September 22, 2023

From a single Mother

I/We OPPOSE Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Bill


I am a single mother of four fabulous and beautiful children and I work part-time to provide for my family.  I am a single parent because this was the safest option for my children and I feel blessed that, at the time, the option was there for me to leave an unsafe situation and get financial assistance (DPB).  It would be a tragedy for women to not feel they have this option.  I fear that women may stay in unsafe situations because of the ‘Welfare reforms’ and unfair discriminatory obligations that would be placed on them.

I have always had the passion to be the one to look after, educate and home-school my children.  They deserve to be looked after in a loving and nurturing environment by the person who loves them the most – no ECE or school can provide that level of care.  Harold McCurdy, a distinguished psychologist from the University of North Carolina and a leading student of genius, says that “genius is derived from the experience of children being most of the time with adults and very little with their peers.  So when you start assembling children in very large numbers for long periods of time, you are on the wrong course for producing strong character and intellect. The more children around your child, the fewer meaningful human contacts he will have”.  There is much evidence out there to support children being cared for at home and not in ECE and to support homeschooling and it is my belief that this is what is best for my children.

I feel that the proposed ‘welfare reform obligations’ put single parents into a different class of citizenship to the rest of New Zealand parents.  It is unfair and discriminatory and breaches ours and our children’s’ human rights (based on Marital/Family Status).  The Human Rights Act of 1993 that states, “Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children”.  I feel these ‘obligations’ undermine our right and our children’s right to respect, dignity and equal treatment. 

We came out of a bad situation; I have kept my children safe and now I am being punished by not having the same rights as a mother not receiving a benefit.  The threat of having our benefits halved if we do not comply is extremely unfair.  I will not be threatened and bullied into doing what I do not feel is in the best interests of my children.  I do not ‘need a stick’, (as Paula Bennett has said) to beat me into submission!  I believe that enforcing these obligations, particularly ECE and school, on my children will be severely socially, mentally and emotionally damaging to them.