NZ Herald 20 November 2014
A retired judge says families need more financial support so that one parent can stay at home for the first three years of each child’s life.
Graeme MacCormick, a Family Court judge for 16 years until 2005, has paid for full-page advertisements in the country’s four main newspapers yesterday and this weekend asking people to sign a “children’s plea” to MPs “to accord urgency and priority to all issues impacting the wellbeing of children”.
Children’s Commissioner Dr Russell Wills said the plea was well timed because the Government was focused on tackling child poverty in next year’s Budget. “The stronger public support is to invest in our youngest and poorest children, the more support the Government will have to improve its investments.”
Social Development Minister Anne Tolley confirmed that child poverty would be a focus of the 2015 Budget and said she had already attended three meetings chaired by Prime Minister John Key since the election on “children and hardship”.
“That will involve more resources being targeted at a number of families,” she said.
Mr MacCormick’s “plea” has already been signed by 28 community leaders including broadcaster Judy Bailey, former Children’s Commissioner Dr Ian Hassall, parenting gurus Ian and Mary Grant, Great Potentials Foundation founder Dame Lesley Max and child poverty activists Dr Nikki Turner and Dr Susan St John.