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UNICEF Report shows much more is needed to protect our kids

MEDIA RELEASE

MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Hone Harawira

Embargoed until 12 noon, Wednesday 10 April
UNICEF Report shows much more is needed to protect our kids

“The government continues to fail our most vulnerable kids – and here’s yet another report that proves that sad fact” said Hone Harawira, Leader of MANA and MP for Te Tai Tokerau, following the release of UNICEF’s latest Innocenti Report card which compares child well-being in the world’s 35 richest countries.

New Zealand ranked 21 out of 35 for levels of child poverty.

“One of the worst findings in the report is that New Zealand ranks nearly last (32 out of 34) in the percentage of young people not in work or education and training. We need to do much more to ensure all of our kids have a bright future and a chance to contribute positively to the nation and their communities and whānau”.

New Zealand also ranked 25 out of 34 countries for participation in higher education.

“New Zealand is also clustered with other low ranked countries who have the lowest numbers of kids eating breakfast each day, so I again urge the government to support my Feed the Kids Bill to provide breakfast and lunch programmes in decile 1-2 schools. As found by the Children’s Commissioner’s Expert Advisory Group on Solutions to Child Poverty, food in schools programmes are an immediate and achievable way to give kids in poverty a step up in terms of their health and learning achievement”.

“In presenting findings from other countries, what the report clearly shows is that when governments are fully committed to and invest in reducing child poverty, it does reduce. And what the report clearly shows for New Zealand is that child poverty is not reducing. We need a cross-parliamentary plan to make our kids our first priority, not the last – and we need it yesterday.”

ENDS

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