Paid Parental Bill praised but opposed by National

Sue Moroney and her second Paid Parental Leave bill were praised but opposed by National and ACT MPs, but it still passed it’s first reading last night by 61-60. UnitedFuture support paid parental leave so voted for this bill, along with Labour, Greens, NZ First and the Maori Party.

Most interesting was praise from National MPs and David Seymour, even though they opposed the bill.

SARAH DOWIE (National—Invercargill)

Although I do rise in opposition to this bill I am not ungracious to not acknowledge the work of Ms Sue Moroney in championing this topic. It is a very valid topic to bring to the House and I think it is a worthwhile debate.

 There are several published and documented outcomes on the benefits of paid parental leave. Of course, some of those include increased breastfeeding opportunities and all the health benefits that are associated with that.

As we are aware, breastmilk is a perfect food source for baby. It is made up of a correct compound of vitamins and proteins, and because of that extra time bonding it is easily digestible for baby and it helps prevent infections from bacteria and viruses.

That is one of the benefits of paid parental leave. I touched on it before—this time gives parents and mums that valued quality time to bond with baby.

Dowie goes on to praise other aspects of Paid Parental Leave, and concludes:

The intent of this bill and the spirit of this bill are good—I acknowledge that.

But she voted against it.

BRETT HUDSON (National):

 I rise in opposition to this bill, but before I might canvass the reasons why we will oppose the bill I would like to reiterate some comments that my colleague Sarah Dowie made. I would like to acknowledge what I think is a very, very clear, absolutely honest, and fundamentally based in integrity the position the member sponsoring this bill Sue Moroney has.

He concludes:

We will oppose this bill but I do commend Ms Moroney for her obviously deeply held views on this matter.

Anti-bill but not wanting to sound anti-mother and anti-baby perhaps.

The bill has passed it’s first reading and stands a good chance of successfully passing, but National have said they will use their power of veto based on cost.

Moroney had her first Paid Parental Leave Bill failed to pass but succeeded in pressuring National into increasing Parental Leave to a lesser extent, from 14 to 18 weeks.

ACT MP David Seymour has also played in negotiating increased paid leave for parents with high need babies, for example premature babies, but opposed this bill

All InTheHouse videos: Parental Leave and Employment Protection (Six Months’ Paid Leave and Work Contact Hours) Amendment

15 Comments

  1. Zedd

     /  September 17, 2015

    Yes.. ‘politics’ at its worst.. 😦
    I find it interesting that this Nat-led Govt. attacks opposition parties, for voting against their Govt. bills.. BUT they just can’t bring themselves to vote for anything from the opposition & make every effort, to vote down every opposition members bill & every SOP to other bills, that opposition MPs put up.. even IF they sound like they agree with the general content ?!

    ‘Team-key just KNOW BEST !’ (legends in their own minds) :/

  2. kittycatkin

     /  September 17, 2015

    That doesn’t make any sense.

    What are you trying to say ?

  3. In all honesty there are more comprehensive reasons to why I believe this bill should be passed in the New Zealand government. Growing up in a big family of 6 children and being the eldest child, I watched my mother struggled trying to condense everything needed for my little baby siblings and provide as much as she could during her parental leave. Essentially it is important to acknowledge that the point of paid parental leave is to allow the mother to recuperate, bond and provide the best nutrition for her child. Nevermind the expenses rises from it, the imperative fact both parties needs to focus on is that the cost of bringing up a child is crippling in various countries including Singapore. If we are to compare the parental leave legal code between New Zealand and Singapore there is no doubt New Zealand will have a high chance of winning. In saying that, in many countries statistics have shown that birth rates are dropping primarily because of the expenses. This makes me realize New Zealand is fortunate enough to be given availability to decent paid parental leave. However, considering the fact that this bill has been passed twice during its first readings, it should at least be acknowledged accordingly. Analysing the essentiality of this proposed matter there is almost guarantee that the national party will likely oppose any proposal that is beneficial for the good of the public. Hence, the question I want to raise is how can the paid parental bill pass when the national party adopts such a hegemonic ideology. What do I mean by this? For a long time the National Party has been the incumbent governing party, forming a minority government with such strong supportive system from three minor parties. It’s almost guaranteed that the bill will not pass. Nevertheless I believe this piece of legislation needs to be looked at by women who have given birth as they could have more knowledge and understanding on the subject matter.

    • shedow05

       /  September 17, 2015

      I completely that this bill needs to be passed but more support needs to be given for solo parents. Solo parents are the ones that need this bill just as much as any couple having a baby. There is one income that comes into the home, and the extension of paid parental leave will be able to give mother and child the rest and bond needed with a newborn.
      The extra income will help tie the family over and there will be less pressure for the parent to go back to work, leaving the child to be pawned off to a family member or to a day care centre.
      Being the eldest child of 7 I have seen how much of a struggle it is for a single parent to try and afford to pay for everything, and still provide the best care and support for her children.
      I grew up in a one income family, it was hard, when I was younger I spent a lot of time at family members’ homes while mum worked. When I got older I helped raised my brothers and sisters while my mother had to go to work to keep the roof over our heads.
      The government needs to pass this bill. The safety and well-being off our new generation needs it. We can not go on pawning off our babies, more time is needed for the parent to bond with the child.

      • jaspa

         /  September 18, 2015

        Single women get “paid parental leave” in the form of the DPB and are not expected to look for work at all for at least the first three years! That is plenty of time to bond with a baby. What more would you have us give solo parents?

        • kittycatkin

           /  September 18, 2015

          I have yet to hear of children being pawned off; do you mean palmed ? No pawnbroker would accept children as security for a loan.

          I can’t believe that anyone would think that single parents need more support than they already have. The DPB can be spun out almost indefinitely and in some cases has been. Do you think that they should have paid parental leave AS WELL AS the DPB ? How could this happen ? The DPB is an extended form of parental leave that keeps being increased every time a new child arrives. The number of women who are using it in this way is small, I know, but that doesn’t make it all right.

          A budget adviser in Hamilton was telling women to begin a new child every 18 months to keep their income going. The DPB has become a de facto right, and it should be a privilege. Look at the fuss when the government decides that it isn’t peoples’ right to have child after child and be paid to do so/

          • kittycatkin

             /  September 18, 2015

            The longest time-in 2013-that someone had been on the DPB was 36 years.

            Nice work if you can get it ! I hope that 36 years was long enough to bond with the children. Someone I knew was still on it when her son was at high school. And I don’t mean in his first year. She must have been on it at least 20 years.

            • Interesting points to address but out of curiosity how can a solo parent be on DPB for 36 years when the maximum a solo parent can be on the DPB is approximately 14 years (until the child turns 14) no more than that.

            • kittycatkin

               /  September 20, 2015

              If she kept having children and spaced them out, it could be done. It’s a true story ! If she was a teenager when she had the first one, it could be done quite easily !

    • Annonymous

       /  September 18, 2015

      Paid parental leave provides long-term health and economic benefits for new-born children and parents, especially in low income families.

      A democratic, civilized society should guarantee these benefits for the working families and middle class of our country.

      • kittycatkin

         /  September 18, 2015

        Why ? This would be all right if the rest of the population wasn’t expected to pay for it. I can’t see that it’s either civilised or democratic to take other peoples’ tax money and use it to allow parents to bond with their own children. It seems as if some people haven’t yet worked out that they are paying for the paid parental leave of others. Any money that the government spends is money that belongs to the taxpayers of NZ. The government has no money-it’s OUR money. If people can’t afford children, they shouldn’t have them.

    • I agree with the sentiment and facts included in this comment. Drawing on life experience, especially that of a child, to induce pathos and appeal to those opposed to the bill is an intelligent step towards getting the bill signed.

  4. shedow05

     /  September 19, 2015

    @Kittycankin I understand where you’re coming from and do agree that if you can’t afford children don’t have them. And yes I meant palmed not pawned, (thank you for your correction on that :-)).
    Some single parents like my mother worked and only went on the DPB to finish her degree since there was no such thing as student allowances or incentives training back then. After she got her degree and a job, she paid her loan and taxes while trying to her three kids and four whangai children.
    To answer your question: Of course I don’t think that solo parents on the DPB should get paid parental leave they’re already getting it!!!
    What I am trying to argue here is that Paid Parental Leave should be extended to a parent who has to come off full time employment to give birth and bond with her child before returning back to work without having to always rely on WINZ for hand-outs. Extending this will do good, especially if a single parent has a child with disabilities or serious health issues.