Saturday, 10 June 2017

Rivers of Angry Tears

Will The Real Author Please Stand Up

Children's Commissioner, Judge Andrew Becroft has had a chasm open up before his feet, and he has stepped right into it.  Silly man.  One would have thought that someone of his experience and reputation would have avoided the trap with aplomb, but sadly no.

New Zealand has been, once again, assailed by scolds within the European Union and the UN.  This time it is a report on the welfare of children: nations are ranked according to how children are being looked after, from best to worst.  Poor old NZ has copped the lot.  Its ranking has fallen precipitously: from  45th to 158th.  We are near the bottom of the world: there are only 165 countries in the list: New Zealand, apparently, is one of the worst countries in the world in which to bear and raise children.

The judge is deeply concerned.
A European advocacy group has ranked New Zealand 158th out of 165 countries on children's rights. Children's Commissioner Andrew Becroft said the ranking was "a wake-up call" for New Zealand to protect children better from abuse and neglect and to give children a say on new laws and policies.  [NZ Herald
Maybe he should have spent more time in chambers thinking, researching, and reading before putting his mouth into gear.

But Canterbury University political scientist Professor Bronwyn Hayward, who specialises in child and youth politics, said the new index was "the most bonkers ranking I've ever seen".   There is no way we could compare the situation facing children in Ethiopia, where I have just been, it's a completely different context from the situation facing children in South Auckland, for example," she said.
When a Professor of Pol Sci at Canterbury condemns a "report" as bonkers it has to have been written on Mars or Venus.  The precipitous drop in world rankings comes forth because data was taken from a UN report issued by the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child.  Now, we will let you into a little secret.  These interminable UN reports are most often written by "experts" who turn our to be advocates or agitators within the country itself.  They are not usually written by fair minded, unbiased persons.  Thus, we would expect the actual author of the New Zealand chapter in UN report would be an activist for "child issues" in this country.  We are guessing, but we expect that the author would be around fifty degrees leftward of Meteria Turei,  the Green's co-leader.
All the "child rights" measures were taken from reports of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child. New Zealand's ranking dropped from 45th last year to 158th because of negative comments on all child rights issues in the UN committee's latest report on New Zealand last September.

The committee's negative comments on discrimination and the best interests of the child were about Māori and Pacific children, calling for "urgent measures to address disparities in access to education, health services and a minimum standard of living by Māori and Pasifika children and their families".

It marked New Zealand down on respecting children's views particularly because of recent family law changes which don't give children a say when their parents split, unless dispute resolution fails and the case goes to court.   On legislation, the committee called for "a comprehensive children's code" and ensuring that all new laws complied with the UN Convention on Children's Rights.
The trap into which the agitators have fallen is that they have cast the situation in New Zealand so histrionically that none will believe it or take it seriously.  It will be shelved as yet one more hyperbolic afflatus from some closet extremists wasting their lives flapping around the UN.

Silly old Judge Becroft, NZ's Child Commissioner.  But then, again, maybe he wrote the NZ section of the report in the first place.  Maybe he has now changed hats to laud publicly a Report which he himself had written.  Who knows?  In which case, were he the actual author, we are reminded of an ancient proverb: self-praise is no recommendation.

We issue an open challenge: would the actual author of the New Zealand section of the UN report of the Rights of the Child please stand up.

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