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Focus on children

Written By: - Date published: 5:35 pm, May 21st, 2011 - 84 comments
Categories: child welfare, labour, poverty - Tags:

Despite some progress under the last Labour government, too many children have been allowed to slip through the gaps in this country. And now of course, under a National government, it’s getting worse.

In her conference speech this evening Annette King has renewed her promise that the next Labour government will put children at the centre of policy. She has also announced where funding for a new ministry would come from:

Families Commission to go under Labour

Children are set to be the key focus of any future Labour government, says deputy leader Annette King at the party conference today. She announced that a Labour government would introduce a Minister for Children and disestablish the Families Commission.

About 450 party members are at the national congress at the Wellington town hall this weekend. Deputy leader Annette King’s just finished a speech, in which she outlined the party’s commitment to make children the focus of all policies.

She says when the party wins the November general election; it will establish the ministry to be headed by a senior minister. It is astounding, she says, that we have a minister for racehorses, Rugby World Cup and Senior Citizens, but no minister for the most vulnerable in our community – our kids. It would be paid for by disestablishing the Families Commission. …

King is also promising to hold an Annual Children’s Summit, and to review and rewrite the Children, Young Persons and their Families Act.

See also:

Labour says Govt has failed to make children a priority

A Labour government would have in its cabinet a Minister for Children running a department funded with money that now goes to the Families Commission, deputy leader Annette King says …

Ms King said it was essential to have a senior minister with responsibility for children in the cabinet. “The time has come to disestablish the Families Commission and fold some of that work back into a small Ministry for Children,” she said. …

Ms King said she had tried to find agreement with other parties on a plan for children and a long-term strategic direction. “Most other political parties are willing. The pooper at the party is National — John Key has refused to allow his party to join such an approach,” she said.

Under Labour, all government departments and agencies would have to undertake Child Impact Assessments on new and changed policies, and there would be legislation setting out long-term commitments, actions and accountabilities for all agencies.

Ms King was scathing about Social Development Minister Paula Bennett’s suggestion a month ago that there should be “a national conversation” about child welfare, and the minister’s intention to draft proposals after that.

“Child abuse is a serious issue…after three years as a minister we are to get a green paper, followed by a white paper, and sometime in the future a policy.

“We don’t need more papers, the work has already been done. Now is the time for action.”

Peter Dunne won’t be happy. But the rest of us should be.

84 comments on “Focus on children”

  1. Eddie 1

    Dunne always hoped the Family Commission would campaign for heterosexual, traditional families. It didn’t of course. It did bugger all. Waste of money from Dunne. Good it’s gone.

  2. Chess Player 2

    Yay! Another ministry!

    • Sam 2.1

      Yep, another office load of public aservants will stop child abuse! Yeah right!!
      The sooner we acknowledge the real culprits and do not let them walk free and hide behind their ethnicity, the sooner we will get somewhere.
      Remind me, who was in power when the Kahui twins got murdered? Oh yes, it wasn’t National?
      Will a Minister for Children stop child abuse – of course not, but it is a way for Annette King to stay “important”.

      • ron 2.1.1

        I don’t know where to start on that one Sam. That’s go to be the dumbest comment I’ve read on this site for some months.

        • Sam 2.1.1.1

          Not dumb, factual.
          And as Minister for Children – will we have one of the “gaggle of gays”?

          • The Voice of Reason 2.1.1.1.1

            And what would be wrong with the Minister for Children being gay, Sam?

  3. Terry 3

    Good on you Annette and Labour (for a change!) You have the courage of conviction in a country that places incredibly low value upon children (e.g. John Key) any more than it does upon its elders. We hardly need reminding of children in tragic circumstances or of adults who are clueless in parenting.

  4. Alwyn 4

    It’s rather sad that Labour feel that they have to set up such a ministry.
    I gather it is because they feel someone has to be available to look after Trevor’s little friend “Boy Wonder”.
    The Ministry will be charged with seeing Hipkins comes inside when it’s raining, washs his hands after going to the toilet and so on. He is, unfortunately a rather backward young lad who needs lots of attention.
    I suspect it would be better to get a more intelligent MP but Trevor won’t hear of it. I suppose he’s spent a lot of time grooming him to take over from the soon to be gone zombie from Dunedin.
    Getting rid of the Families Commision is however a very good idea. It’s a pity they didn’t refuse to set it up in the first place.

