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Minister’s Announcement Misses the Point of Bill

Tracey Martin MP

New Zealand First Deputy Leader

16 December 2013

Minister’s Announcement Misses the Point of Bill

New Zealand First Deputy Leader Tracey Martin, has called on the Government to continue its support of her member’s bill that seeks to give equality to orphans and unsupported children raised by kin carers with those of children raised by foster parents.

Ms Martin’s Social Security (Clothing Allowances for Orphans and Unsupported Children) Amendment Bill was drawn from the ballot earlier this year and received almost unanimous support at its first reading. The Bill now sits with the Social Services Select Committee.

“As a member of the Ministerial working party I am pleased the Minister has taken up our recommendation, but the discrimination surrounding the lack of access to the clothing allowance for children raised by kin carers still remains.

“I am disappointed by the wording of the announcement – the rhetoric plays into the hands of those members of the press and public who have an unrealistic view of the hardship these children and kin carers face. 

“A Labour Government was aware of this unfairness, a National Government has also acknowledged it – the announcement yesterday was a band aid over this issue but I urge the House not to rest on its laurels and give these children equity under the law by continuing to support my Bill,” says Ms Martin.

•                     This new fund is available to all orphans and unsupported children – those raised by Foster Parents and Kin Carers.
•                     Foster Parent kids now get the clothing allowance of $1000 to $1700 and get the School start fund of $450 and can access the discretionary fund as well.
•                     All the members of the working party recognised that this does not address the need for my bill.  But we were specifically not allowed to address the Clothing Allowance section of the current legislation.


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