Saturday, March 30, 2013

Reported progress with youth

The current government has been keen to increasingly involve the private sector  in a number of areas. MSD has just reported on the progress of their Social Sector trials which have been running in half a dozen locations - Taumarunui, Tokoroa, Te Kuiti, Kawerau, Levin and Gore - and will be extended and rolled out elsewhere. They involve smallish communities finding their own solutions to problem youth. Some of the trials are led by employed individuals, others by charitable trusts. They build on and co-ordinate  existing services and programmes which are highly practical. Apparently:

Momentum around the Social Sector Trials is strong. Anecdotal evidence suggests increased levels of cooperation, collaboration, transparency and accountability around programmes and services as well as progress towards impacts on outcomes.
Outcomes reported at the local level include:

  • truancy levels trending downwards
  • disengaged young people being identified and supported into engagement in education, training and employment (through new local programmes, advocacy, and exposure to opportunities)
  • young people who would not normally access services being able to in their own environment (nurses, doctors, youth workers, and social workers being available in schools)
  • individual plans being put in place for young people with high and complex needs
  • young people having access to positive opportunities such as holiday programmes, youth hubs, intensive mentoring and community events
  • more young people accessing help for drug and alcohol problems
  • young people being supported to pay off justice sector fines and be supported through activities such as drivers licensing to reduce the possibility of fines occurring
  • young people knowing how/where to access programmes and services
It's all very paternalistic but we are talking 12-18 year-olds. Someone has to step in when normal parenting is absent. Just a thought and mentioned before, I've been scratching my head over the dropping teenage birthrate. These programmes may be one factor.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Truth column March 21-27

My Truth column from March 21-27:

It is my fervent hope that National exercises its financial veto against extending paid parental leave from 14 to 26 weeks.
Apparently, many mums and dads and babies turned up at the select committee last week to support Sue Moroney’s member’s bill.
“Think of the children,” they said in one voice.
Well why don’t you, the parent, think about the children?


Thursday, March 28, 2013

DI rolls "heading for collapse" in US?

The NCPA has a piece on the soaring disability insurance numbers in the US:

Since 1970, the number of individuals receiving DI has grown sixfold (from 1.4 million to 8.8 million), and the program expenses have grown tenfold, which is unsustainable.
How does NZ compare?

Using sickness and invalid benefit annual totals, the numbers have grown from 14,310 in 1970 to 147,029 in 2011 - more than ten-fold. Measured against the total population there are 28 claimants per 1,000 in the US compared to 33 per 1,000 here.

(That ignores long-term ACC claimants.)

Meanwhile both country's populations have grown by around 55 percent over the same period.

Still, neither country's problem is as big as some EU countries.

Monday, March 25, 2013

She believed the rhetoric

When was the last time you heard someone say "It takes a village to raise a child"? Not long ago I bet. Or "... children are a community responsibility". All the time. These are OUR children we are told.

And that's what the mother of a baby left in a Porirua Pack'n.Save carpark thought too. Baby all tucked up and sleeping peacefully, she left a note asking anyone who saw it wake ring her cellphone.

But wait now for the howls of outrage from the collectivists....

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Rubbish from Russel Norman

Green co-leader Russel Norman says:

90 percent of Kiwis not interested in Key’s asset sales

He bases this on the 425,000 registered expressions of interest as a share of the total population. That includes the million or so children.

Roughly, there are around 1.5 million households in New Zealand with an average of 3 occupants. In general only one occupant, the main bread-winner, would make the expression of interest. So 425,000 expressions could easily represent interest from 1, 2, 3 or more others.

Being as loose as Russel Norman with statistics I could simply say the expression of interest represents 28 percent of households. And then claim that  72 percent of Kiwis aren't interested.

Of course that would still be untrue as many people would be interested but 1/ unable to afford the shares, or 2/ simply not registered their interest. For instance, I'm still thinking about it.

I haven't registered an interest in buying Mighty River shares but I support their sale and asset sales in general.

It's just desperate and dishonest stuff from Norman. It must be humiliating to have to chase after the votes of fools. Only an idiot would believe this claim.