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Greens first in childrens' policy

9 September 2005

Greens first in childrens' policy

The Green Party totally endorses the Every Child Counts campaign and has the policies to realise its goals, says Sue Kedgley and her fellow Wellington-based candidates ahead of its rally at Parliament tomorrow.

Every Child Counts is a coalition of child-focussed groups including Barnardos, Plunket, Unicef NZ, Save the Children and AUT's Institute of Public Policy. It has praised the Greens for having "bravery, compassion and foresight to name children as an independent policy area", with the Party's policy topping the campaign's 'what's hot' list. Wellington-based election candidates from all parties have been invited to tomorrow's event.

"The Greens wholeheartedly endorse the goals of Every Child Counts and are pleased that they have recognised that we are the party that puts the greatest emphasis on children's' policy," Ms Kedgley says.

"We want parents to be able to spend more time with their families. That's exactly what my Flexible Working Hours Bill will do by giving them the right to ask their employer for flexible work.

Childrens' Issues Spokesperson Sue Bradford says the Greens' policies tackle the specific issues Every Child Counts is highlighting.

"Children are central to families and so are included in 'family' policies, but we believe that children also deserve recognition in their own right.

"As matter of policy, only the Greens will make beating kids illegal by repealing Section 59 of the Crimes Act.

"Only the Greens have set a target of eliminating child poverty, an issue and an approach that are considered mainstream in Britain. And only the Greens want to stop the children of beneficiaries from being disadvantaged, as they are by the current settings of Labour's Working for Families package," Ms Bradford says.

Ms Kedgley says: "With my fellow Wellington City candidates Roland Sapsford and Luci Highfield, I'm looking forward to attending the Every Child Counts picnic and rally on Parliament's lawn tomorrow.

"We expect to be put on the spot politically and are confident we can assure those concerned and engaged with these issues that we are not simply talking but can deliver solutions."

Every Child Counts' 'What's hot and what's not' -

www.everychildcounts.org.nz/resources.php?rid=41

'Party responses to key Every Child Counts platforms' -

www.everychildcounts.org.nz/resources.php?rid=39

ENDS

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