Media Release – Paula Bennett’s One-Size-Fits-All Approach Leaves Parents With No Options
October 26, 2012
Palmerston North, NZ – Parents will be left with no options under the new Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Bill, says Barbara Smith of the Home Education Foundation (HEF) of New Zealand.
Under international human rights instruments and the Care of Children Act 2004, section 16, parents have the right to make important decisions for their children, including where and how the children will be educated and what medical treatment they will receive.
“The ‘Social Obligations’ in this bill prevent parents from making their own decisions about health and education,” says Mrs Smith. “Under the bill, parents will be forced to send their preschoolers to an approved Early Childhood Education (ECE) provider, register them with a GP, and attend all the core Well Child checks.”
In a letter to the Home Education Foundation dated 25 October 2012, Minister for Social Development Paula Bennett stated, “I know that most beneficiary parents are acting in the best interests of their child and engaging in appropriate services.” According to Ms Bennett, the most disadvantaged families in the benefit system are the ones that fail to “engage in appropriate services.”
“If Paula Bennett knows that most beneficiary families act in their child’s best interests, why is she making ECE compulsory?” Mrs Smith asks.
“The answer is that she believes ‘engaging in appropriate services’ is a measure of whether families are ‘disadvantaged’ or not.
“What about the families who want to opt out of ECE and Well Child checks, providing education at home and quality health care from providers they choose themselves? They’re going to be labeled ‘disadvantaged’ and ‘vulnerable’, simply for not following the government programme.”
Paula Bennett assures beneficiary parents that Work and Income will “engage and support parents to meet their obligations” for a six to eight week period before levying the 50% sanction and—if the family appears problematic–calling CYF.
“Families don’t want six to eight weeks to get sorted out,” says Mrs Smith. “They want to keep their preschoolers home from ECE. They want to home educate their children.
“What about parents’ right to choose the education their children receive?”
Mrs Smith emphasises that this is not just the law of the land but also a fundamental human right.
“It’s the parents’ responsibility to choose their child’s education. The Universal Declaration on Human Rights states that parents have a ‘prior right’ to choose how their child will be educated. The Care of Children Act states that parents have the right to determine ‘where, and how, the child is to be educated’. Thousands of Kiwi parents want to exercise this right to educate their children at home, including in preschool.
“This bill will result in significant hardship for parents who want to choose to educate their children. These parents do not want to be ‘supported and encouraged’ to comply with social obligations. They do not want to ‘engage in appropriate services’ because they believe they can provide superior services. They do not want free ECE, although they pay for it with taxes. They do not want free health checks. They do not want to be supported, encouraged, lectured, or harassed to do anything.
“They just want the freedom to do what they know is right.”
Mrs Smith encourages all concerned Kiwis to make a submission to the Select Committee by the deadline on November 1. Ms Bennett’s letter 2nd letter from Paula Bennett to Barbara Smith and materials for writing a submission can be found at www.hef.org.nz.
About the Home Education Foundation
The Home Education Foundation has been informing parents for 27 years about the fantastic opportunity to de-institutionalise our sons and daughters and to embrace the spiritual, intellectual and academic freedom that is ours for the taking. Through conferences, journals, newsletters and all kinds of personal communications, we explain the vision of handcrafting each child into a unique individual, complete with virtuous character, a hunger for service to others, academic acumen and a strong work ethic. For more information, please visit www.hef.org.nz or more specifically hef.org.nz/2012/make-a-
Press Release appeared:
Mermaidspurse: Bennetts approach leaves parents with no options
To learn more about this bill, please contact
PO Box 9064
Palmerston North 4441
ph. 06 357-4399
- 2nd letter from Paula Bennett to Barbara Smith
- Why should I put a submission into the Select Committee about the beneficiaries?
- Media Release 6 – Social Security Bill Will Punish Responsible Parents Who ‘Can’t Be Bought’
- Beneficiaries: Policy and Law
- 34 Submissions
- Submission: Trafficking, extortion, kidnapping, slavery and deception
- Media Release 5 – Beneficiary Parents “Not Able to Home School” Under Social Security Bill
- Media Release 4 – Social Security Bill Targets Responsible Parents for Toughest Penalties
- Letter from Paula Bennett to Samuel Blight
- Opinion Piece in Truth
- Possible timeline for Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Bill
- Media Release 3 – Social Security Bill’s ECE Obligations Breach Human Rights
- Media Release 2 – Vulnerable Children Not Benefited By Social Security Bill
- Media Release 1 – Social Security Bill Coerces Parents, Removes Freedom
- Make a submission: Reject compulsory Early Education for 3 year olds
- Some of the main links
- Comment on Q+A: Social Development Minister Paula Bennett
- Human Rights in New Zealand Today: The right to education
- Raymond S. Moore on Early Childhood Centres
- Should preschool be compulsory?
- TVNZ One this morning Q&A with Paula Bennett
- Maxim Institute: What is best for children?
- HUGE Concerns over the Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Bill
- Letter from Paula Bennett concerning beneficaries and home education
- Toby Manhire on Benefit-slaying Nats starting to look plain nasty
- Linking welfare to preschool attendance a world first
- New Update on: How will the new Social obligations which will be required of all beneficiary parents effect home schoolers?
- How will the new Social obligations which will be required of all beneficiary parents effect home schoolers?
From the Smiths:
Updated 5 October 2012: One year on (Craig Smith’s Health) page 7 click here
Needing help for your home schooling journey:
Here are a couple of links to get you started home schooling:
This link is motivational:
Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Bill