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Action on poverty missing from Bennett’s plan

Written By: - Date published: 1:09 pm, October 11th, 2012 - 26 comments
Categories: child abuse, child welfare, poverty - Tags:

I don’t have a problem with more information-sharing on vulnerable children. It’s not very National to create more bureaucracy but I guess that’s the point. Bennett could have done something substantial to improve the lives of children – extending the child payment to beneficiary families for 2% more on Bennett’s department’s budget. But National won’t spend the money on kids.

At the very least, she could reverse her policy of cutting the incomes of benefit families in half if they don’t put their kids in ECE. Bennett says she wants to stop harm to kids – well what about the harm that policy will cause to 2,000 kids a year? Again, it’s about cutting money.

So, after 4 years, all Bennett can produce is a bit of bureaucracy to look like she’s taking action.

Bennett seems to care. Either she’s good at faking (her concern always strikes me as a little too polished and inconsistent with her actions) or she’s just not got the tools and the smarts to do anything that really matters. Kind of sad either way, really.


26 comments on “Action on poverty missing from Bennett’s plan”

    • mike 1.1

      So her answer to child abuse is more ‘monitoring’ of kids, more punishment for abusive parents, and better inter-department synergy. No actual plan then to prevent child abuse from occurring in the first place. Just the push to figure out how to cut more benefits – I wonder how that will affect vulnerable kids?

      Yet another tory ‘fight crime by building more prisons’ type of plan. Or as Simon Collins puts it, “…picking up the pieces at the bottom of the cliff.”

      EDDIE: “Bennett seems to care.” I’m not sure where you are getting this from. Personally I don’t think that a tilted head with furrowed eyebrows qualifies as ‘concern’.

  1. captain hook 2

    hey doncha know?
    in the post modernist world of only your own truths count then if she talks about it then its done.
    yeah right.

  2. Kotahi Tāne Huna 3

    Information sharing? Pfft! Too often abused children are well known to all concerned, but the all-pervasive underfunding and lack of resources (again, measures to address economic factors would help here) undermine the best of intentions.

    Bennett may or may not be genuine in her concern, but she is certainly ineffectual.

    • Stephen Doyle 3.1

      Until she can squeeze some budget out of Bill to increase the number of case workers. And that’s unlikely.

    • karol 3.2

      And I’m pretty sure that most teachers are already good at knowing which of their children are “vulnerable”.  Do they really need a lot more training in this, other than the usual in service updating and refresher courses?

      • Stephen Doyle 3.2.1

        Those senior teachers in charge of pastoral care at most schools know exactly who is at risk. Getting the relevant agencies to deal with those students and their families is the issue. It’s not a matter of knowledge, it’s a matter of resources.

        • Colonial Viper

          I’m sure those services have been promised plenty more resources to deal with the increased identification of at risk kids.

          OK maybe not

  3. Tiger Mountain 4

    “Bennett seems to care.” far too kind Eddie.


    We have our very own kiwi hunger striker thanks to WINZ tender mercies, Sam does not deserve to go out this way, but if he so chooses or crosses the line (point of no return) like Bobby Sands and 9 others did, hopefully Bennett will be as politically affected as was Margaret Thatcher by the ’81 H Block hunger strikers. It was the beginning of the end for pom involvement in Nth.Ireland.

  4. marsman 5

    Bennett seems to care? Didn’t she do a six week neoliberal indoctrination course in the USA on how to care?

  5. Jokerman 6

    Cruel, but composed and bland,
    Dumb, inscrutable and grand,
    So Tiberius might have sat,
    Had Tiberius been a CAT

    -Arnold (my bold)

  6. AsleepWhileWalking 7

    Ahhh….the old shifting responsiblity while taking credit for someone else’s actions and diverting media attention away from your leader who is looking less and less credible while he sits in secret meetings doing deals to sign away our future without anyone else in the country knowing what is agreed to trick!

  7. xtasy 8

    Of course abuse needs to be addressed, avoided, some improved networks need to be encouraged, but does that not already happen?

    And getting tougher sentences will of course make sense to some, certainly appeal to the “lock em away for good” crowd.

    The source of all evil lies somewhere else. Was there not a “mythical” or “mystic” time once, was it real or not, that murders hardly ever happened in this country, few rapes happened (yes some happened but were not prosecuted), you could leave your doors unlocked and nobody would burgle your home? Was that not what some NZers told me when I first came here?

    So what went bloody wrong? Were there suddenly only BAD people born, unable to raise kids and basically “feral” child abusers, as some Herald commenter of over aged validity for sense and intelligence wrote last week?

    What the hell is the problem?

    So Bennett, like her government, again, like Crusher Collins, like other hard line talkers, they seem to think if you treat the symptom the disease will go away?

    Idiots at the helm, I am afraid. Get rid of these idiots. Surely get Key exposed and out of his office before the welfare reforms are even discussed in select committee. So Shearer, Peters and Norman, get your troops and supporters working, dig up and expose what comes about, get rid of this idiot, incompetent, NatZY government, before it does more harm to this country, thanks!

  8. xtasy 9

    Ha, who needs poverty if you have a salary like Paula!

