#Tick4Kids movement launches campaign

This week advocacy movement Tick for Kids is launching a campaign to engage politicians and the public in discussion about what needs to be done to improve life for children in New Zealand, and to encourage voters to align their vote according to the needs of children. The launch is marked today by an event that provides West Auckland children an opportunity to grill politicians on their priorities for children and young people.

The Tick for Kids movement is supported by a large group of organisations dedicated to improving child well-being, including Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG).

CPAG supports the initiative by Tick for Kids, who are calling for safe, affordable and healthy housing for all children and their families, accessible, quality early childhood education and care (ECCE) for every child, and a fully-funded health system ensuring everyone gets the care they need, when they need it.

“More and more young people are becoming aware of the political situation in New Zealand, and how it impacts on their own lives, thanks to educators and advocacy groups such as Tick for Kids and Rockenrol,” says Janfrie Wakim, CPAG Co-convenor.

“Because many policies directly impact on their wellbeing, it’s important to hear what children have to say about forging a New Zealand that meets all their needs to thrive.

“Children are very empathetic, an important value to recognise,” says Wakim.

“It is of deep concern for CPAG that so many children in New Zealand suffer the effects of income poverty and material hardship. For decades political parties have failed to ensure an adequate standard of living for children and families. We want all political candidates to prioritise children by implementing policies that will ensure all children have the same opportunities for good outcomes.”

Currently, policies are failing to ensure children in low-income families are able to have a warm safe and secure home, that they have enough income to sustain their basic needs and to keep them free from illness and poverty-associated anxieties.

CPAG is calling for zero fees doctors’ visits and prescriptions for all children up until they turn 18, as well as age appropriate health-care in schools, adequate education funding, and 100% degree qualified teachers in teacher-led centre-based ECCE settings. CPAG is also asking all parties to commit to improving to Working for Families tax credits and welfare benefits. Removing the discrimination inherent in accessing the In-Work Tax Credit (worth at least $72.50 per week to low income families) is fundamental as is a comprehensive review of housing in New Zealand - building more state homes and having a Warrant of Fitness on all rental housing is vital.

CPAG has recently launched a series of background papers outlining policies to support better, child-centred systems. Find out more about what it will take to ensure we have a New Zealand where all children can flourish here. #Tick4Kids