The government and its friends in the media have been tubthumping about an 'economic recovery' but this a economic 'recovery' for business and the already wealthy - and more austerity measures for the rest of us.
Shortly before they all headed off on their summer holidays, the government and its friends in the media were very eager to tell us that the economy was improving and that we are now in 'recovery' mode. Radio Live and TV3 journalist Duncan Garner, for example, told his Radio Live audience that such was the improvement in the economy that it would be difficult for Labour to win the 2014 election.
This was the same Duncan Garner who wrote in November : 'National is celebrating five years in Government and John Key can be pretty pleased with his efforts.'
Garner's enthusiasm for John Key's 'efforts' was reinforced by economic figures that indicated the GDP figure rose by a modest 3.5 percent in the third quarter.
But this has only been a 'recovery' for the already wealthy. They are now even richer with the National Business Review reporting this year that its annual Rich List is “bigger and richer than ever before.”
Meanwhile nearly 270, 000 children are living in poverty, a figure confirmed by the Children’s Commissioner in October.
None of this was included in Garner's government-friendly view of the economy.
Of course you can quote statistics all day long with little impact. Sometimes its seeing the real casualties of the government's austerity measures - ordinary people - that tells us that this economy isn't delivering for the 99 percent.
This past week has seen hundreds of people lining up at food banks seeking a food parcel and toys to give to their children on Xmas Day - the only gifts they will receive.
But its not just the desperately poor who are turning to food banks for help.
Louisa Humphrey of the Christian Combined Foodbank in Hamilton told the NZ Herald this week that there were 'new groups' seeking help.
"It's not just the poor... we are now seeing people who have cars and own their own homes but have lost their jobs and need help. A lot of these people come to us and they're embarrassed because they have assets but no money to buy food for their children."
In Auckland the queues outside the food banks are the longest they have ever been.
Auckland's City Missioner Diane Roberts : "I think it's important to note that families aren't queuing up for Christmas goods. They're not queuing up for hams or chickens or turkeys, they're queuing up for basic foods. For bread, for milk, for vegetables, for cans of baked beans and spaghetti."
There's been no austerity for the rich, and now there's no recovery of living standards for the rest of us.
The fact is ordinary people, unlike Duncan Garner, are not concerned whether the country is or isn't’ in recession because it doesn’t affect us. We are way down the food chain and we will only get the crumbs long after the wealthy have gorged themselves silly.