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 Post subject: Family first
PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2014 9:24 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 25, 2002 12:00 pm
Posts: 2895
This comes from an organisation called family first who produce lots of good stuff and keep us up to date with what the govt., is doing . Google Family First if you want to get their newsletters . Bob McCoskie is the national director .

NEW REPORT "Killing Me Softly"
Should Euthanasia Be Legalised?

Hi Les , Ruth

Family First has just released a significant new report on Euthanasia and the attempts to decriminalise it in New Zealand. Links to download the Report are at the bottom of the email.

Please help us to make others aware of this significant resource in an election year.

Euthanasia Report Warns of Elder Abuse & Coercion
Media Release 12 May 2014
A report on the history of the euthanasia debate in New Zealand and an examination of the law and the research evidence overseas warns of the potential for even greater levels of elder abuse if euthanasia were to be decriminalised in NZ.

The Report “Killing Me Softly – Should Euthanasia Be Legalised?” by Professor Rex Ahdar of Otago University says that safeguards can only go so far, that coercion is subtle, and that patients will ask themselves why they are not availing themselves of it. He warns that the potential for abuse and flouting of procedural safeguards is also a strong argument against legalisation.

The report was commissioned by family group Family First NZ in response to another promised attempt to change the law by Labour MP Maryan Street after the upcoming general election.

The report warns that in practice, safeguards can only go so far, and that coercion is subtle. The everyday reality is that terminally ill persons and those afflicted with non-terminal but irreversible and unbearable physical or mental conditions are vulnerable to self-imposed pressure. They will come to feel euthanasia would be “the right thing to do”, they have “had a good innings”, and they do not want to be a “burden” to their nearest and dearest. Simply offering the possibility of euthanasia or doctor-assisted suicide shifts the burden of proof, so that patients must ask themselves why they are not availing themselves of it.

A recent study found that 32 percent of all assisted deaths in the Flemish region of Belgium were done without the patient’s explicit request. The requirement to report euthanasia has not been fully complied with in nations that have legalised euthanasia either.

There is some empirical evidence too from these same nations that the availability and application of euthanasia expands to situations initially ruled out as beyond the pale. For example, euthanasia has been extended to enable minors to avail themselves of it with parental consent in the Netherlands and, most recently, Belgium. Labour MP Maryan Street has been reported as saying “Application for children with terminal illness was a bridge too far in my view at this time. That might be something that may happen in the future, but not now.”

The report also notes that the majority of the medical profession and national medical associations around the world have been resolutely against the introduction of voluntary euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide, amidst real concerns that the role of the doctor would be irrevocably changed from healer to, at times, killer; from caring professional who saves lives to one who takes them. Inevitably, patient trust would be eroded.

The report concludes that any decriminalisation of euthanasia will introduce the era of “therapeutic killing”.

 Post subject: Re: Family first
PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2014 11:05 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 25, 2002 12:00 pm
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Bob McCoskrie – National Director, Family First NZ
(published in the Dominion Post 14 May 2014)
It is ironic that at the same time as we ban synthetic cannabis, and tear the labelling off cigarette packets, price them out of existence, and ban them from being smoked within breathing space of any living creature, supporters of marijuana are peddling the same myths that we believed for far too long about tobacco – that marijuana is harmless, and it can even have health benefits.

It is also ironic that in the same month that dope supporters tried to persuade us that legal highs wouldn’t be as attractive if we decriminalised marijuana, a Harvard University study was published in The Journal of Neuroscience showing that using marijuana even casually is enough to alter critical brain structures. And just last month, a study by French researchers published in the Journal of the American Heart Association raised new concerns about the safety of marijuana and the risk for young adults for serious or even fatal heart problems.

Supporters of decriminalisation would have us believe that cannabis is a gentle, harmless substance that gives users little more than a sense of mellow euphoria and hurts no one else.

But the cannabis now in circulation is many times more powerful than that typically found in the early 1990s, with up to a 25-fold increase in the amount of the main psychoactive ingredient, tetrahydrocannabidinol (THC). Naturally, growers want to sell marijuana with increased potency because it’s more addictive.

With increased potency comes increased health risks, and greater likelihood of addiction.

According to the American Lung Association, there is 50-70% more cancer-causing material in marijuana smoke than in cigarette smoke. And researchers from the Medical Research Institute of New Zealand found that a single cannabis joint could damage the lungs as much as smoking up to five tobacco cigarettes one after another.

The Australian Medical Association has issued warnings on the health risks associated with smoking marijuana. Cannabis users risk memory loss, psychosis, impaired driving, hallucinations, asthma and lung cancer.

The Christchurch Health and Development study found that the risks of driving under the influence of cannabis may now be greater than the risks of driving under the influence of alcohol.

And there is strong evidence that it is a gateway drug to harder drugs like cocaine, ecstasy and P. Of course, not all cannabis users go on to the harder drugs but most hard drug users began with illicit drugs like cannabis.

There are also links between drug use and poor educational outcomes, unsafe sexual practices, poor work attendance and serious mental health issues. Britain’s Medical Research Council says the link between cannabis and psychosis is clear; it wasn’t 10 years ago. A recent UK Government-commissioned report quoted in The Lancet found that a single joint of cannabis raises the risk of schizophrenia by more than 40 per cent and taking the drug regularly more than doubles the risk of serious mental illness.

