A scathing report from one of Labour’s union backers following the Government’s decision to pull funding from child support services shows just how egregious the decision is, National’s spokesperson for Children, Alfred Ngaro says.
“Shockwaves are continuing to ripple through communities and interest groups following this week’s announcement from the Government that it will no longer fund the Stand children’s camps in Roxburgh and Otaki, effectively forcing their closure,” Mr Ngaro says.
“Stand needed just $3 million dollars to keep these villages afloat and minister Tracey Martin should have this available in her discretionary fund.
“As the Public Services Association (PSA) points out, this lack of commitment ‘sends a signal that provision of funding for vital services to ensure the well-being of New Zealand’s most vulnerable children, families and whānau needs to be monitored and protected more closely.’
“The community, the Mayors, the unions, and the children rallied to save Stand, but the Government hasn’t listened, and has instead prioritised diplomats over children.
“That extraordinary prioritisation has left 63 people without jobs and 380 traumatised children without a specialised treatment facility.
“The kids at these camps are the most vulnerable in society - they have had sexual, emotional, and physical violence committed against them and the Stand Children’s villages were designed to provide them with the love and support they need to get them back to place of peace.
“I agree with PSA organiser Margaret Takoko that ‘to say the least this is a disappointing result at several levels’, she also reminded us that ‘the loss of these life changing residential programmes … cannot have anything but a negative impact’.
“It is my hope that today, Budget Day, the Government does something to rectify this appalling mistake,” Mr Ngaro says.