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Labour supports UN call for action on children in NZ

Annette King

Deputy Leader of the Labour Party

20 January 2011 Media Statement
Labour supports UN call for action on children in New Zealand

Labour applauds a call by the United Nations for New Zealand to do better for all its children, Social Development spokesperson Annette King says.

“The UN committee on the rights of the child today expressed concern that New Zealand does not have a department or ministry responsible for children’s issues and was concerned that the way resources were currently being allocated would not eliminate child poverty,” Annette King said.

“Last October, Labour came to the same conclusion when we signalled new policies containing fundamental changes to the way children’s development would be supported in New Zealand and our approach to child poverty.

“Labour set out an agenda for change, which involves a three-pronged approach to children’s wellbeing, to give them the best possible chance of a good start in life:

Placing much greater emphasis on early child development;

Breaking the cycle of socio-economic deprivation, and;

Introducing enabling legislative and structural change.

“These changes would be led by the Minister of Social Policy who would become the voice of children at the Cabinet table. The Minister of Social Policy would lead change across health, education, housing and social development portfolios.

“There is a real and pressing need for a single strategic plan that combines a whole of government approach with well-integrated service delivery – to replace the current disjointed and under-resourced approach,” Annette King said.

“For Labour, this is unfinished business.

“I hope to set up a meeting with members of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child to discuss Labour’s new policies while they are in New Zealand,” Annette King said.

ENDS

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