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It takes a child to raise a country – so Tick for Kids

Written By: - Date published: 11:00 am, June 20th, 2014 - 80 comments
Categories: child welfare, election 2014 - Tags:

Overshadowed by the  political smears that have dominated the past few days, the Tick for Kids campaign was launched (video) to put our children at the centre of the election campaign.

In their media release supporting the campaign, the New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services nailed the inequality issue:

NZCCSS is calling for government policies that lift the household income of vulnerable families so they can provide a healthy standard of living for their children. Policies such as paying a universal child benefit (e.g. by extending the In-Work Tax Credit to parents who are not in work) will help reduce child poverty. Policies like these make a contribution to reducing inequality and consequently lifting children out of poverty.

Other issues in the campaign are health, education, disability, housing and refugee and migrant children.

We know that the right can’t tackle these issues seriously. We’ve seen the situation for Kiwi children only get worse over the past five years.  Punitive crackdowns on beneficiary families, school closures, eroding incomes, refusing to expand the Food in Schools programme to all schools, running down early childhood education: the National-ACT-United Future-Maori coalition has been bad for kids.

Meanwhile, Labour has the BestStart policy to ensure all families with newborns get a basic level of support, restore funding to ECE and provide free antenatal classes. The Greens have a package of policies including after-school care and free GP visits for all under-18s. Mana believes feeding the kids should be our first priority as a nation.

And a leftwing coalition which reduces inequality, raises wages, rebuilds our social safety net and creates meaningful economic growth benefits all Kiwis and their families.

What do you reckon?

80 comments on “It takes a child to raise a country – so Tick for Kids ”

  1. karol 1

    yes, will tick the Greens for policies that support, not just kids, but young people – free health care to 18 years, debt free tertiary education with gradual progress to full free teritary education, increase in state housing, etc.

    But a vote for any left parties will help put these policies strongly on the agenda for any new, non-Nat government.

    It’s really important that community groups put pressure on politicians for changes towards a less unequal society.

    • just saying 1.1

      It’s really important that community groups put pressure on politicians for changes towards a less unequal society.

      I get regular junkmail from the Labour Party and often I hit reply and politely and briefly express my views about the direction of the party, poverty and inequality.
      I’ve never gotten a reply but I’ve figured it can’t do any harm.

      Today I received my first ever reply – from David Cunliffe’s office. Maybe it takes a crisis to make them at least pay the punters the courtesy of a response (though I suspect head office is a dead loss under all circumstances). Maybe my comments won’t reach David’s eyes as promised. It’s not like I’m getting my hopes up or anything. But I do want to suggest to those functionaries in the Labour Party that responding to people like me is diplomatically and strategically worthwhile. I may be bitterly disappointed and unlikely to vote for the party, but I do talk to people in the real world. Often about politics.

    • Colonial Viper 1.2
      • Full employment policy for those who are 25 and under.
      • blue leopard 1.2.1


      • Polish Pride 1.2.2

        Sounds like a short step away from conscription.

        • just saying

          The conservation and community corps.

        • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

          …even that would be better than the ‘conscription’ we have at present ( that is the one where you have to sign up for the dole cos there is not anyone willing or able to employ you) – as long as it didn’t oblige people to fight in wars I don’t see conscription as worse than being on the dole when young – actually I see it as a lot better.

          • just saying

            I wasn’t thinking of conscription, just making meaningful conservation and community work available to all young people at a living wage.

            • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

              Yeah, I didn’t think you were – my comment re conscription was in response to Polish Pride’s comment not yours.

              I think your idea is a very good one (much better than going into the army). 🙂

      • Anthony B'stard 1.2.3

        Thats hilarious Colonel V, seeing as Labour getting rid of youth rates caused youth unemployment to skyrocket.

        How are Labour going to achieve Full employment for youth when one of their core policies causes massive employment discrimination against them?

    • David 1.3

      Have a look at this 22minute doco clip to see where National thinks the brighter future is…..


  2. Philj 2

    The torrie voters already think the Nats are supporting kids in Noo Zild! That’s a major part of the problem.

    • blue leopard 2.1

      It seems reasonable to assert that only approximately 21% of the voting age population are committed National voters – based on the 2002 election results – and therefore there is plenty of room for movement amongst those stating they ‘intend to vote for National’ this time around.

      • lprent 2.1.1

        You should probably add the Act voters from 2002 in there as well. It is hard to see what other party they have to go to after ACT imploded itself to a pinhole in the political space.

        • blue leopard

          Good point, I missed that – heck, that makes the percentage a lot higher 28%. (my initial reaction was ‘what? all two of them! – forgetting they used to get more support lol).

