MANA's 'Feed the Kids' bill has been drawn. Labour also had a private members bill to feed kids as well, but the differences seem to be that MANAs is more expensive.
MANA put the cost of feeding every kid in decile 1 & 2 lunch and breakfast each day at $100m, Labour put it at around $19million.
It was this difference that allowed Lockwood to be convinced that the two bills were different enough to both be in the ballot together.
With unemployment soaring to 7,3% and inequality at the highest level ever in NZ, child poverty can be tackled head on if we as a society decide to feed the poorest members now and play the blame game later.
I've never understood why so many people blame the parent for child poverty. I suspect those NZers have no idea how the benefits were originally set under Ruth Richardson during the mother of all budgets. The minimum calories per week for an adult were established and then set slightly under that. The concept being a hungry beneficiary has all the incentive to find a job.
Our benefit system is constructed using hunger as an incentive. It doesn't get much more ugly than that reality, and unless we are prepared as a nation to deal with child hunger directly, we will never make inroads into the poverty grinding them down.
It's time to seriously consider a state funded food programme into the poorest schools in NZ as a direct means to reverse our child poverty crisis.