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Short term thinking won’t solve problems

Annette KING
Social Policy spokesperson
1 August 2011

Short term thinking won’t solve problems

Labour’s Social Policy spokesperson Annette King says she’s bitterly disappointed with the Prime Minister’s refusal to join a cross-party approach on child welfare.

“I’m hugely saddened that the Prime Minister has again rejected our offer to work across the political spectrum to find an enduring solution to New Zealand’s problems of child abuse and under-achievement,” Annette King said.

“Labour is very keen to take a long-term, evidence-based approach to make sure all of New Zealand’s children get the best start in life. We’ve done the work and the evidence points to this being one of the best investments our country can make.

“But a far-reaching goal such as this cannot be achieved in one or even two political terms; to succeed it needs the certainty only a bipartisan approach can give.

“It is time to put politics aside, or at the least open up some serious discussion around this issue and find some common ground between political parties.

“It was a blow to hear the Prime Minister this morning dismissing a cooperative approach on the grounds that a comprehensive set of policies would require money up front but not deliver results immediately.

“The starting point should be to get agreement on what needs to be done and how it is to be achieved. Then we can have the public debate about whether children are worth the investment.

“If he is not prepared to take the advice of another political party, then I am asking him to listen to the growing chorus of parents, experts and practitioners in the field of child development and welfare. They are telling us – the politicians - to get over ourselves and stop the bickering.

“They are saying loud and clear that New Zealand needs a long-term solution to the problems of child abuse and children’s underachievement – and that requires the whole country to work together,” Annette King said.


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