Cinematic landscapes, cute sheep, more cute sheep, and an abundance of lamb chop… oh, add not-feeding-kids-sufficiently-at-school to the list of New Zealand fast facts.
It seems certain New Zealand MPs have gone and voted down a “Feed the Kids” bill, which would have provided free school lunches to the poorest of NZ’s students. In NZ, schools are divided into “deciles” or ten groupings of schools, with the first decile representing schools with the 10% poorest students. The bill would have provided breakfasts and lunches, at the cost of the state, to schools in deciles one and two. Or the 20% poorest of kids.
As reported by the NZ Herald, the Prime Minister of NZ, John Key, was against the program, and had this to say:
“These are the facts,” Mr Key said. “At Te Waiu o Ngati Porou School, Ruatoria, Decile one, how many children came to school without lunch – answer – zero.”
At Sylvia Park School, decile two – there one or two kids, and at Manurewa Intermediate, a decile one school with a roll of 711, perhaps 12 had gone to school with no lunch, he said.
“Yes there is an issue where some children come to school without lunch. That number of children is relatively low,” Mr Key said.
Randomly call a school or two to determine if kids needed a free lunch? Sounds like a legit method of conducting research….
Greens MP Metiria Turei had proposed the bill, and was apparently not very objective regarding her arguments for it either; last week she had claimed that 90% of kids did not eat lunch, a claim she had to apologise for when it was revealed to be untrue. Further, it would seem that NZ has a whole slew of other programs that are already designed to provide food for kids:
The Government argued that it already contributes to programmes that provide food in schools through Kickstart groups such as Kidscan and through Fonterra.
Free food creates dependence, but no food creates dead-kids-ence… and some crappy food creates fat-kids-ence…. Of course the issue is more complex than that, but it really wouldn’t be that expensive to provide free food for the poorest twenty percent of kids, and I strongly doubt that kids would give up on their ambitions because they became addicted to free lunches that would only be provided while they were at school.
Anyway, enough with the petty politics and the bickering politicians. It would seem that one enterprising fellow has created a very interesting manner of pestering MPs who were against the bill. In a post on The Ruminator:
“Here is the long list. It’s the National Party + David Seymour + Peter Dunne. You can click their names and send them an email if you like, I even auto-populated the subject line and the body, so you can just click and send.
The email subject is “Feed the kids bill”
The body says: “You voted so that children in need will not be fed. I am not mad, I am very disappointed, actually I am mad too”
Genius. Imagine the thousands of emails these men and women would receive from concerned citizens, concerned “citizens”, and unconcerned random internet trolls…. It’s as easy as clicking two buttons to show your displeasure to MPs in a country literally filled with sheep who don’t wish to give free lunches to the 20% poorest kids…. I actually think it’s a good idea for politician’s emails to be publicly available, keeps them accountable. Hopefully this gets implemented in America soon…