  5. McFlock 5

    Given the number of agencies that need to chat with each other about a particular kid at the moment, having one ministry that makes sure they’re all on the same page (if it doesn’t absorb a few agencies in the first place) is probably a good idea – one person responsible when yet another kid “falls through the cracks”, rather than a bunch of different managers saying they did their bit, can’t blame them…
     
     

  6. Armchair Critic 6

    Contrast to ACT’s policy on children, which is to allow them to be exposed to market forces. Part of their coalition agreement (if National and ACT form the next government) will to be repeal all laws that prevent the sale and purchase of children.

    • McFlock 6.1

      … for use as cattle feed by multinationals

      • Armchair Critic 6.1.1

        Which explains why they go on about breeding for business all the time.

      • side show bob 6.1.2

        Yes McFlock I grind little children up and feed them to my cattle. Gee what a bloody stupid comment. Multinationals have probably done more to improve the lives of children then the crap handed out by the families commission or what Annetta full moon king will ever achieve.. Personally I think it’s time bloody government pull it’s nose out of how we run our lives. Besides I thought Labour’s repealing of section 59 was going to save all the children, or so we were told.No more social engineering!!!! .No more commissions, let people live their lives without state interference .

        • Draco T Bastard 6.1.2.1

          http://www.corpwatch.org/index.php

          No more social engineering!!!!

          So, do you think Nact should also stop their social engineering of transferring our wealth to themselves and their rich mates?

          As I’ve said before – the governments job is social engineering and, get this, there’s no way they can prevent doing it. Give tax cuts to the rich while loading up taxes on the poor as Nact did? That will change the social structure of our society and for the worse. Change the rules regarding school standards? That will do it to. Everything the government does changes the social structure of our society in some way or another.

          let people live their lives without state interference .

          Get rid of the government and I’m pretty sure you’ll find that you’ll be interfered with reasonably quickly and most likely by the person with the biggest army.

          Those who complain about it and say that the government shouldn’t engage in, well, governing obviously have NFI WTF they’re talking about.

        • McFlock 6.1.2.2

          Why did that need a satire tag to demonstrate to you that I wasn’t literally suggesting that NACT will literally allow children to be sold as cattle feed? Are you that dumb, or is it not actually that far removed from the bounds of possibility?
           
          Just to state the fucking obvious, I’m quite sure NAct wouldn’t do anything quite so bold as that in their second term (if it happens) – I expect they’ll just be happy to continue the social decay they’ve managed in 2.5yrs, thus letting children die quietly from abuse, neglect, preventable disease and suicide.

        • Mac1 6.1.2.3

          No more social engineering. By that you mean, of course, no more social engineering unless it’s the kind we believe in. Because as a teacher, social engineering is the job I do, turning children into socially adapted adults, useful to society, themselves and their families.

          And I do that by interfering in their lives. On behalf of society. Paid by the state. And parents say thank you.

          I’d be interested in what examples, Bob, you have in mind for which multinationals do what for children’s benefit. I think you are right but what do you actually instance?

  7. Afewknowthetruth 7

    The usual empty rhetoric we’ve come to expect from deadbeat politiicans who couldn’t care less about the welfare of the next generation.

    1. Collapse of present economic arrangments within 3 years due to Peak Oil and unravelling of fiat currencies.

    2, Collapse of the industrial food system within 10 years.

    3. Collapse of ocean chemistry within 20 years due to acidification and plastic waste etc. .

    4. Collapse of the global environment within 30 years due to ruanway greenhouse.

    What is Anette King doing about any of the real issues: zilch, of course.

    The determination of Anttete King and the other deadbeats that constitute the bulk of politiicans to perisist with business as usual, even as the system unravels, will be the death of the next generation

    • The Baron 7.1

      Huh, is this Family Radio? I’ve personally had enough of doomsday predictions this week. I look forward to seeing exactly what happens on your oh so specific timeframes.

  8. Nick K 8

    We should be putting parents and families in charge, rather than the state. This is a disgrace. But it’s no surprise. Labour’s idea to everything is more money and a government agency. It is intellectually bankrupt. This policy evidences the repeal of section 59 hasn’t worked, like most of us knew it wouldn’t do. Thank goodness Labour will not be in government to enact this.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.1

      The repeal of s59 will work but we won’t see the effects for about 20+ years. We need to do something about what’s happening now as well which will also assist in bringing about the change that the repeal of s59 is about.

      You RWNJs, all fucken idiots that expect immediate change from laws even when it’s obvious that the law that you’re talking about is working to bring about a generational change.

      • Gus 8.1.1

        And you LWNJ believe that government has the answers for everything and they can legislate what most would be common sense eg don’t beat your children, don’t drink and drive etc etc into people.