And there is a flow-on effect. A study from the University of Washington published in the Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology found that children of smokers, heavy drinkers, or marijuana users are more likely to have behavior problems when they are young and consequently more likely to have drug problems themselves as they get old.

Groups like the Law Commission, NORML and the Drug Foundation try to argue that the statutory penalties for cannabis use have not changed in over 35 years and that drug use is a health issue and we are wasting time and resources focusing on the criminal aspect.

But research in the International Journal of Drug Policy (2012) found there has been a substantial decline in arrests for cannabis use in New Zealand over the past decade, that the maximum sentences set out in drug control statutes are rarely imposed, and offenders rarely receive anything other than a fine and a criminal record. Police diversion and Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment (AODT) Courts have been increasingly used.

"Drug use is both a criminal
and a health issue"

There is a false dichotomy that criminal sanctions haven’t worked so we should ditch them all together and we should focus only on education and health initiatives.

We should maintain both.

Decriminalising marijuana is the wrong path if we care about public health and public safety, and about our young people.

In Sweden, drug use is just a third of the European average. Police take drug crime seriously but there is a strong emphasis on prevention, drug laws have been progressively tightened, and extensive treatment and rehabilitation opportunities are available to users.

Then there’s the smoke-screen of medicinal marijuana. In 1979, NORML said “We’ll use medical marijuana as red-herring to give marijuana a good name”. But a US study found that the average ‘patient’ was a 32-year-old white male with a history of drug and alcohol abuse and no history of life threatening illness.

Scientists have used the marijuana plant’s primary active ingredient – THC – as a pill form for nausea and appetite stimulation, but the ‘medicinal marijuana’ strategy simply manipulates society’s compassion for people with serious pain and health concerns.

The ‘legalise but tax it’ message is also seductive, but false. You just have to compare the taxes gained on alcohol versus the horrendous fiscal and social costs that alcohol causes to see the deficiency in this argument. Decriminalisation would drive the price down and increase use and harm.

It is the illegality of the drug that has kept its use low compared to alcohol and tobacco. The restrictions on P, heroin and cocaine will never eliminate them, but they’ve prevented a pandemic.

Recently, the NZ police said "The harm that cannabis causes to the wider community can't be underestimated - we know that the supply and abuse of cannabis has a direct influence on crimes like intimidation, burglaries, robberies and serious violence. It leads to innocent people becoming victims of crime.”

A feeble approach to marijuana use will simply send all the wrong messages to our young people and to our families - that drug use isn’t that big a deal.

Tackle the nightmare of legal highs, but let’s not pretend that marijuana is a harmless substitute.

 Post subject: Re: Family first
PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2014 9:26 am 
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Don't Meddle With Marriage Def'n Anymore - Poll
Media Release 26 May 2014
A poll has found that there is overwhelming opposition to any further redefining of marriage to include arrangements such as polygamy and group marriage, and most people believe that parliament will be unlikely to further redefine marriage.

In the independent poll of 1,022 people undertaken by Curia Market Research, respondents were asked “Parliament recently passed a law to allow marriage between couples of the same sex. Some people argue that based on an argument of equality, marriages should also be allowed between more than two people. How likely do you think it will be that Parliament someday could pass a law to allow group marriage between three or four people?”

85% of respondents think it is unlikely Parliament will someday allow group marriage, with very little difference in response based on gender, age group, location or political party support.

Respondents were also asked “Do you personally think the law should allow three or more people to marry each other?” Just 10% of respondents support group marriage being made legal with 81% rejecting the notion.

Of concern was that 16% of under 30s support group marriage compared to 4% of over 60s. There was also stronger support from Green party supporters with one in four Green voters supporting group marriage.

“The poll is good news in that New Zealanders realise that marriage should not be meddled with any further. However we have been in a similar position with opposition to same-sex marriage,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

“A former Dutch MP Boris Dittrich who was behind the first same-sex marriage legislation in the world, and brought to NZ by supporters of the same-sex marriage bill to make a submission to the Select Committee, has admitted that group marriages of three or more people is the next step. He admitted the most effective wedge to bring the idea before the public was to “focus on the principles of equality and non-discrimination”.”

“If the definition of ‘marriage’ allows same-sex marriage, and only same-sex marriage, it could then be argued that we are discriminating against those seeking polygamous or group marriages – if all that matters is love and commitment. Why would discrimination against these loving adults be ok? They may be illegal now, but it wasn’t that long ago that same-sex marriage was illegal also, and we were told civil unions were sufficient and marriage wouldn’t be touched,” says Mr McCoskrie.

“Hopefully New Zealanders will maintain their principled stand and strongly oppose any further distorting of the meaning of marriage by politicians.”

The nationwide poll was carried out during April and has a margin of error of +/- 3.2%.

 Post subject: Re: Family first
PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 3:38 pm 
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Abortion Safeguards Protect Women & Children
Media Release 6 June 2014: Family First NZ is rejecting the Green party’s call for the decriminalisation of abortion and says that the existing safeguards are there to protect women and children.
“If the Greens are really concerned about women, and if they’re really concerned about children as they pretend to be, they should be calling for a law which protects informed consent, that requires honest information about abortion and abortion-related risks, and that provides women with independent pregnancy counselling so that women can make truly informed decisions from a place of certainty and knowledge,” says Marina Young, spokesperson for Family First NZ. “Any New Zealand woman who has an abortion under the current legislative guidelines and protections is not committing an illegal act, and is therefore not considered a criminal by our current laws. This claim is simply false scaremongering aimed at deceiving people into supporting the introduction of an extreme abortion law in New Zealand.”

