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Nats in denial about education and poverty

Written By: - Date published: 8:06 am, September 11th, 2012 - 57 comments
Categories: class war, education, labour, national, poverty - Tags: , , ,

Shearer’s speech on Sunday has sparked the discussions that this country needed to have about education, about poverty, and about the sad link between them. With every statement the Nats show how deeply in denial they are about these issues:

Labour says New Zealand needs a Minister for Children, and will introduce one if it wins the 2014 election. Leader David Shearer says there needs to be a special focus on children to ensure they have the best start in life, but National says the current policies work and Labour’s proposals are unnecessary.

…”All of our portfolios are focused on how we can attend to our most vulnerable children,” says Education Minister Hekia Parata, “and the result action plan we released three weeks ago talked about an integrated approach.”

National used to talk about “the underclass” too – talk is all they ever do. National have had four years, during which poverty and inequality have increased (a Waikato University professor says that poverty is our biggest growth industry). Report after report after report has condemned the rate of poverty in this country, and called on the government to act.  In a recent summary of the government’s targets and goals John Armstrong wrote: “Glaringly absent is a target for reducing child poverty”…

National also says there’s no need for Labour’s $19 million proposal to provide a free daily meal to all decile one-to-three schools, as there are already mechanisms in place. “For the vast bulk of them we provide fruit in schools, there’s often a breakfast programme and more often than not some sort of emergency lunch,” says Prime Minister John Key.

Education Minister Hekia Parata told Radio New Zealand the government is already doing enough to help families feed their kids.

If the government is already doing enough then why are 40,000 kids are fed by charities and up to 80,000 going to school hungry?

Key in poverty ‘la la land’

Organisations working with the poor and opposition parties say Prime Minister John Key is in ”la la land” if he thinks fruit is enough to get a hungry child through a school day.

Key ‘out of touch’ over hungry kids: Turei

The Green Party is backing Labour’s proposal to provide free food to all kids at low-decile schools, and has slammed the government over its refusal to consider the idea.

… Metiria Turei says Mr Key is out of touch with the facts and “against every good idea to decrease child poverty”.

“Food in schools is needed. According to Kidscan, one in 11 kids in the four lowest deciles are demonstrably hungry at school, and a Ministry of Health survey found that 20.1 per cent of New Zealand households with school-age children did not have enough food for active and health living,” she said.

Before the last election Labour called for a cross party working group on poverty. Key turned the offer down. National is now deeply in denial and doesn’t think anything needs to be done. Labour is offering practical solutions. Your choice.

57 comments on “Nats in denial about education and poverty”

  1. just saying 1

    I think you are too generous to the government Anthony. I don’t believe they are any less aware of the extent of poverty than the left of the house. The only ‘problem’ poverty presents to National is a public relations one. And their vicious victim-blaming strategy is working a treat.

    They simply don’t care. For many of them it’s not even just “acceptable collateral damage”. Poverty is a warning to workers everywhere, and a just punishment for any kind of failure or dissent. An effective tool of oppression.

  2. Carol 2

    National also says there’s no need for Labour’s $19 million proposal to provide a free daily meal to all decile one-to-three schools, as there are already mechanisms in place. “For the vast bulk of them we provide fruit in schools,

    Bomber refers to it as Key’s Let them eat fruit! response.

    John Key’s – ‘let them eat fruit’ isn’t much of a response to child poverty, but then again he isn’t much of a Prime Minister.

    • Steve Wrathall 2.1

      Why don’t one of these parents who send their children to school with no food come to this site and defend why other people should pay more tax in order to remove yet more responsibility from them? Wher are they all? I mean there’s so many of them aren’t there?

      • Colonial Viper 2.1.1

        Why don’t some of the richies who earn 5x or 20x the median NZ income turn up here to defend why they wish to abdicate their responsibility to the rest of society and leave NZ children starving, often just one or two streets away from their own homes?

        Their reason being so self centred, that they don’t want to part with an extra 0.02c per dollar extra of income or asset tax to strengthen the fabric of this country.

      • marsman 2.1.2

        Steve Wrathall. Parents who are too poor to feed their children would not have a computer or be able to afford an internet connection. Perhaps like John Key you too live in a comfy la la land. Shame on you!

      • starlight 2.1.3

        To Steve,Could you please explain how you would spend $200-$300 per week on all household
        costs,ie rent,power,bills,petrol,food,insurance,phone.
        Then explain how you would spend $400-500 on the above.
        Then explain how you would spend $500 plus.
        Feel free to do a budget,so we can see where the money goes.

        • mike e 2.1.3.1

          +1 starlight these aloof callous cynics wouldn’t last a week let alone a couple of days put into those circumstances!
          They would be under the mental health act after a week!

      • Urban Raskal 2.1.4

        Steve, you’re seriously misguided. I’ve been reading your comments over the last couple of days and you obviously live in an insular environment away from the realities of the middle and lower classes and their current struggles.

        I’m a 25 year old qualified worker. I worked part-time during my studies to gain experience as I knew it was important to my future job chances. Out of my 4 year degree only around 5 of 30 got a industry job straight from uni. I was one of the lucky ones due to experience. But as a renter at the time and an attitude against living off the government, or my parents good will, I had to take a job quickly. In 2009 the job market was horrible for graduates and I was forced into taking a job with a lower pay to make my rent payments.

