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Government left red-faced? Probably not

Children’s Spokesperson
Social Development Spokesperson
Government left red-faced? Probably not

UNICEF’s latest report card on the well-being of children should embarrass the government into rethinking its stance on child poverty, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson and Spokesperson for Children, Jacinda Ardern, says.
“New Zealand is one of just six countries that doesn’t collect enough data to fully measure how well our kids are doing compared with the rest of the world.

“The Government might like to pretend it is addressing child poverty, but when it doesn’t use standard international measures that compare not only how Kiwi kids are doing, but how it is also doing with regards to protecting those kids, then there’s something wrong.

“Where we do collect enough information, the report shows we are doing badly in many areas we should be ranking far higher in.

“One of them is the number of young people not in any form of education, training or employment, where we are ranked close to the bottom, alongside countries like Greece.

“Interestingly the report also points out that there doesn’t ‘appear to be a strong relationship between per capita and over-all child well-being’, indicating that despite the much used excuses of ‘the global financial crisis’ and ‘tough economic times’, countries – such as the Netherlands and Finland – that have chosen to make children a priority have produced positive results.

“Social Development Minister, Paula Bennett, and her Government colleagues could demonstrate a real commitment to children’s well-being by adopting my Bill on child poverty, which sets out a plan to measure, and set targets to improve the outcomes for our kids.

“It’s time we stood up and showed that we’re willing to address this issue, so that the next scorecard is both an honest reflection of what is happening here, and forces the Government’s hand into acting, rather than just talking.”

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