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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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    19 hours ago
  • He Whenua Taurikura: New Zealand’s first Hui on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism
    The Prime Minister has opened New Zealand’s first hui on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism, which is being held in Christchurch over the next two days. The hui delivers on one of the recommendations from the report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the terrorist attack on Christchurch masjidain ...
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    20 hours ago
  • Speech to inaugural Countering Terrorism Hui
    E aku nui, e aku rahi, Te whaka-kanohi mai o rātou mā, Ru-ruku-tia i runga i te ngākau whakapono, Ru-ruku-tia i runga i te ngākau aroha, Waitaha, Ngāti Mamoe, Ngai Tahu, nāu rā te reo pohiri. Tena tātou katoa. Ki te kotahi te kakaho ka whati, ki te kapuia, e ...
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    20 hours ago
  • Campaign shines a light on elder abuse
    A new campaign is shining a spotlight on elder abuse, and urging people to protect older New Zealanders. Launched on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, the Office for Seniors’ campaign encourages friends, whānau and neighbours to look for the signs of abuse, which is often hidden in plain sight. “Research suggests ...
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    23 hours ago
  • Farewelling sports administrator and philanthropist Sir Eion Edgar
    Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson today expressed his sorrow at the passing of Sir Eion Edgar – a leading sports administrator and celebrated philanthropist who has made a significant impact both within and beyond the sport sector. “Sir Eion’s energy, drive and generosity has been truly immense. He leaves ...
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    2 days ago
  • Government to apologise for Dawn Raids
    The Government will make a formal apology for the wrongs committed during the Dawn Raids of the 1970’s. Between 1974 and 1976, a series of rigorous immigration enforcement policies were carried out that resulted in targeted raids on the homes of Pacific families. The raids to find, convict and deport overstayers ...
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    2 days ago
  • Humanitarian support for Bangladesh and Myanmar
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced that New Zealand is providing NZ $8.25 million in humanitarian assistance to support refugees and their host populations in Bangladesh and to support humanitarian need of internally displaced and conflict affected people in Myanmar.  “Nearly four years after 900,000 Rohingya crossed the border ...
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    2 days ago
  • Poroporoaki: Dame Georgina Kamiria Kirby
    E Te Kōkō Tangiwai, Te Tuhi Mareikura, Te Kākākura Pokai kua riro i a matou. He toka tū moana ākinga ā tai, ākinga ā hau, ākinga ā ngaru tūātea.  Haere atu rā ki te mūrau a te tini, ki te wenerau a te mano.  E tae koe ki ngā rire ...
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    2 days ago
  • Feedback sought on future of housing and urban development
    New Zealanders are encouraged to have their say on a long-term vision for housing and urban development to guide future work, the Housing Minister Megan Woods has announced. Consultation starts today on a Government Policy Statement on Housing and Urban Development (GPS-HUD), which will support the long-term direction of Aotearoa ...
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    2 days ago
  • Clean car package to drive down emissions
    New rebates for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles start July 1 with up to $8,625 for new vehicles and $3,450 for used. Electric vehicle chargers now available every 75km along most state highways to give Kiwis confidence. Low Emission Transport Fund will have nearly four times the funding by 2023 ...
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    3 days ago
  • Progress towards simpler process for changing sex on birth certificates
    The Government is taking the next step to support transgender, non-binary and intersex New Zealanders, by progressing the Births, Deaths, Marriages and Relationships Registration Bill, Minister of Internal Affairs, Jan Tinetti announced today. “This Government understands that self-identification is a significant issue for transgender, non-binary and intersex New Zealanders, and ...
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    3 days ago
  • Crown speeds up engagement with takutai moana applicants
    The Crown is taking a new approach to takutai moana applications to give all applicants an opportunity to engage with the Crown and better support the Māori-Crown relationship, Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister Andrew Little says. Following discussions with applicant groups, the Crown has reviewed the existing takutai moana application ...
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    4 days ago
  • Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment (AODT) Court opens
    The Minister of Justice, Kris Faafoi, and the Minister for Courts, Aupito William Sio, have welcomed the opening of a new Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment (AODT) Court in Hamilton. The AODT Court (Te Whare Whakapiki Wairua) addresses situations where substance abuse and offending are intertwined. “New Zealanders have told ...
