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Nurturing our kids and our future

June 29 2005

Nurturing our kids and our future

Ending child poverty and repealing Section 59 are key planks of the Green Party's Children's Policy, launched today.

"Every Kiwi kid deserves a fair go," Green Children's Issues Spokesperson Sue Bradford says, "which is why improving the lot of children is a priority for us this election year".

"The Greens are determined that young people are nurtured and given every chance to succeed in life."

Key aspects of the Children's Policy for the 2005 election are:
- Eliminating child poverty by 2010;
- Repealing Section 59 of the Crimes Act, which currently provides child abusers with a defence of "reasonable force";
- Encouraging a more child-friendly workplace culture, so parents can spend more time with their kids;
- Decreasing children's exposure to violence on TV;
- Defending the right of solo parents to remain on the DPB while children are growing up.

"There are many threats to the wellbeing of New Zealand children and the Greens will be working hard this year to ensure those threats are nullified," Ms Bradford says.

"New Zealanders face the prospect of a National-led Government, which would be a disaster for Kiwi kids. Recent comments from Don Brash show he is relaxed about more child poverty and that he is so determined to get single mums off the DPB he considers adopting their kids out a viable alternative.

"These are alarming views from a man who clearly cares more about bolstering the pay packets of his rich mates than looking after our most vulnerable children."

Ms Bradford says implementation of the Greens' Children Policy would ensure that every child in New Zealand had the opportunity to prosper.

"Whether it's because they are beaten by parents who the Police can't prosecute or because they're living in abject poverty, far too many Kiwi kids are not getting the start in life they deserve. We must urgently repeal Section 59 so all child abusers can be brought to justice, and move to end child poverty so that no Kiwi kid goes hungry.

"We're also concerned that parents don't have enough time to spend with their children, and have plans to tackle this, from introducing flexible working hours legislation and ensuring that single parents retain the right to stay on the DPB."

ENDS

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