Parliament

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

 

The Tragedy Of James Whakaruru

The death of four year old James Whakaruru is a grim reminder of the dangers
facing children who grow up in s severely dysfunctional families. In most of
these families, education achievement is minimal, violence is rife, drug and
alcohol dependency is part of the daily lifestyle, and parental responsibility
is negligible. These are the families where children are maimed and murdered,
not by violent strangers, but by their own family.

According to the Minister of Social welfare, over the last five years, 13
children are known to have died as a result of homicide. Of these only two
died at the hands of a non-family person. Most of these children had been
subjected to what amounts to prolonged torture by the very people in their
lives who should have protected, loved and nurtured them.

The Government's response to this latest death has been a welcome call for an
inquiry into why this little boy, who had been known to the authorities
previously as the victim of earlier violence by his mother's partner, had not
been kept safe. But the Government and all of the other political parties,
except ACT, appear to be reluctant to look at the deeper issues.

Research has now established a clear link between family breakdown and child
abuse and between family breakdown and crime. Yet we fail to look seriously at
policies, which are clearly contributing to family breakdown - we fail to
address the underlying causes of these disastrous outcomes for children.

According to the Children and Young Person's Service, 17 children a day are
seriously abused in this country, with some 90,0000 children a year being at
risk. This is not a small problem we face but a massive one. Such statistics
paints New Zealand as one of the western world's most dangerous countries in
which to bring up children.

Until we look at the underlying incentives that operate in the legislative
framework of social policy, we will never get on top of this problem. We have
a situation where the benefit has produced third generation benefit dependency.
When a system pays people to do nothing, it destroys the sense of
responsibility that goes hand in hand with working for a living and striving to
make a better life for your children.

When a benefit system pays families if they split apart, we wonder why we have
the highest percentage of sole parents in the western world. When a benefit
system pays the mother more if she has more babies then she will have more
babies. According to an answer this week from the Associate Minister of Social
Services, Work and Income, a few women on the DPB have had eight additional
babies. This situations is not right and it was never the intention of the
DPB.

Women on the DPB are unsupported as they bring up their children and their
children are often denied regular access to their father. In fact, in the case
of little James, his own father was denied access, while the man who killed
him had free access.

The ACT Party believes it is time that the New Zealand Parliament undertook a
comprehensive review of all laws relating to the family. The Australian
Parliament has carried out such a review and produced a series of
recommendations to their Parliament of ways to strengthen the family unit.

If New Zealanders believe that a strong and loving family, committed to
building a decent life for themselves is the best and safest environment in
which to raise children, then it is time to support the family instead of
weakening it and producing the sort of welfare dependency dysfunction that has
contributed to the death of James Whakaruru.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods ( is the dollar up or down? ) last night’s outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country..>>>More


Reaction

Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome | Greens on their joining Govt | EDS welcomes new govt | Immigrant groups worry | Feds ready to engage new coalition government | Labour Ministers of the Crown announced

 

Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>

ALSO:


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>

ALSO:

Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>

ALSO:

Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>

ALSO:

Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election