        But at least i’m in the industry I studied, better than the other 25 in my class.

        Over the first 2 years working I can say that after rent, water, power, internet, food, gas my expendable income was between 0 – 100 a week. Note: internet was needed for me to do freelance web work to supplement my pittance.
        I was far from living comfortably, but I have no children to feed, and I believe in eating healthy which is a considerably more expensive option.

        So pray tell me (a 25 year old, with a bachelors degree and 5 years work experience). If I could only afford to live with $100 income after expenses, without children and eat healthy. How do you expect a family earning the minimum wage to function in that environment?

        From reading your comments yesterday I conclude you are a most callous person unable to put yourself in someone elses shows.

        • prism 2.1.4.1

          Urban Raskal 2 1 4
          UR you have patiently given Steve some facts so he can gain background to what is being said on this site. After you donating your time to advance his knowledge, I hope he can absorb it and think about it and gain more understanding but I doubt it. It’s likely he’ll pick up some item that seems to reinforce his prejudices. He may be one of those that build their lives and personalities around taking a stand on the basis of one idea and slagging off other people who are considered lacking in the right attitude to life.

          • Urban Raskal 2.1.4.1.1

            I figured the obvious gripe would be a comment along the lines of “you had enough to afford internet”. But no doubt there is something else.

            If your reading Steve, I am not saying in my piece above that I was in a struggling situation. But having children, buying a house, dealing with emergency situations were out of my control and still are in a smaller sense.

            And you are expecting people earning atleast 25% less than me to be able to feed their kids nutritious food. All the while taking their taxes and spending large portions of them on consultants, bail outs and general tom-foolery.

            Either give them back some taxes so they can afford it or use some of that tax money to actually benefit the lowest areas of our society.

            • prism 2.1.4.1.1.1

              UR
              The problem with the down attitude on poor people is to overlook that they are under constant stress and are unhappy and that very little is going right for them. They also have very little money to comfort themselves with – the rich crafty financier can make sure that he is miserable in comfort. Not so the poor people.

              And they have to try and maintain a positive attitude and strong discipline of mind and behaviour yet perhaps feeling hopeless in the midst of this constant wave of difficulties and poverty. The term ‘death by a thousand cuts’ comes to mind. No wonder that the poor become less than ‘efficient and effective’ as Treasury and other economists would probably label their situation.

              • Urban Raskal

                Exactly, when any bump over $50 is going to break the bank or throw out your budget you tend to get pretty stuck in a rut. I would think that everyone can see the psychological impact that would have on a family.

                I’d think that providing a safety net of food for kids is not only in the interests of the children but society as a whole. Removing pressure here could have a positive impact on violent crime and family violence.

                This government seems to enjoy marginalizing people and I don’t see that being good for the well being of anyone. No one wants a pitchfork mob at their door, and long term that seems to get more and more likely if you follow this rhetoric.

        • tracey 2.1.4.2

          “you obviously live in an insular environment away from the realities of the middle and lower classes and their current struggles”

          Are you saying Steve is actually a member of cabinet???

  3. fabregas4 3

    I asked Parata whether she thought poverty affected learning her response (unsurprisingly) was long winded and waffling. Eventually she begrudgingly said yes. But then added “but it’s no excuse!”.

    I wasn’t able to ask a follow up question so I don’t know who she thought was using poverty as an excuse (usually she refers to lazy, teachers with low expectations in this sort of discussion) but equally it could have meant the kids themselves I guess.

    I really wanted to ask what her government planned to do about poverty then as it affects most of the struggling learners in any school – the very group she always refers too – sadly no opportunity to ask this either. Even more sad – I don’t think she actually cared.

    • Carol 3.1

      I’ve seen John Banks use that “poverty is not an excuse for education failure” line in general debates in the House recently. He claims it’s the line the “opposition” or Labour and the Greens use. Banks argument is that it is the schools that are causing the failure, hence the need for his charter schools.

  4. Matthew 4

    Key is full of shit. I work in a decile 1a High school, we get the breakfast program two days a week, but we get no free fruit (despite being in the biggest fruit-growing region in NZ) & certainly no ’emergency lunches’. Its two weetbix in the morning and a splash of milk, no extras.
    Most of my kids dont have computers at home or internet at home Steve. Also, a good amount of their parents do work but work minimum wage jobs, they pay tax, that have bills. I know some who get food one week & gas up the car the next… they cant do both in one week since the price of gas went through the roof. Power going up, rates going up, doctors costs, etc…. a 40 hour week at minimum wage less tax is barely 400 a week…..
    This isnt about removing responsibility, its about actually paying people enough money to cover their outgoings. Anyone who thinks poverty is a lifestyle choice has obviously never been in it.

    • Craig Glen Eden 4.1

      Excellent post Matthew!

    • tracey 4.2

      Steve and his ilk don’t want facts. They prefer to believe that the world they believe exists, is real and the same for everyone. Facts interfere with that enormously.

