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Bring the Troops Home and Feed the Kids

PRESS RELEASE

Bring the Troops Home and Feed the Kids

MANA Leader Hone Harawira

Tuesday 27 August

“Having my ‘Feed the Kids’ bill go into the ballot on the same day as the Children’s Commissioner is calling for exactly the same thing doesn’t give me any vindication” says MANA Leader and Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira.

“I’d be happier if the Commissioner said that government had taken up the challenge of ensuring every child got at least one decent meal a day. But they haven’t – hence my bill”

Hone Harawira’s Education (Breakfast and Lunch Programmes in Schools) Amendment Bill – the “Feed the Kids” bill – may be drawn from the ballot as early as this Thursday 30th August.

“The reality is stark and the problem is growing” said Harawira. “Every poverty indicator we have – income inequality, unemployment, third world diseases, housing, health and education – confirms the fact that child poverty is increasing in Aotearoa and that Maori and PI children suffer at far greater levels than everyone else”.

“The government’s committee on poverty has achieved nothing and established no deadlines for the elimination of the problem of child poverty that is a source of shame for us all”.

Harawira said that it was because of the lack of action that MANA was promoting his “Feed the Kids” bill to ensure that every student at Decile 1 and 2 schools got breakfast and lunch every day at school. The meals would be provided to students free of charge and be required to meet Ministry of Health nutritional guidelines.

“It would cost less than it does to keep our troops in Afghanistan” said Harawira. “Bring the troops home and feed the kids”.

“I’m hugely grateful to all those communities and businesses and agencies doing what they can to provide meals in schools, but learning and health should not be dependent on charity.”

“When parents can’t cope then government should step up”.

ENDS


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