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We Must Do Better says Turia

We Must Do Better says Turia

Hon Tariana Turia, Co-leader of the Maori Party
Thursday 11 December 2008

"We must restore New Zealand to our rightful status of being known as a place where it is good to bring up children” said Tariana Turia today in response to the UNICEF survey showing we are blighted with a devastating child poverty rate, inadequate parental leave provisions, and insufficient expenditure on childcare and pre-school education.

“These reports follow a week of reports revealing the wellbeing of our children is under threat” said Mrs Turia.

“Social Development agency briefings have reported that the economic benefits of the recent prosperity have not been enjoyed by a small but highly vulnerable group of families”.

“Yesterday the Human Rights Commission petitioned the UN Human Rights Council for a plan to tackle poverty; a plan which would have specific indicators to measure progress particularly for children, marginalised groups, Maori and Pasifika peoples”.

“And then today we learn that our public expenditure on childcare and preschool education is woefully inadequate at just 0.4% of GDP (1% of GDP is the UN recommended level) and we score a tragic 19th out of 24 OECD countries in terms of infant mortality”.

“The 230,000 children in poverty need to be imbued with hope. We must give these children the assurance that they can look forward to food each day” said Mrs Turia.

“It is particularly important to get it right, to put plans in place, to ensure the already vulnerable are not placed at greater risk in the impending economic crisis”.

“We must do better if we want to transform lives” said Turia.

Ends

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