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Grandparents' Trust To Appear Before Select committee

Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Trust To Appear Before Select Committee


Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Trust NZ Chair Diane Vivian and Board Member Kate Bundle are to appear before the Social Services Select Committee on Wednesday March 19th 2014 in support of an amendment bill that would afford the same clothing allowance to grand/kin children being raised by their grand/kin parents that foster children receive.

New Zealand First Deputy Leader Tracey Martin’s Social Security (Clothing Allowances for Orphans and Unsupported Children) Amendment Bill was drawn from the ballot in 2013 and received almost unanimous support at its first reading. The Bill now sits with the Social Services Select Committee.
Ms Martin’s Bill proposes to give unsupported children or orphans clothing allowance parity with foster children.

GRG Chair Diane Vivian says “GRG is strongly supportive of Tracey Martin’s amendment bill. Grand/kin children being raised by their grandparents/whanau caregivers deserve to receive the same clothing allowance as children in foster care”.

Currently the clothing allowance is worth between $1,000 and $1,685 per year depending on the age of the children and amounts to over $22,000 per child from birth to when the children turn 18. Mrs Vivian says “All we are after is fairness and equality. These children should not be penalised for being raised by family members. At the moment they are being penalised. This is grossly unfair”.

To date the Social Services Select Committee has received 235 submissions supporting the amendment bill. Further, the Ministry of Justice has concluded that the amendment bill is consistent with the rights and freedoms affirmed in New Zealand’s Bill of Rights Act.

Mrs Vivian says “this clothing allowance will make a significant difference to the lives of our grand/kin children”.

Ends

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