Social Development Spokesperson
Spokesperson for Children
Labour appoints Spokesperson for Children
Labour Leader David Shearer has appointed Jacinda Ardern to the position of Spokesperson for Children in recognition of the need for a greater focus on the health and well-being of our children.
“I’ve chosen to make this announcement today - Children’s Day - because it gives us a chance to celebrate the joy that children bring us all and to reflect on whether we are doing enough to help our Kiwi kids grow into healthy, productive adults.
“Every child deserves the best start in life but that is not happening right now. Many of our children are growing up in poverty without the basic necessities, missing out on educational opportunities and decent healthcare. We must do better,” David Shearer said.
Jacinda Ardern takes on the role alongside her existing position as Social Development spokesperson. She says there are some appalling statistics showing that we are not doing enough for our children.
• 4800 more children have been hospitalised with poverty-related diseases in the past 3-4 years.
• Child abuse notifications have increased 37% from 110,000 in 2008/09 to 150,747 last year.
• The number of children living in homes dependent on benefits has risen from 199,108 in June 2008 to 231,488 in June last year.
• There are between 170,000 and 270,000 children living in poverty in this country.
“We must put children at the heart of everything we do. Labour has an unrelenting focus on doing just that. We have offered to work with the Government on child welfare issues and will continue to do so. Our children are vital to our future success as a country,” Jacinda Ardern said