“We agree that abortion is also a health issue – it’s a surgical procedure that has some serious risk factors associated with it. A sound law needs to reflect that reality, and not leave women exposed to harms, such as those recently witnessed in the criminal trial of Kermit Gosnell who was able to operate a dangerous legal abortion facility which resulted in female client death and other atrocities thanks to extreme abortion laws.” “Ironically, while the Greens talk about no judgement or mistrust, they still want to restrict abortions after 20 weeks. They are being completely inconsistent and hypocritical,” says Mrs Young. “And why does a 19-week unborn child not have a right to life, but a 20-week old does?” READ MORE

Warnings over proposed abortion laws
Newstalk ZB A conservative lobby group believes relaxing the laws on abortion will only lead to dangerous, unlicensed terminations. Family First is pointing to the Kermit Gosnell case in the US, where it says extreme abortion laws led to a woman’s death. READ MORE
Green's Abortion Law will 'pressure' women - Family First
3 News Family First says the Green Party’s push to decriminalise abortion will put more pressure on women to have one without the necessary safeguards. But Labour says women should be able to access abortions and the law needs updating. READ MORE
Abortion No Crime, say Greens The Greens want abortion removed from the crime statutes, saying it would reduce stigma and judgment surrounding the procedure. This would mean a woman seeking one would not need external approval. Family First NZ rejected the Greens’ call, saying the existing safeguards were there to protect women and children. READ MORE
Greens want to decriminalise abortion
Radio NZ The Green Party has ratified a formal policy on abortion, making it the only party in Parliament to have one. It would legislate to decriminalise abortion and protect the right to end a pregnancy. READ MORE
Overseas coverage...
Greens' abortion law 'extreme'
Daily Mail (UK) Australia Associated Press: Family First says the Green Party's push to decriminalise abortion will put more pressure on women to have one without the necessary safeguards. But Labour says women should be able to access abortions and the law needs updating. READ MORE

Disability groups have expressed concern about the policy also. Mike Sullivan, director of advocacy group Saving Downs, says "the term “serious fetal abnormality” in the Green’s policy is widely interpreted in law and practice to include disabilities such as Down syndrome and Spinda Bifida. So the policy clearly provides for disability selective abortions beyond 20 weeks, and provides a lower level of legal protection before birth based on a prohibited ground of discrimination. The UN committee responsible for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) has already ruled that such policies breach disability rights and the CRPD.”
READ Brendan Malone's blog "The Greens' extreme abortion law will definitely expand disability abortions"


 Post subject: Re: Family first
PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2014 7:45 pm 
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Poverty affects up to a quarter of all children in New Zealand, researcher Simon Chapple says. Is this the one issue which - because of its complexity, because it will take time, money and consensus to tackle, because it is so unbelievably prevalent - is fast becoming our greatest, not-so-hidden, national shame? Bruce Munro investigates.

On Friday, Tracey England sold her car to buy groceries.

It was a simple matter of necessity. When you are on your own, and your son's uncontrolled diabetes makes full-time work impossible, you do the maths and then you do what you have to.

Miss England's welfare benefit and her teenager's sickness allowance add up to $468 a week.

On the other side of the ledger, rent for the two-bedroom, back end of a South Dunedin villa costs $230 a week; power, insurance, a dentist's bill and other fixed costs swallow most of the rest; leaving about $60 for food, clothing, doctor's visits and transport.

Which, of course, is not nearly enough.

To try to bridge the gap, Miss England (43) does casual work at Forsyth Barr Stadium. But when there is no work for a few weeks, you still have to eat.

So she sold her car, for $550. As is, where is, because she had not been able to afford the registration or warrant of fitness for the past couple of months.

''I'm running out of things to sell when I'm in [a hole],'' she jokes, sitting at one end of a couch in a spartan, unheated living room, her hands cradling a hot cup of tea in a pink mug emblazoned with the words ''The Queen of ****ing Everything''.

She is not complaining. Others are much worse off than her and her son, Miss England reckons.

At least her son's school fees and uniform costs are taken care of, courtesy of her former husband's father who does not want his grandson teased for lack of the necessities, she says.

It is a positive way of thinking. Perhaps the sort of flying-in-the-face-of-evidence attitude you have to adopt to get through.

But criteria used by the Ministry of Social Development to measure child hardship (see graphic) puts her son firmly in the child poverty camp.

Purchases are often delayed, she says.

''I can't afford to buy him clothes. He has one pair of pants to get him through winter.''

Hanging behind his door are no clothes suitable for special occasions.

He does have one pair of shoes other than school shoes, but they were bought using birthday money he was given.

Miss England has used a foodbank four times in the past year.

''But we try to get by without that. I don't like to take.''

And at Christmas, for the first time since her marriage ended seven years ago, she borrowed some money to get through.

''We hadn't had Christmas celebrations since 2007. No presents, nothing. It [borrowing money] was worth the smile on his face.''

Outside of school hours, her son does not play sports or belong to any clubs.

''He wanted to play soccer. He's also asked to join an art club and do karate.

"He'd love to do this and that. But he can't, simply because there isn't the money. So he sits at home instead and reads.''

Alone in his room, but far from alone in being impoverished.

