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Govt should step in and save Stand camps

Govt should step in and save Stand camps

National’s spokesperson for children Alfred Ngaro is calling on the Government to step up and save the Stand children’s camps in Otaki and Roxburgh, which face the threat of closing due to a funding shortfall.

“This organisation, which most people know as the iconic Children’s Health Camps, has been part of the New Zealand landscape for generations. It simply must not be left to fail.

“The National-led Government invested an extra $1.5 million into Children’s Health Camps in 2009 to help maintain the camps as an essential trauma-focused treatment service.

“The Prime Minister, who has staked her political capital on ending child poverty, needs to get involved and save these centres from closure. They are one of the best examples we have of operations that go right to the heart of helping the children most in need and disadvantaged by poverty.

“National recognises the importance of these camps, which can provide a real highlight for kids who may have had a rough start to life. It’s also some vital timeout for the caregivers who look after them.

“At a recent visit to the Pakuranga Village, the trauma team spoke to myself and other MPs about the growing demand from children and families and the capacity challenges they face – both to their workforce and their facilities.

“We again call on the Prime Minister to get involved and take a pragmatic approach with Stand to ensure these camps continue, but also to keep a close eye on costs to ensure Stand can keep operating within its financial parameters.

“It would be a huge shame if these camps are lost to the country’s children who are most in need, just one year before the movement’s 100th anniversary,” Mr Ngaro says.

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