From the Sunday Star Times
The Families Commission has been told to slash the number of commissioners, consider closing its Auckland office, cut overheads and focus on a limited number of research projects. Critics say the moves will undermine its role as an advocate for families, and its independence. Labour MP and former chief families commissioner Rajen Prasad (left) said the changes would see the commission focus on research to back up government policy, rather than advocate for families in a way that could challenge the impact of policies, such as the upcoming welfare review. Prasad pointed to the influence of conservative commissioners Bruce Pilbrow and Christine Rankin. “It’s an attempt by those pro-traditional family type people to limit the influence of this commission.”
Dr Prasad forgets that the Families Commission has never been seen as independent from the government – and this was confirmed when he was given an absolute gift list position in the Labour party of number 12. Prasad’s attack on ‘conservative’ commissioners who are ‘pro-traditional family type people’ is ample proof that the Families Commission was never going to be relevant under his leadership. Apparently, if you believe in the traditional mum, dad and kids, you are disqualified from the Families Commission! Incredible. Have things changed? The jury is still out.