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Unicef report demands government policy responses

11 December 2008

Media Release:


Unicef report demands government policy responses

The just released United Nations Children’s Fund survey on how governments in developed countries treat children has found New Zealand fails to meet minimum standards in many areas.

Among other things New Zealand has very high levels of child poverty, poor parental leave provisions and poor access to early childhood education.

In the case of early childhood education it is the very children who need these services the most who have the most limited access.

The Unicef report clearly identifies the reasons for the greatest educational problem we face which is the long tail of underachievement which hangs like an albatross around the country’s neck.

The changes in policy needed to reduce this tail of underachievement -

·        Access to early childhood education services in low-income communities – our areas of greatest need.

·        Policies to bring 130,000 New Zealand children out of poverty.

·        Improved parental leave and enhanced community support for single parent families.

These issues now face the National government having been left aside by successive governments for more than 20 years.


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