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Scorecard Shows Government Failing Children

Jacinda Ardern
Social Development Spokesperson

17 February 2012

Labour is again calling for the Government to broaden the scope of its Green Paper on Vulnerable Children in the wake of the worrying findings from the Salvation Army Report titled ‘The Growing Divide’.

“The report released today gives the Government a C- for child poverty and a D for the level of children at risk in New Zealand. According to the report, there has been no noticeable improvement in child poverty, with conservative measures putting one in five children living in material hardship.

"While the Government's Green Paper gives us an opportunity to discuss the fact that one in ten children live in homes or neighbourhoods where violence is commonplace, it fails to address the root causes of children becoming vulnerable in the first place."

"As the report rightly points out 'vulnerability does not start with poor policy but in the social and economic environments we create for children to grow up in'.

"Unfortunately when questioned in the House on the link between poverty and the vulnerability of children, the Social Development Minister has either downplayed the connection, or consigned the issue to a committee which hasn't even met yet.

"It's time for the Minister to address the whole issue, not just parts of it. It’s also time for her to commit to working alongside all parties in the House to address this issue.
“Labour remains willing to work with the Government on child welfare issues in the hope that one day, we will stop failing our children."



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