Plunket is proud to be one of over thirty organisations calling for a long-term and non-partisan focus on reducing child poverty, keeping children’s health and wellbeing at the heart of this country’s journey forward.
Collectively, we believe the time is right for a strong and enduring response to reducing child poverty. This announcement supports Children’s Commissioner Judge Andrew Becroft’s call for legislation that affirms a set of appropriate measures of child poverty and commits each government to set and reach targets for poverty reductions, which will have the effect of improving children’s wellbeing.
Now the Government has moved to give parents or caregivers up to 26 weeks paid parental leave by 2020, the debate has moved on – should both parents or caregivers be given the choice to take that leave at the same time? What’s best for babies and whānau – what are parents telling us they need, and what does the evidence show?
First, let’s take a breath and recognise the extension of paid parental leave for the great leap forward it is – we’ve campaigned for this for several years, as have others (we’re looking at you, Sue Moroney). We’ve welcomed successive Governments’ incremental extensions to paid parental leave. We’ve done this because supporting parents and caregivers to spend time with their babies is exactly the good idea it seems – it’s recognized globally as providing significant benefits to tamariki, whānau and communities.