My Response To: The NZ Family First Survey – Family Issues 2011

The way the far right thinks about some issues always seems to bring out the left activist in me.

Below I have listed some of the questions in the survey and my response. You can see the full survey here.

1. Marriage
New Zealand should develop policies that encourage a cultural shift towards a lifelong exclusive commitment expressed in marriage e.g. subsidised pre-marriage and marriage counselling. Amend welfare and tax systems to eliminate marriage penalties and disincentives to marriage.

Strongly disagree. There are many couples out there living in de facto relationships in co-habitation that contribute just as much to society as a married couple does. Marriage isn’t for everyone, being exclusive isn’t for everyone either. Even though J and I are getting married, we are still polyamorous. Traditional marriage being seen as one man and one woman is a fallacy. Going back through history, the most common form of marriage is one man with many women.

2. Definition of marriage
New Zealand should protect marriage as being one man – one woman.

Strongly disagree.

Need I say more.

4. Childcare
New Zealand should provide greater flexibility for parents to choose the best child care arrangements for them. End discrimination against stay-home parents i.e. funding only going to Early Childhood Education.

Strongly disagree. Early Childhood Education is a vital part of the education system. It helps children develop social skills and basic reading, writing and arithmetic. It also gives stay-at-home parents a break. I went to preschool and kindergarten even though my mother was a stay-at-home mum and my two nieces both go to preschool even though their father stays at home. I’m sure any primary school new entrants teacher would be able to tell you the huge difference there is between children who have had Early Childhood Education and those who haven’t.

5. Anti-smacking Law
New Zealand should scrap the anti-smacking law. Amend the law to state explicitly that parents who give their children a smack that is reasonable and for the purpose of correction are not breaking the law

Strongly disagree. The fact that this is even called the “Anti-smacking Law” is a red herring. What the law change did was remove the loop hole that allowed for reasonable force. This means that under the amendment, this woman would not have gotten away with beating her son with a riding crop and a bamboo cane. You are still able to use force if the child is endanger or endangering others. The whole problem is that “reasonable force” is subjective and had to be removed.

6. Sex education
New Zealand should promote age-appropriate sex education which is values based, increase funding of abstinence education, and provide support and resources for parents to be primary educators of their child’s sex education

Strongly disagree. Values based? Who’s values? Abstinence education doesn’t work!! If anything it leads to an increase in teenage pregnancy and STIs. The fact is some parents aren’t comfortable talking to their children about sex education and safety, for whatever reason, so it’s up to the school system to fill that gap.

7. Adoption
New Zealand should allow only married couple adoption – not de facto, same sex or single adoption

Strongly disagree. There is no evidence that married heterosexual couples are better parents than those in de facto or same sex relationships or are single. What would you rather? A situation where a child is brought up by a married heterosexual couple where either the father or the mother or both are alcoholic and abusive? Or in a stable, loving environment with either two dads or two mums? It’s more likely the only negative effect from having same sex parents is the child being exposed to homophobia at an earlier age, and that’s not the fault of the parents, that’s the fault of the surrounding society.

9. Child Abuse
New Zealand should establish a non-political Commission of Inquiry to understand and address the wider causes of family breakdown, family violence and child abuse in NZ

I actually agree with this one.

10. CYF Complaints Authority
New Zealand should establish an independent CYF (Child Youth and Family) Complaints Authority, similar to the Police Complaints Authority, to hear complaints about CYF from families who feel they have been unfairly treated, and to safeguard against abuse of state power

Neutral. Whoever thinks that the Police Complaints Authority is independent has got to be kidding themselves!! The theory’s good, the practice, not so much.

12. Income Splitting
New Zealand should allow income-splitting for married couples for tax purposes (optional for families to enter in to)

Agree. But also should include de facto and same sex couples.

13. Abortion
New Zealand should change the law to acknowledge the humanity / personhood of the unborn child from conception and protect that unborn children throughout the entire duration of pregnancy

Strongly disagree!! You can read my thoughts on abortion here.

14. Informed Consent
New Zealand should introduce a ‘Woman’s Right to Know’ law. This law would require doctors, who are independent from abortion providers, to inform women seeking an abortion of the medical risks and all the consequences of and alternatives to the procedure so that a woman is fully informed?

Strongly disagree. You are already advised of the risks, as with any other medical procedure in New Zealand. Women don’t need scare tactics from the pro-life right wing to take away their freedom of choice.

15. Parental notification
New Zealand should have automatic parental notification in cases of teenage pregnancy, teen abortions and other medical procedures except in exceptional circumstances approved by the court

Strongly disagree. It is her own body and her own choice.

17. Euthanasia
New Zealand should oppose euthanasia – and increase resourcing of hospices and palliative care

Disagree. I didn’t like this question. Just because I support euthanasia, does not mean that I don’t want an increase in resourcing for hospices and palliative care. Because I do want that.

