July 26, 2014

The bill falsely presumes that all beneficiaries’ children are at risk

I oppose the Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Bill. The bill falsely presumes that all beneficiaries’ children are at risk. The bill falsely assumes that the current under funded, underqualified, under resourced New Zealand ECE climate will do a better job at educating our young children than their loving parents or extended family members. The bill actively discriminates against beneficiaries. The bill actively ignores the underlying principles and philosophy of basic human rights, as outlined in the United Nations’ Human Rights Charter of which New Zealand is a signatory

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.What about parents’ right to choose the education their children receive? This is a fundamental human right.

The Care of Children Act states that parents have the right to determine ‘where, and how, the child is to be educated’. Thousands of us Kiwi parents, want to exercise this right to educate their children at home, including in preschool.

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.

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.