  5. Carol 5

    I see from the NZ First website that Paul Sahlberg, author of Finnish lessons is giving a talk in Wellington on Oct 2, hosted by PPTA. They don’t have any other details of location etc.

    http://nzfirst.org.nz/event/paul-sahlberg-author-finnish-lessons

    Aha! It’s at the NZPPTA conference:
    http://www.ppta.org.nz/index.php/annual-conference/2329-annualconf-programme-2012

    The 2012 conference will be held at the Brentwood Hotel, Kemp Street, Kilbirnie, Wellington from Tuesday 2 October to Thursday 4 October 2012.

  6. captain hook 6

    the nats are in denial about everything.
    especially about getting their arses kicked at the next election.

  7. Adrian 7

    Key or Parata claimed that they gave $300,000 to schools for fruit and food. What they didn’t say was that they also give $560,000 to elite private schools to buy sports equipment. Priorities, people, don’t forget the priorities.

    • mike e 7.1

      God that stinks wealthy people who can afford the best equipment while equally or better talented poor children can’t even get equipment or food!
      Grotesque.

    • Dv 7.2

      Re the 300k, it would be interesting to see that figure audited, and to see the ticket clipping (if any) on the way past.

      • tracey 7.2.1

        with 40,000 children in poverty that’s a one-off payment of $7.50 per child. how proud the nats must be. How much fodo the brokers for the asset sales get???

  8. prism 8

    Education is being presented to the public as a focus for attention away from the other yawning holes in our country’s performance leading to deterioration of everything those in the past worked for to achieve. When will New Zealand cease to bear anything but a faint resemblance to the country we had that remains in our memory?

    And education is being presented also as the answer to a future for our young people. In very poor countries it does open the doors to jobs and entrepreneurial activity often for just one child in the family to bring in some money for continued existence. In a ‘developed’ country like NZ more is needed. We have universal education which should flow into jobs and thriving, vital businesses. But where are they and where will they be when the next wave of educated young people emerge?

    Ours are closing down, moving away, or staying here and moving production elsewhere (e.g. Fisher and Paykel which may soon be owned by a Chinese shareholder). Steven Joyce talks airily about businesses of the future say in bioenergy. Sounds just like Roger whatname and his cohorts who were willing to manipulate the business environment so that it fell down, always with the cocky assertion that new more modern and efficient ones would take their place. And the idea that clever business people would save the country and boost its earnings.

    Well we know that the clever guys struggle in our environment trying to get, and keep going without any government support to match what other developed countries have. Many of our clever guys are just trained accountants, playing with other peoples real money and turning it into play money at the end. The clever guys don’t want the hard graft of starting, running, owning a business. They want to be successful like asset stripper Ron Brierley, to be financiers and gather in others hard earned savings like the finance company owners, then throw it to the winds, on a nice jet or yacht on an extremely fancy car, on all the baubles that man can think of, and occasionally woman.

    That’s why we don’t have much venture capital in this country. A casino culture is what we do have. It’s all going to happen on the next spin of the wheel, we are in the hands of fate and nothing we can do about it. What a despicable lot we have in NACT and Labour had better take a good shower, freshen themselves up, then get in to the policy gym and get sweaty with some real work on the right muscles, then go through that same process repeatedly until they are fit for their purpose.

  9. fnjckg 9

    social causation social drift
    choices and determinations
    loneliness and solitude
    social construction of meaning

    READ Thomas Szasz

    and btw, one of the highest authorities on mental health at the HBDHB assures me after many chats that i AM on the way…Left in charge

    …to them who hath understanding (Santa)
    -tuition
    -board
    -food
    -living allowance
    -primarily precis and oral examination (assessment, assessment, assessment) is unnecessary when u can cover the material in a summers’ pre-reading and sit wondering why u arewasting all this time cycling, pacing, and enduring vacant tutorials
    =One free servant (in this day and age i can be found) awaiting

    as, it would appear i have an auto-biographical memory as well as comprehension for any-thing i
    CHOOSE TO READ

    To The Trolls,
    i understand your desire and suffering
    -born to teens
    -typical bullshit kiwi male shot the gap to Oz
    -adopted
    -subsequent brothers to adopted parents followed
    -Father died when boys 9, 7, 3 ya
    -Authoratarian, emotionally, psychologically and physically abusive parenting (outcome of her own developmental deficits and insults)
    -Pedant teachers
    -the great NZ bully culture
    -biological inheritance of fathers predisposition to anasthetic (sensation seeking and all that)
    -biological inheritance of mothers ‘hysterical’ (old term) temperament
    -childhood social isolation
    -childhood labour
    -alcohol can come to grip one like heroin
    -nicotine one of the most addictive substances in the pharmacopeia
    -cannabis has been interesting, but work to be done

    Well we sure showed them did we. Not! (outcome. Hyper-vigilence and Acute cyclic emotional Intensity)

    Reading, and being read to + a little wairua = resilience

    There are at least 10 Benefits from gettin enough Sleep in a Therapeutic Milieu

    so on the same authority (see above) i have concurrence that much (almost all) is determined
    with a little freedom to choose following behind if u are courageous enough-it is the cowards that breed fear

    “Lets Dance” too Poppy for me (and it sure gets hot around hare)(poission recurrence)

    sacred.pearls.
    Done?

