Plunket says the Government’s decision to bring in its Families Package by 1 July 2018 and to set targets to reduce child poverty are steps forward in giving the welfare of New Zealand’s young children the priority it deserves. The plans were confirmed in today’s Speech from the Throne.
Plunket also welcomes the Government acting to tackle the housing crisis in their first 100 days with policies to give more New Zealanders access to a safe, warm, dry home.
“The Government is taking action in its first 100 days to help make the difference of a lifetime in our tamariki’s first 1000 days,” said Plunket’s Chief Executive Amanda Malu. “We are encouraged the Government is making good on its pre-election promise to introduce its Families Package by 1 July 2018.”
The Government says its Families Package will put more money into the pockets of low and middle income kiwi whānau: Working for Families will be increased, and extended to 30,000 more families nationwide. Families with young children will benefit with the introduction of the Best Start payment of $60 a week for each child in the first year after Paid Parental Leave ends, and for low to middle income families up to age three.
Plunket said these increases were greatly needed and would make a real difference to families raising young children.
“Plunket nurses and health-workers see the impact of poverty and poor housing on young families, with young children getting repeatedly sick from living in poor quality housing. The Families Package is designed to increase income for families with young children, and we look forward to seeing the detail of the legislation, to ensure it provides families with the support needed.”
She said not all children in New Zealand are getting the best start for reasons outside of their families’ control: “We welcome Government action to level the playing field, and address the inequity of health outcomes among New Zealand’s tamariki and whānau. We will be looking for further action to tackle systemic issues that are having an unacceptable impact on children’s health,” said Plunket’s Amanda Malu.
She welcomed the Government’s statements on child poverty, and cautioned that action to match aspiration is needed to lift children out of poverty.
Plunket is looking forward to working with the Government on its pre-election announcement to increase Well Child Tamariki Ora frontline nurse visits targeted at vulnerable families.
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For more information contact
Jen Riches – Plunket Senior Communications Manager
Phone: 021 405 842
For over a century Plunket has supported New Zealand parents to nurture healthy, happy kiwi babies.
Plunket is a not-for-profit organisation and is New Zealand’s largest provider of services to support the health and development of children under five.
Plunket is dedicated to working with parents and communities to ensure that New Zealand children get the best start in life. Plunket’s services help families nationwide, through over 300 branches, mobile clinics and a free phone service PlunketLine, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (0800 933 922).
Plunket services are available free to families in New Zealand with children aged 0 to 5. As registered nurses with a postgraduate qualification, Plunket nurses are able to offer high standards of expertise and a range of services to families.
For more information visit plunket.org.nz
About BNZ – Principal Sponsor
Bank of New Zealand is proud to work hand in hand with Plunket to bring young New Zealand families support when they need it most.
BNZ is proud to have been a part of New Zealand since 1861 and looks forward to supporting another organisation that has been integral to our country's upbringing.
8 November 2017