Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Food In Schools Masks Urgent Social Issues


MEDIA RELEASE

27 May 2013

Food In Schools Masks Urgent Social Issues

Family First NZ says that a food-in-schools programme will be a short-term band-aid to mask the more serious issues of parental neglect, loan sharks, budgeting, and increasing living costs. Family First is also disputing claims that the programme will benefit learning and attendance.

“A child whose parents cannot even provide two pieces of toast in the morning or a bowl of porridge highlights a number of real concerns. A parent who is unwilling to provide packed lunches may not be providing other necessities that a child requires,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

“How do we know that they are receiving meals at night or during the weekend? The level of neglect may be far greater than just providing breakfast and lunches on weekdays. Who feeds the children during the holidays and during the weekend? And why would families bother feeding their children when they know there’s a ‘freebie’ meal at school.”

“The important question the government should be asking is – what is the household income being spent on, and is that appropriate? Are they receiving their correct entitlement?”

Family First is also rejecting claims by the Prime Minister John Key that the programme will aid learning.

“It’s a great theory but it’s not true. A report released in 2012 found that feeding hungry schoolchildren does nothing to boost their learning. The only positive effect was that children felt less hungry. Researchers at Auckland University's School of Population Health studied 423 children at decile one to four schools in Auckland, Waikato and Wellington for the 2010 school year,” says Mr McCoskrie.

“The government should use the funding to provide budgeting advice to families including education on healthy eating and cooking skills, and should stop procrastinating around protecting vulnerable families from loan sharks. The targeting of alcohol outlets and pokie machines in lower decile areas should also be dealt with.”

“Schools want to provide an important stop-gap measure which is to be admired, but the greater issue is – is it solving the problem long-term? And if food is not being provided, what else is the parents either failing to, or unable to, provide,” says Mr McCoskrie.

“Children should not be punished by having parents who are failing to fulfil a basic parenting role. The danger is that we could be simply rewarding bad parenting and ignoring the more pressing social issues.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Drone Strikes And Judith Collins‘ Last Stand

The news that a New Zealand citizen was killed last November in a US drone attack in Yemen brings the drones controversy closer to home.

To the US, drones are a legitimate response to the threat posed by the al Qaeda organisation and its franchisees... To the US, the drones carry the added advantage of not putting US troops at risk on the ground, and minimises the need for putting them in large numbers in bases in the countries concerned, always a politically sensitive point.

The counter-argument, well articulated by security analyst Paul Buchanan on RNZ this morning, is that this particular drone attack can be said to amount to an extra-judicial execution of a New Zealand citizen by one of our military allies, in circumstances where the person concerned posed no threat to New Zealand’s domestic security. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

Policies: Labour’s Economic Upgrade For Manufacturing

Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today announced his Economic Upgrade for the manufacturing sector – a plan that will create better jobs and higher wages. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Life And ACC Work Of Sir Owen Woodhouse

With the death of Sir Owen Woodhouse, the founding father of the Accident Compensation Scheme, New Zealand has lost one of the titans of its post-war social policy. More>>

ALSO:

Bad Transnationals: Rio Tinto Wins 2013 Roger Award

It won the 2011 Roger Award and was runner up in 2012, 2009 and 08. One 2013 nomination said simply and in its entirety: “Blackmailing country”... More>>

ALSO:

Select Committees: Tobacco Plain Packaging Hearings

The Stroke Foundation is today backing the Cancer Society and Smokefree Coalition who are making oral submissions to the Health Select Committee in support of proposed legislation to remove of all branding from tobacco products. More>>

ALSO:

Milk: Oravida Asked For Cabinet Help

New evidence released by New Zealand First today reveals Justice Minister Judith Collins used her position to manipulate the Government to help her husband’s company, Oravida, after the Fonterra botulism scare, says New Zealand First Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters. More>>

ALSO:

With Conditions: Ruataniwha Consents Approved In Draft Decision

The Tukituki Catchment Proposal Board of Inquiry has granted 17 resource consents relating to the $265 million Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme in a draft decision that would open more of the Hawke’s Bay to irrigation. More>>

ALSO:

Fast Lanes, Campervans: Labour 'Making The Holidays Easier For Kiwi Drivers'

The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Royalty And Its Tourism Spin-Offs

Ultimately the Queen’s longevity has been one of her most significant accomplishments. A transition to Prince Charles while the monarchy was in the pits of public esteem in the mid to late 1990s would have been disastrous for the Royal Firm. Far more congenial representatives have now emerged... More>>

ALSO:

Privacy (Again): ACC Demands Excessive Privacy Waivers

Labour: “This is just another example of ACC under National deliberately acting to deny treatment and compensation... Those who did fill in the form have effectively been victims of yet another ACC privacy breach. This time Judith Collins knew it was happening..." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news