  10. captain hook 10

    we cant feed our kids and we cant keep our jobs.
    who elected this government?

  11. 50 more jobs lost at the port of timaru at the end of this month, so what do those
    families do? basher bennett will punish them again, more for the ‘poverty’ train.

  12. BLiP 12

    .

    Heh! National Ltd™ 2007 Press Release:

    National Party Leader John Key has announced the first initiative in what will be a National Food in Schools programme.

    “National is committed to providing practical solutions to the problems which Helen Clark says don’t exist,” says Mr Key.

    During his State of the Nation speech on Tuesday, Mr Key indicated National would seek to introduce a food in schools programme at our poorest schools in partnership with the business community . . .

    “. . . “We are going to put together the package while in Opposition. We are not waiting to be in Government, because all our kids deserve better.” [says King John The Clueless of Charmalot]

    Last year National Ltd™ spent $562,874 on sports funding for private schools, yet spent barely half that ($317,000) on support for organisations providing free food in low decile schools

  13. Basher bennett has just released more attacks on solo mums,their benefits will be
    slashed if they dont comply with her rulings,where the hell does she get off?
    this needs to be sent to the human rights office,surely there is someone in labour
    that can halt all her attacks on beneficiaries via the human rights commission and
    the un,surely she must be stopped,she has crossed the line with the privacy breach
    where she should have been dismissed as a politician,now a banal attack on mums
    and beneficiaries en’ mass, she is out of control.

    • Carol 13.1

      Well, some here predicted another Basher Benefit distraction following Shearer’s education speech-grabbing headlines:

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/7653313/Welfare-reforms-target-kids-education-health

      It’s all blame and punish parents for the abysmal way society has treated them, and avoid dealing with the wealthy rorters that dominate the system.

      NAct truly is the nasty party.

    • As David Slack just said on Facebook Paula has a standard press release that goes like this:

      “[Date] We will SLASH your benefit if you [insert maximum of one], you scum.” Issue weekly, as necessary.”

    • BLiP 13.3

      .

      Labour gets traction on child poverty: cue Basher Bennet dog-whistle, hey presto – headlines, concerned Editorials, unemployed = druggie TV “human interest”, rabid talkback-taliban blethering . . . oh, what was that about our kids living in poverty, must mean that spawn of criminals breeding for profit and leeching off the taxpayer. Fuck ’em.

    • Hayden 13.4

      Well, it’s easier than doing anything about jobs.

    • marsman 13.5

      ‘Paula Pop-Up Bene-Basher Bennett the Ugly Face of National Party Heartlessness’ on your screen weekly.

  14. Tab 14

    The Conservatives are gaining on National yay for Colin Craig, a Key with a moral code!!

    • Tracey 14.1

      Thanks TAB, I needed a belly laugh after a hard day…

      • Tab 14.1.1

        Was not a joke. Colin Craig has the heart and integrity that John Key does not. He is truly conservative and cares about what the electorate thinks, unlike the bendable Key.

        • Colonial Viper 14.1.1.1

          Do you think Colin Craig views homosexual activity as a sin against God, Tab?

          How about sex outside of marriage? Is that a sin against God?

          • Tab 14.1.1.1.1

            Yes to both questions Colonial Viper. Funny that Mr Craig has now had a bounce in the polls that even Labour has not. Course he does. Just because gay marriage is legislated into law, it does not make it morally right, because man is now manipulating and changing good law.

  15. mike e 15

    Next poverty will be against the law.

    • prism 15.1

      mike e 15
      I don’t like what you say, soothsayer. Begone with your tales of bad fortune going forward.
      Poverty or the ‘simple life’ did go through a time of popularity in the 70’s. Courtney Love’s parents brought her out here to live on a farm in our green land, though they kept their bank a/cs on the west coast just to be canny.

    • Colonial Viper 15.2

      Next voting will be against the law. Oh yeah, they’re doing that too.

  16. Tracey 16

    Could someone in politics or the media please ask Ms Bennett how much enforcement of all her new sanctions will cost? Don’t let her announce another empty peace of nothingness without holding her to the costing. If she hasn’t done the costing why hasn’t she?

    Given the Nats aim to reduce the public service who will be following up parents to make sure they have their children in school? Consultants?

    • Dv 16.1

      No problem, all bene kids will be barcoded on the forehead for tracking in a central database.
      The kids will have an 0800 no to call is they are gong to absent or late.

  17. georgecom 17

    I have in mind a simple question for the people who support the Nat Government ‘get tough’ on beneficiaries stance. If the cause of hungry children is due to (along these lines) ‘lousy bludging parents who can’t be bothered getting jobs and use benefits as a lifestyle choice’:

    How many children do you think go without a meal in this country every day?
    How many of those children do you think come from families where the parents are ‘lousy bludgers’?

    Put a figure on your position. We can then debate the veracity of your figure before turning our minds to the matter of how to meet the needs of the ‘non lousy’ parents, who don’t ‘bludge’, who would like to work and do make an active contribution to society through a variety of means including bringing up their children and other social works.