          It is still only around half of what polls are suggesting National support is, so fortunately my point does still hold though.

          The calculation to work out the lowest support the left-wing has received is harder to calculate, however looking at the last election results where Labour took a hit the three main left-wing parties still adds up to 40% of the voters. That is a core group that is substantially more than 28%. (There may have been some blue voters in Greens that year perhaps? – but that is likely to be somewhere in the realms of 2-3% max)

          • lprent

            It is still only around half of what polls are suggesting National support is, so fortunately my point does still hold though.

            Yeah. I suspect that the National core vote at the election is slightly less than Labour’s.

        • Anthony B'stard

          Cough cough 56% in most recent poll


          • lprent

            Silly fool, do try to keep up.
            49.5% in a poll that considerably over-rated National last election.

            From memory, the last ipos before the 2011 election had National not only winning on its own, but also by a substantial margin.

            You have to look at the accuracy of polls and please do try to keep up with the recent polls.

  3. dimebag russell 3

    yep its the kids allright.
    they are going to have to put up with all the nonsense that keys and his cronies are doing to aid and abet to appease their nuttiest adherents.
    national is about to wreck the education system just so the wackjobs can have jobs to promote their own agendas.
    this must not be allowed to happen.
    our children are our most precious resource and having national screw them up just because they have no moral compass is beyond imagination.
    the result would be hideous if heka paratai and the act rump get to deform the public purpose.

    • Polish Pride 3.1

      “national is about to wreck the education system”
      I’m no fan of National but our education system isn’t all that in my view. What I learned in English has been useful but a lot of the other stuff not so much. It may have changed since my time at school but probably not that much.
      It takes kids to raise a country all right so long as you teach them how to think and not what to think. Our education system historically at least is very good at teaching the latter of the two and whilst it continues to do so our future isn’t going to be a very bright one at all.

  4. blue leopard 4

    Interesting, I have noticed left-wing politicians using that phrase ‘tick for kids’ rather a lot already. Good idea.

    It strikes me as sad, though, that it has come to the point where the narrative requires solely mentioning children’s interests in order to appeal to people in this country – this indicates that the belief that people ‘choose’ to be poor has become strongly ingrained and horrible paradox in existence is that the more this belief takes hold the more policies that destroy social mobility and create poverty traps are supported.

    I would prefer that people in this country were concerned about their fellow citizens and what works in a society and what doesn’t with regard to poverty and social mobility – however considering this is increasingly not the case and the people I live amongst are apparently becoming increasingly self-absorbed and muddle-headed about these matters despite the effects of greed and self interest clearly showing up with the GFC – so Tick for Kids it is.

    It is good to see a group working around the sad state of NZers’ ability to feel for and care about their compatriots circumstances and who have worked out a way of focusing peoples thinking in this way on this issue.

    • karol 4.1

      Agrred, bl.

      It’s about poverty, the inequality gap and the need for a more inclusive and caring society.

      • Polish Pride 4.1.1

        …..In a system that is geared towards competitiveness at almost every turn. Hell even Mum and Dad are incentivised to spend less time together with their kids as a family.

        • blue leopard

          Yes, the ‘values’ that are being promoted these days are sickening. (It may be that values are not being promoted actively, they are simply being ignored – but the result is the same whatever way you look at it – as your example shows.)

          The trick is to watch out for ‘either/or’ choices: Either you spend time with your kids or you gather enough income to feed your family.

          The ‘either’ needs to be scrapped, ‘can’ needs to be placed after both yous and the ‘or’ needs to be ‘and’ – only then will we have a real choice as to how we live our lives.

  5. karol 5

    Remember Aroha Nathan and how Key used her for electioneering?

    What has his government done for the “underclas”?

    Time for policies that really do tackle the too large inequality gap.

    • Molly 5.1

      That was an appalling abuse of a vulnerable child. The arrogance of Key in promoting his “largesse” and her body language spoke volumes. If he was at all concerned (hah!) he would have paid for her to travel with her family anonymously to Waitangi. The media should have refused to promote that ill-considered and distasteful electioneering stunt.

      Brings to mind the phrase I read once from Keri Hulme about where she got the title The Bone People … people who wear their heart on their sleeve, and say ‘Mind you look at my sleeve’…

  6. fisiani 6


    National is daily improving the lives of the worst off. National is clearly the best party for the poor, the sick and the marginalised. I don’t expect you to agree just yet but take the blinkers off and it’s obvious that National has brought thousands more children out of the scourge of living in a beneficiary household. National has insulated virtually every state house and will provide free medical care and prescriptions for all under 13’s.
    National is about equality of opportunity. Socialism is about equality of outcome.
    That’s why over 50% choose National and by September it could be closer to 60%

    National’s Business Growth Agenda is growing the economy, creating job opportunities for Kiwis and slashing the current account deficit.
    Record exports have more than halved the current account deficit in six years

    We’re sailing the right course. Let’s keep it that way come 20 September.

