The NZ Herald reported on it today with the headline
Parent at home vital, says ex-judgeYou can read the judge's paper here.
A retired judge says families need more financial support so that one parent can stay at home for the first three years of each child's life.
Graeme MacCormick, a Family Court judge for 16 years until 2005, has paid for full-page advertisements in the country's four main newspapers yesterday and this weekend asking people to sign a "children's plea" to MPs "to accord urgency and priority to all issues impacting the wellbeing of children"...he says "no real progress" has been made on financial support for the 260,000 children in poverty - "more than five times a capacity crowd at Eden Park".
"It is respectfully suggested that all child-related welfare benefits need to be reviewed to ensure that economic assistance to enable a positive start for every child is not only adequate but equitable between children."
He warns against pressuring solo mothers into work because placing children in daycare too early could inhibit their attachment to primary caregivers, the basis for a secure and responsible personality.
I can agree with very little bar the recommended free access to long-term contraception and tubal ligations.Few, if any, will agree with everything in this paper. That is not the objective. It is hoped that in areas of contention it will promote further debate and, in some areas, re-consideration.
The judge talks about breaking the "cycle of dependency" but his major suggestion is more welfare so a parent can stay home. Yet that was a major reason for introducing the DPB.
The only way to break the cycle is to stop welfare. That won't happen unless people who can, are expected to work.
This 'plea' utterly fails to recognise the damage welfare has done to the family. Strong families - poor or rich - care and provide for their children. They do it in ways that are innate and commonsense. They don't need to be under a microscope. Their children don't belong to the state. They are not economic units that all must invest in.
All the fashionable brain science is trotted out but marriage - an institution that demonstrably continues to nurture and protect children - doesn't rate a single mention.
The problems the judge identifies have worsened as the social-engineering state grew. As less and less individual responsibility is required of parents, the more incapable and immature they have become.
More cash hand-outs will not improve the prospects of those children who are really in trouble. But believe me, there are not 260,000 of them.
If you are libertarian(ish) I recommend you don't read Mr MacCormicks paper. Intead try this offering from the Freedom Foundation:
The end of poverty may come around yet, but it won’t be due to the machinations or grand plans of colluding elites; instead it will be from the adaptability that inheres in a society built on the principles of individual sovereignty and free, competitive exchange.