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Labour to invest in parents and babies

Labour will fund an additional 100 Plunket and Tamariki Ora nurses to increase the help available for vulnerable parents and babies, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern.

“It’s so important that our children get the best start in life. Well-Child providers like Plunket and Tamariki Ora do amazing work in our communities with new parents.

“Years ago I saw the impact that providing greater support to families via Plunket was having when a programme was trialled in Hawkes Bay.

“Since then, providers have told us they would really like to be able to offer more help to parents and babies with risk factors such as post-natal depression, family violence, teen parents, and deprivation. Initial visits will be able to be offered before the baby is born and will be more regular than what is currently offered.

“This funding will provide an extra 90,000 nurse visits a year, targeted at 18,000 vulnerable families.

“These visits will allow organisations like Plunket to get alongside parents earlier to give them the skills and support they need. They can address issues like drug and alcohol use, ensure the baby has a safe sleeping environment and help prepare them for parenthood. They'll also be able connect a family with any other services they might need.

“This $10m a year investment is part of the $8b in extra funding for health that Labour has budgeted for in our Fiscal Plan.

“Increasing the number of Plunket/Tamariki Ora nurses sits alongside our policies on boosting family incomes, training more GPs, requiring all rentals to be healthy to live in, and extending Paid Parental Leave to 26 weeks as an example of Labour’s commitment to our children. Let’s do this,” says Jacinda Ardern.