Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Speeches bring important focus onto children – UNICEF NZ

UNICEF New Zealand welcomes the ‘State of the Nation’ speeches delivered by National, Labour and the Greens for placing children at the centre of policy announcements early in this election year, but the charity is also stressing the need for greater cross-party agreement for NZ’s kids.

Deborah Morris-Travers, Advocacy Manager at UNICEF NZ, said “These first big speeches of the year are important for setting out political priorities and promoting new policy, so it’s good to see children, education and alleviating poverty are high on the agenda.

“However, while each party has made positive announcements what’s missing is any evidence of agreement between the parties that could form the basis of cross-party agreement on the key priorities, as recommended by child advocates and also the parliamentary Health Select Committee. A strong cross party approach has seen our senior citizens rate highly in the OECD tables, but a lack of consensus for our kids means that many are missing out on a healthy childhood.

“The National Party has picked up on the importance of school leadership and clustering schools to share best practice in education to support improved student achievement. The investment of $359m over four years is significant and has the potential to greatly improve educational practice in the interests of children.

“We welcome the announcements, which are supported by evidence showing professional development and school leadership to be essential. However, we encourage National to also consider expanding policies that build the social wellbeing and health of children, through income, housing and family learning and literacy.

“When parents continue learning and education becomes a strong focus in every home, children will be better prepared for school. Continuing education increases the likelihood of employment and builds parents’ connections to community, while also supporting their mental health. It’s also strongly beneficial for our country’s economic development.”

Ms Morris-Travers added, “Labour has made a bold announcement about increasing income to families with the youngest children, improving antenatal services and investing in early childhood education. These policies respond to the recommendation from the Experts Advisory Group on Solutions to Child Poverty for a universal child payment and recognise the particular vulnerability of babies and families with very young children.

“Improved access to antenatal services is an essential part of improving the safety of babies because it links families into community services and support before baby is born. Accessible early childhood education for three and four year olds makes an important contribution to the social and educational development of the children, while also enabling parents to work.

“Making early childhood education available to vulnerable children under three is also positive, with evidence showing that children living in poverty and stress are those that benefit most from participation in early education. Labour’s focus on income, child health and education is welcome.

“The Greens have also made important policy announcements focused on bringing health and social services into the school environment, increasing access to out of school care and co-locating early childhood centres with schools. These are policies that deliver significant benefits to children in countries such as The Netherlands, where child wellbeing is much higher than it is in New Zealand.

“The Greens’ policy recognises that a child’s readiness to learn is affected by hunger and health, with schools playing an important role in social wellbeing, community development and support for parents. In the parts of New Zealand where these are already operating, there are demonstrable benefits to the wellbeing of children, parents and communities alike.

“We welcome the fact that National, Labour and the Greens have all made strong policy statements in the interests of children, signalling that kids will be firmly on the agenda this election year.

“However, we also encourage parties to work towards identifying the common ground that exists between them so that in the post-election period they can establish agreed priorities that can be advanced beyond the three-year electoral cycle.

“This will help avoid the haphazard approach to policies for children that has, in previous years, created significant uncertainty and led to positive initiatives not being sustained in the long-term,” concluded Ms Morris-Travers.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Half Empty: Dairy Prices Drop To Lowest Since August 2009

Dairy product prices fell to the lowest level in more than five years in the latest GlobalDairyTrade auction, led by declines in butter milk powder and whole milk powder.

”Stocks of dairy commodities are building across the globe due to Russia’s current ban on importing dairy products from many Western nations, and a lack of urgency from Chinese buyers, while at the same time global milk supplies are expanding,” AgriHQ dairy analyst Susan Kilsby said in a note. More>>

 

Slippage: NZ Universities Still In Top 3% Globally

This year the University of Auckland ranked 175 (down from 164 last year); the University of Otago ranked 251-275th (down from 226-250), both Victoria University of Wellington and the University of Canterbury held their ranks (at 276-300thand 301-350 respectively), while the University of Waikato dropped from 301-350 to 351-400. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On The Last Rites For The TPP

The Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal is one of those litmus issues that has always had more to do with one’s place on the political spectrum than with any imminent reality... For the TPP’s friends and foes alike though, the end now seems nigh. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Farcical Elevation Of David Seymour

With the election won, it’s time to find jobs for the boy. David Seymour is the Act Party’s latest scrounger to be rewarded by the National Party, and not only with a seat in Parliament. More>>

ALSO:

As Key Mulls Joining ISIS Fighting: McCully Speech To UN Backs Security Council Bid

It is an honour to address you today on behalf of the Prime Minister and Government of New Zealand. Our General Election took place last week - our Prime Minister Rt Hon John Key is engaged in forming a government and that is why he is unable to be here in New York... More>>

ALSO:

Labour: Cunliffe Triggers Party Wide Leadership Contest

David Cunliffe has resigned as Labour Leader, but says he will seek re-election... If there is any contest the election will have to go through a process involving the party membership and union affiliates. More>>

ALSO:

Flyover Appeal: Progress And Certainty, Or Confusion And More Delays?

Lindsay Shelton: The Transport Agency, embarrassed by the rejection of its flyover alongside the Basin Reserve, says it’s appealing because the decision could “constrain progress.” Yet for most clear-sighted Wellingtonians a 300-metre-long concrete structure above Kent and Cambridge Terraces would in no way be seen as progress… More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Cunliffe’s Last Stand

Right now, embattled Labour leader David Cunliffe has three options. None of them are particularly attractive for him personally, or for the Labour Party... More>>

ALSO:

Key Seeking 'New Ideas': Look To Children’s Commissioner On Poverty - Greens

John Key should not reinvent the wheel when it comes to ideas for tackling child poverty, and instead look to the recommendations of the Children’s Commissioner’s Expert Group on Child Poverty, Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei says. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news