Simon Chapple, co-author of a new book, Child Poverty in New Zealand, says it is a large and often downplayed crisis that needs considered but urgent action.

The University of Otago senior research fellow in the Department of Social and Preventive Medicine says between 130,000 and 285,000 New Zealand children are living in poverty; up to one-quarter of all New Zealanders under 18 years old.

The higher of the two estimates results from taking housing costs into account; an important factor given the impact housing has on children's wellbeing, Wellington-based Dr Chapple says.

NO matter which poverty threshold is used, the numbers surged higher in February when Statistics New Zealand and Treasury admitted errors had understated the number of children in poverty.

As of March 1, between 15,000 and 40,000 more children were in poverty than previously believed.

What fascinated and disturbed Dr Chapple was Treasury's assertion the revised figures did not warrant a change in its policy advice to the Government.

''That's a hell of a lot more poor kids than we used to think,'' he says.

''How much bigger does that figure have to go before we start taking it seriously?''

But poverty is relative. Only having one pair of shoes, putting up with a cold house and rarely eating fresh fruit or vegetables is not that bad compared with what some children face in other countries, right?

That is just the point, Dr Chapple says.

''Poverty is a relative phenomenon. It's about having sufficient income to fully participate in a way that is considered acceptable in the society that you live in. It's about including people.''

Take, for example, the seemingly insignificant issue of tradeable picture cards.

''The kids at my local school have these ... [supermarket] cards. You get one for every $20 you spend,'' he says.

''It's fine for my kids because I spend money there. But I can quite imagine kids from a council house going along to school and having nothing to swap with the other kids, nothing to talk about in the playground that all the other kids are talking about. They are excluded.''

Persistent childhood poverty also has a big bearing on what happens during adulthood, he says.

Children growing up poor are more likely to have health problems later on, they are more prone to get involved in crime, and they have a greater chance of being in low-paying jobs or dependent on welfare.

Each of those has implications, not just for the individual, but for government budgets, economic productivity and social cohesion.

And the same arguments apply in Otago, Dr Chapple says. Childhood poverty may be greater elsewhere in New Zealand, but the exact number of poor children in Otago is unknown.

Older housing stock and colder weather also means Otago's poor children face some hardships not faced further north.

''And no man is an island,'' he says.

''Otago people are linked to other provincial residents and to the rest of the country.''

Child Poverty in New Zealand offers some controversial suggestions as to what could be done if New Zealand was to stop taking sideways glances at child poverty and instead look squarely at the problem.

It is co-written by Jonathan Boston, who is director of governance and policy studies, Victoria University.

In writing the book, Dr Chapple has drawn on his experience as a Reserve Bank economist, co-author of the first OECD report on child wellbeing in developed countries, and as a researcher for the Family Commission's 2011 Expert Advisory Group on Child Poverty (EAG).

His firm view is that focusing effort and resources on getting poor parents into full-time employment is better than trying to increase wages. It is likely to generate fierce debate, particularly among the left-leaning end of the political continuum.

''It will be very controversial,'' he agrees.

But it is simply what the research reveals, he adds.

''The modelling work that we did showed that if you worked full-time, even if you were on the minimum wage, providing you got your full entitlements to payments and the accommodation supplement, it would be sufficient to shift most families with children over even the highest poverty threshold.''

Substantially raising the minimum wage, however, could do more damage than good, Dr Chapple asserts.

In New Zealand, the minimum wage is already high relative to median wages, both in comparison with other OECD countries and compared to historic ratios in this country.

The bulk of a minimum wage rise would disappear in a puff of tax and reduced benefit entitlements. And minimum wage rises also result in the loss of some jobs, he says.

''The evidence is that this disemployment effect is not very large. But the problem is, once you move outside the bounds of your historical experience, the predictions get much more unreliable. So any time you raise the minimum wage, you are rolling the dice on the jobs of the least advantaged.''

The prospect of a living wage, an increase of nearly a third for those on the minimum wage, would be ''a bloody big roll of the dice'', Dr Chapple says.

''So there is a really important question here for people who favour raising the minimum wage. Are you happy rolling the dice on those people?''

Getting people into full-time employment, however, is predicated on there being enough suitable jobs in the first place. Dr Chapple argues it is achievable if it is made a priority.

''Some jobs are already there, and the aim is for people on a benefit to find them quicker. Others will be created via a more productive workforce and by enhancing demand through subsidies.''

An idea the political right could have trouble swallowing is a universal child payment made to all parents with children under a certain age. Such a payment would help children in poverty.

Making it universal would dissuade future governments from tampering with the payment lest they face the wrath of middle-class voters enjoying its benefits.

A universal child payment makes sense for many of the same reasons New Zealanders support universal national superannuation, Dr Chapple says.

''We need ... to build a tax income support system which gives children the same levels of dignity and low levels of poverty that we think is right and just, and which older people have in New Zealand.''

When the EAG proposed such a payment in 2010, Prime Minister John Key labelled it a ''dopey idea''.

Then last year, Mr Key gave an impassioned defence of superannuation, using many of the same arguments used by proponents of the child payment, Dr Chapple said.

''I'd say, `Great, John. All those reasons also apply to the same idea for children. Is it really so dopey after all?'.''

A spokeswoman for Mr Key said national superannuation was universal for good reasons. Other ''cash transfers'' such as the accommodation supplement and Working for Families were targeted ''to ensure help is going to those who genuinely need it'', she said.

