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Call For Letter Writing Campaign Against Social Security Bil

Media Release – Call For Letter Writing Campaign Against Social Security Bill
January 29, 2013

Palmerston North, NZ – Concerned parents and citizens across New Zealand are being called to take part in a letter writing campaign to fight the Social Obligations contained in the government’s Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Bill, says Barbara Smith, National Director of the Home Education Foundation (HEF).

The HEF, which has been advocating parental rights in New Zealand for close to three decades, says the Bill’s Social Obligations will breach parental and other rights. “Under the Social Obligations, parents on a benefit will be compelled to send their children to a registered early childhood education (ECE) provider, register them with a GP and attend compulsory Well Child checks,” said Mrs Smith.

These obligations have proved to be the most controversial aspect of the Bill “Most of the citizens and organisations who made submissions to the Select Committee on the Bill were very concerned about the restrictions this places on parents who want to make informed decisions for the good of their families,” says Mrs Smith.

“Parents, not bureaucrats, are the best people to make decisions about whether or when their children should attend ECE or see a doctor.

“The Select Committee’s report is due by March 20, 2013—they may complete it before this date. We need to have a letter writing campaign to the Select Committee members over the next few weeks. It would be even better to ring and/or visit them. There are human rights issues. There are discrimination issues. There are issues about the social drawbacks of ECE disadvantaging children and the health checks being used to enforce the government’s 99% immunisation goal. If this concerns you, please write to the Committee or contact your local MP to tell them that the Social Obligations must go.”

Mrs Smith says that the Bill will be catastrophic for everyone, beneficiary or not.

“As one family shared in their submission to the Committee, they decided to keep their daughter home from a preschool environment that distressed her. They have the financial resources to keep their daughter safe, happy, and protected. But that could change in a heartbeat.

“An injury, a death, the loss of a job—any of us could need to go on a benefit tomorrow. That shouldn’t mean losing our rights to make the best decisions for our children.”

Mrs Smith has heard from hundreds of concerned parents about the Bill’s potential impact on them.

“I heard from one solo mother who left an unsafe situation to go on a benefit,” she said. “She made the hard decision to keep her children safe and has been able to continue caring for them at home, which is already difficult given WINZ’s work test requirements.

“If this Bill passes, will mothers like her lose the right to care for and teach their own children at home? More importantly, how many mothers will stay in bad situations rather than lose the right to make good decisions for their children?”

Concerned New Zealanders should write, call, and visit their local MPs and the Select Committee, Mrs Smith urges.

“Postage to the Committee is free. Letters will be read personally, while emails are dealt with by the MPs’ secretaries,” she says. “So please, write letters. Tell your friends. Make appointments to see the Committee members or your local MP.

“Let’s not lose our right to make the best decisions for our children.”

The Select Committee members are Jacinda Ardern, Simon Bridges, Melissa Lee, Jan Logie, Asenati Lole-Taylor, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, Tim Macindoe, Alfred Ngaro, Rajen Prasad, Mike Sabin and Su’a William Sio. Letters to individual MPs should be sent to this address (no stamp necessary):
Parliament Office
Private Bag 18888
Parliament Buildings
Wellington 6160
More information on the bill can be found at www.hef.org.nz.


About the Home Education Foundation

The Home Education Foundation has been informing parents for 28 years about the fantastic opportunity to de-institutionalise our sons and daughters and to embrace the spiritual, intellectual and academic freedom that is ours for the taking. Through conferences, journals, newsletters and all kinds of personal communications, we explain the vision of handcrafting each child into a unique individual, complete with virtuous character, a hunger for service to others, academic acumen and a strong work ethic. For more information, please visit www.hef.org.nz or more specifically hef.org.nz/2012/make-a-submission-reject-compulsory-early-education-for-3-year-olds/

ENDS

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