Quotes On The Social Security Bill



I believe that this will damage those families that are doing a good job already at looking after their preschoolers.—Higley Family

This will take away the freedoms of people to home educate their children.—Ian Brown

You are considering a law which will forcibly remove young children from their parents, based on their income…I believe this plan boldly infringes upon human rights.—Patricia Dobbs.

Where human rights are concerned, we are convinced that the proposals are in serious contravention of several international instruments of human rights to which New Zealand is a signatory party, to the extent that they exclude or diminish the role of parents in decisions of such great significance for the interests of
children.—Pestalozzi Trust

As a parent I should be able to retain the right to choose who cares for my child when I am unable due to work commitments, and if I want to use my sister or my neighbour or my mother-in-law I should be able to do so regardless if I am on a benefit or not.—Adrian and Isa Pike

We currently have the financial wherewithal to do exactly as we see fit—but that could change in a heartbeat. In the event of death or illness we would not only become dependent on a benefit—we’d also have our rights as parents trampled on at the same time.—Rustenhoven-Monteith Family

I personally believe it is a parents choice as to whether they have their children at home or to send them to daycare, preschool whatever.—Angela Pronger

Let the parents that want to stay with their children have the right to choose.—Antoinette Page

The government will be dictating and raising families rather than parents, which is not the natural method.— Arie and Aline Wessels

Just because a family is a beneficiary does not mean their rights can be taken away.—Ashlee Sturme

As parents and home educators we feel strongly that this Bill is discriminatory. It is based on an absurd assumption that all people who claim the benefit are irresponsible parents and are unfit to home educate their children.—Auckland South Home Educators

It is horrific to think that my husband losing his job would also mean losing our right to educate our own preschoolers as well as losing the right to take responsibility for the health care of our children…All this would make our children more vulnerable.—A…L…

In a free country one should be able to educate one’s child(ren) the way that seems best to the parents of the child(ren).—B.P. Merz

This proposed bill would remove the rights of parents on benefits to make their own, informed choices based soundly on the knowledge of their own child and the family units values and moral beliefs.—Bemsagray

The Social Security…Bill removes these basic parental rights for those already suffering the least personal agency by being reliant upon government assistance.—Bonnie Summer

The choice and responsibility of educating and raising my children lies with me, not with the state.—Bruce Sandbrook

It is not the right nor duty of the State to raise children, and to force separation of parents and children smacks of dictatorship.—C A Wratt

It is a basic human right that parents are able to choose how and where their child is to be educated…New Zealand must not become a society who creates second class citizens of people who find themselves in unfortunate situations.—Carolyn Webster

This bill is discriminatory by singling out parents and children of parents who be beneficiaries.—Cate Redman

No parent should have to beg for the right to choose at the whim of a WINZ employee—management or not. Education is the parent’s responsibility and should be their choice…I have had the freedom to choose my child’s education—and so should every other parent. Parents who currently home school should not have to fear job losses, or that their income is going to disappear because of this legislation.—Catherine Hudson

It is cruel and dictatorial to insist on this and I am utterly opposed to it.—Catherine McFadzien

Beneficiaries, though dependent on a Social Security Benefit financially, should still be given the respect of an individual to make decisions and choices themselves.—Catherine Sandbrook

This bill actively discriminates against beneficiaries and actively ignores the underlying principles and philosophy of basic human rights…A beneficiary is not a criminal and should not have their rights removed from them as if they are. To legislate against beneficiaries as a group is a blatant infringement of human rights and another invasion into families. It is discrimination on the basis of income…[This Bill] will cause insecurity and stress for children of all ages, forced to be separated from their parents, which in turn will cause more stress on families.—Cathy Norris

My husband has been sick with cancer and if we lost him then my children would face losing their security of spending their days with me as well as losing their father.—Celia Walmsley

This Bill discriminates against parents on the basis of their employment status.—Chris Milham

It appals us to think that our state would remove the freedom for a parent to choose their children’s education on the grounds of a spouses death, a marriage breakdown, a life changing accident or being unable to find paid employment.—Andrew and Christine Brown

If [my husband] received an injury and we became beneficiaries through circumstances outside of our control, this bill would effectively say, that since we had become beneficiaries we had lost the power to make good decisions for our children and that the government now knew what was best for them.—Christy Lowry

