ACT wants to take food out of hungry kids in public schools and give it to rich private schools – this is what NZ is now

New ACT Party school lunch policy

As this Government rams through $19billion in tax cuts and tax breaks for the richest amongst us, we are taking food out of the mouths of hungry children to put into the pockets of the wealthy…

Act leader David Seymour on lifting state funding for private schools but reducing free lunches in state schools

…David Seymour is pretending to look at the evidence when the truth is that he doesn’t believe the State should be feeding children who parents should be responsible for.

He wants to ignore the vast amount of academic research that shows feeding hungry children at school benefits them and the anecdotal evidence from the coal face…

Niki Penny: Socioeconomic factors are a proven cause of absenteeism

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Another government, another hot take on how to tackle school absenteeism. Since being given the responsibility for school attendance as associate education minister, David Seymour is championing the use of fines and prosecution as the most effective way.

Christopher Luxon believes telling parents to “wake up and talk to your kids and get them to school” is what has been missing.

Both methods exemplify a trend towards not only misunderstanding the complex factors behind school absenteeism, but to applying punitive measures that make things worse.

Of course, it’s easier – and politically convenient – to lay blame at the door of irresponsible parenting.

This one-dimensional view doesn’t require any understanding of the social and economic factors which affect a child’s access (or lack of access) to education.

In reality, the factors are almost always human. They’re almost always economic. They can almost always be fixed by addressing a glaring lack of resources.

When I started at Te Kōmanawa Rowley School, the attendance rate was 40 per cent and the school was at risk of closing.

‘Meet the Teacher’ nights had turnouts of three whānau. It now has an 83 percent attendance rate and ‘Meet the Teacher’ nights have been replaced by community hangiattended by 400 people.

How was this turned around? Not by blaming anyone, but by identifying the barriers getting kids to school.

Te Kōmanwa Rowley School is a low-decile school in southwest Christchurch surrounded by higher decile schools. As the city gets redeveloped, communities get displaced and transport options change and become more limited.

Each day a school van collects 20-30 children who have limited transport options. Teachers will collect children on their commute if whānau ask them to.

Adequate transport of course requires funding, and it’s no secret that schools are desperately underfunded.

Lack of uniform was another significant barrier. Some families couldn’t afford uniforms. For many children and whānau, a lack of uniform feels like a lack of dignity.

Now, thanks to uniform sponsorship at the school, all students are given a new uniform upon starting. Pride was a barrier to attending school, and that has been restored.

Thirdly, access to the Healthy School Lunches programme was crucial in helping kids stay in school – especially in hard economic times. We often send leftovers home to whānau.

At the time of writing this, kids have breakfast, fruit and lunch at Te Kōmanawa Rowley. This also incentivises kids to eat healthy options which was previously unaffordable to some. There is a proven correlation between food security and learning.

The problem with fines is that they will push many families further into poverty. This could actually increase school absenteeism and exacerbate gaps between families and schools that sorely need closing.

Te Kōmanawa Rowley and the local community took a partnership approach to closing the gap between families and schools, having an open dialogue so we could understand the barriers to attending.

In turn, this created a connection between school and whānau which had previously been lacking. The ‘it takes a village…’ approach to children’s educational wellbeing, school, whānau and communities meant we achieved what we all wanted; to get children into school.

School staff worked with the community and whānau to rebuild trust, and this partnership initiative has broken boundaries.

…we need to be expanding food in schools, not slashing it.

We should have free Breakfast and Lunches in all schools.

Yes there has been wastage from schools that have 3rd party agents making food off site and then dropping them off rather than making the kia on school grounds with parents helping serving plus school gardens.

Those 3rd parties are not partnering up with schools, they are doing a pity run to turn coin.

Universal provision of good healthy food made on schools grounds akin to what they do in almost every other developed country we compare ourselves to is the solution.

David wants to fine the parents of truant kids when free school breakfasts and lunches can be the solution to that.

All David wants to do is use the stick instead of any carrot.

Kids can’t eat sticks David!

We should all be ashamed of our country that we are taking money out of hungry kids mouths to fund a tax cut for wealthy landlords!

You wouldn’t let someone who despise dogs run a puppy store and you wouldn’t let a guy who hates feeding hungry children decide free school lunches.

This is what NZ is now, we hated Jacinda for saving 20 000 lives and this is what we have mutated into.




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  1. Using public funds to prop up private schools is a fucking disgrace!
    In the meantime gutting the public sector and fining parents for children’s non attendance is another example of a nazi state. The ACT party continue to prove they are an elitist party.

    • There you go NSC using the N word,we should be shocked demanding NSC is blocked from commenting.

