Family First Midweek Update – 28 June 2011

1. Why saying ‘I do’ is good for our families
BOB MCCOSKRIE – Dominion Post 27/06/2011
On April 29, two billion people worldwide sat in front of their TV screens as they witnessed one of the most public weddings in history – the marriage of Prince William and Catherine Middleton. No-one asked why they were getting married, why they didn’t get a civil union instead, or said that the ceremony was pointless and unnecessary. It was simply the dream that many aspire to. Just 20,900 couples got married in New Zealand last year – an all-time low. This has led to claims that a wedding ring is unnecessary to legitimise parenthood and sexual activity. Put simply: some think marriage doesn’t matter. On that basis, civil unions matter even less – only 273 couples got one last year. But do declining rates mean that it doesn’t matter? Should we be concerned that marriage rates are at an all-time low? Yes, we should. Marriage matters. The weakening of marriage is one of the most important social issues we are facingREAD MORE 
P.S. Speaking of marriage, we liked this photo of Prime Minister John and Bronagh Key in front of the Taj Mahal in India featured on the front page of the NZ Herald. Is this what they refer to as a ‘free trade deal’? 🙂

2.Newborns in state care ‘alarming’

NZ Herald Jun 27, 2011 
A sharp jump in the number of day-old babies taken into state custody has sparked fresh calls for an independent watchdog authority for Child, Youth and Family. Figures released to the Herald revealed 42 babies were taken into CYF custody less than a day after their birth in the 2009/10 year – a total more than triple the year before. The spike has surprised the head of a national anti-violence network and prompted a new call by lobby groups for the Government to establish a CYF complaints authority. “When you’ve got CYF going into families like this and intervening in a sensitive area of families, there must be an independent point of appeal for families involved,” said Family First’s Bob McCrofskey. “CYF don’t always get it completely right and yet there’s no avenue of appeal. “We need to make sure families are getting fair grounds for disputing intervention where intervention isn’t warranted.” A Family First-commissioned poll in March found that 65 per cent of respondents supported the concept, which is also being backed by the Sensible Sentencing Trust lobby group. READ MORE
Family First Comment: What the reporter didn’t quote us on was our comments that it is good that CYF is being proactive rather than reactive with children who are clearly at risk right from birth. How often do we hear “the family was known to CYF”? But with this type of power to intervene in families comes accountability. At the moment, there is no independent accountability.

3.Prostitution bill loses way 

Manukau Courier 21 June 2011
A bill giving Auckland Council the power to ban street prostitution in public places like Hunters Corner and Northcrest looks unlikely to be passed into law, the MP sponsoring it says. Manurewa MP George Hawkins says “I never try to second-guess Parliament but it’s not likely to pass in its present form and probably won’t pass in amended form. I don’t think any of the main parties are wanting to go back and talk about prostitution at all.” READ MORE
Bid to control camera
Manukau Courier 21 June 2011 Fed-up Hunters Corner retailers might soon be able to take security surveillance into their own hands to combat long-running problems with street prostitution and late night bars. The Auckland Council is being asked for around $150,000 for a control room in the town centre where business association security staff can monitor CCTVs round the clock. It’s the simplest way to rid Hunters Corner of its street prostitution problems, Manukau ward councillor Arthur Anae says. READ MORE
Family First Comment: More sad evidence that the politicians aren’t concerned with grass roots issues like loan sharks and street prostitution. The politicians don’t want to talk about it. Perhaps the politicians can talk about what families are putting up with in Manurewa and Papatoetoe, and the actions that local leaders feel they have to take to compensate for bad law making.

4.Sl*tWalks send ‘mixed message’ – relationship expert
ONE News June 24, 2011 
Organisers of ‘Sl*tWalks’ planned for Wellington and Auckland tomorrow are being accused of sending the wrong message. . …Bob McCoskrie from Family First said he agrees so-called ‘sl*tty’ clothing is no excuse for rape. But he still thinks women need to consider how they dress. “We need to understand a male has testosterone. They’re turned on by the visual. Images are important – that’s why the porn industry does so well,” he said. “Marching for the right to be called a sl*t? Just doesn’t sit right.” READ MORE
WATCH Close Up  featuring National Director Bob McCoskrie

5.Govt Should Adopt Own MP’s Loan Shark Bill
Media Release 27 June 2011
Family First NZ is calling on the government to support National MP Sam Lotu-Iiga’s private member’s bill aimed at regulating loan sharks and protecting vulnerable families. READ MORE
Law change needed over loan sharks – Goff
Otago Daily Times 21 Jun 2011 A summit to tackle unscrupulous loan sharks has been slammed as a “talk-fest”, with Labour leader Phil Goff saying a law change is needed to stop credit companies preying on vulnerable consumers. READ MORE 
6.Critics hit out at ‘child farms’ 

Herald on Sunday Jun 26, 2011
Childcare centre operators are rushing to open so-called “megacentres” containing up to 150 children. A regulation coming into force this week allows childcare centres to triple in size. Even before the July 1 change, three companies have signalled to the Education Ministry they’re keen to boost their centre sizes three-fold. But critics are dubbing the big centres “child farms”, as a survey finds 9 out of 10 parents and teachers oppose them. The Education Ministry will allow centres to increase their rolls from 50 to 150, including 75 children aged under 2 years. READ MORE
READ Family First Media Release Nanny State’ Takes on New Meaning with ECE Policy
Family First NZ says that the just released government policy on Early Childhood Education centre sizes is flawed, harmful to children, babies and parents, and will end up treating children with less dignity than animals. READ MORE
Longer childcare, less satisfied parents
Herald Sun June 24, 2011 The longer children spend in childcare, the less satisfied parents are with work and life, Australia’s biggest study of families has found. READ MORE

7.Parents blamed for the s*xualisation of children
Daily Mail 25th June 2011
Many parents either turn a blind eye or actively encourage the s*xualisation of their children, claims the author of a government report into childhood. They see nothing wrong with youngsters lying about their ages to sign up to the social networking site Facebook, watching adult films or wearing provocative clothing. READ MORE

8.Govt supports immunisation report
3 News 23 Jun 2011 
The Government wants to ensure every New Zealand child has the chance to be protected against preventable diseases, Health Minister Tony Ryall announced yesterday. ….The report does not suggest making immunisation compulsory, rather targeting the 5 percent of parents who “haven’t made a decision, haven’t got around to it, or more worryingly, haven’t seen a doctor”. READ MORE

9.Unemployment increases risk of divorce for men 
Telegraph (UK) 21 Jun 2011
A study of employment and divorce suggests that while social pressure discouraging women from working outside the home has weakened, pressure on husbands to be breadwinners largely remains. READ MORE