18. Loan sharks
New Zealand should introduce stricter regulations on ‘loan sharks’ including capped interest rates and registration

Another one I agreed with, this time strongly.

20. Drinking age
New Zealand should raise the drinking / purchasing age to 21

Disagree. So you’re old enough to get married without parental consent, vote and go to war for your country, but you’re not allowed to drink? What is needed is a re-education so people of all ages respect alcohol and its effects more. There must be some way New Zealand can get itself out of this binge drinking culture which has developed.

21 Prostitution
New Zealand should amend the Prostitution Reform Act to prosecute the buyer, provide resources and incentives to help prostitutes out of the industry, and criminalise the act of pimping and brothel keeping.

Strongly disagree. At least they don’t want to prosecute the seller, and yes some pimps are bad, but brothels are much safer than working on the street. Prostitution is the oldest profession in the world. You can see some more of my thoughts regarding prostitution and stupid laws here.

22. Law and Order
New Zealand should maintain the ‘Three Strikes’ legislation

Strong disagree. It’s rather debatable whether this kind of legislation even works, particularly our version which “…rather than targeting “the worst of the worst”, it will radically widen the scope of offenders to include those on relatively less serious offences. In other words, it misses the point.”

23. Internet filtering
New Zealand should introduce compulsory ISP filtering of pornography so that children do not stumble across or deliberately access internet pornography at home, school or public libraries.

Strongly disagree. Censorship is bad. It starts with porn, but is that where it will stop? With better sex education, maybe children wouldn’t be trying to find the facts of life in the dark and shady corners of the internet.

24. Media Standards
New Zealand should develop and enforce higher standards for TV, film, radio and advertising content including levels of violence, sexual content and objectionable language. This includes greater community and family representation on the Broadcasting and Advertising Standards Authorities and Censorship Board with regular changing of board members after limited terms of office to avoid desensitization or lack of accountability

Strongly disagree. Again, censorship is bad. And I really don’t think a minority fundamentalist Christian representation (because that’s what they mean when they say community and family representation) would be to the benefit of the rest of New Zealand.

25. Public Indecency
New Zealand should amend the Crimes Act to clearly define ‘indecent acts’ in order to prevent public nudity and events such as “Boobs on Bikes

Strongly disagree. There is nothing wrong with the naked form. It’s the lack of sex education that has overly sexualized it.

26. Sexualisation of young people
New Zealand should introduce stricter controls to prevent the sexualisation of children through marketing and media

Agree. This was a tricky one. I think society also needs to give children back their innocence (which they can still have while at the same time receiving a decent sexual education by the way). Society has made it this way, and, being the good sheeple that we are, we conform to what society decides.

Feel free to leave your own comments in response to the various questions below 🙂

2 thoughts on “My Response To: The NZ Family First Survey – Family Issues 2011

  1. I think your need to bring out your left activist side is perfectly justified.

    Some of the statements posed in the survey are plain backwards, such as all the exclusive rights provided to only married heterosexual couples.

    I wholeheartedly believe in the separation of church and state. The historical atrocities, corruption and discrimination brought on by religious nations and their governments far outweight any positives in having [organised] religion integrated into the state of the nation.

    While NZ Family First try so hard to appear secular during these election times in order to attract more [relatively] sensible people who would normally dismiss such sanctimonious rubbish, the painfully-obvious religious undertones presented in their policies and “values” make me laugh.

    I’m surprised that they didn’t list corporate punishment to homosexuals and adulterers in their survey because that certainly seemed like the direction they were going. Perhaps they were just smart enough to know that if they had indeed put that on their survey that even less of the NZ population would take them seriously.

    It disturbs me that people continue to discriminate against homosexuals and those with alternative lifestyles. Homosexual couples should be entitled to adopt children and having statuary rights just like heterosexual married couples. The idea that only a man-woman couple can raise a child in a “normal” and “healthy” environment is absolute rubbish. The world is littered with stories and cases of child abuse, child torture and neglect, 99% of which (if not all) happen within “ideal” man-woman families. How often do you hear stories about a lesbian couple beating their child to death? (And don’t tell me that it’s because there are less homosexual couples with children in the world. That’s beside the point. If there really was a lesbian couple beating their child to death, the media would have an absolute field trip and I assure you that we would hear about it). Granted that we can’t generalise all heterosexual relationships as being prone to abusing their children, at the same time we can’t assume that only heterosexual couples are able to raise children with the love and attention children deserve – a glance at the NZ Herald confirms that.

    I’m going to leave it there before I continue ranting on about other things. I just want to say to Rach that I love you the way you are and to never change. The world needs more people like you 🙂

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