Great Ideas looks at the future of families - with more single people, more multi-generational families, and a more multi-cultural New Zealand, what happens to our family law?
By 2038, it’s predicted that there will be more than 5.5 million people living in New Zealand.
But the average size of households will decrease to 2.5 people, and people living alone will make up a quarter of households.
This country has always had diverse ideas of what makes up a family - so how will that look in fifty years?
Rhoda Scherman, senior lecturer in the Department of Psychology at AUT, El-Shadn Tautolo senior research fellow at AUT and Alison Cleland a senior lecturer with an interest family law and children’s rights at AUT join Megan Whelan to discuss the future of the family.
“I think the role of families for the most part hasn’t changed much; it’s about growing the subsequent generations. What that looks like, how many are in the family, who that is, that’s the part that differs historically and culturally.” - Rhoda Scherman
“Being from a collective culture having multiple groups within a family for generations contributing to raise kids is something really common.” - El-Shadn Tautolo
The law is always ten years behind the plot. If you’re only interested in individual rights, like the parent and the child and you recognise only them, you knock out all these other people. It’s no surprise that the public are very sceptical of the family courts and they don’t think the family courts have done a great job - Alison Cleland
“If you only look at the people who are economically supporting that child, there could be five or six people within the family doing various other things equally as important or maybe more important” - El-Shadn Tautolo
“I think the fundamental shift that’s going to happen with families in the future is an increase in the separation of genetic, gestational and social parenting. That is then going to create families that look very different.” - Rhoda Scherman
"We have a concept of adoption that’s literally about babies being given to childless couples fuelled by all the negativity around single females and we just leave it at that … it’s now 12 years since the Law Commission said the Adoption Law needs to be massively changed." – Alison Cleland
"You’ve got a law that’s very much about a child for every home; but you have a social welfare system that’s about a home for every child. And they look like they’re in tandem but they’re not." – Rhoda Scherman
New episodes of Great Ideas, recorded in collaboration with Auckland University of Technology, looks at the ideas and trends shaping the future.