    • You’re right, National has done an amazing job of getting families off benefits. Not by actually creating jobs or raising wages or anything, but off is off, right? Who cares that more kids are living in poverty, it’s all relative, etc etc.

      • fisiani 6.1.1

        Governments don’t create jobs. Business does. Profitable business does. More people employed now than ever before and the number keeps rising and unemployment falls. Wages BTW have risen 3.2% well above inflation. That’s undeniable.
        What was shameful, utterly shameful and disgusting was the vote last night by the Greens and Hone to oppose safeguarding children. That bill was supported by every other party.

        • More people are employed now than ever before? Amazing! Especially when you consider the working-age population is decreasing.

          … hang on.

          Honestly, I think you need your own commenting bingo board some time.

        • Tracey

          what is shameful is for you to use the vulnerable children in nz to further your smugness and pay lip service to their issues.

          • Davethebroken

            It gave the appearance that Greens care more for politics that they do children. We will only get real traction on social issues if there is more emphasis on solutions than games

          • Anthony B'stard

            Tracey – Isn’t that what this whole article is doing though?

        • blue leopard

          @ Fisiani,

          Governments can make job creation viable or not though.
          They can make it so that speculating provides greater profits for those with wealth than creating jobs with that wealth – or not though.
          And actually Governments can also create jobs too.

          So you appear altogether misinformed on the matter.

          These above facts that I list are why I sincerely hope Labour is in government by the end of the year because they are sounding very switched on with respect to the capacity the government has to assist in creating a society where everyone has jobs and pay that covers their living costs. This approach actually saves in welfare expenses to so that it can be directed into other areas. How excellent that would be.

          Like you, National appear to be entirely out of ideas over this issue. The best they can do is steal Labour/Green/Mana policies and so far that is exactly what they have done and it is these policies that are often cited as achievements of this current government by this government. It is all rather pathetic when one looks at the facts and who has really created any benefits that people are experiencing today (which are exaggerated by this government too by the way).

        • Colonial Viper

          Governments don’t create jobs. Business does. Profitable business does.


          Teachers have real jobs. Nurses have real jobs. Customs staff have real jobs. DOC field officers have real jobs. Police have real jobs. Our Orion pilots have real jobs.

          And if the Government had bothered to get real trains from Dunedin instead of breakable toy trains from China, a couple of hundred Dunedin workers more would have “real jobs.”

          You are so FULL OF SHIT

          • Davethebroken

            Yes, Public Service is real employment (well I hope so else I wasted years of my life) – but to grow the employment “pie”, you need businesses to do well. It’s a simple fact and abusing whoever said that earlier doesn’t make it less real.

            [lprent: see http://thestandard.org.nz/it-takes-a-child-to-raise-a-country-so-tick-for-kids/#comment-835122 ]

            • Colonial Viper

              Sorry davethebroken Fizzy’s claim was that government doesn’t create jobs.

              I demonstrated how fucked up his right wing mantra was. Don’t protect him for it please.

              but to grow the employment “pie”, you need businesses to do well

              Simplistic and wrong because you have not put first things first. To grow the employment pie, you need spending into the economy. ZERO happens to create jobs until spending into the economy rises significantly. And if the private sector refuses to do so, then it is up to government.

              To back this up – everyone knows that businesses always try to MINIMISE both spending and head count. Relying on that behaviour of theirs to “grow the employment pie” is foolhardy.

              • Davethebroken

                Businesses by their very nature spend and contribute to the economy. Govt needs income before it can spend so it needs businesses to contribute. Neither can work in isolation. The left champion Govt spending, the right champions business – but the reality is we need both to be strong.
                I think it’s simplistic to “dump on business” as capitalist exploiters, as much as it’s wrong to say that Govt is just a socialist burden

                • karol

                  All businesses are not the same. Some businesses make a contribution to the general good, others work to enrich themselves at the expense of the greater good – see big oil, the tobacco and sugar industries, property developers, financial speculators, etc.

                • blue leopard

                  @ Davethebroken

                  “I think it’s simplistic to “dump on business”

                  Where was CV dumping on business?