        The simple answer is they can’t. But they can make sure there is effective motivators through the justice system (not the current legal system we have where justice is a by product vs a primary objective) and through proper application of social welfare to ensure that welfare is received appropriately where required.

        • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1.1

          And you LWNJ believe that government has the answers for everything…

          Nope, but through the auspices of the ministries and the resources we make available to them they can damn well do the necessary research to find out which individuals can’t do.

          The simple answer is they can’t. But they can make sure there is effective motivators through the justice system…

          Yep, another fucken idiot of a RWNJ – managed to contradict himself in two sentences.

  9. Tanz 9

    Just more attacking the family from the left, from the we know best crowd, probably run by people who don’t have kids.

    Of course, parental rights are totally under attack as well, everyone being tarred with the same brush. Money to burn, it would seem. If only.

    This will not resonate with middle NZ, as usual.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.1

      Ah, yes, more support of families and their children is attacking the family according to RWNJs.

      • Tanz 9.1.1

        Children, not Families.

        Says it all. Take the parents out of the equation and viola…! Unsurping the authority of the paternal adults.

        • Draco T Bastard 9.1.1.1

          Wow, what a surprise – support of the patriarchy and dictatorship and from the right.

          BTW, the children don’t belong to the parents. The parents are their guardians until such time as the children can look after themselves. If the parents aren’t doing the job then the state has to move in. The state can also make it so that the parents can do the job better by making resources and information available to the parents.

          And at the end of the day, the children need the protection as the abuse statistics show. Why you’re against this seems to be your support of failed systems that we’ve been slowly getting rid of.

          • Tanz 9.1.1.1.1

            Totally disagree. Children do belong to the parents who birthed them, raised them, paid for them, spent all night up with them, dreamed for them did all for them, etc. State, go away, stop meddling. Most parents are good parents, stop tarring us all with the same sopping brush.

            My kids are mine, not the government’s. That’s just common sense.

            • Colonial Viper 9.1.1.1.1.1

              State, go away, stop meddling. Most parents are good parents, stop tarring us all with the same sopping brush.

              Apparently you are a parent who does not want help from schools or universities or dental nurses.

              Dumb.

              Also its so amusing the Right claiming the high ground of “family values” when all they have ever done is destroy the ability of families to live successfully on a single income.

              • Herodotus

                CV stand back from the tree you are under take a breath and look again. The right did no more than the left in allowing the single income family to become extinct. “..when all they have ever done is destroy the ability of families to live successfully on a single income.”
                Housing affordability over the last 10 years distanced inself from most kiwis. Ability to live a reasonable std of life has been dimisinshing since the 70’s (some may argue earlier). there has been nothing that Lab has achieved either to regain lsot ground. Their inablity to tax this area when there was a right time right place opportunity.
                The s59 similar to the prostitution bill (that was to eliminate streetcorner soli) was nothing more than politiciking. The s59 was to change an abhorent abuse stats. Nothing was ever mentioned re a 20 year period. This to me is just a means of justifying an extremely unpopular and mis directed act that was never going to change outcomes, 86% of kiwis knew this pity only about 5% of pollys were aware. And remember smacking is still permissable under some situations, all S59 achieved was to eliminate it for corrective means. And one of the reasons was the Timaru case where we cannot trust a jury of peers to adjudicate.

            • millsy 9.1.1.1.1.2

              And I suppose that they are your punching bag as well.

              I bet you that you force hot sauce down their throats, or tip them out of chairs, or shave their heads, or shove them to the ground that seems to the MOD of middle class child abusers.

              Come on, just admit it, you middle class god bothering piece of trash.

              [lprent: you are walking over the edge. desist or feel the wrath of your local deity.]

              • Tanz

                Millsy, your comment says more about you than me. I decline to debate with you any further, on this or any other issue. Can’t you be civil?

                • millsy

                  Civil? You lot werent civil when you were lynching black people in missisipi, and bombing abortion clinics in Georgia..

                  You lot werent civil when Galileo suggested that the earth revolved round the sun, or during the Spanish Inquisition.

                  Christians have gone 2000 years and still they cannot get round to be civil.

                  [lprent: go away for a week and cool down. It is just as easy to find nutters in any group. Think of Beria, Churchill, Grant, Truman as other mass murderers from various political affiliations. It is silly to blame people for acts that they did not participate in. ]

            • terryg 9.1.1.1.1.3

              Tanz,

              dont you mean that the primary responsibility for your children belongs to you?

              or do you consider children to be mere chattel. Like wives used to be.

              if so, then logically you should be able to buy & sell them – after all, property rights are all about property eh? and chattel is (by definition) personal property.

