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PM rubbishes efforts to improve the lives of Kiwi kids

Deputy Labour Leader

16 August 2011

Prime Minister rubbishes efforts to improve the lives of Kiwi kids

Prime Minister John Key today described a report prepared by Plunket, Barnardos, Save the Children New Zealand, Te Kahui Mana Ririki and Unicef which aims draw attention to issues facing New Zealand children as ‘rubbish’, Labour Deputy Leader Annette King says.

“Prime Minister John Key was today reduced to attacking well respected organisations and their report on child poverty in order to defend his government’s appalling record of action on issues,” Annette King said.

The Infometrics report - 1000 Days To Get It Right For Every Child - was commissioned by Every Child Counts.

“It’s a sobering report, and if anyone had any doubts about the social outcomes of Labour’s children-focused policy, then they should read it. It provides the economic evidence that we are on the right track,” Annette King said.

“Labour has been advocating a wide-ranging, comprehensive framework that focuses on the first five years of every child’s life for a long time. And we’ve been pushing for a cross-party approach to it to ensure everyone is agreed on expectations for our children’s future.

“What we’ve got from National instead is a narrow-themed Green Paper that only looks out for so-called ‘vulnerable’ kids.

“Experts have told us, time and time again, that waiting until a child is identified as being vulnerable before intervention is pointless. The evidence to support what we need to do is crystal clear, but is being ignored by this Government.

“One of the key messages in this report is that the first 1000 days of a child’s life are critical in determining whether or not that child becomes a healthy, mature, and productive member of the community,” Annette King said.

“John Key’s decision to rubbish anyone who disagrees with him is pathetic. Organisations like Plunket and Barnardos work at the frontline of child welfare in this country rubbishing their report is totally outrageous.

“John Key should today feel ashamed of his petty attack on these organisations and the report they commissioned and he should feel ashamed of his Government’s lack of action on child welfare,” Annette King said.


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