                • Polish Pride

                  “but the reality is we need both to be strong.”
                  Whilst we are determined to stay with a system that fails to deliver even the most basic needs to over 50% of the worlds population.
                  Under a better designed and fit for purpose system we would need industry, design, manufacturing, technology and automation

                • Polish Pride

                  “but the reality is we need both to be strong.”
                  Only whilst we are determined to stay with a system that fails to deliver even the most basic needs to over 50% of the worlds population.
                  Under a better designed and fit for purpose system we would need industry, design, manufacturing, technology and automation.

          • fisiani

            Business makes the profits and workers pay the tax to allow the government to employ doctors nurses teachers etc on their behalf but never forget that the government ultimately gets its money from the growth in business. Labour and the Greens want to stifle and retard NZ business. They are therefore anti-jobs

            • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

              That is funny, I could have sworn there are plenty of policies in Labour and Greens that show they want capital to flow into business and business related activities and not into speculation.

              That they intend to pursue policies that support job creation.

              Where did you get that bit about ‘anti-job’? In your own muddled head?

              • fisiani

                Are you joking.
                Greens and Labour want to ban mining, drilling, increased dairying, extracting fallen timber, roading, the list goes on and on. So YES The Greens/Labour Luddites are anti-jobs.

                • Polish Pride

                  I believe that there are some within the Greens that are pro automation and freeing people from having to work. This is a far better solution moving forward in a world that is becoming increasingly automated.
                  They are also pro Green tech and pro jobs in Green tech
                  so no not anti jobs just not too happy about the damage that the industries you have mentioned do to our environment.

                  As for roading… given the state of the roads in my area I’m pretty sure National aren’t exactly that interested in upkeeping them either.

                • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                  @ Fisiani,

                  Nope I am not joking.

                  Are you?

                  Where is this ‘infinite list’ you are speaking of?

                  Does this list ban food growers? Restaurant workers? Cleaners? Teachers? Bulldozer drivers? Nurses? Forestry workers?Sewerage workers? High fashion? Computer Tech workers? Musical instrument makers? Film makers? Street Cleaners ?

                  Or is it simply industries that you have an interest in and that are being required to stop externalizing costs that lead you to draw the strange conclusions that you do?

                • Semi-mod note: Please stop telling lies, fisiani. In future please back up your claims about parties’ policies, and when you can’t, refrain from commenting.

          • Anthony B'stard

            Colonel V, there are only a finite number of jobs the government can create, the bulk of jobs have to be created by businesses, otherwise you start looking like North Korea or Soviet Russia did.

            • McFlock

              Or the period in history when NZ had the highest standard of living in the world….

        • Polish Pride

          Actually Fisiani Business doesn’t create jobs. Customers do. If a business has no customers it won’t create a single job.

    • freedom 6.2

      Equality of outcome is completely dictated by equality of opportunity. Yes some of the blame for our current predicament falls on Labour but on balance, they are still the minor player when it comes to the institutional damage wrought on Aotearoa over the past four decades. If National were about equality of opportunity they would immediately reinstate state funded Tertiary education. They would not have thrown Adult Education classes into the woodchipper. They would have a CGT and a Death Tax and a Robin Hood Tax that goes directly into small business development funds or similar socially responsible programmes. They would tax foreign corporations as stridently and as harshly as they tax the unemployed. They would remove profit as the primary motive for social services. They would build better transport systems not just more highways. They would have kept Mental Health hospitals open instead of dumping the most vulnerable into underfunded community care programmes, before going on to gut those programmes. They would have used Kiwi manufacturers for all that stuff Kiwis need that Kiwis can build. They would have supported the paid parental leave bill in its entirety not begrudgingly sign off on a spin-doctored version. They would not have kicked out entire communities from the nicer suburbs just to satisfy the endless greed of property developers.

      The list could go on for days, so, in short … If National were about equality of opportunity they would have agreed to any number of proposals over the years that delivered a more fair and equitable society. They did not, they do not and we all know they will not! How do we know this? Because of their decades of aggressive ignorance, malicious greed and barely suppressed declarations that them and theirs are all who deserve to survive.

      We do not have anything approaching an equal opportunity society.

      Socialism on the other hand, (though I still question if you have any understanding of the concept that is not sourced from a tory fact sheet) is absolutely about equality of outcome.

      And that outcome is simply for all to have a roof over their head and food in their belly and to spend their days working together to build the best life possible for the greatest number of people, now, and into the future.

      A future that those of your mindset are so hell bent on limiting to as few as possible and even then making that future as short lived as possible as you slavishly consume the finite resources of this fragile rock called Earth.

      • Polish Pride 6.2.1

        “And that outcome is simply for all to have a roof over their head and food in their belly and to spend their days working together to build the best life possible for the greatest number of people, now, and into the future.”

        Fantastic!! but will never work if the mechanism for delivery is based on a model of wealth redistribution.

