March 29, 2017

Submissions for Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Bill

We only have 1 month left to get submissions in for this Bill. Submissions close 1 November.

I am working on coming up with a link that we can all use to help with putting in our submissions due 1 November: http://hef.org.nz/beneficiaries/14227-2/. I have three Lawyers helping me come up with the Key points – any suggestions from others welcomed as well – please include in comments below or email me barbara@hef.org.nz.

I have also started to write up a brochure that can be handed out at support group meetings etc. It would be really good to have a short slogan to go in the link and on the brochure — any ideas please put them below in the comments. Thanks

I asked one of the lawyers working on this for me about asking for exemptions if this Bill goes through.

This is what the lawyer wrote to me:

I think it would not be productive at this point to ask for an exemption option. It’s not the best-case scenario and should be regarded as a last resort if any. You certainly are not at the point of any last resort yet! Encourage your people to look at the positives:1. Bills rarely pass into law without amendment–sometimes substantial amendment.
2. This is not a rush job. I’ve known bills to be rushed through Parliaments here in Australia before a resistance can be organised. That’s not happening here. If you mobilise enough protest, you can have this bill stopped dead in its tracks.
3. This is a very new, very provocative bill that seems to have sincerely annoyed most of the population of New Zealand, from the socialist progressives who don’t believe it goes far enough or don’t want benefit cuts, to people who see it as the tyrannical imposition it is. It’s unpopular with everyone, including the conservative voter base.It is not too late to ask for an exemption option after the bill passes into law, but if your parliamentary system is anything like ours it would require a new bill to amend the Act. Nevertheless extending exemptions for ECE to home educating families on the same terms as exemptions for schooling is a minor change that should not attract too much resistance, especially if the Bill comes to be seen as a blunder.The moment home educators say the word “exemptions” we’ve surrendered the battle. What happens when you sell your car and a prospective buyer asks what’s the lowest you’ll go? If you tell him, he’ll immediately offer you $100 below that price and you will definitely never get him above that price.

To me this bill sounds outrageous and many people sound outraged about it. There is no need to compromise. At a later stage it may be politic to point out how ridiculous it is to be able to get an exemption from schooling, but not from ECE–without arguing that we should be given exemptions for ECE. Just mention that it’s ridiculous. They’ll probably come back with, “Well, we can give you exemptions from ECE; no problem.” And then you can try to beat them down, because you haven’t compromised your position by backflipping on what you’re prepared to accept.

Sorry this email is so long–like Mark Twain said, I didn’t have time to make it shorter. I’d encourage your Kiwi home educators not to give in, but to speak up boldly for ALL the liberties they already have.

Once we get word from the three lawyers (early next week, I trust) then I’ll circulate it around these groups on FB and the email discussion groups for about 2 days. Then we will know what we are all wanting (it is hard to get all home educators to agree about anything – but we will give it a go). Then we need to make this known far and wide FAST. We will need all home educators on board to get this out to the general population.
So I trust we will have the information we need to help us make really good submissions by the end of next week 4 or 5 October. Actually we should aim to have it ready before the Marches on the 5th http://www.facebook.com/events/440680239308936/

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Related Links:

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From the Smiths:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/craig-smith-26-january-1951-to-30-september-2011/

Updated 23 September 2012: Life for Those Left Behind (Craig Smith’s Health) page 6 click here

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Needing help for your home schooling journey:

http://hef.org.nz/2011/needing-help-for-your-home-schooling-journey-2/

And

Here are a couple of links to get you started home schooling:

http://hef.org.nz/getting-started-2/

and

http://hef.org.nz/exemptions/

This link is motivational:
http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-what-is-it-all-about/

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Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Bill

http://hef.org.nz/2012/huge-concerns-over-the-social-security-benefit-categories-and-work-focus-amendment-bill/

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Comments

  1. Shahin Soltanian says:

    Hello Barbara

    I just wanted to mention that for those on the benefit (of any type) there is no exemption from school or ECE for their children for their benefit payments to continue. Hence, even getting an exemption from the Ministery of Education is not sufficent to meet the requirements of WINZ. WINZ requires everyone on a any kind of benefit to put their kids in school when they are 5 or 6 and ECE from 3. Also note that if parent/s ona benefit refuse their payments will be halved and that is not the end of it. At the moment the bill states that if the parent/s continue on half they will be reported to CYFS or the frauds office. Not only does the law mean benefits get halved but it might lead to more punitive action. It is very important to understand what the bill is saying in order to be able to express the right objection.

  2. Barbara says:

    Thanks Shahin, I have sent your comment to the lawyer working on this for me.

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