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It is a great shame that the interests of children have not been at the centre of New Zealand's family focused policies. This failure to place children at the centre is in part the result of our present policy paradigm which sees parents primarily as employed or unemployed workers rather than as the carers and nurturers of our greatest treasure – our children.
Alan Johnson is part of Child Poverty Action Group and has written a number of papers on social and economic inequalities and their impact on children.
New Zealand governments do not explicitly produce family policy but instead provide policies and programmes which deliver benefits and opportunities to families as of course most governments do. These policies and programmes include such measures as income support for families, family tax policies, paid parental leave, social support for vulnerable and at risk families and child care and early education. So, while there are numerous and often well funded programmes delivering to families there is no overall sense of why this is being done or of how it all ties together.
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