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Parties Sharply Divided on Children

5 August, 2005

Parties Sharply Divided on Children

Survey results have been released showing a sharp divide in party positions on children. In a Jobs Letter survey, political parties were asked, 'Do you support the Every Child Counts campaign?' and 'How would your party make every child count?' Labour, the Greens, United Future, the Maori Party and Progressive answered yes to the first question and went on to explain their position on children.

National, New Zealand First and Act failed to answer either question and made no mention of children. 'There is a clear divide between parties that believe there is a need to address the deterioration in the position of children and their families of the past few decades and those that don't", said Dr Ian Hassall, spokesperson for Every Child Counts.

"Every Child Counts is a coalition including Barnardos, Plunket, Save the Children, Unicef NZ and AUT's Institute of Public Policy, supported by more than 325 other organisations and thousands of individual supporters.

It aims for a commitment from the incoming government to placing children and their families at the centre of their plans and decision-making processes. 'Some of the parties seem unaware of the struggle many families have in raising children and the detrimental effect on many New Zealand children of poverty, ill-treatment and limited opportunities,' said Dr Hassall 'We are asking parties to make clear to voters what they will do if they become the government.

We believe that without a strong commitment from the incoming government children and families will be sidelined once again', he said. "Children are 100 percent of the future of our society. We cannot afford to continue to marginalise them in the manner that is occurring this election", he concluded.

ENDS

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