As well as producing high quality independant research, CPAG provides shorter peices of commentary on issues related to child poverty. Many of these are also published in print media and online.
This discussion paper outlines reasons to be wary of over-simplification of domestic violence issues in the aftermath of the death of the Kahui twins. For CPAG and other child centred groups the issues are complex and difficult. The focus, though, must be the children in households under financial and social stress. Right now we are confronted with the deaths of two babies at the hands of those closest to them, and the perpetrators must be held to account. However, we have a duty to consider this violence in the wider context of social inequality, and the fragmentation of family and whanau, and to address it in an intelligent and inclusive manner. Unless and until we are all prepared to do just this the random and brutal deaths of our most vulnerable children will continue.
Professor Martin Thrupp gives his inaugural lecture. Inaugural lectures are all about celebrating scholarship but their content, of course, is not necessarily celebratory. Indeed if there is anything to be celebrated about my work to date, it is probably a stubborn refusal to be satisfied with education policy, practice and research while we have such an unequal society and important political pressures towards greater inequality.
Dr Susan St John gives the Budget Speech she would like to hear in 2007. Starting with: The expected cash deficit of $1.5 billion for this year has become a $2 billion cash surplus. In light of the sound fiscal position I am delighted to deliver further on core Labour policy objectives of social inclusion and investment in social capital and set the direction for the next decade of prosperity for all New Zealanders.
Dr Nikki Turner writes on the effects on health of decades of neglect of New Zealand children. The new UNICEF Report Card on child well-being in the OECD countries tells an old story: NZ continues to perform poorly on many of our child well-being indicators when compared to other Western countries.
Comment on the 2007 State of the Nation Speech. John Key’s State of the Nation speech was the first time a National politician has explicitly acknowledged the growing gap between the haves and have-nots in Aotearoa New Zealand. Taking Labour on on their own turf, it exposed Labour’s “now you see it, now you don’t” line on poverty as the spin that it is. Certainly no-one who works in a budget advisory centre or foodbank believes the government’s Working for Families package has solved the poverty problem, and it was refreshing to hear their concerns aired by such a high profile politician.
Working for Families (2007)
Phil O’Reilly (5th April, NZ Herald) is right, Working for Families is a pretty big deal. It represents a long-overdue redistribution worth 1.5 billion dollars per annum. While government is to be congratulated on this package, without it they would clearly be facing severe, and politically unpalatable social distress among many struggling low and middle income families.
Donna Wynd examines the Kiwi Saver proposal and asks who will it really benefit. If we really do need investment and so-called economic transformation, then we should be spending the Kiwisaver millions on at-risk children in low-income households, not subsidising the retirement savings of the better-off. Feed our kids properly, educate them and make sure they’re healthy. That is the best investment we can make in our future.