28 August 2007
Children’s Commissioner supports 13 months paid leave for parents
Children’s Commissioner, Dr Cindy Kiro, supports the Families Commission’s recommendation that the government’s parental
leave policy should be extended so that more people are eligible for more support.
The Families Commission is recommending that by 2015, parents are provided with a total of 13 months paid leave,
including a month’s paid leave for fathers. Parental leave would continue to be fully funded by the government
“The early years of a child’s life are very important. Investments in childhood are most likely to bring good returns to
society as a whole,” says Dr Kiro.
“The family is a child’s first and most crucial environment. Given that the environment a child is exposed to during
this time may have such a profound and lasting effect, we need to support parents and carers to give their children the
best possible environment for their development and wellbeing during this crucial time.”
If paid parental leave provisions were improved in New Zealand so that families could afford to look after their own
children when they are very young, and are properly supported to do so, society could reap the benefit of a generation
of babies and children who are more able to establish trusting relationships with others, and better social competency
and educational outcomes in their teenage years and beyond.”
“I encourage government to make the investment to provide 13 months paid leave and support parents and babies at this
crucial time,” says Dr Kiro.