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Children central to Labour Policy

Hon Ruth Dyson
Minister for Social Development & Employment

10 September 2008 Media Statement

Children central to Labour Policy

"The release of the top ten policy priorities for children by 'Every Child Counts' is a timely reminder of the importance of placing children at the heart of good policy," said Minister for Social Development & Employment, Ruth Dyson.

“Every Child Counts has carefully considered potential policies from the perspective of New Zealand’s children. The result can be read as an endorsement of the direction taken by the Labour-led government.

“Policies such as supporting quality early childhood education, extending paid parental leave provisions and reducing child poverty have been at the heart of Labour’s actions in government.

“We know that there is still further to go, and we are committed to continuing in this direction. We therefore applaud the contribution of groups such as Every Child Counts in setting out their future aspirations in these areas.

“We are also firmly committed to the idea of having regular and transparent indicators of children’s health and social wellbeing.

Earlier in the year we welcomed research that indicated that 130,000 children have been lifted out of poverty as a result of increasing employment, Working for Families, income-related rents and other Labour policies.

A further report "Children and Young People – Indicators of Wellbeing in New Zealand 2008" will be released in full shortly. It confirms that the position of children in New Zealand has improved across a wide range of indicators.

"Since 1988 infant mortality has halved and immunisation levels have significantly improved," said Ms Dyson.

"The Children and Young People Report demonstrates the results of good policy and we hope all political parties will articulate their vision for our children's future," said Ms Dyson.


ENDS

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