Monday, 6 August 2007

FI - 278

6 August - Family Integrity #278 -- Attend Every Child Counts Conference 5 September

Dear Friends,

Below is a notice of a Conference designed to place children at the center of public policy. That sounds great! But there are, sadly, very sinister implications.

First, children will be considered as autonomous units, apart from and idependent of their families, whanau, culture, religion, ethnicity, etc. Parents will be sidelined and their ability to exercise their parental responsibilities will be severely reduced and compromised.

Second, the catch phrase is 'best interests of the child". Who determines that and by what criteria?

Let me quote from a very recent NZ book (2006) "From Innocents to Agents: Children and Children's Rights in New Zealand" by Michael Reid:

"All members of the community are being encouraged to value and protect children. But there are also less obvious implications for parents and teachers in the new rights-sensitive culture. For example, when rights clash [between those of a child and of its parents, for example], who's the boss? (pg. 9).

"Rights, once identified and empowered by government action, increase and consolidate state power.....A new dynamic emerges whereby the authority of advocates and officials, rather than that of parents, predominates." (pg. 10).

"But in the later decades of the twentieth century, children moved from being viewed as innocents in need of protection, to being politicised agents with autonomous rights guaranteed by the state...the state has shifted from supporting the authority and place of families to supporting the emanicpation of children from their parents." (pg. 15).

"If the state has an interest in the child, but parents fail to co-operate, the state is justified in superseding parental authority. In New Zealand, the authority for children has definitely moved away from parents and onto an array of advisors." (pg. 228).

Know that the Children's Commissioner already has plans to officially intervene into each and every family at least 4 times for each child from birth to age 16 to assess the child in the areas of social, cognitive, emotional and physical well being. (See the Integrated Framework or Ten Year Vision at bottom right of home page).

I want to strongly urge anyone able to attend to do so, take notes and report to the rest of us. It is important to know what these kinds of folks are up to: they are tireless in lobbying for change. If we see what is coming, we can prepare for it. Otherwise it will just land on our plate and we will panic and need to scramble to keep out of harm's way.

Call me paranoid if you like. It was attending one such conference that alerted me to how serious the anti-smacking lobby was 12 months before the Bradford Bill came to parliament. It allowed us to have done a lot of thinking on the issue and to have a lot of written material prepared and ready to go to oppose the anti-parent authority (anti-smacking) bill when it arrived. (Although we didn't succeed in our opposition, it forced them to reveal how hypocritical they are and how thoroughly undemocratic and totalitarian.)

Please attend if you can.

Every Child Counts Conference - Are We There Yet? Placing children at the centre of policy and planning
Sep 5, 2007
9:00 am to 4:30 pm
It does seem as if children are moving out of the twilight margins of political discourse. But are they? Six intriguing speakers will use the question, “Are we there yet?” to examine local and central government efforts to place children at the centre of policy and practice.
Placing children at the centre of policy and planning is core platform for the Every Child Counts coalition. Achieving this goal will deliver more sustainable policies that help ensure the well-being of our most vulnerable citizens.
The speakers are:
Nic Mason: Manager of the Local Government Centre within the Institute of Public Policy at AUT University, Auck
A cross-party panel of MPs: Lynne Pillay, Dr Jackie Blue, Dr Pita Sharples, Sue Bradford, Brian Donnelly. Peter Dunne and Heather Roy will discuss the policies they will pursue to esure children are at the centre of their considerations.
Dr Emma Davies: Principal Advisor (Auck) for the Office of the Children’s Commissioner.
Bev Adair: consultant and advocate for children, recently working with the “For the Sake of the Children Trust”
Lyn Campbell: Families Commissioner focussing on advocacy for young people and families
Lorraine Tarrant (Ngati Kuia): SKIP Team Manager comes from a teaching background.
Ben Lummis: Ben won the first NZ Idol competition in 2004. Of Maori, Ton gan, Samoan and Pakeha descent, Ben mentors, inspires and motivates young people through his musical work often through community events.

Conference costs are $20 Unwaged individual, $50 waged individual, $150 per organisation for five delegates.
For further information, email: or send details and payment to Every Child Counts Conf, PO Box 6434, Wgtn 6141.
This conference is being held at St John’s Conference Centre, Cnr Willis and Dixon Streets, Wellington.

Craig Smith
National Director
Family Integrity
PO Box 9064
Palmerston North
New Zealand
Ph: (06) 357-4399
Fax: (06) 357-4389

Our Home....Our Castle

if Section59 is repealed - or replaced...

No comments: