On Stuff recently, there was an interview with a number of young people living in Huntly West. These people shared their views on the government proposals to offer free long term contraception to sole parent beneficiaries and their teenage daughters. There has been a lot of discussion on the pros and cons of Paula Bennett's latest plan in New Zealand this week. On the one side, there are those who say "support everyone in need, no matter how or why' and 'walk a mile before you judge' and on the other are those who believe that to prosper is to be good, and any who do not should be punished, and certainly not 'encouraged' by any form of state support.
But I read the piece in Stuff on the young people in Huntley West, and I wonder why nobody asks what would positively give these people something else to aspire to, to find in their reach, to fulfil themselves with? Because no matter what you do about disincentivising repeat solo parent pregnancies and upping the return to paid work requirements for sole parents, until the young people of Huntley West and other seriously lacking-in-hope-and-opportunities areas in New Zealand have real opportunities which engage and inspire them, a boyfriend and a baby are going to be beautiful beacons.
I'm on the walk a mile first side.