  18. Tracey 18

    george don’t make sense, that’s contrary to the only plan this government has…

    Ms Bennett is going to scare everyone into agreeing with their diversionary tactics today by saying how much the current crop of beneficiaries will cost NZers… it appears 10% of beneficiaries are the unemployed. That suggests a large proportion of beneficiaries are ill or invalid. Isn’t that exactly what the welfare net is for?

    The ill, infirm, disabled, and those who from time to time find themselves without work?

    There is an awful lot of blather for the actual numbers.

    To show how even handed I am. I have a story.

    Mt brother-in-law was born physically and mentally disabled as a result of medical negligence in the 1950’s. His parents didn’t sue the hospital or the doctor, largely because they were in shock (not having been told their son would probably never walk or live beyond his teens, until ten days after he was born, as they were leaving the hospital). No ACC. So, they looked after him. No state assistance until after his father died and his widowed/retired mum sought some respite and utilised the state respite care system for ten days each year.

    She cared for him, in her home until she died at age 74.

    He lives in Christchurch (we live in Auckland). We searched long and hard for residential care in Christchurch because that is his home. He knows the transport routes and the libraries and hates Auckland(ers) :D. A good Canterbury man you might say.

    He didn’t want to come to us. After the second earthquake he came to us for 7 weeks for 2 reasons. He was disturbed by the constant aftershocks and it would free up a bed in his home for those needing respite care in the time of crisis.

    My point, and I do have one. Is that twice under the labour government he was fully re-tested to see if he was “capable” of working. He has had work in what we used to call “sheltered workshop” and once worked for Zip industries but was first to lose his place when the job losses began. I won’t go into how badly he was treated by fellow workers.

    So his mother was put through the worry twice under Labour, the worry that he would have to go to “work” and he wouldn’t be able to find a job, and would get depressed as he did during the zip layoff.

    To our knowledge there is no cure for what ails him… this would be known to anyone in WINZ, MOH and so on. The stress his mother was put through was awful to watch. She who had never asked for any support from the state which shielded the doctor who let the family down.

    SO, even when there are people, like my brother-in-law who can never work (he’s 55 now) at what we would call a “real job”, he gets periodically re-tested to ascertain his ability to work. Now surely with the millions spent on computer systems over the years a simple checked box beside names like his would remove him from future testing…

    Sorry if I strayed into compassion and common sense for a moment..

    Yes he is now state subsidised. BUT I can tell you from experience that his fellow residents on the whole ONLY have the allowance to live on. Yes, they have food, shelter and the bare necessities. BUT no extras, including extra clothes, day trips, holidays, books, film visits and so on. We contribute all of that for my brother-in-law and often for others too.

    Some might say well where are those other resident’s families and why aren’t they helping out? Well many may now be retired and on a pension, many may have low income jobs, many struggle to pay their own rents let alone boost their child in care.

    So, my brother-in-law is a beneficiary and IF he were left to his state care only his life would be quite bleak. Like many who find themselves in receipt of benefits I suspect, also battling with the mental impact of not being able to work or find work, or having worked and now being disabled.

    All of these people far outnumber the alleged bludgers and life-long rorters governments conjure up to win votes and divert from real issues.

    The Opposition needs to starting shouting long and hard when this welfare crap starts

    “where are the jobs”
    “what jobs?”
    SHOW ME THE JOBS

    and as for the rorter argument, accept that some people gip the system, like people who use the company shield to build and sell a house for profit, wind up the company and move tot he next and on and on, leaving a trail of poorly built houses in their wake and no one to sue… BUT we leave the shield because we want to encourage “entrepreneurs”. Like Mark Bryers and I deal with these guys on a daily basis in my job. Safely stowed away their money out of reach and wound up company after wound up company behind them. Where is the political will to fight this rort?

    In leaky homes alone, I estimate the cost to tax/ratepayers (because Councils have to pay the developers share which is usually at least 40% of the cost of repair, over $150m on claims made. That doesn’t count those who couldn’t sue council and there were no other viable parties.

    So don’t tell me about how important it is to weed out every rorter on a benefit. The numbers DO NOT STACK up.

    Ms Bennett’s figures today will not identify the number of “lazy bludgers” receiving benefits. That will be left for those without compassion or knowledge to conjure up. And conjure up they will.

    • georgecom 18.1

      Its not really about the Nats sas such Tracey, but more for those who see every effort to alleviate poverty as assisting ‘bludgers’ and ‘welfare lifestylers’. Its a challenge to them to, rather than resort to their simple catch phrases and prejudices, be specific about the issue. How many exactly. Some specificity puts their catch phrases and prejudices under some scrutiny. It allows us all to seperate fiction from some fact.

  19. An email I sent to Ms Bennett regarding her current so-called “welfare reforms”,

    To: “Paula.bennett@parliament.govt.nz”

    Kia ora Ms Bennett,

    Regarding your proposals to compel the unemployed, solo-mothers, etc, to undertake various obligations, or face having their welfare payments cut, I have some questions to put to you;

    * Will recipients of Working for Families – which some call a “welfare benefit – also be expected to compulsorily enroll their children in Early Childhood Education and doctors? If not, why not?
    * Will superannuitants who are caring for children also be expected to compulsorily enroll their children in Early Childhood Education and doctors? If not, why not?
    * Will children of all families, regardless of financial and/or employment circumstance also be expected to compulsorily enroll their children in Early Childhood Education and doctors? If not, why not?

