I am writing in opposition to the Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Bill.
What a step backwards this bill is! Not only is it discriminatory but it is undermining our rights as mothers and as parents to choose what is best for our children.
Just because a mother (or father for that matter) is on a benefit does not make them unfit to educate their own children, whether it’s during the preschool years or schooling years.
In the long term this bill doesn’t just affect beneficiaries. At any stage any well educated person from any walk of life can become a widow/er or lose their job. If this family was already choosing to home educate their children between the ages of 3 and 16 years of age this bill would mean that their whole lifestyle would have to change. Their children would be forced into institutionalised learning, adding more upset to an already hurting family.
I pride myself on being a New Zealander. We have a beautiful country and have freedoms that others can only dream of. This bill is a slippery slope to losing some of those freedoms that make our country such a great place to raise our children. You never know when this bill might affect you or someone you love, taking away the values you/they hold dear just because you/they are in unfortunate circumstances. Being a beneficiary has a stigma attached to it that clouds the fact that they are everyday New Zealanders like you and me. They have rights the same as we do.
Why should their rights to educate their children themselves be taken away because they are having a bit of a rough time and need some government assistance?
In conclusion, I think this bill should be voted against on the grounds that it is discriminatory and giving rights to some citizens and not others based on circumstances that aren’t always in our control.