Forum on Child Poverty
The extent to which Aotearoa New Zealand turns a blind eye to children who suffer the effects of economic deprivation is the extent to which we fail to live up to our claim of being a just and caring society.
A forum on child poverty on 5 August will look at this political issue that is set to become key in the parliamentary elections on 20 September.
Living up to their prophetic calling, the two religious leaders of the Anglican and Catholic Churches, Bishop Justin Duckworth and Archbishop John Dew, have taken the initiative to bring together a panel of leaders and leading figures of all the major political parties in our country.
This may be one of the few times such an event will take place during the present election campaign.
Neither Bishop Justin nor Archbishop John wishes to dictate how people should vote. But they are calling on people to vote responsibly and for political leaders to clearly state where they stand in regard to the various issues that demand clear and decisive political action.
Among those issues, and a matter of crucial concern at this time, is the right of all children to adequate nutrition, proper housing, good education and a happy and healthy family lifestyle.
Speakers include Attorney General Chris Finlayson (National), David Cunliffe (Labour), Peter Dunne (United Future), Hone Harawira (Mana), Te Ururoa Flavell (Maori co-leader), Jan Logie (Green) and Asenati Lole-Taylor (NZ First) .
Children’s Commissioner Dr Russell Wills will be the first to address the forum. Then the Anglican Bishop Justin Duckworth and the Catholic Archbishop John Dew will highlight the Christian perspectives on child poverty.
The event will end with a Young Voter Forum from 8.15 to 9.30pm.
The forum is in St Paul’s Anglican Cathedral on Tuesday, 5 August. Snacks and drinks will be provided at 5.45pm and there will be a formal welcome at 6.30pm.
Are there no Christians who believe in individual responsibility? Who don't think that child poverty remedies automatically involve, "... clear and decisive political action." Are there any Christians who suspect welfarism has created more child poverty than it has solved? Do these guys really speak for all Christians?
The churches increasing preference for and advocacy of state solutions is very depressing.