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Bennett ignores advice on children’s health


Bennett ignores advice on children’s health

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett has ignored official advice that children’s health could suffer as a consequence of her social obligation regime, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.

“Papers obtained under the Official Information Act show that Ms Bennett was told by Ministry of Health officials that it did not support parents having their benefits cut if they didn't stay up to date with Well Child checks.

“The Ministry was clear in its advice that introducing mandatory checks risked 'undermining the effectiveness of the programme’ and that using sanctions in the way proposed by Ms Bennett ‘would have a negative impact on the health of sanctioned beneficiaries and their families’.

“The Ministry of Health also highlighted the fact that enrolments in the Well Child programme currently exceeds 95 per cent of the birth cohort each year and that the onus was actually on them to ‘do better to reach the families not currently receiving the full entitlement to well child checks by improving programme delivery’.

“Ms Bennett, unsurprisingly, never mentioned any of that when she announced her new social obligations.

“What a contrast - a ministry willing to acknowledge that they have a responsibility to lift their game for the well-being of our kids, and a minister who takes absolutely no responsibility for ensuring that all of the services she is forcing people to be enrolled with are actually available, and now looks set to shrug off any responsibility should the Ministry of Health advice be proved correct.


“This is a case of ground hog day for Ms Bennett who has once again allowed politics to come before evidence based policy and advice,” said Jacinda Ardern.

ends

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Gordon Campbell:
On First Time Voting (Centre Right)

For the next two days, I’m turning my column over to two guest columnists who are first time voters. I’ve asked them to explain why they were voting, for whom and what role they thought their parental upbringing had played in shaping their political beliefs ; and at the end, to choose a piece of music.

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As someone who likes to consider himself, in admittedly vainglorious fashion, a considered and rational actor, the act of voting for the first time is a somewhat confusing one. I know that my vote has a close to zero chance of actually influencing the outcome of Parliament. The chance I will cast the marginal vote that adds to National or Act’s number of seats in Parliament is miniscule. The chance, even if I did, that doing so would affect the government makes voting on a strictly practical level even more spurious as a worthwhile exercise.

But somehow I have spent a large amount of time (perhaps detrimentally so, depending on the outcome of my upcoming exams) agonising over how to cast my first vote in a national election. More>>

 

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