    • Sam 9.2

      Under attack from the “gaggle of gays”?

    • millsy 9.3

      So Tanz, are you one of those dirty filthy stinking god botherers who think that children should be beaten with jug cords and bit of wood till they are black and blue, and think that teenager should be kicked out of their homes if they have an abortion, and think that homosexuality should be recriminalised and solo mothers have their kids taken off them and placed with white middle class families.

      Guess what darling, ‘God’ DOESNT exist. He is a made up character, like the tooth fairy, or Santa. He was made up because back in the old times, the cheif of a local tribe didnt know what to say when someone asked him why the sky was blue, so he said, ‘God made it blue.’.

      Go and piss off to your church, because that is where the real people who wish to dictate what how people should arrange their families, who (and what gender) they should be sleeping with, and whether a woman should have to keep her baby are. That is a FACT.

      LABOUR STANDS FOR THE FREEDOM OF CONSENTING ADULTS.

      • Armchair Critic 9.3.1

        I think the most concise summary was by Voltaire, who said:
        If there were no God, it would have been necessary to invent him.

        • terryg 9.3.1.1

          I see your Voltaire, and I raise you Pierre-Simon Laplace:

          “Je n’avais pas besoin de cette hypothèse-là”

          “I have no need of that hypothesis” as a reply to Napoleon, who had asked why he hadn’t mentioned God in his book on astronomy.

          as for the difference between the two?

          Voltaire (François-Marie Arouet) was a writer, and waffled on at great length about a variety of things, and accomplished nothing of any practical significance. Students of philosophy will no doubt come across Voltaire, but thats about it.

          Laplace OTOH was a brilliant mathematician, and is responsible for the development of potential theory and the Laplace Transform. Every engineer in the entire world not only studies Laplace transforms at university, but uses them throughout their entire working lives. pretty much every single electrical/electronic device in existence was designed with the aid of Laplace transforms. In mechanics, anything that moves or which is moved, is analysed and with laplace transforms.

          Guess how engineers analyse and design structures (bridges, buildings etc) to withstand earthquakes? I’ll give you a hint: neither god nor voltaire is of any use at all.

          • Colonial Viper 9.3.1.1.1

            lolz

            • terryg 9.3.1.1.1.1

              Hi CV,

              the funniest thing about all the various “holy” books – not one of them even attempts to explain where the sun goes every night

              and they were written by a bunch of people for whom a wheelbarrow would have been state-of-the-art technology

              even funnier re. the bible – most christians dont seem to have actually read the damned thing. oh they cherry-pick-read, a paragraph here, a paragraph there. But if you start with the OT, read it cover-to-cover then move on to the NT, the sheer inanity is blindingly obvious. Which is probably why they dont ;}

      • Tanz 9.3.2

        How utterly intelligent Millsy, jeepers, with Labour having you as their mouthpiece, they don’t need enemies, do they?

        Believing in God does not equate to a belief in beating children at all, and anyway, where in any of my posts here have I mentioned my faith? The anti smacking bill really worked didn’t it, what an outright success with child abuse rates….not. A ligh corrective smack has nothing to do with the brutal beatings the papers are full of, on an almost weekly basis

        Typical of some leftie commentators, can’t win the argument with intelligent debate, so let’s start hurling insults. Cringe.

        You might believe that God doesn’t exist, that’s your choice. I was not talking religion at all, I was talking about the left in general undermining the rights of all parents. But I won’t continue debating with you, you are far too angry to deal with. Lighten up, it’s Sunday.

        Have a lovely day, darling heart.

        [lprent: In case you hadn’t noticed, we get all sorts here. There are none who can speak for any party – including yourself. Intimating that they can annoys me becuse it is a stupid cheap diversion trick. Desist, because otherwise I will pick a party and make you the mouthpiece for it. ]

        • millsy 9.3.2.1

          The state can undermine your right to beat your daughter with a 4 x 2 plank and kick her out when she gets an abortion all it wants as far as I am concerned.

        • Draco T Bastard 9.3.2.2

          The anti smacking bill really worked didn’t it,…

          It’s amazing just how much RWNJs like to parade their ignorance.

          A ligh corrective smack has nothing to do with the brutal beatings the papers are full of, on an almost weekly basis.

          http://www.nospank.net/stang2.htm

          Hitting children is damaging to the children.

          undermining the rights of all parents.

          That’s not a right that parents have.

