After bashing Māori, ACT has come for the kids


School attendance: David Seymour takes on truancy crackdown, proposes more use of fines for parents

Associate Education Minister David Seymour is eyeing up moves to crack down on truancy by prosecuting and fining more parents whose children are frequently absent from school.

Seymour has been given the responsibility for school attendance as associate education minister – an issue Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has also put a strong emphasis on during the campaign and since then, frequently repeating his urging to parents to ensure children attend school.

Seymour said Cabinet had not yet made any decisions on the issue, but he would be proposing stepping up sanctions on parents such as through more use of fines, as well as releasing school attendance data weekly, rather than only after each term.

All this Government has is the stick, they want to weaponise the State against the poorest and weakest so the poorest and weakest never put their hand out for help in the first place!

Fining parents for truant children will cause far more social damage than good, especially when you consider so many school kids are already working!

State tenants being kicked out, beneficiaries getting sanctioned and truant children’s parents fined – this isn’t social policy, it’s right wing revenge fantasies!

You want kids engaged, provide free breakfast and lunch, provide free sanitary products, lower the cost of uniforms, make public transport free – LOWER THE COST AND THEY WILL COME!

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Fining parents is so fucking reactionary and stupid, but that’s what we are now!

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  1. If Seymour thinks that lazy or indolent parents are responsible for kids missing school, he thinks wrong. Again. The reasons are myriad, and dumping simplistically on parents for what may be a societal issue is bullying and brutish lcd politicking.

  2. What does Luxon actually do for a living. He’s certainly not doing PM work. He’s never at parliament to answer questions, he dumps unpopular ministerial roles on to other ministers. I remember a time when the media harangued Jacinda if she so much had an hour off so much so that she just about left the labor room for question time. This government is just awful there is not one person that has a saving grace, the women are petulant and screechy, they look down their noses at the plebs. They seem to be constantly in attack mode
    ( can’t be good for these middle aged men’s blood pressure) . They are all just plain nasty.

  3. And when they don’t pay the fine, what next? benefit reduction or prison maybe.
    Given most families are already struggling this can only worsen it.

  4. Sooooo kids not attending school is their problem nothing to do with their parents?
    Ohhh there will be a certain baked in % that couldn’t give a fuck about their kids, but majority will certainly get off their arses and ensure kids attend if it will affect their benefits or having to pay a fine!
    Good on this Govt for actually implementing consequences if your kids don’t attend school.
    Seems only now….after Labour dumped out of Govt that they are ‘looking seriously’ at truancy, funny that eh??

  5. Given that the people whose kids are true and are often those with very little money and the kids are offering contributing to the family finances, fining them will just make the problem worse. I know that sort of stating the obvious, but Seymour usually misses the obvious, as do most libertarians.

  6. We have had 6 years of following a policy of no accountability and this is another reason why Labour were voted out.zMost parents work out how many children they can support to live full and meaningful lives and they get tired of working to pay taxes to to feed and cloth someone else’s child belonging to parents who breed with no thought just because they can. If a family is genuinely in need due to unforseen circumstances that is a different matter and helping them is great and shows we are a caring people

    • Trevor, this problem has been growing for a lot more than 6 years, just like the under funding of GPs, and infrastructure of all sorts. Covid certainly hasn’t helped.
      We have been fed platitudes by both parties whilst we continue our race to the bottom whilst overseas banks and landlords feed off our efforts dennying most the NZ dream.
      You say tax payers don’t want to pay for others children – how about an economic system that pays them wages so they can afford to bring up their own children?
      We are currently importing people because we are supposedly short! Wouldn’t it be best to use those already here. We have relied on other countries to provide skills because we have not been prepared to train our own. Remember apprentices, nurses, teachers, cadetships, all of whom got paid whilst training? We have created the skill shortage and in so doing removed career pathways by making them unaffordable to many, and then we wonder why people don’t see the point in sending their kids to school.
      Decrease the class sizes so teachers can engage on an individual level; make school affordable for families – are just some ideas to re-engage with students, and I’m sure teachers could provide many more. Remember promises of smaller class sizes – a long forgotten promise of Labour’s if I’m not mistaken.
      I know this, fining parents will end up bring counterproductive. It’s attention grabbing political rhetoric by lazy politicians who have no idea how to solve the problem and it will do more damage.

  7. Punish, punish, fine, fine. That’s how to deal with we NZs who haven’t managed to grab hold of good things for ourselves, like reliable, continuing jobs that pay enough to eat and get drunk twice a week, and a residence for oneself and family if you have one, and transport to work and the doctor’s bill when you hurt your hand, o ryour knees or whatever.

    Of course you shouldn’t get drunk, of course you shouldn’t have children; go further along the line of negatives and finish with, you shouldn’t ever have been born. We right wingers want to choose who we accept as a citizen on some arbitrary criteria that changes every week, or day. We set ourselves up as little gods as the Nazis did in Germany. It is clear that we are going the same way. The German people got caught up in the backwash of a rise in citizen rule after the monarchy was put aside. And then all the ugly side of the upwardly mobile, and ambitious showed up. In Regency times in Britain around 1810-20 such people were called by the upper class, ‘mushrooms’.

  8. Pay the schools on kids attending, not enrolled and do it by term
    The schools would start chasing parents up to obey the law
    If parents won’t play ball pay their benefit by card. No booze, no ciggies no punishment for kids


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