UNICEF NZ Calls for Support for the Every Child Counts Political Pledge

Monday 7 November 2011, 3:53PM
By UNICEF New Zealand

UNICEF NZ (UN Children’s Fund) wants the welfare of New Zealand’s children to be a top priority in this year’s election campaign and hopes the political pledge, launched by Every Child Counts, will put the 2 in 5 New Zealand children who are growing up in poverty high on the political agenda.

Dennis McKinlay, Executive Director at UNICEF NZ, said:

"As a core member of the Every Child Counts coalition we are urging MP's and candidates to sign the political pledge to ensure that every child in New Zealand is given the best possible opportunity in their first 1000 days.

"We know that the first 3 years are the most critical for achieving a lifetime of good health, education, and social development. To neglect the needs of any children in these years is a formula for trouble. For too long expenditure for children has been at the bottom of the cliff. It is time to spend money on the fence at the top,” Mr McKinlay said.

"It is in all our interests to support the ECC campaign and get children to the top of the political agenda. Children matter most of all for our pathway to a productive and healthy society.”

Every Child Counts wants MPs and candidates to ensure that there is Ministerial responsibility for children, that child impact assessments become part of the parliamentary process and that we develop a comprehensive programme to end child poverty.

UNICEF NZ urges parents and those working with and for children to use the Every Child Counts political pledge card to remind their current MP's and aspiring politicians of their responsibility to children.

For more information please visit http://www.everychildcounts.org.nz/