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Judith Collins - Celebrating Families 21 April 06

Judith Collins - Celebrating Families 21 April 2006

Judith Collins Family and Welfare Spokesperson 21 April 2006

Working Hard for Families

SAVE PLUNKETLINE I make no apologies for continuing to speak up for Plunket.

PlunketLine celebrated its 12th birthday this month. On top of the many presents they undoubtedly received it was the Labour government that iced their birthday cake. This is the news that as of 30 June this year the Ministry of Health will end PlunketLine's funding.

It was Helen Clark who promised to keep PlunketLine going prior to the 1999 election. Now she wants to scrap this unique system altogether and instead fund a HealthLine service operated by the U.S McKesson Corporation. As a parent, I understand the stress and worry that a crying baby in the middle of the night causes and I'm sure the majority of mothers and fathers will agree that having a registered and experienced Plunket nurse to talk to saves a lot of worry, anxiousness and in some cases - a baby's life. It has been made clear that the issue is one of funding and not under-performance.

Plunketline is only funded to answer 70,000 calls a year, and have been receiving 76,000. I couldn't agree more with Dr Don Brash who says: "Helen Clark should do the right thing. She should intervene and honour her promise to properly fund the service." I urge you all to help PlunketLine by signing a petition. Visit our website at www.national.org.nz and click under health policies and then media releases alternatively just go straight to Plunket www.plunket.org.nz

LEARN FROM THE YOUNG I couldn't help but smile when I saw some of our local kids painting over graffiti covered walls. I thought this was appropriate to share with you as I've recently discussed the graffiti bill with my local constituents and was delighted with your responses. 25 children from Redhill School have been helping paint over tagging at the Papakura BMX Club building. Great stuff!! Isn't it ironic that the kids have to clean up the mess left behind by older criminals? One would hope the taggers could feel some guilt at the sight of seven-year-olds painting over graffiti. The children go to the BMX Club each week and are thrilled if the wall hasn't been tagged all over again. I'm glad that the schools, police and Papakura Council have implemented such a programme which teaches kids from a very early age just how disgusting graffiti really is.

Good on parents who teach their children to respect other people and their property.

GREAT ADVICE FOR PARENTING This month has yet another great issue for parents from Ian and Mary Grant's Parenting Magazine. I particularly enjoyed reading their extremely sensible advice. At school holiday time we can all do with a boost to our self confidence in parenting. Great article too in this month's North and South magazine featuring a couple of my personal favourites, Lesley Max of the Pacific Foundation and Maxine Hodgson who established child advocacy service, Parentline, in Hamilton over 25 years ago. These women deserve medals for the positive changes they and their teams bring to children and their families.

ENDS

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