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New Zealand must 'step up' for children

Media Release
Embargoed until 7.30am Thursday 6 December 2007

New Zealand must 'step up' for children

New Zealand needs to do more for its children and focus on the early years to improve outcomes for children and New Zealand in the future. This was the message that was coming through loud and clear this morning at a Littlies Lobby Parliamentary breakfast. High-profile celebrities Robyn Malcolm, Suzy Cato and Mike McRoberts, as well as several local school children all wanted to have their say to express what communities and children really need.

At this morning's Littlies Lobby event there was a call for government, all political parties, communities, and businesses to work together to provide a focus and holistic approach to improving outcomes for young children.

"I believe we have reached a tipping point," says Dr Cindy Kiro, Children's Commissioner, speaking at the Littlies Lobby this morning. "The public is seeking a holistic approach to raising healthy New Zealanders."

"This requires a combination of policies and funding for good child health, early childhood education, social support, flexible work practices and family-friendly policies in the workplace," says Dr Kiro.

Dr Kiro was calling for education and preparation for future parents; support for parents; and systematic assessments and interventions for babies, children and young people.

"It's time to step-up and take action," said Carol Becker, NZ President Plunket.

"We are calling for an increase in investment in the first five years; parenting education to be freely available to all; expanding the 'well child' to embrace 'well family'; and centralised and shared information to help give parents the support they need."

"In short, we all need to work together to get the best start for every child."

- Ends -

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