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Reading will unlock the five steps to the future

MEDIA RELEASE
Monday 23 August 1999

READING WILL UNLOCK THE FIVE STEPS TO THE FUTURE

New Zealand children must read to survive and read to be fully alive in 2000 and beyond, said Prime Minister Jenny Shipley.

"Programmes like 'Books in Homes' are helping New Zealand children get the basic tools they need to thrive in the knowledge economy of the future.

"This year alone the Government is providing $1.4 million to Books in Homes. This is giving more children than ever the chance to read at home and share the joy with others.

"Every family must help to unlock the doors. With basic skills like reading you can use the Internet, get a job and get a driver's licence," she said.

Mrs Shipley together with the Minister of Maori Affairs Hon Tau Henare, Alan Duff and National Party Mana candidate Mark Thomas attended the Books in Homes one millionth book presentation at Tairangi Primary School in Porirua.

"Books in Homes together with the Government's strategy to make sure every child can read, write and do maths by age nine, is going a long way to help give children a great start."

She said it was important for parents to make sure they had books in their homes to read to their children.

"It is hard to imagine going through life without being able to read. So much of our lives today depend on our ability to communicate through written words, whether they are electronic or on paper.

"Reading, writing and maths unlock opportunities for our future. Government wants every New Zealander to have these skills. It will only happen if every New Zealand adult is determined to see that we as New Zealanders fall in love with reading again," said Mrs Shipley.

ENDS


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