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National’s spokesperson for children Alfred Ngaro is deeply disappointed the Government is refusing to step in and support a vital children’s facility in central Otago to save it from closure.

“The Stand children’s camp in Roxburgh is facing closure unless it receives the $3 million funding boost it needs to keep providing support to the 380 traumatised children that pass through its centre each year,” Mr Ngaro says.

“National has repeatedly called on the Government to step in.

Our local MP Jacqui Dean has made several attempts to speak to the Children’s Minister, Tracey Martin, but has been rebuffed. After a personal approach to the Minister, Jacqui came away with the confirmation that the Minister has no real concern for vulnerable children – despite that being one of the core responsibilities of her role.

“Local Mayors have met with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Tracey Martin but their pleas have also been rejected.

“For a Prime Minister who has staked her political capital on ending child poverty the position that this Government is taking on this issue is extraordinary. The Stand camps are one of the best examples we have of operations that go right to the heart of helping the children most in need.

“The National-led Government invested an extra $1.5 million into Children’s Health Camps in 2009 to help continue this essential trauma-focused treatment service.

“We again call on the Prime Minister to get involved and take a pragmatic approach with Stand to ensure these camps continue, but also to keep a close eye on costs to ensure Stand can keep operating within its financial parameters.

“I hope the Prime Minister walks her talk and gives the organisation the financial support it needs by its Tuesday deadline,” Mr Ngaro says.

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