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Ed Sheeran

Children can't wait as stocktake finds poverty progress lagging

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A child development expert says children can’t wait for the Government to implement the recommendations of the Welfare Expert Advisory Group.

Advisory group member Innes Asher from the Child Poverty Action Group says since the report was released almost two years ago none of its 42 key recommendations have been fully implemented.

Seven have been partially implemented, another dozen have been minimally implemented, and there is no evidence any action has been taken on the rest.

The University of Auckland paediatrics professor says there was extensive consultation for the report, which represents the voices of the people of New Zealand, and there is no justification for the delay.

"Children can't wait. They can't wait to have an adequate income and standard of living. They can't wait because their minds, emotions, bodies are constantly developing and their development can be permanently harmed by chronic stress and lack of essentials, so this is an urgent matter, not something to be put on a three year or five year or 10 year plan. It's something that needs much greater momentum and progress," Professor Asher says.

She says the report is a blueprint for essential work, and the Government has been sitting on it.

The full CPAG stocktake report is at: https://www.cpag.org.nz/assets/WEAG%20Stocktake%20Final%2027%20Nov.pdf

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