Other poverty-busting suggestions include a capital gains tax to make buying a house more affordable; an in-work payment to encourage beneficiaries into employment; and a Child, Parent and Family Service addressing families' social, psychological and economic needs.

Tackling child poverty head-on would cost serious money; between $1 billion and $2 billion, the researchers estimate.

It would require an integrated approach and would take time. But it would be worth it, Dr Chapple says. An obvious example is the cost of incarcerating prisoners, he says.

''If you can divert one kid from a life of crime, there will be a direct fiscal saving of $100,000 a year from not going to prison.''

Dealing with child poverty would mean ''fewer children who grow up with a poor education; children whose bodies and minds are healthy, with everything that means for future costs in terms of the health system and their ability to support themselves as adults''.

''We would have a generation better able to generate the incomes to pay for the retirements of us ageing baby-boomers.''

But that sort of long-term thinking is not natural to politicians with one eye always on the next election, operating in a system which favours simplistic put-downs over evidence-based consensus.

What is needed, argues Dr Chapple, is a mechanism to ''incentivise'' governments to get serious about child poverty for the foreseeable future; a lever such as a Child Poverty Act, which would require Government to measure, target and report on child poverty.

It is an idea which has strong support from Jean Simpson, who is director of the New Zealand Child and Youth Epidemiology Service, University of Otago.

The service wrote the technical report used in last year's inaugural Child Poverty Monitor, co-produced by the university, the children's commissioner and the J. R. McKenzie Trust.

''Legislation would be most effective in addressing child poverty if it has the mandate to ensure a positive impact for the children and their families in areas such as housing, employment, education, health [physically and emotionally], justice, and social support,'' Dr Simpson says.

''Regardless of where you live in New Zealand, child poverty is an indictment. It simply should not be happening in a rich nation such as New Zealand.''

It will not be until a majority of voters feel as strongly about the problem that politicians are likely to saddle themselves with anything like a Child Poverty Act.

Public concern about child poverty is increasing.

A nationwide UMR Research survey conducted last year showed in the past decade the percentage of people who wanted all New Zealanders to have greater income equality increased from 21% to 31%.

And a Colmar Brunton poll in February showed child poverty was among the top five issues for voters.

There is still a way to go before public outcry reaches a volume capable of triggering systemic change.

Dr Chapple hopes his book will contribute to that process by opening the eyes of open-minded people.

In Dunedin's hillside suburb of Wakari is an ordinary looking two-storey four-bedroomed brick house.

It is home to Kylie Foxton-Smith, her husband and their three children. Mr Foxton-Smith has terminal cancer. Mrs Foxton-Smith lost her job last year.

Their youngest is losing her sight to a rare eye condition. Almost half the family's welfare-derived income goes on rent.

When other bills are paid they have $260 a week for food, clothing, transport and other incidentals.

More than $700 is owing in unpaid electricity bills. The children do not go to the movies, the public swimming pool, or into town for the occasional fast-food treat with friends.

''They understand. But it doesn't make it any easier for them,'' Mrs Foxton-Smith says.

Most people are probably rubbing shoulders with child poverty every day through school, family or community interactions, Dr Chapple says.

But it requires eyes that see the reality plus the conviction to change it.

 Post subject: Re: Family first
PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2014 2:30 pm 
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We appealed - they listened to the concern of families.

Apologies for another email on a Sunday night but we just heard some good news and wanted to share it.

“Bathroom Bill” Rightly Flushed Away by Parliament
Media Release 6 July 2014
Family First NZ says that a controversial proposal by Labour MP Louisa Wall to include ‘gender identity’ as a prohibited ground of discrimination under the Human Rights Act has been rejected by her own party colleagues and others on the Select Committee and will be removed from consideration as part of the Statutes Amendment Bill after an appeal by Family First.

In a letter to a lobby of submitters supporting the proposal, the clerk of the committee has said ‘The Government Administration Committee does not consider that the Statutes Amendment Bill is the right vehicle for this amendment and has therefore decided it will not be hearing from submitters whose primary concern is the matter contained in the SOP’.

“This is a great decision for families and is welcomed. Among the implications of the proposal – dubbed the “bathroom bill” in overseas jurisdictions – is that sex-specific facilities, including gyms like Contours and swimming pools who have dedicated times for females only, plus the use of men’s and women’s public toilets and changing rooms, could no longer be limited on the basis of a person’s actual biological sex. A biological male who feels he identifies as a female would demand the right to use the female changing rooms or toilets,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

“But the expectation of parents and families is to see people of the same gender in places like public toilets and changing rooms, and for toilets and changing rooms in schools to be specific to the biological sex of the students.”

“Of most concern was that the Labour MP was pushing the amendment under the shadow of the Statutes Amendment Bill (No 4) which is a bill which deals with ‘technical, short, and non-controversial amendments to a range of Acts’. This proposed amendment is anything but non-controversial,” says Mr McCoskrie.

“This is great news for families. Those with gender dissatisfaction must have the same rights as all New Zealanders, but should not be given special rights which place others at risk,” says Mr McCoskrie.

“It appears this proposal was simply a stunt with the intention of attempting to sneak some highly contentious legislation through Parliament via the back door. The politicians were right to flush it away.”

 Post subject: Re: Family first
PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2014 9:19 am 
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Push For Gender Confusion In Schools
Media Release 31 July 2014
Family First NZ is warning schools and parents about an agenda to bring gender confusion in to schools in areas such as changing rooms, sports teams and school uniforms.

