Hekia Parata MPTackling poverty in New Zealand

By Hekia Parata, National List MP for Mana

Poverty is a complex issue, and one that our Government continues to prioritise. 

The Government will partner with Sanitarium and Fonterra to expand the KickStart Breakfast programme from two to five mornings a week in decile one to four schools, as part of National’s plan to better support vulnerable children.

The Government is putting up 50 per cent of the costs, with the other half being matched in value by Fonterra and Sanitarium. The total cost to the Government is up to $9.5 million over five years.

We believe that parents have the primary responsibility to provide their children with necessities like breakfast and a pair of shoes, but some children are still turning up at school hungry and not in good shape to learn. We must ensure that every child has the best possible start to the day. That begins with full tummies.

This is important information for the 27 decile 1-4 schools in the Mana electorate and I encourage you to please ensure this news is spread far and wide.  By opting-in those schools will start the programme before the end of 2013.

Further changes include growth in the social housing sector, and a $100 million investment in warmer, healthier homes for those most in need. There is a continued commitment to implementing the Children’s Action Plan, and $189 million in further funding for our welfare reforms.

Budget 2013 will support an extra $35 million to support extended family members raising children and  a plan to explore microfinance support.. These are all good things for our community.

This Government is firmly committed to lifting the quality of all New Zealanders’ lives and creating a more competitive and productive economy with more jobs and higher incomes.

And to end with more good news, look out for the upcoming 2013 Porirua Youth Awards nominations. Please start thinking about who you can nominate when applications open next month.

We are blessed in the Mana electorate to have so many talented young people.