Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Government wants the best for all NZ families

3 December 2003 Media Statement

Maharey: Government wants the best for all New Zealand families

Social Development and Employment Minister Steve Maharey has told an international conference on families that government policies are directed at getting the best outcomes possible from the increasingly diverse range of New Zealand families.

Opening the Strengthening Families conference in Wellington this morning, Steve Maharey said that the traditional New Zealand family, with a father in full-time work supporting a wife at home and their children, is no longer the dominant model.

“New Zealanders now live in very different family arrangements and it is the government’s role to support them to ensure the best outcomes for children, women and men.

“We are not about to buy into the argument put forward by some people that we should be forcing New Zealanders back into the ‘traditional nuclear family’. This argument would see women forced out of the workforce and violent families kept together.”

“It is obvious that children benefit from being bought up by both of their parents if they can live together in harmony. But we also have to pay attention to the many families where this is not the situation.”

Steve Maharey outlined government policies to assist families, which are now achieving good results including:
- early results from the package of benefit reforms targeted at helping parents into employment which reveal that 80 percent of sole-parent beneficiaries have now completed a personal development and employment plan, with a third committing themselves to undertaking education and training. This figure rises to 40 percent for parents of children aged between 1 and 7;
- the introduction of paid parental leave which has allowed more mothers to breastfeed their children. All available evidence shows breastfeeding has a long-term positive health impact on children; and
- the reduction in unemployment rolls which has seen the number of couple families with children reliant on a benefit falling by 36 percent over the past 5 years.

“These are important and practical achievements which we intend to build upon in next year’s Budget to ensure New Zealand families are able to stand up the riggers of modern life,” Steve Mahaery said.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The New Pike River Agency (And The Air Strike Wing)

Much of the sympathy the public still feels for the families of the Pike River miners has been sustained by the sense that the previous government – let alone the mining company and the processes of receivership and litigation – has never dealt honestly, or fairly, with them.

Finally, yesterday’s announcement by the Ardern government that a new state agency will be set up to assess and plan the manned re-entry to the mine (on a set timetable) goes a long way to meeting the families’ remaining request: that they be enabled, if at all possible, to bury their loved ones. More>>


Foreign Affairs: Patrick Gower Interviews Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says discussions have already begun on how to bring climate change refugees into New Zealand under a Pacific seasonal employment plan... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Centre Right’s Love Of ‘Nanny State’

You’d almost think it was 2005 again. That was a time when the rugged individualists of the centre-right were being beset by government regulations on the nature of light-bulbs, the size of shower heads, the junk food available at school tuck shops and other such essentials... More>>

Speaking Of Transport: Public Engagement On Wellington Scenarios

“Our work on possible solutions for Wellington’s transport future is ongoing, but has progressed to the stage where we’re ready to share our ideas with the public and seek their feedback to help guide our next steps...” More>>


Parental Leave: National's Time-Sharing Change Fails

National has proposed a change to the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Amendment Bill that would allow both parents to take paid parental leave at the same time, if that is what suits them best. More>>


Train Free Thursday: Workers Strike To Defend Terms Of Employment

"They signed up to these conditions a year ago when they got the contract for Wellington's rail services. Now they're trying to increase profits by squeezing frontline workers." More>>


Seclusion: Ombudsman Emphasises Importance Of Monitoring

Disability Rights Commissioner Paula Tesoriero says that while there have been changes to the Education (Update) Amendment Act 2017 to prohibit the use of seclusion, the report is an important reminder of the importance of regular monitoring of schools. More>>





Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election