Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Potential for cross party agreement on policy for children

Political responses signal potential for cross party agreement on policy for children

The responses from political parties to questions raised by documentary maker, Bryan Bruce, released today, show a growing agreement among parties on some key policy areas affecting children and an understanding that parties need to develop cross-party agreements to support progress for children.

Over the past twenty years we have seen rapid growth in the level of disadvantage for our children with those in sole parent homes, reliant on benefits, living with disability, and Maori and Pasifika children most likely to experience child poverty.

During this period no government has turned the tide on New Zealand’s enduring high rates of child poverty and disadvantage. It is time for parliament to act with a united voice and agree on a few key interventions that will improve the standard of living for the significant group of children missing out on the basics for their development and well-being.

Deborah Morris Travers, National Advocacy Manager at UNICEF NZ, said “We have a cross party accord for our seniors about the minimum rate of National Superannuation, which has resulted in New Zealand having one of the lowest levels of elderly poverty in the OECD. What is stopping an accord for children that would take us from the bottom of OECD rankings to the top?

“It’s pleasing to see that Labour, the Greens, the Maori Party, Internet Mana, United Future, the Conservatives and ACT have all said they would be prepared to enter cross-party talks to reach agreement on long-term solutions to child poverty, but it’s disappointing that National has not yet confirmed it would be willing to do so.

“If we can do this for older New Zealanders, surely we can do it for children? The evidence in support of early investment in children is unequivocal and we know failure to invest in the early years results in medium and long term costs well in excess of spending in the early years. Prevention is always cheaper than the cure.

“There has long been a recognition that cross-party agreements have served to maintain the standard of living of older New Zealanders and protect them from economic hardship. Through the development of the 1993 superannuation accord – developed under a National Government - broad agreement emerged around National Superannuation being indexed to prices and not dropping below a percentage of the average wage, enabling New Zealand to have a low level of elderly poverty compared with our OECD counterparts.

“We ask all parties to look closely at the significant benefits to all children of creating certainty around the basic policies parties can commit to for children, so that investment is sustained, full evaluation of policies can occur and we can start to improve the poor health and education outcomes for children in poverty.

“UNICEF NZ has communicated with all political parties this year to identify priority policies for children and to urge cross-party talks. We are encouraging the smaller parties to ensure any confidence and supply agreements for the new government prioritise action for children so that we see progress within the first 100 days of the new parliament.

“Public interest in these issues is at an all-time high and we know many people will be taking policies for children into account when they vote on 20 September. It’s time for the political parties to work together to agree key policies that ensure all children are healthy, educated, protected and able to contribute to society in their adult years.

“To achieve a sustainable economy in the future, we will need entrepreneurs, business leaders, educators, customers and a population that contributes to society. This will not happen if we ignore the sea anchor of social and economic poverty currently undermining child wellbeing. It’s time to recognise that these are rights, not favours, and parliament has a responsibility to deliver on them for social, economic and legal reasons,” concluded Ms Morris-Travers.

-Ends-

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>

ALSO:


Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>

ALSO:

Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>

ALSO:

With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>

ALSO:

Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>

ALSO:

Wellington: Predator Free Capital Plan

Wellington City Council (WCC), the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and NEXT Foundation, today announced a joint collaboration to make Wellington the first Predator Free capital city in the world. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Judith Collins’ Efforts At Self Correction

Thousands of prisoners currently in prison may be entitled to an earlier release than expected – and compensation – because Corrections has incorrectly calculated their term of imprisonment. Unless of course, the government buries its mistakes by changing the law and retro-actively getting itself off the hook… More>>

ALSO:

More Justice & Corrections

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news