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The need for change is urgent

Annette King
Deputy Leader

29 August 2011

The need for change is urgent

The latest report on child health and welfare shows the urgent need for change in the way New Zealand treats its children, Labour Deputy Leader Annette King says.

The yearly Children's Social Health Monitor, released today, examines the effects of the economic downturn on children and paints a picture far from pretty with inequalities remaining stark, Annette King said.

“More children and their families are becoming reliant on benefits, more are being admitted to hospital with respiratory illness and more families because of the rising cost of living are cutting down on buying fresh fruit and vegetables.

“This is the second major report in just a matter of weeks that paints a dismal picture of child welfare in this country.

“That’s why Labour says it’s time for politicians to come together on this issue and develop a cross-party agreement for the sake of our children.

“If we want outcomes for children to be different then we need to do things differently.

“Sadly, so far John Key has denied the request for cross-party agreements on child welfare citing a disagreement over National standards as a reason not to engage with other politicians.

“New Zealand can and must do better for our children and all leaders must come together to put political interests aside to ensure we build better futures for our youngest citizens, they are the priority.

“We need an all of Government approach where, health, housing, education and welfare work together and where children and their families interests are a priority.

“We need to head reports about child welfare, not rubbish and dismiss them and actually use the information to improve the lives of Kiwi kids,” Annette King said.

ENDS

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