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Submissions Show Bennett’s Green Paper Doesn’t Go Far Enough

Social Development Spokesperson
Spokesperson for Children

14 August 2012 MEDIA STATEMENT

Submissions Show Bennett’s Green Paper Doesn’t Go Far Enough

Time and time again Paula Bennett has promoted her Green Paper as a solution to how we care for our most vulnerable children, yet it ignores a raft of issues flagged by the thousands of submitters, Labour’s Spokesperson for Social Development and Children Jacinda Ardern says.

“While the Green Paper zeroes in on issues such as mandatory reporting, monitoring and information sharing, submitters have overwhelmingly argued that to improve the lot of children a multitude of circumstances need to be addressed.

“Their worry, and mine, is that the narrow focus of the Green paper means the subsequent White Paper will not address those issues.

“Research shows that poverty and income inadequacy are key drivers of poor outcomes for children. Ms Bennett’s Green Paper ignores this with systemic issues like poverty barely rating a mention in the summary. The same goes for the role of housing, health and education.

“Criticism has also been levelled at the lack of neutrality in the Green Paper and the lack of analysis of current policy.

“Ms Bennett appears to have her eyes wide shut to the reality of the problem. If the White Paper is to result in flagship policy that truly addresses the vulnerability of all children, then she needs to open her eyes and take an unbiased look at what the submitters actually said.

“If there is to be any credibility in this process it is their ideas which should now be translated into bipartisan policy responses that focus on the overall well-being of our children,” Jacinda Ardern said.

Some quotes from submitters

Plunket is concerned that at as yet there is not agreed definition of vulnerability and recommends that progress from the Green Paper consultation process is founded primarily on accepted and mandated concept of vulnerability. Plunket

It is not the community or the individual who is responsible for the structural poverty caused by lack of jobs, low pay, inflexible working house, poor housing or inadequate benefits. This is the responsibility of Government. National Council of Women of NZ

Whilst we understand the Minister’s urgency in developing specific proposals for the better protection of vulnerable children we strongly believe that success will only be achieved in the context of full national plan for all children. Every Child Counts

Make sure young people are supported, as well as their families. This is through ensuring they receive proper income, live in a safe and loving environment, as well as having a healthy, warm and safe living environment. A child and young person


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