and upbringing influences your situation. It's world famous, as is Richie.
Last night, John Campbell asked him what the greatest finding was. Richie said poverty. He said you can't undo what happens in childhood.
In 2016 the Dunedin Study published a paper called "Childhood disadvantage strongly predicts costly adult life-course outcomes".
It found that nearly 80 percent of adult economic burden can be attributed to just 20 percent of the study members.
The researchers determined that this “high cost” group accounted for 81 percent of criminal convictions, 66 percent of welfare benefits, 78 per cent of prescription fills and 40 percent of excess obese kilograms.
Professor Poulton says that they also found that members of this group can be identified with high accuracy when as young as 3. Target these guys and you solve a lot of problems.
But as he said last night no-one has talked about poverty in this election campaign.
Labour made it their core goal over the past 6 years, and yet all they've done is throw money at all beneficiaries. And National doesn't utter the p word at all. It was- cut benefits and belief it can stem criminality with longer sentences.
Yet back in 2017, Bill English quoted the 2016 study and talked about social investment. If we can identify the truly vulnerable, why don't we help them, and just them. National has abandoned all that work it did 6 years ago and I have no idea why.
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