          • Tanz 9.3.2.2.1

            Actually, we do. Go ask John Key, who negogiated the light corrective part of the anti smacking law. A light corrective smack sometimes tells a thousand words. JK would know, he is a parent.

            Thank goodness for some common sense in politics, and some politicians, still.

            • Draco T Bastard 9.3.2.2.1.1

              A light corrective smack sometimes tells a thousand words.

              Yeah, it tells us that the person doing the smacking is a sadistic bastard who shouldn’t be allowed near children.

              Jonkey isn’t a politician – he’s a psychopath.

              • Tanz

                JK may never have smacked (lightly, of course) his children for all we know, I’m just stating that he both went with the majority opinion (the law was never wanted by most, going by the opinion polls), and that he had the brains to bring some common sense into the equation. Perhaps that’s why he’s PM, and a pretty good one, mostly. Once again, a light corrective smack and the brutal beatings/killings (with many of the perps not brought to justice) that have not gone away, are utterly worlds apart. Talk about beating my head against a brick wall!

                • terryg

                  Tanz, a few things:

                  Firstly, lightly is relative. That which say a professional rugby league player would consider to be a “light” blow would very likely cause significant damage to a 5’6″ 52kg checkout attendant. Now consider how adults are much, much larger and stronger than children.

                  When can one start hitting ones child? how young is too young?

                  How old is too old to hit a child? when they are bigger than you?

                  What is a good reason to hit a child?

                  Conversely what is NOT a good reason to hit a child?

                  Who is allowed to hit a child? parents? caregivers? relatives? neighbours? teachers? Police? family friends? strangers?

                  What about when parents/caregivers undeservedly hit children? e.g. child A blames child B for some offense, parent hits child B, then later finds child B was in fact innocent. What then? Is it then OK to hit the parent/caregiver, and if so who does the hitting – the other parent?

                  Is it OK for children to hit people?

                  How do you explain to children that they are not allowed to hit people but you are?

                  • Tanz

                    All I’m talking about is a light smack on the behind, which I’ve used only a few times in my kids’ lives. Sometimes works wonders, where words have not. What is so wrong with that? I myself was quite often hit, this is not the same thing.

            • Armchair Critic 9.3.2.2.1.2

              No Tanz, it’s not a right, it’s an excuse.

        • millsy 9.3.2.3

          Rich white christian people abuse their children too Tanz,

          Google ‘Tracee Pigott’ on the net….

        • Tanz 9.3.2.4

          Act or National. Thanks.

      • chris73 9.3.3

        cough cough *Darren Hughes*

  10. Olwyn 10

    If the impact new policy has on children is taken seriously that would be a good move. The difficulty with a society that is deeply divided economically is that one lot ends up wanting to manage people in a paternalistic fashion while the other just wants to crush them underfoot, while at the same time squawking about “the rights of the family.” So I hope that this new children’s ministry, should it eventuate, is able to work with families and take note of their needs rather than infantilise and manage them.

  11. “We don’t need more papers, the work has already been done. Now is the time for action.”

    And the “action” needed is to replace a Commission with a Ministry? Well, yeah, I guess this actually is exactly the kind of “action” I’d expect from a Labour govt.

    Still, at least under this proposal children will have people to take responsibility for them, meet their needs and act in their interests, something children have just never, ever had bef… Oh, wait…

    • Carol 11.1

      Of course, National is ALL action, being pragmatic…. like for instance, instead of a concerted programme under a ministry, the party leader goes straight to the problem…. like visiting a child living in poverty, and leads by example and takes a disadvantaged child with him to Waitangi. And that child is now….. erm…. well, it was good PR anyway…. and the other children?

      And instead of a concerted programme to develop the economy, productive business, jobs etc, the PM organises a job summit a “do-fest”, and now we have….. erm….. where exactly is that cycleway?

      And we have a PM who is minister of tourism, again leading my example…. 100% …. erm, 100% not as bad as tourist industries in some other countries.

  12. PeteG 12

    Peter Dunne won’t be happy.

    No, he’s not.

    Dunne said he would prefer to see a Children’s Commission working under the Families Commission, to balance the relative interests of parents and children.

    That sounds far too sensible.

    Legislation would be passed requiring all government departments to meet targets and put every new or changed policy through a “child impact assessment” similar to those done for human rights.

    Why not put all legislation through a whole range of filters:
    – child impact assessment
    – adult impact assessment
    – family impact assessment
    – human rights impact assessment
    – women’s rights impact assessment
    – environment impact assessment
    – worker impact assessment
    – cultural impact assessment
    etc etc

    That should really streamline things and make things happen in a hurry.

