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Alliance Gains Commitment To Ending Child Poverty

June 13 2002

Youth Affairs Minister Laila Harré says today’s release of an Agenda for Children committed to ending child poverty is a victory for the Alliance in government.

Laila Harré said she negotiated a clear commitment to end child poverty in New Zealand, rather than to simply “address” the issue.

“The Agenda for Children will be a defining document for all policy decisions relating to children from here on in.

“I knew that if the final version didn’t include a commitment to ending child poverty this issue simply wouldn’t be looked at in its own right each and every time a decision was made on behalf of New Zealand children.

An estimated one in three New Zealand children live in poverty, as defined by the unofficial poverty line.

“The onus is now on future governments to gear their thinking towards achieving this goal.

“This will have a big influence on the way social policies are analysed and implemented and on the importance placed on things like free healthcare, free education, and other initiatives that remove the financial burden that privitisation and social restructuring has placed on New Zealand families over the past 15 years.

“Getting a commitment on paper to end child poverty was a small victory. The big achievement will be getting the Alliance returned to government to see this commitment honoured.”

Ends

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