The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists warmly welcomes the New Zealand Prime Minister’s announcement that the Child Poverty Reduction Bill has been reported back to the House with cross-party support. The RANZCP commends the Government on progressing this historic Bill.
‘The Child Poverty Reduction Bill has the potential to change children’s lives and make a major contribution to improving children’s wellbeing,’ said Dr Tanya Wright, RANZCP Chair of the New Zealand Faculty of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.
‘We have advocated strenuously to reduce child poverty in New Zealand,’ Dr Wright said. ‘There is mounting evidence that children living in poverty experience poorer mental outcomes than their peers.
‘Our presentation to the Social Services and Community Select Committee emphasised improving children’s mental health is central to their wellbeing. We believe there is no health without mental health.
‘This news could not have come at a better time, with Mental Health Awareness Week starting this week.’
Dr Arran Culver, RANZCP Secretary of the New Zealand National Committee – Tu Te Akaaka Roa, also backed the legislation.
‘We support this legislation, not only will it measure and monitor child poverty but it also includes a Wellbeing Strategy. The Wellbeing Strategy clearly identifies key policies and actions that will help us to focus on developing appropriate interventions to lift children and families out of poverty.’
The RANZCP will be advocating that children’s mental wellbeing is given prominence within the Strategy.
‘This Bill, and the mahi that underpins it, means we can build a better future for children in New Zealand. The RANZCP is looking forward to being part of this initiative and supporting the Government to meet its objectives relating to child poverty,’ Dr Culver said.
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The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists is a membership organisation that prepares medical specialists in the field of psychiatry, supports and enhances clinical practice, advocates for people affected by mental illness and advises governments on mental health care. For information about our work, our members or our history, visit www.ranzcp.org.