Fair to families and investing in our children

Wednesday 25 July 2012, 5:07PM
By Labour Party

Labour is demonstrating its commitment to being fair to families and investing in our children with its ‘Mondayisation’ and paid parental leave legislation. Both are likely to pass their first readings in Parliament later today, says Labour Leader David Shearer.

“New Zealanders work hard and it is only fair that they get the holidays they deserve so they can spend time with their families.

“Labour MP David Clark’s bill will ensure that Kiwis can celebrate or commemorate Waitangi Day and ANZAC Day when they fall on a weekend but also get a day off on the following Monday.

“New Zealanders are overwhelmingly in favour of this legislation. The tourism industry and many businesses are also supportive because it will have a positive effect on domestic tourism and will ensure that workers are well rested.

“It was disappointing to see John Key refusing to express support for the move in Parliament this afternoon. His opposition shows he is out of touch with hard-working New Zealanders.”

Labour MP Sue Moroney’s bill to extend paid parental leave to 26 weeks will also have a positive impact on families, said David Shearer.

“It is important that parents have the choice to stay at home with their young children so they get the best start in life. Experts agree that investing in our children in the first few years of life pays off in many ways, including securing their health and wellbeing and reducing future costs in terms of health, education and the justice system.

“We are conscious of the need to make sure the parental leave extension is affordable and are keen to work with other political parties and experts, including Treasury and IRD, to find a workable solution in the current economic climate.

“These two bills show Labour is putting children and families at the heart of its thinking. We urge all other MPs to support us and help improve the lives of New Zealand families,” said David Shearer.