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Association Appeals for Extension to Paid Parental Leave

NZ Multiple Birth Association Appeals for Extension of Paid Parental Leave

By Tracey Warren 6 November 2014

AUCKLAND, NZ –There has been a lot of media interest this week from families with Multiples, not just with Multiple Birth Awareness week being celebrated around the country, but also with the debate in parliament regarding the Paid Parental Bill.

The New Zealand Multiple Birth Association (NZMBA) provides education, support and advocacy to all families or caregivers of multiples, be twins, triplets or higher order multiples.

Wednesday Night in parliament saw a heated debate with MP Sue Moroney advocating for the extension of paid parental leave to parents of twins, triplets, premature babies or those born with a disability.

Carolyn Lister, President of NZMBA states “It is without argument that two or more children are logistically more challenging, not to mention the financial pressures tougher when faced with raising multiples. We want this bill passed with an extension for paid parental leave because frankly, our families need this extra support, it is not a want it is a necessity! A lot of our members currently are not able to access any government assisted financial support."

Ainslee Jacobsen, Vice President of NZMBA adds “A majority of our multiple births are premature and a stay in NICU or SCBU is difficult and distressing. With that stress add in the financial burden involved with a multiple cots, a specialised pram, nappies to name a few things, reality is that many families of multiples are struggling right now."

A quote from single mother Hannah Austin “I am devastated and appalled that Anne Tolley has the nerve to state that parents of multiples and/or premature births already get extra assistance. It certainly wasn't the case for me. My twins were my first children and born prematurely I was not entitled to any assistance that I was made aware of it. PPL is a joke. I was a single mother and when I left work my income because less then half of what I used to receive with exactly the same outgoings plus 2 extra people to support."

While the debate on paid parental leave Bill will continue next year, the most critical clauses were defeated last night by 61-60.

With it being Multiple Birth Awareness week, NZMBA make a heartfelt appeal now, to the government to reconsider their stance and review the issues at hand before making a decision that affects all multiple families in New

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