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


Kids need a Government that cares, not punishment

April 10 2013

Kids need a Government that cares, not punishment

A Unicef report today is further evidence that the Government is failing children by refusing to put their needs first and blaming them for being poor, the Green Party said.

The Unicef report comparing child wellbeing across rich countries today ranks New Zealand 21 out of 35 countries for levels of child poverty, and nearly the bottom of all measured countries for the percentage of young people not in education, training or employment.

“What is hugely concerning is the complete absence of any comparable data from New Zealand on the state of our housing,” Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei said,

“We don’t even know how many kids are living in damp, overcrowded and unhealthy homes. It seems the National Government doesn’t even care about those children.

“This comes in the same week that the National Government was warned about rising rates of asthma and rheumatic fever, which are linked to unhealthy homes.

“And its just hours since the National Government passed draconian welfare changes that all the experts say will make life harder for the poorest children in our country.

“What’s revealing is that one area that Unicef reports New Zealand has have improved in is in the rates of immunisation. That was achieved by an effective national programme which reached families who needed it, not through threats and punishments like the National Government’s social obligations for beneficiaries.

“Kids in poverty need solutions, but this Government wants to halve the income of our most vulnerable kids if their parents don’t meet their so called social obligations.

“This is not helpful for children whose parents are already struggling to afford a healthy lunch or to pay the electricity bill. Sanctions effectively blame our poorest kids for situations beyond their control.

“The Green Party will cancel all benefit sanctions affecting children, and ensure that the draconian welfare reforms are reviewed at the first opportunity.

“We will also instigate a national poverty measure and implement the recommendations of the Children’s Commissioner so that the right information is collected in order to be able to tackle child poverty at its source.

“Research shows clear links between poor, cold, damp housing and New Zealand’s growing high rates of asthma and rheumatic fever, and we have urged the Government to extend the successful home insulation scheme beyond September this year.

“Tackling child poverty is not rocket science. Countries doing well have Governments that choose put child wellbeing first. This Government doesn’t,” Mrs Turei said.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



Australia Deportations: English Relaxed On Immigration Centre Conditions

Labour's Annette King: “There have been numerous reports from inside these detention centres on just how bad conditions are... If they were being held in any other foreign jail, I imagine Mr English would be somewhat concerned. More>>


Schools: Achievement-Based Funding Would Be A Disaster

The Education Minister’s speech to the PPTA Conference raising the spectre of achievement data driving a new funding system would be disastrous, says NZEI Te Riu Roa. More>>

  • Video Out-Link - PPTA Annual Conference 2015 on Livestream (Q+A dicussion suggests funding would be directed to less successful schools.)

  • ALSO:

    ECE Report:

    Key In NY: Prime Minister Addresses United Nations

    Prime Minister John Key has addressed the United Nations General Assembly in New York, focusing on a call for action in Syria and on other conflicts, reform of the veto process and on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. More>>.


    Gordon Campbell: On The Lack Of Accountability Over Philip Smith

    In New Zealand, accountability is an exotic creature rarely glimpsed at ministerial level, or among senior management. The flight to Rio by the paedophile /murderer Philip John Smith/Traynor is no exception. More>>


    More On Corrections

    Gordon Campbell: On Putin’s Diplomatic Coup Over Syria

    There’s a simple historical precedent for what is occurring in Syria. During WWII, the Allies joined forces with a known butcher and tyrant – Joseph Stalin of the Soviet Union – in order to defeat a greater evil, Nazi Germany… More>>


    Key 'Didn't Know': Brownlee Seeks Pandas In China

    While Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee is in China pushing a taxpayer funded deal to bring two pandas to New Zealand, the country’s military look set to be hit with a pay freeze, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. More>>


    Scoop Business: GCSB Willing To Extend Cyber-Attack Programme To Local ISPs

    The Government Communications Security Bureau’s ‘Cortex’ cyber-security programme has been successful in helping identify and mitigate a series of cyber attacks since its introduction and an extension to cover local internet service providers is still on the cards... More>>


    Get More From Scoop



    Search Scoop  
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news