Friday, February 17, 2017

More on whanau first and "assimilationist policy"

Radio NZ reports quite clearly today about the legislation the Maori Party is threatening to draw its support for the National Government over:

The current law gives priority to placing a child with a member of their family or wider hapū and, if that was not possible, then to someone with the same tribal, racial or cultural background as the child.....But new legislation removes that priority, and instead puts emphasis on the child's safety.
It is particular troublesome to identify "tribal, racial or cultural background" as a priority for placement. Why?

Because thousands of Maori children have mixed cultural backgrounds.

More Maori partner with Europeans than their own ethnicity.

Meteria Turei can blather on about the new legislation being state-forced assimilation but people are making their own choices about blending their ethnicities and will make their own decisions about making it work. Maori and Europeans are integrating rapidly. Voluntarily. Legislation needs to reflect this fact.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Falling out over whanau first

Maori Party MP Marama Fox is threatening to pull support from the government over legislation that removes cultural priority when placing a Maori child in care. But her choice of words would lead you to believe she supported the change:

"Just because we want to provide a safe and loving home doesn't make it mutually exclusive to a Maori home," Fox said.
What she actually wants is the status quo - whanau first.

Winston Peters disagrees. Unusually I am completely in accordance with him:
"I've known of too many children thrown from pillar to post between whanau members. I also know of hundreds of Maori who have been massively successful because they were lucky to have relations who would look after them.
"But to apply a blanket whanau-first principle just does not in the circumstances make any sense," Peters said.
The government is currently recruiting people who can effectively adopt children under their Home For Life programme.

The most crucial thing for a child is that they have a 'parent' that puts their needs and well-being foremost. Whether they are kin or not must be a secondary consideration.

Fox says:
History has already resulted in a "stolen generation," said Fox.
"Children who were put into state care immediately went to the bottom of every disparaging statistic in this country. They immediately are more likely to offend, more likely to be in prison, more likely to fall out of education."
That ignores the current push to find permanent and stable homes for children.

For too long there have been hundreds of couples wanting to adopt and thanks to CYF's antipathy for removing children from their whanau, very few children can take advantage.

Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei says:
 “The fundamental provision in this bill in the deliberate intention to remove Māori children from Māori whānau for good! It is an assimilationist policy!”
Bunkum. It's long overdue policy to keep children safe. To give them the best chance of leading happy and fulfilling lives. If anything it's about ignoring (or at least de-proritising) race and culture and seeing the child as an individual foremost.

There has also been extensive consultation with children - and that's ongoing.

The [Expert Panel review of CYF] found children and young people said they crave nurturing and love, and feel the stigma of being in care. They feel powerless in the face of a system which is perceived to hold all the power and have no voice in important decisions being made about their future.

Anne Tolley can have the last word:
Minister Anne Tolley says that the goal of this bill, is to bring the focus squarely on the children.
“The bill makes changes to the purposes and the principles of the act, to imbed a truly child centric approach and ensure children's and young people's participation.”

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

"Tall poppies"

I feel I have featured this man's letters before. He has a rather acerbic turn of phrase. For your reading pleasure:

Putting adult's rights before children's

On my reading of the situation, because New Zealand wants same-sex couples and singles to be allowed to adopt Russian children, and Russia can't agree, there will be no more adoptions (which were put on hold in 2013).

Yet another case of putting adult rights before children's. Something at which New Zealand excels.

Monday, February 13, 2017

To work or not to work?

Throughout the 2000s the left argued against work-testing (requiring employment from) people on the DPB. Maharey removed National's work-testing requirements around 2002. Labour and the Greens have long represented the DPB as an escape route and haven from family violence (whereas I argue it is a driver because it attracts serial, ill-motivated partners.)

Here's what Green MP Jan Logie wrote as late as 2012:
To institute mandatory work preparedness requirements and pressure women leaving these violent relationships to go into work flies in the face of generations of work in this country to enable women to leave these violent relationships.”
However, a letter in today's DomPost, from the National  Council of Women (traditionally very left-wing), the Federation of Business and Professional Women, the Equal Opportunities Employment Commissioner, CTU and National Collective of Independent Women's Refugees says the following:

"....people affected by domestic violence should be able to take up to 10 days leave. This will help them move house, attend court hearings and meet with lawyers. Put simply: this bill will save lives. It will make it easier for people to leave a violent relationship and stay in employment. It will also keep victims safe at work from their abusers." (My emphasis)

Ironically the letter is in support of Jan Logie's Domestic Violence Victim's Protection Bill which enters parliament this week. The authors of the letter wouldn't often agree with each other to the extent that they could enter into collective advocacy. I am not sure Logie would be 100 percent comfortable with it.

Surely their last sentence is an argument for getting women off benefits and into the workforce?