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E Tipu E Rea Whānau on Budget 2024

E Tipu e Rea Whānau services supports young hapū māmā, mātua taiohi (young parents) and their tamariki with a range of health and social services tailored to their needs. Our mission statement is: Supporting mātua taiohi (young parents), hapū māmā and pēpi to grow, thrive, and be rangatira within their whānau, hapū, iwi, hapori. Our qualified kaimahi work frontline with whānau, providing support and advocacy to secure income, housing, training, employment and day to day essentials to thrive as young parents, and have the means to support their pēpi and tamariki.

As E Tipu e Rea has a focus on young parents, hapū māmā and their pēpi and tamariki, it won’t be a surprise that we have a few questions about Budget 2024 announcements. We are dedicated to better outcomes for young whānau, and to help us with this work, our key questions and comments are:

  • The announced $140 million for 1500 social housing places is welcomed as this coincides with our recent transitional housing complex built for our young māmā and pāpā and their tamariki, and we hope that this funding finds its way to organistations who are ready to providing more housing with wrap around support to hapū māmā and young parents and their pēpi.
  • We have questions around the cuts to transitional housing for youth, and hope that the government is aware that there are youth who are also parents and finding a home for themselves and their new pēpi can be very challenging.
  • The apprentice boost initiative is a positive turn, and we also want the government to encourage employers to engage with rangatahi with pēpi and tamariki, to support them to get into the workforce, and provide them with the guidance, support and skills they need to sustain a long working career and to balance the needs of being a new worker and a young parent.
  • Public transport cuts are not helpful for young parents who often do not yet have a driver’s license or a vehicle as this creates barriers in attending training, employment, childcare, GP visits for themselves and their pēpi and childhood immunisations which is what we need to support our rangatahi with tamariki to access. E Tipu e Rea and other similar services will inevitably pick up these costs to increase health and social care access and therefore outcomes for young parents and their pēpi. Will the government consider these financial impacts on health and social services who work with young parents and their pēpi?
  • With the $17 billion announced for the health sector, there are no specifics for maternal mental health or pēpi hauora for the first 2000 days. Women still have to pay a surcharge for scans in some areas, midwives are scarce, and primary birthing facilities are available in some areas but not others which all lead to the detremation of a māmā’s mental health, especially a young māmā. We encourage the government to consider within their health budget the first 2000 days, support for growing the pool of midwife numbers, primary birthing facilities, and kaupapa Māori/iwi services like E Tipu e Rea that want to do more for better outcomes in the maternity and early years space.
  • With $24 million being allocated for Gumboot Friday and $9.7 million to establish a National Mental Health and Addiction Community Sector Innovation Fund, we encourage the government to ensure maternal mental health is a part of the mix within this annonced funding initiative, with young wāhine Māori having the highest rate of depression and suicide during the perinatal period.
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Zoe Hawke, CEO of E Tipu e Rea states that

“Although we are pleased to see some initiatives taken that could potentially improve the lives of mātua taiohi and hapū māmā, and pēpi, it is also evident that they will continue to struggle if more thought is not put into the details of the announcements to ensure young whānau are provided with targeted support. We are concerned also that gains that could be made, will be offset with cuts in other areas such as an end to free prescriptions and public transport subsidies – basic practical and everyday supports that help young parents and their tamariki. Mātua taiohi, hapū māmā and their pēpi already struggle with feeling invisible and discriminated against, let us not recreate more of the same for such important members of our society and the leaders of our future’.

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