    If compulsory early childhood education and doctor’s visits for children of unemployed, solo-mums, and other welfare recipients is such a good idea that National is willing to enact legislation, and financially penalise parents for failing to carry out this policy – why are other parents also not being compelled to enroll their children in Early Childhood Education and medical clinics?

    Is there a basis upon which only the unemployed who have been made redundant from companies, government departments, and SOEs, are being targetted? What is that basis?

    If unemployed or low-income families are financially unable to enroll their children in Early Childhood Education, doctors, etc, what steps will National take to offer additional financial assistance?

    Do you still stand by your comment that you made on TVNZ’s Q+A on 29 April 2012, that, “there’s not a job for everyone that would want one right now, or else we wouldn’t have the unemployment figures that we do”.

    And lastly; is this propopsal – plus your other so-called “welfare reforms” – simply not an attack on the unemployed and solo-mothers to deflect attention away from your government’s inability to generate the 170,000 new jobs that Prime Minister John Key promised us at the last election?

    I await any possible answer you might be able to provide to these questions.

    Regards,
    -Frank Macskasy
    Blogger

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    This week we moved into the second half of 2020 - and our Government delivered another week of big changes and major progress for New Zealanders. Read below for a wrap of the key things moments from the week - from extending paid parental leave, to making major investments in ...
    3 days ago
  • Green Party opposes RMA fast-track bill that cut corners on environmental safeguards and public cons...
    The Green Party has opposed the COVID-19 Recovery Fast-track Consenting Bill which shortcuts normal consenting processes under the Resource Management Act (RMA), reduces public participation and narrows environmental considerations. ...
    3 days ago
  • Site of new freight hub revealed
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister of Regional Economic Development A regional freight hub for the lower North Island will be built just northeast of Palmerston North, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The Government is investing $40 million through the Provincial Growth Fund to designate and buy land and design ...
    4 days ago
  • Greens call for Guaranteed Minimum Income to alleviate skyrocketing debt with MSD
    Green Party Co-leader Marama Davidson is calling for the introduction of a Guaranteed Minimum Income to lift hundreds of thousands of people out of poverty and prevent more families entering into further debt with the Ministry of Social Development.  ...
    4 days ago
  • Winston Peters: Facts matter when taxpayer money is on the line
    There has been renewed focus on New Zealand First acting as a handbrake on the Government after our decision to not support Auckland light rail. We are a handbrake for bad ideas, that is true, but our track record since 2017 has seen New Zealand First constructively also serve as an ...
    4 days ago
  • Bill raising minimum residency requirement for NZ Super passes first reading
    Mark Patterson MP, New Zealand First List MP New Zealand First’s Fair Residency for Superannuation Bill passed its First Reading in Parliament today. The Bill makes a significant change to NZ Super by raising the minimum residency requirement from 10 to 20 years, after age 20. “Currently, a migrant of ...
    4 days ago
  • Harsher penalties for assaults on first responders one step closer
    Darroch Ball MP, Spokesperson for Law and Order A New Zealand First member’s bill in the name of Darroch Ball introducing a six-month minimum prison sentence for assaults on first responders has passed its second reading in Parliament. The new offence of "injuring a first responder or corrections officer with ...
    5 days ago
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission delivers Coalition promise
    Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Deputy Leader of New Zealand First New Zealand First welcomes the launch of the new Criminal Cases Review Commission, gifted with the name from Waikato-Tainui - Te Kāhui Tātari Ture, announced in Hamilton today by Justice Minister Andrew Little. “New Zealand First has long believed in and ...
    5 days ago
  • Greens welcome huge new investment in sustainable projects
    The Green Party is celebrating over $800m in new funding for green projects, which will get people into jobs while solving New Zealand’s long-term challenges. ...
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand First demands answers from Meridian Energy
    Mark Patterson MP, Spokesperson for Primary Industries New Zealand First is appalled that Meridian seems to have been unnecessarily spilling water from its dams to drive up its profits."While New Zealanders have been coming together in some of our darkest hours, we don’t expect power gentailers to waste water and ...
    6 days ago
  • Getting New Zealand moving again: June 2020
    We wrapped up the first half of 2020 with a busy month, taking additional steps to support New Zealanders as we continue with our economic recovery. We rolled out targeted packages to support key industries like tourism and construction, helped create jobs in the environmental and agriculture sectors, and set ...
    6 days ago
  • Māori union leader appointed to Infrastructure Commission board
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Infrastructure Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones has welcomed the appointment of Maurice Davis and his deep infrastructure and construction experience to the board of the Infrastructure Commission. Mr Davis (Ngāti Maniapoto), is the seventh and final appointment to the board led by former Reserve Bank Governor ...
    6 days ago
  • Click-bait journalism at its worst
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First New Zealand’s click bait journalism is taking a turn for the worse, with yet another example of sensationalist, wilful-misrepresentation of the facts. “New Zealand First has worked constructively with its Coalition partner on hundreds of pieces of legislation and policy, and ...
    6 days ago
  • Green Party proposes transformational Poverty Action Plan
    The Green Party is today unveiling its Poverty Action Plan, which includes a Guaranteed Minimum Income to ensure people have enough to live with dignity.     ...
    1 week ago
  • PGF accelerates Rotorua projects
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development The Rotorua Museum redevelopment and Whakarewarewa and Tokorangi Forest projects will be accelerated thanks to a $2.09 million Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) boost, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher ...
    1 week ago
  • Week That Was: Getting people into jobs
    This week, we rolled out the next steps of our recovery plan, with new infrastructure investment, extra support for tourism operators, and a new programme to get Kiwis into agriculture careers. The global economic consequences of COVID-19 will continue to be a challenge, but we have a detailed plan to ...
    1 week ago
  • Coalition commitment establishing Mental Health Commission delivered
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First welcomes the passage of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill through its final reading in Parliament today fulfilling a coalition agreement commitment. “This is an important step in saving the lives of New Zealanders and delivers a key coalition commitment ...
