The Vote; Poverty vs. Parenting:
Taking part in a TV3 presentation The Vote on Wednesday night was:
Hannah Tamaki co-founder of the Destiny Church, Bob McCoskrie Director of Family First and Christine Rankin the CEO of the Conservative Party made up the team who agreed with the motion, ‘That Parenting was the problem not poverty for our kids’
On the opposite side were those who saw ‘Poverty rather than parenting as the problem’ they were Dr Russell Wills the Children’s Commissioner, Celia Lashlie a social justice Advocate and Hone Harawira Mana Leader and MP.
Christine Rankin kicked off the debate: She used to be the boss at the Social Welfare Department before she was dumped but her opinions hadn’t changed. According to her money or poverty has little to with the mis-treatment of children. Parents are the blame, she said ‘that while some parents treat their kids like a sack of potatoes others don’t’ when pressed she would not concede that money allows parents to treat the children differently. Dysfunctional families not poverty was the cause according to her.
Bob McCoskrie whose organisation Family First has just had their charitable trust cancelled agreed that all the fault lay with the parents because they often spent all their assistance on booze, gambling and smokes, and that because some families managed to break out of poverty then all should be able to do the same.
Hannah Tamaki of the Destiny Church whose husband is a self styled bishop and who depends on 10% tithes from church members and who hopes to set up a
Charter School in . She took a different approach, she claimed that money is not important and that she knew this because of the way her farther brought her up, by working hard and paying off his debt. She suggested that if a family was cold they should simply wrap up tight in a blanket, sleep together…this coupled with Gods help would see them though any difficulties… Auckland
Dr Russell Wills pointed out that he meets hundreds of families that simply can’t live on the get, even working two or three jobs at $13 per hour, and the biggest cost is housing especially private rentals. He accepts that there is poor parenting but pointed out that good parenting is easier when you have ample money coming in.
Celia Lashlie has worked with hundreds of parents both good and bad, some so bad that she wanted to give them a kick up the backside…but for all that she had never met a mother who didn't want her child to have a better life…She didn’t blame nor play the blame game…she simply pointed out that when life gets difficult and when people can't see where the next dollar is coming from then those outcomes damage family relationships. She went on to describe in graphic terms some clear examples of children being mistreated and the effect that has later when they become mothers. She felt that Rankin’s use of the word ‘Dysfunctional’ was simply a middle class excuse for maintaining their bias while actually doing nothing.
Hone Harawira explained clearly what he observes in his electorate where the median income is around $12.000 per year; they sleep in cars, in sheds. The whole country is totally unequal and growing worse by the week. A livable income that covers the cost of housing, power and health care helps lifts families out of poverty and changes the circumstances that lead to family violence.
The debate was well worth watching because it proved clearly the hypocritical attitude that exists now days. A couple of days later while driving to Woodville I heard a guy on National Radio say that, those in poverty can get out of it by ‘hard work’ just like his parents did…yeah right…
Where today can young families get a State Advance loan at 3% like my parents and brothers did, and I got via a return serviceman’s loan at 3% in the early 70’s. The guy on the radio sounded about my age and I felt ashamed for him, his memory was so selective…and proved how things have changed in both a community and social sense. The blame game is well and truly entrenched in 2013.
If you would like to read the TV3 transcript go to: