An email from a reader on the poverty of parenting

Ken, a reader, emails:

Hi Cam

It all sounds very well and good in principle for the kids doesn’t it? I have no problem in ensuring children in lower decile schools have food in their stomach, at very least when they start school at the beginning of the day. A follow up visit to the parents of all of these hungry kids by various welfare agencies needs to be a next step.

It ignores completely the causes of this situation though, the choices made by the parents of these children, the lack of responsibility by these parents and also lack of accountability for the consequences of the choices these parents make on behalf of their children day to day, week to week..

There is a poverty in NZ alright, a poverty of parenting. A poverty of responsibility for those that are totally dependent on you. A poverty of consequences for the choices that you make on how to spend the money you receive from the state. 

The proposal by Harawira sounds good and gives people that good feeling of treating everyone the same and providing for all. Isn’t that what the welfare state is, in the eyes of the Chardonnay socialists? Universal entitlement, free food for kids in schools, free health, free education free healthcare etc..

Ultimately it rewards lousy parents for not doing their job properly. What incentive is there to be a good parent and ensure your kids are fed properly? What’s next for the state to provide? – Clothing? paid power bills, internet, phone, a free house – where the hell do you stop?

Why bother even trying – the state will provide. Why bother even working – the state will provide. If working, or in a low paid job, why bother improving yourself, getting qualifications or additional skills so you can earn a higher income? The state will provide.

It really is the slippery slope, and it’s slippery enough already thanks with generations of families already now who have grown up in households where no-one has ever had a job, or where they’ve only know welfare as a form of income. What kind of passive, docile people will this kind of policy produce – people who are totally dependent on the state and are happy to do so? Just the kind of people that left wing political parties want – totally dependant on the state and a guaranteed voting block for them.

I think we are there already – the welfare ethic has replaced the work ethic in NZ and Harawira’s policy is one of the final nails in the coffin for working responsible people in this country.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

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