      • Ahh my favorite number one follower, feeling triggered again, going all woke on me.
        Canceling ones opinion is very much the dictator type.
        Your literacy is appalling by the way, first only has one “t”.

  2. Most of the right believe in the mantra – if you can’t afford kids you shouldn’t have them. Forgetting of course that many people can afford kids when they have them, but through misfortune find they can’t afford them any more. What a surprise – they seem to have a blind spot here.
    But what on earth is the point of having a society if one of the aims of it isn’t to look after those who are less fortunate? We might as well just have a collection of individuals – you know like those libertarian groups that have been so successful at running political entities/S.

    • ” Most of the right believe in the mantra – if you can’t afford kids you shouldn’t have them. ”
      I say; ” We can’t afford rich people so lets get rid of them instead. ”
      There’s no reason at all for having 14 multi-billionaires, 3118 multi-millionaires each with a $50 million net minimum and four now foreign owned banks stealing $180.00 a second 24/7/365 NET from the faux property market they jacked up to exploit us so let’s get rid of them. Let’s get rid of them immediately! We could do it. Just get rid of them. They’re of no use, no class and of no value to our society unless exploiting us is of some value to us somehow.
      We could hire a cheap Russian deep sea trawler capable of carrying Kiwi bankster management and the 3128 rich kiwi fascist sociopaths from here and load them onto it then send it off, one way, to Israel where they could indulge in some Palestinian children sport-slaughtering. I read that Israeli snipers are killing Palestinian children! Perfect! The psycho Kiwi nouveau riche would love it. Praise the Lord now pass the ammunition and a starving child in shock and living in fear. An easy target, right? Sound familiar you hungry Kiwi kids?
      You might not get shot but you will go hungry so that’s kind of similar, right? We’re a tiny population on a land area larger than the UK who’s primary industry is food production and yet we have hungry kids and their mums and dads and 14 multi-billionaires, 3118 multi-millionaires each with a $50 million net minimum and four now foreign owned banks stealing $180.00 a second 24/7/365 NET.
      luxon? seymour? peters? And you sundry all bought and paid for MSM? You’re about as low as life can go. You’re the scum that redefines scum. You, are self aggrandizing sociopaths who make your victims feel guilty because it makes you feel immense while you steal their wealth, such as it is. You’re a base line against which all humanity can be judged. And you’re all ours. Aren’t we lucky.
      ( The sick thing is, you’ll be feeling quite proud of yourselves re the stats I’ve written above. )

    • We can’t afford tax cuts, but we are having them, all because tricola wants to save face as she said she would resign. Why doesn’t she just do what her boss is doing blame the coalition.

    • The bottom line is a country tipping over because of demographics.
      NO children, nor incentives, nor pro policies, nor adequate support through a childhood, then NO adults , NO workforce, less taxes , NO pension etc

  3. For years the UK has had dinner for kids at school .There is a profession of dinner ladies working in school .If rich pricks want to waste money sending their kids to private school ,where they are spoon fed to pass exams to make results look good ,then let them pay for it .Their rich prick attitude is fucking our local college because they send their kids to private schools because having kids is a pain in the arse so lets make them someone elses problem .In the mean time tax payers are proping up these same schools to the tune of hundreds of millions on top of the 30k per year school fees .Another hand out to the top 10%

  4. Private Schools save Governments millions of dollars with the parent covering the bulk of the costs.

    • Yes, Bob and that is a choice many don’t have the same choice to send their kids to private schools. And we pay taxes and expect our kids to get a decent education. Do the parents paying fees for private schools still get a tax rebate as they use too. When the poor and brown start sending their kids to private schools, we see white flight happening mixing is alright in rugby but not education aue!

    • Incorrect, private schools return a dividend to its investers, not us as tax payers. Even an embecile knows that, it’s called “private ” for a reason, you fuckwit. Economics 101.
      In England and Wales private schools do not receive general government subsidies.

    • Bullshit Bob. Private schools are also funded by the State. It is absolute snobbery. To suggest your kid is going to get a better education at Kings or Christ College is a nonsense. What they do do is mix with the well off.

      Charter schools are an abomination!

      Tax the rich more.
      Introduce death duties on estates, of course these won’t affect the man or woman on the street but the rich pricks whose little darlings will get even richer.
      Introduce a financial transactions tax with us being the 9th most traded currency in the world we could make something out of this. Sure we will move down the rankings but not that much.

      Get rid of GST the most regressive tax that we have.
      Make sure that landlords don’t get an exemption for the interest etc – the playing field has never been so uneven.

