Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Andrei Pushing the envelope

Laura Dekka is a thirteen year old Dutch girl.

She was born on a yacht off the coast of New Zealand during a round the world trip undertaken by her now divorced Dutch father and German mother.

And now her father, who has custody of her, has applied to the authorities in the Netherlands for a two year leave of absence from school so that she can undertake a solo round the world yachting venture.

Now the child protection authorities in the Netherlands are seeking temporary custody of Laura to prevent this venture.

According to the Herald this morning Laura's lawyer is seeking a New Zealand passport for her which would short circuit this making the New Zealand authorities responsible for her welfare of course. I can't see that one flying. Apart from anything else my understanding is that under New Zealand law you can not leave a child under fourteen unattended and you certainly cannot conceive as anything more unattended than a thirteen year old girl by herself the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

Now I am all for kids spreading their wings as early as possible and nor do I like Governments interfering in decisions made by parents in regards to child rearing but somewhere there is a limit.

And call me an old fashioned stick in the mud but I think the limit has would be well and truly breached if this child were to undertake this voyage.

1 comment(s):

KG said...

13 year old girls were with the Voortrekkers when they pushed deep into the African interior, helping birth babies and fight off attacks. They helped make homes in colonial Java and and they worked alongside adults in remote outback cattle stations in Australia and America.

I admire her spirit, and her life is hers to risk.
And just how much greater is the risk than if she was hanging out with a bunch of drunk teenagers in Auckland or any other NZ city? I'd suspect not at all.
She'll learn self-reliance, responsibility and the value of courage, things which are all too often undervalued or simply missing among the yoof I've observed.
I say good on her and let her go!

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