    1 week ago
  • Whakatāne gets a $2.5m ‘turbo boost’
    Whakatāne has been given a $2.5 million boost to speed up previously funded projects and create more than 450 jobs in the next decade. Of those, the equivalent of 160 full-time jobs could be delivered in the next six weeks. Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters is in town to make ...
    1 week ago
  • $2.5m PGF funding to speed up economic recovery in Whakatāne
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $2.5 million to accelerate three infrastructure projects in Whakatāne, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. “This package is about ...
    1 week ago
  • Shane Jones calls out those holding drought-stricken Auckland ‘to ransom’ over water
    Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones is throwing his weight behind a bid by the Auckland Council to fast-track the more than doubling of the city's water allowance from the Waikato River. And he's coming out strongly against anyone who plans on getting in the way of this campaign. "It is my ...
    1 week ago
  • Another Green win as climate change considerations inserted into the RMA
    The Green Party is thrilled to see changes to the Resource Management Act (RMA) that mean consents for large projects can be declined if they will have significant climate change implications that are inconsistent with the Zero Carbon Act and Aotearoa New Zealand’s Paris Agreement obligations.  ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Navy vessel Aotearoa to arrive in New Zealand
    Hon Ron Mark, Minister of Defence The Royal New Zealand Navy’s new ship, Aotearoa, set sail for New Zealand on 10 June from the Republic of Korea, and is due to arrive in Auckland tomorrow, announced Minister of Defence Ron Mark. “Aotearoa is the Royal New Zealand Navy’s new fleet ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Racing Industry Bill passes third reading
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Racing Racing Minister Winston Peters has today welcomed the Racing Industry Bill passing its third reading, creating the legislative framework for revitalising the racing industry while limiting the need for future government intervention. “For too long our domestic racing industry has ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Green Party seek amendment to ensure all prisoners can vote
    The Green Party has today put forward an amendment to the Electoral (Registration of Sentenced Prisoners) Amendment Bill to ensure all people in prisons can vote in general elections. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Green Party welcomes new approach to delivering light rail
    The Green Party welcomes the decision to not proceed with Public Public Investment (PPI) delivery of Auckland’s light rail project and to instead run the process through the public service. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand First welcomes PGF investment in Wairarapa Water
    Hon Ron Mark, New Zealand First List MP based in the Wairarapa New Zealand First List MP Hon Ron Mark welcomes the announcement of Provincial Growth Funding investment of $1.4 million to help secure the Wairarapa’s water supply. The funding boost will allow the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC), and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand First MP Mark Patterson selected as candidate for Taieri
    New Zealand First list MP Mark Patterson has been selected to represent the party in the newly formed Taieri electorate at the upcoming election. Mr Patterson, his wife Jude and two daughters farm sheep and beef at Lawrence and Waitahuna. He previously stood in the Clutha-Southland electorate however boundary changes ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ground-breaking on NZ Post depot
    Hon Shane Jones, Associate Minister for State Owned Enterprises A new ‘super depot’ to be built for NZ Post in Wellington will create around 350 jobs during construction, Associate Minister for State Owned Enterprises Shane Jones says. Shane Jones today attended a ground-breaking and blessing ceremony for the parcel-processing depot ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: Putting our economic plan into action
    Our strong economic management prior to COVID-19 - with surpluses, low debt and near-record-low unemployment - put us in a good position to weather the impact of the virus and start to rebuild our economy much earlier than many other countries. Now we're putting our plan to recover and rebuild ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Fleeing drivers hit new record-high yet again
    Darroch Ball MP, New Zealand First Spokesperson for Law and Order Recently released Police fleeing driver statistics have shown yet another increase in incidents with another record-high in the latest quarter. “This new quarterly record-high is the latest in a string of record-high numbers since 2014.  The data shows incidents ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Fletcher Tabuteau selected as candidate for Rotorua
    New Zealand First MP Fletcher Tabuteau is pleased to be confirmed today as the party’s candidate for the Rotorua electorate. Speaking at the Rotorua AGM for New Zealand First, Mr Tabuteau said this is an election that is incredibly important for the people of Rotorua. “The founding principles of New ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Greens call for Government office to address Rainbow issues following Human Rights Commission report
    The Human Rights Commission’s PRISM report on the issues impacting people based on their sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and sex characteristics (SOGIESC) provides an excellent programme of work for future governments to follow, say the Greens. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston Peters continues push for trans-Tasman travel as military take control of operations
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters said the trans-Tasman bubble had not been jeopardised after a border botch-up resulted in New Zealand having two active cases of COVID-19. On Friday, Mr Peters told RNZ's Morning Report he had heard from Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison that borders for trans-Tasman travel would open by ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston Peters on the Government’s Covid-19 border blunder
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters said today he was pleased the army was now running the quarantine and isolation process - up until now it has been the Ministry of Health. Peters told Newstalk ZB's Mike Hosking that the army knew how to introduce and follow protocols and instil discipline. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand First’s Ron Mark confirms bid for the Wairarapa seat
    Hon Ron Mark, New Zealand First List MP based in the Wairarapa New Zealand First MP and Minister for Defence and Veteran’s Affairs Ron Mark has confirmed his bid for the Wairarapa seat.“The Coalition Government has done a lot of good work throughout the Wairarapa, but many constituents have told ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand First welcomes second tranche of candidates
    New Zealand First is pleased to release the names of its next tranche of candidates for the 2020 election. We’re proud to announce these hardworking New Zealanders that have put their hand up to fight for a commonsense and resilient future.Jamie Arbuckle – Kaikoura Mark Arneil – Christchurch Central Jackie ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Joint effort under way to repatriate stranded Vanuatu nationals
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    3 weeks ago

