Children and Young People

Preamble

  • Children are more likely than any other group in New Zealand to be living in poverty. In 2003 1/3 of all children, and 2/3 of all children in sole parent families, were living in poverty. The Alliance stand for the elimination of child poverty.

  • In a country as wealthy as New Zealand, it is incredible and unacceptable that children and young people are going without food and left to fend for themselves while parents work several jobs to make ends meet.

  • Labour’s “Working for Families” package specifically addresses child poverty, but leaves many of the country’s poorest children with little help. Only those parent who have jobs benefit from Working for Families.

We stand for the following policies:

  • Restoration of a Universal Child Benefit. Setting minimum wages and benefits at a level that provides a liveable income for families and supplementing this with a universal family allowance.

  • Universal, quality childcare for all pre-school children, but not funded by public money going into private childcare providers.

  • Full funding for kindergartens and not-for-profit community-based early childhood education such as kohanga reo and play centres in conjunction with a programme to build public early childhood centres.

  • The establishment of publicly funded after-school and holiday programmes in every locality for school-age children.

  • Free school meals for all children.

  • Abolition of youth rates and the introduction of the adult minimum wage for all ages.

  • Restoration of the Youth Training Benefit.

  • The development of Youth “One-Stop” centres.

  • Implementation of proposals to a commercial-free youth radio network to be run and programmed by young people for young people.

  • High quality evidence based approaches to youth depression adn drug and alcohol abuse fully funded by government.

  • Introduction of flexible work and other work/life balance provisions to the minimum code to address workers’ family responsibilities.

  • A radical increase in the number of state houses being built in order to ensure adequate supply of affordable housing.