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Let’s not sacrifice our future

MEDIA STATEMENT

29 August 2012


Let’s not sacrifice our future

The New Zealand College of Public Health Medicine (NZCPHM) supports the ‘direction of travel’ recommended in the consultation document released by the Office of the Children’s Commissioner on 28 August. With 22% of New Zealand children living in households with incomes below the ‘60-percent-of-median’ threshold we have much to work on and much to gain from expanding policies that have been shown to have an impact.

President of the NZCPHM, Dr Julia Peters says “The findings in the report are not new to those of us involved in the delivery of health services. Having so many of our children living in relative poverty is unacceptable and as the problem persists, so the social costs compound. As a society we can be judged by the way we treat our children and elderly, unfortunately our children are not doing so well. They need to be a priority.”

The NZCPHM supports sustainable interventions that will lift children out of poverty and enable them to flourish. The prevention of problems is a much more effective way to build a stable and prosperous society. Dr Peters would like to see the final report studied with real resource applied to evidence-informed programmes that are very much focused on children’s well-being.

“As public health physicians we want to see both universal and targeted programmes with priority given to housing quality, antenatal and parenting programmes, quality early childhood education, school meals and after school homework programmes” says Dr Peters.

Both the short-term and long-term consequences of doing nothing to alleviate child poverty in New Zealand are too costly. While the living standards of many New Zealand children have improved over the past few years, we encourage a re-doubling of effort across sectors to ensure that once again, New Zealand is the best place to bring up kids.


ENDS

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