Kiwi childhood not all it's cracked up to be
Tue, 24 Jul 2012 7:00p.m.
New Zealand. Godzone. A great place to bring up kids - or is it?
Bronwyn Hayward says it is no longer.
Her new book with that hard-hitting message is attracting critical acclaim throughout Europe, and shocking a few readers along the way.
Readers stunned to learn that life for children in New Zealand is not all it's cracked up to be - that we are raising the first generation who won't lead better lives than their parents.
Watch the video to see Jendy Harper’s report.
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8/10/2012 10:26:03 p.m.
Finally,a kiwi who has the nuts to speak the truth.Acknowledging you have a problem is the first step.
3/08/2012 8:10:06 a.m.
Speaking as a former kiwi kid... now kiwi adult. This is a horrible and hard country to grow up in. Life here is hard for many reasons.... violence, poverty, drugs, crime just being a few.
Bullying was bad when I was in college. But my daughter that is in intermediate is bullied on a daily basis. She is spat on, called derogatory names because she is white, pushed, punched... she was even bailed up in the changing rooms while she was undressed and pushed around by a group of girls because of how white she is.
I cant let her walk home from school because the few times I let her, she was chased by a roaming dog, pushed into a rosebush by a college kid and pushed into the road by a group of primary school kids she had never met before.
The last time I let her walk to the shops, someone tried to sell her some drugs then followed her home.
Kids can no longer be kids in this country.
I lived in Australia for 2 years while I was a teen, not once was I bullied or feared for my safety. I came back to New Zealand, 3 months later I was put into hospital with internal bleeding.. my crime... breaking up with the boyfriend that cheated on me 2 weekends in a row.
I used to be a proud kiwi... but not anymore. This country has lost its way. I am currently saving to move back to Australia. Moving back to New Zealand was be biggest mistake my parents made.
26/07/2012 1:14:07 a.m.
I don't think this is any different to anywhere else in the English speaking world. My dad constantly talks about his idyllic childhood in the UK, abundant jobs during his worklife and excellent retirement pension. For my generation and other we werent so lucky to be born in a time when security reigned. We just have to make the best of what we have got.
25/07/2012 6:43:31 p.m.
Ryan from Waitakere wrote:
New Zealand has lost its way. Meth (P) is nearly as common as weed with our teenagers. and that's talking from experience and the things I have seen/done.
Defiantly not bringing up my children in this drug cursed land when the time comes
25/07/2012 5:33:06 p.m.
I know of large families home schooling and would be in the lower decile school area and have little spending money but their children are having the richest and most fulfilling life and these children are being educated 100% on all subjects with next to nothing - the simple truth is it is totally up to the parents what sort of life their children have; firstly love, time and effort is urgently needed including teaching parents how to cook a healthy meal in their budget. Maybe educating parents may help the situations this lady refers to.
25/07/2012 3:27:23 p.m.
NZ is no different to other countries around the world. There has been a decline in social manners and morals. The world has become a more selfish place and people are more self centered. Many of the western nations are heavily in debt and unemployment is high for the youth in many developed countries. Comments about god are not helpful but a refocus on family life, moral and social standards could be helpful. The glory days of NZ finished 40years ago with Muldoon and since then we have not really had any government figure out how to make NZ properous again. Fanatics like greenies, goddies or any other nut who is willing to screw people in the process of some idea is not the answer. Technology has a lot to blame for the self absorbed attitude of people today but to say life in NZ is not very good is not really correct relative to many other places. Is life in the US any better for most of their citizens? I would say not. Gun control is out of control, education is poor for many as they have fallen below many other nations in their standards. NZ is still one of the better educated nations in the world. The problem is overall the world standard has probably dropped, why is up for debate. One of the biggest issues for NZ is its isolation relative to its economic size and population base. All countries have problems. NZ is no different. The problem is many remember the good old days where we were one of the more wealthy nations. This is history unless we find a lot of oil or mineral wealth or develop more high tech, high income industries NZ will stay a lower level developed nation. If Singapore can go from a poor island nation to a country with more millionaire per capita than anywhere else in the world why can't NZ get somewhere near that. It just needs good leadership and national effort to achieve a goal.
25/07/2012 12:24:16 p.m.
Charlotte Fay wrote:
Thank Goodness for The Bronwyn Haywards of this world .I am a solo mum and It breaks my heart to not be able to give my Children opportunitities. My Children love to dance , play music allmost everything that require lots of money,Money I dont have. Yes New Zealand is beautiful and best things a free but oppertunity and hope is some thing I cant give my Children alone. I worry about my Childrens Future.My five year old has glue ear and has waited allmost a year to have this treated. The Government has spent 30 million on a boat my child will not see.or hear. We live in a garage and yes im european living in south auckland Shock im not Maori or polynesian. This effects all skin colour.I am unable to lead example as im shamefully unimployed.unable to get work.
25/07/2012 12:15:39 p.m.
It good to see this being talked about,as it,s a fact that NZ is going backwards & it's our children that are paying the largest price.The real problem as I see it is that we have had more than 2 decades of governments that think the way to grow an economy is to keep the population poor & uneducated, Im shaw most would agree that this clearly doesn't work. I think that if the government concentrated on getting education & health right the economy would flurish as we would have a well educated healthy & therefore motivated population to take this country forward. Maybe it's we the people stood up & used the constitution to sack the government in order to send a clear message that they work for us not the other way round as they would have it.
25/07/2012 8:37:09 a.m.
It's about time that this situation was brought to light. Best story so far this year.
I have written to the Children's Commissioner about the severe effects of rising rental prices on children. This wasn't mentioned in your story but is important as the constant moving means that some children are attending multiple schools (eg 6 - 15, not just one or two) before they hit secondary.
At Tawa College where my children go there is a program designed to pick these kids up and bring them up to speed. Obviously not all schools have resources to do this.
Would love to see a follow up story expanding on this theme.
25/07/2012 8:30:38 a.m.
If you have any doubts about the basis for this lady's work all you need to do is read the book "The Spirit Level" it confirms what this lady says in every way.
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