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Time to rebuild a Marriage Culture in NZ

Gordon Copeland Press Release For Immediate Release Monday 20th October 2008

Time to rebuild a Marriage Culture in New Zealand - Kiwi party

Gordon Copeland MP, co-founder of the Kiwi Party, says that the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research paper released today is a ringing endorsement of his Party's commitment to the rebuilding of a marriage culture in New Zealand.

"The Report entitled 'The Value of Marriage: Fiscal Benefits of Marriage and Reducing Family Breakdown in New Zealand' deliberately understates the tax payer cost of family breakdown" said Mr Copeland, "but nevertheless calculates it to be at least $1 billion per annum".

"I believe the true cost to be far higher when, for example, you track the link between family form and criminal activity, and that is why I have been advocating for some years now a specific 'fence at the top of the cliff' policy response."

"For example the Kiwi Party wants to invest in marriage preparation, marriage and relationship enrichment and parenting courses through faith based, charitable, iwi and other third sector organisations. I use the word 'invest' quite deliberately since it reflects the reality. If, through educational programmes we can build strong, enduring marriages and encourage 'best practice' parenting, we will save the tax payer billions".

"There is now a considerable body of evidence internationally which shows that, on average, children raised by a married couple have the best outcomes in terms of health, education, income and by far in a way the lowest involvement in the criminal justice system. According to one sample, just 12% of the 7,000 young New Zealanders who are involved with the Youth Court each year are living at home with their mum and their dad."

"The Kiwi Party is also committed to the establishment of a Royal Commission to understand and address the wider causes of family breakdown, family violence and child abuse."

ENDS

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