Saturday, August 13, 2005

Positive parenting means a smack free zone

SKIP stands for Strategies with Kids – Information for Parents campaign will work with community groups to provide resources and training for parents and caregivers of children up to five years old. SKIP will fund approved agencies suggesting that more authority lies with approved "experts", rather than parents. It works with Plunket and Barnardos, the two key organisations that want to ban smacking.

SKIP even has a newsletter. It outlines grants given to various groups that promote positive parenting - or in other works groups that ban smacking. One group even got a grant to ensure that their community was a "smack-free zone", and the group didn’t just work with under five year olds either so it is debatable that is should have got tax payer funding in the first place.

It is clear that Every Child Count's main answer to politicians for promoting positive parenting for children over five is to ban smacking. If you are from Plunket or Barnardos and are reading this, you may want to leave a note stating what the alternatives are when "positive parenting" doesn’t work.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Every Child Counts campaigns for the removal of s59

Every Child Counts, an organisation that denies that it was set up to ensure that all parents do not have the option of physically disciplining their parents, have denied that they exist to ban parental smacking. It says that their campaign to repeal section s59 of the Crimes Act is a marginal issue and it has not adopted a formal policy position on s59.

However the Every Child Counts website is campaigning for s59 to be removed and not all affiliated groupls like this.THe others arent aefen aware that it is happening as no communicatin is provided to affiliated groupls and individuals. Banning smacking is a formal position, even though it is not a formal policy position. On its questions for political candidates page is this question:
New Zealand and international research shows that children who experience harsh parental punishment practices have much higher rates of conduct problems, substance abuse, depression, anxiety and violent crime in early adulthood than those children whose parents did not use physical punishment. Does your party agree with this research? If so, will your party promote non-punitive, positive parenting practices and how?

And here is the ideal reply sought from political candidates at meetings:
Yes. It is convincing We will ensure that there is full and informed public debate about repeal of s59 of the Crimes Act and will develop and expand programmes such as the SKIP initiative, that
promote positive parenting,

Campaigning to amending law is a different matter to promoting positive parenting.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Every Child Counts has no policy on Section 59

Every Child Counts is a lobby group set up to repeal Section 59 of the Crimes Act - or so it would have you believe. This section permits reasonable force for parental physical discipline.

The lobby group is headed by a project team and a steering group but the chief spokespeople come from individuals in three organisations: Plunket, Barnardos and the Institute of Public Policy at AIT.

Every Child Counts has four key policy issues which all the 300 plus affiliated organisations have agreed to. These are putting the child at the centre of policy development, giving children a good start, ending child poverty and reducing child abuse and neglect. Everyone at Every Blogger Counts supports these aims, because many bloggers have children too.

The trouble is that most of its publicity lately is about an issue that none of the groups of Every Child Counts has signed up to. Much of the talk from Every Child Counts is about banning smacking and supporting a repeal of Section 59 of the Crimes Act. However this is not one of their key policy issues - in fact it is not even a policy issue at all. Every Child Counts has not adopted a formal position on banning smacking - or anything related to Sue Bradford's Bill banning smacking. Sue Bradford didn’t appear to be aware of this as she acknowledges the assistance of Every Child Counts in her campaign to ban smacking.

So when people started noticing that all of a sudden Every Child Counts was putting out media releases supporting Bradford's bill, and saying it should go to a select committee, a number of these affiliated organisations got a bit annoyed as they did not support a smacking ban. They advised the coordinators of Every Child Counts that they had no right speaking on behalf of affiliated groups as the position was not in the policy overview. These releases were issued to the media from Barnardos under the banner of Every Child Counts.

As a result of the concerns raised, those at Every Child Counts desisted in putting out such media releases. Sort of anyway. What they do instead is get a media release done from the policy wonks at the AIT. Once the release is written it then goes off to Barnardos. Then it gets forwarded on to Deborah Morris- Travers from the NZ Plunket Society and - hey presto - it’s a release from the NZ Plunket Society.

But whose web site runs the media release: Every Child Counts of course. It is not even on Plunket's website.

What do all the groups affiliated to Every Child Counts think of this?

Saturday, August 06, 2005


Every Blogger Counts is an organisation set up to ensure that children and parents are at the centre of the NZ government's policy development and implementation. Our key policy goals are:
1. Ensure children and parents are central to all policy development and implementation
2. Ensure every child gets a good start, and every parent can give them one.
3. Eliminate child poverty
4. Reduce child abuse and neglect without banning smacking.
Maybe you would like to take action yourself after having browsed around our website and checked out the links on the sidebar. Perhaps something you have read ‘clicks’ with your own understanding and thoughts about what’s happening in New Zealand today.

Why don’t you write to your MP, write to the media, or call talkback radio
Here's an advocacy toolkit in which you can follow links and write to your MP, or do a letter to the editor

Check it out, and check out the tips on writing to editors and to your MP's.