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Grandparents Deserve Fair Go

6 June 2006


Grandparents Deserve Fair Go

The National Council of Women of New Zealand (NCWNZ) shares the Grandparents Raising Grandchildren (GRG) frustration at the Government's continued failure to resolve the inequitable payments and eligibility for allowances for grandparent carers.

"This is not a new issue and there is no excuse for allowing inequitable funding of grandparents who are entrusted with parenting our next generation," said Christine Low, National President, in response to the GRG's complaint about the broken election promise. "What message does this send to the children in their care?"

NCWNZ established policy in support of Grandparents seeking equitable funding and allowance entitlement in 2002.

"The matter was raised with the Government in 2002. Four years on and the Minister reports he is still seeking advice," said Low. "Perhaps the Minister would be best advised to take the advice of those most affected; the grandparents and children in their care who are stating very clearly that they struggle to make ends meet."

The failure to ensure these families receive the same entitlement as foster parents is, as the Minister, Hon David Benson-Pope stated, “inherently unfair". Grandparents have already made a considerable social investment in raising their own children. To expect them to go on to raise the next generation as well is outrageous, especially when in many cases their only income is their Superannuation which was never intended to support raising children as well. This puts these children at a significant disadvantage compared to their peers.

"NCWNZ calls on the Minister to expedite the work by Officials, so that the children in the care of these grandparents enjoy the opportunities afforded to their peers," concluded Low.


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