I am as far away from being an Act supporter as you can get and even though Rodney Hyde is no longer leader and as far as I know possibly not a member of the said party, I have found myself partially agreeing with some of his statements.
He almost praised Len Brown a month or so ago by intimating that the Mayor has done some good things for Auckland. OK, I got over that and had to agree, although that wasn’t so hard for me when it comes to Mayor Brown.
Today Rodney was in his usual provocative mode when he was on the warpath about bad parenting. That’s not quite how he put it and I am sure that many would say he’s out and about again bashing the beneficiaries. Yes, that’s one of his usual targets, but if anyone read all the way through his little diatribe today, they may have some of the ideas he was putting forward as containing some truths.
I think the opening statement was sort of misleading in that he was using numbers of prenatal deaths as being a major cause of deaths and then the reader could have stopped there and thought that he was attacking mothers. However, if one read further they would have gotten the point he was making and they would have noticed that he wasn’t labelling Maori as being the main perpetrators of the sad deaths.
I guess he wasn’t kind on these mums but he did allude to some of the causes, most of which we are only too familiar with. Rodney then went on to more familiar ground and once gain he expressed what many if not most New Zealanders feel about the mistreatment and abuse that so many of our very young kids are subjected to, mainly through bad parenting, bad decision making and deprivation caused by the actions of those who should care for them.
Rodney labelled the young Mums as druggies and various other nasty names, but there is a truth about what he is saying. Making babies is easy but bringing them up safely and then being able to participate in our excellent education system is another matter altogether. It takes consistency, sacrifice and a good deal of support, be it from family, the State or a combination of the two.
We have read or heard Rodney’s statements on that matter on numerous occasions and maybe have been part of the loud voices of disapproval. Should we not forget who the messenger is and listen to their message (taking out that which is most offensive). Is not that message similar to what other groups are espousing?
There is a good deal of ‘wrongness’ about how we allow many to bring up their children and unless we face this unpalatable fact and address the reasons behind the terrible figures of child abuse and neglect, then we are failing as a nation.
My blogs purpose today is to ask for us all to listen to the message; not to put down the messenger and come together as a nation and make some hard decisions about interventions to make the life chances for many of our ‘babies.’ It is often too late when they arrive on the steps of our secondary schools after having endured years of poor upbringing (not necessarily of the financial kind) and abuse. They are damaged and have often sought out new ‘families’--- the world of gangs and their like.
The usual outcry along with the accompanying labelling will no doubt occur when some read this blog. To all of those hard-working, loving, wonderful single parents who are managing and giving their children the love, time and consistency that they need--- keep doing it. Your kids are fine and they are a pleasure to know. For those kids who get an inkling of what life could be like, in spite of the manner you have been ‘uncared for’ I pray that someone reaches out to break the cycle. You too have potential and deserve so much more.