These proposals imply that beneficiaries are bad parents who do not know what is best for their children…This message suggests that anyone who operates outside of what is deemed to be the “norm” is somehow a social deviant. Rather than focusing on norms, the focus should be on barriers to education and healthcare.—
Dunedin Community Law Centre

We question whether it is the role of MSD to impose such obligations, and indeed whether it is the role of a government to take parenting choices away from a sector of the public based on employment status.—National Beneficiary Advocates

It is discriminatory to require benefit recipients’ children to attend early childhood education when other children are not subject to this requirement. The same discriminatory concerns apply to enrolment with PHOs and Well Child checks.—New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services

This Bill creates a category of citizen who has fewer choices and less autonomy simply because they are in receipt of a benefit. It is an unacceptable and unjust way to address the inequality and deprivation that has become such a feature of our society.—The Parish Council of St Andrew’s on the Terrace

These so-called ‘social norms’ are the construct of some members of society and are not necessarily proven to be the best or preferred option of all society. For instance children are not required by law to attend school until five or six; requiring beneficiaries to have their child in formal education at 3 years of age is not the fulfillment of an important social norm but fulfils the belief of some who see its value. To require it of beneficiaries while allowing other parents to choose or not choose this is discriminatory. It also denies them the right to choose an equal or possibly better option, that of being parents providing early education of their children themselves. Historically this has been a popular and important social practice for parents…Not allowing benefit recipients their intrinsic right to make parenting decisions free from coercion, however well-meaning, is social engineering by one section of the community on another group and is unwarranted.—Wellington Archdiocesan Justice Peace and Development Commission

Such a requirement also seems to infer that those parents who receive a benefit are less able to provide preschool education than those not in need of such financial assistance. We believe that such an inference appears to be discriminating against parents who are beneficiaries on the basis of their employment status which is a prohibited ground of discrimination under the Human Rights Act 1993.—Waitakere Community Law Service

We believe that several of the compulsory aspects of these amendments in relation to accessing childcare and child health care are discriminatory and breach basic human rights if they are not applied universally to all New Zealand parents.—Women’s Health Action


This Bill will send people off to the doctors forced them to have checks they do not wish for their children and pressured into vaccinations they abhor. My youngest is brain damaged by vaccinations and I am totally opposed. –Ian Brown

I feel strongly that parents must retain their right to decide who provides health care to their children and what that care involves. These decisions are a basic human rights issue.—Carolyn Webster

Most parents on a benefit with children at home will be responsible for their childrens health, just because they are on a benefit does not mean they are automatically negligent.—Catherine McFadzien

The implication of the bill is that beneficiaries do not see to the necessary health needs of their children…It is a stigma for beneficiaries, rather than a social good for all.—Chantelle Potroz

If [parents] decide to register with a primary health care provider and/or attend “well child” checks, then that is their prerogative, but they must have the freedom to choose.—Chris Milham

I believe that a parent should be free to choose natural and holistic medicine for their child, which I feel will not be possible if a child is required to complete all Wellchild checks and the vaccinations included.—Claire Walsh

We do not think that parents should be subjected to benefit sanctions if they do not enroll their child/ren with a primary healthcare provider. There are reasons why people do not do things—it is important to find out what barriers prevent a parent enrolling their child/ren with a health care provider. Barriers could include lack of
transport, or could be more complex such as language barriers, or lack of access to healthcare providers who understand their cultural beliefs. We also believe that it is important that parents have a choice in who their primary health care provider is.—Dunedin Community Law Centre

WellChild/Tamariki Ora checks are a good and appreciated initiative, but again, it is the parents right to choose to what degree they use these resources.—Nathaniel and Sharon Rademaker

The social obligation of a beneficiary’s children to be up-to-date with core Well Child checks (in order to increase immunization rates) is applying an obligation required of children of beneficiaries that is not a social obligation required of other parents for their children. In fact many parents oppose immunization and freely
choose not to have their children immunized. Responsibility for immunization is primarily that of a child’s parent. To coerce them by applying the threat of sanctions even if implicitly is not acceptable.–Wellington Archdiocesan Justice Peace and Development Commission

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