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Category: Welfare Reform
Last week the United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, published their annual report card on child well-being across the countries of the European Union and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. They ranked New Zealand in 38th place out of the 41 nations.
Standing up to bullies takes courage. That's true, be it in a school playground, workplace, or a home. Politics is no different. It takes courage to stand up to ideological bullies, especially those with roots in extremist doctrines that are well organised and have strong links to supportive media.
Listening to the news each day, you could be excused for thinking that the country is shrouded in despair and on the brink of crisis – for, with an election looming, that’s how many in the media are depicting New Zealand. However, before deciding to emigrate, let’s look at how others from outside the country portray us.
Last week, Anne Tolley launched the new vulnerable children’s service to replace the Child Youth and Family agency. You can’t doubt the Minister's sincerity, but she's facing an uphill battle unless other laws that are contributing to the problem are changed as well.
There is an on-going debate in New Zealand as to why immigrants are required for low-skill work that unemployed New Zealanders could do. Some say our immigration policy is at fault. Others point the finger at our welfare system.
Two decades ago, on August 22, 1996, President Bill Clinton signed the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act, popularly known as welfare reform, into law. At the time, liberals proclaimed that the bill would slash the incomes of one in five families with children and push 2.6 million people into poverty.
Ten years ago this week, we established the New Zealand Centre for Political Research. We thought a new public policy think tank could strengthen New Zealand’s future by helping to better inform voters about the dangers of socialism.
Child abuse is never far from the headlines in New Zealand. We like to think of ourselves as a great country in which to live, work and raise our families. While that is true for the vast majority of New Zealanders, for a vulnerable minority of children living in violent families, life falls well short of these ideals.
Listening to Paul Henry interview Social Development Minister, Anne Tolley about the latest condemnatory report into Child, Youth and Family was very dissatisfying. There was no discussion about getting to the real core of the problem.
No matter what structural changes to the child protection agency are introduced, nor what new processes are brought in, the problems of abused and damaged children will continue until the government stops paying women who are not in loving and stable relationships to have babies.