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New Labour leaders urged to continue work for children

1000 days to get it right: New Labour leaders urged to continue work for children

Every Child Counts urges David Shearer and Grant Robertson, the new leader and deputy leader of the Labour Party to continue the important policy work started by Phil Goff and Annette King to progress children’s interests and to pursue opportunities to build cross-party agreement on policies for children.

“Phil Goff and Annette King worked with their caucus and party membership to develop policies that made children a central focus of their work. They committed Labour to policies that would create a Minister for Children, set an official poverty line, increase incomes through a tax free zone, extend Working for Families, and improve participation in early childhood education,” says Liz Gibbs, Chair of Every Child Counts.

“These are important policy platforms, based on the understanding that there is a high return on investment in children. We hope Labour will remain committed to progress in these areas and maintain a focus on children under the new leadership.

“There is a lot of important work to be done in the interests of children – including building corss-party consensus about the core policies that need to be sustained in the long-term. We hope the new Labour leadership will pursue opportunities to achieve agreement with National and other parties.

“Getting it right for children is primarily the responsibility of families and communities, but government policy has a critical role in creating the economic and social policy settings that promote child wellbeing. The UNICEF Innocenti research centre in Italy has concluded that government policy is the primary lever for improving life for children growing up in poverty.

“As such, political parties must ensure that children are a central consideration and that policies are assessed for their likely impact on children.

“Labour’s policy identifies a range of practical measures that would improve life for New Zealand children so we hope the new leaders of the party will continue to build on it in the years to come,” concludes Liz Gibbs.

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