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 Populism And Labour 2017

For many people on the centre-left, populism is a dirty word, and a shorthand for the politics of bigotry. In this country, it has tended to be equated with the angry legions of New Zealand First. Who knew they were not just a reactionary spasm, but the wave of the future?

Certainly, at the end of this week, the next US President will have won office (at least in part) thanks to his proven ability at (a) scapegoating refugees and migrants (b) wooing neo-Nazis and racial supremacists (c) attacking journalists and judges (d) threatening to jail his opponents (e) urging nuclear proliferation and (e) by promising to restrict women’s rights to control their own fertility.

On the face of that campaign record, there wouldn’t seem to be much in common between Donald Trump and say, Spain’s centre-left populist party, Podemos. Yet arguably, the similarities could be instructive for the Labour/Green partnership here. More>>

 
 

Oxfam: 30% Of NZ Owns Less Wealth Than Our Two Richest Men

The research also reveals that the richest one per cent have 20 per cent of the wealth in New Zealand, while 90 per cent of the population owns less than half of the nation’s wealth. The research forms part of a global report released to coincide with this week’s annual meeting of political and business leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. More>>

ALSO:

Hospitals: Resident Doctors Set To Strike Again

Despite discussions between the DHBs and NZRDA over safer hours for resident doctors progressing during the last week, the strike planned for next week appears set to proceed. More>>

ALSO:

Not So Super Fund: More Burning Ethical Questions For Steven Joyce

Greens: Radio New Zealand reported this morning that the New Zealand Superfund has $77 million invested in 47 coal companies that the Norwegian Government’s Pension Fund – the largest sovereign fund in the world – has blacklisted. More>>

Activism: Greenpeace Intercepts World’s Biggest Seismic Oil Ship

Greenpeace crew have made contact with the world’s biggest seismic oil ship after travelling 50 nautical miles on two rigid-hulled inflatables off the coast of Wairarapa... Greenpeace radioed the master of the Amazon Warrior to deliver an open letter of protest signed by over 60,000 New Zealanders. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: Why Tax Cuts In 2017 Would Be A (Proven) Bad Idea

Ever since the world fell prey to the mullahs of the free market in the 1980s, no amount of real world evidence has managed dispel one key tenet of their economic faith. Namely, the idea that if you cut income taxes and taxes on small business, a wave of individual enterprise and entrepreneurial energy will thus be unleashed, profits will rise and – hey bingo! – the tax cuts will soon be paying for themselves ... More>>

Liquor Sponsorship: Researchers Call For Ban On Alcohol Sponsorship Of Sport

“Due to alcohol sponsorship of sport, New Zealanders, including children, were exposed to up to 200 ads per hour they watched televised sport, and people watching football and tennis saw alcohol ads for almost half of each game,” says Associate Professor Signal. More>>

ALSO:

Mt Albert: Ardern For Labour, Genter For Greens

At the close of nominations, Jacinda Ardern was the sole nomination received for the position of Labour’s candidate for the Mt Albert by-election, says Labour General Secretary, Andrew Kirton. More>>

ALSO:

Earlier:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news