The votes have been counted, the winners have celebrated, the negotiating is under way. But what are the family issues that are going to be on the agenda for the next three years. Here’s our prediction….
ISSUES LIKELY TO BE RAISED BY POLITICIANS
* Drinking Age /Alcohol Harm – This will be back on the agenda early next year. Unfortunately the National government has shown little will to deal with the obvious harms of alcohol abuse and the solutions put forward by the Law Commission after consulting extensively with the public. Many senior politicians are promoting a ‘split drinking age’ that will send a mixed message and fails to acknowledge the harm of alcohol on the developing brains of teenagers.
* Same-sex adoption – This will be pushed by the Greens and Labour, but opposed by NZ First – the question is whether National will resist this ‘social engineering’
* Same-sex marriage – This will also be pushed by the Greens and Labour and opposed by NZ First. National?
* Decriminalisation of abortion – The Labour MP Steve Chadwick who was championing this law change was voted out at the weekend 🙂 But expect the ’cause’ to be picked up by another Labour or Green MP.
* Decriminalisation of euthanasia – United Future’s Peter Dunne was the only party leader in our Value Your Vote questionnaire that was opposed to this proposal
* Liberalisation of Easter trading laws – expect this issue to raise its head again, although most of Labour and the Greens are opposed.
* Loan sharks – National have pledged to strengthen regulations around this. It’s time to deliver.
ISSUES THAT WE’LL RAISE 🙂
* Informed consent and parental notification for abortion – we know that John Key and Winston Peters both support parental notification, and there is also some support for an informed consent law
* Independent Inquiry into child abuse – there is wide cross-party support for this although we are not sure where the two major parties stand
* Independent CYF Complaints Authority – once again, wide cross-party support, and a recent Select Committee report approving the concept
* Residential brothels and street prostitution – There is currently a bill before Parliament banning street prostitution – although it has stalled and needs to be kick-started. The problem of residential brothels continues to harm families around the country
* Decriminalisation of non-abusive smacking – NZ First has a specific policy of amending the law, and just perhaps, National MP’s will finally acknowledge the evidence that the law is targeting good parents and doing nothing to tackle child abuse
* And plenty more – such as daycare harm, income splitting, surrogacy and stem-cell research, broadcasting standards, sexualisation of children in the media, pokie machines, welfare, and more!