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  • Myrlock,

    Brilliant post, the stereotype of a homeless person who cannot string a few sentences together flies out the window here. I wish Six the best of luck for the future.

    Wellington • Since Mar 2016 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • John Palethorpe,

    Hard to know where to begin, or even if there's somewhere to begin with this. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, I thought it was brilliantly written and I will be checking here and on your blog for further updates.

    And donating $20 a month to the City Mission.

    Auckland • Since May 2015 • 83 posts Report Reply

  • Lisa Black,

    You're such an engaging writer.

    Thanks, Russell, for giving us the opportunity to read her work.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2010 • 71 posts Report Reply

  • Jacquie Walters,

    Thank you Six for that magnificent piece of writing.

    Nelson • Since Dec 2014 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __,

    Wow...that is the sound of my preconceptions shattering.
    Thank you, Six, and good luck.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3887 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    Salutations Sistar Six.
    Thanks for sharing that with us. I've been for a squizzy at your blog, and enjoying reading your words. Taking them onboard. Listening.
    I'm sorry people keep misgendering you.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • EE,

    When I was at Merge Cafe last week there was a poster outside about making key-lockable lockers available for homeless people to store possessions. It sounds like a very practical idea after reading your story Six.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2014 • 20 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to EE,

    It sounds like a very practical idea after reading your story Six.

    Ha!

    You know who's doing that project? Six.

    We'd planned that as her next post.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    Thanks for that.

    Memory is fallible, so I wonder if other PA readers have the same impression as I have, from 20+ years living in central Auckland (other cities are available!).

    Conservatively, I'd say the number of visible "street people" (for want of a better term) has gone up x3 or 4 in a decade. And still increasing.

    Must be our rock star economy.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1321 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Well. This has been quite an afternoon. Twitter has gone justifiably nuts over this post and I’m really pleased about that.

    This part:

    “No, not this morning Six. I just called by to return your portfolio. I’m sorry, Six. I really went to bat for you but the reality is it is just a very competitive industry. And I hate to say it but you don’t fit the profile. You’re not female, not under 25 and still living with your parents at home in Remuera. That’s the truth of the industry unfortunately,” says L.

    I am female.

    My god, this is an acute assessment. It’s an industry with a shrinking workforce and shifting priorities. The ability to write well, insight, wit and street connections – all demonstrated in the post – aren’t valued as they might once have been. The pay isn’t good. It's in danger of becoming a middle-class hobby. And someone like Six is at the back of the queue.

    My definition of success out of this is Six getting paid to write.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to simon g,

    Memory is fallible, so I wonder if other PA readers have the same impression as I have, from 20+ years living in central Auckland (other cities are available!).

    In the early to mid-80s the nearest thing I recall to a regular "street person" in central Auckland was the "flower boy", who sold modest bouquets from a bench on the Smith & Caughey block. He'd often startle passers-by with his foghorn-volume "YOU WANNA BUY A FLOWAH?" Though he spent a lot of time on Queen Street he wasn't homeless. According to a taxi driving friend he had some arrangement with a hostel in Parnell that the pre-privatised post and telegraph operated for telephone linespeople.

    Must be our rock star economy.

    From the years I spent in Sydney I'd have assumed that a callous tolerance came with the kind of impersonal distancing once a city reached a certain population mass. However, from the way that homelessness has become a barely remarked phenomenon in Christchurch since the quakes, you're probably right.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4591 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    "YOU WANNA BUY A FLOWAH?"

    preserved as a line in this:

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    In the early to mid-80s the nearest thing I recall to a regular “street person” in central Auckland was the “flower boy”, who sold modest bouquets from a bench on the Smith & Caughey block. He’d often startle passers-by with his foghorn-volume “YOU WANNA BUY A FLOWAH?”

    Here’s the thing. People laughed at him and there were times when his interactions with passers-by – women – were inappropriate. But he also read up at the Globe Tavern’s Tuesday poetry night – movingly, I was told.

