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Child poverty high on Labour’s agenda

Media Statement

Child poverty high on Labour’s agenda

Significant poverty-alleviation measures introduced by the Labour-led government are having a real impact for low-income New Zealand families and must continue, says Social Services and Employment Minister Steve Maharey.

Speaking to the annual general meeting of Save the Children this evening, Steve Maharey said the government is committed to making life better for all New Zealand’s children and to ending child poverty.

“We want to ensure that all children are included and can actively participate in mainstream New Zealand society. Poverty is simply unacceptable in this country and must be addressed.

“During the 1990s many New Zealand families were forced into poverty and it will take time turn this situation around.

“Restoring fairness and balance in our society was a key commitment Labour made in 1999. That is why the Labour-led government has invested heavily in areas like health and education and why we need to keep growing the kind of economy which has seen unemployment reach a 13-year low.

“The policies we have introduced like our primary health care strategy and the development of a vaccine for meningitis, increases in the minimum wage, better and new educational opportunities, and a return to fair rents for state houses will make a long term difference.

“Labour is committed to addressing the causes and symptoms of poverty. We have done a lot in our first term, but there is still much more to do and we are seeking the support of all New Zealanders to ensure the work goes on,” Steve Maharey said.

ENDS

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