I will be looking out for mentions of social investment in the Budget today. Social Investment can be code for "we are too mean and individualistic to invest in schools and communities so we are going to target and stigmatise a small minority of individuals and families, and then expect them to gratefully raise themselves into the middle class, or punish them more if they don't". This is the 2017 version of the Thatcherite philosophy whereby there is no such thing as society..
I suspect those Cabinet Ministers are working on some way around it for a time when an election is not 4 months away.
Breaking News! Apparently Ministers Tolley and Adams have decided this policy requiring personal information from poor people is not a good look in election year and have ditched it. The new Social Investment Agency to be set up by 1 July will develop a Plan B.
Thanks Robyn. There has been a similar thing happening in disability research and research funding. It is very little out there for social model disability research.
These are basically political decisions. The ODI was set up by the last Labour Government after a long period of consultation between disability activists like you and some politicians, and as a result of our first NZ Disability Strategy in 2001. That was followed by some dedicated research funding for disability topics (preferably done by disabled researchers or at least undertaken and supervised by those with understanding of the social model) as our research knowledge of disability in NZ is minimal. But that dedicated research funding priority has long gone.
We can only hope that both disability leadership and research is championed by a future government. I see a disabled woman was recently elected in NSW. It can be done.
Congratulations to Kirsty Johnston who last night won a Canon Media award for her Ashley story from last June mentioned in this post. We needed a journalist who was not afraid of disability, abuse or government agencies, and would also treat the family involved with respect and integrity. Thank you, Kirsty.
One of the things I love about this Access blog on Public Address is that the posts can have another whole life outside the PA umbrella (wonderful though it is). This post led to good discussions on various Facebook parent groups where many people related to the issues raised. It was also the basis of a short presentation I gave last week to the NZEI seminar on Inclusive Education. So thank you, Russell, once again, for this nurturing niche.
The brilliant Jonathan Pie urges young people to engage in politics https://thestandard.org.nz/hey-kids-votings-fun/
There's a famous quote by Norman Kirk about values which Grant Robertson has been repeating for years. People want "Someone to love, somewhere to live, somewhere to work and something to hope for”.
I noticed Andrew Little included it in his speech on Sunday. The speech also had housing as the big idea, as identity and community:
"Why have we made getting housing right such a priority?
Because it is absolutely essential to New Zealanders’ sense of security and stability.
Home is about “our place.” It’s a place of celebration; a place of refuge. A launching pad to face the day’s adventures and challenges. It’s our landing spot to rest and get ready for the next day. It’s where life is lived. Where futures are dreamed.
Without a place to call your own, it’s hard to have any of these things. To thrive, to prosper, to stand on our own two feet, every New Zealander needs to have a place they can call theirs.
It is Labour’s mission to restore the foundation stone to strong families and strong communities – decent housing."
Shades of Kirk. Good work from the speech writer.
Older white people who vote are now more powerful as there are more of them statistically. Winston just reflects his demographic.
But I have faith in the power of younger people, particularly the under 25 year olds. Many are doing politics differently in fighting for their future.
We had a conservative government right through the 1960s but an explosion of rights advocacy and activism by young people and minorities that transformed society more than the Holyoake government ever did.
I think Jacinda's policy announcement of mental health support in secondary schools is aimed at young people - or is it for their anxious parents?