    But it won’t affect drug abuse, alcohol abuse, nicotine abuse, violence, the criminal culture, poor educational outcomes, the sort of things that keep crapping on children. They don’t make snappy campaign slogans.

  13. GP 13

    A childrens commission. What a stupid waste of money – just like the families commission.
    Just what this country needs. A buch of striving, anal, know it all beaucrates telling us how to raise children.
    On a more light hearted note, I think the best piece of parental advice I ever heard was from the late, great, American comedian George Carlin.

    “Raising a child is not difficult. It’s the easiest thing in the world to raise a kid…You take the kid and you leave him out on the street corner and you leave him there. You come back a week later. If the kid is still there, you’ve got yourself a stupid fucking kid. And you go from there.”

    and
    “Every child is clearly not special. Did you ever take a look at one of them. Did you ever take a look at one of these fucking kids? They’re fucking goody looking…And when they talk, they talk like they have got a mouthful of shit.”

    and finally
    “You want to know how to help children. LEAVE THEM THE FUCK ALONE!”

    • Deadly_NZ 13.1

      And as a new father of 1 week. I only have one thing to say to you GP

      I too like george carling and he had more to say about fucking know it all morons like you, than on bringing up children, so please just do me a favour and.
      FUCK OFF

    • millsy 13.2

      I like this quote:

      “Religion easily has the greatest bullshit story ever told. Think about it, religion has actually convinced people that there’s an INVISIBLE MAN…LIVING IN THE SKY…who watches every thing you do, every minute of every day.

      And the invisible man has a list of ten special things that he does not want you to do. And if you do any of these ten things, he has a special place full of fire and smoke and burning and torture and anguish where he will send to live and suffer and burn and choke and scream and cry for ever and ever ’til the end of time…but he loves you. [George Carlin, from “You Are All Diseased”]”

    • terryg 13.3

      GP, did you see that 60 minutes segment on the fijian man who had been left the fuck alone in a chicken coop as a child, followed by being left the fuck alone tied to a bed in a rest home for 20 years?

      oddly enough not only could he not walk, he could not talk either. And nor will he ever learn to talk – precisely because he was left the fuck alone as a child

      This is probably why George Carlin worked in comedy, rather than child development.

    • Colonial Viper 13.4

      “You want to know how to help children. LEAVE THEM THE FUCK ALONE!”

      Hey “GP” (I’m assuming that stands for Grievous Prat as opposed to the medical version)

      Babies do not learn to walk or talk without adult intervention. Did you know that?

  14. joe bloggs 14

    Ten seconds exposing the myriad of opportunities Annette King has had to address this, shows her comments to be nothing more than cheap political expediency:
    – 30 years as an MP
    – parliamentary undersecretary to the Minister of Employment and of Social Welfare 1987-89
    – Minister of Youth Affairs 1989-90
    – Minister of Health 1990 – 2005
    – in a position of great power for 9 years under the Clark regime to make her mark on the welfare of children…

    If Annette hasn’t noticed, we already have:
    – the Ministry of Social Development,
    – the Ministry of Education,
    – the Ministry of Health,
    – the Children’s Commissioner,
    – the Families Commission set up by Labour 5 years ago, and
    – the Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Bill 2007
    – Whanau Ora
    all involved with developing our kids.

    King would be better off promoting her Ministry for Tenants’ Affairs – plenty of jobs for the whanau there, eh Annette?

    • Deadly_NZ 14.1

      And if the NACTS stay in power for another 3 years how many do you think will be left??? They will pull the usual bullshit out about it all comes out of the morsel fed to the Maori party, Whanau Ora, And also how do you think it will handle all these new responsibilities on a shrinking budget. And we all know that the NACTS will slash anything to do with helping the young, poor, and dispossessed. as they will think that money is best for giving to their mates.

      • millsy 14.1.1

        To me, Whanau Ora is just a way to give the iwi elite tax payers money to drip feed to ‘their’ people for doing tricks like circus seals.

