A good start for all Kiwi kids is a can do

A good start for all Kiwi kids is a can do.

KidsCan is once more stepping into the breach left by the Government and trying to plug gaps to help our most vulnerable children get a good start in life.

The charity, which has led the charge on food in schools, is now looking at plugging holes in the health services for the schools of families with the least money.

The New Zealand Herald today reported that KidsCan intend to use some of its funding to work with other agencies to improve access to public health care.

They gave the example of Papakura’s Kelvin Rd School, a school where low income parents are really struggling to make ends meet. These most vulnerable kids were missed out of a rheumatic fever checking campaign and have only had one visit from a public health nurse this year.

Our children’s health shouldn’t be down to the luck of the draw. At present some kids at some schools are getting properly monitored and cared for while others appear to be falling between the cracks.

There are not enough public health nurses serving schools with high-risk kids. These kids end up being hospitalised, at great public cost, for conditions that should have been picked up far earlier.

The Green Party will step up to the challenges that groups like KidsCan are highlighting. We see schools as the beating heart of communities which can be used to pump services and assistance out to families that need it.

School can be the hub of their communities, where teachers and principals can focus on their expertise – delivering a great education to our kids – while others assist with community services, such as food in schools, school community gardens, adult education and health services on site.

These kids need a Government willing to invest in them. It’s far more cost-effective long-term to put some money in to create conditions where young people can learn and thrive than to deal with the consequences if we don’t.


5 Comments Posted

  1. Every time someone suggests taking all responsibility off people by dictating what they should spend their money on, I remember when I was a young single parent and the same idea was mooted. It was suggested that, instead of a benefit, we were given vouchers for food and clothing. Well, my children were happy enough with hand-me-downs and home-made clothes; I much preferred to grow veges than buy packaged stuff from a supermarket. So what did the money go on, apart from the basics? I saved some and the rest went on books for them and some for me.
    Of course, there are parents who have no idea how to manage money or don’t care, but treating them so patronisingly is not going to help them learn to either.
    The situation is so much more complex than you seem to think; not every beneficiary or low income earner is stupid or profligate. We need much better education in life skills for young people and in the meantime, much better community support for those children who need it.
    In the long run, creating a caring and co-operative community is what we should be trying to achieve, not one in which the beleagured poor are treated as second-class citizens.
    Maybe reading Dickens should be mandatory.

  2. It’s easy to force parents on benefits to only spend money on the necessities. Dead simple. Don’t give them any money. Give them credit on cards. I have one myself, it’s called a Payment Card, it’s issued by WINZ and has an amount of $$$’s on it. It can only be used at certain outlets and can only be used to purchase specific types of items. Gambling, Alcohol, Tobacco, are all banned.

    Of course if the government did take that approach to spending neither they, nor the bigoted minority, would have terribly very much to bitch and moan about. Then they’d have to find another scapegoat to blame whatever social ills that exist in the country on.

    So who wants to do that, hands up everyone!

  3. It appears we don’t have children any more.
    They are all kids! I think it a rather aggressive and nebulous word.
    Has anyone else ever noticed that about the only time our little ones are noted as “children” is when war casualties are being reported.Dollar to a doughnut it is used in this capacity because of the emotive connotations. To me, the term child conveys a life that is new,young,innocent,dependent and vulnerable. This life requires consistent,wise and sacrificial love and nuturing from their parents and wider community who, thereby, strive to be aware of the example they are setting so seek, therefore, to positively prepare themselves for the important roles of guidance and training of our future generations. All too often it seems an afterthought.

    Some might think this view a non-event but you are invited to think about it. The English language has the capacity for beautiful and uplifting communication but has really gone downhill in recent times.

  4. Photonz,

    I don’t know how you can easily stop parents spending money on grog etc. rather than food, but measures can be put in place to alleviate some of the impact it has on kids.

    For example, fully state funded, universal, primary health care services; no school fees; school lunches and so on. It seems better to direct tax money this way instead of as monetary payments which may or may not be spent as intended.

  5. A significant part of this problem is parents who prioritise spending money on cigarettes, alcohol, drugs etc, ahead of feeding their children.

    Do the Greens (or anyone else) have any policy that addresses this significant problem?

    Or like most other parties, is everyone just too scared to even talk about it? (let alone look for solutions)

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