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Government must do more for vulnerable whanau

Nanaia
MAHUTA
Maori Social Development Spokesperson

10 April 2013 MEDIA STATEMENT

Government must do more for vulnerable whanau

The Government needs to reconcile its rhetoric on vulnerable children with action that really makes a difference in their lives, Labour’s Māori Development spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says.

The UNICEF Innocenti Report Card 11 is a stark reminder that while we think our country is a great place to bring up children, New Zealand ranks 21 out of 35 countries for levels of child poverty, and nearly the bottom of all measured countries for the percentage of young people not in education, training or employment.

“Just last night the Government antagonised the situation by passing social security legislation which forces single mums to work without recognising the need to up-skill and train them.

“There are far too many Kiwi children living in poverty and for a small country like ours, it doesn’t need to be that way.

“The sooner National recognises that a whole of Government approach is required to improve the lives of vulnerable children, the sooner New Zealand can again hold its head high in the international community.

“Over 48% of parents on the DPB have no formal educational qualifications. Supporting their education, training and employment opportunities will significantly enhance their employment opportunities and the type of job that they can apply for.

“The Government needs to step up to the plate and recognise that by improving training and employment opportunities for parents, it is also helping to improve the lives of our vulnerable children.

“It’s a simple formula that requires urgent attention. New Zealand’s children deserve better.”

ENDS

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