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Children's Commissioners Report welcomed

Hon Ruth Dyson
Minister for Social Development & Employment

7 August 2008 Media Statement

Children's Commissioners Report welcomed

The Government welcomes the release of the Children's Commissioners Report 'A Fair Go for all Children'.

The report outlines analysis of how social and economic influences affect the wellbeing of our children, the Minister for Social Development and Employment Ruth Dyson said today.

“The government recognises the need to continually discuss the issues affecting the health and welfare of our children. With the direction New Zealand will take due to be decided at the next election, now is a particularly relevant time for New Zealanders to consider the options presented by political parties," said Ruth Dyson.

"The report identifies that in the 1990s poverty rates climbed sharply and inequality rose more in New Zealand than in any of the 24 OECD countries where comparative data is available. New Zealand was among the least generous OECD countries when it came to financial support to children.

"Since the damaging National Party policies were abandoned, the Government has achieved a great deal, addressing many of those negative trends. Child Poverty has reduced considerably with 130,000 children being lifted out of poverty through such initiatives as Working for Families, raising the minimum wage and increased employment.

"There is always more to be done and this government is committed to working on this issue, focusing on delivering good quality education, employment opportunities and adequate support for all families with children.

"Working for Families, paid parental leave, income related rents, cheaper doctor’s fees and 20 hours free early childhood education have all contributed to reducing child poverty. These policies make a real difference to the income and wellbeing of parents and assist with eliminating one of the major contributing factors of poverty.

“The Government recognises that achieving a fair and just society is an ongoing effort and now is not the time to loose sight of those most in need. Our commitment and resolve remain firm and we will continue to work with the Children's Commissioner to achieve our shared goals", said Ms Dyson.


ENDS

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