January 29, 2013
Palmerston North, NZ – Concerned parents and citizens across New Zealand are being called to take part in a letter writing campaign to fight the Social Obligations contained in the government’s Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Bill, says Barbara Smith, National Director of the Home Education Foundation (HEF).
The HEF, which has been advocating parental rights in New Zealand for close to three decades, says the Bill’s Social Obligations will breach parental and other rights. “Under the Social Obligations, parents on a benefit will be compelled to send their children to a registered early childhood education (ECE) provider, register them with a GP and attend compulsory Well Child checks,” said Mrs Smith.
These obligations have proved to be the most controversial aspect of the Bill “Most of the citizens and organisations who made submissions to the Select Committee on the Bill were very concerned about the restrictions this places on parents who want to make informed decisions for the good of their families,” says Mrs Smith.
“Parents, not bureaucrats, are the best people to make decisions about whether or when their children should attend ECE or see a doctor.
“The Select Committee’s report is due by March 20, 2013—they may complete it before this date. We need to have a letter writing campaign to the Select Committee members over the next few weeks. It would be even better to ring and/or visit them. There are human rights issues. There are discrimination issues. There are issues about the social drawbacks of ECE disadvantaging children and the health checks being used to enforce the government’s 99% immunisation goal. If this concerns you, please write to the Committee or contact your local MP to tell them that the Social Obligations must go.”
Mrs Smith says that the Bill will be catastrophic for everyone, beneficiary or not.
“As one family shared in their submission to the Committee, they decided to keep their daughter home from a preschool environment that distressed her. They have the financial resources to keep their daughter safe, happy, and protected. But that could change in a heartbeat.
“An injury, a death, the loss of a job—any of us could need to go on a benefit tomorrow. That shouldn’t mean losing our rights to make the best decisions for our children.”
Mrs Smith has heard from hundreds of concerned parents about the Bill’s potential impact on them.
“I heard from one solo mother who left an unsafe situation to go on a benefit,” she said. “She made the hard decision to keep her children safe and has been able to continue caring for them at home, which is already difficult given WINZ’s work test requirements.
“If this Bill passes, will mothers like her lose the right to care for and teach their own children at home? More importantly, how many mothers will stay in bad situations rather than lose the right to make good decisions for their children?”
Concerned New Zealanders should write-emails and letters, call, and visit their local MPs and the Select Committee, Mrs Smith urges.
“Postage to the Committee is free. Please, write emails and letters. Tell your friends. Make appointments to see the Committee members or your local MP.
“Let’s not lose our right to make the best decisions for our children.”
The Select Committee members are Jacinda Ardern, Simon Bridges, Melissa Lee, Jan Logie, Asenati Lole-Taylor, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, Tim Macindoe, Alfred Ngaro, Rajen Prasad, Mike Sabin and Su’a William Sio. Letters to individual MPs should be sent to this address (no stamp necessary):
Private Bag 18888
More information on the bill can be found at www.hef.org.nz.
email addresses of Select Committee
Against the Bill at the 1st reading:
email@example.com, Jan.firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Those who voted for the Bill at the 1st reading
email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, Asenati.Lole-Taylor@parliament.govt.nz, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, Alfred.email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Please feel free to use this sample letter. Please try to put it in your own words: Sample letter to Select Committee members
About the Home Education Foundation
The Home Education Foundation has been informing parents for 28 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-
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Related Links to Social Security Bill:
- Media Release 15 – Home Educators Appeal To Human Rights Commission On ‘Discriminatory’ Social Security Bill
- Social Security Bill and the Human Rights Commission
- Home Educators on Benefits
- John Key: Let us target and focus more on those who are in need.
- New Zealand, Sweden and the Johanssons
- Contacting the Select Committee
- International Human Rights Day 10 December 2012
- Media Release 14 – Social Security Bill Is Unjustifiably Discriminatory, Says NZ Law Society
- Media Release 13 – Australian Benefit Reforms Bow to Parents’ Rights
- A few more tips when giving an oral submission
- More experiences before the Select Committee
- Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Bill: Best Scenario?
- Home Educators happy with benefit revamp in Australia
- Kate’s oral submission and some questions
- Submissions published for the Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Bill
- Presenting Oral Submission to Social Services Select Committee
- About Early Child Care in Sweden
- ECE linked to obesity in kids: study
- BERLIN DECLARATION
- Media Release 12 – Early Childhood Education Brings Social Drawbacks, Uncertain Benefits
- New Zealand Law Society Submission
- Australians have common sense where it seems our NZ Government does not
- ECE (Preschool) is no good for 4, 5 and possibly 6 year olds expert says
- Presenting an oral submission to the Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Bill
- Social Services Select Committee members
- Barbara Smith’s submission
- Media Release 11 – Parents Are Responsible for Education, Says HEF National Director
- Media Release 10 – Preschool Associated With Social and Academic Disadvantage
- A Bit of Political Advice to Home Educators by Craig Smith
- Samuel Blight’s submission
- Home Education Foundation’s submission
- Media Release 9 – Social Security Bill Should Treat Home Education as a Legitimate Choice
- Media Release 8 – Social Security Bill Will Cause Real Hardship to Real People
- Family Integrity’s submission
- Media Release 7 – Paula Bennett’s One-Size-Fits-All Approach Leaves Parents With No Options
- 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
- 66 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 to Barbara Smith
- 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:
Exemption Form online: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-exemption-form-now-online/
This link is motivational: http://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-what-is-it-all-about/
Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Bill