May 29, 2023

Presenting Oral Submission to Social Services Select Committee

I was in Wellington yesterday but I did not see the red carpet. The family that gave me a ride from Foxton did though. I would much rather have gone with them and watched, along with the other 100,000 people, the goings on in downtown Wellington than sit in the Select Committee room. It was a fabulous day – one to be outside rather than inside.

I know you will want a report from me. I feel so inadequate to do so. Had Craig been there he would now be giving you a blow by blow report of the afternoon. I wish now that I had taped my oral submission. Then I could write to you about it more intelligently.

All 11 members of the Social Services Select Committee members were represented there with some changes of personal at stages. There were a number of policy people there as well.

The members of the committee were great. They asked some great questions. No one made it a difficult or stressful time.

The family that gave me the ride to Wellington were first up at 3:30pm. They gave a great submission and answered the questions really well. This family was the only other family speaking from our concerns on the Bill yesterday.

Some of the question the Select Committee asked:

1. How can we monitor or tell that young children in the home are getting the equivalent to an ECE education?

2. Why should the Government pay beneficiaries to stay at home to school their own children when others have to put their children in ECE or school and go to work?

These were easy questions to answer.

I am sorry that I have forgotton the other questions that were asked. I should have been writing them down as they asked the other family and written the ones I was asked as soon as I had finished.  I stayed and listened to the other presenters and they all spoke about other parts of the Bill – all not happy with various parts of it.

I want to assure you that the Social Services Select Committee members make you feel very much as ease. They didn’t give anyone a hard time.

The stressfulness of it all was really inside of me and some of it was unnecessary. First when we arrived there was a lady being refused entry into the Parliament Buildings. I had already been in contact with her through Facebook. She was a beneficiary who was having trouble with the system. She had a tresspass notice against her and they just would not let her in for her 10 minute submission. They even told her that she was not on the list when infact she was the first person to be called up. (Since she was not there then the family who gave me the ride were first up.) I tried to go to help get this lady into the building but there was nothing we could do at that stage – only the Speaker of the House can let those with tresspass notices into the Parliament buildings and there was not enough time to organise that. The other stressful thing for me was a group of women with bundles of papers (I, too, had bundles of papers).  They all sat in a group taking notes at times, I thought that they might be from ECE or some others supporting the Bill. So that made me a bit nervous to be speaking infront of them especially with what I was saying about ECEs. It turned out that they were policy people. The other stress was just getting the information across to the Committee members that I wanted to. I had 40 minutes which was broken up into personal 10min, Family Integrity 15min and Home Education Foundation 15min.  At stages I would be asked questions that I had planned to address in the Home Education Foundation time which messed me up a bit. Because I would have just a minute to answer when I had planned to give a 3 or 4 minute presentation later. So I had to do some quick thinking in juggling around my talks. Apart from that it all seemed to go very well.

Please let me know of your experiences before the Select Committee especially if it can be helpful for others, or help others not to feel stressed. Please send in your reports just to encourage others.

Key links for presenting an oral submission


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Related Links:


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

Make a submission: Reject compulsory Early Education for 3 year olds