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Child Poverty Reduction Bill passes second reading

MEDIA STATEMENT: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

01 November 2018

Barnardos says continued progress on Child Poverty Reduction Bill sends positive message for children and families

Barnardos, one of New Zealand’s oldest and leading children’s charities is today welcoming news that the Child Poverty Reduction Bill has passed its second reading in Parliament.

Dr Claire Achmad, Barnardos General Manager Advocacy, says the continued progress of the Bill through the legislative process is something to be celebrated. “This legislation has the potential to be a major catalyst in efforts to reduce the high rates of poverty and hardship that far too many of our tamariki and their families and whānau are living in”, Dr Achmad says.

Barnardos works directly with tamariki and their families and whānau who are experiencing the daily impacts of poverty and hardship in many communities around Aotearoa. Dr Achmad says that the progression of the Child Poverty Reduction Bill towards becoming law is “something that is important not only to these tamariki and their families and whānau, but which is important for everyone in Aotearoa New Zealand. This legislation, if backed up by child and family-focused policies, has the potential to help shift what fairness and equality looks like in New Zealand, and to support the development of households that are resilient to social and economic shocks. The Child Poverty Reduction Bill will also be an important part of building a culture in New Zealand where we as a society value, protect and respect children, and foster the strength of the families, whānau and communities around them.”

Dr Achmad says that “Barnardos celebrates the fact that New Zealand’s political parties have come together on making progress on reducing child poverty, because progress is urgently needed. We thank the Prime Minister for her continued leadership on this Bill and the kaupapa of child wellbeing, and we commend party leaders for putting the best interests of children above politics when it comes to reducing child poverty.”

“Barnardos is very pleased that as a result of the Select Committee process the Child Poverty Reduction Bill has gone through, the amended Bill is now explicitly grounded in New Zealand’s obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. A number of child-related principles have also been included in the amended Bill to inform decision-making. These are some of the key changes that Barnardos called for in our submission to the Select Committee on the Bill. We believe these changes will help to ensure the implementation of this Bill, once passed, is focussed on children and supporting them to flourish in childhood and beyond”, Dr Achmad says.

Dr Achmad says that “when it comes down to it, this is about valuing children and their dignity as our youngest citizens. As well as continuing to contribute to the development of the Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy under the Bill, Barnardos will continue supporting the progress of the Child Poverty Reduction Bill towards becoming law. This is because Barnardos believes this legislation will help to build a system that sends a strong message that tamariki are taonga, to be protected and treasured by us all”.

ENDS


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