    Action comes easy when it is just words and verbal diarrhea, meaning nothing but pinpointing blame and growing the hate game, ignoring causes and living on cloud nine.

    Where were you last Friday afternoon, Paula? You must have been afraid of confronting some concerned people outside your Henderson electorate office.

    I am sorry, but you are a COWARD too!

  9. xtasy 10

    I am sure your Principal Health Advisor Dr David Bratt knows the reasons, right? It is all a problem of “benefit dependency” (them supposedly being the large part of child neglecting parents), which must be, because they are “addicts”, right? “Benefit Addicts”, as Dr Bratt claims:





    (download the PowerPoint presentation by Dr David Bratt, given on 18 March 2011 at the NZ Rural GP Network conference, detailing “issues” re “clients” or “patients” pressuring doctors)



    So looking at the info above, is it not clear, that the problem is “benefit addiction” that leads to all these social ills? You better wake up, inform yourselves and take position on this, as we have welfare reforms right now before the select committee, that will deal to this much more severely than it ever has been before.

    But going by public sentiment, most are quite happy, as they do NOT know about the more serious aspects of the reforms, but only focus on drug testing for jobs, and a few ‘social responsibilities’ that most would expect of parents anyway. Ignorance rules in NZ, day in and out, the media is asleep or pre occupied with career choice minded young journos, busy polishing finger nails and putting up the make up for the next job interview.

    In summary: A truly fucked up society in this country, I am sorry!

  10. xtasy 11

    The amount of effort I put into a good comment just now is totally wasted, and I am totally disillusioned with some funcitioning of this website, the whole shit going down here, I had bloody enough. It is NOT worth any more effort to put into anything into NZ. Sorry Good Night!

    [lprent: The spam levels are pretty high at present. I am clearing something like a 100 per day rather than the usual 10-20, which tends to mean we are probably getting at least a few thousand killed without us seeing them.

    Multiply that out by the WordPress sites worldwide and the akismet antispam services will be getting flooded. Messages that will usually clear in a second start getting queued. And comments with a number of links usually take longer to get through auto checking because they are a signature of a type of spammer – so they get pushed lower in the queues. Most likely your message got caught in temporary moderation or even our loal spam queue. They will come out – don’t be impatient.

    However the alternatives to having temporary delays to messages are a whole lot worse.. ]

    • xtasy 11.1

      Well, there it suddenly is now, above, so what the hell went wrong???

      I am sorry, I get confused. Sometimes things work here, sometimes endless error messages discourage. Well, at least it is communicated, read it, learn, inform yourselves and draw your conclusions, thanks.

  11. xtasy 12

    Sadly some links in the post above do apparently not work. So I can only suggest to try the below ones, or to copy and paste, or to do a google search for the particulars mentioned:


    Anyway you will find extremely revealing info about what MSD and their medical advisors “expect” of clients since 2008 now. Is it any surprise that some break down in stress and despair, perhaps commit suicide, drink and drug (more) and in consequence, also combined with financial pressure perhaps even “lash” out at their kids, not knowing what they are doing?

    Just a thought, before the blame round starts!

    [lprent: the … in the middle of the URL is a pretty good indicator. Adding a http:// would help. Too many to fix on a iPad. You need to learn to cut them better. ]

    • xtasy 12.1

      lprent: Thanks for your suggestions. Sadly if using such a copy and pasted link for the ‘NZ Doctor’ publication (available online), does not lead to the actual article I wanted people to find. They apparently want people to register, pay and then log in, as one ends up with that page.

      Yet the articles can be found by copying and pasting the links above (or core part of them) into the search box of Google, Yahoo or Bing, and a search will lead to results, from which the article can be accessed without problems.

      And sorry for my grumpiness and impatience. My nerves are on edge at times, after endless struggles to survive and also working endlessly to raise awareness to certain issues. It is much of an uphill battle.

  12. headbanger 13

    I was interested in the new plans to roll out recognition or child abuse through monitoring and a database. I guess Bennett has read 1984 and liked what she saw – getting neighbour to dob in neighbour, cameras, secret recordings and a lovely big database of the people to keep an eye on.

    Apparently this method is better then that having experts out in the community teaching people who have contact with kids how to recognise early signs of abuse because I remember very clearly that Bennett ‘disestablished’ all of those jobs just a short while ago.

    None of the journalists seemed to notice the irony of breaking up a good system which was working founded on the professional ability of health and education experts, and then replacing it with something punitive, invasive and untested.


    • Well Bloody said M8!

    • xtasy 13.2

      headbanger: “None of the journalists seemed to notice the irony of breaking up a good system which was working founded on the professional ability of health and education experts, and then replacing it with something punitive, invasive and untested.”

      That is what I have been experiencing again and again with journalists whom I contacted re issues and stories. Sadly the majority of the “modern” day msm journalists are rather useless, superficial wannabe idiots. They would often not know a good story and interesting information if they would fall over it!

      Just looking at the front pages of the NZ Herald and other publications instantly shows what shallow lot they are. And when it comes to the poor and beneficiaries, too many of them are biased too, frowning over the either “unfortunate” or perceived “bludgers”.

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