        • freedom

          There is a lot of head space in those upper echelons. So before we completely destroy everything, surely it’s worth seeing if simply a fairer distribution wouldn’t hurt.

          i know, easy for me to say as i lick road with tongue for tuppence a week 🙂

          • Tracey

            one of my favourite skits but now I picture


            on the couches

            • freedom

              couches, ooh I have dreamed of couches
              such a wonder would it be
              but I am happy here on my sack cloth hammock,
              doubles as a jacket.. see

      • Tracey 6.2.2

        stop it!

  7. Davethebroken 7

    Raising family income is the obvious strategy – the real debate though is how. Benefit increases mean Govt must get money off of someone else (either tax or cutting other spending). Raising minimum wage means small businesses pay more, even if they can’t afford it. We need the country to earn more so business can pay more (tax and wages).

    • Polish Pride 7.1

      And that is exactly the problem and why we simply continuosly bounce from R to L.
      So long as we continue to have a politics and a system based around redistribution of wealth rather than looking at systems designed to meet the needs and requirements of mankind (and its quite a simple exercise both to determine why our current system fails on so many levels and in order to determine a system that can solve the problems our existing one can’t).

      • Davethebroken 7.1.1

        Well put. Politics ruins good governance.Solution based Govt would be awesome

      • karol 7.1.2

        The left doesn’t just favour a system of redistribution. For many, pre-distribution is better. Redsitribution is a fall back position.

        • Davethebroken

          How would you define pre-distribution/ I haven’t come across that concept before

          • Anthony B'stard

            She means that everyone gets paid the same, or thereabouts, within a certain range – so there are no excessive salaries and no underpaid people.

            It would never work of course, as it destroys everyones incentive to do difficult jobs.

        • Polish Pride

          I’d typed half a response on this but decided it would be better to give more context around ‘pre-distribution’. What do you mean by this and can you give an example for context.
          thanks in advance.

          if by predistribution your talking about setting up the system to enable people to easily obtain the things they need and want then that would fit with the sort of solution that systems analysis shows we should have in order to have a system designed for all mankind.

    • Colonial Viper 7.2

      We need the country to earn more so business can pay more (tax and wages).

      Nah bullshit, this country earns a lot already but we are being financially raped while our leaders smile and make excuses; foreign shareholders and banks take $15B out of NZ communities each and every year, that’s $20,000 per school age child right there.

      • Davethebroken 7.2.1

        so why does the money go overseas? It’s because they invested here, risked their money on the assumption that they will earn a profit from utlising our resources.
        Unless you think you can nationalise everything (without compensation), then this isn’t a valid argument. It is more important to look at ways NZ inc can utlise our assets, and those offshore to earn ourselves profit.

        • dimebag russell

          it goes overseas to pay for the lifestyles of the overseas exploiters of New Zealands assets and its people.
          What do you think nincompoop!

          • Davethebroken

            lol are you an adult?? Think before you insult – and how about constructive debate – heard of that?

            [lprent: Read the policy. We set it. You don’t. Try telling people how they should act on our site and I’ll boot you off until after the election. The only people who can tell people how to act are the moderators. All you may do is to suggest to us that we might like to look at someones comment.

            This is your warning. I’m getting tired of moronic fuckwits like yourself wasting my time today. ]

        • Tracey

          do you think that if the aussie banks left that tsb, kiwibank etc wouldnt take up the slack and the 15bn going offshore could stay?

        • Tracey

          nz is a country made up of people animals flora fauna and land it is not a business. I find nz inc offensive and lazy.

      • I’m not comfortable with the use of “raped” in this context. “Exploited” would work perfectly well to convey the same meaning without cheapening the situation of sexual assault survivors for shock value.

  8. Tracey 8

    It is worth people reading some of the personal stories told in the glenn report because it shows how quickly being in the presence of violence, verbal and physical impacts a child for the worse, even when the child is not the target. I believe issues relating to children, be it health, education, law and order, and so on need to be by a representation from all parties, by consensus not votes to get a genuine, practical inter related set of steps to pave a better future.

  9. Davethebroken 9

    I get called a moronic fuckwit by the mod for asking someone who called me a nincompoop to act like an adult. All day I had people call me names or swear at me. I’ve been trying to offer some balance and positive comment (not even right wing comments) and just got personal attacks back. I will now gladly leave this site as unfortunately serious, polite and non hard line debate is obviously not wanted. This site is no better than whaleoil for genuine discussion

    [lprent: Perhaps you should read the policy on a site before trying to come on and try to change its rules. That would be adult, fleeing with a fit of pique because you didn’t is not. However I’d suggest Public Address if you want politeness. ]

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