  • Extended loan scheme keeps business afloat
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    17 hours ago
  • New investment creates over 2000 jobs to clean up waterways
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    17 hours ago
  • Speech to Labour Party Congress 2020
    Tena koutou katoa  Nga tangata whenua o tenei rohe o Pōneke, tena koutou Nau mai, haere mai ki te hui a tau mo te roopu reipa Ko tatou!  Ko to tatou mana!  Ko to tatou kaupapa kei te kokiri whakamua  Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena tatou katoa   Welcome. I ...
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    17 hours ago
  • Building a more sustainable construction sector
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    3 days ago
  • PGF funds tourism boost in Northland
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    3 days ago
  • Four new projects announced as part of the biggest ever national school rebuild programme
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris Hipkins today announced significant funding for Auckland’s Northcote College as part of the first wave of a new nationwide school redevelopment programme to upgrade schools over the next 10 years. The $48.5 million project brings the total investment in Northcote College to ...
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    3 days ago
  • COVID-19: Support to improve student attendance and wellbeing
    The Government has opened an urgent response fund to support schools and early learning services to get children and young people back on track after the Covid-19 lockdown. “While we are seeing improvements in attendance under Alert Level 1 Ministry of Education data shows that attendance rates in our schools ...
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    3 days ago
  • Fast-track consenting law boosts jobs and economic recovery
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    3 days ago
  • Whanganui Port gets PGF boost
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    4 days ago
  • More support for Sarjeant Gallery
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    4 days ago
  • Funding for training and upskilling
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    4 days ago
  • Statement from the Minister of Health Dr David Clark
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    4 days ago
  • Scholarship placements for agricultural emissions scientists doubles
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    4 days ago
  • Funding for Foxton regeneration
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    4 days ago
  • Plan to improve protection of moa bones
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    4 days ago
  • Free lunches served up to thousands of school children in the South Island
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    4 days ago
  • Screen Sector recovery package protects jobs, boosts investment
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    4 days ago
  • New fund to help save local events and jobs
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    5 days ago
  • Bill to improve fuel market competition
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    5 days ago
  • New Zealand joins global facility for pre-purchase of COVID-19 Vaccine
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    5 days ago
  • Right to legal representation in Family Court restored today
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    5 days ago
  • Transitioning to a fully-qualified home-based ECE workforce
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    5 days ago
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission gets to work
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    5 days ago
  • Speech by the Minister of Defence to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs
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    5 days ago
  • Infrastructure investment to create jobs, kick-start COVID rebuild
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    5 days ago
  • Statement on passage of national security law for Hong Kong
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    5 days ago
  • July 1 marks progress for workers, families
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    5 days ago
  • Auckland water consent referred to Board of Inquiry
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    6 days ago
  • New Zealand to host virtual APEC in 2021
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    6 days ago
  • Matakana Link Road construction kicks off and drives jobs
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    6 days ago
  • PPE supplies secured as COVID-19 response focuses on border
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    7 days ago
  • PGF funding for Parihaka settlement
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    1 week ago
  • Protections for workers in triangular employment
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    1 week ago
  • Government strengthens managed isolation system
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    1 week ago
  • Whakatāne to go predator free with Government backing Ngāti Awa led efforts
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    1 week ago
  • Growing Goodwood: Expanding wood waste recycling plant in Bay of Plenty, Waikato
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  • Scott Watson’s convictions to be referred to Court of Appeal
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  • Protecting Kiwis with stronger financial supervision
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