Green Paper for Vulnerable Children – Reallocation of resources
Our Minister of Social Development, Paula Bennett, was correct when she said that parents who practised vile abuse against their children had no right to blame the State (or the Minister) for their actions.
However, we the people of New Zealand do have the right to blame the Minister and all Governments over the last 30 years for allowing a situation to develop that finds New Zealand with one of the highest infant mortality rates (28th out of 31) in the OECD.
In Bryan Bruce’s documentary Inside New Zealand: Inside Child Poverty he showed us examples of the 3rd world diseases that our poorest children are suffering to levels that cripple and kill each year.
In the conclusion to his documentary, Bryan Bruce stressed that the Government would not need to find extra revenue but to more sensibly redistribute what it was already spending.
I strongly recommend that those involved in the preparation of this report take time to watch this documentary by arrangement with TV3. I also respectively submit and ask that those suggestions are included in your eventual report, in line with the system found in Sweden (which is ranked 2nd):
1) Remove Child poverty from the political arena through cross-party co-operation
- A long-term problem requires a long-term and consistent solution
2) Show commitment to children by making the Prime-minister also the Minister of Children
- We have Ministers of Tourism, Racing and Sport. Do our children rank below these in importance?
3) Provide free nutritious school meals for all children, by deducting the equivalent cost from benefit.
- This is fiscally neutral
- It would ensure all children receive at least one good meal per day
- It ensures the intended beneficiaries of the money receive it.
4) Provide free health care for all our children (24hours per day, 7 days per week).
- International studies show that it cost $1 to prevent for every $4 to treat illnesses and diseases.
5) Introduce minimum standards for all rental properties, including state housing, to ensure they provide healthy environments to raise our children.
- We have already seen the benefits from recent insulation projects.
- Local initiatives in Auckland showed a reduction of a 3rd in children requiring medical treatment.
There is no point in creating the most sophisticated monitoring system in the world to prevent abuse, if we are allowing our children to die of un-necessary natural causes.
This is something for which our past politicians were directly responsible, and can be in our current politicians hands to fix.
21 James Nairn Grove
Upper Hutt 5018