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Once In A Generation Opportunity To Protect Our Children

14 August 2012

Once In A Generation Opportunity To Protect Our Children

The Government has been given a once in a generation opportunity to tackle the root causes of child vulnerability and should join with all parties to create an action plan for children, the Green Party said today.

A summary of submissions on the Government’s Green Paper on vulnerable children, released today, reveals widespread concern that in order to address vulnerability, the needs of children must be at the centre of policy making and the root causes of inequality and poverty need to be addressed.

“The Green Party believes child-centred policy is essential if we are to make real progress on vulnerable children and we agree with submitters that a Minister for Children is necessary to give that focus weight in Cabinet,” Green Party children’s spokesperson Holly Walker said.

“Meanwhile in order to grasp the opportunity to make real progress for children, the Government must address the root causes of vulnerability, such as poverty, inequality and poor housing.

“The Green Paper failed to address these basic causes, instead focussing on the “bottom of the cliff” solutions.

”We're still worried about this approach, and we urge the Government to turn this focus around.
“We agree with many submitters that to really tackle the root causes a cross party consensus on children is needed.

“That’s worked for the elderly who have some of the best outcomes in the OECD while our kids have some of the worst.

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“We urge the Government to grasp this huge opportunity and turn their focus to true “top of the cliff” solutions and join with other political parties, key NGOs, communities and whanau, to form a cross-party children’s action plan.

“Moves such as replacing the in-work tax credit with a child payment for all children who need it, regardless of whether their parents have jobs, would make a huge difference to some of our most vulnerable children.

“It is great that a summary of submissions has finally been released after many months of waiting.

“We look forward to reading the submissions in more detail,” Ms Walker said.

ENDS

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