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Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is, Tamihere

Dr Muriel Newman – Press Releases – Social Welfare

If Youth Affairs Minister John Tamihere is so concerned with Kiwi boys lacking adequate role models, then why doesn’t he put his money where his mouth is, ACT New Zealand Deputy Leader and Social Welfare Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman challenged today.

“Mr Tamihere is right: many boys in sole-parent families do lack suitable male role models. But if he were truly sincere, he would have acknowledged that one of the biggest contributors to this problem is our flawed Family Law,” Dr Newman said.

“The real problem is that Family Law pushes many fathers out of their children’s lives after separation. A large proportion of boys in sole parent families have little or no contact with their dads – not because they don’t want to, but because of how the law is written.

“In comparison, countries that have introduced shared parenting have seen a dramatic increase in the support and interaction that fathers have been able to have with their children.

“Mr Tamihere knows this and, this year, had an opportunity to take a lead on this issue. Instead, however, he towed the party line and has now decided to give solo mothers the responsibility of finding role models for their sons.

“The Minister’s so-called concern is disingenuous. He has had ample opportunity to support changes which, he knows, would make things better – yet he has failed to do so.

“If the Minister were genuine in wanting to solve this problem, he would have put his money where his mouth is long ago – and perhaps Father’s Day would not be tinged with sadness for so many dads and kids around the country,” Dr Newman said.