Kia ora Peter.
How you doing? Hope the Party is well and membership booming.
May all your policy research students all come from terribly prestigious private education providers.
Peter, can I call you Peter? Pete, we need to have a chat.
MANA’s Feed the Kids Bill is up at the moment. It’s an opportunity to alleviate the grinding damage of poverty facing some of the 25% of NZ Children living in poverty.
Now I know the position from the right is that this is a ‘parents responsibility’, and with all due respect, that’s terribly misplaced.
It is not easy to survive on benefits set below the level people can live on and despite all the best intentions, one blow out in a month from sickness, a higher power bill or a vehicle break down is all that is needed to upturn the very delicate and difficult weekly budget balancing act our poorest members of society must juggle with while the wolf breaks through the door.
Mr Dunne, this isn’t about parents abdicating responsibility, it’s about Government admitting theirs.
Empowering schools to act as a real hub of their community with school gardens is legitimate. A paid administrator in each school organizes this process without asking schools to divert more of their already over stretched resources.
This single move could be the most important piece of policy that would lift the largest amount of children out of poverty ever under taken in modern political history.
Mr Dunne, you could either be the independent political voice that stands for sensible common sense center ground policy and allow this Bill to go through so that it can at least be debated OR you can be that guy who killed ‘Feed the Kids’.
Whenever child poverty is mentioned in the lead up to the election, your name will be attached as the MP who killed the possible solution that was being offered.
That is a political legacy no one wants.
Please Mr Dunne, at least allow the debate to occur and consider the argument. Our children living in poverty deserve to have their voices heard and their concerns be our focus.
Even if it is for a brief moment.