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Our view of party policies on children

28 August 2005

Our view of party policies on children

What's hot?

* The Greens' children's policy. They are the only party with the courage, compassion and foresight to name children as an independent policy area. Good on detail too. Realistic? Depends on your point of view.

* National's intention to work closely and co-operatively with non-government agencies, Plunket, Parentline, Pacific Foundation and the like who have been kept at arm's length and buried in paper-work for so long although they cop a lot of the blood, sweat and tears of child and family problems.

* Labour's belated but brave attack on child poverty with their Working for Families package. Pity we couldn't have a timeline though. Gone by lunchtime perhaps?

* The Maori Party's recognition of the crucial part played by whanau (and extended family in non-Maori terms) in children's well-being. Maybe, though, it wouldn't damage the cultural integrity to occasionally look specifically at children.

* United Future's support for the parent who wants to stay home with the kids with measures such as income splitting for tax purposes. Let's hear it for choice.

What's not?

* National's outright rejection of child impact reporting. No votes in it, I guess.

* Labour's flourishing of the Agenda for Children now that the election is on without having given it much muscle in the preceding three years.

* The tendency of all the parties but particularly the minor ones to say things to please the worm. Stand up all you thinking non-worms and say your vote counts too.


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