Family Policy Priorities

FAMILY ISSUES SURVEY 2011

We asked our Supporters what issues were important to them.
VIEW THE RESULTS

Explanation: Family First is NOT a political party and has no intention to be one.
Our role is to be a voice for families in the public domain, and to research and advocate for family and marriage issues. The following list is policies which we will be promoting for ALL political parties to adopt.

1. PROMOTING MARRIAGE AND FAMILIES

Strengthen marriage
Develop policies that encourage a cultural shift towards a lifelong exclusive commitment expressed in marriage.
oFamily relationship centres
oSubsidised pre-marriage and marriage counselling
· amending welfare and tax systems to eliminate disincentives to marriage and marriage penalties
· protect marriage in law as one man – one woman. Uphold marriage as the national community ideal.
· abandon the concept of no fault divorce, and place the weight of the law on the side of spouses seeking to defend their marriage
· establish joint custody following divorce, not just shared responsibility.

Parenting
· recognise that parents have primary responsibility for nurture, raising and educating of children, and governments should respect and support the exercise of parental responsibilities
· Provide greater flexibility for parents to choose the best child care arrangements for them. Particularly favour arrangements that encourage parents to spend time with their children. End discrimination against stay-home parents
· Create incentives and subsidies for lower income parents to attend parenting programs.
· Amend section 59 to decriminalise parents who use light smacking for correction of children

Ministry of Families
· replace the offices of Children’s Commissioner and Families Commission with a Ministry of Families with a specific Minister in Cabinet to advocate, research, and oversee family-based policies and the impact of legislation on families

CYFS / Child abuse
· Establish a non-political commission of enquiry to understand the causes of family breakdown, family violence and child abuse in NZ
· Establish an independent CYF complaints authority so parents have an avenue to appeal the intervention of CYF and to safeguard against abuse of state power
· Sentencing for those who abuse and kill our children to be substantially toughened to provide both a deterrent and a clear message of our community’s disgust with the actions of people who abuse children
· Presume child abuse when under-age girls are pregnant or infected with STD’s – it is logical to investigate the circumstances

Family economics
· increase access to affordable housing for families
· welfare payments to include vouchers which limit spending on alcohol, tobacco, gambling and other expenses which detract from the needs of the children
· Optional income tax splitting – similar to business partnership
· Equate childcare allowance/s of grandparent raising grandchildren with that of caregiver
· Stricter regulations on ‘loan sharks’ including capped interest rates and registration
· ‘Sinking lid’ policy on community-based gaming machines and the availability and liscencing of alcohol outlets

Aged Care
· promote the dignity of our Elders – investigation of ‘elder abuse’
· tax breaks / support for those who care for elderly or infirm relatives at home.

Sex Education
· provide support and resources for parents to be primary educators of their child’s sex education
· age-appropriate sex education which is values based, investing equal amounts into abstinence and comprehensive sex education

2. PROMOTING LIFE

Abortion
· Amend the law to protect the unborn children from conception (18,000 abortions per year represents the worst of child abuse)
· Parental notification automatically of teenage pregnancy and abortion except in exceptional circumstances approved by the court
· Promote married couple adoption

Stem Cell Research
· Promote adult stem cell research, not embryonic stem cell research

Euthanasia
· Oppose euthanasia – increase resourcing of hospices and palliative care

3. PROMOTING COMMUNITY VALUES AND STANDARDS

Prostitution
· amend Prostitution Reform Act to prosecute the buyer
· provision of resources and incentives to help prostitutes out of the industry
· criminalise the act of pimping and brothel keeping

Pornography
· reduce the availability of pornography which undermines relationships, dehumanises women especially, and destabilises marriages and families
· Introduce ISP filtering of pornography so that children do not stumble across, deliberately access, internet porn at home, school or public libraries.
· Immediate increased resourcing in monitoring and prosecution of child pornography
· Substantially toughen penalties for possession, distribution and production of child pornography

Standards and Censorship
· Standards should be developed according to a family perspective, not an individual rights perspective
· Develop and enforce higher standards for TV, film, radio and advertising content including levels of violence, sexual content and objectionable language.
· Extend representation on the BSA, ASA and Censorship Board with regular changing of board members after limited terms of office to avoid desensitization or lack of accountability
· Amend Crimes Act to clearly define ‘indecent acts’
· Stricter controls on the sexualisation of children through marketing and media

TELL US WHAT YOU THINK OF OUR POLICY PRIORITIES

Email admin@familyfirst.org.nz

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