More conservative NZ is good for families

New Zealand in the 21st Century: A Consumer and Lifestyles Study, conducted by the University of Otago, has revealed that New Zealanders are becoming more traditional in their viewpoints, with an emphasis on marriage and the family unit, a desire to spend more time at home with family, and a concern about working parents spending less time with their children.

It appears that the pendulum has swung back in favour of traditional values including marriage,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First. “This is great news, but is also surprising when you consider that there has been no governmental support for marriage. NZ’ers have quite rightly ignored the concept of Civil Unions. NZ’ers know what works best and is best for children. The government should take notice of this. More funding seems to be allocated to helping couples break up than on encouraging and strengthening committed marriages.”

 According to Why Marriage Matters—a report co-authored by 13 leading social-science scholars, including University of Maryland professor William Galston, who was a domestic policy adviser to the Clinton administration—children in intact, two-parent (mum and dad) families earn more, learn more and get into trouble less. They also tend to lead longer, healthier, happier lives, avoid alcohol and drug abuse and endure significantly less physical, mental and psychological abuse. Because of this, they generally require fewer government-paid social services such as remedial learning, criminal justice, drug and alcohol rehabilitation, depression counselling, and income- and housing-assistance programs.

Family First repeats its call for

  1. better support for relationship, marriage and parenting education and early intervention support so that families have optimal chances for success, reducing the stress on families and the unacceptable level of domestic violence

  2. building an economy that is family-friendly – that doesn’t financially penalise a stay-home parent (including a solo parent), that allows greater flexibility in workplace culture to cater for family needs, and provides tax breaks for families to offset declining housing affordability, and rising education, health and living costs.

  3. adopting a zero tolerance to substance abuse including alcohol and all illicit drugs


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