Garth George – NZ Herald Aug 11, 2011
I had a bit of spare time earlier this week so I decided to browse through the Government’s Green Paper on Vulnerable Children – all 13,000-odd words of it. And having done so, I’ve come to the conclusion that it is just another way of making us think the Government is doing something when in fact it can’t make up its mind what to do. It’s a procrastination ploy common to politicians of all stripes, and in this case it ensures that the festering sore of child poverty, deprivation, abuse and illiteracy will be conveniently shelved until well after the general election. I don’t doubt the sincerity of Social Welfare Minister Paula Bennett or her patron, Prime Minister John Key, and I acknowledge the authors of the document for its comprehensive analysis of the problem – although much of it is repetitive, politically correct claptrap.
….Thus it is not surprising that Mr Key, in his introduction to the paper, acknowledges that he is “very concerned” that in the past 10 years, despite hundreds of millions of dollars extra being invested in health, education, the benefit system and the justice system, “public services have too often failed the children who need them most … Despite decades of good intentions from government, we’re still failing too many of our kids.” Which gives credence to a statement by Family First national director Bob McCoskrie that “petty party politics is destroying any progress in solving the cancer of child abuse that is destroying our country. Politicians are not part of the solution with all their green and white papers, reports, and conferences.”