I don't have a quick solution to child abuse in NZ. While child abuse is, of course, absolutely terrible, it is still a rare occurrence. I resent it when leftie loonies claim it is a "community problem". No it isn't. I don't abuse my children so stop wasting your resources on me and focus on those who do.
John Minto, however, pretends to have the solution! Get rid of poor people! Not quite what his communist rant states, obviously, but that's the logical conclusion I draw from it.
In John Minto's opinion (http://www.stuff.co.nz/opinion/columnists/2785187/What-are-we-teaching-our-kids) it seems child abuse has nothing to do with the parents' upbringing, culture, or maturity.
No, the problems stem purely from the fact that some people are financially poor (as opposed to intellectually poor). To stop child abuse, we must take away the money from those who have worked hard to earn it, and just give it to poor people. This will stop child abuse. "To reduce and eliminate child abuse, we must first adopt economic and social policies which value all members of society ...To reduce child abuse and alleviate the awful social problems which bedevil the country, we need economic policies which redistribute wealth from those who haven't earned it to those who do the work."
Now, please correct me if I'm wrong, but the media reports of most (if not all?) of the child abuse deaths over the last year have highlighted that the children were living in an environment where welfare was the primary source of money. And, my generalisation here, it would appear that this welfare went towards items that were perhaps not necessary, such as alcohol and drugs. It seldom seemed to be used to the child's advantage.
And the more I read Mr Minto's statement, the more ridiculous it sounds. Welfare is not money that is earned. So Mr Minto's argument falls flat very quickly. Is he suggesting that those who collect welfare should "redistribute" their weekly payments to those who slave in jobs to ensure they maintain mortgage payments, food on the table, and other necessities? No, of course not. His is a communist rant, where all those who earn more than he does, regardless of how hard they worked to earn that money, are capitalist pigs who must be taxed so that the likes of Mr Minto can continue to gather money without working.
The welfare argument aside, though, I find Mr Minto's argument that child abuse stems from a lack of money to be offensive. Yes, a lack of money makes it hard to buy all that would be nice to buy for one's child, but it does not affect the degree of love, respect and affection. If it does, then I question the suitability of the breeders to parenthood.
Mr Minto, "putting families first", as you put it, has nothing to do with money. It has everything to do with treating fellow human beings, regardless of whether they are our children, partners, siblings, parents, grandparents, relatives, friends, and strangers with respect, love and empathy. These are not qualities that are learnt with more money in the bank - indeed, look at how financially poor communities in some cultures band together to help one another. And these are not qualities that are learnt by sitting around doing nothing while hard working taxpayers earn all your welfare payments. The lessons you are teaching the young and impressionable people who may have (unfortunately) read your column are damaging, disrespectful, and (you won't care about this) economically unsustainable.
And, this may come as a surprise to you, but your advice will also have as much impact on child abuse in NZ as the anti-smacking legislation. None at all.