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Kiwi children still getting a raw deal

Jacinda Ardern
Children’s Spokesperson

12 February 2014

Kiwi children still getting a raw deal

National can no longer deny radical action is needed on child poverty and child abuse following the release of a report criticising progress on improving the lot of kids in New Zealand, Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.

“The Salvation Army’s seventh State of the Nation report not only highlights unacceptable levels of child abuse and neglect, it also points out that ‘virtually no effort has been spent in actually addressing the underlying causes’ of child poverty.

“The wellbeing of children should be a measure of a country. As Unicef has stated ‘children should be the first to be protected rather than the last to be considered’.

“Sadly the lot of children has continued to deteriorate. Cases of substantiated abuse or neglect against children has risen 41 per cent over the last five years, while recorded offences of violence, sexual assaults and neglect of children rose 68 per cent over the same period.

“While those figures should embarrass us all, they should also give the Government more than just pause for thought. Its Children’s Action plan is not enough on its own.

“It is time National listened to the abundant evidence around the role poverty plays in children’s family life, their health and development, and develops some real and lasting policy to eliminate it.

“Labour’s Best Start package - part of our broader plan to ensure the best for all Kiwi children – will help ease pressure on working and middle income New Zealand families by investing in the crucial, early years of a child’s life.”

ENDS

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