Child poverty doco 'apolitical' - filmmaker
Wed, 23 Nov 2011 3:00p.m.
By Ally Mullord
The Electoral Commission has confirmed it received one complaint about the TV3 documentary Inside Child Poverty screened last night.
The commission were unable to say who the complaint was from or its substance.
The documentary looked at child poverty in New Zealand and made the case that free market philosophies had contributed to the country’s relatively poor standing in the OECD on this issue.
Inside Child Poverty drew a strong response from online commentators – the video, which screened last night, has been ‘liked’ over 4,000 times on Facebook.
Watch Inside Child Poverty on demand
However, some viewers said the documentary favours Labour’s social policies and shouldn’t have been screened so close to the election – one commenter on TV3’s Facebook page called the programme a “blatant advertisement for the parties of the left”.
Filmmaker Bryan Bruce says Inside Child Poverty was intended to be apolitical and he’s “not interested in answering anonymous people”.
“If you look at the documentary carefully… I talk about 30 years of decisions by politicians,” he says. “It doesn’t support a particular party."
Labour leader Phil Goff told Firstline this morning that his party’s policies are “almost a blueprint” of the changes Mr Bruce calls for in Inside Child Poverty.
Poor housing was one issue the documentary highlighted; cramped conditions and poor insulation contribute to the country’s high rate of preventable childhood diseases, including rheumatic fever and skin infections.
Mr Goff says “it should be a condition of rental housing that the house is adequately insulated… beginning with state housing” and Labour will address this.
The disease rate would also be lowered with better access to healthcare for low-income households and more medical professionals in schools – and Mr Goff says Labour wants to ensure 24-hour access to free healthcare for under-sixes.
“We’ve got to make sure that every one of our children has a right to healthcare automatically, without the income of their parent depending on the quality of that care.”
However, Mr Bruce says many of the documentary’s recommendations “have nothing to do with the Labour party at all”.
“There are a lot of policies in there – getting aid directly to children, not through their parents, that’s not a Labour party policy."
The Greens and Mana have also responded to the documentary; both say New Zealand’s current child poverty rates are a result of former Labour and National Governments.
Green party co-leader Metiria Turei says National “will make inequality and poverty worse”, especially welfare reforms, which may mean children are left in “potentially unsafe situations” when their mothers return to work.
Ms Turei says the Greens’ policies to address child poverty would include introducing minimum standards for rental properties and extending Working For Families tax credits, and cost $360 million a year for the next three years.
Mana Party leader Hone Harawira says New Zealanders should be “horrified and embarrassed” by the documentary’s content, and neither Labour nor National have policies to address child poverty.
What political parties do with the information inside the documentary is up to them, Mr Bruce says.
"I tried to make a credible, apolitical documentary... if a party want to claim it, that's a matter for them."
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28/11/2012 9:58:28 a.m.
There's something wrong with this picture: Watching the report last night on the miserable conditions in which NZ's poor children live, on the damp and overcrowded houses which are causing terrible health problems and a severe disadvantage in life. Then, every 15 min's the programme is interrupted by Christmas adverts, pushing useless luxuries to the bored middle classes. What does that tell us about ourselves kiwis? I'm worried.
27/11/2012 10:13:54 p.m.
Shoddy journalism that overlooks parents responsibility to make use birth control on not rely on the state (taxpayer) to take care of their needs. The middle class is not "privileged", instead we are paying the taxes that enable others to claim for welfare handouts. An attitude of personal responsibility is the best antidote to child poverty. I am really dismayed at the slanted tone of this programme.
2/06/2012 9:43:36 p.m.
I would like to see this as i missed it i have just finished signing up to donate $15 a month to kids can I have two children myself we are not well off but they diffintely do not go without meals and all the basics i hope to make a difference even if it is just to one child if we all did this it will make a big difference
19/03/2012 8:23:39 p.m.
where can I find this documentary!?
15/01/2012 5:53:54 p.m.
I wish that they can replay it as I missed it and cant get it on demand at all
24/11/2011 9:38:30 p.m.
lynda Duncan wrote:
This was an important doco and I think TV 3 should be applauded for showing it primetime. Shame on us.
Well done Brian
24/11/2011 7:40:00 p.m.
to all those how think moving to aus is the answer, I've just moved back to NZ after 25yrs yes there is big money to be made if you have the right skill set & are perpaired to work long hours in remote locations 10-12hr days 7days a week in tempriture often 40+.You may think 8 days on 6 days off for 130-150k/yr sounds good but remember that 4 x 12hr days then 4x 12hr nights then straigt to the airport at the end of your shift,how many of those 6 days off are you going to functional for your family.Oh its only actually minority that earn the big dollars which pushes up the cost of rent,house's food etc up for everyone else. Wages for the majority don't look so good, a mate of mine is 2ic in a large furniture store earns about $44000/yr this wage disparity means that povity is a problem for the working poor & those on a benifit.
24/11/2011 1:31:45 p.m.
So there was one complaint to the Electoral Commission. Not named.Could it be our esteemed leader?
24/11/2011 1:11:32 p.m.
Helen Isra wrote:
Seeing the doco has spurred us at ECan in Exile here in Canterbury to issue a news release on the possibility that if the government is returned it may reduce funding to healthy home retrofitting schemes. People can view the article on the infonews.co.nz website where there is also a link to our websites news page.
24/11/2011 9:57:53 a.m.
@Mike - I'm sure a lot of people would like to move to Aussie to avoid poverty, but where do they get the money from to move there?
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