And yet 100,000 are. Tens of thousands more than were on it when the current government arrived in power. How on Earth is that possible?
And when are enough hard questions going to be asked about a government that protects the lazy, those without ambition, and a belief that the state, i.e you and I, should be paying their bills while they do nothing.
Look at the windows of the shops and tell me, in your lifetime have you ever seen so many people looking to fill so many gaps? And yet, despite the myriad of opportunities over 100,000 can't seem to find a single one of them.
That's welfare abuse.
For a while, a previous government had a half decent plan. You would not be on the dole, that’s what they called it, not the Jobseeker benefit, because being a jobseeker means you are actually seeking, not pretending to. I'm sure many aren't even pretending anymore.
But on the dole, you could not simply sit idly by and collect free money. You were either working, in training, or in education. Those were your options. Why aren't they the options now?
This is similar to social housing. You got a house if you were desperate. Now, you get a house when you are desperate and when you aren't desperate anymore, you keep the house. And they wonder why the housing queue is 27,000 long.
The government are apologists and excuse makers for no-hopers. There is no excuse not to have work, there has never been a greater opportunity to work, and the excuses of old no longer apply.
These are extraordinary times. And yet 100,000 can't see it, won't do anything about it, and they have a government on their side.
For those of us working and paying tax for it, that's the crime.
Mike Hosking is a New Zealand television and radio broadcaster. He currently hosts The Mike Hosking Breakfast show on NewstalkZB on weekday mornings.