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CPAG backs recommendations

CPAG wants the government to adopt the proposed changes that advocate investment in the very early years of children's lives where there is clear evidence of being effective.

CPAG spokesperson Associate Professor Nikki Turner says recommendations by a Health Committees report could signal long-term gains for New Zealand's vulnerable children.

CPAG wants the government to adopt the proposed changes that advocate investment in the very early years of children's lives where there is clear evidence of being effective.

The inquiry made 12 major recommendations and 130 detailed recommendations to the Government including the call for a comprehensive action plan to reduce child poverty.

Dr Turner says CPAG strongly supports the recommendation to establish an overall action plan for reducing child poverty or a Better Public Service target for child poverty over the next two years.

"It's clear from the report that establishing official child poverty measures is an essential starting point to develop a comprehensive plan to improve health outcomes for children."

Dr Turner says the government continues to assert support for vulnerable children but so far has stopped short of taking a systematic approach that would need adoption of official child poverty measures.

Child poverty impacts hugely on the health outcomes and wellbeing of children as is evident in the high rates of a large range of preventable childhood illnesses in NZ including rheumatic fever, chronic lung disease and skin infections, and our appalling rates of child abuse.

"We are encouraged by the cross party consensus which shows we can work together to improve health outcomes for children. Every child deserves the right to thrive," says Dr Turner.