  15. Chris 15

    There is some good news in all of this end of world nonsense tis weekend- 1/ it shows what crackpots Christians are 2/ it shows that religions are based on ignorance, fear and mythology 3/ come Monday morning there will be 10,000’s of these nut bars hopefully starting to think a little more rationale for themselves and becoming a bit more skeptical instead of being stupid sheep believing in a delusion promoted by a geriatric psychotic.
    There is no evidence for any god or gods just as there is no evidence for fairies or ghosts.
    The onus of proof is on the claimant and no one in the history of the human race has produced any evidence whatsoever for a ‘god’. Not only that if gods existed basic laws of the universe and physics would all be fundamentally wrong – they are not. ‘Blind faith’ is not evidence. This evidence has to be observable, repeatable and falsifiable – the reply that god is ‘beyond science’ is plain silly. It’s very simple really – if you say there is a god then show the evidence – its not hard. If you claim you have an invisible dragon in your garage, or a ghost or a fairy – show the evidence. Why is there no evidence at all for gods, faries etc? – well if you start to think critically and logically and use science as your foundation – not using fear, ignorance or culture – the answer is self evident.
    ‘Gods’ were created by early mankind as a way of explaining natural phenomena – fire, water, earthquakes – and they to give comfort to people as it lessened the fear of death – ie. life after death which we know now is an illogical concept. However in many cases also it increased peoples anxieties and fears as the concept of vengeful god’s grow – as this end of world nonsense clearly shows. Religions became social controllers and money making machines – controlled mostly by men. Many atrocities have bee made in the name of god and religions. At last count there were 2300 different gods and 10,000 different religions – with the mainstream ones all proclaiming they are the ‘right one’ and offering delusional ‘salvation’.
    If we could replace religion with rotational and critical thinking based on humanism the world would be a bit more enlightened instead of living still in the dark ages.

    • millsy 15.1

      Hear hear!

    • terryg 15.2

      Chris,
      ‘Gods’ were created by early mankind as a way of explaining natural phenomena – fire, water, earthquakes – and they to give comfort to people as it lessened the fear of death

      Indeed.

      The Japanesse Tsunami is a case in point. The destruction is arbitrary, overwhelming and without mercy – nobody can watch that footage without a deep emotional response, and thats a tiny fraction of what those directly affected must feel.

      Yet we know exactly how and why it happened – within minutes of the earthquake occurring, the size, speed and direction of the tsunami was calculated and tsunami warning alarms were sounded. There is no mystery, only tragedy.

      Now imagine what that must have been like one, two, ten thousand years ago – without any knowledge whatsoever of why or how . Arbitrary, capricious and complete destruction, appearing out of nowhere and utterly annihilating entire cities.

  16. Treetop 16

    A ministry which focuses on the needs of children to prevent neglect is innovative. I think this is what the Family Commission has not achieved.

    Generally no parent/caregiver welcomes the CYFs being involved in their child/rens life. It is better for a struggling parent to ring up for assistance/reassurance of their own free will compared to being forcedly managed.

    About a month ago I gave an opinion in a Sunday NZ Herald story on the neglect of children, “That there is help out there.” I recieved a response asking where the help was? Instead of giving the name of Barnados, parenting lines, the Salvation Army. To say contact the Children’s Ministry, this would be remembered.

  17. Tanz 17

    Why are people so threatened by Christianity? I didn’t even mention it in my initial posts and Millsy has gone wild. I should not be shot down because of what I believe (and again, I left religion out of my posts, I was talking ideology and parental freedom. Most parents are good parents, believe it or not) that is the freedom of democracy, pulease. Try posting such insults at Red Alert Millsy, and I bet you’d be heavily edited/deleted. Your anger is almost funny.

    and re Voltaire; he said some interesting things, but at the end of the day, was just another flawed human. This country was built on Chistian values, those values are fading…and so is the great country we once had. Just saying. I await the **** storm coming my way from the LWNJ that live here. at times.

    Painful. Would you say those things to my face? No, I bet.

    • McFlock 17.1

      Can’t speak for millsy, but as far as I’m concerned “christians” who want to crap on the poor, hit their kids and be part of the “life means life” crowd (the list goes on, and I don’t really know which tick-boxes apply to you, but that sort of thing) are practising an extreme form of dissonance.
       
      If I recall the magic book correctly, JC was apparently a nice guy who liked kids, fed and healed people for free, forgave everyone, and said that the rich can’t get into heaven if the retain all their possessions. How the fuck this can be reconciled with NACT policy, I have no idea. Religion is fair enough as such, but any NACT voter who claims to be an upstanding christian is basically on the same boat as one of “those” priests (just on a higher deck).
       
      And yeah, when people have been extra-sanctimonious I have said that – and worse – to their stupid faces.

      • Tanz 17.1.1

        McFlock, at least your argument is stated calmly, and without childish insults chucked in, and shouted in bold. Enough now, time for a walk in the sun!

    • Draco T Bastard 17.2

      This country was built on Chistian values, those values are fading…and so is the great country we once had.

