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Seek Out detail In Parties Policies

23 August 2005

Save The Children Challenges NZ Public To Seek Out The Detail In Party Policies For Children

Save the Children New Zealand congratulated representatives of political parties who stepped forward today to take the Every Child Counts challenge.

The Every Child Counts Challenge Card was unveiled at a forum in Wellington today, calling for all candidates to place children first in government planning; ensure every child gets a good start; reduce child abuse and family violence; end child poverty; and act on their pledges. Representatives from Act, the Green Party, Labour, the Maori Party, National, New Zealand First, the Progressive Party and United Future all agreed to place children high on the political agenda.

Executive Director of Save the Children New Zealand John Bowis said it was encouraging to see the candidates talk candidly about issues affecting children, however their 10 minute presentations did not provide much detail.

“I urge all New Zealanders who are genuinely interested in improving the quality and prosperity of New Zealand now and in the future to seek out the detail in party rhetoric for children before 17 September,” he said. “Look out for the Every Child Counts analysis of party policies next week and make an informed decision in the best interests of children on Election Day.”

The popular stance among candidates was a holistic, cross-sectorial approach to the Every Child Counts challenge, yet parties were split when questioned on the repeal of Section 59 of the Crimes Act 1961.

“Those parties who indicated they would not support a repeal of Section 59 seemed to be missing a prime opportunity to put children first, i.e. protecting children from all types of mistreatment,” said Mr Bowis.

Save the Children New Zealand is a member of the Every Child Counts coalition, together with Barnardos, UNICEF, Plunket and the Institute of Public Policy at AUT. Every Child Counts calls on politicians to place children at the centre of public policy.

ENDS

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