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Great opportunity for prime minister to lead charge to reduce child poverty

Paul Hutchison Friday 26 September 2014, 12:33PM

Media release from Paul Hutchison

“The New Zealand Medical Association’s call that the Prime Minister should start instigating the recommendations of the Health Select Committee’s 2013 report on ‘Improving Children’s Outcomes’ is right on the mark” says former chairman, Paul Hutchison.

“The fact the Prime Minister has said he will order Treasury and the department of Prime Minister to look at new innovative ways of tackling child poverty should only be welcomed across New Zealand” says Dr Hutchison.

“Our cross party report has added strength because of the consensus reached and was praised nationally and internationally. It emphasises the work of James Heckman Nobel Laureate who shows that early intervention investment from very early on (preconception), pays huge dividends compared to late intervention. ‘It is an investment approach.”

“The Select Committee’s recommendations include

• Establishing an overall action plan for reducing child poverty
• Constructing policy objectives to give every child the best start in life
• Establishing an integrated, whole of government approach to service delivering for children
• Progressing policies to address disadvantage for all children, covering poverty, discrimination, healthy housing, optimal nutrition, access to health and education services (especially reproduction health and maternity) and safe home environments.

Dr Hutchison says “ the National Government has achieved a huge range of accomplishments in the economy, health, education, housing and social development in the least six years including the ‘Children’s Action Plan’ and ‘Vulnerable Children legislation’. They borrowed $60 billion dollars to ensure services were not only accessible but improved post the economic crisis.”

“ The Prime Minister’s initiative is refreshing, and I agree entirely with the NZMA that the Prime Minister and his officials should rapidly analyse and start instigating the Health Select Committee’s recommendations.”

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