      Correlation != causation.

      And just because the country is changing doesn’t mean that we’re losing our country. Of course, the Nacts do seem to be in a hurry to sell it to their rich mates which would result in us losing it.

    • millsy 17.3

      Tanz,

      I shall question you thusly,

      1) Do you think it is OK that parents beat their children with jug cords and bit of wood?
      2) Do you approve of sex outside of marriage? and do you belive people have a right to have sex with as much people with they want when they want?
      3) Do you think single mother should be forced to get married or lose their children?
      4) Do you think that divorce should be harder to get, and are you willing to accept that as a concequence, women will end up trapped in abusive and unhappy marriages
      5) Would you reverse the Homosexual Law Reform Ace 1986 and make homosexuality illegal
      6) Do you approve of homosexuality, and do you accept that what goes on in the bedroom is none of your business
      7) What is your opinion on lynching?
      8) Do you think that the sun revovles round the earth
      9) Do you think the earth came into being as a result of scientific processes or do you think some old guy with a magic wand made it, and do you think that ‘creationism’ should be taught in our schools, and evolution not.
      10) DO you belive that abortion should be made illegal
      11) Would you kick your teenage daugher out if she had one?

      If you answer ‘yes’ to any or all of the above questions, then that, is why I have a big problem with god botherers.

      • Tanz 17.3.1

        I am a single mother, Millsy. Does that answer your question? And no, I don’t believe in abortion, morally wrong in my view, the unborn have a right to life too, and protection. Could there by anyone more vulnerable?

        God Botherer is an insulting term, by the way. I have not shoved my faith down your throat in any way, so leave me alone in mine. You are coming from the Old Testament only it would seem, from your commentary. I look at both.

        Can’t be bothered debating any further on this one, it’s getting way off topic. See ya.

        • millsy 17.3.1.1

          OK fine then. I guess its church time, mass or whatever the fuck it is. Drinking water and pretending its the blood of some carpenter who got nailed to a POLE, not a CROSS. The Romans crucified people on a pole because it made it more agonising for the victim, the cross was added in by painters in the 14/1500’s to make it look dramatic.

      • Deadly_NZ 17.3.2

        Millsy obviously no matter what anyone says you will want to spread your propaganda everywhere, whilst blaming everyone for your twisted views on life, the universe, and everything. BUT to answer your hate filled drivel the answers go like this.

        1: no 2: yes 3:no 4: no 5: no 6: yes 7: only on idiots like you who ask stupid questions 8: no 9: pt A: yes pt B: no pt C: either it’s called freedom of speech, as long as it’s discussed equally, and the nut jobs are kept away from it. 10:no 11:no

        And I am not a god botherer I am just a well adjusted human being. Unlike you, who seems to think everyone should all think like you. Now I have answered all your questions, so now be a good little person and make like sex and travel

  18. chris73 18

    I have no doubt shes doing this with the best of intentions but is another ministry really going to achieve something that the family commission, youth ministry, cyps etc etc can’t or hasn’t?

    Until certain people get it through their heads that treating kids as footballs is wrong, that bringing violent “uncles” into contact with their kids is wrong, that viewing having kids as a legitimate means of revenue is wrong, that protecting scum that beat kids is wrong nothing will change

    And I just don’t see this proposed ministry as doing anything to change that

  19. Craig 19

    Um, I’m confused. When Peter Dunne attacks Labour for wanting to do more for the nation’s children through establishing a government ministry, at the cost of his pet Families Commission, has he conveniently forgotten that he actually criticised the Nats for appointing Christine Rankin and Bruce Pilborow from the Christian Right to that august body?

    It’s an excellent idea, although I hope Labour gets out there and sells it. What other social democratic nations have ministers for children, and what have they done to address issues like child neglect and abuse in their contexts?

    • seeker 19.1

      Thoroughly agree Craig, very well put. This is another reason that Labour needs to win in the next election – for the sake of our children. An accountable minister for children is a great, innovative idea that might just turn the plight of our neglected and abused children around and give children the caring voice they need. They are the most precious thing we have and are our future.

  20. ianmac 20

    If it was told to people over the centuries that god lived in a house (heaven) on Mars and it was told often enough by powerful people then it would become accepted as true. It must be true because why would they lie. Proof? Well no but if your faith is strong you will believe me as I speak the word of god so get down on your knees, pray and hand over 10% of your income, or else god will be angry!

  21. Craig 21

    Seeker, no argument there whatsoever. But again, Labour does need to robustly comment on its concrete models and intentions for this positive policy development.

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