Coalition for kids urges bold Government action on child poverty Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Tick for Kids Media Statement 

The Tick for Kids* coalition is welcoming early indications from the Prime Minister that the Government will take continued action on child poverty as it begins its next three year term. Tick for Kids partners will work with the new Government to support this action and the positive outcomes it will bring to children in New Zealand.

Tick for Kids spokesperson and National Advocacy Manager for UNICEF NZ, Deborah Morris-Travers, said, "The previous Government took some steps to reduce the impact of poverty on children, with breakfast in schools, screening for Rheumatic Fever, insulating more homes and trialling a Warrant-of-Fitness for State houses.

"There is however a recognised need for more systematic and coordinated action to help families meet the basic needs of their children, by ensuring adequate income and affordable housing, supporting and educating parents, strengthening social infrastructure in communities, and providing accessible, affordable, and quality early childhood education.

"Public opinion polls in the lead up to the election showed a high level of public interest and concern about children living in poverty and nearly every political party announced new policies to address children's health and well-being. The message that it takes a child to raise a country is resonating with New Zealanders and across the political spectrum.

"The Prime Minister has said he wants to govern for all New Zealanders. One quarter of the population comprises children and they are our most vulnerable citizens. Their development and contribution to our society depends on living in families, communities and a society that values them and provides what they need.

"Children have a right to a standard of living that supports their physical and mental development (Article 27 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child). However, successive Governments have failed to ensure this right is upheld, leading to 260,000 children missing out on nutritious food, warm housing, and educational opportunities.

"We welcome all Government measures to meaningfully improve the lives of these children and encourage the Government to forge cross-party agreements so that investment in children is sustained.

"Every year that child poverty is ignored costs the nation another $6-8bn in public expenditure and means children miss out on achieving their potential. All New Zealanders will benefit from measures that improve child health and well-being because of the contribution healthy, educated, protected and participating children will make to our society and economy," said Ms Morris-Travers. 

ENDS

 

*Tick for Kids partners include:

Action for Children and Youth Aotearoa (ACYA)

Amnesty International Aotearoa New Zealand

Analytica

Brainwave Trust

Child Wellbeing Network

Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG)

Early Education Federation

Every Child Counts (ECC)

Far North Parent Mentoring

Feed the Need

Footsteps

Great Fathers

Health Star Pacific

IHC

Kids On Screen - The NZ Children's Screen Trust

Mana Ririki

National Council of Women

New Zealand Christian Council of Social Services (NZCCSS)

New Zealand College of Public Health Medicine

New Zealand Council of Trade Unions

NZ Children's Screen Trust

NZEI Te Riu Roa

New Zealand Medical Association

New Zealand Paediatric Society

New Zealand Principals' Federation

OMEP (World Organisation for Early Childhood) Aotearoa NZ

Paparore School

PILLARS

Plunket

Post Primary Teachers Association (PPTA)

Public Health Association (PHA)

Public Issues Network, Methodist Church

Quality Public Education Coalition (QPEC)

Robson Hanan Trust (Rethinking Crime and Punishment)

Save our Schools

Smokefree Coalition

Te Ora Hou Aotearoa

Treasure Our Young (TOY) Foundation

UNICEF NZ