Release: Dark day for Kiwi kids as a third of Govt cuts affect them

News that 1000 jobs at the Ministry of Education and Oranga Tamariki could go is devastating for future generations of New Zealanders.

Today’s announcements take the number of proposed job losses in the public sector beyond 3000.

“After promising there would be no impact on the frontline, and that health and education would be safe, Nicola Willis is overseeing changes that will hurt our children and be felt for generations,” Labour Leader Chris Hipkins said.

“This is a dark day for Kiwi kids. A third of the Government’s cuts directly affect our children.

“Education is vital for our future. Ensuring our curriculum is up to scratch and teaching young people what they need to learn today, not 50 years ago, is incredibly important – and we need our best people working on that.

“If we want to improve attendance, we need initiatives that make kids want to go to school. Free and healthy school lunches, period products and warm, dry school buildings are all part of the solution.

“The size of the cuts at Education, 565 roles, means frontline services will be affected. These are people who work directly with teachers and principals to improve education delivery in our regions. They are frontline roles and those who support frontline roles.

“Oranga Tamariki works directly with kids who by no fault of their own haven’t had the best start in life. These are the very kids we should be investing in, supporting, so they can go on to live the best, most fulfilling lives and not lives of trauma and crime.

“Those who work at Oranga Tamariki have some of the toughest jobs of any agency within the public service. They deal with children who are abused, hurt or in danger.

“It hasn’t always got it right, and there have been reviews of Oranga Tamariki to improve it – however cutting its budget and 447 staff will only make outcomes worse.

“If we fail the children in our care, we are creating a lifetime of pain for those children and for society.

“There is only one solution to this – stop the deep cuts, they are going too far,” Chris Hipkins said.

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