    That poetry night continues 30 years on, Tuesdays at the Thirsty Dog, where I was introduced to Six.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • Brett Holak,

    I know Six does not use Twitter -so I will just repeat my tweet if I may
    "May be the most interesting & honest piece I have read this year .
    Ty Six & Ty Russell ."
    I never get past the second sentence in most blogs ,Public Address being maybe the only regular blog I read .
    But your post Six was worth a second read ,well done .Ty for putting yourself out there.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2016 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Sacha,

    preserved as a line in this:

    That'd be him :)
    Late one night on a mid-Queen Street bus stop I was waiting behind a clean-cut couple who were wondering aloud when their bus might appear. "I'll just ask this lady", said hubby. Admittedly the flower boy, seated nearby, did resemble a stocky woman of a certain age from behind. When tapped on the shoulder he instantly spun around and let rip with his trademark line at max volume. The poor guy nearly jumped out of his pants.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4591 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Brett Holak,

    Thanks for signing up to say so, Brett.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    When tapped on the shoulder he instantly spun around and let rip with his trademark line at max volume. The poor guy nearly jumped out of his pants.

    To be fair, flower boy was fucking loud.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Russell Brown,

    But he also read up at the Globe Tavern’s Tuesday poetry night – movingly, I was told.

    Thanks for the reminder, I'd quite forgotten. I understand that he was given a certain amount of constructive encouragement, though my source for that is long since scattered to the winds. Only sorry that he wasn't there on the couple of occasions I went along.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4591 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    I really enjoyed reading this. It was so insightful and interesting and it had some properly hilarious lolz in it.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • JacksonP,

    This is so beautifully written, and allows us an insight into a world few would have any clue about.

    Thank you Six.

    I just wish our mainstream media had the guts to publish truth like this.

    Tautoko and wishing you all the best.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2011 • 2448 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Robyn Gallagher,

    and it had some properly hilarious lolz in it.

    I'm pleased some people have picked up on this. It totally does.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • James Littlewood*,

    Thanks Six. This is just a really, really bloody good read. Likewise Tranzspotting.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 410 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Wood,

    Nice writing; not nice, the life on the street- thanks for sharing your wisdom Six :-)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2013 • 8 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    According to the Lifewise and Auckland City Mission report on homelessness 2015, almost 400 people are sleeping rough within a five 5km radius of Sky City. A higher density of doorway dwellers than New York or London.

    The reality for many low and no income earners is a room the size of a hen house for up to 90 per cent of your benefit or daily hustle.

    To Generation Rentier: thanks a bloody million. Nothing less than a very loud and sudden deflation of the housing market would be poetic justice.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5418 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    To Generation Rentier: thanks a bloody million

    Speaking of Rentiers - this talk is on tonight in Chchch
    hopefully it's not too late to register

    Rentier Capitalism and the coming Precariat Revolt: Professor Guy Standing
    You are warmly invited to this event which will be held at 6:00pm on Wednesday 30 March at The Fern Room, The Atrium, 455 Hagley Avenue, Christchurch.
    Professor Guy Standing is the author of The Precariat and The Precariat Charter. He will speak at this event on his upcoming book Rentier Capitalism and the coming Precariat revolt. This presentation will focus on how the precariat is uniquely disadvantaged by rentier capitalism, and on what an appropriate income distribution system could and should be like if it is to respond to the incipient revolt of the precariat. The first premise of the talk is that there can be no return to the labourism that underpinned social democracy and welfare states in the 20th century. The second is that the precariat will provide the leadership and energy of a new progressive politics.
    Guy Standing is Professor of Development Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, and a founder member and honorary co-president of the Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN),an international non-governmental organisation that promotes basic income, whose members include economists, philosophers and other social scientists from over 50 countries.

    All welcome. Registrations are essential: if you would like to attend, please register here: http://www.fabians.org.nz/index.php?option=com_civicrm&task=civicrm/event/info&reset=1&id=184

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7889 posts Report Reply

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