Garner on why Dads matter


I’ve never felt so out of my depth as I did when my first daughter decided to invade the planet. 

Hopeless, useless and sleepless, that was me.  

No book, no midwife, no mother or in-law could tell me what to do, but they all tried desperately and repeatedly. 

Like a powerful but tiny asteroid, this totally reliant little baby girl had the destructive power of a nuclear warhead backed up with the pipes of an air horn. 

Yep that is parenthood.

Dozens of countries offer . It’s a no-brainer. We pay every pensioner a guaranteed state income, it’s good for their health, yet it’s the early years where the differences are made. Supporting families should be the norm, not a luxury item. 

So why is it just for mums? Why can’t families split the 26 weeks so mum and dad can share it, spend time together, bond with baby? Because Labour says it’s best for mum to have 26 weeks with baby. Bullkaka. Plunket says flexibility would be good. Stop while you’re well behind. 

What is Labour to be telling us what’s best for our families? It has no right. No-one is asking for a dollar more. We just want flexibility for mum and dad to take the time together. I would have taken it – it would have been so very welcome. 

Yep a policy that won’t cost a cent more, but Iain Lees-Galloway and Jacinda know better than parents what they should do. ILG proclaimed that it is best for the child if the primary caregiver spends more time with them.

No, this is a case of Labour throwing its toys out of the cot. Labour can’t see past its own nose on this one.

It doesn’t want to pick up the flexible approach because it’s National’s idea. Plain and simple. It can’t be seen to be accommodating the baby blues when the Nats saw red over paid parental leave in the first place. 

This is truly pathetic from Labour on an overall policy that most support. 

Nothing National is asking for will cost more, it’s a disgraceful, short-sighted, pathetic and petty decision by Labour to deny families the chance for mum and dad to share the early weeks together at home. 

Just because they didn’t think of it first, they are refusing to do it.

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