Auckland University’s Adolescent Health Research Group and Rainbow Youth are recommending to schools that
* school sports teams allow for 'gender diversity'
* changing rooms are ‘safe environments’ (safe for who?)
* formal written records reflect the gender identity of children
* school uniforms are flexible for gender identity

“Among the implications of these types of proposals is that sex-specific facilities, including changing rooms, showers and toilets could no longer be directed on the basis of a child’s actual biological sex,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

“Students could pick the toilet or changing room or sports team or uniform of the gender with which they identify at that time.”

“But the expectation of parents and the children themselves is to see students of the same gender in places like toilets and changing rooms.”

“The controversial proposals are unnecessary and gives the opportunity, for example, for male students who pretend to be transgender an alibi to use girl’s toilets, showers, and changing rooms.”

“In view of the confusion experienced overseas by such rules, it is not surprising that the United Nations has repeatedly rejected the terms ‘sexual identity’ and ‘sexual expression’ as a protected right partly because of confusion around its definition,” says Mr McCoskrie.

“Overseas experience has also shown that special toilets for those with gender identity disorder amounted to discrimination. Schools will be in a no-win situation.”

“Students with gender dissatisfaction must have the same rights as all New Zealanders, but should not be given special rights which place other school children at risk. Ignoring biology is not a proper solution.”

 Post subject: Re: Family first
PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2014 7:46 pm 
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Welcome to this week's Midweek Update. Forward to a friend

Keeping the NZ Media Balanced - An Example
As well as keeping the politicians accountable on family policy and laws, and ensuring the best and most balanced research is made available on family issues, a growing part of our job is to monitor and keep the media balanced. This was highlighted last week when the state broadcaster TVNZ made a highly derogatory and unjustified headline for a story on same-sex 'marriage'.

A bit of background - our friends at the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) invited the leader of the Australian Labour Opposition to their annual conference. The ACL and the leader disagree on attempts to redefine marriage. In the same way, we invited PM John Key to our conference, even though we strongly reject his views and actions on redefining marriage and the anti-smacking law! But dialogue and good relationships is how we can bring about change and inform our supporters.

Back in Australia, extremist 'gay' groups pressured the leader not to attend (so much for tolerance). When it was evident he was still attending, they then mounted a social networking campaign against the hotel that was hosting the conference (Hyatt). Much of this campaign was offensive and hateful. To the Hyatt's credit, they rejected the calls. It is ironic that those calling for tolerance and equality are often the most intolerant!

So when TVNZ reported the story here in NZ, look at the heading they used (left)....

"Religious bigots". We were shocked by the implication of the heading. An organisation that invites a person to speak who they know disagrees with their stance are not 'bigots'. But we all know that, don't we. And the term 'bigot' is simply thrown around ad nauseam to try and shut you and me up. It's not working.

But then the media tries to use it. It also appears that this was TVNZ's own heading because we have found no evidence that any Australian media outlet used the same title. So we immediately emailed a complaint to TVNZ saying that "the heading for this story is totally misrepresentative and is actually inflammatory and offensive." To their credit, they changed the heading immediately. (right)

But why was the original derogatory headline included in the first place?

You and I need to monitor the media - and ensure that they're telling the truth. As Edmund Burke (1729-1797) warned us - “All that is necessary for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing”

Please join us as we speak up. All the details on how you can complain about tv and radio content (including news content) are on our website , Family first .

Apparently one man one woman DOES matter
We note that the Maori party have just appointed a co-leader - a woman. During the marriage debate, the Maori party argued that gender doesn't matter - and that same-sex couples should be able to marry. But look at their own rules on leadership. "One Male, One Female". Apparently it does matter. Does that make them bigoted and intolerant and opposed to equality?

 Post subject: Re: Family first
PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2014 3:01 pm 
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Assisted Suicide:

A Beautiful Response to Brittany Maynard
(which the NZ media probably won't report!)

There has been plenty of media coverage in NZ of the sad death of Brittany Maynard yesterday. Maynard, 29, who was suffering from terminal brain cancer, used her last month to advocate for “death with dignity.”

But have you heard of Maggie Karner? Karner has the same diagnosis as Maynard: terminal brain cancer. She also received her diagnosis earlier this year. Watch her message of hope and encouragement amidst the reality of her condition - 'A letter to Brittany Maynard'.

(click on image below to watch)
( you need to join family first to get these or possibly on their website . )

And have you heard of Kara Tippetts? Tippetts, a 38-year-old mother of four, has terminal breast cancer. She also wrote to Maynar, saying "Yes, your dying will be hard, but it will not be without beauty." She has also written a book "The Hardest Peace: Expecting Grace in the Midst of Life's Hard".

Family First NZ opposes any attempt to legalise assisted suicide (euthanasia) in New Zealand. The key priority must be to improve the provision of high quality palliative care and practical support. The highest quality of pain control and palliative medicine should be given priority in medical training so that every New Zealander can benefit. To legalise assisted suicide (euthanasia) would place large numbers of vulnerable people at risk – in particular those who are depressed, elderly, sick, disabled, those experiencing chronic illness, limited access to good medical care, and those who feel themselves to be under emotional or financial pressure to request early death. Furthermore, any law change would undermine the well-established legal, medical and social principles that people should not be helped to kill themselves and that doctors should not intentionally end life. Maintaining the current laws protects all New Zealanders equally.