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    4 days ago
  • EU and UK FTAs top of list for first ministerial trip since COVID-19
    Trade and Export Growth Minister Damien O’Connor today announced details of his planned visit to the United Kingdom and European Union next week, where he will hold trade and agriculture discussions to further New Zealand’s economic recovery from COVID-19. The visit will add political weight to ongoing negotiations with both the EU ...
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    4 days ago
  • Arihia Bennett to chair Royal Commission Ministerial Advisory Group
    Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu chief executive Arihia Bennett MNZM has been appointed chair of the newly appointed Ministerial Advisory Group on the Government’s Response to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the terrorist attack on Christchurch mosques. “Twenty-eight people from diverse backgrounds across Aotearoa have been selected for the ...
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    4 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Medical Association General Practitioners' Conference, Rotorua
    Ki ngā pou maha o te whare hauora o Aotearoa, kei te mihiTo the pillars of our health system I acknowledge/thank you Ki te ope hapai hauora o roto o tēnei rūma, kei te mihi To our health force here in the room today, I acknowledge/thank you He taura tangata, ...
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    5 days ago
  • Karangahape Road upgrades are streets ahead
    The upgrades to Karangahape Road makes the iconic street more pedestrian and cycle-friendly, attractive and environmentally sustainable, Transport Minister Michael Wood and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said at the formal celebration of the completion of the Karangahape Road Enhancements project. The project included widening footpaths supporting a better outdoor dining ...
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    5 days ago
  • Speech to APEC business event
    E ngā tumu herenga waka, ākina ā ngaru, ākina ā tai ka whakatere ngā waka ki te whakapapa pounamu, otirā, ki Tamaki o ngā waka Tena koutou katoa… To the great leaders assembled, who guided your waka through turbulent times, challenging waters and you continue to navigate your respective waka ...
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    5 days ago
  • Pause on Quarantine Free Travel with Victoria extended
    Following an assessment of the COVID-19 outbreak in greater Melbourne, New Zealand’s Quarantine Free Travel pause with Victoria will continue for a further seven days, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. There are now 93 cases associated with the outbreak in greater Melbourne, spread over four clusters. Contact tracing efforts ...
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    6 days ago
  • Supplier Diversity Aotearoa Summit: Navigate 2021
    *** Check with delivery *** A mihi to all who have contributed to making today a success – starting with you! As you have explored and navigated government procurement today you will hopefully have reflected on the journey of our people so far – and how you can make a ...
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    6 days ago
  • Pukemiro School to close
    Pukemiro Primary School near Huntly will close following years of declining roll numbers, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. “I’ve consulted with the School Commissioner, and this decision acknowledges the fact that the few remaining students from last term are now settled at other nearby schools. “I want to thank ...
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    6 days ago
  • Govt acts to protect NZers from harmful content
    New Zealanders will be better protected from harmful or illegal content as a result of work to design a modern, flexible and coherent regulatory framework, Minister of Internal Affairs Jan Tinetti announced today. New Zealand currently has a content regulatory system that is comprised of six different arrangements covering some ...
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    6 days ago
  • Consultation on exemption of new builds from proposed tax rules
    The Government has today confirmed new builds will be exempt from planned changes to the tax treatment of residential investment property.  Public consultation is now open on details of the proposals, which stop interest deductions being claimed for residential investment properties other than new builds.   “The Government’s goal is to ...
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    6 days ago
  • Speech for Predator Free 2050 Conference
    Introduction E ngā mana E ngā reo E ngā iwi Tēnā koutou katoa   Ka huri ki ngā mana whenua o te rohe nei. Tēnā koutou He mihi hoki ki a tatou kua tau mai nei i raro i te kaupapa o te rā Ko Ayesha Verrall toku ingoa No ...
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    6 days ago
  • New stock exchange to help grow small businesses
    A new share trading market, designed as a gateway to the NZX for small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), has been granted a licence by the Government. Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister, David Clark said Catalist Markets Ltd will provide a simpler and more affordable ‘stepping stone’ for SMEs to raise capital. “This ...
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    6 days ago
  • Visa extensions provide certainty to employers and 10,000 visa holders
    Changes to onshore visas will provide employers and visa holders with more certainty, Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi has announced. Around 10,000 Working Holiday visas and Supplementary Seasonal Employment (SSE) work visas due to expire between 21 June 2021 and 31 December 2021 will be extended for another six months to ...
