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Peter Dunne: Launch of 2015 Children’s Health Stamp

Hon Peter Dunne

Associate Minister of Health
2 September 2015

Peter Dunne: Launch of 2015 Children’s Health Stamp

Capital E, Queens Wharf, Wellington

It is a pleasure to be part of the launch of the 2015 Children’s Health Stamp.

The relationship between Stand Children’s Services and New Zealand Post, and the proud history of the Health Stamp fundraising initiative, goes back to 1929.

Now that is impressive enough in itself, and a fine reason to celebrate the launch every year.

But it is extra special this year, because these stamps carry an important message for New Zealanders.

Each year in New Zealand, approximately 500 people die of skin cancer. 69,000 are treated for it.

New Zealand is a country famous for its outdoor pursuits and the freedom of childhood summers spent surfing, swimming and fishing.

There is also a fair bit of just lying around soaking up the sun, although if we are all honest, the opportunities to do that in the Capital are not quite as common as elsewhere in our fine country.

This is a heritage and lifestyle none of us want to give up, but it comes with certain risks – risks that can be managed.

We share with Australia the title of having the highest melanoma rates in the world, partly as a result of that heritage and lifestyle, partly as a result of ozone depletion, and partly due to latitude.

That combination of factors means we have to be really careful.

We must all protect ourselves from UV rays.

Children, especially.

That is what the 2015 Children’s Health Stamp is all about.

It is really a re-telling of this familiar but important story, brought to us jointly by the Health Promotion Agency, which is responsible for reminding New Zealanders about the importance of being SunSmart, New Zealand Post, and by Stand Children’s Services, to which a portion of funds from each stamp sold is allocated, to help their vital specialist family services and their therapeutic care and education work with vulnerable children.

At Stand’s Villages, when they are playing outside, the children in Stand’s care wear hats and sunscreen, and are told about how important it is to be aware of the dangers posed by the sun.

This is an important piece of education for all young Kiwis, and the same message is delivered in schools and through a range of initiatives around the country.

Slip, Slop, Slap and Wrap.

We all know it. We have all heard it – every summer since the 1980s when we started taking a more coordinated approach to public health and education about the risk of sun exposure.

And we see that again on the 2015 Children’s Health Stamp.

Shirt, sunscreen, hat, sunglasses.

S simple methods, but effective Ones.

That refrain has punctuated New Zealand summers for more than 30 years, and as Associate Minister for Health I am delighted to be here today to officially launch the 2015 Children’s Health Stamp, and to join you all in being part of telling that story once again.

Thank you to Fiona Inkpen and the team at Stand for the great work they do with vulnerable children and families.

Thank you to New Zealand Post for the organisation’s ongoing support of this great cause.

And thank you to the Health Promotion Agency for their tireless championship of SunSmart.


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