READ our Report released earlier this year: KILLING ME SOFTLY - Should Euthanasia Be Legalised?

Please consider donating towards the important work and voice of Family First so that we can continue to promote life, marriage, and strong and safe families.

 Post subject: Re: Family first
PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2014 12:07 pm 
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Media Release 17 November 2014
An independent legal analysis of court cases involving prosecutions for smacking since the anti-smacking law was passed has found that the anti-smacking law is complicated, difficult to apply, and lower courts are getting it wrong.
The analysis by Public Law Specialists Chen Palmer also says that statements made by politicians to the effect that the new section 59 does not criminalise "good parents" for lightly smacking their children are inconsistent with the legal effect of section 59 and the application of that section in practice.

The review of cases by prominent constitutional lawyer Mai Chen was obtained by Family First NZ which has been campaigning against the law and calling for amendments to protect good families and parents.

“With the amount of time and investment that Family First has invested in this issue over the past 7 years in order to protect good parents from a flawed law, we felt it was time to get a completely independent expert legal opinion of whether our concerns held any merit. Our concerns and efforts to get the law fixed have been completely justified,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

"This (case) shows that although Mr DC had only "lightly" smacked his
sons on the odd occasion, he had nevertheless committed a crime
and was not protected by the new section 59...."

"Mr Young was therefore convicted for his actions in "lightly" smacking
his daughter...."
Legal Analysis - Chen Palmer

“It also flies in the face of assertions made by the Prime Minister John Key, the police, and the ‘Latta Review’ which argued that none of the cases highlighted by Family First to ‘bolster their argument that good parents were being made into criminals for smacking stood up to scrutiny’. The Review has again been proved to be worthless.”

Key statements in the Opinion also include:

An analysis of section 59 and the relevant case law shows that non-lawyers, including parents and the Police, struggle to understand and apply section 59. The cases also demonstrate that even lawyers and judges struggle to apply section 59 correctly, with examples of cases going to the District Court, the High Court and then being overturned by the Court of Appeal.”

Case law confirms that the section 59 amendment has criminalised the use of force by a parent against their child for the purposes of correction.”

Parents will struggle to know whether their actions constitute an offence under section 59 or not, and in cases of doubt, the police will prosecute and leave it up to the Court to determine. This is demonstrated in the cases we have analysed.”

The law is complicated and difficult to apply, such that even the lower courts are getting it wrong.”

Smacking a child for the purpose of correction is illegal regardless of whether the Police decide to prosecute or not.” – despite John Key telling parents that a light smack is ok.

Family First will now ask the government to honour their promise that if good parents were criminalised, they would change the law. Family First will also seek further legal advice on challenging the law.
"The smacking law has been so bereft of success that supporters have
had to commandeer a claim that no-one has been prosecuted by it -
which has now been shown to be patently false.”
Family First NZ

“It is disappointing that the politicians have been so quick to mislead kiwi families,” says Mr McCoskrie.

“The smacking law has been so bereft of success that supporters have had to commandeer a claim that no-one has been prosecuted by it - which has now been shown to be patently false.”

Please consider supporting the work of Family First NZ. This legal Opinion has been obtained at significant cost to Family First NZ.

 Post subject: Re: Family first
PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2014 9:43 am 
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We have just received notification that the Charities Commission still want to deregister Family First NZ.

This is despite the recent Greenpeace case decision where the Court effectively said that the Charities Commission was wrong in going after charities that were involved in some level of political advocacy which they didn’t agree with.

READ our Media Release "Charities Commission Still Targeting Family First"
When a group who promotes the natural family as a fundamental social unit is deemed of no public benefit, you know a country is in deep trouble....
It is now evident that any charity that speaks up on issues which are deemed incorrect by the political elite are in danger of being penalised. An easy way for opponents of a point of view is for them to use the Charities Commission to muzzle them.

The Charities Commission sought to deregister Family First as a charity after the recent same-sex marriage debate. Family First appealed to the High Court and a hearing has been on hold while waiting for a decision from the Greenpeace case which would set a precedent for similar cases. Family First was audited in 2010 (for the 2nd time) and won continued approval as a charity, It wasn’t our research, education, advocacy work or relevance that changed. It was only the view of the Charities Commission that changed.

Many groups involved in public issues will have a political involvement when politicians are changing laws and introducing policy that affects the supporters and focus of the charity concerned - in our case, families. It is right that charities should be able to speak in to the debates.

Based on the precedent set and the common sense approach of the Supreme Court, we would hope that the Commission would save both itself and us the legal costs of continuing their fight against us.

But the Commission seems intent on spending taxpayer money on legal fees to come after us.

Here are some groups that ARE charitable (according to the Charities Board):
Action For Children And Youth Aotearoa, Amnesty International New Zealand Inc, Caritas Aotearoa - New Zealand, Child Poverty Action Group, EPOCH, Te Kahui Mana Ririki, UNICEF, Human Rights Foundation Of Aotearoa New Zealand, Humanist Society of NZ, Agender Christchurch Inc, QSA Network Aotearoa, Waikato Queer Youth, Rainbow Youth Incorporated, Save Animals From Exploitation (S.A.F.E.), The Vegan Society of Aotearoa, NZ Aids Foundation, National Council of Women.

It's absolutely vital that we stand up for our rights and fight this abuse of governmental power based on the prevailing politically-correct ideology.

