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Coming together to put children on the election agenda

New Zealanders coming together to put children on the election agenda

The launch of the Tick for Kids campaign (Editors: campaign launch Tuesday 17 June at 11.30am) marks the beginning of a national movement to create the political will to improve the status and wellbeing of Kiwi Kids in the lead up to the election and into the new parliament. UNICEF NZ is pleased to be playing a central role in Tick for Kids and urges all New Zealanders to get involved.

UNICEF NZ National Advocacy Manager and Tick for Kids spokesperson, Deborah Morris-Travers, said, “Political parties are starting to pay attention to the growing public concern about children suffering permanent damage from rheumatic fever, going without nutritious food and blankets on cold nights, and unable to participate in the ordinary activities we expect for Kiwi kids, like school trips. We all want Kiwi kids to do well.”

In the lead up to the election, Tick for Kids will reinforce the message that our country will only do well when our children do well using the slogan, ‘It takes a child to raise a country!’

Ms Morris Travers added, “Tick for Kids includes UNICEF NZ, Plunket, the Paediatric Society, the Royal NZ College of Public Health Medicine, the National Council of Women, and a range of others concerned that political parties have not paid enough attention to child wellbeing.

“The campaign will be working to engage the public so that all of the parties take meaningful action to address the public policy issues that can help improve life for families and children. People interested in supporting the campaign can contact any of the partner organisations to offer help with local events, to find out what questions to ask candidates, or to write to MPs. An advocacy toolkit is available at www.tick4kids.org.nz

“It’s essential that all parties have strong policies for children that give effect to children’s rights, so that the new parliament can make progress on some of the urgent issues facing children and their families. Tick for Kids will remind voters to keep children in mind when they go to vote.

“It’s a truism to say that our future depends on today’s children, but somehow successive governments seem to have forgotten how important our children are. It’s only a few years until the number of labour market entrants will be on a par with the number of people leaving the labour market to retire* – reinforcing the urgency to ensure that all children are healthy, educated, safe and able to participate.

“UNICEF NZ urges all parties to engage positively with debate about children’s rights and interests in the election campaign and to prepare bold policies designed to make a significant difference for children,” concluded Ms Morris-Travers.


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