Family First NZ is welcoming the appointment of child advocate Christine Rankin as Families Commissioner.
“Christine will bring the Commission ‘down to earth’ and rather than being blinded by ideology, it will hopefully start listening to the voice of families and advocating for them in a relevant way,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.
“Unfortunately it isolated itself by ignoring some of its own research and the voice of the overwhelming majority of parents when it supported ramming through the anti-smacking law without considering the concerns and views of parents. Even now it is helping fund and lobby on the s59 Referendum without consulting the views of parents.”
“Combined with some low value qualitative research, a complete ideological blockage to the benefits and importance of marriage, and expensive conferences and PR campaigns, the Families Commission has been sidelined as a credible voice.”
“The appointment of Christine Rankin suggests that the government is willing to have a diversity of opinion on its Board. This can only strengthen the important debates to be had around family issues,” says Mr McCoskrie.
Family First would still like to see the appointment of a Minister of Families at the Cabinet table.
“We currently have Cabinet Ministers for disabled, senior citizens, youth, Maori, veterans, women’s affairs – even the rugby world cup. It’s time we stopped paying lip service to our most important asset – strong families,” says Mr McCoskrie.