 Post subject: Re: Family first
PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2015 3:01 pm 
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'Dying with Dignity' Lies in Love & Best Palliative Care
Media Release 21 March 2015
Family First NZ says that the heartbreaking situation that Lecretia Seales faces should not be solved in the courtroom or by a change in law, but through the guarantee of the best palliative care that the country can offer her and others in a similar situation.

“Patients facing death have a fundamental human right to receive the very best palliative care, love and support that we can give to alleviate ‘intolerable suffering’ that they fear. This is real death with dignity – surrounded and supported by loved ones, rather than a right to try and preempt the ‘uncertainty’ and timing of the end. Suicide is not the answer,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

“We have massive empathy for the situation she faces. But if her legal challenge was successful, it would be the thin edge of the wedge. However well-intentioned, the old adage that “Hard cases make bad law” comes into play.”

“To allow assisted suicide would place large numbers of vulnerable people at risk – in particular those who are depressed, elderly, sick, disabled, those experiencing chronic illness, limited access to good medical care, and those who feel themselves to be under emotional or financial pressure to request early death. Patients will come to feel euthanasia would be ‘the right thing to do’, they have ‘had a good innings’, and they do not want to be a ‘burden’,” says Mr McCoskrie.

“Euthanasia will also send a dangerous message to young people about suicide and the value of life.”

“International evidence shows that deaths by assisted suicide and euthanasia have been increasing wherever the practices have been legalised, and that the door is opened to a world of abuse. There is a slippery slope, and the Belgium and Dutch experience has proven this. A recent documentary in Belgium featured a doctor killing a healthy young woman who was struggling with mental illness.”
NZHerald Online today

Marilyn Golden, a senior policy analyst for the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund, warned that “assisted suicide is not progressive, in fact, it puts many vulnerable people at risk, and we have already seen examples of that where it is legal.” Those concerned about the rights of people with disabilities are rightly worried about this.

The majority of the medical profession and national medical associations around the world have been resolutely against the introduction of voluntary euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide.

Family First is calling for a palliative care regime in New Zealand that is fully funded and world class – and not a court case or legislative change to remove the protection for vulnerable people including children.

Bob McCoskrie
National Director

 Post subject: Re: Family first
PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2015 8:13 am 
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Joined: Sun Aug 17, 2014 1:25 pm
Posts: 395
Location: far side of the moon
Les Keane wrote:
“If the definition of ‘marriage’ allows same-sex marriage, and only same-sex marriage, it could then be argued that we are discriminating against those seeking ,..,.,.,.,.

Call it is whatever you like but the term "marriage" has been taken

May you and yours live long and prosper

.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,..,.,.,.,.,.no feelings intended or implied


You Are A Child Of The Universe

Love The Stranger As Thyself

 Post subject: Re: Family first
PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2015 8:52 am 
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Joined: Sun Aug 17, 2014 1:25 pm
Posts: 395
Location: far side of the moon
Post subject: Re: Family first
Posted: Sun Jun 28, 2015 6:43 am

Today, the moment you made that post, it was near 3:45PM 6/27/2015 here

Today, this very moment you posted your experiencing on Sun Jun 28, 2015 6:43 am

I be in the PM,.,.,., it’s still Saturday here

and you be in the AM

lucky you

Love The Stranger As Thyself

 Post subject: Re: Family first
PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2015 10:57 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 25, 2002 12:00 pm
Posts: 2895
Some great news!

Family First NZ Wins Appeal Against Deregistration!
Media Release 1 July 2015
Family First NZ is welcoming a decision in the Wellington High Court to allow its appeal against deregistration by the Charities Board. Justice Collins has directed the Charities Board to reconsider its decision to deregister Family Firsts in light of the judgement in the Greenpeace case[1] and also this judgement.

“This decision is a victory for the many charitable groups – both registered, deregistered and wanting to be registered – who advocate for their causes, beliefs and supporters, and often have to engage in political activity, not always through choice but through necessity. It is a victory for open robust debate on issues that affect families,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

In delivering his decision, Justice Collins has recognised the strength of Family First’s argument that its advocacy for the concept “…of the traditional family is analogous to organisations that have advocated for the ‘mental and moral improvement’ of society.”[2]

“…Members of the Charities Board may personally disagree with the views of Family First, but at the same time recognise there is a legitimate analogy between its role and those organisations that have been recognised as charities.”[3]

Justice Collins also said that “..the Charities Board’s analysis that Family First’s advocacy role is “controversial” and therefore not self-evidently of benefit to the public will need to be reconsidered..”[4]

“It is disappointing that it took a Judge to remind the Charities Board to recognise the precedent set in the Greenpeace case. When the Greenpeace case was decided, we asked the Charities Board to reconsider their decision to deregister us, but they refused to. This has cost both Family First and the taxpayer thousands of dollars in legal fees,” says Mr McCoskrie.

“When a group who promotes the natural family as a fundamental social unit is deemed of ‘no public benefit’, you know a country is in deep trouble. The original decision to deregister Family First during the recent marriage debate was a highly politicised one.”

Family First is a non-profit organisation which receives no government funding, is funded purely by donations and gifts from New Zealand families, and relies heavily on volunteer time and advice. It has led a number of highly public campaigns against controversial legislation including the anti-smacking law and the same-sex marriage law. They have received significant public support as a result of their campaigns.

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