Anne Tolley MP
National Party Education Spokeswoman
10 April 2008
Labour says child hunger is about ‘dieting’
In an absolute outrage, a senior Labour Minister has claimed that kids who go hungry at breakfast time do so because
they want to stay ‘trim’, says National Party Education spokeswoman Anne Tolley.
“It is appalling for Associate Education Minister Parekura Horomia to claim that children up and down the country are
going to school hungry because they’re trying to keep their weight down.”
Mrs Tolley is referring to comments made in Parliament today by Mr Horomia, who said ‘there are a host of reasons why
students and pupils don’t have breakfast. They are trying to stay trim…’
“These comments are nothing short of a disgrace. I challenge Mr Horomia to stand on the corner of every street where
parents are struggling to feed their children and repeat these obscene comments.
“Child hunger is a very real problem for tens of thousands of Kiwi families. These ill-judged comments reflect Labour’s
total denial of an underclass in New Zealand.
“When National’s leader John Key raised issues about the growing underclass in this country, Labour denied it existed
and labelled Mr Key ‘out of touch’.
“The then Education Minister, Steve Maharey, even said National was making ‘false assumptions’ about families on low
incomes, and branded our initiatives to start dealing with child hunger as ‘Tory charity’.
“Mr Horomia has confirmed for the public of New Zealand that it is Labour who is out of touch with the real issues of
poverty facing Kiwi kids and Kiwi families.
“Mr Horomia should apologise or resign.”