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

 


Dunne Speaks on parenting and child poverty

Dunne Speaks on parenting and child poverty

28 August 2014

Amidst the sideshows in danger of enveloping the election campaign, the issue of child poverty stands out as one of the most important matters facing the country and which deserves strong attention.

Most political parties seem to recognise this and have developed their own responses to dealing with it.

UnitedFuture’s position is clear cut. We say every child not only deserves the best start in life, but also deserves the love and attention of both parents, wherever possible, no matter what their circumstances are. The family unit, however structured, is therefore a vital component in the life and development of a child, and every child has a family to provide the nurturing and support they need. But, sadly, children have no choice over whom their parents are, or the circumstances of their upbringing. So an important part of addressing the issue of child poverty has to be about strengthening and empowering parents and families to be the best that they can be.

At one – albeit important– level, it is vital to ensure that families and their children have good access to opportunity: jobs, income support measures like our Income Sharing plan, good social services and access to quality early childhood education. UnitedFuture supports all of those things but recognises that of themselves, no matter how generous the programmes or the support mechanisms, they will not be enough in all cases to ensure every child has the opportunities to be the best they can be.

And that brings us back to the critical role of parenting. Parents are arguably the most important but most overlooked group in our society. They receive precious little training or support for their role (buy a new dishwasher and it comes with more information and back-up services than any new parent receives) and even when parents do ask for help, they are the ones considered to have a “problem “that needs resolving.

Very few parents, if any, wilfully set out to fail as parents or to let their children down, so we need to be investing much more in supporting and encouraging parents as they carry out their role. That is arguably the area of greatest single focus in ensuring that every child grows up in a decent and loving environment and then gets access to all the things they need to live happy and contented lives.

My major concern about some aspects of the child poverty debate is that parents are being left out of the loop. Of course, there are economic issues to be addressed, and I am not arguing against those, but the focus has to be as much on promoting good parenting as it is on supporting children.

United Future is the original family party. We championed family issues long before it was fashionable to do so. And we have achieved much for families over the last decade or so. The best way we can support our children today is to support our families, something we will continue to do with vigour.


ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>

ALSO:

Higher Payments: Wellington Regional Council Becomes A Living Wage Employer

Councillor Sue Kedgley said she was delighted that the Wellington Regional Council unanimously adopted her motion to become a Living Wage employer, making it the first regional council in New Zealand to do so. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>

ALSO:

Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>

ALSO:

With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>

ALSO:

Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news