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    6 days ago
  • Border class exceptions approved for more farm workers and vets
    The Government has approved border class exceptions for an additional 200 dairy workers and 50 veterinarians to enter New Zealand, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced today.  “It is clear from conversations with the dairy and veterinarian sectors that they are facing workforce pressures. These border exceptions will go a long ...
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    6 days ago
  • More freezers and South Island hub to support vaccine roll-out
    A South Island hub and 17 new ultra-low temperature freezers will help further prepare New Zealand for the ramp up of the vaccination programme in the second half of this year, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. The new freezers arrived in New Zealand on 27 May. They’re currently being ...
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    7 days ago
  • Speech at the release of Climate Change Commission's final advice
    Good morning – and thank you Prime Minister. Over the last three and half years we have been putting in place the foundations for a low-carbon Aotearoa that will be a catalyst for job creation, innovation, and prosperity for decades to come. In that future, many of our everyday tasks ...
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    7 days ago
  • Achievable blueprint for addressing climate change released
    Report says Government making good progress on emissions reduction, but more action required Meeting climate targets achievable and affordable with existing technology Economic cost of delaying action higher than taking action now Benefits from climate action include health improvements and lower energy bills All Ministers to help meet climate targets ...
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    7 days ago
  • Speech to release of Climate Commission final report
    A few years ago in a speech in Auckland, I compared climate change to the nuclear free movement of roughly four decades ago. And I did so for a few reasons. Firstly, because the movement of the 1980s represented a life or death situation for the Pacific, and so does ...
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    7 days ago
  • Appointment of Judge of the High Court
    Auckland Barrister Michael Robinson has been appointed a Judge of the High Court, Attorney‑General David Parker announced today. Justice Robinson graduated with a BA and an LLB (Hons) from the University of Auckland in 1996, and commenced practice as a solicitor with Brookfields in Auckland.  In 1998 he travelled to London ...
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    7 days ago
  • Government takes action to improve protections for subcontractors
    The Construction Contracts (Retention Money) Amendment Bill – which provides greater financial protection for subcontractors, has passed its first reading today. The Bill amends the retention provisions in the Construction Contracts Act 2002 (CCA) to provide increased confidence and transparency for subcontractors that retention money they are owed is safe. ...
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    1 week ago
  • 1 million more Pfizer doses to arrive in July
    Pfizer has scheduled delivery of an estimated 1 million doses of vaccine to New Zealand during July, COVID1-9 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “These consignments will double the total number of Pfizer doses we have received this year to more than 1,900,000 – enough to fully vaccinate almost 1 ...
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    1 week ago
  • Long-term home of the Independent Children’s Monitor identified
    The Independent Children’s Monitor (Te Mana Whakamaru Tamariki Motuhake), which is currently located within the Ministry of Social Development (MSD), will become its own departmental agency within Government. “Following the recommendations of several reviews, Cabinet agreed in 2019 to build a significantly expanded independent monitor for children in care,” Carmel ...
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    1 week ago
  • Racing Integrity Board members announced
    The new Racing Integrity Board will be up and running from July 1 to ensure high standards of animal welfare, integrity and professionalism in the racing industry. Racing Minister Grant Robertson today announced the appointments to the new Board: Sir Bruce Robertson KNZM – Chair Kristy McDonald ONZM QC Penelope ...
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    1 week ago
  • Govt crackdown on organised crime continues
    A major operation against multiple organised crime groups with international links will make a significant dent in drug harm and violent offending linked to organised crime networks, Police Minister Poto Williams says. “I want to take an opportunity to congratulate the Police for their role in Operation Trojan Shield. This ...
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    1 week ago
  • Farm planning framework supports farmers into the future
    A new framework, agreed between Government and industry, will make it easier for farmers and growers to integrate future greenhouse gas emissions and freshwater regulatory requirements into their farm planning, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor said. “The Good Farm Planning Principles Guide out today, provides guidance for how farmers can organise ...
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    1 week ago
  • Enhanced Task Force Green Approved for Canterbury
    The Government has activated Enhanced Taskforce Green (ETFG) in response to the Canterbury floods. The Minister of Social Development and Employment, Hon Carmel Sepuloni says $500,000 will be made available to help with the clean-up. The flooding in Canterbury has been a significant and adverse event damaging farmland, homes, roads ...
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    1 week ago