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Feed the kids

Written By: - Date published: 8:45 am, October 4th, 2014 - 16 comments
Categories: child welfare, mana, mana-party - Tags: ,

Hone Harawira said “farewell” to Parliament yesterday, in a well attended event. He left behind him a challenge:

Mana Leader Hone Harawira has said farewell to Parliament with a challenge to pass his “feed the kids” bill at its first opportunity.

His bill, which would provide a government-funded food programme in schools had the support of Labour, the Greens and the Maori Party. National has so far refused to support it, saying food programmes already existed.

“It [his bill] is ready to be passed at the first sitting of Parliament, and if it did, I know it would gladden the hearts of all good Kiwis, please the mums who are struggling to get by, and fill the stomachs of the 100,000 children still going to school hungry every day,” he said.

“This is not my bill. This is a bill for the children”

In the new Parliament it is, of course, all up to National. Will they feed the kids? To be continued…

16 comments on “Feed the kids ”

  1. b waghorn 1

    When talking to people about feeding kids in schools the usual response is it is up to the the parents, so until people understand that the kids shouldn’t suffer for the life they have no control over its a tuff story to sell.

    • Ant 1.1

      Yeah that attitude is really quite depressing, I speak to people who should really know better and they parrot that line.

    • Paul 1.2

      Some people in this country are very mean spirited and they are also very ignorant about this subject.
      Well if you rely on 7Sharp, ZB and the Edge for your views and thinking, what do you expect?

  2. Tracey 2

    nikki kaye recently stated it costs 55 cents to pay for a good breakfast. if, as a nation we cant afford that, then any talk of good economic management is a farce.

    so why wont anyone ask nikki kaye the obvious follow up question.

    people I chat with think supplying a good brekkie plus exercise first thing is a great idea. while some parents have no trouble feeding their kids it doesnt mean they are feeding the good stuff.

    brekkie… exercise…. start classes… regular breaks during tge day for fresh air and letting off steam…


    absenteeism drop
    sick days drop
    attention lengthen
    learning improve
    bullying drop

    all for 55 cents a child per day plus admin

  3. Pat O'Dea 3

    Of course National have the whip hand. And will have the final say. But whether the Feed The Kids Bill even gets a first reading in the house, so that it can go to Select Committee for submissions and the pros and cons can be properly weighed up, and then debated in parliament, before being voted on, will be the acid test for the opposition.

    If the Feed The Kids Bill doesn’t even get to a first reading, then the opposition parties will have failed to fulfill their role in our democracy.

    So come on all you opposition MPs forget your feuding and bickering for a moment and start your lobbying in earnest.

  4. Clean_power 4

    Mr Harawhira should be asking his mecenas, the generous Kim Dot Com, for a donation to fund his idea. It is only fair.

    • Chris 4.1

      And let government off the hook…again. The Right loves all this private charity-based stuff because it’s consistent with its less government/concentration of capital-driven agenda of individualism that’s created an underclass to feed off the backs of. “Ooh, aren’t we kind good people for helping the poor kids in decile 1 to 4 schools?” Good old egalitarian New Zealand – yeah, Right.

  5. Lanthanide 5

    Tariana Turia doesn’t support Feed The Kids, because she thinks it builds dependency and doesn’t teach people how to be self-sufficient.

    • Chris 5.1

      Yeah, and she champions Whanau Ora even though it’s a blueprint for the Nactoids to shove all core social services over to “the community”. Guess that’s consistent with a party that supports this filthy right-wing excuse for a government, though, have to give her that.

    • Murray Olsen 5.2

      Tariana Turia is also no longer in parliament. Thank god. Not feeding the kids builds an incidence of third world diseases and a nasty, dangerous society.

      • Chris 5.2.1

        Yes, I agree entirely – kids should not go to school hungry regardless. It is a double-edged sword, though, which is that it’s a response to a failure of government which then in turn becomes institutionalised in a way which helps to legitimise inequality. That’s the problem I have with feed the kids. Government sheds responsibility then turns around and says “everything’s okay because we’re providing free food to schools deciles one to three…” or whatever. We’re embedding and then legitimising the existence of an underclass rather than ensuring full and proper participation for all citizens, and that’s a very hard thing to turn around once it’s taken hold, which of course it now has thanks to selfish and uncaring right-wing thinking.

        • blue leopard

          Good point, Chris.

          I support the Feed the Kids, yet do feel uncomfortable about it for the very reasons you have so succinctly written.

          I can’t really see how one can stop this ‘unintended consequence’ apart from viewing the Feed the Kids approach as a temporary measure while we collectively get our shit together to demand the real issue, of wealth disparity, gets addressed.

        • Murray Olsen

          They shouldn’t go hungry while we work out what else to do. It needs to be part of a program of government and is not a panacea.

          • Chris

            Of course they’re they’re not a panacea. That’s the point. And I’m not saying food shouldn’t go into schools. The problem, though, is that once these sorts of responses begin sight is soon lost of the stop-gap aspect we all thought was so important and institutions are soon created. Exactly the same thing happened with food banks in the early 1990s. They were always meant to be “temporary” and now they’ve become part of the landscape. Dealing with this problem must be built into things from the very beginning, and not simply regarded as something to fix up later.

            One way to do this with the food in schools stuff is to introduce it across the board and not just to the lower deciles. We could regard it as having social and cultural significance rather than as a means to address poverty. This happens already all around the world. Giving it social and cultural value across the board helps to deal with stigmatisation and other factors that help legitimise entrenched poverty and inequality.

  6. SeanExile 6

    One of the best things with this election was Labours triumph over Harawira. I am so happy he isn’t in parliament anymore and that the Mana party is without finding. great result for Labour. Now fingers crossed we can finish of the Maori Party too at the next election. then we have reclaimed what once was part of our support. Mana the leftwing nutters scored less than 2% and those percents arent likely to vote for us ever so the further away from us they are the better. We may however use some of the internet partys IT strategies.

    For those of you who bothers to read facts, the fact is if you want to cause a difference to kids education pay for the lunch. Thats whats compulsory in those Scandinavian countries. you know those with the best welfare, highest living standard and highest GDP. Perhaps our dysfunctional schools should take a cue from them on this.
    20 minute nutritious hot lunch provided by the government, then back to class. Lunch break comes later so kids don’t rush the food to go and play. Facts are rather boring though, better to say free breakie for kids. Despite research stating clearly that they dont need breakfast and that 95% of parents provide adequate food for kids.

    • Murray Olsen 6.1

      What do you mean we? Count me out. When Labour’s triumph is getting three more years of a Tory government, I think I’m starting to see the problem.

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