    • How ? why should the government pay any thing to a private school as it is just that.PRIVATE like any other private company .If they cant survive without public money they should be open to any kid that lives in the area .In our case the government has provides 2 great schools ,yet people send their kids hundreds of kms away and still expect the government to pay towards their fees .

    • Utter bullshit Bob 1. Charter schools ripped the tax payer off !

      OIA release 2024

      From 2014 to 2018 cost the government up to $48,421 per student annually, more than SIX times the average funding spent on students in state schools and for no academic benefit for CS pupils.

      When adjusted for inflation, that is more than $60,000 per student ANUALLY !  WTF ??  in today’s money. In comparison today, public schools are funded at around $9,000 per student.

      The total cost to taxpayers of the failed charter school experiment for ‘ elite ‘ people was more than $125 million.

      • Don’t put facts in front of bullshit Bob, he will have a meltdown believing everyone likes him.

  5. More to the point, if you aren’t prepared to try to be good parents, don’t have children.
    We’ve had plenty of examples of wealthy parents’ children going off the rails largely because absentee parents have allowed them too much money and too much freedom.
    We’ve had stories of parents taking teenagers to Whangamata prior to New Year and literally leaving them to be ‘supervised’ by the owners or managers of motels who don’t even know the kids. They have adequate accommodation for New Year but who is really looking out for them?
    We have had stories of parties where underaged children have been served alcohol quite freely because daddy hired a barman for the evening and it suddenly becomes the poor barman’s job to supervise several dozen increasingly unruly teenagers. Host parents absent.
    That family also responsible for graffiti defacing public places all over our city. A 19 year old, a young man, but still very childish it seems. Didn’t have much good fathering, I guess.
    We’ve had an MP who was found to be a violent, bully-boy at his boarding school and went on to be similarly poorly behaved at his university digs. Ok, he’s apologized but that’s small comfort to his victims. Why couldn’t he behave properly to begin with?
    Numerous other occasions on which the children of the wealthy have proved themselves badly behaved, poorly brought up, lacking good sense and having no morals. etc.
    Therefore, the argument that you shouldn’t have children unless you can afford them, is rubbish.

    There’s no reason why public education should have to subsidize private schools.
    If you can’t afford the fees to fully fund your private schools, don’t go to them. There! Problem solved Mr. Seymour.
    You cannot demonstrate superior educational or personal outcomes from private schools because many very well behaved and successful citizens, didn’t go to them.
    However, they had parents who cared and while they may have been poor, made the effort to be good parents. They were in attendance and available, always.

  6. Atlas Dave is well trained in his pathologic Randian doctrine. Act would be long gone but for the Natzos welfare in Epsom electorate, where they handed it to Actoids on a plate. Dave needs to be confronted when ever he appears in public, particularly when stuffing his face at official functions or restaurants.

    • Again with the Democratic party voter USA style politics TM
      Do you want to see this in NZ?, politicians being harassed when out with family at a cafe/restaurant?…or only right wing politicians?
      You are a sad old bitter man TM, the socialist dream you have had for years will never come to fruition.
      I think you and Countryboy should live together, mystery loves company.

      however I am very pleased with my vote and how the new govt is doing what it campaigned on.

    • So what us the difference between your bully boy attitude to Seymour than his so called attitude. There seems to be a number of commentators on this feed who cannot except there is another way of looking at a situation.
      For 6 years thecountry was run by Labour and most agree we are in a mess so it is only sensible to try another approach

      • And yet in just 5 months most agree National have crippled the country taking us back decades
        Many on this site can’t see past their bias or think for themselves because they are brainwashed by their right wing CEO and uneducated ministers.

      • Well, we’ll see if the ‘mess’ you speak of, is better or worse, after 6 months of this lot. Then we could try another approach.
        Were we in a mess under Labour or was it mainly propaganda distributed by Luxon and Co. which made you think so?
        Willis’ financial plan STILL hasn’t received any acceptance by international financial entities which advise on such things. Robertson’s had been approved.

        Many of us said ages ago, Labour might not be much chop but National wouldn’t be any better.

      • Yes Trevor, the world outside NZ is perfect & only NZ is in a mess? I don’t know what planet you live on but there are problems worldwide & while I believe that Labour did not achieve all the things it should have we are actually in a better position today than we would have been if National was in government.

  7. Did you know before covid the total immersion Maori kura and the Catholic girls’ schools In Auckland were achieving higher NCEA results than many of the private schools so what does that say.

  8. I think you’re doing Davros a disservice there mate – Davros is a genius, albeit an evil one, who made his race a real galactic force. Seymour is a sock puppet – albeit an evil one. NZ will not become more powerful under his corrupt leadership – it will sink further behind, only producing neoliberal fairytales instead of results.

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