News

Not another discussion please Minister!

The Minister of Social Development, Paula Bennett, yesterday announced a Green paper to  ”kick off a national conversation on how we value, nurture and protect children”. CPAG asks if this is a delaying tactic to avoid the hard realities?

Read the full media release below:

We have enough research and enough talk.  Child Poverty Action Group says the Government must act to protect children now, not some time in the future. The Minister of Social Development, Paula Bennett, yesterday announced a Green paper to  ”kick off a national conversation on how we value, nurture and protect children”. CPAG asks if this is a delaying tactic to avoid the hard realities?

“The focus needs to be on causes of poor family outcomes not the symptoms such as child abuse : Poor child outcomes reflect the huge financial pressures families are facing, under-resourcing of  low decile schools; poor nutrition and hunger, and overcrowded housing, says Mike O’Brien CPAG Director. 

At the same time as announcing yet another taskforce, the government is signalling a review of school health services and the possibility of cuts, on top of funding cuts to early childhood education., “Any conversation that fails to improve the current poverty and stress faced by thousands of New Zealand households is just a diversion, as so many before it have been,” says O’Brien.

Long term planning is needed, but the real need is to immediately move children out of poverty.  This Budget is government’s opportunity to show they truly care by extending Working for Families to all families, rejecting the punitive recommendations of the Welfare Working Group and better resourcing the poorest communities.  Funding yet another taskforce will not help a single child now.